P’s Competing Habits to Achieve the New “Normal” Me

That’s right – I am struggling right now with competing habits!  The Old P’s habits – eating poorly and with wild abandonment, exercising sporadically at best, developed over the last 30 years.  Two years ago when we started this blog, the New P emerged and for 9 months the New P kicked ass and developed great, healthy eating habits and began really enjoying cooking to help that endeavor.  A new, new P came out earlier this year and is dedicated to making a habit out of exercise (I’ll call her “EP” for “Exercise” P) and has managed to do 20 hard-core exercise sessions this year – not as good as EP would like, but better than any of the past 20 years!

So now, each of these three P’s – Old P, New P and EP reside in my one body and brain and each are fighting to feel like the “Normal” P!  I even now have wardrobes for each of these P’s. The strange thing is that, though each state is familiar to me, none feel like the “normal” me.  I think the key to knowing that you’ve successfully created a REAL habit is when doing it feels “normal” to you.

Some good things are developing within my brain as I establish the Normal P – when I am acting as the old P, I am conscientiously doing do, sad as it may seem to intentionally eat poorly and not exercise.  But, since I am now familiar with both the New P and EP, it doesn’t take too much to flip the switch from the Old P to one, or both, of these versions of me.

The goal now is to flip that switch to the New P and EP more than 80% of the time for long periods of time.  Once I do that, I am convinced that the New P and EP will be the “Normal” P and I will be living my dream of being Active, Ageless and Awesome!

New habits – no heartburn… ever!

Before starting the Plan a few years ago, I had taken to popping an antacid most evenings after getting heartburn before bed. I tried to avoid what I thought was causing it – onions, spicy foods, overeating. So imagine my surprise when a few weeks into the Plan, all heartburn completely disappeared, even though I was spicing up my meals with hot pepper and eating lots of onions. After some research, I learned that heartburn is caused by excessive amounts of carbohydrates (sugars and starches)! Wow, so that morning muffin and my bland vegetarian rice and bean dinners were the causes. After cutting out processed foods and sugars (except for an occasional treat), the heartburn is gone… Last week after being really sick to my stomach, I ate crackers, potato chips, even ice cream for several days in a row – and guess what? Yep, heartburn came back!

New habits – breakfasts

I thought I would spend some time posting in more detail about some of the ways my eating habits have changed since P and I started the Plan. One of the biggest changes is breakfast. Before the Plan, a typical breakfast was coffee and either a muffin, organic pop tart, or toast with jam. And I was always starving by lunch time, not to mention a little heartburn too. I always thought it was the coffee giving me the heartburn but it was actually the overload of processed carbs and sugar every morning.

This was a difficult change for me – without processed carbs and sugar, what was I going to eat for breakfast?!? I was never a big egg and bacon person (way too fattening I had always believed). Over time, as I learned more about healthy eating habits and nutrition, I got over my fear of eggs and bacon. It was fun coming up with some new recipes for breakfast such as a bacon, lettuce and tomato bowl – basically a BLT without bread, just lightly stir up cooked bacon, lettuce and tomato pieces with some mayo and put it all in a bowl.

These days my breakfasts are either an egg or leftover meat from the night before scrambled up with whatever veggies I have in the fridge – onions, mushrooms, fresh spinach, etc. Sometimes I’ll add a little feta cheese, tomatoes and olives on top. Or stir in some tamari sauce, garlic powder and add a dollop of sour cream on top. The fun thing is that I don’t think any two of my breakfasts are ever quite alike! And the best things are no heartburn and I don’t get hungry until lunch time.

Here’s a pic of yesterday’s breakfast. I didn’t have time to cook a scramble so I simply made an “unsandwich” of deli ham, tomatoes, green olives, mustard, mayo and romaine lettuce leaves for the “bread.” Very filling and delicious.

