What I Eat

Since the beginning of time, okay fine, since I started losing weight in 2009 I get asked so many questions about what I eat.
I have done several posts on this, but it's always changing.
If you've followed the blog for any length of time you know that I first began with Weight Watchers.
I did it, at home, on my own, without attending meetings for the first 3 months.
I weighed in weekly at my house and wrote down EVERYTHING that went into my mouth.
In those first 3 months I lost 15 lbs.
After that is when I began actually talking about my weight loss on this blog more openly.
I wanted to share some knowledge with y'all about how I was losing weight and I wanted to stay accountable and keep going.
I thought, "okay, this is basically just Calories In vs. Calories Out, so I'm just going to count my calories."
And I did that from then on out.
No more POINTS counting, just me writing in a journal EVERYTHING I ate.
I do believe Weight Watchers is a great program and it's essentially what I continued to follow- PORTION CONTROL.
But I did it without counting their POINTS and instead counting calories.
In the beginning I ate 1200 calories a day.
I do NOT recommend this. I did this because I was uneducated and I didn't know any better.
That being said, it DID work for me. BUT I WAS STARVING!!! 
Seriously, I was ALWAYS hungry! 1200 calories is NOT enough food.
I had just started the Couch to 5K and that was the only form of exercise I was doing at that point.
Just eating 1200 calories and running for 30 minutes a day... if you could even call what I was doing "running."
It was totes a fat girl bounce, as Holly says.
I averaged about a 16 minute mile y'all.
It was ugly.
But I did it.

After losing the weight and educating myself more I began to eat more.
I ALWAYS recommend for anyone trying to lose weight to COUNT YOUR CALORIES!
You would be surprised at how many calories you eat on a daily basis without knowing it.

I, personally, don't count my calories anymore. I don't NEED to.
I retaught myself how to eat while I was losing weight.
I KNOW what my body responds to now and what I can and can't get away with.
You will figure that out through trial and error.
If I had to guess I'd say I eat around 1800-2000 calories a day now.
That's a lot of food, y'all.
And I'm never starving.

I stick to an 80% clean diet for the most part.
I try to eat mostly clean on the weekdays so I can indulge a bit on the weekends.
Typically for breakfast I'll have my Mango Strawberry Spark at the gym (I mix 1 1/2 scoops per 40 oz. of water).
If I'm really hungry before heading to the gym I'll grab a banana or a protein bar on the way out the door.
At work I drink five 25 oz. bottles of water A DAY. That is 125 oz. of water. I pee every 30 minutes.
But I notice that my skin, hair and nails are always so healthy when I drink a lot of water like that.
For lunch I'll usually have a salad with grilled chicken or leftovers I brought from home or a conction of things I keep in the break room.
My go-to lunch when I forget food is Chipotle.
I get the salad with brown rice, chicken, pico, corn, guacamole and medium salsa on the side.
SOOOO good!

Dinner I usually try to make some kind of clean recipe, but sometimes we order pizza (once a month usually) and sometimes we go out to eat (once a week or so).
It really just depends.

I always keep fresh fruit, protein bars, almond butter, and weight watchers individual ice cream bars on hand.
And I try my hardest not to eat off my kids plates.

These days I don't really focus TOO much on my food or what I'm eating.
I crave good, healthy food, so I don't need to stress over it too much.
I also know what I can have and how Taco Bell will affect me. I'm a former Taco Bell addict y'all and I still have a relapse probably once every 6 months.
And I ALWAYS regret it.

Look, it's taken me years to figure out my body. To realize that FOOD IS FUEL.
Sure, it can be good, too, but it's not what I live for anymore.
I don't spend every waking minute thinking about what I'm going to eat next.

It takes time and retraining yourself how to eat, but if a former fast food addict can do it, SO CAN YOU! 


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BREI said...

MFP tells me to lose weight I need to eat 1200 calories a day. When I do this I become very hangry!!!!

undomestic mama said...

I go off and on with clean eating. I was doing so well for weeks and then when I got sick everything went to crap. I NEED to get back on it. You look amazing though!

Misty Brumfield said...

I have started clean eating, but I did it all at once. And it has been very difficult so far, as I am a fast food junky. Do you think I should ease into this slowly or go balls to the wall be better to aid in this drastic change. And with couch to 5 k did you use,as there are a few different ones.

droumom4 said...

