Sunday, August 16, 2015

A New Way of Eating

Saturday before last, you may recall, and if you follow me on Facebook you saw it there as well, that I had a bit of a meltdown about my weight.  Last week and the week before I went up 1 lb and 1.2 lbs.  I did the math and determined that it was more fat gain than it was muscle gain and I flipped.  Straight flipped, I tell ya!  I posted in one of the weight loss groups I’m a member of on Facebook and this guy, he meant well, got all drill sergeanty on me and told me to stop making excuses and how dare I question whether I should keep going and so on.  In my already upset state, I took this in a way he did not mean and here is where the actual meltdown occurred.  I was crying hysterically and shaking.  I messaged the leader of the group and thank goodness she was able to message me back and talk to me.  She helped me calm down and helped me devise a new plan of action.
She had me do this “dent test” (for lack of a better term) where you push your thumb into the muscle along the front of your shin.  Then you feel to see if there’s a dent.  If there’s a dent, then you’re retaining excess water which also may mean that you are ingesting too much sodium.  Well, I had a dent.  I already use super minimal salt in my food, so I don’t think that’s somewhere I can change anything.  I think if anything, I’m just over-hydrating.  I did drink a LOT of water last week.  Also, on Saturday I was still fairly sore from my tabata workout and when you’re sore, you’re also retaining water.
Then, she went over what I’m eating with me and then told me what she eats on a daily basis.  She only eats about 1000 calories (that’s too low for me to eat on a regular basis, but it works fine for her).  I’ve been eating at least 1750 calories a day...more if I’ve exercised. 
Here’s the breakdown on what I decided to do with my daily food intake:
• breakfast: 1.5 cups unsweetened original almond milk + 1 scoop protein powder, 3 eggs w/sriracha & a little sea salt
• lunch: (last week & this week, anyway) 13 oz seasoned and broiled tilapia w/corn tortillas and mild salsa
• snack: 0% fat plain Greek yogurt w/1 cup frozen berries (thawed, of course)
• dinner: 1-2 apples, depending on how hungry I am (but this week I never ate more than 1)
Per the FitBit calorie counter, that’s approximately 1280-1350 calories.  Also, I will no longer be eating my exercise calories.  Those are now off limits.  At least while I’m in the losing weight stage.  Things will probably change once I get to my goal and then start maintaining. But I will worry about that when that time comes.
Well, here’s my recap of how I did this week:
Saturday and Sunday: basically cheat days as I already had plans with friends and food well before the weekend happened.
Monday: officially started my new food action plan.  I got up early and ran.  Was done running by 8am.  Chilled at my desk for about an hour, then made my protein shake and slowly sipped on that for about half an hour.  That kept me feeling satisfied until about 11 when my stomach started growling so I fed it my 3 eggs w/sriracha & sea salt.  The rest of the day went great.  I never really ever felt hungry, just felt like it was time to eat kind of mild feeling.  I did break my lunch into 2 parts because it was so big and that worked out great for me.  When I got home, I was a little hungry.  I ate my apple and was fine!
Tuesday: still feeling great on this new plan.  It’s after a few days before I really discover how it’s working for me, though.  I had my therapy appointment at 11 this day, so I had my 3 eggs right before I left the house for my appointment and put my protein shake in a small cooler-type lunch bag with an ice pack and drank that right before going in to work.  This day went fantastic with the food and not feeling overly hungry at any point during the day.
Wednesday: I still have loads of energy.  I wish I had tried this sooner.  Seriously.  I feel beyond great!  I’m still not overly hungry.  I had a little bit of grumbles in my tummy when I went to bed this night, but nothing bad.  I got done with my workout later in the morning than I meant to so I had my protein shake immediately post-workout and then took my shower and pretty much then immediately cooked and ate my eggs…then got ready for work.
Thursday: still feeling GREAT!  It is amazing how great I’m feeling!  I’m literally next to never hungry.  I love this!
Friday: I had to plan a little bit extra for this day as I worked a 16 hour double shift.  Basically, what I did to make it through 16 hours of work was take a bunch of apples with me to eat during the night shift.  I also did my best to delay the eating of my other meals during the day.  For starters, after my kettlebell workout, I had my eggs, but waited until I got to work to have my protein shake, which let me be hungry later when it came to it being time for my lunch and then later again for my yogurt and fruit and then I just ate apples on the night shift.  What happened was, I didn’t get hungry for my lunch (the fish tacos) until after 8pm.  Then I wasn’t able to eat the whole thing but didn’t finish it until 11pm.  I didn’t eat any of the extra apples I had allotted myself to eat and therefore took them off my MyFitnessPal food log.
Saturday: yesterday was my first weekend day on this new plan.  I had also been awake for well over 24 hours.  I started my daily food intake over at 3am, meaning anything I ate after 3am was no longer Friday's food but was now Saturday's food.  I didn't eat anything from 3-6am while I was finishing up working overtime.  I didn't take anything in until after a 5K run I did when I got home from work.  I had my protein shake.  A few hours later, I had 2 eggs (because I only had 2 left in the fridge).  A couple hours later, I had an apple, then I laid down for what was SUPPOSED to be a 6 hour sleep but ended up being a 3 hour nap when I woke up wide awake.  I was meeting a friend for dinner so I scoped out the menu at Jason's Deli ahead of time and decided I would get the Nutty Mixed Up Salad with an extra chicken breast.  Dude, that thing was HUGE.  I also stayed completely within my calories for the day and didn't even remotely touch my exercise calories.  GOAL MET!  And I felt great!
I’m going to continue eating like this.  It works for me.  So I see no reason NOT to continue with it.  I feel satisfied at all times, never wanting, no urges to binge or boredom eat.  But, I’ve had eating plans before that started off the same way with how I was feeling and then after a month or so I was falling off the wagon.  So, I’m not going to get cocky about it.  I’m just going to take it one week, one day at a time and keep reevaluating how I’m feeling and make any adjustments as necessary and hope I can keep this up long term and make it an actual lifestyle.
I lost almost 5 lbs this week eating like this.  I am pretty sure I won’t lose that much next week, but I’m confident that I will lose something next week and that’s all that matters: that my weight is trending in the direction I want it to.
Also, a note on that “dent test” and water retention.  I had noticed the last few weeks that my calves were puffy and kind of swollen looking.  However, now they’re smooth and nicely tapered like they should be.  So, yea, I was definitely retaining water.

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