My Weight Gain

It’s been so long since I blogged that I don’t even know what to write. That, actually, has been keeping me from blogging – not knowing what to write.

Let’s go with a status update. I’ve gained weight. To the point where I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. I’ve been working out, but the eating….My eating habits have been terrible. I’ve veered into eating whatever I want territory. That would be fine, I suppose, if whatever I wanted happened to involve a lot of veggies, lean protein, and otherwise wholesome foods; however, too many starches and too many sugary treats have made their way into and onto my body.

I know what I need to do in order to start feeling better and eating more healthfully, and yet, I’m struggling to do those things. Carbs keep winning. At least that’s how it feels.

I should not be losing to food. Like, what is that idea? That food is some sort of powerful foe to defeat? It’s not, and I don’t think that food should be some sort of enemy.

I’m not sure how to approach weight loss this time. I sense that if I don’t deal with the mental aspects of what is leading me to keep gaining weight, that I won’t ever be able to maintain a healthy weight. I’ve read lots of books and articles on weight loss, and I had thought that I found the solution a few years ago (working with a dietitian and personal trainer who provided coaching and support), but when my dietitian moved into a different field and my personal trainer moved away, I gradually slipped back into old, less healthy habits. I’ve started working with a new dietitian, but I don’t really like her approach that much (tracking what I eat and counting calories) because I don’t feel like it’s sustainable. Plus, personality-wise, I don’t feel like we “click.” I’ve recently started with a new trainer, too, and I really like her, but I’m only a couple of weeks in so it’s too early to really judge how things are going there.

Weight loss is work, despite magazines yelling at me that I can “Eat More, Weigh Less.” Chopping up veggies, packing healthy snacks, bringing lunch to work, meal planning, food journaling, counting calories, finding time to workout, actually working out, grocery shopping, avoiding unhealthy foods, convincing yourself that you don’t want that chocolate treat. This is WORK, and I am tired, mentally tired. I guess that’s what’s holding me back. I KNOW that weight loss and what I need to do to achieve it are hard and require a certain level of mental commitment. I am not there right now, and I don’t know how I’m going to get there.

 

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March Madness

My kids’ hockey seasons are wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, I’m happy to report, and my son’s soccer winds up this weekend. Looking forward to less driving and more time at home. If I’m totally honest, though, my husband has been shouldering the bulk of the running around for the kids’ activities, so I’m sure he’s going to be ecstatic come March 24th.

Workouts have not been happening for a couple of weeks. I have been totally exhausted (work has been really busy) and have tended to choose more sleep over workouts. On the other hand, my eating has been pretty good, and last week I started using the Lose It app (loseit.com) and totally love it. I had previously resisted my dietitian’s attempts to get me to food track electronically because I’ve always found anything online to be a pain in the ass (PITA), but this app allows you to scan food labels into your phone and then tracks the nutritional data, to enter your own recipes easily, and is, according to my dietitian, fairly accurate in calorie counts vs. other apps out there. I was already food journaling, but using this tool helped me I was eating plain ol’ too much, even though the food I was eating was generally good for me.

Still making my way through The Book of New Family Traditions (Revised and Updated): How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day and have started Sundae Mondays for the kids. Basically, I’m putting together breakfast sundaes for them every Monday morning so that they have something to look forward to that day. Mondays suck for pretty much everyone, and I’ve definitely noticed that it boosts their moods at the beginning of the week to start out with something fun.

Off to do some yoga before bed. Today was a long, tough day at work and my back needs to decompress.

What are your favourite apps?

 

Summer: Now Just Around the Corner

If you read Kat’s blog over at Tenaciously Yours, you’ll know that she’s on her honeymoon, cruising the Mediterranean.  While she’s away, she’s posting some of her own material, but is also featuring some guest bloggers.  I was honoured to have her ask me to guest blog for her, because I love her blog and I find her posts super entertaining.  It’s not unusual for me to laugh out loud  as I’m sitting in my kitchen, reading the latest about her life.  So, cruise on over, check out my post about my summer fun checklist, and then peruse some of hers.  You won’t be disappointed.

My first week of work at my summer job was mostly good. It’s nice getting back into a routine because it keeps me from snacking at all hours. I packed my lunch most days, had lots of veggies, made some pretty good snacking choices, drank more water, and ended up losing about 1.5 lbs this week.

