Monday, March 23, 2009

Mini Goals

Today I want to talk about goals. Sure, I want to wear a size 4. Sure, I want to look smoking hot. Blah, blah, blah. When you are obese, you don't see yourself as thin. You see yourself as disgustingly fat, and seeing your end goal is impossible. It's frustrating, counter productive and if you keep thinking of how much weight you have to lose, you will fall down into a pit of despair and not even try. I know this. I have been there.

But then one day I read about small goals. I am not talking 25 pounds as a small goal. Think smaller. Tiny baby step goals. TINY! When you break your weight loss, your exercise and your diet into little smaller chunks, it's much easier to focus and to wrap your brain around it. I've been doing little tiny baby steps for awhile now, and they add up. I am down 55 pounds. Had I started with "I am going to lose 50 pounds" I never would have done it!

Let's focus on the three main areas - your weight loss, your exercise and your diet, and find small manageable goals within each one.

Let's start with weight loss. Everyone has a different opinion on the scale, and personally, I think you should weigh yourself every single day. People who say "Only weigh once a week" are probably skinny people. For all of us that are overweight, we know that it is all too easy to have a really bad week and pack on five pounds or more! If you weigh yourself every single day, granted, maybe there is some water weight involved, but it keeps you honest and helps you stay on track. Did you eat pizza last night and the scale is up 3 pounds today? Then let your small goal for the day be to eat clean, workout a little longer, and not let that 3 pounds spiral out of control.

What do you weigh right now? For me, I am hovering bouncing back around 180 for a bit now. My goal right now is to get below 175. Note that I am not looking at a HUGE goal. I am not looking at the weight I want to be forever. I am focusing on the weight I want to be VERY soon. I remember not all that long ago that my big goal was to be able to stand on the scale with all my clothes on and be under 200. Obviously I can do that now, and it feels great. I adjust my mini goals as needed. Sometimes it's just a matter of wanting to lose half a pound.

We are going on vacation next week, and I am pretty nervous. I won't be doing my workouts every day, but I will be walking at the amusement parks a lot. I will be eating out a lot, so that makes me nervous too. My weight goal for vacation is to not go above 185. That's five pounds above where I am now. If I can get back from vacation and be under 185, I will be thrilled. 185 is my magic 50 pound number, so this is very important to me.

By setting small weight loss goals and limits for yourself, you eventually will accomplish the bigger goals. Now let's look at exercise mini goals. If you tell yourself, "I am going to work out for 2 hours every day for the next three weeks" chances are you will crash and burn. Take it one day at a time. One workout at a time. I have days where I even take it one song at a time. One mile at a time. One minute at a time.

Plan and prepare are key to success. The night before, make sure you set out your workout clothes, and pack your gym bag. It's so much easier to fail if you do not plan. It's easier to NOT go to the gym, right? But if all your things are sitting out, well, it's just plain easier. Now, let's say you are on the treadmill. I know I can't run five miles, but I know I can run 1 minute. Maybe starting out you can only run ten seconds. Maybe you are stronger and can run for one song on your Ipod. Figure out what works for you to break it down into manageable pieces that you can accomplish.

I used to be only able to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes at about 3 mph when I started. Now I can do 45 minutes with 2 minute intervals of jogging at 5.2 mph and walking at 4 mph! That's a big difference. But it didn't happen overnight. I built up slowly. Reevaluate your goals as often as you need to do so.

Now let's talk about food. Again, planning is so key. You aren't going to go from existing on McDonalds to eating sprouts overnight. By going WAY overboard, most people set themselves up to fail. Make small goals, small changes. Maybe your goal today is to get rid of five things from your pantry that aren't healthy. Your goal for tomorrow could be to clean your fridge. You can take your food goals in steps. For instance, you could go from full fat salad dressing to light salad dressing to fat free salad dressing to dressing on the side and only dipping your fork into it, to no dressing, just a spritz of oil/vinegar. You could go from 3 slices of cheese on a sandwich down to 2, down to one, down to low fat, down to 1/2 a slice of low fat down to none.

Cutting cheese WAY down in my diet was a huge deal. Cheese was my favorite, and I never thought I could live with out it. I used to put cheese on EVERYTHING! Sandwiches, soups, salads, on vegetables, and more. It was just on everything. I cut to one slice. I changed to low fat. I broke it down. I told myself I would have one sandwich without cheese, and then next time I could have one with it. Funny, I never went back. I told myself one day, "No cheese on your broccoli today." And I never went back. Little by little I cut it out. I do still eat it but very rarely, maybe once every week or two. I do still enjoy a nice piece of pizza here and there, but I don't eat it multiple times a day like I used to do.

So, to wrap up, break it down. Small, manageable goals! You can do this. We are all in this together!!!

Love, laughter and light,
Mrs. ChildFun

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don't Drown Your Food

Sorry I have been so quiet. It's been crazy. I started YMCA Boot Camp and a new spinning class this week. Last week I wasn't feeling motivated, and had too much on my plate. Enough excuses! I am feeling good again now. Boot camp is really kicking my butt. Like, OMG, dying, barely making it through class burning a billion calories dying. I love every second of it. But, I will talk more about that later! Today I want to talk about FOOD!

