Forget Yesterday

Okay, so it sounds like everyone agrees that my 1,200 calorie target is silly.  (Thank God!)  I’ve never been a successful calorie counter, and I’m taking a break from Weight Watchers (which has worked incredibly well for me in the past.)  So…What do I do?  I don’t really know, thus the reason I’m here struggling to figure it out.  I’m tired of being a slave to points, but how is being a slave to calories any different?

Weight Watchers taught me a lot about portions and guidelines for healthier living, and I know that it’s better to eat cantaloupe than a cupcake.  I know that I can eat as much fresh baby spinach as I want to eat without it adversely affecting my goals.  I know that it’s better to eat lean protein and lots of veggies than it is to eat fried junk food.  I know what  healthy diet looks like, and that’s what I’m going to try to do over the next 29 days.

I’m not obese because I don’t know what to eat.  I’m obese because I don’t do the things that I know I should be doing I’m spending my birthday in DC and birthday weekend in NY.  For me those things include tracking my food.  (When I write it down, I think a lot more before I eat.)

I also need to find my exercise groove again too.  I’m bored at the gym, really bored so I need to make some changes in that area.  I signed up for a week of Bikram Yoga, and if it goes well I will sign up for a month.

My commitment to myself for the next month is to stop telling myself  that I’ll deal with this tomorrow and to make little choices that I know are good for me.   I’m going to start by heading up to the gym since that’s all I have time for today (boring or not.)

 

 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Meg
    June 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    “I’m not obese because I don’t know what to eat. I’m obese because I don’t do the things that I know I should be doing”

    One thing I want to add here. And I am NOT one of those fat girls who is all “it’s just my geeeeeenes” or someone who tries to use genetic makeup as a total excuse to not even try. But honestly, your genetic makeup does play at least some role here. There’s a reason that I have a tendency to gain weight easily and keep it on, while one of my besties literally never works out, eats whatever (including plenty of crap), and is an honest to God size 0. She was blessed, genetically speaking, and I was not. I have a feeling you weren’t either.

    There are thin people in the world who don’t work out anywhere near as hard as you do.

    There are thin people in the world who don’t watch what they eat anywhere near as well as you do.

    I am not saying this to “let you off the hook” and I think it’s great you’re still so committed even after a couple years of plateauing and struggling. But I think you beat yourself up too much and I wanted to just let you know that it is not, it cannot be ALL your fault.

    You know?

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      June 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      I know, Meg. I absolutely know. I have friends who eat fast food, then junk food, then ice cream…who don’t drink water often, who live on sodas and don’t exercise. Several friends come to mind like that, and they’re all thin.

      For me, it’s not about comparing myself to what they’re doing. It’s about knowing that I’m not doing what I know I need to do to succeed. It’s definitely *not* fair when you look at it that way, but I have been blessed with so many gifts that others haven’t. It’s just how it happens, but I absolutely appreciate your acknowledgment of that.

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      • Reply
        Chris
        June 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

        While genetics and all do play a role, that type of thinking is a cop-out, you are building in excuses before you even begin, setting the bar lower for yourself before you’ve begun the task.

        I was at a Professional Development last night and the last thing we did was we had to make something out of clay that represented the things we had learned over the last 8 months of monthly meetings. If I was presented with that clay a year ago I would have said out loud ‘I’m awful with clay!’ thus setting the bar lower for myself, everyone in the room then has no expectation of me to succeed. Last night I did not, and not only did I actually enjoy the process of making the item I was aiming at making, I made an additional piece just for myself.

        I would never let a student at karate set their ultimate goal to ‘just show up’, because they are not genetically an athlete and it will be hard to be as good as people who are naturally gifted. The people who struggle and then reach the goal end up to be much more effective teachers anyways!

        I’m rambling, and maybe sounding harsher than I should, but point being, don’t even allow excuses into your mind before you begin!

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        • Reply
          Kenlie
          June 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

          Bro, I adore you, but read what I wrote. I know it’s probably genetically related, but I also know from my past experiences that I *can* get rid of extra weight. I never make excuses, Chris…I just don’t.

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          • Chris
            June 7, 2013 at 6:35 am

            I’m not pointing that at you, but the reply preceding (I didn’t see the other reply link until after I had hit send).

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  • Reply
    Kristen
    June 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Hey Kenlie,
    I was wondering what you meant by you can’t eat as much baby spinach as you like without it adversely affecting your goals. Considering baby spinach is INSANELY healthy for you (unless you douse it in ranch? or cook it in cheese) I can’t even begin to imagine how eating or not eating it could so affect anything except your overall well being in a positive way? JMO and maybe you’ve posted something about it before that I’m not aware of. Anyway, I am just curious.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      June 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Oops! That was a major typo! I meant that I *can* eat as much spinach as I want to. Thanks for catching that. Ha.

