May 28, 2016

Day Thirty-Eight: The Fifth Weigh-In and Week In Review

Wow, I've really dropped the blogging ball the past two weeks. Let's just say life's been crazy, work's been crazy, I've been crazy. Literally, just the other day my boss and I were sending each other emails with size 48 font and lots of emoticons. We'd gone crazy. And crazy is no mood to be in when you're trying to write down deep, thoughtful...thoughts. Apparently I am still not completely coherent, but we'll move on anyway.

You wouldn't know it, because I didn't tell you, but last week I lost 3.1 pounds. I was seriously having some trouble eating all the calories SparkPeople was telling me to eat, so I adjusted my account so that it wasn't adding calories in based on my workouts. My calorie range is now 1200-1550, which feels a lot more reasonable to me. With what I'm eating now, I don't need more calories to feel full. And I haven't had any negative side effects from "not eating enough." Before I was eating JUST TO EAT because I didn't want to eat too little, but I feel like that's a slippery slope to Red Vines. "Welp, I have to eat 300 more calories today, may as well eat the demon candy." So for now, a few less calories it is. Don't worry, as soon as I start feeling any adverse effects or hunger of any kind, I will be all over those extra calories, but for now I don't think I need them.

Moving oh, here is a look at this past week.

Honestly, as I sit here and write this, I don't remember much about what I ate this week. Which probably means that none of it was worth writing about. I stayed in my calories, even though I ate an obscene amount of lemon snaps this week. I also had Red Vines for lunch today. Damn it!

A few weeks ago I was a yoga machine. Now I am a walk-jogging machine. Each week I add thirty seconds to my jogging intervals, and take away thirty seconds of walking. This week I had even intervals of two minutes, thirty seconds each. It was tough, but I stuck with it. Because I've been working late all week, I didn't get any yoga done until today. But I still feel proud that I stuck with my 5K training.

Drum roll, please. This week I am down another 1.7 pounds to 227 pounds even. That is a total loss of 24.7 pounds in about 2 months. I couldn't be prouder of myself. Not just because I've lost weight, but because I've persevered through the rough bits and always come out on top. Losing weight is NOT easy, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. But if I can do it, I think anyone can, as long as they're in the right mindset.

May 19, 2016

Day Twenty-Nine: This Week's Plan (or Not)

There was a plan for this week, I swear. It's just that sometimes plans don't work out and you end up at McDonald's for dinner. But the important thing is that, no matter how much your plans are derailed, no matter what goes wrong or what you eat, you have to be honest with yourself about what happened, why it happened, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

This week's plan was driven off course by a lot of factors. I forgot my dad was coming to town. I didn't check the weather forecast. I had to go to a late meeting and didn't finish in time to exercise OR make dinner that night. Snit happens, as my mom would say. It is always going to happen, and it's important that we don't use it as an excuse for throwing our good intentions and hard work out the window. There's no reason to feel bad about yourself, feel like a failure, or sabotage yourself just because something didn't go right. That's an important thing to learn, and it's something I've finally grasped.

The scones I baked for breakfast this week were terrible. The thought of exercising or cooking after my late meeting was terrible. The 90 degree weather on the day of one of my training runs was terrible. These things were all terrible, but I took the problems, worked with them, accepted what happened, and moved on. There is no blame to be placed, no shame to be felt for not having a perfect life. I think a lot of us forget that when we're trying to lose weight and get healthy. We want so badly to reach this skinny nirvana, and we don't know what to do when something goes wrong on that journey (did I just use the word journey? Hashtag kill me now). And so we go to this dark place of shame and pity, and Coca Cola and Kit Kat bars, and then give up altogether because we can't do it.

That's absolutely not true. We CAN do it. I can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it. We just have to want it enough, work at it enough, and be willing to face the tough times with some dignity, self-respect, and HONESTY. Be honest with yourself about the choices you make. Did I have to go to McDonald's instead of going home and throwing a salad together? No. Did I? Yes. Do I feel bad about it? No, because things happen. Life's not perfect, and we're going to make mistakes. The important thing is to ACKNOWLEDGE the mistake as just that - a mistake. Not some life-ruining moment that is worth throwing away everything you've worked for. Acknowledge it, contemplate it, track it, come up with ways to prevent it from happening again. But never, ever, EVER let a mistake get in the way of what you want.