Workout-wise, though, I slacked.  I did some core and hip-strengthening exercises, but otherwise nothing else this past week.  I’m booked in to see a physiotherapist next week, so we’ll see what she says about the whole hip-slash-running situation.  I plan to get a run in tomorrow and I’m definitely going to schedule workouts into my calendar for the upcoming week.  I think the key is going to be to workout right after work, before I really wind down.  At least next week.  And then my kids will move with me for the summer, so I’ve got to figure out how to fit in my workouts after that, since I’ll be solo parenting most of the time.  My husband will be there sometimes, since he travels to the city I’m living in for my summer job a couple of days per week, usually, but it’ll definitely be challenging to wrangle the kids on my own.

How do you make sure you get your workouts in, and how’s the summer shaping up for you so far?

 

Procrastination, Food Journaling, and Sharing: All in a Day of Non-Work

I just knocked a big to-do off my list.  It’s something unpleasant that I’ve been putting off for several weeks now, and it’s a gigantic relief to finally get it done.

Do you ever procrastinate?  In this case, my to-do item caused me so much anxiety just to think about it that I definitely avoided it as much as possible.  Not the best policy, I know.  You’d think eventually I’d be grown up enough to face things head on – but, apparently not.

Kind of a funny day today.  Woke up to a slightly sore IT band (lateral knee).  Not completely surprising, considering my run + workout yesterday.  So, I succumbed to excuse-making and didn’t go for a bike ride, though I pulled my lovely gel pack out of the freezer and iced my knee several times today.

I’ve got an easy 6k run on the agenda tomorrow.  Unless something happens to my knee overnight, I’ll be heading out there, but I’ll be looping close to home just in case I have to cut the run short and hurry home to ice.  If I do have to cut it short, I will either stationary bike or lift some weights instead.  No excuses allowed.  Make it work.

On the eating front, I’ve been food journaling as of late and now it’s time to Focus on Weight Loss.  For real.  No more procrastination when I comes to nutrition, either!

The beauty of food journaling is that you can’t kid yourself about exactly what you’re consuming.  If you don’t write it down, it’s easy enough to forget that extra slice of bread in the afternoon, or those few extra bites of lasagna you hoovered, or even the fact that you powered through oatmeal and a smoothie for breakfast, and then added in a piece of toast that your daughter left behind.

Let me tell you, my food journal is telling me that I am eating WAY too many starches.  It’s just that simple.  I worked with a dietitian all last year, so I’m pretty aware of what my diet should look like if I’m focusing on weight loss, and I am currently not there.  I’ve boosted my fruit and especially veggie intake over the past couple of weeks, and that’s fabulous.  But…I’m not only eating too many servings of starches, but also not the most nutritious forms of starches that I could.  As someone with PCOS (as I’ve mentioned before here and here), my body is not great at dealing with starches, so when I closely monitor the amount and type I consume, weight loss goes SO much better.

My nutrition action plan for this week:

  1. Keep up the good work with the veggies!  Make sure I get at least 4 servings per day 5 of 7 days this week. (I think I’ve been averaging 5 per day, so I feel good about this goal.)
  2. Food journal at least 5 days.
  3. Limit the starches to what I know I should be eating, and focus on getting whole grains most of the time.
  4. Limit myself to 2 treats this week (1 on Sunday, 1 next Wednesday).
  5. Track how much liquid I’m drinking at least 4 days this week.  Since my training is increasing, I’d better make sure I’m staying sufficiently hydrated.

Ugh, gold. What was I thinking?

As a reward for meeting my goals this week, I will get a polish change, because even though my spa day the other day was fantastic, I hate the colours I chose.  Not a big deal, but it’s a tempting enough reward, I think, to give me the extra kick in the pants I need.  [And, wow, can I get any more vapid and superficial?!?]
Also, thought I’d share a picture my daughter took of my husband and me on Sunday.  Pretty good photography for a 5 year old.  I’m totally bragging and bursting with pride, because that’s what moms do, right?
Ooh, and before I forget, check out this post from Kat over at Tenaciously Yours, and then head on over to http://www.refresheverything.com/greenvilleartscouncil.  As I former band geek (clarinet) and avid reader of Kat’s blog, I wanted to share this great cause with ya’ll.
So, confess: are you a proscrastinator or a just-get-it-done kind of person?  Don’t worry, I won’t judge.  I’ve been rocking the procrastination thing for YEARS….though I am getting a little better.

