Friday, September 17, 2010

Habits

More than one person in the past 24 hours has said to me: "You know, it takes 2 weeks to create a habit. You are well on your way." That doesn't really sound like a lot of time to me, but for the sake of building myself up, I will embrace my new habits.

Friends have been asking, so what are you eating? or maybe a better question, what aren't you eating? I will outline my daily intake further down this post. I did consider Weight Watchers. In law school, I did an online diet, I think it was EDiets. I have read Dr. Oz's book, "You on a Diet", and I have watched numerous other shows about how to lose weight.

The bare naked truth is, if you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Now, there are numerous ways to do this. You can eat all sorts of wacky stuff. You can drink shakes. You can take pills. You can be seduced by sugar free, fat free, splenda, low carb, whole wheat, whole grain, less this, less that. Or you can just try to eat less.

I knew stupidity wasn't my problem. I know better, I've just been grossly negligent when it comes to my own health. After contemplating joining Weight Watchers, and looking at some online programs, I realized - if this is REALLY going to work, I've got to do it my way. I've got to be able to get thru the day and consume less calories.

So that is what I am doing. In the past 3 weeks, my food intake has looked like this:

1-2 cups of coffee / coffeemate / sugar (that is my splurge)
3/4 c. Kashi cereal(or 1 c., depending on Kashi type and serving size) w/ skim milk and/or berries

1 Healthy Choice Steamer Meal / These range in calories from 170 - 320. They taste good. They are portion control. They give you no options and no way to fail.

If it is a 220 cal or less meal, I will have a Yoplait 100 cal yogurt or 90 calorie Granola bar. (What your labels people - granola bars can be full of calories!)

Dinner. This is where it gets hard. I cook for Erik & the girls. My default meal is usually a protein, a starch and a veg. Some examples:
Last night it was a soy/citrus marinated pork chop, some Indian inspired basmati rice from Target and peas.
The night before I did a basic whole wheat pasta with tomato/basil sauce w/ ground beef.
We've done veggie pizza. Turkey parmesean calzones. Tacos. Any number of normal family friendly foods.

With my dinner, my only goal is to watch my portions, particularly the starch. Rice, potatoes, bread can add calories quickly. I keep my protein portion to the size of the palm of my hand. And I load up on veggies. I figure I am ranging between 500 cal - 750 cals a night for dinner.

Oh, and the only thing I drink is water.

Sum total: 1200 - 1400 calories per day. Part of doing this requires you to figure out how many calories you have to eat to lose weight. There are a variety of calculators out there. I've found this site particularly helpful:

http://caloriecount.about.com/

The second habit I have created is excercise. I think, if you want to lose weight, you've got to figure out a way to excercise. This is, in many ways, harder than watching what you eat. You've got to get excercise clothes. Shoes. You've got to change into them. You got to find an activity that you can do. You get sweaty. You feel lethargic. Huge. Less than fab.

I've been doing it 30 minutes every day. We've got a Wii. And I am doing Wii Fit. It is fun. It is silly. It works my body and my mind. I get sweaty. I get revived. I get more energy. And I get on it again the next day.

It has the added bonus of tracking your goals for you if you want.

At some point, I realize that the Wii might not cut it. But for now, this is working. I may want to join a gym at some point. But best to create habits before I go spending a bunch of money. I've learned before, spending money doesn't get you skinnier. It just gets you poor.

Whoops. I've been at this too long. More for another day.

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