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  • Reply
    JoAnn
    June 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Check this out..http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Knowing-Doing-Gap-How-to-Stop-Procrastinating/
    “The Knowing and the Doing Gap” is what you are describing.

    This is my 4 th time back at Weight Watchers in 25 years and I am more successful now then ever before. It’s not just that the pounds are coming
    off, it’s the mental part that’s different. I see the points counting as a mindfulness practice. I don’t HAVE TO count points, I choose to count points.
    It’s what I do to be kind to myself. It flows right into my yoga and meditation
    practice that I started 3 yrs ago. Mindful eating is just a part of a Buddhist mindfulness practice. Not saying that I am 100% on track 100% of the time.
    Just like in meditation practice, when the mind starts to wander ( and it will)
    Come back and focus on breath . When I stray from mindful eating
    ( and I will sometimes) come back to counting points.
    I have lost 30 pounds since February 1 and have 40 more to go….one day at a time.

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  • Reply
    Marla
    June 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Kenlie – if you’re looking for accountability, then please try the Sparkpeople.com website. It is totally free and you can track your food, exercise, weight, etc. They send you articles about fitness, nutrition, jokes, blogs, videos and tons more stuff. You can try recipes, enter your own recipes in their cookbook online and keep recipes you like in your own recipe box. I love it and have lost 40 pounds since September 2012. You can join different teams and be part of challenges and make friends who will help you through a crisis or eating problems or plateaus. Check it out for yourself!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      June 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      I adore the folks at SparkPeople. I consider Coach Nicole a friend, and I’ve written posts for the Spark Blog. I think it’s a phenomenal service. I used to LOVE using it, but I don’t like that I have to pay for the app on my droid devices now so I haven’t bothered with it. Maybe I’ll consider it now..

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  • Reply
    Cheryl
    June 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I only read of few of the comments concerning the 1200 cal/day post so forgive me if I missed something. But it is ridiculous to think that someone who has a significant amount of weight to lose will mess up their metabolism or put themselves into starvation mode by eating like that. If that were the case why would WLS work so well? Or the all liquid diet that Mayo clinic supports for those who are morbidly obese. If someone was within 20 lbs of goal eating too little can cause them to plateau, not someone that has 100+ lbs. to lose. This is personal experience, not my opinion or a reference specifically to Kenlie. Just weight loss in general.

    As far as keeping track…it will always be a matter of keeping track, no matter what approach you have to weight loss/maintenance. We will always have to keep track of what we eat, one way or another or we will end up back where we started. Whether it is points, calories, carbs…you name it, if you’re going to be successful, you have to be accountable to yourself of what you eat.

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    • Reply
      Lisa
      June 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

      There are different opinions on what is a ” healthy” calorie target for obese dieters. But my personal opinion is you probably don’t plan to continue (and won’t succeed) eating 1200 a day for the rest of your life (most likely). And many studies that recommend very low calorie diets do not assume as high an activity level as Kenlie’s because a lot of morbidly obese people aren’t as fit.
      I think about it from a maintenance perspective. Sure it’s likely that eating 1200 calories a day will cause one to lose weight, but will one be able to maintain it and keep the weight off on a plan like that, probably not. Also, if you are able to be successful in weight loss while eating more nutritious food and feeling more satieted, isn’t that ideal? I think it’s at least worth a shot before jumping right into a bare minimum calorie plan. And dieters are more likely to feel deprived and have intense cravings on very low calorie plans and then fall off the wagon so to speak.
      I really liked the blog one of the other commenters posted from a formerly obese woman who found “the sweet spot” with her diet and exercise (and is now super fit). For her, eating under 2800 calories avg daily made her feel tired and deprived. Obviously everybody’s needs aren’t that high, but it makes you think about how much more we might really be able to eat and still achieve our weightloss goals. Always give more food a try at least because if it works, woohoo! And if it doesn’t work, a lower calorie diet will always be available.

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      • Reply
        Cheryl
        June 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        For my height(5’7″) and target weight(150) my caloric needs are 1650 per day. To lose weight eating 1200 cals. and doing 30-45 moderate exercise 3-5 times a week does produce a nice comfortable weight loss plan. I’ve done it, it’s doable and as several others have said, if you find low cal healthy foods that you enjoy it’s really not that hard. When you get close to your goal you gradually start adding back calories until you are at the level to maintain your desired weight. No one said anything about eating 1200 cal/day for life. It’s for weight loss.

