eastbaymomma

Posts Tagged ‘weight-loss’

Week 6: amp up fruit and veggie intake

In The Program, Uncategorized on July 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Moving towards a super healthy diet, this week is all about monitoring fruit and veggie intake. In other words, making sure I am getting enough of the healthy stuff my body needs. As always I am taking baby steps to make sure this diet/lifestyle and these wellness goals are sustainable. No quick fixes here! No crash and burn diets! No overwhelming, time consuming, obsessive plans. One weekly goal at a time means I am building a healthy, smart, tailor-made, reasonable, sustainable weightloss program to say bye-bye to the pregnancy (and then some) weight forever.

At this point maybe I should rename the blog “losing that toddler weight” since I have yo-yoed so much during my daughter’s toddlerhood. I have lost more than half of the pregnancy weight but never have lost more than two thirds of it because for the last year I have been gaining and losing the same 10-15lbs over and over again. This yoyo pattern makes sense to me since I have been under intense stress as I care for my mom going through hospice, but still, enough already!!! Yoyoing is frustrating aesthetically and also is super unhealthy for my poor body trying to cope with all the extreme measures I was placing on it. Time to care for my body in a healthy way and not have us be adversaries. Thank goodness this latest approach to healthy weight loss has been working. The past six weeks of “easy does it” changes are adding up to success. My clothes are looser! Just as importantly, I am hitting all my daily and weekly goals and that feels so good.

Anyways, this week, the way I am figuring out my goals for daily fruit and veggie intake is from the US government’s guidelines. In lieu of going to the doctor and getting her input, this seems like a fairly reasonable source. Hopefully there aren’t too many lobbyists influencing the guidelines lol! I am finding the
US government’s website very easy to use. To check the chart for how many vegetables you should consume based on age and gender click here . For fruit click here.

For me I should have a goal of 2.5 cups of veggies per day and 1.5 cups of fruit. I probably hit these goals half the time I would say, so I am excited to amp up my intake and reap the benefits of better nutrition. Take some time to explore the whole website in general because it has some great info that hopefully is backed by lots of science. For example, it is interesting to note on the the veggie chart that it shows you should shoot for particular quantities of various subgroups. I bet I don’t get 5.5 cups of red and orange veggies a week.

Have a great, healthy, reasonable week!

Review of my plan:
Week 1: yoga 2x per week at least
Week 2: 8 glasses of water a day
Week 3: no eating after dinner
Week 4: one sweet treat per week
Week 5: switch from sugar to a healthier sweetner
Week 6: proper fruit & veggie intake

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Oh cereal, I must let you go

In Random Thoughts, The Program on July 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

When I gained 99lbs you would have thought it was because of binging on junk food like candy, cookies, cake, chips, fast food, etc. Although I did eat some of that stuff, really I ate “healthy” food in excess. For example, raisin bran is a relatively healthy food, right? Nope, not when you have had three overflowing large bowls in rapid succession it isn’t!!!

I have been able to keep potion sizes of healthy food in check throughout my sixty pound weight loss this year, except for cereal. It is like I become a cereal zombie and, in a daze, I pour another bowl, after I have just had one! And it isn’t Lucky Charms or Coco Puffs it is Shredded Wheat and Cheerios! Super frustrating. I have been fighting this behavior for awhile now and all I can think to do is that maybe I need to simply abstain from cereal for awhile. Give it the twenty-one days that experts say are needed to form new habits and then try and see if I can eat cereal in a normal, properly portioned way. I hate doing extreme things like this but for now I think I must… I don’t want anything, not a stupid bowl (or three) getting between me and the final thirty pound weight loss!

Six Months, Thirty Pounds

In Random Thoughts, The Program, Uncategorized on July 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Alright folks, I am super impatient to get the remaining weight off. I feel like I have to do something while I wait! Starvation diets and crazy amounts of exercise aren’t going to work for me, tempting as the quick results would be, I have to be reasonable and still function well! In fact, I have been doing a plan for months that has been working, just very slooooooowly… So, to calm the jitters and the rapid extreme weight loss fantasy schemes going on in my head (as a Mom to a toddler I just can’t go crazy;I need my energy), I think it is time to set some goals

My baby turns two the end of January, 2014. How about I set my goal to have the remaining pregnancy weight (and then some) off by her birthday? That gives me six months to lose thirty pounds. That works out to be five pounds per month. This, I think, is doable, even with the multiple months of holiday food craziness near her birthday. This means monthly weight check-ins, here on the blog.

Also, I have heard that people who give themselves non-food rewards at milestones are more successful. Sooooo… On August 15th, if I have lost 5lbs by then I am rewarding myself with a new piece of jewelry that I can look at daily and say, I did it! I am on my way! I am going to make it! We aren’t talking diamonds lol, but something I wouldn’t normally ever buy so that it is a real treat.

