Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning weigh ins

Yesterday I stayed within my calorie goals, and this morning I woke up to a .8 pound loss. This isn't uncommon for me. If I've had a long time since I've stayed in my calorie counting goals (it's been awhile), then I will see an immediate loss.

Today I've successfully stayed in my calorie goal again! I'm really excited to see what tomorrow morning's weigh-in will look like.
I had already eaten most of the salad before I thought to take a picture. DELICIOUS!

I am currently enjoying the best salad I've ever made, and most definitely the best mistake I've ever made. I tried to make turkey burgers last night, but the burgers fell apart as they were being grilled. So I treated the meat like the ground turkey it was and created little clumps. I was inspired by last night's Mexican dinner to create a taco salad, and boy is it delicious!

My amazing salad features:
  • 1/4 pound ground turkey (marinated in BBQ sauce)
  • 1/2 cucumber - peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 tomato
  • ounce of cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups of iceburg lettuce
  • 2 tbsp of Trader Joe's Light Cilantro dressing
Total calories: 365

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The difference between 20 and 300

Trader Joe's vanilla meringues are a delicious treat, and at only 1 calorie per mini meringues, not very hard on my calorie budget. That is, until I eat half the tin.

I will eat whatever is in front of me. If I have the whole tin of meringues, I'll eat the whole tin. One of the best solutions I have found to overeating is portion control. I now have dozens of pre-portioned sized treats in my pantry and freezer, including the mini meringues. I also enjoy portions of beef jerky, fruit mixes, and lunches. I just made myself lunch and dinner - both portioned out - for tomorrow and Thursday. If I hadn't divided the portions before I began eating tonight, I know I would have eaten too much - just because it was in front of me.

Without portioning out food, I don't think I could have stayed on track today. This is the first day in awhile where I actually stayed under my calorie budget. And I made delicious tacos with ground turkey meat! (Very easy, and 450 calories for two tacos!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Always hungry

Since I started keeping my meals at or under 400 calories, I've found myself hungry during the day. Previously my meals were about the same as I eat now, but I snacked throughout the day. I have tried to completely eliminate snacking so I will make more conscious food decisions throughout the day, but I've been so hungry!

SparkPeople released a new tool that allows you to track the calories burned through walking. The tool is integrated with Google Maps, and you can develop paths on the map. This is great because a lot of pathways in San Francisco (specifically in Twin Peaks) aren't on the maps. This way I can get a more accurate calorie count on my daily routine.

I had never included my walking in my calories burned before, but with the integration of this new feature in SparkPeople, I tried it. I realized that I burn 600 calories more a week than I thought I did! When I put that new information in SparkPeople, their new program for me had me eating 1,400-1,750 calories a day - 200 more than my current limit! No wonder I've been hungry.

I'm not sure how I'm going to incorporate this information into my routine yet. I could do three meals at approximately 475 calories each, or try to keep myself at 400 calorie meals and enjoy a 200 calorie snack a day. The problem with this, of course, is flexibility. When I have more choices, I generally ignore all my good options and go for the worse food item. But I know I can make this work, and I am going to make it work!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eating in the living room

My new place is gorgeous and has a wonderful DVR player. I haven't had real TV in years, and I'm starting to enjoy lazing about and just watching The Biggest Loser, Glee, Dollhouse, or Grey's Anatomy. I have been enjoying the TV so much that I have started to watch every day, and eat dinner while sitting in front of the screen. With my attention elsewhere, I don't fully enjoy the food I'm eating and will eat more than what I should.

I realized that this was the reason for my weight holding steady this week, despite the 1,200 calorie burn yesterday. While I've had my slip ups (oh nachos, you were so delicious), I thought I should at least see a .2 pound drop somewhere in there. When I thought about it this morning, I realized I have no way of really knowing how many calories I had last night, because I wasn't paying attention to what I was eating.

I am going to try and implement Roni's Rule - no eating in the living room. I have a beautiful dining room table to eat at. I'm trying to adapt to living in a house with a TV and I need to create some boundaries. I am still trying to learn how much TV is appropriate, and what I can and should do while watching TV.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dancing the night away

I should find weight loss as an affirmation of success, but I've unconsciously finding it proof that I need to change myself. I don't want to compromise my personality, but I also want to find the sexy self-confidence of fellow club goers.

Friday night I went out by myself to a club, which is something I used to do often when I was younger. I went out by myself because I didn't think I had anyone to go out with me. Now that those circumstances have changed - and I may actually know people in the club - I find it terrifying to walk through those doors alone. Oddly, having friends has made me more vulnerable to fear, and to thoughts about what I need to do to change myself.

Before I hid under the idea that no one would want to be with me because I was so fat. As the fat is starting to sink away I have been taking a lot of time to try and look at how to improve who I am. This, of course, is under the flawed assumption that I'm not great as the person I already am.

It was really great on Friday to go alone. I walked by the club the first time because I was terrified, but after I walked in I started to feel the the thrill of chatting up people and moving to the music. And it turned out that I knew quite a few fellow Mills graduates and they were thrilled to see me.

I haven't been very passionate and confident lately, and it's really nice to see that return. I am going to try to change my perspective - just because I'm changing how I look, doesn't mean I change who I am.

