Thursday, August 9, 2012

Off to a Rocky Start (and Some Diet Questions)

We'll call this my midweek confession ok? 
When I posted about my weight loss journey and woes on Tuesday, I really didn't expect much of a response.  I mainly wanted to do a little self-reflection and establish some accountability from you all to keep me motivated as I get back on track.  Instead, I heard from LOTS of you.  I also started the day with 0 followers on My Fitness Pal, and have at least 25 people seeing my work-out, food diary, and weight loss records -- talk about accountability! So... Thank you!  (I'm 'emyselfandi' if you want to be friends too.)

Thank you for the encouraging words, support, partnership, and perspective.  

Now, the confession...  As the comments came in on Tuesday (I read every single one through my phone, but rarely get to actually sit down at the computer and respond), I found myself extra motivated (maybe even a little pressured) to really DO IT this time.  I even resisted the urge to lick the brownie bowl from my baking - which is huge for me.  BUT... We had friends over for dinner, and I was so consumed with making my dinner yummy and pretty, that I simply couldn't be bothered by calorie counting.  FAIL.  And, just like that... I was off the wagon.  I am ashamed to admit that I didn't track a single calorie yesterday; and, while I didn't binge, I definitely wasn't as careful about my food choices.

That's how it happens every time...  I get super motivated to lose weight and change my habits, and then one "legitimate" excuse or busy day comes up and it's over. I find myself justifying by saying "I just like food too much, it isn't worth it" or "Now isn't a good time for a diet, I'll just start next week/month." And, there I am, six months later, still uncomfortable and unhealthy.

It is, unquestionably, why I have failed at this quest so many times before.  I get mad at myself, and instead of fighting back harder, I give up.  It is a terrible cycle, and I've been in it for years... But, NOT ANY MORE.
From Pinterest
So, what are your tips for staying motivated with a new diet/work-out plan?

Also, how do you handle tracking calories for elaborate recipes or meals out

Do you allow yourself "cheat" days or meals?  And, if so, how do you get back on track?

Today, I am tracking calories again.  I had a healthy breakfast and I already have a scheduled walking-date for this afternoon with a girlfriend.  I can do this  And, to those of you that signed on with me this week, SO CAN YOU.  We are in this together - the ups and the downs.  We got this!

Until tomorrow,

P.S. I'm going to post my "Letter to New Teachers" tomorrow and some details about our teacher link-up that is most definitely happening next week.  See you then!


  1. I just posted about this on my blog today, but I keep a food journal where I write down everything that I ate. That way, I'm not being obsessive about calories. Instead, I am making sure that I'm eating things that balance each other out for the day. Then I have a separate notebook for fitness things- whether I find workout plans, or just positive mottos, it definitely helps.

    I'm on this journey with you. And I've never been successful before... which is precisely why I'm trying so hard this time around. :)

  2. I've never been one to diet---I changed my entire way of eating. It's a slower process, but I think the results last longer. I don't think "cheat days" work very well, because you can end of consuming enough calories to screw up your whole week.

    I'm pregnant right now, so I've had to increase my calorie consumption, but I still watch what I eat. I CRAVE sweets (it's a little girl...suprise, surprise!), but most of the time if I substitute my candy bar craving with sweet fruit (apples, strawberries, etc), I'm happy again. I allow myself "bad food" here and there, but since I don't eat it often anymore I don't even like it as much. I've tried NOT to use my pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I want.

    Another thing I do (pregnant or not) is to drink water if I feel hungry. Sometimes, I wasn't actually hungry--just thirsty.

    Good luck! You can do it!

  3. Ha! Girl, you're NOT alone! I let myself have 1 cheat day per week. You can also enter in your recipes, and the program will do all the calculations for you. I've found that I don't necessarily change the way I eat, but I am more conscious of balancing what I'm eating with my activities. Everything counts! Walk Sam around the neighborhood in the stroller, and you can enter that activity into your log. I've tried other calorie counters before and failed; this program has been able to hold me accountable for what I put into my body and balancing the amount of exercise I need to keep my body healthy. Best of luck and YOU CAN DO IT!

  4. For a cheat meal, save 100 calories each day (If your diet total is 1300, eat 1200) and on Saturday you will have an extra 600 calories to add.

    Also, MFP lets your track your workouts so you can see the extra calories you earned. If you know you have a big event coming up one wkd, burn a couple hundred calories a day and save them for your event.

