Challenge Recap and Looking Ahead

My 6 in 6 challenge is over. Total weight loss after 5 weeks: 6.4 lbs. (Honestly, I didn’t get a chance to weight myself after the final week because my scale is at work, and I have several vacay days off. 😉 But I met my goal! ) At the end of a challenge there all always mixed emotions. On one side, I’m thrilled that I did what I set out to do. On the other hand, my brain is still in challenge mode and wants to know what’s next. That will have to take a little thought.

I hope you were able to gain some encouragement and motivation from my journey and hope that maybe you joined in as well. Maybe this will inspire you to start your own challenge (maybe with the help of a dietitian?)…? You may be thinking that you have more than 6 pounds to lose. The task seems daunting. But challenges like my 6 in 6, or a 30 day, or 60 day, can help break that weight loss into smaller chunks that are more reasonable to think about and easier to achieve.

Hopefully, this will be good motivator for you to pick your own challenge and start in the New Year. I’m excited for what 2013 will bring and the many changes that we go through as people as each day passes. I need to do some thinking about New Year’s resolutions and  reflections on 2012. I plan to do that in the next few days and share my goals with you for the start of the New Year.

I hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright 🙂

Candied pecans!

Homemade candied pecans!

Me and the hubs ready for Doles family Christmas

Me and the hubs ready for Doles family Christmas

Homemade caramel corn

Homemade caramel corn

Sadie in dog toy bliss

Sadie in dog toy bliss

Learning through the Journey

Going through this experience has given me a much better understanding of what my weight loss clients must deal with on a daily basis. To be perfectly honest, this is the first time that I have purposefully set out to lose weight. The best method is prevention. That is what I strive for… I stay active and eat well. But weight gain doesn’t usually happen quickly. Americans gain an average of 1-2# a year during the holidays (just the holidays). 1-2# doesn’t seem like a big deal until 10 years later and you’re”suddenly” 20#’s overweight. This challenge as well as working with a dietitian regularly will help you lose those extra pounds that you’ve gained over the years… AND help you develop great habits that will PREVENT further weight gain.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “pearls” of wisdom I can take from this journey. With only 1.5 weeks left, I’ve now had plenty of time to reflect on the challenges and victories that come with trying to lose weight. This is surely an ever-growing list, but I think this is a good start.

1. Weight loss takes dedication and discipline.

  • It is NOT easy to break bad habits AND make new ones at the same time. If anyone tells you differently, they are lying.

2. I will be hungry if I don’t eat the right foods.

3. I will be hungry if I don’t eat often enough.

  • See a theme in 2 and 3? Yes, eating less calories than you are burning can lead to hunger. The trick is to eat by day and fast by night. Plan 3 meals and 2 snacks to get through the day, and then stop eating after dinner (or 2 hours before bed). And choose satisfying snacks!

4. Vegetables ARE actually filling while not taking up that many calories.

5. Food tracking becomes easier as it becomes habit.

  • It’s tough to start, but it is such a great tool to facilitate weight loss.

6. Food tracking is easier if I put the food in right before I eat or right after.

7. Meal planning is essential to staying within my calorie budget and not depriving myself.

  • Tip: take one day of the week to plan at least 5 dinners, and make your grocery list. Leave yourself a back-up plan if a night doesn’t work out how you planned (e.g. have sub stuff on hand for a quick meal).

8. Eating out makes sticking to my calorie plan extremely difficult and even harder when eating healthily at the same time.

  • Tip: PLAN AHEAD. If you know you are going out to eat, check out the nutrition facts from the restaurant ahead of time and choose options that will fit into your meal plan.

9. Thinking about food all day can lead to “false hunger.”

  • Let me explain this. Planning my meals and snacks and accounting for every calorie can be overwhelming. It can start to consume your time to where all you can think about is the next time you eat. This is false hunger. You think you’re hungry, but your food diary says that you’ve had enough. This is tough for me. I’m thinking about my next meals not to mention that my job is centered around food. The best way I have learned to overcome this obstacle is to distract myself. After writing this article I’m heading straight out to take the dog for a walk. At work when I’m thinking about eating but know that I don’t need to, I walk around the store, go chat with a friend, find a new project to start working on, chew gum, etc. Whatever it takes to distract yourself, do it. I recommend physical activity for sure!

