Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Before I start, I weigh 142.8 today - finally weigh what my ticker says I do! (And when I did weigh that, pre-binge, it was only at 1 p.m. on a day when I didn't eat or drink anything beforehand! Not my "true" weight.) I lost 0.6 pounds today, 0.4 yesterday, and 0.2 the day before...I like this pattern, heehee. :)
1. Have a plan to space food out throughout the day. This is so obvious I can't believe I never tried it until yesterday. It's so much easier to stick to a low-calorie diet when I eat in little bits throughout the day. I'd been reading this advice in every weightloss article I found for years, but somehow didn't realize that it works much better when planned out. Here's how it works for me this week:
I'm eating just over 1,200 calories per day. With the day broken into three segments (fewer=simpler=easier to follow), that's 400 calories per "meal" (in quotation marks because, unlike a traditional meal, I can still spread out the 400 calories throughout the time range however I want, and also I don't necessarily eat "breakfast food" during the first segment, "lunch food" the second, and "dinner food" the third. But it is important to have a balance of carbs/fat/protein in each segment.).
The hard part here is forcing myself to stop when I've eaten the maximum amount of food for the time block, but it's much easier to stop and distract myself (drinking, chewing gum, and doing other activities) than it is to deal with how hungry I'd be if I only had 1,200 calories to eat and they were gone by noon and it was 7 p.m.!!
I decided to designate 8 a.m. as the start of my eating time. For the ending time, I had trouble deciding whether to go with 5 p.m. (BEFORE the gym) or 8 p.m. (AFTER the gym). Probably 5 p.m. is more realistic, but if I try harder to spread out my food earlier, I get a bonus around 3 p.m. (now!) when I really want to eat.
So, 8-8 is 12 hours, with 4-hour blocks...8-12, 12-4, 4-8. 8-5 is 9 hours with 3 hour blocks 8-11, 11-2, 2-5. Somewhere in that range is what I'm doing. Each block gets 400 calories, though since I'm eating a little MORE than 1,200 calories a day I can add the extra to the earlier block. (At the end of the day, like I discussed yesterday, I can always add a LITTLE something extra if I NEED to.)
So...one ounce nuts, 1 serving of GoLean Crunch, and one light vanilla Activita yogurt is 400 calories - YUM! Easy to spread out, and good balance of macronutrients.
I do seem to get hungry again before noon...today I had a serving of Heart to Heart cereal between 11-12, a 330-calorie serving of chili between 12-1, and a hardboiled egg at 2. Now I'm hungry yet again and it's only 2:30...if I'm going with three-hour blocks of time the last one starts at 2 so that'd be fine, but four-hour blocks would mean I can't eat the rest til 4.
Of course I'm only in such a low calorie amount for one more day, so I can do this, and it'll make 1,500 calories much more tolerable too.
I think I should bring my scale to San Francisco with me this weekend. I will be motivated to stick with it more if I can get up in the morning and see proof of my progress. Maybe I'll even keep losing! But definitely I must at least not gain.
Just to recap, the other amazingly effective new rules (described in full yesterday) are:
*the two-bite rule for treats (by the way, if there are several treats, I should do the two-item, two-bites-of-each rule!)
*stay strict as long as my body will let me, but if I've eaten everything on my plan and my body is giving me clear signals that it needs more food (cranky/weak/tired/nauseated) then add something small and healthy like one apple.
By the way, the parent association asked teachers if we'd like to have a treat a day for every day in the month of December like last year, or a breakfast, or a lunch. Everyone including myself preferred a lunch...it'll happen just once and then it will end, and unlike a breakfast there's a good chance it will include healthy options like a salad. Plus, I can just skip it entirely if I want to and it'll disappear quickly without my help! :) (Let everyone else gain weight over the holidays, but NOT me!)
Monday, November 26, 2007
143.4 today - that's a loss of 0.4 since yesterday, and yesterday I'd lost 0.2 since the day before.
I survived the day at just under 1,300 calories so far...probably won't eat any more, which is related to one of the insights I had today (see #2 below):
1. There was carrot cake in the teacher's room with my favorite cream cheese frosting. Normally I would either gorge on as much of it as I could, or I would avoid it completely. I am very proud to say that today I took a very small peice (I tracked it as .3 oz) just to get a little taste of that frosting. I CAN just take a little just for the taste. I think I will adopt the "two bite rule" from _100 Days of Weightloss_ - it makes sense!!! I took two bites of that cake and then it was time to stop. I will definitely need to use the "two bite rule" in San Francisco and at holiday parties.
