Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Being honest about my weight loss efforts

It is no secret that I have been struggling for a few months.   I have been pretty open about my ‘lose one week and gain the next weeks struggle.  It had been a tough journey.  I was floundering...but was I really being honest with myself?  Upon some reflection, I found that I was not being honest with myself in terms of this weight loss journey and it was holding me back!

Tracking food honestly

I was tracking, for the most part.  Admittedly, I had days and even weeks when I failed at tracking, but i was open and transparent about that!   I am talking about honesty in what I was tracking.  And when I think about it, I honestly think I was being pretty honest.  I think my issue would be with the fact that when I would look for something on myfitnesspal I would play and find the ‘best possible option’ for me.   There is a huge database on my fitness pal (which is one of the reasons that I have stuck with that app versus switching to something else).  With that huge database comes multiple options for your searches!   I can look up something like mashed potatoes and find hundreds of options!   Where I went wrong is that I found the lowest mashed potato option and used that!  I have changed and gotten honest with myself.  If the item in question is more subjective, I am finding the middle of the road option.  For example, if I found mashed potatoes with calories ranging from 200 calories to 600 calories, I am not estimating the 200 calories in my count but rather the 400 average!  I am also taking the time to once again enter my recipes to get an exact calorie count.  Thus, I am being much more honest with my tracking!

Acceptance of my body and my limitations

Another big change is that I have finally not just admitted but more importantly accepted that my body does not lose weight at anything over 1400 calories.  I’ve accepted the fact that for me to lose weight I can’t eat my earned exercise calories.  I’ve been admitting this for a while  but I didn’t want to accept it!!!   I didn’t want to restrict myself down to 1200-1300 calories!  So I resisted.  There were some weeks that I did great with that and kept my calories low.  (and lost). But then the next week I would eat 1500 calories on most days of that week and boom my weight would simply maintain my weight or worse, I would gain!  Then I would say ‘but by the numbers, I should be losing weight.  And then I would cry and whine about it a bitZ.  I wasn’t being honest with myself and my bodies particular weight loss idiosyncrasies!   I had to not just admit that for my body and method that I chose to lose weight that I have to keep my calories lower....I had to accept it! 

Limitations of Sweet Treats

I have been saying for months ok probably years.  ‘I refuse to give up my sweet treats.  And that is all good and fine.  I am whole heartedly still behind that statement!   I can’t give up everything and live a life of total restriction!  However, I was indulging in the sweet treats more than once a week.  I am ashamed to admit it!  But I was!   Oh it was tracked....but that sweet treat frequently took my calorie count (which as I already mentioned was Most likely estimated way too low) way over my daily goal (which as I previously said was not a good goal for my body!).   Being honest with myself, I had to admit and accept that my sweet treats really need to be more restricted!  So cakes, chocolate, cookies...whatever I chose to indulge in, is much more limited.  I did indulge once in the last week and I felt ok with it!  Even better,  I haven’t seen any adverse affect on the scale!!!    I am not counting occasional snack of a banana in the evening toward that ‘limited food’ even though I add some chocolate syrup!  A banana is healthy!  The chocolate syrup is sweet but minimal! 

I had to get really honest with myself in order for my weight loss efforts to really take off.  I had to stop trying to stretch things as far as I could while still being ‘healthy’.  The dishonesty wasn’t hurting anyone but myself!!!   Luckily, I have opened my eyes and I see where I was wrong.  I can’t go back and take the past away.  But, I can move forward and operate with totally honesty to myself!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Empowering weight loss

I drew the line in the sand for my weight loss journey.   I made my plans for weight loss.  I decided that weight loss is a choice that I have to ask myself each I want to eat this and be fat or do I want to eat something healthy or forgo it totally and be thin?   It is working is the question though?

Ask yourself, Fat of Thin 

I can definitely say that asking myself this long term question each time I am faced with temptation has worked like a charm!  I don’t ask myself if I want to I indulge at that moment.  I don’t ask the here and now question., which would be done you want to indulge and enjoy the pleasure or just delay your weight loss journey a day’.  I ask the long term question for you want to eat that and stay fat or do you want to not eat that and get thin.  And oh boy does it work!!!

