Really, what I miss is the casual ordering of a cocktail without a second thought.
While working to maintain my newly achieved smaller size for a year, I occasionally indulged in a glass or two of wine or a delightfully well-made dirty martini with an array of blue cheese stuffed olives. It’s a reasonable decision to make while maintaining size, but if the goal is to drop body fat, which is what I am doing now, I need to deny the urge to answer the olive’s come hither looks. It’s not like that olive is going to pull itself off the stick and jump into my mouth – it can’t attack me any way but mentally.
Its Forty Foot stature only exists in my head and only if I allow it.
My rule is that I have to evaluate the consequences of my choices. The choices I make either take me where I want to go or they take me in another direction. If I make a decision that isn’t taking me toward a goal, it really needs to be worth it. That martini olive often beckons me, propped with its friends on a little stick. But, its siren song needs to wait until my 12 weeks of FLT nutrition are over and I transition into maintenance. That is my choice. Others in my group still opt to indulge in wine and cocktails. For them, the wine is worth it. This plan is about being able to live your life in a healthy, normal way while dealing with challenges. It is about finding balance that works for each, individual person.
On January 12, I met with Caryn Acevedo at Accelerated Fitness Solutions in Cromwell to go over the FirstLine Therapy nutrition program customized for me. She brings high energy, laughter and positive energy into the room with her. The best part is that Caryn recently returned from maternity leave. She still has approximately 20 pounds to lose in order to return to her pre-pregnancy figure so she’ll be strongly focused on her own nutrition and facing some of the same issues that our group members need to address.
We met privately for over an hour. She administered the bioimpedance test and reviewed all of my information. It showed that since the last time I experienced the test in January, 2011, I’d gained 12 pounds of muscle and my metabolic rate had taken a nice jump. The bioimpedance test is the one that taught me to not live and die by a scale. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but they serve different purposes and change body appearance in dramatically dissimilar ways. One burns fuel, drives metabolism and keeps the body tight while the other does not. That’s a 12 pound gain actually taking me in the right direction. My size 2 trousers all still fit quite nicely. What I need to do now is drop my body fat without losing muscle to see more definition and sculpt what I have. That is the goal for which we’re working.
Together we reviewed my program. I learned how to pick, choose, and move food options around in order to accommodate my ever-changing daily schedule. Caryn also reminded me about the importance of good sleep. Since I typically sleep 4-6 hours a night, Caryn made a scrunchy face and suggested I up those numbers.
I started the program the next day. I find it fairly easy to follow along and I like that it is so focused on clean, healthful eating. I keep a log of my 6 meals to make sure I get in all the food I am supposed to be eating. It really does help to write it down. I don't write it as I eat it, but rather plan ahead for a few days. The log makes sure that everything I need is on my grocery list or in the house. I don't have to scramble around last minute and leave myself in a predicament of being caught without a healthy choice.
For me, it is the constant barrage of social situations where bad food choices are the name of the game. Restaurant food is delicious, but most of the time I avoid it. Steak finished in butter, meals full of hidden sugars, fat and calories - all sabotage any kind of fat reduction plan.
I am a Rotarian with a once a week dinner meeting. Last week, I spent all day Monday in a seminar with banquet food followed by my evening dinner meeting. I belong to a local Chamber of Commerce. Wednesday was the Annual Meeting complete with full bar and dinner. Thursday, I was invited to a friend's for dinner. Saturday night, I had tickets to a Murder Mystery dinner. So, you can see how planning ahead is a must in order for me to remain successful and focused. I did not eat a single bite of restaurant food and managed to avoid the call of the martini olive at the same time. It's not about sitting there feeling deprived and starving. I bring my own food when I am able or eat beforehand. Planning is the key to success. It's not that I won't ever have a martini again (or even a donut for that matter), but I am not going to have them because I don't have other choices available to me.
Other group members are not accustomed to cooking without bottles of sauces to flavor meat and fish and are in need of some recipes to prepare their meals in a more healthful way, without all the processed sugar. Just yesterday, I made pan-seared salmon for lunch. It's a quick and easy recipe, from fridge to plate in under 10 minutes. I paired it with steam-baked squash (prepared the night before), served mashed with a dribble of EVOO and seasoning, a low carb flax/whole wheat pita with hummus, cucumbers and olives along with some almonds. Great lunch.
Take that, you great big olive!