Good Intentions

The first week went as well as expected.  I lost 5.8 pounds!  Normal for me the first week on a new program.  I swear it must just be water weight.  But I’ll take it!

I have been doing my very best to stick to my plan, but no matter how hard you plan in life, there are always curve balls thrown in your path.  I hit a few and learned to roll with them.

First, I had a hair appointment after work on Thursday.  It ran later than I expected and the whole way home I was panicking about what I would eat for dinner at 10pm!!!  I looked up the calories for KFC grilled chicken out of desperation and was pleasantly surprised to discover that a grilled chicken breast, single serving of mashed potatoes and gravy and cole slaw were only 510 calories!  This left me with 54 calories unconsumed for the day.  Now while it’s not my ideal healthy meal, it wasn’t BAD for me…  seems to me they may have changed their coleslaw to a much less creamier version.  It did give me a solid healthy protein. (I didn’t eat the biscuit!  I was sooo tempted, but so NOT worth it! So Nico and Kali had a rare treat!)

Saturday I had a family graduation party and was VERY happy to see that my grandma picked up some grilled chicken for the gluten free people in our family and offered me a piece since no one else was eating it!  Then Sunday I had a nieces birthday barbecue!  Double Whammy!  But my sister-in-law Krysten (God bless her heart) is very health conscious and had turkey burgers and a whole wheat pasta salad.  My only guilty pleasure was my Moms red skin dill potato salad, but I only had a cup and counted the calories, and I had one small sliver of cake with NO ICE CREAM! It was so hard not to have ice cream!

Last night I found out just as I got home from work that I was going to the Katy Perry concert!  I was so excited until I got there and discovered my choices for a healthy dinner…  so I caved and just had a jumbo pretzel with mustard.  I ended up not using over 300 calories for the day for fear of eating something truly unhealthy like a bratwurst or pizza.

So I find myself wondering what I can prepare and have in the fridge/freezer to grab and go on necessary occasions.  Feel free to send me ideas.  I need it to include protein and a good vegetable/fruit serving.  I want to avoid carbs since most of these are evening meals and I am trying to avoid rice/pasta/bread after lunch. (so much for that with the frickin pretzel.)

So this weekend is going to be fun as I am planning to have plenty of grilling veggies and lean chicken on hand for the Independence Day barbecues… Wish me luck and please send me your suggestions.

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The Plan

Have you ever dove into something head first and felt like you couldn’t come up for air for a few days? That’s been my week. There has been so much going on, that I don’t know where to start…

I guess I’ll start by sharing my “Plan”. I began Sunday morning with this:

  • Weigh in once a week and log it here. This week I weighed in on Sunday morning at 241.2 lbs.
  • Using http://www.myfitnesspal.com I will track my caloric intake daily. Currently they have my goal at 1300 calories a day based on my weight. You are welcome to follow me on the site. My id is MeetVirg. You can see what exercises I log and what my meals were for the day.
  • Eat healthy: Lots of vegetables and fruits. Stick with lean free range meats when possible and only eat pasta/rice/bread at lunch. I had a really nice tuna fish sandwich yesterday!

  • Drink minimum 64 ounces of water every day.
  • NO ALCOHOL/ICE CREAM/PIZZA – Until I get under 200, this is a must.
  • Go to Troy Gymnastics on Monday and Wednesday nights for TG F.I.T. Class. Its highly efficient full body conditioning utilizing weights, BOSU, resistant bands, body weight exercises, free weights, stability balls, TRX, medicine balls and more to elevate the heart rate and burn maximum calories in minimum time.
  • The other 5 days of the week I will do spinning at LA Fitness.
  • Attend an Overeaters Anonymous meeting once a week.
  • Keep going to therapy.
  • Go to church once a week.

So far, so good. I will say my weak parts of the day are between 2-5pm at work. The afternoon munchies kick in. So I have been bringing fruit to work and drinking lots of water. Downfall = I spend most of the evening running to the bathroom! LOL I also crave munchies in the late evening if I have time to lay down, relax and watch TV. I saw a Sonic hot dog commercial last night and I wanted to lick the screen…

The All-American Dog

Nutritional Facts:
Calories
390
Total Fat
18
Sodium (mg)
1220

390 calories?!?!?! That’s a hearty breakfast! 390 calories for a hot dog with onions, relish, ketchup and mustard on a bun! I hate to think about how many calories were in the foot-long coneys I used to inhale! yeah… I grabbed my water bottle and started chugging!

