Losing 25 Pounds before May

My mother always told me that there were three parts to a person: a mental part, a spiritual part, and a physical part. In order to be truly happy, you had to take care of all three. My problem, she told me once, was that I had taken great pains to build up my mental and spirital parts, but had neglected the physical. No more Mom, no more. 2010 is the year I finally strike a balance. This is my New Year’s Resolution. There will be more about the “spiritual” and “mental” parts later, but today, I’ll tell you about the “physical” part of this.

Here I am, January 5th, and despite my best efforts not to gain weight over christmas, new years, and a fabulous vacation in Colonial Williamsburg… my clothes are tight.

Yesterday, when I stepped into Borders, I was ambushed by hundreds of diet books. I wasn’t actually looking for any, as I’ve tried a bazillion weight loss methods over the course of my life (beginning in 4th grade), and have become completly jaded about the whole concept. However, I did see a book called The Mediterranean Diet, which caught my attention. Being raised in an Italian family full of people that struggle with weight management, I have my doubts about eating “mediterranean”.  As expected, the book preached the goodness of olive oil and wine, minimal amounts of butter and potatoes, you get the idea. Nothing we haven’t heard before.

However…. I was intrigued. My dad had mentioned something once about eating for your bloodtype, something about different genetic types requiring different types of food. Being mostly Italian, maybe eating more like my ancestors could be a good thing.

I haven’t bought the book (yet), but I have been newly inpired. I normally work out daily anyways, but now I’m going to try a slightly different way of eating. I’ve always been scared of strict weight loss methods, and lose interest long before progress is made. So I’ve decided, this time, I’m not going to be strict about it. I’m going to try being nonchalant about a few dietary changes (such as more salads and less bread), but I’m not going to go nuts like the time I nearly developed an eating disorder and lost 20 pounds in 4 weeks.  Today, for example, I had coffee for breakfast and a salad for lunch, but I alowed myself some bittersweet chocolate to go with it. Still way under my daily calorie goal, but feeling satisfied as well.

I’m going to keep a record of all of this on my iPod, and I’ll let you know what happens to me over the coming weeks. So far, mathematically speaking, I should lose 25 pounds by April 30.

My biggest problem is snacking. Keeping in mind that I really don’t really like apples and carrots, does anyone know of any good snack options that won’t kill my calorie goal?

Losing Weight Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Time to celebrate! This morning I stepped on the scale, and a few more pounds have disappeared! For the first time in my life, I’m losing weight in an easy, natural, sustainable way.

It’s called eating heathly and exercising more.

I know what you’re thinking. No brainer, right? But I’ll tell you something: I’m one of those people who hate exercising. I cry at the thought of running. And I don’t like giving up my evening dessert either.

As someone who’s struggled my whole life with weight issues, I’ve tried all kinds of ways to look and feel better. I tried those fad diets like South Beach, where all I did was grieve over my missing carbs. In high school I tried weight loss bars and shakes, but the only thing that happened was I felt sick all the time.

When you try something like bars, shakes, or giving up an essential food group (like carbs), not only does your body miss out on essential nutrients, but also you get sick of eating the same things all the time. That was my problem. It’s hard to eat the exact same thing for lunch every day. Sooner or later you go back to your old ways–as well as your old weight.

Variety is essential if you want to be able to sustain your weight loss. I’ve been eating different foods every day. I’ve still been eating all of my favorites, like salami and provolone sandwiches, chicken and dumplings, stuffed shells, cheesesteak sandwiches, brownies, and ice cream. The trick is I define reasonable portions for myself–portions that keep me satisfied so I don’t snack between meals.

The other essential part of my plan is my morning workout. 6 days a week, I do 15 minutes on my elliptical followed by 18-30 crunches and 10 sit-ups. All of this happens while my country music is blaring. I think it’s the music that makes is bearable. But the great part is, it leaves me feeling good about myself all day long.

For the first time, losing weight doesn’t leave me feeling sad, deprived, and frustrated. Finally I’ve found a way to lose weight that’s letting me feel happy and good about myself. And the best part is–it’s working!

The #1 Killer of Self-Esteem

This morning I woke up, and, like most mornings, stepped on the digital scale in my bathroom. Ugh… who really enjoys that? Even if the number is lower than it was yesterday, it’s still not low enough. If the number is higher… let’s not go there. Luckily, this morning the scale had good news: yesterday’s exercise paid off. Encouraged by the loss of a few pounds, I decided to keep up the trend. I spent 10 boring minutes on my elliptical, followed by sit-ups. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s usually enough to keep the pounds melting, in my case.

In the afternoon, I went to the mall with my cousins Genna and JJ. This was more exercise, walking for miles though shiny halls full of goodies. We were looking for dresses, actually. Cousin Tony is getting married in September, and my friend Andrea’s wedding is in November. I’ve made up my mind to look absolutely stunning at both events.

I found a beautiful dress at Lord & Taylor. It looked perfect. My cousins agreed. We sent a picture to James, who also loved it. But, almost inevitably, it wouldn’t zip all the way. This is the problem with dress shopping. You find something perfect… but it doesn’t zip. And they didn’t have any bigger sizes.

I’m usually pretty happy with the way I look. I never think much about it. Leave it to dress shopping to bring out all of my insecurities. Really, why should I care about my weight? I think I’m beautiful (usually), and James is crazy about me. What more is there? The only reason I really care is for dress shopping. Shopping would be so much more fun if more clothes fit.

Leaving the mall empty handed, we went out to dinner. I decided I was going to get a salad. I couldn’t let all that walking go to waste. It was all going to be great. Enter Don Pablo. Mexican food is my biggest weakness. I ordered fajitas, thinking that chicken and veggies would be safe. Pile on three tortillas and guacamole. I was completely stuffed. I feel like my day is completely blown to pieces.

Maybe I’m exaggerating. It was a lot of food, but it wasn’t so bad for me. At least we didn’t have dessert. Regardless, I am completely terrified of my scale. I don’t want to see the number in the morning. I don’t want to see all my work gone to waste.

Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe I’ll be encouraged enough to continue with my work-out routine. The worst thing I could do is give up.

I really want that dress.