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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Calories, fat, and carbs! Oh my!

This is more for me to look back on later but I wanted to jot down what I've been eating recently. The one issue I have with MyFoodDiary is that I always forget to print off my records before closing an account. Once you close your account (i.e. decide to finally stop paying because you haven't tracked anything in 2-3 months and your husband is wondering why you're still paying $9/mth for it) all your info is lost. So while it's great to track everything I don't have historical data on my calorie intake or old weight losses. Since I shy away from announcing my actual weight numbers on this blog I have to depend on my memory of how much I weighed at any particular point in time. So this time I have some back-ups in case I fall off the wagon again and later I want to see what I was doing.

I eat three meals and at least two snacks during the day. Breakfast is one of the three: oatmeal with yogurt, cheerios with almond milk and chia seeds, or egg whites with mozzarella cheese. My favorite morning snack is celery and hummus (always eaten at 10 a.m. and if you ask me what I'm doing at 9:53 a.m. on any given day I will tell you I'm counting down the minutes).

I love this snack. I eat the individual Sabra hummus cups and the crunch of the celery with that is pretty satisfying. But it's important to remember:

Lunch almost everyday has been a salad with the following: romaine lettuce, cucumber, red bell pepper, ranch dressing, and either grilled chicken or chick peas. I recently switched to the chicken to cut out some carbs (even though I know carbs from chick peas are not bad carbs but it was part of my experiment that week). I keep the ranch dressing down to about 1 tbsp and since I don't have a lot of fat otherwise in my diet I don't worry about the fat content in the dressing. I hate salads with healthy dressing so if eating a bit of ranch dressing gets me to have more veggies in my diet I'll do it.

This actually happened the other day! I settled on just smelling the Krispy Kremes and calling it good.
Also, at lunch I'll take my vitamins. I do 1 daily multi vitamin, 2 D3-400 iu, and 1 Super B. The D and B are to help my thyroid issues and I think they do help with overall energy levels. 

Afternoon snack, which I always eat at 2 or 2:30, is always a 1/2 cup of 2% cottage cheese. It's so delicious as well. And dinner is where I'm far more flexible but I plan it out according to what I still need for the day. For instance, we had taco night the other night and I still had the ground beef (90% lean) and refried beans (vegetarian) but no tortilla - I used large romaine leafs as my "shell" and I kept the portions of beef and beans small enough that the calories and fat content stayed within my allowances. It was actually quite good. Also, I have binging issues with chips and salsa so I didn't even let myself taste one chip as I knew the taste would lead me to wanting far more than 1. But if I do have enough wiggle room in my percentages then I can allow myself other (non-binge type) indulgences - such as I had 6 oz of red wine (which actually is not a binge item for me although I do love it dearly) last night with dinner. I've been off alcohol for about a month now and really got to enjoy that glass without feeling guilty about it being "empty calories".

During the day I'm also trying to up my water/liquid intake so after my morning cup of coffee I'll drink about 30 oz worth of iced green tea (no sugar), and then another 45+ oz of water throughout the rest of the day (and yes, I do have to pee all the time as a result - oh well). I still occasionally will drink a diet soda but I'm really trying to cut those down so it's only when the thought of one is driving me mad that I'll go ahead and get one. So far I've only had one each week and am currently motivated to cut it down further after my recent experience with having a large coke zero last weekend.

Finally, I might have a third "snack" but it depends on my exercise and overall allowances. For instance, today (on the day I wrote this post) I'll have a Special K protein shake after my exercise as a recovery drink but I fit in those calories without subtracting my exercise (thus decreasing my overall net calorie intake). When I get further along, or notice my body stalling, I will account more for my exercise calories but for now I have enough "reserves" for my body to use. Disclaimer: this may not be the best thing to do as everything I read says to count in your calories burned as part of your calorie allowance but for right now I'm not feeling so hungry that I think it's harmful, and it gives me a little more buffer room as I'm sure I'm underestimating some of my calorie intake while overestimating some of my calories burned.

