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Sunday, January 16, 2011

So I guesstimated my calories for yesterday to be around 2,700. That's lower than I had guessed a day of eating whatever I want would be, but it was still enough to put me up at 170.6lbs today after being 167 a few days ago.

I told my husband my plan and he didn't like it. He thinks I'll gain a bunch of weight eating whatever I want, and he doesn't see the point in establishing a baseline. It made me wonder if I'm just putting off the inevitable...dieting misery... but I really don't think so. I think I will learn something from this experiment. I'm just not sure what.

I told hubs about my 2,700 calories yesterday and he was like, "That's unacceptable!" but then I was like, "Oh yeah, let me do YOUR calories...I bet you're not much less." So I went into an empty day in my SP tracker and entered everything he told me he ate yesterday and he came in at 2,600. So...I was right! And he was corrected. :)

This morning my only exercise was Body Pump - NO additional cardio, but I was sweating and giving it my all in Body Pump so I don't feel bad. I think I had the heaviest squat weight in the class, hehe. Funny how I can go so much heavier than everyone else with squats but with other muscle groups I use a wimpy weight. I definitely looked fat in my tight new workout pants. Oh well.

Goooooo Patriots!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGSFITNESS 1/18/2011 5:11PM

    My comment would follow along the lines of MBSHAZZER. The only other thing I'd question is how much strength training that you've got in your plan?

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RAWKNRUN 1/18/2011 3:23PM

  Honey, you don't have to do "diet misery" it took me a long time but I got there without it. I shoot for 75% healthy, lol. If you ever want to talk about it, I am all ears, sparkmail me!

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TERRIANGEL 1/18/2011 3:18PM

    It never hurts to prove the hubster wrong. hehehe...

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BLUEBOOEYES 1/17/2011 9:07PM

    Susan, you have so much strength in you. Whatever you decide to do, I know that you can get yourself to your "happy weight" again.

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GREEKSPARK 1/17/2011 6:29PM

  love how you're honest about how many calories you're eating! i'd be interested if you tried this:
snack/bfast: 1 serv protein, 1 serv carb
snack/bfast: 1 serv protein, 1 serv carb
lunch: 2 serv protein, 2 serv carb
snack: 1 serv protein, 1 serv carb
dinner: 2 serv carb, 1 serv protein
snack: i serv protein or carb

i'm trying this out now, doesnt really call for a lot of calories counting (usually around 1600) but better quality foods. fruit = 1 carb, but veggies are "free"

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FRIZGIRL 1/17/2011 10:22AM

    lol, I love that in class I'm the same way, I can do great squats and bench press type movements, but can't hold a plank for 30 seconds, lol.

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SKYFYRE 1/16/2011 11:43PM

    I have a mean weight lifting machine of a lower body, but my upper body is pa-the-tic! I have a big bootie to match my strong bottom half, LOL! Good luck with the experiment, it looks like the both of you are learning from it!

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ROGUE_1 1/16/2011 9:24PM

    Great job giving it your all at Body Pump!
Ughhh I hate feeling like that in my clothes :( But I'm sure that'll all change for us both soon! Good luck with your experiment!

And thanks for commenting on my last blog! Yes, my brother's arms are awesome. I always tell him I hate him (in a loving way of course). He eats whatever he wants, whenever he wants, yet still has like 5% body fat and lots of muscles. ANNOYING!

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SILLIANGEL 1/16/2011 6:50PM

    I hate how a few pounds can make your sexy clothes or workout clothes be the ones that make you look fat. Ugh. I've been going through that lately. All my standby cute stuff makes me look frumpy. Eww.

Here's to shedding a couple pounds and bringin' sexy back... lol.

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MBSHAZZER 1/16/2011 5:09PM

    Hmmm.... Interesting response from your husband. Does he realize that when you diet, a) it's not permanent and b) you're hungry and miserable? I think you're better off trying to find something that works for you long term. What's the point of taking it off if you put it back on again? It seems like you were doing really well towards the end of the year... lots of exercise and eating healthfully, but not restricted. JMO. At the end of the day, you need to do what you're comfortable with. hang in there!

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Feeling Good vs. Looking Good

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I think we're taught to believe that any lifestyle change that makes us look good will also make us feel good, and I think there are some lucky people for whom this is true. Some people feel great eating a calorie level that has them maintaining a healthy weight, and they don't even need to count these calories - their bodies naturally make the right decisions for them.

