Jun 032015
 

…And back on the plan!

Honestly I didn’t do too bad on my vacation in Arizona. We were doing a LOT of walking the entire time and I still worked out. I used the hotel gym twice, I swam once and we went for a hike. Most days we didn’t eat three meals. Which is typical when I’m on vacation. I usually just eat breakfast and dinner, or brunch and a snack.

I tried to make good choices when we did eat out, choosing vegetables and salads whenever possible. I knew that the portions would be much bigger than what I was used to. I also knew that a lot of my calories would be coming from booze. I tried to limit that as well to 3 glasses of whatever it was for the day.

When I got back I weighed myself. I was up about 1.5 pounds. Which was disappointing for sure, but I’m not beating myself up because I knew that I might gain some back on vacation. Anyways, I’m back at it and hopefully will make some progress soon.

Day One

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, piece of toast with jalapeno jam and coffee with creamer. Calories: 345

Snack: Sliced pear. Calories: 57

Lunch: Applesauce, 1 ham and cheese wrap and 1 turkey and cheese wrap with a little mayo and mustard, spinach and kale and Craisins. No bread (just wrapped everything up in the meat). Two mini Tootsie rolls. Calories: 255

Snack: Guacamole and celery for pre-gym snack. Calories: 109

Dinner: Brussels Sprouts, baked lemon and dill salmon, some tortilla chips (I was craving SALT!). Calories: 584

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Dessert: 2 small pieces of chocolate. Calories: 180

Fitness: Back at the gym. Weight lifting, PT exercises, ran on the treadmill, also did a lot of walking on my breaks at work.

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It felt REALLY good to get back into the routine right after vacation. It also felt good to eat fruits and veggies!

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Day Two

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, piece of toast with jalapeno jam and coffee with creamer. Calories: 345

Snack: Applesauce. Calories: 50

Lunch: Lentil and Roasted Red Pepper soup. There was a potluck at work for two retirements so I munched on some fruit and crackers and tried not to partake in the cake and other junk (that look REALLY tasty). Calories: Around 279

Snack: I ended up having a little bite of some potluck treats. Calories: about 100

Dinner: I baked some tilapia and topped it with mango peach salsa, steamed some green beans and had rice. Dinner was delicious! Calories: 448

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Dessert: Strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 142

Despite eating some potluck munchies, I did really well. It was a rest day so only walking for me.

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Day Three

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs with hot sauce, English muffin toasted with cinnamon and Splenda, unsweetened iced tea and coffee with creamer. Calories: 338

Snack: Baby carrots and a Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedge. Calories: 52

Lunch: Sliced apple wrapped in cheese and ham and turkey.  I also had some cashews. Calories: 294

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Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries and a tootsie roll. Calories: 164

Dinner: Michael made burgers. I had mine on a toasted sandwich thin with the light Sargento cheese slice, a little bit of mayo, mustard, lettuce and pickles. I also had some Trader Joe’s tots. Plus 2 glasses of wine. Calories: 892

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Dessert: Strawberries and a piece of chocolate. Calories: 118

Fitness: Swim! Swam 2000 yards in 45 minutes. Burned around 300. Also did some walking during my lunch break and we walked Bella after dinner.

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I’d call this day a fail. I could have skipped the tots and saved myself 200 calories. But I wanted them. I could have stuck with 1 glass of wine but I wanted the second. I struggled. Sure I didn’t go too crazy over my calories but…I still did. :(

Day Four

Breakfast: I sauteed some chopped broccoli in veggie broth, let the broth evaporate and then scrambled 2 eggs into them with green onion. Then I topped it with hot sauce and had cottage cheese with it. It was really delicious! Coffee with creamer and EmergenC drink. Calories: 348

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Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwich on a sandwich thin. Goldfish crackers. Calories: 418

Snack: Luna protein bar. Calories: 90

Dinner: Papa Murphy’s DeLite pizza with a salad and wine. Calories: 910

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Dessert: Strawberries and chocolate. Calories: 118

Fitness: Went for a hike and burned 867 calories!

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Day Five

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spicy pork sausage in a small corn tortilla with cottage cheese and hot sauce. Unsweetened iced tea and coffee with creamer. Calories: 392

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Lunch: Roasted red pepper and lentil vegetable soup with some goldfish crackers. Calories: 337

Dinner: We had a garden party and two couples came over. They each brought a salad (a homemade Caesar salad with a sliced egg on top and a yummy kale salad). I did baked beans and Michael grilled up chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce. There was some cider shared, some wine drunk…yeah I overdid it. Calories: 1146

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Dessert: A friend brought over angel food cake (I sliced a small piece) and strawberries and it was a much healthier and lower calorie option for dessert. It was perfect! Calories: 172

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Fitness: Went to the gym. Warmed up on the spin bike, then did weights followed by the elliptical. Also did some gardening and took Bella for a walk. It was a very active day and my body felt tired and sore from the busy weekend and the hike on Saturday!

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I went over my calories. Dinner was pretty healthy but it was the portions and the liquid calories that got me!

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Day Six

Breakfast: Toasted English muffin with cinnamon and splenda, Chocolate whey protein shake, coffee with creamer. Calories: 298

Snack: Unsweetened applesauce. Calories: 50

Lunch: Leftover rice, kale salad and some chips.  Calories: 281

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Snack: I didn’t eat enough protein this day I think. I was kind of hungry most of the day. For a snack I had some Buddha Skinny Tea. Calories: 0

Dinner: Leftover chicken drumstricks, steamed green beans, cottage cheese and some crackers (not shown) while dinner was cooking. Calories: 418

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Dessert: Strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 212

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Day Seven

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, English muffin with cinnamon and splenda, unsweetened iced tea, coffee with creamer. Calories: 338

Snack: Applesauce. Calories: 50

Lunch: Miso soup with green onions and steamed Chicken Shu Mai dumplings. Calories: 205

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Snack: Guacamole and baby carrots. Calories: 109

Dinner: Steamed broccoli with a little Goddess dressing, a bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, quinoa. Calories: 693

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Dessert: Strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 140

Fitness: Weight lifting, PT exercises and the elliptical at the gym.

