Tag Archives: portion control

Learning the Lessons of My Own History

4 Oct

There was a point last week when I was just bursting with big plans for this “Me Time” and had great expectations that I’d be in the gym working out like a maniac and dropping pounds equivalent to a toddler each month….and then I actually thought about it.  Yes, I have the capacity to drop quite a bit of weight during this first month, but I also have to realize that there ARE lessons that I’ve learned about myself in a lifetime of intermittent diet and exercise and that I’d be a total moron if I didn’t absorb them and make changes this time around.

The truth of the matter is that I’ve been all fits and starts for a long time. I’ve tried more diets than I’ll bore you with and have leaped into exercise routines like Snooki jumps into a tanning booth. The problems, however, have always been the same.  There ARE many diets that are sensible and effective, but I realize that I need accountability. I need to have to answer to someone other than myself at the end of the day because realistically, while I may be the person friends want to talk to about their missteps because I’m comforting and forgiving, I’m a bit too comforting and forgiving with myself. I’m not saying that I should give myself a beating or a Mel Gibson tongue lashing because I had a little ice cream, but I could probably use a little balance.  Let’s face it, ice cream is awesome, but I just have to remember not to let a small indulgence bleed into a whole week or a complete abandonment of my plan.

As for exercise, I DO get a bit nutty sometimes. I’m not saying that I spend 6 hours in the gym, but I develop this feeling of pride that morphs into a weird moral superiority when I hit the gym every day. My father might be a little like that..and as he likes to say, “I come by it honestly.”  The problem with being a jerk about this stuff is that when I miss a day or two everything goes to hell. I backslide like Charlie Sheen within an hour of being released from rehab.

Moderation is my new byword. I started today with a reasonable, healthy breakfast and lunch, drank a lot of water, and hit the park for a lovely, crisp, mid-afternoon walk. As I write this, I’m cooking a great dinner with a mix of bright colored veggies and a perfectly individually portioned turkey and mushroom meatloaf.  I’m going on the theory that if I don’t place unrealistic expectations on myself that I can create and maintain a routine that lasts.

This weekend I’m going apple picking with some terrific people and I’m already thinking of the delicious and healthy things that I can make with the spoils of the trip.  Trips like these are great because they’re social, fun, outdoors, and active.  What are your plans for the weekend to get moving and have a great time?

Crimes and Misdemeanors

13 Jun

Remember last week when I promised I would tell you when I fell asleep in the control tower? This was the weekend. It was an awesome weekend, don’t get me wrong – my beautiful, brilliant, cousin Lucy graduated from high school and had a wonderful party full of family and friends. I co-hosted a baby shower for my equally beautiful and brilliant friend Kate who is anxiously awaiting the birth of her son Tiberius. Ok, his name isn’t Tiberius but I like calling him that. The shower was terrific – lots of fun and funny womenfolk eating, drinking, and generally making merry.

The truth is that I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off all weekend. I didn’t work out and I didn’t have much control over my food options. I also made really good friends with a pitcher of mimosas which was entirely my own fault.  The scale was well aware of my indiscretions this morning….so much so that it didn’t even show my weight – it just screamed.

So, I fell off the wagon for a couple of days….and my 36th birthday is tomorrow and I have less than 60 days til my brother’s wedding.  Here’s the thing – I did TRY to take control of the situations.  I kept my portion sizes small, passed on hors d’ouevres, and drank a lot of water. I think the chief downfall here was sodium (which I couldn’t control) and alcohol (which I could but didn’t).  Thus, I must gather the lessons learned, dust myself off, and move on.

  • I CAN have a mimosa at a party – I cannot have 8
  • Orange juice has a lot of sugar and empty calories, as does champagne
  • I have to make more of an effort to slow down and be mindful of what I’m drinking
  • Drinking more water and going right back to eating right will nip this thing in the bud in no time
  • I’m really fun when I have a pitcher of mimosas in one hand and another pitcher in my belly…but that’s not exactly a good reason to do it
  • Weekends like this happen. It’s done. Get over it.
  • I REALLY need to work out tonight

I really have more important things to dwell on than this weekend’s crimes and misdemeanors…like the fact that my Gyno is asking me if I want to freeze eggs.  I want to bring her a dozen grade A jumbos the next time I see her and tell her to freeze them because I might want an omelet later.  I could also dwell on the fact that driving my rental car (car is in the shop for body work) is like driving a shoebox….or that my maid hasn’t cleaned the apartment, done laundry, or gone grocery shopping in at least a week. I’d slap that bitch around but I’ve been told by leading experts and the Catholic Church that self-abuse is wrong.

