Friday, August 28, 2015

21 Day Fix Review – My Life Is Changing


Ok, perhaps not a review, but more my thoughts on the 21 day fix.


I just completed Round 1 of the 21 Day Fix and I must say the past 21 Days have been truly life changing.

I know, that is a pretty powerful statement, but it is true.  And keep in mind this is coming from the girl who is a [past] binge eater, loves food, hates working out and has NEVER been able to stick with a diet.

But of course, this isn’t a diet.  This truly is a lifestyle change.

The past few weeks have been emotional, busy and I have been far from perfect with the program.  Good thing the program is not seeking perfection.

Did I work out every day?
Nope, but as many days as I could and FAR more than I have in the last 5 years. (maybe missed 4)

Did I ever “cheat” with my food? 
Yep, I may have had a couple bites of cake or a few bites of cheese dip one day.  But the majority of the time, I was spot on with my eating.  And actually loved what I was eating! (pics below)

But honestly, none of that matters to me anymore...the "did I follow everything exactly".  (Big change!)  I am not trying to feel guilty for my choices of working out or what I eat, because when I put the guilt with food, or any emotions for that matter, then that is when I eat poorly.  I am doing the best I can and focusing on all my healthy choices.

What matters to me now is HOW I FEEL.

Plain and simple. 

And eating whole foods and working out regularly makes me feel amazing….and I haven’t felt amazing in a long time in regards to my body.

I have waited a few days to write my recap because I wanted to see what I did after the program was done.  I didn’t want to check in with the group that is still open.  I didn’t want to plan.  I didn't want accountability.  I know it sounds weird or backwards, but I wanted to see what I DID, back in my “normal” life. Would I go back to my old ways or would I stay with it naturally.

As it turns out, I am naturally gravitating towards the healthy way of eating/living because it really does make me feel better.

Yes, I will admit, I haven’t worked out the past few days (and I notice it and am going back to it) and I have strayed from the meal plan a couple times, but folks I am actually craving that lifestyle.  I want my salads and containers of WHOLE food and packing it for lunch EVERY day.  I actually am still drinking coffee with raw sugar….YEAH, the girl who bitched and complained and cried, literally, about giving up her creamer is still drinking black coffee with raw sugar.

Boom.  Changed.

Yes, I had a piece of pizza Tuesday, but I had a huge salad with it. AND, I didn’t have four pieces of pizza like before.  I am learning to incorporate this into my life and make the healthier choices.  You know that "binge" mentality of not being able wanting to stop, being obsessed with eating as much as I can and if I can't I get mad.  Nope, I just wanted a taste.  I enjoyed the food, but I wasn’t obsessing over it like I have always done in the past.  Same when I had a few bites of a cake, that was enough.  I didn’t need a piece of cake and then another later that day.

To some this may not seem like a success.  But for an emotional binge eating, overweight, food obsessed person….it is HUGE.

This program has done far more for me than I ever expected.  I went into thinking, I really hope this helps me get over this plateau and lose weight and is the quick fix I need.  But instead, I came out feeling like it truly changed my life.

It changed how I feel.  I have more energy.  I feel healthier and not weighed down by the processed foods.

It changed my desire to workout.  I still dread working out simply because finding time to do it can be more of a challenge and is not ideal, but I know I can workout now.  I feel myself and see myself getting stronger.  I am doing moves I couldn’t do three weeks ago.  When I go a day without working out, I am excited ready to get back at it.

It changed how I look at food.  This may be the biggest.  Right now marks the healthiest relationship I have ever had with food.

Yep, that is worth repeating.

At 35, I have the healthiest relationship with food I have ever had.

I respect how the “right” foods can fuel my body and the wrong foods make me sluggish.  I am looking at portions differently.  I am cutting those emotional ties that I have towards food.  I am learning (yes still learning) the difference between my needs vs my wants.  And I am learning how to control my desire for those wants.   Now, I am not giving up all those “wants", no, we like those things in moderation.  But I am carefully choosing what I prefer to put in my body instead of putting it ALL in. The 90/10* rule folks...well, it may be more like 80/20 for me, but I am working on it.

Here is what I got to eat....still great food, but in the right amounts and HEALTHY/WHOLE foods.


It changed what I thought I was capable of doing.

It changed what I thought was healthy and what I now realize is healthy. 

It changed my body and my mind.

I am seeing myself for ME.  Something I have always struggled with.

Was this easy?  No.

Does the group help? YES.  They keep you accountable and are amazing!

Am I still learning? Of Course.

Do I still have a long way to go? Duh….but focusing on the NOW.

Does the program make sense? Yes.

Can I follow it and stick with it? You bet.

Can I do this for me?  Absolutely!!

I am currently down 9lbs and 18 inches (counting arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves) in the past three weeks.






You guys.  That is 28lbs total since I started in January.


 (from January - August)

So with all that said, why do I say this is life changing? 

