Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kathy: Week 1

It's Saturday, so it's my turn to check in. Oh my, it made me wince to pull out my exercise clothes (haven't been to the gym since August) and have hubby take my picture. You know, when I check myself out in the mirror, I can angle things just so, and avoid seeing the things I don't want to see. Plus I can wear clothes that are a little looser to flatter and camouflage. No such luck with the camera, as you can plainly see:

"Bleh" as Katie would say.

Weight today: 151 pounds
Ideal goal: 120 pounds (ha ha!)
Realistic goal: 130-133 pounds

My days of needing to lose "baby fat" are long gone...this is the infamous "middle-aged spread." I'm not horribly fat, but I'm carrying 15-20 extra pounds, and it's not healthy! I've been planning all week how I'm going to change my habits--for good!--to get my body fit and lean again. Here's the plan:

1. Eat about 1600 calories a day. Three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) about 400 calories each, and a fourth "meal" of 400 calories spread out through the day as snacks.

  • Why count calories? Because...
  • Losing weight is a numbers game, and I do much better if I know that I'm in the ballpark, without feeling guilty because I'm not sure if I'm "supposed" to be eating something or not.
  • 1 pound of fat = approx. 3,000 calories. A person of my height should eat about 1800 calories a day to maintain weight, so if I drop back to 1600 calories a day, I'm losing weight at the rate of 200 calories a day. By taking in 1400 fewer calories each week, I should average a loss of about 1/2 pound per week - a healthy rate that I can maintain over time.
2. Plan my menus ahead of time so there aren't any last minute "emergencies" where I don't have a healthy meal ready to go.
  • I'm a busy gal! I work full-time and I take a university class two nights a week. 
  • I know that counting calories works for me, but counting every bite that goes into my mouth gets to be a drag. I've super-simplified my meal planning with 400-calorie meals planned ahead of time. More about that in my next post.
3. Keep up the fluid intake! In addition to drinking lots of water, I want to include a daily dose of:
  • Milk: studies show that including 3 cups of milk a day helps build muscle mass, which helps to burn calories. Not to mention how important it is for a middle-aged grandma who wants to avoid calcium loss and bone problems. I am adding in 8 oz of skim milk with my breakfast and dinner, and 8 oz of plain yogurt (add 1/2 banana and a drizzle of agave nectar to make it yummy) at lunch. (Don't overdo! Too much milk has been linked to overweight children. 3 cups a day is just right.)
  • Vegetable juice: more studies show that people who drink vegetable juice lose more weight than those who don't. I greeted this news with mixed feelings...I have gagged on tomato juice ever since I was a child! But I decided to try it again; after all, I'm 55 years old now. Hubby and I picked up some V-8 and some carrot juice (in the health food section) at the grocery store. I tried it three ways: straight V-8, half-and-half, and straight carrot juice. Good news, I tolerated the V-8. But it still wasn't yummy. The carrot juice was another story! Yum, yum, yum! Carrot juice is my new best friend. It fills me up, it's only 30 calories/8 oz, AND it counts as one of my daily vegetable servings. Hooray! I'm not so big on vegies. I'm going to keep a bottle of carrot juice in the fridge at work for those snacky-craving afternoons.
4. Exercise at least 3 x week.
  • My daughter Julia has agreed to be an exercise buddy with me at the local Curves gym. We'll go on Tuesday afternoons and Friday early mornings.
  • Hubby and I are signing up for a Thursday evening yoga class at a nearby elementary school.
  • In addition to that, I'll try to get in some short walks at lunch and in the evening with hubby.
So that's the plan! Hooray for new beginnings and week 1! Please leave a comment and share any other suggestions with me.


Mike said...

Congrats Kathy! The first step to success is admitting the problem in the first place. Knowing your determination and focus you will succeed!

Dorothy said...

You Go Girl! Going public is brave (you were up late last night, too!) but it will help with the accountability, right? You'll be in great shape for hiking this summer!

Katie said...

Either your camera man was trickier than mine or you already look better than I do. (Sigh.) You will be skinny again before you know it!

Oh, and I am definitely going to try out the carrot juice thing. I found some really yummy fruit and veggie juices here at our local grocery store and I like them a lot, but I still can't decide if they're really "healthy" or not. They don't have any added sugar, but they do have a bunch of added "stuff." Anyway, each drink is a lot of calories, but I don't know if that's because they're so action-packed with nutrients or because they're action-packed with stuff my body doesn't need. Any ideas for how to tell?

JuliaKoponick said...


On the fruit juice thing, check for ones that only list juices, and not concentrates that are then reconstituted. Oftentimes when they make them into concentrates, and then add water back in, they are only adding half the water back (or less) and that makes them more calories.

When I was seeing Jane (the nutritionist that mom and I both saw at different points) she would say that pure veggie juices were fine, but once you started adding fruit juices, you were just asking for extra calories and a sugar rush that isn't helpful. I haven't had fruit juice, except in punch at parties occasionally, and I haven't really missed it. I notice that when I do I find myself thinking of it as a "sweet" and not a "healthy" now.

Good luck finding one you like!

Patricia said...

Way to go Kathy and Katie! You're both very brave to "go public."
I love carrot juice, too. Have you ever had it freshly made? It's the best! But some juice can be tricky because of the high calorie count.
I love apples and find that the sweetness, crunchiness and fiber really fills me up. (Of course I love cookies too, but they aren't nearly as healthy!) Good luck with you life changes. You both can do it!

Syl said...

Carrot juice? I am intrigued! I will have to try some of that myself. I don't think I'll ever be able to enjoy V8 though. Blech.

This sounds like a great plan! Good luck! I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress and rooting for you!

Kacie said...

I prefer low sodium V-8, the regular is too salty for me. Maybe you'll like that better? I you want some flair, add a few drops of Tabasco!

Sheila Zachry said...

Congratulations to both of you! Truly! The most important step to success when making a lifestyle change is to enlist a support group. By establishing this blog, and using the buddy system, you have built this foundation for success. I look forward to following your progress.

alee said...

Woohoo! Congrats on beginning your journey!

Remember that although it takes drastic measures to achieve drastic results, it is much easier to think small (you won't get burned out or feel deprived). Have an extra bottle of water, take the stairs, park far away, do a few sit-ups during commercials, etc.

Good luck!

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Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.