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  • Reply
    Erin
    June 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    In addition to Sparkpeople.com, there are lots of other healthy lifestyle/calorie counting websites. They’re all free, and have apps for your phone.

    myfitnesspal.com
    dailyplate.com
    loseit.com

    Just to name a few! 🙂

    Erin

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  • Reply
    Heather@YSP
    June 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Baby steps, right? You do know exactly what to do, so maybe now you can take the opportunity to trust yourself? Write things down without counting… just keep a journal. That was my first step toward intuitive eating, two months of journaling my food. I didn’t necessarily write amounts but just kept track of what I ate and (most importantly for me) why I was eating or what I was feeling. It hel

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  • Reply
    Heather@YSP
    June 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    It helped me a lot.

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  • Reply
    Pj Geek
    June 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Having been on the WW merry go round of joining and rejoining over and over and then switching to calorie counting and doubting yourself and then never really seeing results can be rough. When you mix in periods of time of eating what ever you want or almost whatever you want and going off your plan over and over, it all becomes hard to focus on a true goal and plan and stick to it ness that is needed to achieve true success. Also, our body resists all of the stops and starts and ups and downs. The plan that works for 2 weeks or a month may stop working and you may need another plan and be ok with making that change.

    …..I’m not sure if you have met with a Registered dietitian , but they could guide you as to what is the right amount / type of calories for your body . Having an RD with experience with eating disordered / food addiction behavior (even if you don’t identify this way) can be the best benefit for you because their focus might be more about what is behind the behaviors that cause you to drop off your plans. Things you don’t even realize about yourself might become clear. I’ve seen various Rd’s over the years and some are trained just to lay out a calorie / food exchange plan based on your body stats. An Rd that is Eating disordered trained is going to work with you on a food plan for you –you will help mold this plan . They would have you journal feelings , food, hunger scale and review your food journals and help you maintain accountability. This is the only way I’ve had any measure of success in losing and maintaining weight loss. I wish you luck.

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 7, 2013 at 7:17 am

    I think it’s great you are reevaluating your plans and want to make your workouts more interesting. I’ve done bikram before, and while I liked it, it was pretty expensive for the classes so I decided my time and money was better spent elsewhere. I know I’ve asked you about sparkpeople.com before, but I wonder if it might be helpful for you to try it out again (I noticed after writing this that others mentioned the site as well). Since you want to get back into tracking calories (at least in the beginning, not forever!) they are really useful, and they have so many ideas for how to change up your workouts, keep yourself motivated, and just make small positive changes every day. And as for paying on your droid, can’t you access the website with your browser for free? Plus, I’m sure you’ve paid for other apps before, isn’t this one worth the small fee to D/L it?
    I was thinking maybe part of what’s holding you back is looking too much at the big picture and not enough on just small things you can do NOW that will add up in the long run. I’m also one of those people that always says, “I’ll start tomorrow” with all these big plans and far off goals. Then tomorrow turns into a week or a month or whatever. I have to actively check myself in the moment and be honest about the patterns that are forming and turn things around right then and there. And focus on mini goals so I don’t get discouraged.
    You have so many awesome people supporting you, who are very knowledgable and can help you succeed. So use them! Especially when you are feeling low on will power =)

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  • Reply
    Caron
    June 7, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Totally agree with Cheryl. You would not do yourself any damage by eating 1200 calories a day unless your 1200 calories were invested in things like cupcakes and booze.

    It really is not as complicated as it seems. We all know what it takes to lose weight. We just have to be consistent and DO what it takes to lose weight. Best of luck to you, Kenlie. I hope you reach your goals.

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    • Reply
      Vegan Gypsy
      June 7, 2013 at 8:40 am

      I agree with Caron and Cheryl. After trying (and failing) a bunch of diets including WW, Jenny Craig, South Beach, etc. I finally quit messing around and got serious. I went back to Sparkpeople (the app is a one-time fee, much less than I paid for weekly WW membership!), started logging every single thing I ate. I bought a Fitbit (for about 2 months’ cost of WW membership) to log activity. I aimed for 1200 – 1500 calories per day which isn’t difficult if I’m eating whole/clean foods, not junk. The good stuff is low in fat & calories and fills you up! Already a vegan, I thought I was eating healthy but there were too many glasses of wine & too many processed foods in my diet, so I eliminated the majority of those along with any additional oil/fat. Guess what? I’ve lost 7 pounds in the past month, something I was never able to do on any other “diet.” Some days are tough, I admit, but carrying around 40 extra pounds is no picnic either! After a few weeks it became easier, to the point that I feel like s**t if I go off my eating plan. I feel sooo much better and am 100% committed to eating this way, not just for now, not just til I lose the weight, for FOREVER. It’s been said time & time again, we have to make it a lifestyle, not a “diet.”

      I think you have a lot of support here, Kenlie, and perhaps in your Real Life as well. But no one can do it for you; as I’ve learned, it’s all up to me.

      Good luck, I hope you reach your goals!

