Monday, January 31, 2011

2 678 400 Seconds later

Today marks the completion of the first month of the Incredible Shrinking Mommy. 31 days or 777 hours, or 44 640 minutes or 2 678 400 seconds.


As I look back at the last 31 days I feel one emotion, pride. I am proud of myself for sticking to my plan, I'm proud of how I have managed temptation, I am proud of how I have managed challenges and I am even proud of when I have gave into temptation because I did it with control and I did it while in control.


I have made a commitment to eating healthy and I am supplementing that commitment by following the WW Points Plus plan. I am committed to moving my body and while weeks have been better than others I have not gone a week without exercise.


I have seen consistent weight loss on the scale and I have not let that scale determine my success on this diet. There have been days when I have been excited and days when I have felt increasing frustration, but there have not been days when I have felt like giving up. I have also achieved another goal in that I have not weighed myself in 72 hours. I am hoping that I have kicked the habit of the daily weigh in, but if I slip up I know it will be ok.


I love everything about this process. I love how I feel when I know I have had a good food day and when I have worked hard during a workout. I especially love hearing that I have inspired others and that people enjoy coming to this blog day after day to read what I have to write.


Today was the start of our fitness challenge which is a new challenge for me. Today was an excellent start. I have worked out a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes and I have plans to do another 50 minutes on the bike. I find myself prioritizing my day around getting in a healthy lunch and working out at the gym.


I bring my lunch far more than I eat out and when I eat out I make healthy informed choices.


I am 9 days back into giving up diet coke I don't find myself craving the foods that I used to.


The month has been life changing. Thank you to everyone who has followed this month with me, The Year of the Shrinking Mommy is here to stay.



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let the Competition Begin

I've been struggling a bit today in deciding what to write about. It has been a pretty regular weekend so that is good for my routine, however makes for pretty boring writing.

On an exciting note I now have a piece of fitness equipment in my home. Thanks to my mom who purchased a new machine for her house, I now have a recumbent bicycle. I made good use of it today riding for a total of 90 minutes.

This is impeccable timing as the month long fitness challenge starts tomorrow at my office. The month long fitness challenge is where groups of 6 compete to see who can log the most exercise minutes. This challenge for a sore point for me last year where I was averaging 1-2 hours of exercise a day and failed to loose any weight. This year having gotten into a good pattern with my eating I feel confident that this competitive push will help boost my weight loss efforts.

My goal for the month is to attend the gym at work 4 days a week and to ride the bike whenever I can in the evenings. I don't care if I win, for me it is not about, it is about taking my routine to the next level and starting to change the shape of my body.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

As if the stakes were already high enough

Today we booked our next family vacation.
I am extremely excited even though it is 209 days away.

I am excited for two reasons. The first is obvious. In 209 days I get to go away on vacation. The second reason is that I am hoping that this vacation will be very different from those of years past.

We enjoy to vacation as a family, however I have previously limited the type of vacation to something that focues on the kids rather than hanging out at the beach or pool. Some may think that this is because I am such a good mom, but the truth is that I have sought vacations that limit the amount of time that I spend in a bathing suit.

This year however I plan to make use of every pool, beach, hot tub and ocean that I come across.
I will lay outside and read a book laying on my lounge chair instead of hiding in my cabin.

I will not make my husband seek approval for every picture that he takes and I will hate everyone else at the pool and beach who is smaller than me.

So the stakes are raised, I am bathing suit bound in 209 days and I will be ready. I may not be at my perfect weight by that time and I may still not love my body, but I will be proud of the progress that I have made and I will not hide in the shade.

I have a dress packed away in a closet that I wore 8 1/2 years ago when my husband and I cruised for our honeymoon. I wore that dress during the formal night. I would love to pull out that dress and bring it with me for our trip. Even better I would love to pull out that dress and it be too big and then have to go out and buy a new dress, but lets not get ahead of myself . . . one day at at time.

I am off to the grocery store to pick up some more fresh fruit and vegetables. I am also going to purchase some protein powder as I enjoyed the breakfast smoothie that I made earlier this week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Damn those Golden Arches

I sent my husband this as a text earlier today. His response "There of all places". I guess we all know how much faith he has in me. I replied to him and explained that no I did not eat there, but that it was the title of today's blog. He quickly apologized.

I was out of the office today at lunch time running an errand when I found myself in Walmart very very hungry. I knew that I would be getting hungry b/c breakfast was smaller than it should have been and I did not stop for a snack. I actually chose to leave the office to avoid the cake that was about to be served in my department.

So there I am in Walmart with my tummy rumbling and I look over and see the conveniently situations McDonalds only 30 feet from where I stood.

I will be honest, I quickly started to run through various rationalizations and points calculations trying to figure out how I could get away with eating there. I also need to clarify that this was a Walmart McDonalds where they do not serve Grilled Chicken or salads or anything that is remotely healthy or clean. I then took a moment to think about how I would feel if I ate there. Lets face it for the first 3 mintues I would feel really good as instant gratification took over and I ate the salty fries, but I forced myself to look past those 3 minutes and to think about how I would feel 5, 7, 15 minutes later and the how I would feel tonight and at next weeks weigh in. It was in that quick glance into the future I realized that there was nothing on that menu that would enough to make me want to go through those feelings.

I left Walmart still hungry with the task of now having to find something healthy to eat before my willpower took an all time low and forced me to drive to the other McDonalds located conveniently right across the street.

