The D-Word: Weigh-In #2

Two weeks down & good news to share!

021114-weigh-in

Week 2 Weigh-In:
Starting weight: 163 lbs.
Last week’s weight: 161.4 lbs.
This week’s weight: 158.4  (-3 lbs.)

Holy moly, three pounds! I was pretty surprised when I saw that number. I did well on my diet & exercise most of last week, and didn’t cheat as much over the weekend, so I figured I’d lose 1.5 pounds as planned…but I was stoked to see 3!

I’m sure that won’t happen every week (and it probably wouldn’t be too healthy if it did) so I’ll take it for now. 😉

I added in more strength work this work, so I wonder if the extra muscle building is upping my metabolism? I guess I better keep it up!

Obstacles this past week:
• Being car-less made getting to the gym tricky, but instead of skipping a workout, I made my at-home circuit workout to do one night instead.
• My sweet tooth. I didn’t really indulge, minus a cupcake on Saturday night, but my sweet tooth is starting to nudge at me for chocolate. I’m going to try to find a “healthy” version of a dessert or snack so I can satisfy it this week. Any ideas?? Maybe these?
• Fatigue. I’ve been more tired this past week, because I’ve gotten into a habit of going to bed later over the last couple weeks. It’s starting to catch up with me! I need to be better at making sure I get enough shut-eye.

Achievements of the week:
• I tempered my inner-wino! 😉 Only had a few glasses of wine over the weekend, and none during the week. The easiest way to cut back on empty calories is to cut back on the booze.
• I stayed positive and ran a relatively enjoyable 10-mile run on Saturday.
• I went out for sushi one night, but chose healthier options: Edamame pods as an appetizer, over our usual fried dumplings; and tuna & salmon nigri sushi instead of spicy/tempura/other less-than-healthy rolls.

dreamy sushi

dreamy sushi

Some other yummy eats from the week:

minestrone + added spinach

Minestrone + added spinach. Easy to make, tasty & easy to transport to work for a couple lunches.
turkey wrap with veggies

Turkey wrap on low-cal, high fiber wrap with lots of veggies and hummus. Yum!

blueberry, goat cheese and sunflower seeds saladThe best salad combo ever! Romaine, blueberries, goat cheese crumbles and sunflower seeds. Topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

sloppy joe and almonds“Skinny” sloppy joe, and sour cream & onion almonds from NatureBox. Mmm! I am working through this sloppy joe recipe to share with you all in the next couple of weeks, hopefully.

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Any suggestions on “healthy” sweet treats? 
What are your favorite transportable meals to take to work?

The D-Word: Weigh-In #1

weekly weight in, week 1

Okay, one week down since I started my d-word last week….

Week 1 Weigh-In:
Starting weight: 163 lbs.
Last week’s weight: 163 lbs.
This week’s weight: 161.4 lbs. (-1.6 lbs.)

Yay! My number on the scale is movin’ down, right on track.

– – –

I did a lot of things to set myself up for success this past week.

First of all, I knew my workout game plan for the week. Every day, I knew whether I was going to the gym or not—no hemming and hawing. I could also plan those burned calories in my daily caloric intake, which I tracked with the Livestrong MyPlate app. It was easy to eat enough to ensure I was being healthy and would have energy to run, but also cutting enough to lose weight.

Secondly, on Sunday, I did some meal planning & prep for the week’s lunches and dinners. This included my Healthy & Hearty Turkey Chili, which I cooked and then ate for lunch or dinner several days. I also wanted to have a couple salads, so I bought all the fixings & chopped them up so they’d be at arm’s reach.

Thirdly, I packed my breakfast and lunch most days for work. When I got hungry, I had healthy snacks to grab. Come lunch time, when I slowed down enough to realize how hungry I was, I had something healthy to heat up quick. No running out to grab something to-go that’s less-than-good for me.

And here’s a random sampling of eats from the week!

Breakfasts:
Whole wheat toast with Justin's maple almond butter
• A piece of whole-wheat toast with Justin’s maple almond butter. Omg, forgot how delicious the maple almond butter is! I need to get more.
• Kind brand oats & honey chewy bar + a sliced apple to munch on later in the AM.
healthy breakfast: whole wheat toast and a fried egg
• A few extra minutes one morning: An over-medium fried egg on a piece of whole-wheat toast.

Lunches:
turkey chili and crackers
• Most days, I brought in my turkey chili + a serving of Wheat Thins crackers.
• After several chili meals, I changed it up but kept it quick & easy with a Kashi frozen meal from my freezer.
• One day, I went to lunch with some co-workers to Qdoba, where I got a Naked Taco Salad (lettuce, beans, corn salsa & pico de gallo) with grilled chicken. So tasty, and actually pretty good for you (just leave off the sour cream & cheese).

Snacks:
• Fruit—sliced apple, banana, mandarin oranges.
kind nut bar
• Kind brand nut bars. I love that these are non-GMO, made of ‘real’ stuff you can see, and tasty to boot!
• Dried fruit (peaches & pineapple) from NatureBox

Dinners:
salad and cottage cheese
• Salad with veggies, hard boiled egg & ham + 2% cottage cheese
• Turkey chili + 2% cottage cheese
• Mostaccioli with homemade meat sauce (a small portion, Friday’s pre-long run dinner)

Indulgences:
I don’t want to deprive myself of all indulgences, so I tried to balance them when I could. If I had an especially long workout (like Thursday’s 5-miler) and burned a lot of calories, I let myself have a treat as long as it still fit into my daily intake.That said, I totally splurged too much over the weekend!

• Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. These sat on my counter for four days before I ate any! I had three of them on Friday night since I knew I was running so many miles Saturday morning. 😉
• Buffalo Chicken Pizza – definitely not healthy, but it was a yummy Saturday lunch after my 9-mile torture run, so I didn’t care. Balance!
• Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake, made by my friend Liz, for dessert Saturday night. Ridiculously indulgent and made my taste buds sing.
• A Hoegaarden beer (Friday night happy hour) + glass of wine; two cocktails Saturday night; a couple glasses of wine during SuperBowl Sunday

Overall, week one wasn’t so bad. When you plan ahead, it makes it much easier to eat healthy and stay on track. I think my biggest challenge is the weekends. I want to have some drinks, or go out to eat, and it’s tough to do any of that while being on a diet. I know I can afford some less healthier choices sometimes, so if I can keep that to only a handful of times on the weekend (not every meal…), I think it will all balance out just fine!

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!

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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!