Weigh In Wednesday – July 10, 2013

Down one pound this week. Slow and steady and stay motivated. I am learning so much about myself – my strengths, my weaknesses, my goals and desires for the future.

Because I have not put a time limit on this journey, because I am not on a diet, because this is about changing my mind and not just my body, I have a totally different outlook and reaction to challenges and setbacks. It’s still hard when I only lose one pound in a week, despite that being my goal, but I don’t respond by giving up. There is something that has switched in my mind and I’m not quitting.

There are still so many issues I have with food. It’s ridiculous, but I know that it will change. Like any addiction, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be completely free from compulsion in regards to food, but I do know that in time, it will not consume me. It’s hold on me will lessen and I will be able to enjoy food for its taste, for its power to fuel me and not for its ability to momentarily numb pain or cover emotion.

I’m thankful that one more pound has gone, but mostly I’m thankful for a healthy journey that is changing my life.

Healthy Tools – Spark People

I discovered Spark People a few years ago. I started using it to track calories and then workouts. Eventually I also started tracking other goals as well as weight and measurements. I love it. There are so many great features and so many areas I have yet to explore. There’s a great community section with teams and personal pages.

I love that I can save favorite foods and workouts. I can also input foods that aren’t in the database. It has a great app as well that I can use on the go for my phone and tablet.

I’ve used more and less features as needed. For me, at this point in my journey, tracking calories is very important. I can imagine a time when it won’t be as important, but for now it is and I’ve found Spark People to be an amazing resource. It’s also far more than a calorie counter. I’m still getting to know the site and all it has to offer. There are many inspiring success stories. I love that you can join teams and take part in challenges. You can find buddies if you need to, but it’s also ok to just hang out by yourself and use the tools that are offered. Did I mention that it’s all free?

If you are on Spark People already, feel free to look me up. My user name is Melncolyspark.

spark people

This isn’t a sponsored post, I just wanted to share one of the tools that I am using along the way.

Salad Days

Let’s talk salad. I eat a lot of salad. I love salad. I love the tastes, the crunch, the variety, and I will admit that I love that I can eat a lot of it for a few calories. I am not far enough along on my journey to a healthy relationship with food that I don’t still desire to feel like I’m eating a lot, feeling full.

Most days for lunch, I have a salad. Not everyday, but most days. It’s easy, convenient and lovely in the Summer. I start with a base of lots of lettuce – usually romaine. I add a couple tablespoons of salad dressing – I make my own or I buy one without hundreds of calories. Then I will add some other vegetables – celery, bell pepper, tomato and green onion are some of my favorites. Sometimes I’ll add canned or bottled other things as well – hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, beets. Finally, I add my favorite thing – protein! Meat! I love meat. I use canned tuna and chicken, leftover meat from dinner, chicken breast strips, lunch meat, ham. It’s all good.

This is what a usual salad looks like along with the calories.

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salad calories

So, the other day, we were at Walmart at lunch time and I wanted a quick, convenient lunch. I let the boys pick out some Lunchables – bleh! They enjoyed it. I decided to get a packaged salad – I was kind of excited about it – different flavors, all calories counted for me. So I started looking. There were three ranges – small, medium and large. Pretty much three flavors in each size – cobb, chef and southwest. I looked at each of them and eventually chose the smallest. It only had 190 calories which is much less than I usually have at lunch. It tasted pretty good, mostly due to the creamy, Ranch dressing I imagine. I do miss creamy dressings – cannot justify those calories. Anyway, the medium size was barely bigger than the small size and had 50 more calories. Here’s the kicker, the large size which looked to me to mostly just be more lettuce and a bit more toppings was 540 calories! I am not going to spend that many calories on a store-bought salad. Arg. I have no idea what jacked up the calories so much – dressing? a bit of creamy dressing?

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From now on, unless I’m desperate, I will stick with my own salads.

Weigh In Wednesday – July 3, 2013

Phew – it is hot here! I know it’s not as hot as it is in some other parts of the US, but it’s too hot for me. Especially with no air conditioning. Sigh. I’ll deal with it, but it’s not much fun.

So today, at four weeks and two days into this journey I’ve lost a total of 10 pounds from starting weight and 12 pounds from my highest, non-pregnant weight. That’s two pounds in the last week. I’ve taken probably a week’s worth of days “off” – simply not counting calories. Most have been moderate, a couple of bingey days.

