Weigh In – Week 39

MOTIVATION in all aspects

I haven’t meant to abandon you guys, and I haven’t been hiding, exactly, but I can’t really say I was anxious to return to the blog. Life is complicated and for me that usually means weight-loss is not likely.

I told my precious husband, Tony that I wish so desperately that I was one of those people for whom being stressed meant, “I can’t bring myself to eat.”  Instead I’m one of those people for whom stress means, “I can’t bring myself to eat just one plate.”

My absence has not all been out of guilt or lack on motivation. It started with a computer crash that left me finding it impractical to try to blog. Then life got very complicated, as it still is, and the time became short. I am feeling more demands in my job, my ministry responsibilities in our church have more than doubled lately, and we have had some personal issues like illnesses in the family that have complicated my schedule. This has been one of the most demanding seasons I remember in a very long time.

My weight is actually back up again – 158 this morning. I’m wondering if simply keeping off the 20 additional pounds I’ve lost this year (a total of 80 pounds from my highest weight) might be the most I can hope for. If I can get back to 152 and keep that off instead of see-sawing back and forth between 152 – 158 that would be a big improvement.

My schedule restraints are legitimate. I have so much on my plate that by the end of the day it’s late and I’m exhausted. Sleeping less simply isn’t a good option. I’m already struggling for energy.

Dietary failures are not acceptable. I confessed my sins to my hubby, who is also my pastor. I am guilty of emotional eating. I am even finding my self fighting urges to sneak private treats of nasty burgers and sweets. When I want to hide to eat or hide what I’m eating, that’s unhealthy and a sign of addiction. At the end of a hard day I want to drown my emotions in cream sauces and sooth my tired spirit with slabs of bacon. My partner is holding me more and more accountable, steering me toward the broccoli and the salmon.

I have decided to begin reading “The Ultimate Weight Solution” by Dr. Phil McGraw to address my emotional eating issues. I know the facts, but I have to find a way to attack the core issues. Knowing what and how to eat, knowing the right exercises and owning a gym membership will only take me so far. It’s time to address the things that send me to food as a means of trying to meet my emotional needs.

My God is big enough to handle my problems. My sweet husband is anxious to help and comfort me when times are hard. I have worked very hard to lose weight. It is simply unacceptable to let hard times and a busy schedule steal what I have been given, what I have worked for, what God has blessed we with. I will not relinquish my better health and fitter form.

That being said, I am also realistic that though I am determined not to loose too much ground, this season of transition may simply be about keeping my head above water. With little to no cardio over the last couple of weeks and no more than one session in the gym, I have to get back to an overall healthy lifestyle. A low calorie healthy diet and at least 3 good cardio sessions a week are necessary just to maintain my new weight. It would take a good bit more to gain ground. I must start by trying to work the basics back into my new and much more difficult schedule.

I hope you will share your successes and your tips and motivate me to get creative again! May week 39 be a success for you! 🙂

Stepping Stones For Week 38 – Week 37 In Review

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      Week 37 got off to a great start. We were in the gym 3 times and I had gotten in 7 miles of cardio all before Thursday. We were also very on track nutritionally. Things were going great. However, not much success after that. We entertained several evenings, had a few fires to put out in the lives of loved ones, had extra busy work schedules and my energy and will power didn’t follow well. I didn’t bust things open calorically until Sunday. Sunday was the worst with some minor cheats before then. Sunday I broke the rules, even having cake for dessert in spite of not being back on my weight tracker weight range. Week 38 is a new week. Here we come!

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Stepping Stones for Success – Week 38

 

Goal:  “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year).

Action Steps: I will limit my calorie intake to 1400 calories a day, continuing to focus on good nutrition in my choices. I put in 20 miles of cardio exercise.  I will also do 2 – 30 minute weight training sessions.  I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. 20 miles of cardio

7.  2 or more  Weight Training Sessions  (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

8. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

9. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

10. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

11. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

You Wouldn’t Pour Sugar In Your Gas Tank

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     A couple of times lately I’ve decided to stray from my usual healthy breakfast. First, on day one of vacation I found some Pizza Rolls in the freezer and said, “Why not?” Let me tell you, there were soooo many reasons why not. Sodium, preservatives, calories galore…..but I did it anyway much to my own discomfort. As the day proceeded, I found myself feeling very lethargic and asking myself why I had no energy.

     Then early in the week I decided to mix up the menu. I substituted my planned breakfast of CarbMaster Yogurt, Fruit, and Multigrain Waffles with a serving of frozen hashbrown casserole. It was available, looked yummy, and I could make it fit the calorie goals for the day. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do, but afterward I felt icky, fatigued, and bloated.

