Monday, June 02, 2014
It's been awhile since I've felt the spark of Spark people. At the one year anniversary of the beginning of my weight loss journey, I was about seventy pounds lighter though. I'd be lying if I said that it was all steady weight loss.
Lately I've been living trip to trip, finding it easier to remember things in relation to my latest adventure. My weight now is comparable to what it was in August of last year. That was the first time I felt comfortable enough to fly and the first time I met my significant other's family. My lowest weight was about twenty-five pounds lighter, in December.
Little more than four months later I went back in a body that was a little smaller than August's version of me. Between December and May I hadn't used my $75/month gym membership once. Binging was a nightly occurrence and I was digging out older clothes, thankful they hadn't been donated yet. I noticed that my moods have suffered since giving up Zumba a few times a week and abandoning my weight training. I feel myself more tired and have a lot less spending money now that I'm stopping off to buy junk food almost daily.
Last week I joined a different, closer gym with more to offer. I made the appointment to set up my access to the automated "Techno-Gym". I smiled and thanked the trainer when she commented on my strong legs, relieved that my lack of training hadn't set me back too far. I went for a solo swim for the first time in my life. I've been working on myself more so that I can't use other people as an excuse for letting my health suffer. I'm making use of my resources such as my fitness pal, DBT, others and of course spark people and diet bet.
I have a gym schedule consisting of three days of weight training, along with a mix of high, low and medium intensity cardio and fitness classes. I know what foods are best for me to eat, it's just a matter of not giving into cravings and avoiding stores all together so I'm not tempted. Work might be a challenge, considering the terrible nutritional content of most of the menu items at the greasy spoon. Luckily we have fresh turkey available so if I take advantage of that with my hot sauce/sensible dressing and choice of veggies and/or fruit, I'll have 4-5 main meals covered for only $3. This leaves me only two dinners a week to prepare. I tend to eat the same breakfast of yogurt or a blended drink, various protein bars and fruit as snacks and an assortment of low fat soup for lunch. I find this takes most of the stress out of meal prep and tracking. I'm sure some people would grow bored of this type of eating but it worked for me in the past so it makes sense for me to go back to it.
So my goal for this challenge and until I reach the maintenance phase is to aim for two pounds per week of weight loss. I'm hoping to further my weight training to bring me down to roughly 23-25% body fat, from my current 31% bf. The label 'obese' alone is a wake up call and indication that I'm putting myself at risk for unnecessary health risks.I will accomplish my goals by tracking my foods the night before and sticking within my calorie budget. I will also choose fruit, vegetables and lean protein as my main fuel source. I'll probably go back to calorie cycling as well. I hope to stick to the above schedule for exercise and use the BLC as motivation and to supplement my plan for better health. I really hope this gives me the same motivation as past BLCs have!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
I'm starting to get nervous about going to the gym because I've been pushing myself a little more than I have in the past. I hurt after the gym sometimes and maybe I just don't remember, but that wasn't an issue before. I'm hoping this doesn't deter me from sticking to my plan. I still have 30-40 pounds left to lose by December 24, leaving me a little over nine weeks to do so.
While I mention pounds, ultimately I have a goal for my waist, chest and hip size that I will begin the maintenance phase at. I have already spent about $200 on clothing in my goal size and based on the garment measurements, that's where I want to stop. It's my understanding that this will be accomplished more quickly by building and maintaining muscle while engaging in HIIT training as often as my schedule, motivation and stamina allow.
I'm going to sign up for two new diet bets. While they don't seem to pay off well financially, they do add motivation through tips from the host and other players. Comparing my results to others at the end gave me a greater sense of accomplishment as well. One of the deciding factors as well is the potential for bonus stakes. I'm signing up for one that has under 300 participants, costs $25 and enters winners in a draw for a fit bit. Another has under 200 participants, costs $25 or so and offers 10 chances of winning a different tracking device to people who win the bet. The odds are much better than lotteries and I'll hopefully be able to at least get my money back.