Because, this is my life and it needed changed and this is the program that is finally helping with that.

I am not just doing the 21 Day Fix to look great in bikini or tone up a bit (which are still great reasons to try it!).

But for me it is so much more.

It is about my health now and as I get older.

It is about my future.

It is about how I feel.

It is about no longer missing opportunities with my son because I am too embarrassed with the way I look to go somewhere or do something with him. (this one makes me cry all the time)

It is about no longer worrying if I will be able to fit in a seat or something, because of my weight.

It is about no longer not going places with my husband because I am embarrassed that he will be embarrassed (though that has never given me reason to think that, I still do because of my own insecurities).

It is about me not getting so angry with myself about the way I look and feel that I take it out on those around me.

It is about not feeling guilty when I eat, especially in public, and instead learning to appreciate food and feel comfortable eating so i don't want to hide and binge.

It is about so much more than just losing a few pounds.

It is about finally feeling LIKE ME and not this person “trapped” in this body.

So would I recommend this program? YES.

Is it tough? YES. But a good tough.

Is it worth it? Without a doubt.

Can YOU do this? YES!!  If I can, you can!

If you put in the work and time.  Plan your meals.  Workout. You will not only see results, but FEEL the results!!!

I will be starting my second round in September!!  The group dynamic is truly amazing...all about the accountability and probably the only way I got through this with the results I did!


What are YOUR thoughts of the Fix? Has it changed YOUR life yet?

.....

Other posts on the 21 Day Fix from me HERE and HERE.



I am at the point where in the next few months, I want to be a coach and continue my journey while also supporting those who are on a similar journey.  I want to inspire those who are in a similar place and have tried everything to lose weight and continue to BE inspired as I move forward with my weight loss journey.  I truly feel this is a program that can do that.





*90/10 Rule - if you eat healthy and workout 90% of the time, it allows for that other 10% of the time to have that leeway and enjoy those times where you do not follow the healthy eating.

Monday, August 10, 2015

21 Day Fix – Week 1 Complete


So I completed my first week of the 21 Day Fix and I couldn’t be more THRILLED with the results and how I am feeling.

You guys.

This program is legit!  IT. WORKS.

I have been trying some sort of diet on and off my entire life.  None work, or at least they only work short term.  And you already know of my struggles the past four months not losing weight and being stuck at the same spot.  So going in I had this weird ying and yang of positive and negative thinking. (“Maybe this will actually work!!  Maybe like everything else, this won’t work for me either.”)

And as someone who has struggled with weight issues my entire life and has a hard time losing weight because I love food so much and most diets restrict all foods, I wasn’t sure what sort of results I would see.

But this is NOT A DIET.  It is a lifestyle change.  A program to reset not only your body but the way you look and think about food.

I admit, going into it I was a bit overwhelmed.  I meal plan, but I felt I needed to OVER plan.  I wasn’t sure how much food would fit into the containers so I didn’t know how much to buy.  Would I be hungry?  Would I have time for this? And working out EVERY DAY, seriously, I can barely workout ONE day.

But I needed to try.  I wanted to try.

Day one my biggest issue was my coffee.  I believe I literally thought about my coffee and creamer 85% of the day. Addicted much?!?!  I talked about this in my previous post HERE.

My husband’s insightful words, really stuck with me: “Stop thinking about the coffee and think about how much better you will feel in a few weeks, let alone a few months.”

I have repeated this to myself nearly every day.  And it wasn’t just in reference to the coffee it was in reference to everything.  It was about working out.  It was about clean eating.  It was about taking care of MYSELF.

I want this.  Oh, you have no idea how bad I want to succeed and get this extra weight off.

So I just did it and did the best I could.

My fears were quickly put to rest by one simple thing…..the facebook group I am involved in.

This is key. 

They are going through the SAME THING. 

They have days where they do not want to workout or their bodies are so sore they can’t walk.  They have days where they eat that cheeseburger or scone instead of their containers of food.  They have days where they do not want to prep One. More. Meal.  Holy shit...they are just like me and I am not the only one thinking these things!!!  

They also have days where they shine!  They fit that workout in, even at 9:30 at night.  They follow their meal plan exactly!  They lose weight and/or feel better!  

We encourage, motivate and inspire each other to keep going.  It is amazing.  Even after only a week, you feel that comradery and genuine support.

So instead of getting discouraged after day 1 (no coffee and a very hard workout) and putting my DVD’s back on the shelf with all my other dust collected DVD’s I only used for a short time…I pushed through.  I felt like I needed to push through for them…I didn’t want to be the ONLY one not doing the workout!!  I mean, we all felt like shit after a hard workout, why should I be the only one who didn’t.

I committed to 21 days. 

It is only 21 days. 

I can do this. 

WE can do this.

One week in, you wouldn’t believe how much easier* things have gotten!!

