My Food Rules

Discovering the path the health by creating my own rules

Archive for the category “Weekly Weigh-In”

Weekly Weigh-In: Chaos!

If you’ve been following my blog, you may have realized that I didn’t write a post last week about my weekly weigh-in.  I did weigh myself, I just didn’t have time to actually write the post, so this week is going to be a two-for-one.  Last week I weighed-in at 143.  Not a complete shock that there was a bit of a gain after a 4-pound weight-loss the week prior that didn’t really make sense to me.  This week I expected it to be about the same – I had indulged a little more than necessary and exercised my heart out, which usually equals no gain/no loss.  But when I weighed in yesterday, the scale read 146.6.  WTF!?!?  How is it possible that I gained 5 pounds in two weeks?  Just for the sake of curiosity, I weighed myself this morning and today I am 144.4.  Clearly my body has absolutely no idea what it’s doing.

I’m not going to lie.  This roller coaster has left me frustrated, annoyed, and with an “I don’t care” attitude – a very dangerous place for me to be.  Case in point: Today I brought a very healthy chicken quinoa stir fry to work for lunch.  Did I eat it?  No.  Instead I chose to buy a turkey and brie toasted sandwich.  And then my colleague brought in a flourless chocolate cake from a French bakery and I had a piece of that, too!  (Let’s be honest.  The cake was amazing and I would have eaten it regardless of my current attitude.  But a small piece of chocolate cake sandwiched into a day of eating excellently isn’t too bad.  But when followed by a lunch that included brie, it is no good.)

I need to get myself out of this funk.  I’ve lost somewhere between 6 and 11 pounds.  I don’t want to go back to a loss of zero pounds, which is what will happen if I continue to eat like I did today.  I can’t control the number on the scale, but I can control what I eat and how I exercise.  I know the decisions I made today were not healthy.  I also know that eating well will lead to overall good health, a long-life (and more importantly, a high quality of life!), feeling great, sleeping well, and being able to hike up mountains – regardless of what the scale says.  I need to continue to track my calories because that is my accountability right now (I even tracked today, with some guesses on the calories in the sandwich and cake), but before eating I also need to ask myself: Will this make me feel good?  If the answer is no – whether it be a piece of chocolate cake or one too many celery sticks (gurgle, gurgle) – then I shouldn’t eat it.  Easier said than done, I know, but I think it’s a good filter.  For the next week I commit to asking myself that question before putting anything in mouth.  If nothing else, I think it will cause me to become more mindful that I am actually making a decision when I eat.  I’m not just eating a cracker because I’m passing by the jar in the kitchen at work.  I’m not consuming chocolate just because a co-worker bought some to share.  I will pause, ask myself if the food will make me feel good, and then I will proceed.  Conscious.  I’ll report back next week on how it goes!

Weekly Weigh-In: Entering a Whole New Territory

This is how I feel writing this blog post today:

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That’s me in February on top of Mount Amos overlooking Wineglass Bay in Tasmania.  The view was, without a doubt, one of the best of my life.  It was a short, but challenging hike to arrive at the top – we literally climbed on our hands and knees in sections to scramble straight up the rock face (and then had to butt-scoot back down!).  But it was worth every step for that view.

And so goes my weigh-in today.  141.6 pounds!  Not only is that a 4-pound loss from last week, but I can officially say I have never been this thin in my entire life.  That’s right – the last time I weighed 141 pounds I was 12-years-old and an inch or two shorter than I am today.   It’s a whole new territory and I don’t know what to expect.  I think that most people who have gained weight have an idea in their mind of a time they were comfortable with their weight and a specific number where they felt good about their bodies.  I have no such anchor, no number that I am striving towards on the scale.  I’m just meandering along, waiting to see how my body changes and at what point I feel good and want to stop.  I know that I’m not there yet, but that end point feels within reach like it never has before.

I think it’s worthwhile to stop for a moment and reflect upon what has changed to supercharge my weight loss.  First, I need to point out that I don’t expect this rapid weight loss to continue.  In fact, if I lose no weight next week I wouldn’t even be frustrated.  For some reason my body is shedding weight right now and I will ride the wave as long as possible, but I know that it will inevitably slow down or even plateau before I hit whatever my goal weight will be.  But there have been significant changes in my behaviors in the last few weeks:

