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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here's a totally "duh" observation I've had recently... when I work out less, I'm less hungry! In the late months of 2008 I was working out a LOT - a few hours a day - and I was hungry until I'd eaten over 2,100 calories. Now I'm working out an hour at most a day, usually less... and my calories have been ranging between around 1,500-2,300...varying a lot because I'm basing how much I eat on how hungry I am.

Anyone just see Bob's team's food diary video on BL? These people are totally starving themselves... 250 calories for breakfast, 175 for lunch, sharing a 7oz fish between three or four people for dinner!? But if they didn't starve themselves they'd have no shot at staying on the ranch...they wouldn't lose enough weight to be above that yellow line. Not good!! How can they not be totally cranky and weak from hunger?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSTYLEFITNESS 4/22/2009 12:51PM

    The low-cal, high intensity workouts of BL are just for the show in cases of extreme obesity like most of those contestants start out. They are under doctor care. Unless us regular folks are under the type of supervision they are, WE CANNOT do those extremes. Not counting the fitness athlete like Jessica stated, and even they need some monitoring in my opinion. Bob and Jillian are GREAT trainers. They would not have these contestants on these diets if it were not safe--I STAND BY THAT. Can they do the same things at home? No! Just like we can't who watch the show.

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_BECA_ 4/22/2009 11:38AM

    It is unbelievable! that they would work out so much I have heard that they burn up to 3,000 cal a day and there in take is 900-1000 daily are you kidding me!!!! who can do that for life? who? and when they get home most of them when it is over (the show) they gain all there weight back and then some. So many of us out there want a quick fix there are no quick fixes period, the body needs fuel to function and we must also eat in in way that is attainable for life. Great blog I think people need to see that although the biggest loser can motivate us it is not realistic how they lose the weight and it is unhealthy too.



Comment edited on: 4/22/2009 11:39:18 AM

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SEEHOLZ 4/22/2009 11:18AM

    I would say it's adrenaline response! Once you got that one specific goal, your body just pushes-- which proofs the point that is temporary--- you can keep it up for a long time if you're "obsessed" but a) it'll take over your life and b) eventually, it'll come to an end or you end up with anorexia---- at least that's my opinion! It's a recipe for disorded eating--- been there, done that.
I like the idea of exercising less means less hunger---- maybe that's why I'm always able to loose weight on vacation? Not to jinx myself here...

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KENSINGTONC 4/22/2009 9:42AM

    Seriously - hunger is such a powerful urge for me, I can't STAND feeling like I've "undereaten"!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 4/22/2009 9:29AM

    I don't know about Bob and the ranch and stuff, but I am not a proponent of starvation!

I am so with you on the workouts and needing more calories. I think it works for me though cuz I love to eat and I love to workout - lol!! But in all seriousness, I feel like lifting makes me hungier than cardio, as well. I guess because muscles need fuel to grow!

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FITGIRL15 4/22/2009 8:11AM

    FINALLY... someone else who see's that show for what it REALLY is! It's actually quite traumatic to be that heavy and make their bodies do what they are doing (basically they are training and dieting as if they are entering a figure/fitness competition, time-wise!) It's absolutely disgusting that they put that on television for othes to try and emulate! That show is NOT A GOOD ROLE MODEL for anyone obese and trying to "get healthy"!!!!
Starving one's self and exercising excessively ISN'T healthy!!!!!

... however, that being said... it's AMAZING how adaptive the human body can be! Since I've been carb depleteing, I too can live on 200 calorie, no carb meals and have MORE then enough energy to train with my PT for a 45 minute weight circuit AND then follow it up by teaching a 50 minute SPIN class afterward! And then wake up the next morning and feel NO SORENESS at all and do it ALL AGAIN the next day!!!
But there is DEFINITELY a window of opportunity, I can feel that I'm losing momentum to keep this up for much longer! (I've been training and dieting hard for about 12 weeks!)
Eventually we all need to find balance in our diets! Eating restricted calories long term is a formula for disaster!!! Ask any of the women who've competed in Fitness competitions!!!!!

