Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NO PLAN, NO SPECIAL DIET...Just Trying To Live & Enjoy Life..

Hi everyone,

Well, I never anticipated the number of responses (especially via email) my last post would illicit. So many questions about what I am eating and how the food is prepared, which diet plan I'm following, etc., etc. So I decided that I would use this post to address all those questions and some of the comments.

As some or most of you may know, I LOVE TO EAT!! Let's face it, I wouldn't be in this predicament of needing to lose this amount of weight if I didn't truly ENJOY my food!! When I first starting talking to my trainer/nutritionist (Rob), prior to embarking on this journey, one of the things that I stressed to him was just how much I loved eating and enjoyed my food. I did not want to do yet another fad diet, where I had to deprive myself of certain things and would leave me feeling guilty if I ate certain foods. I didn't want any crazy restrictions and/or rules. I just knew I wouldn't be able to stick with it! I'm really glad my trainer listened to my requests and provided me with guidelines that would work for my situation and gave me proper tools to address the real issues I have with food, like portion control and just overall irresponsible eating!!

Being overweight all my adult life, I had tried pretty well every diet under the sun and quickly (as well as after a lot of disappointment) came to the realization that all these quickie diets DON'T WORK. The only thing that will work is eating sensibly and responsibly while incorporating proper exercise and taking care of yourself mentally and spiritually. With regards to food, it would be more about control and balance than anything else. I wanted to feel free to eat whatever I'd like. Of course I realized that I wouldn't be successful on this journey if I ate burgers and fries with pop, seven days a week; yet at the same time, if I felt like having a burger, I wanted the freedom to plan and incorporate that meal into my lifestyle.

I want to be successful on this journey and for me, success doesn't only mean achieving my goal of losing 101 pounds in 1 year following a set plan and then when I get there - "start eating real foods again!!". That's garbage. Success for me is changing the way I view foods, my habits and overall, my lifestyle. I want to be able to control my food portions and intake for THE REST OF MY LIFE!! Not just during this one year timeframe!!

I really don't believe I can achieve that following any fad "diet" or "plan". Don't get me wrong, I know that a lot of people have had success with some of those prescibed plans and I am happy for them but I just know that those won't work for me. If it works for you, then great. I just didn't want anything too restrictive with crazy rules like no eating after 7pm, for example. I don't think there's a be all and end all plan. I think it's more about living your life, enjoying your food BUT making smart, responsible choices and not beating yourself up when you "slip up". I wanted to eat normal foods; I didn't want to always be cooking seperate meals for myself than I would for the rest of my family!

My trainer provided very clear guidlines of what to eat, but everything I eat is what I'd normally eat anyway. So what's the difference? How am I losing weight now and not before eating pretty much the same foods? A few answers:
  1. PORTION CONTROL & FREQUENCY -I eat much smaller portions than I used to. One of my meals pre-journey could have been split up to make 3 of my current meals!! No kidding or exageration!! I am also eating more often (I eat about 5 small meals a day!). In the past, for example, I would bake a whole chicken (the same way I do today), the difference is that back then I would it most of that chicken in one serving whereas now, I have the breast or the leg with my meal. It makes a huge difference.
  2. WATER CONSUMPTION - I am drinking about 3-4 litres of water everyday. That helps a lot and has also improved my skin!! (bonus).
  3. EXERCISE - I am following a progressive exercise plan which is helping to keep my body strong and healthy.
  4. SMART CHOICES - sticking to whole foods, very little to no process food.
  5. PREPARATION - everything I eat doesn't have to me super creamy, or buttered or sugared!!!

To me, there is a huge difference between deprivation and moderation. I don't believe you have to deprive yourself of something to learn that moderation is the key. Maybe we wouldn't feel the need to eat something in excess if it wasn't "restricted" from our "plans" in the first place. Just my thoughts on this!!

I know that I have "scale" issues. YES, i like to see the number decrease on a weekly basis and when that doesn't happen, it angers me a bit. I just need to accept that it will take a bit longer to fall off than if I followed a more "super clean" or even a more "restrictive" diet. My overall goal is to have long lasting success and I think that can only be achieved if I work on training my mindset as well.

So to answer those initial questions, I am following the guidelines of my trainer/nutritionist in the gym and the kitchen BUT, I am also trying to exercise common sense by making more sensible and responsible choices about my food as well as exercising that ever-important portion control. Most of my foods come from the whole food group. Rob told me to avoid processed foods altogether because they have little to no nutritonal value!! Once in a while, I will have something from the processed food group, but not too often at all!

Anyway, hope that answers the questions. Remember that these are just my personal views on the matter and I know some or maybe all of you would disagree but so far it's working for me. It's not perfect, but what is???

Looking forward to your comments!!!

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!)


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

It sounds like a really good plan to me. Pretty similiar to what I did when I was losing my 150 pounds. Even now, 12 years later, I still follow my original plan.

The key to a great weight loss plan isn't all the bells and whistles, but one that you love, and can live with for a lifetime.

Great job!

Anonymous said...

Always remember who you are, don't get lost on your journey......

Joania said...

@Diane (FttF)_ So glad to hear that my "plan" is similar to the one which you had success. Thanks for the support.

@ Anonymous - great words to live by, I try to live my life that way and not just when I'm on the journey

Anonymous said...

Moderation...that is the key to my current lifestyle change. Good blog!

lyricgirl said...

For me it has to be a plan that I can live with for life. It's the entire package: food, exercise, water, fun and rest. I like your plan!

Anonymous said...

Ok great plan but where is the bread in this? "real" food should include all types of food. Are you eating any avocadoe, nuts or a good piece of bread? I know people who are on weightloss stick to greens and protein (as you are doing) but forget to keep all the "good" food for their long-term journey. Do you eat any bread or oatmeal? (I don't mean the flat bread and Quaker instant!!!!)
P.S So glad that you are expressing your views without getting worked up from all the comments you receive. Aafterall this is Your blog and Your journey...

Joania said...

Thanks all for you comments...much appreciated.

@ anonymous....I eat whole grain and multigrain breads and bagels, also, whole wheat tortillas (wraps etc.) and yes oatmeal (steel cut to be exact). I also eat almonds pretty well everyday (snack food and in salads). Almonds are my favorite nuts _ I don't really like the others. you're right, this is my blog and my journey...I do very much appreciate the comments I receive...the only ones I don't tolerate are the derrogatory and/or mean spirited ones, which I do receive as well, I just choose to not publish those..waste of time, you know?
Anyway...thanks for your comments.

Joania said...

@ Anonymous - regarding avocado, yes I do eat it as well..I got a great tip from one of my fit and fabulous friends. Avocado makes a great spread on wraps and sandwiches...yummy

Irene said...

Loved this post and I totally agree with everything you said!!


Anonymous said...

Dr Oz said it best on Oprah: "find a good DIET that you like 'cause you gonna be on it for the rest of your life"...sinple and powerful

Sean Anderson said...

You and I think the same way. Awesome post.

Here's to our success!!!

My best always