Guess what? I’m going to tell you how to cure the munchies. This is something I suffer from often, and I’m happy to have found a (partial, temporary) cure. I’ll share it with you shortly.
First, a quick recap of my day.
My morning eating went well. I started my day with my high protein pancakes that I prepared last night. All I had to do was grab the container from the fridge and I could easily eat them in the car. That works out quite well.
I was in a meeting until 10:30, at which point I was hungry. (Protein power lasted 3.5 hours). So a quick snack:
Shortly after that, I had lunch:
And then, bad things started happening. First I started feeling tired (definitely a contributing factor in causing munchies), and then the afternoon started d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g. I look at the clock. It’s 12;59pm. Bummer, I have to make it 3 more hours, and my lunch to seem to be staying with me. I look at the clock again. It’s 1:01pm. Uh oh. It’s okay, I’ll try to focus on my work and forget about the vending machine that is now calling my name. I look at the clock again. It’s 1:09pm. This isn’t going to work! I eat an apple to try to stave off the munchies:
Didn’t work!!! I look at the clock a few more times. Around 3pm, I went to the cafeteria and bought a 50 calorie yogurt to eat.
I made all the way without giving in to the munchies!!! It wasn’t easy. They still weren’t gone when I got home and so before dinner I had 4 crackers (only two are pictured).
I finally ate taco “salad” for dinner (made with lean ground turkey):
Still had the munchies even though I was no longer hungry. I ate one handful of Corn Chex without bothering to take a picture.I love plain Corn Chex. I really need to get into individual baggies, because eating anything out of the box is dangerous! I finally got myself out the door and did an intense workout on the elliptical!
Finally, I found the cure!!! (Which I already knew.) One intense workout and the munchies are gone. If only I could have done that sooner! From experience, I know it’s only a temporary and partial cure, but I’ll take it! I had no chocolate today. I don’t even think I’ll bother with my allotted one chocolate piece. If I’m hungry before bed I’ll have a small fruit smoothie.
One little side note. Don’t you hate it when people talk about their weight loss experience or give weight loss advice and say something like, “I stopped eating chocolate and my desire for it just went away.” Or “I realized chocolate wasn’t good for me, so my desire for it just went away.” Or “Once I started fueling my body with healthy foods my body started craving them, so my desire for chocolate naturally went away.” SERIOUSLY!!?? I’m here to inform you, (and trust me, I would know having tried all of the above for long periods of time) that is most DEFINITELY NOT the case for normal people. They must not have eaten the chocolate I eat!
Here’s a quick weekend update. Overall, everything went well on the healthy eating front. I still feel like I’m on track and ready to face and conquer the challenges the new week will bring! And I’m excited to report my week one weigh-in results tomorrow! If you’re new here, here’s the post where I talked about my healthy living plan.
Saturday was a dreary and rainy day. I got up, ate a quick and very small breakfast hoping to head right out to the Y for a workout. Well, for some reason, I was feeling completely unmotivated and really enjoying having a day with nothing urgent on the agenda, so I “lolligagged” (as my grandma would say) and accomplished next to nothing for a couple hours, before I finally pushed myself out the door around 11 am. By that time, having had only one egg and it being almost lunchtime, I was quite hungry. This meant that I was a bit lightheaded so I couldn’t work out very intensely, but I still walked for 45 minutes which is definitely something. In retrospect I should have immediately gone to the Y after eating breakfast, and if I didn’t do that, I should have taken the time to eat a real lunch before going. Lesson learned for next time.
The rest of Saturday was spent accomplishing a monstrous to-do list, and I’m thrilled to report that my husband actually accomplished well over half the items on the list!
Saturday evening I made some sugar cookies at the husband’s request and managed to stay out of them and the dough. This morning I finished baking the cookies and am sad to say I did eat a bit of the dough and one cookie. I didn’t go crazy or anything, but, really, while the sugar cookie was good, it isn’t something I LOVE and wasn’t worth the calories.
