Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Every Excuse in the Book (Part 2)

Last night's dinner

     What did we find helped us the most? We started by using the website myfitnesspal.com. It also has an app for your phone or tablet. You simply log what you eat into it each day and it keeps track of everything from calories to carbs, sugar, fats etc. For us, it is so much easier than counting points (although that works for many) because so many foods and brands are already programmed into it. You can also scan bar codes with your phone app to add them to your meals and there is a way to type in any recipe you might make and save it to use in a meal listing. I go over on my sugar suggested amount almost daily and often on my protein, but I try very hard to not go over on carbs or fats. We eat about 1200 calories a day, but I have learned to stretch those to include everything I want and no fat free or fake food for me. You also log in your exercise for the day and you can have more calories if you exercise (I rarely use the bonus calories). You can link your page to other people, so we can watch each other progress (or slack) and send messages of support.

     We also started exercising 5 or 6 days a week. My daughter likes it. I hate it. I hate the time it takes. I hate to sweat. I hate having to take a shower after. I do mine at 5:00 pm, so now instead of being happy when my husband comes home from work, I tend to say, “great-you are home-I have to exercise now-crap”. However, I tried walking an hour a day for over a year before this and never lost an ounce. In order for me to be healthy, I have to sweat and feel as if I might die for at least 30 minutes a day. I opted to get a dance DVD (message me and I'll tell you which one) and it is as fun for me as exercise could ever be. I almost died doing the 15 minute program the first few times. Now I do 35 minutes and while it is a workout, I can do it. I always feel better after I have finished...always. Even if I am dragging and tired, I have more energy after I am done. It is just the starting that is difficult!

     There have been a few interesting things happen along the way. My husband started exercising when I did (he is competitive like that). He is just a few pounds over his high school weight, didn't need to lose an ounce and has probably lost 5 pounds as he is eating the same things I am, just in larger portions. He says he feels better and we have both noticed that big heavy meals, fried foods etc. (which were never a big part of our diets) don't even sound good anymore. We didn't eat a lot of beef before and we eat very little now. He had beef twice in one day a few days ago and felt horrible afterward. That doesn't mean we never go a little crazy. At my girlfriend's wedding (read here) I had 2 little pies, pizza and lasagna! I loved every minute of it. I just didn't do it again the next day! In the beginning of this process I was a grouch every weekend. I never cooked on Friday nights before and I didn't want to start now. The thing I have learned is that it is restaurant food that is really is toxic to me. One meal in a restaurant and I gain weight. There is so much hidden fat and calories in the food that even if you think you are ordering something healthy, it is bathed in butter and salt. For the first few weeks, I just stayed home on weekends and complained. Once I was seeing results, I would go to places that had true low-cal options (many have nutritional information online). Now, I will go where I want and have what I want...but I won't eat something that isn't “worth it” to me. If I gain a pound, I know it will leave again in a day or two. I do tend to want the healthier choices now...but I certainly had Crème Brulee in Epcot and I will have Fried Green Tomatoes the next time I see them on a menu. This isn't a diet, this is a life! 

     I asked my daughter the 5 things that most helped her change her life and she said:

1. Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges
2. Quinoa
3. A Food Scale
4. Kid's meals in restaurants
5. Sugar Free Jell-O

     My top 5 are:

1. Trader Joe's Savory Thin Rice Crackers (I swear I couldn't have done this without these. You can have an entire bowl for almost no calories. They taste like a cross between a cracker and a chip. I have had them with cheese, peanut butter, home-made hummus, in soup, in the car...I make a 100 mile drive to stock up).

2. Weight Watcher String Cheese Sticks (I like the plain ones best, but they do come flavored).

3. Wonton Wrappers- I have made everything from Crab Rangoon and Nachos, to Cinnamon Sugar Crisps and Chocolate-Filled Wrappers with them. I love pastry and these make things have that crispy, crunchy texture.

4. Non-fat Frozen Yogurt: Pinkberry, Menchies, TCBY or even McDonald's cones. I am a dessert girl and if there is a frozen yogurt place, I'm in. I put lots of fruit on top. Expensive some places (McDonald's is only $1) but I don't care...I need dessert!

5. Quinoa (I like it best with a T. of Brummel and Brown Yogurt “butter”) which is great for a side dish or cold with veggies in it as a salad or main dish.

