Sunday, August 25, 2013
I've been in this weight loss thing long enough to know that it goes much deeper than shedding a few pounds. The number on the scale is just the tip of the iceberg - it's the part sticking out of the water. You know, the part you can see with the naked eye. But if you only address the part you can see, you will never fix the rest of the iceberg. That is the journey I have been on for the last several years. Here is a diagram I drew to demonstrate what I mean:
In case the image isn't clear (I can't see it right now) - the bottom of the iceberg has these things listed:
Past successes and failures
These are some of the major issues that need to be addressed for permanent weight loss (ie a healthy fulfilling lifestyle) to be achieved. Here is a quick snapshot of where I am coming from on these:
Emotions - identifying triggers and effects of emotional eating
Justifications - my focus for today (see below)
Past successes and failures - here we go again (facing yet another "start" and "falling off the wagon" acceptances
Misconceptions - desperate attempts to follow an unrealistic lifestyle long term. Not understanding how food affects your particular body.
Biological/physical issues - beating candida, diabetes, heart disease, family obesity, physical limitations etc.
Today my focus will be on justification because this is where I am struggling these past few weeks. Justification is just a fancy word for excuses. The excuses I make to justify making choices I should not be making. Let me give you a few real-life examples:
My family came to visit last weekend from PA. I had 8 women to feed. Instead of feeding them the foods I claim to have adapted as my new normal, I recipe searched and found lots of delicious casseroles to feed a large crew. They were not in the least bit healthy. I have spent months talking about how I avoid processed foods and make yummy healthy recipes based on meats and veggies and occasional quinoa (the total truth) yet I failed to live by example when they came here for the weekend. I used their visit as an excuse to eat the old way - it's only for a weekend after all! Desserts and pastry and yummy chips and dips - oh boy, did I live it up - all the while saying to them how "its been months since I got to indulge in these things..." Well, guess what? On Sunday one of the ladies told me that she had been looking forward to coming down and trying out some of my healthy recipes - yikes, a knife in the heart. Fail. Epic fail. I missed this great opportunity to be a living example of how you can eat healthy and delicious at the same time. I feel like a fraud. Justification - it's a special occasion - they only come to visit twice a year, enjoy yourself.
I returned to work two weeks ago. Leadership development training - all day sitting and listening. Breakfast and lunch provided! Well, again, when feeding a crowd what is the most inexpensive way to feast? Processed food - carbs! Lots of them! Bagels, muffins, coffee cake, donuts - yeah, baby! Pizza, subs, sandwiches - you betcha! Well, again, teachers fussing about how much weight I lost as I eat plate after plate of what I shouldn't eat. Justification - once school starts its all food from home so go for it. Oh, I'll just exercise when I get home (nope, too tired).
The pity party. It's Friday night after a long week eating my way through leadership development. I'm tired and don't feel great (wonder why?!) and it's not fair that my hubby can come home and eat pizza and drink a glass of wine and relax his way into the weekend. Poor pitiful me. I'll just workout extra over the weekend - pour me a glass of wine honey and what do you want on your pizza, I'm having chicken and spinach on mine! Justification - I deserve to relax too and I can make it up later.
All three of these examples show just a sampling of how I can talk myself into going down a wrong road very easily. Until I can quiet these voices I won't truly have victory over my weight loss. No wonder I go up and down so much. No wonder I have been struggling to get healthy for over 10 years. I have to get control over the justifications. But how?
I really believe it is practice, planning and accountability.
I need to be held accountable. Don't wait until the end of the weekend to question my cooking decisions - tell me now while I can still do something about it! Draw attention to the fact that I am over doing it - I won't like it but I'd rather face my folly when I can limit the damage than beat myself up later when more damage was done. I need to also hold myself accountable for my choices - I know that Friday nights are typically when friends want to kick off the weekend with happy hour - so I should plan for it by making better choices during the week so I can have some fun on the weekend. Planning in advance helps me to indulge in a healthy way - not a throw in the towel for a days-on-end kind of way. And most importantly, as with anything else, practice makes perfect. I know I'll never reach perfect, but the more I say no to myself the easier it is to follow through and ignore that voice that wants to justify making a bad choice.
Hey, we are all a work in progress. As long as we keep trying, keep reflecting, keep tweaking who we are we will succeed in become a better, healthier, more informed us. I am learning that it is so much more successful when we have a large support group. Thanks for being such an important part of my support group!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Here is what I looked like at my highest weight back in 2008 at 282 pounds:
and here is what I looked like now at 222 pounds - 60 pounds lost:
I still have 30 pounds to go for my new goal of 195. Once I am there I will decide if I want to lose more or not. My naturopath says that would be a good weight for me. I know my body has changed after having 2 kids and gaining 100 pounds - the extra skin alone weighs some. We'll see - I am telling myself that I am happy with the weight I am right now and anything more lost will be a bonus!
