Friday, May 31, 2013

Checking In: 5/31/2013

Alright, the first 24 hours of attempting to take a picture of anything I put in my mouth, before I put it in my mouth, had about a 75% return rate. That's not too bad, but I'm a little embarrassed I lapsed at the height of my motivation.

Here's what I remembered to snap:

Dinner: Mixed greens salad with asparagus, peapods, shrimp and dressed in a mustard vinaigrette. Polenta rounds topped with cottage cheese and black bean salsa.

Breakfast: scrambled egg + whites with shrimp and a small mixed greens salad

Snack/Light Lunch: cherries, apple, organic greek yogurt with berries mixed in.

Not Pictured are the 2 manhattens I had, and 2oz of proscuitto, 1/2 oz of chicken liver mousse and 3 slices of baguette I stole from Manpanion's charcutterie plate at La Belle Vie after our date night to the Walker Art Museum. 

I had a nice active day, beginning with a strength training session at the gym. This month I've gone WAY BACK to the Love Your Shape workout, which completely redefined my body after I first lost all the weight 5 years ago. It's a tough one, but it works, and right now I need something that works. Basically, you're working in SuperSets, which means you have 3 moves that you do back to back, 3 times and then you move to the next set. Not only does it tone, but it keeps your heart rate up. Doing this entire workout (if I don't wimp out on the extra set of lunges/squats/leg lifts I have to do for being a Pear) takes about 45-50 minutes, and I typically burn around 400 calories, which is pretty good considering it's not necessarily cardio. 

In the late morning, I headed off to my new serving job for more training. I ran around, logging serious pedometer steps, and then biked home against 20mph winds. 

This morning I skipped the gym in favor of a very very lazy and dozing morning in bed with Manpanion because I don't think we've had that opportunity for almost a year, so we seized it, plus I may or may not have been feeling braindead from the double Manhattan party I had with myself last night. I'll be heading off to my other serving job for the evening to rake in some cash and log more steps on my pedometer before scooting over to a RISK party this evening. Oh, I'm a huge nerd, in case you didn't know. Totally love strategy games. 

I'm going to do my best to remember to log my pictures and be mindful of food choices tonight, especially when I know there will be lots of snacky business while we RISK the night away. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weighing In - 05/30/2013

Previous Weight:  153.2
Today's Weight:  154.6

This week's results: +1.4lbs

Alright, gang. I've gained 4 pounds this month. This recent gain is a combination of TOM, quitting a job, gaining and starting a job, and celebrating the return of my manpanion from a week long trip away from home.

I'd sit and make excuses, but I only half-heartedly tracked. I skipped a workout. I drank a fair amount and I ate things that were probably more points than I ended up tracking.

I am, however, extremely frustrated to have ended May with a FOUR pound gain, when it was the same month I made it down and into the 140s. Progress demolished.

I'm having a hard time committing to the program. There's some sort of panic built in around the fact that you've spent all but 6 points of your food budget before dinner. 6 points would make a decent dinner if one were inclined to be creative, or... gasp... plan. But for me, that sends me into a tizzy and instead of eating 6 points, I have 16.

I've been binging a LOT lately, on relatively low point food, but I'm still binging, later at night before bed.

There's been a lot of change going on around me, and eating has always been my stress response. I am worried, though, because I am still someone who works out at least 5x a week, but almost always 7x, with bouts of activity in between when I ride my bike to work, or go on a date to the climbing gym, or do laundry and run up and down the stairs in between.

I truly cannot, scientifically, see how this gain is possible - but that doesn't make it less of a thing that's happened. The numbers are there.

It seems like it may be time to start doing some realistic goal planning, so this week I will commit to:

  • Drinking a full glass of water before I start any sort of meal or snacking. 
  • While I'm drinking my water, I will take a picture of any food I eat before I eat it. This will cause me to be more mindful of what I'm shoveling into my mouth, and then I have a handy reel of proof if I don't track my food immediately. This could potentially be a HUGE bonus. Slow down, and be accountable? The whole point!
  • Distracting myself with hard candy when I want to binge late at night. (I am prepared with my GIANT BAG of Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops that I use to help keep study binging at bay during the school year)
  • Loosely planning my meals (which can be swapped around to leave room for tastes) and STICKING TO THAT LOOSE PLAN because it's a loose plan, so c'mon. 
  • Keep on keeping on with my 7 day a week gym routine. That's 3 days lifting and 4 days of cardio. 
These are all things I mostly already do, which is a great place to start making a goal list, because then you get to celebrate and pat yourself on the back more often, feeling all ceremoniously awesome. The binge trick is the one to beat, and if I can feel strong enough to get that out of the way, that will make a big difference in next week's weigh in. 

Now that I work 6 days a week, I'm moving around more. My new job is closer to home, so rather than taking the train, I just bike, which hopefully will have it's own pleasant side effect because it will be a regular thing. The set up of the new restaurant prevents any sort of snacking, just like the other job I kept, so the french fry bowl is completely out of the picture because I QUIT, and it felt good. 

