Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Fitness Project: Tuesday Update

This is Tuesday, which has become my weekly day to measure my progress in the weight loss part of my plan to get fit. Here's what I posted on my Facebook status update:

Lots of energy, knees thanking me, started strength training & I finally learned how to make some delicious marinated baked tofu. 1.4 lbs lost this week, grand total after week 5: 11.4 lbs.

I promised some details, so here goes.
I probably spent about a month thinking, planning, journaling in a serious way. The most important part of this time was building my commitment, coming to the point where I was able to make this project my number one priority. And not feel guilty for doing so.

I also created a vision of myself, limber, energetic...not thin, but...lean & focused, grounded and centered, comfortable in my clothes, in my skin.

As I go on, I'll try to write more about some of the things I've thought about fat, about how I came to be so overweight, about how hard it's been to think of myself, my physical self as a priority.

I chose what is generally considered a minimum for daily calories: 1200.
I eat something every 3 hours or so.
I take a multi-vitamin. (I also take other supplements for health reasons, ones recommended by my doctor.)

I religiously keep a fitness log, writing down everything that goes in my mouth, and adding up the calories for the day. This is a vital part of my plan. Many people would find this tedious, and some days I do. But I know that eventually this will pay off in my having a better sense of healthy eating, of portion size. I won't have to do this forever. I will just know. Finding how many calories in a food is blissfully easy with Google.

The log also helps me to balance my diet - I can see that one day I had too much fruit & not enough veggies, or that I need to get a little more protein. I'm not sure that I can get a perfect balance every day, but feel I can over a 2-day period.

I have made a set of measuring spoons & cups my best friend. I divide suggested serving sizes in half & have discovered that a little bit of the higher-calorie things can go a long way in complementing the lower-calorie foods.

As for what I'm eating, here's yesterday's log entry:

Tea: black, honey, milk (26)
Snack: 1/2 Luna bar (85)
Breakfast: scrambled eggs (1 whole, egg whites ) (115), 1/2c chopped onions, gr. peppers, zucchini (30), tomato slices (15) 3 carrot sticks (10) 1/2 tsp olive oil (20), 1 T 2% grated cheddar (20) (210)
Lunch: 1/2 pita (80) baked tofu (125) 1T hummus (25) spinach & cut veggies (30), 3 carrot sticks (10) (270)
fruit cup (melon, 5 rainier cherries, apple wedge, 1 prune) (100?)
4 oz red tea snapple (20)
Snack: cacao nibs (30) caramel rice cake (50) 1/3 small banana (25) (105)
Tea: black, honey, milk (extra) (31)
Supper: 3 oz. chicken baked bbq marinade (130) 1c broccoli (30) sliced tomatoes, onions (25), 3 carrot sticks (10) (195)
4 oz red tea snapple (20)
1 square dark chocolate 6 gr. (28)
Snack: 1/4c yochee (43), 3/4c mixed fresh fruit (peach, apple, blueberries) (50) 1T Special K cinnamon pecan (8) (101)


My biggest food problem has always been sweets. My basic diet preferences are pretty healthy, whole grains, lots of fruit & vegetables, yogurt, small amounts of meat. (I probably ate too much cheese, though. )

But once I'd eaten the healthy meal, it was as though it permitted me to have a big ol' sugary, fatty reward: the red velvet cupcakes w/ cream cheese icing at Bella Rossa, the tiramisu or Boston cream pie at Crossroads, a bag of cookies & brownies to take home. Newman-O's!

This remains somewhat of a mystery to me, but since May 19 when I began this journey, I have not had any of those treats, nor have I actually fought serious cravings for them. In fact, I have almost an aversion to them. There have been two exceptions: when friends got married ten days ago, I chose to enjoy their wedding cake (and it was lovely indeed - a strawberry cake, with a perfect rich icing/luscious cake ratio) and I had a small chocolate cherry nut cookie baked by my friend Marta who has recently opened a bakery. I put that one cookie on a blue plate, put milk in a little 2 oz glass, and took 6 mindful bites.

In any case, I am pleased to report that my sense of sweetness has become much more acute since I stopped bludgeoning my palette with refined sugary treats. I have even switched to 1/2tsp honey instead of a heaping tsp of sugar in my tea- something I thought I'd never be able to do. Another shocker to me was switching to nonfat, plain yogurt from lowfat vanilla yogurt.
I will occasionally add a bit of honey, but most of the time I'm quite content with how it tastes with fresh fruit.

("Yochee" on the last snack above is drained yogurt. It is a bit denser and therefore more calories in a cup than non-drained yogurt, but it has a wonderful rich creamy texture.)

So that's a little something about what I'm eating and what I'm not eating.
Next time I'll write about exercise.


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