Comment edited on: 4/22/2009 8:13:17 AM

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FRIZGIRL 4/22/2009 7:04AM

    That is crazy that they aren't eating more. I agree, I would go crazy. I have a hard time figuring out how "hungry" I am when I work out less or more. Sometimes when I work out, it takes me a good 2 hours to get hungry. I think I usually get hungry the day after a hard workout the most. But then sometimes that is my rest day... I guess it all evens out.

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TRACYZABELLE 4/22/2009 5:59AM

    Better to eat realistic amounts then to get shocked after the DIET to try to stay slim on NORMAL food servings.

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MIMISCA 4/21/2009 11:19PM

    oh man i didn't know you could read their food diaries online. don't tell me that - or i will get totally sucked in - haha! yeah, what you're saying makes a lot of sense. it just seems like the best advice is to eat until satisfied, which sounds so easy but something i struggle with daily. talk soon!

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SKYFYRE 4/21/2009 10:44PM

    hmm, yeah, i dunno about the BL, I think we are on a better track for long term sucess!

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LISS327 4/21/2009 9:54PM

    Oh I'm sure they are!!!! It might have something to do with the camera, the nation watching, the editing and all the benefits when the show is over... There is a happy medium between what they are doing and eating everything we want, we just need to find it, be comfortable in it and the hardest part...just do it.
Happy Tuesday!

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Marathon watching and Jillian Michaels' reading

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today we went downtown and watched the Boston Marathon close to the finish line. I was so impressed that so many people were able to run so far, so fast. It was a lot more meaningful now that I am a bit of a runner...I know that these people worked so hard to prepare for this!

I still wasn't feeling that great from my little bug - it actually switched over to a stomach thing today unfortunately. So while my boyfriend went in a bar to meet up with friends, I went to Barnes & Noble to read, which is one of my favorite things to do. I read several chapters of Jillian Michaels' new book about how to eat. I could relate with her first few chapters about being overweight as a kid, and then getting thing only by meticulously counting calories and working out long hours. And I agreed with her premise to eat unprocessed foods.

But then I got to her chapter on what to avoid, and got overwhelmed! So many things that I thought were good for me, or at least neutral or not that bad, are unhealthy according to this book! Here's a few things that I eat/use on a regular basis that are off-limits according to this book:
*soymilk! yikes - I use a LOT of this
*artificial sweeteners, including the ones in gum, but yeah, I kind of already knew that, but still I hadn't cut them out completely
*plastic containers for food - I eat a LOT out of plastic
*canned food...there's unhealthy chemicals in the liner of the can...yikes
*the outer layers of lettuce, tops of apples, etc - pesticides
*starchy vegetables and tropical fruits (I eat a lot of sweet potato and mango!)
The list goes on and on...I wish she'd put the list of things you CAN eat before the list of things you can't because this list just depresses me. I thought I was making healthy choices...I knew to avoid HFCS and partially hydrogenated oil, but a lot of this list I thought was okay when it really wasn't - according to Jillian, anyway.

No gym today, but we walked around Boston at a pretty brisk pace - it was cold! Plus I'm still definitely sick so I don't feel bad taking it easy. And I had salad for dinner last night, lunch today, and dinner today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEATONCEADAY 4/21/2009 2:09PM

    i have also read this book is a bit extreme. also that she hates anything that starts in anti..... antidepressants/antiflamatory (sppp???). i think i may read it later.

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KENSINGTONC 4/21/2009 1:35PM

    Whoa...I'd be left with nothing to eat! So do you recommend the book?

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FRIZGIRL 4/21/2009 8:01AM

    Yeah... I definitely think you are ok with the sweet potatoes and mangoes. Good luck! You are looking fantastic!

