What’s for dinner?

I had a protein-packed salad (no dressing) for dinner:

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5oz chicken breast, 2 hard boiled eggs (I was feeling especially hungry so I indulged), grape tomatoes and cucumbers on baby spinach leaves. So yummy!

So far today I’ve eaten 1065 calories, after dinner. It’s a little lower than it would be, because I wasn’t feeling week at lunch (I think due to some antibiotics and steroids I just started) and so I opted for most of an apple and a little peanut butter for lunch instead of my chicken and veg and I skipped my after protein shake snack altogether.

I should still be eating another light snack around 7pm, so I’m thinking maybe a serving of almonds, which is about 160 cals. So still a really good day.

Also- I took a look at my nutrition info for the day, and I’m quite pleased with myself:

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Carbs are totally in line, and what’s even better is that all the carbs I’m eating are from veg and fruit, so your body processed those differently than carbs from bread, pasta, etc. So my trainer tells me, anyway! Also, the fat looks a little high, but a lot of that is coming from “good” fat from the nuts I’m eating. So all in all I’m pretty darn happy.

I’m still feeling really good about eating clean. I want to keep improving and I’m really getting into it more and more. It doesn’t feel forced and I’m fully satisfied throughout the day. I ask actually eat, if I do get hungry. So I’m learning to listen to my body. It’s pretty cool.

I just feel so much better throughout the day as well. I feel like I even have a little more energy and am less sluggish. Missed my workout yesterday because my asthma is flaring up quite badly (hence starting the antibiotics and steroids) but I plan to get back to the gym just as soon as my lungs will allow! I’m actually annoyed I’m not able to go to the gym right now, because for a change I actually want to go! I also am worried about losing momentum. Definitely don’t want to stay away for too long. Just have to be careful.

So that’s my day in a nutshell. Week 3 of clean eating has officially begun! I feel like I’ve *finally* found my groove!

Small changes ahead…

Small changes can definitely make a big difference! I think making small changes, as opposed to big, swooping changes, are a lot easier to live with and to maintain.

I’m almost done with week 2 of clean eating, as week 3 starts on Tuesday. Feeling pretty good about that. Especially since I haven’t been really struggling with this way of eating.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m definitely not perfect- well, in any regards, really! But I’m not the model clean eater, that’s for sure. I did eat the rest of the beef I had over the weekend (as opposed to wasting it) although I did not buy any more. I also am still drinking crystal light, but I’m not buying any more of that, either. And I only had one crystal light today, compared to normally having several per day.

I did buy fruit to add to water this weekend. I definitely need to work on that, but I’m learning! And really, I need to just get better at drinking plain water. Today I definitely drank a lot less than I have been, because I forgot my giant water bottle. So that is not good. Again- goes back to planning.

But, I did bring food for breakfast today and I had a protein shake for lunch. I want to start bringing “real food” for lunch, and doing the shakes as snacks, but not quite there yet. Working on it!

My portions are also still a work in progress. But, as one of my favorite motivational quotes says, it’s about progress, not perfection!

I feel really good in general and really positive about this lifestyle change. I feel like I’m making changes I can live with, and even more so, changes I *want* to live with- I want to maintain these changes and continue to improve. I’m not sure I’ve ever approached weight loss this way.

I always felt I was being deprived or even punished for not being able to eat however I wanted. So I was never fully happy with any diet, because I always wanted to eat other foods. This time it’s about being healthy and really a lifestyle change, not a diet. I don’t want those foods anymore- at least not like I did.

I will admit to considering going to McDonald’s over the weekend. I was hungry and out of food. But instead, I decided to go to the grocery store and stock up. Better choice. Much better choice! So it’s not like these things are just completely magically gone. I’m still me. I’ll still struggle with certain things.

But I want this. I want to succeed and keep getting better and better. So I’m going to keep making small, doable changes as I go along.

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You can’t out exercise a bad diet

The elusive “they” say it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise to lose weight. I’ve also seen 70-30, but my old trainer insisted it was 80/20.

Regardless of what the magic numbers are, the point is that you can’t out exercise bad nutrition.

I used to think I was eating well- technically I was eating chicken and fish. And I always told myself I was eating better than I used to- which is true, since I went through a period of virtually living on fast food. However, breaded chicken and battered fish are not ideal examples of a nutritious eating.

I was losing weight last year eating that way. For 3-4 months, I was actually losing 10lbs/mo, which was great. But, I was also working out twice a day 5-6 days a week, up to 10 miles/day on the treadmill on my best days. Plus a trainer twice a week. And spin.

