Posts Tagged ‘dieting’

It’s another rainy dreary day in Boston. I’m not going to lie, I loved snuggling under my covers this morning and feeling warm and cozy. I can see though how much less productive I’d be if we had this weather all the time. I think I would sleep in a lot more and be less apt to walk around or run errands outside.

So something I hate to admit, because it makes me realize I’m not fully there on my healthy mentality mode. Last night when I first got to the gym I weighed myself. I’m up almost 5lbs from when I last weighed myself (maybe two weeks ago or so). How is that possible?

I’ll tell you how. Extremely large portion sizes of food, real ice cream nightly, and alcohol – almost every night. I was having at least two beers a night for 7 nights in a row. (And a few times more than 3-4 drinks.) I’m not a huge drinker and a big reason is that I swear alcohol immediately makes me gain weight – I packed on 30lbs in college and that was one of the biggest culprits. Add that in with the munchies after drinking and I become a much less healthy and happy me.

It really bothered me to see my number on the scale go up. I hate that it was a number that bothered me so much because I really want to care more about eating and feeling healthy. But I realize now part of why I do care is because I know for the past few weeks I’m eating twice my regular portion sizes and basically bingeing a lot at night and it’s not just because I’m hungry. Because I’m not that hungry, I’m eating to eat I guess.

So before spinning I got on the treadmill and ran a mile and then did my 55 minute spin class. It felt great to sweat everything out. What didn’t feel great was the rancid farter in front of me in my spin class. I kid you not, that was more brutal than the sprints.

Anyway, with that thought of overeating and gaining weight I decided this morning to make my oatmeal without my spoonful of dark chocolate peanut butter dreams and instead just had oatmeal with 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds, a few dashes of pumpkin spice and strawberries.

While it tasted nice and fall-ish, I missed my dark chocolate peanut butter!

And now I’m thinking if I want to cut back I need to just reduce portions sizes, add in veggies, but not take away something that makes me so excited (and crave) my morning oatmeal. So DCPB you’re back in my oatmeal tomorrow! What’d I’d really like is canned pumpkin but the shortage continues, grr.

I also put my name down last night to get more information on an upcoming Small Group Training – Boxing class at my gym. I’ve been dying to try out a new workout and a small group training class would be really neat. So we’ll see!

image source

One thing once my tri training stops after this weekend is that it’ll be somewhat nice to just do a variety or working out without a schedule on what *needs* to be done each week. I fully plan on keeping running, spinning, and biking in my schedule and maybe I’ll still swim every other week or so. But it would be great to get into some other classes, especially more “social” classes at my gym.

I’m starting to look at this fall as a way for me to try a number of new things. I just scheduled a catch-up date with a friend next week, seeing the show Wicked (which I’ve never seen!) with another friend one night and going away to my friend’s Lake House for Labor Day weekend with a small group of friends – things are looking good.

I also really need to get my finances in order and start saving. Who knows where I’ll be in a few months and I need to get myself out of any debt. I have about $4k left of debt before I am officially debt free – car paid off, credit cards, interest, etc. Savings must start ASAP.

…It looks like a fall goals/challenges list is in order!

Oh and the best news? My younger cousin who is going into her senior year at Boston College wants to run a half marathon together.  I have yet to run more than 6.2 miles so this will be a challenge but exciting. We’re thinking of the Hyannis Half Marathon at the end of February to keep ourselves running through the winter. That means training won’t need to start until November…

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One thing I’ve noticed about eating healthier is that the more I do, the more I notice and feel it when I don’t. Over last weekend and the few days prior I was eating way more than I needed to (I wasn’t hungry but was eating to just eat). The weekend was filled with chips, sour cream, cake, candy, chinese chicken lomaine, more chips, etc. Needless to say it didn’t help my “eh” mood yesterday to be feeling really lethargic and still full from the bingeing.

Actually, I also know why I was feeling a bit “eh” yesterday and it relates to a friend so I’m trying to figure out the best way for me to write it out, vent, and release it because it’s definitely bothering me…

Anyway, after a Heidi spin class last night (awesome class again) I hit up the grocery store. When I got home I made an assembly line of sorts.

I had been buying oatmeal at work each morning last week. What a waste of money! Last night I just made 1/2 cup serving for each day for the rest of the week and packaged it up with a few strawberries. I brought my serving today and actually just poured a little skim and cinnamon on it and ate it cold!