And on that note, please refrain from abusing yourselves and try to leave the weekend in the past and start the week fresh. Hope everyone has a great week!

Stop, Drop, and Roll

31 May

Holiday weekends are tough for everyone. We have more time on our hands, less control over the food available, nice cold beer, and parties and barbecues seem more amusing options than exercise.  Since I’m talking the talk with you I had to walk the walk this weekend.

I wrote Friday about being prepared so I kept my scout uniform on for the weekend.  I got through the dinner that night without a problem, in part due to the fact that my hostess had read my blog and is totally supportive of my effort. She offered me fixins to make myself a nice, big salad which made it SO much easier to manage my portion control where the pasta was concerned. There was fresh fruit and great conversation and I came out of it feeling like I’d done a good job.

You know that old saw “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”?  Um, yeah. Welcome to my life. I never eat as much as when I have time on my hands. Although I had a number of things to do, I also had more time than usual with no work and an extra day of weekend.  So I started talking to myself. Ok, this isn’t something new for me…at work I frequently walk in circles in the parking lot, talking to myself out loud trying to figure out the right phrasing for a marketing piece, I mutter to myself at my desk about what a douchenozzle someone is – basically I’m a step away from being that guy who sits on a bench on Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair yells at random people in cars (sometimes rather graphically).

So I decided to use my crazy for good rather than evil.  When the temperature went well over 80 and exercise was the last thing on my mind I told myself that I was allowed to watch old episodes of The Biggest Loser as long as I drank water the whole time and that as soon as the sun set I would go walk in the park.  Good deal. Done.  Better yet, that walk energized me and when I got home I spent an hour doing activities from The Biggest Loser Challenge on my Wii (more on that in an upcoming post).

I talked myself into exercise every day this weekend by making deals (as long as I kept them) and thinking things like “I feel like running” and “walking outside will feel good.” I know I can’t really run but every lap I did in the park ended with a short sprint to satisfy the urge.  It was good. I felt good….until…

I GOT ON THE SCALE.  I was 4 lbs. heavier. WTF?!?  I panicked. I freaked. I raged. Then I calmed down and thought about it. What went wrong? I exercised every day. I moderated my portions. I slept.  Then it occurred to me that a TON of water had been going into my system but very little had been coming out. It was hot, I refused to turn on my air conditioning and I was drinking a lot of water to keep cool and hydrated. Bottom line, my body needed that water but it wanted to hold on to it. Sometimes my body really pisses me off.  I really had to fight the impulse to say “Fuck it all.  I’m doing everything I can and I’m gaining weight.” It’s what I’ve done in the past and, frankly, it hasn’t worked out that well for me…although every store whose name ends in “Woman” sends me Christmas cards thanking me for giving up on “that ill-advised diet and exercise thing.”

Logic my friends. Cool, calm logic kept me from eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.  Ok, logic and talking to myself.  I had to say OUT LOUD “You are retaining water because it’s hot and because all those muscles you are using need water. Your body will keep it as long as it needs it and then it will release it. This is not a permanent gain. Oh, and by the way, put the AC in the window you dumbass. You make enough money to pay the electric bill.”  Like an infant, we have to learn to self-comfort, but we also have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we’re having a self-sabotaging temper tantrum.  It made me think about when we were kids and fire safety education taught us “Stop, drop and roll.”  I think that’s what we have to do when we’re having a diet or fitness related freakout – stop in our tracks, drop our anxiety and frustration level, and just roll with it.

Coming soon: my first trainer post!  Do you have questions you’d like answered?  Leave them in the comments and I’ll grill a certified trainer for you.

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