My will power prevailed and I stopped at the Swiss Chalet drive through for chicken and a salad. This was all good until I started to look up the nutritional information and learned that my Balsamic dressing had 22grams a fat. Unfortunately it was already on my salad. Now I know that I paid money for the salad, but no amount of money was going to make me eat 22 grams of fat in a salad. The chicken, however was delicious.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yes you can hate others for their success

Today, like all weigh in days, was a tough day for me.
The anxiety and stress starts first thing in the morning knowing that my week's efforts will be measured (literally) by one moment on the scale.


Weigh in preparation includes many factors including: deciding what to wear because clothes can weigh a lot, deciding what to eat, how much water to drink and even what jewelry to wear. All of this to maximize that number which flashes for ohhhhhh about a second.


I still have a hard time believing that I allow so much of my success on one second of my week, but week to week it is still the best measure I have. I know all of the other non scale ways to measure my success, but lets be honest week to week my clothes don't feel different so while hopefully that will become a measure of my over all success week to week I am stuck with the scale.


So now to explain my title. I was very happy with my weigh loss for the week. 1.8lbs for a total of 9.2lbs over 3 weeks. I was estatic, until it came to the sharing portion of the WW meeting and I learned that other, had lost 4, 5, 6, even 7lbs. All of a sudden what was elation 5 minutes early felt like failure.


Now I know rationally that the first week is make up of some water weight and that I lost 5lbs my first week and that everyone is different, but blah blah blah, I still hated them for that moment. 


I'm over it now, I know that in week 3 my 1.8lbs loss is good and that it is a part of my journey to both larger and lasting weight loss, but sometimes jealously does rear its ugly head and sometimes it is ok to hate others for their success for just a moment. 



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Motivation

For the fist time since I started this journey I am not feeling particularly motivated. Today is pretty normal, nothing major has happened, but my motivation and excitement about this process is at an all time low. I was not even excited to come home and write my blog, probably because I knew that I have to confess to my low level of motivation.

This fortunately has not stopped me from following through on things such as eating clean/ww and exercising, I have just found that it took more effort to accomplish these things. On a positive note I carelessly grabbed cream for my coffee today instead of milk and when I realized what I did I dumped it and started again rather than just drinking it, also when I realized that I had limited time to eat lunch with nothing I packed I ate my emergency food instead of driving to the nearest drive through. (My emergency food is natural peanut butter, honey and a loaf of whole grain bread. I also had a banana on hand). This is a positive sign that all is not lost.

It has been a pretty busy 3 weeks and so today's mood may just be a reflection of the impact of the last couple of weeks rather than an reflection of my commitment to my journey. I may just be hitting a motivational plateau, one can not be chipper forever.

I do wish that every day was easy and that every day my motivation would carry me through the day without a second thought, but reality is that life is not like that and that makes today as much of a learning experience as changing a behavior or success on the scale. Handling days like today without going backwards or falling off the wagon is going to be what gets me to my goal and keeps me from stopping before I get there.

Today I ate right and I exercised even though I really didn't want to do either. Today is a win. Winning today is going to be what helps put me back into a mind frame where I am going to want to do both tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Before you meet your prince you have to kiss a few frogs.

After 25 days of eating clean and a week of following WW I was starting to become a bit worried at falling to a rut.


As my pictures have shown my evening meals have primarily focused around chicken and some fish. I have not yet started to experiment with other sources of protein, the weeknights are to busy for experiments so I am vowing to try something different this weekend.


Today I entered the grocery store determined to walk out with something that we had never eaten before. Last night I found a Fennel recipe in the Clean Eating Magazine so that sounded like a good start.


With fresh fennel in my cart I headed to the meat department to explore my options. I was happy to see that chicken breasts were on sale, but I couldn’t handle chicken again, so I put a package in my cart for a later date and kept going.


I stopped at the fresh fish counter. Now my experience with fresh fish has been limited to purchasing single portions of salmon, but I really wanted to try something different than the package frozen fish that I have been buying.


I eyed some seasoned Tilapia, California spice and Maple BBQ with Parsley. So while Tilapia is not a new experience for us, the freshness of the fish and the seasoning gave it a new spin.


I would love to tell you that I went home and cooked the best meal I have ever eaten, but that would be a lie. The fennel which was boiled and then roasted with Parmesan cheese was good, but not great. The tilapia was a bit spicy which is good my metabolism, but my taste buds were not a fan. The meal in total with 3 pieces of multi grain fresh bread and margarine was 8 points.


So what have I learned from this experience? I have learned that they can’t all be winners, but I am not going to find new foods that I like without going through a few duds first, a concept very similar to dating.


The fennel will get date #2, but I think that this particular Tilapia and I are probably better off just wishing each other a nice life.


On a positive note, I made it back to the gym today after a 7 day hiatus (unfortunately last weeks craziness led me to skip the gym) and I resisted the diet coke temptation at Subway when I grabbed lunch.


I’m still amazed every day when I am stopped in the hall or I get an email from someone telling me that they read the blog. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.


Another friend helped me out today by making sure that I had a healthy snack before heading out on the road, thank you Sue. I really do appreciate the support everyone.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I really want this, Trust me I am as surprised as you are.

