Fat to Fit at 59

My quest to lose 50 pounds in 150 days. (Now that you know about it, I'm committed.)

Day 84—Super Bowl Stress February 7, 2010

Would you call me a wet blanket if I told you not to get too excited about the Super Bowl?

I’ll admit it. I don’t get the excitement about the Super Bowl. I guess what I should really say is, I don’t get football. I never have. But that doesn’t mean I begrudge you or anyone else the privilege of The Mother Of All Football Celebrations.

I don’t even begrudge you the traditional calorie- and fat-laden football-game foods (think chili-cheese nachos smothered in sour cream…artery-clogging bratwurst and hot dogs in gigantic enriched-white-flour buns; gooey, creamy dips dripping off of oily, salty chips; peanuts and pretzels (hey, how did those get into the picture? They’re even kinda healthy!).

What I do begrudge you is the chance of getting so worked up about the game that you do what people in several sports-spectator studies have done: suffered from acute cardiac episodes.

After all, I like you. I want you around so I can enjoy you. So do me a favor: When the game gets so unnerving that you find yourself (for whatever reason, pro or con) jumping up and down screaming, take a breath. Don’t invest your life in the outcome.

To read an article that contains specifics, visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/health_news_detail.asp?health_day=635738 .

 

Day 74—Healthy Pizza: NOT An Oxymoron January 27, 2010

Here's a healthy pizza recipe, compliments of my daughter Lauren.

It’s time for a great-tasting and healthy recipe. Feel free to make it your own by modifying ingredients to suit your tastes! And, feel free to comment and let everyone else in on your new secret recipes!

Lauren’s Healthy Pizza

1 whole wheat Boboli pizza crust
1 tsp. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1 tsp. minced garlic
spinach (fresh)
turkey pepperoni (about 40 pieces)
1 large tomato – diced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
crushed red pepper
Italian seasoning / basil / oregano (whichever you prefer)
* Preheat your pizza stone-I think the Boboli directions say 450 (check package to be sure). If you don’t have one, use a baking pan.
* While it’s preheating, brush EVOO all over top of crust
* Spread garlic evenly all over crust
* Cover entire crust with 1-2 layers of spinach leaves (depends on how much you like spinach & how much extra nutrition you want—I see no crust when I’m done with the spinach)
* Cover entire crust with turkey pepperoni—I literally have all pepperoni pieces touching from the edge of the crust to the middle—I want every ingredient in every bite. Just a personal issue, I guess 😉
* Spread/drop tomato evenly across pizza (no need for pizza sauce—the fresh tomato will make up for it)
* Evenly cover with mozzarella cheese
* Sprinkle crushed red pepper and/or Italian seasonings as desired
* Bake 8-10 minutes (according to package directions)

Here’s the nutritional info—Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Lauren’s Healthy Pizza

4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 198.4
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 51.9 mg
Sodium 816.4 mg
Potassium 306.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 0.4 g
Protein 18.0 g
 

Day 59—Foresight January 13, 2010

Keep your plan on track by allowing for events where you might overeat.

Lots of events offer us opportunity to overeat: weddings, funerals, parties (Superbowl’s comin’!)—you get the picture. So how do we celebrate and still keep our calorie counts under control?

Simple: plan ahead. When we know our evening intake might overflow our calorie bucket (maybe calorie cup might be a better mental picture to use!), we can cut our pre-event calories to compensate.

So for breakfast, we could have cold cereal and skim milk—about 270 calories compared to 630 for 2 whole wheat pancakes with butter and syrup, and a glass of orange juice; or to the 840 calories in a 2-egg cheese omelet with three slices of bacon, a whole wheat bagel with butter and jam, and OJ. (Which is your typical breakfast fare?)

Then for lunch, half a cheese sandwich with a piece of fruit to compensate for the banana we cut from breakfast would add just 360 calories for a total of 630.

My daily (weight-loss level) goal is 1550 calories or less. So that leaves 920 for the big event.

Concentrating on the healthy and lower-cal items at the food fest will allow you to fill up without blowing your calorie budget.

It’s a piece of cake! (Oops! I meant that figuratively. But maybe just a little slice…)

Until tomorrow, stay confident and resolute!

 

Day 57—Potluck? Good Luck January 11, 2010

What tips can you add to the list below?

I attended a monthly potluck yesterday. Naturally, the thought occurred to me, How do I keep on track when there are sooooo many scrumptious offerings to choose from?

Here are 6 strategies for avoiding potluck remorse:

1. Pre-eat. Before you go, eat a small amount so you’re not ravenous as you walk the potluck line.

2. Be the Goody Two Shoes. Take a healthy dish. Vegetables and healthy side dishes are always in short supply at potlucks—but much appreciated by those of us who are watching our weight.

3. Avoid the choose blues. Select the healthy versions: a whole wheat roll instead of white; the brown rice dish instead of the white… You do have options. Exercise them.