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Here are my stats for the day:

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It was a pretty good day all in all. I’m going to weigh myself next week and keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll see some of the vacation weight gone.

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May 262015
 

diet1
I really appreciate all the tips and ideas that people left on my post about reducing my calorie intake. There were a lot of good ideas that I’m taking into consideration. Lori from Finding Radiance left me this comment:

“I hear you. I can’t do the 1200 calories, either. That is what I am supposed to eat to lose 1 pound a week according to MFP – can you believe that? I just shoot for 1500 calories and only eat back some of my exercise calories on long ride days. It’s slow going, but working. It is also a point to consider about trying to maintain where you are. You may not mentally be happy with that, but your body might be. It could end up not being worth what it takes to get and *stay* at a lower weight now.”

She made a good point about how maybe my body is just where it’s going to be. I have been unhappy with where it’s at for months now. I’d gained 15 pounds and was struggling to lose it again. I’d lost about 5 of it, then gained it back. I had a lot of setbacks (several injuries, sickness, a dose of prednisone, some monkey-ing with medications that caused some weight gain) and was feeling very deflated about it.

Even though it was “only” 15 pounds, it felt significant to me. Clothes weren’t fitting properly anymore. The weather was getting nicer and I was preparing for a mini-vacation in Arizona and brought out all my shorts and tank tops and…nothing fit. Like at all. I had to go buy practically an entire new wardrobe and it depressed me. There were tears.

I went from a size 4 or 6 in shorts to a size 8. The small tank tops are now a medium. I was very unhappy about this and became determined to get it under control. Sure I wasn’t still GAINING weight but I wasn’t LOSING either.

This MIGHT be where my body is comfortable and just stuck. Perhaps. But I am willing to give it a try to see if I can change that. Even if I can only lose 5 of those 15 pounds I know it will make me a little but happier about my body than where I am currently at.

I told Michael about my plan to reduce my calories. He wasn’t very happy with the restriction and he was very sweet, saying, “I hope you know that you don’t have to lose weight for me.” It was unnecessary for him to say but it was good to hear nonetheless.

Reflections and Goals

I went into this restriction with some trepidation but I was feeling determined and wanted to do it right. Sure I was reducing my calories quite a bit, but I wanted to make what calories I ate SMART calories. The portion-controlled guacamole was a good idea on my part. Sure I wasn’t happy about it being processed but like I said, it was portion controlled and pairing it with some celery was the perfect snack that filled me up.

I experimented with changing up my breakfasts and eating foods that were higher in protein (more filling) like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and oatmeal. I tried my best to avoid eating frozen lunches and tried to eat real food instead. Baked chicken, salads, soups, etc. It wasn’t 100% but I did okay with this goal.

I tried to limit alcohol intake to Friday/Saturday nights only and only 1 glass. I also tried to be better about the dessert I ate: not eating it every night and making better choices (like a piece of chocolate with strawberries instead of high calorie junk). I also had fruit as dessert many times (this is easy for me to do when it’s berry season!)

I’m kind of sick of salads. I love salad and eat a lot of it, but it was becoming my lunch or dinner norm and I burned out on it.

Food prep is time consuming but VERY NECESSARY. Sure it takes a long time but spending an hour prepping the veggies for the week has saved me so much time and on evenings when I’m tired and hungry having that stuff already prepped helps me make better choices.

Tilapia! I re-discovered tilapia. We used to eat it frequently (usually as fish tacos) but then stopped and I don’t know why because it’s a great fish to eat when trying to lose weight. It’s about half the calories of salmon and is a good choice for low-calorie lunches or to pair it with some rice or quinoa for dinner.

I went back to measuring my portions. I’ve written about this topic a lot because you can track your food and do everything “right” but if you aren’t REALLY measuring your food you have no idea how many calories you’re taking in. I measured portions diligently to lose weight and then periodically throughout my 6+ years of maintenance I would go back to measuring. Basically to “check in” and remind myself what a portion was. It’s easy to slip back in bad habits.

I think this was part of my problem this past year. I was eye-balling portions because I’d done it for so long and “knew” what a serving was. But in reality, things were a little off. Clearly! The biggest shocker? I made a bunch of quinoa for lunches and dinners and measured out a serving using my food scale and my eyes bugged out of my head. Wait, what? THAT’S 200 calories worth of quinoa?!? Holy cow, I was eating twice that! For a long time. It was a good wake up call and a good reminder that I had slipped back into lazy habits. Read these old posts for more insight:

What’s REALLY a Serving Size?

C is for Calories

M is for Measuring Mistakes

How to Count Calories

Counting Calories and Serving Sizes

So I’m back to measuring almost everything. I use the food scale primarily because sometimes you can’t trust the label. Remember this post I wrote about misleading labels? If not, read it now. You will be shocked and want to immediately buy a food scale.

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Progress

I was making progress that first week and that boosted my motivation. Seeing immediately changes like losing 1 pound after a week of the new diet made me feel better about what I was doing. Before I felt like I was denying myself things I wanted, restricting, but not seeing ANY CHANGE on the scale. That SUCKS.

Week 1 of the diet: lost 1 pound

Week 2 of the diet: lost .6 pounds

Week 3: lost .4 pounds

I’m going to continue what I am currently doing for a little while longer and see if it keeps working. I don’t know that I can reduce my calories any lower, so this is it. Stay tuned!

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