Since I last wrote a Trust Your Gut blog entry, I have been trying new things. I imagine myself to be lighter before I step on the scale. You might say I am manifesting through God, a lighter, healthier version of myself. I imagine all of the negativity that I keep within my body in the form of weight to be released.
To my complete and total shock, it is working.
Not only am I doing this, but I have started a month-long journey in a group coach setting. We meet in an online Zoom room, and Coach Elaine guides our sessions. There are also followup emails and activities for us to work on for the rest of the week.
To my complete and total shock, it is working.
We are learning how to use her VIBE method to help us achieve emotional weight loss. It is Coach Elaine’s own program, and it doesn’t involve a diet. Of course, she encourages to work on building healthy habits, but the focus is not on food.
The focus is on our emotions. We talk about feelings and share our emotional responses within the group. As there is a confidentiality agreement, I may only share my own experiences here.
I made some promises to myself when I started writing this blog category.
If you have been reading as I have been writing, you know I decided a long time ago that I wanted to mark significant goals in my journey. Specific rewards for becoming a healthier version of myself. With chocolate. Not the kind you eat. Chocolate diamonds, and a chocolate brown coloured dog. Things I really want to do for myself.
When my weight drops below 300 pounds, I will take a new picture of my feet on the scale, to celebrate my success.
When I got home from vacation in July, I had let the weight creep up to 326 pounds. It was at this time I decided to work towards Twoville and take a picture when I got there.
Other than one week since then, I have been watching the numbers on the scale drop. I am making healthier choices. Drinking less regular pop, drinking more water. Eating more Trim Healthy Mama recipes for lunch. When I am eating out, I try to compromise with a balanced meal instead of a carb-heavy meal.
My focus is not only on food, anymore.
When you change how you think about food, and stop obsessing about it, changes are bound to happen.
I am not letting food dictate my days any more. I do eat, but I am finding joy in other areas of my life, instead of trying to capture it in every bite.
There are two possible outcomes as a result of what I am doing. If I completely stop caring about what I eat and eat whatever I want all of the time, I would not see the weight going down. I am happy to say that I am seeing the other result. My weight is going down because I am thinking about my food in terms of choices, rather than obsessing about it and what I am going to eat next.
I am working on me, as I have been all year. This involves many appointments and a huge learning curve in some areas. One of the things I have started doing since working with Coach Elaine is to start being kind to myself.
What does it mean?
Being kind to myself involves making choices which are positively going to reflect on me as a person. It does not mean always taking the easy route, in fact, it involves pushing my limits, within reason. For example, it means I set aside the time to cook a healthy casserole for my lunches. The time it takes to cook meals is not always what I want to schedule. However, if I make the choice to do this for myself, I will have easy lunches for several days. I am choosing to invest time into something which is important. Something which allows me to not waste time or energy finding another choice for lunch which would not always be healthy.
It also means choosing to walk more, to try to be more active. In the last few weeks, I have started telling my husband that I am walking to the next store we need to go to, rather than driving there. I am making a conscious effort to add more steps into my day, as I found my smart band, and I am remembering to put it on.
Most importantly, I am not holding on to negativity. I am looking at the positive side of everything I can and reflecting it outward. It means I am choosing what is going to positively benefit me and my health, not what is going to give me an instant gratification which would always bring along guilt and shame with it. This is what I believe I am doing to be kind to myself, and to my complete and total shock, it is working.
I am seeing results from my work.
I have lost 23.5 lbs since July 10th, which means I am almost ready to take a new picture of my weight for this blog. Now that I am actually seeing results, I am excited to keep working on my health. In fact, I released 8.5 lbs since my second session with Coach Elaine two days ago, and I had lost 4.9 lbs in the previous week. I usually weigh myself on Wednesdays. When I weigh again on Fridays, I have noticed that I am seeing amazing results. It makes me want to follow this trend to see if I keep losing weight on Fridays. I don’t know if it is because of the training I am doing on Wednesdays which is helping the weight loss, or if it is something that will continue when I am done the program.
I damn near fell off the scale when I saw my weight today. 302.5 lbs! As I have signed up for an accountability group with a small prize for the top three weight losses in the next 3 months, I was only getting on the scale to get a picture of my weight for the contest. If I didn’t take the picture, I don’t think I would even believe I saw that number on the scale today. The changes I am making are adding up to be positive experiences, even if they require me to work on myself to get to the other side. With results like these, I would be foolish to stop.
