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Time to change my life

Posted by TheresaS (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 15, 04 at 6:19

Hi everyone! I'm hoping I can join up with all of you in our efforts to become healthy. It's way past time for me to shed the pounds that keep me unhealthy and worry my family--so let me know if I'm in the right place for support :) If I am consistent and dedicated to this, I should reach a 10% weight loss by New Years and reach my target for my height/frame by Feb 2006, shedding 2 lbs. per week average. I have some questions for those of you out there:

- How much have you increased your activity?
- How do you handle breakfast on the run?
- Do any of you use Leanne's meal planner from FlyLady? Does it help?
- Please tell me what keeps you going. I need to keep going too!
- How do you "unlearn" bad portion sizing?

Thanks everyone, I want to make this work. I don't do what I consider crash diets, I just waited a few years (not gaining, but not losing) until I felt ready to take on this challenge. I wish I hadn't waited--what on earth did I think was more important that my health and fitness?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Time to change my life

HI Theresa!

You are in the right place! Everyone here is very supportive about health, fitness and just about everything else.

To answer your questions:
1) I joined Curves ( although an illness has set me back a bit)
2) Eat healthy dinner leftovers for breakfast or a non fat yogurt and fruit or make a smoothie.
3) I use FitDay.com to track my food, nutrients etc. and really like it.
4) I pray a lot! Somedays "being good" is easier than others.
5) Measure EVERYTHING!! This will teach you what appropriate portions look like. Pretty soon it becomes second nature.

Welcome, and keep us posted!

Tikanas


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RE: Time to change my life

Welcome to Diet Chat! My answers are:

1. I bought a cruising recreational bike in January and try to ride a few times a week for about an hour. I love it. It's helped my mind, spirit, and body!

2. I, too, eat leftovers for breakfast or determine the night before what I'll eat. Eating on the run *without* planning will wreck your diet! If I have no leftovers or am in a real hurry, I eat something with protein, never carbs, for brekky---string cheese, ham and cheese roll up, a fair chunk of cubed skim cheddar, a handful of almonds, and a side of flavored water, ricotta cheese with Splenda, vanilla, and lemon zest---you get the idea....

3. I use the meal planner idea from FlyLady. It helps to plan healthy meals a week ahead. It's one less thing I have to think about! I do food shopping on Friday morning (early) for the week.

4. As long as I'm not gaining, I keep going. I have some very, very special friends on the Diet Chat "SS Daily" who check frequently and we vent, cyber hug, and exchange ideas and agony! Join us over there!

5. I don't care about portions. I eat until I'm satisfied. I just stick to lots of veggies, nuts, proteins, light cheeses, and water, water, water. I love flavored waters and when I'm hungry, I drink FIRST, then check my stress level, then decide whether I'm REALLY hungry or not!--- :)

Have a great day and we're glad you're here!


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RE: Time to change my life

Hi Theresa!
Welcome!
I hope to reach my goal by December 2006 so I understand about longterm goals. I've been shedding about a pound every 10 days or so by adding a lot more activity. I retired in January and that has helped me a lot. I used to have a desk job and was a workaholic on top of that so more than 40 hours per week. Add a long commute and I didn't have much time left over to have much of a life except relax so I could go back to work again. I've lost 25 pounds since January 2, 2004.

Your questions:
- How much have you increased your activity?
A whole bunch on most days but I don't track it with regularity. I now have the luxury of gardening. Also, cleaning house can really be a workout and I didn't really have time to do this before.
If you work at an office job, I think you may need to face reality and try to plan some type of regular physical activiy. This was something that probably really caused me to gain the most weight. I should have realized that some form of "working out" if I wasn't moving much on the job was absolutely necessary. I didn't want to believe that. Now I do.


- How do you handle breakfast on the run?
My breakfast is 1/2 to 1 cup of yoghurt (brand White Mountain which I have learned to love but didn't initially. This stuff helps your digestion also. I don't use the fat-free or low-fat stuff. I try to avoid artificial food whenever I can.)
I also add 1 to 2 ripe avocados (depending on how hungry I am) along with my cup of yoghurt, I eat these with a spoon right out of their shell. It makes breakfast very quick and easy and almost gourmet since I love both of these. This can be portable if you put the yoghurt in a containter with a lid and don't leave it in the heat. This helps me to hit the ground running and I haven't gotten tired of it yet. Been having this breakfast (most days) since I retired in January .