For me, however, getting to a "normal" (BMI-wise) weight involves a lot of FIGHTING my body's natural decisions. I naturally gravitate toward a high level of calories - not sure how many, but embarrassingly high - maybe on a typical non-tracking day I might eat 3,000-5,000 calories. In fact, maybe I should try counting my calories on days like that just to find out what my natural range is. (However, I see two issues here: 1. Simply knowing I'm tracking may have an emotional impact on the amount I eat; and 2. On a typical day when I eat food prepared by other people I'd be guesstimating my calories SO much that my results might not even be valid.) Despite these drawbacks I am realizing that tracking without restricting might be a good idea. I hadn't started writing this blog entry with this idea in came to me as I was writing. It's not an idea I can claim credit for - don't lots of diet/nutrition programs, including SP's, suggest you start by doing exactly this to get a baseline? Anyway, once I know how many calories I eat on a typical day when I'm not trying to restrict myself, I can try baby steps. Maybe just shave off a few hundred calories and see how that feels and what impact that has on my weight as well.

I think there should be no need for misery when attempting to live a healthy lifestyle. Wouldn't that be counterintuitive and counterproductive? Would it even actually BE healthy, if I weren't feeling good?

I think everyone wants to look good, and improving how I look is admittedly one of the main motivating factors for me when it comes to diet and exercise. But I've come to the conclusion that, like it or not, feeling good HAS to trump looking good, if the two don't naturally come hand-in-hand. The reason is that you can only voluntarily do something that makes you feel physically uncomfortable for so long before you're going to snap and go back to behaviors that make you feel good. You're just going to. So, if the choice HAS to be feeling good, I might as well embrace that. Jen's (SWEATONCEADAY) comment on my last post really resonated with me. She reminded me that I am doing many things RIGHT, and that I should celebrate these things. Why should I feel ashamed by my body's natural tendency to seek food/energy? A few of my Spark friends have commented on my high metabolism and my body's need to fuel itself for the large amount of exercise I do. I'm going to try to stop feeling shame about my eating habits. Rather, I want to just tweak things and control things just enough so that I can be the best me I can be, all the while AVOIDING the battle with my natural instincts. I think I can do that.

Wow, I started this blog entry not thinking I'd come up with a plan, but there I go...I've come up with something I feel really good about! I'll try my best to track to get my baseline over the next, I don't know, week or so, maybe longer, maybe shorter - I am guessing this experiment will lead to some insights I can't even imagine right now that will influence where I go from here.

I'm going to end this post with a little story that kind of shows what I mean about feeling good, and about how I think I may have been making healthy choices lately even without sticking within a certain calorie limit:

As I mentioned in my last blog, after just a day and a half of limiting my calories to 2,000 per day, I already felt a major energy lag at the gym. On Thursday I ate a controlled 2,500 calories and that went well, and then on Friday I didn't count calories at all because it was a different sort of day than normal (teacher professional day, lunch was provided, I had a Greek salad with grilled chicken, but lots of sugary stuff too, then went out for dinner with hubby to celebrate our 11-monthiversary and I had red wine, bread, half a Caprese salad, and schrod in maranara sauce with olives and capers - brought the side of pasta home to eat for lunch today). Anyway, I'm getting long-winded but my point is that I have been letting my body decide how much/what I was going to eat the past couple of days for the most part, which always seems to give me the best energy (as long as I don't stuff myself). On top of that, I got a nice long night's sleep last night and had coffee this morning, and then we were off to the gym. If the gym were still right next door I would have had time to get there in time for Body Combat, but with the new farther-away gym I arrived late, so I used the elliptical instead. And for the first time EVER, I was able to maintain a sub-nine-minute mile pace at level eight for a full hour, and for the first time ever once I was done with my cooldown (65 minutes in all on the machine) my total distance was OVER seven miles. I think the total calorie burn was somewhere around 985 (though I am pretty wary of calorie burn measurements on machines). My point is that, even though my weight has been firmly in the overweight range for the past several months, I have continued to make cardiovascular progress and I felt really good and really sweaty and really proud of myself when I was done. And in Body Pump I know I'm making progress too because I've been slowly but steadily increasing my weights. So...I have a lot to be proud of, despite my overweight status.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5FRUITSNVEGGIES 1/21/2011 11:20PM

    i know i risk sounding like an old lady, but what i've learned is to eat what is healthy and because i want to be healthy---everything else fell into place after that....but it was not always that took me almost 20 years to get to this point...but something has happened to me, and my metabolism is revved up and i can eat over 2000 and not gain weight....and i've had two kids already.....and i'm almost 40.....but when i lived restrictively with food, i felt punished and it never felt normal...for the first time in my life, i don't feel restricted and i don't feel fat...i feel healthy....

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MEGSFITNESS 1/16/2011 2:05PM

    I'm glad that writing this out helped you to come up with a sensible solution to your dillema :) I hope it helps!!!

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TERRIANGEL 1/16/2011 10:54AM

    I think that's a KILLER plan! Are you doing it today??

"I think there should be no need for misery when attempting to live a healthy lifestyle. Wouldn't that be counterintuitive and counterproductive? Would it even actually BE healthy, if I weren't feeling good?"

YES!! Misery has no place in a healthy lifestyle. Take your baseline. See what you find. And keep up all the POSITIVE things you are currently doing. I'll wager a bet that you can find some easy spots to "cut back" without making a major overhaul of your current diet. With any l uck, it won't seem like such a huge transition, and the weight that make you so unhappy with yourself will start to melt away without much effort. I can feel it for ya, honey!! I'm excited to check in and see how it goes!!

