Checking In

Posted by Jen | Weight Loss | Wednesday 24 February 2010 10:13 pm

So, I’ve been tracking my calories on The Daily Plate for the past few weeks.  It’s been such a tremendous help as I continue my attempt to lose those 4 pounds I regained over the holidays.  It’s been about 6 weeks and I only have 1 more pound to lose.  Yay!

What’s refreshing to know is that I finally seem to have an effective plan to keep my weight in check forever.  To lose these 4 pounds, I am basically doing what I did 2 years ago when I lost those 50 pounds.  In fact, I am doing the same exact thing I have been doing to maintain that weight loss during these past 18 months:  I keep track of my calories and eat a healthy low-glycemic diet. The only difference is that I had to lower my calorie intake to lose the weight again.  It also became imperative to actually track my meals online because I found that I was a little forgetful about what I ate during the day and I can’t afford to just guess what the actual calorie amounts were for certain meals.

I am looking forward to being back to my maintenance calorie intake again, though.  I’m definitely going to be a little more careful with the cake and pie consumption during the next holiday season, too.  I really don’t want to have to do this every year.  :)

In any case, I am definitely going to try to come back every few months or so and just spend a week tracking my calories again.  It’s too easy to get lazy or forgetful about how much I am eating throughout the day.  Tracking keeps me honest and accountable.  Oh…and healthy and thin!

As for my exercise…I’m on self-imposed bed rest for the next week or two.  Those crunches the other night really really did something bad to my abdominal muscles.  At least, I think that is what happened.  I started to feel some pain the other day and it has now turned into a ripping/burning feeling when I use my abs.  Even getting into a car hurts like crazy.  Add that pain to my recurring neck and back and pain and this makes for a sad little Jen.  I swear that the mono I had last year has changed my body forever.  I went from healthy and strong to this broken little me.  :(

I’m in physical therapy for the neck and back – I have some kind of spondylosis and muscle spasms…and a compression fracture, too.  I have no idea where the heck that came from…weird!  But, at least that kind of explains the pain.  I am going to see my doctor on Monday for the abdominal pain.  Just want to make sure it’s  not something serious.  You know, like a tumor or something.  I always think “zebras” instead of “horses” when I hear those darned hoofbeats!  :D

Maintenance Continues

Posted by Jen | Exercise,Journal | Wednesday 26 August 2009 11:23 pm

Well, it’s been a while since I posted here.  I kind of had a feeling that would happen.  I’m known for jumping around from project to project.

In any case, this is how things are faring for me these days.  Due to the injured foot, I never quite made it back to running…or any type of exercise…since last September.  My diet has remained the same as it was last spring/summer.  I was able to maintain my weight for about 6 months after ceasing my exercise routine.  It was at that point (in March 2009) that I contracted mono, which then seemed to trigger my panic disorder, causing a world of havoc for my poor body.  For anyone who has battled anxiety and panic, I assume you can relate my telling you that is was a long, scary battle to fight.  After being place on anxiety medication about a month ago, I lost another 5 pounds and I am now maintaining my weight at 117 pounds.  My anxiety is under control again and my energy levels are back to what they were before the mono.  What is interesting to note is that even though my diet is nearly flawless – all good fats, low-glycemic, whole grains, fruits, veggies (sometimes) – my cholesterol has gone up again.

This surprised me. 

I lost 45 pounds last year and I have kept my diet as healthy as it was last spring.  I was certain that this be enough to keep my cholesterol at the same levels. After consulting with a nutritionist, we determined that it is most likely due to 2 possible factors: lack of exercise and/or genetics.

Since my diet can’t really get much better than it already is…aside from possibly needing a few more veggies and a little more fiber…the only change from last spring is the amount of exercise I am getting (or not getting, actually.)  It sure does seem as though continuous exercise is going to be a necessity for me in order to keep my cholesterol low.  I am so used to seeing exercise as a means to lose weight that I forgot that it provides other benefits as well.  Additionally, it would also help keep my anxiety disorder under control.

So, all in all, I have to figure out a way to add exercise back into my life. Forever.  My food intake is enough to keep the weight loss where it is, but total health requires more than just a low number on the scale.  Staying active seems to provide the body with a boost that we can’t get anywhere else.  I am excited to see how much a change those cholesterol numbers show after 6 months of sticking to an exercise routine.  I’ll keep you posted!

Taking a Break – Maintenance

Posted by Jen | Journal,Weight Loss | Friday 4 July 2008 2:18 am

Well, I have been dieting continuously for almost 6 months. Now some people think I’m not supposed to refer to this as a ‘diet.’ It’s supposed to be called a lifestyle change; a permanent alteration to my habits in the direction of lifelong health and weight control.

Well, the truth is these lifelong habits are currently being used to lose weight. When I finally reach my goal weight, I will continue these habits. The difference is that I won’t be counting calories and exercising in order to lose weight. I will be doing those things in order to maintain my weight and stay healthy forever. That will be my permanent ‘maintenance diet’. In the meantime, though, I am still on a ‘weight loss diet’. I use the word ‘diet’ here to signify my eating and health habits…not in the sense that this is a fad.

With all of that being said…I am a little tired. A weight loss diet puts stress on the body – mentally and physically. The body likes to have things stay the same. It likes steadiness and consistency. When we are losing weight, we are constantly forcing it to change. We force it to work a little harder. So, after six months of this, I decided to step back a little bit and do a little bit of maintenance. I am still counting calories and staying active (although, I will be honest and say that my exercise has dwindled a bit, but my foot injury and bad weather are to blame for this) but I am eating at my maintenance level of calories and I have not attempted to lose weight for a few weeks.

I figured this would be a nice way to let my body get used to my current healthy weight (127 lbs, thank you very much!) before I attempt to tackle the final 10-15 pounds.

How is it going so far?

Pretty well. I have stayed steady at this weight for nearly 4 weeks now. My injured foot has healed nicely and I am about ready to resume next week with increase my exercise to my previous level and consuming the calories needed to lose my 1 pound a week again.

In essence, I basically spent the past few weeks practicing what I will be doing forever…keeping my calorie intake at the level my body needs to maintain my current weight. Of course, if I had been more active these past 3 weeks, I would have been able to eat a lot more (because the more we exercise, the more we can – and should – eat!) But, I am glad I took it easy on the activity because I was really overworking my foot injury and possibly heading towards some long-term problems. (That’s what I get for running with the wrong type of sneaker!)

In any case, I just thought I’d share my experience on ‘maintenance dieting’ and how I fared in my attempt to take a break from ‘weight loss dieting.’ Honestly, calorie counting has changed how I will eat forever. It just makes the most sense to me…calories in, calories out (for the most part.) It’s not an exact science, so it always require tweaking, but I’m obviously doing something right because I have lost nearly 40 pounds this way. Wish me luck for the final 15!