Post Snowpocalypse Weight Loss Plans

Snow on Japanese Maple

Snow on Japanese Maple

The snow is melted and the roads are safe to travel again here in Alabama.  Now’s a great time to get out and do some walking.  I was walking every day at lunch for the weeks leading up to the turn in the weather over the last couple of weeks.

I want to make sure I keep that trend going.  It’s a great stress relief during the work day and gets my heart pumping.  If I keep that up I’ll be moving in a positive direction every day.

Time to get out, enjoy the sunshine and burn some calories.

– Nat

Got my Butt in Gear at 5:30 AM Today

I’ll admit it.  I did hit the snooze button twice but I was up by 5:25 this morning and on the treadmill by 5:30.

Today’s the second day of my walking routine.  Yesterday and today I walked for a total of thirty-five minutes on the treadmill.

I’m trying to work up to forty-five minutes.  That should get me plenty of exercise and help me move towards better health.

On the food front I did OK but it could have been better.

For breakfast I had a serving of Homemade, Gluten Free banana bread.  With my daughter’s new diagnosis of Celiac Disease this has become a morning staple in our house.  It doesn’t hurt that it tastes great.

Lunch today was provided by my company to kick off our week long employee appreciation activities.  Sadly it wasn’t a super healthy option.  They brought in Pizza Hut.  I did manage to stick to just two pieces though.  One hand tossed cheese slice and one thin crust veggie.

For supper we had Perdue Gluten Free chicken tenders and Idahoan Instant mashed potatoes.  Both are pretty tasty.

I forgot to clip on my pedometer before my walk on the treadmill so my step count today was 5,978.  I’ll pick up those last twenty-two before going to bed tonight to crack through the 6,000 step mark.  Tomorrow I’ll wear my pedometer while I’m on the treadmill too.

That should put me close to the 10,000 daily step mark that I’m shooting for.

Question: How did your exercise and diet go today?

Wish me luck!

I’m about to step on the treadmill again.  I mean that not only as something I’m going to do in the next few minutes but also as my exercise plan for the near term.

I may not be able to run. I may not be able to jump high.  I may not be able to do aerobics.

I can walk.

I’m starting with thirty minutes at a light to moderate pace.  For now, I’m committing to doing this every other day for a month.  After that I’ll re-evaluate and see if I can try to go to a daily schedule.

So…

Wish me luck as I strap on my sneakers and fire up the treadmill.  I’ll let you know how it goes when I’m done.

Question: Have you ever had to step back on the treadmill either literally or metaphorically?

Ugh!

I stepped on the scale this morning and was sick to my stomach.

I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. Time for some serious revision to my health.

I’m back on Weight Watchers. It’s the only program I’ve been successful with in the past.

I’m tracking ALL my food intake. If I don’t do that I cheat and slip back into my old ways.

Eating out has to stop. I’ll take my lunch and eat breakfast at home before I leave for work.

Walking is going to become a part of my daily routine. I’m going to start with thirty minutes and work up from there. I’ll track my steps as well as time and distance and post my numbers daily or weekly depending on what seems to make the most sense.

I have about eighty pounds to lose. I’ll keep posting my progress here to stay accountable and hopefully help others in the same boat.

Any positive thoughts or energy are most welcome.

Wish me luck!

Lunch, Salad and Lean Cuisine

Lunch TimeI made a salad to go with my Lean Cuisine today for lunch. The two together seem to have been enough to make me feel full. I just want to avoid the late afternoon cravings that lead to a raid on the vending machines.

Coffee, 1 Cream, 1 Sugar

Morning Coffee

Coffee

A cup of decaf coffee gives me a psychological pep. I know it doesn’t have any caffeine but there’s something to be said for the ritual.

This morning, Eggs

The cafeteria serves a pretty decent scrambled egg. I had two this morning with a dash of salt and pepper for seasoning.

The trek up the hill and two flights of stairs should also be taken into account. Not sure of the distance or calories burned but there was definitely a good bit of exertion involved.

Tomorrow I’m going to try for breakfast before I leave the house.

If You Bite It, Write It

Have you ever eaten while on auto-pilot?  The times when you snack and aren’t consciously aware of it can account for a surprising number of calories.  Before long those calories contribute to an expanded waist line.  So what’s the answer?
Unconscious consumption is a habit.  You can retrain yourself to be fully aware of everything you are eating.  With a little bit of strategy you can eliminate the bad habits and build new, healthy ones to replace them.
I’ve been guilty of unconscious eating.  I would snack on whatever was on hand paying no attention to the mountains of calories I was consuming.  I’d rummage through the refrigerator, munching on snacks as i came across them, all the time looking for more food.
When I finally tried keeping a food journal I found my subconscious rebelling.  I would “forget” to write down what I had eaten.  I would get lapses in memory and assure myself I had done pretty well that day or week. The scales told a different story.  It took a while and some supporting tools and techniques before I mastered the habit of journaling what I ate.  Now that I have, things are changing.
I don’t mindlessly rummage for food anymore.  The instant I start thinking about eating my new habits kick in and I start thinking about how many calories each snack contains, how many calories I’ve eaten already that day, and what calories remain for the day in my planned meals.
This new way of thinking starts with the simple step of learning to document everything you eat.  The rule is simple “If you bite it, write it” but the practice is far more profound and will have a positive impact on your diet and health.
There are three stages you’ll need to completely entrench this new habit into your routine.
1. Setup – you will need to plan for your new habit and establish some reminders to get you moving in the right direction.
2. Execution – this is where you start practicing writing down everything you eat and begin the foundation of the new habit you want to create.
3. Reinforcement – It’s possible for your new habit to fade over time.  You’ll need to make sure that occasionally you do a check up to make sure you are keeping your new habit fresh.
Setup
New habits can be difficult to form, especially when they are replacing another habit.  So, in the beginning you’ll need all the help you can get to keep you on track.
One of the best ways to keep a new habit in mind is to setup some automated reminders.  You can do this with your email calendar, your smart phone or whatever other task management tool you use and look at every day.  Just setup the task to remind you at regular intervals about your new approach, “Reminder to document all food eaten!”, and then you’ll be getting regular prompts to help you build your new habit.
Also, don’t give yourself an out.  Make it easy to write down everything you eat.  Decide ahead of time if you’ll be using paper, an app on your smart phone, or your computer to track what you eat.  When you plan ahead of time you won’t be caught in indecision when it comes time to record what you’ve eaten.
Execution
If you’ve properly completed your setup this step should be a breeze.  Follow your prompts.  Remind yourself of why you’re doing this frequently.  Forgive yourself when you make a mistake and don’t give up.
Soon you’ll have this mastered and be well on your way to an improved diet and healthier life.
Reinforcement
As part of your setup you’ll want to plan for regular check ups on your progress.  Set these in your calendar to make sure you’re still sticking to your new habit.  This stage is your safety net.  It will catch you if you’ve let the habit slide for a while and remind you to get back to it.
One of the best things you can do to increase the odds of your weight loss efforts succeeding is to break the unconscious eating habit and replace it with full awareness whenever you eat.  Remember, “If you bite it, write it!” and you’ll be well on your way.
Question: How do you track the food you eat?