I am getting through my workouts out with more strength!  I still modify almost all the moves, but I am doing it and I feel stronger!  Even daily tasks around the house seem to come easier.  Yes, I have been pretty much sore since last Monday…but that shows I am working hard, right!!

I have energy!  I am drinking HALF the amount of coffee I was before I started and with only a teaspoon of raw sugar.  I drink one cup in the morning and one after lunch.  And I still have FAR more energy than I have had in YEARS!

I am eating well and following the program!  I haven’t been craving salts and sugars nearly as much as I thought I would.  I think because I AM eating and eating a lot, I am not hungry.  That processed sugar isn’t making me want more food, I have natural sugars in my body that are keeping it energized and sustained throughout the day.

I am losing weight and inches!  This is no joke, the first week I lost 6 lbs and 10.5 inches.  Stop it.  JUST STOP.  I didn’t believe it at first, even though I can feel the changes.  I think that right there speaks for the program.  And I know this won’t continue at this drastic of a pace, but still it happened and I hope to see some continued results!

So that is WEEK ONE!! 

Some may ask (because I have already asked myself the same things):

“Your only one week in, you are just trying to sell things, that is why you are so enthusiastic about a program.” (Nope. I am not a coach!  And even if I was or become one, what I am “selling” is the happiness and excitement that comes with making HUGE changes in your life after decades of struggling to make those changes.  This is someone who is very overweight and finding something that is working and I am beyond thrilled.) 

“Ok, how can you really love this so much if you have only done it for one week??”
(Because I FEEL and SEE the difference!!  If this is how I feel after ONE week, I can only imagine how I will feel after three weeks or three months!!)

“You won’t feel like this in a couple more weeks, the newness will wear off.”
(I think the hardest part is over.  That first week.  That isn’t at all to say this still isn’t hard, because it IS and will be.  But from this point on every week will get a little better and I am seeing that now!  Even if I plateau again, I am working out…the thing I have been dreading and avoiding since, well forever.)

And believe, I know the excitement will wear off a bit and I will want real pizza and not a pita pizza like I am having tonight.  I know I will want that slice of cake or a hot fudge sundae and not banana "ice cream".  I know there will be days I don’t work out.

But that is the beauty of this…if I can maintain this for at least 90% of the time and have 10% for those extra treats then it is still great and I am still moving forward and being as healthy as I can be!! (90/10 philosophy HERE)


Here are some things I ate this week!!
Look at this weekend lunch!!!

Typical work lunch. 

Went out to eat and made the "right" choices!  tasty! 

Fajita night!!  Limited the oils and had an amazing and filling meal!

Breakfast on the weekend done right!!!  
Goat cheese omelet with sauteed spinach and mushrooms and turkey bacon...with a side of fruit!)

Dessert...YES PLEASE!  
Banana "ice cream" with peanut butter, cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips!

Portabella mushrooms with an egg INSIDE!  
Spinach and grilled chicken, pita and some hummus.  Delicious.



I will post before and after pictures and my final thoughts after the program is over in two weeks!!!


*I say easier, but this is not easy.  I am just getting better with every passing day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Day One – The 21 Day Fix!!


Yesterday I started the 21 day fix.  More about it HERE.

As you may have read previously, I have been in a bit of a rut and my weight loss has stalled.  So I thought this could be the kick start I once again needed.  I also have the encouragement of a dear friend who is the Beach Body coach and about 20 people in our group who are also doing similar “fixes” for the next 21 days!!  So that coupled with the continued support of family and other friends I thought, I NEED TO DO THIS FOR ME!!!

Note: A support group is priceless.  I never use to think that, now I am all like…the more the merrier!  (Online of course.  Never in person.  Can't take that social interaction.)


Now I get I am ONE day into the program, but still here are my initial impressions of what the 21 day fix is all about.  I wanted to write them down now and then go back and see what I think after 21 days.

The 21 Day fix is all about changing your habits (it takes 21 days to make new habits, so they say)  It is about clean eating, working out, learning about proper portions, keeping your body properly fueled, and making a lifestyle change.

Let me say while this program does say you will lose weight and inches, and in many cases a large amount in a short period of time, I would not consider this a diet.  Or at the least a fad diet.  This program could (and should) easily be incorporated into your daily life when you are at the fitness level you wish to be at.  It is VERY well balanced between food and exercise and is more of a kickstart to healthy living.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meal Planning - It Is All About the Prep

So I have been having difficulty losing weight, even on a diet.  I am getting some tests done just to see if it is hormonal or something, but I also am looking to refocus my diet and cut out even more sugars and carbs and work on portion control.

To help with this I will be starting the 21 Day Fix in a week!!  Am I suppose to be excited about that?!?!  So I decided to prepare for that this week by getting back into the more strict lunches and meal prep (the last few weeks I haven't planned as much).  I haven't received my 21 Day Fix yet, so not sure what my portions will be, but either way I planned a healthy and lower carb meals for *most* of the week, at least during the day!

