Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving was my first major road-block since I started dieting. I went in confident and with a strategy. Luckily, I avoided falling off the wagon!

I hosted the meal at my house this year, so I had the opportunity to control the menu but also would have the I needed a plan.

I decided to make lower calorie version of my favorite sides...
Candied Yams

But then there were still Rolls, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Pumpkin and Lemon Meringue Pie, Gravy and Wine!...definite diet pitfalls.

So how did it actually go, you ask?

Somewhere between good and bad. I had my healthier versions of side (plus seconds!). Had a sliver of each kind of pie, no gravy, no dark meat, light on the mashed taters, plus a turkey sandwich before bed! Oy!

But I unloaded most of the dangerous leftovers on our guests so that all I had left was turkey and veggies.

When all was said and done, I think I had about a 3000 calorie day. More than twice what I eat in a whole day! But in the days preceding, I ate less than I normally eat to give myself a calorie cushion. And in the days since, I have done the same...trying to shave off 100-150cals a day.
Of course, I could bump up the exercise as well, but right now, for's easier to shave calories.

After tomorrows weigh-in we'll see how my strategy worked out (or didn't). I'll keep you in the loop!

The Mental Click

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In the past, I have been successful dieting and I have been, obviously, very unsuccessful more often.
So what makes one diet work and another diet not work?

The Mental Click.

It's the day when you stop kind of wanting to lose weight and decide that you cannot live another day the way you are living now.

It's when you are ready to stop making excuses for why you are fat...
"I really just love food."
"I don't have the time or money to make healthy food."
"I'm just not motivated."

And that's just what you tell other people...what are you saying to yourself...
"I'll never be skinny."
"I can't lose weight."
"I suck."

The first step in achieving the "Click" is to change your inner dialogue. This should change before you even change your eating...change your thinking.
Find a mantra...I know it sounds lame, but make it a go-to every time you are feeling weak and I swear it works!

Mine is:
"I love my son more than food."

When I'm thinking about eating that thing that I know is WAY bad for me...I tell myself that and I can get past it.

In addition I have a mental checklist of other positive affirmations:
"I take good care of myself"
"Just because I want something, doesn't mean I need it."
"My health is more important to me than food."

Find ones that work for you...

but not:
"I want to be skinny"
"I am making myself healthy"

Get it?
Try it when you are thinking of having that diet busting treat...
Once you get that click, I promise, dieting gets soooo much easier. You are making a lifestyle change, so you need a permanent mental change to do it.

Making your Diet Fit

Monday, November 23, 2009

I have the luxury of a child who sleeps in. Please, restrain the Boo-ing. I sleep until 9-10am most mornings.
What's the point?? The point is that I don't usually eat breakfast. Ok ok!!! No more boos!

But I do love to snack at night! It used to be cake, ice cream, cookies...I would literally go into a panic if I didn't have some dessert in my house.

Now that I'm dieting this all has to change, right? I have to force something down my throat when I wake up and stop eating at 8pm now, right? No.

I am on a 1200 calorie diet. A big breakfast leaves me few calories for snacking. So I decided to just wait until Noon and eat then.

I usually wake up at 10am, eat at noon, have 100cal or less snack if I'm dying (which is rarely the case...I can usually go right through til dinner). Then dinner at 6:30-7pm.
That usually leaves me around 400cal to blow on snacking at night...when I LOVE to eat!

To replace the ice cream and cookies, I have a 150cal Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich. These are the best thing ever by the way.

After that, we MAKE popcorn. We use a big pot and pop it ourselves. 1/3c of unpopped kernels is enough for me and my hub. With about a teaspoon of safflower oil on the bottom for heat and a little's way yummier than microwave and we look forward to it every night!

Then I have something like a Kashi TLC Fruit & Grain Bar in Raspberry Chocolate. It has Fiber, protein, and a fruity chocolaty top that is extremely satisfying.

The trick to making your diet work for you is to make it about you. How do you like to eat normally? Morning person? Grazer? Night Owl Snacker?
Ask yourself what can get you over the hump?

I love a lot. Did I stop eating pizza? No way! I eat Pizza nearly every day! Now it's a Lean Cuisine Pizza most days for lunch. Not exactly like that greasy pizza I'm used to...but it gets me over the hump. Get it? It's not about having exactly what you want, but replacing it with something that soothes the craving.

Think about when and what you eat each day when you aren't dieting and see if you can just replace what you are eating now with something a little better for you. You might be surprised how easy it is to get all the foods you like and still diet.

Keeping a Food Diary

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I know, I one likes homework, but I truly believe that keeping a food diary is really important.
Example...what did you eat for breakfast last Monday morning? Fuzzy?

Ever been dieting and had a surprise gain? How about a surprise big loss? Keeping a food diary gives you the opportunity to study yourself.

If you can see what you ate the week of your surprise gain, you can see if there is a certain food that your body doesn't approve of. Too much sugar, not enough protein...etc.

So get yourself a super cute notebook to keep right next to your favorite chair. Keep a backup in your purse. You can use your mobile phone too...but there is something so 9th grade about keeping an actual "pen to paper" physical record in a cute spiral bound notebook. You can sit back and look over your progress, track your weigh-ins. Do your "equations" in it.
I <3 style="font-style: italic;">start. It's a temporary way to get some pounds off in the beginning without the struggle.

Also, don't get hung up on "bad" foods. What matters is eating foods that will fill you up, stabilize your blood sugar and keep you satisfied for hours. And above all, calories are calories. It's plain old physics...calories in calories out.

Weighing In

Studies show that people that weigh themselves daily generally weigh less...

I am going to buck this and tell you to make your weigh-in a weekly event.

