The Ups and Downs of My Food Plan

Are you up?
Are you down?
Are you still trying to figure it all out.

With your food, I mean–what to eat, what not to eat.  That’s not all bad.

Some days I feel like I am a walking science experiment, as I try to find new ways to eat right and lose weight.  It’s not all bad, though, because in experimenting with foods I am trying new foods, enjoying different foods, and planning various food combinations that I never would have tried before.  In the process, I am beginning to learn how to hear my body speak to me.

This is what I have recently discovered from the experiment:

–I need protein to stave off hunger each day.  I try to eat more plant protein and less animal protein, but I know I need protein in some form at every meal.

–Nuts and berries definitely make for a stronger breakfast combo with my baked oatmeal than nuts alone.  Raspberries taste incredibly sweet to me these days, and almonds and oats have become my mainstay for breakfast fiber, but I have learned to use a discerning eye when portioning out nut meats.  Did you know that only a quarter cup of walnuts contains 200 calories?  Ouch! I’ve learned to go light on the nuts, so extra pounds don’t show up on the scale.

–Suppers, where veggies are queen, make for a better night’s sleep.

–Grains are for morning consumption.  Too many grains at my evening meal result in worse sleep patterns and weight gain/water retention.  I don’t know why.

–Eating out is very hard to do when you’re trying to lose weight.

What kind of discoveries are you making as you continue on your weight loss journey?  I’d love to hear some chatter about exercise, too.  Do tell–what are you doing this summer to stay active and fit?

 

 

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Get the Picture?

Lori now and then

Me, now, and when I will have hit my goal weight.

Interesting!

It’s fun to have a visual of what it will look like when we get where we are going.  I’ve still got a ways to go, but day by day, decision by decision, with the help of others, I’m getting there.

Here is a copy of what I looked like at the very beginning of my adventure:

Lori 315

As you can see, I’ve come a long way already–over 100 lbs lost. Yay!

I’m encouraged by this simulated image of the thinner, healthier me.  It’s fun to peek into the future, especially on those days when I feel like I’m the biggest thing on the planet.  Today is one of THOSE days, so looking at this comparison was a blessing.

I found this tool at http://www.modelmydiet.com/

I think everyone ought to use this fun model making option for encouraging their weight loss at least once.

 

Perspective is Everything!

that's me in our side yard June 14, 2014

that’s me in our side yard June 14, 2014

Some days I feel like I still have a whole ‘nother person to lose to get to my goal weight.  I don’t, but some days it feels that way.  Then I see pictures that tell the real tale of how much I’ve been able to change everything in my life by losing 100 lbs.

Perspective is everything.

I’m a lucky girl. I have a handsome husband who eats whatever I put in front of him, regardless of the number of seeds, berries, grains, or salads I serve. I have a family that supports my efforts to get well. I have a body that is 100 lbs lighter than at the beginning of this journey, and I have a God who keeps directing, keeps loving, keeps encouraging me, and keeps unveiling the impossible for me, even on those days when I feel stymied.

Perspective is everything.

What’s next? I don’t know, but for today I am eating better, weighing myself every day, reporting my food to a friend every day, learning all I can about eating right and exercising, attacking diabetes with all I’ve got, finding recovery as I go, and making friends along the way who support and encourage this healthy lifestyle I have adopted. What a blessing!  I count those blessings every time I am reminded of where this all started and the ground that has been won.

Perspective is everything.

Never, did I think I would find a way to lose the weight, keep it off, and live happily while eating the way I am eating at this time. Never did I imagine that a time would come when I would crave salads. Never did I dare to imagine I could lose 100 lbs and keep losing even beyond that unimaginable goal. If I can do it, anyone can. The change came for me when HOPE took up residence in my heart and I began to change the way I thought about food and what I did with it.

Perspective is everything.

Last night at my meeting we talked about food fears and the consequence of excess weight.  I shared that I can’t imagine having to carry around that extra 100 lbs at this point in my life.  I truly think I would be in a wheel chair by now if I hadn’t lost that weight.  I can’t imagine climbing stairs 100 lbs heavier.  I can’t imagine buying clothes 100 lbs heavier.  I can’t imagine bending over and getting back up again after playing a game on the floor with the kiddos at a weight that is 100 lbs heavier than my current weight. I can’t imagine what my A1C numbers would be, or how much insulin I would be taking, or the dosage of acid reducers I would be on, or what the expense of my health care would be with that 100 lbs still on my 5′ 11″ frame.  I can’t imagine, but carrying a 12 pack of soda around the grocery store to refresh my memory gives me a little glimmer of what it would be like.

