The Game Plan: Act II, Part I
Wow. I can honestly say I am blown away by the supportive comments that I received on yesterday’s post. I’ll admit, I was having a semi-hyperventilation experience after pressing the “publish” button, but I should know better by now than to expect anything but amazingness from you all. Thank you so much.
All right, so now that the official declaration (and subsequent confession of weight gain) is out of the way, let’s talk specifics. Obviously, I’m not going to get back into weight loss mode by simply talking (er, writing?) about it (though how I wish I could!). I find myself in an interesting position right now, actually, because yes, the fact of the matter is that I’ve already done this.
So technically, you would think that I already know everything I need to do, right?
Well, here’s hoping.
See, I do know some of the things that I need to start doing. I definitely need to start actively tracking my calories again (which I’ve already started, thanks to my handy-dandy calorie counting iPhone app). I definitely need to get back into some form of cardio, since I’ve been pushing it to the wayside at the gym lately in favor of strength training (which I don’t intend to STOP, I just need to find a better balance between the two). But I am a little worried that doing all of the things I was doing before — snacking throughout the day, pretty much only tracking calories and not other nutritional stats, etc. — won’t be quite as effective this time around (for Act II, as we are calling it). After all, I was still doing those things during the entire time that my weight loss had stalled, and the lack of results got very frustrating for me. I think this was a big part of the reason why I let so many of those good habits slide during “intermission”, and thus why I gained 16 pounds back.
So this time, I want to make sure, like Samantha said in her comment yesterday, that I’m really establishing sustainable, long-term, habits that won’t mean weight gain the minute I stop actively counting my calories. Because I swear, if I have am destined for a life of recording every morsel of food that I put in my mouth and tabulating my calories every single day for the rest of my life, I would rather just be fat.
So over the next couple of weeks I’ll be detailing all of the weight-loss-focused elements that I’m working back into my diet and exercise regimen.
Part I: Eat a GOOD breakfast.
I will admit right upfront that I got incredibly lazy about eating breakfast. In fact, it was one of the first things to go. I started falling back into a pattern of skipping breakfast altogether, and in the rare instance that I did chow something down pre-lunch, it was never what I would consider super nutritionally balanced: just cereal, toast, or fruit. So, all carbs, basically. Not that eating carbs is bad, of course. You know I don’t ascribe to that mentality. It’s just that eating ONLY carbs is not good, and certainly not satiating enough for my first meal of the day. I need protein, and I need fat, and thankfully both of those things are delicious.
In fact, and this is a bit of a digression but bear with me, I think that one of the key elements of my weight re-gain was not that I was eating that many extra calories, but rather that my diet because extremely carb-centric. I mean, of course it did. Carbs are freaking delicious. But the unfortunate thing is that I’m really not active enough to be able to use up all of the extra glucose that comes with them. And what happens to unused excess glucose? Exactly. It’s stored for later use… as fat. I will tell you one thing though: I am going to be SUCH a survivor when the zombie apocalypse happens and food supply starts to run low. I’ve got a pioneer’s metabolism. I’ll starve those zombies out!
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Here’s a snapshot of this AM’s b-fast:
A whole wheat Sandwich Thin (100 calories) with strawberry preserves on one side (5 calories), a 2-egg patty (140 calories), and 2 thin slices of roasted turkey breast (30 calories). Also, a cup of blueberries (80 calories). I am incredibly stuffed now, and for 355 calories. Score! And with all the protein from the egg & turkey, I’m pretty sure this will last me until lunch.
Of course, it’s not always feasible for me to throw together a pretty little breakfast sammy in the morning. I know how lazy that sounds, but I’m just being honest with myself. I am a notorious sleeper-inner. I’m a wake-up-15-minutes-before-I-have-to-be-out-the-door kind of gal. So it’s important for me to have other options. In the past, this has always pretty much meant the box of instant oatmeal that I keep at my desk. However, my Maple & Brown Sugar Quaker hardly fits into this whole “less carbs, more protein/fat” breakfast ideal. So, the search for solutions there is still on. My friend Darcy recently told me about a recipe for pre-made smoothie you can make, which I definitely will have to try. I always like the idea of having a green monster for breakfast but I cannot stomach the idea of having to both use and, subsequently, clean a blender before work (this is the same reason that juicing in the mornings stopped working out for me). I mean, if someone wants to buy me a Vitamix I’m sure I’ll be motivated to both use AND clean it with frequency. Until that day comes though…
Luckily, for now I do still have a few of the yummy bars that my new friend Kate from Kate Bakes gave me to try (she’s local to DC, and the sunflower butter raisin is the BOMB. You can order them through her website!) With 220 calories, 7 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fiber in each bar (plus they’re vegan and gluten-free and all that jazz, but that doesn’t really matter as much for me), these are the kind of quick-fix breakfasts that actually last.
Finding solutions for everyday breakfasts is definitely one element of my previous weight-losing action plan that I need to reintegrate post-haste. So far I’m doing so good, so here’s hoping that old habits really do die hard!
Also, just for funsies (and since my last few posts have been just a tad on the wordy side, hehe), here’s a pretty gosh-darned adorable picture of Daxter that my brother Ben took with his new zillion-dollar camera: