Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Start

My post yesterday may have made me appear to be a neurotic calorie counter on the verge of an eating disorder. I know a few people in my life who appear to be naturally skinny who wish that I would fall into such healthy habits that I could just eat and not think about it. This may be a nice thought, but I have been overweight for most of my life, so I doubt such a thing as healthy eating without thinking is possible for me. Besides, thinking is supposed to be a good thing.

I began this weight loss process because my doctor was alarmed at some of my test results. At that time I had gained 30 pounds in the year since my last checkup and my cholesterol was high. I am 32 years old, and in my mind this is too young to be on regular medication. Still, I was about to throw in the towel and accept my fate. I told my doctor that high cholesterol seemed to run in my family. She looked up from her paper work and responded, “Well, this Triglyceride count is something that can change. It’s based on nothing but what we put in our mouths.” At that point it was as if epiphany struck. If this was something I could change then I would change it.

I immediately began examining my diet and questioning how I had gained so much weight in the past year. Fast food stuck out as one major offender because as I became busier more of my meals came from the drive-through. My fast food habit ended that day. Snacking was another problem. On a bad day I may stop off for a king size candy bar and soda or buy a high calorie coffee treat. I stopped rewarding or entertaining myself with candy and syrupy lattes right then. These were good starters and I am proud to say that I have stuck to my convictions, but there was more to learn.

I began searching the internet for ideas. I realized that I simply didn’t know how to eat or live to be a healthier weight. I found Losing Weight After 45 Is a Bitch during one of these searches and found the calorie calculator. (However, here is my favorite calculator because it asks about activity.) Counting calories probably does not work for everyone, but it was a magic formula for me. As long as I could eat a certain number each day and achieve a goal outcome, I could do this.

My diet has become healthier over time and I have learned to cook, but knowing the number got me started. I lost most of the weight without exercise this way, but now I exercise five days or more a week along with three days of yoga. Exercise has made a huge difference in my body and my life. I will blog about that someday soon.

Breakfast Cookie – 300 calories

I made my cookie last night from 1/4 cup oats, 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter, 1/8 cup almond milk, 1/2 a banana, big dash of cinnamon and a small dash of nutmeg.

After 20 minutes of yoga, I had lunch.

Large spinach salad topped with chopped yellow apple and balsamic vinaigrette – 200 calories

Whole wheat cracker with natural peanut butter and coffee – 200

Later I had a cup of black tea with 1/4 cup skim milk and a teaspoon of Splenda, two whole cashews and three pistachios, a cereal bar – 200

I rarely drink caffeine anymore, but today I’ve been digging it. This is probably because I am suffering from sinus problems that are making me feel sluggish. Also, I do not encourage others to use Splenda. As much as I have tried to remove most of the processed and artificial food from my diet, I cannot seem to avoid it as much as I would like and right now I cannot find a better no calorie sweetener to use.

Dinner brought more processed food.

Raw broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots with 1 tablespoon of hummus for dipping – 100 calories

Lean Cuisine frozen pizza – 340

Tonight was pizza night at my house. I serve the family a pizza made at a local deli. The deli puts it together using 100% real cheese and a handmade crust (I am not certain about the sauce), but I eat the preservative filled mini pizza because it is low in calories and fat. Luckily the ingredients list is not as scary as I expected. Pizza is one food that I really miss from my days of eating whatever I wanted without thinking too much about it. I am a Gen Xer; we all ate a lot of pizza.

After-dinner snack/dessert:
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt and about 7 frozen strawberries – 150 calories or less


This is good because I like to keep my daily total at about 1500 on days that I do not do cardio.


I had another post planned, but I am doing this one in response to the Anti-Jared’s Obese entry.

When I decided to lose weight I did not feel ugly nor did I suffer from low self-esteem. I knew I was a big person, but my family is made up of big, tall people. I was actually fairly active and felt that as long as my body did what I wanted it to, everything was fine. Now I am only in my early thirties; who knows what years of obesity would have done to me? But, when I began this journey (ugh) I had no idea what lay in store for me. I had no idea just how good I could feel. I suppose it is true that one cannot miss what one has never had.

Since May I have lost almost 70 pounds. In fact according to the scale this morning I weigh in at 204 on my 6 foot tall frame, so I have lost 72 pounds since May. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the number on the scale, so that kind of just crept up on me. Most women I know would be in terrible direst at weighing more than 200 pounds, but I am in a size 14 long pants and looking slim and toned. I still plan on losing more, but if I had to stay at this weight for the rest of my life, I would be happy. Am I obese? I suppose that is in the eye of the beholder.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I’ve lost 60 pounds, almost 70, since May of last year! I need more exclamation marks!!!! This has been great and far easier than I ever would have imagined, but I need motivation to keep me on track. This blog is part of that motivation.

I have fallen into the habit of reading many of the numerous blogs out there devoted to the weight loss journey. (Yes, I just called it a “journey.” How very Oprah-esque.) In the future I plan to share some of those cool blogs and to point to resources on the web that have helped me on my, a-hum, journey. I also plan on using this blog to keep myself accountable for my calorie intake. After all, weight loss for me is all about calories in vs. calories out.

Today I feel that I over ate. This doesn’t happen often, mostly because I surround myself with good food and it is difficult to overeat on veggies and fruit no matter how hard you try. However, today was a chili kinda day.

One Breakfast Cookie prepared the night before (I make mine a little differently) – 300 calories

After climbing on the treadmill and walking at a 3.5 pace with the sharpest incline my machine can muster I had second breakfast (I usually eat a little before and after working out).

Second Breakfast (I feel like a hobbit calling it that):
½ cup vanilla yogurt – 100
Mixed with fruit and high fiber cereal – 100

Whole wheat flat bread smeared with hummus and topped with spinach, sprouts, and tomato – 200

Now, here is the part of my day in which things went all helter skelter. We made snow cream with milk and sugar. I ate a good portion of this snack and added 300 to my calorie count bringing my total to 1000 for the day.

Dinner continued the confusion and inner drama.

Chili made with 4 cans beans, tomatoes, and 3 lbs. of red meat bliss (I hardly ever eat red meat anymore). Calorie count – I have no freakin’ idea. I topped that heaping bowl with plain yogurt and sliced avocado and went to town. I went back for a second heaping portion, and even returned to eat more straight from the pot later on. After dinner, more snow cream and a calorie killer known as pistachios.

I don’t think I blew my calorie intake for the day, but I do not like it when I cannot easily count the calories in the food I am consuming. I feel out of control. And that chili was like crack cocaine! I only intended to eat 1700 calories for the day because my thirty minute treadmill workout was not as active as my usual weekday exercise routine.

See why I need a blog? Even if I am just talking to myself, I need to sort these things out.