  1. Tracking: As I mentioned in my last post, I started tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal.  Honesty in, results out.
  2. Choosing Veg: I have been eating beans instead of meat.  I made Mexican lasagna on Sunday with pumpkin and black beans instead of beef (recipe to be posted soon!).  I am eating salads with lentils instead of chicken.  I often start my day with eggs, refried beans, and salsa.  250 calories and it packs such a punch of protein and fiber that I don’t need to eat for hours!  I have read that beans keep your blood sugar steady and I find it amazing how slowly I get hungry when I eat a lot of legumes.  The hunger comes on gradually over many hours.  I’ll notice a twinge and an hour later be only slightly hungrier.  Compare that to before when hunger attacked!   I also simply feel lighter when I consume a large amount of beans, veggies, fruits, and yogurt.  Yes, it does take a bit for the digestive system to get used to that much fiber and I definitely wouldn’t recommend incorporating beans into every meal overnight, but my system adjusted quickly and now my body is happy.  Aside from losing weight, feeling good day-to-day is its own reward.
  3. Strength Training: Six weeks ago I met with a personal trainer to redesign my weight routine.  I had been doing the same thing for months and my body wasn’t challenged anymore.  She gave me a quick routine and each exercise works multiple muscle groups.  It only takes 20 minutes and by the end I am dripping with sweat and I can feel every single muscle I have worked.  Because my heart rate stays high, I am getting cardio at the same time as strength.  Not only is this good for immediate calorie burning, but I believe that I am starting to get the long-term calorie burning effects of having more muscle.  I am burning more calories all day long!

Weekly Weigh-In: Back on Track!

You may have noticed that I did not write a weekly weigh-in post last week.  After having a minor cold for about 5 weeks, everything took a turn for the worse and I ended up at the doctor with prescriptions for a dual-antibiotic mix and an inhaled steroid.  Lovely.  For five days life was limited to working, sleeping, and eating.  No staying up past my bedtime to write the latest post – I needed to get better!  Working out became walking to and from work (still 80 minutes of activity a day) instead of walking to walk in the morning and then going to the gym for hard exercise in the evening.  I’m still not at 100%, but each day I feel better and I’m starting to realize how much that ongoing cold was dragging me down.  I have more energy, I’m happier, and my workout today had punch!  I was only on the stationary bike and treadmill, but I was gritting and pushing it and loving every second!

I’m also happy to announce that my weight this week is 145.6 pounds.  Yeah!  That is a total loss of 7 pounds since I started My Food Rules at the beginning of April.  I feel like I am back on track.  I’m experimenting with different foods, eating more vegetarian meals, and my cravings for chocolate and bread have decreased.  I also started tracking my food intake again.  After years of Weight Watchers I was tired of tracking, but following my last blog post about the frustration of working hard and not losing any weight, a friend emailed me with a suggested weight-loss program to try.  While I don’t want to do the exact program he recommended, one thing he wrote struck a chord with me – the program determines how many calories you should eat based on your activity, height, etc.  You eat those calories and then exercise to burn more, go into calorie deficit and lose fat.  Simple, yes, but it made me realize that I was probably consuming more calories than I realized.  I started tracking my food on My Fitness Pal on Saturday and have been eating between 1200-1600 calories per day, depending on exercise and hunger levels.  Let me tell you – for me to feel satisfied on that number of calories takes some planning!  There’s no room for chocolate because I need those calories to feel full!  I know that I won’t track forever, but right now it is bringing me greater awareness to my behaviors.  We can only change once we see and understand the obstacles in our way and tracking is one tool to helping me to move past the obstacles towards my goals.

I’m looking forward to the week ahead.  I hope you have a great week as well!

Weekly Weigh-In: Finding Success Without Results

I want to lie and tell you that I had a great week at the scale, but the truth is I’m annoyed.  I followed through on my action plan and I went 5 entire working days chocolate free – a major feat with a stash readily available less than 15 feet from my desk.  I ate carrots, apples, yogurt, and popcorn for snacks.  I ate my one meal of indulgence and it wasn’t even all that indulgent.  After a 4-hour hike on Sunday, my hiking partners and I went to a café.  Carrot cake, hot chocolate, a blueberry muffin, and a chocolate muffin were all ordered.  I had a peppermint tea.  I worked hard and I was happy with my decisions.  This is why it was so frustrating to get on the scale and see a downward movement of only .2 pounds.  There is a part of me that wonders why I put in so much effort for virtually no result.  If I’m not going to lose weight anyway, why not eat chocolate?

But I have to ask myself – is this only about what is on the scale?  Before getting on the scale on Tuesday morning, I was pleased with the week.  I made healthy choices.  I ate fruits and veggies, worked out 6 days, walked to work 4 days, and enjoyed a walk by the bay and a hike to a waterfall on what may have been the last warm weekend of the autumn.  Isn’t this success?

