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Should I Eat More?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Down 4 pounds today...155 yesterday, 151 today. It's coming back off as fast as it came on, so far. I've stuck faithfully to my planned 1,500 calories, 45 minutes of cardio, and about a half hour of strength training per day both days since I have been back. I feel like right now my goal needs to be finding the balance for this to really become my long-term lifestyle. My latest theory, which I came up with when I was hungry at the grocery store this evening (and now that I'm at home and not quite as hungry, I'm not so sure....) is that maybe if I eat more when I'm dieting, I won't need to eat as much when I'm bingeing - or even better, that I won't feel the need to anymore. And if I deliberately lose weight more slowly, maybe it will be more likely to stay off?!

Plus, if I eat more I will have more energy to work out, so I will burn more calories. OK, I am going to try this. 1,600 calories tomorrow! Woohoo!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCRECE 12/4/2007 9:19PM

    Dear SeppieSusan, hate to tell you, but weight loss does not equal fat loss when it is lost overnight. that is water weight. when you lose weight too fast, the body can't tell dieting from starvation so it starts to burn tissue that uses the most calories which is muscle which, by the way, contains lots of water.. you don't wanna lose muscle because it keeps metabolism high. Slow it down, focus on lifestyle change, not dieting. Metabolism expert C. Wayne Calloway says 1/2-1 pound per week, and a 1/2 pound is better. Best, Lucrece.

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ARITHBK 12/4/2007 9:19PM

    I agree with eating more. Slower weight loss is actually better, and more likely not to go back up. If you're hungry, that's a sign that this is a level of calories and activity that you won't want to stick with, and weight may pile back on again after you reach your goal.

Don't think of it as "being on a diet" instead think of it as "changing my eating habits for life." Make habits that you can live with happily for life.

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The Food Addiction Strikes Back

Monday, December 03, 2007

I gained 14 pounds in San Francisco - from 141 to 155. I had my scale with me and saw my weight going up, but didn't do anything about it. I guess I knew I could lose it when I came home and I STILL associate celebrating with food - oh do I ever. I ate soooo much. I gained 5 pounds the first day, 4 the second, 1 the third, and 4 the fourth.

There were SOME good things: I exercised every day (walk/jog on the gorgeous beach by the Golden Gate Bridge with Teddy!). I had my food planned and packed for today - the first day back home - and have been on plan today, even worked out over an hour. I was aware of what I was doing and consciously chose to eat and really appreciate food, knowing I'd take it off when I got home.

I just wish it didn't come on so crazy fast...but I did really enjoy it!

Going forward, I'm going to be at 1,500 calories a day for a while, plus 45 minutes of hard cardio and 30 minutes of strength training.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AKAYCAT 12/3/2007 9:23PM

    I know - it takes forever to loose it. BUT - it will come back in a blink of an eye. Doesn't seem fair how that all works. Glad you are back on track!

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Day 8 - Last Day at Home

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

142.4 today. So there's no chance I'll be leaving for San Francisco in the 130s, but that's okay. I fit into my dress, and I can get into the 130s when I get home. I am down 0.4 pounds from yesterday.

I don't have a plan yet for how I'll eat tomorrow. Our flight is at 9:30 a.m. and I have no idea whether they'll be serving lunch. We'll be up pretty early so I'll want to eat something before we fly...I should probably have some cereal and yogurt. You can't bring liquids with you but I could bring some nuts and more cereal to eat as a snack later on. Of course I won't be able to track my food over the weekend, but I will be mindful. I will only eat when I'm truly hungry, and I will stop BEFORE I'm full. When I do eat, I will make healthy choices. I will drink a lot of no-calorie drinks, I will chew gum, and most importantly I will respect the event, the people, and the opportunity to travel for the weekend by paying more attention to THOSE things than the food. Food fuels you when you are hungry, that's it. It isn't the reason I'm going to San Francisco so there's no reason to treat it as if it were.

As everyone knows, there are lots of hills in San Francisco - so it'll be easy to get in my hour a day of exercise!

Oh, one last thing about food. In addition to what I'll eat tomorrow morning, I'll also bring along three days' worth of some staple foods - nuts, Total cereal, tea.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FBERG1 11/28/2007 2:28PM

    Wooohoo, 142.4 is pretty close and you're right, you'll hit the 130s when you get back. Have fun in San Fran!


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Amazingly Effective New Rules!

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.) 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 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'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!)


Day 6 - First Work Day

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 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!!!


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