Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to Basics: Good Health Guidelines

The theme for last week's Back To Basics challenge was Good Health Guidelines (GHG's).

Also known as the week I snapped. Again.

You may be wondering what exactly are GHG's. In a nutshell, they're the tools that help you maintain a healthy person. You can stay in calories/Points Plus by eating chicken nuggets, cookies, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. However, you won't be healthy or have the tools to maintain a healthy weight.

There are eight GHG's:

1) Fruits and vegetables
2) Lean Protein
3) Non-Fat/Low-Fat dairy
4) Whole Grains
5) Liquids
6) Healthy Oils
7) Multivitamin
8) Limit sodium, sugar, and alcohol

There were two challenges:

1) To find the GHG that was the most difficult to get in and make a goal to hit it 3-4 times
2) Create a meal that knocks out 3-4 GHG's.

I realized the hardest GHG for me would be the vitamin. However, I totally forgot to get a multivitamin on my travels this week. Oops...

As for the meals, this was where I snapped and pretty much lived off of chicken and salad. I was in a week of fear, since I'm so close to goal, and a feeling of fear came over me that I would gain all my weight back. I know I won't, and I worked through that moment, but it just proved that if I stay stressed about it all the time, then I WILL lose control again. So, when I do hit goal, I will still control myself, but not to a point where I lose my mind!

I did manage to limit the sodium last week though, which is a beautiful thing. I don't drink alcohol very often anyway, and my sugar intake has decreased dramatically since I put "Treat-End" in place. I drink about 90-100 oz. of water a day, so that was easy. I only drink fat-free milk anymore, and use low-fat creamer in my morning coffee. As for the whole grain, I eat a lot of that anyway, so that was no problem as well.

Yes, on the outside, last week may have seemed like a fail, and I felt like it was at first. However, I learned that I can't go through maintenance and be a nazi about everything all the time. Otherwise, I will eventually lose control, go back to my old ways, and see 100+ pounds come back. Yes, I will still maintain a healthy diet and exercise, but I will still have a treat once in awhile.

Hope you all have a good rest of the week!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to Basics: Tracking

Hello, cats and kittens! Another Monday, which means the usual "back to work" blahs. However, I have my awesome cardio kickboxing class tonight! Before that though, here's how my last week on Back to Basics went.

Brooke's challenge for us this week was tracking. This was my week to rock it for sure because my main goal for the month is tracking everything. Going into the week, I was perfect for the month. I had tracked every meal, snack, sip of green tea at work, and workout. As a result, I was consistently under my 1610 calorie target every day, and had lost two pounds the first week of the challenge!

This week had four challenges:

1) Track the good, bad, and the ugly.
2) Set a goal to track more than you are at the moment.
3) Find a new way to track if the current way isn't working.
4) Track those bites, licks, and tastes! They add up!

I'm not on a set program (i.e. Weight Watchers), so I use an app on my iPod/phone called MyFitnessPal. It saves foods you eat frequently, lets you save meals, and even has a nifty barcode scanner to enter products. It also lets you adjust your numbers based on your goals (lose one pound, gain a half pound, maintain, etc). It's easy to use, and best of all, it's free! It's the app I've used the longest in my four year journey, and has worked the best, so I'm sticking with it.

This week was mostly great in terms of both my eating and workouts. I had soreness on Tuesday night, so I skipped my full spin class, and kept it to the half and core. I put together a solid hour in the gym versus two of crap. Don't worry, the rest of the week made up for it.

I cut out sweets during the week as part of this challenge, and felt awesome with that all week. I found that smaller portions of my favs (fro-yo and Italian ice) actually satisfied me MORE than larger ones. I think that this was what I needed for a long time. I was taking "moderation" to mean "once a day." No bueno.

However, one thing I did notice was that I tend to eat quite a bit of food at work. I usually go for half salads (most of which are under 300 calories, less than 500 if you include the bread). However, I eat a lot of cream based soup. Granted, it's all I eat for a meal, and it satisfies me, but I could do better. Hey, at least I'm not eating 800+ calorie sandwiches all the time, right? ;-)

For those of you who are wondering, I did splurge a little. I ate pizza on Saturday, because I was out doing laundry and the best pizza place in town was right next door. I capped my serving at two slices. I also ate fro-yo the same night, and even that was small. Craving satisfied, tracked, and moved on.

