Moving My Body Forward: Phase 4

I haven't deserted my progress blogs, muffins.  I have been working on my personal program and trying to stick to habits all along.  It's just that my exercise phase was stretched out over a longer period of time due to my 10-day Hawaii vacation and then had almost a week of no exercise while I adjusted to the jet lag back home.  Phase 5 should not take quite so long.

What does it mean to be satisfied?

What does satisfied feel like?  Does it mean you're not hungry anymore?  Does it mean you're not uncomfortably full?  If you feel a sensation of fullness have you gone too far?  For the past two months I have tried to practice the habit of eating only until satisfied.  Even now I'm not sure what satisfied means.

When I was on the Lean Eating program the habit was defined as eating until you were 80% full.  I was a failure at that habit because I'm terrible at numbers.  First of all, I wasn't sure what was meant by fullness.  Does full mean you're stretched to the limit, or does it mean you feel filled up?  What does 80% of that feel like?  If fullness simply means that the sensation of hunger has gone away, how much less of that should you eat?

I find it doesn't take much food to make the sensation of hunger go away.  A few bites will do it if you eat slowly.  However, I found that if I stopped at exactly the point hunger went away, hunger returned an hour later.  Dealing with hunger cues isn't just about satisfying hunger at the moment, but it also is about staying satisfied.

One lesson I learned is that sometimes emotional satisfaction counts too.  Sometimes you just want to eat everything on your plate because it tastes good.  You don't want to leave something delicious.  I had that happen a few times in Hawaii.  I would go down on a plate of food like a hungry call girl on a millionaire john.  Yes, there were times when I would eat so much as to be uncomfortable throughout the day, but I owned the mistake and was willing to pay the price.  It stalled my progress, but it's not something that's going to happen every day.  I don't have another vacation until July and the food at my summer destination isn't quite so grand as the food in Hawaii.

The last two weeks I really haven't been tracking diligently.  I have been noticing what I eat much more than I was at the beginning.  I really have learned to question what I need to eat and how full I feel  I have a deeper understanding of how much food I need. I have turned down food I knew I didn't need.  I did accomplish something.

Although I have practiced this habit rather imperfectly, I am going to move on from it.  I think I have struggled with this so much that I need t take my focus elsewhere.

So now I am ready to move on to Phase 4.  In terms of exercise I did quite well with Stage 1 of The New Rules of Lifting for Women.   Muscle memory has really kicked in and I have been steadily increasing the amount of weight I lift.  I am almost at 2014 pre-surgery levels.  Some exercises I still can't add much weight to because my elbow still hurts.  It's getting better though.  I expect to still have pain for a month or two, but I'm confident the pain will go away eventually.  There is a light at the end of that tunnel.  I have trouble with deadlifts, rows, and pulldowns, but I am back to squatting in the cage and my pushups are pretty good.  I can do 20 in one set (but those last few are still killer).

So there are the stats for this phase.

Weight: 148.2 lbs
Waist: 32.25"
Bust: 39"
Hips: 42"
Thigh: 26.5"
Arm: 14.5"
Habit compliance: 70%

I have decided not to post photos anymore.   I read this piece and it really resonated with me.   It made me question why I share photos publicly.  Do I think I "inspire" you?  Do I just want you to admire me when I have made real progress?  Do I think anyone really cares?  I plan to take photos periodically for my own records, but I will no longer be putting them online.  Chances are if you're reading this, you probably either see me in person or see many photos of me on Facebook.  If I make progress, people will see it. 

It's strange that I lost weight, but I got bigger!  They're right when they say inches mean more than pounds.  I only weigh myself at the end of a phase, so I'm sure my weight fluctuated all over the place before and after vacation.  The weight came off, but the inches sure didn't!

My goal is to lose 2-3 pounds a month going forward.  I think that's reasonable and achievable given my eating habits and the fact that I will always have stuff going on in my life.  Small changes and small adjustments over time are key.

So what is the plan for Phase 4?  I have to schedule my workouts around a rehearsal schedule through March, so I won't have time for things like Zumba or yoga sessions.

Eating habit:  Eat a fruit or a vegetable with every meal or snack

Exercise Plan:
Sunday: AM NROLFW Stage 2 routine, PM Riding lesson
Monday: Dance class
Tuesday: NROLFW Stage 2 routine
Wednesday: Interval cardio on bike or elliptical 30 minutes
Thursday: NROLFW Stage 2 routine
Friday: Interval cardio on bike or elliptical 40 minutes
Saturday: Light leisurely ride

I felt it was time to really concentrate on a vegetable habit.  It will help me structure my meals more healthfully.  When I was on Lean Eating the habit was 5 serving of vegetables a day and you were allowed to make one a fruit.  As I said above, I'm not good with numbers.  If I start thinking about 5 servings, I will make myself crazy trying to figure out what constitutes of serving and if I'm having 5 or 4.5 or 3 or 6, or if a fruit should count or not.  The simpler the habit is, the more likely I am to follow it.  There will always be a fruit or a vegetable on my plate or in my hand when it's time for a meal or snack.

See you at the next phase.


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