Meal prep in full force for breakfast and lunches for the week!!  I need a bigger kitchen for sure...



Breakfast will be spinach and feta Egg Muffins for the week.  Approximately 105 calories each.

Spray large muffin tin with Pam.  Crack one egg in each and stir to break the yolk.  Add 1/8-1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach and 1 tbsp feta to each egg.  Add pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes or until set.  I will probably eat with a piece of toast, Lovi'n fresh aldi bread, that is 70 calories a slice!!  And of course coffee.



Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!! Breakfast DONE!


On to lunches.  This week I have two different sets of lunches.

Three days I am having salad, hard boiled egg, 2 oz rotisserie chicken, cucumbers and yogurt ranch. Calories approximately 245 calories.


The other two days lunch will be buffalo chicken lettuce wraps. 4oz rotisserie chicken with franks red hot and celery mixed in.  Four romaine leafs, cucumber and carrots with yogurt ranch dressing.  Calories approximately 250 calories.


Snacks will be a heaping cup of strawberries and 1/4 cup almonds.  (50 and 170 calories respectively)

 (Henry loves helping to put together my lunches!!)

So when it is all said and done I have lunches and breakfasts done for the week with extras leftover to eat during the week.


Bottom shelf is ALL mine!!

What I bought for breakfast & lunches:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 large container strawberries 
1 english cucumber
1-3 pack romaine lettuce 
1 small bag of spinach 
Eggs
Bolthouse Yogurt ranch dressing (already had)
Baby carrots 
Celery (already had)
Almonds
Small container of feta


We have a bunch of stuff going on this week in the evenings.  We have stuff with friends a couple evenings and family in town Friday - Sunday and a cookout with friends Saturday!!  Meals in the evening will be a little heavier, but I feel I have balanced them well with my low carb, high protein and low calorie days!!

Dinners:

Sunday - Pasta casserole
Monday - Pizza and Salad
Tuesday - Fajitas
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Breakfast
Friday - OUT - Family
Saturday - Cookout
Sunday - Grilled Chicken and Grilled Veggies

I also have 100 calorie fudge bars from aldi's fit & active line for some of those evenings I need a chocolate fix. YUM!!!

I forgot to track just my food expenses because we needed so many non-food items at the store.  But I estimate about $100 was spent on food for the week (excluding the cookout food).

What are YOU eating this week?!?!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Weekly Meal Planning

Here is a look at this weeks meals, prep from last weeks meals and more meal planning ideas!!  If you missed my last post, check it out HERE.



This weeks groceries, $89.  (sparklers and glow bracelets not included!) Eating out one night (approx $40) plus about $10 at a different store. Total for the week $139.

A large portion of my groceries for the week also included 4th of July items.  Cookies, snacks, and three sides for a cookout.  Because I knew about half my budget this week would be for just this weekend, I planned my meals next week to be some of my lower cost items that I can stretch a dollar, as well as really utilizing pantry items!!

Tip: On the Meal List you keep for meal planning, note which ones are on the lower end of the budget and which one always provide leftovers.  This helps to stretch your money and food.

Meals for Friday - Thursday

Friday - Out (cookies and goldfish for fireworks)

Saturday - Cookout (Taking homemade pasta salad, corn and avocado salsa, watermelon, and "cheesecake" filled strawberries.

Sunday - Pasta with "burst" tomatoes and basil.  Garlic knots & salad on the side.

Lunch prep: I will eat hard boiled eggs, almonds, lunchmeat, cheese cubes and yogurt for lunches.  Will prep on Sunday.

Monday - Portabella Mushroom pizzas (Henry hot dog & mac and cheese) and salad

Tuesday - Stuffed baked potatoes (make extra for lunches for Terry)

Wednesday - Breakfast (veggie omelet)

Thursday - Grilled Cheese and Soup (most items from pantry - easy night)

The meals that I choose this week are very low cost.  Again, I am utilizing my pantry to help from buying more at the store and by planning meals without meat, I have saved additional money.

Tip: If you need to save money on food for the week, make it a meat free (or nearly meat free) week! Eggs or tuna in place are a great source of protein and a fraction of the cost.

Now, I am dieting and when on a diet it is not always good to turn to the more cost effect meals like potatoes and pasta.  However, I make plain baked potatoes to eat instead of the stuffed ones and add my own toppings separately so I can control them.  And the pasta just has roasted tomatoes with basil and a little olive oil.  It is light and when you eat a small amount with a salad it works out greta!

I try to eat real foods, just try to find ways to incorporate them into my calorie count and daily life.

Example on meal prep.

This was last weeks meal prep.  I got all my vegetables ready, I packaged and seasoned fajita mixture for dinner that night, prepped kabobs for later that week, and made soup for my lunches for the week.  All done on Sunday by 11am!!


Ready to prep!!

Shrimp kabobs, prepped for one meal during the week.

Look at the Shrimp kabobs later in the week.  
Had over a little bit of leftover rice pilaf from earlier in the week.

