Week 1: On the Road to Phat

December 23, 2010

Losing my Last 10 Pounds! ›

Today was the last time. The very last. The very very last.

It was the last time I'd stuff five chocolate chip cookies into my mouth. Granted, they were homemade. AND I don't normally eat a ton of sugary desserts. But, I had just vowed this morning that I'd focus on losing my last little bit of weight. But, I had just put the girls to bed after a grueling day of the little one screaming her head off in the car for an hour and I was tired and those little buggers looked tempting sitting on that cookie tray. The edges browned, slightly curling up. The moist, chocolate chips ready to burst. The white chocolate chips the kids threw in there for fun.

It was either eat them or do the dishes. I opted to eat them and leave the dishes for tomorrow.

As some of you know, I've been struggling with my weight for some time. No...I don't need to be on a reality show. Because no one is making a reality show for someone like me. Someone who is fit..trim...works out regularly...eats extremely well...but just has to shave 5 - 10 pounds. It's just not as sexy I guess as watching folks that need to lose five times that weight.

I'm 5 foot 2...3 on a good day. And, I'm 135 pounds. There, I said it. But, remember, a lot of that is muscle. I have trained with weights since high school. I also do yoga...swim...run. BUT...I can't shake this weight. And, it bugs me because as my book starts heating up I need to be on-air again for appearances. It doesn't help to look at pictures of yourself after and cringe just a little bit. And, I'm being totally honest here because I think there are more of us in the world than folks that need to lose 20..30...40...50...hundreds of pounds.

So...here it is..I'm putting it out there. I'm challenging myself and I'm not waiting until the first of the year. I am wholeheartedly starting now.

Here's what I'm proposing: I will continue to eat right - and mostly wholesome Indian food that I cook at home, I'll drink tons of water, stay away from sweets the next 2 weeks, eliminate even that one drink a week for the next 14 days, and boost the workouts.

I'll post again soon...and in the meantime I want to hear from all of you. Because it's hearing from you that keeps me going and motivated.

Day 1: Today started off and actually ended well. I have my two commentors to thank in part. So...thank you! Ran 3 miles this morning and took the advice of my trainer...I ran in sweats rather than shorts and a tank. I sweat a lot more than usual and felt better after the run. Ate a homemade lentil soup for lunch..yep..lentils are a vegetarian's dream. Packed with fiber and protein without the meat. That's the big reason I believe I've been held back from really getting on a routine that works. Every diet book I pick up says the same thing: eat small meals (6 daily) and most it should be lean meats. Folks..I don't like the taste of meat. I tried it a few weeks ago..opting for a tuna sandwich after getting off a plane at O'Hare rather than the portabello mushroom fix I wanted and I nearly threw up after. This is not in any way condeming folks who eat meat. Some of my best friends are carnivores..including my husband. I just can't stand the taste myself and am tired of trying to fit it into my day-to-day 'diet' routine. If any of you have breakfast recommendations that don't involve meat (eggs) I'd love them. I'd also love to get some recommendations on non-dairy sources protein for breakfast. This morning I popped a few soaked almonds. And if you haven't tried it yet, it's a good one - something they do in India all the time. Just soak a fistful of almonds overnight. Eat in the morning. It's a delicious way to get all the nutrients of the almonds, while making them more digestable. My girls love peeling and eating them on the way to school. On to day 2...

Days 2 and 3....so far so good. Went to a family event last night and actually got through it w/out a sip of alcohol (I'm staying away for 14 days) despite my husband begging me to try his 'amazing' wine. And...when the dessert came (apple pie hot out of the oven) I was so stuffed from salad that I didn't even consider it. I wasn't a saint - I had a serving of the very overly cheesy lasagna (um...we were in Wisconsin) and we ordered Chinese this weekend. But, the win is that the portions were small and I had a ton of salads. Sure...there were pancakes for breakfast but I made them myself and stuffed them with fresh blueberries. Tomorrow I'll be onto the workout with my trainer. Thanks for all of the terrific feedback, folks. I hope these adds encourage you all to meet your own goals.