And because I'm talking about honesty here, I'm just going to add that McDonald's chicken nuggets and French fries really don't taste that great once you've gone without them for almost 2 months. Okay, the French fries were good. But the nuggets? I can live without them.

May 14, 2016

Day Twenty-Five: The Third Weigh-In and Week in Review

Oh hey there, Saturday. Nice to see you. Really, really, really nice. Seriously, I've been waiting for this Saturday to arrive since about 8pm last Sunday. As soon as I think, "I have to go to work tomorrow," my next thought is, "When is Saturday?" I know they say Do what you love and all that, but that doesn't always pay the rent, so I am stuck having a day job until I become a superstar blogger, not that that will ever happen.

But even though this week felt longer than most, and I was stressed and upset through most of it, I still stuck (mostly) to my plan for the week. I think the stress even helped me get more exercise in, because I used yoga as a way to calm myself down after work. I was a yoga rock star this week. I'm still terrible at it, but I tried and that's what counts, okay?

Here's this week in review:

You know how sometimes your brain just isn't functioning correctly? Especially when you're having a crappy day/week? That happened to me this Wednesday, when I had two brain farts that ultimately lead to me having to make some adjustments to my nutrition. First, I failed to read the recipe I was making closely, and added 1.5 pounds of ground beef to my meal instead of just half a pound. Oops. So first I had to adjust all that extra ground beef into Spark People and see how badly I had messed up. Turns out it wasn't so bad, because it's an all-around healthy dish anyway, so I actually needed the additional calories.

Then I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge for Friday's dinner. So as I drive home on Friday, I'm thinking of fried chicken, and then realizing there is no chicken, and then contemplating Skittles for dinner. I ultimately went with oatmeal, but it has really messed up my meals today, when I was supposed to eat the leftovers. And since basically all I had left in my fridge was bacon and hot dogs, I had a very fatty day today. Oops again. But learn from it and move on, I say. And yet I still haven't learned that I need to keep emergency dinner ideas around. Sigh.

Did I mention I am a yoga rock star? Also a 5K Training rock star? Because I am. My 5K training this week was damn hard: 2 miles Sunday at 1 min jog, 4 min walk intervals; 1.5 miles Tuesday and Thursday at 1 min, 30 secs jog, 3 min 30 secs walk. Tuesday and Thursday were hard. I think a minute and thirty seconds is the longest I've ever run in my adult life, I kid you not. And I had to do it 4 times in less than 25 minutes? It was rough, but I did it, and I'm feeling super proud of myself for that. Of course, next week I'm up to 2 minutes jogging, so we'll see how that goes.

Now yoga. Yoga all-star right here, y'all. I get an A+ for this. I set a goal to do yoga 2 days this week, and I did it twice as many times. Thirty minutes on Monday, 20 minutes on Tuesday, 20 minutes on Wednesday, and 40 minutes today. That's 4 times!! For a total of 110 minutes, when my goal was only 40-70 minutes. Seriously, I win right now.

After Ground Beef-Gate (which I supposed is still better than Red-Vine Gate...or is it?), I was again worried about my weight. I feel like even though I'm eating mostly healthy foods, and I'm staying within my calorie goal range on Spark People (and most of my other nutrients too), I'm still eating too much. And I think part of that is that I'm never hungry anymore. I used to always be hungry because I only ate once a day, and pigged out as much as I could at that one meal. I'm not used to always being full/satisfied, and I feel like I should be starving, because that's what weight loss was like in the past when I was trying to lose weight and still eat all junk. But for now, being full all the time is working, because I am down another pound to 231.9. I so badly want to see 229 next week, but I'm not going to push it. I just have to do the best I can, and let my body do the best it can.

May 10, 2016

Day Twenty-One: When Life Gives You Pork Chops...

...make a mashed potato sandwich? Life doesn't always work out the way you think it will, and at those times, it's good to think on your toes. I had another dinner meltdown on Monday night, when my pork chops that were supposed to be delicious turned out to be, well, inedible. Not actually inedible, but just not very tasty, and thus inedible to me in my journey to not make myself miserable. I don't like eating things I don't like (uh?), and forcing myself to just makes me want Cheetos. So after deciding I wouldn't eat a big portion of my dinner...or lunch or dinner the next day...or lunch the day after that, I had to decide how I was going to make up those missing calories.

