Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Katie: Week 6

Here we are in February!  It's hard to believe it's been six weeks already.  Anyway...

Current weight: 157 pounds
Last week's weight: 158 pounds
Total weight loss: 13 pounds

Yay!  Another pound gone!

I've talked with a few of you who are starting to want to take the plunge and try to lose some weight/get into shape and you keep asking what has really helped me, so today I'm going to do the recap of my rules in the regular purple and also take a minute to talk about tips for being successful/why these rules are so helpful and important for me in green.

My rules:
1. No Sweets!
Absolutely NO sugar sweets/junk/desserts/candy/etc. for three months (i.e. until April 1, 2010).  At that point I'll reassess and see if I can allow myself small things here and there or if I need to keep up the no sweets rule.  I will allow myself the occasional healthy dessert, but it will count as a processed snack (see below).

I am happy to report that I held strong at The Cheesecake Factory last Friday.  It helped that the big O had totally lost it by the time we started eating (there was a bit of a wait), so when it was time for dessert we just ordered it to-go.  Anyway, I skipped the cheesecake and just got some strawberries with whipped cream.  It wasn't cheesecake, but it was still yummy... and guilt-free!

I've tried a number of variations of the cutting-back-on-sweets-to-lose-weight trick.  The truth is, I just really, really love sweets and I'm bad at saying "one cookie is all I'm going to eat."  So, by the time I've eaten seven (I know, how gross?) my mindset has switched to "what's three more going to hurt?"  Well, three more does hurt (not to mention the first seven).  Too much sugar and fat isn't good for your body.  The only upside is that it tastes good.  Unfortunately, that seems to be a good enough reason for us to shove our faces with it.  So I know that saying "No sweets until April!" seems really drastic to a lot of you, but this is what has finally worked for me.  Instead of having a weekly treat and thinking "I'll just gorge myself on Friday" and spend the week looking forward to that, my brain knows that it can't have any, so I really don't think about it very much.  Yes, of course sometimes I still  have cravings for things, but--and I really mean this--it's not anywhere near as much as I craved things when I was already eating sweets all the time.  So, if you're having a hard time with self-control, I suggest something drastic.  It doesn't have to be permanent, but it should get you out of the habit of eating an excess of junk.  (Sorry, this was long.  I'll try to be quick!)

2. No Fast Food!
No fast food or eating out.  Period.  And if on the off chance I'm stranded somewhere or something and I have to get fast food I will order the healthiest thing.

Thank you so much for everyone who gave me great resources and advice for The Cheesecake Factory!  I am happy to report that I ordered the healthiest thing on the menu (a salad).  Then I asked the waiter for a box as soon as our plates came to the table and I put half of the salad in the to-go box right away.  You guys were right--those plates are HUGE!  So I enjoyed a tasty dinner Friday and Saturday evening.  Perfect!  And, I just have to say that I was absolutely thrilled when I woke up Saturday morning and weighed the same as I did Friday morning.  Success!  

I am a bit of a schizophrenic when it comes to cooking.  I love home-cooked meals and I love to cook... when I'm in the mood.  Frankly, I'm not in the mood very often.  Combine this with getting used to life with a new baby and it's not hard to guess that we had slipped into more eating out than our bodies (or budget) needed.  So I need to just say that one of my keys to success here is that Bryan does a lot of the cooking.  I cooked dinner last night and he was genuinely surprised when he walked in the door.  Bryan--you are a wonderful husband and I love you.  Thank you!  Seriously though guys, eat at home.  It's good for your family relationships and it's good for your waistline. 

3. Healthy Meals and Snacks!
Eat three healthy meals each day along with 2-4 healthy snacks, with no more than one processed snack (100 calorie packs, etc.) per day. 

This has been going really well!  (See?  I'm being quick!)

Breakfast: Most of us just eat cereal in the morning.  I suggest finding a healthy one you like and just eating it every day.  Avoid the stuff that's loaded with sugar and doesn't fill you up.  And just eat one bowl.  If you're still hungry after that, eat a banana.  And then call it quits.

