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The only way

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The only way to manage my weight that could really be both effective and healthy is to be consistent and moderate. It has to be long term, so it has to be something I can do for the long term. I have been exercising only 30 minutes per day lately, almost all of it cardio, though fairly high intensity. I've done a little stretching and a little abs, no other strength training. I'm not sure yet whether I will get back to strength training or longer workouts any time soon. My eating has been on track for two days now and I am at 160.8 according to my parents' scale, which I used in the late afternoon and was surprised to find a lower number than I had on my own scale this morning. I am going to stay on track. I am going to parties on both Saturday and Sunday and I have a new idea... my boyfriend's mother is very healthy and in excellent shape. Eating healthy in moderation, exercising, and, in general, living a healthy lifestyle just seem to come naturally to her and I think she has always been thin. She is going to be at both of these parties... so I was just thinking I could try to eat like her. I know she won't eat just salads, but I also know she won't overeat either. If I just subtly use her plate as a model for my own plate I am sure I will do fine. That idea never occured to me before. I'd thought about modeling my eating after my boyfriend, who is also naturally living a healthy lifestyle, but a) he's male so he SHOULD eat more than me and b) he likes meat a lot more than I do and vegetables a lot less. I think his mom will make a better model for me. I don't even need to tell anyone (except you guys!) that I'm doing it! And then, on Monday, it'll be right back to the usual planning/tracking/lunchbox/tupperware and baggies style eating that keeps me under control. I still have almost a month until we go to the Cape and about a month and a half until we go to Martha's Vineyard. I can make an impact here!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HRZ2UMZROBINSON 7/11/2008 2:29AM

    You're lucky to have good eating habits on display for you at this weekend's parties (always tough on the diet!!) and you're smart for taking advantage of it ;-) Let me know how it works out for you. I have a really hard time staying in range on weekends or when I'm eating out. Sodium and alcohol are my main downfalls (not to mention ice cream, now that it's warm). Like you mentioned in your last blog, I too have a problem when things aren't meticulously planned. Unfortunately, in any social setting we all have to give up some control. I'm sure both of us have learned lots of healthy habits, and now we're getting down to the really neurotic habits that have been with us forever. It's tough to change deep-rooted habits, but it's doable. And I believe that even if we make the same mistake over and over, it doesn't mean we're not learning, it may just take awhile for the effects to surface. Lol, sorry for the long comment, but I totally identify with making progress, and backsliding and wondering if you're ever going to reach your goals (which we both definitely will--but not without plenty of frustration along the way).
Good luck, and most importantly: have fun partying it up this weekend!

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BRUIN2 7/9/2008 8:20PM

    Love that idea Susan!!! Hope it works out for you!!

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PAMELA984 7/9/2008 8:08PM

    While it may be good to model someone else's behavior, be sure that it matches all the healthy guidelines that you know you need. Some people are just naturally more thin than others and she may be one of them. I just don't want to see you set yourself up for disappointment.

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Try again...

Monday, July 07, 2008

OK... the burst of energy that I was feeling when I wrote my last blog entry didn't last.

To summarize the past few months, I was doing really well from mid-April until early June when I went to Maine for the weekend. I did well the first day I was in Maine until dinner time, when I drank a few glasses of wine and then ate too much, including TWO lobsters, buscuits, coleslaw, and lots of dessert. I continued the unhealthy eating when I returned home and quickly was back up in the mid-160s - where I am now. A few days here and there I've been a little healthier and lost a few pounds, but as soon as I go back to my typical habits I jump right back to those darn mid-160s.

This past weekend after a couple days of eating light I was down to around 160 or so, but then after eating lunch and dinner at a restaurant - and not even giant meals - I left a little on the plate at both meals - I was back at 165 the next morning. That was yesterday and I haven't stepped back up on the scale since. I felt almost ready to give up completely. But I am not going to. I know what I MUST do. There is no easy way around it...nor is there a shortcut that gets me back where I want to be...I have to do what I have to do for the long term.

What I need to do is track my calories, keeping them between 1,200-1,800, every day. And I need to exercise regularly. If I don't do these things, I can forget about any dream of not being overweight.

It's slow, it takes a lot of work - time, physical energy, and mental energy. It can drive me crazy when I'm trying to go away or do something fun. One of my missing links - things I never really learned how to do - is how to do this without obsessing too much. When I don't plan out every morsel of food, I go crazy with the eating. The solution that seems so obvious - just make good choices when I'm out - just hasn't panned out most of the time.

I have written blog entries like this so many times....and before sparkpeople, there were other journal entries...time to pick myself back up and try again........ it seems so depressing. But the alternative is to give up on my own health, and I don't want that. I think I will better about all of this as soon as I'm really back on track.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RBRACY 7/7/2008 9:05PM

  You can do it again! Here you are already working to get back on track! Good luck in reaching your goals

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PAMELA984 7/7/2008 8:48PM

    Glad you are still here - the last time (just a few days ago) that I tried to go to your spark page to leave you a note, it said there was no such page. I was sad.

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BRUIN2 7/7/2008 8:02PM

    You WILL do this!!