This evening we 4 friends over for ice cream complete with brownies, several times of cookies, several types of candy, hot fudge, etc. This is what I what my kitchen table looked like a couple hours ago:
What’s a healthy girl supposed to do in this situation!!?? Well, I thought through it carefully and made a careful plan of attack. I figured I had three options:
- Of course, I could simply not eat the delicious hot fudge sundaes (perhaps eating some sort of alternate healthy snack) while watching all my (perfectly skinny) friends consume them. Pros: I would save a few hundred calories. Cons: Um, how would you like to watch everyone else eat your favorite food? After years of off-and-on dieting (and therefore many similar situations in which I did NOT eat any of the sweets), I well knew that I would feel pretty miserable about this decision and would still be thinking about the sundaes in the morning. Not a good option!
- I could say “Well, this healthy living thing is just too hard, so I’ll just give up and start eating whatever I want.” Wait, that’s in direct conflict with Goal #3! That’s certainly not an option.
- I could enjoy one sundae of a moderate, but satisfying size tonight with my friends, then ask my husband to remove all the goodies (which he’s very good about accommodating me in that) from the house, so I would only consume one sundae. I think one or two treats per week is reasonable and certainly a drastic improvement over what I’ve been eating in the past. I also realized that I had been eating 4 little chocolate pieces almost daily . While that is a moderate amount, that’s 150 calories a day, or 1050 calories a week – more than the calories in my sundae! So I made a deal with myself: for the rest of the week I will only have ONE chocolate piece per day. Nice comprise, don’t you think? I feel great about my decision, and you guys will have to hold me to the one chocolate piece per day goal, okay???
Oh, and I’m not sure if this breaks “healthy blogging rules”, but here’s a picture of my sundae. Definitely worth the calories.
I’m actual writing this on Saturday morning, but oh well. I had another great day of healthy eating and lots of exercise! I also remembered to take pictures of all my food, so I’ll share my photojournal with you. But first, we’ll talk about my exercise.
Friday was an absolutely gorgeous day, 65 and sunny!!! It would be a crime not get outside and enjoy it. I was telecommuting (working from home) and my husband got done with his work early, so we ate lunch together and went on 20 minute walk on my lunch break.
I wore my heart rate monitor for all my activities just out of curiosity. The walk was pretty brisk with some huge hills and I jogged a couple times for fun. (Which I was super excited to find my HRM without having to tear down the house!) To the left are the stats for that walk.
I wanted to make sure I got in some pretty intense cardio, so I did Cathe’s Kick, and Crunch (kickboxing) DVD. This is probably my 3rd time to do it, and I feel like it finally clicked for me! I’m so uncoordinated that it usually takes me several tries even for kickboxing to feel like I’m getting in. It definitely kept my heart rate up there.
Basketball at the Park
In the evening, my husband and I met another couple at the park to again take advantage of the beautiful day. We first flew a kite (after almost getting it stuck in a light), then we played several quick games of knockout (in which I was almost always the first one out), and then played some 2-on-2 to a score of only 7. My husband and I lost. (That may or may not have had something to do with my “shooting” the ball nowhere near the vicinity of the goal.
What’s the Moral of the Story?
I don’t always wear my HRM that much. I usually just wear it for intentional workouts. In part I was super excited to have found it! Also, I was just curious about how much my less intentional, fun exercise contributed to my overall calorie burn. Well, turns out, it contributes quite a bit. I had about the same calories per hour burned at basketball as I did during my kickboxing DVD. I never would have guessed that! It easily would have been a higher rate if I hadn’t gotten out so quickly each time in knockout and just had to stand there. My 20 minute walk didn’t do too badly either. Granted, if I were at the office working, I could not have walked so briskly and burned so many calories, because I wouldn’t want to return to the office all sweaty.
