Typically I don’t talk about much about my weight here, but today I’m doing it. I think gaining weight is an important topic to address — everyone goes through it and I don’t think it’s shameful to talk about.
I’m human. Yes, I’m a health coach and personal trainer. And yes I’m all about healthy living, but there are still times where I struggle with gaining weight. I love food and I wasn’t blessed with genetics that allow me to eat whatever the heck I want, whenever I want. I have to work hard to stay at a healthy weight.
I also want to be transparent and real so I’m putting it out there… I’ve gained about 10 pounds. I realize that’s not a ton of weight in the grand scheme of things. I’ve never been one to focus on the number and let it determine my happiness — I honestly couldn’t care less about that number. It’s more about putting on a pair of jeans from last year and not being able to zip them. I want to be able to wear all my clothes and feel comfortable in them. I want to look in the mirror and feel good about my body.
It’s also about being honest with myself and realizing what brought me to this place. I didn’t gain the weight overnight — it’s been adding up gradually, probably over the course of a year. When I look back to what could have caused it, I think these are the main things:
Not enough physical activity. I work from home and typically only get in physical movement when I workout. I do have a stand-up desk that I use often, but I’m still stationary. Most days by mid-afternoon I’ve only taken around 1,000 steps.
Cooking/baking all the time to create new recipes. It’s really hard for me not to taste test things when I’m making them. Sometimes it’s not a big deal and I don’t care — I was hungry and I ate something I made — it’s fine. Other times (mainly with sweets) it’s frustrating because one taste-test bite leads to eating way more than I had planned. And then there’s the leftovers… they sit on the counter calling my name! Basically, if there’s something tasty in the house (especially a homemade baked good) I’m all over it. It’s especially hard since my office is right beside the kitchen. I’m sure I’m not the only one that struggles with this. It seems like many chefs, bakers, cookbook authors, home cooks and other food bloggers probably deal with the same issues. Naturally, we’re all food lovers and it’s hard to stop eating when something is delicious.
Snacking. I feel like my snacking gets a little out of control sometimes. The mid-afternoon snacking between lunch and dinner is often the worst. Most of the time I’m not even hungry, I’m just bored. I get up to do something and somehow end up in the kitchen looking for a snack without even realizing it. Lots of the snacky foods I like to eat (trail mix, nuts, etc) lead to overeating for me. I have one portion and then go back for 3-4 more handfuls.
Hormonal issues. I went off birth control after being on it for 12 years and I think my body is still trying to figure out what’s going on.
I’ve been brainstorming and talking with Isaac about different solutions and came up with some new goals that I’m starting this month to help get the situation under control.
Try to get at least 10,000 steps a day. I wear my Polar Loop every day and usually (even on the days when I workout) I don’t get all my steps. My new goal is to get all 10,000 each day. If I take one or two short walks throughout the day I should have no problem reaching this goal. Hopefully the warm spring weather will start soon and I’ll be more excited to walk outside.
Put more focus on meal recipes instead of treats. If I do make treats, have a purpose for making them and share them with others.
No mindless snacking. If I feel like I need something special in the afternoon I’ll have a cup of tea, coffee or a sparkling water and see how I feel. If I’m truly hungry and need a snack I will put the food on a plate and eat it without doing anything else. No more standing in the kitchen picking at a bunch of different snack options. This one is going to take some mindfulness and practice!
Work with my acupuncturist to balance my hormones.
In addition, I’m following the same basic guidelines I give all my health coaching clients:
Drink more water.
Make sure I’m getting enough sleep. <– This one is huge!
Make sure each meal has protein, carbs and a healthy fat and watch my portion sizes. Maybe I’ll even break out my 21 Day Fix containers.
Make sure my meals are large enough to be filling and satisfying. This is so crucial and helps with snacking — if a meal isn’t satisfying I find myself looking for something else to eat 30 minutes later. An example of making a salad more satisfying would be add a bunch of toppings including things like sweet potato chunks or apple slices. I love the sweet flavor they add and it makes the salad feel more decadent.
Eat as many veggies as I’d like. <— I’m a volume eater so veggies and big salads are my best friends!
Limit the processed foods.
Allow myself to have treats like a glass of wine or chocolate when I want it so that I never feel deprived.
Keep myself accountable by tracking my meals and workouts. I’m excited because MyFitnessPal is now integrated with the Polar Loop.
Tell friends and family about my goals to keep myself accountable.
As I go through this process I think I might share some of my daily meals and workouts here on EBF, maybe even do a few “Day in the Life” style posts and perhaps even a clean eating grocery store list and meal plan. Let me know if any of this sounds helpful or if there’s anything else you’d like to see.
Anyone else feeling like they’ve gained weight and/or just want to get back on track? If so, what are some of your goals for this month?