"I got a perfect body because my eyelashes catch my sweat." - Regina Spektor, "Folding Chair"

Friday, September 18, 2009

Land of food

I have been getting really sick and tired of my morning breakfast. Because I eat at work after my workout, I traditionally eat something boring – cereal, oatmeal, bagel – but I’m never fully satisfied. This week I decided to try out the breakfast Lean Pockets, and I’m really liking them. They’re not as good as a homemade English muffin with cheese and egg, but as a microwavable substitute, they work well. They’re fast, easy, filling, and – most importantly – are under my 400 calorie range (290!).

For filling snacks I’ve been enjoying beef jerky. An ounce is 80 calories, and while it’s not that much beef jerky, it’s very filling. I’ve been keeping it around the house and office to get me through until my next meal.

My biggest food problem is when it comes to dinner – and after. I can do my thing during the day just fine – I’m good at sticking to routines – but once I get home it’s so often lost. I eat and eat and eat, especially when it comes to sweet things. I’ll often crave desserts after dinner, and will snag one of those 100 calories snack packs. Sometimes it’s not all I snag, though. I’ve been trying to be more inventive and giving myself desserts that feel exorbitant and huge, but aren’t so bad. My new favorite is a tablespoon of peanut butter with a serving of Monet crackers (250 calories total). It’s really good, there’s quite a few of them, and it fills both my yearning for starch and sweet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Small problem, easy solution

For the first time in a long time I’ve been feeling more energized by my weight loss journey. It’s all mental - I believe I can do it, so I do it. Trying to make all of my meals 400 calories has helped me a lot, and ironically led me to stop counting calories – in a good way. I know when I go over my 400 calorie limit, and have been taken to only counting the excess. Yesterday I ate two too many cookies, adding about 400 calories over my goal of 1,200. So I hit the gym last night. Small problem, easy solution. Sometimes it’s hard to see it that way.

Biggest Loser is back, and I have started recording it now that I have a DVR. There are the same problems as before – the trainers aren’t kind, exercise is seen as torture rather than fun, it’s overly dramatic, and there’s a ton of competition – but I still like it a lot. I find it motivating. I have always been fat and unable to shop in regular stores, but some of the contestants are fat and are on the verge of not being able to shop in fat people stores. It’s really motivating to see them get it done. I am energized when they fall and get back up, and by the energy they bring to weight loss. The Biggest Loser was a great thing to watch before I hit the gym myself last night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Since figuring out the Normal Meal principle I talked about in my last post, weight loss has felt easier - or at least easier to succeed. I still eat too much at night, but I have a way of quantifying the good along with the bad. I have been pleasantly surprised by the weight I've lost this week.

Despite the fact that last night and the night before I ate too many sweets and starches, I now weigh 2 pounds less than I did last week. It goes to show that one ruined meal - or two or three - does not mean that my weight loss plan is ruined. I find that hard to remember late at night, despaired at the sheer amount of food I ate that day and still wanting more.

In other news entirely, it's almost the Jewish New Year! Which means that Yom Kippur is coming, where you have to fast the whole day. I haven't fasted ... ever. So we'll see how it goes this year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's a meal?

I am very frustrated with myself right now. I've actually been frustrated with myself for the last two months. I haven't been sticking to my plans. I don't eat the right foods, or within the right ranges, and I ignore my better judgments and eat and eat and eat.

The other day on SparkPeople or CalorieCount or one of those sites, I read a question along the lines of, "If I over-eat, should I reduce my calorie intake the rest of the day or week?" The answer said that you should eat normal meals for the rest of the day if you're still hungry. When I was thinking about it, I realized I didn't know what a "normal meal" might be. I have been trying to eat the smallest amount of calories possible, and have no mental mechanism to gauge what's normal after I've blown my calorie count.

So, quite simply, I've decided to cut my calorie target - 1,240 calories - into three. This means a "normal meal" is 400 calories. Of course there's a range here, but it gives me a good idea of what I should be shooting for in a meal, where before it was "Eat as little as possible and still be full". This mechanism allows me to still feel successful, even if I've made bad choices for other meals.

(Picture from Diet Blog's 300 calorie meals)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Working out

I work out every day I go to work. It's just part of my routine. On the weekends I am typically the laziest person you've ever met. Which is something I'm trying to change.

This last weekend I did two very active things, which were fun and I didn't see as "exercise" until later. I went on a beautiful hike up Mt. Diablo, and I went out dancing with my roommates and their friends. It was a great weekend, and I hope to recreate the fun this weekend. (I'm thinking about going on a hike in the Marin headlands). It was a great way to get my butt moving, and just have a lot of fun with friends. I'm looking forward to buying a bike - when my savings account allows - and going biking with my friends who are bike aficionados.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer's back!

And I'm back!

Not having internet really took a lot out of my productivity and weight loss goals. I wasn't able to log my calories (which I do all online), which put a real hit on my weight loss abilities. In the four weeks I was without connection, I didn't gain any weight (yay), but didn't really lose any either.

I'm still not feeling completely motivated, but I read a quote on Roni's Weigh that I found is a goood motivation:

“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.” - John Maxwell

Exactly. I need to just do it. I need to just count my calories, and stay within the range.