So here’s my food journal for the day, just for fun. I’m also going to estimate the calories here just to see where they’re at:
Since I was working at home all day, I didn’t really eat traditional meals. “Breakfast was a Stouffers French Bread veggie pizza (340 cals) plus a delicious WW 80 calorie popsicle:
Then it was midmorning snack of two delicious melt-in-your-mouth Hershey Bliss chocolates. (I also had two more throughout the day which aren’t pictured here.) That’s 150 calories. If there was anything I would cut out of my food it would be these. I’ve been eating about 2-4 per day, which isn’t bad since it’s not too many, but I realize they’ are completely empty calories:
The husband and I went to Arby’s for lunch and I had a junior roast beef sandwich (200 cals) plus one of the husband’s curly fries. I wasn’t too hungry because I ate breakfast late. An hour or so later I had a smoothie with pineapple, strawberries, spinach (that’s why the color looks ugly), and some Almond Breeze. I estimate it at about 120 calories:
For dinner, I had spaghetti with 93% lean ground turkey in marinara sauce (estimate this to be about 350 cals), green beans (estimate 70 cals), and cheesy garlic bread (estimate 150). Dessert was another popsicle (80 cals):
I didn’t have any nighttime snack. If I were hungry, I probably would have had some popcorn, but we went to bed pretty early, before I had a chance to get hungry. Total calories for the day come out to 1540, right in a healthy range for weight loss. Also, the total extra burned is 752 calories, for a net of about 750, definitely on track for some serious weight loss. (Although I should point out that most days I don’t do nearly that much exercise.)
Random question, if you’re still reading, have you ever heard of square foot gardening and have you tried it? I’ll probably talk it about more later, but I’ve been looking into it. I think I could do it on my concrete patio outside my townhome. I’m not sure if it would be worth the trouble and expense, though. We would have to purchase and store every little thing (right down to a shovel or rake and tarp for mixing the soil, not to mention seeds, the 4×4 box, watering can, soil materials, etc.).
It’s Thursday (well, technically I’m writing this at 6am on Friday morning, but writing with the perspective of having written it last night), and I’m happy to report, this is day 4 of healthy living! I know I’m still experiencing that newness feeling and the real test will be how I’m doing 4 weeks, 4 months, even 4 years from today, but all I can do now is make the right decisions for today.
It’s been revolutionary for me to simply plan NOT to strictly count calories or meticulously food journal. Really, it feels so liberating! I’m completely on plan even without counting things. It feels much more manageable. Now, I fully except to food journal and count calories at some point in the future once I’ve built up some confidence and hope, so I still think that’s a wonderful tool. Also, after many years of calorie counting I have a very good idea about how many calories different foods have, and I’m still doing some quick mental tracking of my calories. I even did track my calories on myfitnesspal on Monday, and Friday I’m photo journaling. So I haven’t completely abandoned the concept of calories. Also, I have significantly changed what/how much I’m eating which is, of course, the essential part of weight loss. Regardless of how you do it, if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you have to make significant eating changes. We all know that (but so often seem to conveniently forget that fact when we see chocolate).
I have been focusing these week on making sure I get enough sleep. That means my goal is to be in bed by 9:30pm, then the husband and I do our Bible reading, and I can be asleep or very close to it by 10pm. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I’m getting enough sleep. I woke up this morning feeling SO refreshed!! My body simply does not do well at all when I have a sporadic sleeping schedule. I get awful, awful spells of EXTREME tiredness randomly throughout the day. And I’m talking I LITERALLY have to hold my eyes open while sitting at my desk at work to avoid falling asleep. Also, I have to pull over to the side of the road on my 45 minute commute to/from work, because I’m so tired. This just isn’t good. And the number one thing that takes away my motivation, resolve, willpower, self-control, and the like is being tired. Plus I find myself eating literally to stay awake. Now, you might think that I’m getting four hours of sleep a night or something when I’m so tired. Not so. I function like that on 6 hours of sleep, or simply an inconsistent sleep pattern (like going to bed at 9 one night and 11 the next). I get so frustrated with my body’s sleep requirements, but life is so much better when I work with those needs instead of trying to fight them.
I did a very intense workout today – Imax 2! Whew, I could only do it on the step platform (no risers), and even though I couldn’t keep up at all, BUT I was completely working hard, and I’m sure I blasted off quite a few calories. Frustratingly, I’ve lost my $120 heart rate monitor, so I have to settle for the perceived exertion test!! I’m going to have to tear down the house in search of the monitor this weekend.
Do you find that feeling rested really helps you stay strong against the food temptations?
Well, first off, thank you all so much for all the comments and encouragement. I feel much more inspired and confident!
