I started my actual weight shedding journey on Wednesday May 30, so this week marks Week #3 in the pound plummet plan. Thus far, I have dropped 3.2 pounds, and 1-3/4" inches overall. Whoa! The biggest drop in inches was off my hips, at 3/4". It's pretty easy for me to shed off the hips. It's my waist and gut that are the challenging areas, but I did shed a total of 3/4" combined from those spots. Then there was a 1/4" drop from the thighs. I know muscle weighs more than fat, so the fact that I did not drop any weight between Week 2 and 3 doesn't worry me too much because I feel the muscles coming back to life. I especially notice it in my thighs and hams since I've been doing mountain climbing on the treadmill. I also had some emotional stressors where I ended up overeating to stuff the feelings. Not going to beat myself up about that. There's more about it after the jump.
Since I am an experienced yo-yo dieter, I've learned that in order for me to have longer term success I need to start off by cutting down versus cutting out. Better to wean versus go cold turkey on the fat-forming foods because as soon as my psyche starts feeling depravation it rebels. Instead, I tell my psyche that we can have this or that but this is the result that it will produce if we eat it. Your choice. Because my psyche gets to choose, in the majority of cases, it chooses to gain health over producing more pounds. It's all mental, and sort of a game, but it works for me.
Also, I decided that I am not in any rush to lose weight in order to meet some deadline like a wedding or reunion. I want long term success, so in order to have that I need to develop healthier habits to the point where it is part of my every day life versus some "I'm doing this until I lose the weight" kind of thing. And let's be real, diet programs that make you rely on pills or special made food (by them) only get you to your goal weight, they don't keep you there. You can't take the pills forever or eat Jenny Craig for the rest of your life.
So, I started out by making some simple, doable, food changes which include: (after the jump)
...I've made a conscious effort to eat breakfast...
Cutting down my dairy consumption by about 85%. From a food diary analysis, the biggest culprit to excess calories in my diet comes from dairy products. With dairy, there is also all that fat. I cut out ice cream all together because I really don't miss it that much. If I feel the need for something cold this summer, I'll eat some Rice Dream ice cream which tastes just as good to me. I would eat cheese and butter every day, and the cheese I would eat up 2-3 times a day because I'm a cheese-aholic. Week 1, I cut back to eating cheese every other day. Week 2, I'd go every 2 days, and in Week 3, I have probably eaten only one 2 oz piece of cheddar. Technically, I could eat more than that but I just haven't had the desire to. It's a mental game that works on me.
Just to note, I already am religious about not eating anything with trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, processed flour and sugar, and artificial sweetners. Diet Coke is the last thing with the ASs I'm weaning myself from. I eat meats that are free range or without hormones etc. I buy groceries primarily from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and my local Farmer's markets, and buy organic as much as possible. Matt and I also eat most dinners at home which I cook. This is one reason I wanted to create work I could do from home, so that I could cook more. As well, I love to cook so it's a joy for me.
I eat dinner before 7:30pm, and cut down on dessert. The major weakness Matt and I have is eating sweets at night. Every night, we'd eat a cookie, or ice cream, or piece of cake. Night eating is my vulnerable area. In Week 1, we had a dessert only 4 nights instead of 7. Then we went to about 2-3 nights in Week 2. In Week 3, we've been eating fruit for dessert. It's still sugar at night but at least there's no fat, flour, or candy.
I've made a conscious effort to eat breakfast and eat one vegetable at lunch and dinner, and the vegetable has to be different for each meal, meaning if I have broccoli for lunch than for dinner it has to be something besides broccoli. I actually enjoy trying new veggies and rotating, but I have to be conscious about it.
I joined the Golds Gym in my area. I stopped going last year because well frankly, I just didn't feel like going any more. I was a gym rat for 10 years prior to that and I think something in me just snapped, and said "We don't like the gym any more." So, I stopped going. A big part of the 25 pound gain has been the fact that I stopped really exercising 2 years ago including stopping all together last year. I'm back, and slowly working on cardio as I don't want to hurt myself by trying to jump in where I "left off." I was in great shape 2 years ago. I could run 5-1/2 miles in an hour, 5 times a week.
In Week 1, I started by walking on the treadmill and jogging as far as I could which ended up being 5 minutes the first day. I couldn't believe how outta shape I was, but that was okay. You have to start somewhere. In Week 3, I've been able to run for 30 minutes up to 5.0 on the treadmill 3 times a week. On the other 2 days, I get on the elliptical. I've been getting at least 40 minutes exercise including warm up and cool down, 5 times a week. It feels fantastic to sweat and get the blood moving. I've been doing some hill climbing on the treadmill as well, and I can feel my leg muscles coming back. It's a fantastic motivator.
Emotionally, the only major stressor in my life at this time is money which is a pretty significant stressor because since starting my business and making a career shift, I have had to make a huge lifestyle adjustment. I literally live month to month, and have been doing this for a few years now. I want to have steady income, and buy a house, and I know that in time it will all happen. But now, the stress of the beginning of the month when bills are due stresses me out, and it makes me want to eat to stuff the stressed feelings.
Over the Father's Day weekend, my period came so I was all bloated and couldn't exercise for 2 days. Then I got into a fight with my mom on Father's Day because she wouldn't stop bugging me about something I obviously don't want to do. That stress sparked me to overeat all day Sunday, and do some night noshing. Mom and I haven't gotten into a fight in like 5 years, and when we do argue it's because she won't let up on me about something that frankly, I don't think is her business. She doesn't think so, but I can't change what she thinks so therefore we butt heads. Nonetheless, I had a lapse day which I wasn't thrilled about but its merely a setback and I got back on track Monday. Next time I need to continue talking to my Mom instead of bottling up and eating to compensate for those bottled up feelings.