  5. I go through the same process. I've recently just accepted that every day is a new day with dieting! I have developed a habit of working out at least 3-4 times a week...and as far as the food goes...I try to keep myself under control during the week and give myself a little more freedom on weekeends. My main problem during the week is dinner time...I can be under calorie budget all day but for some reason I like to pig out when I get home! I'm working on it though...

  6. I am one that started following you chels15476! It's funny because my weight gain story is very similar to yours, except I'm a 2 years behind you, hoping to get pregnany soon, unfortunately starting out as "overwieght" and not wanting to go crazy! So I'm trying to learn from your wisdom and hindsight!

    One tip that a friend that lost 50 pounds told me, is that when you do cheat or have a dinner party, or whatever, make sure the NEXT thing you put in your mouth is good. Do NOT say I'll start again tommorrow or Monday or next month. That is what will end the cycle! Oh, and I definitely have cheat days. They are a must!

    Good luck!

  7. Hi E!!!

    This might not be motivatio now, but now that I am 30 lbs lighter, I find myself saying "I feel too good to backtrack now." Even on days when I "cheat", I still track everything in tracker, and I usually have my cheat day when I've also earned the most exercising points.

    The other trick is to find different things to incorporate into your eating that will replace some of those unhealthy ones. Some of my fav things to munch on during the day are:

    Fiber One products
    Weight Watcher dessert products (Chocolate Creme Cakes are my fav, and I usually have one with my lunch to give me my chocolate fix)
    Special K Chips (27 Chips for 110 calories!!)
    Goldfish (55 for 140!)
    Greek Yogurt (Sometimes high in sugar/calories, but great protein)

    If you know you're having something high in calories for one meal, then try to balance with a salad or something lighter for the other meals.

    Also, if you can, really plan your meals out. For example, I usually have breakfast and lunch planned out, and I will track those the second I've got it together (like the night before)

    And if you do fall off the band wagon during the day, give yourself a pep talk, and get back on the wagon the next time you have a snack/meal.

    Hope these tips help!

  8. I found that it is MUCH easier for me to stay on the wagon if I allow myself small splurges here and there. I was a Dr. Pepper addict and quit cold turkey! It honestly doesn't even appeal to me anymore because it is so sweet. But I've found if i'm daydreaming of one and don't treat myself I will just keep thinking about it until i've fallen the wagon. So I've gotten in two unscheduled extra runs this week and I was super low on my calorie intake yesterday so I treated myself to ONE chocolate chip cookie and a MEDIUM dr. pepper. honestly, i couldn't even drink the entire dr. pepper because it just wasn't satisfying.

    As far as dinner parties, eating out, etc. I TRY to plan ahead if at all possible. We are having some of our favorite pizza on Friday night with a group of friends. Friday is supposed to be my rest day (i'm training for a half marathon) but I plan to get in a small workout even if it is just a short walk. I will also try to indulge in a yummy salad PRIOR to the pizza but still allow myself some pizza just not as much as I used too.

  9. Hi, E! Don't beat yourself up; starting is the hardest part. I joined MFP & friended you the other day (valpope330). I was also struggling with how to track my homemade meals. If you go to the "Recipes" link in the "Food" section of MFP, you can enter all the ingredients to your recipe, and you should be able to find entries with the nutritional info. to plug in. It takes some time, but the site will calculate the calories per serving for you. I was really worried about the dish I made last night (It had crushed Ritz crackers and cream of chicken soup!), but it turned out to be pretty reasonable. I'm also going to search for some Weight Watchers recipes. And I'm NOT telling the hubs that he's eating WW-type meals. Even though he needs to get into shape & lose weight just as much as I do, he turns up his nose at anything he perceives to be "diet" food. Then I end up giving in and falling off the wagon. NOT THIS TIME!!! I'm motivating myself by thinking about buying SMALLER new clothes instead of LARGER ones.

    As for dinners out, I downloaded an app for my phone called "Fast Food Calorie Lookup." Don't be fooled by the name! It includes sit-down restaurants, too.

    What I'm struggling with these first few days: Late-night munchies! I'm blaming the Olympics. The coverage goes late and sucks me in, so I stay up too late. Around 10:00 I get "snacky." Last night I thawed some frozen fruit.

    What I'm worried about: I start back to work next week in a new school district. The first week is what really has me worried. I'll be in new teacher inservice, so I don't know if I'll be able to establish/stick to a meal routine.

    Let's stick it out together!

