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Old 09-03-2008, 11:43 AM   #31  
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Looks like you have a good thing going Julie. I really need to hang with you people who are into the process and not some fantasy skinny weight goal. congratulations on your significant weight loss ! What are you doing to lose the weight?
Thanks

Thanks . In a nutshell, it's healthy eating, activity, water and sleep. I'm into whole foods, so lots of produce and whole grains and beans, and I include healthy fats like nuts and avocado. I'm not a huge fan of the term portion control, so I think in terms of portion re-training. I'm not off diet sodas entirely, but have gone from 2 and more of those giant cups a day to 3-4 cans per week. I'm avoiding processed food and additives, and that's always an area for ongoing improvement. And I avoid daily sugar. I do "relax" my diet about one day a week, but I don't actually go very crazy. I had to learn to cook, and that's been fun.

At first, I tried increasing protein, since that seems to be what everyone is into now. But I just don't like meat that much. I'm transitioning (slowly) to vegetarian now, and just quit the cow's milk a few weeks ago (except yogurt and cheese as yet), so now my diet is kinda up in the air. It will probably take a month or so to settle back into a pattern. My calories were about 1465. I'm really aiming for 1500, but they're been 1200-1300-ish (unintentionally) since changing my diet and I'm working on getting it back up.

I really haven't been doing low carb, but most definitely whole grains. I did cut way back on carbs (I could just about eat only carbs left to my own devices). At lowest, I was maybe ~150 net carbs, so not very low except in comparison to my old eating. It's going to go up a bit with the switch to vegetarian and cutting the milk.

Activity-wise, I started out with yoga every day. 1 1/2 hours, so it really was a good work-out. Then I decided I wanted to try running again, so I'm doing the C25K program 3 mornings a week, and still the yoga on the other 4.

Strangely enough, going from a horrible sleeper-inner to getting up everyday at 5:15 (~6-630 on weekends) has made a huge difference. I sleep better at night. The whole tone of my day is different. It's easier to make good choices all day after the morning starts off so right. Sometimes I'm tired during the day, but it's a very different kind of tired (sleepy-ish) than what sleeping in did to me (foggy).

The weight came off pretty fast in the beginning. I chart it daily in a spreadsheet. I drew a line showing what 2 pounds a week would be. For about the first 10 weeks, I was below the line. Then I was at the line for about 5 weeks. Now I'm above it .

But that's normal .

I guess really the answer to "What are you doing to lose the weight?" is that I'm trying to build something I can do for the rest of my life, and enjoy it. It's still evolving. But the point is that it doesn't feel like something I'm enduring until I can go off of it. It feels like my life is getting better and better, completely apart from my weight. Good food, a body that feels good, clearer mind, much better sleep, and so on. And making all these changes draws you into making other changes in your life, because you start losing your tolerance for just settling in life .

Wow, didn't mean to be so long-winded. I hope that helps. I know it helps me to periodically put into words what I'm doing, where I've been, where I'm going.

Last edited by JulieJ08; 09-03-2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:46 AM   #32  
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I hardly ever eat anything from a package either. If you're cooking some kind of side dish, a general rule of thumb is that a serving is going to be about 1/2 cup.

Any lean meat, a serving is about 3-4 oz.

There's a lot of data out there on balancing your diet. You can obviously start with the modified food pyramid, but there's tons of other information as well. Most people, once the manage their calorie intake (or whatever variation they're doing) start focusing on their macronutrient levels. In other words what percentage of their diet is carbs / protein / fat. Depending on what you're trying to do, those percentages may change. I personally am focusing a lot right now on exercise, weight lifting, building muscle definition - so I am trying to eat more protein than is standard. I try to keep my macros at 40/35/25 for that reason.

But at it's most basic, your diet should be stacked to be mostly veggies and fruits, then complex carbs, then lean proteins, then healthy fats.