I also found a new gem from reading about it across many blogs. Barney Butter! I bought myself a jar of Barney Almond Butter – Crunchy. Spread a bit on bagel thins with a cut up banana, paired with carrots is a yummy lunch. (It kinda makes me feel like a young camper again actually!)

I have my greek yogurt with a handful of fiber cereal for an afternoon snack. I also baked a bunch of zucchini and squash so that I can pair it with chicken sausage, whole wheat pasta or omelets for dinner this week.

And I didn’t buy cereal. I have been having an obsession with cinnamon toast crunch (at least it’s the less sugar brand) but two boxes in 1 week (meaning multiple late night bowls in front of the t.v.) just can’t keep happening. I am hoping to bake up some type of cookie or bar for desserts (I always want dessert!) but something with portion control. Time to learn moderation.

Last night I looked at my long list of things I need to do around my apartment and do before race day. I looked at it, felt overwhelmed and decided on watching the bachelorette instead.

So instead of writing a giant list (I’m such a list lover) I was thinking I could break it into mini lists for the week. Just 1-2 things to get done each night. That way there’s NO excuse to not just do them.

For tonight:

  • Spin class (meditation teacher’s class tonight)
  • Take out garbage (this means bathroom, kitchen, and all random magazines & crap thrown across my floor!)


Countdown to weekend with the girls and my cousins in CT & NYC… 3 days!
Countdown to the girl’s vacation 11 days!!!   
Countdown to the Tri…25 days (ahhhhh!)

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I absolutely love the benefits of my recent diet change. I’m by no means on a diet because I don’t feel like I am restricting myself in any way (and every once in awhile I want and eat brownies, cookies, pie, burgers, and more). I am however making an effort to buy more healthy, fresh, clean, organic foods. Tons of fresh fruits, veggies, lara bars, greek yogurts, egg whites, etc. And my body feels the difference. I’m more lean, my skin is a lot more clear and glowing, and my energy is higher and just completely different. I’m also oddly enough sleeping better.

Here’s what a day might look like:

Breakfast: coffee, Larabar & banana
Snack: raspberries, grapes, cherries
Lunch: natural almond butter on a whole wheat sandwich thin, organic vanilla greek yogurt with a handful of dates and blueberries, handful of baby carrots
Snack: string cheese, vita muffin top
Dinner: organic egg whites, spinach, canadian bacon, laughing cow light swiss cheese, a slice of whole wheat toast, peppers, mushrooms and whatever other veggies I may have
Dessert: this can be very random. Sometimes it’s a bowl of Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch with skim milk, or chocolate vita muffin top or even fro yo (with chocolate chips and almonds).

I like variety of foods otherwise I can easily overeat crappy foods because I’m bored with my current foods. So I stock up on a variety of fruits, veggies, snack bars, eggs, cheeses, greek yogurts, whole wheat pastas and because I have a lot of late nights frozen veggies or boca style burgers.

Now I swear people always say you save money when you don’t eat out and it’s probably true because a meal out can be $20 for one dinner while clearly I am not spending that much on for my home cooked dinners. But, I am spending so much at the grocery store! I find that I end up making two trips a week on average to my local grocery store and usually the first trip is about $50-60 and the second trip is about $20-30.

I need to cut this back. I think if I plan my meals out a little better it may help. I’m definitely letting too much produce go to waste.  But at the same time – my greek yogurts, larabars, organic cereals/egg whites, etc are sometimes almost double what the other products sell for. It’s a price worth paying but I think it’s time to really start planning out my meals and my grocery lists a bit more.

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I grew up with my Mom and my two sisters (my parents split when I was 12 and my Dad moved to Baltimore. I saw him every other weekend but the majority of my life was spent around women.) Women who were constantly saying, “I’m fat”, “I need to lose a few lbs”, etc – so it isn’t a surprise that by middle school I was already focusing on diets and starting a habit of binge eating.

My food habits have probably not been great for my body. At the end of high school when wanting to lose a few lbs my friends and I thought it’d be a great idea to take diet pills. Ephedra + not enough food + not enough sleep made me miserably cranky. That lasted only a few weeks before I was so worn out I fainted while driving and ended up in the ER. Luckily I was OK but my Mom was furious. Thankfully that has made me realize I will never use them again.