Next week I will share what I decided to do this week after my session with our group led by Coach Elaine. It relates to a similar topic I have written about before, but it steps it up to be a whole new level of how I look at myself.
Until then, if you have any thoughts about this post, I would love to read them.
This week, I am reminding myself that minor setbacks are minor. I gained a couple of pounds after losing for a few weeks in a row. It is going to happen, and that is a fact of life. Fluids are going to be retained, no matter what plan you are on.
I am writing today to let you all know that I am still on the right path, even if I slipped a little. Some junk food made it into the house, and I am certain it is what caused this minor setback. It is okay, as long as I make a recovery plan.
It is summer. Ice cream.
I am human, and I will sometimes go for the ice cream. The trick is to make it a treat, and not an everyday event. I got bagels and cream cheese. I do like bagels and cream cheese and want them from time to time. It is better for the budget to buy them at the grocery store than at a cafe. I will do this from time to time. It is okay.
What isn’t okay is throwing my hands up into the air in a sign of defeat.
We all have those moments. The days when everything is going wrong and all you want to do is go get some fast food to make one thing easier on ourselves. Guess what? It isn’t true. If you give in, you are giving up on yourself when it becomes a pattern. If you get fast food every time things are not going well, it is going to become a bad habit, with some nasty side effects.
You will feel bloated, and you will retain fluid. Then you will get on the scale, and see it went up. What a nasty cycle of negativity.
One reason why I do not weigh myself every day is that I would become obsessed with my weight. It is not a healthy obsession, for me. It can cause a spiral of events that would have terrible side effects. Always wearing black clothes, and avoiding social events. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you want to hide. In case you haven’t learned this about me yet, hiding is not something I want to excel at.
While it is okay to have that treat once in a while, it is not okay to have treats every day, or more than once a day. Unless that treat is a salad. Fill up on healthy foods, and more than once a day is acceptable for healthy food choices.
What is working
I have been drinking a lot less pop, or for the south of the border readers, soda. I still have one every so often, but I am getting it less frequently than ever before. We are drinking more water, and of course, I am drinking coffee. I sometimes have a cold-brewed coffee or an iced coffee, and these beverages can be sugar-free. If I choose iced tea, it may or may not have sugar, depending on which one I choose.
I have cooked a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts today.
When I bake them in the oven, with greek and feta salad dressing, there are a variety of ways to make meals with chicken. I can then add it to a garden or pasta salad, casseroles( my favourite recipe is here) or make my own version of Buffalo chicken nachos. Not being a fan of anything super spicy, I add a smoky or hickory BBQ sauce and blue cheese dressing in place of the salsa and sour cream. Of course, I add chicken, tomato and green onion, but you can adapt nachos to include whatever options you prefer. It makes a nice change from ordinary nachos, and I haven’t made them often lately, but I do love my nachos. As long as they are mild.
When it comes to making casseroles, I stick to the Trim Healthy Mama recipes. They are found on their website, but if you search for them, many bloggers make their own THM recipes, and they are really great. I do need to focus more on cooking at home, and I have started.
What can you do?
It all goes back to doing what works for you. If you don’t know what that is yet, it might be time to try something new. I recommend checking with your doctor before making any serious dietary changes, to be on the safe side. Keto is really popular right now, but as a type 2 diabetic, I cannot eliminate carbs. That is exactly why THM is working for me, it is low carb, not no carb. I do not buy their products, except for the first book, I bought a while ago. I would buy all of their cookbooks before ordering their products. They do sell high-quality products, and I have no qualms about them. My reasons are that if I can find similar products locally, I will try to go that route first.
If you can make your meals at home, from scratch, it will make a difference in your health. I do enjoy cooking. The cleanup, not so much. Certain foods are optimal to batch cook to have leftovers, such as the chicken I cooked today. It will help me make better meal choices because it is ready to use. If I prepare food and have it ready to grab when I need it, I make healthier choices, and I do see results. If you aren’t a fan of buying chicken breasts in bulk, you can buy a whole chicken, and roast it in your oven or slow cooker with this recipe.
Start with one meal a day.
With THM, they recommend you start with breakfast. I am currently eating a smoothie bowl breakfast almost every day. A small container of yogurt, a small container of unsweetened applesauce and a raisin, nuts and seeds mix all together. I have been adding 20 almonds as well since we had bought some on sale and I want to use them up. There are plenty of other options out there, I also like eggs and avocado for breakfast. When I have too many meals in a row without carbs, I do notice a difference. So, I mix them up, to make things balance better for me. I choose to eat Silver Hills sprouted wheat bread. It is not on the plan, but I still use it. I like it, and that is important, too.
