So far a number of the blogs I have read seem to focus on weight loss. This is a subject that interests me, as I have lost a bit of weight, and intend to lose more.
I could blame my weight gain on my pregnancies, but the truth is that I weighed in right around 152 when I became pregnant the first time, and was almost exactly that when I became pregnant 4.5 years later. It took two years to lose the extra 20 lbs I was left with the first time, and has taken me two years to lose about 17 lbs this second time.
So now that I have my main excuse out in the open, I can’t fall back on it anymore. I was overweight when I started, and didn’t get past the wishing stage until about 6 months ago.
I recently learned, after watching HBO’s excellent documentary series “The Weight of the Nation”, that my metabolism may be permanently altered due to being overweight for a good 10 years. For a person who is or was overweight, eating a normally portioned meal may actually be akin to overeating, studies show.
Not that I let this discourage me. I just keep in mind that I will have to work twice as hard to lose and then to maintain. I’m up for it.
So without further pondering, I’ll go into the healthy changes I have made in my diet.
I started with overhauling breakfast.
I have to be at work around 8:30. Before about 9 a.m. I am ready for coffee and not much more. I’ve never been one to skip breakfast, but my stomach just was not ready for food at 7:45. The only thing I knew to do was force myself to eat, because I knew I’d be starving by 9:30.
Even worse, my breakfast was usually a carb-heavy selection, like cereal, bagels, or toast. Those things tend to digest quickly, spike my blood sugar, and then seemingly evaporate, leaving me famished by about 10 a.m. Snack time!
My new approach involves something portable and high in protein. These days it has been cottage cheese with a spoonful of crushed pineapple or sliced peach. Sam’s Club has a large tub of low fat cottage cheese for dirt cheap, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. Another good option is plain yogurt with a bit of fruit and/or a drizzle of honey. Either way you’re starting off with lots of protein and hello – calcium! Time to start thinking about the future, ladies!
One thing about eating at work is that for four days a week, I’m what I call a captive eater. Since it’s become my habit to never visit the vending machine, I’m pretty much confined to eating whatever I brought from home. If I bring junk, I eat junk. But if I bring healthy and light, then I eat healthy and light.
Which brings me to lunch. Lunches are by far the healthiest meals I eat all week. Again, I buy a lot of my ingredients from Sam’s. They carry a 5 lb tub of organic spring mix for practically free, and these sweet “Cherub” tomatos that are to die for. Also they have some wonderful cheeses that go great on a salad, particulary bleu and feta, at rock-bottom prices. And finally, they have large bags of nuts, such as walnuts and sliced almonds, at very inexpensive prices, considering how pricey nuts are.
The following ingredients can be prepped and kept on hand so that you can throw together a salad at the drop of a hat: lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheeses, craisins/raisins, black olives, nuts…and whatever else strikes your fancy. Buy a bottle or two of dressing to keep at work. Low-fat vinegrette is a good choice.
Some other salads that I find particularly appealing include:
chicken or turkey salad
fresh mozzerella & tomato with olive oil and balsalmic vinegrette
I think I’ll do some future blogs on these items. Hmmm….
For snacking…I don’t snack like I used to. That’s what got me here. But in the afternoon at work I’ll have either a Greek yogurt, a handful of walnuts, or a piece of fruit.
Here’s where I know I need to improve:
Dinner. My evenings are not my own. Some days I have to pick my kids up from my in-laws, where my mother-in-law has normally made (or picked up) dinner…for which I am grateful, but it is not the healthy fare that I try to stick to. I just keep the portions small. Other evenings I am home alone with my kids as my husband works late, in which case my dinner might be a bowl of Raisin Bran. I purposely try to keep my dinners small, but I know I need to work on this area.
Exercies. Oh, how I miss exercise. The only time I can think of that I might fit it in would be early mornings. On rare occasions I will wake up in the 5:00 hour, jump up, and do a Turbo Jam workout. On some weekends I will walk in the evenings. Like I said, I know I need to work on it.
If you’re reading, please tell me…what works for you? Where do you need to improve?