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SEEHOLZ 4/21/2009 1:31AM

    I'm jeaulous you got to watch them all-LOL!
As for the book--honestly, I'd love to read about the metabolism, but I don't want to be like her--- or eat like her. Don't get me wrong- I think she's a true motivation to so many people and so hugely successful---- she deserves a ton of credit, but she's not for me- I don't want to live like that and maybe I'll always be "unhappy" with my body, because of it or whatever, but in my heart, I do know that one.
Anyways, I'm also one for being able to JUST read at the book store---- it's free and it's so fun!
WOW- three salads today--- now that is also inspiring. As for soy milk and other healthy things she does not like---- when I read the zone a long time ago, it kept taking about bananas- a superfood, indeed- and how you should not eat them. Everyone has a different opinion and you know what? If we followed all those plans combined, we'd be reduced to like 5 foods I think- if we are lucky-LOL! And that would equal total ANOREXIA-LOL! So, no thanks!

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SKYFYRE 4/20/2009 10:42PM

    That list is also in herMaking the Cut book and it is overwhelming. I know we all have to make up our oun minds about what level we are going to take all this information to. I'm trying moderation, I let you know in 50 years how it goes!

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MRSTUCKER812 4/20/2009 10:18PM

  Oh man that means I am sooo DOOMED then! I do/eat everything you just listed :D

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KJNE8O 4/20/2009 9:39PM

    Hmmmm.... I don't think I agree 100% with Jillian. First of all there are tons of nutritional benefits to foods like mango and sweet potatoes. I think that there isn't any "whole" food that should be off limits ever! I just don't buy into that whole theory.

But, as for the plastic - I've been hearing a lot about that and would tend to agree but it sure is hard to avoid!

Canned foods? Really? I've never heard of that and pretty tapped into the whole this is bad this is good avoid this avoid that thing - I'll have to research and let you all know. BUT, canned veggies are very high in sodium, so I avoid those but I still do canned beans, canned olives, garbanzo beans and from time to time fruit.

Apples - I buy organic. I've been meaning to switch over to buying organic lettuce. Actually, I'm meaning to switch over a lot of stuff to organic. In that case it would be fine to eat the outer layers and/or tops of the fruit/veggie.

Oh My - didn't mean to turn this into my own blog but it's a topic that I totally get into!

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ZIRCADIA 4/20/2009 7:43PM

    UM WOW. WTH??? I'd still like to read her new book, but feasibly how is a person really supposed to stop using plastic containers and canned food? I mean maybe I can see switching back to cow's milk and noe ating outer layers of some stuff.... but yeah -- that's a lot.

P.S. -- I was amazed at how into the running stuff I was this last Olympics. It really MEANS something now that I run to see people finishing marathons in a little over 2 hours or whatever. Ya know???

Comment edited on: 4/20/2009 7:45:06 PM

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Checking in

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not much new to report, but it had been a while since my last blog entry. Today was my "official" weigh-in...I'm exactly two weeks into my latest weight-loss effort...and I am down another pound. Three pounds in all.

I've been feeling a bit off since Friday night - sore throat, headache, and drowsy. I didn't work out yesterday, and today I just did strength training at the gym for a half hour and then went for a 20-minute walk outside. My appetite's been down a bit too - at my boyfriend's sister's shower yesterday I ate very little portions just because I wasn't in the mood to eat a lot, which almost never happens to me. Tonight I'm hanging out alone though and the thought of being naughty and munching on junk crossed my mind, but there's nothing around that would make good naughty food, thank goodness. Plus when I tallied up all my calories for today I'm barely over 1,400 so I could still have a few nice and healthy snacks... and then it's off to bed so I can get over this bug!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZIRCADIA 4/20/2009 6:19PM

    The freedom of having a house without junk food! HURRAH! :) hehe. Congrats on losing another lb. Hope you get to feeling better ASAP!!!

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SWEATONCEADAY 4/20/2009 11:03AM

    get better soon!

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MARLIE13 4/20/2009 10:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So you can flush that bug out of your system. Way to go on three pounds down and not having naughty food in the house.

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SKYFYRE 4/20/2009 6:39AM

    Hey you! I hope you feel tip top by morning! Congrats on another lb down!

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FRIZGIRL 4/20/2009 6:34AM

    I hope you feel better! Good choice on taking it easy at the gym but still making an appearance. Hope you had a great sleep and woke up feeling 10 times better!

