Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finding a Place for Margaritas by Andi

Here I am, in the middle of week 4. I have lost 8 pounds. I know this new way of life is more than just doing what it takes to lose weight. The bottom line is; it's still January! This is not a race, but I have been treating it like a race. I have been weighing myself every day. Sometimes twice a day. Celebrating the scale going down and kicking it into gear when the scale went up or seemed stagnant for more than a day. Honestly, I cannot go on like this. 365 days of judgment. I need to refocus on sustainability.

So today, instead of running on the treadmill, I went back to the speed walk on a steep incline. This allowed me to play Tug in some Scrabble and Words with Friends on my phone. It was definitely more enjoyable than trying to discern the lyrics on the angry music the gym guys play. And also more enjoyable than squinting to read the bad news on the ticker on the bottom of 9 News. Maybe tomorrow I will kick it back up a notch at the gym but I need to remember this is not about just losing weight. It's about doing it in a way that is sustainable. And running every morning is not sustainable. My knees told me so. Ouch! My knees! What the heck!? They creek, they are sore and sometimes I grimace just to sit down or stand up. Is this a sign of aging or a sign that I am still overweight (a fact Wii Fit seems to take joy in reminding me)?

Food! Eating has been good. Eating is always good! I had some Mexican food with a giant margarita swirled with frozen sangria on Friday. Oh my. That was so good. I don't even have the words to describe it. Yesterday I had a piece of my moms birthday cake and it was amazing! Otherwise, I have been eating healthy and plenty. I am really glad the scale can go down with bumps in the road like margaritas and birthday cake. I am rarely hungry and I have made sure to keep certain quality treats in my diet so that I truly enjoy what I am eating (like fancy cheese and snazzy salsa). I cooked up about 10 chicken breasts this weekend and made a whole bunch of lunch dishes, including diced chicken for salads. One of my favorite dishes is this apple/grape chicken salad from the Eating for Life cookbook. Amazing! I also made more protein pancakes and cooked up some ground turkey and ground beef for stuffed peppers and chili. I added some of that fancy cheese to the stuffed peppers which added a fabulous taste. I also made some protein shakes from the Eating for Life cookbook on some of my workout days. The base of the shakes are EAS Lite shakes and then I add certain ingredients like frozen fruit or my favorite-a vanilla shake with pineapple bits and coconut extract for a frothy pina colada! YUM!

So I am liking the food but the kids are not. How long must I make two dinners (one for me and Tug and one for this little food critics)? I know what you are thinking and you are probably right. Give them the food and if they don't eat it, they'll be hungry. That's their problem and their choice. The thing is, they won't eat it. It's good food. It's time, energy and money that goes in the trash when I serve them my food. So I cook them up something else. Something I think they will like better. Nope. They usually don't like anything I make. (No wonder they are slim!) These kids need veggies! So I bribe them. Yes, I do. I tell them that they must eat their veggies to get dessert and I proceed to load up their plates with veggies. I say "forget the pizza and apple sauce, just eat the veggies." Sometimes it works. With my four year old, I leave her plate on the table after she declares she is no longer hungry and when she sees her brother eating dessert, she will usually go back to the table and eat cold, cooked broccoli. Yuck! I wouldn't touch that! Anyhow, I am getting tired of cooking two dinners each night. And it really bursts my bubble when Tug ops for fast food over a meal I made. And it bursts my bubble even more when one day a week, I leave dinner up to Tug to make and he decides it's a good night for eating out. Not fair! Come on, Tug! Make me a healthy dinner! I dare you. (I also defrosted the salmon which would cook up nice with the ancho chili powder and a drizzle of syrup and served over a bed of greens or sauteed spinach with garlic and squirted with lime. Just sayin.)

In a couple past posts, I listed some helpful tools or tricks I had up my sleeve to assist my in this venture: dessert flavored gum, Eating for Life cookbook, the oh-so-judgmental scale and of course getting a root canal resulting in a sore mouth. Over the past few weeks I have come to depend on these other helpful tools.
1) Food staples like Mio water and protein pancakes from the Eating for Life cookbook. Here's the recipe: 1 cup oats non instant, 1 cup fat free cottage cheese, 6 egg whites, 2 packets of sugar substitute, dash of cinnamon. Blend it into a batter and cook up about 8 pancakes. This is enough for 2 servings. Add fresh fruit and sugar free syrup. Very good stuff. It tastes great and keeps me full for about 4 hours. The protein is a great way to follow-up a work-out in the morning. These can be made on the weekend and wrapped in foil to grab and go at 4:30 in the morning.
2) Sleeping in my work-out clothes. It's hard enough getting up at 4 am. Why not get mostly dressed before going to bed? And I have got to pack my work clothes the night before. I do not need to be packing a bag that early in the morning. I would be sure to miss a key garment.
3) My Keurig coffee maker. (Thanks Tug!) No more Starbucks! Saves me some money and calories I would normally consume after ordering a salted caramel mocha.
4) This blog. Not only does this serve as a way to be accountable, writing out my thoughts during this process is helpful. Not to get all mushy psychological on you all but the benefits of journaling are real and this is like a journal for me.
5) Lastly, supportive friends, coworkers and family. I have learned that I am not alone in my struggle with weight. There are people at the gym who will call me out if I miss a day. And my biggest support (Tug) is making changes to keep the bad food away. The man finished our ice cream just for me!

Let me know if you have some tricks of your own to incorporate healthy eating or more activity. I could use some particular tricks on mitigating the negative effects of a desk job. I have been thinking about getting some kind of addition to my desk so that I stand and type but I worry about my feet. Anyone have this?

A final note about the kids: I have used them as an excuse for not buckling down and losing this weight. I said I could not find the time to exercise without taking time away from them. And yet, I found the time. I have said food prep takes too much time away from my kids. I have learned that 2 hours on the weekend can save me over 2 hours during the week. I knew it would not be easy but it is doable. I have limits. I won't be like those crazy people running in a snowstorm, but I can start my day an hour earlier and I can take "me time" on the weekend to plan and prep meals. It's about using time smarter and demanding a little more discipline. And as a result, the margaritas will taste better and the birthday cake will be totally worth it.

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