Fit4GenCon: E’s Healthstyle Progress Update #1

Well, I made a non-resolution that I was going to rock a new healthstyle in 2010, so here I am, being accountable and writing an update about how things are going.

If you’re totally lost, you may want to go back and read these posts first:

Food Journaling

I’ve been journaling everything I eat for almost two months now. I started with using TweetWhatYouEat, but found that it was hard to update it on Twitter… and since that was the whole point of doing it, I left it for Google Wave.

Yeah, Google Wave.

It allows me to jot down more than just a food and a time. I can write about how I felt, whether the food satisfied the craving I was having, etc etc.  Also, it allows Darya to keep an eye on me and comment on any questions I have!  She’s been an awesome healthstyle coach, but more on that later!

Meals

Part of my healthstyle “resolution” was to try not to eat out more than three times a week.  There are weeks where that proves to be difficult, but on the whole, I think I have reduced the amount of meals that have been eaten at restaurants.  In fact, I’m getting to the point that most pre-fab food places (burritos, subs, etc) taste way too salty for me.  Or they taste like nothing. I had a Subway chicken wrap and the chicken didn’t taste like chicken. Creepy.

I had Burger King on the way home from DDXP and about barfed in the car. Seriously.  I’ve been ruined for fake food and I’m pretty happy about it.  Not the near-barfing.  The change in my taste buds and digestive tract. That’s awesome.

I’ve also started making homemade hot pockets on weekends. One batch will get the two of us through a little more than a week of breakfasts. Since we’re a mostly-vegetarian household, we use the fake sausage.  It tastes just fine to me (a little less greasy than the real thing).

Eating at Work

I love working at ThinkGeek. I’m surrounded by super-geeky, super-creative, super-awesome people and adorable dogs. However, I’m also surrounded by every junk food on the planet. There’s free soda in the fridge, free bags of chips, free candy, and free whatever-else-is-in-the-kitchen-area, which can range from doughnuts to cookies to cake.  Pretty hardcore temptation.

And then there’s the going out for lunch habit, which is easy to get into… and while we do have healthy options nearby, some of the other options involve buffalo wings and burgers.  I’ll go out sometimes (especially if it’s Indian or Japanese!), but I’ve started a movement that’s taking over our NO CAN HAS fridge: Salad Club.

Everybody who wants in pitches in a veggie or two for the week. Then when lunch rolls around, you can make a big delicious bowl of vegetables.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to eat a giant bowl of vegetation every weekday. I miss it on the weekends!!

For snacks, I keep several different types of nuts at my desk. Usually about 10 cashews or almonds is enough to quell a rumbling in my tummy.  I’ve recently ordered a box of fruit from The FruitGuys and can’t wait to taste it!  If it’s good, I’ll probably end up getting it weekly (at least until our local orchard opens again in the spring).

Working Out

At the very tail end of December, I joined a local gym. Now, I’ve been a member of a lot of gyms in my time and I’ve still managed to be fat-tastic.  But this time it will be different.  Or rather, it will be the same as the last time I got down to my goal weight (2003). Back then, I had a great gym with friendly staff and I saw the same people every time I worked out.

My new gym is shaping up to be the same way. There’s a trainer-assisted circuit that I do every other day, so I’m getting to know many of the staff members. Since my work schedule is 11 am – 7 pm, I have scheduled workout time every day before going to work.  There are mornings I have to literally throw my body out of bed, but once my workout is done, I feel awesome.

Also, doing time on the elliptical means I can finally fit in…

Reading

Darya suggested tons of books for me to read on my quest to becoming a food geek.  I will present them in the order I think would be best to read them (aka, not the order I read them in!):

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan

A quick, breezy read with great tips on how to start thinking about eating healthier. You could read this in your local bookstore in about 20 minutes or pick it up on Amazon for five bucks.  Short and sweet!

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler, M.D.

This one is a HUGE eye-opener. It’s the science behind overeating, but without being too technical. My liberal arts brain totally groks it, so you know it’s safe!  Kessler talks about conditioned hypereating and what you can do to break the cycle.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Pollan takes four meals and follows them all the way back to their source. You will learn things that you can’t unlearn.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” If you left Omnivore’s Dilemma wondering what the heck you should be eating, In Defense of Food has the answers.

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy by Walter Willett, M.D.

An in-depth look at the studies done on eating.  Which is worse: carbs or fat? Do you really NEED all that milk to have enough calcium? Really interesting stuff (but much more science-y than the previous books). Willett presents a new food pyramid that is much healthier than the stuff the government has been pushing on us since grade school.

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

I haven’t finished this one. I’m not sure I can. It’s VERY, VERY dense. If you want a good summary of it, check out Darya’s article on SummerTomato. I’m trying to hack my way through it, but it’s pretty much beyond what my brain can handle.

Coaching

I’m very grateful to have the talented and awesome Darya of SummerTomato as my healthstyle coach. She’s been great! We chat via IMs and Twitter and she’s always there to answer even the stupidest of questions.

Every week, she sends me a report that’s just chock full of encouragement, food suggestions, and tips on how I can do better. Since we do the reports on Google Wave, we can have a conversation thread about the items in the report and talk through things so they fit into my lifestyle. It’s pretty awesome.  I’m really glad to have someone as knowledgeable and friendly as Darya in my corner!

Also, if you’re in the San Francisco area, Darya does in-person coaching where she takes you shopping and teaches you how to cook!  Seriously, if I could afford to fly the girl out here to the DC area, I would!  Everything she talks about eating sounds delicious.

Weigh-In

I’ve saved this for last. I won’t say it’s the bottom line or even the most important thing about this healthstyle journey. Yes, I’d like to get down to around 150 pounds. Yes, it would be super if I could snap my fingers and have it happen tomorrow. But I know that’s not how it works.

What is important is that I’m changing my relationship with food so I crave healthy things.  I’m choosing salads over hamburgers. I’m choosing quinoa over white rice.  I’m choosing water over just about any other beverage.

At this point, I am currently down 5 pounds from the beginning of January.  It doesn’t seem like an impressive number, I know.  But I’ve made a vast improvement in the way I eat and I’ve been doing strength training at the gym and can feel a difference in my muscle tone, so I’m happy with the way things are going.

If I can continue to lose 5 pounds a month, by GenCon 2010, I’ll be down a total of 35 pounds!  By GenCon 2011, I’ll be at my goal weight!  But what’s more important is that I’ll have a healthstyle that guarantees the weight will never come back.

How About You?

Are you getting #fit4gencon?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Also: Want a Google Wave invite? I got a bunch. Leave a comment and I’ll send the invite to that email address.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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