I realization came over me today as I walked into the kitchen preparing to make dinner. I did a few things automatically:


  • I turned on the kettle to make a cup of decaf herbal tea.
  • I grabbed a single piece of whole grain bread to keep my hunger in check as I made dinner
  • I pulled out veggies and lean meat to get dinner prepared.
A thought came over me as I finished doing these. I think these are new habits, I came in and started to do these things without thinking because I do them every night. Wow, that is a habit.

I have had a few conversations with friends over the last week and I am actually surprised how many times this same conversation came up. If you are one of the people who I had this conversation with, my apologies in advance and I promise I will not name you.

Anyways the conversation went the same way without fail no matter who it was I was talking to. They began telling me all the reasons why they can not loose weight or be healthy. The reasons were the same reasons I have given since the beginning of time, or at least the last 10 years. They included, but are not limited to: no time, work too late, too many other commitments, other members of the household won't eat that way.

I listened supportively to each of these friends and realized that I could make my own list of reasons too. The difference was that I didn't want to. For me right now the most important thing is continuing on this journey and loosing weight and no matter what comes up this remains front and centre.

That does not me that things are not going to challenge me and that I am not going to give into temptation every once and a while, but I will do it consciously with my ultimate goal in mind.

Last week I stayed on course despite being awake two nights in a row all night and working late the next two nights. Those are typically my diet pit falls and I managed them with well without going off my program.

To me that means, I must really want this.

Today's Meals:
Breakfast - plain oatmeal sweetened with a tsp maple syrup, tbsp slivered almonds, 2/3 cup blueberries - 5 points
Lunch - left over chicken breast from last night, carrots, orange bell pepper, Preventia cookies and a clementine. 10 points with cookies
Dinner - pork loin chop with left over red pepper sauce, asparagus cooked with garlic, baked sweet potato fries. 9 points

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Morning After

I had a one night stand . . .  with food.
I thought that I knew what I was getting into. I had made the decision that last night was going to be about pleasure (from food). I planned, I researched nutritional information, I budgeted, but what I did not anticipate how I would feel the next morning.

It all started with a movie. A simple movie, however watching a movie for me is both a social experience and a behavioral activity. I am a creature of habit and as I discussed yesterday this habit included popcorn and diet coke.

So movie night arrived and I felt prepared. I had budgeted my points to allow me to eat a small popcorn with butter. I'm not going to tell you how many points b/c it is a little embarrassing, (you can google movie popcorn nutritional information for yourself) but I was proud of myself.

I did exactly what I had planned to do which were to choose foods that I know are not long term relationship material and who only wanted to give me immediate gratification. The problem was that I had built this up in my mind to be far more than the experience was.

After 21 days of no pop (with the exception of two glasses) it tasted much sweeter than I remembered and I did not like the flavour in any way that resembled how I used to crave it.

The popcorn tasted good, I did not finish the small container which is a change from eating large size popcorn's on my own.

At the end of the night I still felt satisfied with my choices even if the fantasy had been more than reality. It was not until a bit later when the feelings of instant gratification wore off that I saw my one night stand in the harsh light of "The Morning After". No longer did it appear seem as appealing as the night before. The sweet taste of the diet coke had left an after taste in my mouth and the buttery popcorn felt heavy and thick. I don't think that I regret this decision because I think this experience has helped me to focus on the characteristics of foods that I want to build a relationship with, foods I actually want to see the next morning.

So does that mean no more one night stands for me, I don't know. I'm not sure what I am going to do the next time bad for me food calls my name, but I can say for sure that I will definitely remember how I felt the morning after.

Some photo's from yesterday
Lunch was pasta with vegetables, Dinner was chicken with red pepper sauce, quinoa and roasted red peppers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Choices

We make choices every minute of every day. Some are good, some are bad. At the end of the day we have to live with our choices and the consequences of them.

I made a choice last night when I purchased the baked potato chips at the store and I made another choice when I had them as a snack last night. I can live with this choice b/c they have been accounted for in terms of their point value and they were the cleanest version of potato chips I could find without going to a health food store.

Today presents another set of choices, but to fully explain I need to back up to last night. My dear husband has been unhappy with my recent decisions involving diet coke and baked potato chips. He feels that the best way and only way for us to be successful is to completely embrace clean eating and banish everything else from our diet. I do feel that he has made his own rationalizations in the last couple of weeks including full fat cheddar on a certain breakfast sandwich, but I am not going to split hairs.

Dear Husband went to the movies last night armed with a bottle of water and a snack bag of almonds. What he admitted to me last night was a bit surprising when he acknowledged that he ordered both popcorn with margarine and coke at the movies. Given the ribbing he has been giving me I promptly returned the serve with my own comments about white poison and fake fat, trust me he got the point.

Now fast forward to today. I have plans to go to the movies tonight. I have been worrying about this for the last 24 hours because I love going to the movies and I have a routine and it involves diet coke and popcorn. I will be completely honest I don't want to go to the movie tonight and not order it, because as I look around and watch everyone eat it I will be struggling to maintain my will power which will stop me from enjoying the experience and the movie.

My solution, online research to determine the nutritional information for movie theatre popcorn with and without butter and track it immediately into my points so that I can plan my day around this event. (Diet coke is a 0 point drink so there is no WW issues with this only CE issues) This is Weight Watchers 101 and a strong principle of the program which suggest that deprivation leads to over eating. This felt to me like the perfect solution and made me feel comfortable with my choice and my decision.

So, what's the problem?

