My 2011 Eating Restructuring Plan

Note: This post is more personal than others I have written. I hope this series will help me examine some of my eating habits and help me make better choices in the New Year.

I hate the word “resolution,” especially when it has to do with New Year’s Resolutions. It’s like a pie crust promise – easily made, easily broken.

Still, I want to make 2011 great. I want to feel better, and I think my weight has a lot to do with why I don’t sometimes. I have asthma, eczema and allergies. I eat when I’m stressed out. I eat when I’m bored. I eat because it also makes me happy.

I’ve always felt like I’ve struggled with my weight. In high school, while I was a swimmer and quite active, I still weighed 145 pounds at my best. Just outside what my “healthy” weight and BMI should be at for my  height (5 foot 3). For someone my height, I should be between 105 and 140 pounds (18.9-24.9 BMI), depending on my body build. Currently, I’m at 176.6 – a BMI of 31.2 (I took the photo on the right after I ate lunch and had clothes on). My measurements are 38.5 inches at the waist and 42 inches at my hips.

My weight has fluctuated constantly since I left grad school in 2005. At that point, I was down to a size 10 jeans. Today, I’m in a size 16. The yo-yo effect of trying to lose weight has been because of various events and reasons – my wedding, someone else’s wedding, a reunion, wanting to exercise more, etc.

Nearly a year and a half ago, while I was at my last employer, I was getting ready for our biometrics screenings – a test of your weight, BMI, cholesterol and other factors. If it were a graded test in school, I didn’t too so hot at it. I felt horrible. I needed to make a change. So, my boss (and good friend) told me that she was doing the South Beach Diet to get her numbers in check for her test. I read the book and it sounded like a good plan.

Brett and I started the diet. It was hard at first to give up all of the refined sugars and flours. But soon, it got easier. I stopped drinking as much soda, snacking on candies through the day and eating empty calories. I made sure to eat more leafy greens, good proteins like fish and make sure I was getting the right kinds of fiber in my diet. I lost about 15 pounds while I was strictly doing South Beach. I felt really good. I was able to do my first 5k and relay triathlon. Yes, I got back into the pool after being away for more than 10 years. It felt great.

Then, unemployment hit.

When I lost my job this past fall, I was at home a lot. I was able to get up and go to the fridge or the cupboard more often. Stop at a drive-thru for a snack. It wasn’t good. Then, when I got my new job in Boston and knew that I would be leaving Milwaukee, I needed to ensure that I’d get that last Kopp’s custard or that last slice of pizza from Ned’s. I put on another 10 pounds.

Today, I feel sluggish and pudgy. I feel like my shirts don’t fit right and my pants are too tight again. But, that’s not the only reason for why I want to change my habits in the new year.

I also want to have a baby soon.

Being overweight and pregnant puts you and the baby at risk during pregnancy much more than if you were at a healthy weight before conception. I want to make sure I have a healthy and happy pregnancy as much as possible and avoid any pitfalls along the way.

So really, that’s my true reason behind wanting to lose the weight and being able to keep it off for at least six months before Brett and I start trying.

Mentally, I have been preparing for weeks that I know what I have to do. Jan. 1 was this deadline in my head – it could have been Thanksgiving, it could have been Dec. 1, but Jan. 1 seemed so much easier for some reason.

My plan is to look at my meals more closely. Make sure I’m getting the right carbohydrates – not the ones from sugars or white flours. Eat more vegetables and fruit. Drink more water to flush out the toxins from my system. And most of all, get back to the gym and the pool.Web MD Food & Fitness Tracker

I have signed up for a free account from WebMD for their Food & Fitness Planner. I hope by tracking what I eat and what activities I do to burn calories will help me take note of what I’m doing well and what I can improve on.

It’s going to be long, tough road as I try to reach my goal. I LOVE eating out as you know from this blog. But, just because I’m making this change doesn’t mean I still can’t do that. I just need to make the right choices. My goal is to make it to 145 pounds by taking off 1.5 pounds per week. I know there will be good weeks and bad weeks. But, that’s a total of 31 pounds. My goal is to be down to my ideal weight by July 31, and most importantly, being able to keep it off until Jan. 31, 2012.

I’ll post every now and again about how I’m doing. But I’m hoping for the best for me and my future family.

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8 thoughts on “My 2011 Eating Restructuring Plan

  1. Best wishes to you on your journey! I know you found a site for tracking, but I also wanted to recommend http://caloriecount.about.com/. When I stick to it, just recording the calories really works. Plus they have an easy to use iPhone app.

    I hope to get on the wagon again, as I fell off while I was so sick through the month of November. And I have more to lose than you do (I’m only an inch taller and weigh more).

    Wisconsin misses you (as do your WHPRMS friends cohorts). Good luck on both the weight and baby endeavors!

  2. Fabulous, fabulous blog posting. Before I knew you, I was in exactly the same position – size 16 (slightly more in weight) and approximately the same height (I have about a half inch on you). I dropped 40 pounds and haven’t looked back. True, I’m 5-10 pounds over my ideal weight, but will never (let me say that again, NEVER) go back. You’ll feel great. People will tell you how great you look. But, you have motivation I don’t have (at least right now) – a baby! How incredible. So excited for you, Christina!

  3. You can do it, Christina! For some people, weight is never an issue — they eat a reasonable amount, get some exercise and maintain a healthy weight. For the rest of us, it’s a life-long challenge — especially for us foodies. (In my next life, I want my own cooking show.)

    I know you can make permanent changes that will get you to a weight that’s comfortable for you. I think the South Beach Diet is great and, in fact, is similar to the Mayo Clinic Diet. LOTS of plant-based foods, high fiber carbs and health proteins — I know this because I’m trying to be better, too!

    Can’t wait to hear about your progress, healthwise and babywise! Dawn

  4. Thank you everyone for your positive words of encouragement. I think the best thing about this whole plan is that I have such a solid base for my support group. Plus, Brett is there nudging me to make better choices.

    RC – Miss WHPRMS friends, too! I’m hoping to get an iPhone (or any smartphone) soon so I can try out the apps to help with calorie counting and things.

    Steph – You look amazing now! Plus, you’re doing all that running and biking to help!

    Dawn – I’ll be posting – probably twice a month about my progress and to weigh-in.

  5. Christina, you really are a great blogger.

    Reading your post was exactly like reading my life 🙂 I have nearly the exact numbers staring me in the face, with the exact same goal in mind. I just read a book that was suggested to me by a fitness instructor. It’s called — brace yourself — “This is Why You’re Fat (and how to get thin forever)” TERRIBLE name, but I loved the author’s philosophy about body chemistry, etc. It’s not so far from the South Beach diet. I’m going to follow its course and am back at the gym after a gluttonous holiday season (my annual tradition that I would like to leave for the last time solidly where it belongs — in the past).

    I’ll watch for your posts — good luck!

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