When I'm feeling motivated I love tracking my food. I love playing around with the percentages to see what can be added or subtracted to make my numbers go into the "green/happy zone". So doing the extra work is fun and not a burden. The only time I don't like doing it is when I go off the rails or try to fit in a meal that is difficult to track (such as a meal out at a non-chain restaurant).

Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 3 Results and Schedule for Week 4

I don't understand these kind of people either Tina.
First off - Skinny Cow is way worse for you than I originally thought when I decided, "hey, you've had a really good week and that's not too indulgent of a dessert." It was absolutely delicious but then I found out of the 13g of fat, 9g were saturated fat. And boom - there goes my happy green zones for today.

But in the bigger weekly picture it's okay. Overall, my sat. fat grams were low and I did have more than enough net calories left that I should have been able to indulge without guilt. I'm still working through the mental part of it...

Dinner was horrible on Sunday. I hate wasting calories on a bad dinner. And then I also got some potentially bummer news (nothing horrible but just disappointing) and so I ended what should have been a great week on a down note.

And the first thing I wanted to do was feed those disappointed feelings. But I didn't. One, it won't help me feel any better, and two I'll get over this eventually and then be mad at myself for wasting potential forward movement. So without further ado here are week 3's results.

I did something every day for the past week. Sometimes it was just a long walk but every activity burned at least 300 calories. I did do weights twice - which is an achievement because I usually flake out on weights. And I finished week 1 of C210K and got through 2 days of week 2. The jogging portions are hard (which is silly but I accept it) but I made it through each section. I'm a bit a sore and my right knee is achy but the soreness is a sign that things are working - the achy means I should probably use less weight on the leg press until my knees are better able to handle it.

I'm very proud of myself this past week. My average daily carbs were 108g, my goal had been 115g. I handled the lower carbs without too many issues (just cravings at the end of the week). As I said before, my focus isn't on low carbs so while I think the carb experiment was a success on the weight front it's not my long term plan. I can totally get behind cutting out/down breads, pasta, and rice but I don't think it's right to start thinking that legumes and fruit are bad because they up your carb counts. I also don't want to feel like I have to have meat everyday of the week in order to get the energy/protein I need because I am cutting out those legumes. So I'm going to continue to play around with how many carbs I should have. While I'm losing at least 2 lbs a week I'm ok and I think I can still do that while keeping under 150g of carb each day (rather than under a 100).

As far as accurate tracking is concerned I think I'm doing okay so far. If you use that old equation of burning/reducing 3500 calories for 1 pound, my numbers come up pretty close to equaling that. I've started a spreadsheet to monitor that because I know it's super easy for me to underestimate my portion sizes and the "calories burned" counters on various calculators and equipment aren't always accurate. Thus if I come into a week or two where I'm stalling I can switch things up a little.

Weight: 3.6 lb loss - 12.2 lb loss total (boom baby!)

Except for that first day watching my weight on the scale has been a fun thing this week. Every day has been a loss of a few ounces. I made my first mini-goal which makes me super happy. There's still not much physical change but I feel much better about myself and feel healthier just knowing that I'm making the right choices with diet and exercise. I probably need another 10 lbs before I notice any changes in the way my clothes feel. But I did take measurements at the beginning of this week and took a front and side picture of myself so that I can compare it to where I am a month (or two, or three) from now.

Here's usually where I find myself on the sizing chart (approximately):

  • Start weight - pushing the max of a size 16, far more comfortable in 18's
  • 15-20# loss - size 14
  • 30-40# loss - size 12
  • 50-60# loss - size 10

After that? Who knows! I had just started to fit into size 10's at my lowest weight before - but I've saved most of those clothes and am looking forward to putting them on again. But in reality, I don't get too caught up in my "size". I've fluctuated too much over the years to get that upset about being above a size 12. But I will have more clothes to choose from in my closet once I can get back to at least a 12.