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TRACYZABELLE 4/20/2009 1:45AM

    I got a cold/sinus infection but I am feeling a little better- been eating soup! I hate feeling horrible- I think it was the kid I kid sit for that got me sich as he was sick Thursday and Friday .I hope to feel beter fast! You feel better too! COngrats on the loss!

TracyZ emoticon

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FITGIRL15 4/19/2009 10:59PM

    Sounds like you are on track, Susan!

Make sure you are eating enough though! 1400 seems low for someone as tall as you! (I eat more then that when I'm in LEANING mode!)

I'm just curious, but have you ever visited a nutritionist or a dietician?

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BRUIN2 4/19/2009 10:12PM


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KJNE8O 4/19/2009 10:05PM

    Three pounds is great! Slow and steady is awesome.

Get some rest and I hope you feel better soon!

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Goal Weight?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I think I should change my weight loss ticker to reflect a more appropriate goal weight for me - currently the goal weight is 130. The problem is, I have extremely mixed feelings about what my goal weight should be.

In my adult life I have weighed everything from 132-183. However, the lowest I've ever been able to keep my weight without a ton of effort was the 160s.

Here are two extreme ideas, and then of course there's all the numbers in between:
Extreme #1: Goal weight of 160s. I feel good in terms of energy and hunger levels at this weight. I can be physically active and not SO restrictive with what I eat. I am slightly overweight according to BMI when I weigh in the 160s (I'm 5'6"). If the 160s were my goal weight, I'd already be there. I could go out and buy a wardrobe...not sure what size I am right now, probably a 12? And I'd be able to keep my weight pretty consistent, so I'd be able to buy clothes right now and keep on wearing them indefinitely.
Extreme #2: Goal weight of 130. I'd love how thin I was then, I'd wear size 2-4, and I'd be so light that I could run super fast. I'd still be well above the bottom of my healthy BMI range. I'd have to seriously restrict/control my eating, and I'd be at major risk for binges and gaining.

By the way, for 5'6" the healthy weight range is 124 (BMI=20) to 154 (BMI=24.9).

I will continue to think about this, and will quite likely end up with a goal weight somewhere between the two extremes. But where exactly? And how can I make my weight stay there? And how can I convince myself not to try to lose even more once I get there??

Another thing I've been wondering about is calories burned. I keep track of calories eaten because it helps me stay on track, but I all but ignore the other part of the equation - calories burned. I noticed a new report option on SparkPeople that shows your daily calorie deficit, and I know several Sparkers calculate this every day. Am I doing myself a disservice by ignoring calories burned? Or am I wise to not let myself be ruled by numbers too much, and to trust how I feel as a sufficient measure instead?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITGIRL15 4/17/2009 1:18PM

    I agree with the other commenters... how do you FEEL at 160 lbs? You are a tall drink of water, so I'm sure that weight looks pretty "normal" for you! (I too disagree with those BMI charts, they don't take into account enough very important factors!)

I wouldn't even worry so much about the number itself... why not aim for other, more personal goals... like training to do some fun event you've always wanted to do or taking a nutrition course and incorporating some of the information you learn into your lifestyle! FOr me, it has become LESS about weight and more about acheiving m personal BEST! Looking good (weight wise) and feeling good (mentally healthy) aren't always the same thing!

Good Luck with whatever path you choose to go down! Remeber though, extremes are never easy... maybe making gradual changes is how you should think about this. Then it will take longer to lose the weight aand will give you more time to adjust and figure out where your "happy AND healthy" weight really is!!!

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SABRIELSWEETIE 4/17/2009 11:39AM

    I'm 5'6" as well and I really appreciated this blog and the comments on it. I'm going to save it to my history so that I can reference it later.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KENSINGTONC 4/16/2009 11:29AM

    I was just thinking about this walking down the hallway at work today, how my body seems to LOVE 130-135# and rears up in rebellion when I try to get it lower than that. I think RUN_LIFT_EAT's comments are brilliant (so is she, obvi), and one of the tenants of the scientific article she posted is that this process takes time, during which the body needs to adjust. So I'm looking at it that way - rather than losing 5# in two weeks and being miserable and then gaining it back, I'm in this for the long haul and my goal is to lose 5# in a healthy, lifestyle-changing way over the next few months.

