Monday, May 19, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 12!

Current Weight: 155.2 (down 9.8 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.3

Week 12! That marks 3 months of solid diet and exercise and 10lbs missing off my butt to show for it. It sure isn't a lot of weight, but I can definitely feel the difference. Plus, when I started this journey in Feburary my waist measured 39". I just measured it out (after breakfast and before my workout) and it is 35"! You can't deny that kind of aweseomeness. I felt so thin looking at my 10K race pictures from last weekend.

I definitely had a pig-out on yesterday after my weigh-in though. I think I have learned that eating out is just always going to be a set back for my daily calories because I don't care for salads and some places just sell award-winning pies. Though I did turn down the milkshakes that the rest of the group got, didn't eat even half my fries, and nixed the whipped creme or ice cream on my pie- three things that old Casey would never have done! But the junk I DID say yes to I am okay with, because I don't eat out often, which is good for my wallet and my butt :)

I think today I would share my Top 5 Tips for Losing Weight

1. It Is Not a Race
You didn't put on the weight in a week and you aren't going to lose it in a week. It is slow. Some weeks the scale won't move. Sometimes it will actually go up! Mine was yo-yoing like crazy the last couple weeks and I saw everything from 155 to 158 (!!!) and it was depressing until I found the link with my drinking diet pop and my bloating. Here is a chart of my weight loss over the past 3 months. You can't really see the crazy weight fluctuations in the past couple weeks because this is only my Sunday morning weigh-ins.

It looks like a happy little slope- but this was THREE months of work! If you calculate how much weight you want to lose and try for 1-2lbs per week (which is what is recommended if you intend to stick with your diet), you will see that it takes a loooong time to shift that weight. You've got to mentally prepare for that!

2. Get Measuring Cups and a Kitchen Scale
Portion control is key to accurately tracking your caloric intake. And I am sorry, but you are going to need to work harder in the kitchen than the gym to shift the weight. Working out will make you hungry, so you need to make sure you are properly fueling to stay full and give you energy. You would also be surprised how little calories you burn in a workout. My 10Km run burnt about 750 cals, according to my RunKeeper app. That is about equivalent to a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese- without even fries or coke!

I love love love my kitchen scale. I got it for Christmas and I've already had to change the batteries in it. I used it a lot, along with my measuring cups, in the early days to accurately see what the recommended portion is and track how much I was really eating. Even now I use it to see what a real portion of new foods is.

3. Lay Off the "Diet Food"
You need nutrients and quality meals to feel full. If you are just eating egg whites you will miss out all of the good stuff in eggs and you will find yourself HUNGRY shortly after eating. And hunger is dangerous because you are way more likely to pig out, or make a bad choice for a snack, when you are hungry. Once and awhile I still buy the "light" version of something, but I try hard to makes sure my meals have lots of protein and fibre and are actually going to keep me full. I also find a lot of low-cal meals include a lot of salt and you need to watch out for that because it will make you retain water and mess with your weight!

My usual day is yogurt & granola with berries for breakfast, an apple for morning snack, a cheese and turkey sausage omelette for lunch, veggie and/or granola bar in the afternoon, crackers and hummus as an after-work snack, pita pizza for dinner (I love those darn things), fudgsicle for dessert, and maybe some PB on a spoon if I have worked out. 

4. Get Moving
I sit next to my fridge at home (yay tiny condo), and sometimes I feel like I am constantly getting up and looking for snacks. The best cure for the "boredom snackies" is to get moving. I seriously get up and either go to the gym, go for a walk, or just start cleaning my condo or something. I find it breaks the cycle right away to just start moving and distract my mind. I am working hard to eat when I am hungry and not because I need something to occupy my hands while I watch TV. I also knit sometimes because I can't eat when I am doing that!

Also for getting moving, you have to wake up your muscles and start working out. Muscle uses a lot of our daily caloric intake and if you build your muscles you will raise your metabolism and begin dropping fat! I haven't run much since my 10K due to shin splits, but I am trying to pump some iron in the gym lately (my gym doesn't have the best selection of machines for this so I would love some tips). 

5. Have Fun!
Some people view diets as an end to anything fun. I disagree- everything in moderation! You can set yourself a cheat day on your diet, especially if you know you are in this for the long haul. I find depriving myself doesn't work so I have a little chocolate or something every day. 

It can also be fun in that you can try out some new recipes and some new workouts. Maybe you will fall in love with dance classes or yoga. Or maybe you will learn you make a mean lentil soup casserole (ahem). Or you can just use this an an excuse to try out a new vegetable every week and expand your usual palate!

Weight loss is certainly not easy, but I found that the first couple weeks were actually the hardest. I have gotten so used to tracking calories and working out now that it all comes second nature and there are only a few times a week where I need to actively think about making a better choice. It just comes naturally now to stick to my daily calories!

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