Day 28: Why I Now Pause Before I Act

Jeez. Burned just 9 calories today? While this may be inaccurate, it does paint a picture of a sedentary me. A very sedentary me.

MyFitnessPal app (linked to my iPhone’s digital activity tracker) tells me I walked 1,506 steps = 9 calories. No points today for cleaning nor cooking as I didn’t do them today. Driving does not count.

Here’s how I fared today:

July 4, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1398 calories

+Exercise: 9 calories

=Remaining: -189 calories

It’s the 28th day of my weight loss project, and I’m telling you, each day presents a new challenge. Today, it’s about eating out.

I had a scheduled 5:30pm meeting at Starbucks. My first challenge: what to drink.

Here’s how my mind flowed from one idea to another:

“I’m at Starbucks, I should get coffee.”

“Naah, they have a lot of non-coffee drinks.”

“How about some hot green tea like what you had the other night?”

“Naah, it’s too boring. I want something I enjoy drinking. Like maybe a Caramel Macchiato?”

“But milk has so much fat!”

“But I can have it non-fat, right?”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t taste good.”

“True. How about one of these bottled fruit juices? It says, “no added sugar”.”

“Naah, it still has sugar. It’s a fruit.”

“Fine. How about this soy milk? I love soy milk! It’s been a while since I had one of these.”

“Oh yeah, this is something I would enjoy.”

“Soy milk is healthy. It’s a good source of protein.”

“Great, I’m getting the Vanilla.”

Turns out, this is the nutritional content I got from my Silk Soymilk Very Vanilla:

Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk Nutrition Label

So I finally had something to drink. I looked around and there were no available seats left. Had to move to the cafe next door, which was virtually empty: J.CO Donuts & Coffee.

My next challenge: what to eat.

Whenever I am at a J.Co store, I only buy Alcapone. It’s the one with almond slivers on a blanket of white chocolate. Happens to be their bestseller too. So I got a piece.

After paying, I realized they also sell J.Cool Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt.

“Oh, yogurt. I need probiotics in my body!”

“Hey, not all frozen yogurts are health. Haven’t you read all the myths online?”

“Nope, but I think this is better than a donut. Don’t you think?”

“Well, yeah. Maybe.”

“Oh, and I get a free topping. What should I get?”

“Forget those KitKat bars. Get some fresh fruits.”

“How about strawberries? They’re sexy AND healthy.”

“Just order.”

You see, conversations like this happen in my mind many times a day. And more often than usual whenever I’d eat out.

But I guess what’s important is the act of pausing before acting. Don’t just let impulse take over, but take that pause to reflect and think a bit. I’m sure you’ve read all the stuff out there about nutrition, what to eat, what not to eat. Ultimately, the choice is yours alone.

Finally, here’s the rest of what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee, cheese bread

Lunch: Brown rice, mackerel in turmeric oil

Afternoon Snack: Silk Soymilk Very Vanilla, J.CO Alcapone, J.COOL Frozen Yogurt with strawberries

Dinner: Brown rice, mackerel in turmeric oil, homecooked Gambas Al Ajillo, Starbucks Banoffee Pie

Water: 1000ml

After 28 days, I feel like the same person who has a voracious appetite. But what I notice is I now tend to pause before I decide on anything food-related.

It allows me that fraction of a second to use my reason, along with my heart, in making decisions.

And for me, that’s progress.

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Day 24: Achieving My Mission One Day at a Time

It’s the last day of June. That time of the month when you feel like wrapping things up, and prepping for the next one.

I look back at the last 24 days of my weight loss journey, and feel a sense of mission to respect and take care of my body.

I learned to strive for balance between rigidity and reward, and to focus on the essence of what I’m really trying to achieve.

Here are my calorie counts for today:

June 30, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1092 calories

+Exercise: 126 calories

=Remaining: 234 calories

My body has adjusted to this level of food consumption on a regular day. If I feel hungry in between meals, I learned to reach out for my water bottle first.

If I still feel peckish, I’d grab some roasted almonds, or a piece of fruit. If not, I’m happy with my afternoon coffee which I slurp more than sip, as I do my usual writing.

Here’s what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee, gluten-free cornmeal muffin

Lunch: the last batch of beef chili, plus another gluten-free cornmeal muffin (God, how many muffins did I make?)

