So it's Bright Monday. Pascha (Easter Orthodox Easter) was yesterday, and it was wonderful and exciting.
But my weight has not been so great.
I fluctuated all during Lent, even though I was making an effort to eat less and stay within my calorie range daily. One week I lost 3.5 pounds, and the next week I gained 4. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it.
One thing that I really fell off track with during Lent was exercising. With all the church services and normal busy life, exercise kept getting put off. I was lucky if I exercised once or twice a week for 30 minutes, way down from my usual walks 4 days a week that are 1-1.5 hours long. It was only last week that I got back on track. I put in 3 2-hour walks during Holy Week, which really helped me to feel better. But, I still gained weight.
My weight is currently at 163, which is what I was at 11 weeks ago. I gained about 7-8 lbs, but I lost it all. My lowest was 160, which was 2 weeks ago.
My goal now is 1) not to put on any more weight and 2) to really make an effort to lose more weight. I want to drop 13 lbs. (down to 150) by July 4th. Though I am at an overweight BMI range now (instead of being obese), I really want to make the effort to get as close to a normal BMI range as I can. That would be 136 for me. I don't know that I can really maintain that, but I want to get there and to try.
So to do all this, here are my goals.
1. Focus on getting more protein and fiber in my diet. I got very little protein in my diet over Lent, but I tend to lose more weight when I'm getting enough protein (and I rarely if ever go over my protein levels). I plan to eat more chicken and fish, but to stay clear of beef mostly because of the saturated fat content. Also, since my triglycerides were a little high when my cholesterol was run about a month ago, I want to meet my fiber quota on a daily basis. I plan to do this by eat more beans. I tend to eat plenty of whole grains through whole wheat bread, brown rice, and other whole grains, but I like to put beans on my salad for that extra protein and fiber benefit.
2. Focus on eating more vegetables. The good news is that I eat plenty of fruit per day, usually 2-3 servings through bananas, pomelos, apples, and applesauce (unsweetened). Now that summer is coming, I will be eating even more fruit with the peaches, nectarines, plums, and berries that will be available (can't wait for that!). But I am just bad about eating vegetables, even though I like them just fine. I've found that the only way that I'll eat vegetables is if I get the pre-cut veggies at the store so that I can quickly make salads and side dishes. If I buy a head a lettuce, I will never shred it for salad, but if I buy bags of pre-washed lettuce, I will quickly make a salad for myself. I'm so lazy, but it's the only way for me to get it done. So at the store today I bought pre-cut lettuce, bell pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. I also bought cherry tomatoes and a cucumber, which I will have to cut up, but I really think I can handle that. I hope!
3. Get back to eating dairy: I drink fat-free milk and eat low-fat yogurt on a regular basis, which really keeps me full. The one thing I can't stand is low-fat cheese. I see it in a lot of SP recipes, but I just can't do it. I figure if that's the only high-fat dairy I eat, then that is okay. I was interested in reading the article SP posted about a month ago on the study on how people who eat higher-fat dairy tend to lose more weight and keep it off, though. So I will be incorporating some whole milk into my diet on occasion. It's a really big treat, though, because it's so creamy and tasty.
4. Eat meatless 2-3 days per week. Though I know I need enough protein, I will have to work on getting protein through alternative methods. I really tend to gain a lot of weight when I eat too much meat. I need to be careful with this, experiment, and see how it goes.
5. Get back to walking! I want to work my way back up to walking 4-5 days per week for a hour and a half each time. I know it's going to take me some time to do that, but I know I can do it if I make it a priority.
6. Finally, get back to the gym to do strength training. I have a gym membership, but I'm bad about using it. I tend to walk around my neighborhood for exercise. I need to do more weight training, I know, though. I'm hoping to get to the gym 3 times per week for that, and to do more body weight exercises like push-ups and lunges on my own at home.
So those are my goals. I have 2 months (until July 4th) to really put these things into practice. I have a fridge and pantry currently stocked with healthy food, so that helps. I want to go for a walk after posting this, so I better just do it. I will check in again in about a month to let you all know how my progress is going.