Everyone who is obsessed with fitness will tell you that abs aren’t made in the gym, they are made in the kitchen. Well, I’m not looking for 6 pack abs at this point in my life, but I do want to drop some weight and in order to do that, I need to clean up my diet. Which, for me, is easier said than done.
2015 was the kind of year that I just said “screw it” and ate, drank, and noshed to my hearts content with very little concern about my health and weight. I was stress eating, eating out a lot, drinking far too much soda and alcohol, and just basically wallowing in a massive pile of self-pity and ice cream.
Was it a bad move? Absolutely. Do I regret it? Not in the least.
That’s what makes this process different this time. I don’t feel bad about my previous habits because I know that at the time, it was exactly what I needed. My focus wasn’t on my fitness or my diet, it was on getting my mental health back together and picking up the pieces of my life that were falling apart. I’m cutting myself a little bit of slack, and that’s okay. But now that things are in a more stable place, it’s time to get back on the bandwagon.
That means meal plans, cooking a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch options on Sunday nights, getting rid of the 12 pack of Coke I have in my office, and picking out healthier options on the menu when I go out to eat. I won’t be able to do it cold turkey, but small changes over time become big changes and that’s important overall.
Now, as you know I don’t believe in an elimination diet. Eliminating something from your diet just makes you want it more and denying yourself a little bit of it from time to time means a possible binge on it later and the emotional turmoil that comes with that just isn’t worth it. It’s why I don’t fret when I drink a Coke or have a piece of chocolate from time to time. Everything in moderation. But going from every day is what is going to help me keep my calorie intake down and hopefully take my weight with it.
For example, I’m limiting myself to one soda a day. I say soda because it could be any carbonated drink: Today I had a Sprite with dinner. Tomorrow I might drink one of the Coke’s I have in my office. Who knows? But limiting myself to one a day for a while will help me look to other things for liquid intake. Water, hot green tea, coffee, even the OJ I bought to go with my breakfast this morning is a fantastic option other than blindly drinking three or four Cokes during the day. (and OMG I forgot how much I adore Green Tea! Tazo brand. They make a Ginger Green that is delish)
As for cooking, we already have a chalkboard in our kitchen that we write our meals for the week on. Now, it’s just a matter of sticking to the plan and actually including some recipes in that plan so we know what we are really cooking. Just throwing “chicken” up there isn’t a good enough option, what are we doing with it? What are the sides? Is this something we can throw in the crock pot, or is this something we need to make day-of? Is it a longer run night? If so, is Dreamboat making dinner or do I need to pre-cook it and throw it in Tupperware for a reheat when I get out of the shower? While I absolutely despise planning out every detail of our nights, I know that this kind of planning will make meal times in the evening a hell of a lot easier, especially if I am going to run after work every night. And thank God for Cooking Light magazine. It has some good ideas for meals and super easy recipes.
I had originally thought about going back to My Fitness Pal and tracking my calories there, but really… I don’t want to. I know myself, and I’ll get obsessive with it and that’s not healthy either. Eating slower, enjoying my meals and not waiting until I’m starving to eat will help me be aware of my intake just as easily as tracking will. And it will make me feel better about it overall. With my new job requiring me to take lunch breaks, I’ve been forcing myself to go and eat. Starting tomorrow, I plan on eating in the break room or anywhere that is not in front of my computer doing work so I can be aware of my intake.
I have this bad habit of blindly eating and drinking while working. It’s a thing I’m working on.
Speaking of working on, I made a chart. It has the pounds I wish to lose and for every 5 lbs I lose, I get to reward myself with something. I made a list of rewards as well, but those have to be updated now that the holidays are over and some of the items I wanted to purchase were gifted to me. The thing is, I need goals to work toward and while my ultimate goal is to get back down to 165, I really just want to feel confident naked. That might not be 165. It might be 175 instead. But we won’t know until we get there What I do know is I’m not super confident in my body right now, despite purchasing clothing that fits really well and makes me look skinnier than I really am. I also don’t really know how much I weigh right now since I just realized we had our scale set on the wrong thing and I don’t really weight 92 lbs.
Everything is a process. It isn’t going to happen overnight and I know that. I’ve said it before, but I have this sort of peace with the knowledge this time. Again, I know this sounds all kinds of new-agey and weird … But I’m trying to be kinder to myself this year, really accepting of who I am and what I can do instead of berating myself for not measuring up to some invisible guidelines I feel like I should be at. So here we go. Healthier eating, here I come.