  10. Have you thought about breaking down your goals/things that you want to change into smaller, less dramatic ones that might be more realistic? Like, for the next 2 weeks, commit to 30 minutes of exercise 3 days a week. That's all. Then, the next 2 weeks, you substitute fruits and veggies for other snacks. And so on. I don't track calories unless I feel like I'm gaining weight and can't figure out why because it's just too tedious...I understand the rationale behind calorie tracking, it just doesn't work for me. Small changes with built-in rewards (like, new earrings if I make my small 2week goal) work really well for me. And I'd consider myself healthier than average. :). Good luck!

  11. Drink water! For the last couple days I have been drinking A LOT of water, and it really keeps the hunger at bay. I bought a really cute cup that's 16 oz, and I just try to empty it as many times as I can during the day.

  12. Tracking calories is too laborious and unrealistic. Try just eating quality protein with each meal/snack and eat 5-6 times each day. Good choices for high quality protein are:

    eggs (whole) and egg whites
    light string cheese
    cottage cheese
    low sugar yogurt
    peanut butter
    ground serloin
    almonds (or other nuts)

    Don't make yourself CrAzY trying to count calories...just eat quality protein all day long and you will see the pounds literally melt off! I promise you! :) Good luck!

    1. Oh, and of course green veggies for lunch and dinner and a little bit of whole wheat (toast, english muffin, etc) in the morning WITH your PROTEIN! :)

  13. Hey E -

    I feel your pain as a "dieter" and "weight watcher" multiple times over the last several years. I'm sure that it will be a struggle for me to lose the baby weight once this little guy comes out.

    I find that planning is a huge key to my success. If I have planned out lunches and dinners then I don't have the excuse of "there's nothing to eat, I'll just make macaroni and cheese or lets just get pizza" battle. We keep a magnetic board on our fridge where I list our meals for the evenings and then we both know what we are having. It also helps to save money in the grocery store.

    Also, pre-portioning fruits and veggies for my lunch is big too. Then I can just grab a baggie out of the fridge and put it in my lunch instead of having to wash and cut them in the morning when I'm rushed.

    I also allow an evening (usually Fridays when we go out to eat) to eat what I feel like. With WW I just usually counted dinner as my flex points for the week. I think its good to indulge your cravings every now and then just control it (ie have 1 cookie, not 12).

    Either way, you are BEAUTIFUL no matter what the scale says.

  14. Just because bad food is conveniently placed in front of you, does not mean you have to eat it. If being in shape were easy, everyone would be doing it.

  15. Hi E-
    I just came across your blog as I was pinning on Pinterest (I have a love/hate relationship with that one- I love it but I hate how much time I end up spending!) I'm a high school science teacher and I LOVE your tips on keeping the classroom organized- so thank you! I am the mom of twins, and it took me almost TWO YEARS to get back to pre-baby size (I won't say shape because my hips will NEVER go back to the way they were. I'm okay with that). I have found now that my workouts are my only "ME" time, and it's a stress reliever! So I make a date with myself 5-6 days a week. I'm a HUGE fan of Jillian Michaels, I have all her DVDs and subscribed to her website. She kicks my butt, and I love it! I'm not saying you have to join her band-wagon but you have to find something you love if you're going to stick to it. My husband gave me her new Body Revolution DVD set for my birthday and I feel like I just revved up my workouts again. LOVE!

    In terms of food, I am formerly anorexic, so I really try hard not to count my calories every day. Instead I make healthy choices and try to make healthy substitutions when I can. My new favorite thing to cook and bake with is Greek Yogurt- you can substitute that in for almost ANYTHING! When I do allow myself goodies, I limit. Instead of a handful/half box of chocolate chip cookies I let myself have one and enjoy every crumb :) Today we went to a cupcake bar and I split a massive cupcake with my kids (and discreetly licked the plate ;) and I'm not going to feel guilty about it because I had a turkey burger and salad for dinner. I'm not saying this is right for everyone either, but for me it is what is healthiest for my body AND my psyche!

    I'm loving your blog! Thank you!

  16. I think the most important thing to do is not to throw the towel in just because you had one meal that may not have been the healthiest - as others have said, just make sure your next meal/snack is back on track again! Life is too short to be constantly worrying about every food choice at every meal - enjoy the fantastic meal with your friends and family, and appreciate it for what it is! Don't punish yourself for having fun, and then eat your next meal according to how you had planned. I've heard it described as 80/20 - make sure you are eating healthy and well 80% of the time, and don't stress about the other 20%! No one is perfect!

  17. It's been good to see your blog when I always look for such type of blogs. Thanks for your sharing. I have been really impressed by going through this awesome info. Recently i have read a very good online review about Fast Weight Loss Program. I hope that it will equally help you people in loosing weight.


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