The D-Word

I won’t say it—you know what it is. That D-Word. It has such a negative connotation, and seems like some extreme, special circumstance of restriction.

The truth is, a “diet” is really just “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” [–> legit dictionary source]

As a runner and lover of food, my goal is to habitually eat a balanced but super delicious diet. Think: Fruits and vegetables, grains, leaner proteins, complex carbs, and, of course, the occasional treat. {Because who wants to deprive themselves of chocolate and wine all the time? Not this chic.} Honestly, I think I do a decent job of consuming a healthy diet 70% of the time, but it’s that other 30% of the time that I need to work on.

Do I want to lose weight? Sure. Yes. Realistically, I’ve always been one to see the number on the scale go up and down {and up and down}; but over the last couple of years, it’s kind of been on a slow climb upwards… To the tune of 20 pounds. My clothes don’t seem to fit the same. I used to love shopping, but now I go pretty infrequently. {Admittedly, great for the bank account!}

What’s bothered me the most, though, is that I think the extra weight gain has taken its toll on my running. Imagine carrying around a 20-pound backpack on your next long run. No wonder over the last two years {and many, many miles on foot} I’ve struggled with injured knees, tight hips, an achy lower back…and I’ve slowed down a lot, too. I have a good feeling it’s all related.

The Goal
My wedding day is 7 months away {!!!}. If there were ever a time to feel your healthiest, most beautiful, glowing self—I’d say that’s the day. So instead of crash dieting or something stupid, I’m doing this the right way: I am starting now, at the softish weight of 163 pounds, and aiming to lose 1 to 1.5 pounds a week, until I’ve reached a goal weight of 140 pounds.

But most importantly, I’m aiming to reach a goal to feel happy, confident, and good about myself on one of the most important days of my life. After all, if I’m giving myself to my future husband, don’t I want to give him the very best {and healthiest} version of me? I mean, he’ll be stuck with me for a very long time. Even longer, if I’m in such great health. 😉

The Plan
Like I said above, eating a healthy diet is key! That, combined with working out 4-5 days a week, will help me cut down on the flab.

In the past, I’ve found that using LiveStrong.com’s MyPlate is the best way for me to calculate how many calories I should be eating to lose weight, and track what I’m taking in. You can set up your personal account on their website to track your diet on. They also have an iPad and mobile app, so it’s super easy to keep tabs on food and drinks, no matter where you are.

A smart bonus, you can also track your fitness—so if I run 5 miles, it adds back the calories I’m burning. It may seem counter-intuitive to you—if you’re working out to burn calories, why would you eat them back up? Well, if you eat too little, your metabolism slows down, and your body holds on to whatever it can get… Not only won’t you lose weight, but you could gain. Keeping your body fueled {think of it like a machine!} is the best way to keep it revved up and burning fat. Plus, by not limiting your food intake so severely, you cut back on cravings, feelings of deprivation, and general sanity, in my book. 🙂

What You’ll See
Don’t worry, I won’t be a psycho and talk weight loss all the time!

I hope that when I do post about the trials & tribulations of losing weight, you find it inspiring and motivating. I plan to do a weekly weigh-in, to help keep myself accountable.

On a more exciting note, I want to create and share more recipes with you: Healthy dishes that are also delicious {and probably pretty easy to prepare}. If I can get my future hubs to approve them—the king of good ol’ steak and potatoes himself—you know they’ll be good.

And duh, you’ll see some yummy-looking desserts and a glass of wine here & there, because let’s be honest—life’s too short not to wine a bit!

– – –

Words of advice on losing weight a healthy way?
Any favorite healthy recipes you love?
Have a favorite meal you’d like to see me “make over” into a healthier version?

I’m no expert, though health and fitness has always been an interest and passion of mine. This is just what works for me!

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6 thoughts on “The D-Word

  1. It’s funny – I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (though haven’t commented before) because I was training for my first half and we run roughly the same pace. I’m maybe a little slower than you. And as of the new year, I’ve been on a quest to lose about 20 pounds and then maintain from there.

    The biggest thing for me has been tracking my food in MyFitnessPal. I love cheese and I love drinking (hey, I’m in my mid-20s…so sue me!) but that definitely adds close to a whole day’s worth of calories if I’m out for the night. EEK. So I’ve been pretty diligent about cooking at home (absolutely key to losing weight), not drinking on weeknights, and reducing my dairy intake.

    On the fitness side, I signed up for another half marathon in May and I’ve actually stuck to my training plan pretty well so far, and I recently became hooked on barre3. It’s expensive but for some reason I stick to it better than yoga, and it’s a nice accompaniment from all the running I’m doing lately.

    For recipes, here are some I’ve whipped up that have worked out well:
    – make-ahead frittatas with any veggies you like (if you go meatless here, I’ve found that a slice from a 10″ fry pan is like 150 calories – so definitely go big on the veggies and plan on supplementing with something else)
    – make-ahead chili (use turkey in place of beef/pork to lighten it up – personally we add more turkey [2 lbs] for two people for an entire week’s worth of lunches and the added protein will help keep you full and maintain/increase muscle)
    – anything seafood (tends to come together quickly, bonus for omega 3s, and flavorful)

    I’ve also been trying to add new vegetables and ingredients to keep things interesting. What’s worked for me: spaghetti squash, sardines in olive oil (they’re no fishier than tuna), and buying new spices.

    Sorry for this insanely long comment! I’m going now 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the insanely long comment, I love it! haha Congrats on running your first half & on signing up to do another. You must have caught the elusive running bug. 🙂

      I totally hear you on the drinks thing – I just turned 27 so it’s tough to transition out of the “going out” and drinking more on the weekends (especially since my fiance isn’t really giving that up yet). I’m trying to cut out the weekday wine/beers as well, it’s an easy way to lose extra calories. Also,I live in Wisconsin…hello cheese capital…!

      Thanks for the recipe tips. I’ve been in need of some quick and easy breakfasts, so a make & reheat frittata sounds like a great idea. Also, I just posted a turkey chili recipe tonight, go figure! Check it out. 🙂

  2. Hi Amanda! New to your blog and your recent posts caught my attention. First and foremost I want to congratulate as well as commend you on your future endeavors of marriage and weight loss. One tip I have for your weight loss goal is try lifting free weights as well as incorporating interval cardio on your days of cardio. I have more info in my posts, they may be of help to you. Best of luck to ya!

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