What changes can you implement to start your path or add variety to your journey to become a healthier version of yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious, and always looking for new ideas.
I was supposed to write this story last week, but time got away from me. I have a lot on the go, and sometimes I have to decide what to prioritize. I am going to try and catch you all up on what has been going on.
I have made some changes recently, in the hopes of improving my health.
I have all but eliminated pop from my beverage list. I will still allow it from time to time, but Roy started this a little while ago, and I am supporting him. Even though Zevia is on the plan. I will still have pop with pizza, and sometimes at home, but we have reduced our intake. He has lost some weight. I have had improvements in my blood sugars, with this and paying more attention to what I am eating and remembering to take my medicine. Little changes add up to big results. My 3-month average was starting to creep up to a bad number. It was 9.6; 6 months ago. The doctors want is under 7. I am happy to say that the latest bloodwork had it down to 8.8. Yes, it is not where we want it to be, but my doctor was so impressed that she said not to worry too much about that awfully high number you see in the cover pic. It was my weight not that long ago.
I was participating in a 10 day, 30 photo challenge online when I took it. The camera did add 2 pounds ( really, it did). I took to my Facebook wall and asked what colour should I choose ambiguously for the challenge that day. Hot pink or Legendary Red. Hot Pink won by a landslide. I painted my toenails in pink, dug up the feather boa, and stepped onto the scale for a pic. I knew it was really hard to do, and sharing it was brave. I was scared, but for me and my journey, I needed to share this pic.
It will soon be amongst the 29 + other pics I took over those 10 days in an album or graphic soon. I want to have them all together, to show others what I am capable of. Take note of that ending of the last sentence. to show others WHAT I AM CAPABLE OF! I am learning more about myself and what I can do every day!
My weight is a concern to me. It is the highest I have ever been to, and I know I need it to change. With that in mind, I decided to reach out to a Health Coach, who was recommended by my Diabetes Case manager. I had a few things to check out for our first appointment.
I have taken on the Wellness Wednesday Project (WWP) as the Ambassador. I am trying to help people at work with contests, prizes and information. My boss offered this as something I could do when I asked him if I could write a blog for our workplace. I was going to be at work early in the morning for a couple of months, and I thought writing would be something I could do at that time. I cannot access my book online to work on it, there is only wi-fi in the mall, not in the call centre I work at. I am not able to work on it there, unless it is old school, pen and paper, on my own time. When I am not working on WWP, I do take the paper copy of my book in and edit or write stories for the Kit Sora Flash Fiction with Engen Books. In the last one I entered, I placed second with my story. I placed third recently in another one. They are fun, and I am glad I can enter them.
Rabbit hole. Sorry, I get distracted sometimes.
There is a point, though. 😉
I was researching the Health Coach idea in light of my own need, asking about options for a friend, and checking on what might be available for work. There are workshops, and that may be something that happens in the future. For now, I have some information and I am working on my own goals with her. I am able to meet with her for appointments and we are working on my sleep habits, first. I am not able to change them yet, but I am conscious of what I am doing that delays bedtime on work nights, and I am trying to do better. We are now lowering the goal from 5 nights a week to 2 nights a week, to see if I can find ways to sleep longer. 5 or 6 hours a night is barely enough to be able to function. I am managing, but not feeling like my best when I am following this sleep-deprived schedule.
In talking with her at my appointments, we decided that sleep is important enough as a foundation for achieving my goals that it should be the right goal to start with. I need to put a little more importance in my health and sleep patterns to live a healthier lifestyle. It will trickle into other areas, and I will have the energy for things that I want to do but am too tired to do.
Something I realized is that I am putting a lot of things in the way of going to bed, and I need to treat myself to the same level of importance by getting enough sleep every night. I am working on it.
Even though the scale is not being nice to me right now, I am making progress in my blood sugars, which is very important for a diabetic. Once I start getting the right amount of sleep, the scale will be nicer. I just know it.
The other thing I have done was start a weight loss support group tied in with #Tishspiration. I am trying to hold myself accountable. I am working with a small group to help them and myself, to stay motivated. I am getting great feedback, which helps me to know I am on the right track. It is good to have a place where friends are in the same boat with you, or as I shared in a gif, all kittens in the same roller coaster ride. Since it is a small group and kept secret, the people in it feel safe sharing what is going on. I am finding their stories inspirational to me. It is a place to share our journey, and I do think it is going to help us all, in one way or another.