The problem is that in discussion with DH I have learned that he does not fully support my decision to incorporate WW principles because he feels I am using them as a crutch to stray from clean eating. (Those weren't his exact words, but the message was there and funny I am pretty sure I blogged about this a few days ago). He feels that while he did have coke last night, I have already had diet coke this week and I should not be ordering it or the popcorn tonight.

I am now at a crossroads. I need to figure out if I can follow both the principles of CE and WW and when they come into conflict which plan should win out?

I don't have any answers right now, but I have 8 1/2 hours before I leave for the movies so I guess I better work on figuring it out.

Oh and as I write this the blog has reached 2000 page views. Thank you to everyone

Today's Breakfast
Sorry it is not very clear
2 eggs and 2 egg whites with spinach, red pepper and mushrooms topped with an 1/8 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese. Total - 6 points


Friday, January 21, 2011

Striving for Balance

Today celebrates the completion of my 3rd week of clean eating. I do feel that this is a total lifestyle change for me and even though I may indulge in the occasional treat (ie. baked chips and diet coke) these truly are occasional treats and not indicative of my eating patterns. Wow, what a change from a month ago when regular snacks included kettle cooked chips and meals on the go were not brought from home, but rather picked up at the drive through. Yes that is right I did not even walk into the restaurant to pick up my fried fast food.

I am still striving for balance in the marriage of WW and Clean Eating, but I truly feel that this is a must for me while I want to make big gains in my weight loss. I do believe that when I get to goal I may be comfortable enough with portions and daily food intake to shift my focus back to clean eating, but that is a while away so for now I am going with both.

Yesterday I was able to manage my points perfectly while making 98% clean choices. Yes there was a diet coke, but really can you blame me after the week I've had, but all of my food is clean.

I'm surprised now that it feels second nature to go to Subway and order a 6 inch chicken breast sub on wheat bread with no cheese, lots of veggies and mustard or another no fat sauce. Big change from a pizza sub, or ham and cheese with mayo. Funny thing is, the sub is just as good, probably better.

My challenge now will be spreading out my food intake through out the day. I have finished dinner and I now have no points left. (I really need to cut cream and honey out of my coffee, 5 points is not worth it). So my options for the evening are to:
a) Eat a snack later and take the points from my weekly bank
b) Eat only fruits/veggies and tea for the rest of the evening.

I am planning to go to option a) for two reasons
1. In order to maximize my weight loss I am trying to not touch my weekly points. Which will be a challenge since there are 49 of them that I could be using
2. Before I started the WW part I typically would only eat fruits, veggies and tea tonight so I really don't need to deviate.

So, what's the problem? This is where the mind games come into play.
Now b/c my points balance tells me I can't have anything else and because those 49 points are staring at me on the screen saying eat me, it will be a battle of will power and mental strength to avoid consuming more points tonight. I know I don't need them and that I have no point options such as the box of clementines that any other day would satisfy me any other day, but I am very stubborn and when someone or something tells me I can have something I of course want it even more especially since I bought an expensive bag of baked Kettle cooked chips.

Stayed tuned tomorrow to see who will be victorious.

Return of the Photos
Here is a shot of tonights dinner, English Muffin Pizza and veggies with shrimp

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CE and WW - Headed for Divorce or Happily Ever After

Today 20 days into my Clean Eating Diet I married the program to Weight Watchers. The decision to do this did not come lightly. I have really enjoyed the clean eating plan and feel that I am doing well, but I have never been one to follow a meal plan and I have found that by just following the Clean Eating principles and not the actual meal plans I leave myself vulnerable to eating too much or too little (as if) and I worry that this will impact my overall weight loss.


This is where WW comes in. With the points program I can still each clean food, but my points target tells me how much to eat.


Should be a match made in heaven, right?


Well unfortunately it is not quite that simple. First and foremost I am following a brand new weight watchers program so now after just getting the hang of eating clean I am now in the midst of figuring out a new point system and trying to determine if what I have been eating to date are good food choices to ensure that I stay within my points range.


The second problem is that I worry that WW will offer me a crutch to fall on when I want to stray from Clean Eating. It would be really easy to rationalize, well its not clean, but I'm within my points. While this may not interfere with my weight loss efforts, the decision to eat clean was about over all health and not just weight loss.


I do think that the WW at work program will offer me some benefit. It has a structured weekly weigh in and the group component is a great motivator. 


While I worry that WW will offer me a CE crutch I also feel that having that crutch will keep me motivated even when I stray. If I eat something non clean and stay on WW I am still doing a million times better than I was before and I will still loose weight.


WW will also make me accountable for portions and small food items that I have not been monitoring such as honey in my coffee. Which is 2 points by the way and definitely not worth it more than once a day. I knew I would find a motivation to cut sweetness out of my coffee once and for all.


So day is Day 20 of Clean Eating and Day 1 of Weight Watchers
I will probably still weigh myself on Wednesdays for the purposes of this blog (I am not giving up those 6lbs for anything) but I will also post my WW success as this will be my "official weight loss" for their purposes.


Tonight was another late night, but I managed to avoid the McDonald's Drive through even though I was purchasing it for others in the car. I stopped at Subway and I don't even flinch anymore when I order my sub with no cheese and no mayo.


I am definitely looking forward to the weekend and another round of clean grocery shopping

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Infidelity and Redemption

I cheated on my diet. I think we all knew that this day would eventually come, but it's not like I was intending to be unfaithful. I'm not sure if I was testing my relationship with clean eating to see what would happen if I strayed, but I do know that I want my clean eating relationship to work which is why I was very selective about what foods I cheated with.