On Monday night, I ate my peas and mashed potatoes wrapped up in a sourdough roll. Mashed potato sandwich, y'all. One of my favorite foods as a kid. Yesterday for lunch, I really did just eat peas and mashed potatoes. It was sad and I was hungry, but I didn't run to my boss's office looking for candy. I dealt with it. For dinner, I fried up my mashed potatoes in a teaspoon of butter and made mashed potato pancakes, and cooked some hot dogs to go along with them. And from there, yep, hot dogs. Hot dogs are the quick and easy solution to the question of "Where do I get 200 calories from?!" They're there, they're easy, and sure, they're not the best for you, but they work in a pinch and they sure are tasty. I love the Applegate Naturals beef hot dogs. They are like hot dog heaven. But they're pretty expensive, and they don't sell them at the Sprouts where I shop for groceries. So I've been buying a brand called Coleman, which is still uncured, and still pretty good. Not as good as Applegate, but not bad by any means.

Remember a couple of weeks ago, or maybe even last week, I don't remember...but anyway, remember when I Noted To Self to have some emergency foods ready for when dinner doesn't work out? Well I never followed through on that, but thank goodness hot dogs come in packs of 8 and I only planned on eating 4 this week. On an additional note, I think I'm going to forgo attempting to cook pork chops anymore. I just don't seem to enjoy them, no matter how I cook them. They're cheap, but that's the only thing they've got going for them, in my eyes at least. Chicken is cheep (!) cheap too, and it doesn't make me sad whenever I try to eat it.

Go chicken! Down with pork! Except bacon. Always bacon.

May 8, 2016

Day Nineteen: This Week's Plan

Last week went really well (until Red Vines), so I want to keep up the momentum this week. I loved my one little yoga session yesterday, so I've decided to add another one in on Monday. Monday is laundry day, but other than that I don't have much going on after work since I am living on leftovers. So it's the perfect day to squeeze another yoga session in. I also decided, during my walk this morning, that I really prefer run/walk intervals over running just at the beginning and then walking the rest of my distance. I feel like I can do more running, just as soon as I catch my breath, so today I did a 1 minute jog followed by 4 minutes of walking, and repeated it for the whole two miles. It was tough, but I felt a lot more accomplished at the end of it than I would have if I'd only run 1 minute the entire time.

So here is my food and fitness plans for this week.

B: Lemon Blueberry Scone, Applesauce
L: Leftover Oven Fried Chicken, French Fries
D: Glazed Pork ChopsOlive Oil Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Fitness: Walk 2 Miles (Run 1 Min, Walk 4 Min)

B: Chocolate Almond Butter Muffin, Banana
L: Glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
D: Glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Fitness: 20-30 Minute Yoga Video

B: Chocolate Almond Butter Muffin, Banana
L: Glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
D: Hot Dog BLT
Fitness: Walk 1.5 Miles (Run 1 Min, 30 Sec, Walk 3 Min, 30 Sec)

B: Chocolate Almond Butter Muffin, Banana
L: Hot Dog BLT
D: Dirty Brown Rice

B: Chocolate Almond Butter Muffin, Banana
L: Dirty Brown Rice
D: Dirty Brown Rice
Fitness: Walk 1.5 Miles (Run 1 Min, 30 Sec, Walk 3 Min, 30 Sec)

B: Chocolate Almond Butter Muffin, Banana
L: Dirty Brown Rice
D: Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs, Veggies

B: Chocolate Almond Butter Muffin, Banana
L: Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs, Veggies
D: Red Vines Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs, Veggies
Fitness: 20-40 Minute Yoga Video

May 7, 2016

Day Eighteen: The Second Weigh-In and Week In Review

Another week, another weigh-in. Let's just jump right in.

This week was great, until I went to grocery store two hours ago. I thought, I've been so good this week, I'm going to reward myself with some junk food. And do you know what junk food I chose? Have you read my previous posts? Can you guess? Of course, it was Red Vines. And while the plan was to just eat a serving, anyone who has ever tried to give up any sort of vice knows how that goes. So tonight I had Red Vines for dinner. I didn't want more leftovers anyway.

But really, until ten minutes ago, I was doing really well. The biggest hurdle was Cinco de Mayo, for which we had a party at work. I decided to bring my own lunch, which was the Saucy Chicken Taco Meat with rice, and added just a little bit of carne asada and tortilla chips from the catered food. Of course, I counted my tortilla chips, guesstimated the ounces of asada, and added them to my nutrition tracker on SparkPeople. Just like I added this entire carton of Red Vines to my tracker. Damn it, Red Vines!

