Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A New Plan of Attack

 Ok, here we go again.  A new plan!  I know, I know I know....this a repeat of how many different times that I have restarted.  But this time.....I think it's different!  I feel refreshed and renewed and ready to do this journey!  I feel as if I finally have my focus where it needs to be!   I'm ready!

Last week I talked about the eye opening book that I read, Atomic Habits. (affiliate link)  This book was a huge eye opener for me and totally changed the way that I have been thinking in regards to my weight loss journey.  In that post I talked about how creating habits were important and how little habits would inflict HUGE responses. 

Somehow over the past few months (years) I have begun to focus on the number on the scales. That in itself isn't a bad thing.  It is however my main goal and I should be keeping my eye on the prize so to speak.  HOWEVER, in my single minded focus on that number I forgot to focus on the habits that will get me to that overall goal!  I have not been focused on making the routines that are healthy my daily habits!  

You can see the difference when you look at my monthly reports.  They used to be full of habits.  Sure I always said I wanted to weigh less at the end of the month...but my main goals were all habit and action based.  But somehow , somewhere in some way my monthly reports became all about numbers. 

I will still be reporting numbers on my weekly weigh ins.  I will still be striving to show a loss each month at my monthly report.  But the focus is now on meeting some simple daily habits each and every day!  I know that if I change these habits right now that I will reap rewards further down the line!   So without further ado, I give you the habits that I will currently be  focusing on. 

1.  Water -  it is a well known fact that we need water.  Yet I consistently have struggled with this!  No more.....a healthy habit that I'm focusing on is at least 64 ounces of water each day!

2.  Fruits and Veggies -  When I was losing weight the first time around, I was eating a TON of vegetables and fruits!   I was consistently eating 6-8 or more servings a day.  Somehow that number whittled down until in recent months I would be lucky to get 2 servings a day.  That is changing!  I will be eating at least 5 servings a day! (and not all fruit.....veggies too!)

3.  Track my food -  This one is a good old standby.  I am not saying that it matters what I eat...it just has to be tracked for this habit to be successful.

4.  Only one sweet treat per week (on the weekends).  This is more along the lines of eliminating a BAD habit but still allowing myself the freedom to 'live'.   So I am eliminating the bad habit by restricting it.

5.  I need to be active at least 20 minutes each day....at least 6 days a week! (Preferably more)

6.  My calorie count needs to be under 1500 calories 6 out of the 7 days of each week.

7.  Aim for at least 5,000 steps each day.  NO averages this time around.....(this one I waffle on including....simply because I am riding most of my miles which means less steps).  But for now I"m including it!  Maybe I will keep it but keep it that average!!!!!!   We will see....stay tuned!

So there you have it.  My plan.  I'm focusing on small habits that I can change and incorporate that will turn into fantastic results.  I know that I will be adding more healthy habits as time goes on.....but for now...this is what I'm focusing on!  I think it's enough for now!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Habits versus goals

I read a book.  That alone is not the amazing thing because I read quite a few books.  What is amazing is that this book opened my eyes and really helped me see where I was going wrong with my weight loss journey!



The book that I read was Atomic Habits by James Clear.   This book from the introduction had me shaking my head in agreement.  I knew the content of the book!   Seriously.  We all know the importance of good habits and bad habits! But this book made it all clear!  It talked about how small habits may seem small and inconsequential but those small habits have a way of gathering speed.  These habits then have a way of building upon themselves and the end result is astronomical!   The author gave clear examples of situations that seemed hopeless or insurmountable but someone enacted small changes that seemed inconsequential but when all added together over time produced amazing results!

Just what I needed to hear!

The author talked about how to make good habits more appealing.  He talked about how to make the bad habits less tempting!   Things just as simple as having the fruit bowl on the counter in plain sight can make eating fruit more tempting!   Removing the obstacles in the way helps!   Likewise removing temptation.  Making the process of carrying out the bad habits more difficult will impede our success to completing those bad habits!   

Yes!!!  This makes sense to me!!

The book discusses ways to build more and more habits.  And this book is quite realistic.  It clearly reads in more than one place that perfection and never indulging in a bad habit is an unattainable goal.  But the good habits should put weight the bad habits!

