Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Fudge Factor and a Really Good Low Cal Chili Recipe

When I say "fudge" I don't mean the chocolate kind. Several serendipitous events have come together to send me a message, loud and clear, that if I want to get better dieting and exercising results, I need to quite guestimating and need to be much more accurate and REAL about what I truly put in my mouth and how I often and what type of exercise I'm calling "good enough."

We've already established that I don't lose weight or inches very quickly, and I pack it on almost the instant I eat a candy bar or go two weeks without exercising. The middle age hormones aren't helping a bit, either. But enough with excuses already.

The fact is, seven or eight weeks ago, through diligient Weight Watchers journaling, water drinking, and point counting, I'd managed to lose and keep off 6-7 pounds and my jeans were starting to feel loose. I was hoping to continue the slow downward climb on the scale. Instead, over the last 3 weeks or so, I've managed to UNDO whatever amount of good I'd done in the name of progress. This is a pattern for me, and one I don't like at all.

When I start a diet/excercise routine, I am very strict about it and do what I'm supposed to do. Then a few weeks into the program (no matter WHAT program I'm on) I get busy, stressed or whatever, and I start fudging - call it fudging, call it cheating. It's actually more insidious that outright cheating because it's not big like eating a hot fudge sundae. It's a slow and dangerous assault on my self-control with thoughts that begin like - "I don't need to journal what I eat. After all, I eat the same healthy things every day . . . why write it down?" Then the next day or two after that, I get even busier, the journal gets blanker and I find myself "guessing" at portions, points, and I stop planning my meals ahead of time and start trying to figure out AFTER THE FACT how many points I've eaten for the day. It isn't long before I find myself stopping at McDonald's instead of bringing my lunch . . . avoiding the treadmill and into a whole nasty cycle of unhealthy living again.

So I went to Weight Watchers this morning and found out I weigh exactly what I started out with on July 28th when I began this weight loss journey (this time). Ugghh!!! I'm exactly the same. Oh well, it's back to the drawing board as they say.

At the meeting today, our leader talked about the very thing that I'm fighting, she wanted us to identify why we want to lose weight. We need to make a concrete list of the reasons that are important to US. We're supposed to fight the self-sabotaging thoughts and impulse eating by making a list of what is important and reading it to ourselves every single day for the next seven days. I have made my list (I won't share the list, it's personal, but I'll let you know how this process works after I've tried it). Chrisitie suggests that there's something magical in writing down and proclaiming every day what is important to us and why that bigger reason should have much more power over us than the momentary food craving or bout of laziness that tries to slay our will to be healthy.

This is so true. I KNOW that my deeper sense of satisfaction is going to come from making different choices. From fudging less. From being real with myself and curbing the urges that derail me. I CAN be successful at this if I just plan ahead, moniter myself closely and perservere each day, by changing my head first. My body will follow. I don' have to be perfect, I just have to be honest with myself and stop lying to myself about how "it won't hurt to do this one X thing" - yes those little choices, over time, day in and day out, are what create the result that I'm seeing right now.

Change of subject, something more positive. As it gets cold, I'm more inclined to want soup rather than salad. Here's a healthy alternative I picked up from WW. I tried this recipe today that was given to us at the meeting, and it was delicious! I made it in my crockpot and left it in on low for a couple of hours. Delish and low points/it's also Core.

Taco Chili

1 lb lean ground hamburger (I used low fat ground turkey instead)
1 can of chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of red beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 package of taco seasoning
1 cup of frozen corn

That's it - brown the hamburger, put all the ingredients in a crock pot and warm it up on low for a couple of hours.

1 cup = 2 pts. and it's CORE if you're on the CORE plan.

Here's my plan for the week ahead. This week I'm doing Core for one week. I will write everything down. Just this week. I'll plan my meals in advance, drink my water, take my lunch, do my treadmill. Every day. For one week. I'll also read my list of bigger reasons to myself each and every day so I remember why I'm doing this. It's not about fitting into a size 5 jeans anymore - it's about feeling in control of myself, knowing that I can be healthier, more confident and feel better about myself if I eat healthy and excercise.


Marie said...

you have just exactly described my recent experience with WW ("who needs to count"). THe pounds really do not want to come off once you've past that 40th b-day...I find that Monday meetings are best, especially good for watching what you eat over the weekend.

good luck,
Marie in NJ

JessaLu said...

Size five? I want to fit back into my size twelve pants again. *sigh*

I turned 35 this year and have been hit square in the face with a slowing metabolism that I've been able to ignore up to this year which has resulted in a 10 lb weight gain in the past year - and that's with quasi-dieting. I guess I have to get my *ss on that elliptical more often...*sigh* again.

Good luck :o)

Catherine said...

Oh, I am so with you on this one. I've been doing great with exercise - 4-5 times a week at the gym all month, at least 2 miles on the treadmill or elliptical followed by weights, and increasing the time and effort on the weights, etc. I feel great but I have not lost a pound, and I know it's because I "eat healthy things" but too much of them. Portion control has always been my downfall, and the middle aged hormones work against you every inch (ounce?) of the way.

Thanks for that chili recipe, I'll have to try that soon!

Elysbeth said...

Portion control kicks my hiney. Until I stop, look at my closed fist, and remind myself that my ENTIRE stomach is only That Big.

With winter coming it's time to use the crock pot more. You'll eat better, get more savour from your spice, and the house smells lovely when you get home. Hit the library for the WW crockpot book, and the Light crockpot book, Not your Mother's Slow cooker uses more "real" foods and consequently less high fat, high calorie, high sodium recipes. There's even a "For Two" version that makes nice portioned sizes of recipes.

Good luck.

Lisa said...

Looks like this post resonates with lots of people, including me! I found your blog from your comment on my blog. I'm curious--how did you find me?
Thanks for commenting (I love getting comments!), and I'm sure you can find instructions for those crochet spirals. I have a book by Prudence Mapstone called "Never Too Many Handbags" that has great instructions, but it might be hard to find. You won't see it at Borders, Amazon, that sort of thing, but you may find it on line of at your LYS. Also, go to Prudence's website, and she sells her books there. I *love* her stuff!
PS I saw that you're in Missouri--St.Louis by any chance? My in-laws used to live there and we loved visiting. Good yarn stores!