Do you have any other recommendations? Say a friend told you that she gained four pounds in a month. What would you think? What would you tell her to do? 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weighing In - 5/23/2013

Previous Weight: 153.4
Today's Weight: 153.2

This week's results: -0.2lbs

I'll take it! This week I did what a lot of us do after a big gain. I weighed in frequently. Daily even. There may have been a day or two where I weighed more than once (or thrice). Each day, the scale told me I was up about 4 more pounds from last week. All damn week I was hovering around 157, and I just could not shake it.

This stress, you know - the stress of possibly gaining SEVEN POUNDS in 2 weeks, caused me to do a little emotional eating, which would have made it easy to actually gain SEVEN POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS.

But I didn't. Instead, I evened things out and managed to rescue the week with a maintain.

This week was tough. I switched my WW Plan Manager to draw from my weekly points before my activity points, but this strategy mostly caused more stress for me as I saw that number dwindling. I think a piece of the swapping from Activity Points first that really works for me is the attempt to always keep or rebuild my Weekly Points at 49, which is the number I start with at the week. It's a personal challenge, plus, if I'm only eating the extra points I've earned, that should pretty much guarantee a loss, yes? It also motivates me to fit in extra workouts if I have the time, and I always feel my best when I'm working out.

I don't feel discouraged like I did last week.

Sure, I wish I had seen a nice, big, well-deserved loss, but I didn't actually deserve the loss this week. I binged on frozen yogurt. I binged on almond butter and chocolate chips. I binged on frozen yogurt smothered in almond butter and chocolate chips. I licked the bowl until I got every last drop, not even noticing the smudge on my forehead.

But then again, it's been a rainy bunch of days here in Minnesota. It has rained nearly every day with the exception of Saturday. The sun has returned today, and I plan to soak up a whole bunch of it before heading off to work tonight.

Until then, it's off to the gym to sweat it out and earn some APs.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weighing In - 5/16/2013

Previous weight:  149.4
Today's weight:  153.4

This week's results: +4 pounds. 

W. T. F. 

I call bullshit. FOUR POUNDS? I stayed within my allotted points, I earned 50+ APs. I sweat my ass off EVERY day (literally) at the gym. In fact, I have been there the last 17 days in a row.

Something is up, and this feels like a freak accident.

I'm trying my best not to let it derail me and my motivation and determination.

So, while I feel cut this morning, I'm going to eat a healthy breakfast and head off the to the gym and keep doing what I'd been doing and hope things even out. I'm going to drink more water. I'm going to figure out how to stop thinking about this and keep my eyes on the long term goal of simply learning to eat healthfully, which I did this week. I will not relate eating healthfully to gaining FOUR POUNDS in one week.

I won't.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Weighing In - 5/09/2013

previous weight:  150.4
Today's weight:  149.4

This week's results: -1.0lb!


I'm back in the 140s, ever so slightly, but I'm there.

Thursday was a bigger day because I stopped at a local pub for a $2 pint while I worked on a paper, and even though I made myself a perfectly healthy dinner, I chased it with two mini ice cream sandwiches. 

Friday ended up being a perfectly on point day, while Saturday jumped just a tad over, with the treat of a big glass of white wine. Sunday ended with two of those ice cream sandwiches again (I moved them to the back of the freezer) but also involved eating a big chunk of fresh mozzarella as a snack. I trended toward higher point snacks that day which also included a heavy bowl of granola doused in yogurt. 

Monday reeled me back in and actually ended with an extra point I didn't eat because I just wasn't hungry, while Tuesday jumped back up after a birthday celebration for my dad. I picked my meal beforehand on the restaurant's website, but decided to indulge in a small slice of carrot cake after sticking to my plan. When I got home, I went a little overboard with snacks and consumed another 10 points. And the last day, Wednesday, I ate very clean, but still went over points by about 7. 

I ended the week banking 51 Activity Points and I hit the gym all 7 days. 

I'm so excited to see a loss this week because I really earned it. 

One thing I'm still desperately trying to see, with Weight Watchers, is that the Weekly Points are there to USE. 26 pointsplus per day is barely enough to sustain a normal person of limited activity. The reason the points are low is because vegetables and fruits are free, so you should eat those. I get that. However, to add a decent amount of protein to meals and eat my healthy oils and eat dairy for calcium and just... eat... food, you should probably divy up your Weekly Points to allow for 7 of them to be added to each day, and utilize Activity Points for big treats of nights out. 

I'd always preferred to pull from Activity Points first, because I wanted to earn any extra points I was using, but that was before fruit and vegetables were considered 0 points. I think I may change my planner to draw from the Weeklies first, now, to attempt to rewire my brain into using those because they are PART OF MY PLAN, and then use activity points for anything above and beyond so that I earn those bigger treats. 

