Tag Archives: My Fitness Pal

Keeping It Going Over a Year Later….

16 months and 106.5 later, my gastric sleeve journey continues here at Down the Scale. To keep me motivated, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the positive habits I have made. I think it helps to remind myself of all the things that go into keeping myself healthy and happy as I continue to strive to lose weight.

For me, the most important change I made was to eat smaller portions of healthier food. My smaller stomach helps with this, but I still need to think about what I eat and how much of it I eat. I prioritize my food by protein first and then vegetables. I eat fruit as a snack or part of my breakfast occasionally. I rarely eat carbohydrates as they fill my stomach very quickly. I haven’t cut them out completely, but when I do indulge, it’s usually only one piece of bread or a small portion of rice or pasta.

Now, I must admit I still indulge in less healthy food from time to time. I still drink alcohol, but only one or two glasses. I do splurge at parties with a small piece of cake. The difference now is the amount and frequency I eat higher calorie and sugary food. It’s supposed to be a treat for a reason and now I finally “get it.”

I also have finally learned that I need to cut some foods out completely. Really, I wasn’t eating trail mix for the nuts…who does? And Chex Mix is banned from my home. I never once measured out either food like I said I would when I bought them.

There are times I do need to measure my food and track it. When my weight loss stalls I find that recording my food intake helps. Using the app My Fitness Pal is an easy way to keep an eye on my eating habits. I only have to do it for a few days to get back on track.

A year does make a difference!  On the left is last year's visit to the pumpkin patch 4 months after my surgery.  On the right is this year's photo.  I'm looking forward to comparing these to next year's photo!

A year does make a difference! On the left is last year’s visit to the pumpkin patch four months after my surgery. On the right is this year’s photo. I’m looking forward to comparing these to next year’s photo!

I also use My Fitness Pal to record my weight. I “officially” weigh-in once a week. Making my weight only count once a week keeps me from focusing solely on the numbers in my weight loss journey. While I would still like to lose seven pounds, I prefer to concentrate on maintaining my current weight loss. To do this, I have a “weight window.” It’s a five-pound range I want to stay in. This keeps me aware of my weight, but allows for those weeks where I indulge a bit. If I go above the window, I start tracking my food immediately.

If I go below the window for a month I know it’s time to adjust the window. I just changed it a month after my hernia repair and tummy tuck surgery since I lost about nine pounds. Some of that loss was from the excess skin removal and lack of eating after surgery. Now that I’m a month out and I’m maintaining a new weight, I adjusted the window to keep myself on track and motivated.

Exercising is a big key to maintaining much of my weight loss. And when I say exercise I don’t necessarily mean exercise in the sense of a dedicated activity for a set of amount of time. I do think that kind of exercise is important and I’m looking forward to running once again. And I do know that I must start weight lifting to tone my body. But I think it’s the everyday physical activity that is essential to my healthy lifestyle. Walking as much as I can is extremely important to me. I could tell how much both physically and mentally I missed walking during my surgery recovery. Now that I’m back to walking my kids to school, I am happier. Adding more activities to my week keeps me healthy physically and mentally.

16 months of concentrated weight loss has been daunting at times. I find when I get frustrated, bored or depressed, I need to go back to the basics:

*Eating better

*Tracking my food

*Getting on the scale only once a week to see if I’m in my weight window

*Adding more exercise, either structured or relaxed

And last, but not least, I remind myself how far I’ve come in my journey…106.5 pounds gone for good! Feeling healthy and happy really are the best reminders of how important taking care of myself is for me and my family. I’m thrilled to still be going Down the Scale…

Time to Celebrate

Week 11 of my Down the Scale journey is here and I’ve decided it’s time to celebrate the positive aspects of my weight loss!

My running shoes and Garmin watch are out of temporary retirement!  Looking forward to doing my 2nd 5K (with a better time!) this year!

My running shoes and Garmin watch are out of temporary retirement! Looking forward to doing my 2nd 5K (with a better time!) this year!

First, I’ve lost 45.5 pounds! Losing 5.5 pounds this week was a surprise, especially since  I had a few days where I ate more than normal. No matter what I eat, even if it’s more than usual, I track it in MyFitnessPal. It is keeping me accountable for my food intake and does make me think about my choices. It seems a bit silly, but seeing what I eat in black and white really does help me make better decisions and think about why I’m eating.

That leads me into another celebration, my awareness of why I’m eating. Yes, I do eat when I’m hungry, but I also want to eat to relieve stress and anxiety. No, I haven’t lost my stress, but I am becoming more conscious of my feelings and trying to deal with them instead of eating them away. I can’t say I have a good handle on this, but I feel like I am more honest with myself. This will be a constant struggle, but I feel more hopeful than I have in the past.

Running is back in my life which is a huge reason to celebrate! I started  running last year and even did a 5K race. Tuesday I started day one of the Couch to 5K program and felt great! The energy and stress relief running gives me is priceless. I am also walking my kids to school and back each day which is a half a mile each way. Every bit of exercise I can fit in makes me feel great!

And the last “big” celebration of the week is the return of school! I love having my kids home, but as a stay at home mom, a little break is good for all of us! My baby boy is a 4th grader and my baby girl is a kindergartener! It is a year of new changes, new schedules and new rewards for all of us!

I am thankful that I have so many things to celebrate this week. I need to keep all these things in mind during the difficult moments and weeks. I am still struggling with food-centric activities like grocery shopping, eating out and parties. My guess is that I will always have to reign in my food activities and my stress related eating. I just hope that I can remember all the positive aspects of my lifestyle change and keep on celebrating my success, a pound at a time…