As soon as I started grad school, I didn’t have the time to devote to the gym anymore. Not the amount of time I had been. My stress level also increased and I began to choose cheap and easy options again. It wasn’t sustainable.

Sustainability is huge to me in my journey and it’s what makes this time different than the rest. I’ve tried nutrisystem and a couple different weight loss places and I’ve tried shots and pills and being vegetarian and eating all meat on a super high protein/low carb diet. I even tried weight loss surgery, which I have since had reversed (I had the lap band for almost two years before I had it taken out after numerous/ongoing problems).

So I’ve tried about everything out there. I was considering another weight loss surgery before beginning this journey. I was actually scheduled and approved to get the gastric sleeve. It just scared me so much. Cutting off a portion of your stomach? It seemed so invasive and I just couldn’t get past it.

I wanted to lose weight so badly, but I just couldn’t go through with it. It wasn’t for me. I’m so happy that, after all this time and so many mistakes, I’ve finally found something I truly believe I can stick with for the rest of my life.

I know I’m not where I need to be yet with exercising or eating, but I’m working on it. I’m also doing it in a way that works for me- I’m not making a million drastic changes all at once.

I need to quit drinking crystal light, for instance. However, I also know that is the only way I’m getting in my gallon of water a day, like my trainer wants. So, today I started adding in less. I’m going to slowly wean myself off of it, and I’m also going to look into alternatives to naturally sweeten or add taste to my water. My trainer suggested something for me to check out when I go to the grocery this weekend.

Beef is another thing that isn’t included in typical “clean eating” plans. But I get so sick of chicken every day. I used to eat the breaded stuff daily, in different forms, but just plain chicken breast? No thank you. Not there yet. So right now I use beef as a fun alternative to add in. I try doing it every other week, but I’ve been having it at least a few days weekly for the past few weeks.

So I’m going to drop it down to every other week, and also not make double servings, for instance, so it doesn’t last as long and I’m not eating it for lunch and dinner every day.

I’m making small changes that I can continue to improve upon, as I go along. This is something I can do. I want to be healthier. I can be healthier. It is just going to take some time to get to where I want to be.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep working and keep improving. I don’t have to give up just because I can’t be perfect at the beginning. When are we ever perfect the first time we try something? That’s so unrealistic!

I have to work hard at so many things in life- work, when I was in school, you have to work at relationships – why should food and fitness be any different? I’m ok where I am today. But tomorrow, I will be better. And by my wedding, I will be a whole new person. I can’t wait to continue on this journey and continue pushing myself and improving. Looking forward to a long, healthy life from here on out!

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Portions and Planning

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I am by no means picture perfect at clean eating yet, but I’m certainly working on it. One thing I definitely need to work on is my portions.

I did some more research last night on clean eating (ok. It was Pinterest…). Found some great tips though. There are a couple things I can work on, but portion control is definitely my weakness.

Even though I’m eating nourishing foods doesn’t mean I don’t have to pay attention to portions. I have not been this far. I had stopped logging calories, which I think was a mistake. I’m not so focused on them, but I think it’s good just to keep an eye on where I am daily.

With that in mind, I logged my day yesterday and I was under 800 calories. Only 51g protein. I definitely could have done better. Calories were on the low side, but I didn’t have snacks yesterday, which I have been most days.

But I’m still not eating balanced meals. For example, all I had yesterday until dinner was two granola bars. I let myself run out of options at work, which I can’t do anymore. I’ve got to get better at planning, which is also a big part of clean eating.

Today I am doing better- half a yogurt before the gym this morning and a protein shake when I got to work. Not sure what I’m doing for lunch or my second snack today. Which is no bueno. I’ll probably just have a second protein shake.

I’ve decided to take planning more seriously as well. I kept coming across this lady night, too. My trainer and my friend who is helping me have both tried to get me to do this better.

Going forward, I’m going to go grocery shopping on Sunday’s and prepare by meals for the week. At least my lunches. And have breakfast and snacks planned out, too. Dinner I can make fresh when I get home, but we’ll re-evaluate as I go along.

Last night I ate two hamburgers (plain) and a whole bag of steamed veg. Talk about an unbalanced day. So I ate well, but I didn’t eat properly yesterday. I think I’m getting into this clean eating thing more, which is good. I *want* to do well and do better.

I’m not going to be perfect overnight, but I am going to continue to make better choices as I go along. It’s about developing a sustainable, healthy eating pattern.

Clean eating is my new way of life. I’m so glad I have turned this journey into being more than just a quick fix to fit s dress. I’m so happy I’m truly working towards adopting a balanced diet and getting healthy. The weight loss will come naturally, as a result of my good choices, which will develop into lifelong habits.

