Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Driven by The Numbers
A few of you have asked about my recent weight loss, so here's the story. I have made some dietary changes but not really with the intention of losing weight. I was pretty fine with where I'd landed. However my health wasn't optimal. My LDL numbers were too high and I do not want to go on meds, so I decided to make some changes to see if I could pull the numbers down.
I've been eating low-carb for the better part of ten years and I still think that getting off processed, high-carb, baked goods, frankenfood, sugary crap is the way to go. I could write volumes about what it has done for me. That being said, as a lover all things marbled and cheesy, my diet was too high in saturated fats and probably too low in fiber. So it was time to make some adjustments. It is also important to note that I am a volume eater, hence the big ass salad at lunch, the big ass omelet at breakfast and lots and lots of roasted vegetables. It's more important to me that I can eat 100 calories worth of roasted broccoli than 100 calories of brie, as an example. I remember something Diane wrote about a while back about "add ins". "Wouldn't this be better if I just "added" this or that?" Yes, it would be, but pretty soon I'd added too much crumbled bacon, too much Gorgonzola, too much whatever. So I scaled back to basics.
None of this is rocket science. When the scale started dropping (and I wasn't hungry) I began to chart and track and of course, this is a matter of calories. It always is. There are no magic shortcuts. And while I don't do well on calorie-restrictions, my goal here is to cut back on saturated fat and boost my fiber - the calorie reduction is just a bonus. I am unwilling to be hungry.
Those are the dietary changes - now for the lifestyle changes. More sleep. I'm not getting up extra early. I'm not working out in the morning. I'm trying to get as much sleep as I possibly can. My alarm is set for 6:30 and I need to leave for the bus at 7:40. That's cutting it about as close as I can. I rarely, if ever, sleep until 6:30 - more like 5:20. But when my alarm was scheduled to go off at 5:00 am, I was routinely waking up around 3:45. This is so much better.
And there is another factor at play - working a program of recovery - mind and body - to the best of my ability. I'd been partnered with an alcoholic who recently began his own program of recovery. It seemed pretty damned hypocritical of me to sit around "knowing" how his recovery should look, when I hadn't been willing to devote myself to mine. This is not a competition - this is about me keeping my side of the street clean. Stepping away from the cheese can't be as difficult as it is to step away from the bottle.
So here are the highlights:
1. Gave up morning coffee punch most mornings
2. Substitute Eggbeaters Omelet chockful of vegetables for eggs most days
3. Have become a pescatarian, most days
4. Olive oil is the fat of choice
5. Olive oil is the salad dressing of choice
6. Fage and Fruit – best thing ever
7. Big Ass Spinach salads for lunch
8. Only eating hard cheeses
9. Testing out steel cut oats as a breakfast option a couple of times a week
10. Lots and lots of roasted vegetables
11. More Superfoods – salmon, spinach, blueberries, flax
12. Lots more sleep
13. Season with herbs and spices, not salt
So there it is. No one is more surprised than me. Oh, and the level of exercise has remained about the same. I'm getting daily exercise, mostly of the walking variety.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make Adjustments.