Something about that title is supposed to be a Star Wars reference, but I don’t think I quite hit it. Oh, well.
So … it’s been a while. I’ve regained some weight. I’ve lost it. I’ve regained it.
I’ve been trying to just listen to my body, but my body keeps breaking down and throwing me off track: a pulled shoulder, allergies, shin splints … They all threw me off my exercise wagon for weeks at a time, during which I overate. And even when I exercised every day, I don’t think I was cutting back enough to lose.
And at times, I didn’t really care. I’m not sure I care now, except a few recent photographs have made me kind of care enough that I think it’s time to get back to Weight Watchers.
However, there won’t be any weight reports. My scale broke. The battery died, I replaced it, then the scale died (slowly but surely). So, I need to get a grip but I don’t want to know what I weigh. I’ll buy a new scale eventually, but I’m going to go a while without one.
One thing that clicked in my head is that I think I’ll do much better if I keep less food in the house. I’m not a binge or emotional eater, but often when there’s something in the house that I know I really enjoy, I will feel hungry just because I know it’s there. I’m far less likely to overeat if the option isn’t available. So, I’m going to keep salad stuff, my dark chocolate and almonds in the house and a few other things that I’ll eat when hungry enough, but won’t eat mindlessly.
Then, if I’m really, truly hungry, I’ll need to go out and get what I want and I generally won’t do that.
That’s my plan.
Now, what have I been up to since I left you all so many months ago?
Well, I started running. Not just the general, run a little bit during my walks kind of running, but a regular “date” with friends every week plus some on my own. I ran my first official race. It was supposed to be a 5K, but the actual route was only 3.01 miles (about 4.84K). I walked a little
bit of it after losing some training time to injury and illness, but ran about 90 percent and finished in 32 minutes and 14 seconds. My goal was an 11-minute mile average, so I exceeded it.
Last Sunday, I ran a full three miles, so I know I can do it. My next race is on April 30. Hopefully I’ll run the entire way this time. I have a few weeks of training in front of me.
I also tried my first Zumba class and will go to my second tomorrow. I haven’t been able to get back to it because I’ve had plans on Saturdays the last few weeks.
The weather is warm enough again for swimming, too. I’m excited about that. I’ve been twice and I have a new bathing suit and a half. The half is because the top of my old one is still good, but the bottoms were in bad shape. So I bought new bottoms that match the top and voila!
So, look for new menus posted daily, with exercise included, but no weight updates for a while. I hate to get caught up in dieting again, but I really am miserable being heavier than I’m comfortable with.
There was a time where my lunch often consisted of a huge salad. That salad had a ton of vegetables, hard-boiled egg whites, cheese and oil if I needed it that day and vinegar.
It was a good salad. Even filling. Sometimes I added avocado. But I got kind of tired of it and stopped eating it.
I’ve found other ways to get greens into my diet, but I’m not good about eating those items regularly. One of my favorite meals is whole pasta with veggies sautéed in oil and goat and cheddar cheese. It’s fantastic. It’s even good without the pasta. But it’s about 700 calories and I guess it’s 12 points (I haven’t had it at any time during my point counting, but the oil would be 2, the pasta 4 I believe and the cheese at least 6). I can fit it in, considering my activity level. But I haven’t because the veggies go bad if I don’t use them quickly enough so I hate buying them for one meal a week.
So almost all of my fruit and veggie servings have been from fruit. Mostly from my smoothies, which are berries and a banana. Healthy and yummy, but I know I should be getting more greens in my diet for health purposes (plus they’re 0 points on WW).
I read in a magazine over the weekend a profile of a woman who’d lost weight and maintained her loss. She said she makes sure to have produce with every meal, something I think is a very good idea. I do manage to get my 5 or more servings a day, but I don’t have it with every meal. I decided to make a concerted effort to do it.
Dinner is covered, since I almost always have my smoothie at night. That leaves breakfast and dinner. The grocery store was light on fruits that I would generally like to eat with breakfast, so I decided to reinstate my morning calcium and vitamin D-fortified orange juice until I can get my hands on a melon or something.
That left lunch — the perfect time to get in some greens, my favorite being baby spinach. Today was my first chance to add that to my usual almonds and dark chocolate staple and I’m so glad I did it. That salad tasted amazing. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the flax oil I used instead of olive oil (flax has more omega-3 fatty acids, and I don’t eat meat and especially not seafood, so it’s a good source for it where olive oil isn’t so much). Or maybe it was just because it was a smaller salad and didn’t feel like a chore to eat. Since I was having nuts, I didn’t add any egg whites since I didn’t need the protein, necessarily. I’ll probably boil up some eggs tonight and have an egg white in tomorrow’s salad, though.
So, that’s my latest challenge to add to the 30-day challenge. I’m not putting any conditions on it, but it’s definitely something I need. And apparently, I enjoy it more than I remembered.
And, besides, I’ve read in a few places now of a study showing people who eat a high amount of water-laden foods weigh less. It’s worth a try!
Today, I taught my second yoga class. This time, I had a couple days to plan ahead and come up with a pre-planned class. I did throw in a couple things during the class to flesh out the time by a couple minutes, but for the most part, I followed exactly what I planned.
I’ve never been one to teach. I just don’t think it’s in my personality. I’ve been through enough yoga classes and watched the instructors and I can’t seem to emulate their style. So, while I can tell people to do this pose or that pose, help them and model the poses for them, I don’t think I’m a yoga teacher.