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A Perfect Plan Day – Take Two

Last Monday I set out to have a perfect plan day. I took photos of what I was eating all day and planned on posting them on Tuesday. Well Monday night I got so sick! I think I picked up a bad stomach bug and it was rough! Well, after being up most of Monday night and not to be too gross, having most of my perfect day of eating end up coming back up well… Tuesday I sure didn’t feel like looking at the photos I took!

Actually I spent all day Tuesday in bed. I had a few saltines and half a banana, some lemonaide. That was all I could keep down.

The rest of the week, I ate very light but didn’t try to stay on the plan. Salads seemed rough on my stomach. I ate soup, crackers, very small salads. By Thursday late I was feeling much better. I’d gotten a bit behind on projects so didn’t have time to catch up on the blog.

So here we are Monday, my weight today is 149 and I am once again starting a perfect plan day. Look for pics tomorrow!

Hello Blog – lessons learned since I’ve been gone

I was inspired to come back to the blog by an email I received last night from P. After becoming “bored” with posting (my word but really, is “lazy” a better word?), I’ve been thinking and reevaluating this morning. Since the wedding that first served as our weight loss goal, many things have changed about my approach to eating. I’ve learned a ton, and still continue to be very interested in all things nutrition.

Significant changes that have stuck since starting the Plan.

  • I stayed with eating meat (was basically a vegetarian before the Plan).
  • I’ve recognized and accepted it is an ongoing challenge to avoid all sugars. I must check all labels all the time. As far as eating anything not made at home, well… it’s most likely going to have sugar in one of the ingredients.
  • I have eliminated most processed foods including oils from my diet. A difficult life change for me as I am a salad dressing junkie. I have finally perfected a simple home-made salad dressing that I do not tire of. Recipe to come in a future post.
  • I have isolated the triggers to my Rosacea to cheese and wine so the dairy products are watched, very limited amounts are allowed.
  • Wine – I think is the biggest source of sugar for me these days. I have cut it down to two or three evenings a week vs a glass or two every night. I’m working to eliminate it completely except for a Friday night treat.

So most days, my daily foods consists of fish, organic/grass fed meats (chicken, turkey mostly, some pork and beef), eggs, healthy oils (coconut, olive, butter), all veggies (except potatoes, limited corn), a serving a day of berries (or 1/2 apple or 1/2 banana), a serving a day of nuts. That’s basically it. When I stick to this, I feel the best physically and emotionally.

When I stick to this… that’s the hard part. Since the wedding weigh in, I’ve gained back 6 pounds. It came back after about a year and no matter what I do now, is NOT coming off. Recently as a recharge, I did the 10-day Detox diet. (To be fair to that diet, I did not give up coffee and I did not take the supplements which were very expensive). I lost 1/2 pound but five days later, that’s back so it probably was water weight.

So with such a healthy daily plan, you’d wonder why I haven’t been able to stay at the wedding goal weight. Well it’s because I cheat things in. Not every day but I think often enough to keep the craving sugar monster alive and well. A 1/2 cookie here, few pieces of candy there, an extra glass of wine…etc. And as long as the craving monster is alive, I will continue to cheat. So… it’s time to get to the bottom of this cheating. That will be my new goal – what am I doing to justify these treats to myself? And why do I need these treats?

Stay tuned…..

Who Needs Lettuce?

A few days ago, I had all the makings for a great salad, but no lettuce.

I went ahead and made it anyway – It was fantastic!

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I used broccoli, red peppers, celery, carrots, green ripe olives, shredded cheese, apples, snap peas, and almonds – dressed with a little blue cheese dressing.

P’s Big Lesson – TRUTH

Hello World:

I have not written lately because I’ve really been struggling with eating healthy.  Despite D’s and my success March-Sept. 2013, my mental demons are still alive and well.