Over a year ago I bought a pair of pants at The Limited.  The store clerk convinced me that they were the right size.  Although they did fit well in the legs, the muffin top that ensued was both unsightly and uncomfortable.  I can now wear those pants and a tight shirt with comfort, ease, and no visible muffin top.  Isn’t this success?

I was on the elliptical trainer last week and in my reflection I could see my biceps flex with each pull of the arm handles.  These biceps didn’t exist six months ago before I started my weight-training program.  Isn’t this success?

Today I find success in the small achievements.  I’m still frustrated that the number on the scale didn’t move, but I will get over it.  If it continues to stay put, I will reassess my goals.  But for now, all I can do is make decisions every day to become the best, healthiest version of myself that I can be, no matter what the scales tells me.

Weekly Weigh-In: The Chocolate Onslaught Continues…

It’s probably not a surprise reading the headline of my post to know that I haven’t lost any weight this week.  Same old, same old at 148.4.  At this point I have to ask myself: Do I really want to change?  The answer, definitively, is yes.  My yearning to be at a healthier weight where I look and feel good is no less than when I created My Food Rules.  But clearly something needs to change to get there or I will be stuck here, forever writing Tuesday after Tuesday about how I want more, but never actually seeing the results of that desire.   I am a person of action, so I created a plan of attack.  This is what I am going to do:

  1. Buy a bag of apples to put on the chocolate table in my office.  Without a healthy option readily available, my two choices were chocolate or nothing.  Now the choice is chocolate or apple.  Yes, I realize the chocolate will still be tempting, but I think the constant visual of the fruit will help me make the right decision.
  2. Refresh My Food Rules and update My List of go-to meals (Here’s a link to read My Food Rules: https://mydietrules.wordpress.com/about/the-rules/).  I have been having a great time experimenting with different recipes and even creating some of my own recipes for the first time in my life.  This is a good thing for me – I love variety and if I eat the same thing day after day I will get bored and stray from healthy choices.   But the whole purpose of having The List is to know how I should plan my meals.  By straying from The List, I have given myself permission to break My Rules.   And since I’ve already broken them once, why not again?
  3. Bring a ton of healthy snack options to work.  It doesn’t matter if I don’t eat everything I bring each day.  Fruits, veggies, and yogurt will always last until tomorrow.

There it is.  This week I will do my utmost to make healthy options available to me at all times.  I will re-commit myself to My Rules because I know that they work – I just need to follow them and the results will happen.

Weekly Weigh-In: April 30

I am not very happy to be writing this post.  In fact, I really wanted to skip the weigh-in and post for this week and move right to next week.  It wasn’t a terrible week, but after writing last week about planning ahead and moving forward, I knew that other derailers had gotten in the way of success at the scale.  And it was true – I weighed in at 148.4 – a loss of .2 pounds.

I wanted to write that a .2 loss was not what I had hoped for, but I have come far enough in my weight loss journey to know that I cannot “hope” weight away.  The desires and plans in my head need to translate to action or nothing will change.  I realized this week that when I have control over my environment, I generally stick to my plans, but if my environment changes, then I lose control and make poor decisions.  I am nearly always able to say no to buying a toasted panini for lunch, but when they are sitting in the kitchen at work leftover from a meeting, they are very hard to resist.  This is exactly what happened this week – I walked into the office on Monday morning and there were 6 different containers of chocolate sitting on our table – chocolate covered caramel, chocolate mints, a mix of dark and milk chocolate chips, Ferrero-Roche, and a variety box of Cadbury treats.   My manager bought them for us as a treat for a busy week ahead.  I appreciate the thought, but sugar and fat is not the treat any of us need!  On top of that I was unexpectedly invited on a wine tour for Saturday.  I love wine, it was a beautiful autumn day, and it may have been my only chance to go wine tasting in the Yarra Valley.  I’m not sorry that I made the decision to go, but I didn’t plan ahead for it and save my indulgences for Saturday – no, the indulgence had already happened with chicken parmigiana on Wednesday night.

As I reflect, I believe this has been my biggest roadblock over the years to reaching my true goal weight.  When the unexpected happens, I usually say yes when I need to say no. I need to figure out a way to control myself when I can’t control my environment.  I am at a bit of a loss.  What has worked for you?   How do you make good decisions when faced with the unexpected?   Please share – I welcome any suggestions!

