Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thinner Thursdays in action

Disclaimer: Before I get into the nitty-gritty business of weight loss, I want to nip a few certain comments in the bud. Such comments include:

"Why do you want to lose weight?" "You don't need to lose weight" "You look great, you shouldn't lose any weight"

I anticipate these comments because they crop up - either on here or just if I'm talking to someone - whenever the topic of weight loss is brought up. I'm not sure why, either. Either people don't want me to lose weight. Or they are blind. Or they just haven't seen me in a bathing suit recently. I believe it must be the latter.

Let's get a few things straight:

1. I have a certain body type. I pack on muscle easily, I have wide hips, short legs and robust thighs and ass (I was born to be a Speed Skater, it seems. Except I can't skate). No more how much I diet and exercise, I will never have the "fashionable" reed-thin body type which most people seem to possess. I don't want that type either...I'm quite comfortable with my shape in some ways. Therefore, since people seem to be concerned about "losing my curves" so much, it's pretty impossible for me to do.

Except for the boob area. Sadly, that usually is the first place to go, even with a weight loss of a couple pounds. I wish I could put my ass in my chest, but I can't.

2. I have gained weight. I have a body I am not proud of. I want a body I am proud of.

Is that so bad?

My body at the moment is the product of being lazy, not exercising one bit, eating and drinking like a fish, all for the last 9 months. NINE MONTHS OF SLOTHDOM.

Before I moved in with the in-laws, I was going to Spin Class at least twice a week, running or walking a lot, making my own healthy meals, etc. Since I've moved in, I haven't done anything and my body has responded by packing on at least 10 pounds.

I don't actually know how much I weigh because the scale is misleading (I've lost all muscle weight but gained fat).

But I can tell you that my clothes don't fit. I can't wear ANY of my pants, albeit for the stretchiest of stretch jeans. I put on a bra I hadn't worn for awhile and upon seeing all the back fat spilling out over it, I cried my eyes out. Literally, bawled and then ripped the bra off in anger.

Having a flabby, untoned, pale, pudgy, wobbly body is nothing to be proud of. Being toned and sleek thanks to discipline, exercise and eating right? That is something to be proud of.

3. I have zero confidence. My confidence is so lacking, I can't even be naked in front of my boyfriend anymore. It's becoming a problem.

And I'm sorry that looking good/feeling good equals confidence for me, but it does. I'm happy for those girls (and guys) who can be happy and feel sexy with their body no matter their weight, but I am not and have never been one of those people.

And I know people are going to say "Real confidence comes from within." And I do agree. And normally I have confidence in other places other than my looks, but lately, I feel like I SUCK AT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN LIFE. Writing included.

So setting a goal, losing weight, getting fit and toned, well those are all things that will make me feel good about myself. Not only because I will look the way I think I should look (I'm pretty sure God gave me all this muscle for a reason) but because it's something that I achieved. And another checkmark on the list.

ANYHOW, with that giant but necessary disclaimer aside (sorry if I sound defensive, but I know that you readers don't really see what I see, and that's not a bad thing), here are my thoughts and tips on weight loss/health food/exercise this week:

I started a month without booze on March 1st and decided one way to eradicate all the crap in my system would be to take a week and just eat nothing but clean, whole foods. Not counting calories in anyway, but just loading up on meals that get your digestive system going. Such meals include lean turkey stir-frys with spinach, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, olive oil, kidney or garbanzo beans and a crap load of spinach. I supplemented this clean eating with B-vitamins, Omega 3 fish oils, probiotics and a few drops of Liver Support System added to green tea.

For exercise I did one easy spin class and lots of long walks. Can't just jump into it.

This week, and until I shed the pounds, I am counting calories. This was how I last lost the weight and it is what works best for me. Yes it's a pain to count, but at least I can still pretty much eat anything I want - just have to keep portions in check and make sacrifices. It also makes you conscious of what you put in your mouth. Amazing how often I eat without thinking.

The Fitness and Meal tracker that I love to use is the one on the Self Website, part of the Self Challenge (which I did before, which got me in the magazine last year).

