Jul 182013
 

Not to say that I will never have a bout with emotional compulsive eating again, but I have truly moved past them as a regular occurrence in my life.

I started at the Emily Program back in March with an hour of therapy and a half hour of a dietitian every week.  In those months I have been focused on removing food rules, identifying emotional eating, working on what the true causes of my emotional eating are.  For me it is feelings of sadness, loneliness, worry and general anxiety.  There was also just a food anxiety in there that has built up over the years of Weight Watchers and other “food limit/food counting” type of diet plans.

Over the last month or so my food logs, which I have an example of here and my use of H.A.L.T which I talk about here have lead me to a point where pretty much none of my eating is scored as anything out of the average range and I’m eating when I am at the “H” in H.A.L.T, which is Hungry!

I did have one bout with emotional eating a couple weekends ago, but it was short, I identified it and talked myself through it and…it was over and done with after only about 8 Oreos (that’s pretty good!!)

I talked to my dietitian yesterday about being concerned about my weight (for health reasons, not looks) because as I worked on this journey of no food rules and identifying/regulating my emotions, I definitely have put on a few more pounds. I haven’t been weighing myself, but I know because I have to wear bigger sizes.

Since my emotional eating is in the normal range, my dietitian and I moved on to still logging what I’m eating, but also categorizing what I’m eating as follows: protein, grain, vegetable, fruit, fat, dairy or dessert.  Pretty much every serving of food falls into one or more of these categories.  There are guidelines and goals for how many servings in each category a person should be eating and yes servings have measurements. But for now, we are just categorizing, so I can learn about the food groups and how many of each I am getting each day and eventually we’ll move to learning balance and guidelines for each group.  This is all moving towards intuitive eating.

Speaking of, she recommended a book to me that I’ve been reading (and we’ve been following, but not to the letter). I want to recommend it to any of you who are struggling with “eating plans” and “diets”…and instead want to learn about eating what your body needs and wants…..like when you were a baby…you cried for food and stopped when you were done, and you weren’t overweight, right? RIGHT!

Intuitive Eating, 3rd Edition – Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch

I feel like I’m taking back control, my dietitian and therapist have been invaluable in helping me learn a new way of eating and a new way of thinking for myself and to get away from thoughts that are triggered by anxiety….thus moving me away from emotional eating which has been destroying my efforts to be healthy almost my whole life.

Thanks for reading

<3 Merbear

May 062013
 

My cravings to eat compulsively or binge have already started to wane away, because I have allowed myself to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Imagine that, allow myself to have any food, whenever I feel hungry….and I eat LESS

Last week when I met with my dietitian at The Emily Program, she talked to me about how there is a physical and mental part of everything we eat. The physical part is the nutrition, the mental part is how our brain reports back to our emotions about being full..or I could even say “fulfilled.”

She said I’m pretty good at the physically full/comfortable part of things, but not the mentally full.  Which is why I tend to overeat, have cravings, and can’t stop thinking about food.

I now need to make sure I have 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and even my snacks need to give my brain the message that I am fulfilled.   We put together some snacks based on things that I love and her nutritional know how.

One of key things is that whether our body eats a light cracker/cookie or a regular cracker/cookie our physical need may be filled,we gave ourselves a “grain” and maybe a “sugar”  but our mental side sees the light ones and how they have less fat, less calories, more empty processed stuff and isn’t fulfilled.

Our body mentally and physically also needs a grain/fat/protein/fruit or veggie  in every meal or snack…so a fat free or light yogurt is seen/processed as a dairy…where as a regular one is dairy, fat and fruit! Ooh, that regular yogurt hit a couple of the must haves of a meal or snack!  (yes, we need dairy but it doesn’t have to be in every meal or snack).

A bit of a “showstopper” for me, to tell my brain that a meal is over is fat and/or sugar.  So, if I have two Dove chocolates at the end of lunch, that tells my brain lunch is over..and it removes and/or majorly limits my compulsion to overeat, keep grazing, or eventually binge on something for fulfillment.