Perspective is everything!

Change is possible.  You CAN do it!  Why not start today?

How has your perspective on life in general and food in particular changed since you started reducing your body size and the number on that label inside your jeans?  What was your biggest challenge when trying to change your perspective? How did HOPE figure into what you were able to do?

Father’s Day Weekend & MRI Results

000birthay cakeWe had a birthday celebration for a three-year-old at my house this week. Twenty plus folks ate hot dogs and sloppy joes, macaroni salad, a fresh veggie platter and fruit kabobs. We had cake for dessert, but also more fruit and plenty of iced unsweetened tea and pink lemonade, the babe’s favorite. The party kinda eclipsed Father’s Day, so I’m thinking I will need to plan a do-over for Father’s Day for hubs this coming weekend. We’ll see how that plays out.

It was good to get everyone together for the day on Saturday, but I was deeply disappointed in the weather man who told us it was going to be sunny and warm when we woke up to cloudy and cold instead. Burrrr, it was seriously windy and cold up on that hill we call home in NEPA. Sunday was great, but Saturday, not so much.

We all found a spot in the house on Saturday, although even now I’m not sure how.  Our house is not that big, but when kids are around the floor works as good as a chair, so we did okay.  I told someone this morning that having twenty people loose in my house for the day, four of them being under age 6 and one not a year old yet, would have sent me into panic mode in my twenties. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed over the years. I tried to roll with the punches, talk to as many people as I could and make sure others had what they needed during the time we were together, and that was good enough. My problem area over the weekend, of course, was the sugar.

Usually, I make sure that I have plenty of sugar substitutes on hand for our weekends with the kiddos. We eat well when they are visiting and we eat raw most of the time, but special occasions call for special foods and macaroni salad was requested by some family members, so I made a big bowl. I don’t eat pasta these days, but I did have a dab of Mac Salad on Saturday. It’s not a binge food for me, so I thought it would be okay and it was.  I don’t fantasize about when I can get my next fix of pasta.  I choose not to eat it because it simply is not worth the calorie load it carries.  When I was finished eating the macaroni salad I didn’t feel like I wanted to go back for more, but the sugar was another matter. I did feel pulled to indulge in sugary foods during the party. I guess maybe that tendency will never completely disappear for me. I’m a sugar addict, and if I am going to slip or slide with my food plan, that is where it is going to happen—next to the cake or cookie tray.

Today, I am back on the clean eating wagon. I brought my pretty green water jug to work with me today (thanks, mom), and I’m drinking tons and tons of water in an attempt to flush my system. For lunch, I kept it raw and clean with some protein on the side. I will watch what I put in my mouth very carefully over the next few days and will be drinking lots of spring water. I’ll be trying to limit my coffee intake, and even the amount of tea I’m drinking. Clear and clean will be the path forward. I know this will help my body to adjust after a weekend of company, cake, and celebratory life.

The good news: I am not beating myself over this indulgent weekend with family. That’s HUGE, because the food police are severe and take all the fun out of life, and no one wants to live under their heavy heel. Me, included.

In other news: I got a call from my doctor’s office on Friday. He wants to refer me to a back surgeon after the MRI test results came in. I’m going slowly on this one—weighing my options regarding this recommendation. I don’t want surgery and if I can find a way around it, I will. I had the MRI done to determine how much exercise and what type I could do relatively safely, without injuring myself more. I’m investigating spinal decompression therapy, since it worked wonderfully for several family members and friends I know. If I can find a spinal center who offers this type of therapy through my insurance that is the route I will take. For now, I will research the physicians my doctor recommends and make an appointment to consult with one of them. What fun!

Did you have a good Father’s Day celebration with family and friends? Was food a problem for you on that day? What did you serve at your party that helped you steer away from the sugar or other food types that are problems for you?

MRI

Saturday, 6am
The alarm clock reminds me its time to get up. Time to get ready. Time to clean and dress, and get out the door. I have an appointment at 8am. I don’t want to go and do this thing, but feel it is the right move for me at this time, so I get out of bed on this weekend morning and begin my usual rituals.

7:28am

I leave the drive way headed for my appointment. I have other things on my mind.  An offer to buy a used computer. I will decline the offer.  The big birthday party for Beanie next weekend. I need to order a cake.  He wants an owl theme.  Laundry in the back seat that needs to be done.  10K and 5K races that might be going on today.  Breakfast.  A friend who wanted to meet up and talk.  The lesson I need to get together for tomorrow.  The kayak we want to buy.  Annie Dillard and The Maytrees audio book I’m listening to.  So much to think about. So much to do on this sunny morning.