From my daughter: It is hard to do this at my age because so much of our social lives revolve around “going out” for drinks, for dinner, etc. It is doable if you plan ahead and try not to walk into a situation where you don't have a game plan...you can't always know what food will be around but you can plan how you will handle it. Eat a snack before going out to dinner, order off the kid's menu (most restaurants will let you and it is instant portion control), exercise in the morning and get it out of the way so you can enjoy your day, look at your before pictures often-they will remind you why you are doing it, still enjoy life; it is not a prison sentence. Have a glass of wine or that slice of pizza every once in a while. Know that people will give you funny looks at first when you go from eating cheeseburgers and beer to grilled chicken and iced tea, but know that it will be worth it when they start asking you how you did it.

     I found a new cookbook that I love. “The Looneyspoons Collection”    takes recipes for things we love and makes them healthy without using a bunch of fake sweeteners, fake eggs etc. I have loved every recipe (except for the scones-my recipe is more fattening but “worth it”). My daughter bought me Bobby Deen's cookbook, “From Mama's Table to Mine” for Mother's Day and it has many of Paula's recipes made healthier. The pimento cheese spread is wonderful. I will be sharing some of the recipes from both books in future posts. They have both really helped me be able to cook great food in a healthier way.

     Can my daughter reach her goal? I have no doubt she will, I have never seen her this determined. Will I maintain what I've done. I hope so. I certainly am well aware that I am one crisis away from eating those pounds back on, they go on much faster these days. Did I get rid of my clothes that no longer fit? No way. I know what they say...get rid of the “bigger” clothes.  I never thought I'd need to be doing this in the first place, so I'm not cocky enough to get rid of those clothes yet. I do know that at this point, I simply feel better physically when I am exercising and not eating heavy, fattening food on a daily basis. I never was a big eater, or a night time eater...but, look at what a portion of pasta is (2 oz.) and ask yourself how many portions you are eating. I think I was eating at least 4 servings. I know that I feel like I am back in my own body again instead of one that had 30 pounds of extra padding on it and I like the way my jeans fit (okay, we all have a little vanity about that, don't we).

     I also know that all those excuses that I listed at the beginning can be overcome if you go at it kicking and screaming (and sweating). It certainly helps if you have someone to push you when you feel like giving up or when you injure yourself (yes, we both have had sports injuries-that is such a joke for us). It also helps to have someone tell you the truth. I told my daughter she was too heavy and I wanted to help her...she reminded me that no matter what size I wear, my body is never going to look 25 again (darn it). We are 1000 miles apart and supporting each other daily with recipes, new food items we find and tons of those inspirational quotes and pictures. I told someone recently that the word “willpower” is so often used around dieting, exercising and healthy living. I think that is the wrong word. That sounds like it is a battle to fight, which sounds negative to begin with. That is the way I have approached this in the past. I like the word “commitment”. I am going to try my best to be committed to exercising regularly, eating more healthy foods than unhealthy and to also enjoy my life. So, some days...I'll have a cupcake, or two!

     One of the questions I have been asked is "what are you eating"? It changes daily, but yesterday I had:

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt (I always do, I did before this)
Morning Snack: 2 Weight Watcher Cheese Sticks (or sometimes an apple)
Lunch: Salad of baby greens, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, shaved turkey and parmesan cheese.
Afternoon Snack: Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwich
Dinner: (see above photo) Baked Rosemary Chicken, Baked potato with Brummel and Brown and Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinegar
Dessert: Pound Cake with Frozen Greek Yogurt and spray whipped cream.
     I drink lots of green tea, some coffee and try to drink water (I don't like it). The myfitnesspal.com website will help you figure out portion sizes to make it all add up to your daily recommendation. I am more than happy to answer any questions or give you recipes etc. and so is my daughter. We are absolutely not experts at this. We are winging it here as we find ways to feel better without feeling as if we are "doing without" the things we enjoy.

I am not endorsing any products, didn't get anything free...nada. I'm just telling you things that we found helped us.


Nellie's Cozy Place said...

