You Asked For It

There’s a lot of information here so it’s a pretty long blog.

I’ve had a lot of people ask how I’m losing weight.  My quick and easy answer – simple math.  Eating fewer calories than you burn will result in weight loss.  It is so simple.

But, I understand that it’s not that simple for everyone.  So, I’m going to tell you what a typical day for me looks like.

To start off, I want to say that Sparkpeople.com has been ever so helpful.  The first step to my equation for weight loss is knowing how many calories you’re taking in.  Sparkpeople.com can help you with that.  They have a food tracker so all you have to do is put in how much you ate of what foods.  It will tell you exactly what you took in, what you need more of, and what you need less of.  It’s a great way to learn about food.  I now stay within my limits without really putting much effort into it because I’ve learned how.

Okay – let’s say it’s a morning when I’m not working until later.  I start my day off with an invigorating walk.  Here’s the part most of you will balk at – I generally walk for 2 hours.  You say you don’t have two hours to walk.  Fair enough.  Most people don’t.  Or at least, they don’t make time for it.  I work two jobs and I’m able to do that almost every day.

My walk is my time.  I rarely get time for me.  That time is solely for me.  I can listen to music, think, meditate, or solve the world’s problems and tell nobody.  It’s nice to have that time to let go of my worries and just enjoy being outside, being peaceful.  I’ve found that once I started walking, the rest of my life seemed to smooth out.

I sometimes walk with one or both of my kids.  I enjoy that, too.  It always makes them feel important with they get to walk with me.  They get my undivided attention and we get to reconnect.  It gets them out into the fresh air and gets their bodies moving.  Plus, they feel like they’re helping me get healthy.  They don’t know how hard I push myself when I’m alone.

During my walk, I wear Sketchers Shape Ups.  There’s a debate as to whether or not they work.  I’m here to tell you that the first thing my family noticed with my weight loss was my lower body (my derriere, to be specific).  I believe they work my lower body quite effectively without a lot of strain.  I love them and will buy another pair when it’s time to retire these.

I also have my pedometer.  It tells me how many calories I’ve burned.  Granted, it doesn’t take into account my shoes or any hills I’ve climbed, but it gives me a good baseline measure.  On most days, it tells me that my 2 hour walk burned about 1,000 calories.  That’s always fun to see!  If you don’t have a pedometer, Sparkpeople.com can also help you track that.  You can put in the route you took and it will tell you how far you went and how many calories you burned.

During my walk, I drink at least two glasses of water.  During my shower afterwards, I drink another two.  It’s a great way to start out your morning.  I aim for 11 glasses of water each day.  I put most of that earlier in the day so I’m not waking up at all hours of the night to visit the bathroom.

If I do work in the morning, I try to walk in the evening.  This isn’t always possible because I have to cart the kids back and forth to activities, but I give it my best effort  – sometimes walking while I’m waiting for them or walking them to their activities.

I’ve recently added upper body strength training.  For the moment, I feel my shoes are doing a good enough job on my lower body.  That might change in the future, but I’m happy with doing it this way for now.  I’ve only been doing it for a little while, and I can already feel my torso and arms becoming stronger.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy working my muscles like that. 

On days when I’m doing weights, I sometimes give up the walk in exchange for aerobics.  I have tried a number of different videos and I’ve found some which I enjoy and work for me.  If you don’t like the first one you try, don’t give up.  Try others.  There are so many out there, there has got to be one which works for you!

Obviously, my meals change from day-to-day (I think I’d go nuts if I had to have the same thing, day after day!).  The day I’m going to show you is a good representation of what I normally eat.  I aim for 5 – 6 meals a day, all averaging between 200 and 300 calories each.  I try to get about 10 grams of protein at each meal with some sort of carb.  Sometimes, if I wake up late, I miss a meal.  Sometimes, if there’s something special going on, I eat a bit more.  But on average, I do a pretty good job of sticking to my caloric intake goals.

