Blitz Wrap-Up!

Today is the last day of my Blitz! I’m feeling pretty good about my efforts! I was out of the box maybe twice, once was for some saltines due to a late-night tummy ache (due to taking a Tramadol, due to my shoulder) and once was a bite of scone at the Armistice Day Tea.

I don’t get on the scale anymore, but I’m feeling leaner and lighter. If I had to I’d guess I lost 5-8 pounds in these 3 weeks. But who cares? Scales aren’t for me anymore. I think I will recommence with the Healthy Solutions program when I get back from my Thanksgiving vacation, on a somewhat limited scale (I’ll allow myself to enjoy the holiday parties I’ve already planned to attend). I feel better both mentally and physically when I’m being proactive about my diet regimen.

Right now I’m really looking forward to tomorrow morning, because my Blitz-Buddy Allie sent me this recipe for HMR In The Box Pancakes! And I picked up some zero-calorie syrup to pour over them. I love pancakes! And now I can eat them without regrets and recriminations!

And in somewhat random-but-interesting reading, here’s an article about why sports bras are so terrible. I found this to be interesting reading, for anybody who works out and also has breasts!

And finally, I found today to be a good time to re-read my article on Holiday Feast Strategies. With Thanksgiving bearing down upon us, bone up on strategies for dealing with all the rampant food about to be thrust into your face. And definitely drop me a comment if you have some I didn’t list!


Blitz Be Workin’

Two weeks and a day of blitzing and I’ve got my waist measurement back where I like it, which means I’ve dropped about an inch or inch and a half from my waist in this blitzing experiment.

*does a little happy dance*

It’s a small amount, that you wouldn’t notice if you looked at me, but it makes my jeans fit better and for that I am pleased.

Not so pleased with the migraine I’m having today. Upside: First once I’ve had since week 1. So that’s good.  Downside: I’d intended to go for a run this afternoon for exercise. Unlikely now. Boo.

Avoiding Decision Fatigue

Had a strong start yesterday. Actually I hesitate to call it that – I had a day just like every other Blitz day yesterday: I stayed in the box, did my exercise, kept my journal, planned ahead for today.

Planning ahead is the important part. It is completely impossible to execute on a diet plan if you don’t have a plan.

I’ve been hoping to quantify in some way why I’m good at this diet/exercise stuff, and sometime I throw my hands up and think, I don’t know why I’m good at it. But when it comes down to it, I’m good at it because I make a plan and then I execute it. I consider the plan to be a promise or contract I’ve made with myself, and I of all people should not disappoint me! So I execute it because I said to myself that I would.

I think that so many years of diet/exercise planning and executing has bled over into my Regular Life ™ and made me really good at time management too. Making a plan and sticking to it is something I do now as a matter of course for my health, so I have no problem planning and executing other sorts of tasks, such as a sewing project or a work deliverable. I know that to have something worth having I need to plan for it, and that often that involves long-term goals that need to be worked on a little bit every day. Since I’m already in the habit of working on my long-term health goals every day, it’s easy for me to see how and where I need to take small steps to build a big deliverable in other areas.

The smallest steps every day are simply the food I’m going to be eating and when. I’m very much a creature of habit. I eat my meals at the same time every day, and generally I eat the same things every time. I eat at 7:30am, 10:30am, noon, 3pm, and 6:30ish every day. I know that I can’t push those out much because I may get a migraine if I go too long without eating (extra motivation!). I also know that if I don’t exercise vigorously in the morning I may be hungrier throughout the day (did you know that? exercise is an appetite suppressant for many people!). So I do these things mostly because I made a plan, but also partly because if I don’t I can see immediate, unpleasant consequences.

I think of my diet and exercise plan as a template for my day, and it cuts down on choices I need to make. Decision fatigue is a real thing, yo, and making a plan (that I know meets my health goals) and following it frees my mind up for more pressing decisions and gives me confidence that as long as I am following my plan, I can rest easy that I am meeting my goals. Therefore I can spend my energy on more important decisions – this helps me be a better employee, friend, partner, and citizen!

Does making a plan and/or establishing a routine schedule help you?

Blitz Week 2 Is a Wrap

Today my sweetie and I went to an Armistice Day Tea, for which we dressed in 1930s-era clothing. My Blitzing Buddy Allie joined us, and made some HMR-compatible treats so us Blitzers could eat too. I tell you, the food all looked amazing, but having our “safe” options really saved the day for me. I had a single bite of a scone, just one, and it was tasty but I wasn’t willing to go any further. So I stuck to my safe foods for the rest of the tea. I still came out at 1585 calories for today, the highest total yet since I started the Blitz, but still below my Base Metabolic Rate, so no worries there.

Tonight marks the end of my 2nd week of blitzing. Last week I’d been a little unimpressed with my Physical Activity total so this week I upped my game, and I’m much happier with my numbers this week. Totals for the week: 22 shakes (I had an extra today – more is better they say!), 14 entrees, 51 fruits/veggies and 3,186 calories burned in physical activity.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t do scales anymore. But, this weekend I think I may have possibly thought that I looked a little leaner than I did before I started. Maybe. So that’s good. I definitely feel more in control and like I’m making positive, supportive choices. The mental tune-up is sometimes as good as the physical, to me!

