Friday, October 10, 2008

Nutrition and a Weight Loss Challenge

First off, and aside... Egad, I have to run 12.5 miles tomorrow and check out the forecast! I am not too excited...


Nutrition is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Truthfully I've been a little frustrated that I'm so active but I just can't seem to get down to what I think a healthier weight for me would be. I have an idea of what some of my pitfalls are but was lacking...something...motivation?? try to set it straight. When I first met with coach I told her that nutrition was a definite concern of mine. She advised me to start keeping a food log and then she would take a look and offer some suggestions. If my eating was way off kilter then she would recommend a nutritionist for me. I had been pretty resistant to the idea of writing down what I was eating. I didn't want to be one of those calorie counter sticklers. I enjoy good food and was worried that this would put me down the path to nibbling carrot sticks non-stop and fretting over what I was putting in my mouth. It turns out that keeping track of what I was eating wasn't quite as scary as I thought. The first week I didn't change too much, but I was honest in writing it down. The first feedback that I got was that I really needed to work on incorporating snacks in to my day more, and making sure that there was some protein in my snacks so I could stay fuller longer between meals. I started planning my food ahead a lot more - carrying and apple and peanut butter and some cottage cheese to work with me for snacks. I also was working hard to cook at home on a regular basis and make a double batch so I'd have lunch at work the next day. For dinner I'd start grilling up chicken I'd been marinating and a huge selection of veggies and I found that I was naturally starting to eat less. Writing my food down hasn't turned me in to an overzealous diet nut like I was worried about, but it definitely makes me think a lot more about when, where and how much I'm eating. It hasn't all been perfect, but I don't beat myself up for having a treat every once in awhile. But I find that I'm not craving those treats as often now. I feel like things are starting to go in the right direction and - knock on wood - the scale is starting to agree with me.

And so with that in mind, in order to keep up the good work I'm participating in Viv's Marathon Season Independence Weight Loss Challenge. It couldn't come at a better time because now that I'm starting to see improvements I need to make sure I keep up with the good habits instead of falling back in to the old ones. If you think you are in need of a little motivation yourself, then head on over and sign up for the challenge. All you have to do is tell Viv what your starting weight is anytime between now and before the end of the day, Sunday October 12th. Good luck!


teacherwoman said...

Okay, your temps for tomorrow look similar to ours, however I can't tell if the picture is showing signs of snow or rain?! We are getting snow, however the western part of ND and SD, as well as Eastern part of MT and WY is under a WINTER storm watch/warning...up to 5 inches of snow! BLECK!

I am supposed to do the 25 mile breast cancer ride tomorrow but am read to can it.

I will be joining in on Viv's challenge as well. I too am frustrated with my weight loss, or lack there of and view journaling as you did. Maybe it's worth trying. It just seems like so much work!

Danielle said...

Oh doesn't look fun. I'm not ready for snow yet. Please keep it there!!

Keeping track of food and what you're eating is a good idea as long as it's not obsessive. I keep a lot of mixed snacks at work so I can eat single snack popcorn to pop and have before a run, kashi granola bars...fruit...I know you can do it...I need to get on that plan myself!! Now that the marathon is done, time to get back on track before I gear up training for that April marathon!! :)

wac said...

I think you'll be able to find a balance with your nutrition and training. The more I learn about nutrition, the better choices I make in my eating. You'll feel great with more protein in your diet :)

Journaling isn't too bad. After a week or so it starts to become a habit.

Good luck with your run in the snow :) It's been cold down here, but not that cold, yet!

(Oh, and thanks for your post on my marathon blog! :)

Lily on the Road said...

Ewwww, are those snowflakes???

More healthy small snacks throughout the day really help...check out Beth's website,, very helpful, I took a nutrition course with her at the Heart Institue, it was GREAT.

Lily on the Road said...

Oh, yes, thanks for the tag, I'm just catching up with all the blogs now! THANKS!!

ShirleyPerly said...

I think if you dress right, you'll be fine running outside. And good for you taking steps to improve your nutrition. When I was training for an Ironman a couple yrs ago, I did the food log thing once to make sure I was consuming enough calories and esp. carbs, protein. It definitely made me much more conscious about eating better. Keep up the good work!

Sonia said...

Good job on the food front and very happy to see the scale is moving in the right direction! Altough I don'T think you need to lose weight, you looked great when I saw you in August =)

Me on the other hand... ack!

Laurel said...

Is that a snowflake? LOL, can you tell I'm from Miami?
I think it's a great idea to keep a food journal. I used to keep one but it would only last a few days. I've been thinking about starting again.

Sarah Elaine said...

There is a *fantastic* sports nutritionist at the U of C. Her name is Kelly Anne Erdman Carter. She is an Olympian (1992) and a professional dietician, specializing in athletes. There's a poster signed by Kyle Schewfeldt in her office. I went to see her once and it was worth every penny of the $85 fee. It improved my running experience tremendously. I'd highly recommend her if you're interested in this sort of thing.

Speed Racer said...

Does this mean that the running part of your race reports is going to be longer than the sumptuous descriptions of the pre- and post-race meals? Are we going to get more pictures of you now than beautiful presentations of steaks and wine glasses? Noooooooo! Who are you and what have you done with my Leana?!

But for serious, I think once you get used to "eating healthy" (whatever that is for you), then it's actually a lot better than you think. It seems like you've even stopped craving the yucky stuff. I bet you'll look great in a bikini in FL this January!

Amanda said...

It is amazing that when I eat better I generally want less bad food... you do have to be conscious about it, but don't have to be crazy which is what it took me awhile to finally learn.