Figured I should probably let y’all know I haven’t dopped off the face of the planet or anything. I just have not been in much of a talking mood and that tends to go hand in hand with blogging. I am expecting a new review book this week coming up so that will mean another book review post soon. I am excited for this book. It is another recipe book. I need more recipe books like I need a hole in the head, I know. Especially considering the changes I am fighting hard to make right now.
Been there, done that dozens of times I know but I am at the beginning of yet another round of trying very hard to live a healthier lifestyle. As I mentioned a couple posts back I decided it is time to buckle down and “just do it”. Shortly thereafter in an attempt to do that I pushed harder than I should have and made myself sick for a little while. So I allowed myself a little recoup time and then took a more sensible approach. Like I knew I should have in the first place but did not listen to myself. (As a totally unrelated side note to this, people say animals are dumb. Rascal was with me as she usually is. She typically just stays on the couch snoozing while I exercise. The day I overdid it, a few minutes before I realized I was pushing too hard she jumped down and kept getting in my way, nosing at me and trying to get me to stop. She knew I needed to stop before I did. SMART.)
Tomorrow will mark two full weeks of my latest endeavors to drop the excess weight. I have faithfully walked six miles a day every day of this time. Monday I intend to increase that to 7. When I feel ready I will bump it up to 8. Regardless of any changes I make along the way, 6 miles a day is my absolute minimum.
I cannot stress enough that when I talk about the miles I walk I am referring to Leslie Sansone miles. These are far more intense workouts than just the same number of miles walking around town or on a treadmill. These walks are fast and hard and many incorporate intervals of strength training as well. Six miles a day of just plain old walking would be a good workout too of course. But the Leslie walks? They will kick your ass. Especially if you have been lazy for a while.
I have paired this up with something I HATE doing but that I know is a necessary evil if you are going to lose weight: I have been weighing my food and counting calories. My current daily allowance has, knock on wood, been perfectly achievable and I do not feel hungry throughout the day. I tried a couple different apps for keeping track of my calories before finding one I like. The one I ultimately liked the best is Simple Calorie Count. You have to enter amounts yourself, which means you will have to google a bit for some things and use a *recipe analyzer for any recipes you make, but once you log something it stores it for you for future entries. My favorite thing about it, however, is that it includes a homescreen widget that shows you at a glance how many calories you have remaining for the day. It is indeed very simple to use, and it is free. Total win. It makes the counting calories not totally suck as much as it would otherwise. I mean it still sucks, but this app definitely helps make it easier.
* I like the one from Calorie Count, but there are others to choose from. Google “recipe nutrition calculator” and find one you like. Calorie Count’s is not perfect (none are) and you will need to verify things on your own and make adjustments sometimes. For instance a juice I like to use in my smoothies is not in their database. I simply choose the option that is closest, then make any necessary adjustments in the Simple Calorie Count app when I log things. No recipe analyzer will be completely accurate – things will vary a bit based on brands of ingredients you use and how precisely you measure. It is much simpler than trying to calculate everything 100% on your own though and can help give you a fairly good idea of the nutritional data for your recipes.
I have also started drinking green smoothies every day. I was not sure I would like them, or that I would want to fuss with the blender every day. However, I am absolutely a green smoothie convert! My morning smoothie is rapidly becoming one of my favorite parts of my day. I am not at all a morning person so that is saying something! And since my food processor died recently? The counter space was freed up to keep the blender out and in easy reach. I tried a few recipes found online as well as a couple from a friend and one of my cousins, and I have graduated to just whipping them up without a recipe. I try to make single servings and sometimes succeed. The times I wind up with a full blender, I pour the extra into ice cube trays and freeze then transfer the cubes to freezer bags that I label with what flavor smoothie it is and how many calories are in a serving (as well as how many of the cubes are needed to make a serving). I have yet to make use of the extras in the freezer – I want to be sure I use up all my fresh fruits and greens first – but I did some googling to find that to use the frozen cubes is as simple as letting them thaw in the fridge. Or blending them with a bit of water or juice.
It helps having some good incentives to keep it up. Beyond the “be healthier, feel and look better” reasons, health being of course the most important by far, I have been presented with other motivators. A weekend at the beach next spring means dammit I WILL wear a bathing suit and not look like a beached whale or feel selfconscious! My mother also decided to give me some monetary motivation to the tune of $500 for a new wardrobe. The stipulation to her offer is that I have to reach my goal weight by a certain date. Said date has been calculated by setting a goal of losing two pounds per week. I have a reasonable timeline for making changes in healthy ways to reach my goal.
I have already had a couple days I didn’t want to workout and I wanted to emotional eat. I have managed to fight off those feelings though and have stuck with it so far. Two weeks worth of this might not seem like a big deal depending on your own lifestyle. If you have ever struggled with your weight and emotional eating issues etc. then you understand two weeks of sticking with it is kind of a big deal.
I know to expect to hit some plateaus along the way. I know it will get harder to shed the pounds down the road. I know that at least once I am going to have to reevaluate my methods and make some changes. And I am ready for all of it.
For now, I am very near my first ten pounds gone already and starting to feel a bit more like “Yes I really can do this” and less like “What’s the point?”.