Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the big post of weight loss plans

Well, I'm off to a good start, if being more conscious of my habits along with a few changes in habits can be considered so.


Ideally, my eating habits will be to:  drink more water, eat more fiber, gradually reduce eating throughout the day (more at breakfast, less at dinner), eat smaller snacks more frequently, eat less meat, eat *better* fats.  Able-Bodied Boyfriend and I find that eating more fiber results in fewer calories, more fresh fruits and vegetables, and more vegetarian meals, which has worked for both of us in the past.  I also would like these habits to become normal, and not a "special" thing that gets dropped for old "bad" habits once I've reached my goal; that just leads to the yo-yo effect.

Right now, I'm struggling to enjoy my morning oatmeal, and have avoided it without substituting with an acceptable level of fiber.  I gotta work on that.  My work snack/meals are also a bit stagnant and lacking in fiber, so I need to start mixing it up.  I think most of that has been the fact that this is only the second "normal" post-holiday week and I'm still getting up and running.

However, there are challenges.  Primarily, Able-Bodied Boyfriend.  His dieting habits trend a bit differently than mine, so we have to reach compromises and I'll make some adjustments.  Another twist to this is his frequent travel, which does leave me part of the time of my own will.  Mixed blessing, as I have a tough time transitioning routines when he's away.

Ideally, my exercise habits will trend up through the year, too.  I would like to attend at least one evening yoga class per week, and at least one session of pilates.  I would like to have a pre-work aerobic workout every morning.  I would also like to get some sort of targeted strength training eventually.  And as the seasons warm, getting out on the bike on the weekends will definitely be a regular thing, as well as getting back out on my bike in the mornings for my aerobics, or maybe trying my hand (feet?) at jogging again.

Right now, I'm heading to a yoga studio twice a week for yoga or pilates; I'm not overly impressed with their pilates, but I'm giving it another few weeks of chances.  Since it's too cold for my fragile self to do outdoor exercising, I have Dance Dance Revolution 3 on the Wii, and I get in about 170 calories worth of dancing before work.  Very fun :)

Challenges to working out.
  • The yoga studio is 25min away from home, 25min away from work, with 45min between work and home.  So for my usual Wednesday night yoga class, I have to find something to do for a couple hours between work and yoga because going home is just a waste of gas and time.  And the between time can't be a waste of money by shopping or eating out.  I think I have some good things in place to deal with that, just have to maintain the habits.
  • If I'm not going to attend the yoga studio's pilates classes, I do know enough to do a workout on my own; I just lack the self-motivation to actually do a full workout by myself.  Gotta work on that.
  • I have Wii Fit, but it just annoys me; a friend offered to let me try Wii Active, so I might find it to be a good purchase later on down the road.  It might provide the strength training I'm looking for, maybe even pilates?
  • As for the possibility of using a gym, I have two concerns: money and time/logistics.  I tend to prefer working out in the morning, at home, so I can get showered/changed/fed before heading to work.  Not a huge fan of using gym facilities to prepare for work, but work clothes tend to be casual and I will consider a gym membership later in the year if the need is warranted and everything else falls into place.  Again, there aren't too many that are local to home, but probably a few near work so I can consider those too.
  • We have an elliptical machine in the bedroom; if any of you have ever kept workout equipment in your bedroom before, you can probably envision the massive amounts of clothing and shoes that have collected on and around it that make it ("it" being a substitute piece of furniture) a big pain to use.  However, we have a TV/DVD player upstairs so I am quite at home hopping on the elliptical for some time while zoned out with some movie or show.  Able-Bodied Boyfriend's work schedule is such that I wake up to work out before him during three seasons of the year, but in the summer he's up before me.  So, the elliptical tends to be my summer rainy-day morning workout, but can really only be used evenings/weekends any other time of year.
  • And speaking of his schedule, that whole travel thing, again, gets me all out of whack.  I have trouble maintaining routines when he's away, so I might have to post more often so that my readership can act as surrogate encourager/challenger/accountability officer.
  • Last major challenge to various avenues of working out: I have pigment dispersion syndrome.  This means that I have cells in my eye that float around and get all worked up when I do anything high impact.  If I do too much high-impact exercise, they can float back into my eye and cause glaucoma (ie, blindness).  So.... as much as I would love to join all my friends/family who run and do 5ks and 10ks and triathlons... sorry.  I can handle a bit of jogging, but I'd rather not go blind.  For anyone who does run/jog/other high-impact sports, especially men between 20 and 40 years of age, I highly recommend making sure you go to your annual eye exams just to make sure you know you don't have it.  The onset for glaucoma is pretty quick, so you might not know until it's too late.  According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, 30% of those with the syndrome develop glaucoma.