I’m super pleased with my results so far on the scale. I’d like to feel more in the way my clothes are fitting. However, I wasn’t really wearing tight-fitting clothes before I started so it’s not the greatest of indicators – I think I am just anxious to start wearing more of my clothes and I’m not there yet. Of course, trying clothes on or wearing anything other than the minimal basics is not very appealing.

Feeling thankful these days. I very rarely have any stomach or bowel pain anymore. I am sleeping better though the heat makes that tough. I am getting up way too many times in the night because of all the water I’m drinking!

I am happy at the moment to not push myself overly hard with my exercise. I get up at 5:30 am on weekdays and do my stationary bike for 30 minutes on a program that involves a gradual uphill until the last 12 minutes when it starts downhill. When it’s cooler, I have been pushing myself to do 10 miles, but with it being so hot, I do just over 9 miles. When it cools down again, I think I will need to start pushing myself some more.

Monday, Monday

So I know the difference when I am just not counting calories and when I veer into bingeing territory. I took some time off this weekend and I started off with just taking it easy, but by Sunday I was bingeing. I didn’t necessarily eat a lot, though I certainly consumed more calories than I usually do. I was eating and I wasn’t hungry, I was eating and it was because I wasn’t tracking that I wanted to eat everything I don’t usually have in a day. I work hard to not deny myself anything I want – I just save the calories. I just can’t have huge portions or have it all in one day.

I get so fed up with food addiction – it’s such a lame thing to be addicted to. Not that I want to be addicted to anything else, but it’s so frustrating to be addicted. The lack of control over is so hard. Why can’t I just not put the food into my mouth?

Anyway, I’m still struggling a bit today – not bingeing, but I’ve grabbed bites here and there. Bleh.

I am encouraging myself and deciding that one or two days of overeating doesn’t mean that I give up on the whole thing either for the day or for the week or for the year. A few bad choices doesn’t ruin my chances of success.

Making good, life-affirming choices for the rest of this day. One moment at a time.

Summer Party Pooper

So Summer is my least favorite season. There are things I like about it – plants growing, lots of fresh fruit and veg, swimming, barbecues, relaxed schedule. Now if we could have all those things while never going about 65F, I’d be a happy camper.

I am super blessed to live in an area where Summer comes late, as in, it’s only starting right now for us. Many houses, including ours, don’t have air conditioning because it usually cools down quite nicely at night and doesn’t stay super hot for long throughout the year. Still, it’s not my favorite.

I don’t like being hot. At all. My exercise suffers – I still do it, I just don’t push as hard. I feel uncomfortable. Bleh. Whine, whine, whine. Let’s not even go into finding Summer clothes that are 1. Attractive, 2. Cool (temperature) and 3. Cool (style). Sigh. I wish I could enjoy Summer more. I know that dropping pounds will help that some, but even if I could walk around in a bikini all day and look amazing – I still don’t like being hot.

Anyway, at three and a bit weeks into this journey, I’ve lost 8 pounds. I didn’t do a Weigh In Wednesday as this week has been super busy. It feels good. I still haven’t noticed a big difference in my size, but I certainly feel better health-wise. My gut doesn’t hurt at night, I have more energy – not heaps more, but more and I just feel good.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is a slow and steady journey – one that will not end, no matter what size, weight or shape I end up at. I simply can’t go back to that life of bingeing and fear. While I know that I set out to have a slow and steady journey, I still want it all to happen so much quicker than it is happening and that is with pretty impressive losses so far. I just want to be able to wear all my clothes!

I continue to move forward. Eat less, move more, but mostly eat less. It’s simple, but not always easy. I’ve had some issues with hunger lately that I’ve never encountered before and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. I don’t want to ignore my actual physical hunger, but I also want to stick with my plan. I need to think about it some more.

Also frustrated with the fact that I was on my plan the other day, had a skinny mocha with friends and still gained weight that day. I guess that’s part of the problem with weighing everyday. I may give that up at some point, but I’m not ready yet.

I’m still here, I’m still motivated, I’m still excited about the future.

Skinny Friends

I very rarely talk about my weight, my food struggles, my “diet” with anyone outside of my family. I’ve read different opinions on whether to talk about your efforts to lose weight with people. I’m a very private person, so I don’t usually talk about it.

I have friends of all different sizes and fitness levels. Some are always on a diet. Some seem to fluctuate a few pounds up and down without too much effort. Some are super fit. Some are super losers – friends who have worked really hard and lost significant amounts of weight. Some are naturally thin – making no effort to be fit or watch what they eat and still stay slim.

