Monday, February 23, 2015

Four Day wins?

I love Martha Beck's books and I've been reading her "Four Day Win" "thinner peace" book on and off for a while.

Now I want to combine some of that philosophy with some of the things I'm picking up in the flexible dieting books I'm reading.

So, tomorrow is day one of a four day challenge.

This challenge is "Make better food choices"

1) Eat mostly (80%) whole, minimally processed, nutrient dense, filling foods. (four days = 12 meals * 80% = 9+ meals)
2) Eat a variety of Fruits and Vegetables 5-10 servings
3) Eat a variety of Animal Products

All super easy to do at this point.
I'm trying not to say "I failed" ... again

I'm trying to think of it as, "I've found something else that doesn't work for me."

The problem is it didn't work for me the other two times I tried it, but I did it again anyway *sigh*.

In acknowledging that what I'm doing isn't working, and that what I've done many times over and over again isn't working either I had to sit myself down and figure out some stuff.

First, I started thinking about the more recent times I actually had lost a significant amount of weight...

There was MediFast, super strict food control and quite a bit of exercise (I was doing triathlons almost every weekend) 50+ lbs of weight loss that lasted.. almost no time before I was heavier then ever.

Leanness Lifestyle, super strict food control and quite a bit of exercise 50+ lbs that time too - I 'maintained' a few months while I tried to lose more weight before I lost the 'fight' and gained all the weight and more back again.

Body for Life,  strict food control and daily exercise again I lost a lot of weight 40 or 50 lbs but weight loss slowed and then reversed an a very short amount of time.

Then there was that one time, I ate what I wanted, hardly exercised at all lost a lot of weight and kept it off for a year....

My brain keeps going back to those days -- what was different!?  I wasn't at my goal weight but I was pretty happy with how I looked and felt, and it was effortless.  The only thing that was 'different' about that time then any other time in my life was, I was single, I was living for no one but myself, I was happy.

Now, losing 50 or 100 lbs isn't worth getting a divorce over -- BUT that time at least gives me something to think about and shows me that I have it in me to lose weight and to keep it off for more then a day.

So next I started thinking about what WOULD my ideal diet plan look like.  I've realized that the strict dieting I've done in the past has lead to horrible rebounds and I've suffered from "famine brain" as Martha Beck calls it in her book.  I also knew that 'free eating' didn't really work for me (except for that one time, but as I said I'm not willing to leave my husband to lose weight)  I started a list and here's what I came up with.

My ideal weight loss program:

  • Generally low carb because this seems to be the plan that makes me feel the best (meat, cheese, nuts, veg)
  • Low calorie is ok, but not so low that I feel terribly hungry all the time
  • The ability to have a treat now and then without it blowing out my program or preventing me from losing weight for an entire week
  • Some flexibility (can eat at a friend’s house or restaurant easily)
  • 0-10 minutes of prep time required for each meal.
  • Not huge amounts of pre-planning required
  • Can lose weight without doing hours and hours of workouts (though will support these workouts if I choose to do them)
  • No requirement to eat constantly - as few 2 meals a day if that's all I have time for.

No problem right?

Body for Life was probably the closest to these - so let me check out the pro's and cons

Six meals a day is really too much work and too much thinking about food.  I hated constantly watching the clock waiting for my next meal time to pop up.

The planned free day is exactly what I'm looking for as far as 'allowing' treats. I think I got into trouble when I started trying to justify "two free meals" or some other form of 'allowed' junk foods.  I also hear my inner wild child, or my feast beast or my famine brain saying.. "But what about when they serve cake at work, if you only get one free day, then how do you get to have your cake?"

But then if I just say, free food anytime you want it, I'm not dealing with emotional eating

So I'm trapped between:

Super strict dieting sets off the feast beat - I can only keep it caged for so long before I snap and eat everything I can get my hands on for days on end (or longer). And I'm stuck on a yo-yo of losing a few pounds then putting them back on again plus a few friends.

No food restrictions means that I eat whatever I want whenever I want.  While my binging episodes go down some, I still have the unhealthy habit of eating my emotions and I slowly and steadily gain weight...

The simplicity of, "Eat a palm sized portion of protein and a fist size portion of carbs" is really close to what I'm looking for - no food logging!   Who couldn't walk into a restaurant or a friend's house and figure what to eat with those simple rules.  But that simplicity also lead me to eat a very boring diet.  Every night I would come home and throw some chicken in a pan, put some veggies on top of it and stir fry that with rice.  Every day at lunch it would be a salad with some chopped chicken on top.  There has to be a way to have these same rules but modify them in such a way that I don't have to count calories or carb grams and still feel like I'm eating for my goals.