 

The Weight Loss Adventure Continues

Now that the term is pretty much done, it’s time to get back to work on improving my fitness and…losing weight.  During the school year, I decided that I just couldn’t make weight loss a priority, given my schedule.  For me, anyway, there’s a certain amount of stress that comes with trying to lose weight.  I find that it takes mental fortitude to consistently make good food choices and turn down those not-so-healthy temptations that arise, and when I’ve got the stress of school and trying to fit in the rest of my life, well, there’s not a ton of energy left to devote to weight loss.

To give you a quick recap of my weight loss so far, my weight at the beginning of the school year was 147lbs, per this post.  I didn’t track it diligently, but it hovered just about 145lbs for most of the school year.  Oh yeah, except for over Christmas holidays, where I ate like crazy, didn’t work out much at all, and gained, like, 8 lbs over 2 weeks.  Luckily, I went back to my more healthy diet and the weight came off fairly quickly, and then held fairly steady.

As of this morning, I weighed in at 148.4lbs.  I gained about 3 pounds over the last couple of weeks, and I can definitely chalk that up to the fact that I basically sat at my desk 12-14 hours per day and ate more junk food than usual.  Sure, I got in a couple of workouts, but they weren’t enough to balance out the lack of activity and increase in chocolate consumption.

I never dreamed that I would be able to make it through 3rd year without gaining back some of the weight I’d lost.  As some who’s struggled with emotional eating, I wasn’t confident I would be able to manage the stress this school year without resorting to chocolate and starches for comfort during tough times.  Now that I’ve managed to maintain my weight-loss through a very stressful and busy stage in my life, I feel confident that I’ll be able to lose more and then maintain that, too – as long as it’s reasonable weight, I suppose.  A net 1.5 lb gain at the tail-end of the end is not a big deal in my mind, considering I’ve lost over 30 lbs since the end of my first year of dentistry.

To go from maintaining my weight to actively losing weight means that I have to make some changes, though, and I don’t just mean physical ones.  I have to be mentally committed to weight loss or else I won’t be able to make the long-term changes I need to.  Keeping that in mind, I’m laying out some short-term goals for the week:

1. Go through The Beck Diet Solution Workbook and get ready to make the mental shift for weight loss.

2. Track everything I eat at least 5 days this week.

3. Eat at least 4 servings of vegetables per day at least 4 days this week.

4. Limit my treats to 3 this week.  The fact that this is cutting back is a clear sign that my diet is definitely not as healthy as it was at the beginning of the school year.

I’ll be back tomorrow with fitness goals for the week and maybe some pictures of beaver bones, per Kat‘s request in her comment to this post.

Halloween Indulgences: Mini Chocolate Bars and Zombies

 

Check out AMC's new Series, The Walking Dead

I have a thing for zombie movies.  Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later (not to be confused with the Sandra Bullock movie 28 Days), Zombieland, Resident Evil – love ’em all.  As I type this, I am watching a new series on AMC called The Walking Dead.  Apropos for Halloween, don’t you think?

So, yes, today is/was Halloween, and I think I must now officially cut myself off from sugar for awhile!  Not sure if it’s the deceptively small size of the mini chocolate bars that makes me thing that it’s not as bad as the full-sized version, or just the fact that I usually don’t have chocolate kicking around my house, but I definitely over-indulged today.  And if I’m being perfectly honest, I’ve been snacking and treating myself a little too frequently lately – not just today.

Near the beginning of October, I met with my nutritionist and talked to her about my lack of  motivation and my inability to focus on weight loss.  With school and family and trying to fit in fitness, I just was lacking the mental energy to focus on weight loss.  So, we decided that I should just focus on maintaining my weight for now.  I still wanted to stick with a healthful diet, but was having a few issues with evening snacking and extra treats, so I set a goal to limit treats to one or two on the weekend and to eat a fruit or vegetable along before an evening snack.

Up until this week, I managed to maintain my weight, but over the past week, my weight has started to creep up, and as of this morning, I was up 1.5 lbs.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my weight loss journey this past year and a half, it’s that if I want to lose weight, I have to be mentally committed to it.  Otherwise, I find myself fitting in those extra snacks and treats and there’s no weight loss.