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MBSHAZZER 1/16/2011 10:52AM

    Susan, why would you feel ashamed about what you eat? If you're hungry, you need to eat. Some people need more; some need less. I eat way more than my 5'10" 220 pound boyfriend. I think it's helpful to think of food as fuel... you exercise so much (which is awesome for your physical and emotional health) why would you deny your body the fuel it needs to sustain that level of activity?

Have you heard of intuitive eating? There is a book on it... basically, it's eating what you want, when you want it. It takes the power away from food because nothing is "forbidden" - it's amazing how not important food can become when you start eating this way.

I totally agree that you should not be miserable on this journey. Life is too short to feel awful!

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SKYFYRE 1/16/2011 12:13AM

    emoticon I think this sounds like a good plan to figure out where you are starting from. I am not a bird either, it is so hard to limit y intake, actually even harder to ensure I get the nutrients I need to succeed. I hope you find your balance!

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SWEATONCEADAY 1/15/2011 11:08PM

    wow that is a killer pace on the elliptical. i think you have a great plan to get a true idea where you are starting from. i agree i can't deprive my body too much or i am miserable. i don't know how people can survive/function on 1200 calories. i would go nuts!

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Learning from my mistakes..

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Okay, I'm a bit embarrassed about what I'm about to disclose here - I've already failed my new plan. Monday was a total success, both in terms of sticking to my 2,000 calorie nutrition plan, and having an AWESOME 65-min, 7 mile, 1,000 calorie workout on the elliptical. (I don't always have enough energy to go that fast, but on Monday I did.)

Tuesday morning I woke up weighing 167.6. I hadn't weighed myself on Monday before I started, but over the past few weeks my weight has been anywhere from 166-172 - pretty standard top-of-the-yo-yo weight for me.

Throughout most of the day on Tuesday I stuck to my plan just fine. I went to the gym in the evening prepared for a HUGE workout - an hour of cardio, 15 minutes of Ab Clinic, and then an hour of Body Pump. I brought my last two items from the day's menu with me - an apple and a Clementine.

I started on the elliptical and after 15 minutes I knew I didn't have as much energy as I had on Monday. That's kind of normal though - I can't usually go all-out hard two days in a row and I don't think I should anyway. However, after a few more minutes I felt like my energy was seriously lacking. I got off the elliptical after about 30 minutes and went and ate my snacks in the locker room, and then spent the rest of the time before Abs started on a recumbant bike with a magazine. Then when I went into that horrible new studio that is WAY too small and stuffy, I was just feeling icky. There wasn't enough space or equipment and I was so irritable and my stomach was sticking out in my new white t-shirt. I did stick out both Abs and Body Pump, but just barely.

Then afterwards I went to the grocery store, where I'd planned on getting a few things for some batch cooking and things I use every day that I'd run out of. But then I realized I could cheat on my diet, and nobody would have to know. I ended up getting a salad mix, honey roasted almond slivers, and Thai peanut dressing, which I then went home and ate half of at night and the other half the next morning for breakfast. That wouldn't have been TOO bad except that I also got some flavored brown rice chips to eat on the way home, and a Friendly's sundae for dessert! (at least I didn't go for a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's...but I also didn't get one of those little mini ice creams either).

Then yesterday I had a snow day and ate off-plan all day, and didn't exercise either.

While all this was going on I just felt so defeated in terms of my potential to lose weight and keep it off. You see, for the past few months I have been feeling really good physically - my body seems to really prefer it when I eat a lot and let myself weigh in the upper 160s. I've been making progress both with my cardio and strength, while at the same time slowly gaining. Then this past weekend I finally went out and bought a bunch of pants that fit me at my current size - size 10 (wow, size 10s have gotten really big!! these pants are probably at least as big as a 14 used to be). In general I was feeling pretty okay with being overweight....except when I saw myself in photos and realized how heavy I really looked, or when my husband hinted that he wanted me to get back on track, or when I remembered how proud of myself I had been in the past when I'd lost weight.

I realized I've been profoundly affected by my multiple failed attempts at permanent weight loss. I do believe deep down that I am not capable of maintaining a healthy weight. MAYBE I'm capable of maintaining something at the very very top of the healthy range (which would be 154 at my height), but I've never been able to prove even that to myself. I always return to at least the upper 160s.

I have also read a few books that suggest that some people just aren't meant to be thin. I haven't read them recently, but their message really stayed with me.

When I was so hungry, weak, and miserable on Tuesday after eating 2,000 calories, I just felt that maybe I am just not meant to diet. Isn't it better to eat whatever I want and feel wonderful and be able to work hard than to limit my calories and get thinner, especially if I know deep down that I'll only be thinner temporarily anyway?

