Feb 10, 2012

Weight Loss Bank Account and Setting Myself Up For Success.

I think that I finally, after all of these years, figured out how to stay on track with weight loss.  There is no magic pill, there is not secret formula.  What there is, is resource management.  Just like time and money, calories are to be budgeted in order for me to be successful.  This requires the dreaded calorie tracking.

You can tell those who budget their calories well and those who do not.

Oh but so and so just has a high metabolism, so she can eat whatever she wants.  She doesn't budget her calories!  Well maybe on a technical point she is not purposefully budgeting, but in reality she just has a bigger bank account of calories to spend (consume).

In reality this is just akin to someone with trillions of dollars in their account.  Just because they do not have to watch every penny on a level most people do does not mean that they are not on a budget - what this means is that they have a larger account to work with, they have more resources to spend. A person with a  high metabolism has a higher caloric "bank" account balance.

I have been using MyFitnessPal.com and the app on my phone to track my food intakes and my exercise.  Finally I have a target each day and I know if I go over or under and then I can see how that effects me. In addition to this I am a member of a group on Facebook that is all about getting our acts together, and a member of another one which is a Solstice to Solstice challenge.  I have found that the challenge, together with support from my friends who are also trying to get control of their weights, combined with the tools of MFP and my Ironman training has helped me see the road to success. 

I have learned a lot about the choices that I make for my meals and this tool, My Fitness Pal,  has allowed me to really plan ahead, setting myself up for the best possible opportunity for success.

Has it worked?

I got back from Germany on Saturday, weighed myself and then weighed myself today after using MFP all week.  I am down 6 lbs since Germany, a net 2.6 lbs since I left for Germany (yeah I gained some weight while there, or it could have been salt weight from my meals that weekend)  Either way - a net drop of nearly 3#s is good considering.

I have felt well fuelled for my workouts, and I have been able to see what types of foods had the best result for my hunger levels.  For me it all comes down to protein to keep me satisfied and not on all out binge mode.  Another thing for me is that I have spent a lot of time planning and prepping.  The necessary evils of being busy!

So when I say that I have spent a lot of time, what does that mean?  Well... my weekdays start on Saturday.

The weekend is my time for some long workouts as well as home type work, relaxation, date nights with Mike, and prepping and planing the coming week's meals for both us and our Pug Moose, since we cook him his meals too.

Sundays I prep for Monday and Tuesday breakfasts, as well as cook my lunch and dinner for Monday and my lunch for Tuesday.  By Sunday evening, I have packed my lunch and dinner for Monday, made my dinner for Tuesday or at least prepped for it, and have my breakfasts for Monday and Tuesday ready to cook, right down to my omelet mix in the fridge ready to pour and the omelet pan on the stove top ready to heat.

Mondays I am gone from 7am - 11pm.  I eat 3 meals and all snacks either at work or in my car.  I work, then go to the Lab for 1.5 hours of bike work, possibly a 10 minute run, and then an hour of swim drills with the team at Fraser H.S..  I come home and sleep.

Tuesdays I have my breakfast ready to pour and cook , and then throw my fruits and veggie snacks into my cooler with my pre-prepared lunch and head to work.  I come home and run and then prep and cook the meals for Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesdays I am gone from 7am - 9pm. I go to work and then the Lab for 1.5 hours of bike work, followed by stretching.  This day I eat my 3 meals and all snacks again at work or in my car, so I have to be diligent about planning.  I come home and go to bed.

Thursdays I cook my breakfast which was already ready for me to go, and then I throw my veggies and fruits in my cooler along with my pre-packed lunch.  I am home after work (swimming and running day), and do my prep work for the rest of the week, making lunches and planning what we will need to buy the weekend when it starts all over again.

So while this may seem obsessive to some, I see it as a necessity.  I would quite honestly eat everything in site and be living at the drive-thrus if I did not plan this far in advance and take the time, no, MAKE the time to get it all ready for the schedule I keep.  

I have taken to heart that I need to be active in my weight loss and not just hope that the weight comes off because I am training for a large event and have a weeding in 6 months time.  This mentality has not worked out so well for me over the past, oh I don't know, let's say lifetime.  What I do know is that I need to set myself up for success each and every day, otherwise I am setting myself up for failure.

So what are some things that you do to keep on track of it all?  What are some thing that you wished you did?

What steps are you taking today to set yourself up for success tomorrow?

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