To back up, the last 48 hours have been crazy. I've been working all night and trying to get by with 4 hour naps during the day. I was heading out to a work appointment tonight when I realized that because of my nap I hadn't eaten since 8am. It was at that moment that I decided to allow myself a cheat.

Now just to be clear I did not gorge myself on ice cream or chocolate bars. I stopped at subway and had a clean chicken sub with baked BBQ chips and a Diet Coke. Not exactly diet suicide but also definitely not clean. The chips were good and they were baked so I don't have any guilt, but I was surprised at my reaction to the diet coke. I expected it to be like a coming home party, but it was just ok which is a really good sign.

So I'm home now and back on track. I feel Good that I could allow myself a treat without falling off the rails.

Now for the redemption
This week has been full of doubt for me. I have watched the scale bounce up 5lbs in a day and it has caused me to question if I know what I am doing or not. Today was weigh in day and despite the crazy daily weigh-ins of the past week I am down another pound. 6lbs in 2 weeks is definitely something I can handle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In the Face of Adversity

Today was definitely my most challenging day yet.


The day actually started last night. I was on call for work and did not end up getting to sleep. This morning I learned that the schools were closed so for that reason combined with my lack of sleep I took the day off.


That left me home all day with a 6 year old to feed and a kitchen full of food. As I have previously discussed unstructured days are not good for me.


I spent part of the morning resting to make up for my lack of sleep and while I had originally had high hopes for my afternoon off I ended up finishing some work and hanging out with my daughter.


On the plus side in order to stay on track I kept my eating rather simple for the day. For both breakfast and lunch I had a poached egg on a whole wheat whole grain English Muffin and a 50 cal light baby bell. My beverages of choice water and herbal tea.


My husband came to my rescue this evening to save me from poaching any more eggs. He has made baked salmon for dinner with corn and sweet potatoes.


While today may not have been exciting, I kept on track and that is the most important part.


I am looking forward to starting the WW portion of my weight loss journey this week. My hope is that using their principles combined with clean eating will help me establish good portion control and keep my overall eating at a level conducive to weight loss.


Thank you to everyone who has been following the blog for 18 days now. I am encouraged to keep going by each and every climbing page view.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Priorities

I’ve never really stopped to think how much of my time I spend prioritizing things. Do I do A or B first. If I can only do one thing which shall it be.

My weight loss journey much like the rest of my life is all about prioritizing. It is about prioritizing me first and foremost and giving myself the time and tools that I need to make this work.

My journey is also about a lot of little things that must be prioritized.

Do I work out or make tomorrow’s lunch?
Do I write my blog or do laundry?

Today I was presented with a limited amount of time this morning and I was forced to prioritize what was more important, gathering my gym clothes so that I could work out at lunch or packing my lunch.

Even though I have been successful in purchasing a clean lunch I decided that the priority for me is making sure that I have my clean lunch with me because it will keep me from being stressed about what I am going to eat all day. While it has been great for me to work out eat day at lunch because a) it increases my chances of making this a regular habit and b) I don’t have to worry about exercising if I do it at lunch, I do realize that the priority is my eating.

I think that this was an interesting exercise in how I make decisions everyday without as much as a thought as to the process that occurs to make them. I think that this may be a key part of my journey. If I slow down my thought process regarding every day decisions I can start to examine how I make these decisions and evaluate whether or not they are good.

Now all I need to figure out is how to increase my avail time so that I can do everything and I won’t have to prioritize.

Today’s Exercise
Video at Home
Today’s Meals
Breakfast – oatmeal with ground flax seed, almonds, honey and blueberries (I think I need to get more creative with breakfast)
Lunch – Eat clean egg salad sandwich
Dinner – Left over baked pasta (I made so much we are still eating it)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lazy Sundays

I am starting to realize that from a weight loss perspective I much prefer the work week to weekends. I know, I know, bite my tongue, however there is something to be said for the predictable routine of Monday to Friday.


During the week I know when I am going to eat, I have predictability throughout my day and the day seems to go by very quickly. The weekend, while peaceful and relaxing brings with it boredom, laziness, sleeping in and fewer obligations. While at first glance this would appear to be a perfect weekend, the struggle comes in managing this new time and freedom without completely blowing the work that I have done.


It is much harder to stick to an eating schedule because meals can be anytime. During the week breakfast is always before work, lunch is typically after the gym and dinner is as fast I can get it on the table when we get home.


Exercise is a challenge because during the week I go to the gym during lunch and always during lunch. On the weekend I could work out anytime so motivating myself to pick a time becomes the challenge.


During the week I am too busy to even contemplate being bored, however on Saturdays and Sundays I have the freedom and time to think, what shall I do? It is much easier to fall prey to snacking just because I have the time to do it.


So as I write this another Sunday is coming to a close. My safe reliable crazy work week is just around the corner.


My goal for next week, plan more structure even if it is just scheduling time to clean the closet.


Today’s Meals
Breakfast - 12 grain toast with bananas, almond butter and honey
Lunch - left over pasta from the night prior
Dinner (see photos) avocado and tomato brushetta as an appetizer, coconut/almond chicken with salad and brown rice.




Saturday, January 15, 2011

Disappointment

I am absolutely amazed by the power that our thoughts can have over our mood and our outlook. I have read about positive self talk and about how negative thoughts can impact on our motivation and success with any goal.
    
