Losing weight has never been easy for me.
I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park for everyone else, but I know there is a group of people who seem to be able to stay focused and determined once they decide to lose weight. They buckle down, do what they need to and keep their eye on the prize. I know a few of them, and I’m always so impressed that they look SO GOOD just a few weeks after having a baby.
I’m in the other camp watching in frustrated awe… eating a McCain Deep and Delicious cake, wondering why I’m not losing weight.
My problem is this: I have no patience. In my recesses of my brain, I know that losing weight takes time. I know this. And yet, this is still how my brain works:
My brain: “I ate a super healthy breakfast AND I didn’t eat six cookies this morning. I am soooo skinny.” Steps on scale before lunch.
Scale: No change.
My brain: “What? That can’t be possible. I ate healthy for like 6 hours! Where’s the results?! What’s the point?!” Steps on scale again.
Scale: One pound gain.
My brain: “I hate life.” Eats six cookies.
The struggle is real, friends.
In the early days of this cycle to get healthy, I always get really frustrated. I’ll start making the changes, do things properly, but nothing changes. My silly, silly brain wants results now, and doesn’t like it when those results take a little longer to show.
But a couple of times, I’ve been able to silence my brain and work through that early frustration and achieve some real results. And I’m not just talking about lower numbers on the scale (although seeing that is so, so lovely), I’m talking about having clothes that fit and feeling awesome when I look in the mirror.
I’m about 10 days into my weight loss challenge, and I’ve been working non-stop at trying to change this unhealthy and unrealistic way of thinking. I’m digging deep and reminding myself that real change takes time, and the results I want will not happen over night. They just won’t.
My sister recommended a Netflix documentary to me, and I carved out some time to watch it the other afternoon while Prince Will slept on my lap. It’s called Fed Up, and something about it really spoke to me. Now I know that many of these documentaries are biased and have an agenda and blah blah blah, but of all the good that I found in this film, one phrase hit home and has been ringing in my brain ever since:
A calorie is not a calorie.
Not all calories are equal. Wait, what? Again, I think this is something that I’ve always known deep down, but the way the film lays it out was very eye opening. What my body does with 1000 calories of junk food is not the same as what it does with 1000 calories of fruits and vegetables. BOOM. Exercising and watching how many calories I intake each day is only part of the battle. What I really need to change is the kinds of calories I’m ingesting. I can exercise until the cows come home, but until I change what I’m fueling my body with, I won’t lose weight.
So I’ve really been trying to focus on removing excess sugar, refined flours and processed foods from my diet… and I’m doing it in small steps. I want the changes I’m making to be sustainable. I want to silence my silly, silly brain and show off some real, lasting results. SO. Let’s talk change.
First, I’ve stopped eating at night. Let’s be honest… what kind of food do you usually reach for after dinner? Junk. I can count the number of times I reached into my fridge for a head of raw broccoli to munch on at night on no hands. 7pm is usually my cut off, and I’ll go up and brush my teeth to make it official.
Second, I’m trying to clean up what I eat for breakfast, and I don’t eat any sweets in the morning. I’m eating eggs, smoothies, Greek yogurt, granola and other healthy alternatives for breakfast, and I am trying to only snack on fruit right now. (It helps with the sugar cravings.)
Third, I’m planning healthy dinners. I’m really trying to simplify what I’m making to a protein with some veggies. That’s it. I’m cutting way, way back on pastas and starches to make room for more brightly colored veggies. Eat the rainbow, friends! (and I’m not talking about Skittles.)
Fourth, I’m really trying to cut back on my baking. This is a hard one for me. I love baking. It’s very therapeutic for me. There’s something very calming about following a set of directions and having something turn out beautifully. If I bake now, I’m trying to make sure it’s a healthier version–black bean brownies or chick pea blondies, with honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.
I’m really trying to reduce the processed foods we eat by making things from scratch. Yes, it’s more time consuming but I’m already seeing results. Yesterday I noticed that the shirt I put on looked a little better than usual. I stepped on the scale today and since the beginning of this challenge last week, I’ve lost 4.5lbs.
My silly, silly brain did a happy dance and it was just the push I needed to stay determined through this long weekend.
A calorie is not a calorie. Who knew?!
Four months. Where on earth did it go?
Yesterday was my little Ruby’s 4 month birthday, and we celebrated by having naps and going shopping. (I may or may not have purchased a pink jean mini-skirt for her. Don’t judge me.)
She is growing like crazy and is learning new things all the time… but as she gains her baby rolls, it’s time for me to lose mine. I’ve used this blog as a platform to push myself to lose weight more than once over the course of the (almost) six years that I’ve been writing here. My greatest success was the year Peeah got married, and I came within 5 pounds of my goal weight (135 lbs). I was running 3 – 4 times a week, and I stopped eating chocolate for 14 months.
