So in my last post I shared a lot of information with you. Luckily it is all there to refer back to, that’s why I took so many notes so that whatever didn’t sink in right away could be absorbed over time. Jen did a phenomenal job yesterday getting everyone involved and mingling. Now I would like you for a moment to get involved in the exercise that she has us do. Stand up if you have ever lost one pound. (Yes you should really stand up! get up get up! This is movement that is exercise!) We all looked around, so many people all on the same path. Knowing we aren’t alone. (So please imagine 50 or so people with you) Jen proceeded with 5, then 10, then 20, 25, 30, 40, and 50. As the numbers went up the number of people standing shrunk. As the numbers went up, and people sat down my anxiety level went through the roof!!! Seriously, I was not prepared to have people looking at me. I did not look around at this point. Jen asked those still standing to come to the front of the room. There were four of us. Myself Sarah, Sara, and another Sara (but I am unsure if it was Sara or Sarah). Each of us had lost over 50 pounds.
As I stood there and revealed my 153 pound weight loss to a room full of people I could not help but still feel like a loser. The others revealed their better than 50 pound losses and they looked great! Yet there I stood, 153 pounds less than my highest in late 2009, a solid 20+ pounds less than the last time I was in that very room and how did I feel. I still felt a bit inferior. I am STILL in the high 200’s which means I still need to lose more weight. To have come as far as I have, to be recognized for losing that amount of weight, and to still feel like I was not good enough, there is something wrong inside me.
I used the short break to mingle and chat with a few people about how I am accomplishing my goals, but only after refocusing my mind. I took just a few moments to remind myself that I cannot compare myself to others. Each of our journeys is ours alone. We can support each other, and cheer one another on build each other up but we take those steps alone.
So the next speaker was Stacy Klone of KitchenWerks. She spoke at the last PFG event but this was not the same topic. Stacy shared a bit about herself again this time. She let us know that many years ago she had gastric bypass surgery, which is and was a very personal decision. She has had to change her eating ever since then. You can’t have things like bread and pasta and rice.
Stacy said that it is very important to prepare yourself for this journey by being able to laugh at yourself. She talked about the first time she felt her hip bones and thought there was something wrong with her. My bones have become palpable lately. I can tap on my collar bones as I sit trying to figure out a problem, and when I lay down my ribs can be seen and my hip bones, we don’t even want to talk about how bony I am. She also wanted us to realize that there is much more to the journey to wellness than just the numbers that are on the scale. You need to take a personal inventory. Take note of how you feel, measure and see yourself off of the scale. How do your clothes fit? Even if the weight isn’t coming off if you are doing things right and feeling better and making the small changes for longterm then don’t sweat it.
Planning For Success
- Have you ever worked in a place that has a break room? Have you worked in more than once place like this? Did you ever notice they all smell the same? All processed and packaged foods microwaved end up smelling the same.
- You eat with your eyes first. You see the food first, then you smell the food, and then you taste if. Make sure the food looks beautiful first. Microwave dinners are not pretty.
- When people think of veggies most think about celery and carrots. There are hundreds of kinds of vegetables out there. From parsnips to eggplant and onions to radishes. You can’t hate all the veggies out there.
- You need to start adding veggies and fruits to every meal! So start thinking about where can you add a veggie. So think about your breakfast. It needs to be balanced. (Remember protein fat and carbohydrates) So cold cereal isn’t really the best choice. However a Chobani Yogurt with some granola and fresh berries would be better. Sautee some mushrooms onions and spinach with garlic add them to some eggs serve that with a high fiber high protein bread round. At lunch instead of, (or in addition to) lettuce on your sandwich try adding some broccoli slaw for an added crunch. At dinner make sure you are serving a veggie or two with your meal. Salad every night works, but you can also use veggies as a topping. Grind up veggies into a fine sprinkle and top things with them. Sprinkle it on and into anything.
- You need to plan for veggies. They are not just going to fall into your diet. Plan for them, buy them and use them. There are so many ways to cook and serve them. A few examples are raw, steamed, roasted, grilled, mashed.
- If you are buying your veggies and they are becoming a mushy soup in your refrigerator then you are wasting your money.
- Plan your menu from what is in your pantry (this was kind of implied and was definitely from the last talk) But if you are trying to make recipes and have to buy every ingredient every time it is a waste and you likely wont end up making the recipes anyway.
- Do not use your food as a reward. If you feel the need to eat something, whether it is a Little Debbie snack cake, a Milky Way Simply Caramel Bar, some chips do it before you go workout. Eating it before your workout means it is done and over with you can feel like you have moved past it and have left it behind.
- Experiment with your foods! Don’t be afraid to try something new. There are no rules about food. You can mix and match things.
- Kids do not come out eating Mac and Cheese and Nuggetts. You control what their diet is. Kids menus are loaded with garbage. Let them order off the adult menu or share what you ordered with them. Most restaurant portions are more than one serving, so you can share what you ordered with your child.
- Get kids involved with their food. If you let a child help you cook, or get involved with the food they will be more likely to try the food. They will also be more proud of their food. Let kids help in the kitchen whether it is stirring or peeling or helping plan the menu. Kids want to be involved.
- If you have canned or packaged food that is going to soon go bad and you know you wont eat it take it to the food shelf/food pantry. They will accept anything as long as it is still sealed. Even 100 calorie packs that you are tired of eating. If you wont eat it someone else will.
- Plan for your snacks. Plan them ahead of time so you are not starving and grabbing anything you can get your hands on. Great snacks include things like Nuts or Veggies, cheese, and meat. Remember though that like meals your snacks should be balanced. A key step in this is to prep your veggies when you bring them home from the store.
- Stop yourself from snacking on unwanted things that are in your fridge and pantry by making them less accessible. Move that container of ice cream to the back of the freezer, put those chips at the back of the pantry and the chocolate bars in the back of the fridge. Put the freshly prepped veggies in the front of the fridge. Why you ask? Because you eat with your eyes first. You are more likely to grab something convenient from the front that move a bunch of things to get to the back. So make the good stuff easy to reach! Out of sight out of mind.
- Make sure when you are cooking foods that you cook them completely. Even if you are planning on re-heating them for lunch the next day they need to be fully cooked first. If you are packing the lunch into containers glass is better for microwaving than plastic (especially over 4 minutes) Pack the foods to look appealing. Reheat the foods to 165 degrees. We all carry thermometers in our pockets right? No? 165 guideline is steam coming off the food, its hot enough that you need to blow on it. Easy right?
- Need lunch ideas? Last nights dinner can be made into todays lunch if you change the side dishes and perhaps add a few other spices. Play with it until it looks like something new!
- Play with your cooking! Recipes are not hard and fast rules. Chicken and Turkey can be swapped out for each other. You can also swap those for pork. You can also swap them out for beef or shrimp. Not every recipe will work with different proteins but it is about experimenting.
- As your eating habits change your cravings will change. Stacy told us a story about how she used to LOVE HoHo’s and a while back she had a HoHo again after so many years and it was the most disgusting thing she had ever tasted. Your tastes change.
Stacy did a great job! She served a veggie medley to help everyone get their first serving of veggies for the day. I did not partake as I was not hungry, it smelled wonderful though. As soon as she makes the recipe available I will pass it along to you all!
Since this is getting so long I will recap Jen’s portion in the next post. So much wonderful info I don’t want you to miss anything!