That's right, pick a day of the week and weigh-in only on that day. Make sure it's at about the same time of day.

For us, it's Tuesday Nights at 7pm-ish.

We use our Wii Fit which has a balance board with a built in scale. The game will track your progress, tells you your BMI and weight and even has graphs to see how far you've come. You can also set goals and the game will update you on how close you are getting to your goal. It makes it fun!

And that's also the night Biggest Loser comes on and we watch it afterward to motivate and inspire us.

Once a week weigh-ins also makes it easier to track your progress as your weight can fluctuate wildly depending on many factors including the time of day, sodium and water intake.

As weigh in day approaches, I try to focus on eating low sodium meals and boosting my water intake.

If you feel more comfortable weighing every day...try to do it at the same time and pick one day of the week to "count" as your official weigh-in.

The Math of Weight Loss

Get your pencils out...because there will be math involved.

Decide what you think is the amount of weight you want to lose a can figure out how many calories you need to eat to get there.

Let's say you are 200lbs, a woman and you want to lose 2lbs a week.

First, take your weight and multiply it by 11 if you're a female, 12 for men.

200 x 11 = 2200 BMR calories

BMR: Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR); the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day.

Then you take your BMR and multiply by 7 (days in a week):

2200 x 7 = 15400
the number of calories you burn in a week without doing a lick of exercise.

And let's say you think you can't survive on less than 1500cals a day.

1500 x 7 = 10500
The number of calories you want to eat in a week...
So what does this number tell us about pounds...alot if you know the magic number

this is the number of calories in a POUND!

So subtract your weekly intake from your weekly BMR #:

15400 - 10500 = 4900
This is your weekly calorie defecit.

4900 / 4086 = 1.2lbs
This is what you will lose per week at this level of calories with no exercise.

At this point you have to decide what amount of exercise you think you will ACTUALLY do. If you think you won't do much at first but still want to lose...reduce the calories slowly until you find your comfort zone.

For me, I was a full on couch potato. But losing weight was very important to I was willing to cut my calories down to an acceptably small amount to lose 3lbs a week.

Most days I eat just under 1200 cals. For me, it's not hard...but I didn't go from 0-60 overnight.
I started out not tracking on paper...just keeping mental check. Eating out still, but going to healthier options.
Sounds good, easy...but the results weren't all that exciting. 1lb, 2lbs, .5lbs...the numbers were going the right way, but not fast enough for me.
So I decided to keep a notebook and count every calorie I ingested. I also do the above equation every week to figure out how many pounds I actually lost. (regardless of the scale...water weight can fluctuate you weight by a pound or two even after the first couple weeks)

1200 was the magic bullet for me. At this point I am losing 4lbs a week. And soon, I will have to add more exercise to maintain that amount of weight loss...but because I know the math of weight loss...I can figure that out for myself.

First Post...Introductions!

I'm Tamie...
First, I should say that I am just a Mom who is fat. I have done many diets in my 31 years. My first one was in 6th grade, Slim*Fast for school lunch. Yum! By 9th grade it was Nutrisystem (the old version with an office) and they closed.
In high school, I gave up after that, but my weight wasn't really increasing at that point.
When I was 18, I gained a ton of weight thanks to a boyfriend who work at the Olive Garden...can you say free Fettuccine Alfredo whenever you want it?!
Being single was a great diet after him...and my weight re-stabilized. I wasn't thin again...but I wasn't packing it on either.
Then I met my husband...we were both "thick" but not huge...together, we got fat and happy. Lots of takeout and not a whole lot of exercise equaled big poundage.
We got married fat, lived fat and couldn't seem to get pregnant fat.
We tried Atkins, South Beach, etc. But cutting out whole food groups isn't sustainable long term for most folks.
Then I entered a medically supervised liquid diet program. 5 shakes and one meal a day. Sounds crazy, but I lost 50lbs in 2.5 months and got pregnant without even trying.
After my son was born, I planned to hop right back on that bandwagon right away, but I just couldn't get it to work. My diets would last for about 10lbs and then I would fall off the wagon again.
Weight Watchers worked temporarily as well, but the commitment of going to meetings and dealing with points, not actual calories became costly (books, guides, meetings, etc) and daunting.
Watching Dr. Oz on Oprah and reading his books gave me some new insight. Also inspiring ourselves by watching the Biggest Loser (even while eating a big bowl of ice cream) fed that desire.
I attempted this spring to go Vegetarian...which felt great in my body, but like I said before, cutting out an entire food group became overwhelming fast. Also, my discovery that I hate Tofu, most beans and a lot of the protein substitutes made it feel impossible to stick with forever.

So this summer as I turned 31 still fat...super sick feeling and tired all the time, I decided to re-evaluate my life, finally.
My job was crafting. My website was my life. I was constantly working. And for me, working meant sitting on the couch and crocheting, or writing, or working on the computer.
This sedentary lifestyle was catching up with me in a big way. I felt my heart skipping beats of me, when I ate some fast food, I could feel my blood pumping hard in my veins. I literally thought to myself, you could drop dead...anytime.
As September approached and my son started Preschool, I was getting sick of being the fattest Mom in the room.
My husband and I got serious. We decided that we could change our ways or this time next year, we'll be sicker and fatter...and pretty soon, our son will realize we're fat.

So what am I doing.
I am counting calories.
I am tracking everything I put in my mouth with a notebook.
I give myself 1 cheat a week that does NOT exceed my BMR calories (I'll get into that more later)
I eat foods I like, in moderation and within my calories.
I limit (not exclude) fruit and sugar. But I still eat sweets (Splenda is a miracle!)

That's the basic gist...I plan to share what I eat with you, tips I'm learning and updating my progress.

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