Afternoon Snack: coffee

Dinner: Brown rice, grilled chicken breasts (marinated in Greek yogurt and spices), shrimps and squash in coconut milk, and salted caramel ice cream

Water: 1500ml

As you can see, I’m desperately trying to finish off these cornmeal muffins! I baked a dozen of them, and gave away 3. So I was left with 9 to finish within the week. No wonder my carbs are spiking up!

And there are my shrimps over there, along with some Kabocha squash, stewed in some coconut milk, ginger and garlic. To add crunch to the mushy dish, I added some crisp-fried dilis (Philippine anchovy) for a bit of contrast in texture.

The ice cream was part of last night’s mini party (which I skipped) and now I reward myself with half a cup.

By the way, the ice cream brand: “Nestle Temptations.” Aptly named indeed.

Day 15: Just Another Normal Day

I’m back from my mini-vacation up the mountains so it’s the usual daily grind for me. Sitting. Writing. Very sedentary.

Once again, MyFitnessPal gave me a reminder that I didn’t eat enough today. Below the minimum 1000 calories.

June 21, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 930 calories

+Exercise: 49 calories

=Remaining: 319 calories

I practically stayed at home, wrote as usual, and cleaned my apartment for some 15 minutes. I did my usual morning and evening drive routine. Prepared my meals as usual. Nothing too different from the usual.

Today I had some fresh strawberries which I brought home from my trip. Added some potassium and vitamin C to my diet. I sliced some and added to my oatmeal.

Breakfast: coffee

Lunch: Whole grain rolled oats, honey, fresh strawberries

Afternoon Snack: Roasted almonds, 5 pieces of Mentos Soda Mix Flavor Candy

Dinner: Brown rice, leftover Gumbo with added Hungarian Sausage

Water: 1000ml

So how did some candies ended up here?

Well, somebody I know slipped it along with the pack of fresh strawberries. She’s so thoughtful. It’s been a while since I had these candies so I didn’t mind eating some. Yeah, I know. Sugar. Those 5 pieces contributed 6.2g of sugar. But mind you, overall for the day, I DID NOT go beyond my limit of 47g. So, for me, that’s totally fine.

The Hungarian sausage was the 2nd of 2 pieces left in my freezer. So now that it’s gone, I can focus on other meats. Chicken breast is a staple, so I might be cooking with it these coming days. Plus I have some beef too. Tough cuts of beef! I wonder what I’ll be doing with it?

I don’t want them to go to waste. Hate leftovers!

Day 10: Today I’m Eating More

With MyFitnessPal’s warning yesterday, I tried to catch up today by eating more and striving to hit the recommended 1000-1200 calories for women.

June 16, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1223 calories

+Exercise: 14 calories (2,039 steps, mostly made during shopping)

=Remaining: -9 calories

Went over by 9 calories. Yup, 9 calories. This should be fine, not losing sleep over these minute details.

As I have planned, I’m having some leftover grilled fish today for lunch.

Here’s what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee

Lunch: Brown rice, leftover grilled milkfish, fresh avocados

Afternoon Snack: Strawberry shake, cream cheese-stuffed almond soft pretzels from Auntie Anne’s

Dinner:  Fried chicken tenders with curry mustard dip, Taco Bibimbap from Bonchon

Water: 1750ml

The Taco Bibimbap is a Mexican-version of the Korean rice dish bibimbap, with red kidney beans, salsa, and crushed nachos instead of the usual kimchi and veggies. I ordered this because of the beans. Love them!

However, the rice used here (unfortunately) is white rice, not organic brown rice which I normally have at home.

You see, this is the limitation when you eat out, and the resto does not provide its diners much choice. Like the option to change your rice from white to brown, or something like that.

Here’s the main difference between white and brown rice in terms of nutrients, from Livestrong.com:

One cup of white rice contains:

  • 242 calories
  • 4.4 grams of protein
  • 53.2 grams of carbohydrate
  • 0.4 gram of fat
  • 0.6 grams of fiber
  • 24 milligrams of magnesium
  • 0.8 milligram of zinc

One cup of brown rice contains:

  • 218 calories
  • 4.5 g of protein
  • 45.8 grams of carbohydrate
  • 1.6 grams of fat
  • 3.5 grams of fiber
  • 86 milligrams of magnesium
  • 1.2 milligrams of zinc

Since I am trying to reduce my cholesterol level, I need a lot of fiber in my diet. So brown rice really works for me. Brown rice has 8x more fiber than white rice! Although here’s something I didn’t expect: brown rice has more fat than white rice. So I try to balance this off by adding more good fats into my diet, like fatty fish such as sardine, mackerel, tuna and salmon.