I feel so positive and I dare say also less stressed, which is undoubtedly good, but highly unusual for me. I tend to obsess and stress myself out and beat myself up.

This past week I’ve not had one reason to beat myself up. I did get my scale back working and weighed this morning and I’m not where I thought, and definitely not where I want to be. The scale read 294 lbs.

But, I’m actually not obsessing and recalculating how many lbs I must lose each week to hit my goal. I’m trusting the process because I know I’m making good decisions and I know results will come. I’m even glad that at least I have an accurate reading now of where I really am.

Here’s hoping that it’s all downhill from here!

Continuing Clean Eating

Today officially marks the start of Week 2 of eating clean.

I decided on some short term goals today:

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I want to get to week 12!

I think keeping track of my weeks again, with this in mind, will really help me stay on track and stay motivated.

4 weeks is not that far off, and the first week was really pretty easy, breezy. I feel so much better mentally and I believe also a bit better physically, so I should have no problem getting to 4 weeks.

8 weeks is a little daunting right now, but having people close to me start to notice a difference is really appealing.

12 weeks feels like forever, but it’s truly not that far away, especially considering that my wedding is in just 38 weeks.

Also, getting to a place where everyone can notice a difference would be a huge motivation for me. I’m also thinking that, after 12 weeks of eating clean, It will have become a habit by that point. It should be my routine, and provide confirmation that I can keep doing this- not just until the wedding, but for the rest of my life.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, this has become less about just the wedding and fitting a dress (though that is still important!) and more about my overall health.

I am so happy to have finally made changes that I truly feel I can stick with long term. I’m also happy to report that those include smarter choices on my part and that I’m eating both fruits and veggies now and really focusing on a balanced and nutritious lifestyle.

I feel so proud of myself already, and I can’t wait to start taking progress pics again and to see my transformation.

12 weeks will be here before I know it!

Sans scale

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Well my old scale is definitely not working. Of course it takes a watch battery, instead of regular batteries so I’ve decided it’s just easier to buy a new one. But I don’t want to spend too terribly much money, since my old fitbit Aria stopped working after a few months and they never did anything about it.

But at the same time, I would like to be able to see body fat percentage, etc. So then I’m up to $60ish and for $130 I could get another Aria that automatically syncs to fitbit, which I already use.

So, for now, I have no scale. It’s driving me nuts not to be able to weigh. I thought about running to Walmart and getting a $20 scale, but I hate walmart and I couldn’t take myself into it. It’s not what I really want.

Meanwhile I am really worried. I don’t really think I could possibly be gaining weight right now. I’m not cheating, I’m eating clean and I’m really doing a great job. I am not working out daily, which my trainer challenged me to do.

I want to, but today I skipped. I did take the puppy for a longer walk, to get in a few steps. My trainer did say even if I’m waking the dog, it’ll work. But I didn’t go for 20 min, it was probably around 10. So maybe another walk before bed.

So I am fairly confident I have to be losing weight, but I miss being able to see confirmation of that. Plus it just makes me nervous. I need to ensure I am staying on track, I can’t go for very long without a scale.

I’m also getting frustrated with my size more lately. First, my wedding dress will be 2 sizes too small when it arrives- in the largest size they sell. Next, my wardrobe is really annoying me too. Or the lack thereof.

Not because I don’t have clothes- I have oodles and oodles of clothes. But barely any of them fit me. I’m currently a size 26-28 normal dress size (wedding dresses often run small). But it’s really hard to find anything in those sizes, let alone nice apparel.

I have a suit in a size 26 that i absolutely cannot fit in. At all. Other size 26 items I can wear, but suits are really challenging. I’m trying to get ahead in my career, and I want to start dressing the part. I need to be seen as a professional. But I can’t afford to go buy any more clothes and I can’t fit the ones I have.

If I could get down to a size 24, that’s still so huge, but it would be a great first step. I have several suits I could wear, among other tops and things. I would just have so many more options.

I was down to a size 22 last year. Seems to far away now. I can’t hardly imagine. But I have a bunch of clothes in that size, too, and it’s getting closer to “normal” plus sizes; not the super plus sizes.

I guess it’s good I’m getting so sick of everything, as long as I don’t let it depress me. I have to use it as motivation to keep going. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how easily I’ve been sticking to my eating plan.

Maybe ordering the wedding dress made it real?

The dress is already 2 sizes to small, like I said. Then they can alter gowns down 2-4 sizes. (I can trade it in for greater or equal value, depending on how much I lose by February). But if I keep my original dress, I can conceivably lose 6 sizes by the wedding. That would put me down to a size 20 in regular dress sizes. Or around there, anyway.