I stuck with my plan for the week, 4.5 miles walked, 20 minutes of yoga, 92 minutes total. Next week I want to fit another session of yoga in, maybe on Monday. Things are going well with the 5K training, and I am on track to meet my (measly) goal of 53 minutes. Yes, that is slow. No, I don't care. The last couple years I've run out the gate screaming bloody faster trying to improve my times, which always resulted in some injury or another, which I would just ignore, make worse, and then I would fail miserably at making any time goal. This year, I'm taking it slow, and not pushing myself harder than I feel comfortable with.

I was honestly worried again about this morning's weigh-in. Like, why do I always eat the most terrible foods of the week for dinner on Friday night, when I know I have to weigh myself on Saturday morning? First it was a giant plate of (oh my gosh amazing) pasta. And this week it was "fried" chicken, which didn't actually turn out in any way, shape, or form like it was supposed to, but was still pretty good. And French fries! Who eats French fries the night before a weigh-in? Apparently I do, and apparently it worked, because I am down 1.2 pounds this week, weighing in at 232.9. Another high-five, and then a nap, because those Red Vines made me tired.

May 2, 2016

Day Thirteen: Goals For May

Goals are important, I get that. If you don't have something to work towards, you get lazy. But at the same time, I hate making goals for myself, because I feel so terrible if I DON'T achieve them. I think I always set my sights so high, because in that moment I feel like I can do anything. And then reality sets in and I'm elbow-deep in a bag of Cheetos having a Supernatural marathon on Netflix. So goals and I, we've got some figuring out to do.

In an effort to keep myself from having a failed-goal-induced meltdown, I think this month I'm going to stick with this goal: keep doing what I'm doing. I'm planning, I'm tracking, I'm cooking, I'm training for a 5K, I'm blogging about it. Those are the things I'm doing, and those things are working. I don't want to overcomplicate my life by adding "Complete 500 Pushups" or "Make Some Friends" or "Run More/Faster" to the list of things I want to accomplish. I mean, I would like to accomplish those things, don't get me wrong. But right now it's time to focus on the basics.

So, in conclusion, my goals for May are as follows:

  1. Make a meal plan every week and try super duper hard to stick to it.
  2. Limit eating out to once every 1-2 weeks.
  3. Continue following my 5K training plan (my race is on June 2nd, can't back off now!).
  4. Blog at least 3 times a week...ish.

So those are my goals for May. No "Lose 25 Pounds" or "Become an Olympic Weight Lifter." Just simple things I actually feel confident about accomplishing.

Do you have any goals for May? Share in the comments!

May 1, 2016

Day Twelve: This Week's Plan

Time for another weekly plan! I know, it's so exciting! Except I wasn't very excited yesterday, after planning everything and buying all my groceries, to enter everything into SparkPeople for the week and find I wasn't eating nearly enough calories for half of the week. I think a big part of this was dropping the sausages I normally eat from my breakfast in an effort to reduce my fat intake, plus the fact that I am working on Saturday morning and won't have time to make a smoothie or anything complicated. But I'd spent my entire grocery budget (plus some...), so I really couldn't afford to go buy anything else to get my calories up to par. It required a little tweaking, and some maybe not so great food choices (read: saltine crackers to the rescue), but I eventually got myself to a level of calories I am comfortable with eating. (Down with starvation, people!) I've also pretty much given up on gluten-free, because it's painfully difficult to live without dairy AND wheat. I feel for people who have legit allergies to both. But I'm pretty sure the dairy is what has been killing my digestive system, so I'm focusing on that for now.

I went so far this week to add ONE DAY of yoga. Because I found that I spend most of Saturday sitting around on my tush, I did some yoga yesterday, and want to continue with it next week. Yoga is cool, y'all. Hella cool. Anyway, on with the plan!

