Saturday, September 12, 2009

Banning Drama... as requested

Well, I was asked the other day by one of our fellow GAG Challengers the following...

"Annalisa201 said...Okay. I am playing catch-up tonight, commenting on TONS of blogs for GAG, and one thing I've noticed. YOU are the first person to not have DRAMA about their eating habits. What's your secret? A big long post would be appreciated ;)"

I'm not sure that I can really post a long post, but thought I would share with everyone a bit about me, my thoughts, my eating habits, etc.

I have always pretty much been able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Even as a kid and teenager in school.. in college, etc. It was just something I never had to worry about. My grandma used to tell me, "It's going to catch up with you someday". I still never gave much thought to it.

Well, I got married in June of pregnant 2 weeks later. Was put on TOTAL bed rest from the time I was 20 weeks along...actually before that, but it was more or less off my feet more than I was on. That I believe is where my "problem" with weight began. I had to eat for two, could not get any physical fitness or anything in. I wanted to cry the first time I went shopping for new summer clothes after Holly was born. I had gone from a size 9 to a size 12/14. I had NEVER been that big before. It was depressing to me. I started my journey to loose weight when Drew (my husband) was sent to Cuba for 3 months about 9 months after our daughter was born, but I gained it back.

Almost three years ago, when my husband was sent to Korea for a year, I decided it was high time that I do something about my weight. Most people would say that I didn't need to loose weight, but I was not comfortable with who I was, what I looked like, how I felt on a day to day bases. By doctor standards, I was only a few pounds over weight...but I was far from what I was in high school, college, and even when I got married. I worked a very physically demanding job, but still found that the weight was not going anywhere.

I joined Curves in Feb. 2007 and by July I had lost 30 lbs. I did it by working out daily and watching everything I ate... I was going to Curves 3-4 times a week, doing strength training at home in the evenings, and would walk at the walk park on my off days from Curves. I was motivated to loose the weight, I was excited about the attention I was getting from the guys I worked with. I was NEVER one to get attention from the guys at work, at school, anywhere. I always felt like the Ugly One... But more importantly, I was excited about the way I felt about myself! I for the first time in my life felt like I was "sexy", I was fit and toned. I was sleeping better through the night, I felt more energetic throughout the day, I just felt totally awesome about myself.

Once I hit my goal weight (140) I kinda lost my motivation. Partly because it got HOT outside (I lived in FL), the Curves did not have a/c, and I found it too hard to work out when I was so hot all the time... then my husband came home and we were busy getting ready to move to our final duty station before hubby retires.

Next thing I knew... 15 lbs had creeped back on. All that hard work I had done to get where I was was slowly disappearing. That's where Sheila's first challenge, Sizzlin Hot By Summer Challenge came into play. It was with her challenge that I again met my goal and got my weight back where I wanted it. It's only been up and down about 5-9 lbs since the end of the challenge.

So, now that you have a bit of my background... on with how I keep the drama from my life when it comes to my eating habits.

I honestly think that it is because I have always believed that I can eat whatever I want whenever I want. OK, so I can't have ALL that I want, but I can eat whatever I want in moderation. That is what I feel is the key to loosing weight. Knowing when to eat, what to eat, and HOW much.

In my journey to loose weight, I turned to books, magazines, online articles, etc. to learn all I could about loosing weight and doing it the healthy way. At one point, I would say I was becoming obsessed with fitness, eating right, etc. But, all in all, I think that is a GOOD thing because I learned something. I learned that I CAN eat what I want in moderation. Besides, eating what I want keeps me from getting bored with eating "diet food" all the time.

When I go down to Arby's and order a large Side Kick of Mozzarella Cheese Sticks... I know that it's "OK" but I need to make sure that I incorporate more veggies in that day, cut the fat & carbs down a bit in my other meals. Why, because I need a healthy balance of each and the cheese sticks are high in fat, carbs, and calories.