I only have time for a super quick update today, because I need to get myself to bed very soon.
Here’s the thing about doing it all. I have known for quite some time that I absolutely cannot do it all. There’s now way I can accomplish everything that I’d really like to, and I have accepted that. I’m perfectly fine with that – I don’t even try to do it all. (Did you notice how strict calorie counting and meal planning were NOT a part of my plan?) Here’s what I’m having a harder time accepting: I can’t do even as much as 10% of what I’d like to do. I can rarely accomplish even 60% of what I think that I can. And I can’t do half as much as others around me are doing. That’s what is so hard to accept. When several things are super important to me, how do I choose among them?
Tonight I had to choose between spending a little time with my good friends (which I think is important and something we all need, and I’ve been feeling more of a need for that lately), my workout, or my sleep! I could only pick two – it would be physically impossible to have all three. What would you choose? No matter what decision I made, I still feel like I didn’t quite win, you know? I tried my hardest to fit it all in, but it didn’t work. There’s only 24 hours in a day.
Other than that, I’m still feeling positive, and I did really well with my eating today. It was both relatively low calorie and super healthy and high protein. I had hoped to photojournal my foods, but kept forgetting. Hopefully I’ll remember tomorrow. I thought it might be fun to post my food photos on here every once in a while. I also tried a new, super healthy, high protein, tasty, quick, and easy breakfast recipe that I can’t wait to share with you all!
Dearest readers (if any of you are still there),
I’m sorry to say that I’ve failed you, and I’m not so sorry to say that I’ve discovered that I really need you!
If you will take note, my last post on this blog was September 21, 2010. If any of you are pretty good at math, you’ll probably be able to quickly determine that was six months ago! During that time I unfortunately gained about 10 (more) lbs and had slacked off in the exercise department more than I ever have in my entire adult life. I didn’t even know it was possible to be so out of shape. I thought I was out of shape before, but I didn’t even know what that was! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about my health a lot, made lots of great plans, followed through on about 10% of my excellent intentions, and just generally done a LOT of trying to become healthier. However, my past approach(es) clearly hasn’t “worked.” What I mean by that is that not only have I obviously not lost the weight that I need to lose, I also don’t feel like I’ve changed myself to consistently and permanently make healthier choices and I feel pretty lousy about myself quite often. To sum up, I have not seen success on any health fronts in the past several months.
I could go into a lot more detail about my various efforts and how and where I went wrong, but that would take way too long, and if you want to hear about that, just go back in the archives and start reading.
So now that we’ve established where I’ve been and where I am now, the obvious question is: What should I do next? About the only part of the answer that I’m absolutely certain about is this: Not what I’ve been doing in the past. Beyond that, I certainly don’t have foolproof plan or a guaranteed method. I’ve been thinking a LOT (and I mean a LOT) about how I should move forward. I’ve sorted through hundreds of ideas moving from the practical to the outright crazy, from the simple to the insanely complicated, etc. And I have come up with a plan, which I will share later, but I first want to address some ideas that I’ve rejected and why.
- Rejected Idea #1: Doing exactly what has “worked” for me in the past. Obviously, when trying to determine how to go forward, I looked to things that I’ve done well in the past. I’ve lost a LOT of weight in my lifetime (only to regain each time, of course). If I hadn’t regained weight, I’d probably weigh negative-something by now! So how did I do then? Well, the ONLY times in my life that I have lost more than 5 pounds (I’ve lost around 25 pounds 5 or 6 times, I think) were when I approached weight loss with a great amount of focus and determination that included strict food logging and calorie counting, regular exercise, and some form of support such as blogging or dieting with a personal friend. Obviously, this has worked in the sense that I’ve always regained the weight. But also, it hasn’t worked in that while I have succeeded at making the numbers on the scale go down and greatly increasing the number of miles I could run before completely running out breath, my life was nearly as balanced as I needed it to be. I was spending a disproportionate amount of time, thoughts, and focused energy on weight loss activities. Don’t get me wrong, I think losing needed weight, getting healthier, and feeling more confident in myself are worthy goals – and I shouldn’t except much change without being willing to invest a good deal of time, effort, thoughts, and energy. However, that shouldn’t consume the majority of time/thoughts, and shouldn’t interfere with other important aspects of life. I know that balance is hard to find, and I don’t really expect to ever feel like I’m completely balanced, but I do know that I’ve gone overboard in the past (which is a good part of the reason I haven’t sustained the healthy habits). So, while I toyed with the idea of going back to those ways, I ultimately rejected it for now.