My total weight loss (long term) goal is 72# which will bring me to "normal" on a BMI scale. But I really try not to think about the final goal because it seems so far away. Like I said in a previous post, my next mini goal is an additional 15 lbs and this goal will take longer to get to since I won't have the nice 7 lb loss like I had in my first week this first time around. :)

Schedule for Week 4:
Monday - Elliptical and Weights (gym)
Tuesday - C210K, Week 2, Day 3
Wednesday - Zumba!
Thursday - C210K, Week 3, Day 1 (jog 90 sec, walk 90 sec, jog 3 min, walk 3 min - twice)
Friday - Walk and weights video (home)
Saturday - C210K, Week 3, Day 2
Sunday - Walk/Rest Day

We have the July 4th Holiday during this week so I have to figure out how to get my cardio outside of the gym Friday-Sunday (I use the university gym and it closes on long holiday weekends). I prefer being outside but just hope it's not too hot/humid/rainy this coming week (there's a lot of rain in the forecast). I still get activity on rest days but keep it to just a longer walk. I need the movement to stretch out the muscles. Finally, I will consider doing weights at the gym on Thursday instead of at home on Friday as there's a better chance I'll actually do them if I just do it while I'm at the gym already.

Diet: nothing should change too much. I'm happy with the food I'm eating for now (will talk more about this in a future post). Even if it is a lot of repetition it hasn't bored me yet. Mostly I have to figure out dinners that are filling but not reliant on starches.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

One day more....

Only one more day until I can report my 3rd week numbers. So far it's looking good (more on that later).

Saturday ended up being a difficult day for food desires. I overcame but it was not a pleasant day. It started off good but then I made (or was forced into) some areas which made the rest of the day harder.

So waking up at 5 a.m. means that I'm eating earlier than my normal time - this wasn't so bad and in fact I couldn't even finish my oatmeal w/yogurt because I got full about 2/3 of the way through it (mistake 1 - not enough breakfast calories).

After my walk I had a cup of 1% milk as my recovery drink and a bit later I had my normal hummus and celery mid-morning snack. This was all fine.

But then, since I had to work Saturday morning (which was not a thrilling concept) and I had done so well all week I rewarded myself with a large coke zero from McD's. Add to that, the fact that my lunch was delayed until 1:30 (when I finally got home). I've read different studies about the fake sugar playing havoc with your insulin levels and desire for real sugar and thus you want to eat more. It definitely seemed to be true today - maybe more motivation to kick the diet soda habit for good, we'll see. Sometimes that seems far less realistic than me actually reaching my dream weight. :)

I had my normal lunch (although very late) and afternoon snack but I was really struggling. I was only thinking of all the lovely saltine crackers, or goldfish crackers, or ritz bitz crackers, or heck even a bowl of cheerios. I held myself off and waited until dinner but then was STILL struggling post dinner. However, none of it was actual hunger - just the desire to eat more snack type food. I made some mint tea and had a couple "dips" of honey (basically I just squeeze a small amount on my finger so my mouth tastes the sweetness and is tricked out of its need for something sweet).

I'm proud for not snacking - my motivation to hit my mini-goal on Wednesday is very strong. But I'm not exactly in a pleasant mood. I know however that pigging out won't make me happy either so I content myself to go to bed feeling a little grumpy. Also, another achievement was that my children asked for chocolate mini-donuts for breakfast tomorrow and I refused to buy them because I knew I wouldn't be able to avoid them. I know what are worse triggers than others and chocolate mini-donuts are definitely a binge food for me.

Speaking of my mini-goal - just 2 ounces to go (for a full 12 pound loss).  Any more than that will give me some wiggle room for my clothing (although I've noticed that the majority of my clothes don't actually make too much difference in my weight - it's all psychological). After this initial 12 my next mini-goal will be an additional 15 pounds.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Schedule changes? Maybe, maybe not.

*Written Friday evening.