I'm totally a numbers person, unfortunately. I've been finding lately that calories burned is much more motivating for me than simply calculating a deficit, and then getting bummed out. What an awesome feeling to know that I BURNED 500 cals!!! That feels so much better than knowing I created a deficit.

And thanks for your comment on my blog. I can't fathom getting up at 4:30 to get to the gym and rush around trying to make it to work (which starts at 8 or so) on time. I'm trying to come up with a compromise.

OK, this is long enough, I'm chatty today. Have a good one! Liz

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SEEHOLZ 4/16/2009 11:15AM

    I've done that, but it didn't work-- I think something with my metabolism is off- my deficits don't add up, which proofs to me that it does matter what I eat--- and muscle does matter also! I think being too obsessive with any numbers sets me off- usually if they don't add up and for me, they discourage me and set me up for binge mode--- I might overestimate how much I burn or I'm just not sure.... Anyways, I'd say try not to be too obsessive either way-- it doesn't seem to be what you want to do long term wise...
Good luck!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 4/16/2009 10:02AM

    You might be interested in reading this interview. I am a huge believer in SCIENCE! And this harvard MD has some interesting research about "resetting your set point" basically the point at which your body can easily and happily maintain. The interview gives insight into how our set points creep up over time and how we can get them back down. One of his tenants (born out of research, not some dieting guru garbage) is that one should never lose more than 10% of their body weight at a time. So if you were around 180, 10% would be around 20 pounds, putting you right at 160. Based on his research you would stand a better chance at ultimately resetting lower if you allowed your body to really dig in and get comfy with 160 before trying to lose any more weight. He recommends no less than 6 months to reset. Check out the interview, it is long, but in my opinion chock full of good SCIENTIFIC information that backs up a lot of common sense:

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 4/16/2009 9:55AM

    I do the opposite, I do not count calories consumed, but I have a calories burned goal. I don't think there is anything wrong with tracking both, but for me I can start to get obsessive about the numbers and that is not mentally healthy. I know how to feed my body, calorie counting clouds that and muddies my relationship with food.

Perhaps for you tracking deficits would be helpful, or maybe tracking calories works but adding the other part might send you to the "bad place." I don't know. Maybe you should try it for 4 weeks and see?

As far as your goal weight, how long have been able to successfully maintain 160? Those BMI charts can be a bit arbitrary, I wouldn't let those completely dictate a healthy weight to you. Why not pick 160 as a healthy goal weight and really work on maintaining it, learning to maintain, learning to have a healthy body image, etc and commit to that for a year. Then after a year if 160 is a breeze you can reexamine if trying to lose more would be worth it, or if it would just set you up for misery than it is worth.

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TRACYZABELLE 4/16/2009 7:15AM

    You need to do what makes no sense to make yourself crazy over a number because then it makes us binge! Grrrrrrrrrrr

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SKYFYRE 4/16/2009 2:52AM

    Ok, Susan,numbers, numbers, numbers... hmm...
Calorie deficit, there are those of us that use it for many different reasons, like justifying extra calories or planning for a day like Easter Sunday. Some say it should never be more than 500 a day. You'll have to read up and see what you think!
Goal weight- I really like the post by Armateynotagain... you look great! Where will YOU BE HAPPY? You are right about finding a middle ground, forget Self, they are forgetting the right message. What is your cholesterol and BP at 160? at 150? at 140? How are you mentally at these weights. I hope you weigh in on some other levels before you settle on your goal weight. Life is still to throw curvballs like babies and illness realize that before the numbers get the best of you. ( I know you're too smart for that, though!)

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    I don't know if you want an old mans opinion . So for what it worth here's mine and I think most men would agree. I don't know what weight you are in your pictures but, You Look Fabulous. It seems women try for that waif look to impress other women. Ask any man they prefer some thing a little curvier.

Women always whine about their trouble spots, but mostly women are the ones that notice them. Everyone can always look a little more toned. I feel toned is healthier (and sexier. here's that man opinion than having that waif look.