I weighed in on Saturday, and saw another pound gone! Two weeks of tracking and being part of the Back to Basics challenge led me to a three pound loss! Only two pounds to goal! So close!

This week's challenge is "Good Health Guidelines." I'm feeling strong going into week three!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back to Basics: Improving Spaces

My first week of the Back to Basics challenge rocked! I stayed on track with both no sweets Monday-Friday (Starbucks launched Pumpkin Spice on Tuesday, so I couldn't get it on launch day) and the tracking!

Brooke's challenge to us last week was basically improving our spaces to help us stay on track. She broke it up into three categories (home, kitchen, and work), with three or four challenges in each category, and told us to do two or three of them. 

Here's how it went for me:

Home Space

There were three challenges in this category:

1) Create a space to workout at home.
2) Place motivational quotes or pictures around to see daily.
3) Lay workout clothes out the night before.

I went with the third one in this category. I workout at the gym, and usually throw together my stuff right before I go. Last week, I worked early, and was planning on going to the gym right from work. So, I packed my bag before I went to bed that night. The next morning, I grabbed my duffell and went! So easy! Challenge one complete!

Kitchen Space

There were four challenges in this category:

1) Get rid of or hide trigger foods.
2) Place fruit and other plan friendly foods in a basket or bowl.
3) Put food scale and measuring cups on the counter.
4) Mark foods with Points Plus values.

I did a combination of the first and third ones. I work at Panera, and the closers get to take home a few bagels and pastries at the end of the night. Since I am no longer working at night, I don't get this privilege. Therefore, no bringing home jumbo chocolate chip cookies! This helps me with the no sweets during the week too! 

As for the tools, I have a food scale on my counter, and bought a new measuring cup since the granola I bought has a serving size of 1/3 cup. Strange. They both stay on my counter where I can easily see them and be reminded to use them!

Work Space

There were three challenges here:

1) Store healthy choices in or on your desk.
2) Set a reminder to get up and move.
3) Pack a healthy lunch and snacks.

This was a tricky category for me. I work in a restaurant, and get discounted meals when I work. I did make good choices though! I'm on my feet for most of the day, so I didn't need any movement reminders!

I think this challenge was something I needed, and it seemed to come at the right time! I did awesome last week, and hope that the momentum keeps going this week. The challenge for this week is tracking, which is one of my goals for the month!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back to Basics in September!

Hello, friends and readers! September has arrived, and with that comes back to school, cooler weather, and in the case of myself and many others, a return to basics!

The amazing Brooke of Brooke: Not on a Diet started this challenge, and I saw the link for it on Emily's Facebook page. Both women are at different stages in their own journeys, but have struggled lately as well. In fact, Brooke and Emily came up with this challenge together. After seeing the link on Emily's page, I signed up. I hit a mini-plateau over the last few weeks, and decided this was the push I needed.

The challenge is Weight Watchers centered (as both Brooke and Emily are WW members), but is also open to non-members as well, as the topics (tracking, exercising, etc.) are good for everyone to work on. The group is over 200 people strong, and it's amazing to see everyone rooting each other on!

Brooke asked us to write down a goal for ourselves and a reward for completing that goal during the challenge. I managed to come up with three (two originally, and adding a third in a few days ago):

1) Track everything! I have been slacking in this regard, and I want to be
    more mindful of what I eat.
2) No sweet treats during the week. I am putting "Treat-End" into place. No
    cookies, fro-yo, brownies, etc. Monday-Friday. I tend to eat something
    sweet once a day, and want to make the treats just that: treats.
3) FINALLY hit my goal of 100 pounds lost! I mean, it's been just over four
    years. I want to be an "After!"

My reward for the first two goals is buying myself season 1 of Perception on DVD. It's one of my fav shows, and I would love to rewatch from the beginning. As for my reward for hitting goal...still working on it!

Here's to getting Back to Basics and making goals happen in September!