Monday, August 04, 2008
Okay, that's obviously not me, but the only pictures I allowed to be taken of myself are on Jess' mom's camera, and she's still on the Cape. The picture is my boyfriend, Jess. Isn't he cute???:)
I really did follow through on my plan with my breakfasts and lunches and dinners at the cottage/at restaurants. I made healthy lifestyle choices all weekends, except for the margaritas and martinis on Saturday afternoon/night... but hey, gay men make the best drinks, and if you are given a drink on Provincetown, chances are it was made by a gay man!
I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of cute coffee houses, so I had some fancy iced coffee/espresso drinks. My dinners included fresh flounder caught by my boyfriend's sister's fiance, a pad Thai Jess and I shared but couldn't finish, and a lobster salad with no dressing/mayo/croutons. I was never really hungry all weekend even though I know I wasn't eating much. I didn't eat any of the snacks at the cottage, just like I said I wouldn't!
We were active all weekend. We went on two bike rides - one was to Provincetown from Welfleet, which was a total of 28 miles, and the other was 10 miles to a flea market and back. We did a lot of walking - I walked around a big, very clear/clean pond about chest-deep in water, and I walked up the huge dune cliffs at the beach, and I walked AT the beach... and of course we walked around Provincetown. I also went boogie boarding twice. SO fun. I caught lots of waves and got to see seals up close. :) In fact, we were almost active all the time, minus sleeping and just a little reading. Which reminds me...I have tons of books to read right now - some novels and some weight loss books. I better get to them before they're due back at the library.
My weight has been inching down painfully slowly...I was at 155.8 for several days straight before finally seeing 154.4 yesterday, only to see it go back up to 155.4 today for no explainable reason. But the clothes I bought a few weeks ago are already getting loose...when I bought them I was a pretty comfortable 12 and now I'm guessing I'm more of a 10.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Last blog entry for the day, I promise! I'm pleasantly surprised that the advice I've received has been unanimous - coincidentally my boyfriend gave me the same advice that you guys did. I am going to bring all my own breakfasts and lunches and leave dinners open. Just like when I was in Newport, I am going to make choices this weekend that prove once and for all that I am serious about a healthy lifestyle. With fresh summer salads and Cape Cod fish, it should be easy. I'm going to eat about 1,000 calories between my breakfasts and lunches and leave about 600-800 calories for dinners. (Another suggestion of my boyfriend's.) I'm not going to eat ANY of the family's snack foods - the chips and nuts and dips did me in last year!! When I'm done planning I'm going to bed early to try to shake off this sore throat I've had today that prevented me from going to the gym. A sore throat in July?! What's up with that!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I'm not sure what my plan should be this weekend, food-wise, so I am hoping that writing will help me figure it out. (And if that doesn't work, I'm sure someone reading will steer me in the right direction.)
I'm leaving tomorrow in the late afternoon for Cape Cod. I have planned, prepared, and packed a "regular" healthy menu for tomorrow. We're coming back on Sunday, and I have planned and prepared another healthy menu for Monday.
That leaves Friday, Saturday, and Sunday up in the air. I can think of three options:
1. Bring all my own food. It wouldn't be nearly as hard as it sounds since I already have my batch-cooked dinners in single-serving containers, as well as most of my other foods, like my yogurt, cereal, and walnuts, all ready to go in single-serving containers. It would actually be simple.
Pros: I'd know I was eating healthy amounts of healthy foods.
Cons: I know I will want to eat at least a few meals out.
2. Bring stuff to make my breakfast smoothies only, and eat lunches and dinners with food from the cottage or at restaurants.
Pros: I love my healthy filling smoothies that keep me going until lunchtime.
Cons: It would be a bit of a hassle to bring all that stuff. But I could always go to a grocery store on the Cape for the fruit.
3. Don't bring anything; eat all meals with food from the cottage or at restaurants.
Pros: No planning hassles, no embarrassment stemming from eating "different" in front of my boyfriend's family.
Cons: I'd be dependent on eating whatever's available.