This morning I had a first hand experience of how direct these concepts are linked.
   
I have written before about my fickle and obsessive relationship with the scale. Due to the success I have been experiencing I have continued to weigh myself on a daily because each day the scale has continued to move in the right direction.
   
This morning however, was the end to this streak. The scale moved, but not in the right direction. The immediate impact that this experience had on my mood and motivation for the day was overwhelming.
   
Slowly my sense of rational thought kicked in as with the help of my husband I realized and remembered a few things. 
   
- I weighed myself a few hours later than I usually do
- Weighing myself daily is not a good thing because my weight can go up and down, but the important thing is what my weekly weigh in say.
- Last night I treated myself to a snack later than I usually eat. The snack was clean (organic popcorn), but never the less it was food in my stomach that isn’t usually there at that time of night.
- My water and herbal tea intake was less last night than it usually was.
  
So why even though intellectually my brain knows all of the above information am I still having such a bad day? What I will not do is let this distract me from having a positive and clean day. It will take a bit more effort to get motivated, but it’s the only way that I am going to see a better result tomorrow. 
  
Actually my husband plans to hide the scale so I’m not actually sure I will be able to weigh myself tomorrow.
  
Today’s Meals
Breakfast - Whole wheat English Muffin with poached egg and goat cheese
Lunch - left over stir fry from last night’s dinner
Dinner - Baked macaroni with steamed lean ground beef and tomato veggie sauce

Friday, January 14, 2011

It Takes A Village

Many people will be familiar with the phrase "It takes a Village to Raise a Child". I was reflecting today on the past two weeks trying to pin point what have been the factors that have helped me to keep going. I have realized that for me weight loss, like child rearing, takes a village.

So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone in my village. 

- Those who have read the blog which helps me to keep going each time I see a new page view.
- A dear friend who has been inspired to try eating clean and brought me lunch today. This was made more amazing by the fact that I did not have a full lunch today and this saved me a noon hour challenge.
- My husband who has helped me by making his share of clean breakfast and lunches as well as complimenting me on my dinner creations.
- My workout buddies who check to see if I am going to the gym
- Everyone who has messaged me, stopped me in the hall or emailed me to tell me that enjoy reading my blog.

I don't think you realize the impact that this has made on my progress. Part of what motivated me each day is thinking about what I am going to make for dinner and how it will look in a photo. I want to be clear that I am absolutely doing this for me, but whenever my motivation or willpower wavers just a bit, I have this village to fall back on.

Humans by nature are social creations and we do not live in isolation. I have decided to embrace this part and make it a part of my weight loss journey.

Already I feel more energetic, happier and excited about the future. I would say healthier, but I am fighting a cold so that would not be exactly accurate.

Today's Exercise
Work out video and Elliptical Machine

Today's Meals
Breakfast - Whole grain toast with almond butter and honey
Snack - orange
Lunch - Clean egg salad sandwich (thank you Sherry), mini babybell
Snack - grain and almond granola bar
Dinner (see photo) - brown rice and shrimp stir fry made with veggies and coconut oil.




Thursday, January 13, 2011

You have to love it

I have always known that exercise is an equal part of any diet or healthy life style. The challenge as always is making exercise a reality. This process includes the psychological component of convincing yourself to exercise, the time management component of figuring out when to exercise and the physical component of actually getting your body to exercise.


I think that my down fall in the past is been in all of the above 3 areas. So naturally I have been very interested in trying to find a way to ensure that exercise becomes a permanent part of my life. Last night I spent some time with my sister. My sister, who I joke regularly must be adopted, is my absolute role model when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't hurt that she is gorgeous either. Last night we were talking about my current exercise routine. I mentioned that I have never minded exercising. Her response to me was so simple, but so profound at the same time. She looked at me and said "you have to love it".


That's it, those 5 little words have completely unraveled the mystery of exercise. I don't have convince myself to do something I love, I don't have to find to do something I love either, it becomes a priority and I make it happen. I never have difficulty finding time to get together with friends or go on vacation.


So now the million dollar question. What kind of exercise do I love. What activity will make me jump up out of bed in the morning excited to get started? Well I can tell what the answer is not - running. Other than that I think I'm stuck. 


So my goal now is to experiment with various types of activity until I find the one I love.
I started today with two new exercise videos. The first a dance inspired strength training video and the second a strength/cardio video. In all a 2 hour work out.


Did I like them, yes. Did I love them, not sure, but just because it was not love as first sight does not mean my relationship with exercise can't turn into a lasting serious relationship.


Today's meals
Breakfast - Half a 12 grain bagel with egg
Snack - nut and grain granola bar
Lunch - Grilled chicken break on whole wheat bun. Granola bar
Dinner (see photo) - chicken with goat cheese and red peppers and red pepper sauce, Quinoa and mixed greens.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Scale

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the scale. I love that it can track and measure my success and it makes me happy when I see that success.

I hate the scale because of the fickle nature of our relationship. The scale does not provide me with unconditional love and one bad day, too much sodium or the wrong time of the month can impact what it tells me and significantly alter the balance of our relationship.

Having been in this relationship with the scale for so many years I have learned some of the guidelines to try and manage the fickleness of our relationship. Weigh yourself the same time of day each time wearing similar clothing as to minimize the impact the fluctuation in your weight.