     I’m a slow learner sometimes but I finally caught on. When I fill my body with healthy nutrient rich foods I feel energetic and happy. When I put artificial foods with empty carbs and preservatives in my system it sludges my system up and makes me feel yucky. Why don’t I retain this? Why am I surprized after I eat something “junky” that I feel bad? I wouldn’t put bad fuel or foreign substances in my vehicle and expect it to run well. The same should be true with my body. Each morning I need to be intentional and think about how good (or bad) breakfast can make me feel. perhaps my wake up prayer each morning needs to include thanks for the day and the food I am about to receive along with a request for mindfulness to make the choices that will benefit me.

     Time to fuel up! I’m thinking fresh, light, and healthy foods will make me feel fresh, light and healthy! Are you looking for foods that make you feel great but can be prepared in a hurry? Check out the Women’s Health Magazine Article “Your Groceries Are About To Get A Whole Lot Healthier” for their list of the healthiest pre packaged foods to chose for your wellness and convenience.

 

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Weigh In Wednesday – On A Roll

     I wish I could tell you I’ve hit some new low today, but the truth is I’m still playing catch up. I am down 3 pounds from where I was after the “vacation” but that means I still have a couple of pounds to go to get back to my low and still a few more to be back on goal.

     I am back on track in many ways, however. I have been in the gym three times this week with my hubby and wellness buddy by my side. I have found that 5 a.m. is not the only time the gym isn’t crowded so if I miss a morning workout I can go in the afternoon when I get off from work and still not have to really compete for equipment. I could even hit the gym twice a day when I feeling particularly motivated.

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     Calorically I’m still doing well, also. We find that well structured menus with a variety of foods work well. Even if we do decide to make a “swap” we have a calorie goal to work within. For instance if I don’t want a cheese stick and V8 for 110 calories I could enjoy a yogurt with fruit instead for about the same count. Having calories available for each food on the menu, not just a daily total is very helpful.

     I hope you liked what you saw on the scales this morning. If you didn’t tomorrows another day and will likely be a different number. If you are putting in the work, keep at it and results will come. If you aren’t, what are you waiting for?

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Review of Week 36 – Week 37 in Review

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     I excited to say that I feel much more on track nutritionally after last week. With careful menu planning I was able to stay very close to my calorie goals, only exceeding once and that day by only about 100 calories. I am finding that I may have a need to let Sunday be a no calorie counting day because our schedule is so busy and our social obligations so frequent that it becomes very difficult. With that in mind I will still try to make healthy choice and eat proper portions but will probably not do official counts on that one day of the week.

     From an exercise perspective this week was not much better than the couple before. I only got in a couple of workouts. I did not get very far on my cardio goal. I have made peace with the fact that sometimes real life gets in the way and I am trying to balance my “no excuses” attitude with my “all things in moderation” wisdom. When life requires me to go further than the hours in the day allow, sometimes the exercise will be what suffers but it is important that not become a regular practice. My friend Vicki keeps in front of me the truth that “It is what you do MOST of the time that matters. I need to live a lifestyle that is built around regular sleep, exercise, and healthy low-calorie meals. Each of those things may not always come together but it is important to try to focus on a lifestyle that includes them all.

     I am still refraining from desserts until my weight is back on track and will strive to get my exercise as on target as my diet. I have been fighting allergies and fatigue but hope next week will offer less of both. I have always taken on some new responsibilities and will be looking at more time restrictions so I will be trying to find ways to fit everything into my new schedule. I will be gentle with myself while adjusting but will still hold myself accountable. Looking for success in week 37!

 

Stepping Stones for Success – Week 37

 

Goal:  “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year).

Action Steps: I will limit my calorie intake to 1400 calories a day, continuing to focus on good nutrition in my choices. I put in 20 miles of cardio exercise.  I will also do 2 – 30 minute weight training sessions.  I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. 20 miles of cardio

7.  2 or more  Weight Training Sessions  (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

8. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

9. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

10. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

11. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

Lite Wasn’t Bright

    

      I had plans to join a friend at a local restaurant  yesterday and knew it was important to do a little pre-planning so I would stay on track nutritionally. They don’t have online calorie counts for their foods but I was able to visit sites of some similar restaurants and get some pretty good estimations for their chef’s salad which is primarily lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, shredded cheese, ham, and turkey. I opted to go with a light version of their ranch dressing  on the side but when it arrived I found that it had very little flavor. I generously salted and peppered and let the dressing go. It wasn’t bad. It was a great reminder of two things I should already know.  First, often spices and herbs can add just as much or more enjoyment to a meal as sauces and dressings. In the future I might ask for them to hold the dressing but to sprinkle my salad with some oregano from the kitchen. Second, if I am going to enjoy dressings or spreads, low-fat is frequently so unsatisfying that I feel terribly let down. I need to budget calories to allow for the occasion enjoyment of “the real deal”. There are some exceptions. I have found that mayonnaise, butter spreads, and dressings that substitute “better fats” such as olive oil can frequently be a good choice that is both satisfying and more diet friendly. Either way, a good salad can be a great choice but make sure you know that you are picking a “healthy” salad loaded with low-calorie ingredients. Don’t be fooled into thinking anything that says “salad” is automatically low-calorie.

