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If

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;”

-excerpted from If by Rudyard Kipling

I was hoping I’d be more successful this week, but my results stayed the same as last week. 😦

I talk a lot about process oriented goals and not getting caught up in the scale, but when you are having a lot of success and then suddenly you seem to stall… Yeah, it is disheartening. You wonder why you are trying so hard.

So don’t get so caught up with success, Me, that your commitment hangs upon it instead of just taking things one day at a time. And also, Me, don’t let perceived failure stop you either. This isn’t about a number on the scale, and it’s not a race. This is about living in such a way that you can be your best self every day.

Just keep… Something or other…

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Egg White Delight

I get people asking me all the time, “What are you eating?” These people are mostly my children. With that in mind, here is my current go-to breakfast, inspired by McDonald’s delicious and relatively expensive ($3.00 a pop) Egg White Delight.

You need:
An English muffin (I like Thomas’ Hearty Muffins Multigrain Light)
A slice of Canadian bacon (wow, look how multicultural this recipe is turning out! 😉 )
A slice of cheese (You can use American or Swiss if you want to keep with our theme, but I like pepper jack for its kick)
1/3 cup of egg whites (buy a carton- don’t worry about its nationality)

Breakfast, Assemble!

I have a microwave egg cooker and I cook the eggs and the bacon together, then add the cheese when you place the egg on the toasted English muffin.

I like this breakfast because it has a nice punch of lean protein and is pretty filling for my morning. It also clocks in around 250 calories so it is really easy on the calorie budget. From a cost standpoint, each one is $1.47.

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Taking the Pain Out of Food Journaling

Food Journaling (or “tracking”) is an important piece to managing your food intake- after all, that which gets measured gets managed! But some parts of it are a pain, or difficult, or even stressful if you are an all-or-nothing perfectionist like me. Here’s how to take the pain to of tracking.

1. Measure, measure, measure. Get a couple sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons. Get a food scale. Measure everything. This is the most accurate way to estimate your calorie intake.

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2. Ate something and have no idea how many calories? Google it. Pick the answer that sounds like a slightly higher estimate, just to be safe. But don’t get hung up on finding something that matches exactly. The really important thing, in fact the key to success is that you a. control portion size. B. Continue tracking your next meal.

3. Make your food journal fun. Splurge on nice writing instruments- I bought some fun gel pens so I could track in colors.

4. Make process goals. Instead setting goals like “I’m going to lose 2 pounds this week” set goals around journaling- ie. “I’m going to journal everything this week.”

5. Don’t give up- the more you do it, the easier it gets. Write foods you use all the time on a cheat sheet in the back for quick reference.

It seems counter-intuitive: I say “get obsessive about what you are eating but don’t get TOO obsessive”, but there’s a balance. If you are too militant about it you will make yourself crazy and quit, too lax and you won’t get results and quit. But this how I find balance. What works for you?

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Secret Fitness Weapons: The Food Journal

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I am absolutely, unequivocally and dramatically more successful when I keep a food journal. This is a technique I learned at Weight Watchers, where you commonly hear the phrase, “If you bite it, write it!”

At Weight Watchers, food is given a point value. It used to be more closely tied to calories but now it is a much better indicator of the food’s value for you- ie, simple carbs have a very high point value. So Weight Watchers does a great job of teaching you to be smart with your dietary “budget”- filling, good-for-you foods are relatively “inexpensive” (most fruits and veggies are free).

Weight Watchers Centers always stock a nice food journal and you don’t have to be a member to go in and purchase one. I bought mine for $6.95.

Currently, I am just tracking calories, but the Weight Watchers journal works great for that, too. You could use any sort of pocket notebook, but I like the pages dedicated to meal and exercise planning.

The last time I was really consistent about exercise, I lost 17 pounds in 14 weeks. I was not as careful about my diet as I could have been- I know I didn’t journal very well (if at all). However, by journaling my food AND consistently exercising I am down 20 pounds in slightly over 7 weeks. That is what accountability for ya.

In the picture above you can see a few of my food journals from the past. I always like to recover them with scrapbook paper. Here is my current one: I covered it with Avengers Duck Tape.

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