Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I spent mine meeting with friends, proctoring the SAT, beginning to decorate for Christmas (I’m going to put up a tree this year), and enjoying Sunday Funday (although the 49ers dismal loss to the Raiders yesterday dashed their playoff hopes, so it wasn’t THAT fun, obviously).
After spending a week following the Fit Girl’s Guide 28-Day Challenge, I realized on Friday afternoon that it just wasn’t realistic for me at this time of year. You guys probably figured that out when you read my post about it, but it took me a little longer. I enjoyed the food on the meal plan, but as I mentioned in my meal prep post, I like a little more variety than it offered, especially at dinner. The plan was very well-balanced and included clean, healthy foods, and I have already decided that the sweet potato street tacos are going into my regular repertoire because there were delicious. I also loved the supportive community I found on Instagram, whose daily posts offered motivation and inspiration. And I did lose weight – 1.6 pounds after just 4 days on the plan, which was great.
But when I looked at the reality of this season, and of my life in general right now, I realized that the challenge wasn’t something I wanted to continue. In general, my life is very social, meeting with friends and going out to eat at least once or twice during the week. The holidays bring even more social occasions, and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I didn’t want to give up those opportunities. So I’ve decided I’m taking myself out of the challenge.
Which doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my goal of losing weight this season. Far from it. I know how to plan and cook great meals, and make healthy choices even when eating out. I also know how important it is to me to workout – the calorie burn is a key to losing weight, but beyond that, I love the way my body feels when I’m active daily. Even those crazy sore muscles two days after a hard workout. Which means that I can lose weight and enjoy the social fun of the season. If you think about it, that’s the ultimate challenge, isn’t it? I know I can do it.
So here’s the plan for the remainder of December:
- Go back to my high-protein food plan. For me that means my daily protein grams should be 10% of my overall caloric intake. (If I eat 900 calories, I should have 90g of protein). Some of you may balk at “only” eating 900-1000 calories in a day, but remember, I’m a WLS patient, and even when I eat out I can’t consume the same amount of food that someone with a normal stomach can. So for the rest of my life, I’ll never really eat more than 1200 calories in a day, if I’m eating healthy. (Obviously those calories can go much higher if I’m eating crap). Back to my food plan – Besides the protein, I like to include veggies at each meal. Carbs like rice or wraps aren’t completely out of the question, but I’m going to limit them to one meal per day. So if I have a wrap for lunch, I’ll eat a “lean and green” meal at dinner. If I have rice with dinner, lunch will be a salad or other protein/veggie combo. I bought the ToneItUp Nutrition Program during their Cyber Monday deals, and I’m looking forward to trying some new, healthy recipes from that guide.
- Cardio + TIU toning 5-6 days a week. This one will be a bit of a challenge because I tend to be great at it for 3-4 days, but then the week continues, I get more tired, and my workouts fall to the wayside. At this point in my weight loss journey, I know that my body responds quickly to workouts. When I’m consistent I lose weight; when I let them slide, I maintain. This fact is going to spur me on during those afternoons/evenings when I start getting lazy and want to “negotiate” reasons why it’s ok to skip the day’s workout. No skipping workouts this season!
- Limit my alcohol intake. In general, I only have alcohol 1-2 times a week, when I’m out with friends. I plan to continue this during the holidays. Someday when I’m in maintenance, I foresee having a daily glass of wine (if I’m so inclined), but while I’m still trying to lose weight, I only want to imbibe when I’m with friends and family in a social setting. I’ll use baths and working out as a way to unwind from a long day when I’m by myself.
- Continue being active on social media. That means logging everything in MyFitnessPal daily. Checking in on Instagram with my workout pics. And writing/reading blogs. I love the support and inspiration I get on MFP and Instagram, which is why it’s a daily part of my life. If you’d like to add me as a friend and/or follow me on IG, please do. And leave your IG name in the comments, because I’d love to start following you, too. In terms of blogging, I know I’ve gotten less consistent with writing these past 6 months. I guess because I only like to write when there’s something interesting to say. And because I am so active on IG, that seems to have replaced the quick daily posts I used to write. Maybe I’m evolving as a blogger? I will still blog on here regularly, and read your blogs as often as I can.
- Enjoy the season. Even though this isn’t necessarily going to help me with my weight loss goals, it will make me happy, which is all part of leading a healthy life. This year I want to: go ice skating, enjoy the decorations at Christmas in the Park, send Christmas cards, sit by cozy fires, listen to holiday music, light glowing candles, watch my favorite holiday movies, and wrap presents.
Those are my goals for December – completely doable and realistic. Wish me luck!