Snacks we put together for me to use this week for morning snack and afternoon snack (since evening snack is ice cream always!!)

Homemade trail mix: Cheerios, cashews, coated almonds, m&m’s (I make an amount with a mixture per her recipe that will last me 7-10 days)

Actual snacks:

  • homemade trail mix with 1/2 banana (or a small banana)
  • snack bag of regular crackers(CheezIts are my choice) with 2 light laughing cow/1 regular laughing cow/1 baby bel
  • snack bag of Goldfish with regular string cheese
  • regular single serving yogurt & two cookies (Oreos are my choice)
  • Chobani bites (small, sweet yogurt) with 100 calorie pack of regular buttered popcorn
  • 3-4 graham crackers and a regular pudding cup

She also suggested that I have a bit of chocolate after lunch 🙂

So far, I’m feeling much happier with food 🙂

<3 Merbear

Mar 272013
 

I chatted a bit about this in my PNP Trackstar Challenge Facebook group, so thanks to those of you that are reading this again. I thought this would be a good topic to bring up to all my readers.

I haven’t been to a WW meeting for two weeks until today (I was on business trips, couldn’t find another meeting out of town that would fit in either)…..I’m up 9 lbs from my last weigh in. Ugh. I’m very glad that I don’t have any more traveling for quite awhile..and this was the first time I have ever traveled for work. So, I think I will recoup (I actually reset my WW start weight to start over)….and I will be ready with a plan next time I business travel.

There are things that I need to remember to plan ahead for:

1) Barley’s Angel’s meetings..there will be beer..I will be tasting it and discussing it with my friends (1x a month)

2) Parties on weekends….my friends get together and do gaming parties with lots of snacks and alcohol

3) No last minute food challenges…have snacks on hand, meal plans on hand, preview menus or have a plan for when I can’t preview a menu

4) I’m a foodie and a beer geek…there are so many awesome (healthy or not so healthy) things to try out there…I want to try them because I love the variety and trying new things….same with when I see a new beer that I haven’t tried…need to save my activity and weekly extra points for those NOT for a random snack on a Tuesday night unless I’m hungry and need it!

We know what has worked for me before, I lost about 4 lbs at my meeting two weeks ago…so what gives? What worked?

1) Meal Planning – it was fun, I loved knowing what meals I could make/have ready all week and I loved having leftovers and lunches!

2) Previewing menus before going out – decide what I want ahead of time..so that I can just enjoy the company when I’m out

3) Bring my own snacks and drinks to house parties, no one cares what I’m drinking

4) Be my own best friend, put myself first…its hard for me to say no when I have pressure (even if its fun, non-threatening pressure)

5) I am better at managing my choices when I get my anxiety in check, so I need to meditate/yoga/exercise/take some me time DAILY

6) I feel like my Weight Watcher’s meetings are Wednesdays are definitely important, but its a group and not a buddy, I need to find a buddy who is doing Weight Watchers and also “gets it”, someone from my regular day-to-day life. I have so many support groups online…so I’m reaching out to friends who may want to be a buddy.

I’d love some suggestions you guys might have about eating out, needing a snack last minute..what do you eat?,

What you might do if you have several “food related” things going on in one week…..

What do you do to have some “me” time..how do you make sure and take it?

I’m glad that I finished Slimgenics…that wasn’t real life…it was SO restrictive so I know why I lost all the weight, but I wasn’t going to be able to maintain that lifestyle…I can’t say no to everything , all the time for the rest of my life.  Weight Watchers has taught me some great lessons on building healthy spaces, meal planning, etc…I just need to get it INTO MY HEAD!

Also, I LOVE that it is finally brightening up and getting a bit warmer here in Minnesnowta!  I am so much better at exercising when I can get outside!!!! Go away winter blahs!!! I need to get my running times back to something acceptable and I want to get back on my bike! YAY!!!

<3 Merbear

Mar 042013
 

Hi!