However, in the process of writing this out I have realized that it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing situation. I don't have to either diet my way down to a healthy weight or give up entirely. I could:
*skip or do much shorter cardio sessions on Body Pump days
*allow a greater calorie allowance on days when I'm doing longer workouts
*increase my calorie allowance in general

So today I am back on track, but instead of two apples, two clementines, and two bags of almonds, I'm having three of each. I haven't counted the calories yet but I'm likely to be somewhere around 2,500. It seems ridiculous that I feel like I'm starving at 2,000 calories, but I do. I'd rather try a controlled slightly larger amount than just giving up (meaning eating countless thousands of calories per day). And maybe I won't lose fast, or lose at all, or keep off what I lose, but I don't want to give up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKNMOM 1/18/2011 12:09PM

    Hmmm....I, too, have often contemplated where I am supposed to be weight-wise. I'm not talking any charts, rules of thumb...none of that. Just ME!!

I know where I feel best, but I only seem to be able to maintain that weight for weeks at a time, and then I'm back up. I haven't yet discovered my answer, but I'm feeling pretty good about things as long as I consistently choose healthy food. The exercise will come!! Learning from mistakes is a good thing....

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PSSN4FITNESS 1/17/2011 4:04PM

    Hi Susan! I am sorry to hear that you are struggling to find your rhythm. I have read you last few blogs regarding your trying to find a happy place for your body and tracking your meals without restriction. I think that establishing a baseline is a good idea, but as your sparkfriend, I also feel that a little tough love might be needed here as well.

This post resonated with me so much, because I think I have fallen into this line of thinking many a time. By your own words, "I do believe deep down that I am not capable of maintaining a healthy weight. " In your other blog, you mentioned that perhaps you were just avoiding going back to "diet misery" with your current plan. I am hearing two things, 1) you don't believe you can do it and so you have come up with a way to justify your complacency in order to avoid your fear of failure and 2) your all-or-nothing thinking is creating the misery around your lifestyle.

I do believe that people come in all shapes and sizes. But, you have to find the size that you are truly happy at. You said yourself that you missed how strong you felt at your prior weight. Feeling "pretty okay" with your current weight isn't the same as feeing great and healthy. If you truly feel great and healthy right now, then by all means maintain. But, if not, I think you need to dig deep and challenge your preconceived notions about your capabilities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And yes, I did not say losing weight on purpose. I think you have defined yourself by your weight too much.

On the second note, health should not be misery. I have never felt hungry for a single moment in my entire journey. I think you need to just reevaluate your nutrient intake. I run 7-8 miles multiple times a week (though I would never do these two days in a row, you might simply be burning yourself out. Sometimes I have lost weight as soon as I give my body a two day break). Trust me, I get hungry. But, I load up on protein to keep me full and carbs to give me energy. Two salads or two pieces of fruit after a hard workout are not going to cut it (where's the protein?), unless you had a solid meal before that. You are going to end up cheating later on. The fact that you even consider a salad with almond and peanut dressing cheating says that you might be over-stressing on your food intake to the point of dieting, instead of just making better choices and building a healthy lifestyle. Have you tracked your workouts in SP? SP adjusts my food range based on my estimated calorie burn per week. I find that I am very satisfied at the top of that range given the right mix of protein and carbs. And I do naturally end up calorie cycling as someone else suggests. I eat more on hungry days as I call them, usually following a hard workout, and eat slightly less on normal days.

I say all this to say PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP! Don't become complacent. Even if you are maintaining, you can't be complacent. You have to keep working at it. As you can tell from my blogs, I have been off track for a over a MONTH! But, struggle as we may, we can always get back on track. You have the power to make the change that you want for yourself, whatever that ends up being. I hope this helps and that you find your balance.

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TERRIANGEL 1/16/2011 10:47AM

    Hey hon,
I know this was a few days ago, but I totally get where you're coming from. I've had the same thoughts, feelings and emotions coarsing through my veins. But, I know I don't want to feel icky in my own skin, and when I can feel my thighs, or my back getting too big, I don't feel happy or healthy and it effects every other aspect of my life.

and I'm also on board with Tess' thinking. It's good to see someone else with my mindset!! When I workout hard and burn 1,000+ calories, I eat m ore. I don't know how to effectively compensate for all the calories burned and the shaky hunger I feel. But when I'm eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods (mostly...I'll NEVER be perfect) and workout moderately (ie: a 5 or 6 mile run, skiing and a short run, a 45 minute power walk, a 45 minute ride on a recumbent bike with a good magazine or tv show) I find it's much better.

We've all heard that the key to weightloss and overall health is 80% what we put INTO our bodies and 20% MOVING our bodies. I think we forget that, though, and try too hard, too often, to "work off" our high calorie eating. Ithink that works fine once in a while, but it should be the exception rather than the rule. I never REALLY believed this...but just recently it's really resonating with me. What do you think?

Hang in there. You're on the right track.