8am

Check in at imaging center.  Will a contrast dye be part of this morning’s procedure? “No, not with lower back scans.”  A pleasant surprise–a treat–I am handed a pair of pants to put on (my jeans have a zipper that is not allowed in the machine).  I hesitate.

Will they fit?

Will they go up over my hips?

Will the tops of the legs be too tight? Am I about to be embarrassed?

Will the waist band, stretchy as it is, be uncomfortably tight?

I worry.  These things would have been problems in the past. Will they be this morning.

Elation!  The pants fit with room to spare.  This may seem like small potatoes to others. To me, a miracle.  A promise fulfilled.  A turning.  A reward that encourages continued attempts to eat right and exercise.  A blessing.  The pants fit. They fit and are loose. I don’t have to ask for a larger size or reveal the once obvious–that they are too small. They are NOT too small.  Hallelujah!  This makes it all worth while.

8:10am

“Let’s begin. Headphones to help with the clang, clang, clang of the equipment as images are snapped. Am I claustrophobic?  Here is a ball, hold it, use it if you need to get my attention during the procedure.  What kind of music would you like to listen to during?  Soft Rock?  Pop?  Country?”

I choose country.

Mistake.

Never choose country music to listen to while having an MRI.

Country music has too much sway–too much temptation to wiggle.  I struggle to stay still.  Stillness is essential this morning.  Must not move. I struggle.  The music makes it hard to focus on God. Hard to think of anything but moving my body, which I must not do.  No moving.  No swaying.  No dancing in this tiny, restrictive tube.  No moving. Impossible.  I wiggle my toes. I try to relax. I try to stay very still. I want this to be over.  I’m doing well.  The technician says so. But dang, it is hard.

8:15am

“10 or 15 more minutes to go. Images look good so far. stay still like you are. We should be done soon.”

8:30am

MRI is done.  I’m relieved. Will have test results next week.  Then I will know what I’m dealing with and how much and what type of exercise I can do at the gym. “Of course if I see anything not already expected, I report that and we send you to ER.”  I won’t be going to ER today. I have not be reported.

Whew.

Anxious to get started with some weight lifting again. Trying to work on weight reduction. Still plateaued. Still working on changing those things I can.  Results up to God, but foot work is mine to do.  I could do better.  Whole grain bagel, toasted, with butter and iced coffee for breakfast today.  Now to get the laundry done.  Then study, after notifying laptop girl that I’ve decided to pass on purchase of used equipment.  Hopefully, I will get a walk in this afternoon.

Enjoy your MRI free weekend,and keep looking up!

June Goals

Summer time is a hectic time for me.  I get so caught up with life over here in NEPA that I have no time to write, and work has been busy. I’ve had multiple projects to attend to each week during May, and I’ve spent lots of money.  Yikes.

I wanted to record my June goals before we got too far into the month.  I’m hoping  to remember to do this every month going forward.   We’ll see how that turns out.

For today, I will share the list of goals I have for June 2014:

1. Do some deep cleaning at the house and in the yard, using a critical eye to see things that normally escape me. I may ask a friend to do a sweep and give feedback. So many things seem to be invisible to us when we live with them every day.

000painting

2. Paint the back bedroom. About five years ago we built a new home and that bedroom has never been painted to this day. See what I mean about things being invisible even though we live with them every day. It’s about time this room got it’s finish.   BTW: I will be painting my room light green, not blue. I will try to post pictures of it when it is finished.

3. Build a porch swing and some chairs. I have been wanting to do this for a while, but I have never quite dared to begin the project. This month, I will begin. I also need to purchase new Adirondack chair cushion covers, but I have not found any patterns for fabric that I like. If you know of a colorful pattern that you think is fun, send the link to me, will you? I’m looking, looking, looking, and love poppies, tulips, and anything bright with red or orange overtones.

4. Plant some trees. A friend is going to be helping us position the trees, then hubs will dig the holes and in they will go. We need the shade in the yard and I’m sick of putting this project off.

5. Revisit my Action Plan regarding food.

6. Buy that kayak we have been talking about before the summer is gone.

I’m hoping I can tackle all six of these goals for June. Hold me accountable, won’t you? I want to get these things done.

What are your goals for June? What are you doing that is fun this summer? Do you could all activity as part of your action plan for losing weight?