Ahhhh 1 1/2 scoops to 40oz water....I was not so sure I liked it the way it says to mix it on the pkg (1 scoop to every 8oz) That way it will last a whole lot longer too..that stuff ain't cheap!! =)

Sarah Wisecarver said...

Just dropping in to tell you that you're awesome!! But you know that! :) Hope you've had a great day!

Constance said...

I was diagnosed with GERD years ago and had to change my diet. I stopped eating sweets of any kind, drinking any kind of sodas AND gave up fried foods. I lost 10 lbs in a month by just changing what I ate.

Now, would I go cold turkey like I did last time? No way! But it did help me learn that what I put in my mouth shows up on my hips.

dani bentley said...

so as a current weight watcher I found that the doritos locos taco is only 4 points (the one with out sour cream) Not the healthiest meal but when you need a fix it gets me through. Also there is a youplait greek yogurt ice cream bar with honey swirled in it that is only 90 calories and amazing in case you you want to mix it up. love your blog :)

Liz said...

Just to clarify, it shouldn't ALWAYS be JUST counting calories. You should also be looking at what kinds of calories you are taking in. There is a huge difference between a higher calorie, healthy food and a lower-calorie, artificially-sweetened/modified/whatever food.

hfbarr said...

I drink a ton of water too, but It doesn't really affect my skin as much. I just don't have good skin...Jelly of yours though :)

It definitely takes time to learn how to eat. I have never been overweight, but I eat so much better now than I used to. Even though my weight hasn't changed much, I know I am a healthier person all around. I love my sweets too!!! I love the skinny cox ice cream sandwiches...yummy!

dawn said...

I think the amount of calories to eat is different for everyone. I am 5 feet tall and my nutritionist has told me to eat 1200-1300 calories a day to maintain my weight. I am not overly active (trying but not overly successful) and have found this amount of calories to work for me. I lost 50 lbs and ate roughly 1100 calories a day to do this. When I workout or am more active I eat more calories - my body tells me if I need more.

Elizabeth said...

I'm 5'2" and eat about 1200 calories a day too, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. i think a lot of it does depend on height and how active you are. I am pretty active, but try and keep my calories down during the week and do clean eating like you, so I can indulge without guilt on the weekend.

Tabitha Mcdaniel said...

I track on my fitness pal and it tells me to eat 1200 calories. I'm working out 30 mins a day on either elliptical or treadmill. I keep hearing that u shouldn't eat that few of calories but I can't figure out how to know what you should eat? Any advice??? Treadmill says 300 calories burned (if that's right).

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

My skin always sucks when I slack in my water intake...like the past few weeks.

Relatively new reader, you are kick ass. Thanks for the arm workout tutorials.

Unknown said...

Until I started eating according to Jamie Eason's LiveFit program on Bodybuilder.com, I was never able to lose weight. I needed to eat MORE, MORE often, and and TON more protein. 1800 cal's to lose weight and having to force myself to eat? Yep! Counting calories is still important, but so many people are so uneducated about WHAT they should be eating. When I get to maintaining, I will have to learn what it takes for my body to stay where I want it, but until then (40 more lbs) I am not going hungry!

Blanca Olivas said...

What works best for me is writing down everything I eat. Keeps me in check. I too indulge in some evil food but all in moderation. Clean eating is the best way to go. Stay away from processed food and keep running.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Angel said...

Well I've never been very fond of fast food(except for TB at 2am) but do not have the best eating habits. Seriously I covet sweets(yes, I will eye your brownie with jealously and then try to take it) so my cleaning eating the last two days has been blown thanks to a chocolate chip cookie from Mickey D's cause my toddler wanted French fries. #everydayisabattle

Megan @ Grimm Tales said...

mmmm chipotle!! My daughter asked me to go there today but I refused. I can't resist sour cream, cheese, and chips and guac! Ah! My tummy is grumbling.

Holly said...

You definitely don't fat girl bounce it anymore, Marion Jones.

Katie said...

This makes SO much more sense! I was reading past post thinking, how the hell does this girl do all that running on 1300 calories?!? I'm hearing more and more about people not loosing bc they weren't eating enough. Gotta love being told you should eat more! Good stuff of course ;)

Jessica @ CarpeTheSangria said...

Craving good, clean food is the best!! I just recently kicked my French fry habit haha

Amber said...

That damn Chipotle salad makes my mouth water every time you post pics of it. Yum. I may need to go get one soon.

JennTopley said...

