May 132015
 

I want to preface this post with sort of a disclaimer. When I was losing 100 pounds I reduced my calories a lot, but never this low. Going from eating 5,000+ calories a day to under 2,000 calories a day is a pretty big jump. It was a drastic change for my lifestyle and my body. But it was a healthy drastic change.

I got used to eating around 2,000 calories a day and for the year and a half that I was losing weight I was striving to eating between 1600-1800 calories a day. Sometimes I ate back the calories I burned in the gym, sometimes I didn’t and created a bigger deficit. I was writing it down by hand in a journal and just adding my calories that way. It worked for me.

Fast forward a few years after maintaining my weight, I started using an iPhone app to track my calories. I maintained the 110 pound weight loss for 6 years. What I was doing was working. Now here comes the disclaimer. I firmly believe that eating 1200 calories a day is the most bottom number you can consume before it becomes dangerous. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist and you should definitely talk to a professional before doing something drastic.

I can’t say I’m excited about reducing my calories so much because of that. I don’t want to screw up my metabolism, or cause secondary issues (like immune problems or injury–which can happen if you don’t eat enough calories). As a result of these potential issues, I’m not going to be doing this super-low calorie diet for an extended period of time. My HOPE is that doing it for a week or two, maybe 3 tops will jump-start my body into losing weight.

The nutritionist I spoke to suggested I experiment with caloric intake–higher calories AND lower calories–and see what helps. Sometimes your body just gets STUCK and you need to wake it back up. Here is the food diary I have for the first week of trying this.
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Day One

Breakfast: My breakfasts are usually pretty good and I don’t feel the need to change them up too much. What I’m doing has worked for the most part and keeps me full for a long time. Breakfast this day was 2 fried eggs, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, black coffee with creamer, and an EmergenC drink. Calories: 342

Snack: String Cheese, hot mint tea. Calories: 80

Lunch: I wasn’t quite prepared for lunches this week so the first day of the “diet” (i.e. lower calorie days) wasn’t the best. I kind of threw things together at the last minute. Lunch was a Chocolate Whey protein shake, medium sized banana, and sugar snap peas. Calories: 256

Dinner: Michael was famished after biking to work and needed a lot more calories than I did. I ended up having some leftover rice, a veggie burger, and steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing. Calories: 530

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Dessert: For dessert I had some chocolate pudding. Calories: 180

Total Calories for the day: 1456

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It was a pretty good food day, even being a little higher than 1300.

2

Day Two

This is a gym day and I wanted to eat a little bit more calories on this day in order to work out and not hurt myself.

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 1 English Muffin toasted with cinnamon and splenda, black coffee with creamer, unsweetened iced tea. Calories: 362

Snack: Apple. Calories: 70

Lunch: I had some Carrot Ginger Soup, snap peas, raw red and orange peppers with a little salad dressing for dipping. Calories: 220

Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries. Calories: 110

Dinner: I was doing really well and then it was Cinco de Mayo…I got home from the gym and Michael had made guacamole (which I love and have a hard time resisting). Dinner was 4 ounces of grilled flank steak on top of a salad with sauteed peppers and onions. I had some guacamole and chips, and topped it with a little sour cream. Calories: 790

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Total Calories for the day: 1622. A little higher than I wanted to shoot for but still less than what was my old “norm”.

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Calories burned: I did the elliptical at the gym and burned 374 calories.

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3

Day Three

Breakfast: Trader Joe’s oatmeal with some brown sugar and dried coconut, coffee with creamer, unsweetened iced tea. Calories: 308

Snack: Apple. Calories: 70

Lunch: Carrot Ginger Soup and a chocolate protein shake. Calories: 240

Snack: Trader Joe’s Cottage cheese. Calories: 90

Dinner: Salad with raw yellow and orange peppers, carrots, 5 ounces of baked chicken breast, Gorgonzola cheese and Buffalo Sauce. Calories: 433

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Dessert: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries, chocolate chips and dried coconut flakes. Calories: 182

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Total Calories for the day: 1424

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Calories burned: 604

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Day Four

This day was not my best day. I did well until I got home from swimming. I was so freaking hungry I ended up snacking on some tortilla chips while I was cooking dinner. I ended up going over my calories for the day. I’m disappointed but I’m trying not to let it derail me.