Morning Suz,
Great info.....we use the laughing cow, and the ww string cheese, and eat lots of frozen yogurt and I eat
rice crackers too. Am gonna see if I can find that type you eat.
Have heard about the quinoa but have
still never tried it. How do you prepare that? Is it like a breakfast food like oatmeal or what? In fact,
I have been trying to watch the food labels lately and anything that has extra wheat gluten added to it, I have quit buying as I think I definitely have a sensitivity to it.
That is so nice that you and your daughter are helping each other and so nice this probably helps yall talk or connect on a more regular basis. Daughters are such a wonderful gift, aren't they?
It really helps to have someone that exercises with you, cause then when you don't want to they can say come on gotta do it, or we can do the same for them. I know one thing that has been bad for us lately as we have let our portions creep up at dinner time. So I have been trying to watch that again.
and to eat more veggies, I have a hard time with that lately, but am at least getting the fruit part in,
but need to get more veggies down the hatch......lol
and drink more water, I have found if I use a straw I can really suck it down quick, but if I sip forget it, I have a much harder time.

Good for you girls. Proud of your accomplishments, and thanks for spurring us on...........
Encouragement and modeling is really helpful.

Blessings, Nelllie

Traci said...

Sounds like y'all are doing great & have it all together! I love Quinoa. It's a new staple at my house. Froyo is my favorite thing!!!

Gypsy Heart said...

Way to go! I'm glad this is working for both of you. I'm a dessert girl too so finding the lowest in fat & sugar is important. Thanks for sharing!


Jenny said...

I love that you're doing this!

I'm going to read part one right now!

The Charm of Home said...

We have served Bobby Dean's pimento cheese around here for years. It is a kid favorite. I will have to check out his lighter version. We went to Disney last week and the K-9 unit was still around. I saw the van drive by. There was also a lot of security at Downtown Disney too. We enjoyed it, the crowds were less at this time. The weather was nice until Andrea came and rained, but because of Andrea we got on 11 rides in 11 hours! Many of them no wait at all! We loved it . Big Thunder Mountain was never more fun than in the soaking rain and in the dark! LOL!

Lynn said...

Sounds great Sue! I've never been a fan of diets that have folks "go without" something... Always better to eat what you want but cut back. Glad it's working for you:@)

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Sounds like you, your H. and D. are all doing great with the eating changes. I have to watch certain things in my diet and as you well know it can be hard to do at times. It is easier for me to cut back on sweets, good savory - whole nuther story. :D
Enjoy your evening.

bj said...

So glad you are doing so good on your eating changes. Watching what I eat is SUCH a hard job. It's just HARD.
The best way to lose a little weight for US was the South beach Diet...just stopping using anything WHITE in the kitchen helped us both to lose lbs. We use B&B Yogurt instead of butter and I like the taste better, anyway. We have quit buying sugar...Ideal Sweetener is awesome. Very few fried foods, lots of veggies and beans. 'Course, when we have pinto beans, we HAVE to have cornbread. :))
Good luck with your diet...
xo bj

Lala said...

i love this post! im taking every advice/tips as much as i can in losing weight. Love the idea of kids meal, i never thought of that.
Delightful Ideas
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Chrissy...The Apothecary Shop said...

Oh my gosh that meal looks so good and I am sooooo hungry...I just wanted to come by and say thank you...thank you for always leaving me the nicest of notes..they never go unappreciated believe me!!!! Now I need to go and eat something!! x0x0x

The Bashful Nest said...

What a great post! My cousin has been working for the past year to get in shape a lose weight, she has lost close to 100 lbs and looks and feels great. It can be done, best of luck to you.
xoxo. Michelle. thebashfulnest.blogspot.com

Rettabug said...

Can you see me giving you both a standing ovation? BRAVO!!! Well done!

What a sensible plan that seems like it would be workable in the long term. I wish you guys good luck & look forward to that pimento cheese recipe.


Unknown said...

Suzy, great blog, I enjoyed both parts. Such an inspiration for everyone. I am so proud of Kels for being determined and focused. Not that I"m surprised of course. And yourself as well. I know what you mean on the exercise. I can find any excuse not to do it. Dave and I started with the WW and found it easy to use and keep track. I also have the myfitness pal app on my phone and found it helpful as well. It's all keeping track of what goes in your mouth and how much. Keep up the great blogs and congrats to you and Kels on the weight loss program!!! YEA