There was also the fact that I started really undereating - only eating around 700 calories a day in fact -- that of course lead to a really big binge/rebound eating.

Anyway... I've picked up some new books and I've dusted off some old ones to try and figure this out and put a new lifestyle in motion.

The two I'm using to set myself up an eating plan are "Flexible Dieting" by Armi Legge and "A Guide to Flexible Dieting" by Lyle McDonald.  I'm hoping these can help me get some insight into creating a plan where I can limit intake enough to see progress, but not so much that the wild child starts going crazy and takes over my life (again).

As an aside here - remember when I talked about how when I was single for that year my weight loss was effortless?  Well one other answer to that could be because I let my wild child out a LOT back then.  She got to have her way in so many other ways that she didn't have to resort to food as her only outlet for having fun.

I'll come back and post more when I have a more solid plan!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

I know, it's a little late, but what can I say?

My Diet 2 Go experiment start out great.   Then the holidays hit... after that I was back to my starting weight again.  I've pretty much floundered through January and now, here it February and I'm looking to hit it again. I restarted my Diet 2 Go subscription and I was in for some pleasant surprises.  They've added a lot of new meals since the new year and added a lot a variety into the substitutions section.  This is good for me because I'm pretty picky and there were a lot of meals I was substituting and at one point I ended up skipping a while week's worth of breakfast because there was nothing I liked.  The good news is, they don't charge you for meals you've skipped but it meant I had to figure out what I was going to eat those days instead.

So that seems to be resolved now - I went back through the 5 weeks of meals and there isn't a single one where I can't find something I would eat.

This morning my day started with the Diet 2 Go Cheese Omelet which consists of an "Egg Puck" (tastes better then is sounds), cheese, spinach, bacon and salsa.  I throw out the salsa cause I don't eat tomatoes or onions, but the rest got nommed up!  I like the Diet 2 Go eggs, the bacon is good and crisps up nice if you cook it right and the spinach... well it's spinach.  A little salt and pepper and all's good.

Lunch (which I just finished) was Chicken and Bacon Cheddar Melt.  This is a portion of chicken topped with cheese and bacon, spinanch and Broccoli in what they call a "Cajun Cream Sauce".  The chicken was fantastic, the spinach was, again, spinach and the broccoli.  Well, I don't know what they put in the cajun cream sauce but it tasted like someone just soaked everything in vinegar for a long while.   When this comes up again I'm gong to rinse the broccoli off before reheating and HOPE that it's salvageable.  Everything else was tasty enough that this meal is staying in the rotation.

Dinner tonight is Chicken Roma, but I'll review that tomorrow when I post after lunch (at least that's the plan).

On the exercise front.  I made a go of it for a week at the beginning of January, then haven't managed to drag myself out of bed early since then.  I did, however, sign up for a Go-Go Burlesque dance class on Monday nights and I've made every one of those classes.  It's been loads of fun and I'm saving up to re-up when this 12 week series is finished.  I'm struggling to find something else that I enjoy enough that I WILL NOT MISS it no matter what!  Maybe a different dance class every night?  I doubt my husband would like that though.  I really am stuck here.  I have a really hard time getting up early and my evenings are pretty full - (I commute 2 hours each way 3 days a week).  Trying to work out at lunch time hasn't worked for me yet.  Unless I have some sort of appointment I tend to put off leaving my desk until it's too late and it's time to go home.  I'm going to have to spend some more time getting creative in this regard.

As for weight - well, as I said I'm back to my starting weight :(  BUT I do feel fitter and a little thinner around the waist so maybe those dance classes are paying of in some way.  Here's hoping!

I'll be back tomorrow!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Aaaaaand I'm back!

Had a great run with the Diet to go meals - lost over 13 lbs.  then the holiday's hit and I ate everything in site.  Pretty much back to square one, but I'm not upset about it.  I knew what I was doing when I sat down and ate.  It was the choice I made to enjoy the holidays that way.  Now I'm back to it.

AND I've got a great plan all lined up and I'm actually feeling a little excited about it.  The success from the Diet to Go felt good and reminded me that "You Can Do This!!"  And I can.  So it's back to "Paleoish" eating and lots of exercise.

I'm going to do Triathlons again!

That's my goal at least.  I've got a plan that looks like this

M - Swim
T - Run
T - Run
F - Swim
S - Bike
S - Bike

On top of this I'm planning on doing Weight Training M-F and for the next twelve weeks I have dance class on Monday evenings.