4. Exercise portion control. When so many options clamor to be sampled, try taking smaller (start with half a spoonful) samplings. You can always go back for a larger helping of a favorite.

5. Take your time. Savor the conversation and eat your meal slowly so your brain can keep up with your belly and register “FULL” before you’ve consumed everything on your plate.

6. Un-friend the Clean Plate Club. Once and for all, admit to yourself that the starving children will not be saved if you finish everything you’ve taken. But you might be saved if you don’t.

Until tomorrow, stay confident and resolute! We can do this! And if you have tips to add, be sure to comment!  😉

 

Day 50—Post-Holiday Weigh-In January 4, 2010

One-third of the way to my target date. What's the scale sayin'?

OK, the holidays are over. The tree and decorations are down and put away. Life is back to normal (kinda—still waiting on job news…). And how did I do in the weight-loss quest? Surprisingly, better than I’d anticipated.

Food is my comfort. Food is my intrigue. Food is my part-time occupation. Sometimes, food is my friend. But sometimes, not so much. When there’s food around, I sometimes feel powerless to resist. Case in point: I’ve grazed on the bell-shaped red and green gum drops on my kitchen island for more than a week. That may sound like a lot of restraint on my part, but you don’t know how big the package was.  😉

So today I chucked what was left into the trash. Gum-drop liberation! And that was before the weigh-in.

The average person, they say, gains 6–8 pounds during the holidays. So I figure, if I lost 2.2 pounds since Thanksgiving, it’s like I actually lost 8–10 pounds! (It’s called “dieter’s logic”! Faulty? Perhaps.)

So roll the drums. Here we go—

Weigh-in history:

Date    Weight    BodyFat  BodyH2O

Today     194        29.5%   43.5%

12/15      195.2      27.5     44.0

12/7        196.6     30.5     43.0

12/1        197.6      30        43.0

11/23      196.2      29        43.5

11/16      199.6       31        42.5

This new week of the new year, it’s onward and downward (scale-wise, I mean!) From this point on it should be easier. I’ll let you know if that’s really true.

Until tomorrow, stay confident and resolute!

 

Day 48—Spotting Age January 2, 2010

Our sun exposure before age 20 pretty much determines what our skin will look like in our 50s and beyond.

When I was a teen-ager, my childhood best friend Pam’s mother used to tell me I should be a hand model. I admit I was blessed with beautiful hands: smooth and blemish-free with long, rock-hard nails that never chipped or split.

I maintain that my mom’s genes are behind my (relatively, for my age) minimally wrinkled and non-age-revealing skin. (Thanks, Mom!)

But these days and despite my good genes, my hands reflect my decades of sun worship. Even at my age, I still relish a nap in the searing sun, slathered with suntan oil. (Aahhhhh…wake me when the street lights come on!)

The good thing is that age spots (also called liver spots or solar lentigo), don’t itch or hurt, and may fade with time. They’re caused, like scars, as a response to skin injury: sun exposure or thin skin. The spots consist of skin pigment that gathers to the injury site as the body’s natural protection system, and the pigment may disperse after a period of time, just like a scab decomposes and flakes off as a cut heals.

The bad thing is, if we’re damaging our skin and our genes predispose us to it, we can develop skin cancer in response to the damage we inflict on our skin.

So it’s probably a good idea to play it safe and use that sunscreen whenever we’ll be exposed to the sun for extended periods. And if you’re concerned about a particular age spot or mole on your skin, have your doctor check it out.

Here’s an easy-to-remember formula of signs that you should pay attention to: the A, B, C, D & Es of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border irregularities
  • Colors or shades of skin that are different within the same mole
  • Diameter greater than 6 millimeters (larger than a pencil eraser)
  • Enlargement

Also look for bleeding, crusting or numbness in this skin area.

It’s time I start acting my age and being kinder to my skin.  😉  How skin-friendly are you?

 

Day 46-Pledge To Purge December 31, 2009

Ta-da! The new and improved recipe binder

It took a day and a half, but here it is–my newly re-typed family-favorites recipe binder. Not only are all the pages encased in protective plastic, but all the pages contain useful information.

I trashed all the recipes that I snipped from magazines in hope of “someday” putting them to use. From now on, they don’t make it into the binder unless they’re tried and true.

I love de-cluttering! It makes me feel good. The less “stuff” I have to wade through to get to what I need, the more time I have to do the things I want (exercise, work, play, eat, sleep, serve)!

So here’s the pledge for the day:

“I, (insert name), do hereby pledge to make each moment more relevant and useful in pursuing my personal goals. To that end, I will pare down and avoid accumulating all unnecessary junk that costs me time and/or work without adequate ROI (return on investment).”

I started this post with the intention of celebrating my accomplishment, not making a New Year’s resolution. But it seems that somewhere in my subconscious, it was called for! So there it is.