Breakfast: Almond Butter Banana Smoothie Bowl
Lunch: Jack-in-the-Box Chicken Teriyaki Bowl (treat yourself, people! Also, dairy-free!)
Dinner: Bacon Topped Petite Turkey Meat Loaf
Fitness: Walk 1.5 Miles (Walk 5 Min, Run 30 Sec, Walk Remaining)

Breakfast: Lemon Blueberry Scone, Banana
Lunch: Bacon Topped Petite Turkey Meat Loaf, Apple
Dinner: Bacon Topped Petite Turkey Meat Loaf, Saltine Crackers

Breakfast:  Lemon Blueberry Scone, Banana
Lunch: Bacon Topped Petite Turkey Meat Loaf, Applesauce
Dinner: Hot Dogs, Green Beans, Saltine Crackers
Fitness: Walk 1.5 Miles (Walk 5 min, Run 1 Min, Walk Remaining)

Breakfast: Lemon Blueberry Scone, Banana
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Green Beans, Saltine Crackers, Apple
Dinner: Saucy Chicken Taco Meat, Brown Rice

Breakfast: Lemon Blueberry Scone, Banana
Lunch: Saucy Chicken Taco Meat, Brown Rice, Applesauce
Dinner: Saucy Chicken Taco Meat, Brown Rice
Fitness: Walk 1.5 Miles (Walk 5 min, Run 1 Min, Walk Remaining)

Breakfast: Lemon Blueberry Scone, Banana
Lunch: Saucy Chicken Taco Meat, Brown Rice, Apple
Dinner: Oven Fried Chicken, French Fries

Breakfast: Lemon Blueberry Scone, Banana
Lunch: Oven Fried Chicken, French Fries
Dinner: Oven Fried Chicken, French Fries
Fitness: Yoga (20-40 Minute Beginner Video)

Did I ever mention I like bananas?

April 30, 2016

Day Eleven: The First Weigh-In and Week In Review

It's Saturday! It's Caturday! It's Weigh-In Day! Wait, why am I excited about that last one? Here's a look at how my week went, and, of course, my weigh-in.

I strayed from my meal plan this week, especially on Wednesday when the smoke filled the room, literally. I switched some meals around. I found some new favorites, I found some things I'll never make again. I didn't exactly stay gluten-free, but I did manage dairy-free-except-butter. But all-in-all I did pretty well. I didn't go bananas with anything, I didn't act on my never-ending cravings for Red Vines (should I change the blog name to Go Red Vines? I am obsessed lately). I came in under my SparkPeople calorie goal everyday. So all-in-all, a pretty good week. I only want to work on evening out my nutrients, because right now I'm eating more fat than anything else. And I know some people say fat is good, but I just can't wrap my head around eating more fat to lose fat, you know?

I stuck to my workout plan for the week, yay me! Granted, it was a measly 3 miles to walk over 3 days, so it's not like I climbed Everest or anything. But that's two weeks in a row I have stuck to my plans. And each day I walked my mile, I got a little bit faster. I have a 5K race in 5 weeks, and I want to do be prepared to do my best. I'm almost scared to add any other exercise other than 3 days of walking, because I don't want to detract from training for the race. That's my fitness goal for now, so that's where I want my focus to be.

Am I up? Am I down? I don't know! That's how I felt all week, because I've been so bloated (thank you, lady time!). But the moment of truth is here, and this week's weight is: 234.1. That is down 3.6 pounds from last week! High five, self!

April 28, 2016

Day Nine: Sometimes You Are The Spider

Sometimes you are the fly. Sometimes you fill your entire apartment with smoke trying to sauté a chicken breast. I think that would be a case of being the fly, and yesterday I was most DEFINITELY the fly. Because once I was coughing dramatically while my lungs filled with smoke*, I was not feeling empowered or anything remotely spider-like. I was feeling like I wanted to cry and throw the stupid chicken in the stupid trash and curl up in bed with some Cheetos or Red Vines (DAMN IT, RED VINES!) never to be heard from again.

Luckily, I've learned over the last few weeks that pouting and eating are not the answers to life's problems. Also, I threw away all the Cheetos in my apartment and ate all the Red Vines during RV-Gate last week. So while I searched high and low for some scrap of junk food I had left myself, there wasn't any to be found. Actually, there was still a box of Girl Scout cookies in my freezer, but despite my sad-rage, I still managed to check the ingredients, see they had dairy, and put them back. That is progress, people! Progress!

I finally sat down with some very not-gluten-free but still healthy and multi-grain and not-sugar-coated cereal, sans milk, and even though it did nothing for my taste buds, it let me eat my feelings without consuming two days worth of calories. I feel super accomplished, guys. Like, so proud. Of course, since I had ruined** dinner, I then stuck some chicken wings in the oven and called it a night on cooking. But I tracked my chicken wings. And didn't feel remorse for eating them because, at that point, I was just hungry, and it was the only readily available food that I had left. Note to self: buy emergency foods for when dinner doesn't turn out so great.

