Sunday, April 12, 2009

How to Lose 5 Pounds in 7 Days

That title outta get ya! It's certainly got me!

I have tried to keep most of my topics, thoughts and rants inclusive of education or teaching, usable information, reviews of mainstream media and motivational musings that might overlap my lifestyle, but would also be sources of ways to include more physical activity, healthy food choices and positive "you can do it's" in all of our lives. I see this series as a real-life motivational "you can do it" with some education and aggressive examples thrown in for good measure!

This will be a bit of a continuation of my March 21st Blog Dueling Turtle Doves & Strong Women. In it, I skimmed over a personal issue where I was still frustrated that I just hadn't accomplished losing that last "four" pounds. I have pretty much lived for over a year at four to five pounds above my ideal weight, and that day it just happened to be four. Since then, in over a week of low levels of exercise, high levels of calories (and not necessarily healthy calories), spring break, family visiting...healthy living and healthy choices can get away from you - they certainly got away from me. And since I'm such a HUGE advocate of using the bathroom scale (though I am still, and will always be deathly afraid of it), this is the perfect example of what happens when you (I) don't use it! Had I gotten on that slick, glass Tanita two or even three days into the week, I'd have caught this before it became an overwhelming and wardrobe affecting five pounds above where I was complaining to be at on the 21st, and a whopping 10 pounds above my ideal. This is what I meant by this type of thing getting to point of feeling unmanageable.

The fear of public humiliation always adds needed accountability to my efforts. It's funny, the same holds true with my Crossfit workouts - the fear of posting a bad performance for all to see drives me to do a little better than I might if it was only me involved in the effort and it's outcome. Ironic? No. That's why Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig...and yes, for me, Crossfit workouts, all work. Yes, there's an element of support, but there's also a bit of fear or self-imposed pressure to perform - and perform well. Who wants to show up at a Weight Watchers meeting with your supportive buddies and constantly remain at the same weight or gain weight? As I logged on and posted the other day: The only place success comes before work is the dictionary! Effort yields results. Discipline enhances effort. Motivation drives discipline. Right now, with muffin top in stretchy pants...I'm motivated to put forth the effort to produce the results. So here are the numbers:

Goal Weight: 120# (never quite been there!)
Typical Weight: 123-125#
Current Weight: 130#

And just in case there's one of "those" people out there who might say: "Oh, part of it's just water retention from eating crappy food here and there for a week"...not so. I spent a big part of my life coddled by people who liked to use that excuse, along with "muscle weighs more than fat" - excuses that frankly were just little white lies to make a fat kid feel better. While that might have been the right thing to do back then to spare feelings, right now, as an adult, we have to own our situations. No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission, no one can take advantage of you without your permission, and no one can make you fat, period! My husband always ways: "When you're fat, look in the mirror and say you're fat". And I'm sort of saying it now - not necessarily that I'm fat (though I certainly feel it when squeezing into my clothes today), but I'm definitely above my normal weight, and my organism is not comfortable! It doesn't make me happy to be here so I'm going to do something about it. We all could do ourselves justice by being honest with ourselves versus sugar-coating and ignoring our faults or problems - it's not like our friends and family don't see them, they're just to polite to call us out on them. I've been back on track, eating clean but with lack of exercise three days last week, and "healthing" it back up with the diet over the last three days. I bounced between 129.8# and 131.4 - so, drum roll please....the number is 130#!

So, what's the plan?

The plan is the same thing and the only thing that works for most people who lose weight successfully: eat less and be more active. And though there's a lot of media buzz right now about a calorie being a calorie, I can't FULLY subscribe to that, as I do think there are differences in the way people metabolize the three macronutrients. Personally, I don't do well with artificial sweeteners - I like them, but they make me crave more. After I get out of the "fog" of no "sweet coffee & tea", I also know that I do better (feeling & performing) on a lower GI meal plan that's about 30% carbs 40% protein and 30% fat. Lastly, I feel my best if there's a intense workout during the day that lasts at least 20 minutes. So I do better on my Crossfit WODs that are "the girls or heroes" and have to make adjustments on days we do the O-lifts. It's funny, I know myself so well...but I also recognize the weakness where I tend to ignore what's going on to make me throw caution to the wind and overindulge at Maggianos!

So, what's the specific plan?