When I initially plotted out my schedule for this, the 3rd week, I planned around my weekend activities - Saturday I have to work in the morning but could hit the gym right after before going home but Sunday was going to be busier with a trip to the zoo taking up a good portion of the day. But then I switched things around and now it's Friday night (after a good workout with W2D1 of C2-10K and then weights) and my legs say - please don't make me do W2D2 of C2-10k tomorrow like you originally planned. Please, please, please!

So I'm thinking I will change things because another tempting factor is that the weather Sunday morning should actually be somewhat cool and a little less humid (we had 92% humidity this morning - I just walked outside and was drenched in sweat). It's much nicer to get my exercise done outside than on the indoor track (but the indoor track is better than the treadmill - I have a preference hierarchy). This means I need to commit to being out of the house no later than 8 a.m. on Sunday but that's the hesitation factor because I don't like leaving the house early on weekends.

Or I could wait until Saturday evening to do my exercise once the sun is fairly low, the rain storm is done, and the humidity is down. But like early mornings it's also very hard to get me out of the house to do something post dinner.

Well, I won't decide tonight when my muscles are still sore. I'll see how I feel in the morning and go from there. But one way or the other I'll have one day of just walking and the other of W2D2.

**Update - I woke up at 5 a.m. (ugh) and it wasn't raining around 7 am so I headed out for a walk around my neighborhood (ended up being 3.36 miles). Tomorrow will be my run.

In other news, W2 of C210K has you running for 90 seconds and then walking for 2 minutes. I found out today that it takes me about 90 seconds to run one lap of the indoor track and since the laps are 6.5 laps = 1 mile that puts the running portion of my session around a 10:00 m/m pace. No wonder I was getting exhausted and my heart rate was too high. Good grief. I will definitely need to make myself slow down as the running portions get longer or I won't be able to last through them.

The weights part of today's workout was a bit smoother than Tuesday. I made notes of the weights I was using and how many reps. There were still a couple of machines where I went too high (I way over-estimated my strength for the Chest Press machine) but I'm getting more used to which machines I want to use and how I should set them up for the time being. If I can ever get more than 30 minutes available (on my schedule) I'll add in a few more machines but as it is I can barely get through the 3 reps each on the 6 machines in that amount of time. Of course I could always add in a third day or alternate which muscle groups I'm working on... (so logical it's crazy!)

Finally - I'm going to start swimming laps again. I'll have to figure out where to fit it in and I'm also thinking about possibly joining a 2 week long group swim lesson to work on my form and such but I do eventually want to do a triathlon again and the swimming would be a great thing to work on in the meantime. I need to buy another swim cap and goggles since I have no idea where my last pair ended up after 3 moves - plus since it's been more than a couple of years the material is probably worn down anyway.

Anyway, just more random musings...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Courage and time

This is one of the filing cabinets in my office. I've had those little sayings for many years and got them more for my students than myself but I happened to look at the combination the other day and thought - "Who are you kidding? This IS for me."

The top one says: "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'."
The bottom one says: "Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

So in combination with my 1/2 marathon sticker I think it's fitting (although I really don't want to train for a 1/2 marathon again - I'm glad I did the four I did but I'm sticking with shorter distances for the time being).

Wednesday was Zumba night - it was fun and only a bit awkward trying to learn the new songs. Thankfully, it's mostly the same moves and I can count the patterns well and know when she'll usually transition so it's not too hard to keep up. But I was a sweaty sweaty girl and had to watch my heart rate in a couple of spots. I'll be able to do these until the beginning of September and then my family schedule won't allow Wednesday nights anymore but I could catch the Saturday morning ones - it's just that I never want to rush out to anywhere on a Saturday morning.

But Thursday morning I woke up aching (from Zumba plus the weights experiment on Tuesday) so I switched my schedule around a bit to just walk on Thursday and do the next C2-10K run on Friday.