I typically vacillate between becoming obsessed with weighing myself and breaking up with the scale. At one end the scale and I may decide to take a break and not see each other for weeks or months, at other times we are like a new relationship full of infatuation and we can’t get enough of each other.

Many people will tell you that it is not healthy to weigh yourself daily as your weight will fluctuate. I do think that I need more than a weekly weigh in as it keeps me from straying too far. I have had many a disastrous week because I think that I am doing ok (far too much rationalization going on) only to discover that I have actually gained weight.

The reason why I am talking about my relationship with the scale is that today marks 7 days since the first day I weighed myself on this journey. The year of the shrinking mommy started on January 1, however it took me until the morning of January 5 before I was prepared to weigh myself. So the results are in. During the last 7 days I have lost 5lbs.

This mornings results have taken me to a new level of my relationship with the scale as I have not experienced a week like this in the last 14 years. Typically my weight loss is very slow, which is probably a result of me not fully committing the program or finding excuses during the week to rationalize my eating. This week there was non of that and the results were amazing.

I will not be posting a meal list today as I am not going to be following my regular routine. I have a half day at work and commitments throughout the morning and evening so my eating patterns will be off. I will continue to eat clean food, however they will resemble more of the mini meals or snacks talked about in clean eating compared to a 3 main meal structure.

It is currently 12:31pm and I have eaten; toast with almond butter and honey, banana, 2 clementines and I just finished a taste of Nature Organic food bar. (They are amazing and avail at Costco).

I promise that I will return to meal ideas and photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Its Habit Forming

So today I did some research about how to form new habits. I know that one of my big issues is that I have formed bad habits.

Some examples:
Ordering diet coke everywhere I go
Stopping at Tim Hortons when I am out on the road
Eating while watching tv
Eating while I am bored
Running out the door without breakfast or lunch and just figuring it out as the day go by.
  
The problem is that each of these habits has contributed bit by bit to my weight problem.
  
So I set off to find out how to form new habits. All I knew was that it takes 21-28 days to form a new habit. My question is how do you make through those 21-28 days.
   
Replace Lost Needs - In order to be successful at forming a new habit you need to replace whatever need that habit was filling, For me Boredom was a bit need that eating was filling. This need has been replaced with daily exercise, cooking healthy food and blogging
  
Balance Feeback - You have to form habits that creates more joy than pain. For me the support and feedback I have been getting from these changes is all positive.
  
Write it down - I've got that covered
   
Consistency - Habit is to be consistent and repeated. My goals remain the same each with with new challenges added as I master the first.
  
Today's Exercise - Jari Love's Fat Burn Video
   
Today's Meals
Breakfast - Whole Grain Fat Free Rye Toast, Almond Butter, Honey
Snack - Banana
Lunch - Left over pasta from last night
Snack - Almonds
Dinner (see photo) Halibut crusted with (ground - flax seed, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, rolled oats, rye flakes), clean tzatziki, corn, clean mashed potatos (made with milk, yogurt cheese and a touch of olive oil) 

Monday, January 10, 2011

That's a lot of water

Ok so I am really struggling with this water thing.

The concept of drinking 2-3L of water a day does not bother me as I’m not drinking pop or juice, the taste of the water does not bother me either as I like water.
The problem is the actual behavior/habit of drinking the water.


Today I was driving home at 4:30pm and I realized that I had only drank 500ml of water all day. The problem is at this point ¾ of my day is gone and I still have to drink 1.5-2.5L of water in about 6 hours. 


So as I sit and write this blog I have a bottle of water in front of me and I guess I will be spending the evening alternating between drinking water and running to the bathroom. Good thing I didn’t have any other plans.


Today was interesting as I did not feel as hungry as usual. Despite rushing out the door this morning I was able to bring breakfast to eat in the car and I was surprised to look at the clock at 11:30am and realize that I had not had a snack. This continued through out the day as I did not finish my lunch and have food left on my dinner plate.


I’m not sure of the process occurring here, I think that my mind it catching up with my body and all the filing foods I have been eating is actually starting to impact when I am hungry so I am eating based on what my body needs and not what my brain wants.


By the way I have been typing for 20 minutes and the bottle of water is still sitting here, see my problem.


I did make it to the gym today at lunch and had another round of Jillian’s Fat Burn video. Tomorrow I think I want to try the resistance video that killed me last week.


Before we get to today’s meals Here is a picture of last nights dinner. For those who don’t remember it was asparagus, quiona and chicken with spinach and goat cheese.













Now for Today's Meals
Breakfast - plain oatmeal with brown cane sugar and honey with blueberries and almonds
Snack - Banana

Lunch - Tuna on 12 grain bread with clean tzatziki, clementine, preventia cookies
Snack - banana and preventia granola bar
Dinner (see photo) Whole wheat spaghetti, chicken, tomato sauce, bell peppers (green, red and yellow), onions with a light mini baby bell cheese shredded on top.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Check our my Facebook Page

A lot of discussion was occuring on my facebook page and I started to get friend requests from people who read the blog. Since I am not comfortable adding them to my personal page I started a facebook page for those discussions.


http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Year-of-the-Shrinking-Mommy/125166290883350
or Search Year of the shrinking mommy in Facebook and click the like button.

Crash and Burn

Well we all knew that it had to come to an end. The last 7 days have been an ongoing experience of positive energy which I knew would not be indefinite.
  
Today demonstrated the finite nature of this positive energy.
  
Today I am tired and sore.
  
My energetic attempts at working out have left me both sore and with a pulled muscle in what I think is my hamstring.
  