In the past, I’ve hit a couple of motivation blocks, and I’ve been spurred back into action by weight gain.  This time, though, I’m afraid that I still don’t have the extra motivation I need to get back on track.  I would love to write that, yes, I will resume my usual healthy diet and get in at least 3 workouts per week, but at this moment, I think it would be a hollow promise.

However, being that school is not quite as hectic as it was a couple of weeks ago, I think it’s reasonable for me to commit to the following goals for the week:

1) I will record what I eat at least 4 days this week

2) I will fit in at least 3 workouts this week (Monday – 30 min stationary bike and core, Wednesday – 25 min run and total body workout, Friday – 25 min run)

3) I will limit treats to 2, and only on the weekend (Gotta say, given my recent history, that this one will be tough!  But only for a few days.  Once I get into a groove, it’ll be fine.)

As added motivation, if I meet all of my goals as of the end of next Sunday, I will book myself in for a pedicure ASAP.

Now, I’m gonna get back to the zombies chasing a hot sheriff’s deputy in Atlanta.  Indulging in cheesy zombie films involves fewer calories than mini Kit Kat bars. 🙂

Happy Halloween!

Weight Loss Update

Just over a month ago, I set a goal of losing 5 lbs by August 25th.  Click here to read that post.  On July 26th, I weighed in at 154 lbs, so I was aiming for 149 lbs.  Did I hit my target, you wonder?  I sure did!  As of Wednesday, I weighed 147 lbs, so I even lost a little extra – a total of 7 lbs.  Woohoo!

I’m going to try and lose another 5 lbs by September 25th, which would take me down to 142 lbs.  Wow!  I seriously don’t remember the last time I weighed so little.  Since I weighed 152 lbs when I got married 12 1/2 years ago, I’m going to guess it’s been at least 13 years since I’ve been this weight.  That’s pretty amazing!  I have come a long way (from 180 lbs in May of 2009), and the really good thing is that I still feel motivated to continue with the healthy eating and workouts.

I had always read that if you want to lose weight permanently, you have to treat any changes you make as lifetime changes, not short term.  That means not “dieting” but eating healthfully all the time, and leading an active lifestyle on an ongoing basis.  I feel like I’ve finally achieved this!  I’m not saying that I’ll never have a week or two or even four (vacation, anyone?) where I may indulge more and workout less than usual, but I know how much better I feel now that I’m active and eat well and I don’t want to go back to how I felt before, or how much I WEIGHED before.

It may seem like 5 lbs in a month is not that tough to do, but as I said here, losing even a pound a week is tough for me due to my PCOS.  Add in stress from school and a decrease in the volume and frequency of my workouts due to my school schedule, and you get a few hurdles for me to overcome in order to hit my target.  I know I can do it – I’ll just have to stick really closely to my eating plan and make sure the workouts I get in are good quality ones.

I get to run tomorrow to test out my IT band.  I’m nervous, but hopeful.  My half marathon is 2 weeks from today, so I’m really hoping that this run goes well.  If not, well, I guess I’ll be swimming tomorrow.  The rest of my week looks like this:

  • Tuesday: 300 workout (high rep strength workout)
  • Wednesday: swim and core
  • Thursday: gym workout with my trainer
  • Friday: 10k run (assuming my IT band is okay)
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: interval run

My kids are home from my parents – they were visiting for a whole week!  We went and picked them up yesterday.  Since I had CPR training yesterday afternoon and we had to drive an hour and a half to pick up the kids, I decided to bring my bike along and do my hour workout on the way, so to speak.  My husband dropped me off on the highway about 25k from where were were going.  Usually, I have an average pace of 22-23 km/hr, but it was pretty windy and I had a tailwind, so I figured a couple extra km would be enough to account for that.  I was wrong – it was SO windy that I had to add on several km at the end.  However, these were not as easy as the first 25k, because I had a severe crosswind and then a headwind for the last 750m or so.  I seriously thought about getting off and walking, it was so windy.  But I made it, and then had a cheeseburger and a few bites of an Oreo Blizzard at DQ with my family.  Yum!

What are your workout plans for the week?  Did you enjoy your weekend?