Renewed Enthusiasm 

To say I’ve fallen off track with my healthy habits recently wouldn’t be exactly correct. However it also wouldn’t be right to say that I’ve been 100% on track with my objectives. On the downside, this means that I have not lost any weight for a few weeks. On the positive side, I also haven’t really gained weight, although I’m not real excited about how some of my clothes have been fitting.

There’s no real reason for this. Even if there were, the important thing now is that I’m ready to renew my goals and start hitting things hard again.

A couple months back, I decided to test out a few strategies for jumpstarting my weight loss. The first strategy was to increase my protein to 45-50% of my daily intake for at least 3 weeks to see if I would see weekly loss. If you read my posts from around that time you’ll know it worked! Sort of. For 3 weeks I thought I was hitting that goal and I saw weekly loss. Than I realized I was tracking something wrong and I was really getting 35-40% protein.

I fixed the problem and started hitting my real goal and, for some reason, that steady weight loss fell flat. So, as part of my goal renewal I’ve decided to try getting 35-40% instead. Obviously that was working before so I figure it’s worth a shot before moving on to other strategies. It’s also something I figured I’d need to do soon regardless. High protein may be great for losing fat but it’s poor for providing the necessary energy for intense workouts. I was really starting to feel that trade-off before and I suspect that’s why my weight loss stopped.

Beyond that I really want to get back to hitting my daily step goal (12,500). Also, I’m excited to start a new 30 day training program today for a Savage race I’m doing in March. I’m going to need all the help I can get to prep for that so I’m excited for the new challenge. 😄

As usual, the most important thing is that my healthy goals are never far from my mind. Even when I have bad days or larger bumps in the road, I keep reminding myself that it’s up to me to make  sure I don’t let those problems grow out of proportion.

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Challenge of the Month

Ok I’ll admit, this was a REALLY negative post at first. I’ve been having a very difficult month at work that’s really starting to get to me. But after an entire post of pouring out everything I’ve been struggling with, I decided to start over and focus on the positive.

I apologize for not explaining what’s been happening. I’m so brain-dead and my thoughts/feelings about it have been so negative that I think any explanation would just make things worse, so I’m going to move right into the positive points I want to focus on instead:

  1. The issue I’ve been having at work is DONE. That, alone, means everything is uphill from here.
  2. My food intake has not been what I wanted but it’s been immensely better than it used to be and it was actually pretty good, considering how tough the month has been.
  3. Same as above when talking about exercise.
  4. I’ve still actually lost a little weight. In the past, this type of issue would have knocked me completely off track for months, but not this time!
  5.  I’m so happy to be moving past this issue that getting back to normal is going to be AWESOME!
  6. I already feel way better after writing this than I did after writing that sad, negative post. 

And that’s it. Weird post, I know, but the next one will be normal. 🙂

Balancing Act

The new year has brought an interesting but familiar challenge for me that I’m struggling to overcome. The desire to stay-the-course for my health journey and the desire to accomplish another large goal of mine: writing. 

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a novelist. I’ve always joked about my “writing moods” – periods where all I want to do is write and nothing else…at all. For a few years (ugh, yes, years), words just haven’t been flowing the way I want. But last year I finally found my groove again.

And then 4th Quarter hit. Just like the end of the year at work made being healthy a challenge, it made writing nearly impossible. So you can only imagine how happy I am now that we’re in a fresh year and I have time to write again.

So why is this a problem? Because in order to write I have to – you guessed it – sit! I’ve already found that focusing more on my writing with the start of the new year has led to me getting in less exercise and I don’t want that to become a trend.

I have two thoughts on how to combat this. First, I think it would be helpful to set some daily minimums. Because writing involves so much variety – between actual writing, editing, and the business side of things – I think it’s adequate to say I need to do SOMETHING every day. That task can be as small or as large as the day allows. For exercise, I’m going to commit to 30 minutes daily. That’s manageable even if I’m having a crazy day and all I can do is a 30-minute walk. 

Obviously, for both of these goals I want to do more than these minimums most days but I can be happy with myself if I can’t. I also want to incorporate other healthy habits I’ve already built into my writing. For example, since I’ve started this lifestyle change, I walk whenever I can incorporate it into normal activities. So if I’m brushing my teeth/hair, texting, blogging, or just stewing over something, I walk while I do it. Writing involves a lot of thinking – building out plot points, getting into the mindset of characters, etc. That’s all stuff that I can do while pacing around my apartment – so I SHOULD!

As always, even just thinking through this problem and its solution already has me feeling more confident about my approach. Now it’s time to just get on it!

Question Mark

So, if you’ve read my last few posts, you know I’m currently trying out an experiment to boost my weight loss rate. Don’t worry – I’m not shooting for anything unhealthy. It’s just slowed down quite a bit and I’d like to see it back around 1-2 pounds per week.

My first experiment to remedy this was to increase my protein intake. For the last 3 weeks I’ve been shooting for 50% protein in comparison to fats and carbs. If I saw at least some weight loss each week with this plan, then I’d continue doing it.

Now that the 3 weeks is over, I can happily say that it has worked! I’ve lost about 2.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks. It’s still not exactly the rate I’d like but that’s way better than where I’ve been lately. Yay!

Here’s where it gets fun.

Apparently I wasn’t getting in as much protein as I thought. Take it from me people – reading nutrition labels is important! You’d think I’d know that after all this time. But yesterday, I discovered that I’ve been eating something pretty regularly in the last few weeks that I thought was high in protein (low in everything else) when, in fact, it’s high in carbs and only ok in protein. Doh!

So this brings my whole experiment into question because I suspect my protein percentage will be quite a bit different if I go back and correct my food tracker. BUT I have been losing weight faster so SOMETHING has been working.

I guess all I can do is correct my tracker and see where that puts me. Maybe I’ve still been hitting high protein but replacing this high-carb item will accelerate things more. Or maybe I’ll see something else entirely that may be helping me lose. 

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know what I find out! 😊

Vacation Recap

So we all know the deal about the best laid plans, right? My pre-planning for our cruise this past weekend ended up not doing me much good for one very important reason I didn’t think of – the MyFitness Pal and Fitbit apps don’t really work without an internet connection.

As such, the only numbers I can report are from my Fitbit. With that, I’m happy to say that I hit my step goal (12,500 steps/day) each day of our cruise. Yay! I just couldn’t track calories or see how many calories I was allowed to eat to know if I was staying within my calorie count.

All that being said, I feel pretty good about the trip overall. Even though I couldn’t offficiallt track anything, I feel pretty confident that I stayed the course. While I still prefer to track all food to be safe, I have been tracking consistently for 2/3 of the year so I have a pretty good concept of what I can eat and how many calories most food items are. Also, I hadn’t gained any weight by the time I got back. I know it was only a 3-day trip but let’s be honest – weight gain could have still been possible. So I’m taking 0 weight gain as a big win.

I’m also happy because of the protein strategy I’m working on. I couldn’t weigh in this weekend, obviously, but I do have some good news to report. See, I also weigh in daily, although I only “count” my weekend weigh-ins. Because I do that I know that I tend to weigh in about 2-3 pounds heavier during the week and I see all my weight loss (when it occurs) on the weekend. So last week was fun because my weekday weigh-in amount dropped AND on Friday (the closest I could get to a weekend weigh-in) I was about half a pound lighter than my lowest weight so far. Yay!

So I’m officially counting that as week 1 of my 3-week test for high protein and calling it a success. Now we just need to see if I have weight loss this week and next. Fingers crossed!