Henry wanted to help...though help turned to eating!!!

When you have extra, use it!!  I had a bag of extra snacking green peppers in the fridge 
that a cut up and used in the soup.


Soup for the lunches, done on sunday!

Rice for soup (if wanted) and burrito bowls. Done!

Fajitas...prepped and seasoned!

Example: Easy pantry meal one night 
Used left over asparagus from earlier night and made an omelet.  Toast, 2 slices 100 calories, asparagus 30 calories, 2 egg & 2 egg white omelet 182 calories = awesome and filing dinner 312 calories!!  Cost, no idea because it is so low...a couple bucks, maybe?!

So what did you eat this week?!  Did you try any meal planning?  Please share!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eating Healthy on a Budget – A Long Post About Meal Planning

Preface.

This is long, sorry about that.  

This may not work for you, so share what works for you!!

These are just my tips, it is all about finding a way that works for you!

.....


One of the hardest things for me when it comes to a diet is planning healthy meals the family loves, while also not going over the budget.  I think we can agree, that sometimes eating healthy can come at a price!  But over the last 6 months I am learning that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.  I have managed to find ways to incorporate a healthy diet for me and for my family, while sticking to our budget.

Now I do have to say, many meals we eat separate things.  My husband works crazy hours so we may not always have dinner with him.  And my son is, lets say, a particular eater.  He does eat healthy, but the list of foods he likes is somewhat limited.  And then there is me who wants to eat healthy and try new alternatives.

I know some are thinking…SO DO YOU MAKE THREE MEALS?!

Uh, not exactly.

But I do prepare meals a little differently.  If my husband will be home for dinner then I make a meal we will all like and share.  If he is not, he eats what he wants (usually leftovers or frozen meals because that is his choice!) and then I make something easy for Henry (mac & cheese with broccoli, canned fruit, carrot sticks, chicken nuggets for example) and then I may make myself something easy like an omelet or salad.  These are easy meals to make for dinner, but also keep all of us healthy and happy!

Tip: Have a list of quick, easy and healthy meals to fit in your regular week.

We also budget to eat out maybe once a week.  We like to eat out.  Plain and simple. 

So, with all that said, I have learned how to eat healthy while staying on a budget.  The major key, for me, to eating healthy is meal planning.  I have been meal planning for over year for our budget, but the last 6 months have found ways to incorporate my healthy eating into our meal plan!



Monday, June 22, 2015

Incorporating a Diet on Vacation and Getting Back on Track When the Vacation is Over!

(I feel this sums up me and my progress and how I am learning as I lose weight)


So this last weekend I was home for the week and of course I "had" to eat at all my favorite food places that I only eat at once a year.

How can I pass up pizza at this amazing pizza shop that uses lots of fresh and local (Amish grown) ingredients?!

Or Chinese at my favorite Chinese restaurant....that just so happens to be a buffet.

After standing outside for 6 hours at the Fiesta tent sale, wings and a drink seemed like a must.

No trip home is complete without cream chicken sandwiches and fried mushrooms served with a tall and crisp homemade rootbeer at the Rootbeer Stand!

And can you really go to the Drive-In movie and not snack on nachos with cheese, popcorn and junior mints?!  Ok, you probably can but it isn't as fun.

And what is breakfast without an amazing creme stick from a local bakery!

So I think you are getting my point.  My trip home revolved around two things.  My family and food.

And when you are on a diet, it can be frustrating when you feel you cannot indulge in your favorite things.

But I made a choice.  I was going to let myself eat my favorite things, but take it easy.

See, when I restrict myself, that is when I hurt myself the most because one of two things happens:

1. I either binge eat, or
2. I get very angry (hangry) that I don't get to eat the things I love.

Yep, I am a bit of an extreme person, but I DO get angry when I want to eat something and don't get it. I wasn't going to go the entire trip and not eat some of the foods that make me happy.  It is vacation and I wanted to enjoy myself.  But I also did not want to avoid the foods and then go crazy and binge one day.

Moderation.

That is the thing I am learning and this is something I am going to have to work on for the rest of my life.  Ask any binge eater....this can be tough.

So when we ate pizza, I had a salad to go with my dinner.

A heavy Chinese buffet at lunch and a lighter dinner can balance out nicely.

Eat a smaller amount or half of the foods you like so you get a taste without overindulging.  So you only need half that small strawberry milkshake, not the whole thing.

If you do splurge on, lets say a creme stick, don't do it every day.  One day is enough.

Drink lots of water!!  Especially if you want to have beverages (like alcohol) in the evening....keep it simple during the day and are not drinking your calories.

Make sure you still have healthy snacks and don't skip meals as you still need that fuel for your body and it will help from overeating later.

And remove the guilt!!!  If you are eating within the parameters you set up, then do it without the guilt.  Enjoy as you shouldn't have those negative feelings associated with food...not healthy.

These are things I tried to do last week.

