My First Month

I started this journey on December 31st. I picked this day because it was a Sunday and I wanted to weigh in on the same day every week. To me Sunday is the start of my week. I don’t work on Sundays and I can relax and unwind. I like to start my week on a good note. I  weighed in at 142.2 lbs.  I decided not to make drastic hard to keep habits off the bat. I made a small list of the things I thought I could stick with and turn in to everyday habits.

  • Eat smaller portions
  • Eat better breakfasts
  • Plan snack times
  • Plan what to eat on my snack times
  • Cut down the amount of junk food I eat
  • Drink more water
  • Exercise for at least 10 minutes a day

I pretty much stuck to these rules. I did ok with the junk food until I got stressed out. I stress eat for comfort and I know it will take awhile to get over that.  I did very well with cutting my portions, drinking more water, and doing the 10 minutes of exercise a day. I took smaller portions when I prepared my plate for dinner. I didn’t go for the second helpings of my favorite part of dinner: the starchy sides!

I was still a little hungry after dinner but after a few days I was getting used to the smaller portions and started to feel satisfied with the smaller amounts I was eating.

Next was planning snack times. This is very important because I am a grazer. I can snack all day long. So to combat being hungry before lunch I decided that I needed a good healthy breakfast. This would hopefully cut out the before lunch hunger pains.  I have trouble eating the same things all the time so i planned several breakfasts.

  • A whole grain cereal with almond milk, yogurt, a piece of fruit
  • Oatmeal, yogurt, a piece of fruit
  • Whole grain toast with a little butter and honey, yogurt, a piece of fruit.

Some days I would only eat yogurt and a piece of fruit when I wasn’t working a full 9 hour shift at work. When I work or am off work I plan to eat a snack around 4pm which would consist of:

  • Cheese and crackers
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter and celery
  • Grapes

Since it was too cold to walk in the mornings I did some exercises  which concentrated on my core, arms, and legs. I’m not a big fan of exercising ( I hate aerobics). Once I get this exercise routine down I plan on sharing it with you. It has a little bit of yoga, small weights, and of course the dreaded plank!

Last but not least I committed to drinking more water. I bought several 16 ounce cups with straws for home and work. It really helped because the water I needed to drink was right at my finger tips. All I needed to do was pick up the cup and sip!

Week 2 started on Sunday, January 7th.  I weighed first thing after I woke up. I weighed 140.4! I had lost one pound and 8 ounces. I was so excited and proud of myself. I had kept to the small habits that I had set for myself and they had worked! I did beat myself up a little because I did eat a small bag of chips and several candy bars and I wondered how much I could have lost if I hadn’t eaten them. I decided I wasn’t going to guilt trip myself. I had eaten the candy bars and chips and there was no changing it so I moved on and said I will do better next week.

Week 3 started Sunday, January 14th. I got up excited to see a smaller number on the scale. Unfortunately I weighed in at 141.0. I was really bummed out, then it dawned on me that it was only six ounces and that might be attributed to the fact that I was exercising and was hopefully replacing fat with muscle. I stuck  to my new habits. I also realized that I had actually eaten very little sweets other than the small squares of chocolate that I eat after lunch and dinner. I have found that if I eat just a small piece of something sweet it tames my sweet tooth and I crave sweets less often.

Week 4 started on sunday January 21st. I didn’t weigh in because on January 18th I had major dental surgery. I was in pain and mostly stayed in bed. I was on a strict liquid diet. My meals consisted mainly of a chocolate flavored nutritional drink mixed with unsweetened almond milk, small amounts of yogurt, and tomato soup. However I did weigh on Tuesday January 23rd and weighed 139.4 pounds. I don’t consider this part of my weight loss,more like a unavoidable cleanse. At the same time I can’t help to be a little happy that I am finally under 140 pounds. At this point I will take what I can get!

Week 5 started Sunday January 28th. I weighed as soon as I woke up. I weighed 142.8. I had gained back the three pounds I had lost in week four from the dental surgery. To be honest I was glad I gained it back because I want to lose weight from my own hard work.  This week I have done a pretty good job controlling my portion sizes. I have been putting less food on my plate than I usually do and I am not going back for seconds. Which means I can have that piece of chocolate after dinner! I also walked four miles this week. On Saturday which is the last day of my first month we made one of my favorite meals, Homemade Gnocchi with Meat Sauce. I also wanted a salad because I am trying to get at least 1 cup of greens a day. I mixed baby spinach, beets, and goat cheese together and dressed the salad with my homemade honey mustard vinaigrette. I am excited to start Month Two. I haven’t lost a lot of weight but I am learning new habits that will get me to where I want to be!

 

5 Easy Tips for Healthy Snacking

To snack or not to snack, that is the question! I love to snack, as do a lot of people.  An otherwise healthy diet can be completely derailed by making poor food choices between meals. My husband is not much of a snacker and I envy him for that. The reason I snack is because I have always snacked. My parents bought snacks and I ate them. I even once went through what I call my “Twinkie phase”, which was about a one-month period during my junior high years where I ate a package of Twinkies every day. My husband on the other hand very rarely snacked as a child. His parents didn’t buy snacks, but he was spoiled when he went to visit his grandmother a few times a year. He had occasional treats instead of every day snacks.