I once heard that some of us over-eat not because we’re hungry, but because we want more flavor.  Our need for taste wasn’t sated, so we keep eating, hoping to fix that.  I am in that catogory.  I’ve found that if I make sure there is a lot of flavor in my meals, I don’t need to eat as much to feel satisfied.  Fresh herbs, spices, and tart things all grace my plate as frequently as possible.

Breakfast – Cheerios and milk.  I have one serving (I’ve measured out my 1 cup so I know what it looks like in my bowl) and a serving of 2% milk (still haven’t weaned myself off of it.)  This morning, I was really hungry, so I cooked an egg in some cooking spray and enjoyed that too.  This is when I take my multi-vitamin and my vitamin C.  If I’m feeling like I’m catching something, this is also when I down a cup of that nasty Emergen-C crap.

Morning snack – Chobani Greek yogurt and an orange.  There is a claim that greek yogurt can help you burn stomach fat.  I’ve seen my stomach shrink, but I don’t know if that’s the cause or not.  I’ve also heard that it’s better to eat your fruit than drink it.  You get more of the good stuff if you actually chew your fruit than drink the juice.

Sometimes I get hungry between my morning snack and my lunch.  When that happens, I have a cup of green tea.  If I’m starving, I will splurge and have a cup of hot cocoa.

Lunch – I’m really excited about today’s lunch.  Two cups of spinach, two mushrooms, a mini cucumber and two small tomatoes all with Bernstein’s Cheese and Garlic Italian dressing.  I splurged this morning and toasted one-quarter cup of pecans to put on top.  Yummers!  Green leafy veggies are supposed to help your skin shrink with you as you lose weight, so I try to get in at least one serving every day.

Afternoon snack – this varies.  Sometimes it’s a Carnation Instant Breakfast.  These are actually my favorite!  They are loaded with all sorts of things which are really good for my body, they’re quick and easy, and I like how they taste.  Sometimes, I’ll have some nuts and a piece of fruit.  Sometimes a granola bar with part of a protein bar.

Dinner varies constantly.  My go-to dinner is Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, found on Sparkrecipes.com (a sister site of Sparkpeople.com).  The recipe is found here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=672711 Finding recipes on this site can be used in tandem with using Sparkpeople.com because you can just say, “I ate one serving of this,” and it will calculate it for you in your daily counter.  Sometimes, I eat  a veggie patty on a 100 calorie sandwich thin.  Sometimes it’s fish.  Sometimes stir fry.  Whatever it is, I always try to make sure there are lots of veggies found in my dinner.  You can eat more and stay within your calorie goals if you load up on veggies.

Evening snack – this never varies.  Popcorn, Fiber One Brownie, and Fiber Gummies.  At first, I balked at the gummies, but now I look forward to them.  A tasty, fun way to get fiber!  I have a number of different flavorings for my popcorn – chili lime, cinnamon toast, kettle corn, butter, white cheddar, cheddar, etc.  I also have two different types of popcorn – the regular stuff and some red kernels.  When I’m really looking for a treat, I pop up the red ones.  They have a better crunch!

As for what I drink – water.  Lots and lots of water.  I rarely drink anything else.  I almost never drink soda of any kind.  I aim for 4 glasses in course of my morning, at least one with each meal, and then more in between.  I feel better when I’m getting enough water.  I am for 12 glasses per day.

So, that’s what I’ve found works for me.  If you’re looking for help, I’d love to be there for you, whether it’s for encouragement, advice, or information.  Just let me know!

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2 Comments

  1. paddlewitch

    Teri, the progress you’re making is so inspiring. Do you ever eat couscous? With fresh basil, tomatoes and olive oil? I could live on it if I had to.

    It’s pasta, therefore carbs, but I would recommend it (unless you’re limiting carbs). It’s a simple, basic food you can get incredibly creative with.

    • Thanks, Paddlwitch. That’s really sweet of you to say.

      I’ve never tried couscous. For some reason, it intimidates me. Plus, not being big on carbs, I’ve never really seen a need to incorporate it into my diet. I keep thinking that someday I should try it.

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