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That's *very* helpful Photochick , thank you. I never eat much meat anyway, but I guess if I"m going to be honest with myself , it's the carbs I just can't handle well. 1/2 cup portions of the carb sides sounds like something I can shoot for, thank you. Lets just hope I can maintain my head and don't have too many follow up 1/2 cup portions.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:48 AM   #33  
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Hermit, Ok we were posting at the same time....as for your whole cooking chef thing, I too make most everything from scratch including hardy soups etc...When I first started a couple years ago I took the time to break down my recipes and then measured the entire batch either by weight or volume and then divided until I knew how much I could eat...I know how many cals are in everything, even sweet breads, that I cook....difficult and time consuming? Yep. Worth it? You bet...and the time it took me was time this stay at home mom wasn't nibbling on things I shouldn't be. Don't be offended, this remark isn't inteneded to, but if you continue to use words like impossible, can't and won't you won't.
Carringly,
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:48 AM   #34  
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but there's just so much that cant be measured and counted.
I can't agree with you. I cook a lot. I like to cook. I like to make complex recipes and play around. EVERYTHING can be measured.

I'll give you an example - last night I made a middle eastern inspired meal. I say "inspired" because it wasn't anything authentic, I just wanted certain flavors and googled some recipes and then adjusted them to be more healthy and to take advantage of the ingredients I had at home.

I made a yogurt/garlic/garam marinade for my chicken. I measured carefully, added up all the parts, divided by 6 (6 pieces of chicken). Figured out that I was adding ~20ish calories to each piece of chicken.

I grilled 2.5 oz chicken tenders - knew that I could have 2 of them and that was about 1.5 servings of chicken.

I made tzatzki sauce - yogurt, cucmbers, lemon juice, salt, garlic, mint. Added up each ingredient and divided by 4. Now I know that my homemade tzatzki is about 45 cals per 1/4 cup serving.

I made couscous with broth, dates, golden raisins, cinnamon, tumeric, etc. Added up each ingredient and measured the finished product (which made 6 1/2 cup amounts). Each serving was about 182 cals.

Nothing is unmeasurable. Sure, it might take a little time at first, but eventually you do get used to it and you learn. I now know for sure that my tzatzki sauce is 45 cals a serving - so the next time I wont' have to go through all the calculations - I just know about what it is. I know what my couscous dish measures. And actually at this point, after having measured for so long, I know that 1 cup of cooked couscous is 172 cals (dont' even have to look that up). So I know if I add feta cheese, or dates, or whatever, and have 1/2 cup, I can easily estimate about how many calories the hwole thing has. And 99% of the time I come within 5% of what the number really is.

There is nothing that cannot be measured.

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Old 09-03-2008, 11:53 AM   #35  
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Julie, Your journey sounds very much like my own. You are doing terrific. It helps others toread what you're doing.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:55 AM   #36  
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Photos got it!
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:39 PM   #37  
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...I guess really the answer to "What are you doing to lose the weight?" is that I'm trying to build something I can do for the rest of my life, and enjoy it. It's still evolving. But the point is that it doesn't feel like something I'm enduring until I can go off of it. It feels like my life is getting better and better, completely apart from my weight. Good food, a body that feels good, clearer mind, much better sleep, and so on. And making all these changes draws you into making other changes in your life, because you start losing your tolerance for just settling in life .
Julie, you say it so perfectly for me , right here in this paragraph. I want the same thing, lifestyle changes, not a program. If I lose 1 pound a month or week it shouldn't matter, because success won't be on the scale , but in my outlook about the pleasure of eating moderately and enjoying the reward of a better feeling body. I'm healthy now ~ I excercize almost everyday, eat whole foods, very little junk, get plenty of sleep, most days in bed at 9 and up at 5:30, no alchohol, decaff only now, I mean, so what can I do to jolt myself into change for the better? I am ready to try water sipping instead of snacking. It's all about being conscious in the moment though, because I do a lot of calories without paying attention. It will have to almost be like constant meditation at first, not for pansies. , and, I'll be up to pee 3 x every night, but oh well. Thanks so much ~

Last edited by Hermit Girl; 09-03-2008 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:48 PM   #38  
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I can't agree with you. I cook a lot. I like to cook. I like to make complex recipes and play around. EVERYTHING can be measured.

