Falling back into healthy eating

I have spent the summer enjoying myself. I have been a good little soldier and tracked every morsel that passed my lips. However, those morsels tended to be a bit more savory and more sweet than what I should be eating. Due to that, my weight loss has plateaued since about June. Luckily, I have not put weight back on, so I do know that my eating is healthier than it was before I started my little journey, but it hasn’t been what it should be.

To help motivate myself to stick to the exchange plan that my doctor set up for me, I joined a group called TOPS, or Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. I had been a member of another TOPS group when I lived in Pittsburgh, and it was very helpful for me to have the accountability of turning in my tracking sheets every week. At my current group, they also review your sheets, so I will want to make sure that I’m eating as clean as possible!

Here is my meal plan for the week:
Sunday – Chicken & White Bean Chili
Monday – Leftover Chili
Tuesday – I’m going to a health expo with my mom and we will be going to a salad bar afterward
Wednesday – Tilapia with rice and a salad
Thursday – Curried Lentils & rice
Friday – Steak & sweet potatoes
Saturday – Loaded baked sweet potatoes

Health Check

I went to see my doctor on Friday for the first time in three months (I have been seeing a nurse practitioner in the interim). The last time I saw her, I was almost back to my highest weight ever, had been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight, and cried in her office and begged her to put me on a weight loss drug. She sent me through nutritional counseling and wanted me to come back in three months. Since then, I have lost a total of 23.5 lbs by tracking my eating and working out. She was very happy with my results, and she also ran a bloodwork panel to make sure I’m not malnourishing myself. I got a call from the office today, and apparently my iron is low, my thyroid levels are off, and I’m dehydrated. I was ordered to drink 100 oz of water daily, increased my synthroid, and add a daily iron supplement.

I’m actually kinda excited to find out that my iron and thyroid levels were off, because I have felt kinda “off” lately, and I’m glad to see there is a cause. That means that there is also, hopefully, a solution. The symptoms of iron deficiency are similar to hypothyroidism and include: dizziness, headaches, trouble concentrating, shortness of breath, being cranky, and feeling weak and getting tired out easily. This leads me to the next thing that I wanted to mention, which is that working out every morning is tiring!

For the first few days of working out in the morning, I felt great throughout the day. The last week or so though, I have just felt tired and hungry. I have been snacking a lot more throughout the day, even though I’m eating after I work out. I am suspect that these feelings are related to low iron, and that they will correct themselves with the supplement. My doctor also wants me to eat at least 80 grams of protein a day, and I wasn’t even coming close. My hope is that with these changes my hunger and fatigue will improve, because I have not lost a single pound since I started working out in the morning, and I do not want to plateau this early in my weight loss, especially since I have so much farther to go.

I feel so good!

The past week, K and I have woken up around 5 to get to the gym right when it opens at 6:00 am. This is the most consistent that I have been working out since I started watching what I’ve been eating, and I feel great. Let me first say that I am in no way a morning person. I don’t think I’m even a night owl anymore. I pretty much just like sleep, all of the time. So when K ended his school year (he is a French teacher) and decided that he now wanted to work out in the morning instead of after work, I was not thrilled. However, working out first thing every morning makes me a lot more consistent than planning to work out after work. Especially because with my job I could finish anywhere between 3pm and 7:30pm (sometimes later!), I don’t always have the energy or the willpower to get to the gym.

I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge drop in my weight, though I do admit to weighing myself at least daily. The way I feel is definitely worth it though. I have had so much energy throughout the day, and I have been sleeping very well at night. I do still need K’s encouragement to drag myself out of bed in the morning, but hopefully by the end of the summer when he returns to teaching, I will be used to getting up early so that I can continue going in the morning.

What about you? How often and at what times do you usually work out? Does anyone have any tips for motivating themselves to climb out of a super comfy bed to get to the gym?

