Thursday, March 27, 2008

After One Month

Well, it's official - we've been living this new lifestyle for exactly one month! We started officially weighing in on February 27th, and so I thought I would take the opportunity to update you all on the milestones we've achieved already.

Milestone 1 - Ways to Weigh
The first milestone was more a financial decision than a weight loss one, but it gave us the tools we needed to start living right. We bought two scales - one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. The kitchen scale is a digital food scale used to measure out how much food we're eating. Using these weights, you can go online to a Calorie Counter to find out how many calories were in what you ate. The bathroom scale was necessary as that's how we track how well we're doing from day to day. Once we had those in place it became much easier to find out how big a serving size of whatever really is and to understand how a splurge of chocolate at the end of the day can really kill your weight loss goals.

Milestone 2 - Control

During this first month, we've learned how to control our cravings. Sure, we still falter now and again, but overall, we succumb to the cravings in a much more manageable way - we plan our cravings. Like yesterday at work - I walked right past a birthday cake someone had brought and was only slightly tempted. I knew that I wanted to have a big dinner that night and wasn't about to spoil it with cake during the day. We have our menu, and we've started to plan what nights we want dessert. Then it's easier to snack less during the day because you know that your getting ice cream that night. (This will probably be a whole article on its own - finding a way to plan "unhealthy" behavior allows you to have it without it throwing you off course.) By way of another example, if you plan to eat out on Friday night for a date, you spend all day Thursday eating really healthy so that the good and bad cancel each other out. That leads me to our next milestone.

Milestone 3 - Balance

"Everything in moderation." It's a phrase we all know and in general, it provides a pretty good guideline to eating better for weight loss. One of the things I love most about counting calories is that I'm allowed to eat anything I want (with moderation) so long as my total calories at the end of the day are in the right range. So, if I want Hershey's Kisses as a snack, I have to balance that by only eating one portion of spaghetti at dinner. The two must balance. And we've really been getting good at it so that we can have pudding and popcorn and hot chocolate and candy at least a couple of times during the week. You don't feel like you're giving up anything when you can balance things this way.

Milestone 4 - Veggie Delight

As we've learned better how to eat, one of the easiest changes was adding vegetables to every lunch and dinner - it's a great way to not feel like you're starving and to add better quality food to your diet. Since we started this, I have eaten a great amount and greater diversity of vegetables than during any other month-long period in my life. Stacie's still a lot better at eating veggies than I, but things that I could barely stomach before have turned into side dishes that I actually like. The old adage, "You eat what you like and you like what you eat" is proving more and more true for us every day. Salads-as-a-meal are a weekly occurrence and salads-as-a-side-dish are even more common. Celery, broccoli, tomatoes (technically a fruit, but who's counting?), peas, corn, carrots, mushrooms (fungus, I know - just work with me here), bell peppers, green leaf lettuce, and asparagus all are regulars on my list. And with summer coming up, I'll be expanding my diet even more with various types of summer squashes.

Milestone 5 - Weight Loss

The real measuring stick for all of this was whether or not we were loosing weight and trimming down. We're both active enough and eating enough protein that the weight we'd be loosing would be fat. So how are we doing? Both down in weight at the this point. As of today I am down a total of exactly 13 lbs. Now if that seems amazing, it is, but please don't credit me with all of it. During my week with the flu I lost 6 lbs! Not a healthy way to loose weight and my starvation reflex definitely kicked in after that, but I've gotten my metabolism started back up and am once again loosing it in a much more controlled fashion. So, I'm only going to claim 7 lbs. right now and if at the end of the next month, I'm still on a good pace, then I'll be happy. Stacie's also done well loosing a total of 4.4 lbs at this date. It's much easier for her to snack at home so she's been working a lot more on getting good control, but I say 4 lbs is still 4 lbs! Congrats to her cause she's definitely got a little more stress working during her day (named Sammie) than I.

How have you all done during the last month? Check out the new poll and add your answer!

Also let us know in your comments how your new lifestyle changes are holding. And if they're not as good as you'd like, what you can change to help them do better - others will appreciate your suggestions.

Happy Thursday and Happy Healthy to You!


Andrea said...

You inspire me! I love reading these! it gets me all excited again and makes me happy! If you promise not to make fun of me, you can look at my weight loss blog too.
then i will at least be accountable to you!

Andrea said...

Congrats on your losses! Good work!

Grant Gardner said...

That's the spirit! Keep it going! The biggest thing for me was realizing that there is a difference between loosing weight and gettting in shape. My goals right now focus much more on loosing weight because when I really start exercising again, I don't want to tear my knees to shreds. So, the only way I can loose weight is to count calories, cause I'm not doing enough exercise to balance what I eat. So, if you start with that, it's much easier to get in the good habit of eating right.

Oh, and Stacie will die when she knows you have Turbo Jam - she just told me yesterday that she wants it. ;)