So there is my lesson learned about being the fly, and not letting it ruin my life. I didn't let the spider eat me. Maybe take just a little nibble, but then I said, "Screw you, spider!" and flew away. I hate spiders. I hate this analogy. I hate myself a little bit right now for even using it.

*Please note I am being horribly overdramatic. Yes, I filled my apartment with smoke, and yes, it made me cough. But it wasn't nearly enough to do irreparable damage to my lungs. It didn't even trigger the smoke detector.

**Dinner was not ruined, I was just being a crybaby. I ate the salad I made the chicken for, WITH the chicken, for lunch the next day. It was fine.

April 26, 2016

Day Seven: How I Plan My Meals

In the past, I hardly ever planned my meals. What is there to plan, really, when you eat frozen pizza and lasagna every night? The only decision I ever had to make was which box to pull out of the freezer each night. There wasn't much, if any, planning involved. At all. Ever.

So the hardest thing about starting the Whole30 and cooking everything I ate from scratch was that I actually had to sit down and decide what I was going to eat for the week. The entire week! At once! Who has time for that sort of thing? Truth be told, I do. And I found that I actually really enjoy sitting down with the grocery ads and deciding what I am going to eat for the week. The entire week. At once. Really the hardest thing about it is getting my cat off my lap so I can actually see what I am doing.

Now, each week I get excited on Tuesdays, because that is when the new grocery ads come out. I can see what's on sale, and start dreaming of the things I am going to eat the following week. Meal planning for me starts the day the ads come out, even though I won't go shopping until Saturday. I take Tuesday through Friday evenings to scour Pinterest for recipes based on what is on sale. Dairy-free, recipes, to boot. By Friday, I have a pretty good idea of what is out there, and I sit down to actually plan out what I am going to eat the following week.

I try to make recipes that will serve 2-4 people. I eat an abundance of leftovers, so I keep that in mind when choosing recipes. How long will this feed me for? Will it be TOO long, do I need to half the recipe? I plan lunches and dinners accordingly, usually planning super simple things like hot dogs and steamed veggies on nights when I have things to do, like my workouts or after work appointments or anything like that. I'll make extras on those nights so I have something to take for lunch the next day, but will usually end up having to cook dinner again the next night.

Breakfast is the easiest thing to plan. I eat the exact same thing every day, except weekends. I love the breakfast sausages that I was making for my Whole30, so I have kept making those for breakfast 6 days a week. I also like to have a banana with every breakfast. During the week I try to find something portable (like this week's pumpkin spice muffins) since I don't actually eat breakfast until my first break at work. I'm so excited that I can eat baked goods now! Breakfast was the worst part of Whole30 for me, because I hate savory breakfasts, I hate eggs, and I couldn't whip some muffins together with compliant ingredients because it is against the rules. Even now these recipes are hard to find for me. A lot of the dairy-free baked goods are also gluten-free, paleo, etc, and make excessive use of coconut flour/oil/milk. I will pretend to be allergic to coconut if I have to, so great is my loathing for it. I would rather make full-dairy versions and deal with the consequences than ingest coconut. So it takes a while to find recipes, but I'm doing my best. For weekend breakfasts I try to plan something a little more involved, like a smoothie. Maybe next week I'll even go for some French toast!

Hopefully all of that made sense? In the future I'd like to make a more detailed, specific, even photo-filled post about the process, but since it's still sort of new to me, I'm still figuring things out.

April 24, 2016

Day Five: This Week's Plan

You know that obnoxious saying, "Fail to plan, plan to fail"? It's obnoxious, right? But it's also, I've discovered, very true. It was so easy not to overeat or consume an entire bag of chips while I was doing the Whole30, because I made a plan every week of what I was going to eat. And until Red Vine-Geddon, I stuck with that plan. So as much as I hate cheesy, obnoxious sayings, I definitely want to continue to plan my meals for the week, with the idea of not failing in mind.

This will be my first full non-Whole30 week, and I was so excited to include things that weren't allowed on the Whole30. Rice, people, rice! If I can't have cheese, I at least want rice. And there is no gluten in rice (which I didn't know until post-Red Vine Gate), so I'm okay on that front too! As an aside, I'm going to keep eating butter, at least for a little while to see if I have any reaction to it. Because butter is mostly fat, according to the internets, it doesn't always cause the same problems that other dairy does. And I've never been particularly anti-butter, regardless of how "bad" it is for you, because butter is amaze-balls. So I'm hoping my body can handle it.