As I’m going into the last week of the Blitz I plan to stay strong throughout the final days of the challenge. Go Team!

Blitzing, and a Study on Childhood Obesity

I’m really having no trouble whatsoever staying on target (or “in the box” to use their terminology) with this HMR Blitz! It helps that I have very considerate friends who make socializing easy for me by offering supportive food options for me. That is the greatest.

I’ve been doing my workout DVD every morning. The last two days I haven’t been able to go out for a walk in the evening but I’m going to do that today!

This article caught my eye a couple of days ago, somebody posted it on Facebook, although it’s not particularly new news, I hadn’t seen it before:

Kids with Strict Parents Are More Likely To Be Obese

“Kids with demanding parents who are rigid about rules, stingy with affection and won’t discuss limits are far more likely to be obese than children whose parents practice a more balanced parenting style…”

“Canadian scientists found that obesity rates were about one-third higher in children up to age 11 whose parents used a so-called ‘authoritarian’ parenting style, marked by inflexibility over rules and a lack of emotional responsiveness”

First thing I have to say is wow, who thinks these studies up? It’s fantastic we have this insight, but who sat down and wrote a proposal to study parenting style effect on obesity?

And the second thing is that my personal experience absolutely confirms the findings in this study.

I’ve historically struggled with addressing childhood obesity on this blog for a couple of reasons, one is that I don’t have children myself and, wow, is talking about parenting a dangerous, landmine-laden topic! The second reason is because I was a fat kid from the day I was born. I was a chubby baby, and then as I got older I was mocked and bullied mercilessly (by strangers, acquaintances, and family alike) for it and that only made it worse. But that was when being the “fat kid” was an outlyer! Now it’s becoming more and more common and kids now are obviously dealing with environmental factors contributing to it that I don’t know existed when I was a kid. Short answer, I really don’t know enough to spout off on childhood obesity. All I know is that it’s heartbreaking and baffling and my heart weeps for kids who are dealing with it because I know just how hard it can be to live in that body and be judged by it constantly.

But, all that being said, the article and study authors seem to think there are some basic parenting strategies and behaviors that can help:

“It appears that parents who are more engaged in discussing eating and physical activity behaviors with children — where the child has the ability to participate in making decisions for the family as well as themselves — seems to be the style that has the best impact.”

This makes sense to me. I wonder if I’d have turned out different in a different environment. File that under “things we’ll never know.”

Day Whatever: We Need to Talk About Okra

Blitzing right along, no issues.

I cooked again tonight (I know! What’s gotten into me!), I made okra, with the same sauce that I made for the green beans on Monday night. I cooked them whole, in a big frying pan with a spritz of PAM, 3 spoonfuls of crushed garlic (I buy it pre-crushed in a jar, so convenient!), mixed with several squirts of sriracha, a few drops of water to steam, and after cooking covered long enough to soften them, throw in a good dose of soy sauce then let that thicken and turn off the fire and eat.

Guys, it was so delicious. Also, stop saying okra is slimy. I’ve made okra many times, in many different ways, and it’s never been slimy. I’ve had it in gumbo, too, and it was just soup – not particularly slimy. So I’m kind of dumbfounded as to why I almost always get a polite rejection when I mention okra and mumbles about sliminess. It’s delicious, and maybe I’m just good or lucky, but it’s not slimy when I cook it. There are ways if you are willing!

Also…a cup of okra is 30 calories. That’s ridiculous! You could eat two heaping cups of this amazingly delicious, nutrition-packed vegetable, or for the same calories you could have a single graham cracker. I know which would fill me up and fuel me better.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you don’t have some sort of of childhood trauma associated with the vegetable, because you grew up in, say, California, so you’ve never really had it, give it a shot. If you’ve never tried it but have heard bad things, well, find out for yourself.  It’s good eating!

Blitzing Dinner Party

Today I had new things!

My friend Allie, who inspired me to do the Blitz, came over and we went for a walk then made dinner together – she made a fancy pants entree: Thai-Inspired Spicy Peanut Chicken. I’ve never enjoyed the Savory Chicken HMR entree because it’s one of the most bland meals they have, but this was fantastic! I’ll have to get some so I can make it for my husband.

And I made roasted shishito peppers for her to try, and she liked them! Everybody wins!

I also downloaded the HMR app, which I am evaluating for my purposes. Upside: It already has all the Healthy Solutions shakes/bars/entrees and fruits/veggies data points programmed in. Downside: Doesn’t track calories. Somewhere along the years since I “graduated,” HMR stopped requiring people to count and track them, I guess? This doesn’t really work for me, I like to have the solid data at my fingertips, and that includes tracking calories. So I’d still have to enter everything again into the MyFitnessPal app if I wanted to know the calorie total each day. Or maybe there’s a way in the HMR app and I just haven’t spent enough time with it yet to figure it out? Not sure what to do here, since neither app appears to be a perfect solution to my needs as it stands now. Screw it, I should just go back to pen and paper. That always worked perfectly for me.

Today: 3 shakes, 2 entrees, 9 fruits/veggies, total calories: ~1450. Minus the 670 I burned in physical activity. Looking good!