Sunday, March 30, 2014

Leaving Food On The Plate

I've recently realized something about myself.

I am incapable of leaving food on the plate.

It had never really occurred to me that it was an issue. Earlier tonight as I was eating dinner, I realized that I was feeling full. Looking down at my place I saw about a third of my dinner still sitting there. I was watching a movie and mindlessly kept eating. Now, I had pre measured my dinner and knew that the entire plate would be within my allotted calories, that was not the issue. However, next thing I knew I looked down at my plate again and all the food was gone. I didn't think about it much right at the moment. Later on, after the movie had ended, I started thinking about it. 

Why did I not stop eating if I was feeling full?

I started thinking back, and I really don't ever leave food on my plate! (Unless it's something I dislike.) Many times I have continued eating even when feeling completely full. I realized that I feel bad about leaving food behind. Almost like it would be wrong if I didn't eat everything. I kept (and keep) thinking about it, and I truly have no idea where that even comes from! I know some people grew up hearing "clean your plate" from their parents, but I have no recollection of my mother ever saying anything like that. So it can't possibly be something I learned as a child. Well, I'm not sure where this came from, or when it started, but I'm happy I'm now aware of it. I know part of the issue is eating in front of the TV and that's a whole other issue I'll have to address. For now I'm going to work on stopping when I feel full. I need to learn how to leave food on the plate. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Surviving The Potluck

We've probably all been in that situation. 

Some kind of gathering.

With cake….

Today there was a potluck at my office. Lots of delicious looking food and not one but two different home made cakes! Both of them looked absolutely delicious. Most of the day I heard "This cake is amazing! Who made it?!" or "Wow, this is so good! I can't believe you made this!" and so on. But I stood fast and resisted!

I thought about what made the difference today (I don't think I've ever been able to avoid potluck cake before) and here are some tips that might help:

Think ahead - I knew ahead of time what everyone was bringing. I thought about packing my own lunch so that I wouldn't have to worry about it, but then decided I could make it work with the items that would be available. I ended up eating 2 crispy tacos and just skipped out on some of the toppings; such as cheese and sour cream.

Tell your coworkers you're on a diet - In the past, I've never shared being on a diet with my coworkers. I would feel embarrassed to share the idea of being on a diet thinking they would later "judge" every single thing I ate. This time around I decided I would tell them, just to help me by keeping myself accountable. Previously I would have my coworkers offering me a piece of cake about a million times and then looking at me strangely if I said "No, thanks." Now, because everyone is aware that I'm trying to lose weight, I had no such offers. Instead I'm surrounded by people that want me to succeed, feel comfortable sharing their own struggles with food, and offer encouragement. Letting them know has really made such a huge difference.

Keep healthy snacks close by - If there aren't many healthy or low calorie options available, eat your own snack! I think it's important to have snacks you know work with your diet available all the time. If you ever feel hungry or have a craving, it's a lot easier to resist if you have a healthy substitute near by.

Stay focused - All right, lets face it… I wanted cake. I really really really wanted some cake. It looked good, it smelled good, and from the comments I heard I'm sure it also tasted good. But I kept reminding myself, if I eat that piece of cake, I would ultimately only be disappointing myself. My desire to meet my goals is definitely stronger than my desire for cake. Now I don't think that one single piece of cake would completely demolish my weight loss journey. However, I know that I'm not a one-piece-of-cake-and-done kind of gal. I recognize that one piece of cake will only make me crave another. So, I stayed away from the cake!

These are just some tips that have been helping me and especially helped me today. I think I can continue to beat the potluck cravings!!

Esli 1 Potluck 0!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Food Journal - Day 1

I've been reading several health blogs. 

You know, trying to keep myself motivated. I recently read about the importance of keeping a food journal. As I've mentioned before, I love making lists. The idea of keeping a food journal seemed right up my alley. So today was my first day. 

For the past few days I've been counting calories, I'm currently trying to keep myself between 1,400 to 1,500 calories. I saw a lot of websites that suggested 1,200 calories per day to lose weight, but for now a bit of a higher range seems right for me. I've been eye-balling calories, but had not been writing any of them down. 

Today I was so surprised! Even though I'm eating more fruits and veggies, it was so surprising to see how quickly the calories add up! I did end up within my calorie "budget," but the number was actually a lot higher than I had originally thought. It was definitely an eye opener, and something I can see being very beneficial.

I'll keep working on it and see how it works out. Once I've gotten into the habit of using it, I'll make a post giving more details about it and show pictures.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

First thing this morning I stepped on the scale.

247 pounds!

I know that's still very, VERY overweight. 

It's still 17 pounds less than when I started! 

I'm proud of me, and I still want pizza, but every time I step on the scale and I see that number has gone down just a bit more it is so exciting! I'm almost half way to my first goal of 225. 22 pounds to go to get there. I decided I'm going to treat myself to something when I get to my first goal. I'm still not sure what it will be, but I do know that it won't involve food! I used to always do that. I would say once I lose "X" amount of weight I'm going to celebrate by eating a burger or pizza or anything really. However, I recently saw an image on Pinterest (< link to my Pinterest account) that said "Don't reward yourself with food. You're not a dog" and I had an "AHA" moment! I had really never even thought about it. Rewarding myself with food seemed completely normal. 

