Monday, April 28, 2014

Getting Back to Basics

Even though I haven't reverted back to my pre-diet/lifestyle change ways (nearly six years of no drive-thrus and no fast food, go me!), I have slowly let other things become more of the norm instead of the exception over the last year or so.  Where I used to only have frozen yogurt once a week, and with no toppings, having it more often AND with the addition of candy toppings became routine.  Where I used to have a big salad as my dinner most nights, that fell off my radar and eating less vegetables became normal.  Where I used to watch my bread intake, I stopped thinking twice about eating sandwiches or bagels.  Somewhere along the line I realized I wasn't drinking water on a daily basis like I used to.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  I wasn't exactly going crazy, but I wasn't doing what I knew would work for me in terms of keeping myself at the size that I liked.

So I went back to the basics.  I looked back in my blog archives to remind myself what I used to eat, and I made some changes.  Instead of my bagel with cream cheese, half a cinnamon twist and 1.5 pieces of bacon after running on Saturday morning, I went back to having a multigrain bagel with spinach, egg and feta.  Instead of splitting a pesto chicken pizza with Jeff, I went back to my Tejas Blue sandwich (turkey, spinach, avocado and hot sauce) - and I eat it open-face, so I'm having less bread.  No splitting a cookie after.  Instead of making a nonfat latte every day, I went back to drinking a ton of water and treat myself to a latte every once in a while.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

Somewhere along the line I realized that I wasn't feeling true hunger most of the time before I ate.  And it's not like I only have limited opportunities to eat - my schedule is pretty open.  So I started waiting to eat until I was really hungry.  Some mornings, black coffee holds me until 10:00 am or even closer to 11:00 am before I'm hungry enough for my yogurt/fruit/granola breakfast.  On those days, I don't bother with eating lunch...I might have a quarter cup of raw almonds, or some fruit, but other than that, I'm good until dinner.  And I started scaling way back with dinner - I've been having a turkey burger (no bun), some avocado or guacamole, and salad most evenings. 

For me, it's becoming aware of my hunger cues, of what I'm choosing to put in my mouth, and what happens when I make less-than stellar choices.  I wouldn't say I'm dieting, but I am bringing the basics back to maintenance instead of treating way too many days as a party.  I have to remember that I'm the only thing standing between my new self and the Shelley of yore - she was a good person, but I don't care to become that size again...and if I'm not careful, all the "unbasic" way that I was eating will catch up to me...and it won't be pretty.

46 comments:

  1. This might be one of your posts we all can relate too so much. We have to pay constant attention to what we eat and sometimes we fall a little bit of the wagon. The clue is that you jump on as soon as you notice and you did just do that.

    When I work my stomach wants food around about the same time: snack (fruits or veggies) at 10 am and 3 pm, lunch around noon. But when it's weekend I often skip breakfast because I'm just not hungry and just have coffee even if I have got a run in. I know you have to eat after a run and I do that on weekdays but sometimes just ain't hungry on Saturday/Sunday.

    Good for you that you got back to basics! You still are my inspiration.

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    1. It's funny, when I was working, I HAD to eat lunch at lunchtime. Not so much now...guess I am not trying to break up the day like I used to. Or I really didn't like my job. ;)

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  2. At least you became aware of what you were doing before it became a total disaster and you regained really large amounts of the weight you lose. I've been maintaining most of a 40 pound loss since 1999 all I can say is maintaince can be just as hard as weight loss especially being past menopause. I think your doing the right thing raining yourself in. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Awesome job keeping that loss off, Susan! And you are right - maintenance can be just as challenging because in maintenance, you "can" eat more of the food that you probably didn't while you were dieting (at least that's how it's been for me).

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  3. You say you haven't eaten fast food in six years. But cookies, cinnamon twists, bagels with cream, bacon, bread, pizza and frozen yogurt which you have eaten regularly all qualify as fast food.

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    1. I think we have a different definition of fast food - for me, fast food was Taco Bell, McDonalds and the like. I don't think of a bagel as fast food...and pretty much all of what you mentioned above goes in the "treat" category for me. But that's what makes us all individuals - we think for ourselves.

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    2. Processed, refined white carbs, including bread, pizza or bagels which are high in fat, sugar and salt convert to sugar very quickly in the body, high concentrations of sugar in frozen yogurt, food with little nutritional value are what qualify foods as junk food whether they're purchased from McDonalds, Taco Bells or anywhere else.

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    3. Again, Mel, you and I have different definitions of fast food.

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    4. Everyone's definition of "fast" food is different and you Mel, need to stop trying to get other people to agree to conform to YOUR definition.

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  4. we are SO SO SO BACK TO BOOTCAMP BASICS here too.
    I travel?
    the husband....isnt at basics with himself or child :-)

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    1. LOL, so it was one big party while you were away, eh?

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  5. It's really true that we are the only ones keeping the weight from coming back on. It's scary sometimes.

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    1. True, and important to realize that no matter what everyone around us is eating, we're still in charge/feel the consequences of whatever we eat.

