Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, 9/29/10:

WEIGHT before eating today:  156.5
Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less
Total calories eaten today:  Over 2000.  (Movie binge, BLAH.)

The first two-thirds of today's eating was much like yesterday's, and it was pretty easy to stick to it.  I was focused.  I knew my evening was going to be an un-counted calorie-fest, because I was planning to see a matinee at 4:40 with my teenager.  That would mean popcorn, pop, maybe movie candy, and quite possibly Cold Stone afterward.  I love Mommy-daughter time.  (And no, we don't limit our "fun" time together to eating.  That would be irresponsible parenting...)

I spent most of the day not eating much of anything.  I wasn't overly hungry, and because I had no carbs in my system, my hunger-pangs were never annoying.  I had a total of two cups of hot tea, two glasses of ice tea, a grapefruit, a few bites of baby's apple,  and 3 hard-boiled egg whites.  That was it - 375 calories total, up until 4:40 p.m.

Then all "fat" broke loose. 

"I SWEAR, I only eat LEAVES!"
I did try to reign it in - I had looked up the calorie-content in movie popcorn & pop, as well as Good & Plenty and even Cold Stone ice creams and toppings.  I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  I toyed with the idea of skipping one or two of the looming treats.  I got a "kiddie pack" buttered popcorn (470 calories) and root beer (100 calories) and ate part of my box of Good & Plenty (about 200 calories), rather than snarfing the entire box.  But then, I polished off the teenager's pretzels bites.  With plastic-flavored cheese.  I have no idea how many calories they had, but they didn't taste the greatest and I ate them anyway, because I HATE throwing food away.  

We actually skipped Cold Stone - we were both too full for it (the miracle!) - and got home around 7:45 p.m.  

I'm not sure what happened once I was home, except to say that all the preztel and candy carbs in my system must have done it.  I was suddenly hit with this MASSIVE hunger.  I HAD to eat something.  I was looking in the fridge for anything; always a dangerous activitiy.  I was frantically thinking, "How can I not completely blow it???"  All I wanted was BREAD.  White-flour, globby-gluten.  The urge was over-powering, and kind of freaked me out, to be honest.  

I did the only thing I could think of that would control the situation; I grabbed a Healthy Choice 'All Natural Entree' "Pumpkin Squash Ravioli" frozen meal.  I LOVE these.  300 calories.
I washed it down with a Mike's Classic Raspberry Margarita.  Naturally.  (235 calories.)
Where can I find the "Traditional Lime" flavor?!
I went to bed early, around 9:15, feeling pretty gluttonous.  But I was also hopeful, knowing that I had consolidated all of my carb-cramming into the last four hours of my day.  The Carb Addict's Diet only allows ONE hour for your reward meal, but I knew from prior experience that sometimes, when practiced rarely, even four hours of "reward eating" won't kill your diet completely.  The fact that I ate so little in the first nine hours of my day helped a lot.

I NEVER diet when there is a special occasion to attend.  NEVER.  I've tried, and I always feel like it's kind of... rude.  I mean, what's the point of going out to dinner in a nice restaurant if you're going to order a side salad and a glass of water, while you watch whoever you're with devour a fabulous meal?  I can't do it.  That brand of masocism never worked for me.

It's the same with the holidays.  I LOVE the holidays, especially the amazing food.  Traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, gravy, stuffing, gravy, fresh dinner rolls (white!) with butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash, mushroom-wild rice, GRAVY, jellied cranberries, pistachio-marshmallow salad, Chex Party Mix, etc.  I love it ALL, right down to the pickle and olive tray.  And the PIES!  Usually three different kinds, pumpkin with Cool Whip, apple and pecan with ice cream...Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I will NOT count these calories.
PURE decadence.
Also traditionally, after gaining my five Thanksgiving pounds, I look ahead to Christmas.  Another massive feast, nearly identical to the Thanksgiving blow-out, except with Christmas comes Grandma Plank's Danish Kringle smeared with powdered sugar frosting and globs of real butter.  I often begin the New Year ten pounds heavier than I was on Thanksgiving morning.  There's always the actual day of a feast, followed by however-many days of left-overs - turkey sandwiches on Wonder bread (OK, maybe I'll try Ezekiel this year for my sandwich...), more stuffing, more wild rice, more GRAVY, and more pie.  Let's face it; the holiday feasting takes days to really wind down around here.