Like I wrote at the start, I am very busy these days. I am enjoying it as long as that is still a side effect, I will keep on keeping on!
It has been a while since I felt up to writing a regular Blog story. I am sorry if you were missing me and my writing, I needed a break. I was on a really good streak there, for over a year. Some people write their Blog stories ahead of time. I usually sit down and pound it out on the keyboard right before I publish. It could be an hour more or less, and I usually come up with a title, topic, and story. This week I am going to share something a little different in Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story. Part 57 Prep Cooking Tips is going to be a top 5 list of my own Prep Cooking Tips!
I have written about the importance of prep cooking in my own journey to become a healthier version of myself. I have found that I am less likely to eat unhealthy if I take the time to prepare healthy choices for my lunches, and sometimes even breakfasts and suppers. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, as long as it is within reason. I tend to give an inch and take a mile or ten. So, I know that prep cooking works, and I must get back into the habit of it.
I had plans last weekend but I got sideswiped by an unexpected injury. I was walking, which is supposed to be something that is good for me. I somehow managed to pull some muscles in my foot. I was in a lot of pain for 3 or 4 days. I am taking fewer painkillers now, and hoping that the weekend is nice. I am going to plan a short walk. I have to build up my tolerance a little more slowly, as it has been some time since I walked for longer than it takes to go get groceries. Now that I am on the mend, it is time to start walking a little more each day. It is a plan.
These tips may seem like common sense to more experienced home cooks. I think that if you plan ahead the prep cooking will go more smoothly than if you don’t.
1. Determine what type of meal you want to cook. Go through recipe books, Pinterest, and websites. Most of your family favourites can be made in bulk and frozen, to reheat or cook when you are ready to eat them. Write down the recipes in a planner for when you are going to eat them if you want to be really organized. People plan meals by the week and month. There are lots of guides for this online, depending on what suits your fancy. Since I am a fan of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, when I get serious, I will be planning according to their guidelines. You can make this as simple or as complicated as you like. The more effort you put into this, the better results you will get. It is up to you.
2. Now that you have recipes selected, write down your ingredients list. Include everything for each recipe. Then check your cupboards and pantry for the ingredients that you have on hand, and cross them off the list. The remaining items will become the start of your grocery list. If you are feeling like you have extra time, go through the fridge and cupboards and toss the expired items. It will be better to replace them before starting the cooking step, and finding that you need to get more of something that is mouldy or gone bad.
3. Next, you will need to think about utensils, pots, pans and storage. Do you have what you need to prepare and store what you will be cooking? This limits me a bit. We are a household of 2 adults. We live in a mini home. There is not a lot of storage in my kitchen. I have had to become creative with storage methods. I have 2 shelving units and a bookcase in my kitchen. They work for now. I also prefer glass containers for anything that needs reheating later on. So the plastic storage is available, but not used for prep cooking storage, unless it is something that will not be going into a microwave. I also use more Mason jars than I have room to keep organized. They are another way to store soups, salad in a jar, and pantry items.
4. Go to the grocery store to get what you need. This can be pricey the first few times if you are starting from scratch. If you are on a budget, use coupons and flyers. Get as many deals as you can. If you have like-minded friends, TEAM UP! If you have 3 friends to join in, and you all buy enough for 4 batches of a different recipe, then you have 4 meals prepped, and you will have CHOICES! Working together with friends to make homemade healthy meals is a great way to have a productive social gathering! Take turns hosting once or twice a month. Make it a THING, and make it FUN! Have snacks. Get more done faster, including clean up! (This can also be teenagers if they are a part of your family. They won’t be able to help with the budget, but they would be happy to help if it means they get some cookies or a movie night aw a thank you!
5. Don’t Give Up! Start with one recipe, doubled up. Then make something different the next time. Keep building recipes until you have a good variety, and you don’t have to cook for the whole month in one day. Spread out the work over time, and you will have a freezer full of healthy food in a few weeks. When you feel like cooking, make something. When you don’t you have a plan. As long as you keep rotating what you make, it will pay off!
