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Monday, September 27, 2010

Tip: Don't Get Discouraged!

Bobbie's Birthday Party!

Yes, yes, I know; it’s Monday. I’m supposed to report my weight. The news isn’t great this week, just as it wasn’t great last week, but last week I at least lost a pound. This week my weight stagnated.

I expected weeks like this. I know they happen on weight-loss plans, but I hoped it wouldn’t happen to me. Instead of kicking or cursing myself, though, I point to the fact that I wanted to lose an average of a pound a week, and if I lean on the averages, I’m still doing okay. Let’s see. I began my food plan on about July 15, but I won’t count those first few days and say it began instead on July 19, so I can count Monday to Monday. Today is September 27, so I’ve been on the plan ten weeks and have lost 31 pounds, which is an average of three pounds a week. Okay, I’ve found a way to see the good side and stop concentrating on the not-to-good side, the fact that the scale stayed the same this week. I can also say, “Hey, at least I didn’t gain anything.”

I could have gained. Really, I could have. My food plan isn’t highly restrictive; I can eat what I want, I just have to be conscious of the portion sizes and keep them small. I’m human, though, so at times I consume more food than my body needs. I know I ate more than I needed last night, for example, when I went to my favorite Chinese buffet and it had coconut shrimp, one of my favorites. Believe me, I didn’t consume nearly as much as I used to eat when I visited that buffet. I used to consume at least two big plates full of mostly shrimp and fish. Last night I first made a salad and ate that, before I fixed a single plate and was careful to add vegetables to the protein. I used to eat apple pie and ice cream for dessert there. Last night I skipped dessert entirely. I know I’m eating healthier and less, but less than far too much can still be too much!

Overeating last night might have been so bad, but I had overeaten the night before, as well. My sister gave me a dinner party for my birthday. Although I insisted on bringing fruit for dessert instead of having a birthday cake, the dinner was so delicious that I ate more than usual, and my stomach felt it, too.

Whenever I overeat, though, I try to make up for it by eating less at other meals, but obviously I’m not perfect, or my weight would have gone down this week.

Am I discouraged? No way! I may be disappointed, but certainly not discouraged. In the past the news that I hadn’t lost weight in a week might have sent me to the freezer to binge on ice cream, but not today.

I examined what I’ve done all week and what I’m eaten. The first thing I acknowledged is that after I saw progress in my weight loss, I stopped keeping my food diary. As a result, this week when I didn’t lose weight, I couldn’t even look in my food diary to closely examine the foods I’ve consumed. Bad Bobbie! I vowed to return to original plan and write down everything I eat.

What’s the purpose of a food diary? When I write down what I eat at each meal, I can more carefully analyze whether I’ve eaten enough vegetables and protein each day, but more importantly, the food diary is my conscience. Every item that goes in my mouth gets written into the daily diary, which means I can’t eat a candy bar and forget I ate it, the way I used to do. The diary keeps me conscious of my food consumption, and conscious eating is the entire basis of my food plan. My food diary is a simple spiral notebook where I write down the date and list each meal or snack that I eat that day. If I’m at home, I list what I eat as soon as I eat it. If I eat out, as soon as I get home I list the items I ate. I don’t wait until nighttime to try to recall everything I ate that day, because invariably I’ll forget something.

In examining this week’s weight stagnation, the second thing I realized was that I’ve skipped breakfast almost every day this past week, and breakfast is an important meal. I know that fact, but I still sometimes forget to eat breakfast. I pledged to eat breakfast this week. I began today with plain yogurt, blueberries, and high-fiber whole-wheat cereal sweetened with a very light sprinkle of raw sugar.

The third thing I know is that I got to the gym only one time this week. I need to work out more, to burn off calories and get more fit. My excuse has been the fact that my dog has needed much more attention than normal while he recuperates from eye surgery and complications following surgery. That excuse will soon disappear, though. The veterinarian estimates that the dog will be much better by the end of this week, and I’ll have no excuse not to swim and do water aerobics, my workouts of choice.

Examining last week makes me analyze what I can do better this week, and by golly, I’ll do it. Nothing will sway me from becoming as healthy as I can be, and for me that means I must have a smaller body. No, I am not discouraged in the least; if anything, I’m more determined than ever.

Starting weight: 245
Goal weight for this week: 213
Actual weight this week: 214 (rats!)
Goal weight for next week: 213
Total weight lost: 31
Overall goal weight: 150

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