64lbs down, 30 to go….The journey continues!!

Well… That didn’t work well for me!

In Random Thoughts, The Program, Uncategorized on July 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Well, I tried the no sugar, flour and wheat diet for the first three days and I felt a bit better physically but I was SO CRANKY! At the end of the third day I broke and had some sugar (sour patch kids candy, no less!)

Instead of beating myself up and saying why oh why don’t you have more will power, I decided to go back to what has worked for months: logging my calories via an app and staying within my calorie allotment. The slow but steady method, in which I don’t feel crazy-deprived, is what I can sustain. It is just so hard being patient with the weight loss but it sure is better than walking around super cranky and then having way too much candy!

Amping It Up

In Exercise, The Program, Uncategorized on July 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

The last few weeks I have been consuming way too much snack food. It isn’t that I have gone over my calorie allotment, on most days I don’t. But I have felt stuck just when I only have a third of the extra weight left to lose. I have lost more than two-thirds of my weight gain!! But this last thirty or so pounds feels elusive and daunting. Plus, my skin isn’t looking great. And, my energy feels low even though I am in great shape. Low energy is mot acceptable because my toddler requires all the energy I can muster!!

I have decided that for the next few weeks I am going to abstain from sugar, flour and wheat. In the past doing so has been my golden ticket for weight loss. I don’t want to live my life obsessed with “good” and “bad” foods which this diet kicks up for me. So, this is a temporary program. The timing is good: no birthdays, holidays or other special occasions in the next few weeks that might trip me up. I hope after a few weeks of this “clean” eating that I will feel better and the weight loss will be kick started again. Wish me luck!

Dieting State of Grace

In Random Thoughts on April 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

About three weeks ago I was going through a tough time – bored with the diet, frustrated by the slow movement of the scale, starting to cook up obsessive diet and exercise plans, etc. After pushing through it (and thankfully not making radical changes that just would have been distractions), I have arrived in this golden period of dieting that I don’t think I have ever experienced before: I am not obsessed with food, I am not overly hungry, I am not obsessed with dieting “tricks” and even though the scale only lightly decreases I am not freaked out about it.
What has happened???

It is a dieting state of grace. I am sixty-one pounds down and have thirty-eight to go and for some reason, the last few weeks, thirty-eight pounds doesn’t seem as irritating, frustrating and impossible as it did three weeks ago. I am so grateful. I have been hesitant to write a blog post about this because, superstitiously, I have been worried that if I acknowledged how great the last few weeks have been that it could go away. Fingers crossed that it won’t!

Stay the course

In Random Thoughts, Uncategorized on April 2, 2013 at 12:25 am

For the last week or so I have been doing some funky thinking about my weight loss plan and I have realized that it is a habit I need to call the three week curse. It seems like each time I commit to a new approach for weight loss somewhere around the three week mark I start having this internal debate about the effectiveness of the program and start beating myself up that perhaps I have not done as well as I should have. I then start trying to think up a new weight loss approach… even if the original approach is working!!!

What is up with this??? Is it that I have almost cruised into that awesome 28-day golden ticket zone where experts say health changes become habit and automatic so I for some reason want to self-sabotage before that point? Is it that I get bored with a program and want to change things up? Is it some aloof sense of fear of being thin again (if I am thin I can’t use being fat for reasons I don’t do x, y or z)? Does being fat give me some tangible way to express anger at the world, at people not treating me the way that I want because many people do treat fat people differently (I have been both) in my experience? None of these thoughts ring completely true to my situation. I can’t quite figure it out. But I have been at this weight loss game long enough to know this three week angst phenomenon exists.

This time around I think I handled it appropriately. There were two days I went slightly over my calorie allotment, but not by much. I allowed myself to engage in the defeatist and obsessive thoughts because really, how can I stop them? Most importantly, I did not stop my program. I am doing the weight loss the healthy way, modifying my calorie intake, making healthy food choices, not engaging in radical self deprivation and and only exercising moderately for mental health, not weight loss.

Previously I may have resolved to try a different weight loss technique after a weekend of “free” eating. I may or may not start that technique after the weekend was over. For sure I would have a lot of disappointed mental chatter. So, I am going to be like the turtle in the children’s fable this time. Slow and steady wins the weight loss race!

Another motivating metric

In Random Thoughts, Uncategorized on March 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I have lost more than 55lbs this past year but still have a ways to go. I have finally broken the pattern which I had since the thanksgiving holidays of losing and then regaining the same 10lbs over and over again. I am solidly losing again and I can see my body changing shape again. Yay!

