Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week 9 - Vegging out is hard to do!

I lost another pound this week.  Despite my intention to do what I think it would take to lose another two pounds, I did a lot of backsliding. I should be pleased I lost anything.  I guess that means that while I do some backsliding, my habits are sticking.  I am likely doing more right than I am doing wrong.  

The scale is frustrating though.  I see my weight now and think of the 35 pounds I still really want to lose, or at least the 25 pounds that are slightly more realistic to lose, or the 15 pounds that will most likely be the best I can do.  It's very easy to stare into the future, look at your goals, and think that this is just a Sisyphean task. I have lost a mere 6 pounds in 8 weeks. Then I remember my team's name, which is also my team's motto.  We are Team TNT - Today Not Tomorrow.  I have to work in the here and now.  Concentrating on what I can do today is the only way I will meet my goals in the future.

This week's habit is to eat five servings of vegetables every day.  This is harder than it sounds.  I think of myself as a produce-eating girl who regularly gets her daily five.  Then I realize that the habit is five vegetables.  I always included fruit in the produce category.  The habit doesn't say fruit.  It says vegetables.  I have come to the realization that I probably eat on average only two or three vegetables daily.  Everything else is fruit.  I snack on fruit.  I eat fruit for breakfast.  I eat a serving or two of vegetables at lunch and dinner and that's it.

I have been trying to find ways to incorporate more vegetables into meals and snacks.  I always eat vegetables with my eggs whether it's putting a fried egg on a bed of spinach and tomatoes, making a frittata or omelet, or making a "veggie benedict" by stacking an egg and vegetables on top of a portobello mushroom and topping it with roasted pepper puree.  There is a local smoothie shop near my office that does fresh vegetable juices. I add spinach or kale to my protein shakes now.  I have always snacked on raw carrots. I have to remember that a serving isn't huge.  It's the size of my fist.

I can also milk more servings out of one vegetable using the waste-not-want-not method.  For example, I bought a head of cauliflower this week.  I roasted it for dinner with the intention of having it one night and the leftovers the next night.  One head does not make two night's worth of fist-size portions for two people.  I cut off the leaves and instead of throwing them away I boiled them and pureed them with olive oil and roasted garlic.  I saved the water for either cooking pasta in or throwing into the stock pot the next time I make stock.  I shred broccoli stems and "pickle" them in vinegar, salt, and spice blends.  There are ways of making supposedly inedible parts of the vegetable edible.

Now whenever I am eating a meal out, whether it's lunch at a deli at work, or going out to a restaurant with Kevin, I ask myself, "What can I eat that will satisfy at least one vegetable serving requirement?"  I look at how many servings I have had so far and will have during the rest of the day.  The habit isn't about taking bad stuff out of my diet.  It's about adding good stuff. The interesting point is that when you are forced to eat more vegetables, you have to cut back on the processed foods.   For example I can walk into a deli at lunch time and order a turkey sandwich, which will have only the small amount of vegetables that can fit wedged between sugar-and-starch-laden bread.  I could also head to the tossed salad bar instead and have a salad made that could take care of three vegetable servings in one meal.   Trying to fit those veggies servings in tends to make sure I automatically make the better choices.

It's not easy.  I am tired of salads and vegetable soups sometimes. There are times when I buy vegetables to prepare at home, I find I don't have enough to make a decent-sized serving for both Kevin and me (as with the cauliflower mentioned above).  I'm a picky eater.  Sometimes I don't want to eat all of those vegetables.  It's easy to think, "Today I'll just say I didn't do it and take the hit on the compliance score," or that I'll just lie.  Maybe I had 3.5-4 servings.  That's close enough, right?  Doing that would defeat the purpose though.  A lower compliance score would make me less eligible for prizes at the end of the year.  Not actually complying with the habit would mean I'm not going to make my goals.  I want to be 35 pounds lighter, right? 

On to next week.  My goals are to avoid sweets and white starch, eat my five vegetables every day, and keep rocking my workouts.  The workouts will change again after next week. There will be a new habit too. It will be interesting to see where the program will go next.

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