Okay, I still haven't decided after writing all that out and I'm even realizing there's a fourth option of bringing my own breakfasts and lunches and leaving just dinners open. I will think about it - I have until tomorrow afternoon to decide what to do.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Yesterday I was dealing with a bit of a weight gain after a weekend of less-than-perfect eating. It occurred to me that it wasn't going to be particularly fun to step on the scale in the morning because of the higher-than-previous number I knew I'd inevitably see. When I'm on the wagon I weigh myself every day, and I thrive on the reward of seeing smaller numbers on the scale. When I go off the plan even just a little bit, I subconsciously know that my daily weigh-in won't give me that reward anymore, and so getting back on track isn't going to be exciting. So where can I get that excitement from instead? I'm now realizing that I've used those types of moments as excuses to binge eat.
Binge eating can be exciting for me at first. There's the thrill of doing something naughty, deciding what to buy and prepare, the initial taste of a food that was designed to be instantly gratifying rather than healthy. Of course this just leads to even less of a desire to get on the scale, and a vicious cycle begins. I feel shame rather than pride in my body, so I look for positive feelings from food rather than from making healthy choices. I tend to continue on cycles like these for days or weeks until something inside me suddenly sparks a new motivation to go all-out and improve my shape fast.
By using SparkPeople I have become ever-more aware of my own physical and psychological patterns that work for and against my overall well-being. I need to use this awareness to continually refine my plan. I've always known that the answer is long-term good choices for eating right and exercising. What I need to work on is a system where I do these things all the time, even when they are not the most exciting option, or the most comfortable. I need to actively say NO to the part of my brain that gets a high from binge eating. If eating right and exercise are a steady stream rather than small bursts, and deviations from my plan are small and I stay mindful of what I am doing, then I can always be working toward a healthier body.
Just keep in mind this story: I was on a really good path from mid-April to early June 2008. During that time I brought my weight down from the upper 160s to the lower 150s while working hard on a mindset of slow, consistent, permanent healthy choices. In early June, unfortunately, I threw myself off track while on a family trip to Maine. What started with a couple poor choices that could have easily been remedied snowballed into a full-blown long-term binge that lasted over a month and resulted in me quickly regaining all the weight I'd lost. I believe that the "excitement" theory had a lot to do with this stretch of poor choices, just like so many in the past. Since I knew I wasn't going to get my excitement from the scale, I got it instead from ice cream, big home-cooked casseroles, and huge restaurant meals. I knew exercise and healthy eating were better choices, but I also knew they'd be boring. I wasn't going to drop the extra weight right away, so why bother when food was so much more fun?
However, now it is late July, almost two months after the binge began, and I am doing a bit of math. Let's pretend for a moment that history can be rewritten and I go back to the trip to Maine that started with me at 151 pounds. Let's say I had my meal of fun with the malted balls, the lobsters, the wine, the popovers, the coleslaw, the desserts, all of it. Let's even say that the next day I still didn't make choices that would put me in the book of diet saints, since I was still in Maine and off my usual routine. Let's even say I came home weighing 158 pounds, which, at a theoretical gain of 7 pounds in two days, is a conservative yet sadly realistic estimate based on my own experience of what can happen when I throw everything I know about portion sizing out the window.
But now let's imagine that when I'd gotten home I didn't care that it was late and I was tired and had to get to work the next morning. I didn't care that it was going to be miserable to step on the scale or try on my suddenly tighter pants. Let's just imagine that I'd dutifully planned out a healthy menu on my SP nutrition tracker and followed through on Monday. Let's say I went right back to good old eating right and excercising every day. My weight would have likely stayed higher than pre-vacation for a couple weeks, but eventually I would have gotten back down to 151 and started dropping some more. And right now, instead of having a weight that bounces around in the slightly overweight range, I would be somewhere in the 140s.
And if I made those choices not just after my trip to Maine but every single Monday, and every week, and if I even threw in a bit of mindfulness on the weekends, I'd eventually be able to hit any healthy goal I'd like and keep it off. I'd look great not just for one special event but for every vacation big and small, every photo op, even every plain old day when I get up, get dressed, go to work, follow my eating plan, and go to the gym. I could be maintaining my goal weight, and deep down I know that is better than any short-term excitement I can get either from a drop on the scale, or by going off my plan and getting instant gratification from food.
So my new mantra has to be this: Make the right choices every time, and especially after falling off the plan. It may not be exciting, but it is the only way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
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