I knew we had leftover roasted squash in the refrigerator that I had planned to eat for lunch.  I had planned my lunch and I was determined to eat that lunch.   I reached into the refrigerator to cleavage the squash and my eyes lit up.  I saw the holy grail of leftovers!   I saw a container of leftover macaroni and cheese!   Ahhhhh. Just saying the words macaroni and cheese makes my mouth water!   That is what I was having for lunch!   I could eat that with my roasted squash.  No problem!!! I pulled both containers out of the refrigerator.

I even opened the container.  But then I remembered to ask myself that all important question.   Do I want to eat this macaroni and cheese and stay fat or do I want to skip it and stay with my planned lunch which will help me get thin?   

I put the Mac and cheese away. I want to be thin!

Successful weight loss breeds empowerment

I made healthy weight loss choices all week long. I had one or two more close misses, but I stayed solid as a rock with my food choices.  I kept my calories/food budget exactly where I wanted it to be.  And slowly but surely, I have started to see the numbers on the scales start to drop!  I can not tell you how relieved I am.  I can not write words that convey my happiness and excitement!  Yes, I’m excited!

But beyond being excited, I have been infused with a feeling of empowerment.  I have taken control of my weight loss journey.  I am in charge.  I am doing well!  I haven’t felt deprived.  I am starting to see the results. That has filled me with pride and that pride has turned into feeling powerful.   I may only be a few pounds down, but I feel successful and on top of the world!   I have faith in myself again!!!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Choices in a Weight Loss Journey

Last weekend I had my epiphany and drew that line in the sand. I said no more of this sitting on the fence and talking about losing weight and floundering on the scales.  I said no more only putting half the effort into my weight loss journey.  I was going to go all in   No ifs ands or buts.  It was happening!  I am quite proud to say that I did exactly what I said I was going to do.  I got serious.  I got serious and part of my success this week has been by asking myself one simple question.

Do I want to be fat or do I want to be thin?

That seems like such a simple question doesn't it?  Do you want to be fat or do you want to be thin?  It's a yes or no question, right?   You can make it a yes or no answer, but I dove deeper.   Every action that I complete has to have that question applied to it.  

*Should I go for a walk? I want to be fat or thin??
* I really want to eat that piece of cake. I want to be fat or thin???
* You want me to go for a  bike ride?  In this heat!  Are you nuts? I want to be fat or thin???
**Crackers  and Cheese, that sounds so delicious for a snack right now, even though I just ate a snack 5 minutes ago!!! I want to be fat or thin????

My mission is to apply that question to everything I eat and everything that I do.  Is this choice going to make me fat?  Or is this choice going to make me thin?    I started to write this post and I was only thinking about this weight loss choice in terms of my eating.  BUT.....I didn't ride my exercise bike at lunch on Thursday.  I didn't ask myself that question when I made the decision to skip the ride. I'm pretty sure if I had asked if I wanted to sit and relax and work on being fat versus getting on the bike and work on being thin, that I would have chosen thin!   EVERY thing I do applies to this choice.

I have written about weight loss being a choice so many time in the past.  This isn't a new concept for me.  But I seem to have forgotten about it somewhere.  I wrote about it in 2019  in regards to working out.  I wrote about how choosing to wake up early to work out was a choice.  I needed to decide to make the choice to commit to early morning workouts.   It was a choice. It’s always a choice.  The problem is that sometimes, ok most of the time, we either forget to ask the question or we only as part of the question.  We are only saying ‘do I want this cookie right now’. We are not giving ourselves the alternative.   Well sure I want that cookie right now.  I’m not thinking about the tomorrow or eating that cookie!   But if I as myself.  Do you want the cookie and be stay fat? Or do you want to forgo the cookie and work on being thin!   And no..I’m not saying a cookie will make a person fat...but on a weight loss journey we really have to choose our indulgences with care!!!  

Ask the whole question.   Weight loss is a choice.   Every thing we do is a choice and those choices will cause us to gain weight, maintain our weight or to actually lose weight.  It comes down to this, doyou want something bad enough to give up or delay your end result of being thin?   Ask yourself the question.  Do you want to be fat or thin? 