Was I perfect? Uh hell no.  Who is?  But I tried to be mindful of my diet without only focusing on what I ate.

I don't want my love for food to make me unhappy.  I don't want to be so focused on what I eat that I get angry.  I want to enjoy, but enjoy in moderation.  I want to focus on how I feel when I eat.  ENJOY every bite, even if there are only a few bites.  I don't need everything and all at once...a little bit here and there can make me just as happy.  I want to focus on when I feel full and stop instead of feeling I need to power through that entire bag of popcorn.

Since I started this leg of my diet, I have been trying to be more mindful of how food makes me feel.  How I feel towards food.  My food triggers and knowing how to stop myself.

Vacation was no different.  I wasn't going to throw everything I have learned the past 6 months out the window and eat everything in site, but I also wasn't going to not enjoy those foods I love.  This is part of the learning process.

I think overall I did well on vacation.

And the weird thing is I am excited to get back to my healthier eating.

SAY WHAT?!?!



Yep.  I went to the store and bought my salad stuff and have been prepping my healthier foods for the week.  Even though I am off work today, I picked right where I left off before vacation. 1650 calories a day.  I had coffee and an egg and english muffin for breakfast.  A delicious salad for lunch.  And will have a nice dinner, all within my calories.

I think when you start eliminating some of those foods and get in the habit of eating a certain way, it makes it easier to come back after you indulge.  I treated myself last week and now back to my new lifestyle.  Plain and simple.  I have to make it that I have no other choice, this is just the way it is.

THIS is my new lifestyle.

And for the first time, I am OK with that.


I don't know if I have too many tips for getting back on track after a vacation other than just do it.

Go to the store when you get home and get your healthy foods.

Don't bring excess food from your vacation home...you splurged there but at home you are back on track.  i.e. we don't need to bring back creme sticks from the bakery back home!!

Plan healthy meals full of flavor that first week back or your favorite healthy meals to get you excited to eat!

Make up your mind that this is just how it is.  And the next vacation/special occasion you can splurge again, you just need to be healthier now.

 

 So tell me, how do you handle eating on vacation?!?!  How about getting back on track when vacation is over?!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Am I Hurting My Weight Loss by Eating TOO FEW Calories?!?!


So, I have mentioned the last couple months my weight loss has sorta plateaued.  I would aim to eat 1300-1400 calories during the week and 1400-1500.  On the weekends my calorie count really fluctuated higher and more like 1700-2000…because, honestly I was HUNGRY.

During the week I was tired and had no energy.  Many nights I would go to bed when Henry did because I was so tired.

I lost 24 pounds pretty quick, but as my weight loss stopped, I would get mad and eat even fewer calories and then it seemed like one day a week I would eat close to 2000.  This is still less than what I used to eat, especially when I had a binge.  But still, to eat 1250 calories for 3 days and then 2000 the next seemed to be causing issues and confusing my body more than actually helping it.

I started talking to friends and reading as much as I could about eating TOO FEW calories and the effects.

Everything I read stated things like this…

“When you diet aggressively and make drastic cuts in your daily calorie intake, your body panics, signaling starvation mode; this actually slows metabolism. The best way to diet effectively is to cut 100 calories from what you normally would eat.”

“The truth is that cutting calories below 1,050-1,200 per day is counterproductive, because you need strong muscles to be able to exercise effectively.”

"When you eat too few calories, you lose fat but also precious muscle, which is the worst thing you could do because it slows your metabolism and makes it more difficult to increase exercise intensity or duration,"

“It's one of the most frustrating realities of dieting—if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy…”

Well Damn.

Frustrating is right.

You eat too few calories and you don’t lose weight. Eat too many calories and gain weight.  Eat the wrong calories and you don’t lose weight.

CAN SOMEONE JUST TELL ME WHAT TO EAT AND HOW MUCH!!

No wonder celebrities pay for personal chefs.

But it explains a lot.  It explains why I was SO tired.  Why I always felt hungry.  Why on the weekends I would eat more, because my body is telling me I need to eat more.

And I am sure the back and forth of low low calories and then higher calories was not helping and confusing my body more.

So last week I decided to follow the calorie count that EVERY calorie calculator (even when I manual determine my calories based on good old fashioned math) told me.  For my height 5’11” and weight (a lot!) and being 35 it was NO WHERE CLOSE to 1300 calories.  Infact, that 1300 was closer to someone looking to lose 2 lbs a week who weighs 160 pounds….you know, my GOAL weight.

Sigh.

For me to lose approximately 2lbs a week (maybe a bit more), not working out, I am looking at 1600-1700.

So this is where I am now, 1650 calories.  Not even counting ANY exercise, which I will need to adjust accordingly. 

It hasn’t been quite a week, but I already FEEL better.  I have more energy.  I haven’t lost anything yet, but the fact I am not tired and not thinking about food all the time is a good start. 

