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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What Are You Doing?

This is the burning question. Whenever I post my weight loss progress on Facebook or other places, I am always asked at least a couple of times, "What are you doing to lose the weight?" Well, here it weight loss process!
Back in February of this year, I don't even remember why now, but something clicked in my head. I somehow found the desire to just get started. I really wasn't that concerned with the pounds or how fast or slow it would come off. I just wanted to eat healthier, hoping I would feel better and perhaps some time in the future...look better. I was really inspired by Gina Neely's (Food Network star) weight loss success while doing the George Foreman Weight Loss Challenge. I started incorporating that plan, and my diet has evolved from there. I have read just about every healthy eating and weight loss article I could get my hands on. I have tried to pull together the common denominators. With all the research out there, it's hard to know what to do. Is it low fat, low carb, Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, or something in between? Do I count calories, fat grams, sugar and carb grams? There's so much conflicting information out there. So I have just tried what works for me. And when I say, "works for me," I am not saying I have it down to a science, or that I have seen super quick success, but I have seen changes in me that make it all worth it.
At breakfast, I always have some protein, some fruit, and maybe a vegetable. If I have bread, like an English muffin, it is whole grain. I do try to limit my bread, mainly because it's a weakness. Cereal doesn't do it for me. My favorite breakfast is one scrambled egg with scallions and sometimes some sauteed spinach inside a whole wheat English muffin smeared with Laughing Cow onion and chive spreadable cheese. On the side, I will always have fruit. The protein and the fiber keep me full, and I never snack before lunch. I don't need to.
For lunch, I will do a whole wheat tortilla smeared with a dab of fat free sour cream, with salsa, grilled chicken, and about a tablespoon of shredded cheese (2% cheddar). I will have a peach or grapes on the side. I drink lots of homemade lemonade sweetened with Stevia. Finally, for dinner, I will grill chicken or fish, served with steamed veggies. Sometimes, I will make a salad with ground turkey, black beans, corn, salsa, and fat free sour cream on top of Romaine. Sometimes, I'll eat whatever I've cooked for my family, but I will adapt it for me...for example, I will have brown rice instead of mac n cheese.
One thing is for sure, we buy a lot more fruit. At Costco this weekend, I bought 8 lbs of grapes. read that right! Eight lbs of grapes. We froze half and put the other half in the fridge. They are terrific snacks or a side with lunch, instead of chips, etc...I have bought peaches, mandarin oranges, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries....and I've enjoyed it all!

 I have learned during this last few months that I definitely have trigger foods....foods that can cause me to eat out of control. For me, it's definitely the carbs like garlic bread,  biscuits, and pancakes; sweets like creamy icing on sugar cookies, and also pasta salads. Just writing those words makes me drool. Seriously!
NOT a cake! This is watermelon "iced" in FF Cool Whip!
I have not totally said no to any food. I think moderation is the most doable for long term success. I define success as healthier, not just skinnier. So every Friday night (sometimes Saturday instead), I have a cheat meal, as I call it. Usually it is something I have been craving. My latest one was a burger, fries and shake from Steak N Shake. My granny asked me, "Can you lose weight eating stuff like that?" I said, "As long as it's just once per week...not every day." This coming weekend, I have a friend coming over to swim and scrapbook. We are having pizza and a couple of cupcakes. This method keeps me on target because I have a treat to look forward to, and I am told it also shocks my metabolism into gear again.
And exercise?'s so important. In fact, my asthma doctor told me that even if I didn't diet, that I should get about a half hour of exercise in each day. Well.....I have surely fallen short of that. Some days I just can't make myself do that walking or get on that bike, but I have noticed that as the weight has come off,  29 lbs to date, I am generally more active. I am trying new things! For example, I actually went kayaking with the family yesterday. It was so much fun! Talk about an arm/shoulder workout!  We have been searching out places to walk and bike as a family too.

I'm excited for the future. I know there will be challenges ahead, but I have more confidence....and I will need it. In August, I start a new job (Yikes)!  I am a little nervous, but I am excited at that same time. Looking forward to what lies ahead. Pressing on!