Let's Rewind again…

I've mentioned before how I've struggled with my weight since elementary school. When I was about 8 my mother began taking me to weight loss weekly meetings. Something similar to a Weight Watchers meeting, though I really don't remember them very well. I do, however, remember that after our weekly weigh ins my mom would take my sister and me out to eat as a way to celebrate our weight loss. I specifically remember thinking I couldn't wait until weigh in days, just so that I could "break" my diet. 

Alright, back to the present…

I never learned that diets were a lifestyle. I always just saw them as a weekly thing, something I would end up breaking. Celebrations have always come along with food. Seeing that quote on Pinterest, really struck me. So, when I reach my first goal of 225 pounds, I will celebrate, but not by "breaking" my diet. Maybe a bit of shopping, who knows. 

For now, I'm truly happy with the progress I've made.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

So far...

I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nutritionist.

However, I know me. Better than anyone else. Except maybe my mother, of course, who claims to know me even better.

I know what I can live with and what I can live without.

I know why I've gained weight. 

Cutting down all the nonsense, I know what it leaves me with.

I'm lazy.

I don't like to exercise, I don't like to worry about cooking. Picking up McDonalds is so much easier than rummaging through the fridge. At least for me. The idea of working out is not one that goes through my mind often. When it does, I tend to shoo it away. Also, I love cake. Breads of any kind really. 

So now I have to find a balance.

I've already lost weight. 15.4 pounds to be exact. 

My first change was to cut out soda. Less than a year ago I decided to "stop drinking my calories." I think I read that somewhere, not sure. It helped me not gain weight. My body had been stuck somewhere in the neighborhood of 260-264 pounds. In a way I feel like that alone was an accomplishment. For almost a year I didn't GAIN weight! It may seem silly, but being able to wear the same clothes from one winter to the next is not something I remember doing before. Typically, and definitely in the last 7-10 years, I would have outgrown my clothes before the season repeated itself. 

Just 8 days ago, and yes, of course, it landed on a Monday, I decided would be the first day of actual progress. It is no longer ok, to just not gain weight. I have to actually lose weight. I loosely followed a diet plan I found on the Whole Foods website. My plan was to follow that meal plan for 5 days and then I would go on a juice fast the following 2 weeks. 

Bad plan.

As it turns out, going on a juice fast is not easy. Ha! and I thought it would be. My mind likes to trick me sometimes. I love juice and most vegetables are ok in my book. The tough part is the hunger. For two days I followed the plan. Then I thought, haven't I always read that on a diet you shouldn't ever feel hungry or deprived. So, I ate a salad. Small salad, about 100 calories or so. Yet I suddenly felt alive again. So, juicing is just not for me. 

I'll find something that works. 

For now, I'm counting calories. I would prefer a specific meal plan. See, I love lists, I love making lists, I love having lists for just about everything. A meal plan looks like a list. You eat, you cross it off, you wait for the next time you have to eat, you eat, you cross it off, and so on. I'm thinking about turning calorie counting into a list. List my allowed calories and just deduct as the day goes on. I'm still not sure how I will go about this. I do know that this time it's different. This time I want it more than ever before. I have to succeed. 

Baby Steps

I know this will be a long journey.

One I've tried many (MANY) times before.

I'm still trying to convince myself that this time it will be different. This time around I will succeed. 

I can.

I will.

I have to.

Let's rewind.

I'm not one of those people that can look back and remember all the details. I tend to be a bit forgetful. However, looking back through my now 27 years of memories, I can remember one thing; I've always been fat. Overweight. Obese. Whatever you want to call it. I've been on and (obviously) mostly off diets since elementary school. One of my earliest diet memories includes my 7 or 8 year old self trying and succeeding in "trading" a couple pieces of toast (included in my lunchbox as part of a "healthy" meal) for a slice of pizza with a classmate at lunch time. Now I think about it and wonder how did I manage to convince a girl that toast is better than pizza!?! Who knows?!?! 

Anyway, lets skip forward. In high school I managed to lose about 40 pounds or so on the oh so popular (at the time) Atkins diet. Of course, now almost exactly 10 years later, I have managed to gain it all back and a bit extra….

By a bit extra I mean about double.

So thats almost 80 pounds in less than 10 years.

Just looking at that number hurts.

Ok, so here are the current facts.

My heaviest weight, at least that I'm aware of, was 264 pounds.

I'm 27 years old.

I'm about 5'5 (ish).

I'm definitely top heavy. I can only shop for clothes in the "plus" size or "women's" section of stores. My tops are typically 3x, but sometimes can comfortably squeeze into a 2x, and my pants are 22 or 24.

My current weight is 248.6 pounds.

My ultimate goal is to cut myself in half. 132 pounds.

132. Right now that number seems almost impossible. So for now I'm trying to reach 225. That's the fist goal I've set for myself. By the end of this year I'd like to break 200. That would be amazing. My weight hasn't started with a "1" since the first summer before college.

So what does "Countdown to Princess" even mean?

No, I don't think I'll become a princess by losing weight, if that's what you're thinking. My dream is to run in the Disney World Princess Half Marathon. I've been thinking about it for years, but to be quite honest, I can barely walk a short distance without feeling tired and achy. I know it's going to be a long road. I know this will not be easy. But I've started, and that's the best I can do. I no longer want to just hope and dream. I want to make this a reality. 

I want to be a "runner."