Three Days In

Today is day three of my new “Stop Acting Like Treats Are Part of My Daily Diet” program and so far it’s working out pretty well.

It’s amazing how insidious the little treats were, they managed to creep in, little bites throughout the day – a small snack in the morning between breakfast and lunch, one in the afternoon (but it’s just a latte – I’m drinking it! Oh, and some popcorn – popcorn’s like nothing, right?), and a little something sweet after dinner, hardly anything really…

They really add up. Even if they don’t seem like much of anything individually, by the end of the day I was consuming almost 1/3 more than I should have been for the whole day!

And it’s not like I have to completely eliminate eating at those times, I just need to replace the junk things I was eating with supportive foods like fruits or veggies. Easy enough, and half the time when I contemplate the available options I find I’m not actually really and truly hungry – I just wanted a treat. Hmm. NO!

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Forgive me, body, for I have sinned

I made the mistake of letting treats turn into habits.

I discovered yesterday as I switched out my summer clothes for my winter clothes in my closet that my winter clothes don’t…quite…fit…right.

DAMMIT! Time for a ruthless, honest review of my eating.

And I looked at my habits over the last several weeks and months and I realized that I had let 500-600 calories per day of treats creep into my routine. PER DAY. That is ridiculous! I had let little treats throughout my work day, small indulgences I was allowing myself to distract from the unpleasantness of my workday, to harden into daily habits. So now, if I cut those 500 calories per day and do nothing else to change anything, I should drop some pounds (slowly) without too much effort. Which I’ve started doing as of this morning. If I add in some additional exercise, then maybe I can do more.

My goal is to lose 10 pounds by January 5th. That’s 11 weeks away, so I’ll need to stay on target, which could be a real challenge with the holidays coming right at us. I’ll be tracking my input by journaling, and working harder on getting exercise into my day via running, hitting the gym, riding my bike to work, and walking more.

One of the things I’m noticing over the last few years is that it is extremely easy to get sidetracked from my exercise program due to physical issues as I age. I planned to hit the HIIT yesterday afternoon and do some windsprints at my local park. Except that before breakfast yesterday I was walloped with a monster migraine that didn’t let up for 24 hours. The only thing I can do, as I age and encounter physical limitations and issues, is to stay on track with my eating plans when my exercise plans get blown away. That’s hard to do because the “glue” that holds my weight management mindset together is oftentimes the mental focus that comes from exercise. Staying on track without it takes some extra discipline, planning, and grit.

I’ll try just about anything…once

As I mentioned a while back, I’d been trying the 5/2 program for a couple of months. I really liked many aspects of it: I liked the mindfulness of the fasting days, I liked the ability to eat more freely on the non-fasting days, I liked that I lost a few pounds even without exercising. Granted, there may have been some other factors to consider in those pounds I dropped: My stress levels had dropped due to being on a leave from work for the month of September. I’d recently started a regimen of Topomax nightly for prevention of migraines, which is a drug that frequently has a side effect of minor weight loss. But, all that aside, I felt like the 5/2 program was something that was a net positive overall.

I’ve stopped doing it anyway though, and I’ll tell you why. I recently took a look at my migraine log (which I have to keep for my doctor, as when you are on a medication regimen to prevent them they like to have an idea of whether or not it’s working) and found that the one or two migraines I’ve been getting per week lately have been falling on Tuesdays or Thursdays almost exclusively.

The Topomax I take nightly to prevent migraines dropped the headaches from 5-7 a week to 1-2 a week, but the 1-2 I was getting each week were almost exactly correlating to the fasting days. Hmmm…thought I. Perhaps I should not be participating in an eating program that appears to also be functioning in my life as a migraine trigger. So that’s that. Now I can look forward to other, completely random triggers for my migraines!

Off I go to continue using my body as a kamikaze experiment in nutrition and dietary behavior..!

Getting going after a break in routine

I’ve starting running again after about, oh, 4 months off. What with vacation to Iceland and Greenland, my work and medical leave odyssey, etc it just slipped off the priority list. I’m taking it slowly. I’ve got a 2 mile route I’m doing, takes me about a half hour. My strategy is to NOT burn myself out on running, so I’m NOT going to up my distance drastically and make running seem like this huge chore that takes enormous amounts of time and that if I don’t have an hour and a half to two hours to devote to it isn’t worth doing (which is where I was when I stopped doing it in late June). I’m making it a “quick 30 minutes – I can just pop out and be back before dinner is ready” kind of activity and hoping that makes it less onerous and so far it’s working. Then I do some pushups and situps.

Because the best kind of exercise is the exercise you ACTUALLY DO. I had to remember that, apparently. I’ve done it 6 out of the last 9 days now, the soreness has passed and the distance is getting easy again.