What Have I Learned

I’ve been on diets since I was 10 years old and I know a lot of tips and tricks; the problem has been applying them and staying motivated. So I’m really surprised and pleased that my first two weeks on the program I selected have resulted in weight loss, increased movement, and behavior change. Just as promised, I’m learning things, or learning to apply what I already know. So what have I learned?

Food needs to be measured and weighed. Not forever, but while I’m reminding myself of portion sizes, I have a new food scale sitting on the counter next to a set of brightly colored measuring cups. Using them isn’t hard when I don’t have to hunt. A bowl of yummy cherry tomatoes sitting there makes it easier to snack on something healthy.

My breakfast needs to be bigger. Not eating enough is why I’m hungry all morning – duh, that makes perfect sense but somehow I hadn’t computed how to deal with not wanting to eat breakfast at 6:30am. But I think I’ve figured out a few options in trying to front-load the food, calories, and protein so the day gets off to a better start. I’ve started either making scrambled eggs with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and herbs with salsa to eat before I leave home, or having a cup of oatmeal made with milk and fruit. Then I have my usual Fage 2% yogurt with fresh fruit for “Second Breakfast” at work. Lots of protein and more energy, and I stave off the hangries until lunch.

I’m moving more. Well, this isn’t hard when I’m coming from being an armchair slug. My program has a pedometer to count my steps. While I’m a long way from 10K/day (although I did have a day of almost 7K), it’s better than it was, and I have more stamina already. I’ve set a reward for myself of going to First Monday in Canton in April, something I’ve always wanted to do but avoided because it’s so much walking. After April it will be too hot. I want to get regular walking into my day before I ramp up to adding exercise at the gym – but I do belong to one.

I gave up coffee. I only really liked it when it was doctored up with flavored creamer and sweetner; now I’m drinking tea and Diet Coke. Yes, I know too much diet soda is Bad and have a plan for moving away from this. I did it before, when I was preparing for lapband, and I know it can work again. But making a zillion changes at one time means that something will fall through a crack. So I’m being realistic.

I bought a new Ninja Foodi Grill to help me with meals. I need to eat more fish, especially salmon and tilapia, but I hate cooking it. But grilleed and air fried from frozen would taste yummy and vary up the flavors. I’m looking at recipes and researching foods to add variety and be sure that I’m maximizing protein as I put my meals together.

What am I eating? Real food: Oatmeal. Eggs. Yogurt. Fresh fruit, especially clementines and grapes. Broccoli (lots of broccoli). Sweet potatoes. Cheese. Vegetable soup. Pork. Chicken. Lean beef. Cherry tomatoes. Lettuce. Carrots. Hummus. Most low fat, low carb, low calorie food also has no taste, so it’s not satisfying and I eat more of it trying to make it taste better, which it never does. So I’m not going there with some exceptions such as milk and yogurt, which I simply cannot consume as full-fat without gagging, and my choice of “table butter” used sparingly on sweet potatoes and sometimes veggies. Very little bread enters my house but I have a recipe for 2-ingredient bagels that I want to try. Very little processed foods, though I do like some frozen pre-packaged entrees.

Is it working? Yes. I’ve lost 15 lbs in the first 16 days on the program. I know that’s not a pace that can be sustained, but it really got me off to a great start with a sense of accomplishment – and with a heightened awareness of how much junk I’ve been stuffing in my face. I’m not very hungry, my food is balanced, and I have more energy.

Do I have a goal? Yes, but I’m not telling you. It’s realistic, though and something that I am confident that I can maintain. There is no universe in which I will ever be skinny, but that’s not what I want. I want to be healthy, and I can do it.

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