Saturday, April 17, 2010

Losing 30 lbs--Part 3 (How I ate)

It may sound pitiful, but I really had no idea how to eat healthy... In high school I was captain of the cheerleading squad, skinny and carefree with my eating. So like I said in Part One, I had never had to diet...I ate whatever I wanted and kept my slim little figure...until baby world!

**Now let me just add here (because I did receive an e-mail from a reader about this), that as I mentioned before, I do not regret having baby after baby. Early in our marriage, we told the Lord that He is Lord over our entire life...including my womb. We told him we would trust HIM with all our hearts, and not lean on our own understanding or be wise in our own eyes (Proverbs 3:5,7). Each child has been nothing less than a blessing (Psalm 127:3-5) and has come in God's perfect timing (Job 1:27)...not our timing...which takes a lot of pressure off of us :). After having said that, I just want to clarify that the babies weren't really my issue. My issues were (and are) lack of self-control, and an over abundance of both selfishness and laziness.**

Now (back to what I eat) my husband and I spent about 2 hours at the grocery store on our first trip with the intention to eat healthy.  We looked at every label, compared each was a bit exhausting!  But it also paid off because we knew the best choices and could make QUICK stops at the store and knew what we *could* eat and what we shouldn't!

Getting Real:
One of the first things I had to get real about was that there would be times I wouldn't be full...and that was okay.  Just because I didn't feel full didn't mean I should eat!  There would be times I'd be hungry and times I'd feel satisfied...I had to get used to not feeling FULL!

Drink of Choice: Water
Because I was nursing and because I knew it was good for me, I made a goal to drink 3 quarts of water a day. I bought a big jug at Wal-Mart that was 1 quart, so I just made myself fill it up and drink it empty 3 times a day!

Breakfast: Fiber!!!
I found out from MyFoodDiary (talked about this in Part 2) that fiber is the best way to start your day. Well as a junky eater, I probably don't need to tell you how much I hated this idea.

This was a HARD transition for me! I am all about the sweet kids cereals! Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Captain Crunch...I loved 'em all! I never ever thought I could choke down "healthy" cereal first thing in the morning. But I tried a few cereals out and realized I actually could handle plain Cheerios (I didn't have to *love* how it tasted...remember that post?).

I did find out that I loved Fiber One's Honey Clusters and Frosted Mini-Wheats (which I now eat every morning). I also found out I liked Kix...

But for me, Frosted Mini-Wheats and Fiber One cereals are the best choice for a breakfast rich in fiber!

Early Afternoon snack: Fruit
I am allergic to many citrus fruits, so that really limits my choices, but I would usually eat an apple, pear or banana inbetween breakfast and lunch. Fruit like grapes can be REALLY high in sugar, so just be careful how much sugar is in your fruit...because even though it's natural, it can still work against your weigh loss goals (I learned that from MyFoodDiary too! :) )

I'm not saying this is the best choice, but I always ate a healthy "frozen dinner" for lunch. I ate varietys of Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice. These sometimes put me over in sodium, but kept me right where I needed to be for calorie intake, carbs and fats.

-Usually high in sodium
-A little costly
-Hardly natural, it's completely processed (obviously)

-Fast! (which I need with 4 kiddos to feed)
-They were already in the "My Food Diary" system (and in My Fitness Pal as well)
-Kept me satisfied until Late Afternoon snack

Late Afternoon Snack:I'm a carb lover, so I love plain pita bread.  It might not sound appealing, but by afternoon, I craved it!  So I often had a healthy choice of carbs like Joseph's Healthy Heart Pita Bread (high in protein, low in carbs and cholesterol).  I'd also have a yogurt, granola bar and/or fat-free pudding depending on how I was doing on Calories!

Big Salad for Dinner
I had a big ol' salad for most dinners (unless I had prepared a healthy dinner for the family). I changed it up alot and never got tired of eating salad every night...I really never did! Usually, it consisted of Romaine Lettuce, Mozzerella Cheese, Sunflower Seeds, Cucumbers, and a ton of dressing...

Now, most people will tell you that dressing is the unhealthy part of a salad and if you use a ton, you have probably blown your diet. I did use Ranch (low-fat, low calorie) from time to time, but what I heard was the best (Yes, from MyFoodDiary!) was Italian dressing...especially a low fat one.

