Eating Better

I went to the doctor’s in the middle of July and was stunned to learn I’d gained 10lbs since my last visit two years prior. It sounds like an insignificant amount, and it would be if those 10lbs either a) distributed evenly throughout my body instead of pooling in my stomach and thighs, or b) distributed evenly throughout my bra. Neither of those things happened, and while I didn’t have a scale in my house, I could tell I’d been steadily gaining weight from the way my clothes fit (or didn’t). I left the doctor’s office with a clean bill of health but a strong desire to get back to my “normal” weight. These weren’t 10lbs I gained from a growth spurt or anything other than eating like crap, frequently and without concern for my waistline (see: donuts). And with our engagement photo shoot coming up in the middle of September, I couldn’t think of a better motivator to get back in shape.

So I’ve been diligently counting every calorie I consume, drinking a ton of water (I thankfully never drank soda so I didn’t have to kick that habit), and choosing vegetables for a snack over an entire row of Double Stuf Oreos, as I’d been known to do. I bought a scale and a pair of free weights and dug out my old pilates mat from storage. Between watching what I eat and walking everywhere (not having a car isn’t only good for the environment), I’m down 7lbs in 6 weeks. My skin is clearer, my clothes fit better. The goal is to determine how many calories your body burns daily (based on your height, age, weight, activity level) and create a calorie defecit of 500/day, or 3500/week (3500 calories = 1 pound).The crazy thing is seeing how your daily calories are divided up. Suddenly it doesn’t seem worth it to gobble up 10 oreos in one sitting, and waste half (HALF!) of my daily intake.

This photo series I found shows a variety of foods in 200 calorie servings, and scarily highlights the problem I had with eating appropriate portion sizes. It’s interesting to see as a numerical value what you’re putting in your body. Unsurprisingly, 200 calories of fruit goes a lot farther than, say, jelly beans.

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I know what you’re probably thinking:


24 thoughts on “Eating Better

    1. I drink seltzer, always have, but too much of that fills me up. One time, Fitz got into a glass of it I’d left on a side table. He burped for hours, it was hilarious. xo

      1. Poor Fitz! Usually if I am going to burp after a gassy drink it’s not hilarious – it feels (and to onlookers looks) like I am going to be sick…

  1. 7 lbs in 6 weeks?! You go girl! Eating better is always the goal during the week but on the weekends, all my good intentions go to hell in a handbasket

    1. Ha, thanks girl! Weekends are actually easier for me because I can keep busy with other things like running errands or cleaning the house. The hardest times for me are sitting at my desk during the week. I get really hungry at work! xo

      1. We have a chocolate basket (why do people do this) at work that I try and avoid but when they stock it with Twix, it’s gameover

    1. I had to google Tervis Tumbler because I thought it was a yiddish term for your butt or something ;) I want to hear more about your trainer appointments! What does he have you doing? xo

  2. i need to lose 10 pounds too. i have for about 2 years now and i haven’t done it. geez you have a lot of willpower. maybe i need to do this calorie thing and have something to keep me in check.

    wait a minute. okay so i just did that calorie thing and it i would only be able to eat like 1200 calories. that’s crazy. well i tried.

    1. Hmm, I think it might be more doable than you think! Here’s a sample breakdown of a typical meal day for me, keeping it around 1300: breakfast is a big piece of health-nut bread (120) and half a tbsp of cookie butter (45) on top, with a peach (40). Snack is a mini brie bite from Trader Joes (70) and some crackers (60). Lunch is a Boca chicken patty (140) and a cup of mixed veggies (80). I’ll have a bag of fruit snacks (80) and a snack bag of cheez-its (100). For dinner I’ll have a flounder fillet (125) and some broccoli (75). That’s under 1000 calories right there, so there is plenty of wiggle room to have more filling snacks (peanut butter and apples) or a bigger dinner and then dessert. I definitely try to make room for cheat snacks like tastycakes or cupcakes, haha. It actually goes a lot farther if you make smart choices. My biggest problem was that I wasn’t, I was eating junk food all the time and not monitoring it. Not that I think you need to lose anything, you look perfect. xo

      1. i love fruit snacks! i do eat really healthy. i tell you eating gluten free takes a lot of the no-no’s away and you either have to make them yourself (not going to happen much) or go looking for them. so i am fairly certain i don’t eat many calories a day and what i do eat is low in calories . . . well, that is if you took away my goat cheese. i eat about 4 oz of goat cheese a day : / and just thinking about not eating it anymore makes me want to cry. and i DO need to lose 10 pounds or i need like 5,000 dollars to replace all my clothes i can’t fit into :)

  3. Good on you, that’s a great achievement. I lost four pounds before going on holiday and I’ve put two back onto my spare tyre upon my return. BUT DONUTS AND CHOCOLATE AND SWEETS ARE SOOO LOVELY! :-0
    Look forward to seeing some engagement shots.