I did meet the girls out for dinner Monday night and it was very tempting to order a Woodward Avenue Brewery “Big Bowl Salad”, but somehow I couldn’t rationalize getting a salad described as “BIG BOWL” and I knew I’d have no luck even coming close to guessing how many calories were in it. I got a simple side salad, removed the croutons and had a vinaigrette dressing on the side with a dry grilled chicken breast. Guess what? When I was done, I drank a full glass of water and I was FULL!

I was also very busy with a new opportunity that came just at the right time! But I’m going to save those exciting details for another blog! Sorry… patience is a virtue! 😉

When did “DIET” become a dirty 4 letter word?

I’ve been lying to you all…  I told you that I am about to undergo a life style change…  that’s not completely true…  I am about to start a diet!  (Insert your well meaning advice here)

Why do we feel the need to declare it a lifestyle change?  When you’re as fat as I am, it’s not JUST a lifestyle change…  it is a diet and exercise plan.  Will this change my life style?  Absolutely! Am I dieting? Absolutely!

I know that we have been hearing more and more about how diets don’t work…  making a permanent life style change does.  And I get that, but hear me out.  If I switch to eating “healthier foods” but I’m still eating them in large quantities, guess what?  I won’t lose that much weight.

Have any of you watched the new Extreme Makeover:  Weight Loss Edition?  I believe part of the reason they are so successful, is because the first 3 months of the program are VERY intense.  They focus completely on the weight loss and exercise portion of it.

Do you know anyone who has done the Beaumont Hospital diet?  I do… my Dad and brother.  Did they lose large amounts of weight?  YES!  Did they keep it off?  No…  why?  They didn’t follow thru with the program after weight loss.  Beaumont will teach you how to cook healthy and how to maintain a healthy weight.  My brother and Dad skipped that part.

All of these MEDICALLY supervised programs are restrictive.  AND THEY WORK!!!

My goal is to switch to eating a structured planned diet every week that not only keeps me within my 1200 daily calories, but also is full of pasture raised, free range lean meats, organic fruits and vegetables and good whole grains.  Once I am nearing my weight loss goal, I will start playing with my old favorite foods to figure out how to make them healthier and how to fit them into my new diet/lifestyle.  This is the plan that I believe will work for me.  It may not work for other people.  Some people feel more comfortable making small lifestyle changes like dropping the soda addiction and they lose some weight slowly from it.  Good for them!  That’s a great change….  but it’s not what I need.

So for the last time before starting my diet tomorrow, I stand here defending my decision FOR THE LAST TIME to start a diet and exercise program.  If you don’t agree with me, that’s your right…  lose weight whatever way makes you most comfortable.  Just remember we are ALL different and not one thing will work for everyone.  I am not looking for your advice…  just your support.  Positive support.

Well meaning enablers

Our friends and loved ones like to support us when we are down. Many of us have a natural tendency to solve problems. Others see the problem from a different point of view. Many people will give you advice and suggestions to help you along the way.

So now that I have made this grand declaration, some of my well meaning, caring friends have stepped forward with words of encouragement and support. Some of them have also reminded me of all the cliche things we hear from diet gurus in today’s society:

1. “Just listen to your stomach when you eat and stop eating when you’re full!”
Really? You think I am so in tune with my stomach that I will know when I am full? Have you seen my stomach?

2. “Don’t stop going out to eat with friends just because you’re trying to lose weight. Just make healthier meal choices.”
Its just easier for me to eat healthy when I am preparing the food myself. It’s a preference. If you can eat out every week and lose weight, go for it. I just know it doesn’t work for me. Once I lose the desired amount of weight, I will slowly start adding restaurant meals back into my life. But right now the focus is weight loss.

3. “A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t mean giving up the foods you love.”
If they are making me fat, then yes it should… There is no such thing as “healthy” ice cream. There is lower fat or less sugar, but it’s still ice cream. So instead, during the first phase of this process, it is necessary to give those foods up to an extent. Now that doesn’t mean that if I’m losing weight and had an exceptionally good week of working out, I wont treat myself to a small lemon sorbet! But an indulgence like this has to be earned!