Eating well

For the last month, I have been weighing in at my doctor every other week, instead of every week. My husband was very much against this, as the weekly weigh-ins have kept me motivated and on track. However, I know that I will not be able to have a nurse weigh me in every Monday for the rest of my life, so I’m really trying to make this every-other-week thing work. This week I had lost 3 lbs. That is really good, but I would like to lose more. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that 3 lbs is a health amount of weight to lose in two weeks and I’m not upset, it’s just that I had been losing 3 or more each week. I also know that at a weight as high as mine, it is safe to lose more than 2 lbs a week. I am just trying to balance all these feelings with the understanding that it isn’t a race, and by losing weight slowly, I am more likely to keep it off.

I have become pretty okay with managing my eating at home and at work. I no longer stop at the reception desk for the donuts or cookies or other goodies. I pack my lunch every day, and it fits squarely into my food group/portion plan. However, I still very much struggle with controlling my eating when I am out. The last two days i have been out of county for a training for work. I eat a healthy and protein loaded breakfast, and then when I get to the training I sit in a room full of donuts until noon, and everyone else is having them, so I have one too. My second breakfast. then for lunch, Tuesday I did okay, but yesterday we ended up at Pizza Hut for their lunch buffet. I had a salad, three pieces of pizza (thin crust at least…) and a half cup of their cheesy pasta. Now, this is probably much less than I would have eaten prior to trying to lose weight, but it was still way too much. I also felt like crap for the rest of the day. My stomach felt like I had eaten a handful of knives. This was NOT eating well.

I need to learn to translate eating well into eating out, because it is something we do fairly often for work or with my husband. With my husband I don’t struggle as much because he helps me out, but at work I honestly had three people telling me to go ahead and splurge, that if I felt deprived I’d gain the weight back anyway, offering my bites of their brownies, etc. Right now this is probably my biggest struggle.

Recovering and an update

I apologize for not writing on here for the last two-ish weeks. I was starting to get sick the last time I wrote, and the illness really knocked me out. I missed a couple of days of work, was working late to make up for it, and spending a lot of time in bed. I also shared my cold with my husband, so my whole house was miserable for a while. Finally though, I feel pretty recovered, though I am still coughing and recovering my voice. I at least feel much much healthier.

I went back for my one-month check in with the nurse practitioner who has been providing my nutrition counseling, and it went well. My total as of May 5 was 17 lbs lost. I have not been back since then, because she said that I can start weighing in once every other week, instead of every week. Monday will be my first biweekly weigh in. I have to admit that I’ve been cheating and stepping on the scale at home to check my progress. I don’t really know how our scale compares to the doctor’s though… I think I might request to do the weigh ins every week, because I am so petrified that I will regain what I’ve lost, even though I’ve kept my eating in check. Has anyone else lost weight and been fearful of gaining it back? I just feel like if I look away from the scale for a second, the next time I step on I’ll be ten pounds heavier.

Weekly Weigh In

I lost another 3 lbs this week, putting my current total at 16 lbs. The nurse practitioner was there when I weighed in, and she asked if people had said anything about it. I told her no, and she was really surprised. She said that I was disappearing. Now, I certainly wouldn’t go that far. I don’t feel like I’ve lost any weight yet. My clothes aren’t baggy. My rings aren’t loose. I do feel more confident though, which is a plus.

In other news, I seem to have caught whatever bug has been going around my office. It started as a tickle in my throat this weekend, and now my throat is really sore and my nose wont stop running. I am taking some medicine and hitting the hay…

Results of my (non) Binge

Yesterday I was feeling pretty defeated and down on myself before I had even done anything worth being upset about. I managed to keep in under control though. No binges. I ate soup and salad for lunch for about 460 calories, then snacked on grapes and strawberries throughout the day. For dinner I ate probably the most calories in a meal since I’ve started tracking, but I’m okay with it. I made the most delicious steak ever (not that I’ve ever eaten, but the most delicious that I’ve cooked!), with mushroom risotto, broccoli, and green beans. My downfall in terms of calories is that I ate about 7-8 oz. of the steak for nearly 500 calories, plus I had two glasses of red wine for another 250. But personally I don’t see the point in eating a nice steak without a nice glass of wine, so…

My calories for the day were around 2,000. My nutritionist wants me to stay around 1,600. The steak and wine was worth it, plus I’m not craving anything anymore.