I have this conundrum. I have the flexibility to work from home a LOT with my job. However, I eat better when I go into the office! I only live about a mile and half from the office, but it’s not the commute that stops me, it’s the having to get showered and dressed and made up and…of course, the makeup is optional where I work, but the showering and clothes are not.
So I always have the draw to stay home in my pajamas if I don’t have any meetings I need to attend in person, but I know that for lunch I’ll pretty much be stuck with a tuna sandwich. Whereas if I go into the office I can have a tasty salad with a wide variety of fresh ingredients that I’d never buy for the house. That’s one of the benefits of the salad bar at the office cafeteria – they can offer a wide variety of veggies in the salad bar that I don’t buy for the home because I can’t get through them before they go bad.
This post brought to you by my lunchtime tuna sandwich.
This morning’s weight: 185. Yesterday: 188. Day before: 187. (I’m going to keep posting these so that everyone can see what a normal fluctuation can look like.)
It’s fairly common fitness-world knowledge that it’s good to change up your exercise routine on a regular basis to continue challenging your body. Because when you do the same thing time after time your body adapts and becomes very efficient at doing that thing. Efficient = burns fewer calories to do it. Not what I want!
But I’m a creature of habit. I like routines. As a friend of mine says, I’ve never been in a rut that I couldn’t settle in and start decorating! I like my running routine, but I could really stand to build up my muscles, so instead of finding cardio to do besides running, I added in a weight lifting routine. It’s a routine that my fitness trainer pal Andrew designed for me years ago, and I pull it out and dust it off when I need something different. It’s made up of supersets of different weightlifting moves, requires equipment I already have on hand, and works pretty much all the major (and most of the minor) muscles of the body in about 30 minutes. I’ve been working those in on days I’m not running.
And then I made some slight changes to my running. Last Friday it was raining so instead of running I went to the gym and did 15 minutes on the stationary bike and 15 minutes on the elliptical. Today I went for a short run (about 2 miles total) but ran it at the fastest speed I could possibly maintain for the whole route. I’ve never run so fast for so long!
This morning’s weigh-in: 185.5
I was talking with some friends this weekend at a party, and they joked that on the days that I don’t feel I have anything interesting to post here, I could just post “Still doing it,” as a reminder that I work on maintaining my weight every single day and just because I haven’t posted today doesn’t mean I haven’t been following the healthy eating and exercising plan.
So: I’m still doing it, every day. Watching my intake and making sure I exercise to increase my caloric expenditure. This weekend I went to several parties and gatherings, and each time I followed my Bulletproof Party Plan:
- Eat before I go
- Show up late
- Leave early
- Keep a non-caloric beverage in my hand
- Only snack on veggies and fruit
Saturday evening I knew it was time to go when I found myself contemplating grabbing a handful of M&Ms off the food table. The first time I felt drawn that way I quickly reminded myself that it wasn’t part of the agreement I make with me about eating at parties. The second time I did the same, and the third time I stopped and examined it, and realized that I was getting these urges because I’d burned through all the willpower I had and it was time to leave. So I did.
All of this put my Monday-morning weigh-in exactly on target: 187.
Now that I’ve reached my goal weight, how has my daily routine and daily intake changed from early transition?
Not much, it turns out. Well, on most weekdays not much. I still aim to keep my calories around 1300-1400 each day. This is below what my Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) is for my age and weight (around 1625, if you’re curious) but I’ll tell you why: I know that there are times, particularly on the weekends, when my food environment gets more challenging. Instead of putting myself in a situation where I have to “work off” damage I’ve done over the weekend, I prefer to plan ahead by deficiting most of the week so that when I need to have some flexibility in my eating, I can. Also, this means that at the end of the day if I feel like having a glass of wine, I can.
The easiest way for me to accomplish this is to eat the same thing (or very similar things) every day. I have no problem with establishing a routine and sticking to it, boredom is less important to me than the certainty of knowing where I stand calorie-wise throughout the day. Most weekdays look like this:
- Breakfast 9am: Oatmeal with a little honey, ~200 calories
- Snack 11am: bar or shake, ~160 calories
- Lunch 1pm: Salad with a little lean protein and lots of veggies, ~200
- Snack 3pm: piece of fruit and 8 oz of non-fat milk, ~160
- Dinner 6pm: 4-6 oz lean protein, lots of steamed/baked/raw veggies, ~350
- Snack 8pm: piece of fruit, and/or some yogurt or homemade chocolate pudding with splenda, ~160
That comes in around 1250, give or take a few. I can vary things a little either direction and not do any real damage during the week. I can add in a glass of wine or even a cocktail with dinner if I want without too much trouble, either.