Monday, July 01, 2013
Yep. Real life has set in. How am I handling it? Pretty well - a rocky start, but feeling confident and in control.
Maintenance has been strange. When I started maintenance 12 days ago I was scared. I didn't want to screw it up. All the denial and hard work. There was a certain comfort in only being allowed to eat certain foods in certain amounts. I am definitely missing that now. As a matter of fact it is one of my goals that I want to set - deciding on a limit to my food choices and portion sizes. Remember how I made that list of things I noticed and wanted to change about my habits? Well this is going on the list. I need to check boxes to be successful - freedom and spur of the moment decisions don't work well for me. I'm a planner - I have to plan. More on this later in the post...
Anyway, like I was saying, maintenance has been strange - at first I had a hard time eating the full 1200-1400 calories I was supposed to bump up to. Somewhat because I still didn't have hunger and was out of the habit of eating with the family. But then once I started eating more I started pushing the envelope as far as the calorie count - eating out will do that. So I was out of balance - even though my food choices were mostly good (with the exception of a little vodka splurge) the scale started creeping. Every day another pound. My naturopath saw me on Day 5 of maintenance and told me to not worry about it -to just do what I knew I was supposed to do and it would come back down. So I continued to eat as I was supposed to and the pounds went up and up - 7 pounds worth, but then went down and down the same way - one pound a day until now I am back where I ended the program - back at 223. Crazy. But, in the meantime, I have faced a lot of temptations and have been experimenting with different foods and now maintenance is not so bad. I even had a glass of wine on Saturday afternoon and it didn't affect the scale at all. Yay!
Speaking of wine - did you know that wine is allowed? As long as it takes the place of a fruit serving and preferably on a lower fat day. And if possible an hour before or after eating any kind of fat. New research is showing sugars, starches and grains should not be consumed with fats. For example, if you want to eat a steak dinner if you eat the steak then an hour later eat the potato then an hour later you eat the vegetables your body will process it differently than if you eat them together - crazy, too, right? I don't know if people actually do that - I couldn't imagine doing it, but I did do the wine that way and it seemed to be okay.
So I've been reading your blogs out there and I have seen a lot of different perspectives as far as goal setting. Some friends are taking their eyes off the scale and looking at other things - such as how clothes fit and fat percentages. Some friends have set fitness goals. So all this goal talk has gotten me thinking about what my goals should be. Where to begin? Well, most people think about something they want to change or something they want to make happen, strive for, so that's what I am going to do - here goes:
What do I want to change?
*my loose skin on my thighs, belly, arms
*I want to be satisfied with what I eat
What do I want to make happen?
*I want to continue to lose pounds
*I want to keep the energy level I have
Okay, I will stop at 4 - that seems a reasonable number of goals - considering I want to accomplish them by the time I go to the beach in three weeks. Now, what must I commit to in order to accomplish these goals? As a teacher, we have to set SMART goals every year. A SMART goal is this:
S - specific
M - measurable
A - attainable
R - realistic
T - time bound
So here they are:
I know that they are simplistic. But, they are a start. They are the "hot button" issues that I think about right now, so if I can accomplish these in the next 3 weeks then I think after I get back from the beach I can tackle some longer-term goals.
Now, getting back to the foods and checking off boxes - here is what I am going to do for the next several days to see if this works -
protein source (turkey sausage, bacon, egg)
vegetables - raw or in smoothie
protein source (chicken, egg, tuna, powder in smoothie)
vegetables - cooked or raw
sugar free jello
coconut oil candy - recipe coming in chat forum - so yummy!
Goal is to stick to 1200-1400 calories, exercise, low carbs/sugars
Okay, there you have it - some three week goals and a few days of checking off menu boxes (no really, I am literally going to type this up in word and hang it on my refrigerator inside a page protector and check it off with a dry erase marker every day). I will get this show on the road - maintenance or no maintenance.
Thanks for reading XO
Saturday, June 22, 2013
I have completed 43 days of HA2CG weightloss plan. It is based on Dr. Simeons HCG diet, but the homeopathic drops do not contain any hormones - it is completely safe and contains insulin and thyroid support, as well as, appetite suppressant, essential vitamins and a liver and kidney cleanse. I took the drops for 40 days and followed a 500 calorie diet for 43 days. I am currently on day 3 of the 3 week maintenance phase which resets the hypothalamus - the hypothalamus helps you maintain a "set" weight.