Once I got to college the first few months I really didn’t think about what I ate. Grilled cheese and fries for lunch, pasta for dinner, and easy mac after a night of drinking. I didn’t think that it was having an effect on my body at all. I laughed when people joke about the freshman 15 because I thought, well not for me! Yet, I somehow ignored that I did gain about 8lbs that first year. It was until sophomore year that I really started gaining. I think the combo of alcohol, unhealthy eating, and the complete lack of working out caused me to gain 15 more lbs in that school year!

At the end of my sophomore year of college I went home and felt horrible. I didn’t quite see the weight I gained until I decided to go with a friend to a weight watchers meeting. At just under 5’8 I was up to 161 pounds. I started college at 138. In under 2 years I had gained 23 lbs. I was shocked. All the sudden I noticed the difference in my clothing, my mood, my energy and wanted to change. I worked really hard that summer. I went to the gym 5 days a week and followed the points system pretty strictly and by the time Junior year started I was down to 141. Weight watchers is the only “diet” that ever worked for me. The downfall of WW for me is that I really only thought about the points – not about what I was eating and if it was the right nutrients for my body. So if I didn’t eat much during the day and then had enough points at night I’d eat a cupcake or candy instead of opting to eat veggies or fruit.

Junior fall I felt great. I was active in school and played club rugby (scariest choice of club sport ever) and tried to be a bit more careful about what I ate. People mentioned I looked great and it made me feel ever better. However, the alcohol that year (and the late night burgers and pizza) started taking a toll on my body. By the summer I was back up to about 147.

Senior spring was probably the worst. I went to the gym maybe once a week and if I did it wasn’t anything close to a real cardio workout. In 6 months I gained 13 lbs and was back up to 160lbs again.

The end of that summer I moved to Boston and lived with my cousin who throughout high school had an amazing body. She was an avid volleyball player and this girl had a 6 pack that rivaled! However, her 12pack of beer to herself every night in college caused her to pack on about 40lbs. We decided to give weight watchers a try. I lost probably about 10lbs that way before ending my membership. But that didn’t stop us from ordering take-out chinese or thai at least 3 nights a week.

I don’t know if the two go hand in hand but the spring/summer of 2007 I broke up with my boyfriend of about 4 years. The timing was messy (I was about to move in with him) but I just knew he wasn’t the one and I needed to work on myself. It was then that I started to think about what I was eating. I started bringing lunch to work, walking more and going for runs after my graduate night classes. I pretty easily lost weight and was back down to 142ish. I felt great.

It wasn’t until meeting B though that I actually joined a gym in Boston. (I can’t believe it. I can’t imagine my life without working out or having a gym membership. What was I doing with all my time!) At his request of running a 5k together I signed up for a gym and started running. I worked out pretty consistently and lowered my intake of alcohol quite a bit (partly to feel healthier and partly because I just don’t like drinking a lot – much to the dismay of many friends).

And finally it wasn’t until our break-up (and break-up diet) at the end of November 2009 that I lost more weight. Right now I’m down to about 134 depending on the day. I’m not sure I can feel or see the difference from my weight at 142 but others have pointed it out. In truth sometimes I still see the 161 lbs on my body in the mirror. I just can’t seem to grasp that I look that much different.

Through all of this I have always thought that I ate somewhat healthy. I’ll never give up my burgers or treats but I understand it’s better to do them in moderation. But, currently being at my lowest weight since high school I’m not eating any vegetables. Literally I can go days without eating vegetables.

The idea of figuring out what is really good for my body is a struggle. I’m slowly trying to back away from focusing so much on calorie counting (which means frozen meals and overly processed diet foods) so that I can focus more on eating simple, fresh foods.

It’s definitely another effort to put on top of training. I’m surrounded by friends who focus much more on calories (meaning eating things like fat-free cheese – I swear that stuff is rubber) or friends who eat everything and anything they want. Add on that’s it’s time-consuming to plan out meals, the time to cook and cost of buying fresh produce.

In the world of “fat-free”, “enhanced powders”, and “organic” – sometimes I find myself thinking I no longer have any idea what I should be really eating.

I know it’ll be worth it. Especially as I feel the difference it makes in my body. It’s just a bit overwhelming to think about.

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