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  • Reply
    Jane
    June 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

    You may want to check out It Starts with Food. Just a thought, not trying to push anything on you.

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  • Reply
    Patty
    June 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I forgot where I hear or read this…

    “If you eat clean then you don’t have to worry about calories.”

    That was a real eye opener for me. I used to fret about eating a whole avocado. But would not think twice about eating junk food. Now I worry less about the points/calorie in an avocado and look at labels of what junk food I am putting into my body. In the last month I’ve curbed my chip problem and stayed mostly with popcorn for snacking. Baby steps with a big impact.

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  • Reply
    Beth
    June 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Myfitnesspal is a free app, and I highly recommend it. When you do your setup, it will calculate how many calories you need. Like it or not, tracking everything is the best way to lose weight. Every day, every bite. It is eye opening. It is hard. But sometimes, we need hard because, if you’re like me, you need your eyes to be opened. Regarding the 1200 calories issue – I agree that it’s really not unreasonable, although at first you’ll probably be around 1500. That’s not much more! But it is doable.

    Here’s the other thing. I think it’s really unhelpful to look at any food with the mindset that you can eat as much of it as you want. Get in the habit of measuring a serving, even of spinach. Eat a serving. Stop before you’re finished if you’ve had enough. Speaking from experience here, if we continue in the mindset that there are some foods we can overeat, then we will not break the pattern of overeating in general. We never need to eat past the point of being satisfied, whether we’re eating pizza or spinach.

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  • Reply
    Gail
    June 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Didn’t realize that SparkPeople started charging for its app — wondered why it disappeared off my phone!

    I’ve been using My Fitness Pal and I love it. The scanner part of the journal is fantastic — it seems like every food on the planet is included, including fresh produce, which, yes, I am counting. It was EXTREMELY eye opening to start counting it after not on WW and realizing that it accounted for a few HUNDRED calories a day.

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  • Reply
    Valerie
    June 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    What if you, for one month, cut out the unhealthy stuff completely and freed yourself from the obligation of counting calories? For example, if you’re only eating meat, veggies, some fruit, and healthy fats…maybe some dairy…it would probably be pretty hard to overeat. The foods *I* tend to overeat are breads, sugars, sweets, etc. So for me, when I am off grains and sugar, I naturally end up eating fewer calories and what I *do* eat is so packed with nutrition that I’m satiated nearly all of the time. Just a thought.

    I do agree that 1,200 is way too low.

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  • Reply
    Andy
    June 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    One thing I see from your post and some of the comments below are that you need to commit to a system and stick with it. Its no good “trying” for a short time then going onto some other program. “There is no try – only do or do not” – Yoda.
    Bored at the gym? – vary your routine, sort out a different workout class like Grav Magi.

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  • Reply
    s
    June 8, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Just want to tell you how inspirational your attitude is. I’ve gained about 10 pounds recently and I can’t seem to lose them. It may not seem like a loit but it really looks like a lot on me. Anyway some days I get so frustarted and just want to say forget it ill eat whatever I want and keep gaining weight. Then I see people like youand I think how amazing it is you keep your head up and keep fighting and I know I can do it too. Thanks for keeping up your wonderful attitude!!

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  • Reply
    Chris
    June 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I don’t think 1200 calories per day is unrealistic at all. A woman’s daily calorie intake should average 1500-1800. So when dieting and trying to lose weight, 1200 is actually a decent goal if you ask me. Yes it’s a little aggressive, but definitely not out of reach. It just depends on how bad you want it. And it will definitely require some research on different foods and portion sizes in relation to their respective calories. But I can tell you this…there are a LOT of low calorie foods that will allow you to eat plenty so you’re not hungry all the time, while at the same time keeping your calorie count below your metabolism’s daily burn rate. You just gotta do a little homework first. But I say go for it. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Bonita Gordita
    June 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I thought the same thing when I got my Droid (re: Sparkpeople) – I didn’t want to PAY for the app. But it has been a very useful tool for me. What’s five bucks? If you’ve paid for WW or anything else, it’s really a drop in the bucket for a useful tool.

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  • Reply
    June
    June 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I have been a lifetime member of WW for quite a lifetime now. 😉 I take all those little things that you posted that you have learned and I use them every day. I don’t count points anymore. I don’t journal. I keep it real simple and I start each day making the healthy choice. Some days I make it all the way to supper making healthy choices. Other days, I don’t make it to lunch. I don’t use the dreaded word diet. I do weigh once a week and I see the scale numbers go up and down. I just enjoy each day to the fullest and always try to make the healthy choice. You know the healthy choices for you and you know the results you can get. If there is a special something I want as a goal, ( to fit into a certain outfit) then I hang that as incentive to keep making the healthy choice. All action starts with a thought. Just try to think healthy choice. Love you and hope you keep on keepin on!

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