I need to develop a better plan for dealing with days that I'm unwell. This weekend I didn't make it to my work outs and ate junk most of the time. I regret not making it to the Zumbathon that I was looking forward to and hate the way the scale reacted to my over eating. I'm hoping it's water retention, otherwise I lost my second diet bet.
I'm going to find a fruit or two that I will allow myself to eat in excess when I crave the uncomfortable fullness. I can't see myself eating even a thousand calories worth of apples (about ten), for example. Any any issues would be less than if I were to buy a big bag of chips or box of ice cream treats.
When I do over eat or binge, I will journal as to why I believe that I did and what I can do differently next time.
Friday, October 18, 2013
What works for me to lose weight best- structure
I was doing so well for my first five months of my journey. Part of it was the motivation to fly for the first time, part of it was the rigid calorie cycling eating plan I followed for that time. A dietitian thought it was odd and my low day too low so I used that as one of my excuses to ease up on my diet. During that time I found that while I was hungry at times, I didn't have as many intense cravings. I believe a big part of that was due to me reducing the "white carbs" like refined flour and potatoes in any form. Since returning from my trip I allowed myself a month of loosely following a version of that eating plan and a more relaxed approach to exercising, while dropping the strength training. The next month or so I started tracking everything again and having a rough calorie range. I probably "slipped" 3 or 4 days a week though, adding 1-3000 extra calories at a time. I kept up with most of my workouts and recently have been better at doing my strength circuit and adding a more intense class.
For this last bit of the losing phase I think it would be best to return to calorie cycling. I had a range of 900-2500 calories, most days being 1300-1700. I made the mistake of not adding vegetables, something I hope to correct this time around, adding fibre and nutrients. I will add a fruit and 2-3 servings of vegetables to my dinner.
Last time I based my higher calorie days on when I could relax and enjoy them. This time around I have it planned out to consume more quality calories on days that I am more active. As per the dietitian's recommendations I also increased my low calorie day to a 1250 minimum and my higher calorie day will be capped at 2000-2200.
I will make it to all of the activities planned on my calendar, giving myself to a two class grace period if I'm really sore. I can do up to 8 one hour classes a week, plus the seven or so hours it takes me to walk to and from the gym. My strength training will be one lifting class and two resistance circuits. This time I'm going to be more aware of how challenging my lifting is and increase the weights by 5% once I can do 12 reps in proper form twice in a row. I will also do a minute and a half HIIT on a cardio machine between each set.
I enjoy the control of tracking my foods the night before and for roughly the entire weekend. I feel good knowing that I'm getting my macro nutrients and proper fuel. It really helps to just look at my tracker and know what to grab for breakfast without thinking. I find that if I wait until I'm hungry to eat, I'm likely to make a poor decision. If I had a binge breakfast (or even one that I know will push me over my calories for the day) I feel guilty and more likely to scratch the entire day. If something comes up or I plan on going out or will not be able to entirely control what I eat, it doesn't throw me off. I leave gaps or just replace the foods in the evening when I double check and add my water count.
What would help- not giving up or giving in
I truly believe that I know what I'm doing to lose weight- for the most part. I'm getting better at realizing my triggers and the events that lead to poor choices or binges.
I tend to be dramatic at times. I tend to have mini melt downs at times. I also sometimes give up all together. These aren't my finest moments and I'm definitely working on more effective coping strategies but they are part of my reality. I need to avoid getting to the point where I think eating will make things better or it simply "doesn't matter." This is best accomplished by avoiding places where comfort or junk food is available and not having it in my home.
I serve almost exclusively, "heart attack on a plate" in the greasy spoon where I waitress. I have access to freshly cooked bacon, fries, cheese, burgers at no additional cost to me. I also have access to freshly cooked white turkey meat. I can also bring veggies, fruit, low fat cheese, protein bars and/or berries with me to try to keep the craving monster at bay.
I need to make sure that I eat every 4-5 hours as I have been so that I don't get too hungry. I also have to keep healthier choices with me just in case I don't feel that I can control my hunger and have a satisfying alternative.
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