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    2. You are so right. I, ME, am the only one responsible for my weight. What was the "aha" moment that made you go back to the basics? And can you loan it to me? LOL

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    3. Ah Lynn. You know I don't have AHA moments! I'm not a deep-thinker like that. ;)

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  6. Good post! I like how you emphasize that it's really just small shifts you need to make, tiny adjustments here and there. And I disagree enthusiastically with cdcdcd--none of those are fast food if they're made with real-food ingredients. I should know; I make flatbread pizza several times a week. :)

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    1. Thanks for getting this post - yes, small adjustments add up to a better feeling me. And yeah, I guess fast food means different things to different people. ;)

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  7. Great post - really brings home the idea that the "work" of maintenance is really a lifelong thing. Not that it has to be HARD all the time, but we have to stay self-aware!

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    1. Good point - it's only hard if you make it that way.

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  8. Woo hoo to you for sharing this slice of "real life maintenance." I'm so glad your blog archives are there to guide both of us : )

    Its amazing how some of these small changes can make a big difference overall. Just making myself drink that first cup of water in the morning will usually make me drink consistently throughout the day. And drinking water consistently really does decrease how much I might want to eat.

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    1. Well, you know I got the idea of rereading my archives from you! :)

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  9. I can so relate to this - occasional indulgences and exceptions suddenly become the norm before we even realize it! I think it's definitely good to go back and look at your old posts and logs. I'm happy that I WAS blogging a lot of this (and still have copies of some of my old trainer-approved food logs), because I think this is the part of maintenance where I always slip up. But good for you for taking such an honest look at this, acknowledging it and actually making adjustments (it's that third one that I'm stuck on now).

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    1. Interesting about "the norm" - because what I see others eating, and see it as normal, isn't what my normal should be.

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  10. Yep, it's so true - lately I haven't cared about the extra piece of cheese or glass of wine but I know I have to slow down and pay attention, or before I know it, I'll be back up to 210!

    It's huge ass salad season Shelley! I hope you post some pics of yours :D

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  11. Great post. It's so easy to slowly slide back into unhealthy choices.

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  12. I can totally relate to this post! I've been making adjustments too. Huge salads are good for me, spoonfuls of frosting are not. The slide back into old habits is so easy and scary.

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    1. Scary indeed how quick it can happen!

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  13. Hi Shelley
    A truly great post. How easy we all forget that hunger should be the key when to eat. Too often I would find I'd turn to food when my emotions got the better of me. These emotions could be positive [happiness, celebration, accomplishment] as well as negative [boredom, frustration, anger]. When I get that feeling that I may overeat I ask myself if I really am hungry, hurting or just plain happy! Thanks, as always, for your inspiring post.

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  14. Thanks for the idea to go back through my "archives" - I have all the food/fitness journals that I've been keeping since deciding to lose the extra weight once and for all. It's funny how we forget some of the tricks we used (more water, less fro-yo!), and how they can still be very effective. Big ass salad season IS around the corner and so is your beloved watermelon :-) This was a very timely post for me, Shelley!

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    1. So funny you mentioned watermelon - they've been in the grocery store all winter, but I couldn't bring myself to buy one...watermelon, when it's not hot, feels wrong. Today it was 89 degrees, so I think I'll be bringing one home this week! :)

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  15. "Treating way too many days as a party" has been my problem as well lately! I'm going back to tracking everything I eat, which is a huge pain. But you're right, it's so easy to drift away from healthy habits! Unfortunately they aren't quite as fun as the unhealthy ones. :(

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  16. Good reminder to everyone! It reminds us all that this is something that we all will constantly have to watch out for and do. This is a life long journey and old habits WILL creep back if we are not watching. Kudos to you for recognizing and tightening it up!

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  17. Good for you for realizing it. I am trying to help my husband make better choices in an effort for him to lose some pounds. I've found that if I don't buy the unhealthy items and keep them in the house, then we don't crave them. (he still sneaks in a bag a pretzels once in a while though).

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    1. We do the same thing here - if I buy fruit, my husband eats fruit. If I buy treats, he eats treats. Lucky for me he's mostly happy to be on the same healthy path as me; makes my life easier. :)

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  18. I'm glad I came across your blog today! It really is so easy to slip back into bad habits, I try to always be aware, but still allow a few mistakes:)

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  19. OMG Shelley, I was thinking today on May 1st, I have to get "back to basics". Your post is again inspirational.

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    1. After your stressful month, I'm impressed you're ready to buckle down so quickly. Kudos for not letting things get out of hand!

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  20. Shelley - was there a particular event that caught you up and you realized you were on the wrong path???

    I have a long way to go, but it seems to me that one would necessarily eat differently in maintenance than in loss mode. I think about those days in the future. So glad I'm able to learn by your example.

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    1. You know, one morning after we ran I started to order our usual and realized that I wasn't all that hungry...and that's when I thought "oh crap, I'm still eating like I was when I ran 10 miles on a Saturday" - and the rest fell into place.

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  21. I know I'm late to the party but I'm just going to add that I think it's good for ALL of us to get back to basics every once in a while. How fantastic that you have this blog to look back and get you there!

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