I don’t think I have very good snacking habits, but I don’t want to give up snacking so I need to change how I snack.  I love sweets and since I have cut a lot of processed food out of my diet, I am now craving salty snacks as well. Not only do I need to change how I snack but when I snack. I have noticed I snack when I’m not even hungry!

Here are the changes I have made to improve my snacking habits:

  1. Eat a bigger breakfast. This makes it so I am less likely to snack before lunch.  I usually eat Greek yogurt, whole grain cereal, toast, or oatmeal.  This usually keeps me full until lunch.
  2. Snack on healthy, filling foods.  After lunch – usually by 4 pm I start to get a little hungry, so I switched to snacking on grapes, cheese, and or nuts for my afternoon snack. Grapes and other fruit can satisfy my need for something sweet, and cheese and nuts can satisfy my need for something salty.
  3. Drink water or tea throughout the day.  Drinking a lot of fluids is great for you in a number of ways, one of which is that it makes you feel more full and less likely to eat.  Sometimes, I will even have a cup of tea instead of eating.
  4. Plan and pre-pack snacks.  I plan my meals ahead of time so I can better control what I eat, why not do the same with snacks?  This way I know what I am going to be eating. Planning ahead may keep me from grabbing an unhealthy snack on the spur of the moment. Pre-packing snacks also helps control the portion size, and makes me less likely to grab an extra handful of food.
  5. Control the portion size of less healthy snacks.  Sometimes I want an unhealthy snack – and that’s OK.  When I have a less-than-healthy snack, I make sure that I control the portion size.  I have a sweet tooth and chocolate is a huge weakness for me. Reese’s cups are my favorite, but I have accepted the fact I cannot eat them like I did when I was 15 and had the best metabolism! So an hour or so after dinner I will have one piece of chocolate. I try to get a good dark chocolate and eat just one piece and it satisfies my chocolate cravings. I have learned I don’t need to eat a whole candy bar to satisfy the chocolate monster inside me.

Using these methods, I am able to satisfy my desire to snack – but also prevent myself from falling off the wagon and spoiling my diet by making poor food choices between meals.

Day Thirty

Woke up and had a glass of ice water then completed my 10 minute exercise routine. For breakfast I had two pieces of whole wheat toast with butter and honey, yogurt, orange juice, and two cups of coffee. I did not walk in the am today because I have several hours of online job training today.

For lunch I had a personal frozen pizza, nectarine, and a glass of water. I did not have an afternoon snack because I had a late lunch.

For dinner we had grilled sausage with peppers, onions and grilled zucchini, and for dessert Justin and I shared a Kitkat bar. We did not get to walk because it was raining.

I did not have a 9 pm snack because I had the Kitkat after dinner.

Day Twenty-Nine

Woke up and had a glass of ice water and completed my 10 minute exercise routine. For breakfast Justin made biscuits with a tomato bacon gravy with an over easy egg, yogurt, orange juice, and two cups of coffee. After breakfast we walked for over 30 minutes for a total of 1.41 miles.

For lunch we had Japanese, a shrimp tempura roll with a squid salad. I didn’t have an afternoon snack because I had a late lunch.

For dinner we had grilled pork chops with garlic and herbs, grilled sweet potatoes, and a salad of spring greens, cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, and a simple homemade vinaigrette.

After dinner we walked for 25 minutes for a total of 1.26 miles. My 9 pm snack was a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Day Twenty-Eight

Woke up and had a glass of ice water, then completed my 10 minute exercise routine. For breakfast I had two pieces of whole wheat toast with butter and honey, yogurt, orange juice and two cups of coffee. I start my first day of on the job training and I’m really excited and nervous.

For lunch I had leftover spaghetti and salad, grapes, square of dark chocolate, and a glass of water. I did not have an afternoon snack.

For dinner I had an omelet with goat cheese and herbs, with a salad of spring greens, tomato, cucumber, green olives, and a homemade Dijon vinaigrette. After dinner I walked for 30 minutes for a total of 1.30 miles. My 9 pm snack was a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Day Twenty-Seven

When I woke up I had a glass of ice water, then completed my 10 minute exercise routine. I have a six hour training class an hour away so I did not get to walk this am. For breakfast I had two pieces of whole wheat toast with butter and honey, yogurt, orange, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had tuna salad on whole wheat bread, plain potato chips, a pickle, nectarine, one square of dark chocolate, and a glass of water.

I didn’t get to go grocery shopping, so I stopped at Arby’s and ordered a beef and cheddar, small curly fries, and a chocolate milkshake. The shake was a celebration due to being done with training classes until September 30th!!

I did not walk due to getting home late, and I had no 9 pm snack.

Day Twenty-Six

I woke up and had a glass of ice water. Again I didn’t walk or exercise this am because I still have so much to do and so little time, but I will walk  tonight after dinner!  For breakfast I had two pieces of whole wheat toast with butter and honey, yogurt, orange, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, plain potato chips, nectarine, and glass of water. I did not have a 4pm snack because I had a late lunch.

