So Far So Good, My Journey To Getting Healthy – Week One …

… I’m almost at the end of my first week of the new diet. Which really isn’t a diet, per se. It’s more like a concerted effort to eat healthier. I must say I feel pretty fantastic. I mean I’m still fat and junk (it’s only been five days) but my energy level is noticeably different. I stopped eating white bread, drinking soda, and eating fast food. Typically I’m no good to anyone after 3 pm, stalled on a carb crash. And you know what… diet food isn’t that bad either. I suppose anything tastes delicious when you’re half starving.

Using My Fitness Pal to keep track of my eating habits, I am utterly stunned by the amount of sugar I consume. Sugar and salt are in everything. Seriously. I noticed that by breakfast I had surpassed the recommend daily intake of sugar with just a single glass of orange juice and a yogurt. I haven’t figured out what to do yet with that information about sugar. I need to eat breakfast.

Related: 14 Ways Sugar Is Secretly Evil

I am truly enjoying the MFP website. It’s useful, informative, and people cheer each other on. You should seriously check it out. I do stay away from the forums though. There are some crazy hardcore folks over there and I’m just your typically fatty trying to slim down and be healthier, not train for the Ironman.

So here I am, at my fattest weight ever after having yo-yo’d for almost 15 years, each time gaining more than I lost. That was because I was following some diet trend instead of really just learning how and what to eat or how food works. That’s why keeping a food journal is so useful. They never should have done away with home economics in school. People need to learn how to prepare food and properly eat.

What prompted all this change, you might ask? My sedentary desk job and money. I sit for eight hours a day and everyone in the office eats out for lunch. Sometimes for breakfast and lunch. And they do this 3-4 times a week. Aside from eating ourselves to death, we were all going broke too.

This health kick really started when I was looking over my spending habits. I’m squirreling away every nickle and dime to get back to Rome and Spain. When I saw how much I was spending on take out and fast food I decided to stop right then. I brought my lunch to work and the savings started to add up. Inspired by this, I started keeping breakfast food at work too. Stuff like fresh fruit, yogurt, OJ and instant oatmeal.

When I noticed how much better I started to feel my cravings for McDonald’s breakfast bagels completely diminished. Then I registered for MFP to really scrutinize the food I was consuming. And wow. What an eye opener.

The best part; my boss noticed. He noticed my increased energy and decided to start an office wide fitness initiative. He is paying us money and giving prizes, like gym memberships, when we meet our goals. I’m sure it keeps company insurance costs down so everybody wins.

Let’s just hope this sticks. I’m notorious for starting projects and lacking follow through, like that time I started learning Spanish, or tried to sew, and cook, and garden….

To stay motivated I plan to post weekly updates. Right now I’m just hoping to make it through the weekend without the support of my co-workers who joined the fitness program with me.

Cheer me on from the sidelines, please.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Maurisa Mayerle

    You go! Blogging about it may help you stay on track, too. Hang in there, it really is worth it to feel better and to have more energy.

  • GeekLady

    I joined MFP mostly to keep you company and cheer you on, (although keeping track of what I’m eating will almost certainly help me drop that remaining 15 pounds of baby weight.)

    So far I’ve noticed, I don’t eat enough protein. I’m not terribly worried about the sugar per se because I’m pretty good about their source. But I have observed that when I get hungry randomly I can look back at my last meal, and it won’t have contained much protein. KIND bars and water have been immensely helpful combatting these random munchies.

  • Sarah S

    If your boss is in on it, you ought to have him spring for some standingworksta tions or even treadmill desks!

  • Mary E.

    Good going! You’re inspiring me to improve my diet. I eat fairly well, but there’s room for improvement.

  • Karla

    Keep going! You’re doing great!

  • Lynn Granados Ferri

    I hate MFP although it is good for details. When you start making your own food all the time, you will realize what a pain it is.

    Friend me on MFP – LGinSoCal

    • Lynn Granados Ferri

      BTW, the first week or two is easy because it is exciting. Then it gets dull. The trick is getting past the doldrums. Look forward to hearing of your progress.

  • Bonnie Engstrom

    Good for you! You’re an inspiration.

  • Maggie Goff

    Good for you! I eat “regular” food for breakfast and have for years. That works the best for me.