Isn’t this what I have been saying?

For me though...it was in the early stages of the pint hat I had the most eye opening moment.  It was when the author talked about how having goals is great.  But it’s the habits that we need to be focusing on...because the habits will be what brings the success.  

I have been focusing on that goal and not the habits!!!!

So lots of change in my way of thinking is upcoming!  I’m actually excited!!!!   So stay tuned!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Funeral Potatoes

 Seriously, they are called funeral potatoes.  What a morbid name for something so delicious!   Upon reading about this recipe, the name came from the tradition of taking a dish to a funeral or to the family of the deceased.  This is one that many people used for that tradition as it is tasty, reheats well and is a crowd pleaser.

It is not exactly healthy...but it is good!  And as we know....all things can be had in moderation!


Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 cups sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

24 ounces frozen diced potatoes (thawed.....use cubed or diced, not shredded)

3 cups cornflakes, slightly crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted


Instructions

1.  Preheat the oven to 35o degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1/3 cup melted butter, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt and garlic powder.

3.  POur the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.  

4.  IN a medium mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup melted butter and crushed cornflakes.  Stir until the corn flakes are coated in butter.

5.  Spoon the cornflake mixture over the potatoes.

6.  Bake for 45 minutes.



For a printable version of this recipe  https://www.kulinarian.com/recipes/funeral-potatoes/

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Pondering and thinking

I am on a bad course.  It’s not going well, this weight loss thing.  The scales seem to have a mind of their ow the last two weeks.  

I was so proud of myself this past Friday when I had my official weigh in.  And my pride took a beating when I actually weighed on and showed a two pound gain.  (Maybe that is it’s own lesson to heed the  the biblical verse  ‘pride goeth before fall’)

Whatever happened I wanted to give up.  Why am I doing this to myself?   Am in insane?  This is pure torture!

But I’m NOT giving up!   I’m not out for the count.   But I am taking a step back and reevaluating!

After my vow to throw in the towel and give up passed I jumped at the thought of this and that ‘diet’.   Maybe if I ate only grapefruit for the next two weeks.  You know...I once knew someone that only drank Pepsi for 6 days a week and on the seventh day she ate.  I kid you not...that was her weight loss plan.  Maybe I could do that!!!!    Yes. I’m ashamed to admit that I thought about those crazy ideas! 

  I thought about no so crazy ideas. What about the intermittent fasting..and only eating one meal a day?  (OMAD).  Keto?   Atkins? South beach?   My mind swirled with ideas.

I don’t have an answer yet.   I know something has to change. A change in me personally?  Maybe.    A change in my weight loss plan?   Maybe.  A change in my exercise plan?  Who knows.  

I’m not jumping into anything right away.  I’m stepping back to reevaluate.  I’m stepping back to think.  And I’m stepping back to give myself time to research my options...some different ideas...some different thoughts.   

I’m still here.  I’m still in the game. But I’m pulling out the playbook and figuring out my next move.  And who knows...my next move might be a totally different plan, so stay tuned!!!!

I leave you with a picture of Mertz and she helps me research my next move in this weight loss journey!




Friday, March 19, 2021

Fabulous week...kinda

I had a fabulous week!   I was so spot on with my eating it was ridiculous!


Ok I was spot on with my plan for the week!  As you know, I don’t strive for perfection in my weight loss journey.  I aim for sustainability.  That means that I allow myself a sweet treat here and there. Most recently I allow myself one!   And that’s ok.   Because I want this to be for life!

So yes!  I followed my plan.  Lots of fruits and veggies for lunch and a healthy balanced dinner.  One sweet treat for the whole week!   I was spot on with my plan!  My calories were in check.  I was doing great!

My exercise was spot on!  I rode the bike almost every day!   I did take my first test day for the year 2021!  Yes my first test day!   I’m not pushing myself overly hard.  20 minutes on the bike each day.  But my legs were feeling heavy.  So I took a rest day.  But I got back on that bike the next day and started back with my riding and my routine.   We walked on the weekend and enjoyed seeing how spring is blossoming.