This week I lost a pretty good amount of weight! What’d I do? Nothing crazy, took some advice from friends like Kris and Mindy who commented on my post last week:

I thought about what makes me feel satisfied, what foods are “whole” also known as Power Foods on Weight Watchers. I thought about how much I eat out and how Kris reminded me that the nutritional information at restaurants isn’t always spot on. I didn’t go crazy with measuring but I also was a bit more careful with it.  I made sure to have fruits and veggies with every meal or snack.   I ate out less and I drank beer only one night and it was just samples with my Barley’s Angel’s group, I also cut out cola except for ONE night because I needed some caffeine and something that was diet. I think that having at least one fish night a week is really good for us, too. I’m a big fan of steelhead trout these days, it tastes and looks like salmon, but is way less expensive and is even a little more moist.

What made me feel satisfied:  home made food

What did I drink: water, sparkling water, tea, coffee, skim milk (some diet soda but without any cola)

What did I prepare: LOTS of Weight Watcher’s and Hungry Girl recipes!!

How did I do it: I sat down on Sunday and whipped through the Weight Watcher’s recipe pages and printed out what looked good like a madwoman and threw them in a folder.  I did the same with my Hungry Girl to the Max cookbook.

Step 1: Grab all the recipes you can in about 30 minutes and get them all in one spot either in a book or printed out

Step 2: Pick 5 that you want to make that week

Step 3: Make a shopping list of what you don’t already have in the house

Step 4: SHOP! 🙂 🙂

Step 5: Cook what I want for dinner

Step 6: (if its a Sunday or Saturday, cook what I want for lunches!)

It seems simple enough, but I wasn’t doing this very often, now I will be. This week I have a whole week of lunches, plus other leftovers if I get too busy to cook during the week. I get to eat  Weight Watchers Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash for lunch this week..mmm with cheese, squash and spaghetti, mmmm!!!!

Weight Watcher's Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Weight Watcher’s Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Then leftover at home I have chili and chicken parmigiana!! All were recipes from the weekend!

I’m also prepared to make buffalo chicken fingers this week as well 🙂

We learned this last month in Weight Watchers and it finally has hit my brain and is proving to be true, preparing my own food and planning ahead what I  will eat, especially dinners…really helps me stay focused on my points for the day because I feel satisfied and PROUD of what *I* made…I know what’s in it, I know its good for me, and I know its tasty already. I look forward to the meals I made or will make for dinner, and it keeps me on track all day. I know how many points I can have the rest of the day! (This can be translated to calories or whatever type of plan you are on)

Another good thing about prepping ahead: you get all the dishes done on prep day instead of washing pots/pans/mixing bowls etc repeatedly all week..its SO NICE!

I kept the ball rolling…I made ahead and planned meals for this week, too.  Loving this!

Oh, and I’ve earned 12 activity points for WW this week so far (I go Wed – Tue). Add something active and fun into your weekend as a social event or something with a loved one. I’ve been lifting weights and walking/running on the treadmill, too.

<3 Merbear

 

Jan 232013
 

As you all know I’m a WW member now and wow, the program has gotten so full of helpful habits, tips & routines.

This month the routine is adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal.  I had to remind myself at first, but now I do it automatically. It might seem like a chore at first…but adding a banana, strawberries or a melon to breakfast; cherry tomatoes, an apple or oranges with lunch; or,some salad and cooked veggies with dinner has really made me feel fuller and more satisfied with my meals and snacks. I am actually now starting to crave certain veggies..like roasted brussels sprouts!

One habit I am SUPER proud of though is planning out my meals and points before I eat them.  This is a slow habit to build because I’m not a very good meal planner. But, knowing what I’m going to have for dinner…really helps me to stay on track all day. I’m looking forward to my yummy planned ahead dinner and I know what snacks/meals I can have during my work day and not feel guilty or worried about “fitting in” dinner.

Last night I made Steelhead trout. This fish tastes and looks exactly like salmon except it is more tender and has less fat/calories/points and the same amount of protein 🙂  By the way it was really easy, I just cooked it in a packet of foil in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes. It was PERFECT. (Oh, I put lemon juice, a couple sprays of olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and dill) It was a household favorite!

