Friday, April 20, 2012
While my focus of late has been all about getting active I do realize that's only a small part of the equation. I won't win this weight battle unless I make drastic changes on the food front. Today I took my first steps towards embracing a new way of eating. I know the dangers of going too drastic here but at the same time I'm realizing there are just certain foods I can't eat. Either they're trigger foods that'll leave me jonesing hard for more or they're foods that leave me feeling physically yucky. My compromise is that I will allow myself the occasional day off. For instance my birthday is in about 3 weeks. On that day I'll indulge in some sushi, have a little cake and maybe a bowl of ice cream. It's nice to know that I'm not really eliminating anything from my diet. I'm just shifting some foods from everyday or nearly everyday items to special occasion treats as they should have been to begin with.
Until then I'll be low carbing it. I've found I feel better when I'm not eating bread and other processed things. My focus will be on only consuming whole or minimally processed foods. For these first few weeks I'll be avoiding fruit, not because I think it's bad but because I worry I'll be using it as a substitute for my sugar fix. Once I break this sweet tooth I'll fill more comfortable incorporating fruit into my diet without going overboard.
I've loaded the fridge with lots of veggies and I'm planning my meals. I'm good for at least the next week. Hopefully it sticks. I think focusing on incremental behavioral changes and short term goals will do wonders. Here's my path so far (changes made over the last few weeks in preparation for creating my new healthier lifestyle):
1. I set some goals that related to answers to the following questions. Where do I want to be by my birthday in 3 weeks? In 6 months? In a year? How do I want to feel? Why am I doing this now? Since health is my main motivator, one of my goals is to be able to skip down the street without getting out of breath just like when I was a kid in 3 months :) Another is to walk into a particular store without feeling self conscious by my birthday next year and buy a new outfit for my trimmer figure. There are some number goals too but they're not as fun as these other ones. I plan to revisit these goals regularly.
2. I got active. Given my penchant for strange injuries I've had to make adjustments. By experimenting over the last few weeks I've found something that works for me and a schedule I can commit to.
3. I started weighing and tracking the food I consume. I've paid special attention to how I feel after eating to determine what, if any, foods should be minimized or eliminated from my diet and to find at which point I feel full. I've been asking myself a lot lately, Am I really hungry still or am I just eating to eat?
4. As someone who has had trouble with extreme dehydration in the past, this was probably the hardest change for me. I drastically increased my water intake.
5. I started paying attention to portion sizes. I always avoided portion control because I thought it'd be too tedious for me to do consistently. Now I don't know why I made that assumption. With a food scale it's pretty easy.
6. I eliminated or ate whatever I knew wouldn't work into my plan so when I went to the store the next time I'd be starting fresh. This includes things like flour and sugar. I'm pretty good at creating culinary goodness from whatever I find in my cupboard. I'm happy to say there's no temptation left in this place. Perfect for someone with little to no will power and a penchant for baking, hahaha.
7. Today I went shopping with a list and blinders on. I headed straight for the areas of the store I needed to go to without a second glance at the areas I know to avoid like the bakery.
8. When I got home and unpacked I immediately portioned out my protein into 4-6 oz servings and put them in a ziploc bag for easy use. Now when I make myself a meal I won't have to guess. I can just remove a serving, cook it up and enjoy.
Tomorrow starts my first day putting all the puzzle pieces in place. I've done the prep work. Let's hope it pays off.