Gonna go read your more recent blogs now.

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GREEKSPARK 1/15/2011 12:36PM

  Wow. I was reading this part ....

"In general I was feeling pretty okay with being overweight....except when I saw myself in photos and realized how heavy I really looked, or when my husband hinted that he wanted me to get back on track, or when I remembered how proud of myself I had been in the past when I'd lost weight.

I realized I've been profoundly affected by my multiple failed attempts at permanent weight loss. I do believe deep down that I am not capable of maintaining a healthy weight. MAYBE I'm capable of maintaining something at the very very top of the healthy range (which would be 154 at my height), but I've never been able to prove even that to myself. I always return to at least the upper 160s."

AND I FEEL LIKE I RESONATE WITH THIS QUITE A BIT. But I think the thinking that we're not capable sets us up for failure in the first place. Like, we know how to make it happen, but maintanence just seems so difficult that the whole, lifestyle change picture is just as discouraging. We've gotta get that emotional-body connection in order to make it work long term. Let's do it. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!

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HARRINGTON5 1/14/2011 2:58PM

    I work out a lot as well and have been having the same problem. My weight goes up and down but never down as far as I want it to. You need to eat more when you are really working out, but I was eating more even when I wasn't working out. I finally decided that I am not dieting at all. I am just eating things that are not processed and I have really been working at a spice combination that will make healthy food taste like my more fattening foods. I have made some big changes and although I have not weighed this week, I really do feel like I am more healthy. Try not to think about weight so much. If you are toned and feeling good, you will have succeeded.

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MEGSFITNESS 1/14/2011 11:39AM

    You had a huge workout and your body NEEDED energy--that's why you sought out easy-to-convert energy resources.

I'm so torn about this entry.. In one breath you're saying how great you feel, how your energy soars and how you feel great about yourself (in the 160's) and in the next you're saying how fat you feel like you look and how your husband is urging you to "get back on track."

It's no fun to be tortured. A diet is one thing, but a lifestyle is another. I think that there may still be some soul searching done to find out where your balance will be.

Hang in there, hun. You're beautiful and strong and gorgeous. If your body wants to be at 160, let it.

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TESS6166 1/14/2011 7:32AM

    It's no fun being miserable and hungry... is your calorie restriction or fitness program too hard to sustain? If so, perhaps you could make it easier to follow, the weight might not come off as fast, but at least it would be consistent for the long term. It's hard doing anything "crash", after a few weeks, you get so drained that there is a rebound. Just my 2 cents, that's what works for me.

Also, when I'm trying to lean out, I tend to cut back on my workouts... when I workout really hard, I actually gain weight because I eat more, and there is no calorie deficit. (weird, I know)

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SKYFYRE 1/13/2011 6:43PM

    Your workouts are amazing! You are so fit! I hope you realize that you are in great shape- cardio and size wise. A size 10, wasn't Marilyn Monroe a size 10? I am glad you are not giving up on yourself. All or nothing makes the tight rope look easy! Food will always be a challenge for you (and me), don't you wonder if we have a genetic propensity to crave flavor and other things that derail our goals?

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ZIRCADIA 1/13/2011 5:46PM

    I think you gave a good analysis - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. And isn't the way you feel the most important thing? If you're feeling healthy and strong and you like the way you feel in clothes, comfortable, etc. - then the numbers don't matter. *HUGS* I had snow days this week and didn't stay on track during them either. I'm taking a week off of workouts (except pushups/crunches) to rest my achilles tendon since I've had problems with it since my marathon and haven't officially rested it for that long yet I realized. I'm finding it difficult to stay on track without my exercise. Anyway. Instead of me deciding I'll never be able to maintain, I have decided I'll always have to work at it and I'm ok with that. I also totally agree w/ Jen's comment - it's easy to focus on the negative, but you've got to give yourself credit where credit is due as well.

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DAMIENDUCKS 1/13/2011 4:17PM

    I'd hardly call a salad off-track, but I can totally feel your frustration! I like how you've said toward the end that it's not all or nothing--and I might add, it's not an immediate effect call it a failure after 3 measly days...give yourself some time and space to adjust--give it a month, then evaluate whether you've succeeded or not (and if not, don't dwell on "failure", dwell on "adjustment"--how can you adjust to better get the result you want? can always return to being on track at any time--you just have to decide that you're done being off track--and being off track doesn't mean you've failed, it just means you aren't hitting on all cylinders (and if you can't get everything into line all at once, work on what you can get into line and go from there)...the only time you fail is when you give up entirely!


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CRYSBROWN1 1/13/2011 3:59PM

    As much as it is frustating to you that you feel like you slipped, maybe you are onto something with the calorie count being too low. If it really doesn't make you happy to starve yourself to get to a number that you feel is unrealistic maybe you shouldn't. Not suggesting that you should be unhealthy or anything because although I think we ALL would like to eat what we want when we want I think that we all realize that we have to try to make healthy choices. I like some of the ideas that the others have mentioned in terms of adding calories when you have such intense workouts, perhaps that is why you are so hungry afterwards. Hang in there & don't give up the good fight!