Day 4: He said I'd throw up. I almost did. I've never wanted to throw up in the middle of a workout but this morning was the exception. My trainer: Will Rogers at the East Bank Club is one of the best I've had. He pushes you...he doesn't mince words...and he doesn't let you get away with anything - especially wasting good training time. Both of us are now on a mission to get me at my best. This morning Will actually jumped on my back. Seriously, folks! All 210 pounds of him jumped on my back and made me walk the length of the basketball court - twice. We jumped rope - three minutes at a time - did bear crawls - stairs - push ups and a few other choice exercises. The key folks - I wore sweats the whole time. It helped warm me up and kept me sweating. What are your goals? Are you getting out there and getting it done? If not..what are you waiting for? Join me!

Day 5: We're almost at the first week's end, and day 5 was a little challenging because of lack of sleep. I was up till 2 a.m. on a mission to get this house organized...my wins were that even though my stomach was growling at the nth hour I only ate a grapefruit. AND that I still got in about 20 minutes of cardio in my day - swimming 15 laps. We took the kids to go see Yogi Bear and we even stayed away from the fat-laden, addictive popcorn.  I actually feel lighter after just cutting back on the splurges that typically add up in my days. The only reason I have been a little hesitant to continue eating oatmeal for breakfast (some of you have mentioned it below) is that a friend consulted a nutritionist who told her that some body types are slowed down by eating heavier foods like oatmeal rather than proteins. It made me stay away from it but I think I'm going to go back. I like oats in the morning...and love filling my bowl with berries, a half banana, chopped nuts and flax seed. That can't be bad, can it? And, it keeps me full throughout my day. One thing I want to share about my mission to lose my last bit of weight is that it's driven by how I FEEL and not how I perceive other people SEE me. I know that generally I feel strong and healthy (no, I'll never be rail thin nor would I want to be) but I don't feel completely comfortable. Even a small amount of weight can make you feel off - and that's the balance I'm looking to regain. I have always been very steady in the weight category. Yep, 108 in high school and about 115 in college - no freshman 15 nor did I gain weight after school primarily because I think I always ate pretty healthy and never drank that much. Kids changed the equation and that's when I started to struggle to really get back to a comfortable zone in my 120s. No, weight isn't everything. A lot of my pounds are more muscle than fat BUT I do see it beneficial to lose my gut. There, I said it. That's my only real problem spot and I just can't seem to get rid of it. Trying...trying...trying...

Day 6: The focus in my workout today besides sweating and almost heaving again, was for Will to set me straight on weight. I truly get it, but it was good to hear again...that muscle weighs more than fat, and that even if the scale is not going down the way I want it to..if I am feeling good in my clothes and feeling fit I'm likely replacing my fat with muscle. Yes. I get it. But man wouldn't it be nice to see that needle go down just a tad? I was really dying for a dessert today - I mean really dying. Guess what did it for me? I had leftover homeade pancake batter from the weekend (whole grains) with blueberries and I not only made one before dinner but I smothered it in real maple syrup and some soy butter...oh, and half a banana and a dash of chopped walnuts. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Today I also bought a few other grocery items: nutritional yeast (hoping to mix it into my lentils to add some protein), a vegan soy powder, and tempeh. I'll let you know how it all goes. Heading to bed early and on a mission to run a five miler tomorrow. Anyone joining me??? C'mon...even a mile would do! Oh, another thing that has helped me a lot with my workouts - my trainer recommended leaving the treadmill behind and running on a track or outside. He believes running on the treadmill is essentially giving your body a lazy workout (my word - not his) and not really burning as many calories as you could otherwise - it's a false sense of a calorie burn. Since I've taken to the track for the past year my running has improved dramatically. Yes, I'm still slow (according to one observer that I've run with in the past and won't run with again.) BUT I can push past the three to four mile mark without getting overly tired now as I did about 6 months ago. If you have access to a track, give it a try and see if it helps. If you have no choice of course the treadmill is your friend and saviour...Oh, and thought I'd add in my meals today in case anyone really cares: nothing prior to my workout - nothing right after (that was wrong)..cup of coffee...bowl of steel cut oats with nuts and 1/2 banana and some Agave, Whole Wheat pita with avacado (I'm addicted), cucumber, onion, tomato, Veganaise, and a side of Azuki rice chips, my lovely pancake, and for dinner Indian Khardi (yogurt soup basically with cauliflower, spinach, and other veggies) over Basmati rice and pan fried potato fritters (pakoras). Yum. And I know I know...I need some more protein in there right?



