Happy New Year Group! I'm looking forward to the challenge, especially after the last few days! So am I the only one who ate any and everything in site leading up to this day?
If only I wasn't so much of a foodie! Its so easy to not have to think about what to eat, especially if you are a stress and binge eater like me! But that has to stop, I need to find other ways to deal with stress and old routines. That's why my action plan consists of a lot of meditation and awareness building, in addition to choosing a healthy food and excercise plan.
Good luck everyone on your goals for today. I'll try to read and comment on some of your posts...
So far so good, another 3 or 4 hours and I'll probably go to bed! With water I am doing ok... and on track so far with eating. May have a jalapeno popper later, but only because I promised to help my brother-in-law make them.
not technically here yet, but I saw Celes' post about calorie counting and thought I would share this site. Livestrong.com has a nice app called "MyPlate" which helps keep track of calories, excercise, and water. Type in the food you ate and it will bring up a list to choose from and will tell you how many calories, fat, carbs, it contains. You will need to create an account, but its free, and you can even set your calorie limits to track. Nice tool if we are serious about watching what we eat! Here is the link: http://www.livestrong.com/myplate/
Day 1 didn't end so well... family came over with food! I started out well but guess I'm still in a holiday/festive mode. My grade for the day is definately a D- at best! Today I will do better, and Monday when I get back into a regular schedule, I hoping to get all A's!
Day 2 also wasn't as good as expected. Another D-. But with new work week hoping to get on track!
: Better this time. Was able to finish the day within goal. Using MyPlate to track diet/water/excercise. I would grade myself an "A" for the day. Hopefully this starts a new positive trend! (Meditating after work helped. Usually wife takes a break and I get to babysit our three girls, ages 1, 3, and 5! They are definately a handful!)
I also wanted to address Celes's questions on Day 4's Post:
1. So yesterday was Day 3, and we created our ideal meal plan. How's your ideal meal like? Ans: following the Paleo-Diet - mostly protein, fruits and veggies. No processed, fast food, or junk!
2. How many times do you eat a day? Ans: Mostly 2 (to give digestion system a change to work!) but sometimes 3. I have fruit/tea breakfast, big lunch (protein/veggies), and if dinner, something light like salad and tea.
3. What are the foods you'll be eating? Ans: Fruit, veggies, meat (fish, chicken, beef, pork mostly).
4. How would you feel consuming these type of meals for the rest of your life? Ans: I would feel fine. However, I would not totally give up junk food and other foods not on my list. I would on occasion indulge, but as long as I was following my diet 95% of the time and maintaining ideal weight/fitness level.
OK, enough journaling, onto the gym for the first time this year. Get some cardio in... part of my 3-4 day a week plan. Peace!
Did OK, maybe a B+. Worked out but had a late snack that was not part of my plan. Overall two bad days, two good days, with 17 more to go. Confident that I can do well on at least 13 of those days, its the weekends that are tough! But I'm aiming for an "A" on all 17. Meditating is helping, getting more control.
is just about over, working on a 24 hr fast that I started at lunch. No dinner tonight or breakfast tomorrow. Haven't ya heard? Fasting is a great way to lose weight! (detoxes the system) Drinking hot tea helps with any hunger issues. Should get an A+ for the day, well, it will be an A+ since I'm in bed and won't be getting out until tomorrow morning!
nears the end. Going to my nephew's basketball game, I can taste the hot dogs and nachos now! But I won't indulge... I can't. I stuck to the plan, worked out, drank my water, ate my veggies. What a waste it would be if I messed up now. Amazing how all that effort can go flushed down the toilet in a few minutes of weakness and temptation. That's how we get overweight, its so easy to give in, to just eat whatever... not tonight! So with that, I'm happy to report I should be good for another "A" day. I would hate to dissappoint all my fans out there!
I noticed a lot of people on the challenge really don't need to lose much weight, or already were eating and living relatively healthy lifestyles. I guess that makes sense... people who care about personal excellence are the ones who come here. Others who may not care, don't come here and wouldn't have known about Celes's challenges... generally speaking. I'm sure there are some of us out there who have recently "awakened" to personal excellence and are working to change. I would be one of those... I am the heaviest I've ever been and have struggled for years to lose... I've focused a lot on working out, but realize I had no clue about nutrition and how all my efforts working out were flushed down the toilet by my eating! I guess deep down, I am too much of a foodie and did not want to or could not give up sweets, fast food, and junk food! Understanding that I had to give that up was/is the key... this is why I'm here. To make this change for 21 days and beyond! (like Buzz would say!)
