Thursday, July 10, 2014
Finally, I am seeing results!
Today I weighed in and I've lost one pound. It reinforces to me how important it is to write down EVERYTHING I eat and track all of my activity. I've also realized that to lose weight, I need to be eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day AND exercising 4-5x a week. AND I need to do it consistently.
Most importantly, for me, the line between losing weight and gaining weight is ever so slight. Only a difference of 300 to 500 calories a day. That might sound significant, but really it's only a missed workout here, an extra cookie there---things that can't be noticed without a food diary, but do add up over time.
So now, I have 21 pounds to lose by the end of the year, and 14 to go in order to return to what I weighed a year ago. I feel hopeful about this happening--especially because I believe I now know exactly what I need to do. I just need to do it.
Monday, July 07, 2014
Today, I'm patting myself on the back for putting together a really good day food wise. I had oatmeal, berries and a banana for breakfast, snacked on pistachio nuts, ate fish, green beans, carrots and a small portion of new potatoes for lunch, and for dinner I had chicken and a salad.
My calories totaled around 1,300, I got all my fruits and vegetables in, I drank all my water, I did not consume a single soda, and best of all, I did not get hungry.
I spend a lot of time blogging about how much I screw up or how unmotivated I've been. So today, I take a moment to celebrate. Yay me!
Sunday, July 06, 2014
There's a book I read one time called "The Four Agreements". I know that three of them are "always do your best" and "don't take anything personally" and "keep your word". I really like to focus on "always do your best." Some days are going to be tougher to deal with than others diet and exercise wise. This means that sometimes your plans will go awry because life gets in the way. Despite that, you adjust and keep moving forward.
With my goal firmly in mind, I am continuing to handle each day the best way I know how. One step at a time. Everyday, I ask myself the question, "what can I do today to get me closer to my goal tomorrow?" Some days are better than others, but I've done something, SOMETHING every single day. Journaling, drinking my water, tracking my food intake, exercise, or all of the above. The alternative is to stop doing everything completely--and regain all of my weight. The prospect of that happening scares me. I worked too hard to lose 50 pounds two years ago. I've regained 15 of it and refuse to accept that I can't lose it again.
So I'm focused on dropping the next 5 pounds. It's tough because I didn't lose a single pound this week, despite tracking my food and 300 minutes of exercise. That can be discouraging. To me, it means I'm going to need to make even more adjustments to my eating and find a way to stay patient.
This weekend was a tough one to get through but it's over and I handled it the best I could. Time to move forward one baby step at a time.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Why is it that time slows down when you are trying to lose weight?
Finally, after months and months of starts and stops, I've put a consistent program together. So far, I've lost four pounds in the last two weeks. So why is that not enough?
Because yesterday, I tried on a skirt that was loose in the waist a year ago and now I didn't even get close to buttoning it. Depressing, but it underscores the work I need to do.
Officially, I am trying to lose 23 pounds before the end of the year. I have to give myself a timeline, because goals without deadlines are just dreams. I know what you are saying: "It's just 23 pounds." Well, what I've learned is that the less weight you have to lose, the more work you have to do to take it off. I've read those same inspiring weight loss stories that you have. Ever notice how much EXERCISE it takes to get the weight off? About 300 minutes a week, at least.
I now understand why people take up jogging or running. It's a cheap and efficient way to burn lots of calories. You don't have to suit up, drive somewhere, lock up your stuff and report to a classroom. You just get dressed and step outside for 30 minutes, then--300 calories later---you're done for the day.
After years of hating jogging, I finally made peace with it because I'm doing what I have to do to lose this weight and regain some confidence. I think I can cope with the time it will take to do this, but it's mentally important for me that the next five pounds vanish in a hurry. That way, I'll only weigh 10 pounds more than I did a year ago--not 15. Somehow, 10 pounds doesn't sound so bad.
So away I go. I've already swapped my cereal for almond butter and wheat toast and traded my bacon for turkey bacon. I've cut way down on desserts and processed foods and am trying to eat more fruits and vegetables. Next, I'm going to cut down on red meat and eat more chicken and fish. I know I'm doing the right things; I just need to hunker down and give it time. Hard to do for an impatient gal like me, but it's necessary work.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
It's been a good week so far. I'm logging into Sparkpeople, recording my food and activity, eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting out simple carbs and cutting down my intake of diet coke. I haven't had one in two days, which is awfully good for me.
Still, I have a love/hate relationship with my food diary. It's tedious to have to record everything I eat, estimate calories, measure food, etc. I prefer not to do it, but I learned an important and personal lesson about the dang thing that supports what all the research is saying.
If I don't do it, not only will I not lose weight, I will gain it.
Last fall, I experienced two weight gain streaks. 1) I gained 7 pounds in three weeks. It was truly upsetting and I couldn't figure out where I was going wrong; 2) I gained six pounds over the next three months. This problem made more sense because it was the holidays and winter.
Over the next six months, I lost four pounds, but gained those pounds back plus another four pounds. The net gain? 17 pounds. Ugh!
Contributing factors included, menopause, the holidays and an unusual amount of stress in a short period of time (big presentation + car accident + stressful job situation). I get that.
What I just realized in reviewing my reports is during all of these times, I quit using my food diary and wasn't logging into SparkPeople. It begs the questions: will I need to maintain this food diary the rest of my life? I thought I had my habits down. I had maintained my weight for a solid year before my first surge. I didn't think I needed to keep daily records. I had my breakfast, lunch and dinner food staples, my exercise routine--I had built up daily habits that had been working.
So what happened? I'll never really know because I don't have any records. Maybe I was sneaking in an extra 500 calories while skipping workouts. Maybe my metabolism had shifted gears and my BMR dropped. Maybe it was a combination of the two.
My metabolism really sucks. When I am not exercising, I suspect that to maintain my weight, I can only eat 10 calories per pound of body weight. This means if I consume 2,000 calories a day, and don't exercise, I will eventually weigh 200 pounds. So to maintain my weight at 150 pounds, I would need to eat 1,500 calories a day without exercise. There is no way that I can eat so few calories day after day, so I HAVE to exercise 4x-5x a week and burn off 300 to 500 calories during each workout in order to eat 1800 to 2000 and maintain my weight. If I don't---I will regain it. Ugh!
The ONLY way for me to track all of this is with my food diary. If I go too long without it, I start gaining weight and if I don't return to it immediately when I gain weight, I'll gain more.
I've learned a tough lesson, but at least I learned it before I gained all of my weight back. I've dropped a couple of pounds and now have 15 pounds to go to return to my new normal weight range. With consistent use of this food diary, water and exercise, I'll get there.
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