Perhaps I have a masochistic bent or something because this morning I thought, hmmm, let’s find out if I am still considered obese. Well….. I am!

I was curious how doctors calculate that fact. They do so via BMI. I learned about it on this website.

If I had wanted a short term weight loss solution I could have done the rigid 12step food program that I used to lose a ton of weight before, but it was actually one of the most unhealthiest times of my life (and I have had some unhealthy times, let me tell you.)

Losing the pregnancy weight (and then some) has been a journey to discover a healthy lifestyle so that I can model one for my daughter. I have been trying many different approached this past year and overall, have found success. Forty pounds to go!

Back to BMI, even though I was in the obese category, it didn’t make me feel like a loser (surprisingly). It just made me happy I have a plan to keep losing extra fat. It is another tool in my healthy living toolbox.

Really bad advice

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Okay so this is some really bad (unhealthy) advice BUT if you are really hungry and don’t want to eat actual food, drink coffee, it’ll curb your appetite. Such unhealthy advice, I know. Let me contextualize it.

Say you have eaten more than enough at a meal but you still want more. You know you are either just “eye-hungry” or “mouth-hungry” or emotionally eating or all of the above but you’ve had your fill and gotten all the calories and nutrients that you need for that meal. Have a cup of coffee with even a little milk and sugar, if that is how you drink it. The hungry really does subside for several hours. I am always amazed how well this trick works.

Now there is a whole lot wrong with this advice, not to mention that it borders on anorexia-type tricks if you use coffee to replace actual meals and needed calories/nutrients. For instance, caffeine is not that great for you even if there have been some studies on performance: to me, being a slave to any substance, even just caffeine, isn’t great. (I have never tried this trick with decaf.). Plus, I would like to think that you shouldn’t have to or need to use anything to suppress hunger, coffee included. You should be able to eat when your body says it is hungry and stop when it is full. But, in my case, 40lbs or so left to go after losing 55lbs, I still haven’t regained a good hungry-full balance yet.

Someone long ago told me about how models and actresses use this coffee/appetite-suppressing trick. I certainly don’t want to take too many pointers from those in industries where women do all sorts of unhealthy things to lose weight. But a cup of joe once in awhile after a meal when I know I want more for other reasons than nutrition, well, maybe that is okay. At least today after lunch it is.

Exercise for mental health, not weight loss

In Random Thoughts, Schmexercise, Uncategorized on March 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

A friend visited a few months ago and she explained to me that she needs to exercise everyday for her mental health, not her physical health. Over the winter holidays she was traveling and visiting family and her exercise regime really suffered. She was surprised by how much inactivity bolstered depression and anxiety. This is anecdotal of course but there are tons of studies linking exercise with improved mental health (check out the mayo clinic, science daily, etc.). My friend frames her exercise routine as a must, as her daily medicine.

This outlook is pretty radical to me. I usually start exercising solely to lose weight. I do crazy things like run marathons and go on long back packing trips to be “able” to eat lots of food! If I exercise there must be a goal involved and be an all-encompassing time-intensive pursuit.

After my friend headed home I thought well, why not try to approach exercise for mental and physical health? I wanted to try a routine that was practical and something I could do with the baby. I tried dance classes at the gym but I didn’t like the baby care and with the driving and packing for the outing, it proved to be too much to do every day or even every few days. I loved the classes though and think when the baby gets older I will try to incorporate a couple a week into my routine.

On Facebook a friend posted rave reviews of the Couch to 5K app. It guides you through a run/walk, three day a week, regime culminating in you being able to run a 5K in about 8 weeks of training. I haven’t really run since running the NYC marathon…. in 2001!!!! I am also carrying around at least forty extra pounds. And I can do this! I highly recommend the app, and it is free.

Like the best of technology, it really makes exercising into a no-brainier. I put the baby in her stroller (and it isn’t a fancy jogger stroller FYI so don’t let not being able to afford one of those stop you) and head somewhere flat. Then I walk when the voice says walk and run when the voice says run. It is challenging for me because I haven’t been a runner in so long but it is doable and it always is over just when I think oh man I can’t do this any longer!

One of the best parts of using a program like this is I am not over-doing the exercise and burning out. Three times a week I can handle. I am on week five right now.

I also hike with a moms group once a week so I am exercising four out if seven days. This is pretty radical for someone who hasn’t exercised in years….

So have I experienced a boost in mental health? The truth is, I think so but can’t quite tell. What I have felt is increased energy. Why is it that something that takes up energy gives you more of it? I would love to know. I have also felt an increase in my libido which is definitely good for my mental health, not to mention my marriage!

There are definitely days when I don’t feel like doing the running, for sure. But something about saying to myself, this is non-negotiable, this is your mental medicine, really cuts through my excuse-making mental b.s.