Here are my stats:
Beginning weight 256.6
Ending weight 223.6
Total loss 32 pounds
Neck 15" down to 13.75" (-1.25)
Arms 15" down to 12.50" (-2.50 each arm -5.00 total)
Chest 49" down to 44.25" (-4.75)
Midriff (2 inches above belly button) 43" down to 36" (-7.00)
Waist (right at belly button) 45" down to 39" (-6.00)
Hips (around biggest part of butt cheeks) 55.50" down to 51" (-4.50)
Thighs 31" down to 25.75" (-5.25 each thigh -10.50 total)
Calf 18.5" down to 17.50" (-1.00 each calf -2.00 total)
Total inches lost -41
Beginning pant size 22/24 down to size 16
Beginning shirt size 2XL down to XL
Beginning bra band size 40" down to 36"
I am very pleased with my results. Now onto maintenance!
For the next three weeks I can have the following foods:
All proteins - eggs, meats (introduce pork and eggs separate)
All veggies except peas, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes
All berries, apples, citrus, pears - no melons, pineapple, bananas, peaches, mangoes
Fats are acceptable - olive oil, butter
Nuts can be added back one at a time
No grains, no sugar, no starch, no dairy
Avoid alcohol but if I choose to drink it then I should eat low fat/low calorie that day and use it as a fruit exchange.
Calories between 1200-1400
Carbs - under 50 for weightloss, but no more than 90
Fat between 80-90
Protein between 80-90
All foods known to cause food sensitivity or allergic reactions have to be added back in one at a time. The way to add a new food is to eat it for 4 days in a row then record any symptoms I experience during those days and the following 2 days after. Symptoms of food sensitivity may include headache, muscle/joint pain, runny nose, weight gain, mood change. If I have symptoms then I know I should limit those foods. If I don't then they are okay for me to eat. If I have a sensitivity to a food I really enjoy she said we can work with it - there are ways to reverse some food sensitivities and if not then we can do other things (hmm, wonder what that is?).
I was very nervous to begin eating a normal portion again. I still have no hunger pangs so I have to make myself eat. I also have had a hard time eating the 1200 calorie minimum. I still haven't hit that yet. The research shows that if you don't eat enough your body starts to pack on the pounds again and I don't want that to happen so I have to figure out how to get more calories in me. The trouble is veggies don't have a lot of calories to begin with and I hate to load up on meat. I'm so limited on my fruit servings because of the sugar content I can't do more of that. It's a pickle I tell you. But I will figure this out!
Some celebrations -
*I bought myself a "spritzer" so I can better control the amount of olive oil I use on my veggies and while cooking. You fill it half way with oil then pump it 10 times then spray it. I feel like that is a good healthy change I have made because of this program.
* I had a wonderful time clothes shopping yesterday!
*I have exercised 30-60 minutes faithfully each day of maintenance so far. My hope is to continue losing.
*My high energy level continues.
*My tastes have changed - I had a grilled hot dog on the first day of maintenance and it tasted too greasy - I didn't enjoy it. I had bacon this morning with breakfast and I did not enjoy it at all. This is huge for me because I LOVE BACON! So I feel I can keep my portions in control now when it comes to bacon. I think I will be satisfied using it as more of a seasoning rather than a meal.
*I did not cheat a single time on the 43 days. I was faithful to the letter! However, I drank vodka last night and did not follow my naturopath's directions about making sure it was a low fat/low calorie day - I had pulled pork yesterday (are you seeing a pork theme here with me? think I missed pork much?) and I had an avocado half for a snack so that was definitely not a low fat or low calorie day like it should have been. Today I feel queasy and I am wondering if it was the vodka or the overload of pork? So this morning I got out and exercised first thing and I am drinking a lot of water. The scale was up 1 pound and I will follow to the letter today to see if it goes back tomorrow. I still have one more day of eating pork to go so if the weight goes up then pork goes on the food sensitivity list. Next week I am going to add cheese (again just one kind at a time). I am starting with parmesan then feta. Both of those are the least likely to cause sensitivity. The least processed the better. The third week I am adding in almonds.
During maintenace if I see a gain of 2 pounds or more on the scale then I have to do a "steak" day. On a steak day you eat nothing for breakfast or lunch, drink water all day, and then eat a huge steak and an apple for supper. Supposedly you lose 2 pounds the next day. I hope not to find out!
Well, there you have it. I am thrilled with my results. My naturopath told me that I can do another round of this if I would like to. I have to wait 3 months before I can do it again. My plan is to try as hard as I can to lose my last 30 pound this summer on my own. If at the end of September I am still 20 or so pounds from my goal then I will do a 23 day round only. But since I will have less than 50 pounds to lose I would not be on the 500 calories a day - I would be on 8-900 calories a day. It's a thought in the back of my mind but I want to prove to myself that this program was a jump start for me and now I can finish this race on my own and keep this weight off with all the changes I have made and all the nutritional knowledge I have learned from her. I can do it!
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