2. I can stick to a strict plan, and then add a LITTLE bit of healthy extra food at the end of the day if I need to. Note - if I NEED to, not if I "want" to. NEED means that I'm so hungry I'm weak, nauseated, and cranky. WANT means I'm hungry (but not as hungry as described above) or just thinking about food. My body tells me loud and clear when I NEED to eat more; LISTEN to it. Also note, this is huge - the food I add should be one small, healthy choice, and then STOP. Reassess an hour later if I need to, but I should probably be okay adding just 50-100 more calories (like one piece of fruit). It worked a few days ago, and I've actually been able to stay under 1,300 calories ever since.
I still believe I can't stay this low for the long term - I believe that "starvation mode" shows up gradually and that I'd get there if I tried to stay at this level for a long time, but I do think that I can certainly return to this level any time I want to lose weight quickly, like right before a big event or to jump-start after a binge. (I'd like to think I won't ever binge again, but let's face reality here.)
For long-term weightloss I think 1,500 calories is a good amount...enough to give me energy for high-powered workouts (running at gradually increased speeds, lots of strength training - key during these stretches).
For maintanence or for when I hit a point where I'm just sick of 1,500 calories but don't want to gain, I think I should try 1,900 calories (just sat here a moment trying to decide whether to write 1,800 or 2,000) with LOTS of cardio and strength training exercise, and monitor the scale closely - if I gain, drop back to 1,800.
Ideally, what will happen is this:
1. I will stay on my mega supercharged weightloss plan through Wednesday (just two more days!).
2. While in San Francisco I will practice MINDFUL EATING and will return home WITHOUT having gained weight. In order to do this, I will need to MAKE time to exercise for an hour a day, only eat when hungry, make the healthiest food choices available, stop eating BEFORE I'm full, drink lots of non-calorie beverages, and use lots of distraction techniques like gum and enjoying myself because my brother's wedding is definitely NOT about food. For motivation, think about getting on the scale on Monday morning and seeing that I have maintained and finally learned to really use mindful eating. Also think about all the upcoming events I want to look good for: my birthday, New Years, holiday parties, Valentine's Day, getting engaged, and the biggie: JAMAICA. These things may feel far off when I am faced with food choices this weekend, but keep in mind that I could already be in perfect shape if only I haven't keep going on all these detours! I won't get there by February vacation unless I stay on track until then.
3. When I get home from SF, I will switch to 1,500 calories a day and will increase my exercise. I'll do 45 minutes of high intensity cardio and 30 minutes of strength training most days.
4. During all holiday parties I will practice mindful eating similar to what I did at Thanksgiving and at Peter's wedding back in August.
5. If at any point between now and Jamaica I feel like quitting, I won't. Instead I will switch to maintainence mode which will be 1,900 calories a day (reduce if I gain) with lots and lots of high intensity exercise. If a weak moment hits unexpectedly, DO NOT BINGE. DO NOT BINGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instead, immediately switch to maintanence and TRACK the extra calories I eat...and be sure they are healthy and balanced calories! NEVER BINGE! ALWAYS MAKE HEALTHY, MINDFUL, GOAL-COMPATIBLE CHOICES even when the unexpected hits!!!
6. If at any point between now and Jamaica I am feeling super cocky, and for about a week before I go, I can switch back to super duper weightloss mode like I'm in right now to get into peak form.
7. Practice mindful eating while in Jamaica.
8. After Jamaica, go to maintanence. By this point I should have a defined five-pound goal weight range. I don't know yet what it is, but I know that I want it to be under 140. Whenever my weight goes out of this range, I will return to super strict mode until it is back in range, and then back to maintanence. As I live my life like this I can adjust...if it's driving me crazy to keep my weight really low I can increase the goal range, or if I'm feeling really great I can try to go even lower. For maintanence, I will need to keep up major amounts of exercise - at least 30 minutes per day each of high-intensity cardio and high-intensity strength training!
Well, this is a great plan. I can't wait to be thin and fit for the long-term!!! :)
Oh yeah...how about some rewards:
Goal 1 (superstrict through Wednesday): Reward is looking good in SF!
Goal 2 (mindful eating in SF and weighing the same on Monday 12/3 that I do on Thursday 11/29): Reward is clothes shopping spree (I really need new pants and I really want some trendy but comfy flat but high light-colored boots!) Also, being THAT MUCH closer to reaching my ultimate goals.
Goal 3 (1,500 calories a day, 45 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of strength training): Reward is built-in: REACHING ULTIMATE GOAL WEIGHT! (130? 125??)
Goal 4 (mindful eating at holiday parties): Two rewards: First is to treat myself with as much luxurious, calorie-free coffee I want. Second is built-in, and that is to be happy on the scale the morning after the party.
