My Weight Loss Tool Box

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Soapy suds gushed from the under the door of my dishwasher, pouring across the kitchen floor. I shut it off immediately and tried to stem the flow with hastily grabbed towels. I almost cried. I love my dishwasher. My dishwasher is my friend. It was late. I went to bed. I’ll deal with it in the morning.

This morning I pulled the dishes out and washed them by hand. My husband is on day two of a nasty cold so I don’t want to bother him about fixing it until he feels better. My hands deep in a sink full of dishes and sudsy water, I thought about how important the dishwasher is as a tool in my weight loss journey.

When you’re eating healthy, you use a lot of dishes. Measuring spoons and cups. The tray on the food scale. Pots and pans. Blender. Plastic containers for weekday lunches. A dishwasher is a huge time-saving device with all this critical clutter.

When you’re eating unhealthy—fast food out of paper bags—there are no dishes. Just a lot of trash. Or when you’re eating out a lot, someone else is doing the dishes.

Losing weight is hard work.  And weight loss work requires certain tools, starting with…

A method. A plan.
My method is Lindora. There are lots of great programs out there: Weight Watchers. Slimgenics. Paleo. Body for Life from EAS. Websites like Spark People. Do some research. Find a plan that works for you. Don’t have surgery. You can do it the right way if you really, really want to. You got yourself into this mess. You can get yourself out. But you need a plan.

A way to measure your food so you won’t lie to yourself.
A lot of those dirty dishes I mentioned have to do with measurement gadgets. A huge key to weight loss success is heightened awareness of what you’re doing. If you guesstimate how much a cup of skim milk is without measuring it, you’ll always err on the side of too much. If you think one ounce of almonds is a handful, you’ll wind up eating two. Measure everything, stay within the boundaries of your program, and you will lose weight.

Food diary.
Another critical weight loss tool is a food diary. Write down everything you eat. Nothing formal. Scraps of paper. A small notebook in your pocket or hand bag. It’s like accountability to yourself. An honest food diary keeps you centered squarely in the world of what is real. I like this little notebook I got at WalMart for 50 cents. I especially like that it doesn’t have spiral binding.

Treats… I mean, protein supplements.
ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein barMy favorites include ZonePerfect nutrition bars (Cashew Pretzel and Chocolate Mint) and Lindora’s protein drinks (Wildberry Passion) and nutrition bars (Peppermint Cocoa Crunch, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Chocolate). These keep me satisfied and happy on this long, long journey.

Treats… I mean, vitamins.
Vitafusion MultiVites – Gummy multi-vitamins for adults. I hate, hate, hate swallowing vitamins. For years, I refused to take them. My husband found this brand at Costco for me a few years ago. They’re like candy.

B-12 Sublingual – Just bought a bottle at my doctor’s office. Stuck a pill under my tongue this morning. Mm! Grape! I miss the B-12 shots I received while on the Lindora. B-12 helps increase your mood, metabolism and energy.

Sugar-free Metamucil Fiber Supplement. 1 teaspoon per day with 4 oz. of liquid. To help it go down better, I mix it with any flavor of Crystal Light. It’s like fake juice in the morning. Not bad.

Good tennies.
I love my Skechers Shape-Ups. I can just feel the rhythm and flow while I’m on the treadmill. I am in the zone.

Gym membership.
For years we had a room in the house set up with weight lifting and cardio equipment. We never used it. At home there are far too many distractions and reasons not to work out. Going to the gym is both a physical and mental separation. You can focus there. And the energy of people working out around you is contagious. In August we purchased a three-year LA Fitness membership – buy two, get the third year free. It’s called commitment.

Lindora recommends moderate exercise; at least 10,000 steps per day. This handy dandy Lindora Lean for Life pedometer (from 2002; no longer available through Lindora) helps me gauge how much I’m moving every day. It’s another way to be stay grounded in reality and to document my efforts.

