After last night’s Weight Watchers meeting, I am feeling really motivated to try cleaning up my diet again. As much as I hate to admit it, there’s no denying that the only way to lose weight and feel better, is to eat more healthfully.
I truly believe that I am a sugar addict. (I recently read a post online that said sugar is not addictive, I don’t believe that for one second). I know I am not the only one that can say that once I’ve eaten sugar my body just craves more. It’s constant, up and down spikes, that literally sometimes make my head spin (in a dizzy, headache-y kind of way) and make me feel lethargic and unmotivated. Yet, I can’t quit. The food and drinks I consume that are loaded with sugar are just so…. Delicious.
But that being said, I am so sick and tired of how these unhealthy foods make me feel – low energy, tired, sluggish, and overweight. As I get older and have fallen back into old habits, I have noticed a significant decrease in my energy levels. I used to be go-go-go all the time. Others actually remarked on my high energy levels and asked how I managed to do it. Deep within me, I know the answer to that question: I was eating healthfully and was very active.
Me – healthy and energetic
Fitting in activity has never been too much of a problem for me. Admittedly, I am nowhere near where I used to be activity-wise (high-intensity aerobics, running, weight lifting, playing soccer) but I do enjoy different types of physical activity (walking, playing baseball, yoga, hiking, workout DVDs). The problem for me has always been eating properly – nourishing my body and giving it what it needs to function to its maximum potential instead of just satisfying my taste buds, emotions, and habits.
Recently, I’ve been feeling quite frustrated over the changes that need to be made in my diet. I know that I have to just accept that changes need to be made and that if I can stick with it for a few weeks, those changes will become easier and eventually become habits. But as always, it’s getting started that’s the hardest part. I dread the thought of eating fruit (I know, it’s weird, but I am totally not a fan!), of eating salads (I have yet to find one that’s healthy and that I truly enjoy), of eating less carbs (I loooove bread, crackers, cereal, etc.), and of giving up sugary treats (especially the French Vanilla flavoured cream I dump in crazy amounts into my coffee).
But as I said, last night’s meeting, was a bit of a wake up call. It’s time to accept that the only way to look and feel the way I want to, is to clean up my diet and slowly train myself to eat better. I am proud to say I woke up today with determination to eat better and to start to learn ways that I can do this. Here’s how today has shaped up so far:
Breakfast: Rather than start my day with a bowl of sugary cereal as usual, I focussed on incorporating more protein and healthy fats. I cooked up a fried egg and 4 slices of turkey bacon and started drinking my first huge bottle of water for the day.
Workout 1: I’m totally loving yoga lately (although I’m still definitely a beginner) so I tried a new class at the gym today – power yoga. My intention for today’s class was to accept my body where it is today. I’m not going to lie, every day my Instagram is flooded with professional yogis and their incredibly beautiful yoga poses that I can only some day dream of achieving. But I know my body is just beginning it’s journey so rather than being too hard to on myself I focussed on challenging my body but also accepting it’s limitations. It turned out to be a great workout!
Lunch: After yoga, I went grocery shopping and stocked up on fruits, vegetables, and other healthy items. It was one of those rare occurrences where my cart is full of healthy-only items and I’m secretly hoping other people look at its contents with admiration (Am I the only one?) Some of the things I bought: salmon, shrimp, Greek yogurt, eggs, unsweetened almond milk, natural peanut butter, and tons of fruit and vegetables.
When I got home, I grilled a turkey burger for lunch. I sprinkled it with a tablespoon of feta cheese and then covered it in sautéed vegetables. I was skeptical, but it was seriously delicious! I continued to drink my water like crazy.
Turkey burger with feta cheese and sautéed veggies.
After lunch, I decided to try a recipe I saw on television this morning for a homemade “skinny” chocolate shake. In my blender, I mixed 3/4 cup of chocolate frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 banana, and 1 teaspoon of cocoa. The texture was creamy and smooth and it tasted pretty good. However, I am not really a fan of bananas and while I know it added to the creaminess and the sweetness of this drink, the smell and taste of the banana was slightly off-putting. Still, it is certainly a healthy alternative and something I think I could get used to, to fill that chocolate fix!
