Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Don't you think everyone should just get today off?  I mean, this special day only comes once every 4 years!

So, I have to be honest about my progress for February.  If you look at my numbers you'd think that it was just not a very successful month for me.  However, I am glad that I've had this month because a few things have happened that I'm really happy about.

First, the numbers.  As of this this morning, I am down a total of 0.3 pounds for the month.  Like I said, that looks kind of depressing seeing as how I wanted more than anything to beat my January number.  You see, after the first week of February, I started gaining.  And I continued gaining until around February 17th when I finally stopped myself and said "this is NOT working".  I was up 1.3 pounds and needed that to stop instantly.

So I finally did something I'd been planning on doing for a few months now.  I started writing.  I wrote down all my goals, why I wanted my goals (serious reasons not just the "look good in clothes" reason), I wrote down ways I sabotage myself, I wrote down ways I could positively reinforce myself (you know, positive self-talk), I wrote down ways to curb negative reinforcements, I wrote down possible obstacles, I wrote down how to handle people who inadvertently sabotage, I wrote down strategies to deal with urges, I wrote down a mantra, I wrote down ways to visualize my success, I wrote down who I would specifically talk to if I needed help,  and I wrote down EXACTLY what I was going to do if something went wrong and I started failing. 

I wrote down a lot.

I sat on my couch for hours writing all this down.  And after I got thru the list of specifics that I wanted to write, I wrote down rewards.

I figured, why not?

So I made a huge list of specific weight amounts and what I could give myself if I made it.  We're talking a magazine or lip gloss kind of rewards.  Fun stuff that I don't always allow myself to indulge in.

And that's it.  I didn't make some crazy eating or exercise plan.   I just wrote.  I read something a long time ago about the power of writing stuff down.

And I read it every now and then as a reminder of what I'm doing.

Anyway, after that day I followed what I wrote.  For instance, I've asked my boyfriend or best friend to encourage me to make good choices.  I've made sure to take an extra snack to work to eat at the end of the day so I don't go home STARVING and end up ordering pizza or something unhealthy.  When I go on my walks I repeat my goals and my mantra to myself and all that positive self talk.  I just constantly remind myself of what I'm doing.

And while it's not a miracle cure to the hard work that is required it's really helped with my motivation.  So since that February 17th, I've lost .. gasp..  1.3 pounds.


Another awesome thing that I figured out this month is a balance with my eating.  I've kind of figured out how many calories (you know, give or take 50-100) that I need to eat at to see weight loss.  This is HUGE for me.  The only reason I figured it out is because of my diligent record keeping and my daily weigh-ins with the moving average figure.  Seriously, I've posted before and I'll post again, using the moving average is one of the best things I've started to do just in terms of information.

I've also given myself permission to not beat myself up at the gym.  I've always been of the mind set that if I'm not sweating profusely and breathing heavily then it does me no good.  So I let myself off the hook and downed my intensity BUT upped my total minutes.  So, instead of going to the gym for 35 minutes of sprint intervals, I go on a 60 minute walk (not strolling on a flat surface kind of walk mind you - a hilly, walking fast but doable walk).  I find I stress out about doing my walks much less and it gets me outside because we've been having the most AMAZING weather out here.

Another thing that I want to work towards is strength training.  I know the benefits, I know how good it is for me, and I will eventually do it.  However, for whatever reason I can't stand it.  But I'm not going to stress about forcing myself to do it.  Trust me, I have enough stress in my life at this moment.  

 And that's it.  That's my February thus far.  I guess my actual end of the month weight will be tomorrow so I'll record it then but overall I'm really happy with this month for ... mental reasons I guess.

Today's Menu:

B:  protein shake
S:  Cottage cheese, tangerine
L:  chicken salad with whole grain crackers, side salad with light dressing

Perhaps I'll have the vegetarian chili I just made -- it's pretty good.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mama Mia!

I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before but I love Italian food.  And when I say love, I mean the kind of unconditional love that is rare and beautiful.

Seriously, I love it.

This month I've been on an Italian kick and while it is good for my soul it is NOT good for my waist.  I'll admit weeks 2 to 3 were a little difficult for me on the food front.  Lots of stresses and stuff and I didn't handle them too well.  I ate a little more than I should have and went up a tiny bit.  A pound to be exact, but no fear,  I am already on my way back down.

So not to deprive myself I have been trying to find ways to continue to love my Italian and eat it too!

First I went w/ a quinoa risotto.  I don't know if you've tried quinoa before but it's amazing.  It's very reminiscent of couscous in texture and taste but it's technically not a grain.  It's actually a complete protein which, forgive the science for a minute, means it has all the essential amino acids that humans need.  That's cool because usually your complete proteins come from animals, dairy and what you regularly think of as protein.

Anyway, that was my first foray into an edited Italian experience.  The second, was actually not much of a stretch but I always forget how much I love it.

Caprese Salad!

A chopped caprese salad to be exact.  I also added some seared beef and that's what I've been having for lunch this week.  And it's really, really good.  The fresh mozzarella helps to make it taste more decadent than it really is.   I mean, for 1 oz., it's only 70 calories.  Not bad right?

I've been trying to find workarounds for my precious Italian just due to how heavy in carbs they are.  Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a proponent of cutting out carbs to lose weight.  I know I had my South Beach experience last year and that proved almost detrimental to my GI tract so I know that I need them.  BUT, I am also aware that if I could have my way I'd eat 90% of my calories from pasta, pizza and more pasta.  No lie ;)  And that's not good for anybody.

I do have some really good whole wheat alternatives for pasta that I've found after much trial and error (although I will never be fully converted because I just love the white stuff way too much!)

In case anyone is wondering, Gia Russa makes a great whole wheat penne.  You need to cook it a few minutes longer than suggested but it really holds well.  Also, I found De Cecco - they make a great whole wheat spaghetti - again, cook a little longer.

Seriously, they both hold up pretty well.

Today's menu:

B:  Protein shake, coffee, string cheese
S:  PR Bar (pre-workout)
L:  Chopped Caprese w/ beef

I think for dinner tonight, I will have some tortilla pizza!  It's just some low carb, whole grain tortillas topped w/ veggies and cheese and broiled until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

It's cheap, tasty and most important, very filling!

Today's exercise:
65 minute walk

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012

I can't believe it's February already.  I swear it was just New Year's Eve two seconds ago.

So January is gone and I'm down 2.1 pounds for the entire month.  Honestly, the last 2 weeks of the month weren't my best work by any means so I was pleased to see that I came out on top for the month.  I know that doesn't seem like that much and yes, I'm striving for better, but, look at it this way, lets just say I maintained this rate for an entire year - that's over 25 pounds!  I can definitely get on board with that.

My goal is to beat that 2.1 pounds for February.  We're 3 days in and things are already looking good.  And since it's a leap year - I get a whole 29 days to make the magic happen.

Today's menu:

B:  iced coffee w/ scoop of whey protein, whole wheat toast w/ cream cheese
S:  grapefruit
L:  soup, garden salad, carrots

I was rushing this morning while I was packing my lunch and I'm just now realizing that I really didn't pack anything substantial.

The soup is Zuppa Tuscana - my own version of the stuff they serve at the Olive Garden.  Honestly, this batch I made wasn't that great.  It's usually one of my favorites but I'm just not feeling it right now.

Hopefully dinner tonight will be amazing and completely fulfilling.

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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.