Monday, September 20, 2010

Serving Size . . . Really?

Ok, we all know that we need to pay attention to serving sizes, right?  Manufacturers are quite clever and frequently package their products in a way that might mislead the consumer into thinking they are eating one serving size when, in fact, they are eating more than that.

How many of you have ever gone into a gas station while on a trip, grabbed a drink and a snack bag of chips and headed along your merry way?  I think we all have at some time.  That snack bag of chips generally has multiple servings, usually at least 2, as a standard serving size of chips is only 1 ounce.

I recently stopped for gas and picked up a Sobe Lifewater.  Thankfully these are zero calories so it doesn't affect my calorie counting but the other nutritional info shows that there are 25 mg of sodium and 6 g of carbs per serving.  However, there are 2.5 servings per container.  So if you drink the 20 oz. bottle (who is really going to share or save the rest for later?) you will actually get 62.5 mg of sodium and 15 carbs.

I learned long ago that I needed to read the WHOLE label and campare labels between products.  I'm actually pretty good at doing that.  But this weekend, I got stupid, I guess.

I was at Earth Fare picking up a few things and saw some yummy looking cranberry orange muffin cookies that advertised "no eggs, trans fat, or dairy" and cholesterol free.  They were packaged individually, easy to grab and eat in the car on the way home since I was hungry and knew that would hold me over until I could get home and cook.  I flipped over the package, saw that it was 230 calories and decided that was pretty fair for so large a cookie.  Once in the car, I opened up the package and enjoyed the heck out of that cookie.  So yummy.

When I got home, I went to log what I had eaten, flipped over the package and noticed this:
Seriously???  One cookie is 2 servings?  So my tiny splurge to hold me over was a total of 460 calories, more than the entire dinner I was preparing!!!  Who would have thought that a cookie was anything other than 1 serving?  One serving, one cookie, right?

I felt a little betrayed, a little stupid, and a little angry.  So I decided to share my stupidity and lesson learned with you all as a cautionary tale.

Have you ever had anything like this trip you up?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week One All Over Again

Success!  I was determined that this week would be the one where I got back on track and became a disciplined person again.  I was through with holidays, vacations, and laziness.  I planned to eat healthy, to stay within my calorie range, and to burn more calories than I took in.  I was also going back to getting at least 8 glasses of water in.  So far so good on all of that.  

The work week started well on Tuesday.  I logged my food and went to my classes.  The total calories taken in - 1731, burned - 2923, so I burned 1192 calories more than I took in.  I actually went to dinner with friends from dance that night at Ruby Tuesday and had steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and a beer.  Ruby Tuesday has new Fit and Trim options on their menu that are all under 700 calories.

Wednesday went well also.  It was Zumba day so I knew there would be a high calorie burn and I also had dance rehearsal for a performance.  Even so, I did not go nuts.  I was careful throughout the day and was even able to have two servings of parmesan crusted tilapia for dinner.  Total calories in - 1702, total burned - 3124, burning 1422 calories more than taken in.
Today is yoga day so I will have to stay on track.  While yoga is amazing for toning, health, flexibility, and strength, it does not burn a ton of calories.  It has been something on which I have had to adjust my thinking.  I am motivated by the fact that I see my body changing and I am so much stronger, so the calories burned are just a plus.  Today my meals have been:

  • Breakfast - Bagel Thin sandwich with Laughing Cow Light Cheese, 2 strips bacon, fresh spinach leaves, coffee and cream.  Total 309 calories.

  • Morning snack - Dole organic banana.  110 calories

  • Lunch - 2 Jennie-O Turkey burger patties, light american cheese, Arnold's Sandwich Thin, and edamame.  Total 590 calories which is a little high for lunch but I will have about 600 calories left for the day which is easily doable.
After only a few days, I can already tell a difference in the way I feel.  I think the key is the reduction of "white carbs".  White potatoes, white rice, white pasta, and bread are all my "drug" of choice.  I have not had hardly any bread except for my breakfast which is either multi-grain or whole wheat.  I have not had rice or pasta at all and the small serving of mashed potatoes with my steak was the exception.  I had to change my mindset last year when I started this process to get away from filling my plate with a protein, a starch, and a vegetable.  I now serve myself a protein and at least one or more green vegetables.  It works for me and on occasion, if I am craving pasta or rice, I do whole wheat pasta or brown rice, 1 serving only.

I really can tell a difference already and I know once again I can do this.  Stay with me!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Are What You Think

I rode back from the beach this week and had a lot of time to think.  It was just me and my daughter, it was a long drive and there was a temporary lull in the conversation.  I was in my head, mentally beating myself up for finishing off the bread pudding the night before and eating 2 dozen baked oysters the prior afternoon.  

I looked down at the seatbelt and the bulge coming over the top of the lap belt.  I was kind of disgusted with myself.  I thought about the fact that I had taken a few weeks off from tracking my food, blogging about my weight loss, and over the last few days, I had taken off my Bodybugg so I could tan evenly.  I was on vacation!  Stupid choices. Why did I do that?  Great . . . now I felt FAT again.

As I thought about it, I decided that I was just a little bit crazy.  I have not gained back any weight since March or April.  I am still 50 pounds lighter than I was a year ago.  I am wearing the same size I have worn since May which is either an 18 or 20.  A year ago I wore a size 26. The dancing/exercise has allowed me to maintain my weight loss while I "vacationed" from eating healthy.

So what happened?  Two months ago, I was proud of the way I looked and how far I had come.  What was different now?

My thinking was the difference.  I was thinking the same way I thought last year so I felt the same way I felt then.  Our self image is not based on any type of reality at any given moment, it is mostly all about what we think.  It's the reason an anorexic teenage girl thinks she's fat.  It's the reason at 292 pounds I thought I wasn't THAT fat until a saw a couple of photos telling me otherwise.

It's amazing what our mind does to us.  When I start thinking I'm fat again, I visualize that, get frustrated, and eat poorly.  When I am eating healthy, I see myself getting smaller and I am proud of my appearance.  Mind Tricks.

The fact is, I'm still fat even though I have lost 50 pounds.  I weigh 242 pounds.  I have 80 - 90 pounds to lose still.  No matter what I see in my head, those are the facts.  Sitting and thinking about it doesn't change a thing . . . action does.

I will find the physical strength and the mental strength to lose the next 80 - 90 pounds I need to lose.  I don't know how long it will take and I am not in a hurry.  It's a process.  The first step was putting that Bodybugg back on last night.  The second step was logging back into this morning, recalculating my calorie goals and logging all my food today.

The next step . . . changing my thinking.  That's a much harder thing to do so stay tuned!
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