Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finding a new weight loss strategy

Today I begin looking at my food habits, again. I think that, as important as calories and fat are, when I am eating and what I am eating, may have an effect at whether it stays to become fat. I think it is time to once again mix-it-up.

The times of day I struggle the most are in the morning and right at dinner time. With my wacky schedule - up at 2:45 a.m. to work at 4 a.m. and in bed by 8 p.m. at the latest - deciding when to eat has been hard.

In the morning, even with eating a high-fiber, high-protein cereal, I feel ravenous by 6 a.m. Of course, by that time I have been up for over three hours. For most people that might not be a problem, but I have been able to speed up my metabolism via gaining muscle.

That said, it should not be an excuse to eat from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. continuously. I tend to eat my banana, then a hand full of trail mix, then anything else that isn't nailed down in the break room. I had also picked up a crap habit of using non-dairy, fatty, sugary creamers in my coffee. (I removed that on Thursday and yes, I know better.)

From 9-11 I drink my Starbucks. It's actually one of my more sensible choices. I drink a Venti (large) 1/2 caf, Americano with sugar-free syrup, some Splenda, a 1/4 cup of non-fat milk and a drizzle of half & half. I know it sounds very high-maintenance, but as long as I am paying for coffee, I will get what I want. Nursing that over two hours or more, helps curb my appetite and keeps my hands busy. I now know, I eat when I am bored too.

About 11 I start in on carrots, then at noon some form of protein, followed by a piece of fruit. I try to be out of the office by 1 or so, that way I don't find some kind of junk in the break room to eat. I far too often do for someone who preaches against it.

Once I have worked out, my body needs a snack. I may not be hungry, but if I have just worked my muscles hard, I need to feed them for their recovery. I try to stick to about 100 calories of protein and a piece of fruit.

Then I walk into the apartment, I put my stuff away and begin staring at the kitchen.

I have no idea why.

For the first part of this journey I was able to lock away my demons and make the kitchen my friend again. I was purely eating for utility. I knew my body needed something on board for quick access energy and that's how I kept it. I made it dig deeper for energy when I exercised and that is how I burned off so much fat.

When I am fixing my dinner I begin grazing - a handful of nuts here, a couple of tortilla chips there, then I eat tons of veggies (anything consumed in the kitchen is "free", right?).

Finally I have a sensible dinner. Only problem is, thinking about it now, I have been wandering on my portion control too, mainly at dinner. Then I 'have to have a little something sweet'. Wow, there are seven self-defeating words if I have ever seen them.

In total, a day like above would be 1800-2000 calories. Unless I throw in some extra sugary goodness for some reason, something that has been happening far too often.

So, there you go, complete {ugly} honesty. Now, what to do about it?

My plan:

-Take one meal or snack at a time.
-Plan ahead and do not wander off path from plan.
-Less processed sugar, it has NO dietary value.
-Get back to every meal being extremely veggie heavy.
-Peruse eating plans created by experts that are specifically designed to accomplish what I want. [I have a copy of the "Abs Diet" sitting at home collecting dust, time to at least read it.]
-Follow the good examples other people are setting and remember, I taught some of them to eat that way.
-Talk down that evil wench, Luci. She's not the one who gains fat when I overeat - I am!
-Measure everything again. Eye-balling portions is not helping control calories.
-Don't eat the same thing all of the time, maybe my body is simply used to burning what I have been giving it. I need to reintroduce food challenges.
-Keep working out and keep it diverse. It's the only reason I am looking at 5 pounds having crept back on instead of 25.
-Remember how I got here. I think it is time to go back to old journal and blog entries to find inspiration. Before I landed in the hospital last year, I felt bullet proof when it came to food.
-If none of this works, be ready to pay a professional nutritionist to assist me.

Well, there you go. All of that definitely falls under 'too much information' for you. But I needed to put a plan in writing to deal with this situation and this seemed the best place.

Wish me luck.

Yours in health, Kate

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