Getting all of the Pieces working

I have been struggling with trying to lose weight for several years.  Activity has never been hard for me, I enjoy athletics and sports and getting outside and doing things.  For me it was always getting the nutrition part in sync with the activity and making it work in a way that I could live with the rest of my life.    For me it feels like I am finally getting all the pieces in place where they need to be.

First, let me talk about the activity a little bit.   As I have said before I like training for things, so that helps keep me motivated.   Besides having that race goal I have found a few small changes that I am making to my routine.

  • First off I am trying to get more overall steps in every day reaching for at least 10,000 steps.   Why this surprised me I do not know, but with working from home in a job in IT, most days I didn’t get more than 2000-3000 steps in unless I went for a run.  There were days when I didn’t leave the house and didn’t even get 2000 steps in!   WOAH!   Making that small change has helped me feel better overall.
  • Second, I am getting at least one good weight session in with a personal Trainer every week.    I think adding weights to my routine is a very good thing, and I would like to try and get this bumped up to 2 times per week at least.  I am still working on that.  Training takes a lot of time, so I need to figure out how to work another session of weights in to my busy schedule.

Now for the nutrition part of things.    I have tried a lot of different diets, and methods, and had yet to find one that seemed to work well for me.    I tried Weight Watchers and lost weight for a while, looking back I see that it taught me bad habits.  On the points system I could eat what I wanted as long as I stayed under a certain number of points, but it wasn’t necessarily nutritious.   I had some success with the Mayo Clinic Diet for a while as well.  With that one I was always hungry because the calories were too restricted for me, and I wasn’t getting enough dairy/protein.    I also tried counting macros for a while trying to balance the carbs/proteins/fats at certain percentages of my daily calorie intake.   All of these are fine plans and they will work for some people, but they were not for me.   They were not maintainable for me in the long run.

What I am doing currently, and seems to be working for me so far is as follows.

  • First, I am eating 4-6 smaller meals per day instead of 2-3 big ones.   I eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day to keep my metabolism going.
  • Second… I am eating a bigger breakfast and smaller dinner.   More carbs at breakfast, and less at dinner.   I am getting at least 1200 calories in before I even get to dinner time.
  • Third, I have been taking a visual approach to what is on my plate at each meal.   I am using the visual of the  My Plate picture (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/) .  For my major meals, I try and make my plate look as close to this picture as I can. Half my plate is fruit and veggies, one fourth protein, one fourth grains, and a dairy item.   Having this picture in my head at each meal is helping me eat more well balanced.  For my snacks, I try and get a protein and a fruit or vegetable in.

myplate_green

So far I haven’t had to remove anything from my diet.  I still have a glass of wine, or a piece of cake, or slice of pizza..but not as often.    Greasy foods don’t really appeal to me as much as they used to.    I will continue to make this a habit for me so I will continue to be successful, and have a healthy lifestyle for years to come.

It has been working for me, I have lost 8 lbs (FINALLY) after several years of up and down.  And I will continue to lose as long as I keep going and keep my positive attitude.  I feel like I have finally found something that works for me and all of the pieces are in place for me to be successful.

My new mantra is “I am TOTALLY doing this!”