Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weigh-in Tuesday... in the balance

I weighed in this morning with a flat line between last week and this week.  Nothing gained, nothing lost.  Better than something gained, for sure, but not what I hoped for.

Last week had its challenges, and chief among them was my energy level.  I helped Dad with painting every day last week.  I'm not sure exactly why it sapped my energy, but it definitely did. I didn't get my butt to the gym as often as I usually do, so this week I've decided to return to the schedule that helps me best: alternating higher-impact aerobics (at Slimmons) with lower-impact exercise (like swimming and yoga.) I'm aiming for 60 minutes or more, 6 days a week.  I'm determined to have a balanced exercise schedule.

 In fact, I'm determined to find balance in all things.  I know that it's not generally possible, but I like to aim for center (perhaps, as my friend Lisa says, waving at it as I swing past.)

The biggest thing that brought balance to my food habits is actually Richard Simmons' Food Mover system.  When I visited Slimmons for the first time, Richard recommended it to me, and his long-time student Felise taught us the ropes.

This is the FoodMover package, which - if you're inclined - you can order here.
(Just for integrity's sake, I wanted to disclose that I have not been paid to review this.)

Basically, there's a little plastic device with sliding windows, and interchangeable cards.  If you're eating, say, 1400 calories a day, you'd slide in the "1400" card and it would tell you exactly how to balance your diet between servings of carbs/protein/veggies/etc.  As you eat each allotted serving, you close a window.  (When I have a serving of fruit, I close one of the little "apple" windows.)  It comes with a booklet that defines the servings sizes, and after about a week or two of working with it, we had most of our favorites memorized.  

It was surprising just how well-balanced our diets became as we were paying close attention to portion sizes and balance.  Before we started, it wasn't unusual for us to share a half-box of pasta or more.  We expected that if we ate less pasta, we'd be much hungrier.  Thanks to Food Mover, we learned that we never had to feel hungry if we ate all of the rest of the defined servings in a day.  Turns out that if you close all your little "portion windows," not only have you eaten exactly what you set out to eat, you are surprisingly satiated.

FoodMover is an excellent guideline, but I'll admit that the more comfortable I've been with healthy eating, the less attention I've paid.  To help with my general balance, this week I've decided to return to daily FoodMovin', and I'll be sharing my food log in the process for the next 7 days.  I'll explain the "windows" I've closed for each meal.

Here's my FoodMover after lunch & afternoon snack, and before dinner (and lots of afternoon water.)
I'd eaten all of my allotted starch, and had 2 fruit, 3 protein, 1 fat, 3 veg, 1 dairy and 6 water remaining.

And here's my log for Monday:
Breakfast - 1 whole-wheat bagel (2 starch windows), 1 tb lox spread (1 fat window), 2 tomato slices (negligible calories.)
Lunch - 1 low-cal tortilla (1 starch) with 4 oz lean grilled ground turkey (2 protein), 1 tsp light vegenaise and 1 tb low-cal blue cheese aioli (1 fat), baked yam fries (2 starch),
Snack - A bottle of Trader Joe's red veggie juice (2 veg, 1 fruit)
Dinner - Personal frittata with 2 eggs (2 protein), swiss chard & leek (2 veg), and 1 oz goat cheese (1 dairy), 1 baked apple with tsp cinnamon/sugar (2 fruit)
Beverage -  12 oz of zero calorie Steaz (1 extra), 8 oz skim milk (1 dairy), 64 oz water (8 water)

Per Richard's suggestion, I usually eat my carbs earlier in the day - though sometimes I spread them out a little more.  All the better balance the blood sugar, my dear.

I have one other goal for my balance this week - I would like to precede my workday with a period of meditation, prayer and centering.  It really helps me, all-around.

What are you doing to find balance in your life this week?  Whatever it is, I hope it helps you to take care of you.


  1. I'm searching for balance between my leisure time, my Theo playtime, and my homemaker time. It's very tempting to waste my precious Theo naptime just messing around on the internet (this doesn't count as "messing"!) instead of being crafty, contacting family, or doing chores. It's also tempting to spend much of my time with Theo getting chores and errands done, since he's pretty amenable these days, and it means more leisure for me while he sleeps. It's just unfair to Theo, though there is much he enjoys in helping me. Sometimes you just gotta put everything down and build MegaBlok towers or play hide and go seek.

    Being mindful helps. Making lists helps. Including things like "Theo art time" on the list helps. I am trying to make choices with eyes wide open to consequences.

    It's hard.

  2. I had the Food Mover back in the early 2000's when it first came out. I liked it a lot and can kick myself for not keeping it. I like seeing people getting back to basics to refresh. You are taking good care of you today :)

    Balance in my life, it something I don't have right now, but need badly. I am feeling distracted lately and want to work on my focus this week.

  3. I smiled when you commented about waving at center as you swing past- I think I'm the same. Balance is a good ideal, so long as you don't beat yourself up over the imbalances that we wind up with. And you seem to have that in good order. Sometimes imbalance helps us find where exactly center is.... boundaries. :)

    Personally I'm trying to find ways to fill my day besides sitting in front of the tv and the laptop all day. It's easy to do, but it doesn't help me. I need to keep my internetting to an appropriate level. I've taken out my counted cross stitch project that has sat in the bedroom for many months without being worked on at all. Journaling is another thing I try to do most days but wind up doing several days at once usually.

  4. Just keep waving. Just keep waving.

    I'm in a whirlwind at the moment. However, I sort of like my whirlwinds because it keeps things exciting. However, I would like to just pause for a breather at that thing I keep waving at.

  5. I didn't think to comment on it when you posted all of your painting things, but be sure you are keeping the house well ventilated. Even with low VOC paint, there are still things you shouldn't breathe. I wonder if that contributed to your energy levels.

    I am working on doing more things that contribute to me and my well being including being crafty. I realized that I had allowed work and stress to take away hobby type activities. Find a balance that works for you, but know that it is very important to the journey.

  6. I like that you're taking it back to what got you going in the first place - it's a good idea to revisit our tools now and then.

    I have been feeling overwhelmed a lot lately; trying to balance work, life, and weight loss is sometimes too much of a juggling act. When I feel that way, I just try to slow down, put a plan in motion, and follow through. I break it down to the smallest bits possible sometimes, just so I can feel a greater sense of accomplishment as I achieve them.