Tonight I made Cheeseburger Pie for supper. It is in a 9 x 13 pan. It serves 6 to 8 people. There are 2 of us. When I have it for supper, I have 2 pieces. When I have it for lunch, I have 1 piece. I will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I plan to freeze one or two portions, for whenever I am craving a burger. Sometimes you just want that burger so bad…that it is good to plan ahead and have a cheeseburger pie portion in the freezer ready to heat and eat. When I want a BigMac or a Mozza Burger, I make Big Mac Salad. With cheddar, it is a BigMac SALAD, and with Mozza, it is an amazing Mozza Burger SALAD. No buns makes it a salad! I even put the sesame seeds on top!
BigMac Salad for Lunch
In case you aren’t on my Facebook, and you want to know what Cheeseburger Pie is, I am going to share a link to the recipe. It can be found with other recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama website, and if you check out the recipe, you can also take a look at the THM plan and other recipes. They even have products for sale there. I am not affiliated, so I leave things up to you. I love the recipes, and I also am happy that I know it is a plan that does work for me WHEN I WORK THE PLAN!
In Trust Your Gut this week, I’m writing because Something Has Changed! The Shrinker is working! The Shrinker must be working! I am not talking about the scale and the pounds here. I am talking about my metabolism. I feel real hunger again. It can mean different things. My activity level has not increased dramatically. I have started drinking the Shrinker to boost my metabolism. I am choosing to believe that it is what is happening. The only other option is that I am not eating enough. I can’t say I am totally convinced one way or the other on this. I do eat 3 meals a day. I have snacks. I don’t think that is the answer. Which leaves the possibility of the combination of foods I am eating as wrong. I am open to that also.
*Note* My apologies for being so late with this blog post this week. I was having a hard time collecting my thoughts, but I figured it out!
I’ve been eating fewer carbs and more protein. I cannot eliminate carbs completely. I start losing control of my hunger and my sugars when I do that. That is something that makes THM different from protein-based diets like Atkins. I need the balance. I learned today that Keto may be similar to THM. I might look further into that.
I plan some prep cooking on Sunday. It is the best way for me to stay on the plan. It is hard work to live a healthier lifestyle, and that is why it is hard to keep myself motivated. All I can do is my best when I feel up to it, and the rest will fall into place.
Now I am asking myself, what step should be next in my journey? THM experts say to start with one thing, and when you master that one thing, build upon it. I am having such success with the Shrinker, it is time I got serious about my beverages. I am not giving up wine. I am having WAY too much fun learning about different wines, and searching for “the one.” I drink my coffee black, and I also have a lot of fun reviewing the coffees that I try. I am going to go back to the THM basics for this one. I am talking about Good Girl Moonshine, aka GGMS.
With the Shrinker, the oolong tea, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are working together to increase my metabolism. Since I seem to be hungrier more frequently, I can assume that the fuel I am putting into my body is being burned up more quickly. That is what I am hoping is happening. The GGMS has a different recipe, and therefore a different method to how it works.
GGMS in its basic recipe, is water ginger, apple cider vinegar, and optional sweetener of choice. I use Swerve. It is Erythritol, and it does not leave an aftertaste in your mouth. It does leave a cooling sensation, which is different, but not unpleasant. I notice it more when I bake with it, rather than when I put it into my beverages.
People use a variety of different additions to the basic GGMS recipe, to make it their own. My own personal favourite is the Black Cherry Berry Celestial Seasonings tea. I add 4 tea bags to every batch, which is about 1 tea bag for every 500ML of GGMS. That was all I needed to make this beverage tasty.
Apple cider vinegar can have an effect on your teeth. It can weaken your enamel. I have talked to my dentist about it, and as long as I am using a straw, which THM recommends as well as a glass drinking container. It is also important to have water after, to make sure your mouth is rinsed out. You can brush your teeth after rinsing with water if you are really concerned about the enamel on your teeth. I don’t always brush, but I do rinse with water (which most of us do not drink enough of anyway) and because it is supposed to be helpful to losing weight, I don’t spit it out, I drink the water. I am just adding to the benefits this way.
You can find the Shrinker and the GGMS recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama Website, under the Recipes page. Check it out! I can honestly say that I know I feel better, and I start the scale going in the right direction when I am following the plan. If you are more curious, I recommend their books as well. They have several out now, and that includes recipe books. One thing I have yet to try in my healthier lifestyle is to make a recipe that includes okra. That is something I plan to figure out when I get a chance. Trying new foods is an adventure, and I love spaghetti squash, so I’m up for trying new foods on occasion. Sometimes I am surprised, and I like them. Do you eat okra? Do you have any tips for me? Leave a comment below, and it may help me get over the nerves of trying a new food.