A good laundry detergent.
Huh? What’s detergent got to do with losing weight? Recently we discovered that our usual laundry detergent was not removing the nasty, stinky sweat from our gym clothes. I thought I’d forgotten to add the detergent and re-washed our clothes with so-so results. A week later I was certain I added soap, but still pulled stinky clothes out of the dryer. Our sister-in-law told us she ran into the same issue with her two sons. She discovered Tide plus Febreze Freshness Sport. Perfect. I am happy to report we can now tolerate our own stink. : )

What are your must-have weight loss tools?

7 pounds down. 93 to go. Planning ahead.

After successfully completing my 3 Protein Days, I went in to the Lindora clinic Monday morning. I signed in, took a keto stick to the restroom, and got some good color (a mid-pink on their scale of white to burgundy) indicating my body was in ketosis. I was called in to one of the exam rooms immediately. The consultant was pleased that I had walked over 10,000 steps each day (as captured by my pedometer). I stepped on to the scale and voila! I lost 4 pounds since Friday. 7 all together! The journey has begun in earnest.

Last evening, my husband and I signed up for a gym membership at LA Fitness. Serious commitment land for both of us. Now we’re in some money and a pledge of time. We’re still figuring out our schedule… should we go together in the evenings? (We’ve already missed this evening as we’re both not feeling well). Should I go by myself in the morning, and my husband go by himself late at night? We’ll figure it out very soon. I have an appointment for a Personal Fitness Assessment on Thursday evening as part of the membership.

I am very aware of the time commitment it will take to get healthy. In the past, dinner often consisted of “another supper, from a sack, a 99 cent heart attack” (as Tim McGraw so sagely sings). Driving to the gym last night, as we passed a plethora of fast food joints—Taco Bell, KFC, In-N-Out, McDonalds, Burger King, Wienerschnitzel—I thought about how easy it is to just drive up, pay a very small amount of money, and leave with quite a lot of food with absolutely no effort. I felt no temptation, but I could imagine these institutions of America as Sirens, singing their hypnotic songs and waving their sinewy arms, beckoning the people in… Shut up, ladies. I’m taking care of business.

Now, I need to plan ahead. The fridge needs to be stocked with fruits and veggies and healthy meats. Tonight I stopped at Costco and bought their extremely yummy, $5 rotisserie chicken. That right there is a healthy fast food choice. And inexpensive. After parking the car, it took many, many steps to walk all the way to the back of the warehouse, pluck up my chicken, and walk all the way back through the registers and to my car. My pedometer clicked pleasantly the entire time as I zoomed past strolling shoppers.

Here’s my food for today, Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Pedometer steps: 7,221
Exercise: Nothing formal. A long walk to do an errand instead of driving

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10am Lindora Oatmeal Raisin protein bar (13), coffee (0) with 2 T regular Coffee-mate Vanilla Creamer (6) – off program
  • 1:30pm 2.5 oz imitation crab (1), 1 c cucumber (3), 1 T sugar-free rice vinegar (0), a few drops of sesame oil (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 12 oz Diet Squirt  (missed my fruit due to lack of time)
  • 4pm  1 oz string cheese (1), 3 oz Chardonnay white wine (3) – Yes, this was a big no-no and off program. I looked it up on — Alcoholic Beverages on a Low Carb Diet beforehand and saw that Chardonnay only has 3 carbs, so thought it might be okay. Let’s see what it does to me. Feeling kinda guilty about it.
  • 7:30pm 2.5 oz Costco rotisserie chicken breast (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/2 c celery (2), 1 peach (10), 1 tsp olive oil (0), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • Total carbs: 80

Monday, August 8, 2011
Pedometer steps: 12,898
Exercise: 30 minutes on the treadmill

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1pm  Strawberry Freeze: 1/2 c cottage cheese (4), 1 c strawberries (11), 1/2 c. sugar free raspberry jello, 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c Chinese pea pods (6.5), 1/2 c cucumber (2), 12 oz Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 4pm Lindora Chocolate Chocolate bar (13)
  • 7:30pm 2.5 oz Tilapia white fish (0), 1 tsp olive oil (0), juice from 2 lemon wedges (3), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c Chinese pea pods (4), 1 peach (10), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • Total carbs: 89.5