Vegetarian Experiment Failure

My week long experiment with vegetarianism is about to fail. The reason? I feel terrible! And this is only day three.

I’m not at a loss for energy, I just feel out of sorts. Like I could become ill at any moment.

The main reason I undertook the experiment was to force myself to eat healthier and feel better. I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing that goal.

I’ve loaded up on eggs and dairy to substitute for the meat I typically eat and I think that’s my main issue.

So I’m rebooting the experiment and going back to the old faithful technique of documenting what I eat and setting limits on calories and categories of food.

My best success in the past has come from this approach so it seems logical that it will be successful again in the future.

On the good news front I have not gained any weight in the last three weeks. So the consistent upward trend in my weight over the last few months has at least stabilized. I also managed to walk for thirty minutes yesterday on the treadmill which is the most exercise I’ve gotten in over a month. I’m bound to keep that trend going.

With a little more focus on my part I know I can get back on track to losing weight and getting healthier.

Question: What have been some of your failed weight loss experiments?

Weight Loss, Fifty Tips for Success

Here are fifty tips I’ve used myself at times to improve my health and habits. I’ve had better success with some than others. My hope is that you can find a few things in the list that will be helpful to you.

If you give these a try, please post your results in the comments I’d love to hear how they worked for you. Even better, if you have tips of your own please post those. I’d love to learn from your experiences and I’m sure others would as well.

  1. Invest in a personal water filter.
  2. Keep instant Oatmeal handy with all the necessary utensils and containers to prepare and consume it.
  3. Keep a food diary in an on line tool so you have no excuse not to update it every time you eat.
  4. Keep healthy snacks on hand to avoid vending machines.
  5. Take five to ten minutes each morning to think about what you will be having for breakfast, lunch and supper.
  6. Plan your meals, make menus for the entire week before going grocery shopping.
  7. Prep meals ahead of time on the weekends.
  8. Know the distance of common walking routes near your home and work.
  9. Keep an exercise diary in an on line too. (See #3 above)
  10. Know the cues that trigger you to eat.
  11. Keep a list of your weaknesses, foods you find it almost impossible to resist.
  12. Create a plan to reward yourself responsibly for staying on track.
  13. Create a list of people you can contact in a pinch for support when you are feeling tempted.
  14. Keep a list of healthy foods that help you suppress your appetite.
  15. Drink eight ounces of water fifteen minutes before a meal.
  16. Make a list of the benefits to you of losing weight.
  17. Review your list of weight loss benefits at least once a day.
  18. Let other people know you are losing weight and ask them to check up on your progress from time to time.
  19. Eat breakfast every day.
  20. Go to sleep at a consistent time.
  21. Wake up at a consistent time, even on weekends.
  22. Get enough sleep to be fully rested.
  23. Walk with friends or family.
  24. Take a critical look at yourself in the mirror at least once a week.
  25. Accept where you currently are and realize improvement starts there.
  26. Forgive yourself when you make a mistake.
  27. Realize a mistake is a moment in time and let it go.
  28. Don’t sabotage yourself, remove temptations from your home or office.
  29. Realize you can’t control everything.
  30. Make a grocery list.
  31. Bring only enough cash to cover your grocery list, leave your credit cards at home.
  32. Buy healthy food in bulk, buy treats in single servings.
  33. Buy treats only after you’ve earned them by sticking to your reward plan (See #12 above).
  34. Plan social activities that don’t center around food.
  35. Establish scheduled meal times.
  36. Eat at a table, not in front of the television or at your desk at work.
  37. Put your fork or spoon down between bites.
  38. Get smaller plates.
  39. Take a sip of water between bites.
  40. Eat slower.
  41. Wait five minutes before getting another helping.
  42. Wait fifteen minutes before eating desert.
  43. Learn to eat fruit for desert.
  44. Take a walk before eating.
  45. Don’t eat in rooms other than the kitchen or dining room.
  46. Favor meals you have to prepare yourself over prepackaged meals you simply heat up in the microwave.
  47. Eat raw vegetables.
  48. Eat raw fruit.
  49. Eat foods that have undergone as little processing as possible, you will work harder digesting them.
  50. Accept that each moment is an opportunity to make a better choice for your health. Everything that is past is past, forward is the only positive direction.
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