Dough, brown sugar, almonds, BUTTER.  FABULOUS!
This year, I'll try to do better.  I won't count calories on those days, but I don't have to use an actual shovel to eat everything, either.  

Proof that these folks are human after all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday, 9/28/10:

WEIGHT before eating today:  159.0 


Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less 

Total calories eaten today:  890  (MUCH better.)

So obviously, today was a better day for me.  I didn't eat my weight in crap-food, for starters.

I tried a few things that have worked for me in the past with varying results...  First of all, I skipped the calories in the morning.  I've read all the books insisting that you MUST eat breakfast to kick your metabolism into gear, and "get your furnaces fired up to burn fat all day long."  I KNOW, I know.  


A lot of mornings, I'm just not hungry that early.  I know many people who are like this.  And I've read JUST as many books that say, "DON'T eat unless you're HUNGRY!"

So - which is it?

Today, I only ate when I was hungry.  I had two cups of coffee (gut-ache!) at home before going to work at 10:3o a.m., and I honestly wasn't the slightest bit hungry until 11:15, and then I only drank a glass of ice tea with a teaspoon of sugar (I cold-brew fruit teas like raspberry, blueberry, and apple-cinnamon in the fridge).  A half hour later, I had a banana and a can of mineral water (ICK - but I'm getting used to it).

Black Cherry or Lime flavors are OK...
As crazy as it may seem, I wasn't even a tiny bit hungry again until 2:00!  Instead of pigging out, I ate an apple and made a cup of hot Lipton tea (thank you, Susie O.!).  An hour and a half later, I ate a package of Carl Buddig honey turkey (90 calories).  This is how my day went, right up until I ate my two ears of corn on the cob with two cups of hot tea for dinner at 7:30 p.m.  All I did was eat a little, and only foods on my "allowed" list, whenever I was truly hungry enough that it was noticeable.

I also chop this up and throw it on a bed of lettuce!  Tasty!
The craziest thing is, all I ate all day was fruits, vegetables, one package of lunchmeat (less than healthy, but a little protein...) and coffee and tea.  It's plain to see why I ended with 890 calories for the day - and did so easily, without so much as the tiniest hunger-pang.  The only carbs in my entire day were naturally-occurring, in the fruits and veggies, plus a few teaspoons of sugar in my cups of tea (a necessity for me, unfortunately).  As a result, my insulin-response never had enough of a reason to kick in; I didn't have a single urge to eat today that was caused by carbs, rather than by actual hunger.  


I'm going to see if I can eat (and drink) this way every day for awhile, until I can't do it anymore.  I need to figure in more protein and low-fat dairy, and I will.  But the "only eating when truly hungry"-thing works MIRACLES for me.  

I sometimes forget that not everyone is wired the same way, food-wise.  I'm definitely a strange breed when it comes to food.  I mean, I'd happily mug someone for their liverwurst sandwich on buttered Wonderbread.  (See what I mean?)

So a successful dieting day is a HUGE accomplishment for me, and it's also very motivating.  I need the motivation now.

"The tragedy in life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.  
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach."  ~  Benjamin Mays

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday, 9/27/10:

WEIGHT before eating today:  160.5

Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less
Total calories eaten today:  OVER 2000.  (GAG.)

It isn't often that I weigh MORE 7 days after starting a new diet, but I guess there's a first time for everything, eh?

I haven't been disciplined AT ALL the past three days, but I was doing fairly well the four days before that.  I'm trying hard to get into the swing of this.  It's tough.  I've got some limiting factors that tend to work against me, and I'm trying to over-come them somehow.