I drank half of it before I remembered to take a photo!
Late afternoon: an hour or so after lunch, I felt the headache start to set in. I’ve yet to determine if this headache is caused by lack of caffeine or lack of sugar (although I’m leaning towards a bit of a caffeine addiction as I’d just had the healthy shake). My biggest pitfall with coffee is that I use about 4 tablespoons of French Vanilla cream per 14 oz. of coffee (which essentially makes it one of the sweetest cofees ever!) I know this is a huge area I need to improve on, so today I made about half the amount of coffee and half the amount of cream. It was a little less sweet than normal but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked that I could taste the actual coffee a little more!
Workout 2: Late this afternoon, I was feeling pretty tired (it’s a gloomy day today). I really wanted to curl up with a blanket and take a nap. But seeing as I had to pick up my daughter close to my regular walking route, I decided to see if taking a walk would actually boost my energy. Tucker (my dog) and I finished a 2.5 km walk and I am happy to say that I don’t feel nearly as tired now (well, maybe a little bit). Either way, I am really glad I got in that extra workout as I have promised myself that each day this week, I would go for a walk and incorporate some other kind of workout.
One of my favourite walking routes lately.
Dinner: I know a huge part of eating right is planning ahead, but I totally flaked on planning a healthy dinner today. So after my walk, I swung by the grocery store and picked up a rotisserie chicken. I knew I wanted to incorporate veggies into dinner, so I whipped up one of the only salads I actually enjoy – Greek (with a twist – I had forgotten to get cucumbers and don’t really like tomatoes or olives, so I added yellow and red peppers, and red onions to mine with a little feta and low-calorie Greek dressing). This, paired with the chicken, turned out to be more enjoyable than I had anticipated, although it’s only been just under an hour since I ate it and I am still feeling a little hungry. Luckily, I still have room for a little snack later on (and I’m still chugging water).
All in all, I am thrilled with how well I did today! In fact, since joining Weight Watchers about four months ago, this is the first day that I have actually stayed within my allotted 30 points for the day (normally I range anywhere between 40 and up!) I know every day won’t be this easy but I hope that I can continue to incorporate small, healthy changes each day because small, steady changes always lead to bigger ones! What will be key for me will be to continue trying different things, searching for recipes, and finding healthy alternatives for some of my favourites.
All this being said, while I was walking this afternoon, I realized that it is exactly 30 days until my husband and I leave on our much-anticipated summer vacation (to a friend’s cottage for the weekend, 4 days in Toronto, and then a family camping weekend). I would love to drop a few pounds and feel more energetic by the time our vacation rolls around (and I love nice, round numbers like 30), so I have decided to commit to my own 30-day plan.
Here’s my plan…. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!
What I Will Do:
– set small goals to focus on each day (as I said before, small changes lead to big ones) Which could be any / all of the following….
-find ways to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my daily diet
-find ways to cut back drastically on sugar
-focus on protein, carbs, and healthy fats at each meal/snack
-eat mostly whole foods – fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fat-free dairy, whole grains
-find healthy alternatives for “treats” to make the transition easier
-be mentally prepared to accept that changing my diet will be challenging but that I am up for the challenge!
-be prepared that it will take a significant amount of time to “train my brain” into truly enjoying and craving new, healthier foods
-lean on my loved ones for support
-check out the Weight Watchers online community for ideas and additional support
-continue to walk regularly and incorporate other workouts like yoga, Jillian Micahels DVDS, and baseball
-make time to prep and plan meals
-drink water, water, and more water!
-keep a food journal and track Weight Watchers points
-regularly attend Weight Watchers meetings for accountability, ideas, and support
-accept my body where it is today but also push it to be better
Phew. Long blog post! If you actually made it to the end of this, please take a minute and leave a comment to let me know that I have your support! Positive affirmations are so helpful and greatly appreciated. I really want to do this. Day 1 down, 29 to go!