I decided about two weeks ago to get serious about my weight despite how often I’ve been feeling sick. A lot of things got me going. I was inspired by seeing my friend Elyse get back in shape after grad school. I was inspired by chats with other friends and my mom. I was even inspired by running across some pictures of me from not so long ago where I looked way better than I ever gave myself credit for at the time (typical I know). I also had a reality check that I have gained 20 lbs I thought were gone forever. I had the same heart-to-heart with myself I did many years ago when I was obese and unhappy that I needed to make a change.
This time I have so many advantages in terms of my knowledge of what works and what doesn’t for me. I’ve consulted nutritionists. I know the facts of weight loss and what is just unhealthy. Now there are things in my life like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal. I also am starting from being overweight vs. obese which is a huge advantage. I may have some things making it harder, but I look at photos of myself after I’ve run races and I know it is just a matter of doing right by myself and taking my time.
While I know emotional eating is something I will probably need to keep my eye on my entire life I have learned how to let go of things without need of anything else, because as amazing as it is to go for a run when you are stressed sometimes life prevents that from happening.
While working out is a healthy way to work out stress, I’ve learned it is even more important to have self-compassion and let things go.
This time I am working on making planning my meals a priority, but also taking to heart what I have learned about what overwhelms me and what is actually useful. At this point in my life I now know that I actually love cooking and that social media is something that is fine to use for work, but I have no obligation to use it so much in my own personal life and it was honestly taking up a lot of time and energy as a distraction. It is okay to delete those apps off my phone and I have with the exception of the one that has been helpful (Pinterest). Also, by easing off of social media as a whole there is less pressure to share pictures of myself.
Here is what I’ve learned/implemented the past couple of weeks.
I’ve always struggled with meal planning (when I have even attempted it in the first place). What seems to be working is making a rough plan of what I’d like to cook that week and coming up with a grocery list in my planner and taking a picture of it with my phone. Then when I go to the grocery store I have a plan of what I need to get and because my planner has sections I don’t waste time as they are in order of where to go.
Unlike all the advice I’ve ever seen before in books, blogs, and other websites though I don’t make a plan for the entire week. I just roughly have an idea of recipes I will make and several things that are staples for myself like almond milk. I needed a little structure, but flexability.
One of the big changes is that I’m not trying to make more than a few different recipes each week. Otherwise it gets overwhelming and I end up throwing out a lot of food.
Instead, I am realistic about how much variety is actually needed. I don’t mind having the same thing for several meals throughout the week so it just makes sense to not worry about it so much. Also, I’ve found that variety can be easily satiated for myself with just picking an apple instead of an orange or going with berries that day. Simple changes like this can make all the difference.
I then plan in MyFitnessPal one (maybe two) days in advance so I have a game plan, but I’m also not trying to look into the future too far as I might change my mind of what I want to eat a few days from the current moment. This has been a huge help in also planning how much I need to exercise for a given day.
I use MyFitnessPal throughout the day to adjust based on what I feel I actually want to eat, because since I have made a plan and have good food options I can switch things out and I might be hungry earlier or later. I am still figuring out what I need so having this flexibility is key.
All the while I am making sure I do my best to have the right ratio of carbs, protein, and fat. This is a formula you can take to the bank. If you aim to have this at every meal and throughout the day you will feel full on less food and have energy.
As someone that loves running it is hard to not be doing that, but I decided to start off easy and just add more walking. I have been walking on my treadmill with AmazonPrime (and now that they have downloads I have Netflix, too). I have been needing to find new things to watch while I workout.
I used to watch a lot of Gilmore Girls before that awful revival (I don’t need to imagine the awful nickname they might give me for being fat) and Walking Dead (after the finale last season and this season’s opener with Negan I have zero interest in watching anymore).
I’ve been enjoying the campy show Charmed (season one), watching Parks and Rec from the beginning (season one) and Mr. Selfridge (season three). This makes binge watching shows a lot more productive and it makes the time go by faster.
Amelie is a pretty much perfect thing to watch as it is two hours so you can watch the first half and then the next day do the second half. This is how I think of watching movies and tv at home now. ‘What will it be like to watch while I walk or run on the treadmill?’
I love my Fitbit and have found the charger for one of them so I’m back to that. I need to find the charger for my Charge HR, but in the meantime I’ll just keep walking even without the heart rate monitor. I’ve honestly converted so many people to Fitbit they probably should give me shares in the company or something.
I found a fun thing on Pinterest. There is a website called ilostwhat.com where you add in what you have lost and it gives you a comical equivenent of what you have lost. At the time I found this I had lost the same weight as an ostrich egg (I’m almost to 7 lbs lost at this point). I went back and found out the ones for 1-3 lbs so I can have a fun Pinterest board of my weight loss progress. This is so much better than progress before/during/after pictures of myself.
My upcoming goals include:
Drinking more water and getting my body used to it is my first goal.
I want to eat zero to one pieces of pizza on my coworker’s birthday and the staff holiday party. Pizza is my kryptonite.
And yes. I want to lose more ostrich eggs…not real ones though. I think this bird would kick my butt if I did.
❤ Always Jenny