    1. Aren’t they??? The hardest part is saying no in the checkout line at stores to all the cupcakes and prepackaged honey buns and mini donuts! Once this engagement shoot is over all bets are off ;) Kidding, kidding, but I’ll definitely start making more room this diet for all those pans of brownies I love so much. Good for you for enjoying your vacation and eating what you want! You do not have a spare tire. xo

  4. Haha I love those photographs! I’ve been doing so well with snacking on carrots at work, starting my day with two eggs that leave me fuller longer, and generally eating healthy. Unfortunately, I went to Austin last week and I INDULGED. I ate so bad and drank this really delicious beer that I think contributed to me gaining 5 lbs. That and the fact that every meal had gluten in it when I was visiting, whereas at home, only half of my meals have gluten. I’m happy you’ve lost 7 lbs! Now it’s my turn… slowly but surely I will get out of vacation mode.

    1. That’s what vacations are all about though! Don’t feel bad, vacation calories don’t count! At least, that’s what I tell myself to justify the four croissants a day I eat in Paris, haha. I’m interested about your no-gluten cooking! Is that difficult to maintain? I never gave a thought to what has gluten in it, but that would be an interesting adjustment for sure! xo

  5. I had lost 6 or 7 pounds from stress at my old job but gained it all back and more since starting my new one. They have snacks like chips, chocolates, cheese sticks and such lying around in the kitchen and I am to weak to resist. Also canceled my gym membership, now I need to find something else to burn some calories. Might try yoga since there is a studio opening around the corner from where I live. I admire your willpower for sticking with eating healthy. I need to make better food choices as well, it’s about staying healthy…

    1. Oof, stress weight-loss is no good! I’m happy you gained it back, seriously. Let’s home some cronuts were involved, too ;) I wish I could get into yoga, since there are so many studios near me, but I don’t think it’s for me. I’m jealous your office has so much free snack food! Or maybe I’m not, depending, haha. xo

  6. ha, nice post. I’ve changed my eating habits about six months ago. for health reasons and not to lose weight. and it’s amazing how different I feel. I sleep better. have more energy. my moods are more stable. I’m a whole different person. now how to keep it up. after six months, I’ve noticed that some old/bad habits start to creep in again, especially since I’m on the road at the moment which makes keeping up routines harder. I hope you manage to change your eating habits for good. that’s my goal, at least. good luck :)

    1. That’s so good, Petra! Isn’t it amazing how food so directly influences the way we feel? I don’t know how people who eat nothing but fast food do it; I’d feel greasy and sluggish for days! Six months is nothing to sneeze at, that’s really impressive! Feel like sending any of your amazing willpower my direction? It’s only been 6 weeks to your 6 months, and I hear you about old habits creeping back in. Good luck to you, too! xo

  7. Oh wow well done chicken! That’s awesome.
    I am trying to lose my holiday weight too as I ate a Cornish pasty almost every day last week. so good!
    We are eating our way through GP’s excellent Notes from my Kitchen table. all heathly stuff but not toooo healthy. We had awesome roast chicken on Sunday and watched her in the Talented Mr Ripley then last night we watched Iron Man 3 and ate her chicken milanese and apple crumble. That’s five Gwyneth points in 48 hours. Awesome.

    1. Thanks, Bird! Like I said above, I don’t think holiday weight should count. It’s like a free pass, basically. Which I know is bad and counterintuitive to everything I said in this post, but oh well! You’re supposed to enjoy life not eat celery stalks all the time, haha. You guys are verrrry Gwyneth-centric in your house! I’m out of the cook book loop but I imagine she’s just as popular here. xo

  8. My no 2 fave topic ever! I even signed up for three nutrition courses. I did the calorie count few years ago and it was the best ‘diet’ ever, the most effective anyway. Well done! x

    1. Yes! It’s insanely effective. It really quantifies what I eat in surprising ways. Oh, really, that bag of cheez-its is the same as eating three bananas? Interesting! haha xo

  9. 7lbs in 6 weeks is spot on for sustainable weight reduction…as is your ‘walking everywhere’ practice…good on you Erin! (I have a few spare lbs if you ever feel the need to regress :) )

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