Monday, November 5, 2012

Review and Reset

It is really important for me to pay a lot of attention to my eating habits, I'm a bit obsessed with it. On a side note, this is one reason it really helps to have someone to support you in any weight loss / maintenance venture. My biggest support is my husband, I've written before about how we are doing this together.  If you have someone supporting you, they can call you on your re-emerging (or newly forming) bad habits. Some people get this support by joining a group and some get it more informally from the people in their lives, I have both - for the moment. I lost my initial weight with a medically supervised diet offered by my health care provider (called HMR), one thing the program wisely requires is weekly meetings for a year after the initial "diet". The meetings have been incredibly useful, and after I'm done with them, I still have the support of my husband - so I'm lucky.

Now, back to my eating habits, the easiest way to gain back weight is to reform bad habits or form new bad habits. So, every once in a while, I will take a look at what I'm doing. This usually happens when I step on the scale and have either gained weight or not lost any for a LONG time - like today. I have been stuck, stuck, stuck for over a month fluctuating up and down the same three pounds. I was right in the middle today. After I walked for 16 miles on Saturday and had a REALLY great weekend as far as my eating and calorie intake. What the heck? Okay, so I know these things take time, I know this too well, but, honestly, I'm frustrated. I'm in the home stretch here - I have 25 pounds to go - and they are STUBBORN!  Okay, so after the little temper tantrum, I did what I have to do and I looked at my eating habits (and talked this through with my husband too). I evaluated what I have and have not been doing and reassessed my habits. The trick is always to be honest with yourself...not always easy, but necessary to succeed.  Here are my conclusions: 

  1. This is going to sound ridiculous, but, I have a really bad cheerios habit (of all things, like I'm a three-year old with the cheerios). I munch on cheerios all the time. Now, it could be worse, there are worse things in the world than Cheerios, but they do add up. I haven't gained weight, but I'm not losing it either and I'm fairly certain that my little handfuls are adding up to a couple of hundred extra calories a day. I know the way to control this - I measure a cup of cheerios into a bag - that is 100 calories. That is all I can have. It works when I do it. I will stop at one bag. Something about the measured bag slows down my munching - it's a finite thing - I can't just keep grabbing handfuls and telling myself they are low calorie so I'm not adding many calories. Cheerios are fairly low calorie, that is true, but a lot of low calorie food still adds up to a lot of calories. Anyway, unfortunately, I get lazy and don't do measure my bags...I'll just have one handful, or two...- when I'm lazy, it is not long before my Cheerios consumption runs rampant. So, I either need to start doing my 100 calorie bags again, or I need to stop buying Cheerios. For now, I'm back to the bags, we'll see how that works.
  2. I don't drink enough water. Water aids with digestion and it helps me not to feel hungry. I simply need to drink more. Water consumption has been the most difficult habit for me to maintain with my healthier lifestyle and diet. I have never been a water drinker, and it doesn't seem to be so important, so I let is slide. I need to actively keep track of how much water I drink or I won't drink it. I need to force myself to drink enough. It's absurd how difficult this is for me. The exercise thing, I've got that down - no problem. The calorie counting thing, got that down pretty well too. But drink 64 oz of water a day - forget it. So, I'm back to tracking my water. There are really no tricks or cheats here-  I just need to drink more water. I used to substitute Crystal Lite, and admittedly, I still do to a degree, but aspartame is questionable at best and I really ingest way too much of it, so that needs to go - as does Diet soda for that matter. So - I'm going to need to pay more attention to my water intake and start tracking it the way I track everything else that I eat / drink.
  3. Finally, I struggle to eat enough fruits and veggies. I eat far more of these than I used to, but I need to work more of them into my diet. Filling up on Veggies in particular, but also fruit, helps me to control calories because I don't get hungry and snack on, say, cheerios, when I shouldn't be. Also, even though fruit tends to be higher in calories and sugar than veggies, it is far healthier and lower calorie than most anything else and if you need a sweet fix, it can work (not always, but sometimes it does the trick).  So, I've started taking an extra fruit or vegetable in my lunch - I usually get hungry around two in the afternoon, so now I have something to combat that - and possibly stop me from grabbing that first handful of Cheerios when I get home from work. 

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