One thing I love to do is snack, and this week I've found some pretty groovy snacks at 200 calories or less:

Baked Apple.
Core an apple, stuff with splenda and cinnamon and nuke in the microwave. This treat comes in at around 80 calories. To up the nutrition, add a tsp of chopped almonds to the mix for a 100 calorie desert. The best part of this is that Apples, Cinnamon AND Almonds have been shown to aid in weight loss.

Apples - An apple a day can keep weight gain at bay, finds a study from Penn State University at University Park. People who chomped an apple before a pasta meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack. Credit their high-fiber status—4 to 5 g each—which fills you up. Plus, the antioxidants in apples may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a condition marked by excess belly fat or an "apple shape."

Almonds - These filling, snackable bites can help keep your blood sugar steady. A study from the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn't experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate just the slice. And the higher blood sugar levels rise, the lower they fall; that dip leads to hunger, causing people to overeat. Plus, blood sugar changes cause the body to make insulin, which can increase abdominal fat.

Cinnamon - Everything is nice about this spice. Just 1/2 teaspoon each day can help control your blood sugar and prevent the postmeal insulin spike that can trigger your body to store fat rather than burn it.

Going back to that ditty on almonds (above), I know how hard it is to snack on these nutritious wonders and still keep calories in mind. After all, just a few pack a pretty caloric punch. Luckily, by choosing BOLD flavours like the titled Blue Diamond range, you can snack slower and get more out of each almond. So far I've tried the Wasabi and Soy Sauce nuts and they are phenomenal. There's about 100 calories in 15 almonds, but with flavours this strong, it's easy to take your time. The only downside is that it's so tasty, you can't help but want more later.

Another fabulous snack choice is Yoplait Light Yogurts. Unfortunately these have never been available in Canada, so I make the occasional drive across the border to get them (helps that at the moment the border is only a 4 minute drive from my house). The flavours of this rich, creamy yogurt are fantastic, such as White Chocolate Raspberry and Boston Cream Pie, and all come in at 110 calories or less.

While I do believe the Milk Council does more harm than good and I equate most of their campaigns with evil propaganda, yogurt seems to outweigh the negatives. For one, I am lactose intolerant but yogurt has little affect on it. The probiotics produced in yogurt make an enzyme that breaks down lactose.

Yogurt - Dietitians often refer to plain yogurt as the perfect food, and for good reason: With its trifecta of carbs, protein and fat, it can stave off hunger by keeping blood sugar levels steady. In a study from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, those on a low-calorie diet that included yogurt lost 61 percent more fat overall and 81 percent more belly fat than those on a similar plan but without yogurt.

Finally, I've been treating myself at the end of the day with Skinny Cow Skinny Dippers ice cream bars in Caramel and Vanilla. At just 80 calories a pop, it feels way more indulgent than it should (and yes, since I am lactose intolerant, I shouldn't be sucking back on these babies, but so far it hasn't upset my stomach).

Well that's it for this week in the food section, next week I'll break down some of my favourite new toning exercises (at the moment I am alternating Spin Class with running for cardio) as well as some tried and tested healthy dinner and lunch recipes that come under 500 calories! I'll be posting pics of those masterpieces/disasters too :)

If you like the new format and schedule, please let me know in the comments below.

And make sure to check back here tomorrow for Fashion Friday - there will be a blog post from Kira, plus pictures of shoes I just bought. That's right! I actually bought shoes...first time in 4 months!


Anonymous said...

Love the new format, its all the best of your former posts and its great to see you blogging again!! Good luck on your weight loss goal, im sure you will be feeling hott in no time!

edna said...

I agree with you, people sometimes think of me if I'm not eating a lot: you are skinny blah blah, but have they seemed me without clothes, I mean I don't look disgusting but I sure could look better and that is something I'm working on it, I totally understand your point. Good luck with your goal!

Alecto said...