Yes, I love food. Hello, have you seen my before pictures, of course I love food. I love to cook. I love to eat. I love to eat out. I used to love complicated dishes with heavy sauces, Alfredo and hollandaise being my favorites. I loved ketchup and mayo. NUMMY! Oh, and steak sauce? My other fav! And cocktail sauce. And cheese. Oh Lord. I used to put cheese on everything because I thought it tasted better. My husband would cringe when he would grill a steak to perfection (he is an EXCELENT cook) and then I would slob sauce all over it. He'd say, "Don't drown your food." I always thought he was a poooper head as my daughter would say. It made it nummier. How could he not understand that?

Well, here we are years later, and I realize, he still weighs within a few pounds of when I met him 163 years ago. (It seems that long...LOL. Actually it's going on 18 years.) He looks amazing. He is not fat like me. And he DOESN'T DROWN HIS FOOD! Hmmm, maybe he is on to something here? He eats meat plain, he doesn't like sauces (except for occasional gravy - no one is perfect) he doesn't use condiments, and he doesn't like cheese on burgers, omelets or sandwiches. Hmmm. Then it hit me....

HE EATS CLEAN!!!!! Omg, it hit me one day when I was reading a little Tosca Reno. My husband eats clean and he doesn't even know it. He eats raw fruits and veggies, lean meat, and hardly any dairy, and yep, no white bread for this dude!

A few years ago, the idea of an omelet without cheese, or a sandwich without mayo would have gagged me. But I made SLOW changes. VERY slow. I went from full fat products to low fat to no fat to plain food that I could enjoy. (Watch your sugar content though. You must read labels!!) I went from regular cheese to low fat cheese to no cheese - it's just extra fat and calories. I went from piling on white sauces to sparingly using red sauces. Subtle changes over the last couple years. Now, I don't WANT cheese on my sandwich. I threw the mayo away because I was the only one that liked it before, and it's been so long since anyone used it, it's more of a science experiment than a condiment! And hummus and tomatoes make a sandwich much tastier than any cheese ever did. You can make changes too. And what's funny, is in the long run, you WILL like it better, and food actually tastes SO much better without all the sauces, creams and crap. And the calories and fat you save. It's insane!

Let's go through a typical meal to see what happens.

Old Breakfast

3 egg omelet with cheese cooked in butter
3-4 slices bacon or link sausage
2 slices white toast with real butter
Orange Juice (big glass)

Ugh, what was I thinking???? That lovely little meal adds up to 1240 calories, 77 grams of fat, (36 of them saturated) and 52 grams of protein. All by 8am. Well no wonder I weighed 235 jiggly pounds. I ate like that all the time!

Now I would have something more like this.

New Breafast

5 eggs white omelet with 1 tablespoon ground flax seed & 2 cups raw mushrooms cooked in a drizzle of olive oil.
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries or raspberries
1 slice Ezekiel bread with a teaspoon of sugar free preserves or honey
1 cup green tea

Notice, this is actually MORE food. But, it's only 360 calories. We saved 880 calories!!! It is also only 7 grams of fat, with only 1 gram saturated, it has 12 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of protein. (You should never have more than 25-30 grams of protein at a time - your body cannot process it and guess what happens to calories your body can't process? THEY TURN INTO FAT !!!!!)

Now, if I had the first breakfast one day, and the second the next, it probably wouldn't taste great. Eating clean can take time to adjust to. Maybe jumping full force works for some people, but making gradual changes not only allows you to adjust, but your family as well. I have stopped buying white bread for instance. It was VERY gradual. They survived. They didn't even notice when I bought sugar free jelly. And when the sugar bowl was replaced with Stevia packets, they didn't mind. Your family will adjust too. I hear a lot of people say "Oh my husband would freak if we ate like that." Well, if you change things slow, they won't really notice. By the time they figure it out, you will be able to point out to them how much healthier they are. I have seen my boys go from borderline chubby, to lean and trim athlete types! What a gift I have given them to not go into adulthood as an obese person! I feel like the best mom in the world! As Flylady would say, take baby steps! But, more about food.

Let's look at a poor drowned sandwich I used to love. Bologna, american cheese, white bread and mayo on one side, butter on the other. (It gags me to even think that I used to like that....)

643 freakin calories. Ewww. That's not to mention the cheetos or some other crap I would have eaten with it. And washed it down with a coke to boot. Barf. Easily a 1000 calorie lunch.

Now a typical lunch would be some tuna, some sprouts and some hummus tucked into a pita bread. An apple. A dish of some fresh veggie like 2 cups of cauliflower, and a large glass of water, plus a cup of tea with honey in it. (I can forgo desserts usually, but tea with honey in it is my treat now.)

305 little butty calories, and twice the food! And only 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of fiber! Again, start with skipping the mayo and adding a slice of tomato or hummus. Switch from white to wheat. Switch from bologna to chicken or turkey. Baby baby steps!

Over the course of time, you will not want the condiments. I just ate a piece of salmon that I grilled last might. No seasonings, no sauces, no anything. Just the smokey flavor of the grill. It was beyond decadent. I used to eat piles of potatoes with gravy and butter. Today I had a sweet potato I cooked in the microwave, just plain, mashed up. I reveled in the texture and taste with nothing to cover it up!

So, I could go on all day, but I leave you with this. Condiments are hidden calories that you are just globbing on your hips and thighs. Might as well just stick that package of jeans into the top of your jeans and let your muffin top flop because that is where it is going to go! Being aware of what goes into your mouth can be a real eye opener. Start reading those labels and start adding up those hidden calories! You'd be surprised at what a few little changes can add up to in your daily caloric intake!

Love, laughter and light,
Mrs. ChildFun