Health Update: 01/10/14

Last week I ranted about my struggles with losing weight and exhibited a poor attitude. I now have a game plan, so I’m feeling slightly more positive. Let’s see how long that lasts. I’ve decided to title these updates as “health updates” as a vote of confidence that I will, eventually, lose the weight and work on other health related goals.

I am down a pound. Yay!

01/10  304!

01/03  305 (I know I said 306 last week, but there is a pound difference between the scale at work and my scale at home. I decided to track by my home scale).

I used last week to monitor my eating: when was I hungry or thinking of food? How much did I want? Would tracking calories help? How about portions? What are my struggles and temptations?

Whoa, did I learn some things. I learned that I want food all the time and I graze all day long and I have proclivity to starches and a menacing sweet tooth. Most importantly I learned what will not work for me: counting calories.

In 2012 I began losing weight. I wasn’t a vegetarian and I bought “healthy” convenience food. It was so easy to scan the barcode on my packaged granola bar, container of yogurt, and pack of nuts. So easy. “Bleep!” and into the system they went. I also use artificial sweeteners which scares the bejeebus out of me now. Everything was neat and tidy.

Now I’m working with making things from scratch, I’ve shunned light, non-fat, and items with artificial sweetener. I bake and cook a whole lot. Tracking calories is a fucking nightmare. I either end up entering the entire recipe in and then trying to decide if the chili that serves 8-10 people at 210 calories a pop is made of one cup servings or two cup servings. Or I have to reenter my recipe and get the new calories every time I make substitutions or additions. Add onto this the stress of dining with a toddler and baby and knowing I only 15 minutes or so to eat before I’m cleaning spaghetti off the wall. Then there are all the times I eat and forget to track the calories; the last three animal crackers on Atticus’s plate, a bite of pasta while cooking, chocolate chip scone dough, and “just a bite” of whatever snack Sam is enjoying can really add up.

I’ve been thinking and researching and I think I’ve discovered a way to eat reasonably and lose weight. I’m going to follow “rules.” There are three rules and I have to obey all three rules for this to work:

  1. Eat on a schedule. That’s right. I’ve taken into account my schedule and at the time prescribed I’ll eat something. This means that if I get to work at 8am and there’s vegan pumpkin muffins in the break room I cannot indulge until my 8:30 snack and then I cannot go back until next time. I decided this would work after eating a granola bar, eating a chocolate candy while I brewed coffee, eating an entire German chocolate bar when I returned to my desk and then getting up to get a bag of pretzels within the span of an hour. I’ve worked out a schedule and I’m going to try it out starting tomorrow.
  2. Vegan before 6pm. This means no milk chocolate in the breakroom, random cakes, cheese, eggs…. I will be totally plant-based until 6pm. Now if I really want a piece of chocolate I can save it until 6, but this eliminates filling up my diet with dairy.
  3. Take pictures of my food. I’ve created a Tumblr account, which I don’t want to share quite yet. I’m post pictures of everything that enters my mouth in the space of a day. I’m also taking a weekly picture of my face just to see if I can track any differences. (I am so not putting body pics on the internet).

Next week I may introduce you to the Tumblr account and we’ll see if I notice any differences. I want to avoid counting calories, but I have to harness the binge eating with controlling when I eat, what I eat, and accountability.

Until next week, see-ya!

12 comments

  1. Whoa, good for you! These sound like great ideas. I’ve been trying to lose weight since the start of year, too (like a million other people I’m sure!), but the thing that works best for me is actually counting calories. I use myfitnesspal to journal my day, and if the numbers fall into the right columns at the end of the day, I’m golden! To each his own, I guess. ;)

    Anyway, best of luck! We can do this.

    1. I love MyFitnessPal. It worked really great for me in the beginning. Now that I’m cooking more and subbing in vegetarian/vegan items it takes too long for me to use. I still log in my weight there! Look for me, I’m nerdybookgirl.

      1. Will do! If you get a request from marchthesecond, that’s me. :)

        It definitely is clunky to use if you’re putting in recipes, 100% agreed. Sounds like you’re off to a great start though!

  2. These all sound like great ideas. I really like the idea of taking a picture of everything you eat. Not only will you see how much you eat, but WHAT you eat. I may have to adopt that one, since I really need to learn to eat healthier myself and (now that I’ve removed wheat from my diet) to remind myself of what I can eat. Somedays it feels like there is nothing!

    I am so proud of you.

    1. Awww… thanks Heather. I think the picture taking is working. I almost grabbed pretzels from the table in the break room. I wasn’t hungry (just bored). I realized that 1) it wasn’t time to eat and 2) I didn’t really want to take a picture of just pretzels when I was going to be eating an actual meal in just 30 minutes. yay! Off to a good start!

  3. Am on a post-Christmas diet myself but I’m nowhere near as organised or disciplined as you! I’m doing 5:2 Fast Diet. I did my first day of fasting Tuesday – it went fine! Wednesday on the eat normal day I had a Chinese and three pints of Guinness! Not going well is an understatement!!!! Think I will take a leaf from your book and get myself organised for next week! Good luck with it!

    1. I have been trying to lose weight since I was 13 (20 years!) and I just figure I’ll keep trying something until it clicks. I would die if I had to fast (well, and I’m still nursing the baby so that wouldn’t be good).

  4. *hugs* I hope this works for you!

    I’m having some hypoglycemia issues at the moment, and for some strange reason I never, ever get hungry. Usually, I would just eat when I felt hungry, which is every 3-4 hours (I’m a bit like a hobbit that way), but I’ll still feel full, look at the clock and realise it’s been 6 hours since I’ve eaten, and then suddenly have a low blood sugar attack two minutes later. The only way to avoid it is to feed myself regularly. It’s *incredibly* frustrating to have to put myself on a schedule/consciously monitor/plan a day’s eating, and that’s without calorie counting, so I’m in awe of your willingness to put in so much energy in this.

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