10. Lastly… Reward yourself!

  • Not with food. Losing weight? Excellent. Don’t sabotage yourself with a food reward or night out. Plan a massage or pedicure for the end of the challenge. Buy yourself a new outfit. Purchase new workout songs on Itunes. This is the fun part!

I hope these thoughts encourage you. I hope they help you see that you’re not alone. Most people experience the same challenges. The key is finding your perfect solution to get through the obstacles.

Stay with it. We’re almost there!

(love this logo from a government site in utah)

(love this logo from a government site in utah)

6 in 6 Challenge: Week 3 Plan

Almost half way there… 2 weeks in! My weigh-in date is tomorrow for week 2, but I was down 2.4# in the first week. Understanding that I chose to increase my calories by 200-300 for a couple days over Thanksgiving, I am hoping to be down .5-1# more from this past week. How are you doing?

This weight loss is by moving more and eating less. That’s it. No crazy diet, no elimination of any particular foods, no low carb days… just eating right and exercising.

Here’s my plan for week 3:

11-25

The way to prevent holiday weight gain is to eat like it’s the holidays for 1 or 2 days and then get back to your normal routine instead of over- indulging and snacking for the whole time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So get back to it! It’s a new day and new week. Keep it up!

And for now… the Browns are winning! Go Browns!

6 in 6 Challenge: Week 2 Plan

One of the best pieces of advice I can give you to help you stay on track when trying to lose weight is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.

1. Make your list of meals and snacks for the week + a couple backup ideas.

2. Do your shopping, and stick to the list.

3. Prep ahead of time. (I will be cutting veggies and making snack baggies for the week)

The week is already off to a fantastic start with a FUN 5k with my brother and sis-in-law. I watched how much of the post-race snacks I ate and put it right into myfitnesspal. (Have you set up your profile yet?!)

Thanks, Mark, for pushing me to go faster 🙂

Here’s my plan for the rest of this week:

Week 2 Plan

“Surviving the Holidays” Tips coming soon!

Have you made your plan for the week yet?

6 in 6 Challenge: Week 1

So if you missed the initial challenge, go HERE. I’m a little late getting you the challenge info this week. I actually started on Monday, but a couple late nights with unexpected events have pushed back my posting. But… there is no time like the present!!

Week 1 so far + plan for rest of the week

(wordpress keeps deleting my screen shots of my food diary… so I will have to give you a sneak peek when I can figure out how to make it stay)

Monday:

  • Breakfast: oatmeal with 1 tsp. honey, 1 egg + 1 egg white, banana
  • Lunch: salad (mixed greens + veggies + croutons + 2 tbl. bolthouse dressing)
  • Dinner: Panera (late night out)- YP2 greek salad, veggie soup no pesto, WG baguette
  • Snacks: chocolate, crunchmaster crackers, light string cheese, WW fudge bar
  • total cals: 1520

multi-tasking in the morning! breakfast, packing lunch, and list making

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: oatmeal with pb and dried cherries
  • Lunch: salad (mixed greens + veggies + croutons + 2 tbl. bolthouse dressing), luna burger
  • Dinner: Panera (unexpected trip to urgent care instead of cooking)- YP2 greek salad, turkey sandwich on WG bread, small apple
  • Snacks: crackers, grapes, dark chocolate, homemade cupcake
  • total cals: 1472

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: oatmeal with pb and banana
  • Lunch: same as tuesday
  • Dinner: Smoky Maple Mustard Salmon (click for recipe and nutrition facts! DELICIOUS!), boiled red skin potatoes, steamed broccoli, steamed green beans
  • Snacks: grapes, light string cheese, pomegranate seeds, cupcake with milk
  • Total cals: 1420

delicious dinner!! only about 300 calories!

Thursday/Friday/Saturday:

planning similar breakfasts and lunches. Thursday dinner- (another late night for me) subs; Friday dinner- vegetable soup with WG bread; Saturday dinner- pork loin (crockpot) w/ sweet potatoes and salad

Workouts:

Monday: spartacus (crossfit-like- more on this later), 3 mile run, 1.5 mile dog walk

Tuesday: tabata- situps and pushups, abs and core, 20 mins elliptical, 1.5 mile dog walk

Wednesday: spartacus, 1.5 mile dog walk

Thursday: abs and core, arms, run 4, 1.5 mile dog walk

Friday: spartacus, run 3, 1.5 mile dog walk

Saturday: off, 1.5 mile dog walk

Sunday: 5k race, 1.5 mile dog walk

What’s your plan for the rest of the week??

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