So here is my food and fitness plan for the week. Please note, I live all alone and usually cook full-sized recipes, so there is an abundance of leftovers in my life. As long as the food was good, I'm okay with that.

Breakfast: Chocolate Banana ShakeBreakfast Sausage
Lunch: Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp
Dinner: Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp
Fitness: Walk 1 Mile

Breakfast: Breakfast Sausage, Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Almonds, Banana
Lunch: Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp
Dinner: 2 Applegate Farms Uncured Beef Hot Dogs, Steamed Green Beans, Brown Rice

Breakfast: Breakfast Sausage, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Almonds, Banana
Lunch: Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp
Dinner: BBQ Chicken Salad
Fitness: Walk 1 Mile (Walk 5 min, Run 30 sec, Walk remaining)

Breakfast: Breakfast Sausage, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Almonds, Banana
Lunch: BBQ Chicken Salad
Dinner: Steak, Steamed Broccoli

Breakfast: Breakfast Sausage, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Almonds, Banana
Lunch: Steak, Steamed Broccoli
Dinner: Applegate Farms Hot Dogs, Steamed Veggies, Brown Rice
Fitness: Walk 1 Mile (Walk 5 min, Run 30 sec, Walk remaining)

Breakfast: Breakfast Sausage, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Almonds, Banana
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Veggies, Rice
Dinner: Pasta Pomodoro

Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Shake
Lunch: Pasta Pomodoro
Dinner: Pasta Pomodoro

So that is the plan for the week. Sunday is already off to a good start. I've walked my mile, made breakfast sausages for the next couple of days (I like to half the recipe and prepare 3 on Sunday and 3 on Tuesday evening for the rest of the week. My first week of Whole30 I made all 6 on Sunday and by Friday, it was a little iffy on whether or not I should eat it. I did anyway and survived, but they just taste better when they're not almost a week old), and had an adventure in using my two-year-old Ninja for the first time. Here's hoping the rest of the week goes just as well!

April 23, 2016

Day Four: What I Learned From My Failed Whole30

I may not have stuck with the Whole30 for the, uh, whole 30, but that doesn't mean I didn't take anything valuable away from it. I learned a lot in those 15 days, and I'm learning a lot more now that I've started adding non-Whole30 foods back into my diet. These are just a few of those things.

I think the most important thing I learned is that I can eat 3 meals a day, and get enough nutrition from those that I don't need to snack at all. Snacking is one of my biggest downfalls when trying to lose weight. I'll grab a bag of chips, or some crackers, or chocolate frosting, and before I know it I've eaten everything in my apartment. Snacking is discouraged on the Whole30 - you should be getting all the nutrients and calories you need from your 3 square meals a day. So with that in mind, whenever I wanted a snack, I asked myself, "Why?" Was I actually hungry, or only bored/tired/upset? In my 15 days on Whole30, the answer was only "hungry" one time. So I only had a snack one time. And I survived, and will continue to do so. Snacking is a gateway to food overload for me. Even if it's not junk food, if I snack when I'm not really hungry, I will inevitably overeat. So snacking is out.

I also learned that I don't need junk food/packaged/processed foods in my life. I didn't even miss them. Do you know how good grapes taste? And strawberries, and feta-less Greek salads, and roasted chicken breasts? They taste amazing, and there is nothing in them from a box, bag, or carton. I don't even miss Coke, which has always been my drug of choice. There are still 3 cans of Coke in my fridge from before the Whole30, and they've sat untouched, even since I stopped following the program. For some reason I can't bring myself to get rid of them, but I've yet to be tempted by them. Cold, refreshing water is enough for me. So no more junk food? Check.

Probably the worst thing to come out of the Whole30/15 for me is also the saddest thing that has ever happened in my life. Cheese and I, we are not friends. And even though I pretty much already knew that, I was hoping this would prove that it was something else making me feel queasy all the time, and not dairy. But it is. Because I ate some cheese yesterday, and my face got puffy, I got bloated, and then I suffered. I was lactose intolerant as a baby/toddler, but it went away for most of my childhood and teenage years. It has come back with a vengeance in the last few years. And even though I knew going in that dairy was probably the culprit behind a lot of my problems, I'm still really sad to have it confirmed. Like, deeply sad. I never even got to have pizza before I found this out. Goodbye pizza! You were my best food friend in the entire world! I'll miss you! *sob*

In addition to dairy, I will also be giving up gluten, at least temporarily. I don't think I truly waited enough time between eating a flour tortilla, and eating that cheese, to know if the gluten had any real effect. The effects from the dairy were immediate, and obvious. I'm not so sure about the gluten, so I'm going to go a few more weeks without it to see.