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SWEATONCEADAY 1/13/2011 2:33PM

    all i am going to say is stop focusing on what you did wrong! stop beating yourself up. i challenge you to make a list of all the "right" choices you make each day and celebrate those. reward the positive and move on from the negative. maybe you are meant to be the weight you are but even so don't you want to be the healthiest you can at that weight? yes i can maintain my current weight on junk but that is not what is best for me or my health. same for you. i know you can do this girl!

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SEEHOLZ 1/13/2011 1:33PM

    First off HUGS!!! It is sooo hard for me mentally and emotionally to loose weight, too- for similar reason of this fear of feeling like I'm starving and like crap.

That said, have you thought about cycling your calories a bit? So, when you feel good and can eat less without feeling hungry, try to stay low and then when you just got to eat more, allow yourself. Then, with time tweak those high ranges a bit lower?
Just some thoughts on "tricking" your mind. I'm working on it and even though I can't claim weight loss, I have been very succesful in stopping my binging--- which has been a huge issue for me in the past.

I think being true to yourself and what is right for you is EXTREMELY important for a long-term happy life!!!

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YAYPRIL 1/13/2011 1:15PM

    I struggle with the "maybe I'm just meant to be this size" thoughts too. I've also talked to my therapist about my experience losing weight and then gaining it all back, and we talked about the effects that has on a person's confidence with respect to weight loss. I'm not really sure that I have anything helpful to relate, but it sounds like you are trying to adopt a really healthy lifestyle (i.e., you're upping your intake with healthy snacks because you're hungry). Is there a middle ground, say, where you plan out 80-90% of your day but leave a little room to eat "off plan"? Good luck!

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FRIZGIRL 1/13/2011 1:06PM

    I also don't think that was falling off the wagon. Whenever I'm planning a large workout day, I always plan in extra calories. Usually I find out what my maintenance calorie range is for my current weight, then I subtract 300 or so (I can't do the whole 500 because usually it's not enough for me to eat), then I make that the low end of my calorie range and have an upper end 200 or so higher. Whenever I burn over 500 calories in a workout, I allow myself to eat half of the extra calories (as long as it's healthy, nutritious food!), so if I burn 100 calories, I add around another 250 and usually eat at the higher end of my range. I save my low calorie days for no-exercise or low-calorie burn ones (like going for a walk or doing 30 min st and nothing else). Good luck. I'm sure you will find a balance, both of what is a healthy weight for YOU and also what is a healthy calorie range to maintain that weight.

I have always thought you should get your body fat tested and use that instead because you work out so much, I don't think a number on the scale will tell you everything.

And I have no idea why I thought you weren't on the WLW... only because it doesn't show up on your sparkpage.

Good luck and don't get discouraged! You are stunningly beautiful and engaging and sweet.

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MBSHAZZER 1/13/2011 12:32PM

    Susan, first of all, I would hardly call eating a salad getting off track!

Next, I think you have come up with some good insights here. I can feel your frustration coming off of the page! But I like what you said at the end about adjusting your exercise and your calories. I know for some people, high exercise burn and calorie restriction do not go hand in hand. Many people GAIN weight while training for a marathon for this reason. It's very difficult to sustain a high level of activity on low calories. So I do think you need to tweak your intake based on your exercise. Have you thought about getting a Body Bugg, which will give you a good idea of how much you're burning (I believe it will give you an accurate BMR as well)?

Finally, we do all have a set point. It can be very, very difficult to get and stay very much above or below that weight. As you pointed out... what's the point of getting to an unnaturally low (for you) weight if you're going to be miserable and hungry maintaining it?

Hang in there. I know it's frustrating, but you will figure it out!

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Day 1 - Quick Check-in

Monday, January 10, 2011

As I mentioned yesterday, today is the first day of my renewed efforts to eat according to plan. It's hard, especially for the 2nd half of the day! At least work has been very busy so there wasn't a lot of time to think about eating off plan, but now it's almost 3 P.M. and I'm hungry and I know all I have left in my menu for the rest of the day is one apple, one clementine, and one portion of my cod and Italian vegetables dinner. I am very proud though because this morning there was a SPREAD in the teachers room of various baked goods and even though I considered it, I did NOT eat any. One of my coworkers told me she likes to imagine that whoever brought the stuff in had a cold. And a wise Sparker once suggested that I only eat the REALLY GOOD stuff from the teachers room and not to waste calories on mundane stuff like store-bought muffins or dried up banana bread. I just know that if I had eaten any of that stuff I would have told myself that today - probably this whole week - is a loss and I'd have to start over next week or whenever I could psych myself up for it. How ridiculous is that - my rational side realizes this - that just eating a muffin or two on Monday morning could somehow provide me with an excuse to eat whatever I want all week?!? That doesn't even make logical sense. But regardless, I didn't touch it so my nutrition tracker remains spotless and truthful so far.