What I mean by that is I still (apparently) harbor deep beliefs, or maybe I should call then “wants” – all of which have undermined my work toward being Active, Ageless and Awesome.  So, here are the “beliefs” I’ve been harboring plus the lessons of truth I am finally learning:

The Belief: Once thin, you can skip the exercise and eat what you want: The Proof of My Belief: I started eating more and more often “the old P” way once I lost the 24 pounds and I did not bother exercising.  The Truth:  Healthy people with good muscle and physiques EAT WELL and EXERCISE regularly

The Belief: I can again achieve weight loss goals by following “a modified version” of this Plan.  The Proof of My Belief: I started adding food products that various Paleo-style nutritionists say you may need to keep energy levels up while exercising – like white rice, more fruit and potatoes.  The Truth: I CAN’T ADD STUFF.  Man, I’ve got to be asking myself WHY DO I EVEN WANT TO ADD STUFF?  This Plan worked and was not hard to follow!

The Belief: I can “accept” my body being fat as long as I am healthy – lots of happy, successful people accept that they are fat!  The Proof of My Belief: I’m still fat.  The Truth:  I CAN’T be happy being fat – even if I was otherwise as strong and healthy as a horse!

So, here’s to killing the demons and following the TRUTHS that this Plan has proven!

P’s – TIME TO REWIND – Why Get Healthy?

Why get healthy?  See below – I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Oh yeah, I did say it myself – two years ago when we started this blog!  It is 100% spot-on still today.  Except, I got a small taste of what it would be like to achieve these things at the “Wedding” (and a little before and a little after) when I was down to a size 6 and EVERYTHING seemed to look cute that I tried on at the store and ALL my clothes fit.  I also remember that, during this very short period of time, I did not obsess on what it would be like if I trimmed down.  The only component missing was the exercise….

So, TIME TO REWIND… here’s me today – the same as I was exactly two years ago (including gaining 21 pounds in a short period of time – this time in18 months):

p’s What being healthy would mean to me [from March 14, 2013]

I’m over fifty, have my dream career, am blessed with a terrific husband, family, and friends, and live in a great place and am over-all pretty healthy.  But, it seems that no matter what I am doing – giving a presentation, taking a client to lunch, socializing – there sits a large shadow in the back of my mind…. the knowledge that I have a severe case of the FLABS.  In the last two years, my FLAB has invited along more of its good friend POUNDAGE – 21 to be exact – Wow – 21 pounds in two years!  This makes me about 30 pounds overweight (since I generally have about 9 or 10 who maintain permanent residency on my bod).

I love learning about exercise and nutrition, and just a little over three years ago, when I was 48, I did my first sprint triathlon after being a semi-pro couch potato my entire adult life.  Yeah, I know a lot about nutrition and exercise – my problem seems to be following what I know.  So why can’t I follow what I know?  Most people would send me to a shrink to figure that out.  But, no offense to the profession and those that are healed by it, I do not believe in shrinks.  I believe that that the healing power of shrinks lies in the process of verbalizing your thoughts and feelings and engaging in a strong dose of self-examination – this can be done with anyone you trust.  In my case, it will be my big sis.  Why?  Because she is confident, driven and successful in her own career as I am, and owns her own business as I do, and she also thinks that her weight is really holding her back from enjoying her life and moving even farther in her career.

The first thing we are to explore is how would losing the weight affect our lives – her are my thoughts in no particular order:

  • always look smashing giving presentations and meeting new clients
  • enhanced personal relationships on every level
  • wear really cutes suits
  • look great in jeans and boots
  • wear cute sundresses (never even owned one)
  • never dread a pool party
  • feel spunkier
  • 100% concentration on what I am doing (instead of worrying how I look)
  • wake up each morning looking forward to the day
  • less aches
  • less headaches
  • hike without huffing
  • the right to feel SMUG

Fast forward to today – I have one to add:  Get my Bora Bora Body! 

P’s meals and workouts update 2.28.15

We’re coming up on the 2nd year anniversary of starting this blog and, unfortunately, I still don’t have my health life dialed in with any consistency.  The good news is that I am seriously working out this year – so far 17 hard strength/conditioning classes I do at my new gym.  I finally joined a smaller gym – I got sick of the LA Fitness/24 Hour Fitness scene.  It’s very near my office, so I have been going before work.  Begrudgingly I’ve realized that this is the only way I am going to be able to fit in exercise.