I’ve lost most of the weight I gained while I was pregnant with Ruby–I’m down to about 6 or 7 pounds that I can attribute to “baby weight”. But then I was at least 15 – 20 lbs overweight when I got pregnant, so I have a ways to go. Now that the sun is shining and bathing suit weather is upon us, I feel more than ready to let this excess weight go.
My biggest hurdle has always been my eating habits, and now that I’m a full-time mom to Ruby, finding time to exercise is a challenge.
BUT, that doesn’t mean that I can’t do it.
So, here’s my plan: alter my eating habits. I’ll be honest… I eat a lot of crap. Most of the time I’m grabbing something on the fly because she needs me, or if my hands are free I don’t want to “waste” my free time laboring over something in the kitchen.
It’s just lazy, and it’s not good for me or for her.
Also, I’ve decided to say goodbye to chocolate once more. I’ve had the idea rolling around in my head for a little while now, and then actually ended up talking about it with some friends at dinner last night. When I eliminate chocolate from my diet, I always find myself reaching for a wider variety of better options for me to eat.
So, to make it official, I’m going off it for at least 6 months. I’ll reevaluate at Christmas.
Lastly, being a mom doesn’t mean I get to stop exercising. I am going to start working out at home, taking her out for at least one walk a day, then if this new bedtime routine I’m working on takes, I’d like to start running or biking after she goes to bed.
So. There it is. To keep myself honest I plan to post my progress with you each month on Ruby’s “birthday”. As she gains weight, I’ll hopefully lose some.
Right now my dream would be to lose 30 pounds. I’ll keep you posted!
- (image found at: http://www2.worthingtonlibraries.org/teen/blog/Image/icons/chocolate.jpg)
That’s right lovelies–today I have been Chocolate-Free for an entire year. I’ll pause for a minute to let that sink in.
Annnnnnd I’m back. haha! A year ago I decided that I needed to change my diet as I was running 3 – 5km every day but still wasn’t losing any weight. At the time Spart had also decided to forgo chocolate, so I decided to do it with her, thinking it might help.
…the first week I stopped eating it I lost 3lbs. *hangs head in shame*
I’m not sure how much I was eating back then, but it was a lot. I was full-on chocoholic that needed rehab.
I decided to go cold-turkey instead. No more chocolate cake. No more chocolate chip cookies. no more brownies. *sob* No more chocolate cheesecake. Nothing.
I woke up one day, decided enough was enough, and have not tasted chocolate in it’s solid form in a year. I say “solid” as I have had a few hot chocolates over the course of the year. When you don’t drink coffee or tea your list of hot drinks becomes rather limited on cold days (we get a few of those up here in Canada) and many Tim Horton’s still don’t carry Hot Apple Cider. But I was never addicted to hot chocolate so it didn’t make me miss it at all.
The first day was agony. The first week was difficult. The second week was challenging, but by the third week I was okay. And now, 12 months later, I don’t crave it at all. Sure, I love the smell of something chocolate baking in the oven, but that “I’m going to die if I don’t taste that” feeling is gone now. I like that.
So for weeks as this anniversary was approaching I was faced with what to do next. My original goal was to see if I could last a year, and, to my own surprise, I actually made it. haha! So what now? For a while I wasn’t sure if I wanted to eat it again… could I better control how much I was eating?
I think so, or at least I want to try. I’ve decided that I am going to start eating it again, but with a few personal guidelines attached:
1. I can only eat it on days I go to the gym.
The Hubs and I recently joined a gym together and he’s been helping whip my body into shape. I don’t want to wreck it with poor eating habits, so on days that I work out, I can have chocolate.
2. No chocolate bars.
I used to be terrible for grabbing a chocolate bar on my way out of a store to eat on the way home. I’ve completely stopped this habit, and I don’t miss it. If I’m going to eat chocolate, it’s going to be GOOD chocolate. Like my mom’s turtle cake. (oh my gosh SO GOOD)
3. Eat in moderation.
I’m pretty sure that no one really needs to eat 3 large brownies after a meal. One will do for me.
4. Watch the scale.
If I begin gaining weight, it’s gone again. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t need it.
…it’s just dang good.
So those are my new “chocolate rules”, and I’ll keep you posted. I’ve decided to wait until September 1st to taste it again, and now comes the fun part–deciding what my first taste of chocolate should be!!!!
Any suggestions?? ;)
Oh, hi Tuesday.
**Have you voted in my poll yet??? (–>)
Today felt like it went by reeeeeeeally fast. Yesterday was a slow hazy headachy day (I only slept for 3 hours on Sunday night… oy evay) and today was a blur! It started off a little rocky, but turned out nicely. Let’s recap:
After finally sleeping MUCH better last night I woke up feeling like a new woman. I sent the Hubster off to work, curled up in my huge computer chair that I recently stole from the Hubs side of le office and caught up on some lovely blogs until I decided it was time to run.
