By Deborah Riley-Magnus
Hoh man, what a tough week! I had a publisher’s deadline that stressed me like crazy but I managed to meet the target date with a few hours to spare. The weather was absolutely horrible and rain dominated everything. And between finalizing the book, dealing with gloom and attempting to keep an even keel in these rough dieting waters, I ate outfour times this week and I really thought I did it well. Yesterday, our final day for walking, it was so cold and rainy we didn’t go, so our “Last Chance Workout” never happened.
The results? A one pound weight gain. Sigh. BUT …
Considering that I still drank all my water every day, I still walked three times (although it should have been four) and I did choose from menus not once but four times, I’d say I did pretty well. I know, my body doesn’t know what I didn’t eat, only what I did, but if I hadn’t chosen carefully, it could have been a five pound gain instead of just one.
My goal is to look at what worked and what didn’t work, just like last week. Granted, there was no way I can expect another 11 pound loss in one week, so maybe the slight gain was God’s way of saying “Don’t get cocky, girl.” I’m still feeling pretty good, though. And, I can actually analyze everything and see where I fell short.
STRESS – Yes, stress takes a big toll, especially at the beginning of a diet and life style change effort. I couldn’t find time to cook, and one evening I actually went out for the evening to relax! Dinner was included in that relaxation and I’m going to say clearly that dinner should be part of a celebration or an evening out. I hate when people say things like “Don’t reward yourself with food” and “You can never eat that again”, so I’m going to state a rule for my new lifestyle. YES, you can celebrate with food … healthy food choices are a must, but you can celebrate with food! Hell, the rest of the world does, so rather than drop out of life until I can wear a size six, I think food will continue to be a staple when celebrating.
FOOD CHOICES – This week I ate at a Greek restaurant for dinner one evening, roasted chicken, sautéed veggies and rice pilaf. I didn’t eat it all, I was full and I really enjoyed the flavors too! I had lunch out three time, once it was a lovely steak salad, about 5 oz. grilled lean beef, lots of veggies and a circle of finely sliced fried onion rings. The second lunch I had out was a salad topped with about 4 oz. of ahi tuna. The third lunch was also a salad of grilled chicken over greens. In all cases, I ate very little of the dressings, dipping my fork in the dressing-on-the-side for a bit of flavor. That’s all. All those choices seemed really good … then, with one of those perfect salads, I added a cup of this absolutely yummy, totally decadently creamed, sherry crab bisque. I LOVE this soup. It was cold and raining and I wanted some comfort. I think that cup of soup is something like 500 calories! This particular restaurant is famous for it. Guess what? I distinctly tasted how salty it was and I felt like I’d swallowed a bowling ball when I was finished. Of course I ate it all, too so … no more crab bisque for me, at least not when I know it can put a kibosh on a whole week’s efforts. Some other time but in the second week of this diet, it just wasn’t worth it. Another bad choice I made was to eat after eight last evening, and even though it was a totally veggie, fresh made pizza (spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, Roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on whole wheat flat bread, only 300 calories) I really didn’t want it or need it. I wasn’t hungry. But I ate it. Where was my head? Well hell, who knew making good food choices could include choosing not to eat at all. Lesson learned.
EXERCISE – Toooo critical! Yes, there is nasty cool fall weather here in the north east, but I can’t be using that as an excuse. Yes, deadlines are important, but I honestly think that if I’d done the walk anyway, I might have felt better rocking out the edits on the manuscript. And yes, I now understand that walking at the park is far better than walking up and down my neighborhood street. Why? Well, I live in a hilly part of Pittsburgh and frankly, the hills are too hard and I end with hurting knees from the efforts. The hills are so challenging, I tend to give up quicker and head back home. Walking is only exercise if it raises your heart rate and holds it there for a while. I can do that a lot better at the park because the walking trails are flat and easier. It’s a ten minute drive to get there, but so much more productive. To press the envelope, Natalie and I plan how much further we’ll go the next time. We’ve also decided that we need to walk at least four times every week. When winter finally comes, we’ll need to come up with another plan but for now, we’re committed.
WATER – Yes, water. Doing my six glasses every day. Oh, and I’m trying to make friends with green tea (ew). I’ve heard that it helps raise metabolism so I substitute my first and last cup of coffee every day with green tea.
Have a great week, everyone!