A 33 point day shouldn't feel like I went "off my plan." That's still a REALLY REALLY clean eating day, I just chose to have protein at all 3 meals, and with the rate I've been working out lately, I kind of need it. So I will stop feeling guilty about that and find a way to make it work. 

Speaking of working out, the fitter you get, the less calories you burn and the harder you laugh when you walk down the stairs of the gym, literally blinded by sweat and see that you only burned 400 calories in that intense hour. C'mon now. 

I'm not phased because it feels SO good to be working out really consistently for the last 5 months, and I can see definite changes in my body beyond the scale. The scale has never been a good judge for me, so I'm focusing less and less on it, but I do still want to lose the weight. 

I hope you had a successful week! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Eat Me, the Friday 5/3 edition

Oh I love cooking for myself.

Well, most of the time. My favorite part is just the having fresh, healthy food for myself.

Today I took the time to cook all of my meals. I had two runny, sunny side up eggs over quinoa for breakfast (no color, super unphotographical). And then I had...

Black Bean // Corn salsa salad with leftover spicy chicken (from the sweet potato skins) 
with fresh avocado chunks. 

Roasted broccoli and shrimp over quinoa. THE EASIEST. 

Another totally OP day, jam packed with vegetables and peak nutrition. I feel satisfied, energized and oh so good. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eat Me, the Thursday 5/2 edition

In an effort to promote more self-care, I'm cooking at home again. Well, you know that since I just told you this morning.  I was on a roll today. I made that delicious caprese salad for lunch... and then I made:

Southwestern Chicken Sweet Potato Skins with plain greek yogurt and Sriracha

Grilled Peaches with Kefir Fro-yo and raw honey

A totally OP day, and a delicious one at that. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings to my plate. 

Weighing In - 05/02/2013

Previous weight: 151.0
Today's weight:  150.4

This week's results: -0.6lbs!

STILL SO CLOSE. Staying close is just as good as getting there right now. As long as I'm hovering around the same weight, I know I'm reorganizing my caloric intake to adjust for maintenance at lower weights, and I think that's an important lesson to learn. Even though it still feels like "dieting," because I still have a distorted view of the way I want to be eating. 

I've been religiously sticking to my fitness routine, and with that comes a certain level of hunger that I've become accustomed to. However, balancing work, school and some semblance of a "life," (aka... sleeping?) has made it continually difficult to plan ahead for healthy options and instead I've been resorting to convenience food. Luckily, for me, that means reaching for the Co-op's deli grab-and-go case, so I'm still eating healthfully REAL foods, but I'm wasting money by not preparing my own, and I can only generalize the amounts of ingredients that went into the dish, despite them being listed on the container. 

So, I decided to plan this week and hit up the Co-op's May Day bulk sale, where all bulk items were an additional 10% off. I stocked up on oats, quinoa, millet, almonds, dark chocolate chips (which I keep in the freezer and serve as a wonderful late night sweet-tooth solution) and a host of other things that will keep me on track. I also stuck to the produce section for the majority of my cart options, having picked a few recipes I wanted to try before heading out. Long story short, I made a list and I stuck to it. 

My fridge and counter are full of amazing options. 

In an effort to attempt to better understand what I am eating, I downloaded another calorie counting app to supplement Weight Watchers. I'm interested because I no longer understand the system that classifies their PointsPlus in the way I could understand that traditional points. In essence, I have no idea how many calories I'm consuming. The Weight Watchers system scares me weekly, if not daily, into thinking I'm eating too much. With this other app, I'm being told that my net caloric intake is INSANELY LOW with the amount of activity I perform on a daily basis. Basically, I don't know who to trust. 

So I'm going to continue doubling up for a while, finding a middle ground between these two systems. I definitely trend towards believing that WW doesn't allow me to have enough food, unless I'm consuming nearly 80% vegetables and fruit, which would be a good thing, but I lift weights. I strength train with HEAVY things, and I need protein, and finding a way to balance that muscle building program with Weight Watchers has been a delicate thing for me so far. I'm losing, but very little and very slowly. I'm OK with that. Trust me. As long as I'm maintaining or losing I am A-OK, but I am concerned that I'm not giving my body enough fuel, so I'm trying to play with eating more lean protein and good fats to see how that will work. 

For example: 

Last night's dinner of raw broccoli, avocado and almonds in a mustard vinaigrette with mango.  Whole, raw vegetables with good fats and a little sweet stuff. 

Today's Lunch of caprese salad (tomatoes, fresh mozz, basil and a balsamic reduction). Whole, raw vegetables with [questionably] good fats and a little sweetness tossed in. 

This formula makes sense to me, and from a summer-food standpoint it seems as though it'd be easy to follow. I cannot wait until Spring finally arrives in Minnesota and I can start buying more fresh vegetables because they'll be plentiful. I want STRAWBERRIES, DAMMIT. I want tasty things. Bring them to me!

Is Winter over where you are? Are you enjoying the sunshine and the diminished craving for all things carb? I need vitamin D.