I understand that we are all conditioned to think these things, but when it boils right down to it, I AM A FOOD ADDICT. So, would you tell an alcoholic that they should still be able to have a shot of whiskey when they want? No! So in the same token, I can’t just eat what I want, wherever I want without expecting that it will derail my progress to some extent.

I went so far as to look up some interesting articles about food addiction:

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-food-addiction

I found the last paragraph on that one interesting since it’s what I have self prescribed for myself.

How Is Food Addiction Treated?

Several options are available in the treatment of food addiction. These include consulting a nutritionist, doctor, psychologist, counselor, or eating disorder specialist. In addition, 12-step groups such Overeaters Anonymous (OA) have meetings in many regions or online. Some tips for avoiding bouts of compulsive eating include:

  • Knowing which situations trigger your cravings, and avoiding them if possible
  • Drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day
  • Exercising
  • Relaxing with deep breathing exercises or meditation
  • Trying to distract yourself until the compulsion to eat passes

I would also like to note that my therapist is a licensed psychologist who specializes in addiction. She even does evaluations for bariatric patients. So the program I set up for myself has been run by her and she thinks its aggressive, but its what works for my personality as long as I have a game plan for when a hard day comes along… and I do… find an OE meeting and hit the gym.

So I appreciate all the well meaning feedback from my friends, just please don’t be offended if I take yours with a grain of salt.

*If you think you or someone you love is addicted to food, the website for Overeaters Anonymous is http://www.oa.org/

I’m no longer in denial

I’ve always been the skinny sister… and somewhere in the last 10 years, that changed. I’ve been in denial about it. I still looked in the mirror and saw this tall, hot, fit woman. Last night I saw the real me…

It all started about a year ago. My sister Chris, who has always been the “chubby sister” started losing weight and regularly working out. She joined a fitness class at her kids gymnastics studio and began tracking the calories she ate. She claims to have only lost 17 pounds in the whole process, but suddenly, she’s the “skinny sister”!

So she has been asking me to join the class with her and last night I went for a tryout. It only took 2 minutes for me to realize I was twice the size of every woman in that room. It was all I could do to not breakdown in tears during the 1 hour workout. Everytime one of the women encouraged me for completing an exercise, it only made me want to cry harder. How did I get this out of shape? When did I get so…… FAT?

I cried out in the parking lot after and all the way home. This is when I realized I could do something about it or wallow in self pity. I’ve tried dieting and exercising in the past and I’ve never stuck to it… made it thru a week or even a month, only to fall off the wagon and gain the weight back and usually more. So I am asking myself what makes this time any different? I think it’s going to be my tools.

I’ve been going to therapy and as it turns out I am an addict… a food addict. This seems so bizarre to me, because I always pictured a food addict as someone who is morbidly obese. It’s not… a food addict could be skinny, but what you don’t know is they are probably throwing it all up after they eat. I am a food addict. When I have had a tough day, I soothe myself with ice cream and pizza. When I have a great day, I celebrate with a glorious meal and delicious dessert. My life revolves around food. And it’s killing me. Yes, killing me. I have a strong history of Type 2 Diabetes on both sides of my genetic family. And have lost both grandfathers and a grandmother to heart disease. I am killing myself.

So it’s time to make a change. I posted the status “I AM FAT” on my facebook page and got exactly the response I expected from my loving, well meaning friends: “No you’re not!” “You are fabulous!” “It’s whats on the inside that counts”. While these are all nice things said with love from people who care about me, they are not the complete truth… they are my mask. I am a beautiful woman. Always have been. But now I am a fat pretty woman. I want to be a fit, healthy beautiful… scratch that… HOT woman!

So I have a plan of strategy…  Over-eaters Annonymous Meetings, Weekly counseling, counting every calorie I eat and keeping at no more than 1200/day, doing the FIT class twice a week and spinning classes the other 5 days and lastly I will return to church services once a week.  That last one is because I am more at peace with myself when I am going to church.  It keeps me centered. And I am going to keep this blog.  It will be cathartic I think…  to jot my thoughts down and look back at the good days and the bad ones (because I know I will have them) and learn from this experience.  My goal is to come out on the other end a fitter, healthier, happier me.