Friday, November 16, 2012

Fry it up in a Pan

Greetings from maintenance-land.  I am starting to get a sense for what a truly new phase this is going to be for me.  My weight this week is down by just over two pounds to 142.8 and, of course, I see that as the new weight to maintain.  At the present moment I still feel like I'm on the "lose weight" train.  Heck, I've been riding on it for 5+ years, if not my whole life.  Not sure how to make the shift.  Well, I do have an idea.  I think it needs to start with me feeling like I am satisfied with my current weight.  And truth be told, I'm not.  In the back of my head I want to see what I'd be like at 135.  I'm not "dieting" to get to that weight, I haven't been dieting for months now. I just eat what feels like a healthy, balanced diet and let the scale numbers fall where they may.  I also know if I got on the scale tomorrow and it said 145 the instinct to eat cleaner would kick in.

And 145 is a real possibility after last night.  I felt a tiny pang of hunger but mostly I felt the psychological urge to eat.  I had some crackers and cream cheese.  And then I had a bowl of the kids cheerios with a healthy sprinkling of sugar, and then more crackers.  This was all hours after dinner of course.  I remembered someone telling me once that these "splurges" every month or two are really not that big of a deal in the big picture (was that you Katie?) and to just live with them as part of normal life.  Since then I've felt much better about the occasional munch-fest evenings, which is nice.  This is normal life, after all.

As far as exercise, I'm cruising right along.  Tuesday I did a 3 mile run on the treadmill, alternating 3 minutes at 6.1mph with two minutes at 7.1mph.  I've decided that every two weeks I'm going to increase the speed by .1mph.  I should figure out where that will put me by the Kaiser Half Marathon in February, somewhere around 6.5/7.5 I imagine. I'd love to get my cruising speed up to 7mph at least.  After the run I did legs/shoulders/core.  My shoulders are starting to really hurt again and I know I should give them a break but that's hard for me - exercise is one of the foundations of my life now and it's very hard for me to cut back.  Though I know I'm going to pay the price and be forced to cut back if I don't give them a little healing time.

Wednesday was a day home with the kids.  We spent the day relaxing and hanging out at home, which was nice.  I made chili in the slow cooker with lean hamburger and pork, black beans and garbanzo beans.  I wanted to serve it with cornbread but that didn't happen so we just had rice instead.  It was yummy.  A good friend of mine, Tessa, asked me how I manage to work, cook, exercise, etc with two kids and working four days a week.  Two tips that came to mind are related to cooking.  One, since I started meal planning I have found my cooking stress has gone way down.  At some point during the weekend I sit down with my cookbooks and a notepad.  I make a plan for dinners for the week and make a grocery list.  I'm learning to plan 4-5 meals and that the remaining meals happen on-the-fly.  We have a couple of staple meals, for example every Thursday is Miguel's night and he makes a typical Honduran meal of beans, avocado, tortillas, etc.  Tuesdays Miguel is not home for dinner so I make pasta with frozen turkey meatballs (from Trader Joes), easy and not much clean-up.  I serve a vegetable with every meal but usually it's only Myra and I eating them.  I can't say enough about how meal planning has helped me feel less scattered.

The second thing is quick meals, ones that can be prepared in under 30 minutes.  I have two cookbooks that I use a lot, Cooking Light's Superfast Suppers and Cook's Illustrated The Best 30-Minute Recipes.  And I also keep old weekly menus to give me ideas.  I try to balance prep-heavy meals with super easy ones.  The Superfast Suppers are  very basic and sometimes rely on prepared foods I would rather not use (like pre-cooked sliced chicken breast) but the 30-minute recipes are sometimes too involved.  I also usually make at least one slow cooker recipe a week. In any case, I go for balance and variety.  Then I try to get to the grocery store so everything is on-hand.  Planning and ease of preparation, that's how I squeeze in the cooking. 

One neat thing that's come out of this is that I am making meals that I might have considered too high-calorie before (i.e. chicken alfredo) but I just have one serving for myself with a salad and veggies and that's plenty.   Something about planning and intention makes this so doable, whereas in my past life I would have scarfed down multiple servings.

That's all the life-solving help I have for you today :)  I hope it helps. 


  1. LOL @ "life saving help." After all these years (married 20 years now), I still need help with meal planning. I absolutely SUCK at it.

    I've used Rachel Ray's 30 minute meal cookbooks a lot, but her recipes are not always all that healthy... sigh. Nice lead on the Cooking Light cookbook. I have several of those as well, but haven't looked at them for awhile.

    BTW... 7mph on the mill. That's nice!

  2. Meal planning is one of those things that when I'm doing it I'm all, "this is the greatest thing ever!" but when I'm not, it seems like so much work (even though it takes *maybe* 15 minutes (if I focus) once a week. Thanks for the 7mph cheers, I'm loving getting speedy!


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