Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let's Re-Boot, Ladies!!! What Say You???

Howdy, girls!  

How goes it out there???  I am losing pounds again.  I'll keep this short (hahahahahaha) because it's 11:00 a.m., and I was supposed to be at work 2+ hours ago.  BLAH.  I'm heading to Chicago at 5 a.m. tomorrow, caravanning (a word, yes?) behind my little sister, and I'm busy pre-packing (making lists.)  But I wanted to stop here first, to rev y'all up for the weekend.

If you think about it, the summer is just barely under way.  And in my little town, it hasn't started yet.  SO...  I'm forcing myself to look at June kind of as a "precursor" to my "actual" summer.  That way, I don't feel quite so much like I just ate my way through the past SIXTY days.  OMG.  I just counted them.  WTF?!


This link is the coolest thing:

Cool Calorie Calculator 

Using this tool, I found I was under-eating by at least 100 calories per day, so I added them in - and I am now still counting every calorie, but I'm allowing myself 1200 per day.

I'm eating 2-3 frozen meals per day - they make up about 3/4 of my total calories.  They are literally doing the job for me!!!  And the variety out there is ridiculous!!!  Frozen meals are NOT what they used to be, ladies.  If you haven't looked up and down every aisle in your grocery store's freezer case, please take my word for it - you're missing out on a lot of fun eating!!!  PIZZA, for one!  I thought I would not be tasting pizza for a very, VERY long time.  Now, I eat it whenever I want - in 200-calorie-counted increments!  It completely makes me feel like I'm cheating, but then...I'm down a pound the next day!  Go figure.

I'm trying to do no less than 4 machine workouts per week, roughly 45 minutes each  (elliptical or treadmill).  I go S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I'm not exactly breaking a huge sweat here.  BUT... my calf muscles are back!  They're still covered with 19 pounds of extra pudge, but I intend for that to be gone by August 15th.   !!!

I'm trying to do a few other things, too.  Get enough sleep.  Drink as much plain ice water as I can stand.  (Even with a little lemon to make it interesting, YUCK!)  I have completely cut out sangria - simply too many calories.  (Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!)  I only drink a real Coke Classic on VERY special occasions.  <sniff sniff>  I'm eating as much raw/fresh veggies and fruits as I can cram in.  Lots of berries.  Fish and lean meats (venison & poultry).  Lots of raw almonds.  An avocado here and there.  Salads.  LOTS of them.  Virtually no white flour carbs.  (NO crackers or chips.)  A VERY LITTLE dish of pasta or rice off and on - maybe twice per week.  A diet-sized "bagel" maybe once a week.  And hardly any cereal (my favorite FAVORITE snack) unless it's Grape Nuts, Bran Buds, or steel-cut cooked oatmeal.  <sigh>

So, I'm trying.  Again.  I won't give this up.  I simply CAN NOT go into the Fall in the same condition I was last year.  (Which was, 40 pounds over-weight, pudgy, bloated, flaccid, ALL that...and then Thanksgiving and Christmas eating hit me.  HELLZ NO!!!)

Soldier on, ladies... Would love to hear your thoughts and progress!!!  I still check this blog every single day.  It helps and motivates!!! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello fellow Chunkersons...

Anne here.  It's been a loooonnngggg time and I've been a very bad girl.  Last February, I slipped on the ice, swore a few times, and ended up with a nice sprained cankle.  It was too painful to exercise so I didn't.  Then we went to Florida for vacation, and I pretty much started to spiral out of control after that.   Too much intake and not enough output = weight gain.  I look and feel horrible, but I'm ready to change that.  I'm going to have a good summer!  I'm going to think so flippin positively that I'm going to drive everyone nutso!

I'm anxiously awaiting for the fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies to ripen and I have incorporated some very important "mommy time" into the daily life around here. 

This is my problem.  Scratch that.  THESE are my problems.

1.)  I am addicted to pop.  Mountain Dew in particular.  Bad. Bad. BAD!  And diet pop is something I can only have occasionally as the artificial sweeteners give me massive migraines.   Crystal Light....same thing.  Water - well, that's pretty boring.