I know, it seems like a lot but actually swimming's pretty easy on the bod and still burns a lot of calories.  I'm only running two days a week to limit the wear and tear on my joints while I work on losing some of this weight and I'm biking the two days a week I can hope for a little bit of sunshine to bike in.  Plus my husband is training for an EPIC bike ride so I can ride with him and keep him company those two days. (Hahahahahaha - like I can keep up)

Anywho... Swim and weight workout is done - going to leave for dance class in just a little bit and I'm high on life.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Aaaaand It's Friday

Weight was good this morning - pretty much the same as yesterday

Since today is my most favorite holiday in the world... I skipped the gym so I would have time to dress up for work.

It was worth it cause everyone loved my costume.

including me...

I can't wait for next year when I'm in better shape and I can play even more with costume ideas.

Food has been alright.  My only disappointment was my lunch which was supposed to be a turkey patty, but was so stuffed full of onions I couldn't eat it.  But I got my vegetables at least.

And that's about it for the day.  The challenge tonight will be to get through the party/show without drinking all my calories for the day.  I'm sure I'll manage :D

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A post about nothing

I feel a little weird, posting this way about.. .well, nothing.  The only reason I am is because I promised myself to write in my blog every day.

I used to write in my blog every day without a problem.  In fact it was practically a NEED for me.  I was learning about myself, about my limits about my aspirations... I was charged up and charging forward... and I think afraid.  Afraid that the fire wouldn't remain.  And it didn't.

Now... well I really don't have a fire.  This new "Action" face I'm in seems to be really calm and practical.  I'm not celebrating every win with a happy dance.  I'm taking it more matter of fact and you know what, that feels good to me.  It's a similar feeling to when I gave up diet pepsi (and all sodas) back in July.  There wasn't some big fan fair.  I didn't count down the days until my 'last day'.  I just looked around one afternoon and discovered I hadn't had a diet pepsi all day and though, huh, I wonder how long I can keep this up?   It's Oct and I still haven't picked one up and frankly, don't feel the need to.  If this journey with my weight loss can be like that.  I'll be so grateful.

So in  way I kind of want to celebrate the 'nothing to post about' moments.  Revel in the fact that a clean eating day is nothing to be excited about, it's just a day.  It's time to find other things to be excited about.

first off - the food is still good.  I'm enjoying it so much that I added meals for my husband to my plan.

Dinner: Crab Stuffed Flounder, Cauliflower, Creamed Spinach, Green Beans - OK a little fishy for my taste and had some crab shell left in it - but it was ok.
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Spinach, Cauliflower - this was a repeat from last week.  The Spinach was mixed in w/cream cheese and was a little.. thick before.  But this time I left it in the oven longer and it all melted and mmmmmmmmmmmmm. so good!
Lunch: Hamburger with Swiss Cheese, Creamed Spinach, Green Beans - again spinich mixed with cream cheese, but this time I had the gist of it.  I left it in the oven long enough to melt all the cream cheese and that plus the swiss cheese plus hamburger.. heaven!

Weight - I'm officially below 250! yay!!

Made it to the gym this am and did squats and did a 30 minute walk with the dog at lunch, so I'm all set here.  Ready to party (reasonably) tonight and enjoy the rest of my day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another successful day

So, things are going great.  Really not much to report here.  It's actually kind of nice not to be on that roller coaster of really low and really really high.  I'm just putting along and I'm fine with that.

Weight today was 250 - down a little.  I'm teetering on the edge of that decade mark and I'm just sitting here waiting for the 'woosh' to came and be past it.  I was checking some stats and I haven't been under 250 since May of this year, so I feel like I can gain back six months of my life if I can get over this hurdle.  I'm not stressing about it - just looking forward to it.  

Made it to the gym this morning, but still didn't have as much time as I would like to be there.  Did a simple bench press routine that took me 1/2 an hour and then left.  I'm hoping to get in at least a 30 minute walk when I get home.

As for food...

Dinner last night was Chicken Breast with Bacon and a red pepper sauce.  I wasn't a fan of the sauce too much, but the veg was awesome.  For the first time I got what I felt was a 'bad' piece of meat.  It was just so rubbery that my teeth were bouncing off it and when I did manage to bite through the texture was terrible.  BUT the second piece of meat in the same package was fine.  So I guess it was just one of those things.

Breakfast was a repeat (Cheese omelet w/spinach and bacon) and was as yummy as every.  I fixed it at work and my coworkers were all jealous because it looked and smelled so delicious.  I could probably eat this every day and be happy with it. 

Lunch was a 'working lunch' and they provided food for the office.  Luckily (as usual) it was mostly stuff I didn't like so I didn't mind eating my own food.  it was (Chicken Pesto Cheddar Melt, Broccoli Florets, Cauliflower, Mustard Greens)  perfectly good and didn't feel deprived of my free lunch at ALL.

And.. that's about it for me for the day... here's to anther win in the books!