However, this teaching thing was a huge breakthrough for me. I’ve taken classes and I’ve followed DVDs, but I’ve never made up my own routine and just done it on my own, which is something I always kind of wanted to do but didn’t think I had the ability. I don’t know why. I guess I thought of it like choreographing a dance or something and thought maybe I didn’t know enough about yoga to make something up.
But I do! I did it twice in one week and led others. They probably were not award-winning routines. I don’t know all the little details of every pose. But I know enough. And I think if I put my mind to it, I could do it any time, anywhere and just go with the flow (so to speak) without planning ahead. I mean, really when you think about it, one pose flows into another, so you just sort of intuit where to go next.
It’s amazing to me sometimes how a situation comes up that forces you to do something you never thought you could. And you find out you’re actually pretty good at it.
We’re a nation of dieters. There’s a whole multi-million-dollar industry dedicated to it. Fad diets abound, most of which require the dieter give up one food or another — or an entire group of foods, like going no or low-carb or the gluten-free folks.
I’ve been told by a few people to cut out sugar and the weight will just fall off. Like I said, though, I’m a sugar junkie. That ain’t happening.
I’ve had moments where I’ve been tempted to try a fad diet. When I was younger, I would starve myself for a couple days to drop any extra weight I may have (or imagined) put on at some point.
I’m sane now. I know it’s about balance and portion control.
Will you lose weight by cutting out sugar or carbs? Probably. The thing about cutting out an entire food group is that you automatically will eat fewer calories, so you will lose weight. Or at least stop gaining, depending on your previous habits.
I’d rather not limit myself. I try not to eat too many sweets, but I will never say, “I won’t eat that anymore.”
Well, I don’t have cow’s milk unless it’s cooked and cow-milk yogurt is out, too. But those are because of necessity and not choice. And I did go vegetarian, but again, not because of my weight.
So, I lied. I will say that I won’t ever eat something again. But I won’t do it because some person wanting to make money off a book says I should. It just wouldn’t work for me.
Let me take you all back … way back.
I moved to Georgia from New York in 2005. At that time, I weighed somewhere in the 140s. I don’t know exactly how much I weighed, but I wore a small size 6 at the time, so I think I had a lot of muscle tone, since even when I weighed 132 pounds last year, the clothes that fit me in January 2005 were too small.
At the time, I didn’t really watch what I ate very carefully, but I tried to exercise here and there. I didn’t have a specific routine, but I walked quite a bit.
Then I met Chris and he introduced me to such foods as Hamburger Helper and this cheesy chicken thing that came in a box with all the ingredients except the chicken. Well, in all honesty, I bought the box. But it sat in the cupboard for at least a year until one day Chris decided to make it. And I ate it.
And it was good.
And I wasn’t exercising.
The clothes in my closet slowly got tighter and tighter until I had only one pair of jeans that fit and I had to go shopping for new clothes to wear to work. More and more of my wardrobe ended up in boxes in storage, since I couldn’t fit most of my pants and skirts over one thigh and my shirts showed way too much in the way of fat rolls for me to be comfortable wearing them.
The scale inched up.
I was in denial. I started trying to eat more salads, cut back on calories. I joined a semi-gym (it was similar to Curves). I actually dropped some weight and got back into some of the clothes I’d grown out of.
And then I stopped. I moved to Florida. Within a year, I weighed my all-time high of 166 pounds and wore a size 12 that was getting a little snug. (For reference, I weighed 155 pounds the day I gave birth to my daughter. Can you still call it residual baby weight when the kid’s 13?)
I got fed up. I joined Weight Watchers. I half-assed Weight Watchers and wondered why the weight wouldn’t come off. I started exercising, but ended up making more excuses than taking walks or going to the gym I’d joined (and shortly after quit when they got rid of all the classes).
I wasn’t losing, but I had at least succeeded in halting the upward trend.
Then I decided to become a vegetarian. I did it for moral reasons (I promise I won’t preach about it. It’s a personal choice, but relevant to the story.). The first month I stopped eating meat (FYI, meat means anything that once breathed and had a nervous system and eyes, so poultry and fish do count), I lost six pounds. But that was it. Just six. No more.
Finally, in April 2008, I got serious. I started counting points in earnest and got serious about working out, walking up and down the steep Tallahassee hills for miles and miles, upping my endurance each time and adding some exercise DVDs, as well.
By June, I’d dropped from 160 pounds and size 12 to 144 pounds and size 6.
Then I stopped again and tried Intuitive Eating. I actually lost a few more pounds, but it didn’t stick. I hovered at 144 for a while and then got back on the Weight Watchers wagon and dropped to 132 pounds. And then slowly gained back 10 pounds.
In the past month, I’ve been eating like nobody’s business and not exercising nearly as much as I used to. I’m not quite sure what the damage is.
I was maintaining 141 for a while, but last week I stepped on the scale and it said 151. Then I had another week of not eating right and not exercising and yesterday, my scale said 147.5. This morning, 145. I subscribe to weighing only once a week and considering that my weight, but I’m kind of in a panic, so it was nice to see the 145 this morning, anyway. And I think some of that gain must have been water retention, though obviously not all of it.
So, I got back on www.myfitnesspal.com and started tracking. I worked out yesterday. I’m planning ahead for today. If I can keep up this pace, you’ll see me at my goal in three to four months.
Up next: my food and exercise for the past two days.