I’ve always struggled with my weight. From the time I was born until the time I graduated college, I gained weight. I didn’t eat healthy foods and I didn’t exercise, although being in marching band in high school and college probably helped. Band practice is grueling in Florida’s August heat. During college I took a full load of classes, worked part time, played in a touring band and was in a relationship, and by the time I graduated college in May 2003 I had reached 200 pounds and was pretty miserable. It seemed like the first time in my life I could decide how to use my time, so I started exercising and eating better. I don’t remember exactly what I ate back then. I was vegetarian, but I don’t think I was incredibly healthy in the way that I think of healthy now. There were a lot of salads with fat free ranch, veggie dogs, anything that was low cal. Whatever I did, it worked. I lost over 70 pounds in 15 months. I even became a self proclaimed gym rat. I was in the best shape of my life, and looking back, I was probably a little too skinny. I’m a curvy girl, big boned if you will. I’ve realized since then that I’m just not meant to be skinny, and that’s okay.
I’ve gained back more than I would’ve liked to since then. I’m nowhere near my top weight, and I’ll never be that big again. But in the past year or so, specifically the past few months, I’ve gotten lazy. I always eat fairly healthfully, with lots of veggies and such, but what with all the major changes in my life recently I may have turned to the taqueria more often than I should’ve. Now that I have a place to live and will hopefully have a job and the return of a regular schedule soon, it’s time to shape up and slim back down a bit.
I don’t believe in diets. I think most of them are ridiculous. The last time I started a weight loss effort I devised my own plan based on common sense, and that is what I’m doing again this time. Eat less, eat the good stuff, and exercise more. There’s not much more to it than that. I like to call it a “plan” rather than a diet, because it’s not a diet. I’m still going to eat plenty, trust me. It will just be the right kinds of foods, and not too much of them.
So here are the “rules”, which are more like guidelines. I’m not going to get all upset if I go outside the parameters every once in a while. These are my goals:
– Only eat when hungry, and stop eating when full.
– Exercise often.
– Unlimited fruit and veggies as long as they’re prepared in a healthy manner.
– At least one serving of raw veggies a day.
– Only whole grains. No refined flour.
– Rely less on wheat, eat other grains more often instead. (I don’t have an issue with wheat, I just think I fall back on it too often.)
– Get fats from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, avocados and oils in moderate amounts.
– Minimize use of refined sugar, use alternatives like maple syrup, agave nectar and stevia. (This shouldn’t be an issue except for baking. I already use stevia in all my tea and coffee.)
– No soda. (I always drink diet so it’s not the calories that are an issue, but I’m sure I’ll be better off without it.)
– No alcohol on weekdays.
– No eating out. (This won’t be an issue for a while since I’m broke.)
– Eat seasonally and locally as much as possible.
– Eat foods in their whole forms, no processed food.
– If I want, I will allow one “cheat day” on the weekend. We grill and tailgate and have people over for sports, so this will allow me some freedom. I’m not planning on going wild though, I still have to be sensible.
So there it is, The Plan laid out in bullet form. It’s common sense. I know all these things, it’s just a matter of doing them, and I’m starting tomorrow. I’ve gone through about half of my cookbooks and started a list of recipes that either fall within these parameters, or that I can adapt. That will be another post. I’m definitely planning on keeping my cooking interesting and blogable.
Wish me luck! And strength. Anybody have any tips or recipes that might help me out?