Feb 112015
 

dieting
Trying to lose weight during the holidays can be stressful and like you’re rolling a huge boulder uphill. Even when I was trying to lose 100 pounds, I never put too much pressure on myself to lose during the Thanksgiving-Christmas time period. My goal has always been just to maintain through the holidays and then get back to losing after that. It’s worked for years for me.

This year was no different. I knew I wouldn’t lose so I just tried not to gain back what I had already lost. January came and I was back on track. But then comes my birthday and that is a setback sometimes! I do indulge more for my birthday. The above photo of the tweet? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way! Well screw it, it’s my birthday and then it’s Valentine’s Day and then….yeah yeah yeah. Excuses!

This time I decided to go back to what I’ve done in the past (at various times of the year) and take one extra step: no alcohol for the month (except for my birthday weekend). So that glass of wine or two I have Friday and Saturday nights is on the back burner until February, maybe longer. We’ll see!

I weighed myself for the first time since right before Christmas. After getting back from Hawaii I was a bit lazy (for about a month) and then got my act together enough to lose 3 pounds of the 10 I’d gained on my honeymoon. Then the holidays came and I gained that 3 pounds back.

As of early January, I now officially have 13 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-engagement weight. About 10 of those pounds were pre-wedding stress/honeymoon/holiday weight. So 13 pounds. That’s better than the 20 I had in my mind before stepping on the scale but still. I will be happy to AT THE VERY LEAST, lose 8 pounds and get back under my GOAL WEIGHT. That would be the best feeling in the world.

I talked about this in a previous post but the mentality of LOSING WEIGHT versus MAINTAINING WEIGHT is very, very different. It’s a different mindset and I fully admit that I had not gotten into the losing mindset until now.

I feel like in some ways maintenance is a lot easier. I didn’t have to restrict. I could be “fuzzy” on some of my calorie counting and portions and rarely saw a drastic gain on the scale. That was my reality for 6+ years. I’d FORGOTTEN just how hard it is to be in “losing” mode. Losing mentality is all about portions. Accurate calorie counting. Denying myself MOST (not all) treats I want. (Back to that moderation thing…) Restricting my calorie intake. The truth is I haven’t been in the loser mode. I’ve been often eating back the calories I burn in the gym, instead of creating a deficit–which is how to lose weight.

food

I really appreciate all the supportive comments on a recent post. Here were just a few:

Jamie said: “You are not alone! I am right there with you. I lost 100 lbs and over the last 6 months have gained 15 lbs. The journey ahead of losing that weight seems much more daunting than the 100 I lost before. Yeah, go figure! I’m learning how to navigate through this next part of my journey and I agree it is a slippery slope that once you start gaining it is so easy to continue.”

Jane said: “I tooted my horn and preened when I lost 220 pounds. When I gained back 15 I was silent and fearful, perhaps afraid I would become the person who ‘gained it all back’ ? I don’t know what would happen. Then I gained back a few more pounds. I labeled myself a failure and beat myself without mercy. I hid. I lied, I hurt in silence. It didn’t help me lose a single one of the regained pounds. Losing 200 pounds without surgery or medication is nothing short of miraculous. I am a miracle in progress. You are a miracle, too. Stay positive and stay honest. You will get past this.”

There were so many great comments. It sounds like a lot of people could relate to the struggle I was going through. Several of you had great suggestions that I already knew but needed the reminder. Limiting liquid calories is easy to do–not fun, but easy. Staying clear of packaged foods is a huge one. I tend to fall back on the Lean Cuisine type meals because that’s what I did for so long to lose weight (and it worked). You go back to what worked before. But if that isn’t working anymore, it’s time to shake things up.

So this is what I’ve been doing for the last month or so:

1) No alcohol (except for my birthday weekend).

2) Limiting sugar intake.

3) I changed the settings on My Fitness Pal to lose 1.5 pounds a week, which reduced my calories a lot. My base calories each day at 1510.

4) I am trying to create a deficit of calories every day (i.e. not eating back all the calories I burned in the gym). I eat some of them back but I am trying to keep at least 200+ leftover each day. Rest days are difficult!

5) So far the fitness aspect has remained the same. I’m still taking a break from the Warrior Room. I’m focusing on swimming, yoga, running, and some weight lifting to keep the strength in my glutes that are keeping the runner’s knee at bay.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right? After I got back from my birthday weekend I immediately got back on track and was doing really well! The only bummer was Friday nights. After a long week, I’m tired, I’m burned out, I want a glass of a wine. So far I am abstaining and while I can do it, I don’t enjoy denying myself my 1 or 2 glasses on the weekend! :(

diet1

Making the mental shift was HUGE for me. For the last 4 months I just hadn’t made that switch in my head. I was struggling a lot; I was feeling deprived; I was RESISTING the “diet” with all my might. And I failed. But once I had this “click” in my head that I was going back to loser mode instead of maintenance mode, it all got easier.