I started yesterday. Scale read 130.0# even, down from 131.4 #. I split my exercise up yesterday and did a little at the gym in the morning (20 minutes of slow cardio just to get me going) and then ran intervals in the evening. My diet was "fair" yesterday, considering it ended at Hooters! But none of that for the next five days - maybe seven, if we don't plan anything for the weekend. Today my diet was totally clean (eggs/egg whites & veggies & fruit for breakfast, chicken over salad for lunch and ahi tuna, brussel sprouts and broccoli for dinner), but I didn't bother to do a calorie tally. It was low though. I'm feeling it right now! I'll reassess how I did on Sunday of next week and trudge on.

I'm using the St. Pete Crossfit/ RebelHealth Menu of the Week, or MOW, for my diet components and will make adjustments to portions (especially since there are no portions on the menu) and substitutions for higher GI carbs. I'll try to get most of my carbs from fresh vegetables and fruit. I'll also up the mutli-vitamin since I'll be lower than I like with fruits and veggies and whole grains - where I get most of the nutrients my organism needs for all its wonderful parts to function optimally. Here are the components/principles of the plan, and which are a normal part of my family's daily life - just not this past month, obviously!

  1. 5 days of concentrated effort: Monday (tomorrow) through Friday.

  2. Clean eating. Whole, unrefined foods. The challenge here? There is ice cream in the freezer, homemade "energy" granola (high carb) in the pantry and a bit of cheesecake left in the fridge. I know myself - if it's there, I'm susceptible to it. There. I've said it out load, let's see if that helps with the discipline - or typical lack thereof! Or, I just got "permission" to throw out all the bad stuff - ugh! I hate wasting money that way. Those Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips are expensive! But after Monday, I may clean house...I mean, clean pantry!

  3. Moderate to low carbohydrate intake (25-30%, or about 90 grams) - consisting solely of fruit and vegetable carbohydrates with the exception of breakfast, where a whole grain is an option. This will put me below one side of a wavering understanding I have of the fuel our brains need to function optimally. Some science states that we need 100-130 grams of carbohydrate for our brains to function optimally. Others say that our brains will function optimally on mostly fat and protein. We'll see if the brain fog rolls in!

  4. High protein (40%, or about 130 grams), which is about 1 gram per pound of current body weight. Chicken, fish, grass-fed lean beef, eggs, Greek yogurt and protein powder.

  5. Moderate to high fat (30%, or about 40 grams), consisting mostly of unsaturated fats - EVOO, healthy fats from fish, avocados, nuts, and eggs. But I certainly won't discount saturated fat in modest quantities.

  6. 5 meals a day, attempting no desserts! That's hard for me, because hubby likes his desserts. I'll try to quell the urge for dessert with hot tea - peppermint and vanilla to provide opposite ends of the spectrum. And I'll buy some SF Jello (yes, I know, not exactly "natural") and make it with club soda or seltzer for a kick - and at 10 calories per serving, it'll satisfy that 8pm itch for sweets.

  7. Target for total calories will be around 1300, give or take, and may switch my carb and fat % up and down to mix it up, while keeping protein at the same level.

  8. Exercise: Crossfit daily (M-F), plus as much extra cardio or stairs here at home,focusing there on either slow & over 60 minutes or intervals. Cardio (running, biking, stepper @ gym & steps at our condo) bores me to tears - this will be a challenge. Need a new audio book!

I'll post my meal plan for each day a day in advance, and try to comment on progress as I go. If you'd like to follow along, I'd love to hear your comments/feedback.

Plan for Monday:

  • Early Cardio (6-7am)
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs & 4 egg whites in an omelet with 1/2 cup kale and 1/4 cup onion, made with cooking spray; 1/2 cup blackberries
  • AM Snack: 4 oz (1/2 cup) 1% no salt added cottage cheese
  • Lunch: 2 oz chicken breast and 1/2 chicken sausage link, 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, 1/2 oz walnuts, 1/4 cup shredded fat free mozzarella cheese (needed more protein), and 1 tsp EVOO in the vinaigrette salad dressing
  • PM Snack/Pre-Workout: 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder in 4 oz fat free milk; same thing post workout
  • Dinner: 2 cups soy-sesame kale, 5 ounces of chicken char siu (omit most of honey & hoisin in my portion)

As written, this will provide only about 1080 calories, 146 grams of protein (54%), 59 grams of carbohydrate (22%) and 28 grams of fat (23%) - not what I outlined above, but I kick-start better this way. I think I'll need that Jello, however, after dinner!

Here we go!

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