Started my couch to 5k program today! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Brooke said...

Your so pretty! I follow you on Instagram and your very inspiring to me!

=) Brooke

crossfittingcopswife said...

I've found MFP is great when you set it to lose 1 pound per week, otherwise it always seems to put your calories at 1200 no matter what your weight. Mine is set at 1500 calories, plus whatever calories I "earn" through activity. I've been tracking mostly for macros but not to see if I'm losing weight. I can't wait to be at the point where I can trust my body (really more like my mind) to give me my cutoff for intake.

Tiffany @ Mine Are Spectacular! said...

Ummmm... Were you in my bathroom this morning while I was bawling my eyes out?! I had "Weigh-in Wednesday" and only lost 1.5 lbs in THREE and a HALF WEEKS!!!! I sat down and cried and cried and cried. I've been trying so hard, calorie counting like a mad man... getting in at least 30 minutes of booty moving 4 days a week and ONLY 1.5 lbs?! SERIOUSLY!!!!! I feel like Rosemary in Shallow Hal and I just don't want to feel that way anymore!! I'm averaging 1200 intake calories a day and burning about 300 calories... Are you kidding me?! Why isn't the scale moving?! Why didn't it move?! And then your email post came through... It's amazing how things work! Thank you for this, Thank you for being you and thank you for encouraging us all!

I don't know if you read all of your comments, but I hope you know that today you made a difference. You changed my heart when it was in a sad, sad place!

Shannon said...

I almost started a "weight loss" kit that cost over $400. I decided it about the food not about some pyramid gimmick. It's about the exercise. Your calorie intake is proof we don't have to starve.


Brooke A. Lopeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
REBrown said...

I go through phases of clean eating, I'm in a not so great just eat cheese sticks phase right now.

Janet Vaught said...

First of all, did anyone else giggle at hfbarr 's brand of ice cream sandwiches? I'm sure she meant "skinny cow" but I can't stop thinking of skinny cox. . .

So Mama, once again I'm eating my lunch at work and thinking "I just ran three miles at lunch and I'm eating a fairly good lunch so I don't have to write this stuff down"

Shall I meantion I have maintained the same weight for months. . . and it ain't ideal?! So. . .yeah, I pull up your blog while chowing and I was like "ok, um, you scare me sometimes with your timing." Thanks. Now my notebook is tellin it like it is.

Are you coming to Indiana or not woman?

Catie @ Catie's Corner said...

Really, that was the post that you got crappy comments about? Some people can be sooooo nit picky!! Geez!

Anyway, I have a question for you that I don't think you've answered before. If you have, sorry! Were/are you a night eater? And if so, how did/do you curb it. I do great during the day, but once my youngest is in bed and I'm relaxing on the couch watching tv, all I think about it what to eat. Usually I'll have cereal or some yogurt, but I'd prefer to have nothing. Any advice? Thanks!!

~ Catie

Nicole said...

Just to let you all know Mfp is going to tell you 1200 cals a day if you set it to where you want to lose more than a pound a week. Anything more than that is unhealthy. You're not on the biggest loser being monitored by doctors people! Set it to a pound or half pound a week and it will give you a much more accurate count you should be maintaining. And I recently stopped ww to count calories and agree you have to be careful only counting calories to make sure you maintain a balanced diet which mama clearly does. However....ww is NOT basically counting calories lol in fact it has zero o do with calories at all.

Stephanie@SweetTeaAndSunshine said...

I started eating "clean" 90% of the time about a week ago, & I can NOT tell you how much better I feel already. It's amazing!

WELCOME!!! said...

For all of you eating 1200 calories and exercising- that is NOT enough food unless you are very very short! You will stall out and are not fueling your body enough. If you are starving on 1200 calories you need to eat more!!!
On MyFitnessPal you are supposed to eat your exercise calories back AND if you have less than 50 pounds to lose you cannot set it on 2 lbs a week loss or it gives you too few calories. READ READ READ the forums over there. There is a wealth of info on eating more to fuel your body and you can safely lose weight in a way thats sustainable!! I eat at least 1900 calories a day (I am 5'11) and I am losing weight. There are shorter people on there doing the same. No need to starve yourself!!!!

Suzanne Jung said...

Is there sugar substitute in Spark?

Crystal said...

Did couch to 5k work for you? I recently started it. I am also on Weight Watchers but tend to fall off the wagon (and then eat it!).