If you're going through hell, keep going

Are you going through a hard time in your life? It can be easy to give up on our goals when life gets tough, but we will be thankful to ourselves in the long run if we don’t. Think of how accomplished you will feel if you can stick to your goals even when it’s difficult! 

I’m Back and I’m Finally a Registered Dietitian!

Hi everyone! I just climbed out of the hole that I’ve been in for the past month and a half AND I’m officially a Registered Dietitian. I have spent the past month and a half splitting my time between graduation formalities, studying for the RD Registration Exam to finally become a dietitian, working with nutrition programs at the YMCA, and applying for jobs. I’m not employed yet, but things are promising!  I have a lot of planned for making a comeback on my blog, so stay tuned for a bunch of new posts and useful information.

I planned to launch a nutrition counseling/coaching service both online and in Central Ohio, so if you are interested please go to the contact me tab and send me an email!

How a (Future) Dietitian Does a Diet Part 2

Weight Loss Step 1: Motivation  (please read this article before beginning)

I have said this before – motivation is the first step to weight loss. If you don’t have it, you won’t be successful for long. It’s something that needs to be addressed before anyone starts to make changes to his or her diet and I am no exception to this rule. My motivation is very high right now – about a 9 out of 10. The biggest demotivators that I addressed in the article I linked to above aren’t an issue for me. I love myself, I know I can lose this weight, and I’ve never failed at it before. However, a demotivator for me is comparing myself to other weight lifters. I don’t get too caught up in it because I don’t have body image issues, but every once in a while it can be discouraging for me to see others that are more successful than me at something that I put time and effort in to. Another thing that can be demotivating is that sometimes I don’t have the full support of others – specifically my parents and other older people. I look healthy, so therefore some people that don’t understand why or how I’m losing the weight are worried that I’m starving myself or being unhealthy. I know what I’m doing though. In reality, I’m at about 19% body fat and would be healthier in the 10-15% body fat range.

I’m also keeping a motivation “journal” as mentioned in the above article and here is what I have in it:

All the things motivating me to lose weight

  • I want to be at a healthier body fat percentage.
  • I want to look better and leaner – maybe even get my 6 pack to come back.
  • I want to lift the same weights on the squat and deadlift that I do now at a lower weight of 180-185 lbs.
  • I want my acid-reflux to go away (started once I passed 200 lbs).
  • I want my jeans, dress pants, and slim-fit dress shirts to fit me comfortably again.
  • I want to wake up not feeling lethargic and “full.”

I’ll be looking at this list every day for the first couple weeks to remind myself why I’m doing this.

Social Support

Here is who I have told about my plan to lose weight and who I plan to keep in contact with to keep me accountable while I lose weight.

  • You and my other blog followers
  • Girlfriend, girlfriend’s sister, my brother, a couple other friends.
  • Fitocracy (Fitness website, click to sign up so you can follow me and my workouts)

Using Progress to Motivate Me

As I notice progress, I will be blogging about it and writing it down to remind myself of the results I’m getting from following my weight loss plan. I’m also going to reward myself for meeting my weight loss goals – in fact, I made a bet that I could lose weight on dietbetter.com. I joined two “diet bet” games on this website that I could lose 4% of my bodyweight (about 8.3 lbs) in the next 28 days. I bet $60 worth of money and people that win usually make at least 1.5x of what they bet, so losing means losing at least $90 which is enough of a reward for a cheapo like me  🙂

For the scale to motivate me, I’m limiting myself to weekly weigh-ins. In fact, I’m hiding my scale where I won’t see it every day – out of sight, out of mind. Why? If I weigh myself every day, I will get discouraged on days that I don’t lose weight or even gain weight. Water weight fluctuates several pounds day to day so it’s pointless for most people to measure themselves daily anyway. If you think you have this problem too, please read my article Watching the Scale Could Be the Reason You Don’t See that Number Go Down.

Finally, I took before pictures and will take after pictures to motivate me. I won’t be posting the shirtless ones because that’s not exactly the most professional thing to do in my line of work, but I will offer some before and after pictures of the scale and pictures where I have a shirt on.



Daily Tip 8: A Tool to Motivate You to Get Fit

No, I’m not talking about that one loud meathead at your local gym. He is too busy rolling up his sleeves and posing in front of the mirror. I’m talking about Fitocracy. Fitocracy is a great website for tracking your workouts and seeing your progress. You get “points” for exercising and gain levels as you go. It’s awesome to look back at your workouts from a year ago and see how much you have improved! If that doesn’t appeal to you, it’s also a great place to find a supportive community that will encourage you to better yourself. You can join What Matters Nutrition Fitocracy group and we can create our own community. If you read my article Weight Loss Step 1: Motivation, then you know how important motivation and social support are to reaching your goals.

Feel free to follow me on Fitocracy (my profile is linked above) – I’ll be sure to follow you back!can

Photo Courtesy of HomespotHQ

Daily Tip 7: Are You Picking Smart Condiments and Extras?

You only use a few spoonfuls at a time, so can condiments really be doing a lot of harm to your weight loss efforts? Condiments can bring a lot of flavor to your food, but if you were to read the food label you would see that many of them could be contributing to that number on the scale.  Let me tell you what condiments may be doing you damage.

  1. Oils (120 Calories/tbsp.)
  2. Butter (100 Calories/tbsp.)
  3. Mayonnaise (90-100 Calories/tbsp.)
  4. Creamy Salad Dressings (60-80 Calories/tbsp.)
  5. Italian and Low-fat Creamy Dressings, Low-fat Mayo (35-50 Calories/tbsp.)
  6. Cheeses (80-120 Calories/oz)
  7. Jelly (50-60 Calories/tbsp.)
  8. Sour cream (20-30 Calories/tbsp.)
  9. BBQ (20-30 Calories/tbsp.)
  10. Ketchup (20 Calories/tbsp.)

As you can see, these condiments can add a lot of Calories to your foods. These are the calories per tablespoon  and  most of us don’t stop at one tablespoon! Most of these condiments do this without filling you up or contributing a lot of substance.  The bottom three on that list really are fine in moderation*, but you may not be doing moderation. As a ketchup fiend, I used to use five or more tablespoons in one meal and pile up 100 or so extra Calories. This is definitely enough to make a difference over time. Better choices** include:

  1. Soy Sauce (15 Calories/tbsp)
  2. Sugar Free Jelly (10 Calories/tbsp)
  3. Plain Greek Yogurt (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  4. Mustard (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  5. Hot Sauce (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  6. Walden Farms Salad Dressings/Ketchup (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  7. Horseradish (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  8. Pickles (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  9. Lemon Juice (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  10. Vinegar (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  11. Salsa (<10 Calories/tbsp)
  12. Cooking Sprays (<10 Calories for a quick spray)
  13. Most Seasonings (Garlic, Onion Powder, Pepper, Cumin, ect)

If you are trying to lose weight, I would suggest choosing mostly condiments and extras from the bottom list and small portions of the last three from the top list. You can also make a healthy ranch dressing with Greek yogurt or use Greek yogurt as a replacement for sour cream.

*Really anything is fine in moderation, but if the goal is weight loss, you will have to limit the higher Calories options even more than usual!

**These lower Calorie options may still be high in sodium, but sometimes you must pick the lesser of two evils (sodium over excessive Calories).


Photo Courtesy of Steve Korevec