Get back up again...
Friday, August 30, 2013
I have not blogged in such a long time. A lot has happened in the past few months - moving to a new state, trying to finish up my research, starting a new job, trying to get focused on my dissertation, among others. My life was so chaotic I pretty much only ate takeout from April through the beginning of August this year. With so much transition in my life, I couldn't settle into a routine and really get focused and committed to my health.
Since the beginning of the month, I've been more conscious of the fact that I need to get my life in control (really, my food intake), but it was really only until this week that I've made a true commitment to watching what I eat. Earlier this week, I weighed myself and the scale said 284. I was floored. I knew that I really needed to get serious. Like for real, for real, not play play. Last week, I started trying to make sure that I ate something around every 3 hours. Prior to that, I noticed that I would do great with food during the day (breakfast and lunch) and be ravenously hungry by 4 or 5 pm. This led to several evening binges of food (including lots of accessible junk), which I would always regret immediately - and sometimes during but I would keep on eating anyway. I learned that eating something every 3 hours became really useful in preventing this issue.
I've started tracking my food more consistently, which has been good. I use another program whose app I can download on my iPhone without cost. It makes it much easier. I've tried to make sure that I gotten at least 1200 cal. and to not go over 1500. If I end up going over 1500, I try to do a workout routine (if I hadn't already done one that day). My gym is open 24 hours so I can go for 30 minutes at 9 pm, no problem. Since I'm vegan, I'm trying to make sure I get enough protein for the day, which helps keep me satiated as well (aside from leafy greens, broccoli, beans, nuts, etc.). This week, I've found several varieties of vegan jerky to be helpful (made from soy, tempeh, or mushrooms). I also took a chance and bought almond milk yogurt. It's actually pretty good and really good for helping with my sweet tooth AND keeping my appetite suppressed (6g of protein). So I will probably use that as my afternoon snack for the foreseeable future. For breakfast, I use my nutribullet - half kale, a banana, and about 1/2 cup of frozen fruit. Sometimes I add water, other times I add soy or almond milk. It really helps me feel refreshed in the mornings. Prior to this, I was adding protein powder but I've decided to cut it because of calories for now. Most, if not all, of my lunches this week have been salads with varying topics - soy chicken mostly. I always have to wonder if I'll get bored with them, but for now they work.
Temptations to buy sugary and salty food is rough. I love chocolate and potato chips like it's nobody's business. Earlier in the week, I was in NYC, and I indulged in a vegan oreo cheesecake that was AMAZING. It was an interesting choice because while I enjoyed it, I noticed pretty immediately that it was FULL of sugar. I felt my heart rate speed up almost immediately, more so than with a cup of coffee. So I didn't finish it, and I was also able to walk off the effects by being in the City. Today, I bought a naked burrito for lunch. I was SOOOO tempted to buy a side of chips to go with it, but I knew the calories weren't worth the temporary satisfaction of eating ALL of the chips (I don't have any self control with tortilla chips...I eat them until they're gone). As I tracked my food, I added in "large flour tortilla" just to see what it would be if I had gotten a regular burrito instead. I saved almost 200 calories by not getting it. So I feel pretty proud of my choices. I also recognize that I could've had the chips, but it would limit my dinner options. I'd rather have more options in the evening.
I am writing this down now because every time over the past 3 years or so I've tried to lose weight, I can't remember what I did the first time (4 years ago) to drop almost 60 pounds. So I want to try and keep a better record so I can always refer back to it later when I might find myself struggling. My next weigh-in is on Tuesday, Sept. 3. I got on the scale this morning, and it's already going in the right direction so I'm looking forward to my number on Tuesday.
As a final note, when I saw that the scale said 284 on Tuesday (August 27), I made a challenge to myself to lose 20 pounds by my birthday, which is October 26. So I will be updating my profile somewhere to reflect this as well as noting my progress on a weekly blog. I also have been inspired by some of the contestants on Extreme Weight Loss (although I've never wanted to lose weight fast and end up having skin removal surgery...it's one of my great fears actually). This past week, they had a contestant who was feeling overwhelmed by her 90 day goal that she lost focus. So Chris Powell put her on smaller weekly goals (lose four pounds this week). And it helped her get herself together. I think this is an excellent strategy that I will start to employ beginning with my 9/3/13 weigh-in. I, too, have often been overwhelmed with thinking about how much weight I need and want to lose and just stop making progress towards it.
So here's to getting back up again and staying committed to a healthier me.