That’s so close to just being an XL. I want to be able to shop in stores again and enjoy it like I used to. I’ve gotten so used to being forced to order everything online, I don’t even remember how much fun it used to be to go shopping with friends. And how much selection there was. Plus actually being able to try things on and see how they look before buying them, and try on different sizes.

I really want to get back there. All I see when I look in the mirror right now is my fat. I’ll notice my fat belly or the fat on my arms. Lately I’ve noticed how much fat is just sitting on my chest.

I’ve got to keep my focus and not get sidetracked anymore. Its so much nicer to feel proud about what you ate, instead of hating yourself for it and feeling guilty. I feel so accomplished that I’ve eaten clean for one week now.

I know that isn’t a long time, but it’s a start. And I’m going to keep going. I will get this weight off- and be a beautiful bride. 👰

Scale malfunction

I know you should wait a week in between weighing and “they” say not to weigh daily, but I am impatient and I also like to make sure I am not moving in the wrong direction.

Well- my scale was off 16 lbs today. I did not gain 16 lbs in 3 days. Especially not with how well I’ve been doing.

My trainer said the batteries may be getting low, but I don’t know if it even takes regular batteries. So I may have to just suck it up and buy a new scale. Buying a new scale annoys me because I registered for a really cool on on our wedding registry, but I absolutely have to have one ASAP.

In other news, I’ve still been killing my eating plan. Pretty excited about how well I’ve been doing and feeling. I know this is going to pay off.

Nothing else much happening, just keeping at it!

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Engagement Session

The day started off entirely wet and rainy but by the time we drove 2 hrs north the sun was out! It was quite hot and muggy for the engagement session, but I’m just thankful the weather held out while we were there!

Photos are a lot more work than fun, I’ll say that much! But I am hopeful that we get some nice shots out of it.

I only need four shots for the save the dates! The rest of the pics can be crap for all I care, just so long as we have four!!!

I forgot to grab breakfast before we left the house at 8am and we didn’t finish the shoot until after 12, so we needed to grab something to eat on the go.

Instead of succumbing to fast food and just doing what was cheap and easy, we stopped at walgreens. I just got some cheese and pecans to snack on, which is all I’ve eaten today.

But I’m really happy I didn’t get fast food or junk food. We just got to my dads for Sunday dinner so I’ll be eating soon enough now.

All in all today was a pretty good day!

Finally Friday

Started my day off on a decent note this morning: got up later than I wanted so I only got in 20min on the treadmill before my trainer. But, hey, I still worked out!

Trying to mentally talk myself into committing to go to spin tomorrow morning. The mental battle is by far 100 times harder than the physical one.

I need to go, because I didn’t get in all my sessions this week and I need to make up for it. Plus I’m almost always up early on the weekends, and spin doesn’t start until 830.

So what is the problem you ask? Laziness…. Why is that? Do you have any tricks to make yourself do something?

I just need to get back in the habit of going to the gym more. When I was really into it last year, it wasn’t a question. I just *had* to go. No options.

Now I debate back and forth and make up excuses (I have a friend coming over at noon and I have so much cleaning I need to get done, for ex).

*sigh* like Nike says, JUST DO IT!

Other than that the rest of my day has been pretty decent too. Nothing insanely exciting (except my iPhone 6 arriving- woot!) but I ate clean again today and am still really feeling good about the recent changes.

Just have to keep going and not give up or give in. I’m going to win. Big time.

Weigh day

Well I had a nice surprise this morning when I weighed myself: I weigh less than expected!

I was 296-299 when I weighed last week, after getting back from the cruise. I didn’t realize it at first, but now I know there must have been water weight in that.

Today’s weight? 286lbs.

That means I have 39 weeks to lose 87 lbs, which equates to an average of 2.2lbs/week. Completely attainable!

I’m glad I’m down more than expected- was a great surprise this morning and great way to start my day.

So I also bit the bullet this morning and finally had one of the yogurts I bought. It has fruit in the bottom, which I think makes a huge difference for me! I can do that a few times a week realistically. I also had string cheese with it, per my trainer.

I brought in a piece of meatloaf for lunch- meant to bring veg too, but forgot them. I’ve got to get up to 2 servings of veg/day.

All in all I’m feeling really optimistic right now. I’ve got my trainer tomorrow morning and I’ve got to get there early enough to do some decent cardio too. Then I’ve really got to get up Saturday and go to spin that morning.

I have to really step up my game and give this all I’ve got.