On the weekends I can be a little more relaxed and flexible, and since my weeks are very structured and I’m running a deficit I don’t do too much damage with the occasional indulgence.
This is working for me right now.
I had a really fun weekend full of non-stop eating opportunities! Friday night my husband and I went to the restaurant of a friend of ours, who is an amazing charcutier. That means there weren’t a lot of veggie options, and honestly that’s not her forte anyway, so I went for it and ordered the lamb shanks, and also split a charcuterie plate with my husband. I ate about a quarter of the lamb dish and had the rest boxed up.
My stomach has shrunk over the last 6 months as I’ve been losing weight, and I’m going to protect that as long as I can. When I eat now I focus on being mindful about how much food I eat, and how full I’m getting. I aim to stop eating when I’m satisfied, not full. I don’t need to be completely full to feel satisfied, particularly if I’m eating high-density foods like lamb or sausage, so I have been having a lot of restaurant meals boxed up lately. I don’t know if my stomach has physically shrunk, or if my sense of portion sizes has just adjusted down, or what is exactly going on, but I know that I am able to be happy eating smaller portions than ever before in my life, and I’m doing what I can to keep that going as long as I can!
Saturday we had TWO parties to attend (after a morning run), starting with a birthday celebration at a seafood restaurant. I have a default when I’m at a seafood restaurant. Yes, going with a baked, poached, or broiled fillet of fish will work fine, particularly if I can replace whatever starch usually comes with it with extra steamed veggies, but that’s not my default order at a fancy fish place. I almost always order cioppino. It’s a very tasty, low-calorie option!
After the birthday party we headed to a house party, where staying on target was relatively easy, for two reasons: 1) I wasn’t drinking at all because I’ve recently had a spate of migraines and cutting out alcohol reduces the obvious triggers and 2) the party was laid out on two floors, and the food was only on the second floor – it was really easy to avoid the snack table. Perfect! Here’s a pic of the outfit I whipped up by putting together a dress I love love love but often feels too short for my comfort (hence it doesn’t get worn often enough), paired with my $7 thrift shop jeans.
Sunday was yet another birthday party. And it was a food-focused one – my friend Andrew makes an amazing spread of Russian food when he throws a party, and Sunday was no different. I was very careful about my choices, but was able to easily limit my calories by sticking to vegetarian Borscht, grilled marinated mushrooms (I ate a LOT of mushrooms!), and marinated cucumbers. And I split a small piece of birthday cake with my husband, because I’m not a total killjoy!
Overall I’m very pleased with my successful navigation of the weekend food challenges!
I’m down another pound this week, making this round’s total 47. I’m still sad that I had to do this again at all, but at some point in maintaining a significant weight loss a readjustment is likely to become necessary. I didn’t think, when I was 5 or 8 years in that it ever would, I was sure I was completely on top of my weight forever and ever. Then I spent a year going through chemically-induced depression. But I fought back, and here I am. Here’s a picture of me last week going out with my husband on Valentine’s Day to see our favorite band, The Red Elvises!
We have a new instructor for our class, tonight was the first night I’ve encountered him as last week I stayed home with a migraine. In an attempt to establish his cred he informed us that he’d lost 70 pounds and kept it off for 3 whole years! I’m sure you know what I thought.
Allow me my moment, I’ll get it out of my system soon. Anyway, he proceeded to spend the entire hour adding absolutely zero value to my life in any way, shape, or form. And doing it in an extremely slow and laborious fashion, filled with specious half-truths and typical diet industry BS. I may be done going to the classes now. I know several of you are doing Optifast now, but my experience with the program has been that it is a very poor, extremely weak program that teaches little of the skills one will need for a lifetime of maintaining a weight loss. I wish I felt differently because I very much wanted it to be a valuable program. Especially considering how much I paid for it. *grump*
Last night my husband and I wanted to see people and get out of the house, so we organized a last-minute impromptu dinner with friends at a restaurant we like. I knew I’d be taking a hit, I knew I’d probably bounce up a couple-three-four pounds on the scale today for my extravagances, but I was willing to take the short-term gain – it was a worthwhile trade for me for an evening of enjoyment, and I had a mitigation plan before I left the house.
Enjoy myself I did, too. I had 2 fruity cocktails to start, I had several pieces of bread from the breadbasket, a glass of prosecco. I ordered blackened fish for my dinner which was a good choice, and no dessert, but I still expected Repercussions this morning, and planned to go for a run as part of my mitigation effort.
Down 2.5 pounds this morning to a new low. My body is trolling me. This is my body trying to trick me into thinking I can do this anytime. I won’t let it fool me. I’m still going for a run this morning. Time to go lace up my shoes.