Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My secrets

A lot of people -- both in the 3D world and online -- have asked me to share my secrets for the success I have had so far. So here they are, along with a few helpful tips:
  • Bringing snacks to work helps a lot. Usually it's a piece of fresh fruit or a ziploc with baby carrots, a couple of bags of the 100 calorie pack stuff, maybe some hummus to go with the carrots (or Wheat Thins, if I pack those), maybe some yogurt, etc. Those 100-calorie packs are lifesavers. They're a little expensive, so you can use other stuff -- for example, Triscuits. You can have one serving (6 crackers), and it's more than 100 calories, but it's also really filling. I will put 6 in a bag along with some lowfat cheese, and WOO HOO! it's a party! By the way, those are the regular Triscuits -- with the reduced fat
    ones, you can have 7 for a serving. I'll stick with 6 and a little extra flavor!
  • I have breakfast every day. If it's a home breakfast, my favorite is a bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal -- it's a little more money but it's GOOD! And if it will keep me full, it will keep anyone full. It's got 10 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein (just by itself, without the milk). A cup of that, a cup of skim milk and 1/2 cup of fruit (usually berries or a 1/2 banana) and I'm good to go.
  • I try to use at least 25-30% of my points on breakfast. For the first couple of weeks, I didn't do it, and I wondered why I always seemed to have extra points left over (usually like 4-6). A coworker suggested start eating a heavier breakfast and lunch, and then a light dinner. By golly, she was right. I don't always hit it, but some days I do. If I don't then I can have an even heartier snack.
  • Eat often. I have breakfast no later than 9:30, then around 11:30 or so, I have a snack. I take the late lunch (after 1), then around 4 o'clock another small snack. Then dinner around 7:30, and MAYBE another snack around 9:30. I feel like I am eating all the time, and yet the weight is going away.
  • I am trying to get in the habit of exercising at least 3 times a week and eventually work up to 5 days a week. Exercise is my hardest part. I admit to a great deal of laziness. But I also know that if I don't do something, then it's going to be a harder struggle to get all this weight off. So I've been faithfully going to the Y at least 3 days a week. I am NOT a morning person at all -- but it is the only time I can fit it in. So I'm there before 7:00, and gettin'er done. And no, I'm not the fastest person -- my heavy-duty walk pace is another person's warm-up speed. But I'm working within the proper heart rates, and it's going well.
  • Water, water, water, water and more water. Weight Watchers suggests 6 cups (48 oz) of water a day but I usually go way beyond that. I keep a one liter bottle on my desk. I fill it in the morning and make sure that I drink it all before lunch. I usually have water (or maybe a diet drink) at lunch, and then go back and fill the bottle again and drink it all before going home. Once I'm home I may have one or two more 20 oz bottles of water. So on a normal day, for me, that's 12-13 cups of water.
  • I do love fruits and veggies. I used to hate eating vegetables, but it all depends on how you cook them. My favorite thing is to cut them up, drizzle a little bit of oil (either canola or olive) over them, and put them on the grill. We went to Lowe's and got a non-stick wok. We fill it up with veggies and put them on with whatever we're grilling. MMMMM! I usually use broccoli (fresh, just cut up the head), red onion (but regular onion will do just fine), red & green bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and sometimes mushrooms. I just slice everything up and put it in. Stir it up and mmmmm!
  • Not all bread is bad -- most of them time, when I have bread, I pick the whole wheat or multigrain. My favorite is Nature's Own light 100% whole wheat, but even the regular 100% whole wheat is great! I even use that for a bun if I am making a hamburger or chicken patty. I love bread .... I use pitas, tortillas and Flat-Out, which is a long wrap style piece of very flat thin bread. I also love brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. If you can't wrap your taste buds around that idea, try the "not-quite-whole-whole-wheat" pasta -- I know Ronzoni makes it, and maybe a few others.
  • One of the big things is just getting creative in the kitchen. Trying to figure out what will work and what won't. Like the salad wrap -- just came up with that off the top of my head. Learn how to make the proper substitutions. For example, fat-free foods aren't very good for cooking -- great for snacks but horrible in actual cooked or baked dishes. So go with reduced fat. It may add a point, but it will make up for it in taste and consistency. If you have a wild idea, try it.
  • BUT .... the most important thing that I have done is make the decision that I was finally going to put my stubbornness and iron will to work on something good for myself for a change. One of my dearest friends and I were having a discussion one day, and I told her that I didn't seem to have much "willpower" (I love that word, right?). She just fell out. She
    told me that it was total BS -- she'd seen the real me in action; that I usually found a way to get what I wanted, but in a non-threatening, easygoing manner. I realized then that I had lots of willpower -- and I needed to learn to tap into it. It took a few more years (and the
    horrible numbers I read on the scale that day) to galvanize me into action.
Hopefully this will be very helpful to you as well.

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