I am going to try keeping my calories around here for a month and see what happens.  If I am still not losing weight it is off to a nutritionist to see what they suggest.

Some other tips I have found that I will be using this month:

Eat lots of vegetables to help you feel full.
Drink plenty of COLD water. (cold water kickstarts your metabolism)
Stay busy -- you don't want to eat just because you're bored.
Eat only from a plate, while seated at a table. No grazing in front of the 'fridge. (Guilty!)
Don't skip meals.
Eat every 3-4 hours.
Workout!!!
Eat a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up.

My schedule will look something like this: (approximately*)

7-8 a.m.: Breakfast 250 [calories]
10 a.m.: Snack 200
1 p.m.: Lunch 350
3-4 p.m.: Snack 200
6-7 p.m.: Dinner 650
Avoid eating after 8:30

I am trying to incorporate at least 20-30 minutes of exercise into my schedule.  It has been hard…

Trying to workout...about 15 minutes into it.

…but I will keep trying!

I still like sweets, I like love bread, and chips with any sorta dip cannot be in the house at all. But I still want to eat those things I love and have no plans to give them up…. just eating them in moderation.  I have a near 4 year old I have to cook for who is semi-picky and a husband who prefers hardy foods so I am trying to find ways to make sure we all eat healthy without breaking the bank and cooking separate meetings for all three of us. 

I have learned a few tricks the past 6 months on my diet like buy things like healthy Life bread (35 calories a slice), air popcorn or skinny pop for snacks, and if we eat a higher calorie dinner like pasta or pizza I always include a very large salad.

So I am trying this all again.  Just like my first post on this journey where I said I feel motivated and refreshed…that is me now.  Again. 

"If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started.  And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."  

I have come way too far in my weight loss, my binge eating, the way I look at food to let this little bump in my journey stop me.  I am really hoping by increasing my calories to a more realistic calorie count, working out, and eating every few hours my body will get the kick it needs to start losing weight again!!!  So this may take me a little longer than I wanted, but what is important is that I get to where I want to be…right?!?!



*As I have mentioned before, I adjust depending on what I am eating for dinner.  I plan meals out at least weekly, but normally bi-weekly or a month at a time.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Frustration – An Open Vent…


So, yes I have been missing lately from the blog and most of that is due to frustration.  This is an open vent, to which after I will move on and keep going.  But sometimes we I just need to vent.

In all honesty, I haven’t felt as motivated and therefore felt little inspiration to myself, let alone others. 

Yep, falling back into my old mental blocks and ways.

I am disappointed that I am not where I thought I would be.  To date I have lost 24lbs.  This is good, but not where I wanted to be as summer approaches.  I thought I would be at least 10 more pounds lighter.

I get frustrated that for me to lose a few pounds takes so much work, when some people (like my husband!!!) can lose 30 lbs and are still eating fast food and drinking pop and eating sweets, just slightly smaller portions.  I cut ALL of that out of my diet and try to eat clean daily and eat a low calorie diet and it still takes forever to lose weight.  Yeah, I have splurge days, BUT COME ON.  One splurge day where I still eat reasonable and under my daily allowance shouldn’t mean I don’t lose anything all week.  I know everyone is different and I shouldn’t compare, but I am human and do.

I am annoyed about our schedule and finding time to work out to try to help with the weight loss.  Yeah, Henry and I take bike rides and stuff on occasion, but have you ever taken a bike ride with a 3 ½ year old?  The exercise isn’t in biking, it is how well you can balance on your bike going at a near walking speed.   Walks with him mean we stop every 5 feet to pick “beautiful yellow flowers”.   I already get up at 6am with him and finally have me time after he is in bed around 9m.  The last thing I want to do is spend the 30-40 minutes before I go to bed working out, nor do I want to wake up at 5:30!!!  Are you kidding me.   

I hate how my clothes are fitting incorrectly at the moment.  Some are a bit too big but the size down is still too snug.  So most of the things I wear I just feel uncomfortable.  I just don’t feel good in anything I wear.

I am tired of planning so many separate meals so that we can all eat what we want to eat while I also stay on my diet. 

I don’t like seeing any results in over a month, period.

I know I have to suck things up and keep going.  I WANT to keep going. 

I need to find time to workout, even if it means getting up at 5:30am (barf).

I need to stick with this and think of it as a lifestyle change and not a diet.

I know that things have changed, even beside the weight.  I really don’t know the last time I binged.  There have been a few times I have eaten a second portion of snack foods or more than I probably should.  But not a binge.  Nothing close to that.  That is huge for me, nearly 20 years of binge eating regularly and I am learning to recognize, acknowledge it and control it.  So I know I am making improvements.

But lets be honest, the weight loss is what anyone who is overweight wants to see.  YES, I notice the other things and that is great.  But for me, at my weight, I want to see the numbers go down.  I want to put on the new capri pants I bought in a size down to fit comfortably.