I was thinking about you on my run today - so it brought a smile to my face to see an email telling me you had posted a blog! You know what to do - and you're right, it is work - but hey, life is work...that's what makes this such a fun journey!!

Here's to making the best decisions we can!!!

(can you hear the water glasses clinking?? hehe)

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I'm going to whip myself into shape for my summer vacations!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's go time...if I want to look fantastic this summer, I gotta go NOW.

I am going to have a basic template for my daily food plan. I will go with 1,200 calories per day for as long as I can handle that, then I can increase when needed. These 1,200 calories will be broken up into breakfast, lunch, and dinner...three 400-calorie meals. Those meals can be spread out over time so that I can do some "grazing", but then I stop and wait for the next meal. That way I can go out for a meal without going crazy. Let's say I'm going out for dinner. I just eliminate the template dinner and instead order something small and healthy when I go out. Same goes for lunch or even breakfast. If I'm going out, but not for one of those meals, I just stick to non-calorie drinks. Simple!

I don't necessarily want to go crazy with exercise. I think I've gotten some overuse injuries that have hurt various joints in my body. Too much exercise makes me hungry, and I know for a fact that I will have quicker results if I stick to a strict eating plan than if I stick to a strict exercise plan. I will do some cardio, some abs, maybe take some classes...not sure right now about other strength training. Maybe some.

So now it's off to figure out what these 400-calorie template meals will look like. I'd like my daily breakfast to be a smoothie. Lunch and dinner can be salads, or fish and vegetables, or in a pinch one of my old staples like cereal. I'm going to figure it out on my nutrition tracker...will report back here once I have it all figured out.


No Time!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's already past 10 p.m. and I haven't started packing for the weekend in Maine, but I really want to write a quick blog anyway. I was at 151.4 today (yay), had a 2nd cup of coffee with lunch, and a pretty good workout consisting of 25 minutes of legs strength/stretching and 65 minutes of pretty heavy elliptical (not fun). I made another batch of Mexican lasagna that is just now cooling from the oven... so that at least I will have something ready to eat on Monday after a whole weekend with no time to cook. And boy do I love my Mexican lasagna.

Maybe this is a bit obessive, but I decided today to weigh my fruit and vegetables and use the weight as the measure when entering on my tracker rather than the estimates of "large" or "small" etc. One of my staples, sweet potatoes, didn't even have a weight option on the SP database so I entered it myself from another website - including ALL the micronutrients/protein breakdowns/types of sugars etc etc etc...only to then realize I was overestimating the calories because I had weighed a RAW sweet potato but the nutrition info was for COOKED. So, OCD-girl that I am, I then redid the whole thing for a raw sweet potato. Well, unfortunately I found that EVERY fruit and vegetable ended up being more calories when doing it this way. So I was over 1,700 calories today by mistake. So...everything I said yesterday about how I feel when I eat various calorie amounts was based on the calorie understimates. I dunno...if it was working before, and it's more work this way, maybe I should just do it the old way.

I was really hoping to do some extended planning in my blog about my weekend away.. would be boring for anyone reading, but helpful for me. But I don't have time. I will just list the basics:
1. Friday's food is already all planned. Don't deviate (except with controlled substitutions).
2. Saturday and Sunday breakfast will be my own cereal, nuts, fruit, and yogurt. (Not sure yet exactly how much of each, but better figure that out soon and pack it all up in a cooler! Stress!)
3. All other meals and snacks will be ONE REASONABLE PORTION of what everybody else is having, with an emphasis on the healthy stuff and very little of anything obviously unhealthy.
4. Like I mentioned before, I will use every tactic I know to cut down/avoid/trick myself into thinking I'm full/etc.
5. You already know by now that I am obsessed. So I'm bringing my scale. I've done this on several vacations in the past. Sometimes all it does is let me watch as I gain several pounds. NOT THIS TIME.
6. I will exercise on Sat. and Sun. I'd like to go for jogs along the beach or in the woods or somewhere cool like that.
7. I'm going to plan Monday's food before I go, one less thing to worry about when I get back.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRUIN2 6/6/2008 9:30AM

    Good plans!

Have fun on your trip - jogs on the beach sound glorious!!!

That's very impressive that you actually weighed everything - raw and cooked. It is frustrating that it's nearly impossible to get your calories precise, isn't it? But, maybe this is a good test for OCDers like ourselves...just do what we can, within reason, and carry on like normal people....

Looking forward to hearing about your trip!

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PAMELA984 6/5/2008 10:22PM

    Have a great time - concentrate on the friends and family - not the food - don't obsess over some of this too much though.