You also might want to consider what types of sports or physical activities you plan to pursue in your life. If your a marathon runner or do any other bone jarring sports. Then yes you would want to strive for the lower end of your weight range to protect
your joints.

Go for toned, you and your body will be happier. Besides yoyoing is bad.

Comment edited on: 4/16/2009 1:32:19 AM

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    I didn't know you could track your daily deficit, lol. Thanks for letting me know that :)

You and I are the same height, and for picking a goal weight for myself was frustrating. Before I knew much about nutrition I thought I just wanted to be skinny, like all the popular girls. My ultimate goal weight is 130, and I haven't made it there yet. Right now I'm around 140-143 pounds. I didn't really appreciate being in the mid 130's because my mind was always stuck on the fact that it wasn't good enough because it wasn't 130. But looking at pictures of myself when I was that weight I realize what a world of difference just 5-8 pounds makes.

I know I wrote a lot, but I guess my point is, don't get stuck on a goal weight, especially if you tend to just focus on the fact that you're not 130 when you weigh in, instead of focusing on the fact of what your inches are, how you feel, what size you're wearing, etc. We're all different, so what's a good weight for someone else might not be a good weight for you.

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MARLIE13 4/15/2009 7:43PM

    Hey, I just had a thought pop into my head. Do you know what your hip to waist ratio is? I think it was Jillian Michaels that I heard say that the ratio is more accurate than your BMI in helping you know what your healthy weight is. (Since it takes measurements/frame into consideration vs age and weight.) Maybe a thought?

PS I like knowing how many calories I burn because it reinforces my eating extra calories when I have worked out harder. Plus, it reminds me to eat more and not dip too low under my range which would stall out my metabolism if I consistently ate too low. (Not that there's MUCH danger in that. lol!) But I am one of those people with hypoglycemia that has to force myself to eat every 3 hours or I forget and crash.

You'll get it figured out. I really think you're on a great path right now!

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BRUIN2 4/15/2009 6:00PM

    Do you keep track of your calories burned? Or just ignore that part all together?

Some days I get the desire to calculate my daily deficit (pre-spark report option!), but I've never done it on a consistent basis because the numbers drive me nuts. But, it is really useful to see every now and then.

Good luck finding your goal weight!!

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DAMIENDUCKS 4/15/2009 5:49PM

    I agree...nothing says you have to stick with your goal weight forever, so I'd pick something on the high end of the healthy range and try it on for a few months, see if you feel it "fits" and adjust as needed from there...good luck figuring this one out--I know it's a tough one to think through!

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ZIRCADIA 4/15/2009 5:23PM

    OOH I didn't know Sparks had a report option for Calorie Deficit now! That's kind of exciting... :D hahaha. I'd say that maybe tracking it for a bit can help you see where you are, but since you tend to get obsessive with numbers I can understand your hesitance to start looking at something new, but I always LOVED tracking my deficit. I don't do it daily anymore, but I did it for a while and it was a really useful tool. It also really helps to make more sense of how you're super hungry and eating more on heavier workout days -- in a literal numerical sense instead of hey I feel hungrier. As for me, I don't know that I feel safe enough without knowing I have numbers backing me up, ya know? I feel scared to try to let my hunger guide me. But maybe that's good for you. Have you ever looked at's happy weight calculator? It takes into consideration frame size and some other stuff. It told me 163 and I feel really good at about 168 so that's KINDA in the ballpark. But when I was determining my goal weight I just kinda kept setting smaller goals until I felt comfortable. It's hard to know when to stop, I'd maybe set small goals and then maintain for a while to see how you feel there. Maybe goal one would be to get to 154? And then maintain around there for a while and see how you feel? That way you're not just setting more and more goals like you did before, but living with each goal as you go along for a while?

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Learning more about what works for me

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Daily weight fluctuations make NO sense sometimes. Case in point: After gorging on Easter dinner, my weight remained completely unchanged yesterday. Then this morning, after a relatively light day calorie-wise and an hour-long run, my weight was up 0.8 pounds to 164.0! Losing weight requires tremendous patience.

