Monthly Archives: May 2013

Start where you are.

I read so many blogs by folks who have just started to lose weight. Pinterest tells them to go spend $200 on food for three days, because if you don’t eat everything organic, you’ll fall over and die immediately. Health websites tell them not to bother with under an hour of fasted cardio. Other sites tell them that no one can lose weight, ever – in the long run, it always comes back. Some running sites will recommend a $400 GPS watch, new shoes, compression socks, a special water bottle, lululemon running outfits, and all the latest flavors of Gu or Shot Blocks or Clif gel or whatever the latest sugar-in-a-pouch concoction might be.

So these folks, with all the best intentions, blog their way through weeks (or, in some cases, years) of a “weight loss” journey. And, in many cases, they end up losing only a negligible amount of weight.

What’s the problem here?

Some would say that the answer is that most people can lose only a little bit of weight before their bodies rebel. I don’t really agree.

And on the one hand, I am loathe to leave unsupportive comments, because many of these people are engaging in new eating and exercise habits that will lead to health benefits regardless of weight.

But on the other hand, when I read another post from a random blogger (I’m being a little unclear for a reason – I don’t want to single anyone out) about how she can’t get under, say, 230, even though it’s all she wants … I wonder a little bit.

It seems that so many people focus on all the internet fads and end up not getting the results they want.

So here is my recommendation for people who are just beginning to lose weight or just beginning maintenance:

Start where you are.

You don’t need to go out and buy a bag of chia seeds.

You don’t need to go get the latest fashion in running crops.

You don’t need to go get that $60 sports bra that a blogger has.

Start where you are.

If that means cutting out soda and walking up the block to the gas station for exercise – that’s great.

If that means choosing a baked potato with salsa at a fast-food place instead of Value Meal #85, that’s great.

If that means using several packets of Crystal Light because you can’t stand water but you know that 25 diet cokes a day is bad for you, well, thank goodness Crystal Light is cheap at Costco.

Start where you are.

You don’t need the compression socks, the foam roller, the Garmin, or the latest Brooks shoes.

You don’t need to do Couch to 5k to start running. (It was certainly far too difficult for me when I started losing weight. Just add whatever intervals you can. If that’s five seconds at a time – start there.The best thing I ever did to start losing weight was to get off the couch and walk a block to the gas station for a candy bar. This is not a joke. Just getting out of the house and getting into a daily walking habit was how it all began.)

You don’t need to cut down your calories to 1,200 a day. (In fact, that’s probably not a great idea anyway, but that’s a topic for another post.) There’s a strong argument, I believe, for just starting by tracking your food without trying to make any dietary changes in order to get a sense of what your intake looks like.

Start where you are. and keep. going.

It pays off.

I promise.

***This is not to say that these habits will make people skinny. At the end of the day, they won’t. But what they will do — is get you off to a start and get you to cultivate good habits intentionally. Making many small changes now will make it a heck of a lot easier in the future to make big changes.

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Checking in

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I had a good week with good choices (for the most part.) I’m adjusting to a new schedule now, which (thankfully) involves lots of walking throughout the day. I didn’t think it was that much, but I started counting my steps and – wow – I probably get in 3 miles from 9-5 without even intending it. Even if I’m not burning any calories per se, I love how it feels to just keep my blood moving.

I haven’t been doing much in the way of “real” cardio, though, in large part because I wake up at 6, get home at 6, cook dinner, and then am ready to hit the sack by 8:30. Working out at lunch isn’t an option now that it’s getting so hot outside. I’m not terribly concerned, since I do walk at least 5 miles a day total, but I’d love to get back to running soon. For now, I’m sticking with push-ups (up to over 200 per day now!)

My weight has been stable around 126, and I’m wearing a pair of skinny jeans today that I use as a barometer for maintenance. When they get too tight, that’s when alarm bells go off.

I am hoping to post more this week, including before and after pictures. It’s about time to put up photographic proof of some kind. 😉

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!

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A Quick Sunday Post

1. I have officially quit diet soda for the last time. I have been drinking Diet Coke for the past 18 years, usually having anywhere from 2-20 per day. (That’s not a typo.) What changed? My toddler grabbed my soda, drank a sip, and LOVED it. That absolutely broke my heart. I can’t let my son go down this road — I have to woman up and quit. I’m now several days out of the Diet Coke habit and feeling pretty good. I’ve vowed to not even get Diet Coke at restaurants… I’m sticking to iced tea and water.

2. Whole avocados make the best breakfast ever. I’ve jumped on board the avocado train in a major way. I now have 10 at home that are, unfortunately, rock-hard and need to ripen so I can eat them. Who would eat a Luna bar when you could have a whole avocado instead? I’m a fan.

3. My job environment changed and I now have access to a fridge during the day. I am SO excited for this — now I can actually bring my own lunch and keep it refrigerated! Life just got a lot easier… and I expect we’ll save a bunch of money, too.

 

Happy Sunday, all!