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Intermittent fasting begins

I am now officially on day three of my nice and simple plan for weight loss.  This is a reboot, a re-commitment to this journey and I’m excited about what lies ahead.

My plan is simple and easy    I wanted to keep it that way.  Less to worry about in the grand scheme of things.  But the biggest change is that I really am excited about this.  I feel mentally strong and capable of resisting the tempting call of the foods that I need to limit. I feel excited about the change.  I wish I knew what caused the change in my thinking.   Maybe it was the thought that came into my head about what would happen if I got seriously injured while hiking and had to be carried out of the woods.  It would take a fair amount of people to carry me. (If that isn’t mortifying, tell me what is?).  Maybe it’s the constant feeling of being weighted down and always achy and tired.  I KNOW it’s my weight that causes that.   I could keep going on and on, but last weekend something clicked into place.     I know I’m only two days into this plan, but let’s see how it is going!

Intermittent Fasting

I have easily slipped right into the intermittent fasting plan that I have chosen.  I am following the 16:8 plan. This means that I only eat within an eight hour window.   There has been no problem with this one.  On the first day I had a fleeting thought at about 10AM thinking about food.  But like I said, it was a fleeting thought.   I still do drink my 24 ounce glass of water in the morning.   And I do put a flavoring pack into it.  (Affiliate links) and I also add a packet of vitamin and mineral powder (Affiliate link).  But otherwise, I haven’t had a single issue with dropping breakfast!

Tracking my Food

I have tracked my food, each bite!  I have managed to keep my calories down near that 1200-1300 goal that I have set!  I’ve even had the calories in my budget to indulge in a sweet treat of banana ice cream one night and a chopped banana with chocolate the other night.

My eating had been spot on!

Exercise and Movement
I managed to ride the exercise bike both days at lunch. I am pushing it hard on the bike.  I have it set so that I’m riding at a resistance level that even while sitting and pedaling I am getting out of breath.  But that’s not all....I push that resistance higher ever few minutes to push myself further.  The resistance is so high that I have to be out of the saddle to push those pedals.   My rides aren’t long, but I’m doing it...and something is better than nothing!

We have also managed to get in a walk on one of the days.  So I’ve not been a total slug!

Healthy Wage
A few months ago a friend of mine emailed me.  She works for the same  company that I do (although a different division of the company and she lives about 8 hours away).  She asked me to join her healthy wage team.   This healthy wage is being sponsored by our employers so there is no cost to join.  But there is a financial payout if we meet our goals.  Sounds like a winner to me!  I was in!    It started at the beginning of July!   I did my verified weigh in just yesterday!  So now I have a monetary reward to work toward!  Oh yeah, that is a win for me!!!!  It goes from the beginning of July through the end of September.   I am so ready to rock this challenge!!!

I am determined, motivated and utterly focused.   The time is now and I need to get this weight off!  Losing weight is definitely a want but it is also a need!  My life depends on getting this weight off of my body!!!

Monday, July 06, 2020

Simple weight loss plan

It is time to draw the line in the sand.  It is time to stop sitting on the fence in my weight loss efforts.  It is time to stop the self imposed plateau on the scales  and start losing weight again.  Now is the time and I have been thinking about it all weekend even while we had a little get-a-way.  We are home now and  I know what I’m going to do.  It is a combination of exercise, intermittent fasting, tracking my food and mental aspects to stay motivated. and of course I’m going to share it all, starting with our little trip and ending with my plans and ideas to get this weight off once and for all!

Weekend getaway
We have had a great weekend.   It was a long weekend so we researched, plotted and planned and figured out a wee little getaway that would still offer us social distancing safety but also allow us to go away for a bit to relax.   What did we do?   We went to Berkeley Springs, WV.   Berkeley Springs is a neat little town and we did go into one or two stores.  But for the most part we explored and roamed.   The state park with the springs is small but we spent a fair amount of time wading in the warm spring.   It felt fabulous on this stinkin’ hot weekend!!!

We of course drank some famed Berkeley Springs water.

And we walked through the museum.

But honestly, the real reason we went to Berkeley Springs? It was one of the only places that I found an outdoor hotel pool that was open!!!  We wanted to swim!!!