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

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21 Comments

Ellen
Ellen

December 29, 2010

I just ordered your book today after having it on my wish list for over a month. Really looking forward to it as my daughter loves most Indian food and I share leftovers with a neighbor who packs her lunch to work. Re: breakfast. For me, I alternate between an egg (with hot sauce on it) and toast, toast and peanut butter or steel cut oats (usually cooked in the rice cooker) with some juice or fresh fruit. Those stick with me without feeling overly heavy. One daughter loves yogurt and granola with fruit. Another does fruit smoothies with soy milk or pancakes.

Estelle
Estelle

December 29, 2010

Good for you. My tip: if you really pay attention to how feel after you eat sweets… You will realize you feel gross. I know I do. There is this lingering sweet flavor in your mouth that I feel I have to wash away with tea. Yuck. Holidays are so hard though. And all these cookies… I end up giving or throwing some away. I know it’s bad to spoil food but cookies are not nourishment. Sugar is addictive though, so I usually try to detox very progressively, going from 2 cookies after dinner to 1 1/2, to 1, to a small piece of chocolate, to a very tiny candy. If you really pay attention to what your body tells you, you will realize you crave sweet taste, not 2 cookies, a bite sometimes suffice. Good luck!

Estelle
Estelle

December 29, 2010

Also, eat protein-rich foods, they help curb that craving for carbs, especially sweets.

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 28, 2010

Hello. Thanks for your message — one that I wanted to address on this blog and will through a post as well. As with any long writing project there come glitches. Of course we’ve had ours. Normal…but doesn’t mean I don’t lose sleep over them! It is not 33 cups…it is 3 cups (that’s been fixed in the subsequent printings). The rice pudding cooks for 3 hours on low. Chana masala is just that…masala used for chickpeas. Chat masala is used for cold salads. You can find chana masala at any Indian grocery store. More to come…

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 28, 2010

Seeking…seeking…seeking balance. Maybe just not all at once!

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 28, 2010

Hi Bridget. Thanks for chiming in…I agree with the oatmeal suggestion – and wrote a little bit about my thoughts on it above in day 5. Thanks for the compliment. I feel wonderful and very healthy. I’ve been really working on excercise and eating right the last year especially…just feel like I need to take it that one step further…I don’t have far to go…but just a little bit. And there you have it – we all have insecurities. Even those of us who have been in front of the camera for years. Part of my reason for being so honest.

jennifer
jennifer

December 28, 2010

I just bought your cookbook and I am going to make my first recipe from it. I read the whole thing through and it looks fantastic! Thanks for all your hard work.

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 28, 2010

Hi Lynn. So good to hear from you! I am so glad you’re moving too!!! Love the oats – I do that too. Check out what I have to say about oatmeal above in Day 5. I’m just confused as to whether or not I should be eating oatmeal or not…if it’s lightening me up or bogging me down?

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 28, 2010

Thanks, Jennifer. I can’t wait for you to try out some of these recipes!!

Lisa
Lisa

December 27, 2010

One of the most challenging things when making changes can be to socialize. Good for you staying true to your goals and commitments to yourself and enjoying time with your friends and family! What a great example of seeking balance. : )

Joolz
Joolz

December 27, 2010

Hi Anupy,
I recently bought your slow cooker book and was pleased to see so many healthy recipes. I saw a couple of errors in the book, however. Will you have a section for errata for your book? For instance, the Rice Pudding recipe has the temperature listed as “low” on the top border while the recipe direction calls for the cooking temp to be “high.” Also, the split chickpea curry recipe lists using 33 cups (!) of chana dal (should be 3), and a couple recipes call for using a small amount of chana masala (should that be chaat masala?).
Thanks,
Joolz

Lynn
Lynn

December 28, 2010

Hi Anupy! I found your message inspiring. Eathing right, learning yoga, strength training and walking are my commitments…but I must say I have been very lazy over the holidays. Thanks for giving me inspiration to get moving. I’m writing to share about my favorite breakfast food, old fashioned style “John McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal”. It comes in a white can, and you can find it for a good price at Trader Joe’s. It’s hearty and nutty tasting. It takes a longer time to cook than most modern cereals, so I make a big batch in the slow cooker and heat up my portions during the week. Nothing is better these winter mornings! Best wishes, Lynn (Aspen’s grandma!)