And I watched my weight steadily climb. I gained two whole pounds this week!   What is wrong with me?????  

I’m so frustrated I could scream!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Chasing the Pounds

Each week I chase the weight.   I have my official weigh in on Friday.  I am stoked about it....then the weekend comes and boom...I gain 1-2 pounds (sadly sometimes 3) and then I spend the rest of my weigh in week (my work week) chasing down those pounds.

It’s a vicious cycle!  Absolute insanity!  I cut back to one sweet treat for the whole week...and yes it does happen on the weekend.  (It was one a day on the weekend...and I included Friday night into the weekend..so three!). That didn’t seem to make a difference.  I watch my calories.   They are not insanely high!  I mean, even with the sweet treats they were in the 1600 to 1800 range.  According to the ‘numbers’ that should still be a loss!    But each week I gain!

It’s disheartening!  It’s infuriating.  It is what it is...apparently.

So last week while I was chasing down my weight gain during the course of my work week, I thought of a few things and I have a new plan of attack...or maybe it’s an old plan of attack...depending on how you look at it!  

I have been doing a more intermittent fasting method for a while.  I’m just not hungry first thing in the morning.  I never have been.  So I naturally fell into a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan.   I have been hearing so many people talk about doing the intermittent fasting plan of one meal a day, or OMAD.  I have honestly been interested. It would eliminate so much temptation.   But I hesitate for various reasons.  Honestly I worry about going on a long hike or an intense mountain bike ride with no food in me.  We need food as fuel!    Sooooo...this last week I combined the two...kinda...sorta.     

I eat my dinner normally.  Whatever I want, I don’t particularly choose low calorie foods.  This last week we had chicken and sweet potatoes one night,  cheeseburgers and Mac and cheese another night, spagetti, a broccoli cheddar quiche.......well balanced and not what I would call ‘diet food’.  Normal foods for normal people.  (Honestly the broccoli cheddar quiche may have been the only recipe I may have possibly found in a healthy cookbook).  

  But when I break my fast  I am working to stick to eating fruits and veggies only.  Not even just plain fruits and veggies.   I ate left over broccoli casserole and also some broccoli salad (yes we had a lot of broccoli this week...go figure) and I did smear my banana with peanut butter!    But the basis of my lunch was fruits and veggies.

As I ate and entered my food into myfitnesspal I started to think about the Maryfran of old.  When I was in weight watchers and losing weight steadily...and reaching my goal weight, I remember being in a meeting where they were talking about fruits and veggies and that we have to really work to get those 5 servings a day....as hard as it is...we need to get those 5 recommended servings.   I remember listening to people moan and bellyache about how it was ‘so difficult’ to eat that many and how ‘five a day?  That’s just impossible’.  I was dumbfounded and when they asked if anyone consistently ate 5 servings I was able to honestly raise my hand.  They asked how many I actually ate and I remember being able to honestly say ‘I eat at least 8 servings a day’.   It sparked a whole long conversation where I talked about how I just made those foods the basis of my diet.  I think I may have mentioned that my lunch was primarily fruits and veggies.   Every day...I packed 4-5 (sometimes more) fruits and veggies for lunch.  I always had a fruit serving after each meal for my pop of sweetness...so breakfast and dinner also included a fruit...and then whatever veggies I served with dinner.   

I finally remembered how I managed things before.  ‘Normal dinner’ but fruit and veggie laden through out the day!   I can do that again!   No problem!

The other thing that I did with my figures in myfitnesspal...I pulled out my total calorie count for each day and listed them in a piece of paper.  I then listed my weight for that day beside the number. 

1600-1700 is not a good number for me.  But I am happy to say that 1300-1400 is a good number.  At least from this weeks statistics.   I have long said that I can’t lose at a higher caloric intake...even if the numbers say I should.  It just doesn’t happen for me!  I think this shows that also.  But I was happy to see that I didn’t need to be down at the 1200 range.  I was losing just fine at the 1400 mark!    I don’t know how 200 calories a day could make such a huge difference....but they did (true the quality of calories consumed too plays a factor!)