We had a great time!   But as I mentioned earlier, the whole time we were there and relaxing, my mind was in a whirl.   I am not happy with my increasingly  pudgier face nor with how my body feels.  I am disgusted with the numbers on the scales and how my clothes fit (or don’t fit as the case may be).   One thought was positive this weekend while I pondered my predicament and that was that it was time to change.  I have no choice!

Choosing to be healthy versus being fat

Ok first of all, I do have a choice. Everything I do is a choice.   The choices I make with my food are choices that allow me to be fat and to possibly gain even more weight.   I most frequently chose being fat with my food choices, at least lately.   Admittedly, I wasn’t sitting there thinking, ohh I’m going to eat  this piece of cake because I’m choosing to be fat. But if I look deep enough I knew the cake wasn’t in line with my goals for living a healthier thinner life. I CHOSE to eat it anyway!     It was my choice!    Every bite I eat I need to start focusing on the choice and I need to put it into words.  I need to ask myself, “is this a good choice for your long term goals of losing weight or will it only give you a fleeting momentary flash of pleasure’.   I know from when I lost the weight before that my energy levels and general happiness and feelings of well being were sky high without this excess I know how awesome I will feel in the long run.  Every food choice is a question of receiving a short term rush of pleasure or obtaining a lifetime of goodness.

Intermittent fasting

I have dabbled with this in the past.  It seems to happen naturally when I am actually going into the office.  For me, the concept of a 16:8 fasting schedule has merit.  I have never been a big breakfast person so it’s not a stretch for me to naturally fall into a 16:8 system of intermittent fasting.   What is the 16:8 method of Intermittent Fasting?  It is the art of fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8 hour window.  The plan just flows naturally for me due to my own natural tendencies.  But I also like the plan due to the f act that that is calories saves and one less meal I need to worry about!     I have thought about doing a One Meal A day style of intermittent fasting, but I fear that I would lose control and just eat absolutely crazily during that one meal.  For my own personal diet issues, OMAD would not work for me.   

I will also say that I am not going to be super strict about this.  If we decide to go for a big hike or bike ride and leave before my window of eating is open, I am NOT going to stand firm and say “no, I can not eat because it’s not time’. That is foolhardy.  I will break my fast early because I know that fueling my body before those activities is important.

Likewise, I have been talking about my lunch break plans (and we will get to that in a short bit).  If those plans end up to not fall in line with the intermittent fasting method, I may have to adjust.  This is the loose and flowing option in my plan....the one most subject to change!

Tracking my foo
Typically Intermittent fasting  is only eating within the window of opportunity and no tracking is needed.  A person just needs to limit their eating to that available window of time.  But I know that I can do a lot of damage in 8 hours.  So therefore, I WILL Continue to track my food!!  I also know that when I actually track my food that I am so much more cognizant of HOW I am eating and much more inclined to pull in the reigns.

My big thing is my lunch break.  I started last week with a spin on the exercise bike during my lunch hour.  I pushed myself, I was out of the saddle and really pushing myself hard.   I plan on doing this regularly.   My ‘easy’ goal is 3 times a week for 20 minutes of my 30 minute lunch break.  I would preferably like to do it 5 times.  But let’s start with an easy goal of 3!!!

It is a super simple plan that I have set up.  Why is it so simple?  It’s simple because in theory  weight loss is simple.  Limit calories and/or expand how many calories you burn.   My plan does both of those things but is nothing outrageous!  Now it’s time to implement the plan and lose weight and get my healthy life back!!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Setting Goals for Weight Loss

I am a firm believer in the practice of setting goals for myself.  I do this in every day life.  I have to do lists and lists of goals and dreams in the works all the time.  Even more importantly, I like to create goals within my weight loss journey.  There is nothing better than the satisfaction of attaining my goals.  It spurs me on to accomplish bigger and better things!   I have done this for many years and in the beginning of 2019, I started to set monthly weight loss  goals for myself.

How to set a good Weight Loss Goal

When I started to create my monthly goals, I really put a lot of thought into my goals.  I came up with a few ground rules for my weight loss monthly goals

**Not to far fetched and easy-  I wanted to make sure that these goals were somewhat attainable yet still would make me have to push myself in order to be successful.

