Health Kick Chick

Join me on my laymen's journey towards better health. Eat. Move. Rest.

Archive for Chatter

Back to basics

I’ll admit it.

I’ve fallen into bad habits the last six or so months.  Not accurately tracking my calorie intake because I rationalize that strength training afterburn will probably make up the difference.  Not taking the time to make at least soup and one meal ahead on Sunday so on a particularly busy day I can grab and go.  Keeping trigger foods in the house, etc.

This weekend, I decided to get back to basics when I bought a bag of Chex mix.  The last time I got Chex mix, I ate straight from the bag until I saw only salt and crumbs at the bottom.  I went on an eating tear that week and gained 3 lbs.  This week, while watching Down Home with the Neelys, I pulled out a few zip top snack bags and a half cup measure, which is equal to one serving.  During the commercial break–all of 3 minutes–I bagged up all 15 servings.  This is something I used to do all the time but somehow I figured I was beyond portion control.  But it took no time at all.

 So since I was on a good habit kick, I decided to plan ahead for the next day when I’d be meeting up with a friend for lunch.  I looked at the restaurant menu online and figured which meal would be the most filling and help me get the best nutritional bang.  I also wanted a side of fried plantains Fried plantain by ashe-villain

because I haven’t had them in forever and that would be my dessert. I had good conversation and a good meal and left satisfied.   That good habit lead me to go home and make 2 meals ahead for the week, do some hardcore strength training and plan around a social event I knew would be full of delicious, calorie laden foods (hello wine and cheese bar).  

It felt like I’d forgotten how to be on track.  It’s good to know that even after all this time, I can remember successful habits.  And the fact that they often snowball into other similar habits.  So, tomorrow when I’m munching on a pear and half of a Luna bar, I’ll be less tempted to lord over the Maytag blue.

* Results not typical

We’ve all seen this disclaimer on everything from late night infomercials for  potions for frizzy hair to reputable weight loss companies.  However, the FTC decided late last year that this term must be removed from advertising for products, claiming that the advertising is deceptive and does not represent the average user.  So instead of seeing representatives for the best-case scenario, we’ll now see the typical user.

This is kind of defeating for me personally because I’ve worked really hard to be a *results not typical.  Now, it’s just a turn of phrase that many find confusing or confounding but for me it was the target I aimed for from the very beginning.  Why?  Because who wants to be average?  What’s inspirational about being ordinary?

I’ve gained a tremendous amount of respect for this phrase over the past few years as I’ve struggled with getting my eating and workouts in check.  Because at the end of the day, it’s easier to quit or half-ass your effort than it is to make decisions that’ll revolutionize your life.  Sure, I could sit on my butt and watch 30 Rock and Girlfriends reruns instead of doing strength training.  And it’s easier to stop at Chipotle for a Fajita Burrito than it is to shop for nutritious foods in the supermarket.  But it’s not always the better choice.  I make the tougher decisions that’ll get me closer to my goals.  Sometimes I succeed, others not so much.

But at the end of the day, I sure know that if I started any weight loss program at this point in time, seeing someone struggling on their journey also would not be motivating to me.  At all.  Give me the story about the guy who juggles a full-time job, taking care of his family, working and volunteering who carves out time to pack a lunch the night before and go to the gym at 5 am to get it in.  That, ladies and gentlemen is what we all tune in for, no?  I mean, would a show like the Biggest Loser even get any traction if everyone struggled and made little or no headway for 12 weeks?

Because that’s what the average weight loss is like.  Most people fail and restart several times.  Most people on maintenance regain some if not all of their weight within 18 months of losing it. Been there, done that, wrote the blog post.

I’m not about mediocrity, folks.   And I’m guessing you’re not either. We’re all about reaching for the stars (or in this case the asterisks): *results not typical here we come!

No cottage cheese, please

When I first started my weight loss journey, I decided that I’d eat real foods that I thoroughly enjoyed–even if it meant eating less of it.  But under no circumstances would that include my arch nemesis.

My memories of cottage cheese revolve around being an overweight tween and having diet books handed to me that always started off the suggested breakfast menu with the ever delicious combination of 1/2 c cottage cheese and hard boiled egg whites.  Blech!  What’s worse is my grandmother who I lived with always had it on hand and snuck it into everything from Ritz Cracker sandwiches to omlettes.  This runny mess and I always met against my will with it’s curds an ever-present reminder of what it meant in the 1980’s and early 1990’s to lose weight.

I like cottage’s more sophisticated Italian cousin ricotta and will gladly eat a variety of other cheeses with much delight.  But I just can’t stomach this hog food (I will put a pox upon the house of anyone who suggests that I eat more dairy and consider cottage cheese as a snack because “it tastes good”.  Liar!)

I’ve managed to cut calories by eating smaller portions, reduced fat or even fat free dairy when appropriate (but never cheese).  I’ve managed to lose weight and keep it off without eating foods that I don’t like or wouldn’t be able to eat for the rest of my life.  Including cottage cheese

So many unused calories

Grr!  I usually am better about planning ahead and portioning out my calorie allotment so that I just have enough of a deficit to see a loss when I weigh in.

This week however, I’ve had an unusually low appetite and everything I eat seems to grow in my stomach until it’s uncomfortable to eat.  Between that and copious amounts of snow shoveling, I’ve got a ridiculous amount of unaccounted for calories leftover.

I’m tempted to eat junk food to just get rid of them but I don’t think that’s the best idea for my body and I don’t want to force myself to eat crap just because I can.  If I’m going to eat crap, dammit it’ll be because I’m having a wicked craving.

So as a result, I’m selling my excess calories off to the highest bidder.  Name your price!

Pilot post

Yes, this is yet another blog posting about the ridiculous snow that’s coming down over the Northeast.

It’s so fluffy and white that all I want to do is play in it.  But I know that if I do, it’ll make it that much harder to shovel.  I’ve just fueled up with some nummy Grape Nuts cereal and a half a banana so I know snow shoveling will not wear me out today.  I’m strapping on my Polar RS100 and heading out to clean up some of the fluffy stuff and will probably burn about 1000 calories today + the yoga that I need to do to unwind from this hectic week.

Here’s a picture of what the snowstorm looks like from outer space