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Feeling Fantastic - a Breakthrough :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

FINALLY, my back is feeling better so I instantly feel 5 years younger (yay, I've always wanted to be 25 again!). I could stretch, I could lift my butt off the mat when doing a certain ab move, I could shave my legs in the shower, and... I ROCKED MY ELLIPTICAL WORKOUT TODAY! I'm not quite up to the performance I was at back in the fall when I felt like I was conditioned enough to run a 10K at any moment, but I probably did my best elliptical workout I've done in a long time. My gym buddy was next to me but I hinted that I couldn't really talk....I needed to concentrate on working hard. She's nice but soooo chatty. She wants me to try yoga, so I think I will, but maybe after the school year ends because they classes are 7:00-8:30 which is a bit late. Anyway, I did 65 mintues on the elliptical after doing 45 minutes of chest, back, abs, and stretching. And have I mentioned I can do a set of 8 chest presses with 25-pound dumbbells now?? I hope someday I can do a pushup (I could never do "real" pushups!). I should mention that I had a second mug of coffee at about 2 p.m. today, which I don't usually do, and I think that helped a lot with this afternoon's workout. I just hope it doesn't impact my sleep tonight. If it doesn't I might make it a regular habit because I love how much it helped my workout.

My weight was 151.8 again today, same as yesterday even thogh it was on the scale at my place and yesterday was at Jess'. I wore my New York & Co. size 4 khakis today and they were tight but not ridiculously tight. Yay! Weird, though, considering I bought them at about 135 pounds. Maybe the strength training is making me be able to fit into smaller clothes at a higher weight..

Yesterday my workout was so-so...I did the advanced step class again, and the teacher was just as inspiring and helpful as she was last week if not more so, but I was losing steam by about 40 minutes... the class was an hour and I managed to stick with it. I couldn't get most of the moves, but I am convinced that if I keep going, I'll get it and feel really cool. :) I think I'll do much better when I am better conditioned. I tried to do strength training after the class but was just wiped out and only lasted 8 minutes.

So, I went home starving and thinking about how I'd mentioned in my earlier blog that my calorie range doesn't accurately reflect the amount of exercise I do. It's set for three days a week of cardio when in reality I work out at least an hour almost every single day. So I changed that, and also redid my goal date - it had been set to reach 130 pounds in January 2009, but that didn't seem realistic since I lost so much weight so quickly that first week that my actual weightloss chart is basically a paraellel line below the goal line, if that makes any sense! So I played with the numbers and checked to see what they did with my calorie range. With cardio every day, here's what I got:

If I were to lose 2 pounds a week my calorie range would be 1,250-1,550 and I'd be at 130 by August 2008.

If I were to lose 1 pound a week my calorie range would be 1,400-1,750 and I'd be at 130 by November 4, 2008.

I realized there is a lot of overlap - 1,400-1,550... and that basically the difference comes from the days I'm out of that middle zone. If I have more 1,250-1,399 days than 1,551-1,750 days I'll probably lose two pounds per week instead of one, and vice versa. Well, I HATE how it feels to eat 1,250-1,399 calories most of the time (except on a day after a binge or when I'm just oddly not hungry). I hate being cranky and not having energy and compromising my workouts. I like how I feel a lot when I eat around 1,600 calories. I still have a little hunger, which is good because it means I'm taking in less than I am burning off, but it is manageable hunger. I can still do whatever I want to do - work out, go out, be active. I'm not so hungry that I'm always fantasizing about the next time I will eat or, even worse, feeling that panic of "OMG, it's noon and I've already hit my calorie limit for the day!" (I have been there. Not pleasant.)

So, I'm excited about my new calorie range. I don't plan on getting too close to 1,750 too often... I will more than make up for never going to the very top of my range with those "oops" days that are bound to come up. But on a typical day I think it will be extremely nice to stay between 1,400 and...maybe 1,699. I will vary depending on how I feel, and I will try to go a bit BELOW the range about as often as I go ABOVE the range (e.g., if I have an "oops" day and eat 3,000 calories, maybe the next day or two I will eat 1,350).

I'm even excited about reaching 130 by November. There is no part of me that wanted to do the 2 pounds a week to reach my goal by August instead. If it's actually possible to reach 130 eating in my new calorie range (a part of me wonders if that's too high to ever reach 130, but we'll see...), then I really do think I will be able to do it and then maintain it once I get tehre. That's a lot more exciting than killing myself to hit 130 earlier only to have my weight bounce right back up when I can't handle the restriction anymore.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HRZ2UMZROBINSON 6/10/2008 2:46PM

    I just did the same thing as you with rearranging my goals. I was going crazy trying to eat in the 1300 range every day, to the point where I decided i'd rather weigh more than diet anymore. But once I rearranged my goals I now get to eat over 1500 cals per day and I'm happy again :-)
And yes, it is 100% possible to eat in that range and get to 130. But even better, you can actually keep it off with a realistic range. More happiness :-)
Great job on your intense workouts, you'll reach your goals in no time

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VIDABELA 6/5/2008 7:15PM

    wow size 4! its been a looong time since i've worn size 4...well real size 4 - not stretchy comfy size 4 pants. it sounds like you're in tune with your body and know what calorie range its comfortable at which is awesome!

oh quick question about weighing yourself morning and night. i don't tend to weigh myself at night but do you see a big difference between your night weight and day weight? is your night weight pretty consistent too?

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BRUIN2 6/4/2008 9:42PM

    emoticon Glad to hear things are going so well!!

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