- Rejected Idea #2: Daily Calorie or Point Counting and Traditional Food Journaling Of all parts of weight loss, this one fills me with the greatest sense of dread. There are days when I really enjoy weighing the food and counting the calories and all goes well. But it quickly begins to stress me out. The constant worry about “how many calories does this have?” Am I sure I’m eating the right amount? When I make a big batch of soup, how on earth am I supposed to calculate the nutrition info when I have no idea how many servings it makes? Should I change the way I cook just to facilitate calorie counting or should I go to great lengths to find a way to weigh an entire pot of soup and then dump into a big bowl so I can weigh the pot to subtract that weight and pour it back into the pot? I mean, really! And then don’t even get me started on going to someone’s house to eat (which I do quite often) – how on earth can you even estimate those calories? I have no idea if they used heavy cream or chicken broth in their potato soup. And did I eat one cup or two cups – hard to tell in the odd shaped bowl. You get the idea. The thought of making myself consistently count calories daily makes me want to cry. So, yeah, that’s not gonna work.
That said, here’s the plan. I’m going to do these three things. If this is all I do, I will be successful, which is good, because I haven’t felt consistent success in a long time.
- Commitment #1: Exercise! I actually enjoy exercise (sometimes to some degree). The thought of exercising actually makes me happy instead of filling me with dread. I’ve rediscovered some of my favorite exercise DVDs, the weather is getting better for outdoor walks/jogs, and the Y has gotten all their cable channels back! Fun stuff! And I’d really like to see some fitness improvements. I have found, however, that when my eating goes downhill, I start to exercise less often and with far less of my heart it in and far less intensity. I use the ridiculous all-or-nothing reasoning to make myself think it won’t do me any good because my eating is poor. Granted, my eating should be better, but the exercise is STILL beneficial even if I ate total junk food 100% of the time. Plus exercise tends to make me naturally feel more confident and makes me want healthier foods. So I will exercise 5 times this week for at least 30 minutes, and at least 3 of those sessions will be heart-pounding, all-out intense cardio!! Don’t you love how you feel after one of those sessions!?
- Commitment #2: Blogging! This is another commitment that I’m actually excited about accomplishing! I love writing and the blog really helps me sort things out. Plus there’s some accountability there. The times I’ve done the best and lasted the longest in my weight loss efforts are the times I was blogging regularly. So many times I feel discouraged and ready to quit because I “messed up” but after taking the time “confess” and recommit in a blog post, I feel re-energized and ready to conquer the world again! So I will blog at least 4 times per week. (This post is number one for this week.) I will likely post on Monday, Wed, Thurs, and Sat, which are the days that I have the most “free” time. I’ve got tons of things I want to say since I haven’t blogged in so long, so I’m can’t wait to start sharing!
- Commitment #3: Keep on Trying! Obviously, I’m not and I won’t give up. But what I really mean by this is that I will not succumb to the all-or-nothing mentality in eating. I will make the best decision that I can in each moment, no matter how good or bad my previous decisions were, and no matter what food challenges are upcoming. This doesn’t mean that I won’t eat sweets, nor does it mean that I won’t mess up. It just means that I will do the best I can. I know this goal is a little fuzzy and hard to measure, but, trust me, I know when I’m giving to that ridiculous, awful all-or-nothing beast. I know this is also the goal that I will have the hardest time meeting. But the thing is, all the calorie counting in the world, won’t make me overcome this mentality. I’m going to tackle it head on.
Alright, I’m ready to get started, but I have one thing to ask of you first:
If you’re still reading this rather long post, could you please leave comment and let me know you’re still there? I need all the support I can get and it helps to know people are reading. Don’t think the comment has to be anything profound or insightful – just a simple “I’m reading, I hear you” is all I really need.