As you can see on the stats picture...I managed to chase that weight gain and even lose a pound!  Yes, I was happy!!


So I learned and remembered some basic things about myself this past weigh in week while I chased down the weekend weight gain!    I am diligently putting them to use!  And I’m determined!!!  




Thursday, March 11, 2021

Running again????

This week has been somewhat uneventful.  Not much has been happening in terms of my weight loss.  It’s just been there.

I stayed the course over the weekend.  Stayed with my ‘one sweet treat indulgence’ rule.  I was so disgusted to see my weight pop up.   Irregardless of my seemingly good behavior my weight is determined to pop every weekend.  So I’ve been chasing down the ‘recoup’ all week long.  

On Sunday I was so thoroughly disgusted that I allowed the weight of it all (pun intended) to get to me.  I was actually depressed and feeling defeated about it all!    There were some other emotions at play also...some things that I am working through.   And I was an emotional wreck.   Jason had his hands full for sure!   He is a trooper and did everything he could to help me through the emotions!  

I did come to a conclusion on Monday....that conclusion was the reminder that I can’t help what other people do...how they treat me..how things play out in my life. I have no control over it.  The ONLY thing I have control over is my reaction to these stimuli.    And that includes how I stress eat..or not stress eat as the case may be.

I have continued on with my consistency with my exercise bike to get my miles.  I even got out for another run outside on my lunch break!!!!  Go me!  It was slow. It wasn’t pretty.  But I did it!!!



Ohhh and the weather was fabulous!  I was in a tee shirt!  That made it even better!  Spring is very welcome to arrive!

After my emotions on Sunday I feel more settled about my weight loss efforts.  I know I’m making overall good choices for health.   I just need to figure out why my weight is popping each weekend.  Calorically I’m not our of control.  (Even with the day that I had a sweet treat.). I’m not eating mad carbs all day long.  I’m not going off the rails at all.  It’s very controlled eating but something is off kilter.

I will figure this out!!!!  No if’s ands or buts!!!


Monday, March 08, 2021

I caved

I have been wanting one!  I have looked at peoples blogs.  I have watched videos.  I have been so wanting to get an air fryer!   I have heard that they are fabulous for cooking healthy meals! 

 My I have drooled over air fryers!  I wanted one bad!   I kept revisiting the idea in my mind!   But I kept resisting.   One main reason actually,  my kitchen is small! Where would I put it.  I already am constantly moving small appliances on a daily basis!! I can deal with the shuffling of small appliances...but my shelves that hold those small appliances are full.  What would I do?  Where would I put it!

Yet I kept getting inundated with air fryer praise!  Everyone talks about them!   I wanted!  But I kept resisting.  In my mind though I worked to come up with some ideas of how to magically create more storage in an already cramped apartment (story of my life!).

And then.....yes something happened.   We spent some time last weekend with Jason’s son and his fiancĂ© (and his adorable granddaughter) and us girls started talking about cooking and kitchen gadgets.  She mentioned that she an air fryer!  My heart lurched as that desire to buy one roared back to life!  Of course I asked her what her thoughts were.  And she sang her praises!   She talked about cooking in it but she also talked about reheating food in it.  Really?  Hmmmm

Jason overheard the conversation!  He was hooked when he heard that  restaurant  french fries that you get through delivery/take out can be popped into the air fryer and they taste good!  Really?    Of course we started talking about it...and the pendulum swayed toward getting one.   

We talked all week long. And we did it!!!

We shopped around a bit.  We immediately discarded the cheapie $40 ones.  They felt flimsy and if I was really strapped for money I am sure they would be fine...but while I am watching my money (for my financial goals) I am ok spending a bit of money here and there.  I try to buy good quality when I can.  So it ended up being between the Ninja and the Power.  Jason had researched these a while back because I apparently almost got one as a gift a while back!  (He knows me well and knows that kitchen gadgets are a sure fire winner for a gift!!!)   We finally settled on the PowerXL.  We liked the fact racks versus the basket.  We also liked the rotisserie option.  So we did it!

