Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My Food Plan

It's time to commit to some changes. In the next 4-6 weeks I want to consistently have my body weight at 127-8lbs, and my body fat to stay around 17-18%. I'm currently averaging 128-131lbs w/18-19.8% BF. This may seem like not a big deal, but as someone that has "food issues" I know that the key to long term success is establishing habits that become second nature....habits that are "a way of life".

For the most part I've got the "food" thing down, for the most part. But here's what's working and what not working;

Working / Not Working

food journaling / not enough detail
calorie counting / eating too may calories
making and preparing food / the types of food
meal times / wrong times
cheat day / not controlled
portions of food / still too big

Food journaling. It's time to buy a bigger journal. Currently my hard copy journal is a small date book (9"x5") that just doesn't have enough room to list meal times and more importantly, at this point, room to start writing down my mood, feelings, and thoughts. Today I will purchase a larger book, one that can accomodate my new needs. Easy.

Calorie counting. I'm still one to try and "fudge" the numbers. No can do. Most of the time I over estimate, but every once in a while I fall into "wishful thinking". Part of the problem is that I'm so used to trying to eat as little as possible that I don't eat enough, and then I get famished (mentally), and then I overeat. When I started my weight loss, I would shoot for 1200 cal./per day and usually end up aroun 1400-1500. Now I shoot for 1500 and end up around 17-1800. I need to plan and shoot for what I need, period. I can't let myself get hungry. With my workout schedule I need 17-1900 cal., I need to accept it, plan for it and do it. I need to keep a "running total" as I go along my day.

Making and preparing my own food. Part of my problem at this time of the year is seasonal food. The summer fruit is coming in full force, and it's difficult to resist. Melon, cherries, grapes, strawberries, apricots, although low in calories, when I eat 2 lbs worth, the calories add up! Also, I need to work on my anxiety about "missing out", or the feeling of never again getting a chance to eat all of that good food, my "take advantage now" attitude, my new food journal will help with that.

Because of my food journal I know lately I haven't been drinking enough water, especially during this hot weather. I suspect I'm eating too many carrots (something that I just started doing w/PNB, about 3 lg), it seems to be affecting my, how can I put this delicately, elimination. Carrots are high in natural sugar, and although a vegetable with alot of fiber, not alot of water content. Combined with not enough water already, not a good thing.

Meal times. I like to eat all of my daily food within 5-7 hours. I haven't been good at sticking to those parameters. I try and not eat until late in the morning, sometimes not until 12:30 - 1:30 pm. That's not working. Because of my training I'm getting hungrier earlier and I need to just accept the fact that I need to eat. So I'll try starting earlier and stopping earlier. 9:30-10:30, until 3:30-4:30. 3:30-4:30 may seem really early to most people, but I've already established the habit of not eating after 6:00pm, an hour or 2 earlier isn't going to kill me. I'm willing to try and see if this helps.

Cheat Day. This is my biggest challenge. This one is huge., and I do mean that literally. Every Saturday I truly feel as if I have a chance of contolling this, but something comes over me and I totally lose control. I could try and add in 300-400 calories daily of some sort of dessert, that's scary, but I'm leaning towards giving it a try, maybe every other day I'll alternate my yogurt meal with an ice cream meal. Somehow I forgot about "hour to devour", that was good and kind of worked, I'll at least go back to that if I need to. Having a problem with bingeing is no joke. The ultimate goal is to be "normal". And that means not bingeing, not bingeing on "bad foods" as well as "good foods" which brings me to my next subject....

Portion control. Hi, my name is Tracy, and I'm a compulsive overeater. I've been lucky enough to devise a way to overeat and lose weight......vegetables. But overeating is still overeating. I've been talking a while about wanting to decrease the size of my portions, so my plan is to increase my protein and fats. My salads will have more meat and fattier dressings, less veggies (instead of 16oz, maybe 12oz.), my soups, well, it's hard to get fat in soups, I guess I could add cream or just plain olive oil, but I would rather not, so I'll increase my fats at other meals. I'm digging my PNB and I seem to be able to control that, but the carrots have to go, I'll replace with celery and/or other veggies.

Daily plan / short term plan

Keep a "running total" of calories
Eat enough, but not too much, be honest
Start eating earlier
Increase fats and protein, smaller portions
Recognize and change things that don't work

More details will be journaled in the next few weeks.


Christine said...

Your comment about 'missing out' really hit home for me. I'd never thought of it in those terms, but I think subconsciously, it's my rationalization for binge eating. I'm still working on being satisfied with a small portion of dessert, I know logically my tastebuds are happy with just a little, but my brain always wants more. It's an ongoing struggle.

SWM (Stephen) said...

I understand what you are going through. While I am usually okay with the day to day stuff, it is the cheat day that kills me.

I want Ben & Jerry's ice-cream - not just one scoop, but the whole damn tub. My cheat days kill me, I am not sure how to get rid of that though. Maybe if I had a cheat hour as you suggested before.. I dunno. Maybe a mini treat every two days or something.

Binge eating is something that I will have to come to terms with and accept. I am a binge eater.

Well I am now down to 68lbs lost, even though I fell off the wagon last week a bit and I completed my first 6mile run so I am still doing good. But I fear no matter what achievements I make physically that my mental state with food will always pull me down. But, like you, I will have to deal with it as it gonna go away.

Keep going Tracy, you should be so proud of yourself.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Christine, There are alot of "feelings" we have around food, and just because we have them dosn't mean there true!

Reminding myself of the truth will be part of controlling bingeing. Hopefully!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Stephen, I feel you brother!

Like I said "hour to devour" did work for me to a certain extent, even if it I pratice it every other week, it's a start.

The mini treat....funny that we think of a "normal size" dessert as "mini", lol.

I just finished a book called "Binge No More", it's great, I forgot the author right now, but I think I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago...a "must read".

I used to be afraid to say that I'll overcome this food thing. but damn it, I'm going to overcome this food thing! We can, I know we can.

Congrats on your run....and 68lbs!! Look around you at all the people that overweight and out of shape, what we've done is a huge accomplishment, we are moving forward, feeling good and having a better quality of life. How many people can say that?? You should be proud too!

LK said...

very good post.
try to turn off the music when you speak in your videos ;-)

Tracy Reifkind said...

lk, I told Mark to turn the music down, but he said it was OK!

Anyway, I just started talking more in the videos, so I'm still "working it out" Thanks for the comment.

Renee said...

My WAY overused motivation phrase that is posted on my fridge, mirrors, and even in my car is: "The pain of discipline is far better than the pain of regret." For me, its just a matter of thinking about this before taking (or not taking) action on anything- especially eating and working out. The satisfaction of knowing I exercised discipline feels so much better than any food satisfaction that I have ever felt. I just need to be frequently reminded of this in hopes that I will sooner or later automatically think this before I eat, speak, or decide anything- every time.

Kori Bliffert, NASM-CPT said...

Tracy I completely understand about the portion control. I still have to remind myself that even though I am able to eat as much as BJ or more, doesn't mean I should. But sometimes it is just too good!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Renee, Hmmnn...Although true, it's a hard one to remember!

I think the last point you made in your comment, however, is right on. The key to making changes in actons and behaviors is to consistently make the new choices until they become habits, regardless if that means choosing to think, or act,(do), differently. And then it becomes "second nature".

Tracy Reifkind said...

Kori, So far out of maybe 8 meals, three have been smaller than usual, but my daily calories the same.

But I do feel as if it's an important step in this process for me at this time.