Now then, I should probably tell you that I am fabulous at distracting myself from the task at hand. I put on my running clothes at 8:30. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and decided that I needed to clean the bathroom right away. So I did. Then I saw workmen coming to repair my front stairs and decided I needed to spy on them. So I did. Then I decided I should probably check my email / procrastinate some more. So I did.
Then it was 9:30 and I decided it was time to go. So I did.
In the past two days I’ve really tried to up the intensity of my running. I haven’t built up my endurance enough yet to increase the distance by much (I add a little more each week) but I’m now trying to run my route instead of jogging it. It’s exhausting, but I feel great when I’m done! Sadly, I’m still maintaining my weight (no pound lost this week) but I’m starting to see results. The Hubs has already commented that my calves are looking thinner and more toned, and I’m starting to see some definition in my big thunders (aka thighs). Really, I started this thing to get in shape, so I am not at all disappointed. I know the scale will move when it wants to (they are fickle that way).
After my super run I had to rush to get ready as today I decided it was time to visit an employment agency. (Hire me? Please?) Actually, the Hubs suggested it to me as I’ve been trying to find work since the beginning of the summer and so I made myself all pretty, put on a pretty summer skirt and sat at my computer to print my resume. It was 11:15am, and the agency closes at 1pm. It’s a 20 minute walk and the appointment takes an hour, so I thought I was fiiiiiiiine. So I clicked print. And I waited. And waited.
…and realized we were completely out of computer paper.
(*insert mini panic attack here*)
After frantically searching the house and emailing the Hubs 100 times I decided to put my resume on a USB and he’d print it for me at work as his office isn’t far from the agency. So I ran down there, USB in hand and, like an Olympic baton relay race, passed it off to the Hubs upon my arrival and he sprinted off to the finish line (aka: his computer). Unfortunately, my computer genius Hubster ended up with a computer illiterate wifester who somehow managed not to save her resume to the USB, even though she checked it. Twice.
So, I put on my grumpy pants and grumbled a bit about the long walk and whatnot, then my darling Hubster brightened my day by suggesting an impromptu lunch date. Spending time with my main man always brightens my spirits so by the time I left for home I was in much better spirits. I really do have the best Hubster ever.
The rest of the day was kinda lazy… I napped, applied for a couple of teaching positions, wrote in my blog, added things to my ginormous to-do list, made a lazy summer dinner of BLT sandwiches and listened to sappy love songs.
Life is good.
P.s. PEBUAC – Problem Exists Between User And Computer
I am so smrt.
Well, it’s Tuesday again which means it’s time to report on my current fitness challenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t lose a pound this week, I just maintained my current weight. However, I’m not sad about it because I have good news! Like most women out there, I have a collection of “Skinny clothes” (if you try and deny having that pair of jeans, or that jacket that you’re saving for when you lose a few, I won’t believe you! haha). I have quite a collection of Summer Skinny Clothes that I keep at the back of the closet, you know, just in case. Yesterday I tried on a pair of shorts that didn’t fit me three weeks ago… and voila! They were faboosh!
You see, when I started running last summer I went 5 weeks without losing a single pound on the scale. I was SO frustrated and didn’t have a clue what I was doing wrong… then the Hubster took me shopping for new Teacher clothes and I discovered that I had dropped TWO pants sizes! So I know that I put all my weight on in my legs and I lose inches before pounds, which is fiiiiiiine by me! haha! I have a pair of capris that I bought when I was quite thin a few years back and they are always my tester–when I fit into those, life is good! So, I shall keep you posted. :)
In other news, I’ve spent a long time going through and fixing up the chapters of Our Story (the story of how my Hubs and I met and got married within 8 months) and have added “Next” and “Previous” links on each page to make it easier to read! As I got to the last chapter, I realized that it wasn’t the last chapter–I somehow forgot to write about our reception and honeymoon. I know I had a few die-hard fans there for a while (I have the emails and comments nagging me to write the next chapter to prove it haha) and I was wondering if you’d like me to finish the story? What do you think, Miss Gentle Nudge? haha
Alas, I haven’t been feeling terribly well all day and my loving Hubster is out buying me some Ginger ale so I’m off to collapse on the couch and await his return. Until tomorrow, lovelies!
Today’s Running Songs*
It’s Tricky – Run DMC
Don’t Stop Believin‘ – Journey
Lucky – Jason Mraz
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin‘ – Scissor Sisters
What I Like About You – Ramones (cover)
Whine Up – Kate De Luna dt. Elephant Man
The First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow