Friday, April 13, 2012
I am learning to tune into my body and really listen to what it tells me. This morning, I did some volunteer work and joined my colleages at a breakfast spot. I decided to order what I really wanted, which was pancakes and sausage. When my order arrived, I saw the portions were huge. So I told myself to stop eating when I felt full. Ridiculously simple, but it worked. I stopped eating after one sausage and a single pancake. The rest of the plate I pushed away.
Now, its lunchtime and because my breakfast was so big, I'm not hungry. So I'll probably eat a snack and have a normal dinner.
What I realized is that skinny people probably do this every day. They maintain a healthy regimen, but a few times a week they probably indulge in something less healthy, they eat until they're full and then they resume their healthy habits.
This eating pattern, plus moderate exercise must explain how I've managed to average losing 1.5 pounds a week without feeling miserable and deprived.
It's just amazing to me that the key to sustained weight loss could be this simple, yet so hard to truly comprehend on an emotional level.
Onward and downward.
Monday, April 09, 2012
Today, when I got dressed, I noticed that my size 16W navy blue slacks were not just loose, they were downright baggy. The thigh and the seat sagged like a rapper's and the waistband was riding my hipbone. I had bought them last fall as part of my effort to build my work wardrobe. They were so comfortable, I had returned to buy a black pair in the same size. Now I know that neither pair fit.
This evening, as I was changing out of my work clothes, I tried on a pair of size 14 slacks that were hanging in the back of my closet. I was able to pull them on and button them, but they were still a bit tight. What this tells me is that I am now a size 14W or 16M.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Ever spent time crunching numbers to figure out the following?
1. The number of calories you need to maintain your current weight?
2. The number of calories you need to lose 1, 1.5 or 2 lbs a week?
3. The number of calories you will need to maintain your goal weight?
4. How long it will take you to reach your goal weight at a pace of 1, 1.5 or 2 lbs a week?
I have crunched these numbers endlessly and estimate that about 250 calories a day is the difference between what I need to maintain my current weight versus my goal weight. That's it. Doesn't sound like much, does it? A second helping here, skipping a walk there, two colas instead of water, etc.
In other words, every day for years, I've been doing a combination of over-eating or under-exercising that results in me consuming 250 more calories than I need. Multiply that extra 250 out by weeks, months and years, and the result is a slow, steady, sustained weight gain. Then, one day I notice I've gained 20 lbs. So I diet, lose the 20 lbs, then resume the same, sorry habits that result in those 250 extra calories a day. The rest is a predictable yo-yo pattern.
So lets say I'm working diligently to drop weight, averaging a 750 to 1,000 calorie daily deficit. Then, life gets hectic or I grow tired of my plan. Instead of quitting everything, I should just tell myself something like. "Okay, time to coast a little. I'll reduce my deficit to 250 calories a day until I'm ready to resume a more demanding regimen. I'll continue to weigh in weekly and monitor my intake, but I'm shelving the more aggressive approach for now. Then, when I'm ready, I can resume my more aggressive plan, without having to start over."
What's wrong with reducing the exercise to 2-3x a week and eating 1,950 calories a day until my life settles down or I'm ready to do more? Why abandon my plan entirely?
With a modest deficit I get the best of both worlds. I get to practice maintaining my 20 lb weight loss, and most importantly, I won't have to start over when I'm ready to get aggressive again. Instead, I tackle the next 20 lbs when I'm ready to.
In other words, it's like putting the program on a back burner instead of turning the stove off.
I don't know if it makes sense or not, but for me to internalize the fact that this doesn't have to be "all or nothing" is a major achievement.
Onward and downward.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Like anyone else, I've intellectually understood the link between lifestyle and health status, but there is no greater kick in the pants than being diagnosed with something like pre-diabetes. It was TRULY a wake-up call. Now, losing weight was no longer about fitting into a cute pair of jeans or looking good for a class reunion, it was about staying healthy.
Diabetes runs in my family, so I've always known about the risk factors. Still, when you have family members that have been robbed of their sight and limbs, pre-diabetes underscores the fact that if you don't change, you could be next.
I attended a family gathering shortly after my diagnosis and wound up seated next to my cousin J, age 59, who was diagnosed with diabetes last year. She told me she dropped 40 lbs after eliminating white rice, potatoes, white flour and pasta from her diet and exercising. At 5'6", she appeared to weigh about 160 and to wear a size 12. The weight loss also made her look 10 years younger. I was totally inspired and realized that anything is possible if you quit whining and just go do it.
I still don't know everything about my condition. I've read various websites and blogs and they are all full of conflicting information about how to eat. But one thing that's clear is that even a 5% to 10% drop in weight can make a lot of difference. So, hopefully, the 20 lbs I've dropped since January will make a difference. I have an upcoming doctor appointment to get my blood sugar tested for the first time since my diagnosis, so we'll see.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Well, I flunked my first real challenge to my healthier eating plan. I went over to my friendís house for dinner on Saturday to watch my team play and ended up devouring about two fried fish fillets, a half cup of macaroni and cheese, green beans and salad. I also had two glasses of wine. I ended up crashing at the house because of the wine. The next morning, we went out for brunch and I had four slices of French toast with butter and maple syrup, two sausage links and one scrambled egg.
I did just about everything wrong, but there were two things I got right. 1) I did some extra exercise; 2) I resolved to get back on track at the following meal. After that fattening brunch, I was back on a healthier eating plan for Sunday dinner and fully back on track by Monday.
I weighed myself this morning to assess any long term damage. I lost half a pound of water weight Iíd gained from TOM. If I stay on track, I will be okay.
I am realizing that it is not the occasional lapses that mess up goals, but the relapses where you just throw your hands in the air and give up. I didnít and I havenít. I am continuing to follow the mantra I got from a Spark People motivation page, ďAim for better everyday; never perfect right away.Ē
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