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, cottage cheese, coffee with creamer and plain iced tea. Calories: 342

Snack: Apple. Calories: 80

Lunch: Carrot Ginger Soup, sugar snap peas and a string cheese. Calories: 231

Snack: Plain Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, dried coconut flakes.  Calories: 135

Dinner: Spicy bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, couscous and steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing. Calories: 730

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Calories burned: Went swimming and burned around 300 calories.

Dessert: Fun sized peanut butter snickers. Calories: 130

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Total Calories for the day: 1725. Too many! Went over my calories today. :(

Day-5

Day Five

Breakfast: English muffin with cinnamon and a little splenda, cantaloupe, half a serving of cottage cheese and coffee with creamer. Calories: 300

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Lunch: Steamed broccoli with Goddess dressing, leftover couscous, and Trader Joe’s Chicken Shui Mai. Calories: 388

This day is incomplete because I didn’t track my calories for dinner. It was Mother’s Day.

Calories burned: Went for a run and burned 443 calories. Then did yard work and burned a little over 200. 645 calories. 

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day-6

Day Six

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

Snack: Cantaloupe.  Calories: 56

Lunch: Salad with dressing and two slices of turkey deli meat, celery and baby carrots with guacamole. Calories: 249

Dinner: Couscous, spicy bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, steamed and sauteed Brussels sprouts. Calories: 600

Dessert: strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 120

Total Calories for the day: 1472

Calories burned: Around 80

The verdict: This first week I lost 1 pound! Stay tuned for next week!

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May 042015
 

So yeah, my health has not been great lately! The cold I had that turned into a sinus infection, came back last week. Just when I thought I was feeling better and ready to get back at things I felt like I was WORSE. I went back to the doctor after spending an entire night up with a sore throat and she tested me for strep (negative) and made sure I didn’t have pneumonia. She said that it could either be viral, and in that case the antibiotics I took didn’t work (they didn’t work, and usually they kick in pretty fast when I take them) or I didn’t take the antibiotics long enough. She said that they used to prescribe them for 10 days but recently changed that to the standard being 5 days (which is what I took) and that’s often not long enough. So lucky me, I got a second round of antibiotics–and a different kind. This time for 10 days. Ugh. I am so over it!

By Friday I was feeling a lot better and I even went for a swim. I was able to swim like normal and didn’t feel like taking 2 weeks off made it a tortuous activity.

On Saturday I slept in really late (like seriously late, 10:30!) and then went to the gym. Since my back is still in recovery I’ve been taking a break from weight lifting. But the last physical therapy session she gave me the okay to do SOME. No squats, nothing that could aggravate my back but things like biceps, triceps, chest press, etc, could potentially be ok. I did a minimal weight lifting session and then ran/walked 2 miles on the treadmill.

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I can tell that I’m still not 100% recovered because that calorie burn is pretty high for what I did. That’s the norm when I am sick–my heart rate is higher and I get worn out easier. I was feeling pretty good and energized, though. It was such a nice day that I decided to do some work in the yard. I pulled weeds, trimmed back some of the blackberry bushes and then discovered that the rose bush I planted last year was actually blooming!

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The photo doesn’t really do it justice, it’s a gorgeous salmon-orange color. I was told it might be 2 years before I’d get flowers on it, so I’m pretty excited that it’s already blooming. Check out how many calories I burned doing less than an hour of yard work:

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I always forget just how much work it is. The day was filled with chores and errands and grocery shopping but it was so nice that we wanted to enjoy the weather and BBQ. So we invited some friends over for dinner. Michael picked up some pork ribs from Costco and got busy grilling. I bought some BBQ sauce at Trader Joe’s that you MUST BUY ASAP! The Sriracha and roasted garlic sauce is AMAZING. So so good. It might be my new favorite BBQ sauce. I can’t imagine using another one after trying this one.

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Our friends brought the side dishes: some raw veggies and hummus, a mediterranean vegetable salad and a delicious bleu cheese and bacon potato salad (that was so good). I had some wine with dinner and we relaxed outside on the deck in the nice weather. It was the first grilling of the season! I can’t wait for summer.

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I had three ribs and a little too much of that amazing potato salad. On Sunday I woke up and was feeling the weight lifting and gardening I had done. Boy howdy was I feeling it. Thankfully none of it was PAIN and I didn’t aggravate my low back. But I was incredibly sore and feeling it. I knew the perfect remedy/activity for a sore body: hiking in the sunshine!

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