week11

For anyone just tuning in, I set a goal months ago to lose 40lbs, get back to a healthier lifestyle and do the full 10k in the Terry Fox Run this year.  So, each weekend I weigh-in and talk about what worked or what didn’t – accountability helps. I’m also fairly certain that I’m not the only person reading this who struggles with weight issues, so I say let’s drop the stigma and talk it out!

Here we are. I’m up 3lbs from my last weigh in (back in January) which is actually pretty good considering how much change I’ve encountered in the last 8months. Not to make excuses, life will throw us curve balls and learning how to balance them is part of what I’m working on here.

Let’s begin with the biggest transition since this whole thing started:

The move(s)

For better or worse, I’ve actually moved twice in the last three years, which gives me a pretty useful comparison between what went wrong the first time and what I handled (much) better this time.

The first of the two moves was a bit of a disaster. It’s actually when I put on 25 of the 40lbs I have to lose. (oop! 32.6lbs now!) We bought this…Unique fixer-upper-opportunity. It required a LOT of renovation including a complete overhaul of the kitchen. So I was without a kitchen or food storage of any kind for a little over 3 months. Lots of eating out and frankly, I didn’t make good choices in my meal selections, I went for fast and cheap which equals fat fat fat and starch starch starch! Prior to this, I wasn’t a person who ate out often so when I did, I usually allowed for treats like french fries or big deserts. For whatever reason, the fact that I was now eating like that 3 meals a day, 7 days a week didn’t deter me from indulging.

Add to all that, I had taken a new job that tacked an extra 45 minutes onto my commute so I was spending 3 hours a day stuck in traffic rather than getting to the gym, not that it mattered because by the time I got home I was so overloaded with junk food and stress I didn’t have the energy for anything. Incidentally, my Dad says it’s impossible to get worse at something you do every day, but after 8 months of being stuck in the car for 3 hours a day, I can honestly say, my singing hasn’t improved AT ALL.

I ended up leaving that job, and frankly it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I loved the work, but the lifestyle was making me sick! A little over a year after that of battling my weight back down, (and trust me it comes off a lot slower than it comes on) when it came time to make the decision to move again, I had a substantial list of what-not-to-do’s.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but in selling property, you really want to keep your home in show-ready condition because Realtors will give you the boot at a moment’s notice when they have a nibble. So doing things like preparing meals that require a lot of clean up gets inconvenient really fast.  The solution to this was to keep cold-plate food in the fridge at all times.  Lots of pre-cut veg, fruit, hard boiled eggs, tuna (in water), crackers, yogurt and whole-grain bread. Easy fix, easy eat, easy clean up. And if you do your prep work all at once, you only have one sizable mess to clean up.

The actual moving day can be a bit of a write off because you’re looking at at least 2 meals out. In my case I had a sandwich and salad for lunch and saved the calories for a last-supper at a local pub with friends. Luckily, moving requires quite a bit of lifting, which I’m totally counting as a work out.

The house that we recently moved into also required kitchen renovation, but thankfully not as substantial. I think we were without appliances for 3 weeks or so, and another 2 before everything was unpacked and back to routine. (If I’m remembering correctly, it becomes a bit of a blur.) So, again there was a lot of restaurant dinners and being in new social circles, you want to get out and meet people as often as you can. One of the great things I figured out from this process was to order a sandwich or wrap and a side salad. (Veggie or real meat, not deli or processed!) It’s always too much food, so if I ate half the sandwich and the salad, I could doggy-bag the other half and order a second side salad to-go for lunch the next day.  Incidentally, this trick also served me very well when Fan Expo came up. I paid an extra $4.99 for a really nice lunch rather than $12-$15 for crap at the convention center.

The other thing I learned to keep in mind when I have to be eating out is just to make better choices. Sandwiches, salads, green tea and bottled water will get me a lot farther than burgers, fries and pop. Also, most places will make substitutions for you if you just ask. Veggies for potatoes, brown rice for white, which reminds me of these awesome cucumber rolls my friend Lola introduced me to at a sushi place downtown. Cucumber instead of rice! It’s so clean and crunchy – Delicious!

So, the long and the short of it is that when moving, changing jobs or taking on any other major life transitions, I have made exactly the wrong decisions and the smarter ones. Please trust me when I tell you, the quick fixes cost so much more than they’re worth in the long run.