Lunch: I try to pack in as many fresh veggies here as I can.  And I eat basically the same thing every day.

Dinner: I don't worry too much about what we have for dinner because I know it's healthier since we made it at home.  However, I do try to make sure we have at least one veggie with dinner.  And don't pile on salt and butter and all that stuff.  Be guilt and fatty-free.

Dessert: "What?!  I thought you didn't eat sweets?!"  I do allow myself one "dessert" each day.  This would be a couple of slices of healthy banana bread, one 100 calorie pack of something chocolatey, one cup of fat-free chocolate pudding, etc.  I get it into my head that these things are my "dessert" for the day and although I usually want more, I feel mentally satisfied and not so whiny after I have one.  And I save it for night time.  Have one treat at the end of the day and you won't have time to talk yourself into another one!

4. Fresh Foods!
Trade out cravings/impulses to eat granola bars and other processed snacks with fresh fruits and veggies.

My new found love is cucumbers.  Yum.  

Face it: granola bars are not healthy.  Neither are fruit snacks.  Neither is whatever other "healthy" packaged snack you're eating.  Your body doesn't need that extra sugar.  It needs nutrients from fresh foods.  So trade out the granola bar room in your budget for apples and cherry tomatoes.  Your body will thank you.

5. Keep Track!
Write down everything I eat in my food journal (a little notebook I can carry around and keep with me).

Wrote it all down.

Want to get skinny?  This is the key.  Seriously.  Get a cheap little notebook (it doesn't have to be a "food journal"--mine isn't).  If you know you won't use it, then get a pretty one (mine has strawberries on the cover).  Stop telling yourself that writing everything down would be impossible.  It's not.  And, frankly, there won't be as much to write down once you start writing it down... because you'll eat less!  Once your brain knows "I already ate _________" it will stop begging you for more.  Writing down how much I eat has helped me in so many ways.  Maybe I won't do it forever, but I might.  There's nothing like being accountable for that extra treat that keeps you from eating it in the first place.

6. Exercise 30 Minutes!
Exercise in some way for at least 30 minutes every day and write down what I did to exercise in my food journal.

I think I did really well this week, despite only doing Tighter Assets twice.  I had planned to do it for the third time yesterday, but ended up going on two walks, so I called that good and moved on to the rest of my day.  Thanks to Kendra (my sister) for doing Tighter Assets with me more and more now.  I am starting to get a little bored and doing it with her has been more fun.  

Perhaps some of you are wondering what all this business with Tighter Assets is.  No, I'm not being paid to talk about it and, no, I'm not on some Tamilee fitness and diet program.  I ended up with a copy of Tighter Assets as the result of a white elephant gift exchange this past Christmas.  We all mocked it mercilessly, of course, and I almost gave it away.  When I started exercising I thought of going to the public library to check out some fitness DVDs, but then I remembered I had that and figured I might as well give it a try.  That's my advice to you here: do what you know and try what you have.  Like running?  Go running.  Like walking?  Go walking.  Like weights?  Lift weights.  Just do whatever it is you're actually going to do.  And switch it up sometimes.  Otherwise you'll get bored and give up.  Furthermore, I recommend setting a minimum time for yourself.  Ten minutes one day and an hour the next day turns into no minutes any day real fast.


7. Drink 80 Fluid Ounces!
Drink at least 80 fluid ounces of water every day and write down how much I drank in my food journal.

I still struggle to get enough water every day.  But it's worth striving for!

Drinking water is good for your body.  Here are some reasons:
-We often eat when we're thirsty.
-Drinking enough water drains toxins and germs out of your system.

-It keeps you from getting dehydrated (which can cause headaches and other not-so-fun things).
-It just plain helps your body work better.
If you find that you have a hard time drinking enough water during the day, I suggest starting in the morning.  Nobody wants to chug a gallon of water right before you go to bed and then have to get up to use the bathroom five times during the night.  So start early and get ahead.  Also, I recommend getting a water bottle (around 24 or 32 oz, preferably) and keeping it with you all the time.  You'll find yourself taking a sip while you check e-mail, while you're in line at the grocery store, and while you're playing outside.  And all of those little sips add up to healthy hydration.