- Do any of you use Leanne's meal planner from FlyLady? Does it help?
I have thought about Leanne's meal planner but haven't subscribed. I did try some of her test recipes and liked them. My husband and I are vegetarian so though she has options, it wasn't quite a good fit. Also, part of my retirement is trying to learn to cook good food largely from scratch where I can. I know everyone doesn't have this luxury. Sometimes I wonder if cooking from scratch has helped me lose weight? I've heard that smells can be very satifying. I find that I don't really over eat at the meals that I prepare, only ones that I eat when I go out to dinner in a restaurant. Strange? some significance there, I think.

- Please tell me what keeps you going. I need to keep going too!
I do feel so much better. And it is wonderful to see my weight on the scale drop. I'm going to have to be more rigid about things probably before too long but not having easy access to a vending machine like I did at work has helped tremendously. I love Snickers and haven't had one since January. I have prayed as has already been mentioned. Never hurts to pray, whatever your religion or meditate if you're not religious. I plan to do some regular swimming since I love that even if it is healthy. Find something you really enjoy so it will feel like you are pampering yourself even if it helps you lose weight.

- How do you "unlearn" bad portion sizing?
This is my toughest problem. I finish everything on my plate when I go to a restaurant. Restaurant portions are getting bigger and bigger, if I don't succeed losing all that I want to lose, this will be the reason. But one funny thing I have learned is that nuts really help me lose my appetite quickly. I have bought all kinds, brazil, walnut, cashew pieces, pecans and almonds. Not the salted kind and not peanuts since I itch and think I'm allergic to them (and they aren't really nuts but are "legumes"). Anyway, if I find myself wanting to eat something after I should be full, if I have a couple of handfuls of nuts, it seems to really help the ole "hypothalmus gland(sp?)" shut down. Mine seems to tell me I need to eat all the time unless I really struggle to counteract these messages. Raw is best if you can get them. I like the raw walnuts the best but I vary them because diversity is usually good in most things. I buy them at "Whole Foods" grocery, a health food store not too far away. Walnuts are also supposed to help lower cholestoral. Even though their calorie count isn't that low, I highly recommend. I seem to lose weight on those days I eat the most nuts, strange...

Another trick I've found is that a piece of fruit about 30 minutes or an hour before dinner will keep back the munchies really really well for just the right amount of time. Otherwise, I may eat too large of a "snack" and then eat dinner too which is just too many calories. Also, I try to keep from becoming famished because terrible things happen when I do. Bananas are a real treat and I've eaten two of them before to keep from eating unhealthy. I try to always have bananas around since they are such a treat, even though they are one of those fruits you are supposed to be careful of. Much healthier than ice cream and they don't seem to be as addictive to me as snickers :).

Sounds like you don't have as much to lose as I do. All I can say is please, please take care of it now. It is so much worse if you let it continue. Have as your goal to quit gaining at least. Then worry about losing. Don't bury your head in the sand like I did. But also don't beat yourself up. It seems like the easier I take this, the better I feel and am not so negative about this losing weight thing.

I'm also taking a bunch of vitamins. Not sure how they affect losing weight. One supplement I take that may be related, I think, is Chromium Picolinate. (not positive so I don't want to get into a serious discussion on which vitamins are best:) Everyone is different of course. Hope that some of my personal information can help you.

Bottom line, take care of yourself, nurture yourself as best you can and I think it will help you hang in there for the long haul.

--Alice


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RE: Time to change my life

You're right, this situation with my weight just cannot go on. And I do work in an office. Right now I'm working like a workaholic would, but I'm not one. It's my boss. For example, yesterday I worked 9:45 AM - 8:30 PM. On a Sunday. What a crock! I've racked up huge hours worth of overtime and my commute is 33 miles through Chicago traffic each way. Is it any surprise that I have a second interview with another company lined up for Thursday? LOL! I'm ready to live my life for me and not let my job dictate what I do.

Eating at work is a huge problem. The department I'm in orders out all the time and people bring food in constantly. Thursday it was pizza. Then someone brought Halloween candy. Not the small snack size things, but 3 medium size candy bars. I only gave 1 away and ate the other 2 out of stress. I didn't need them. I wasn't hungry. I didn't want them. Maybe I should keep a fruit bowl on my desk! Friday it was Chinese food. Mega portions of course. Yesterday it was fried chicken for lunch and Portillos for dinner. Both loaded with calories. I called my husband on the way home last night and he asked me if I wanted him to fix something to eat for me. I told him what I ate there and said I feel so bloated. Such heavy foods!

