My present bad habits include:
- Snacking after dinner. I eat my dinner every night and then proceed to continue eating long after the dinner hours has ended. I don't sit down and eat a pint of ice cream. Instead, I grab something small every 20 - 30 minutes and just nibble for the rest of the night. Writing down my nibbles showed that I consume another whole meal between dinner and bedtime most nights.
- Eyeballing portions. It's one thing to make good food choices, but without portion control even the good foods can become unhealthy. I guesstimate a lot more than I measure. This is handy when you are cooking in a hurry; not so good when trying to determine how many calories you've eaten.
- Skipping the water. When I eat out, I need water refills constantly. However, I often get side tracked on the way to refill my glass or let it sit for hours untouched at my desk during the day. If I have a cup of coffee to nurse I drink even less water. And in the evenings I can barely find the time to eat my dinner, much less finish a beverage.
- Cheese. My husband actually pointed this one out to me a few months ago. Even so I didn't realize the impact cheese was having on my diet. I've been including cheese in almost every major meal, particularly my vegetarian dishes.
So what does that mean for my weight loss plan? It means I have to develop a plan of attack.
I've already developed the good habit of working out 4 times each week. That is not changing. PT twice a week; gym workouts twice a week. Take the stairs at work. For the time being, I'm deeming that enough activity each week. Adding on bonus hours of walking on the weekends is... well... bonus.
On the food front, I'm starting at the beginning. I've purchased a cute little notebook with blank lined pages and pretty flowers on the cover to carry around with me. In it, I'm going to
Write down what I eat.
Everything I eat starting today goes into my shiny new notebook. Bonus points will be awarded for measuring the quantity of food consumed, noting moods or struggles during the day or including calorie counts. But the main focus is to simply write everything down. In doing this I hope to create a habit of noting the food consumed while it is in front of me and before it is only a memory. I also firmly believe that the act of writing it down curbs cravings and keeps me honest.
Each week I'll be building on what I learned in the previous weeks. I can't lay out the plan now, because I don't know what I'm going to learn yet. I have a few ideas and as more develop I'll be noting them in my little book. My general plan right now is to develop a calorie counting method that works for me, hone in on problem areas, learn ways to cope with them and eventually define a lifestyle formula for myself to continue my weight loss.
I'm a little worried that I'm reinventing the wheel, but isn't that how every successful weight loss story goes? "This is what worked for me." I've learned a lot from the programs I've tried. None of them have fit my life very well. Or maybe portions of my life just aren't ready to be changed? I might just be on to something there.