     Is a salad a good food choice for you? If you haven’t read “Skip the Salad?” check out that blog post for some advice on avoiding salad pit-falls.

Enjoy Fall Without Falling Into Temptation

          I posted the above pic to my Facebook timeline this morning. Autumn is my favorite time of year with crisp weather that makes me feel more energetic and bright brilliant colors that spark my creativity. Fall offers some tempting treats that I love, too but I am determined to stay on track so I have been thinking over ways to enjoy the things I love without losing ground.

    No, I haven’t forgotten my “no desserts until I am on target for goal weight” rule. My love of fall foods can serve as an incentive to really keep it in gear and get there fast. Also there are some good ways to plan so that I can enjoy the flavors I love without taking in high calories.

     Love pumpkin pie but don’t love the calorie counts? Try this lower calorie version from Taste of Home! Keep portion sizes in check and eat as a treat calculated into your daily menu plans.

Click on the picture above for a delicious Low Calorie Pumpkin Pie Recipe from Taste of Home – 124 calories

     Calories can add up quickly if you are sipping the wrong beverage and some fall favorites are absolutely loaded with sugar and even fat. Visit Shape magazine’s website and check out their article entitled The Best Low Calorie Hot Drinks for Cold Weather for tips on how to enjoy lighter versions of your fall favorites. Remember if you opt for an artificial sweetener pick one that won’t reek havoc on your blood sugar. I opt for Splenda when I do chose an artificial sweeter.

      As for the candy corn, I say “live a little”. 10 pieces is 75 calories and if you have the calories to spare one 10 piece serving this season won’t break you. Try buying a treat sized bag like you might get in a card or gift store. These are smaller almost sample sizes and it will keep you from being tempted to over eat. Another option in to buy from a bulk candy store like you see in many malls or shopping centers. These allow you to buy by weight and you can purchase only what you will use. If these options aren’t available you can buy the Brach’s big bag of individual trick-or-treat sized bags and enjoy just one hiding the others from yourself until time to hand them out at the door on Halloween.

Brach's Halloween Candy Corn Treat Packets: 70-Piece Bag

      Thinking ahead and anticipating the temptations are such an important part of a successful weight loss plan. I always perform better in my efforts when I take the time and energy to journal and make actual menus. Thanks to the friends who call me out and keep me on track as I admit my weaknesses. I love that this morning’s Facebook anticipation of fall led to questions about how I was going to stay on track. Hope my plans help you in yours!

Weigh In Wednesday – Weighing The Consequences

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I am weighing in today at 157.8 pounds almost exactly 10 pounds over what the weight tracker tells me I need to weigh to meet my year-end goal. This is almost 6 pounds over my previous low. This weight came following a “vacation” from the exercise and dieting. I won’t cry foul. This isn’t some terrible trick of my metabolism. This isn’t a plateau. This isn’t water weight. This is the result of not doing what I know will get results.

I will tell you what else this isn’t. This isn’t the end of the road. This isn’t a sign of failure. This isn’t a reason to turn back. This isn’t unusual for someone battling weight. This is a moment of truth, however. This is  a time to re-evaluate and see where I got off track and why. This is the time to get more serious and that seriousness has begun.

My husband sat down with me and helped me evaluate when and how things got off track. It was very helpful to have two sets of thoughts and ideas. We agreed that certain “rules” had slipped. We had taken up evening snacking in front of the tv even though I had started with a no food after dinner rule. We had let the calorie counts for snacks in our snack basket slip from around 100 to closer to 200. We had started to excuse more “treats” like a cone of ice cream or cheese spread with crackers. Perhaps I allowed my self to be swayed by the kind comments of others “You’re doing great”, “You aren’t going to lose anymore weight are you? You’ll get too thin.” Clearly I needed to believe again that obeying the rules I had put in place was necessary to achieve my goal.

My husband Tony asked what he could do to help and I got honest and “real” with him. I told him that I thought it was unfair to ask him to adjust his habits or behaviors around mine but he assured he wanted to help in the most real ways. I requested that he no longer invite me to go get “treats” with him or to snack in front of the tv together. He wisely suggested the addition of a rule that we eat only when sitting at the dining table.  I asked that he not eat tempting things in front of me. I told him exercise would be more fun if we did it together. It’s easier to get up and go when the house seems alive than when you are slipping out in the dark alone. I asked him to hold me accountable and told him that the new rules needed to include no “desserts” or “junk food”, absolutely 0, until I was back on target weight on the weight tracker and he agreed. In addition, my hubby went with me to my gym yesterday and started his own gym membership. It is easier for me to maintain my routine when someone else is doing it with me. We were up before 5 am this morning and in the gym by 5:30 working out “together but separate”.