2.)  I still despise cooking.  I bought this awesome cook book at the book fair for inspiration.  It's from the Taste of Home people..."Comfort Food Diet Cookbook".  It's real food that I would buy and eat and the writers of the book have done all of the work for me as far as calorie counting etc....  All I have to do is shop for the food and make it. 

But even still, I just want to go crawl back in bed and curl up into the fetal position.   It does have something to do with the fact that I live with picky eaters and they do not participate with the meal planning EVER.    Are family meals all that important then??   If I ask Brian what he wants for dinner I get a lot of sighing, lots of eye rolling followed up with "bacon!" for an answer.  And if that's all I made, he'd be completely fine with it.  Yes, I'm being totally serious.

I now understand how my mother must have felt, and she had to cook for a family of 5.  YIKES.

I wish we all lived closer to each other; I could use a little weight watcher's meeting - without having to join weight watchers.   Maybe I should see a hypnotist or acupuncturist or a food therapist (is there such a thing?).  I could use some serious help here. 

Keep fighting the good fight!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I got the blaaaaahhhhhhhs...

I'm so depressed.  Today was the last day of school and that always depresses me because it means no more work for me for the summer (what?  I like working!) and the kids are done with school for the summer, which is good, I guess, for them; but it means that they are another year older and I find that totally depressing.  It's even worse than their birthdays.  It's really bad this year because now my boy is going to be in HIGH SCHOOL, and my little tiny baby is going to be in middle school.  I no longer have any elementary school kids.  Totally depressing.

I also don't make transitions very well and this kids-growing-older, season-changing, out-of-work transition this year is a doozy.  I'm a hot house flower, what can I say?

So how is this translating to my overall physical health/well-being/diet/exercise?  It's reeking havoc.  I haven't exercised in over a week, and I haven't been keeping track of what I've been eating but I know the caloric intake would be shocking.  When I do this it only makes me feel worse, physically and mentally, which then makes me spiral down further, which then makes me feel worse etc. etc.  I'm trying to analyze this and figure out the triggers and all that jazz, but I think I know the triggers but I just can't seem to not succumb to them.  I suppose the old saying "fake it till you make it" is the key to success and feeling better.  But I don't wanna.  I don't want to do anything but sleep and sit on the couch.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Best Diet Ammunition: Frozen Meals

I have gone through most of my adult life believing that "frozen dinners" were not much more than "Hungry Man" Salisbury Steak with a glob of mashed potatoes and a scoop of cafeteria corn next to it.  But at some point in the past however-many years, the frozen meal industry has transformed drastically. 

My new diet "pill" is the huge assortment of calorie-counted, carb-counted, low-fat, veggie-full, and protein-rich frozen meals out there.

My success relies very heavily on staying below a certain number of calories - 1200 per day.  This is really really REALLY difficult to do when you're a busy person, and by busy I mean someone who doesn't have all day to measure her almonds onto a food scale, weigh her chicken breast, or scoop a level 1/2-cup of oatmeal out of a pot.  Counting calories, religiously, is ridiculously time-consuming.  It's another part-time job, which you have to squeeze into your already-packed day if you want to stay under your calorie mark.  

Lots of days, I don't have time to count.  I find myself falling into the trap of, "eat only foods that have the calories printed on them, so you know what you're getting."  The problem with that is...most of those portable, pre-packaged foods are also crap foods.  Cereal bars, granola bars, calorie-measured "snack packs" containing 100 calories of whatever carb...all BAD calories.  Lots of white flour, which will promptly, let's face it - migrate directly onto my ass.

Frozen meals are the answer.  They have healthy ingredients, often whole grains, tons of veggies, fiber (which I get very little of otherwise), and they have as much or more protein than an average energy bar.  The calories are counted for me, so no food weighing or measuring!  I get to taste lots of flavors, lots of stuff I wouldn't take the time to cook for myself (sauteed plantains?  YUM!), and they're ready in 4 minutes.  And the VERY best part???  NO DISHES!!!