I'll give you an example - last night I made a middle eastern inspired meal. I say "inspired" because it wasn't anything authentic, I just wanted certain flavors and googled some recipes and then adjusted them to be more healthy and to take advantage of the ingredients I had at home.

I made a yogurt/garlic/garam marinade for my chicken. I measured carefully, added up all the parts, divided by 6 (6 pieces of chicken). Figured out that I was adding ~20ish calories to each piece of chicken.

I grilled 2.5 oz chicken tenders - knew that I could have 2 of them and that was about 1.5 servings of chicken.

I made tzatzki sauce - yogurt, cucmbers, lemon juice, salt, garlic, mint. Added up each ingredient and divided by 4. Now I know that my homemade tzatzki is about 45 cals per 1/4 cup serving.

I made couscous with broth, dates, golden raisins, cinnamon, tumeric, etc. Added up each ingredient and measured the finished product (which made 6 1/2 cup amounts). Each serving was about 182 cals.

Nothing is unmeasurable. Sure, it might take a little time at first, but eventually you do get used to it and you learn. I now know for sure that my tzatzki sauce is 45 cals a serving - so the next time I wont' have to go through all the calculations - I just know about what it is. I know what my couscous dish measures. And actually at this point, after having measured for so long, I know that 1 cup of cooked couscous is 172 cals (dont' even have to look that up). So I know if I add feta cheese, or dates, or whatever, and have 1/2 cup, I can easily estimate about how many calories the hwole thing has. And 99% of the time I come within 5% of what the number really is.

There is nothing that cannot be measured.

.
Okay Photochick, I totally get you. I think my resistance to counting and measuring is a basic abhorance of math. I am a person who lives in the non-calculating end of things, more visually, and I've been cooking long enough to know by eye what a half cup, or even a half tablespoon looks like. I think need to use a few bottom line tips and tricks, and to not overeat the finished dish, to somehow not need to stuff myself to the gills, but to leave a little hungry. I really appreciate your trying to make me understand the importance of measuring and counting and calculating, and well, it's like there is a FourStar French/Italian chef trapped inside of my body and to let her have reign of her kitchen is what I must do, however, the person who sits down at the table, must learn to eye what an appropriate portion is for losing weight, and what one is thereafter for maintaining weight for life.

Thanks SO much ~

Last edited by Hermit Girl; 09-03-2008 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:01 AM   #39  
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I want to apologize for my whining on this thread. I appreciate all the advice and thoughtful posts everybody has contributed.

Anyway, I had a pretty successful day yesterday, incorporating water, and making better choices, thus yesterday has empowered me a little more for today. Just one single day of focusing on one thing, such as water, really makes a difference in my confidence and ability to visualize a real possibility I can be slender again. I think it's like having something positive that is *doable* each day to focus on is paramount to staying proactive in doing this . When I get use to drinking all this water, when it becomes habit, I will then be able to move on to another little effort to focus on. I've already cut out caffein for life, and trigger foods like buttered toast, and pasta for the time being, now the water.

I want to add that I have been in denial, I think, by moving my ticker goal weight upwards to make the effort seem less significant and overwhelming. The fact is, I have to face the whole thing, or I'm just cheating myself. I've adjusted it to what I instinctively feel a healthy slender weight will be, (what I weighed when I climbed Mt Whitney 7 years ago, and that's where the ticker is going to stay.

's to all !

Last edited by Hermit Girl; 09-04-2008 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:44 AM   #40  
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Hermit, A little whining is acceptable. Most of us feel like we've tried EVERYTHING and nothing works when we first start out. Most of us think we're different. It's wonderful that you took a step yesterday that has made you feel positive and more confident. Good for you!
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:53 AM   #41  
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Most of us think we're different.
Yeah, I think that is part of the Denial mechanism, which I'm guessing to be the number one problem with most people who aren't seeing results with their weightloss efforts. Moving out of denial and negative self-talk are the two biggest hurdles I must get past before I can really accomplish anything. Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:37 AM   #42  
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A good weight for a person isn't the same for each person. It isn't just height and weight and age. How we are built can make a big difference. At my height I can weigh 120 and look great. I hold my weight evenly so I can weigh more than say someone who is built like Twiggy. There are those that can weigh way more than I can because of muscle mass. I never thought I was even going to have to think about my weight. I weighed 120 for ever. Then the meads, don't we all love the meads, packed on the pounds. We all are the same in many many ways. A nice healthy diet ( for me that means the required amounts of the four basic food groups ) and exercise give us the side effects of weight loss and a toned body.