One thing I'm doing very differently this time around is tracking AFTER I eat, rather than using my tracker to PLAN what I'll eat. I'm surprised it's working so well, as I would have predicted that it would require too much willpower. But I'm finding that when I'm motivated enough, I make fine choices.

Tracking after I eat has helped me to:
*have the freedom to eat ONE cookie or chocolate from the teachers' room without guilt.
*eat according to my hunger level. Since I've started this approach, I've had days where my calories were as low as 1,400 and other days when my calories were at 2,800! It feels good to give my body just what it needs - not too much, not too little!
*adjust my plan as things pop up, like having a latte while I'm at the bookstore and a smaller dinner later to make up for it.
*notice calorie bombs. I've been supplementing meals with vegetables as a good low-cal filler, and it usually works, but today I tried using lima beans for that purpose and OOPS - the whole bag was over 500 calories!!!

So I'm losing far more slowly than I did before, but I feel like I'm FINALLY coming up with a way to fit my diet into real life and do something I can keep up forever. It seems to be a good balance of structure and freedom.

The structure comes from:
*having a "template" for my meals and snacks. My basic template is a smoothie for breakfast, and lunches and dinners from the two recipes I batch-cook on weekends and store in single-serving-size containers in the freezer. Snacks are generally apples, walnuts or almonds (just one carefully measured portion per day though), and yogurt. I supplement with veggies, plain oatmeal (not lately though as it's pretty high in calories), and/or more fruit and/or yogurt.
*tracking everything to stay very mindful of my choices!

The freedom comes from:
*Food-choice freedom - I can stray from my basic template if there are other foods I want to eat, as long as I stay mindful of making good choices.
*Listening to my hunger - allowing myself to have low-calorie days, high-calorie days, and everything in between, depending on what my body tells me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KENSINGTONC 4/15/2009 4:37PM

    I just love your attitude - sounds like you're totally on the right track. Love the lima beans story - the other night I ate 400 calories worth of RASPBERRIES! Who knew? Anyway, glad it's going well for you.

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MARLIE13 4/15/2009 3:32PM

    Awesome awesome plan! Your structure and freedom plans are right on!

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SEEHOLZ 4/15/2009 10:40AM

    Ha Ha,,,, I never can do the track before-- even though I've templated myself and it worked good when I did---- as that would be way to restricting and then I just rebel! I want the freedom of choice-- I'm working on wanting to make the right choice, but I'm also learning that some days you're more hungry and that' s okay--- no guilt!
Love the plan!

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ZIRCADIA 4/14/2009 6:02PM

    I definitely am a templater... in fact my lunches are almost always the same exact thing... but my breakfast and snacks are more of a variation on a theme, and then dinner is always something different. :) hahaha But still -- I think it's a similar approach. I like your approach right now -- LOVE IT. :) I think that I've learned enough about how to listen to my body now that I track after I eat a lot of the time as well. Although before making dinner I often will take a look at how my macros are stacking up to see if I need a dinner that's higher in protein or something.

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SKYFYRE 4/14/2009 5:32PM

    Nice reflection, I hope you find continued sucess with this! LIMA BEANS???? WHo knew!

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BRUIN2 4/14/2009 4:08PM

    emoticonRight on! Great plan!

I love apples as a snack too - I find that if I add a slice or two of cheese to the snack that I stay fuller longer...isn't it amazing what a little protein will do!

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LISS327 4/14/2009 4:02PM

    I love your plans and your structure. It's a huge defeat to figure out what works for yourself. Way to go. As for the scale I'm with I'm with you a day or multi day weigher. Have you thought about putting the scale away for 2 weeks. Stay focused with your eating and working out then weigh in. We all obsess over the number and it's totally not where our focus should be. Our focus should be on us with in-how do you feel in your skin, how do we feel with overall....the number will follow just not as quickly as we like. There are SO many factors in our weight- you are doing so well, stick with it. Be proud of yourself for what you have done.

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KJNE8O 4/14/2009 3:30PM

    Wow! This is a great healthy attitude and one that I should adopt as well! I do this for the most part but I've been slacking on the tracking... hey - that rhymes! Anyway - thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to us!

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