    I’ve been keeping a food journal for a couple of months now ever since I realized that I have histamine intolerance. It is helping. I think I’ll check out the MFP site. Thank you.

  • perpper

    Good on you! DH and I decided to get healthier, so we gave up sugar/bread/pasta and eat only lower-carb fruits like cantaloupe and berries. Feel much better and the desire for those foods has gone away. Weight loss has not been large, but has been sustained. Energy is increased. I really think it’s the sugar/carbs that is the key for many many people. Don’t know if there are Kroger stores near you, but they have a brand of low-carb yogurt called Carbmaster that has only 3-4 grams per cuppette. Best thing about our “diet plan” — Sundays are free free free eat whatever you want yay!!!! So you can still have those indulgences like ice cream with chocolate syrup and raspberries. :)

  • Shelbie Boor

    Hey, nice! Congratulations, Kat. I know when I first started running two years ago, my first mile was 17 minutes. I’m running a half marathon next week. No matter what goals you have (regardless if they’re for athleticism or just plain old personal health), if you stick to it, you’ll pull through. You’re sure to beast it.

  • AMoniqueOcampo

    You can do it! Also: look into whole grain for breakfast. And learn how to cook, if you don’t already know how. Cooking really helps when one is losing weight.

  • Quittin’ time at Tara!

    Good for you and hang tough. I fell off the wagon this weekend for the sake of collegiality, but Monday I will follow your example of willpower afresh. Hard to the hoop.

    I am a very good cook (thus, the concomitant fatness) who can translate most dishes into low carb, but I can’t do a pound cake. :( Unless you want your pound cake tasting like bean curd and algae. Pointless. Did you know that vodka has no carbs? I just needed to transmit that vital information in light of recent developments.

  • Hilary Jane Margaret White

    All commercial fruit juice (other than V-8 which nobody likes) is just sugar water and colouring. And if you are going to eat yogurt, learn to eat plain greek yogurt and dress it up with fruit.

    Sugar = death, and it is in nearly anything processed.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      I remember reading those posts you wrote about the subject. I’ll take your advice about the yogurt. I wish V-8 didn’t taste so nasty.

      • JLK

        V-8 becomes marginally palatable with the addition of salt and hot sauce.

  • Sisu

    Another idea – if you have a meal with both carbs and other stuff, eat some of the other stuff first. i.e.: at Olive Garden, skip the bread stick until after some salad and meat. I was told that what you eat first changes how you digest, and carbs/sugar start it in a way as so to horde calories. Can’t find a research reference quickly, so…for what it’s worth :)

  • Christine Hebert

    Way to go, Kat! Keep it up!

  • Jordan

    Gooooooooooo Kat! I’m starting to do similar things, although it’s mostly because I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with this second pregnancy I’ve got goin’ on :(. I didn’t fail the test horribly and my blood sugar numbers have been good, so my doc is saying she’s pretty certain I’ll be in the majority who have the symptoms go away with delivery. The higher risk of developing type 2 though is motivating me to make sure some of the changes I’m making to watching what I eat are permanent. I’m not planning on being quite so strict all of the time after the condition (*hopefully*) goes away, but making the fast food more of a rarity and the soda and such a never or at least almost-never thing and exercising in some form regularly are gonna need to be priorities, unless I want to live like this on the long term.

    • Jordan

      I gotta say though that some of the people commenting on that article on buzzfeed crack me up with their comments about “I quite eating EVERYTHING with sugar and now I don’t even like fruit!”…fantastic. You’re like the 0.00001% of people who actually think that way. I tend to feel like you’re a lot more successful at being healthy if you admit you’re more interested in a 80%-20% or 90%-10% healthy to not so healthy eating ratio than trying to go 100% fitness instructor, since I don’t think most people are interested in never having another piece of cake, ever (which you don’t actually need to be THAT strict for each and every day of your life to be healthy).

  • dianathetraveler

    Awesome!! You go, girl. You can do it. Just don’t forget to ask your Guardian Angel for help, especially when the cookies or candies get a little too close for comfort… LOL. I pray about this all the time, and am fighting my own weight loss battle! I’m trying to lose a significant amount before I have to appear on Life on the Rock sometime in Feb 2014. ugh. I’ll light a candle for you in Toledo next week when I’m there. Mayhaps the Spanish saints will help you get there soon. :)