I really do love the classes – though they are hard, I love the variety and challenge.  I post each workout on FaceBook and plan on doing so until I hit 100 workouts!

The bad news is that I have had very terrible eating habits over the last year – no particular reason – I’ve just lost focus.  I still continue to do research and it ALL points to this being a good plan.  But, I’ve been very true to the plan the last few days and plan on keeping with it.  Food for Thursday, Friday, Saturday was as follows:

Thursday

Cheese, sandwich peperoni (Boars Head of Course) and Boars Head buffalo chicken – really a good flavor!

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Taco Salad and a Stella – I did not get home until almost 10p.m., and I was proud of myself for cooking up some taco meat anyway and not eating something unhealthy:

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Friday

Same morning meal, so I used the same picture

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Taco Salad for lunch – added green ripe olives:

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Snack of carrots and snow peas and a Stella:

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Dinner was a burger and a small red potato with butter and sour cream (I’ll write more on potatoes later)

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Saturday

Still eating left over taco meat – good thing I love it! (Then again, I do love reasons to use sour cream :-)  )

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Snack of veggies and a scoop of onion dip (made with Daisy sour cream and Lipton Onion Soup Mix)

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Dinner was sautéed mixed kielbasa sausage and hot smoked sausage and red and orange bell peppers and onions simmered in beer and wine.  Made this for the family when I was visiting last week and they loved it.  I’ll post the recipe soon.

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P’s Weekly Weigh Day – 2015 – Seeking to be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy

Another week in 2015 over- apparently this year will be going as fast as last year!   But, I am off to a healthy start.  I decided that, before making a decision as to how I will spend my time, I will ask continuously, “will what I am deciding to do make me happy, healthy or wealthy?”  If the answer is “no”, I’m not doing it.  For example, randomly eating a piece of cake may temporarily make my mouth happy, but it will not bring long term happiness, and usually it results in me feeing worse very soon afterwards.

On the other hand, eating a piece of wedding cake to celebrate with the bride and groom is something that would bring not only temporary mouth happiness, but lasting happy memories.  Similarly, as it relates to mundane, hard and stressful tasks or cases at work, then the decision will be to do it so long as it moves me forward to increasing wealth, and does not significantly adversely impact my health.  As for this blog, it makes me happy because I like writing and it makes me healthy since it helps keep me accountable.

As for the weigh-in, I weighed in at 150.2 Friday. And, as of yesterday, Saturday,  I’ve gotten 5 workouts in at the gym.  Yesterday I took an hour long fast paced strength conditioning class.  I was proud of myself for going at 8 a.m. on a Saturday for such a challenging session.   Though tough, I liked the variety, and will definitely do it again.   I am committing to regulate my schedule to be able to do more classes during the week.

Here are some interesting meals I had this past two weeks:

Actually, this first photo is the last non-plan “snack” I had during the Holiday Season.  Strange as is may seem, when I stepped on the scale on Dec. 26 and realized that I had gained the 24 pounds back, and I decided to get back on plan, I have not been even tempted to eat this way – even with several sweets still in the house (until B ate them all).

Though this berry pie with whipped cream tasted great, it never made me as happy afterwards as a good workout or a healthy meal – I just need to remember that every time I get tempted.

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Here is a great spaghetti sauce I made using mild Italian sausage, browned like ground beef, and then added this brand of Trader Joes’ sauce, and without any extra seasoning, it was very good:

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I’ve been researching alternates to macaroni and cheese, and here is one using zucchini instead of noodles – it was pretty good, but still needs work – it was a nice side dish with a burger:

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Here are chicken and pork carnitas fajitas from Chili’s (sans the bean, rice and tortillas, of course!):

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After that, I made pulled pork in the crock pot, and then we fried it up to make our own carnitas – it was pretty good:

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Here I made a pretty good crock pot – pot roast and fresh green beans almandine:

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I’m really looking forward to this year being happier, healthier and wealthier!