For dinner I had homemade Spaghetti with Italian sausage, a salad with spring greens, tomato, cucumber, green olives, with a tomato bacon dressing.

After dinner I walked for 30 minutes for a total of 1.28 miles. My 9pm snack was a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Day Twenty-Five

I woke up and had a glass of ice water.  I have to be at work to train this morning so I didn’t do my am walk for exercises. For breakfast I cheerios with almond milk, yogurt, orange, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had a Chicken, Almond, and Broccoli Lean Cuisine, a nectarine, and a glass of water. For my 4 pm snack I had three pieces of cheese with three crackers.

For dinner I had kale, cannellini beans, and bacon served over polenta with a glass of water. Again I didn’t walk because I had a lot of online training to complete by Friday. I feel really stressed but I will get it all done. I can’t wait till I get back on a routine so I can get back to my walking. For my 9 pm snack I had a piece of dark chocolate with a little bit of peanut butter.

Day Twenty-Four

Today is going to be a really different day for me. I have gotten a new job and I have a training class today. I have to travel to a city an hour away so I will have to forgo my am walk and exercise routine, but I did have my glass of ice water. For breakfast I had cheerios with almond milk, yogurt, an orange, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had to find somewhere to eat in a city I didn’t know in a short amount of time, so the first place I found was Mcdonald’s. I ordered one small cheeseburger, small fries, and a medium ice water.

I got home from training at 8:30 pm. I got take out from the local Mexican restaurant. I ordered a Mexican pizza which is ground beef, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, sour cream, and a cheese sauce. I also ordered a sweet tea.

I didn’t walk tonight and I did not have a 9 pm snack.

Day Twenty-Three

I woke up and had a glass of ice water, then I walked for a little over 15 minutes for a total of 0.86 miles. After my walk I came home and completed my 10 minute exercise routine. For breakfast I had scrambled eggs with fresh herbs ( chives and tarragon), one piece of bacon, yogurt,  an orange, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had a Lean Cuisine White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese, a nectarine, a few mixed nuts, and a glass of water. For my 4 pm snack I had three pieces of cheese with three crackers.

For dinner I had Shrimp Tostadas, corn on the cob, grapes, and a glass of water. I did not walk after dinner. For the 9 pm snack I had a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Day Twenty-Two

I woke up and had a glass of ice water then I walked for a little over 20 minutes for a total of one mile, then I came home and completed my 10 minute exercise routine. For breakfast I had two pieces of whole wheat toast with butter and honey, a ½ cup of cottage cheese with an orange, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had a Lean Cuisine organic Macaroni and cheese, a nectarine, one square of chocolate,and a glass of water. For my 4 pm snack I had grapes and three slices of cheddar cheese.

For dinner my daughter Sara surprised me with dinner. She brought Subway. She brought a Tuna on nine grain honey oat with cheese, pickles, spinach, black olives, little bit of mayo and salt. I also had a small bag of Doritos and some grapes with a glass of water. After dinner I walked for 30 minutes for a total of 1.31 miles. For my 9 pm snack I had a Reese’s Cup! It is my most favorite candy bar, and since my brother gave it to me when he came over to watch Big Brother I couldn’t resist =)!

Day Twenty-One

I woke up and had a glass of ice water then walked for about 20 minutes which total one mile. For breakfast Justin made pancakes with bacon, I also had two ounces of orange juice, two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had leftover barbeque chicken, mac -n- cheese, and green beans. I didn’t have an afternoon snack because I ate a late lunch.

For dinner I got take out. I order a beef gyro with lettuce and tomato with a yogurt sauce and some great french fries. After dinner I walked for a little over 20 minutes which totaled 1.08 miles. My 9 pm snack was a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Day Twenty

I woke up and had a glass of ice water then walked for 15 minutes for a total of 0.75 miles. For breakfast I had shredded wheat with bran (total 9 grams fiber for one serving) with almond milk, yogurt, a two ounces of orange juice, and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat, plain potato chips, an apple, one square of dark chocolate, and a glass of water. For my 4 pm snack I had a few pretzels.

For dinner we had barbecue chicken, Annie’s brand organic macaroni and cheese, and green beans. We didn’t walk after dinner. For my 9 pm snack I had a ½ cup of organic vanilla ice cream.

Day Nineteen

I woke up and had a glass of ice water. I did not exercise this morning because I was still sore, but I did walk at the walk at the park for 15 minutes which totaled to about 0.75 miles. For breakfast I had cheerios, yogurt, two ounces of orange juice and two cups of coffee.

For lunch I had 2 pieces of leftover pizza, an orange, one piece of dark chocolate, and a glass of water. For my 4 pm snack a cup of tea with a piece of whole wheat toast with butter and honey.

For dinner we made salmon with a sorrel beurre blanc, garlic mashed potatoes, and sauteed green beans with parmesan cheese. After dinner we walked for about 20 minutes for a total of one mile. For my 9 pm snack I had a nectarine.