Bridget
Bridget

December 27, 2010

For winter breakfast: Oatmeal (or, if you don’t have time, whole-grain dry cereal) with nuts, plain yogurt, a little skim milk or soy milk, maybe a few dried cranberries or raisins.
If you want to lose 5 or 10 lbs. that’s your business, but I just looked at the video of you on TV in Pennsylvania, and you look beautiful and healthy. It’s nice to see a woman on TV who doesn’t have that super-skinny brittle look most of the women on news programs have. (I was also amazed that a first-time author would have such great on-air poise and skills, until the host mentioned you had been a reporter.)

Grace
Grace

December 27, 2010

As an added thought on portion control, I read somewhere that some chefs, especially wolfgang puck while showing off his talent for cooking on TV., takes a small bite now and then and skips eating a regular meal. I don’t know how true that is, but you could try that. Also, recommend you get a dish-washing machine.

Grace M. Tripoli
Grace M. Tripoli

December 26, 2010

Hi Anupy,
Sorry to tell you this but, calories do count. When I was sick in the hospital and the doctor told me to lose weight, I told her I couldn’t because my disability forces me to be sedentary, she bluntly told me DON’T EAT SO MUCH. FOOD MAKES FAT. SO YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL. THAT’S IT IN A NUTSHELL.

Lisa
Lisa

December 26, 2010

I understand what you’re saying about meat, it’s not for everyone, but it sounds like you know what works for you as an individual. Eating unrefined whole foods is so important and part of what I love about your book is that it make eating that way so easy and convenient. I would say a great breakfast recipe high in protein is one of your own: Whole Green Lentil and Brown Rice Porridge, especially on the cold snowy days we’ve been having in Chicago lately, it’s easy to digest and warming.

Foods you may want to consider adding since you are looking for high protein vegetarian options for breakfast are: quinoa, nuts and seeds such as walnuts and almonds which also have healthy fats that will help keep you satiated for a longer period of time and curb hunger, plain yogurt, and tempeh. For instance you could add some baked tempeh to some boiled potatoes and carrots over quinoa, add some soaked walnuts, almonds, or almond milk to some cooked whole grains with some berries for cereal, or have some almond butter on a brown rice cake with a yogurt and berry smoothie. Most all unrefined whole grains, legumes, and vegetables have some protein.

Congratulations on beginning your journey!

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 26, 2010

Grace…you’ve said it so well. So so true. And that’s what I am trying to practice even more now. For the things that I can’t seem to control (pizza/chinese) I’m trying to avoid. So far so good. Thank you for the reminder. It’s a good one.

John Guereca
John Guereca

December 24, 2010

Hi Anupy….I can share your feelings but with the Holidays it is rather hard….
I do love my Baked good myself….but when it comes to challenges go for it !
2011 is upon us…and maybey we can all shed a few pounds…. and I am always up for a challenge…… Stay sweet ! your friend John !

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 24, 2010

Thanks, Lisa. I figure if I can’t do it now it will never happen. I agree with the sugar advice. I don’t normally drink juice..drink soda…or eat a lot of syrupy sorts of things. I do like fruit: blueberries/bananas/strawberries/grapes/cantaloupe. It’s hard to think about giving them up so I think I’ll take a stab at curbing them and subbing with more veggies in my day. I don’t drink alcohol. I mean maybe once a week at the most. My biggest challenge is finding non-meat sources of protein to add into my mornings.

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

December 24, 2010

Thanks for chiming in John. It soooo helps to know that folks are reading and responding. I will list my daily routine and things that have helped me in the hopes that we can all do so and benefit from the advice we all throw onto this site.

Lisa
Lisa

December 24, 2010

It takes a brave woman to start her regime before the New Year!

If you are wanting to avoid sugar know that even healthy sweets like fruit or fruit juice and any sweetener, even the seemingly healthy ones such as molasses and honey can derail your efforts. Fermented foods can cause problems too such as vinegar and wine.

I know what you’re going through. If you’d like help from someone who has been there please feel free to contact me.

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