This journey we are all on isn't about doing without. It isn't about potions or pills or powders. This journey is about eating right and exercising to make our body the best it can be. When, like myself, we have to get back on the meads again and put on 18 pounds that we just lost lol, we have to stick with what we know is good for the body and work ourself thru the rough spots. No one said life was never going to get in the way of us trying to get our body's back in shape lol.

Just keep in mind. Our journey lasts a life time. The journey doesn't stop when we reach a magic number. You can have many goal weights along the way. For some it is much better to set little goal weights. Achieve those goals, maintain for a bit and then change the goal weight.

Don't we all wish we looked like Christie Brinkley lol. Heck I didn't look like her at 20 I am sure not going to look like her at 46 lol. We have to be realistic with our selfs.

I happen to count calories, fats and carbs. I stay around 23% fat, 55% carbs and about 22% protein, calories between 1200 and 1400. I measure everything. I cook everything from scratch and am pretty good at guesstimating BUT guessing isn't accurate and I find I am only cheating myself if I don't know exactly what is going into my body. If I don't know what is in it, I don't eat it. A great tool I use is fit day. Yes it took a little time to get all my foods in, I never use their readings I find that are not accurate. I broke down the things I make like meatloaf. All my foods are now in there and it is very easy to click on something and add it to what has been eaten. The one big thing I thing that has made a difference for me is planning. I plan tonight what I am going to eat tomorrow. That way I know I have all the food groups eaten and I have staying within what I allow myself. Sometimes weighing food is much better than measuring.

I think for most of us the biggest challenge is that we need to look at, think about and eat food differently than we did before.

Last edited by Shy Moment; 09-04-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:57 AM   #43  
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(what I weighed when I climbed Mt Whitney
Done that!! Never mind it was .... ummm .... over two decades ago.

Drove past it twice (goin' north, goin' south) last week, made me think maybe someday ...
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:13 PM   #44  
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Oh I so don't think you were whining!

I think it's hard when you're trying to make this kind of lifestyle change. And I'll be honest and say that I think in some ways it's harder for people like us who already cook a lot and like to cook. (In some ways it's easier, too, don't get me wrong.)

But when you're used to cooking - and especially when you cook intuitively by tasting and watching and smelling - the idea that you have to completely rethink and measure everything out and be so recipe-aware is really difficult.

The good news is that after doing this for 18+ months, I've been able to (somewhat) go back to my regular method of cooking - by taste and smell. I've been measuring and logging long enough that I am confident in my ability to judge the calories in a dish. I still measure when I'm doing something new, but not as obsessively as I would have had to say, 6 months ago.

I also find that as I go along, I'm able to easily substitute lower fat, lower calorie, healthier options in recipes without compromising the recipe. Having that ability to cook intuitively has been a huge help there.

So .. you'll get the hang of it. Not even any whining involved. Just figuring out how not to completely disrupt everything that's "normal" for you .. and still make these big life changes.

.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:20 PM   #45  
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I'm reading this book, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, and he talks about not putting your goals in future terms because your subconscious won't let you achieve your goal as it will keep thinking future, as to your subconscious, there is no future. Instead, make your goals in present tense and to use positive statements. Some of my favorites positive statements from the book are:

I am 100% responsible for my results.
Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.
I like eating healthy foods.
I love working out.
I have time for anything I am committed to.
I can do it.

So, find a positive statement for yourself, and keep repeating it yourself. Repeat it everyday until your subconscious catches up.

Make mini-goals and use a statement like "I am so happy I drank 8 glasses of water today". That will train your subconscious to help you achieve that goal.

Good luck!
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