I'm huuuuuungry...but I know I will see results. NO BACKING DOWN!!

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FITGIRL15 1/13/2011 12:05PM

    Good job, but if you are hungry, eat something!!!

You can do this!!!

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PSSN4FITNESS 1/12/2011 4:39PM

    Great job staying on track! I know I need to remind myself that some things just aren't worth it. Aren't dried/store-bought baked goods the worst?! Tempting yet ultimately unsatisfying. Keep it up!

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DAKDREW 1/11/2011 4:00PM

    Way to Go Susan!!! It's great that you were able to walk away and keep your goal in mind. I understand all too well the 3:00 (and later) hunger monster. I can do well all day until late afternoon and then I, too, get into that completely irrational mindset of "oh well, I messed up now I can do whatever I want and I'll start again tomorrow (or next wekk, etc.). Logical doesn't seem to make a difference when food is in the equation - good for you and keep up the great work!!!

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MEGSFITNESS 1/11/2011 2:50PM

    Woo Hoo!! You did great! I like your co-worker's idea too lol.. Just imagine them licking their fingers or sneezing on it.. OR! Just try to guess whether the person who brought them in (or anyone who has perused the spread before you) has washed their hands after the restroom or not =P That'll deter you even if you're starving, I bet. haha..

Way to go, really :)

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DRAGONFLY180 1/11/2011 10:16AM

    i am bad about sabotaging myself for a full day when i slip up, but i've gotten better with it lately. the thing about imagining the person who made the food had a cold is really good. i might use that strategy! my classroom is in another building from where they always put out food for parties that if i can just avoid the building (which also houses the main office) then i can make it.

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CARILOUIE 1/11/2011 5:39AM

    I know just what you mean about Monday morning. It sets the tone for the entire week!

I like the idea of thinking about the baker having a cold... ha!

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LIL_EZZY 1/10/2011 10:37PM

    I know exactly where you are coming from with the teachers spread we always seem to have a celebration of some sort most weeks and I too think if I indulge there goes the whole entire week. I have made a pact with myself that if we are having such celebrations this year I am going to go into the other office for my break times so I don't indulge too much either. Good for you for saying no. It is harder than you think when it is all layed out for you. Im proud of you girl.

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STEFANIE822 1/10/2011 9:52PM

    Great job Susan!!!!!

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TERRIANGEL 1/10/2011 9:40PM

    BRAVO sistah! That's a fabulous idea, to think of the person making it as having a cold. Or sneezed on it..LOL!! What is it about the teacher's room, anyway?!! Luckily the only thing in ours is a box of ribbon candy and a HUGE stack of Women's Day magazines someone brought in. TOo funny!

Good job at sticking to your plan. Proud of you and looking forward to seeing what your *reward* will be tomorrow.


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SWEATONCEADAY 1/10/2011 6:36PM

    "i only eat what i love" is a quote from the kid's movie ratatouille by the very thin food critique in the movie - great word's to live by.
right now, even if i mess up, i am going to focus on what i did well during the day and not dwell on what i did bad. it seems to be helping me a ton.

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MBSHAZZER 1/10/2011 3:11PM

    Susan, I like the idea of only eating treats if they're WORTH IT! And since you know that any deviation is likely to give you a major setback, good work just avoiding the spread entirely!

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SEEHOLZ 1/10/2011 3:08PM

    Good for you Susan! Mini success string together to a whole day and so forth- I soo need your mojo- maybe it'll help me do the same!

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JENONTHEROX 1/10/2011 3:02PM

    haha love your co-worker's idea of imagining someone baking with a cold. In the past I've imagined people wanting revenge and poisoning food. Honestly my workplace is the same & people bring in crap all the time. The ONLY way I can cope is by removing myself from that area sometimes, mostly in the beginning if I'm really trying to get back on track with my eating after a holiday or a bad week or something.

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Whiny Blog

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I hate limiting my calorie intake. I love allowing myself to eat whatever I want, in any quantity. I usually choose items that are relatively healthy, but I eat too much. And so, I'm fat.

I don't want to go back to tracking, but I'm going to anyway. I already preplanned tomorrow's menu. I will have a fruit smoothie and two cups of coffee with unsweetened soymilk for breakfast, white chicken chili for lunch (the recipe is from Spark recipes and it's excellent!), cod and Italian vegetables for dinner, and my snacks, which I will spread over the course of the day, will include two medium apples, two clementines, and two small bags of unsalted roasted almonds (Trader Joe's "Just a Handful"). That's it. Beyond that, I can drink water and tea, chew gum, and whine, cry, and complain, but I will not eat any more than what I've just listed. I know I'll see results on the scale right away, and soon I will be excited about this and not a whiny brat.