Weekly Weigh-In: April 23

I stepped on the scale on Tuesday morning and the result for the week was 148.6 pounds.  The same as the week before.  This wasn’t a huge surprise, but I certainly didn’t want the trend to continue, so instead of just pushing ahead through to the week ahead, I reflected.  What were the differences between weeks 1 and 2, when I lost weight, and week 3, when I plateaued?  Last week I attributed my loss to planning ahead for a busy week.  This week, unfortunately, was the opposite.  I planned a few meals on Friday and bought fruits and vegetables at my Saturday market, but by Wednesday I was completely out of food with no time to shop.  As an example, on Sunday night I made delicious oven-roasted veggies (recipe here: https://mydietrules.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/oven-roasted-veggies/) with chicken koftas.  Monday lunch was leftover veggies and koftas.  Tuesday lunch was veggies and plain chicken breast.  Wednesday lunch was more veggies – and chili tuna straight from the can.  Now that is desperation!  I also hadn’t planned for snacks, so when I was hungry on Thursday afternoon, I bought pretzels and a Coke Zero at work instead of having my usual healthy snacks of hard-cooked eggs or yogurt with fruit.

This week on Sunday night I made a giant vat of chili with lean ground beef, kidney beans, pinto beans, green peppers, onions, and carrots.   This dish makes me feel great – protein, legumes, vegetables and a ton of flavor.  I also made a marinade for chicken and stuck it in the refrigerator.  I marinated chicken for Monday dinner and have enough to for another dinner this weekend.  Additionally, I bought yogurt to keep at work so that I have no excuses to give into salty carb snacks when I’m hungry.  We will hope this is enough planning to get me through a crazy week at work – and enough filling food to keep me away from the chocolates my manager brought our team on Monday for the busy week ahead.  The scale will tell the truth on Tuesday!

Weekly Weigh-In: April 16

I wasn’t sure about this week.  I got a terrible cold on Thursday and wasn’t able to do my normal intensity or length of exercise for the entire second half the week.  I was also exhausted – I almost fell asleep while riding on the tram on Saturday!  Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly in the mood to put the little energy I had into cooking.  My saving graces were the pumpkin soup I had purchased the weekend prior, salad ingredients ready to go in my refrigerator, and veggie burgers in the freezer.   Because of planning for the unexpected and including easy meals on My List, it was easy to follow The Rules when I normally would have gone completely off track.

And the efforts paid off – 148.4, a 1.2 pound loss!  I would be ecstatic if I lost that amount every week.  The goal for this week?  Get back to normal with my exercise and just keep on keepin’ on with everything else!

Weekly Weigh-In: April 9

I have to admit; I was a little nervous to get on the scale this week.  I created My Food Rules and published them on this blog without testing to know if they actually worked for me.  I felt that I had made good decisions, but I wasn’t counting calories or doing any measuring or calculations to really know how much I was eating.  I stepped on the scale gingerly and was surprised at the result: 149.6.  A 3-pound loss!  To be fair, my first weigh-in was the day after I returned from a long weekend in Sydney, so I probably weighed in a little high to begin with, but I’ll take it!

So, did I actually follow my rules?  Yes – about 90% of the time.  I chose my one meal of indulgence and had my first Mexican (including margaritas!!!) since I arrived in Australia and thoroughly enjoyed every bite.  On Sunday I played tennis and had a hard cider and a few (literally 3-4) French fries at the pub after playing.  I’m actually fine with this because, although it was against My Food Rules, it was a conscious decision and very limited in quantity.  What’s really killing me is morning tea.  Every morning about 11:00, crackers and cookies are set out in our break room.  The cookies aren’t generally a temptation because they are store-bought, a little dry, and really not that good.  The crackers are terrible, though.  Cheesy, buttery, spicy – there’s a different flavor every day!  I only have a few, but I do consume them nearly every morning.  I’m not as concerned about the actual caloric intake as I am about the fact that I have no good reason to eat them.  I am not generally hungry when I eat the crackers and if I am, the crackers don’t put a dent in the hunger and need to be followed up with a real snack.  The crackers are just there and they taste good, so I eat them.  Need to stop!  To be continued on how that goes…

Weekly Weigh-In: April 2

I know this post is coming a few days late, but starting the blog, implementing My Food Rules, writing about my first weigh-in and working was a bit much!  I did follow my rule, though, and I weighed in on Tuesday morning.  I weigh 152.6 pounds.  I’m not sure I’ve ever told a single person outside of a doctor’s office how much I weigh, let alone announce it on a blog that is open to anyone with an Internet connection.  But there it is.

Do I have a goal weight?  140 seems like a good number, but, to be honest, I have never weighed less than 147 pounds at my full adult height, so it’s hard to know what will feel good and be sustainable.  At one point in my life I didn’t think it would be possible to lose more than 15 pounds, then I wasn’t sure I could make it to 155, and now anything in the 130’s just seems ridiculous, but time has shown me that I can always do more than I first think is possible, so we’ll just wait and see where this journey takes me.

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