I weighed in  on 1/16/15 and lost 2 pounds! I stayed on track for most of January and the start of February. I did have a few slip-ups here and there but hopefully when I weigh in this week I won’t see damage done to that previous loss!

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Jan 282014
 

oldpants

I previously wrote a post called Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned sharing some of the things that have helped me to lose 110 pounds and keep it off. Things like keeping a gym bag in the car at all times is a huge thing for me. Also, going straight to the gym after work. Stopping home first makes it so much harder to leave again. Since we got Bella, I usually go home right after work because we have to let her out after being crated for 8 hours. :( Going home has been a challenge for sure. I noticed that it took a million times more motivation to make myself go back out of the house once I was home. Especially when I wanted to just play with Bella instead! What helped with this scenario was to let Bella outside the second I get home and then immediately change into my workout clothes. Taking a moment to do that meant I was going to the gym. Period. I put my workout clothes on, it was gonna happen!

Tackling the exercise part can be a challenge, but like I tell my friends that are trying to get fit and healthy, just get in the habit of working out. Once you do it consistently for a few weeks, it WILL become a habit and your body will CRAVE the exercise. I am evidence of this! Becoming used to working out changed my life and when I don’t exercise, my body doesn’t feel good.

So how about tackling some of the food issues?

Craving Chocolate?

There are a few things that have helped me with this dilemma. The first is hot cocoa. Having a mug of hot cocoa in the winter time is a GREAT trick to satisfy that craving for chocolate. There are so many different kinds and different flavors out there. The average hot cocoa mix is 90-120 calories. That is not a bad number for a treat.

Another tip is to have dark chocolate in the house. For some reason, dark chocolate is so rich to me that it only takes one or two pieces to satisfy the craving. I’ve been getting the Lindt chocolate bars in either the dark chocolate and sea salt or dark chocolate and coconut flavors.

Lindt-chocolate

 

It only takes 1 or 2 of the squares and I’m good. It’s like the dark chocolate stops the craving. At least for me. I’ve had 2 chocolate bars in my pantry for about four weeks now and one is half-way gone so far. That used to be unheard of for me! Any kind of candy in the house used to be gone in a day. Not anymore!

Feel Like a Bottomless Pit?

I’ve struggled with this and while I don’t have a “this will fix the problem forever” solution, I do have some tips. So the next time you eat a healthy meal and feel like you could eat more, re-evaluate what you just ate. Eating foods with healthy fats in them will help you feel satiated. Examples of this:

  • Add some blackened salmon to your salad.
  • Eat some nuts as a snack. (Walnuts are supposed to be the best. I personally prefer pistachios, peanuts, almonds or cashews. Be careful though, nut calories can add up fast!)
  • Avocado avocado avocado! It’s a brilliant food and eating just 1/4 of an avocado on your toast or topping your salad will make you feel fuller. I promise. I was skeptical. It worked.
  • A little bit of peanut butter can help. Add 1 tablespoon (about 90-100 calories) to your banana or apple as a snack and you will be full.
  • Olives. I’m obsessed with olives. My favorites are black or green olives stuffed with garlic and jalapenos. Yum yum. But for some reason, only eating 5-8 olives is enough to take the edge off, satisfy the salt craving and make me feel full. Pickles seem to do the same.

These are just a few ideas that have worked for me. When I was having a slice of gluten-free toast with avocado on it for breakfast, I felt full longer than I did when I just had eggs for breakfast. So a typical breakfast was 1 fried egg, 1 slice of GF toast with avocado and a pint of plain iced tea. I’d eat it at 7am and be full until 10:30 or 11. That’s unheard of for me!

Struggling With Your “Diet”?

Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, or stocking your fridge with iceburg lettuce and your pantry with rice cakes and cardboard crackers…focus on what you are adding to your diet. Take a look at each meal and ADD something.

Breakfast – Add some spinach and feta cheese to my scrambled eggs.

Snack – Have an apple and add some raisins to it.

Lunch – Have a salad with chicken breast but add avocado and a scoop of cottage cheese.

Dinner – Have a salad with your normal dinner and eat the salad first!  

Dessert – Have a hot cocoa instead of that brownie. 

fruit

Small changes and additions can make a world of difference. Give it a try. Even if it’s only for one month, just try it!

Do you have any tips and tricks to share?

 

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