Since I am in a bit of a “refocusing” period, I have been thinking a lot about what has worked best the FIRST six months so I can be sure I am carrying it forward. Other than the rather obvious “Eat Ur Yurms” and “Don’t Binge” and whatnot, these are the things that have occurred to me that really help, when I do them, and that are easy to lose track of because they aren’t CLEARLY part of weight loss success (and yet, they are!) So in the spirit of Dr. Phil, here are the Keys I’ve thought of so far:
- Sleep. I got major sleep depletion in July and early August and there has not been much chance to catch up. Of course, studies show there’s no way to catch up fast – think of it as the ground after a drought – a good soaking rain is great, but it has to be slow and steady – too fast and it just runs off, because the ground can only absorb so much at once.
Without enough rest, poor tired kittehs are more prone to make bad decisions. They also turn to food for energy to “hang in there” when what they really need is a nap. But as I learned with my sleeping machine, not enough rest also means you are lowering your metabolism, increasing your body’s stress levels, and not giving yourself time to repair.
I have absolutely stunk at this all summer. I am really ready to fix it. Starting tonight, I am calling ‘er done no later than 10:30 and asleep by 11, which will be a vast improvement. But I really hope to go to sleep even earlier than that for a while to facilitate fixing this whole exhaustion thing and start adjusting to the new back to school schedule, which has me getting up pretty darn early at least three days per week.
I LOVE sleep! I don’t know why this is so hard sometimes, except that I also love reading, and playin on the comfuzers, and watchin TV, and … yeah. But I gotta get some rest!
- Ketosis. Carb Triggers are sneaky little bastages. If you are out of ketosis, you don’t necessarily FEEL like you are starving (although you can), but you are just overall more hungry than you were back in the good old ketosis days – because instead of happily munching along on all this stored up body fat, your body is looking expectantly to your digestive system for easy, fast energy from food/carbs. I am not terribly tempted to have a giant binge (yet) but I am struggling now with getting over that ketosis hump. Which I knew I would be. And yet, it is so subtle that I keep screwing it up. Last night, for instance, calories were well within limits, but I had pork chops with chutney. Counted the chutney but didn’t check the smoked pork chop package until I had eaten two – four carbs each. UGH. So I’m still not in ketosis – which is obvious, because I had my bar for breakfast and was hungry again in an hour or so. So today is the day – Day 1 of however many it takes, usually 3 to 5, to get back in happy ketosisville.
- Satisfying dinners. I have been slacking and taking the easy route for a while – making good healthy food for the fam for dinner but just leaving off the carbier bits myself. Right now, my willpower is just not there (see No. 2) so I need to make this next week all about super LC, filling and delicioso meals that I can eat with gusto and not get into a carb budget.
This falls under “not obvious” for me because it seems like I can just re-tool what they eat and be OK. But things are SO much easier if I don’t have to push myself to make a good decision at dinner, when I am tired and hungry.
- Fourth Packet. Speaking of tired and hungry, I have been leaving relatively early from work and have NOT been good about eating my fourth (4-5:30) packet, because my plan is that we will be eating relatively early. Some days, we do – but even then, if I haven’t had anything to eat since the 100 calories in my 2:00 packet, I am really hungry! Bad decisions are much easier then! And needless to say, some days I leave early and we STILL eat at the “regular” time. In both cases, I do MUCH better if I have eaten that fourth packet and my blood sugar is stable, my tummy is not empty and gnawing, and my energy is back up. So I will be making that fourth packet a priority.
I especially tend to skip this when I eat lunch and plan a dinner packet, because I am not as hungry until later in the day. I am going to be doing as few “lunch days” as possible for a while, because they are kind of hard when you are not in ketosis and have to feed everyone a meal at night and not touch it, but I have some business ones that I can’t escape and that are too small to get away with just sipping water. But I am going to make a big push to eat by the clock that day and stay on track, so that dinner is easier to resist.
- Blogging. I have a self imposed keep it real policy here, and when I know I have to write it down, I am much leerier about nibbling. So yeah, you already know I fell down on that. Definitely needsto be a priority!
- Weighing. I’ve blogged about this already, but by the same token as blogging, when I know I am weighing in the next day and have to record it on the little tracker, I have extra motivation to avoid the naughties.
I think both of these (5 and 6) come down to accountability – it really does help to be accountable, even if only to my computer and my iPhone ap! 🙂
7. No alcoholz. It is not the hugest surprise that a glass (or so) of wine will blow your carb budget. But even no/LC drinks like vodka with Crystal Light Mocktail mixes can totally screw up the decision making process. Or so I have heard. (This one is really so obvious that it doesn’t belong on this list. But I really liked this picture.)
There you have it – kittehs thoughts on what I have been skimping on and need to get back to doing!