The top circle makes me happy!
Weight wise (since I'm doing even lower carbs this week): Wednesday I was up a few ounces. I don't get discouraged by that as I know weight fluctuates a lot and a few ounces is nothing to get upset by. It's just a little annoying since I would rather see DRAMATIC AND SUDDEN LOSS!! Which I know is unrealistic but try telling the other part of my brain to keep calm and carry on. But the high drama part of my brain was fed on Thursday morning when I was down about a pound bringing my total loss thus far to 10.4 lbs.

I have a silly goal in mind right now to be 12 lbs down by July 1st. I call it silly because it's all about my pride. The health insurance plan for my work requires that we do yearly assessments and then health coaching if there's issues (if you don't participate you pay higher rates). Since I weigh too much I always get the coaching (which is rather useless). So I did the online assessment back in March and put in my approximate weight (I was truthful). But I no longer weigh the March weight, this is the weight I'm trying to get back to with the 12 lb loss (yeah, I apparently ate a lot between March and June). So even though I knew I had probably gained weight since then I hadn't looked (ignorance and denial baby!) and at my first health coach call they asked if I was still at the same weight and I hedged - "uh more or less." July 1st is my Doctor's physical where he lists my official weight on their form so I don't want it to be higher than what I had listed in March. See - all pride and silliness.  Right now I feel pretty confident about losing another 1.6 lbs by the 1st. Of course this year's weight will be higher than last year's but that doesn't bother me as much as getting to my March assessment. Knowing that I'll be weighed in though is motivation so I'm kind of thinking about asking my Dr. to make me an early October check up (say 14 weeks later) where we see how far I've come.

For the more immediate future, I can stay on track through July 6th but then that following week will be my first real test of commitment as we're doing a quick trip down to the beach. I'll be eating out more and out of my overall routine. I always say I'm going to keep up with my exercising when I go on vacation somewhere but I never end up actually doing that. So there may be a slight hiccup that week but I'm determined not to let it derail me.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ah weights, I knew you well

So I didn't get around (or rather I didn't get enough energy/gumption/willpower) to doing my strength training DVD workout on Monday as my schedule called for. It just wasn't what I wanted to do at 8 p.m. when I'm already thinking about calling it a night and snuggling into bed.

Instead I got some time on the weight machines on Tuesday after my cardio. I did three machines for legs and three for arms. I made the mistake of putting a leg press setting closer to my older weights that I could do. I think the best I was able to for the leg bench press machine was about 120 so I set yesterday's for 90 lbs. I could still do it but quickly realized that since it's been about a year since I've even done squats on a regular basis my legs were not ready for 90 lbs. I did the other two reps at 70 lbs and that was better but still a struggle. My arms were fine - they're sore but not painfully sore. My thighs/quads however hate me.

Since it's hotter than Hades here this week and I couldn't get an early A.M. jog in on Tuesday I went to my rec center after work and hit their indoor track (6.5 laps = 1 mile). I completed week one of C2-10K and laughed at how tired I was after 1 minute jogging intervals - it's rather sad but I accept it and move on. The pace for the 30 minutes averaged out to be 15 min/miles (this includes the warm up and cool down walk).

Last spring when I started running again after a couple of years off I was super disappointed by how slow I was going (since I was never a fast runner to begin with - even when I was in relatively good shape). But right now I'm not bothered by it. I guess it's because I'm over doing races. My focus right now is just on building up endurance to get back to 6 mile runs. If I eventually do them at a 12-13 min/mile pace I'm okay with that. The speed will come if I keep up with this.

When I first started jogging a few years ago - and I mean "first" since I could never even do the mile test runs in elementary school - I built up my endurance just by how long I could run - I didn't know much about the C25K programs (this was pre-podcast or apps days) so I would just go on the treadmill, set it at 5.0 mph and jog until I couldn't make it anymore. I struggled to get to even a 1/4 mile. I still vividly remember when I got to a full mile. I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell my trainer. He too, encouraged me to not focus on any kind of speed but rather distance. So from there it just built up to how many minutes I could run and eventually to how many miles I could go. I think that once I got to 3 miles it was when I even began to think about pace. Before then it was just a matter of making it x number of minutes or x total miles. Eventually, my best paces were a 10:14 pace for a 15k race and a 9:14 for a 5K race (anything above 15K moved to at least an 11:30 or higher pace). And my fastest mile test was right at 8 minutes. But this was after a lot of training - it didn't come quickly or easily.