Below I wanted to answer Celes's questions for day 7.
1.On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your health and fitness for the past week (including your diet, fitness and lifestyle goals)? Why?
- Four A's and two D-'s not bad to start. Plan on getting better next week! Why? I'm starting to believe I can permanently make these changes... we'll see, there's still 2 weeks left, and weekends are my toughest times!
2.Were there any times where you fell off track in your healthy lifestyle goals?
- Yes, the first two days especially since I was still in "holiday" mode. But that's over now, and won't see another holiday mode until my birthday here on the 26th! (ok, I admit I plan on having some cake!)
1.Diet - 4 out of 6 days very good.
2.Fitness - worked out twice so far as planned.. ok!
3.Lifestyle (Waking/Sleeping times, Other habits like meditation) - sleeping very well, meditation could improve!
3.If so, what happened during those times that took you off track? What can you learn from the incidences?
- weekends with three babies tend to be stressful, plus lack of structure and holidays made it hard to stay on track. I need to plan better and learn to not be an emotional eater. More meditation would help.
4.What can you do differently moving forward in living an even healthier life?
- increase workouts to 3-4 days a week... increase fish and chicken, less pork and beef (not sure I would want to go completely vegan, like my meats too much! But I could add more raw veggies to my diet).
Day 7 went well, even though I didn't skip dinner like I planned (working on a 24-hour fast)... had a little chinese food and slice of pizza that my wife brought home! However, I didn't eat all my planned lunch and had 700-800 calories left for the day (on livestrong.com). Plus I went to the gym and did cardio and burned about 300 calories. So I could afford to cheat although I still regretted it since I would have only been that much further ahead. I guess my focus on this challenge has been making healthy changes in order to lose weight, not just to be healthy. I notice today's challenge from Celes is to work out... I agree that it is healthy to work out, but as I've said before in other posts, I don't think its a great weight loss tool. I believe a lot of good, intelligent people out there make the mistake of thinking that if they work out, they don't have to watch their diet. I did the same and the result was no weight loss. Only when I watched my eating did I lose... the thing is, working out facilitates weight loss if you are eating right. You can eat right and not work out and lose weight, but you cannot work out and not eat right to lose weight... it won't work unless your "eating right" happens to be healthy and you don't consume more than you burn...
Anyway, today is Saturday, the weekend is one of my toughest times to stick to eating right... days usually lack structure and I'm babysitting/feeding the kids and stressed leading me to want to snack a lot on junk food... but today and tomorrow I'm planning to fast on celery sticks and grapefruit. My goal is to "reprogram" my habits. To learn to take control of my weekends... every time I crave a junk food snack, I will reach for a celery stick and think about controlling the cravings. As I learn better control, I'll open up to healthier meals on weekends (probably after several weekends of "reprogramming").
So that's the plan. I'm feeling confident now, but we'll see what the day brings and how well I deal with it... if I can be more aware and conscious, I should do well. Also I'm going to the gym for a workout. Come Monday I should be starting out a lb or two less than I was when we started this challenge.
Here at the end of the day, I made it without cheating. Didn't get to the gym but that's fine, I didn't need to since I didn't consume many calories. Still tomorrow to face, but I'll sleep good tonight with another "A" chalked up. Good nite!
OK, little more challenging but overall a success. Maybe an A- since I snacked on some toast and chips I while feeding the babies their dinner (not in my plan!). Still about where I wanted to be with calories plus my main meal was a salad, so I got my raw veggies in for the day. Moving forward I'm feeling confident... I think I will be OK... this challenge is helping me learn about myself. For example, I am starting to see the difference between feeling truly hungry vs. feeling bored or stressed... which is usually when I eat the most. Next week looking I'm looking forward to consciously eating 1) only when I'm hungry, 2) eating healthy things, and stopping when I'm full... hmmm.... I may be trivializing it a bit... after all, if it were so easy why am I sitting here 50+ lbs overweight?
I will try to do these things... well I know if I'm going to ever get in shape and improve my health I will eventually end up here. So I might as well get used to is since, 21 days or not, I will do it!
As an engineer I'm all about math and formulas... so today's task from Celes is a piece of cake. My final number is 1700 calories (again easily done at livestrong.com). This will get me a 2lb per week loss (without working out... but I'm adding the workouts and not changing my calorie goals). Celes ends by asking us: "Now that you know your daily caloric target, what is your ideal meal plan (Day 3) that will help you achieve this target, while meeting your nutritional needs? Design a few ideal meal plans (one for each week, for variety) and then start following these plans from today onwards!"