As part of my counting up points before I eat them, I had a Vietnamese take-out victory today. We went to a local, only open for lunch during the week, Vietnamese restaurant to pick up lunch for work today.  I ordered the chicken & vegetable stir fry with fried rice.   I already had my breakfast points in my tracker, I also have my homemade baked chicken fingers for dinner in there too, and then I put in the chicken & vegetable stir fry (2 cups).  After that…I saw how many points I had left for the day. Determined I wanted a snack with points this afternoon combined with my apple, so I took that out. Then, I saw how many points I had left and I MEASURED out 1/2 a cup of fried rice (I keep measuring cups at work!) and threw the rest away!!

Measured my fried rice!

Measured my fried rice!

Threw the rest away!

Threw the rest away!

 

Tracker

 

How about that?  Rockin’ the healthy habits!!!

<3 Merbear

 

P.S.

I’m all set for Fitbloggin’ 13 in Portland! I hope to see you there!

Jan 032013
 

No! Seriously! They’re good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I got home from work, hubby wanted to make tacos…but he had to do some work first..and I was pretty hungry.

Did I eat chips? No

Did I eat crackers and cheese? No

I said, hmm….I feel like having brussels sprouts…seriously! You can go from raw brussels sprouts to a yummy roasted snack in 20 minutes!! NSV!!! Vegetable snacking!

I grabbed my bag of sprouts, chopped off the bottoms, split them in half, tossed them in olive oil and baked them at 425 for 20 minutes! Voila! YUMMMY!

While I was waiting for them to bake I had a banana, a quick, sweet, tasty healthy treat.

But then, while I was waiting for tacos to be ready…I snacked on roasted salty brussels sprouts and watched TV…ate it just like popcorn or chips…mmmm mmm!!!

Another yummy vegetable appetizer that I’ve had  was at the Cheesecake Factory of all places…..on the Skinnylicious menu they have roasted artichokes…sooo yummy, too!

Keep those eyes open for new tastes!

Nov 132012
 

As most of you know I’ve lost 40 lbs on Slimgenics, and I’m extremely thankful for the program, the counselors, the friends I’ve made via the program online and here at home…..but, I’m done.

No, I’m not done losing weight, but I’m done with Slimgenics…the time for a super strict…can’t have bananas, melons, avocados & carrots plan is over.  I’ve learned some excellent fundamentals from Slimgenics about eating a high protein, lower carb, low glycemic index diet in order to lose weight quickly…..but this is not something I’m going to survive on. I need to learn to lose and then maintain using the much more open, easy to work into intense workouts, group support atmosphere of Weight Watchers. I’m toying the idea of getting to goal and then applying to be a leader….that’s how much I like Weight Watchers.

You may ask: “Well, why haven’t you gotten to go before on Weight Watchers, Meredith?”  My answer is that I truly wasn’t in the right place to have balance yet…I was only in a place for quick solutions. Now, my life is balanced..I exercise…and its FUN….the majority of my friends and all of my family  have a healthy lifestyle…and, well I’m ready. I’m ready to have more choices…..I don’t need the restrictions anymore.

I’m excited that Liz @LutherLiz has a meeting that I can attend with her….she is super motivational and inspiring to me..and that extra push of having a friend in the meetings is just what I need!

So, on to Weight Watchers…tomorrow morning!

<3 Merbear

Some days, you just have to go with the flow..

 Basics, fun, lifestyle, support, Team REFUEL  Comments Off on Some days, you just have to go with the flow..
Oct 162012
 

 

First…Hello out there Popchips winner..I haven’t heard from you yet! Can you post in a comment here if for some reason I missed your email?? Otherwise, I’m drawing again this week!

