22 June 2011

Down with the Pants... er... wait...

I know I haven’t written in a while. Hopefully I can start posting with some regularity soon. I will say that my hectic life offline is going very well and I’m extremely happy. Lots of love to everyone!! 
Summer has started. If you live near me, summer started sometime at the end of April. Last month I decided to boycott pants because of the high humidity and very hot weather. To me summer is BBQs with friends, lazy summer nights by camp fires watching the stars, fresh food at the farmer’s market, more quality time with my son, planned (learning) vacations. It’s actually one of my favorite times of year because of how lazy and easy going it is even if the rest of my life is not like that. But summer also means it’s bathing suit season.

Maybe you’re like me; I really don’t care about how I look in a bathing suit anymore. I’m more concerned that it covers the right areas it’s supposed to, rather than looking cute/sexy/whatever it is you’re supposed to look like in a bathing suit. As I’ve lost weight over the years I’ve noticed bathing suits getting baggy. That’s definitely something you don’t want!! Playing in a pool with kids is not the time to become a flasher. Save it for the rock concerts, people!

For some reason the summer is when I like to off load the extra weight I’ve been carrying. Probably something biological there, but I'm not going to look too into it. I will continue to think the skimpier clothing choices spur my motivation. I’m going to give you some tips that I’ve used in the past. Maybe this will help someone else.

Keep a Food Journal
I can hear you audibly groaning. Yes, I hate doing it too!!! I did it in the beginning when I first started losing weight. It wasn’t to police myself or to beat myself up though; it was to count carbs to see where I was for the day. I would weigh myself daily (not something I recommend) and put the weight loss for the day next to the food. Now, I can look back and see what I ate for the first month if I want to lose weight again like that. If I had not kept a food journal I wouldn’t have had a way to look back and find the hidden carbs and where I was unwittingly doing some self-sabotage. Even now I keep a list of ideas for meals that we’ve had that have been successful. That’s what my journal has morphed into over the years.

Read the book / find the meals
Consider it part of your summer book club reading. Pick the book you want to follow. When I decided to lose weight I read the book (Atkins’ New Diet Revolution). I loved it because Dr. Atkins talked about all the foods you could eat on the diet. Here’s a sample:

sauteed portobello mushrooms in garlic and butter sauce, beef shish kabobs with multicolored peppers and summer squash, scrambled eggs and bacon, lobster in drawn butter, juicy steak, avocados, vegetables with blue cheese...

One of the reasons people hate diets is because they believe it has to do with starvation and bland meals rather than lavishness and treating yourself well (i.e. love and respect!!). So what I did was write down all the foods I loved to eat but couldn’t have when I was eating low-fat. I did plan some meals, but for the times I didn’t I made sure I was surrounded by choices that felt so decadent that I couldn’t believe I was “dieting”!! Now this is the way I live. Eventually it will be the same for you. In the beginning since it’s going to take some effort anyway so at least make it worth your while. Some of the meals Dr. Atkins’ described, I ate. I didn’t want to equate this way of living to pain, suffering, and misery.  I knew I was going to be doing this for a lifetime so it better be something I love. I know I can’t always afford the extremely decadent meals. My daily meals are better tasting than they were before. And I figure if you’re going to treat yourself to something, might as well be full fat and delicious!

I really did want to be that girl that eats anything and still looks fabulous – without a lot of guilt, reinforced undergarments, or excessive exercise!! I have achieved that. The foods I don’t eat I don’t miss because their side effects were too painful. Therefore I don’t want them anymore. What I do want is the food that makes me feel good. Picking your favorites from what is offered is a great start. I eat lots of full fat, red meat while other girls are nibbling on bland chicken. Yes, I’ll have some of that very fatty cheese. I call dibs on the deviled eggs! Yes, please pass me the macadamia nuts! Oh? There’s bacon! Why didn’t you say so?! I’d love to have some more of that. That's been cooked in raw butter? Coconut oil? Lard? And it’s gluten free? I’ll take it. No, don’t bother. Just hand the whole plate over. Did someone say pate? Yes, I might sound gluttonous. I never hide the fact that I do like food. I will throw down like a starved teenage boy some days. But I can only eat as much as my stomach will allow in one sitting. Those foods are entirely too filling for me to eat hefty amounts around the clock. And really – feeling full and not obsessing over food is the best feeling in the world!! You can go to the pool full and leave feeling satiated. You can spend time with your family. It is not fun to be planning your next meal while you should be paying attention to your kid.

Enjoy the summer
I’m not going to tell anyone to exercise. That just seems so hypocritical of me – I barely exercise. (Much less than the 1 hour a day “they” tell you to anyway). But I do think being out in the sun helps – get free vitamin D. Relaxing will lower your stress and help combat the inflammation in your body. I know it also helps me sleep better when I do it. So, if you go to the pool lay out. Don’t burn. I don’t bother with the sunscreen. But I’ve never been one to follow other people’s rules. Eating lower carb will help you stay looking younger, so I don’t even worry about wrinkles caused by the sun. (I hypothesize that worrying causes wrinkles… and who wants their face to freeze like that?!) Enjoy yourself. Find something that is summer related that you love and have fun with it.

So, those are my three tips. I figure that’s a pretty manageable list for the summer. Did I miss your favorite tip? If so please leave it in the comments below.

Until next time!

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