**These monthly weight loss goals had to be crafted and designed in such a way that if I did have a day or two of not being strictly adherent to my plan that I would not ruin the whole month.  I know that it is human nature to mess up and realize that there is no hope of reaching a goal so we give up.  In a weight loss journey it happens so often.  We mess up with our eating and instead of starting over right then and there, we continue to eat like crazy and say "I'll get back on track on Monday".  OH yes, we have all been there I imagine!  I wanted to avoid that mentality at all costs!

And with those simple rules, I came up with my monthly goals.  I have tweaked and adjusted them from month to month.  I have had to lower and raise the step count accordingly.  When I was NEVER reaching the 10 thousands steps per day, I decided that I needed to lower it to 5K steps. When five thousand steps was too easily attained, I raised the step count to 7500 average per day.  This is a constant adjustment from month to month.  And it works.   Sadly, a few months ago I got out of the habit of a monthly goal.  And that is changing right here and now!  

Monthly Weight Loss Goals

1.  Track every bite of food!  It doesn't matter what the actual results it, I must track.  The act of tracking my food makes me cognizant of my eating habits and seems to naturally bring my eating under control.  I currently track on MyFitnessPal (and not so consistently on the WW application) and would love to have you friend me there. (mfclingan)
2.  Put money into my savings.  Ok, not exactly a weight loss goal, but a worthwhile one nonetheless!
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and aim for at least three sessions of formal activity a week!  It could be something as simple as a walk or as tough (for me) as a session on my Exercise bike.  (affiliate link).  What exercise and activity I actually do does not matter as much as the fact that I am moving!
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   
7.   Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal, simply because it shard to get  steps when you are riding)  
8.  Transparency with my weight...even if it goes up!!

So there you have it.  My goals for this upcoming month.   Will it be easy?  Probably not.  I have been a bit crazy with my eating of late.  I have been a bit lax with my exercise recently.  In short, I have been struggling.  Step one to stop struggling with my weight loss journey is to set clear defined goals for weight loss.  I have set my goals and now it's time to soar!

Monday, June 29, 2020

I am to blame for my weight

Where has time gone?   I can hardly believe that it is almost the end of June!   In some ways it feels as if this year has just started.  But other ways how much have we packed into the last 6 months!   My weight loss efforts are the same.  It feels like it has gone by fast but wow has a lot happened in this first half of the year.  I made some amazing strides toward getting my health back in check over the last six months and I have struggled.  So here it is, a mid year check in!

Let’s just start with the bad.  My weight.   I started the year at 239.8.   I worked hard and got that down as low as 232 in early March.  I was on fire.  Nothing could stop me.  Well, nothing except Covid and the drastic changes in our life that occurred with the virus.   For us that included me transitioning to working from home and Jason being furloughed from his job.  The stress and changes were not good for me.    Not good at all!   Within a month of these changes taking place, I had gained almost ten pounds!  We went away for a weekend and I was put on some medication on a short term basis and my weight popped even higher.  Luckily, that weight has mostly dropped.  But I am still sitting higher than I was at the beginning of the Covid mess and honestly, right now I’m a few pounds higher than I was on January 1.  

I have been hit or miss with exercise.  Formal exercise each day has been what is hit or miss. I walked at work regularly on my lunch breaks until they sent me home. I ran on my lunch breaks the first few weeks while working from home and then it just kinda died away.    I have made plans to get back to it and even started new routines but then things happen. I was riding the exercise bike religiously in January, and then I messed up my back.     A bike accident derailed  me from yoga.   Plantars Fasciitis struck right when I started to run again.    I suffered numerous falls and tumbles that caused bruises, aches and pains.  It seemed like it was one thing after another to keep me from any hard core exercise!   One stroke of bad luck after another!    Luckily, we took a fair amount of evening walks.  We also hiked and bikes on the I wasn’t totally sedentary!

I can clearly see that the first half of the year wasn’t a colossal failure but it was not a raging victory either.  It could have been much much worse.     There is only one thing to blame for the lack of success.  And it’s not really a thing...I alone at to blame for my lack of weight loss.  I am the only one to blame for my lack of great progress in the fitness arena.  I can see my face getting pudgier and I’m not happy.  But I alone am the one that can change that!!