My go go go attitude last week has left me today feeling tired and void of all energy.
Unfortunately the tasks of the day remain so I am left with the challenge of getting my house in order for the week while feeling pain with each step.

If there has been a day yet that has tempted me to take the easy way out, to cheat or to just plain give up today is that day.

Instead I have found some compromise. I will not be exercising today and I will probably not get the house clean to the standard that I would like, but I will follow my eating plan. This was resolve fairly early on today when I realized that today would be a challenge compared to other days this week.
  
So I stayed home while Scott took the kids tubing and spent the afternoon doing . . . Well pretty much nothing, but at the end of the day I can still say that I am on track.
   
I have had a number of requests for grocery lists and meal plans. I don’t believe that I will able to provide these things on a daily or weekly basis. I do want to be clear that I work full time and have 3 kids at home so trust me everything that I make especially during the week is extremely simple. If you have any questions about how to prepare anything that you have seen on the blog please leave me a comment or message me on Facebook. I would be happy to provide direction about anything that I have made.

Today’s Meals
*This week’s goal to combine complex carbs (cc) and protein (p) at each meal
Breakfast - 12 grain toast (cc) with almond butter (p) and honey
Lunch - brown rice (cc), chicken breast (p), cooked spinach, yellow pepper and honey seasoned with no preservative salsa (see photo below)
Dinner - Chicken breast with spinach and goat cheese baked in the oven, quiona, asparagus with a mixed green salad.
Photo of Lunch

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Week In Review

A week ago I started a year long journey to eat clean, loose weight and be healthy. This week has been very interesting for me. I have experienced a wide range of emotions about my decision to write this blog. The first was fear, but that was quickly followed by a number of other equally strong emotions.
  
Happiness for knowing that I am positive changes in my life
Surprise at the number of people who are reading the blog
Pride when I receive complements on my writing, my food pictures and my recipes.
Acceptance of who I am right now and who I want to become.
  
This last emotion came to me earlier this week while I was at Zumba class. I was in the aerobics studio (translation: a room full of full length mirrors) and I looked at myself. For the first time in a very long time I think I saw an accurate reflection of me. A typical look in the mirror for me usually involved turning myself in a way that made me look the thinnest and rationalizing that I looked smaller than the biggest people in the room. This time I am pretty sure I saw the real me. I don’t actually know why this occurred, but I think that it is because I am so committed to this change that I don’t need to only look at the best parts of me or rationalize how I look. It was a very peaceful experience.
  
When I take stock of the last week I see a number of goals accomplished. I ate only clean foods this week, worked out 3 times and posted on my blog every day.

My goals for next week are: Increase exercise to 4 times next week, ensure I am eating a complex carb and protein at each meal or snack, increase water intake to 2.5L.


Today we did a clean Grocery shop. He is a preview of the foods I will be eating this week. Please ignore the mini wheats, they are for the kids and I forgot they were in the cart when I took this picture.




Today's Meals
Breakfast - Clean Blueberry Pancakes (no syrup) and a banana
Lunch - Toasted tuna with yogurt cheese and cucumber on 12 grain bread
Dinner - Salmon with dill sauce (made with yogurt cheese), baked potato topped with dill sauce and asparagus. (See picture below)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Recipe for Disaster

 Today was one of those days that I felt was doomed from the start. It started out with an early morning appointment which meant that I rushed around this morning (because getting up earlier would have just been too easy) and ended up leaving with no breakfast and no lunch. 
   
So it is 7:30am and I am in the car with a 9 hour day a head of me and no food. All of a sudden last night’s challenge feels like the easiest thing on the planet.
   
My plan - take a deep breath and use the hour long drive to come up with a plan.

The first hurdle breakfast. I did manage to grab a coffee before leaving the house, but there was no wear that I could not eat and still manage to avoid temptation. On top of I know that when trying to loose weight skipping meals is never a good idea. Luckily for me I had crammed my purse full of clean food in preparation for working late last night and there were still a number of things left in there.
  
Breakfast became a Kashi Granola Bar and a Banana. 
  
The next hurdle was lunch. I felt that this could be easily remedied with a salad from Subway, but I had managed to grab work out clothes before leaving the house and I really wanted to get to the gym at lunch. So I needed to find something that I could grab quickly now and then eat at lunch. 
  
A quick stop to Wal-Mart solved this dilemma. I picked up a package of 12 grain bread as well as all natural peanut butter. Back at work I combined this with some honey and banana and lunch was made. I added some oranges from my desk to the meal.
  
I did manage my mid day work out. Upon my request we did not repeat the video from yesterday. I was happy to hear that even the fit people who did yesterday’s work out were very sore which made me feel 100% about my entire body being in pain. We settled on a Jillian Michael’s video that focused on fat burning.
  
At this time I am feeling pretty good having managed all the challenges that came my way.
  
I sent a text to my husband to find out if he was interested in going to Costco tonight. His response was to mention one of our favourite restaurants that we would visit whenever we shopped in the area. - Lonestar Texas Grill. Our favourite, fajitas and nacho chips with cheese.
  
I immediately responded to his comment reminding him that this was not a clean choice and that it was mean to even suggest it.
  
The compromise, homemade fajitas at home
  











  
This is a treat I purchased for me to have. I'm not sure if it is good or not. I will let you know. It is sweetened with cane sugar and appears to be fairly clean so I will give it a try.