It was $189.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond  but a 20% off coupon made it right around $120.     We were so excited to bring it home!

We quickly set it up and we were so excited to try to reheat some Cajun wings that we had picked up at a farmers market!  Ohhh they turned out well!  But what about fries???

On Sunday we grabbed dinner and uncharacteristically ordered French fries.   We had to try them!   And oh my word...it worked!!!  They reheated well!   They were not soggy!  They were crispy on the outside.  They were soft inside.  They were excellent!

This is going to be a fun new gadget!!!    I will be accounting out recipes and working on finding new healthy ways to use this air fryer.  But this weekend we learned that reheating in the air fryer is superior to anything else!!!


Friday, March 05, 2021

I gained a pound!!!!

I gained a pound overnight!

I had a pretty good week.   Not stellar but pretty good. I held steady on Friday and Saturday with my edict of only one sweet treat for the week.  I was doing great!  But then came Sunday.   I indulged at a family event and then that evening I was stressed and ate another sweet treat.  So I totally messed up on Sunday!

Luckily my weight only went up one pound!  So the damage was minimal!  I worked all week long staying on target and worked to get that pound off.  By Wednesday it was starting to drop!   I was hopeful for a loss!

Thursday morning I weighed in and it was looking promising!  A maintain/small loss!    But I had one more day...I was going to do it!!  I knew I could!

Now let me stop and say that I weigh every morning religiously.  I strip my clothes...turn on the shower water to let it get warm....step on the scales...get in the shower!  It’s a routine.  So occasionally when I shower in the evening I just follow that habit without thought. (Although I don’t like to weigh more than once a day...once is enough.). Last night was one of those days where I just stepped on without thinking.  I was so excited!  The scales showed me down 1.5 pounds!  Yes!   1.5 pounds down!   I was so excited!

So I stepped on those scales with confidence this morning!  I was going to slay those scales!   I was the ruler!  I was........

I officially lost a half of a pound (technically 0.4).   Where did that pound go?  Last night it was 1.4!   Ohhhh those scales are so fickle!!!!

So even though I apparently ‘gained’ a pound overnight....(yes I know it is normal fluctuations throughout the day and that’s why I don’t weigh more than once a day usually)   I still lost!  It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to lose...but a loss is a loss!!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Monthly Recap

We have closed the books on February!   Another month in the year 2021 done.   I know it’s only been two months into this year but wow...it’s flying by!!!

So with a new month brings a bit of reflection of previous months.  So how did I do with my goals for February?

Financial Goals
I have a goal for the year.  I have a large amount of money that I would like to have in my savings account by the end of the year.  I have broken that down to a certain dollar amount that I need each month.  I am not going into details of exactly what I am saving or how much...that is not the goal to tell people my personal finances.  But....I have that goal of what I need and I met that goal!   In fact I smashed that goal and saved a few hundred dollars more than I needed!   I am on target to meet that financial goal well before the end of the year!   Can I double that goal?   Hmmm. I’m going to do my best!

2021 miles goal
My challenge to propel myself 2021 miles in the year 2021 is going well also!   I needed 168.48 miles for the month of February.  I had to up my daily miles a bit due to the fact that February was a shorter month.  But I made my goal.  I made my goal with room to spare!  I actually got 55.26 miles more than I needed!  I am doing great!  I have been consistent with my miles and I am quite proud of myself!!!

Lose weight
I set a challenge to be at or under 200 pounds by the end of this year.  That equaled to be roughly 1 pound a week, with about 6 weeks extra to account for no loss week.   I didn’t do great in January and just posted a small loss for the month and February was not much better.  I lost 1.6 pounds for the month.   I am not knocking it...it is a loss!  It could have been a gain.  So I am happy.  But I am so going to have to pick up the pace with my losing because I have now used up all my freebies.  I am down to the wire.  I have to lose 1 pound a week from here on out to meet my goal!   It’s time to get serious and take no prisoners!

I am aiming for the same goals for the month of March.  My goals this year will remain the same as I am working toward large goals.  But that’s ok.  It helps me build consistency!    

March is going to be fantastic!!   I can smash all my goals! I know I can!