I followed the sparkpeople program to measure my calories, carbs, protein, sugar, etc. for the 5 months I was initially on my diet. It helped me to learn where my problem areas were. For me, that was carbs, sugar, and fat. Once I learned the right portions I needed (you can NOT go by the serving size on package unless you are on a 2000 calorie plan) I found it a lot easier to manage my food intake. I eat a wide variety of foods... I love love love salads and fresh veggies, so that makes up HALF my dinner plate. The other half, is divided in half and one portion is protein, the other portion carb. It WORKS! You would be amazed at how filling vegetables really can be. I will also start my meal off with a salad and still fill half my plate with steamed, boiled, and/or fresh veggies.

Another thing I learned about my journey and about me. Pop is NOT good for me. Even though it is diet, it still makes me feel bloated, constipated, sluggish after the caffeine wears off, and just plain fat. For 5 months, I drank NOTHING but water, and an occasional juice. It was amazing how much better I felt. I still drink them now. And I'm really trying to cut them out. I know it's hard but it can be done. Just know that when you drink a 20 oz bottle of Pop, wash it down with an equal amount of water! It really does help with the bloated feeling, helps flush the "bad" things out of your system. Having to run to the little girls room more frequently isn't really a bad side affect to drinking water! It's doing your body good getting rid of the bad things we tend to put into them.

I think another thing that helps me to keep the drama away is that I have actually switched the foods I eat up. We rarely ever eat regular pasta anymore. We have found a carb friendly brand (Dreamfields) that is only 5g of digestible carbs. Meaning it's not all going to turn to sugar and stick to your hips! We eat a lot more fresh fruits & veggies every day. I've switch to cooking with more Olive Oil, less salt, less sugar, and have switched to Fat Free or Sugar free puddings and jellos for those days I am craving something sweet. You'd be amazed at how small changes in the things we eat can make a huge difference in our diets. And I'm not meaning diets as in just loosing weight. I mean in our overall health.

Another change I made. I have NEVER been a breakfast eater, but have discovered that the experts are RIGHT! I snack way less if I eat a healthy breakfast every morning. It does not have to be anything big. Me, I usually will just have a 1/2 cup fat free or low fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup fruit, and 1/2 cup of granola cereal...all mixed together for a yummy breakfast.

OK...and to be totally honest. I think another reason I do not stress much about what I eat IS because I had a physically demanding job. I knew that if I went a bit over calories on a truck day... I would work it off by offloading the trucks. Knowing that I would be able to burn the calories allowed me to splurge on those days. Those are the days I would usually give into my cravings, moderately... I say "had a physically demanding job" because I am no longer working in receiving! YEAH! I have finally been moved to the floor where I asked to be moved to back in April.

Speaking of cravings... I don't let cravings get to me. If I am craving ice cream, then I give into that craving. I know that if I don't eat what I want then I will eat anything and everything trying to satisfy that craving. In the long run, I would have been better off just eating that ice cream because I may have consumed twice the amount of calories of that ice cream trying to satisfy my craving with other foods. It's not worth over eating with other foods trying to avoid what you really want.

I guess that is how I would have to say that I deal with keeping the drama out of my diet. All in all, I guess I would have to say is you HAVE to learn what works for you. Pay attention to your body, your cravings, how your body feels after eating certain foods. Food journals are a GREAT tool. If you eat a chocolate cake and feel terrible afterward...sluggish, bloated, constipated, etc. log it. It helps you to identify how your body reacts to certain foods. Once you know how foods affect you, it is so much easier to loose weight because you will be able to get the healthy balance your body needs.

Try new foods... try coming up with healthy alternatives when cooking. Do you "really" need to add the salt to your boiled potatoes? Do you really need to add bread crumbs to your meatloaf when you can add oatmeal for added fiber? Do you really have to have full fat pudding or full sugar jello? Do you have to have regular pasta over whole wheat pasta, white rice over brown. Give the healthier versions a shot! They truly are better than one might think. Little changes can make a huge difference.

Well, I hope this post helps someone out there in the challenge. My suggestion, read all that you can in the magazines.... Shape, Woman's Health, Fitness, Prevention, etc. There is so much good articles, tips, workouts, and so much more in there. They are what helped to keep me motivated. They gave me new things to try, new ideas to keep me motivated.

Good Luck Everyone!
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