Second….vote ALL month for me!!  I NEED YOUR VOTES!  I submitted a video sharing what my After workout ritual is and how I refuel with lowfat chocolate milk and now have the chance to get sponsored on Team REFUEL! Check out my After video to VOTE FOR ME! If it earns the most votes at the end of the month, I’ll be the next sponsored athlete of Team REFUEL and have a chance to star in my own “got chocolate milk?” ad! And it’s all for a good cause. For every vote cast, REFUEL will donate $1 to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Thanks

SEE MY VIDEO AND VOTE HERE! 

Swinging at the Park

Its the little things

I woke up this morning and I didn’t want to do anything. I was stuck by being po’ed at not losing weight or even maintaining over the weekend. Yes, I had some fun at the Zombie Pub Crawl…totally worth it…

Ryan & I are dressed as zombies

RAWRR BRAAINS!

 

…..but I still kinda felt like I was paralyzed…I couldn’t move on with my day, because I couldn’t decide if I was going to go to Slimgenics and face the music of an official weigh in (after a week of not going)…I stayed in bed and read Twitter, read about jobs, applied for jobs (still looking for some copywriting contracts folks!)….looked at Facebook…then….called my mom….

…yup, calling mom works 🙂  She invited me out on a walk around the lake with her and some homemade mom-style lunch beforehand.  Perfect! It got me something specific to go do and to get my juices flowing! While I was over at my parents’ house I got a voicemail from Slimgenics encouraging me to come in, offering some strategies to stay on track and some Halloween tips. I then planned to go today…but found out from mom that my niece would be spending the evening. I jumped at the chance to hang out with her….thus…swinging at the park and a big smile on my face.

I needed that.

Mom time, adorable niece time…swinging on the swings time..

Know what I mean?

<3 Merbear

 

 

Who are you and what did you do with Meredith?

 awesome, goals, lifestyle, running, Successes, workouts  Comments Off on Who are you and what did you do with Meredith?
Mar 202012
 

This morning I realized….I’m truly a changed (and still changing) person. Just one year ago, if I couldn’t have my workout at a certain time, or if it conflicted with time to get perfectly ready for work or go out with friends, or whatever, I wouldn’t workout or I’d cut a workout short. I’d choose being all prettied up and social time over time for taking care of my health.

Well, as of the last few weeks, and with further proof this morning, I now truly value my workouts and my fitness goals over at least the prettied up part. I still highly value social time…but a lot of my social time has turned into walks, runs and bike rides (more of those coming this summer!)

So, my AHA moment this morning? I have to leave the house at 7:45am to get to work at a comfortable time without worrying about traffic and other *things* that can get in the way. So, that would mean if I’m going to shower, I should be done working out at 7am if I want to dry my hair or 7:15am if I don’t. Well, things got a little frazzled this morning, I set my alarm a little too late to have time to eat breakfast, workout, shower, etc. I have a 10K training plan now and had to get in 2 miles, all at once, this morning…which takes about 26 minutes for me right now. So what got sacrificed? Mileage? Shower? Breakfast? Hehe…breakfast turned into buttered toast and a protein bar while I was throwing on running shorts and a sports bra and heading down to my treadmill. I proceeded to watch the clock as I got closer and closer to 7:30, then 7:35, then 7:40……and I watched my mileage get closer and closer to 2 miles….PHEW! DONE! 2 miles! ACK! 7:45am! I ran upstairs while pulling off my sweaty workout clothes. I ran into the bathroom….wiped myself down with a clean towel, wiped down my face with facial cleansing wipes, blew cool air through my hair with a hairdryer and threw it in a ponytail. Put on deoderant, sprayed myself with some body mist, ran upstairs and threw on some clothes (thank gosh for losing weight, I have lots of easy choices), ran back downstairs, put on some perfume and a bit of makeup and ran out the door. Yup, ponytail…sweaty hair…minimal makeup….no shower….and I went to work.

Guess what? I felt awesome ALL DAY. TOTALLY WORTH IT! Now, its not like I won’t take a shower before bed…but omigosh, I don’t have to be a pretty pretty princess anymore and it FEELS GOOD!

<3 Merbear