So all of that rambling to basically say this time around I'm not worried about the mental games of "Can I do this? Is this even possible for someone like me?" nor "I used to be so much better!!" I know what to do and what works for me. It's just putting the time and effort in and knowing it will pay off. I think my only real worry right now is sustained motivation. The move last summer threw everything off track and a few years ago it was some minor health issues. I'm completely motivated right now but it's only been 2.5 weeks. So here's hoping it lasts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Getting past the hype

First an update. Weigh in Tuesday morning brought me half a pound shy of a 10 lb total weight loss. Good to see after 2-3 days of it staying roughly the same. I know I probably shouldn't weigh in every day but I do and I don't plan on changing. I would really love to be losing 3 lbs a week from this point forward which is why I'm thinking more and more about diet and food choices.

Some say that eating healthy should be simple. And I guess if I wasn't focused on losing weight it could be but I find that figuring out the right combos for optimal weight loss can be tricky. You cut calories but you don't pay attention to carbs, you cut carbs but then your fat %'s are too high, and then what about fiber - am I getting enough fiber?!?

Here are a few nutrition camps of thought that I've either done or have at least considered (of course there are a million variations but I've found most diets follow the main concepts of one of these):

  1. The WW type plan - basically reducing calories and fat. And loves fiber! Doesn't really look at carbs (from what I know - I've only done WW briefly). This plan works over the long term but weight loss can be slower and is decried by many who claim carb reduction is a must and fat reduction isn't as important as people claim it to be.
  2. The NutriSystem type plan - everything is pre-made and packaged for you. As long as you buy their stuff you'll be ok (makes meal planning simpler). However, the downside is you never learn how to eat correctly on your own and I, personally, get caught up in thinking about all the preserving chemicals and sodium content.
  3. The Atkins type plan (including its many variations) - not focusing on calories or fat but on reducing carbs and increasing protein. Upside, weight comes off quickly - downside, it comes back just as quickly when you stop the plan. Further downside - I love carbs and the fat percentages scare me.
  4. Paleo type plan - like Atkins but far more restrictive. So in addition to the other downsides it basically cuts out any food I like and forces me to eat more of the crap I don't like.
  5. Juicing/Fasting type plans - uh no. I like food and it might jump start your weight loss but it all comes back too.
  6. Clean Food type plan - not focusing on any numbers but just eating healthy portions of organic/non-processed foods.
  7. The Biggest Loser/Zone type plan - mixes some of WW and Atkins together but allows far more carbs than Atkins. Calories are restricted and the % of calories (for BL) are 25% fat, 50% carbs, and 30% protein.
If I ever get to the point of maintaining or just being ok with whatever weight I'm at, I'm philosophically more inclined towards #6 - the Clean Food plan. 

For now though, my plan with MyFoodDiary is most like #7 above but the percentage ranges are a bit different. It allows more carbs and reduces protein. However, if you've ever bothered to read my previous entries you know I don't stick with those % numbers exactly. 

I've had great longer term success with this type of plan but the loss per week is usually 1-2 pounds. And eventually I get tired of counting everything so I've never lasted more than a few months. But since I know it works I come back to it.

Currently, my focus is still following the basics of my % plan but cutting carbs (though not to Atkins/Paleo levels). I'm experimenting this week of having an average of 110-115g of carbs each day. This means my fat and protein levels will be higher than previous weeks. I'm curious to see two basic things: 1) what it does for weight loss (i.e. do I lose more this week?) and 2) how does it make me feel?

