Saturday, June 09, 2012
What are you doing this weekend? Will it move you toward your SP goals or away from them?
Weekends can be tricky, because they are so unstructured. The office gives way to picnics, junkets with the family, kids' baseball, soccer and softball games, and invitations out to dinner.
All of these scenarios put us in situations that test our resolve to adhere to healthier habits. For me, these situations are particularly tough and I handle some better than others. Here are some examples from the last few weekends:
Baseball game: I banked my calories and ate a bratwurst and a diet coke. That worked extremely well and I didn't feel deprived. Grade: A. I made a plan and stuck to it.
Social: I left work and went to the social, which had various snack foods, and wine. Grade: F. I did not plan well. The social was during my regular dinner time and I brought my appetite to the event. Bad move. I ate too much cheese and had more than one glass of wine. Next time, I will eat a light meal or snack before I go to a social.
Restaurant: I ordered chicken and vegetables and ate a small garden salad as an appetizer. Grade: A. I reviewed the menu online and already knew what I was going to order before I got to the restaurant.
Chinese Buffet: I was with my family and they decided to go to a buffet after attending a graduation ceremony. Grade: C. I tried to make conscientious selections, avoiding fried foods, and starting with a salad, but I ate too much sushi and meat dishes.
What I've learned about myself is I HAVE to go in with a game plan and the game plan has to be realistic for the circumstances. If I'm too strict with myself, I fall flat on my face. Likewise, I can't eat with total abandon.
The critical lesson here is that banking calories and going in with a modest but realistic plan works. If we don't handle situations perfectly, its okay. Just figure out what happened, make a new plan and see if things go better the next time.
Get your weekend eating plan together before you start your day. Good luck!
Friday, June 08, 2012
For the first time in awhile I don't have any specific topic on my mind. Considering how chatty I can be, it's quite remarkable, actually. Instead, I've collected an assortment of random thoughts:
1. I can't believe I'm going to be hiking in Alaska next week! How awesome is that going to be? I'm ready for it; I bought a new pair of hiking boots and will test them out on a hike this weekend with my meetup group. This time, I'm covering my arms as well as my legs so I'm not covered in ticks when I return.
2. They say losing weight is a marathon for a reason; it really does take a long time! I'm glad to be down 30 pounds, but the kicker is it took me more than five months to get here. Persistence, not perfection is what counts.
3. Sometimes I can see the weight loss, other days I can't. I'm 5'7", and am only halfway through my journey, so the change in my appearance is subtle, not dramatic. Honestly, I think I'll need to lose an additional 20 pounds before it's obvious to everyone I meet that something's changed. I don't need that validation like I used to, but it is icing on the cake.
4. I shopped at whole foods yesterday. I decided to pick up organic ingredients for my morning smoothies. I never worried about pesticides before, but that's because I wasn't eating a lot of fresh foods. Now that I am, I can understand the concern. I plan to sign up for the tour and their cooking classes one day.
5. Yesterday, I wore my favorite summer skirt. It's a size 1x and doesn't look quite right anymore. Dang!
6. Am I getting Spark People obsessed? I'm all over this website every day. I'm constantly reading articles, looking at recipes, checking message boards, reading weight loss success stories, etc. It really does help me stay motivated, though.
Onward and downward.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Now I know why I wanted to wait until goal before I take pictures.
Tuesday, I was at a fundraiser and posed for a group shot. The photographer was kind enough to email me the picture yesterday. When I saw how I looked, my heart sank. There were four of us in the shot, one girl was probably a size 0. There was one other slightly overweight woman, and another average sized woman. Standing next to this group, I looked huge. I had a double chin, big flabby arms and my boobs looked oversized and saggy. The dress I was wearing over my leggings appeared cavernous. After my chest it just tented out and made my whole body look round.
How discouraging! When I left work, I hit the gym. I signed up for a brutal step aerobics class and then lifted weights for about 1/2 hour. The whole time, my self-talk was like, "This is hard work. Why am I working so hard? I've been at this for months and I still don't look good in pictures. When am I gonna see results in photos? If I've lost 30 pounds and still look big, what does it say about how much I really need to lose? What did I look like before? This diet and exercise stuff is so hard. Why does it have to take so long to see results? I know I look better in my clothes so why didn't it show up in the picture?"
Next, I started answering my own self-talk. "This is a lifestyle, not a diet. You've tried the other way for the last 30 years. You know where that path leads. Now, you're living a healthier lifestyle. It's only been five or six months and you're already complaining? C'mon, where's your persistence? Remember, you're prediabetic. You need at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Besides, anything worth having doesn't come easy. Keep doing what you're doing. Don't give up. It will show up in the photos once you've lost another 20 pounds. And quit dressing to cover your body. You looked big in the photo because you are not wearing fitted clothes. Wearing a big, loose dress and leggings fools no one and makes you look bigger than you are."
Whew! It took some doing to get my mind straight after the picture. In the fall, the non-profit I volunteer with is doing a 5K fundraiser. Maybe by then, I won't look so big in the pictures. I'll make sure to run/walk in something fitted.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Yesterday, I updated my Facebook status, informing friends and family that I had lost 30 pounds. I was inundated with well wishes, support and congratulations, which was super cool. I promised that I would post pix once I reached goal.
There's something about going public that takes your accountability and kicks it into overdrive. Now I feel like I owe it to the folks I've inspired to see this process through.
For now, I'm focused on my intermediate goal which is to lose 20 pounds by August. This goal is reflected in my current ticker; I have 11.5 pounds to go.
Today, my mom asked me how much weight I've lost. When I told her 30 pounds, she said "That's good. How does that compare to what you weighed when we went to Vegas a few years ago?" I told her I needed to lose 10 more pounds to return to that weight. She said, "Then that's all you have left to lose. You don't wanna get too thin, you'll look old."
Oh, mom, seriously? Lol, I know I look good as a thick woman, but this is about my health.
When I went to Vegas my BMI was 28. My long term goal is a BMI of 25.
That's still 35 pounds away.
Onward and downward.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
After only four days away from the scale, I decided to weigh in again. When the scale registered a 2.5 lb loss, I was so surprised I stepped off the scale, then jumped back on about three times just to be certain. Sure enough, 2.5 lbs gone!
For some reason, I think the difference has been my morning smoothies. During my five week plateau, I tried all kinds of things to shake things up; cycling my calories, changing up my exercise, tightening up my food diary. Maybe all of those strategies together contributed, but the biggest change I made was getting all my fruits and vegetables in. I had no problem fitting in two or three servings a day, but sometimes things got busy and I found myself eating meals that were within my calorie range, but lacking a fruit or a vegetable.
The smoothies kicked my nutrients up another notch. One smoothie amounts to three servings of fruit and vegetables. I was ingesting lots of flax meal, spinach, berries and kale as part of my smoothies.
Therefore, please take a lesson from my experience. If you are not getting the results you want, check your fruit and vegetable intake. If it is anything less than five a day, find a way to include more in your daily diet. For me, the smoothies turned out to be an ideal solution. Another strategy might work for you. I recommend that you invest in meeting with a nutritionist to assist you on this journey. My employer cafeteria plan reimburses me for my nutritionist visits, so I am planning to meet with her quarterly.
Above all, DON'T GIVE UP!
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