Once I get out of there, and even if I don't, I think I'll have a problem with snacking and activity increase. I keep telling myself once I'm not gone 12 hours a day for work, I'll have time to pull out my bike or go for a walk. Someone talked about Curves. There's one really close to my house, not close enough to walk because of the heavy trucking traffic, but I could make it there a couple times a week. I've seen the stations and the way they work. Doesn't it get repetitive though?

Well, that's enough rambling for the morning. I have 2 more days of this meeting and 2 more days of their "catering." I should stop at Wendy's and get a salad and say no thanks when their food comes around!


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RE: Time to change my life

Hi Theresa,

I go to Curves and enjoy it. You spend so very little time at each station that there is really no time to get bored with the repetition.The whole work out is done in about 38 minutes.(30 min. on the machines and 8 min. stretching) They recommend at least 3 times a week. I can walk there so I get an exercise "bonus". I walk my neighborhood or hike the local foothills in between Curves visits as well.

Tikanas


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RE: Time to change my life

I have lost 38 lbs since last March. The first 12 came off without my noticing between March and July when I took a new job. I have lost the rest since then through more diligent effort.

- How much have you increased your activity?

I went from zero activity to an hour brisk walk each day. After my walk I do crunches, and a half hour light weight work out, including squats.

- How do you handle breakfast on the run?

I eat a low fat or non fat yogurt or low fat cottage cheese and a piece of fruit like a peach, banana, apple, melon, etc. Sometimes I eat a hard boiled egg and some fruit. Once in a while I will have a bowl of oatmeal with Splenda. I stay away from nutritional bars, they seem very high calorie and way too sweet.

- Do any of you use Leanne's meal planner from FlyLady? Does it help?

No, I don't meal plan specifically. I just make wiser choices on the fly. I stop at a market on my way to work and pick up a premade salad that doesn't have a load of cheese or fatty dressing, a yogurt or 2, and some fruit so I have healthy things to eat to avoid temptation at work. When I shop for the house, I buy a few things for kids to snack on but try to buy things that they like that I don't care for.

- Please tell me what keeps you going. I need to keep going too!

Buying clothes in smaller and smaller sizes is really fun. (Also, wanting to attract romance back into my life keeps me going as well!) Getting lots of positive feedback is also a great motivator.

- How do you "unlearn" bad portion sizing?

In restaurants, I either choose low cal options with dressing on the side (dip the fork and stab your food uses much less dressing) or I divide the meal in half and take half home or share with some other prudent eater. No fries or chips, ever.

I have been up and down the scale since early adolescence. One thing I have learned is that everyone roots for heavy person to lose weight when they embark on a diet. But in my experience once I reached goal weight and looked great, people would try to get me to eat things I knew I should avoid. "You look great! You don't have a weight problem! Have the creme brulee!" Once a couple of catty, chubby women I knew through work commented when I'd lost a bunch of weight that they didn't mind that I'd lost weight and they couldn't because they knew I'd gain it back!

Watch for diet saboteurs, they are out there. I have a friend who needs to lose weight to have a knee replacement. A woman in her office brings in desserts and fatty snacks daily even though she has been asked not to. This particular person had gastric bypass surgery, lost a ton of weight but has gained most of it back and it must drive her nuts to see someone else be successful.

Keep your fruit and low cal snacks handy. Eat 6 times a day. Calorie conscious meals with low cal nutritious snacks between. I go ahead and treat myself sometimes but I will have one tiny mini candy bar, not a full-size candy bar. Or a spoon of ice cream while I serve the kids, not a bowl-full.

I don't bother with many low cal versions of things like ice cream or cookies. They just tempt me to overeat. I drink a lot of herbal teas these days. Warming and filling on these cooler days and counts as my water. I take a handful of supplements just in case I'm missing anything in my diet. I also wait for my blood sugar to rise after eating what I "should" before eating more just because I'm still hungry. I love a sweet after a meal. Fruit works well. Or even sugarless gum does it.


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RE: Time to change my life

Hi Theresa! I don't post here often, but I should! (I'm usually over at the Organizing the Home forum.)

