food prep

Last Week

Last Week…I skipped running because I had been starting to feel a little tight and achy. I thought it was a good plan to take a week off and just rest those muscles preemptively. In the past I wasn’t always great at listening to my body and just pushing through and then ending up injured. I guess I am getting better at that with age.

Last WeekI tried yoga again. It’s been a year or more since I went to yoga class. I quit somewhere around 29 weeks pregnant because I was having to modify like every pose and it was just dumb at that point to keep going. Then postpartum I had too much back pain to do yoga. 🙁 It was disappointing but I did PT and tried to strengthen my core in the gym and I’ve finally felt like I was ready to go back. Well, Sunday I ran on the treadmill (after a week off) and then went to class only to find out the Sunday classes have apparently been cancelled. I’d been looking forward to it for several days and was really disappointed! But the good news is that I did my own yoga stretches instead and my body felt great! I am going to try and find another class!

Last WeekendI did some food prep for lunches. I cooked three chicken breasts in the crockpot with green enchilada sauce and then shredded the chicken. If you follow my on Instagram you saw it! I also cooked some cauliflower rice to go with the chicken.

Last WeekI had a few days off from work so I was able to kind of change up my workouts. Instead of quickie lunchtime workouts, I was able to add in an extra day of weight lifting, which made me feel really good. And I went swimming on Friday night–my old routine! I’ve kind of missed my Friday night swims. They were super relaxing after a long week and put me in a good mood.

Last Friday…Michael surprised me by coming home from work with ice cream and flowers! The flowers were so beautiful. It was really nice and thoughtful of him and I loved them. In the past, I could never have fresh flowers in the house because Yggdrasil would eat them. Seriously, he’d find them no matter where I hid them, or how high up they were, he’d find them and eat them (and then puke, of course). So it was a little bitter sweet having flowers on the dining room table all weekend. I enjoyed seeing them, and I know it won’t always be a reminder of my kitty, but this time it was.

Last Friday…Logan and I packed up his bottles together and put them in the garage. It was a long time coming (we procrastinated because bottles were easier) but it was a bit sad at the same time. He’s growing up. He’s a little guy now, not a baby. But I do love having our counter space back in the kitchen!

This WeekI am recommitted to trying to be low carb, at least during the work week. I am really trying, even though I don’t like this diet and find it a struggle.

Reducing My Calories – Reflections

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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.

Primo_Chrome_P115C-food

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!