So even though I "failed" at being a good Whole30'er, I still learned a lot about myself. About what I am capable of NOT eating, and what kinds of things I actually enjoy eating. I also found a love for cooking, and a great disdain for doing the dishes. But since I live alone, and those things have to go together, I will deal with the dishes for now.

April 21, 2016

Day Two: Quitting the Whole 30

Here's a true story. I lasted 15 days on the Whole 30. 15 days! Then I tore into a bag of Red Vines ravenously like they were the last food on Earth and I'd been hiking in an apocalyptic wasteland with no nourishment for three days. Actually, this is false. I ate them slowly, and savored every last bite...of every last Red Vine. Thus ended my Whole 30, much like any attempt to get healthy/lose weight might. Except it really wasn't the same at all. 

I think it's a common feeling for people trying to lose weight, to be ashamed of messing it up. "It's my fault I ate that entire pack of Oreo's, I'm a failure at everything," etc. etc. until we talk ourselves into such a place of despair that we eat nothing but pizza and Twinkies for 3 days. I've been there, I've felt that, many, many, oh so many times. But "screwing up" my Whole 30 honestly felt like one of the best things I'd ever done for myself. Perhaps decadently dining on an entire bag of candy was not the greatest decision, but giving up on the Whole 30? It was such a weight off my shoulders. And I didn't even realize what a weight it was until night 15, when I was sobbing violently because I just wanted a goddamn slice of pizza.

So the next day, I quit the Whole 30, chowed down on some Red Vines, and the strangest thing happened - nothing. No self-hatred or self-loathing. No feeling like I'd failed by stopping halfway through. No regrets for binging on sugary goodness. Nope, I felt absolutely nothing. I went about my day, ate the Whole 30 lunch and dinner I had planned, and went to bed. And the next day? Still nothing. I added some crackers to my Whole 30 dinner, and went about my business.

It has been more than 48 hours since my Red Vine romance, and I still don't feel bad about it. Which is amazing, let's be honest. But the reason I don't feel bad is very much something that the Whole 30 taught me. I was horribly honest with myself that night I cried myself to sleep over pizza. Because pizza isn't a normal, healthy thing to cry about. So I had to ask, why am I crying about pizza, which is when I realized that I wasn't crying about pizza, I was crying about the stress I felt trying to eat the perfect things, cook perfect meals, be the perfect example of how a person should and should not eat. I was trying so hard to do everything right, that I realized, in this instance, I hated being right. Being right didn't make me feel better. Doing and eating the right things didn't magically make all my problems go away (just like eating all the wrong things won't either). In fact, it was making me feel worse about myself, because I was doing everything "right" and I still didn't feel any better. I lost 12 pounds, I impressed my co-workers who thought I only ate Jack in the Box, but did I feel any better about myself, about my life, about my eating habits? Absolutely not. And so I decided it wasn't worth it, to be so miserable not allowing myself to eat the foods I enjoy, when I wasn't getting any real benefit from it.

Yes, I know the Whole 30 is supposed to make you feel like this amazing tiger or something, give you all the energy in the world, destroy your cravings for sugar, and I'm pretty sure there's something in there about dragons as well. But it didn't do that for me. I'm betting it doesn't do that for a lot of people. Just like it does wonders for some people, it's just not the right fit for others. I base too much of my life's happiness on enjoying the things I eat to ever give most of it up for 30 days. Because even though they say food can't make you happy, it really can. I don't usually eat because I'm having an emotional breakdown, I eat because I ENJOY FOOD and yes, good food heightens my mood. And no matter how many Whole 30 approved recipes I tried, I just couldn't find happiness in what they were selling me. So I gave it up, I'm moving on, and for the first time in my life I don't feel like a failure for eating an entire bag of Red Vines.

April 20, 2016

Day One...Again

I'm not sure what is harder, losing weight, or writing a blog about it. I seem to be pretty terrible at both. But if at first you don't succeed, choose whatever ending you see fit and insert it here. So here I am, trying again. I can't guarantee this time will be the time it all clicks and everything works out the way I want it to. But I can try my hardest, and that's all I can ask from myself. God I sound corny. Anyway, today's starting weight: 237.7.