Monday, April 23, 2012

Photos on Facebook

One of the main reasons I began to take weight-loss seriously this time around is due to my sudden aversion at looking in the mirror or at pictures of myself. My fat rolls are becoming a bit excessive and it shows. A lot.

With this new disgust of my body, I've started debating whether I should un-tag all the not-so-flattering photos of myself on Facebook. So far, the conclusion I've come to is that I should keep them because, 1) I would no longer have any pseudo-recent photos of myself, and 2) it's an accurate representation of how I look right now so I'm not really hiding anything by taking them off the interwebz. But at the same time, the people with whom I don't interact on a daily basis (90% of my FB friends) don't need to see how I've let myself go. So I still don't know.

Here is some of the evidence:
Last night at the bar. This one isn't too bad actually.

August 2011. I'm in the Wonder Woman bathing suit.

August 2011. I can't believe I walked around all week with my back fat hanging out like that.

New Years' 2011. Yeah, no bueno.

What do you think? Should I un-tag these, or keep them?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My version of calorie counting

I cannot calorie count. I've tried and failed multiple times, so eventually I just gave it up. It works for about three weeks and then I go nuts from the stress and end up going back to my diet of pizza and beer.

Since I gave up calorie counting, I've had trouble controlling my caloric intake to best maximize my weight-loss. As a result, I've largely given up on losing weight through managing my food and have focused on exercise as my main source of calorie deficits, which most people say is not the way to go. Usually, exercise has worked for me in weight-loss but lately the weather has not cooperated with bike riding and I've been fairly lazy. And with that, I thought my weight-loss would completely stall.

BUT, I've still been losing weight. I'm down to 214.5 today! How is that possible?

Well, in the past few weeks, I've stayed away from eating out and have cooked relatively nutrient-dense and low-calorie meals. My snacks no longer consist of candy and chips, but instead I've focused on eating all the fruit and veggies I have in my house.

So without consciously calorie counting, I've kind of been controlling my caloric intake by eating lower calorie meals and cutting down on the junk I ingest when I'm bored. I mean, I still eat too much ice cream and have a few beers a week, but it's definitely a lot less than I used to, which is why the scale is slowly but surely going down.

I generally know how many calories are in each of my meals/foods so I try to limit my meals to 500 calories and snacks to 100 calories. But if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. I don't stress about being a couple hundred over or under. I'd rather lose slower than be wound up like a ball of stress all the time.

In short, I'm more aware of what I'm putting in my mouth without obsessing over it. And so far this "diet" has lasted longer than any other thing I've tried in the last 5 years. So I'm going to stick with it until it stops working. And then I'll amend.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Good Habits From Home Project

I just got back from a week at home with my parents in California, and as usual when I return from their house, I want to incorporate some of my mom's awesome food habits into my diet. She always sends me back with a suitcase full of home-cooked meals so I don't have to cook for myself for at least a week. But after that, I usually go back to my lazy ways of take-out and junk food.

This time, I've resolved that things will be different. I've had my nose stuck in a book for the past three months studying for the MCAT. And with that, I've been snacking on delicious yet totally not nutritious things. When I study at home in California, my mom is constantly bringing me platters of fruit and veggies, so I've decided that that is where I'm going to begin the Good Habits From Home Project (GHFH Project).

So today, I banned the Gummy Tummies from my desk and replaced them with a plate of sliced apples and bananas. I've noticed that I'm more likely to eat an apple or an orange or a carrot when it's sliced into bite-size pieces and I can reach for it whenever I get bored. So I'm taking a cue from my mom (that's how she eats her food, and I always find myself eating off her plate) and taking the 30 seconds to slice my snacks in order to increase the probability of eating healthier.

My two study snack choices, both equally delicious.
Actually, I think the fruit wins this battle.
Switching gears a bit to the exercise front, prior to my one-week vacation and isolation (I left the house two times the whole time I was home...awesome!), I was biking three to four times a week. Although the scale hasn't budged much and I may not actually be losing any inches either (my measurements are so inconsistent that I won't believe I've lost much until whole inches come off), I have most definitely gotten much much faster.

At first, I had started dreading going on the bike because it was so hard to keep a 15.5 mph average and I worried that even biking was going to become a weight-loss chore. But now that I've noticed a massive improvement in my speed, the discomfort on the bike is fun again and I look forward to every ride. Even the women in my weekly biking group say I'm really speedy and I'm pretty sure they mean it, which is awesome to hear mostly because I'm the biggest girl out of them all by far (by like, 50 pounds I estimate).

Anywhos, the only bad part about going home was that I would have to "quit" biking for the week, and at first I started to feel nervous about that. I didn't want to lose all the fitness I had spent the last month building and I had even gotten a bit addicted to being on the bike, as evidenced by my need to bike every other day. But the guilt of sitting on my butt evaporated and the lazy part of me returned by the third day of being home. And that's scary, because it took me a good three weeks to crave exercise and only two to three days to go back to my lazy ways. Yikes!

Now that I'm back in Colorado, it's 35 degrees and snowing, when it had been 75 and sunny for the past three weeks. In true Colorado style, though, Wednesday and thereafter promise to bring more sunshine and warmth. So my return to biking will have to wait til then. I'm still a fair weather biker, after-all.