I think it’s about time that Bonchon upgrades its menu to include healthier options for their rice. Don’t you think so?

Day 6: Sadness Made Me Eat Less

It seems ironic that I ate less because I felt sad and depressed. Usually if I’m down in the slumps I would load up and eat and eat and eat. Today is quite different.

At the end of the day, I found myself with still 155 calories left. Note the exercise reflected by my iPhone as 256 steps = 1 calorie. Not even sure if this is accurate since my phone is not strapped to my body. Yeah, I would bring it wherever I go, but not 100%.

Anyway, here are the metrics today:

June 12, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1046 calories

+Exercise: 1 calorie

=Remaining: 155 calories

It’s one of those days when I felt depressed over my life in general, so I practically sulked the entire day. Stayed in my room the whole time, didn’t talk to anybody. Such a bleak day.

Didn’t feel like cooking at all, just ate the leftover chicken from last night’s dinner and grabbed some canned tuna for dinner.

It was one of those days when I was too lazy to even put away the soiled dishes. Too lazy to clean the apartment. Too lazy to even do anything. Blech.

I did have some sense left to snack on healthy stuff, as you can see in my food diary below:

Breakfast: coffee

Lunch: Brown rice, leftover chicken dish from last night

Afternoon Snack: an apple and 21 pieces of almonds

Dinner: Brown rice, canned tuna (lite, 50% less salt)

Water: 1250 ml

Thanks for these almonds, I got some Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats, 9g and 3g respectively. It’s becoming my snack of choice, and it helps to know how many pieces approximately are in a serving.

I’ve been keeping this online journal for almost a week now and it seems to be working, i.e. I’m doing progress. Compared before I am now more aware of what I put into my mouth, and knowing the nutrients that it contains gives tremendous impact.

I can’t wait for find out IF and WHEN these dietary changes will affect my weight and cholesterol levels.

Day 3: Dance Myself Thin

I kept my promise to myself to dance on Day 3, earning additional calories so I could eat a little bit more. Yesterday I shared with you I’d be doing the afro-latin dance workout by dance instructor Marie Forleo.  I really, really enjoyed it! It was an easy-to-follow, fun workout,  and it helped that I “know” Marie Forleo. Meaning, I watch her online show MarieTV and consume her content on personal development.

Add to that my steps for the day, and I got these figures:

June 9, 2017

Dance Workout, 30 minutes: 157 calories

Number of steps: 968 steps

Recommended steps: 10,000

This is waaaaay far from my the goal, but it’s progress. Reminding myself right now that I strive for progress, not perfection.

Which leads me to almonds. Yes, almonds.

How Much is Too Much

We know these nuts are kinda popular when it comes to weight loss, as some sites like Livestrong.com would suggest to eat almonds to lose weight. And so I did snack on them while watching some K-Drama online.

God, I must have eaten 3 handfuls!

That’s way beyond the serving size of 1 ounce, I suppose. So I thought I need a strategy for this: the next time I eat almonds, I’m gonna pre-count/pre-portion them.

One ounce of almonds is around 22-23 whole kernels. Since I love rounding up/down figures, I’ll consider this as 20 whole almonds for a serving.

So with that, plus my other meals for today:

June 9, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1304 calories

+Exercise: 157 calories

=Remaining 53 calories

Going Into Mediterranean Diet

With the food that I’ve been eating, it feels sorta like I’m going into a Mediterranean diet. Here’s what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee

Lunch: Linguine with sardines in tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon

Afternoon Snack: coffee, a handful of walnuts

Dinner: More linguine (this time with pimento-stuffed green olives, basil and black pepper), some eggplant made two ways: grilled and omelet

Additional Snack: lots of almonds

Water:  2000 ml

Looking at the “menu” above, it’s a sign I need to plan and prepare my meals better if I want to survive the coming weeks and months. Please, I don’t wanna die of boredom from all this linguine!

Wait, how about the weighing scale?

The store I went to is selling one last piece of a digital weighing scale. I didn’t like both the design and the price tag so I am postponing the purchase. Tomorrow, I’ll check out another store. Or maybe I can order online instead.

Meanwhile, I’m at this state where I am happy for making progress in my food choices (so far so junk food for the last 3 days, no soda, no sugary iced teas) but still clueless as to how I really weigh.

I swear I’m getting my own scale very soon!