Starting today I am trying something new for the next couple months.  I am going to form a new goal.  Pilates 2-3 days a week and try to walk or bike ride 2-3 days a week.  I will see over the next few months if that makes any difference in the weight loss and my overall feeling.


So let me ask, how do you incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily life/your busy life?  What do you do when you get discouraged? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yes Body, I Am Listening

One of (the many) issues I have had with food is listening to my body.

Am I hungry?

Am I full?

Are there things missing that my body needs?

I think this sorta goes hand in hand (or hand to mouth) with binge eating.  Though binge eating has  mental aspects to why I do it, I have also taught myself to ignore my body and what it really needs when it comes to food.

I have been SO FULL and yet I have just kept eating.

I have gone without eating and been so hungry I scream and cry and act a fool.

I have ignored those items my body needs for a craving of something that i don't need.

But now, I am trying really hard to LISTEN to my body.  Know what it needs and what it doesn't need.  I am retraining myself to stop and listen.  

For decades it has been about my desire for food, the love of food, the comfort of food, the taste of food, the way food makes me feel well before learning to respect food and make it one part of my life and not MY life.

I remember a few weeks into this journey, I started going to bed with this feeling that was new to me.  I was satisfied by what I had eaten all day, but i also had this bit of hunger in me.  For years I had gone to bed after eating a full meal and I was always stuffed, so stuffed I could feel it most of the night.  But this new feeling actually felt great.  So this is what it feels like to not feel stuffed.  So this is what it is like to eat ENOUGH and no more.  

Part of this journey is creating a new lifestyle.  It is keeping my love of food but learning to respect and be aware of what I put in my body.

So what I am doing, exactly?

1. Don't Eat on Auto-Pilot (Also known as mindless eating.)

I am an emotional eater.  I tend to go on autopilot when it comes to food.  But now I have started counting out my snacks based on portion size.  So instead of bring the bag of baked cheetos or almonds to the living room and going on auto pilot with the food and 30 minutes later realizing I ate 3 servings, I count everything out.  Bring out my 34 pieces of cheetos in the living room and eat that portion.  Then I wait at least a half an hour.  Am I still hungry?  Then I get more.  But normally I have been satisfied with what I ate and I move on.

2. Eat When I am Hungry

When counting calories I have had guilt when I go over.  But I have had to learn that some days I am just hungrier than others, while other days I barely hit my calorie goal.  Not sure why, but if I am hungry I now eat.  BUT I now know the difference between real hunger, boredom, or eating because I think I should eat.  In fact, I ask myself those questions to see why I am eating.

3. Stop When I am Satisfied and Before I get Too Full

Sometimes I actually WANT to eat more.  Recently I really wanted food, it was one of my emotional/stressed days.  I was eating my meal and noticed I was satisfied and starting to get full.  I actually got angry with myself that I was getting FULL.  I WANTED TO KEEP EATING.  It was my comfort.  What will happen if I just stop.  What about the food I didn't eat, what will happen to it.  I don't want to wait to eat the rest of the food later.  I want it NOW.

I got mad all because I was full but wanted the rest of my meal.  Logic goes out the door for those moments.  In the past I would have kept going because it would comfort me and I would eat to the point of feeling sick.  But I stopped.  I told myself that I can eat the rest for lunch the next day and it would be amazing!  Yeah, I sorta had to reason with myself like I reason with my 3 1/2 year old.  I also told myself that if I was hungry later, really hungry I could have a snack.  You want to know something, I didn't feel I needed the snack later.  Now don't get me wrong, I wanted a snack because I was thinking about it...but I also knew I was fine.  I wasn't feeling hungry.  I then went to bed and felt good all because I stopped when I was satisfied.

4. Enjoy What I am Eating (aka SLOW DOWN)

Being a binge eater you tend to be a fast eater.  Eat as much as you can in a short amount of time.  With that, it takes your stomach and mind awhile to communicate to each other that you are infact DONE eating.  When I am eating now I really try to slow down.  Put my fork down in between bites.  Taste the food and not rush.  This. Is. Hard. and something I am still struggling with every day.  But I am working on it.  I had some cheesecake the other day and it took me 20 minutes to eat it.  I intentionally slowed down.  Anticipated and then enjoyed EACH and EVERY bite.  Snacks, I eat one at a time instead of stuffing a handful in my mouth.  Dinner I sit and eat slowly.  I am respecting the food and savoring what I eat.

5. Eat What Your Body Wants

I still snack.  I still eat some bites of chocolate every day (thank goodness for Hershey kisses!!) I still eat carbs.  I still drink my lattes in moderation.  But I am also eating lots of lean meats, fruits and vegetables.  I am keeping my diet balanced, without giving up those things that make me happy.  Moderation and balance and eating the things my body wants....just in WAY smaller portions and not all the time.

So this is where I am now.  Learning to listen to my body!!!  And on the eve of my 35th birthday, I am finding that now, more than ever, I need to stop and listen!