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So yesterday was the first day of my 30 day challenge. We went to a local farmers’ market here and loaded up on fruits and veggies for the week. Now that I see it all in my own kitchen, I’m thinking we may have 2 weeks worth – 🙂

I’m monitoring how much I eat. Are the foods I’m eating high in fat? High in calories? High in fiber? It’s all very interesting once you begin to pay attention to all these things. Keeping track of everything you eat by keeping a daily log or journal is key to the success. What we ‘think’ we are doing may actually be far from the truth.

For example, yesterday when I was making my breakfast oatmeal, I first measured out what I normally would have put into it; for starters, a handful of walnuts (the brand I have on hand are Organic Raw Walnuts from Trader Joe’s). When I used the Weight Watchers calculation method, I discovered a shocking fact:  serving size of 1/3 cup equals 5 points. They have 2g fiber, 200 calories, and 20g fat. YIKES! Can we rationalize this itty bitty portion? Let’s see…”20g fat, yes, but it’s GOOD FAT!”  LOL! Sorry this sort of mind-set will not cut it. I mean, sure… eat this small serving if you must, but just remember that 5 points is exactly that – 5 points, healthy or not. I opted not to include walnuts in my oatmeal this time.

I guess the point I really want to stress is that whether a person is practicing Weight Watchers, living the ME-gan Lifestyle, or monitoring their eating habits & quantities by some other means, the important thing is that you gain perspective of how small amounts of food can add up – and this is why it’s hard to lose weight. We think we are eating ‘OK’ but still; we’re eating WAY TOO MUCH. Put it this way, there are many times I will grab a handful of nuts and eat them at my desk; and then again another handful at night when I’m watching TV and feel like munching. I’ve always figured that walnuts are better than chips. But I can guarantee you that 1/3 cup is less than my ‘handful.’ So, just in snacking alone, I’ve eaten 10 points, or even more if I grab 2 handfuls at a time, which leaves only 12 points for my meals AND drinks. You get the idea. Sometimes I have even made up a little sandwich baggie full of raisins, walnuts and Chex cereal to munch on. Sounds healthy, right? It is, but everything you put into your mouth has calories as I’m revealing during this challenge. That baggie probably was worth 8 points. Of course exercising would allow me to eat more, but lately I have not been doing so. Summers are hot, and here in Phoenix we tend to stay inside. Other than some swimming, I don’t do much. When the weather changes, we’ll start walking, biking and enjoying other outdoor activities.

Another item I would normally add to my oatmeal is raisins. But again, I would throw in a <big> handful of them. However, the breaking news is that 1/4 cup of raisins (I’m using the Trader Joe’s California Thompson Seedless Raisins) is equal to 2 points. Let me remind you that 1/4 cup is not much. This serving size contains 2g fiber, 130 calories and 0g fat. 2 points are not bad, but for 1/4 cup do you REALLY want them? Could you do with perhaps half of that? The answer for me was “yes” on both counts. So, I chose to add only 1/8 cup of raisins to my oatmeal, which for one serving of oatmeal was more than enough. By really paying attention I changed my usual 8 to 10 point bowl of oatmeal into a low 3.2 points.

This is really eye-opening, and that’s exactly why I decided to do this challenge. Sometimes we all need to open our eyes to what’s going on. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is good – but think again. You can rationalize your overeating or even ignore the situation and continue on the road to self-ruin (which is the road that overweight lives on), or you can take control of your life and make changes towards better health.

Yes, counting WW points is exactly what I need at this time to alert me of my overeating. After my 30 day challenge I will still keep a food journal. It’s important that we document everything we eat, otherwise it is just too easy to lose track all over again. A bite here and a bite there add up to a full plate by the end of the day; so, beware of those random ‘bites’ or ‘food tastings.’

At the end of the day yesterday, I am shocked, but happy to report that I only consumed 10.70 points out of my daily WW allowance of 22 points. I’m not promoting ‘under eating,’ but this is just the way it turned out for me. Trust me, in the past when I have done WW, I used up every single point I had, so this was shocking to me. Here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast:

  • 1 cup of black decaf – 0 points
  • 1 serving of steel-cut oats – 2 points
  • 1/2 serving raisins – 1 point
  • 1/4 cup of Almond Coconut milk –  about .2 points (1 serving is 1 cup, and 1 cup is 1 point; 1/2 cup is .5 points)

Lunch:

  • 1 dill pickle – 0 points
  • Steamed broccoli – plain – 0 points
  • 1/2 baked sweet potato (with only salt and pepper on it) – 1.5 points

Dinner:

  • 2 tofu pups served with ketchup and mustard – 2 points
  • less than a cup of my vegetable goulash – 2 points (if even that)
  • 1 dill pickle – 0
  • 1 small glass of red wine – 2 points

I drank plenty of water all day long, stayed full and happily satisfied. It’s hard to believe that all this food tallies up to a mere 10.70 points. I felt like I ate so much. See the difference in making healthier choices? High fiber foods are the way to go. I have not officially been a member of WW for YEARS…at least 8 I’m thinking. So, I can’t remember if left over points can be carried over, but even so, I won’t be doing that. Today is a new day, so I’ll start all over again! Wish me luck! I’m sure there will be days I’m going to wish I had an extra 22 points to eat up; but to sum up my first day – it was a cinch. No suffering involved just some shocking facts about how much I normally would have eaten.

If I had to say in 1 sentence what I learned yesterday, I guess it would be this:

We really don’t need as much food as we think to be happy, healthy and satisfied.

On we go…

Loving life and staying healthy!

Mary

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