Friday, September 05, 2014
I noticed a featured team on Spark People the other day, Calorie Counters 'R Us. It looked like a great team for me since I'm all about counting calories so I joined the team. It's simply a numbers game, calories in versus calories out. There are a few exceptions such as thyroid issues, taking steroids, or other health issues, but for the most part to lose weight you have to burn more calories then you are eating. within reason, of course, and in a healthy way. That goes without saying.
I've been weighing, measuring, and counting Sometimes it makes my family nuts. I have broken down favorite recipes by ingredients and run them through the Spark People recipe calculator. I've done some recipe makeovers so they are lower in calories but still tasty. I measured out each recipe to determine portion sizes so I know exactly how many servings and how many calories are in each serving.
I love to find lower calorie options that are very satisfying that I can enjoy without feeling deprived. I found some Sara Lee Lite Hot Dog Buns that only have 80 calories per bun, and Hebrew National Reduced Fat Hot Dogs that only have 45 calories per dog. I can enjoy a hot dog for 125 calories. If I'm really hungry I can even have 2 without blowing most of my calories for the day. I discovered Veggie Straws, honey mustard is my favorite flavor. Only 130 calories per 1 oz serving, or 38 straws. They make a nice pile on my plate when compared to Ruffles at 160 calories for 12 chips. If that's all I get it's hardly worth bothering with. I like to make the most of the calories that I am allotted for the day and stretch it as far as I can.
My mom has been dieting and counting calories for most of her adult life. She has an impressive collection of diet books that have accumulated over the years. She has tried just about everything, appetite suppressants, stretch bands and such. I can remember her exercising with Jack Lalanne on TV, that dates my age. She had a twister. It was a little square platform with a ring full of ball bearings on the bottom. You are supposed to stand on it and twist at the waist to burn calories and trim your waist. We used it as a sit n' spin long before the actual toy ever existed.
It was much more complicated for her to track calories. That was back in the day before products had nutrition labels. It was a slow, tedious, process that all had to be done by hand. She had several thick calorie counting books. I remember her flipping through the books to look up items, writing it down, and adding it all up.
Now most products have nutrition labels with everything I need to track calories as well as carbs, fat, protein and other nutrients. The Internet is a plethora of nutrition information. I am plugged in and turned on with my computer and my smart phone. All of this information is available at my fingertips, just a few mouse clicks or taps away. Manufacturers have nutrition information for their products on their web sites now. Most restaurants have nutrition information available on their web sites so I can plan ahead and make better choices when I eat out.
Some web sites have nutrition trackers that are convenient to use. Spark People has a great nutrition tracker. It's easy to look up foods, choose which meal, how much I ate and I'm done. It took some time to enter nutrition information for foods on my favorites list, but that's much better than flipping through a book to look it up. The Spark People app on my smart phone is handy when I'm on the go. I especially like the bar code scanner feature. I just scan the bar code and the nutrition information appears on the screen. I just have to choose how much I ate for which meal and that's it. I know I sound like an advertisement for Spark People, but it never ceases to amaze me. With all of the nutrition information I have at my disposal there is really no excuse for not tracking calories.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Some friends at my TOPS chapter asked what I've been doing since August was such a good month for me, so, here's my game plan.
1) I am exercising portion control. Since my eyes are bigger than my stomach what looks like 1/2 a cup of mashed potatoes to me is probably more like 3/4 of a cup. I don't estimate portions anymore. I weigh, measure, or count everything I eat.
2) I am being honest with myself and tracking everything I eat, even if it puts me over the top of my calorie range. That makes me more accountable to myself because I tend to forget if I don't track something right away, or sometimes I intentionally don't track something because I'm embarrassed, or feel bad, or whatever.
3) I am making an effort to move more. I walk the dog, do a line dance, jump on the mini trampoline, get out the step, or just stand up and walk in place during commercials. I am so out of shape I can't do very much at once without being winded. Even if it's just a short walk around the block, doing step aerobics for a few minutes, or walking in place during a few commercial breaks at least I'm doing something. As the pounds melt away I'll have more stamina and be able to do more.
I got a 16 month calendar at our TOPS Installation Of Officers ceremony and I'm putting it to good use to track my progress. The calendar actually starts with September so I had to make some side notes for August. I started with my first weigh-in at 290.4 on August 1 and wrote in 2 pounds less for each week thereafter until the end of next year on the calendar so I have my ideal goal to aim for.
Each week when I weigh-in I write it on the calendar under my goal weight. If I'm below my goal, I write it in black. If I'm above my goal, I write it in red. I have gotten off to a good start so far. My first weigh-in for September was 280.1, so I lost 10 pounds in August. That puts me 2 pounds ahead of my ideal goal. It's nice to have a little wiggle room because that most likely won't always be the case.
So, that's it, pretty much. To sum it up, I'm eating less and moving more.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
I lost a whopping 5 pounds this week. Whoo hoo! We started a new Stay On The Ball Challenge since we had a winner last week. I got kicked off the ball over a measly 1/4 pound. I've no intention of letting that happen again. Game on!
Monday, September 01, 2014
We had a small family get together for Labor Day. It's not easy doing family dinners when I'm not eating quite the same as everyone else. Today was pretty good. We had very lean steak cooked outside on the grill, and smallish baked potatoes. I put Brummel and Brown on my potato but no tater topping. I made a cucumber and tomato salad with a red wine vinaigrette dressing and I even indulged in a small piece of marble cake for dessert, with no ice cream.
My mom was fussing about the salad. She said that's not how you make cucumber and tomato salad and she wasn't going to eat it. That's because I didn't make the typical sour cream dressing with sugar that she's familiar with. I told her there are all kinds of recipes for cucumber and tomato salad, and not all of them have a sour cream based dressing. My mom seems to have a unique way of making me feel bad like nobody else can do. Maybe it's her tone of voice, or the way she says things. Anyway, I didn't let it bother me too long. I figured either she will eat it, or she won't.
She didn't make any comments about the cake, but I'm sure I know what she was thinking. I can hear it in my head. Why bother making a lower calorie salad and eating my potato with no butter or tater topping when I had cake for dessert? Just because I indulged in a small piece of cake doesn't mean the whole meal has to be calorie dense.
I'm trying to change my way of eating and find new ways to enjoy foods. I want to make the most of the calories I get so I'm not making calorie dense dressings and sauces now. It's too bad that I don't feel like my family is very supportive of my efforts, but that's alright. No matter what I do I can't please everyone so I need to do what works best for me. I'm not going to let situations like this one bother me anymore. I'm looking straight ahead and keeping my focus on the finish line.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
I gained a measly 1/4 pound this week. I guess that's not too bad after last weekends blowup. So, needless to say, my sticker came off the ball. There were two other stickers left on the ball and one of those members had a gain this week so there was a winner. Next week everyone wants to start a new stay on the ball challenge. Hopefully this time it will last longer then three weeks.
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