I TOTALLY understand how you feel. In fact, I don't even think you need a disclaimer. You just do what makes YOU the happiest. I also stopped drinking (except for a mild glass of wine here and there) and I lost quite a few pound AND I feel better (minus a cold haha). Go for it! Also, I've never thought about stuffing an apple before but now I'm extremely curious. Thanks for that :-)

Alice said...

I fully understand the disclaimer, as i always have to make the same one myself. I always get "but you're already so skinny!!!" Newsflash folks: it's not just about being skinny, for me it's about *not being SQUISHY.* i hate that my stomach squishes over my waistband right now and that my butt smooshes out to the side every time i sit down. working out ends up trimming me down a bit, but what boosts my confidence and self esteem is having a toned body that i'm PROUD of!

Eyeliah said...

first of all; good luck, you can do it!
I am all about apples and almonds, this has helped me keep my weight even for the past couple years (I have both everyday). Calorie counting is the only way I've ever been able to lose weight. find to maintain weight it is more about healthy choices in controled amounts (processed foods, sugars etc always equal weight gain for me, but piles of dried apricots and almonds and be just fine).

Anonymous said...

"But I can tell you that my clothes don't fit. I can't wear ANY of my pants, albeit for the stretchiest of stretch jeans. I put on a bra I hadn't worn for awhile and upon seeing all the back fat spilling out over it, I cried my eyes out. Literally, bawled and then ripped the bra off in anger."

Quite the visual!

alien_visionary :)

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your blogs - with or without your new format! Having said that I do like it so far...and am excited for your upcoming blogs!

I wish you luck on your weight loss goal/plans. It's unfortunate that people make you feel the need to justify this when you shouldn't! *sigh* You want to do it for yourself and that's all that matters....

Loxy said...

Aw man, now I want a baked apple! Except that my stomach doesn't handle imitation sugars well, so the only way to sweeten it would be with empty calories.


What kind of dessert snacks are out there for folks who don't do zero-calorie sugars??

Wanderlusting said...

LOXY - My friend pointed out that he doesn't do Splenda either...

I should modify the recipe to say that in the baked one I make it HALF Splenda and HALF Brown Sugar. Or just all brown sugar, you just have to add in the extra calories.

Stevia is a great Splenda alternative, causes no tummy problems. I prefer it to Splenda, I just don't have any in the house right now and it's kinda expensive.

MizzJ said...

That baked apple looks so delicious! I also didn't know apples were so good for weight loss - I might just have to try it. I get people telling me I don't need to worry about my weight either, but what they need to understand is that maintaining your weight is about constant vigilance!! Skinny just doesn't happen naturally for many people, so I totally understand how you feel. You can do it!

Vera said...

You go girl! I totally understand how you feel! I've got the same feelings. A few months ago I started eating healthy and excercise, but then I got really busy and stopped. It's such a shame, because I felt so happy acting all healthy. Now I am at the same point when I started and I feel bad with my entire body. This blog motivates me to start again. I really like your posts and I'm curious to your next upcoming posts! I want to wish you all the strengths to stay healthy and I'll keep up on your blog!

daisychain said...

Baked apples are the shit. Addicted.

K said...

Love the disclaimer! I totally get it, and I'm glad to hear things are working out for you - so far this "post-olympics detox" (with respect to alcohol) is REALLY hard! bay area friends just not getting it - guess they don't know what the Olympics are really like, haha. Anyhow - thanks for that apple treat suggestion! never thought of it, and since I'm still counting calories, that sounds like a great dessert, and amen to the stevia and cinnamon! I put that on popcorn ALL the time! Also cinnamon in scrambled eggs, also fabulous and probably not something people would think of. Miss you!

kelly said...

I know exactly how you feel here. I've also gained about 10 pounds, and you're right, while it's not necessarily noticeable to others, I can tell and it makes me feel like utter crap, all the time! Everyday I put on clothes that don't fit is another morning than brings me to tears.

SO - I am trying to also do all the things you mention like cutting back on portions, exercising more, and being more aware of my emotions before I eat. So anyway, I just want to say good luck. Keep us updated.