Health Goal Update for February 2, 2009

As mentioned in last week’s blog entry, my primary personal goal this year involves health and wellness.  For me that means losing weight and feeling great.  I invite anyone and everyone who has a health goal this year to join me.  When I post my updates, please feel free to post your own update in the forum thread automatically created by our forum software. Just look in the Erin Pavlina forum and then find the title of this blog entry, which will include the date.

Last week I had my first consultation with my dietician friend, John Pierre.  We went over a plan for me that would help me achieve my goal.  Here is the plan we worked out for me.

Exercise:  30 minutes on the elliptical machine and 10 minutes on the recumbent bike, 6 days per week.  That happens in the morning when I first wake up.  In the afternoon I do a calisthenics circuit at home that includes squats, push ups, jumping, and a few other things.  In time, we’ll adjust the exercise, but for now, this is it.

Eating:  In the morning upon first waking, I drink a full glass of water with a little bit of either blueberry or pomegranate juice in it.  Then I hit the gym.

For breakfast I drink a mango-spinach shake that is supposed to have some protein powder in it, but the powder I bought (Vega) tastes really nasty even at just half a scoop so that isn’t happening for me.  Does anyone have a vegan protein powder in their repertoire that tastes okay or doesn’t have a flavor at all?

For snacks I can have some raw veggies with hummus, low glycemic fruits like grapefruit, berries, and apples, some air popped popcorn, or some salsa with veggies.  I don’t have to snack between breakfast and lunch, but those are my snack choices if I want them.

For lunch and for dinner I’m eating basically the same thing.  A legume based soup, like black bean vegetable or lentil, a big salad, and some raw or steamed veggies on the side.  In my salad I put a base lettuce like romaine or iceberg, then I jazz it up with a dark green leafy lettuce (spinach, kale, red leaf, etc.), then I add veggies like cucumber, shredded carrots, a little bit of avocado, etc. and I can have a moderately fatty dressing, like something with 5-8 grams of fat per serving.

There are other choices he gave me like eating edamame, a banana after exercising only, lima beans, butternut squash in moderation, etc.  Too many to list here.  But the basics of the diet are beans and greens and low glycemic fruit.  You’ll see that bread is conspicuously absent.  I can have a little brown rice, quinoa, barley, or cous cous but none of those thrill me so I may not eat any of them.  We’ll see.  And my favorite, desserts, is just wiped off the planet.  I asked him what I should do if I have a really strong craving for some sugar.  He told me to fill a glass with water and add spirulina and drink it.  I said, “Huh?  How will that satisfy my sugar craving.”  He said, “Because if you know you have to drink that before eating candy, you won’t want the candy.  Won’t be worth it.”  He would be correct. ;)  He said I can use the low glycemic fruits as my heroin for now.

I’m still adjusting to this plan but I think it’s a good one for me.  This past week has been crazy busy and I haven’t been able to do everything perfectly like I wanted to.  For one, I haven’t even started exercising in the afternoon.  I’m going to have to work harder to carve out time in my busy schedule to get that done.  Something urgent always comes up.  It’s very true that if you want to add something to your plate you have to kick something else off first.  I’m pretty bad at that, preferring to just pile it on and go vertical.

My weight isn’t as low as it was last week.  When Steve and I went to San Francisco I was hit with either food poisoning or a virus or something but I spent 48 hours in the hotel on the toilet making peace with God.  I lost 5 pounds in those two days from water loss.  So when I got home, I weighed 191 which is what I reported last week.  But then I started eating solid food again and I didn’t go to the bathroom for 2 full days (usually I have 3-5 bowel movements per day) so I knew I was replacing all that I’d lost during my illness.  I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the diet yet, so even though I added in all the greens and veggies, there were still some “off diet” foods that snuck their way in.  But I am very confident that I will get the hang of this and my body will adjust.  I’m really enjoying eating steamed broccoli and salad, and I love my bean soups.  So I’m still tweaking the diet a little bit.  Consequently, my weight is currently 195.  I’m okay with that because I have to be; it’s the simple truth.  But I know I’m headed in the right direction and I’m confident that I will succeed.  Setbacks don’t bother me.  Giving up would bother me.  So if you had a setback this week, please know that you’re not alone, and try not to feel shame or guilt.  This is a big challenge for me because I ride myself pretty hard, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to practice forgiving myself.

I have another consultation with John tonight, and I will continue with the consultations either weekly or every other week.  I’ll post progress and results on Mondays.  Please share your current health strategy.  I’m sure we can learn from each other.  Thanks to everyone who sent me encouraging emails.  Much appreciated.  Here’s to a great week!

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