Goal 5 (Switching to 1,900 calories a day if I reach goal or to prevent a binge): This one is the hardest one I have to do, even though it should actually be easy because it's a very comfortable amount of food and I will probably feel fantastic with all that healthy food and major exercise. But it's hard emotionally because I always have wanted to either push push push - never happy where I am - or give up and binge. I can arrange it so that I can still lose weight though...find an eating/exercise balance where I can still lose even more weight, but verrrrry slowly. If, no, WHEN I successfully do this, my goal needs to be major: BIG shopping spree. Fill all the holes in my wardrobe, plus some fun things, and it's never too early to start shopping for Jamaica...:) :)
Goal 6 (switching to super weightloss mode when feeling ready or for the last week before Jamaica): The reward is built in: I will achieve new heights of thinness.
Goal 7 (mindful eating while in Jamaica): The reward for this one is built in too - being happy on the scale when I return home and still being able to fit into all the new clothes I will have bought.
Goal 8 (lifelong maintanence): The reward is built in and is wonderful - long-term top health, looks, mood, and function - doesn't get any better than that!!!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
143.8 today...was hoping it'd be a little lower, but I bet it'll be down in the 142s tomorrow. Was able to save a whole lot of food for evening time so now I'm having a big chow party. :) Nice! Workout was good today too...was able to stay in the high intensity range.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Pretty optomistic today. I was very good with my program. I was able to stick to about 1,250 calories today, got in a full workout though I did go down to level 8 on the elliptical (had been doing 10) and read a magazine because I didn't quite feel up to high-intensity cardio today. But I made it without the dreaded "droop" I got yesterday. I brought a snack (1 oz. nuts) to the gym just in case it happened, but instead I ate it while walking home. I went shopping and even at my current weight (144.0) I was an Old Navy size 6. I just didn't happen to find any pants I liked - why are pants either way too wide or way too narrow at the bottom these days? I like the more flattering boot cut MUCH better than "wide leg" or "skinny"/"straight leg." At Bob's I got a new pair of workout pants - size medium, but they didn't have the size small to try...they're black with white stripes down the side. I was getting really sick of only having one pair of workout pants I really like. I also got a long-sleeved top with a very "now" cut to it, size small, maroon, very pretty. And I got a card/money holder for Michael and Anna...:)
Anyway, I am happy to say that it only took me 3 days to lose the weight I put on in 4 days - I am now back to 144. I'm trying not to think about how much farther I'd be if I hadn't had the 4-day setback to begin with. After the wedding, it is DEFINITELY time to find my happy medium. No more gaining and losing huge amounts in a short period of time. I need to eat enough calories to make me not have to think about food all the time. Maybe I should try 1,600 for a while. Plus lots of exercise, of course.
Before I leave for San Francisco I absolutely must plan my food for Monday when I get back. I'll have to do it on/by Wednesday. In fact, I should even pack it up and of course, if we stay in Boston Wednesday night (which we probably will) I should bring it with me and leave it in Jess' fridge the whole time we're in California.
While we're in Calofornia I will practice mindful eating. Mindful eating means eating small amounts when I am hungry, and stopping before I am full. It means choosing healthy food and drinking lots of water (and some coffee/tea). Chewing gum instead of grabbing food. Remembering my goals and putting them ahead of instant gratification. And I definitely need to find a way to exercise - definitely bring a workout outfit and the iPod!
I'd like to be under 140 when I go to California, and be under 140 when I return home as well.
Long term - I want to be 130 for Jamaica!!!!!!
Friday, November 23, 2007
I was 146.0 today. Did pretty good until my evening workout. I got that exercise droop where I could barely walk home afterwards (I live 2 minutes from the gym). I only had one planned item left to consume - a 25-calorie diet hot cocoa. Didn't help. I was practically doubled over with hunger, weakness, tiredness, and hunger-induced nausea until Jess handed me a big apple. So I ate it and felt much better...and tracked it...about 1,340 calories for the day now. I'm still hungry, but not sick-hungry.
Anyway, you can see how the dress looks on me from the back. NOT flattering. Oh, and I realized that the last time I tried it on I actually did break the little thread loop that holds the hook at the top of the zipper. Not sure if I have the seamstress skills to fix that, but I guess I'd better try.
So...new plan for tomorrow...I will eat what I have planned, but if I start to feel awful, I will add an apple or grapes or grapefruit.
Oh, by the way, I did really good on Thanksgiving. Had one platefull, filled half my plate with salad (fresh fruit salad and colorful veggie salad with no dressing), very reasonable portions, no-calorie drinks only, a few bites of pumpkin bread, no dessert, an extra 40 minute walk with the gang on top of my hour-long gym workout.
I didn't track because who knows how much I really ate, but I'm proud of how I did. I only ate the 500 calories I'd planned other than the Thanksgiving food. For appetizers I had 1 piece of deviled egg (the one with the least amount of filling), a few baby carrots and celery sticks with hummus. My plate was just the way they teach you - half fruits and veggies, 1/4 meat, 1/4 starch. And it obviously worked, because I was down from 148.4 Thursday morning to 146.0 this morning.
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