- How much have you increased your activity?
A LOT. I now do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 6-7 times a week. I also do pilates every other evening. I don't go to a gym. I use our treadmill, or I walk the neighborhood, and I use Gaiam pilates tapes. I am most certain that I couldn't have lost my 16 lbs. had I not exercised regularly.
- How do you handle breakfast on the run?
I have the same thing for breakfast every morning, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare. I place 3 T. of old fashioned oatmeal into a bowl, add a little water, and microwave for 2 minutes. I then add 1/3 C NF cottage cheese and 2 small slices of banana, mashed. It keeps me going all morning.
- Do any of you use Leanne's meal planner from FlyLady? Does it help?
I am familiar with Leanne, and I have used some of her recipes, but I am not interested in her meal planner.
- Please tell me what keeps you going. I need to keep going too!
What keeps me going is knowing I am living a healthier lifestyle. I dropped 2 dress sizes and have stayed under my goal weight for over 6 months. I feel SO much better. I never want to go back to feeling the way I did before. The compliments are nice, too! :)
- How do you "unlearn" bad portion sizing?
I have to be honest...I tried to do this on my own, but finally broke down and subscribed to WW online. I had no idea how off my portions were! No wonder I was gaining weight! It took me 3 months to lose 16 lbs. I am no longer a subscriber to WW, but I still do portion control and I am part of an challenge group on their website (which is free).


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RE: Time to change my life

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I think I'm going to start tracking my food intake using the WW points system. I don't really want to sign up again--I just got out of doing a direct sales thing and I'm so cranky about losing "me" time. So for now I'll use my books from last year and just chart my points. I haven't been as active as I should have been over the last couple of weeks, and I won't even use my excessive overtime as an excuse. Let's just cross our fingers and hope I get a call back from the interview I had on Thursday! Seems like a much better job to me. I did lose 2 lbs. since the 15th, so that's a GREAT thing and I'm so happy about it! Like one poster said, once I get going and losing weight, I'm sure I'll never want to go back to being this unhealthy :)


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RE: Time to change my life

This is kind of "off the wall" but thought I'd mention it as a response to your question about "what keeps you going?". I recently attended a 40 year high school reunion. Hadn't gone to any of the other reunions previous so it was a shock. My curiosity was greater than my vanity because in my "group", I was the fattest. We are planning on having some mini-reunions and this has helped motivate me. I want to be thinner when we get back together next, at least not so "over the top". Do you have a high school reunion in your future? If so, make the most of it. Use it to your advantage:)

Or another idea, that may sound a bit shallow but if you can imagine someone from your past who you respect or for some reason value their opinion and they haven't seen you in a long time, try to visualize them seeing you now and how great it would be if you lost (whatever weight you want to lose, you fill in the blanks.)

Many years ago, I had success with self-hypnosis but that takes almost more time than exercise. (The tapes have to be redone fairly often because you get immune to the same message. So you have to spend time making the tape and then spend the time to listen, a trance is usually at least 30 minutes). My point above is that if you can do a brief visualization thing, specially if you do it repeatedly, this might help with motivation. Just a thought.

I'm also writing this for my own benefit. Since I'm retired now, I really should try the hypnosis thing again. But I'm not having any problems with motivation right now ...just lost another 2 pounds! Three more to go before Christmas, that's my goal for a total of a 30 pound expected loss for the year, I hope. I think it's going to happen. Next year, my goal will be even more ambitious.

My last advice to you is to avoid getting depressed if you have a tendency toward this. I think back and see that that has been a huge factor in my own weight gain. I see others and suspect the same. Depression saps you of energy, and bottom line: dieting takes energy. I wonder if the benefits of exercise in improving one's mental outlook and energy might actually help one's diet plan more than the actual burning of calories.

--Alice


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RE: Time to change my life

I've just started over after making my WW goal and then gaining it back over 2 years. (Nothing wrong with WW, I love it--I just went back to my old habits).

- How much have you increased your activity?
From "slug-hood" I'm now walking at least 20 minutes a day and doing step with a home video three times a week.

- How do you handle breakfast on the run?
Dannon Light & Fit yogurt and an apple or banana.

- Do any of you use Leanne's meal planner from FlyLady? Does it help?
Sorry, never heard of it.

- Please tell me what keeps you going. I need to keep going too!
The first time, it was my wedding that kept me motivated. Now it's a combination of the fact that none of my clothes fit well plus my stepdaughter's upcoming wedding.

- How do you "unlearn" bad portion sizing?
I have to remind myself constantly of the WW guidelines (for example, your piece of meat should be about the size of your palm without the fingers). I have to measure pasta or cereal in a one-cup measuring cup. Also, eating things that come in sizes that are appropriate (one chicken breast) is helpful. In restaurants, I have started just automatically taking half of the entree home.


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