Here are my all-time Favorite Five:

OMG, scrumptious!  I eat this at least 5 times a week.  ADDICTED.  And so much healthier than Pop Tarts.

This keeps me full for 3-4 hours!  And you can't taste the eggplant.    LOL
Didn't think I'd like this much - but I LOVE it.  Sweet and VERY filling!
Tastes so much like Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff, I feel like I'm cheating!
Sweet, gooey, fishy deliciousness.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back in the Game

OK, so I finally found my motivation, and it came in the form of sunshine and 70-degree temperatures.  Who knew?

I effectively just took a month off from the diet plan.  I have done only 4 workouts since April 25th, and barely counted calories the entire month of May.  I feel very, VERY fortunate that I only re-gained a few of the 19.5 pounds I had lost.  

Now I'm back at it.  I am newly-excited.  This is partly due to the fact that while I was on "hiatus," I did a bunch of good reading about diets and exercise.  I am a Yahoo News junkie; I read every article that comes through from diet writers of various magazines.  It's almost all great advice.  A few things really jumped out at me, and prompted more research.  I learned quite a bit the past month.  Specifically, I've been going about this ALL WRONG.

LOL.  I've been limiting myself to 1100 calories, because I had noticed that when I was eating 1200 or 1400, I couldn't lose any weight - I only maintained.  So 1100 became my magic number, and by sticking to that since February 7th, I did manage to lose 19.5 pounds.  

The problem I was having, however, was that I was very run-down.  When I get tired and listless, my motivation wavers.  And it was wavering so bad toward the end of April, that it wavered me right into a month of inactivity.  I couldn't keep it up.  I was wiped out from the effort of counting calories.  Or at least that's what it felt like.  So I read.  And read.  I printed out tons of articles about "The Biggest Dieting Myths" and the "Best Foods to Eat to Increase Energy" and the Best Ab Exercises" and the "Top 25 Super Foods," etc. etc. etc.  Probably 30 or 40 articles total!  And then I found a news story about Lady Gaga's trainer, who is named Harley Pasternak.  He used to be a pro hockey player, but now he's the Diet Guru to the stars.  He's trained and transformed a bunch of celebrities.  When you click on his website, it directs you to buy his book and his products, so I scoped out some other sites, which just talk about what his diet does, rather than try to sell it to you.  I've been following the main points of this eating plan for the past week, and I've lost 4 pounds.  It basically has you eat 5 times a day, making sure you include 5 components in each of those 5 mini-meals:  A lean protein, a healthy carb, some fiber, a healthy fat, and a calorie-free beverage, preferably water or green tea.

The crazy plan works.  The combining of foods/nutrients has restored my energy and my will to stick to it.  I'm not tired between meals, or in the middle of the day, or ever.  I have the energy to exercise again.  I love it!

Here's a link with some info. on the plan:

5-Factor Diet Secrets 

The other thing I did that helped me a lot was I used a calorie calculator to find out how many calories I really needed to eat to either maintain my current weight, lose fat at a normal rate, or lose fat at an extreme rate.  I, having just come off a month of being a slug, want to do the "Extreme Fat Loss" option for as long as I can, to make up some ground.  If I can't stick to that long-term, then I'll switch to the "Normal Fat Loss" option and go from there.  I want to hit my 40-pounds-lost goal by the end of July.  I have 22.5 pounds left to lose.  Here's the cool calorie calculator:

Cool Calorie Calculator

So that's my deal!  I'm back on-track here.  When I punch my info. into the calorie calculator, it says that my "Extreme Fat Loss" calorie number is 1200.  So now I take 1200 calories and divide that into 5 little "meals" that each consist of 240 calories.  It seems like hardly any food.  But when I make sure to include the right components...those measly little meals control my cravings all day.  

How's everyone else doing out there?  Is anyone checking in these days?  Would love to hear how y'all are doing with summer finally here!  Ciao!