I have Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism and there are quite a few "experts" that say to cut out all gluten or watch carbs (though one article said not to cut carbs - so confusing). I'm skeptical of the gluten thing - not against it, I'm sure it helps many people but for myself I'm skeptical. So when I say I want to see how reducing carbs makes me feel it's more than how much energy do I have for exercising - it's how do I feel throughout the day.

Cutting sugar and crap out of my diet has already made me feel a lot better so I'm sure this will help too. But as mentioned previously, I'm not for long term carb cutting. Though I'm getting more on board to try and keep the 150g or less as long term.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week Two Results and Schedule

So we went out to lunch yesterday (to celebrate Father's Day) and I indulged a bit with some chicken schwarma and paid the price. Such an unhappy tummy/digestive system.

Two weeks in and I've finally gotten used to (more or less) the lower calorie diet. Not to say that I don't have cravings but it's not the, "good Lord I'm dying I'm so hungry" feeling all day anymore.

We had a really good dinner on Saturday. It was from Blue Apron and was cod on top of a bed of spring vegetables (radishes, asparagus, and fingerling potatoes) with a mustard vinaigrette sauce. Very good stuff. Tonight it's chicken meatballs in a hoisin glaze (my sodium levels will go through the roof).

Didn't quite lose the full second pound like I hoped too (I blame the schwarma) so I'm a few ounces shy of 9 lbs total. I did get in exercise on Friday-Sunday and have started my C2-10K plan again.

Here's my plan for Week 3, exercise wise:
Monday: Walk (a.m.) and weight video (p.m.)
Tuesday: C2-10K, week 1 day 3
Wednesday: Zumba
Thursday: C2-10K, week 2 day 1
Friday: Walk and weight video
Saturday: C2-10K, week 2 day 2 and elliptical (15-20 min)
Sunday: Walk/rest day

My exercise is still fairly low key for calorie burn. The C2-10K program is only about 30 minutes and it's still mostly walking. My other walks are only 2-3 miles. But I'll ramp it up over time so I'm not too worried about it for now.

Food plan is still the same. I'm still aiming for 1200 calories per day since my burned calories aren't substantial.

So all in all not much exciting to blog about, it's just trying to get into a schedule and better habits. And also about being patient about the amount of time it will take to get to my goals - which in the big picture is really not too bad but when you're at the beginning looking forward it seems like a long stretch of road.

But we'll get there.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hit the road

We had been blessed with a cooler summer thus far but are now in a heatwave. Yesterday morning was overcast and I got in a nice 3 mile walk around my neighborhood. Today there were no clouds I about melted after a 2 mile C2-10K interval run. I miss Connecticut summer runs (though not the winter).

I'm starting at the beginning of the C2-10K again. My plan is to do those 3x a time a week, walk the other days, and try to get 2 days of weight training (either the machines/weights at the gym or my video).

Diet is still going well. Weight is still coming off - just more slowly as I knew would happen after the initial bloat release. I'm expecting a 2 lb loss for 9 lbs total in two weeks. A good start.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

C c c cravings

Day 9 on the diet. Just inhaled my lunch (salmon and green beans) and wanted so much more. So I started thinking fondly of my regular indulgences of the past 6 months. First, it was just having a diet soda. I am trying to cut those out of my diet but out of all of my current cravings I figured this was the one I could allow back in with the least consequences. But quickly I thought about this...

Oh you caramel coffee goddess you....

And I know these are horrible for you - I'm not dumb. But the heart wants what it wants. So since my, "Don't think about it - don't think about it - don't think about it" chant wasn't working I instead decided to investigate it.

Here's the nutritional data for a medium caramel frappe (from McD's website):

550 calories are more than a 1/3 of my daily calories, 22 g of fat are easily 75% of my daily fat grams right now (plus the 14g of sat fat would make myfooddiary counts explode). And 78 g of carbs are more than half my carb intake.

And looking at this helps. If I just looked at the calories I could probably talk myself into one with the idea that I could burn off the calories or cut something else out. But making up for that fat and carb intake it so much harder to adjust for without just not eating altogether. And while I love frappes I can't survive on caramel alone.