I am so grateful for my wellness buddy! Thank you Tony for going that extra mile!

Nutrition Back On Track

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      After a couple of weeks of loser living I am back on a strict calorie reduction plan. I spent a few hours today planning menus and preparing food for the days ahead. I did behave today nutritonally coming in under 1400 calories. It wasn’t bad. Lots of seafood and veggies kept me full and satisfied. I haven’t taken my supplements regularly in a week or so and even missed one day of Synthroid accidentally, so I am not at my most energetic. I will try to pull the supplements back into focus tomorrow and am contemplating an early morning in the gym. 4 days a week might be more than I can pull off every week so I am back to a minimum goal of two sessions this week with high cardio numbers ahead as well as weight training. Gotta be focused to meet the goal I’ve set by year’s end.

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Stepping Stones Week 36 – Week 35 In Review

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     August was a bit of a bust. I worked hard physically for the first two weeks but even then was not watching my calorie counts as closely as I should. The last two weeks of the month I barely exercised at all. I acknowledged that I had lost a bit of my motivation and was finding it hard to attack this thing with gusto. I followed by announcing that my vacation week was going to be pretty free and then I would come back with new energy and insight for September.

     I have to admit that it will take a lot of hard work and discipline to get back on track. That said, I am determined to move forward and try harder than before. I have a goal and can still reach it if I focus fully. There are reasons I set this goal. There are benefits to my health that should not be ignored. Happiness and health don’t come down to a particular number on the scales, but this number is a reasonable one and I think I will look and feel better when my body is in that range than I will larger. It’s worth working for.

     A couple of weeks ago I made this statement in the blog, “the calorie restriction required to lose the additional weight is very unappealing and I find myself as of late not really sticking with it at all. I am searching this week for the motivation to get back there. I know all the “rules” and lots of “tricks” but I have to want to use them. Any great suggestions to help me get motivated again? Affirmations are at the top of my list. What else do you recommend?”

     Several loving friends and readers came to my rescue with recommendations and affirmations. I would like to share with you one of the most powerful and hard to ignore responses which came from Vicki Jansen, my lifelong best friend and author of “The Pondered Path” blog. This is what she wrote to me.

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Motivation for Sandra to refocus (a list from her sister):

• 118 Slimdown with Sandee FB members and followers – plateaus happen, are real, and can last for weeks or months. Most folks quit when a tough one hits…. Your continued focus / effort will guide many through a process that has up until now eluded them.

• The Sheppard never leaves his flock… and you dear sister have quite flock! 😉wink

• Because you said that your size 8 pants are snug in the tummy… and that means I get to call you a muffin top if you wear them until they fit right. 🙂smile

• Physics – “A body at rest (unfocused, unmotivated, etc) tends to stay at rest (unfocused, unmotivated, etc) and a body in motion (focused, working, etc…) tends to stay in motion (focused, working, etc)…” Universal law…. No doubt a Biblical principle.

https://slimdownwithsandee.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/happy-no-excuses-new-year/

Things that help me keep going – even if progress isn’t happening:

• Setting physical activity goals – things I like to do, like running a 5K, doing a long bike ride, preparing for an event (1/2 marathon) etc…. it allows me to set a schedule and then work toward it. When the weight goal isn’t moving, then at least I am achieving other things and keeping myself from losing focus.

• I recognize that the healthy lifestyle is this – eating much less than I ever use to (because I am older and more efficient), remaining active 3 – 6 days a week. If I stop counting calories or exercising, then I will get the results that come with not counting calories and not exercising (weight gain, lower self-esteem, feeling bad). I also know that if I have a bad 2 or 3 days, or even a bad week, that I can let that go and start over. It is what we do MOST of the time… as we can’t do it right ALL of the time.

• Also – I know that I eat because I want to eat – not because I need to eat or because I am hungry. Remembering this and thinking about personal discipline and the importance of this (spiritually, mentally,physically) helps me to refocus.

     With these things in mind and a big thank you in my heart, I begin again. I do this for ME and for YOU and for all who thought that they couldn’t. I take one moment at a time, reaching further, working harder, and believing WE are worth it! It’s time to finish what I started and to finish strong!  I only have four months left. Every day counts.  Let’s do this thing!

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Stepping Stones for Success – Week 36

 

Goal:  “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year).

Action Steps: I will limit my calorie intake to 1400 calories a day, continuing to focus on good nutrition in my choices. I put in 20 miles of cardio exercise.  I will also do 4 – 30 minute weight training sessions.  I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. 20 miles of cardio

7.  2 or more  Weight Training Sessions  (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

8. Give myself 3 “Get Out Of Diet Guilt Free Cards

9. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

10. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

11. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

12. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

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