My answer is yes, I have a meal plan, had it since Day 0. Cutting out the junk and bringing in the good healthy stuff. Got it. Knowing the numbers is great, knowing the nutritional value of foods is also great, and knowing that to lose weight your total in must be less than your total out. Got it! And yes, excercise helps burn more calories and provides other health benefits. Got that too. I know this. You know this. Everybody knows this. Go ahead, say it "if you know it then why are you overweight? Why are so many people overweight and unhealthy?"
Because we are too stupid to know that cheesecake has more calories than an apple?
The problem is not lack of knowledge, it is application of knowledge
. 99% of people already know that if they eat celery and apples instead of Big Mac's and Cheesecake they will lose weight. For most people (who are trying desparately to lose weight), the problem is not knowing how to count calories or knowing what's healthy or not. Its about self-control, stress/emotional eating, food addictions, etc... its much deeper than what's on the surface. Most overweight people do not want to be overweight, but they cannot change.
There is a pain greater within them that is soothed (with ice cream) than the pain of being overweight. Food is used as a medication to help deal with deep, personal issues often without the person even realizing it. Please don't misunderstand my rant... not knocking what Celes is trying to do, much props to her
. There are some of us who do find it helpful. I just think there's a deeper level
that needs to be discussed... and maybe it will later in the challenge. From reading Celes's other articles I think she knows this... But even if it isn't discussed, it is still great to have this platform for folks to turn to for motivation and encouragement for making positive changes. However, for someone with Celes's track record, would settling for just "great" be good enough?
Guidebooking. Again much props to the folks at livestrong.com. I find that just about everything that Celes suggests for our guidebook is in there. Food journal, calorie counter, meal planning, calorie budgeting for weight loss, weight tracking, etc. Anything that isn't in there can easily be added in the "diary" section. NO need for fancy excel spreadsheets (which I've done).
Performance update: another good day yesterday, an "A" for the day. Didn't come home from work and snack on junk and ate healthy earlier. Under my calorie goals plus a workout. Hoping to start seeing some weight reduction here soon... worst part about dieting/trying to lose weight is after doing everything right, making all the sacrifices but not seeing any change. It can get discouraging... enough to make you want to have some cheesecake and say "forget it!" But not this time. This time its going to be different. Why? Because I'm going to deal with the real issues behind my lack of control... stop being unconcsious and live with greater awareness. When I do that I won't live each day in fear of food or how much I'm losing or gaining, but in the present moment, always in control, always conscious of what I'm doing. Sleepwalking got me here, waking will get me out.
Didn't finish the day yesterday strong. Some unconcious, unplanned snacking last night while cooking dinner for the babies. Not as bad as I would before the challenge, I was able to put a lid on it, but went over my calorie goal by at least 300-400 calories. Probably a C- for the day. Not sure why I was craving, wasn't hungry. Guess it was stress related. Today's task from Celes, "exploring our relationship with food" is probably the thing needed to figure it out. Thanks Celes, I thought you would get here! You should consider putting this task up on day 1 or 2, since I think this is the key for most of us.... so your questions were:
1. What are your eating triggers?
2. Why do you eat under those triggers?
3. What can you do to address them moving forward? Share with everyone!
1. Celes's list probably nails it: stress, boredom, frustration, guilt, happiness, etc.. however there may be other reasons that I am not conscious of. Plus I have denial issues: i never admit to being stressed or frustrated or angry. I'm a pretty prideful guy who never lets em' see me sweat! Guilt? Are you kidding? I never have guilt because I'm too perfect, never make any mistakes!
(Actually I do, but good luck getting me to admit it!) Sad but true!
2. Why? I wish it was that easy; to simply ask and answer that question. Celes was raised where the food/love connection was clear and its awesome she can identify it. I don't know why I get up and walk into that kitchen and open up the door and look. Must be some kind of medication or relief I'm getting out of it? Guess it will take some work to figure this one out.
3. What can I do to address? Still need to answer the why? question. For now I will need to just learn to stop and ask those questions and not eat when I'm not hungry. I've been able to do it most days, but there are some days like last night where I wasn't able to.
End of Day 12: Did good... didn't go over my calorie goal and ate healthy for the most part (A). Feeling great and looking to see some weight loss when I weigh in on Friday. Hopefully a lb or two. If not, oh well! I will keep moving forward... change things up a bit, but never quit.