Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My never-ending attempt to lose six pounds

I am probably fitter now than I have been in my entire life. I ran 6 miles last week, twice. I'm doing the Shred 3 times a week, and I've increased the weight. I can do more push-ups now than I ever could before. And yet that number - you know, the one on the scale, the one we're not supposed to obsess over - hasn't budged.

Ok, it budges. It goes down, then up, then down, then up and on and on. I'll be 'good' during the week, and then the weekend hits. Or something pops up to throw off our meal plan for dinner & we end up with takeout. Or I buy a box of cannoli at Costco. Or I open a bottle of wine in the evening. Or we go visit family, or visit friends, or get ice cream with the kids or....or or or or or.

I keep coming back to this one core realization, that when you have 'only' 5 to 10 pounds to lose, there aren't really any BIG eating habits you can change to lose it, and exercise alone won't do it. The number of calories my body requires at my current weight is really only minimally different from the calories required at my goal weight, so once (if?) I ever get there I should be able to maintain it. But getting there seems to be a never ending battle of counting calories, planning my intake for the day, attempting to deny myself, feeling hungry, and then giving in due to frustration or desire, ultimately resulting in failure for yet another day. Anybody else on this hamster wheel with me?

And really, why do I care? Will I look much different to the outside world minus 6 lbs? Probably not. But in my mind, it's 6 lbs that don't belong there and it's unwanted. Maybe if it was helping to fill out my bra I wouldn't mind so much, but all its accomplishing is making me do a shimmy every morning to put on freshly-washed jeans.

I know it's mostly mental. I'm just not committed enough to stick to it, and see it through to the end. I'll have some success and then 'celebrate' it with a 'free' day. Or I'll be giving the kids a snack and grab a pretzel rod for myself. 40 calories in itself isn't a lot, but when you have 3 or more, they start to add up. Another self-defeating practice is finishing food the little ones don't eat at lunch - you know, the quarter of a PB&J they left on the plate?

Running is mental too, once you get beyond the initial physical conditioning. My neighbor and I are running a 10k together on May 1st. We've been training mostly separately, but were both up to 5 miles when last week her hubby told me she'd run 6 the day before. Nothing like a little incentive to kick your butt in gear :) I did 6 the next time I ran and was actually in good shape afterwords. I think that was the first time ever I've seen a glimpse of how long-distance runners can do it - once you get to 6, what's one more? If I had all the time in the world, who knows how far I could go? But an hour is about all I can steal away from the house on any given day.

All this to say, a year after I first started posting about running and weight loss, I'm still in the same spot. Maybe a little fitter, but still not there. If anything, I think I've gained two pounds. I turn 40 in 6 months and I really hope to be at the perfect number in my mind, but hoping won't get me there - I just need to back AWAY from the cannoli :) (Or maybe I just say to heck with it and get a Mommy Makeover?)
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If you've read all the way to here, you deserve a reward - here's a really yummy, healthy recipe from the American Heart Association's One Dish Meals. Most of the recipes are fairly simple, and some are better than others, but all are very very healthy. I love the fact that each recipe has complete nutrition information, for those who are interested. I made this last night and it was REALLY good - quick and easy too. Try it!

Chicken Ravioli Italiano, Serves 4

2 9oz packages refrigerated chicken-filled ravioli (I substituted Buttoni's chicken & prosciutto tortellini, as that's the closest match the store had)
6-oz package baby spinach leaves or 4 cups packed torn spinach leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices, or use 2-1/2 cups halved yellow or green baby pattypan squash
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium spaghetti sauce, such as tomato-basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, heavy stems removed, or snipped Italian or flat-leaf parsley

Prepare the ravioli using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Stir in the spinach during the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain in a colander.

Heat the same saucepan over medium heat. Pour the oil into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Cook the squash and garlic for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the spaghetti sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Return the ravioli and spinach to the pan; heat through.

To serve, ladle the mixture into bowls. Sprinkle with the basil.

8 comments:

  1. It is like you were reading my mind. I have been counting calories and running and shredding and doing everything right but I seem to yo-yo on the scale. Ill lose a few, only to pick them back up the next week!!! It is frustrating- however, my clothes are now falling off my hips, so where I am not seeing the "pounds" lost, I am losing...and will be fitting 2 sizes down from where I was in January....heck maybe 3 by June if I am lucky.

    I am proud of your 10K goal - mine was 5K this Spring, but I am chicken for some reason- I run a 5K on every run, but the thought of doing it with a bunch of people intimidates the crap out of me. Crazy huh???

    ~Becca

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  2. Girl, I think you are totally missing the positive here. The fact that you are the fittest you've ever been is a HUGE accomplishment. Those dang numbers on the scale are way more powerful than they should be. I've found that no matter what I do, I hover around the same weight ~ give or take a couple of pounds. A few weeks ago I got a terrible flu and lost nearly 5 pounds. Secretly I was a little happy, thinking "I can maintain this!" But those pounds snuck right back almost immediately! My body just feels right at this weight. Maybe yours does too? I'm just so proud of you for being in such great shape!

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  3. I hate my scale. I really need to convince myself that the number doesn't matter!

    That recipe sounds great!

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  4. Well *I* think you look fab!!! But if you still wanna lose those 6 lbs, keep goin for it!!

    That recipe sounds yummy. I may just have to make that tonight. :)

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  5. Okay, first of all...Costco sells cannoli?! How did I not know that.

    Yay for you for running six miles AND being the fittest you've ever been! I want to get back into running and have the shred DVD but haven't unwrapped it yet. I gave up my scale years ago and now just go by how my clothes feel. Too many times the number on a scale set my mood.

    That recipe sounds good!

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  6. This morning I jogged a little bit and I was puffing! haha! Congrats on the distance you've covered. Your body must love you for taking such good care of it! Well done. And about twitter...I have been avoiding it too...I've enjoyed it so far...but I have no clue on what "retweets, favourites, direct message" etc all means. So I'm probably not using it to its full potential. I enjoy facebook too. Perhaps they are similar?? Let me know if you find out.

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  7. That sounds so good!
    If you read my post today, you'll know what this means: Maybe you should eat a cheeseburger...?
    6 lbs. Gah. I wish I only had 6 lbs to lose. But I know what you mean, when I was thin, I had an 8 lb. thing that I couldn't get rid of. And I obsessed over it!

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  8. I feel exactly the same way...well, not "exactly"; actually you'll need to add a zero to your number, then we'll feel exactly the same!
    BTW: I don't recommend doing that ;)
    I think you are doing fantastic. Do it for you, not for the scale, or for anyone or anything else!!

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