I have NEVER liked Italian (I grew up on Ranch dressing) but I decided to give it a try since it was about 1/4 the calories of most Ranch's. That's when I discovered that Kraft has a line of Olive Oil Vinegarettes that I *love*!!!

And I even added some Bran to my salad by using Good Sense Semame Bran Sticks which are really good and a great "crouton" replacement!

After Dinner Snack:

I tried not to eat after dinner, but because my husband and I were used to eating a large bowl of ice cream or sugary cereal every night (Yep, that's true!) we would sometimes give ourselves a little allowance if our calories for the day were low.  We'd have a pudding, yogurt or granola bar...all were either rich in fiber, low in fat or high in protein!


I gave myself a few, easy to follow boundaries such as (but not including my whole list)...

-Nothing to eat after dinner except either a yogurt (low-fat) or a piece of fruit (but be careful, some fruits are HIGH in sugar!)

-No pop or tea, at all.

-Desserts on weekends only

-No adding salt in my cooking or to prepared food. (A few recipes that called for it, I substituted with Sea Salt).

Really, the key is pinpointing your weaknesses and giving yourself boundaries where those things aren't necessarily cut out, but are given parameters.  Don't set yourself up for failure or guilt-filled pleasures.  (For me, I'm not a pop person, but would drink it just it wasn't hard for me to cut it out completely.  However, I love chocolate, so I let myself have that on weekends!)

Planning Ahead
Once I had all this in place, I felt like I was chained to my house. How could I eat at a restaurant without knowing how many calories I was ordering? Was it possible to eat fast food without falling 10 steps back? So I learned to plan ahead...which takes discipline, but pays off!!!

I used First Place 4 Health's
Food on the Go Guide, so I could know the best choices at most fast food place and restaurants. I also asked certain places to see their nutritional fact sheets and sometimes I (at places like Sonic) I even went on-line to see their nutritional guides so I knew the best choice to make! I told you...I was serious about my weight loss! :)The other key here was my accountablity (which I talked about it Part 2). I had told "key" people about my goals, so when I went to visit my parents, my sisters or went out to eat with my friends, they could support me.

I often took my own box of cereal when traveling out of town. My mom and sisters would cook "healthy" for me, which helped a ton! At one point, my brother-in-law decided the whole "Macias extended family" needed to start living healthier, so he initiated a lot of the healthy eating and active gatherings when we were all in town together!

Still, I let myself splurge from time to time for a special occasion or for "date night".  But I always tried to eat until satisfied, not until full, whenever I splurged.

Again, the key is thinking ahead and giving yourself a little help before you get bombarded with temptation!

Also in this series:
Losing 30 lbs--Part 1 (My Story)
Losing 30 lbs--Part 2 (How I Did It)
Losing 30 lbs--Part 4 (Exercising With 4 Littles Kids)
Losing 30 lbs--Part 5 (What God Did)


The Redhead Riter said...

I've lost 25 lbs. and now I can get another pound off! Very frustrating.

Grace Wheeler said...

Well, you're in luck :) I'll be talking about that coming up...because really all this is how I lost the first 20lbs...then last 10 didn't come for about 2 months (or more) after hitting a "wall"! Hang in there!!! I'm still trying to lose another 5-10 myself!!!

Tiffany said...

Awesome!! It seems as if I am always on a weight journey! Ha!

Corrie said...

Okay,so I'm pretty stressed right now with these crazy life changes. I'm not really stressed about the outcome of things, knowing God's in control, but just the getting off routine kind of stress and I keep eating! I'm gaining and pants that were loose are getting tighter. We've been trying to stay healthy through the move, but so hard. Gaylen had lost 40 lbs recently, but he's also put some back on. I'm eager to read about how you exercised. That is something I really want to do but don't know how to fit it in! I feel better when I do. We've gotten off the eating healthy bandwagon, but are ready to get back on!

Susano said...

Grace, tell me how you keep your lettuce fresh. I buy a bag and it's bad in 2 days which is not enough time to eat the whole bag. Do you buy lettuce every day?

Grace Wheeler said...

I have never had any luck with the bags...probably because by the time they get to the store they've spent a few days getting chopped, then getting bagged, then in transit.

I would buy fresh but we were also lucky enough to have lots of friends with gardens who gave us lettuce.

But if I were buying it at the store, I'd probably buy it every other day...kinda inconvenient, I know!

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