Monday, June 15, 2015

First week in

So I survived the first week of getting on track for my eating. I lost about 7 pounds total which is awesome BUT there are some disclaimers in the weight loss. Mainly that my high weight was taken under the worst conditions (middle of the afternoon, after eating, and fully clothed). So I think we could shave two-three pounds off of that for a more realistic weight loss.

The other is that while I'm not exactly doing low carb (which I define as less than 150 grams of carb per day) I am doing "lower" carb and am sticking as close to 150 as I can get. Since I eat a lot of legumes, fruit, and things like oatmeal or whole grain cheerios I really don't get much under 150 on any given day. However, I understand that with any kind of lower carb you do lose water weight so I also factor that into the bigger weight loss in my first week.
**Correction - I actually just looked at my carbs for the past 7 days and I averaged around 120g carbs per day so I was much lower than I thought. This isn't a long term plan as I will increase my carbs once my exercise increases. But I still plan to keep the overall percentage as no more than 50% of my total calories come from carbs.

My calorie consumption usually aims for a 2-2.5 lbs loss per week so I know that pretty soon I'll float down to that kind of loss each week. Though I hope I still get a boost in this second week.

Plan for week two:
Pretty close to week one. My husband gets back into town (he was on an extended trip) which will help me with childcare issues so that I can get workouts in but it also means that cooking changes. I'm okay with just eating a black bean burger patty and egg whites for dinner - him, not so much.

We have used the Blue Apron meal service a few times and I've been looking at how to incorporate that into my diet plans. I like the service because it gives us interesting meals but when I plugged in the info I was floored by the nutritional data. One of our next meals has like 45 grams of fat in one serving. I might as well eat Chicken Crispers at Chilis for that kind of fat content. I can play with how I cook it. For instance this particular meal has mashed potatoes that are made with a whole lot of butter and heavy cream - so I can definitely lighten that and reduce the fat and calorie content. We'll see.

My exercise plan is to start a C2-10K program again. I'm still exploring what other things I'll want to do. I have easy access to a nice gym again so I can get group workouts and equipment. It's just a matter of finding something that I will keep doing on a regular basis.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beat it

No really - I'm getting on track again.


Let's hope I can last more than a week or two this time. I'm starting with diet right now and will add in exercise after a week or two (scheduling issues but at least I can tackle what I eat).

I restarted my account on MyFoodDiary.com and while not strictly on any kind of specific elimination or low/no carb plan, I have cut a lot of stuff out. At least initially to cut the addictions. My first two days have been a brilliant success but I know the hard part is coming up. I've been able to avoid the candy at my desk and the chips in my pantry. I've had moments of hunger, real hunger not "I'm bored" or "don't want to feel this feeling" hunger. After weeks of feeling stuffed all the time because I've been eating those feelings mentioned above it feels good. Mentally I already feel better about myself. It's the feeling I can't convince myself of while in the a slump mode but deep down I know.

Just by cutting out the crap and letting my body de-bloat I've already shed 4.8 lbs in two days. I know this is bloat/water weight so I'm expecting a plateau pretty quick but it's always encouraging to see that kind of movement on the scale at the beginning to affirm the choices being made.

Since I don't follow any kind of specific diet my strategy is:

  1. To cut down on carbs and try to keep any carbs that come from grains earlier in the day.
  2. Cut added sugars as much as possible. I still eat fruit and am getting some artificial sweeteners (mostly from Coke Zero) but I plan to cut the sodas out pretty soon too - this is a major addiction.
  3. Up my protein and fiber intake. This helps the hunger and craving issues.
So it's back to lots of cottage cheese, chia seeds, legumes, and salads. For now it's okay - but we'll see how I feel in a week or so.

Until then - my anthem song for today:

Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it 
No one wants to be defeated 
Showin' how funky strong is your fight 
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right 
Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it