Oh! I almost forgot to blog about the gym's new location. Probably the only thing it's got going for it is that the locker room is prettier. It's further from home and to my huge disappointment, the studio for the classes I take is even smaller than at the old location. They explained that they wanted to have room for a larger yoga studio so they had to make the aerobic/Body Pump studio smaller. Boo. My Body Pump class was so crowded I'm surprised nobody got hurt. My bar was literally scraping up against the back wall when I was on the bench doing chest presses. I really hope the January rush ends with a dramatic dropoff of class attendees soon!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

5FRUITSNVEGGIES 1/21/2011 11:16PM

    i was wondering about this calorie counting thing i read in your earlier blogs....

my take on it--i did it for about a year when i was 20 and then got burnt out on it and decide i never wanted to do it again....i don't regret it because i came out of it with a wealth of knowledge--'til today i know a glass of lowfat or nonfat milk has 90 calories....

but i have not done it actually took away from the enjoyment of my i just plan meals ahead of time..intuitively i know i can't have a meal made of potatos, beans and rice--too many i chose one carb and one protein and one veggie...then i started to back off carb and increase veggie and keep protein same...and now i've increased veggies again, have small amount of carb and protein...i could have never made those changes intuitively if i was not aware of the calorie content of these things...

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SPARKNMOM 1/18/2011 12:05PM

    I'm a huge whiner and love eating whatever I want and as much as I want of it...hence, I am experiencing huge muffin top and screaming jeans :( I'm MOSTLY back on track now. Occasionally tracking and waiting for the ice to melt to go running...that's my story and I'm sticking to it....

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MEGSFITNESS 1/12/2011 10:05PM

    awe.. Tracking is painful, but you're right--if it helps you meet your nutrition goals, it's worthwhile!

Sorry also to hear about the woe at the new gym! Sounds right miserable to me...

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DAMIENDUCKS 1/10/2011 1:05PM

    ooh I hate the newly resolved rush too! just a few more weeks at most, I'd bet--hang in there!

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DRAGONFLY180 1/10/2011 12:24PM

    the rush will probably end pretty soon. usually by mid-february, my old gym's attendance would die down pretty well. i hate counting calories, too. i've decided to do it differently this time to see how it goes. if i stay on sp on nutrition tracker all day, planning every meal and snack, i tend to think about food all day, which makes me just feel hungry when i'm really not. i'm going to just write down what i do eat in a notebook and then enter it at night. if i go over, more cardio.

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FRIZGIRL 1/10/2011 7:11AM

    Oh, I hate the holiday rush too. Can't wait until the end of February! Just taking a quick look at your diet. Are you getting enough carbs in? It's a pain tracking, but good results are usually not a pain! keep up the good work and great planning!

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CARILOUIE 1/10/2011 5:23AM

    Last week I had to get on a bike - all the treadmills and ellipticals were taken. That doesn't happen often.


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SKYFYRE 1/10/2011 1:10AM

    Good luck, Susan, this is the hard part, ...Food! Gah. I know I need to track ut I am slowly warming up to it.

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KENSINGTONC 1/9/2011 9:57PM

    I like your plan - and I like how well you know yourself. You know exactly what it takes to make your goals happen - it's just a matter of following through! I can't wait to see the blogs that track your (always impressively rapid) weight loss and fitness in the coming weeks and months!!

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SILLIANGEL 1/9/2011 7:09PM

    Sorry things have been rough hun. I know I've been having a problem with balance too. I really don't want to track because it makes me think about food ALL THE TIME. I really need to figure something out though because I gained 9lbs since October!

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ELFITZPA 1/9/2011 7:06PM

    Sorry the gym seems like a disappointment, but hopefully it'll work out in the long run. As for the eating, I hear you. I LOVE to eat. I mean I enjoy the taste of good foods but I also think I enjoy the physical ACT of eating?!?! It sucks. I LOVED the part about being able to eat x, y, z, drink your water and complain - whether you meant it or not, it was funny. Best of luck and remember that a lot of us are right there with you with the tracking right now!!

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VALBLOOMBERG 1/9/2011 5:56PM

  I dislike counting, tracking, logging etc. makes me feel like a have another full-time job and one I'm not getting paid for VERY unmotivating!

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SEEHOLZ 1/9/2011 4:35PM

    Our step class got really scary this past Saturday! It will fall off-- some at least. You are incredible- I wished my scale would reward me the same way- since it never does, I seem to give up too soon. Boo for me. But, just know, you are an inspiration nonethless!!!

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MONA_MONA 1/9/2011 4:32PM

    Tracking is a tried and true method. It's a hassle, but it gets results. emoticon

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TERRIANGEL 1/9/2011 4:30PM

    YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!! Good luck, girl!

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LIL_EZZY 1/9/2011 3:43PM

    Great plan logging sucks but ot seems to work better for me.

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MBSHAZZER 1/9/2011 3:09PM

    Give it to Superbowl Sunday and I bet you will see a dramatic dropoff!

Good luck with the calorie counting...

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