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Injury update; good news & bad news

The good news: I was released to start running again. (!!!)
It looks like my femoral stress fracture (in two places, no less) has healed up quite nicely. The ortho recommended that I keep cross-training and only run 5 minutes 2x a week to start. But he thinks I will be back to 20-25mpw by mid-summer or August at the latest, so that is awesome. I’m definitely going to go slow starting out; I can’t risk injury (and an enormous medical bill) again. He also suggested that I work out on an elliptical, but I absolutely hate the elliptical machine. I can never get a good workout on it; at this point, I can’t increase the resistance, so it’s not like I can make it good. Oh well. I’ll stick to the bike for now.

The bad news: I weighed in this morning at 127.0. Yikes. That is up two from my happy weight. (But it’s down from >128 two days ago, so that’s some good news at least.)

The good news: I know exactly why that happened; I was not burning nearly as many calories as I thought I was & I was eating too much. This is a mistake I’ve made before (see: month-long plateau at 142 in August 2012) so I should have guessed that this was the problem. But now that I’ve figured it out, I can get things back on track.

Eats:

I tried elderflower sorbet yesterday and OH MY GOSH it was amazing. I could eat a bucket of it, for sure.

Breakfast: Spinach shake + coffee

Morning snack: Luna bar (Not a huge fan, but they were on sale)

Lunch: Salad with chickpeas, arugula, edamame, and balsamic

Afternoon snack: Banana

Dinner: Either salmon or a can of black beans, cooked for 10 minutes until soft

Dessert: Banana (I am on a huge banana kick these days)

Exercise: More than past days, that’s for sure! I’m scheduling in a walk this afternoon to get to 4+ miles of walking + 30 minutes on the bike… trying to get my heart rate up.

Goal: Get back to 125 by next Thursday.

Happy Thursday, all!

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Water weight and a doctor’s visit

I weighed in this morning at 128.4. ACK.

There’s a good reason (I think) for my 4-lb gain since Saturday. I started a medicine yesterday that has the side effect of inducing thirst; I drank probably four gallons of water yesterday and had quite a hard workout on the bike. I’m hoping that the jump up is temporary and just reflective of water weight. And of course, my dear husband reassured me this morning that 128 is a fine weight. If I end up weighing 128 after I start running again, so long as my clothes fit, that will be fine. But I’m much more comfortable around 125.

Yesterday, I had a visit with a new doctor to address my residual PCOS issues. It’s always kind of amusing to see doctors’ eyes get huge when they see my weight history on the charts. In any event, I’ll have my bloodwork results later this week, and am excited to get to work on those.

This afternoon, I have my final stress fracture appointment and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be released to run soon. My knee has been feeling pretty good, so here’s hoping!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

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May 13

We had a wonderful weekend, and now it’s time to start another week!

I discovered a new type of Greek yogurt this weekend. We do most of our shopping at Costco, and usually buy Chobanis. The Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurts were on sale this week, and I’m so glad we picked some up. They have 60 fewer calories than the Chobanis, less sugar, and 12g protein each (only 2 fewer than the Chobani.) It definitely feels like a better caloric deal. AND they are less expensive – which is always good.

Today is a deep cleaning day – I’m spending the morning baking muffins for my husband’s breakfasts, vacuuming, scrubbing all the bathrooms, etc. I’m a bit late with spring cleaning, but it’s better late than never!

Happy Monday, all!

Today’s menu:

Breakfast: coffee, spinach shake, 1 hard-boiled egg

Snack: 5g chia seeds, Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt (blueberry), 2 hard-boiled eggs

Lunch: sweet potato topped with cinnamon & goat cheese, with 2 roasted squash on the side

Snack: Luna bar

Dinner: Madras lentils, banana

Exercise: Cleaning, 2m walking, 200 push-ups, maybe 30 minutes on the bike if I have time in the evening

 

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Wednesday recap

Yesterday was another success! I felt like I was snacking a lot, but when I put everything into MFP, it came out pretty well.

Breakfast: Giant smoothie with 5-6c spinach, 1c almond milk, 2 tbsp chocolate pb2, and a frozen banana. Also, 16 oz coffee w/ 2 truvia & 1 tbsp whole milk.

Snack: 2 string cheeses

Lunch: Madras lentils from Costco + banana

Afternoon snack: Zone protein bar

Dinner: Costco salmon (we love the Morey’s wild salmon – it’s so good and impossible to mess up) & a blueberry chobani

Dessert: 1 banana, chopped up + 2 tbsp chocolate pb2

1680 calories, 109g protein

Exercise: 23 minutes/6 miles on the bike (Mr. Toddler needed his mama, so I had to end early), 100 push-ups, 2+ miles of walking throughout the day, plenty of 30-lb-toddler lifting.

We desperately need to get to the store for fresh produce! In the meantime, though, I’m happy that my spinach shakes help keep my veggie intake up.

Today’s breakfast & morning snack were the same. I tried to make my hair look cute this morning but ended up looking like the Wicked Witch of the West. Yikes!!

Happy Thursday, all! If you’re starting to lose weight or in the middle of the process – keep it up! You CAN do this!

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