what works for you?

So…. I had planned to come in here with exciting photos and stories from my first week of 30 Days of Biking, and leave you all aching to join me in this quest. But in reality, although I have been out on my bike every day, most of those days have been uber-cold, can’t wait til it’s over rides. They’ve been perfunctory at best, and definitely not stories that will encourage you to hop on your rusting ten-speed. Hence, I find myself at a bit of a loss today. What to talk about? I think instead of telling you a story, or giving you advice, I’ll ask for your advice instead.

I’m struggling, peeeps. Nutritionally speaking. I’ve been working out like a fiend, I’m probably in the best shape of my life. I’m running, cycling, yoga-ing, lifting. I am also running, cycling, yoga-ing, lifting proof that you can’t out train a bad diet. As my level of activity has increased, so has my hunger. Exponentially. I’m certain I’m eating back everything I’m burning off. And more. And not in fresh fruit and veggies and healthy protein. No. In breads and pastas and and and…chocolate Easter eggs and the like. I don’t even buy candy, but it comes home from school and somehow ends up in my mouth.

It’s obvious to me that I have to do something before all my hard work gets obliterated. But what? Counting calories/points makes me crazy. I’m too old and too wise to blindly throw myself into a new fad diet. But this eating whatever I want then closing my eyes and wishing the calories to magically disappear isn’t working so well.

So tell me, what works for you? Do you calorie count? Or are you higher protein, lower carb? South Beach? Vegan? Low fat? Cabbage soup? Six small meals, or three squares and no snacks? I’m serious here. Please hit me up in the comments, and let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t. I need to choose a direction here, and at the moment I’m flying blind.

  • Nichole

    i feel your pain! i’ve spent the last 3 years getting rid of 100 pounds. (i don’t say lose b/c i don’t EVER want it back…) in january i hurt my knee and slowly the pounds started to creep back on b/c i was emotionally and socially eating more than normal. first of all, i had to MENTALLY get back into the game. this meant getting other positive people in my life to do things with me so i could prove to myself that i was back. next, i had to change up my workout. i am addicted to zumba and bootcamp type things but i’ve committed to crossfit for the next 6 weeks to get things moving again. as far as diet, i’ve been on weight watchers since starting this journey but find that i have to not eat sugar and eat more veggies than fruits. i’m addicted to the sugars! i also eat protein at every meal and snack. i KNOW you can get back into the swing of things! if i can do it…ANYONE and i mean ANYONE can!!! i believe in YOU!!! thanks for all of your encouragement in my journey!

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Thanks for your input, Nichole! I *KNOW* that protein is a contributing factor. Just how to address it I’m not quite sure. Thanks for the food for thought :)

  • AnnG

    You know what I love most about the sisterhood and all the writers here? The honesty!! When y’all struggle you don’t hide it you own up to it and ask for help!!
    I needed to read this today. I was knee deep in guilt over the box of milk duds I devoured at 11:30pm last night. Once I read this I realized needed to get over it and move on. Just got back from the fitness center at my new place and I’m feeling much better!
    As for what works for me— tracking and a weekly weigh in. Both keep me motivated and encourages me to watch the food closely! When I want to eat junk (usually) I look at the calories before I eat it and decide if I can “afford” to eat it. Usually I can’t and so I decide to eat something better that I can “afford”!
    Ok…now! Move away from the junk and stop eating too much food! You’ve worked your butt off and you are worth the effort to keep moving in the right direction!! Look at some before and after pictures for an extra boost!!

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Ann, I’m so glad you have a fitness center at your disposal – that’s fab!!! My kids aren’t aware of this, but I’m pretty sure the Easter candy will be disappearing this weekend :) What’s more, I expect I’m the only one that will even notice the absence!

  • Sarah

    I have several friends that are personal trainers (nowhere near me of course so I can’t take advantage of working out) but I pick their brain all the time about food. I started my year out counting calories, and sticking to the 3 meals, 2 snacks deal. It didn’t work for me because I was unhappy in my kitchen (future chef here). I learned that you can cook just about anything as long as you put in the effort of making it slightly healthy if it’s not a terribly healthy recipe. As for you being starving, I have experienced that as well. Protein is major after an exercise which I’m sure you know, but what most people don’t realize is that carbs are also great for you after a workout. I would suggest watching yourself on the sweets, but it’s important to focus on eating happy and healthy rather than doing some sort of diet. Just be more conscious about what you’re putting in your meals. Made a world of difference for me.

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Thanks, Sarah. I used to be there – conscious, that is :) I’m not sure when I started just floating along, but it’s time to snap out of it! Thanks for the input, especially the reminder to eat happy and healthy :)

  • Kerryb

    I have been struggling with diet and motivation for some time. But…. This month we are having a challenge at work to workout every day. I also started focusing on plant based food, I’m not going vegan or veggie but really eating mostly plants. So far (only since the first) I really notice how my sugar cravings are gone, I feel fuller and have more energy. I will keep youngster on my progress.

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Glad that’s working for you, Kerry, and I hope it continues! I actually am vegetarian, so I can’t make the same claim :) Although, my old norm of healthy, whole foods vegetarian and this new norm of healthy with some junk thrown on top aren’t exactly comparing apples to apples!

  • Julie

    It’s actually great to hear that we all need help from time to time. Makes me less afraid to ask for help myself. I’m in a similar position where I’m working out like a fiend but my eating isn’t where it should be. I’m also terrible at tracking my food. So I plan a regular breakfast, lunch and snacks that I eat almost every day. Voila…. no thinking. That helps me get through. Also, I plan a weeks’ worth of dinners at a time. It helps with the shopping, I already know what I’m eating on those busy nights and there’s no last minute running out for fast food or dinners out. Good luck.

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      I’m actually sitting here over my morning cuppa, planning out next week’s meals. Not just suppers, as is my usual, but everything that’s going to go in my pie hole :) Great minds think alike??

      I keep questioning whether that added hunger I’m having is real or imaginary? LIke, am I subconsciously thinking “wow! I worked out like a fiend! I’d better refuel!” when actually all I need is something small?

  • mimi

    This is just a little thing that I do that seems to help me out. Whenever I crave anything sweet for example, i’ll tell myself to eat a piece of fruit and then I can have the candy. Usually by the time im done with the healthy option I don’t want the candy anymore. Theres just something about telling myself that I CAN have something I guess that helps me. Of course if you tell yourself you CAN NOT, we all know we just want it more. And even if I still want the junk food after my healthy choice I tend to eat less of it, but its rare. BE STRONG

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Interesting… I can see how that might work. Thanks for sharing your tip, Mimi!

  • http://christy.shrinkingjeans.net Christy_TheSistherhood

    I’m about to take a new adventure with guidance from a health counselor. If you want more info, email me, otherwise all of my adventures will be revealed here in the next few week :)

    • http://www.shrinkingjeans.net/ Karena @ Shrinking Jeans

      Hmmmm, I’m extremely intrigued! But I’ve decided on a course of action (nothing crazy, I assure you!) and am excited to see how it works out. Looking forward to reading your posts though, Christy!