Monday morning, I was pleased to step on the scale and realize I'd finally hit the 25 pound mark since beginning to try to get my weight back in check. I started the day after Thanksgiving, which means it took a little over 5 months…it's been sloooow. But it's a loss and I'm finding that the more stable my health and energy levels are, the more consistently I'm beginning to lose
Here's what's working for me right now.
* Walking – just walking. And not really that far or for that long. I'm up to about a half an hour a day (although I am a pretty speedy walker), five to six days a week. I'll start bumping that up a little bit more next week, but not by much. Right now, my schedule won't really allow for more but I also don't want to burn myself out or cause an injury. If I can get to the gym, I do 30 minutes on the treadmill (3.5 to 4 miles an hour) and a few of the weight machines. Yesterday, I actually ran for two and a half of those minutes, but I think that might have been a bit too much.
*Tracking – I know I always do better when I track what I'm eating, but I also make sure I'm not obsessing over what I'm eating. I'm using Livestrong.com to track my food…although I really don't pay attention to the calories or other stuff. It's more so I can see what I've eaten and make sure I'm drinking plenty of water.
*Real Food - There's very little processed or premade food in our house, unless it's something I've made on one of my baking days or is a rather basic ingredient like chocolate chips. We're not eating out very much either and when we do, I keep finding myself disappointed. Breakfast is usually a green smoothie or cottage cheese and an apple, lunch is usually a salad with leftover meat from the night before's dinner or something like a black bean quesadilla on corn tortillas and dinner – well, you can see what we've been eating for dinner for the last few months here. I eat several snacks a day like almonds, grapes or a few Triscuits and cheese (Triscuits being one of the few processed foods I really enjoy).
*Green Smoothies – I'm pretty convinced my breakfast green smoothies are vital. Weeks that I have one daily, I lose more regularly. I'm wondering if it's the 2-3 teaspoons of coconut oil I put in it each day or maybe all the greens. Regardless, I have no intentions of stopping!
*No Flour, No Sugar – within reason (should probably add that in there). I know that refined flour and sugar both cause me joint pain, fatigue and headaches. And I'm finding if I do eat very much of anything with flour (as in, say, several pieces of pizza or a big pasta dinner), I break out in a faint rash around and inside my mouth. I think I need to do a little research into wheat intolerances and talk to my doctor abou t it at my check up later this month. I'm certainly not 100% off either, but they're definitely easier to resist when I see the side-effects they tend to leave me with.
*No Fake Stuff – the more I read about all sugar replacements (Splenda, Sweet&Low, etc.), the less comfortable I am consuming any of them. More natural sugars (dates, honey, sucanat) seem to be better for me. And most of what they replace fat with when they take it out is far worse for you than that fat would have been. I'm don't eat anything low fat or fat free. I eat full fat cheeses, milk and even use cream if I'm having coffee. I'm eating whole foods - simple foods – and really feeling great.
* Don't Deny – if I really want a sweet, I don't deny myself. I'd rather have one or two small chocolate chip cookies today than deny and let the desire build up for a week. I enjoy sweets. Okay, I really enjoy sweets, and that whole "wait 10 minutes and the craving will pass" thing…it doesn't work for me. And you know what, I want to enjoy myself once in a while and I want to teach my kids that reasonable indulgences aren't a bad thing. To tell you the truth, though…I have sweet cravings maybe twice a week now and they're not all that overwhelming. A small bowl of pudding, a cookie, a few chocolate chips – a few bites and I'm good.