When I’m in the middle of a bad spell – bingeing and hiding, I don’t really want to hear about anyone’s weight loss efforts or struggles. When I’m in a good place, I can gain a lot of inspiration from others. I’ve been making a point of checking out a few of the weight loss blogs that featured on the Diet to Go Most Inspirational Weight Loss Bloggers of 2013.

Anyway, my boys and I met up with a friend of mine and her two kids for a playdate yesterday. She’s gorgeous. Truly gorgeous. I mentioned that I had been trying on some clothes that morning that hadn’t previously fit and she asked what I was doing. I talked about my workouts and a bit about my food plan. I talked about my struggle with diets and how I was determined never to go on a “diet” again. It was refreshing to talk about, but then she started to share about her own struggles. She loves to eat, she loves food – that’s why she works out so hard, so that she can eat. She said it’s getting more difficult as she gets older.

It was so comforting and liberating to talk about it with someone who is not family, who understands and who will not judge or blab. I’m not ready to go sharing with everyone I know, but I see the benefit of sharing with people you trust.

I’m thankful that we are not all the same, that beauty comes in every shape and size, that we are all human and we all have our struggles and that we each have an opportunity to encourage others. I’m thankful for my skinny friends.

Weigh In Wednesday June 19, 2013

Two and a half weeks into this journey with half a week “off”, but not crazy off and I’ve lost 6 pounds. I like the idea of saying “released” 6 pounds, but it sounds kind of cheesy. I am determined that there is no going back. My goal is to lose 58 pounds. I’ve lost 6 so that means that if I stick to my goal of an average of 1 pound a week, then one year from now, I will be at my goal weight. Summer will look quite different.

I actually took some time this morning to try on some clothes in my closet. I haven’t lost much, but I know I am feeling more confident, because I actually enjoyed it and am looking forward to trying some new outfits soon.

I do feel the desire to rush things, to lose it all quicker than my plan, but I am also feeling strong.

Monday, Monday

I took a few days off of posting – last week was super busy as my son was finishing up kindergarten and the same day we headed off to go camping. I didn’t track calories while we were gone, but I am pleased to report that I had a less than one pound gain. I made sure I took more nutritious snacks and we only prepared breakfast and dinner. It felt good to be able to go away and not be on a plan, but still maintain. I didn’t feel out of control most of the time.

I did fall into the Last Meal trap on Sunday night, knowing that today I would be counting calories again. I ate when I wasn’t hungry and more than I needed, just because I was going to be stricter again today. I didn’t enjoy it, it wasn’t satisfying at all. When will I learn? I do love fresh starts though. January and September are my favorite months because of that and Mondays are one of my favorite days because I can begin again.

I am excited though to still feel motivated and positive. The road before me is long. I am entering my third week, so two weeks under my belt and I feel good. I will report on my total loss on Wednesday.

Summer’s Coming

I really dislike exercising when it’s hot. I live in Central Oregon and it doesn’t get terribly hot here, at least not for very long. Many houses, including ours, do not have air conditioning. I get up at 5:30 am to ride my stationary bike for 30 minutes. It’s definitely warming up and it’s about 74 degrees in the living room in the morning. I open the doors and windows and it helps, but it’s still too warm.

I definitely don’t/can’t work out as hard as I usually do. Sigh. Still, I’m doing it. I have never regretted a workout that I can remember. Even when it’s difficult, it’s always worth it.

Still feeling good about this week. Thankful that it’s been “easy” so far – it’s a nice way to start out.

You’ve probably seen this quote flying around on blogs and Pinterest: “It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks. Don’t QUIT!”

I actually think it’s a great quote though I seriously doubt there’s much science behind it and who knows who actually said it in the first place. I’m not feeling a lot of change in my body as far as size goes, but my gut sure is happy. I usually have stomach pains most nights and that is gone. I am certainly sleeping better and have a better outlook on life.

I’m excited to see more changes in my size though. I have a wardrobe full of clothes that are just waiting to be worn.

I’ve actually mentioned a couple more of my reasons for losing weight. The health of my gut and to be able to wear every item of clothing in my wardrobe. I seriously have some amazing clothes – I love vintage and unique items. Whatever my size, I always try to dress creatively, but I could do so much more with all the rest of my cool clothes.

I’ve had a few stressful things happen this week and I wasn’t overly tempted to eat in response. I am definitely an emotional eater – it’s my go to drug of choice. That will be the hardest thing for me, I know. Working on different coping skills.