Challenges are just things to get through.  What sorts of challenges have you encountered in weight-loss plans?  What creative ways have you solved them?


Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl




  1. I like that you're keeping things light, and not putting too much pressure on yourself. I do think, though, that you should adjust your food-related goals to be more measurable. If you just say "add more fiber" and "eat less" how will you know when you've accomplished these goals?

  2. Carlie, you're making a really solid start here and I am proud of you. Lots of thoughts for you. I hope they make sense :)

    1. When you lower you meat intake, make sure that doesn't also mean you are eating less protein. Supplement with more beans (which also have lots of fiber), lentils, and tofu. Greek Yogurt is also a really great source of non-meat protein. I use it instead of mayo in tuna salad.

    2. Fiber is tough, especially in the winter when fresh fruits and veggies are harder to come by. If you don't mine the pre-packaged nature of them, Fiber One has a number of really tasty products with lots of additional fiber in them. I especially like their granola bars and they have some muffins in the freezer section. Another breakfast I like is a greek yogurt smoothie with frozen fruit to boost the fiber. You can also add some flax seed to help.

    3. Are you planning to keep a food diary? I don't do it always, but I do it periodically to help remind me what I'm putting in my body. There are lots of good, free, online ones that calculate calories, nutrition, etc. automatically for you.

    4. Think of your new habits as a lifestyle rather than a diet. That might help them stick once you reach your goal.

    5. Rob and I also have different takes on the whole dieting habits thing, but we have found ways to make it work for both of us. Like you said, it's about communicating and compromising a little on each side. But trust me, if you eat better, he will eat better, too.

    6. ABB's travel is a known entity, so let's work on strategies to help you deal with it in advance. I think reaching out to the blogosphere is a good start, but I also think you should make a list of go-to to-dos that you stick up on your wall or something that will stare at you in the face when you start to get into a funk. I know you like to check things off of lists :)

    7. I have more than one Wii game you can borrow, though DDR is a pretty good option, too :) When you are ready for the targeted stuff, Wii Active is a good place to start. I also have a couple of Yoga (and maybe even pilates) DVDs that you are welcome to.

    8. Regarding your callenges (and I am not trying to belittle them by saying this next thing... I completely understand challenges) - I spent most of last year regarding my challenges as excuses, and once I looked at them like that, I started trying to find ways to eliminate the excuses. No more excuses was my mantra for the better portion of last year. For example, when can we get together for me to give you that Wii Active? :) And if the elliptical being in the bedroom keeps you from using it 3/4 of the year, move it to a different room.

    9. I know that running isn't for you. But the elliptical is a good choice, the biking is a great choice, and the DDR and other Wii games are also good choices. I started doing the races because of the motivation they provide me to keep exercising, not because of any great love of running. (I have no great love of running... I'm just barely to the point of not hating it, actually...) If you need that kind of motivation, too, sign up for a bike race instead of a running race. I love the sense of accomplishment I get by doing something that most people don't. I like having the goal approaching. And I like the shiny medals :) But that's me. You have to do what's going to motivate you. What are your "whys?"

    You are right about challenges just being things to get through. I have started tackling them one at a time. I was getting overwhelmed trying to tackle them all at once. So pick a challenge and work on eliminating it. When that one is gone, pick another. The journey is a long one, Carlie, and it's ok to start it with baby steps.

    Anyway, I think I've said enough for now, but any time you want to bounce ideas around, you know where to find me :)

  3. FYI - Oatmeal is more enjoyable with a tablespoon of honey or a cut up banana... or both.