8. Balance Food Intake!
Enter the foods I eat each day into the Menu Planner on MyPyramid in order to make sure I'm getting a good balance of the foods I need.

Did it!

This is the second key to losing weight and getting healthy.  The thing I hear a lot (and which I used to say a lot myself) is a complaint that goes something like this: "How am I supposed to know how many calories are in a piece of lasagna I made?"  I don't count calories.  At least not until the end of the day.  I write everything down in my little notebook and then at the end of each day I enter all the things I ate into the Menu Planner on MyPyramid (see the links above).  They may not have every food item (my "Cracklin Oat Bran" gets counted as "All Bran" every day), but you can usually find something close.  And while the banana bread I make at home is a lot healthier than the recipe the menu planner is probably getting its info from it's okay.  I record my "estimated total calories" every day, not my "total calories."  An estimate is still going to help you out a lot more than nothing at all.  Also, watch the calorie counter and bar graph as you enter in the foods you've eaten.  You'll likely learn a thing or two about which things are better for your body.  For instance, I've learned to cut back on cheese and get my dairy from plain old milk instead.


9. Stay Active!
No sitting at the computer/TV for more than an hour (or one movie) at a time.

Admittedly, I have been a bit of a couch potato the past few days.  Now that the weather is a little nicer, I want to get out more.  Also, I really need to clean our apartment this week.  Wish me luck

Get up and be active.  You'll accomplish more and you'll feel more accomplished.  And if you're just having one of those lazy days (obviously I have them too), then at least make the minimum effort to get up and do a chore at least once an hour.

10. Get out!
Get out of the house at least once a day!

Did it!

No need to go rock climbing, just get out of the house!  We all get cabin fever and I think that's a good thing.  Go for a walk, visit a friend, check the mail, go grocery shopping, etc.  It's not hard to stay active when you're out and about.

I just have one more ultimate key to success that I want to add: The Skinny.  First of all, doing my weekly recap of my goals keeps me accountable.  Second, I love the posts from our other authors.  They keep me excited and inspired and interested.  Without them I would have become SO bored by now.  And third, I  love the comments that you all leave on everybody's posts.  I learn so much from the little things you add and your encouragement every week really does mean so much to me.  Thank you everybody!

Have a great week!


Bryan Lewis said...

Yay Katie! Good job. I'm proud of you.

Whitney said...

you are awesome katie! good job.
came across this article and it made me think of you and your super awesome blog and thought you might want to check it out. a lot of it just confirms what you already just said, but a good read nonetheless.
keep it up and can't wait to see how you do next week!

Whitney said...


hahah theres the article i was talking about. forgot to post the link, oops!

Katie said...

Whitney- That is a great article! Thanks for sharing!

Kathy Haynie said...

Yay Katie! Thirteen is definitely your lucky number this week!

The only suggestion I have for you and the other Skinny readers is to include some protein with your breakfast. It helps to level out the blood sugar, and it keeps us from getting too hungry before lunch time. It's waaaay better than another bowl of cereal. (Speaking of which, it's easier to avoid that 2nd bowl of cereal if we pour the cereal into the bowl over by the cupboard, and put the box away immediately, instead of putting the box on the table...)

Anyway, Mark and I always eat a scrambled egg or some egg substitute in the morning. Helps to keep us going until lunch! One serving of Egg Beaters is only 30 calories.

Kendra said...

I noticed that you mentioned tighter assests. Just to let anyone know if they try the video, after they are done, as a reward to themselves, they need to go to the special features and check out the photo gallery. That is all. Good luck to all!

Marae Lindsey said...

Nice work KT. I noticed that there is a nice English dinner pictured in this post (looks what I had for Christmas...and I did eat the bacon-wrapped sausage, and potatoes are really good like that).

Can't believe you resisted the cheesecake! But I did look at the nutritional info and my jaw pretty much dropped. 1600 calorie slice of carrot cake yikes.

We'd love to hear from you!

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