If this was an option for me, I'd probably do it!
Without getting too technical or specific, the eating and exercise plan I've laid out for myself to follow is easy enough for a Kindergartener to manage.  In a nutshell, it is:

*  Eat 1200 calories or less each day
*  Eat 400 of those calories between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
*  Eat 400 of those calories between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
*  Eat 400 of those calories between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
*  Be DONE eating all calories by 7:00 p.m.  (Only calorie-free beverages after 7:00 p.m.!)
*  Eat no more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day  (Preferably mostly 100% whole grain and natural or raw foods.)

*  Do 100 crunches per day.

*  Do 1 hour of cardio on either the treadmill or elliptical machine, 3-4 days per week.  

EASY, right?  

Yet, I'm flailing a little.  Or rebelling.  Whatever you want to call it, it sucks.
So, tomorrow needs to be better.  I need to rally and find some more motivation somewhere.  If there is anyone out there who stumbles upon this blog and wants to share their thoughts, I welcome your comments!  I'd love to hear what others are experiencing in their own bulge battles.  I know that I'm going to win mine... this time, anyway.  I'm tired of failing.  I'm really very sick and tired of being fat and tired.

P.S.  Sucking down 1465 calories between 3:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. is probably counter-productive to weight-loss.  
I'm guessing.

Probably, yes.

Sunday, 9/26/10:

WEIGHT before eating today:  159.0

Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less
Total calories eaten today:  Over 2000.  (CRINGE.)

A less-than successful dieting week-end, to be sure.  I drank more than my one-allowed pop per day, and I didn't count calories at all on Sunday.  I spent another four hours sorting and pitching junk, which was not only necessary but also made me feel happy and productive.  I would have liked to have counted every bite I took, but the day was weird - I spent zero time in the kitchen, for one thing.  I first made the big mistake of eating nothing in the morning, other than two cups of coffee.  (INSTANT gut-ache, duh.)  Then, I brought nothing but a can of Dr. Pepper and a Tupperware full of pretzels over to the old house, where I was sorting through my boxes.  By the time I came back over to the new house around 3:30 p.m., I was famished to the point of pain.  I hoovered a chocolate Slim Fast shake AND a 370-calorie frozen Mataar Paneer meal in less than 15 minutes, and barely tasted either one. 

It would have been OK, if I had eaten light after that until bedtime.  But alas, this was not to be.  On to the Birthday Party delicasies!

Today my niece turned 17, and we headed to her house for a little family party at 6:00 p.m.  LOTS of tasty yummies, as is our family's way.  I NEVER diet at a family meal.  To do so would be stupid, and depressing, and ridiculous.  I cannot imagine walking into a gathering, armed with a Slim Fast and a bag of celery, and then proceeding to watch my family feast on crackers and cheese, salami, ripple chips and Top the Tater, veggies and dip, sloppy Joes, baked beans, cole slaw, Dr. Pepper, marble-chocolate cake, and peppermint bon-bon ice cream.  (All of which were displayed and sampled at tonight's party!)
I know, I know - I COULD do that.
But as long as I live on this planet, I WILL not do that.
You can't make me.
Birthday dinner is served!
Delicious birthday cake, Aunters!
Baby made short work of her ice cream.  The resulting sugar-rush was HILARIOUS.

Saturday, 9/25/10:

WEIGHT before eating today:  158.0

Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less
Total calories eaten today:  OVER 2000.  (UGH.)

Week-ends are always tough for me when I'm dieting.  My intentions are always good.  I never look at the approaching week-end and think, "YES!  I can eat whatever I want on Saturday and Sunday!  But somehow, this often happens.  Today, my Mom came out around 1:00 p.m. and I spent more hours sorting and cleaning out my huge pile of bags and boxes of JUNK I've had stored in our old garage attic since March of 2006.  Before that, I had stored the same bags and boxes in various storage units and basements and sheds and garages.  It was literally almost 25 years-worth of stuff, moved more than 15 times since 1987, and none of it has ever really been unpacked.  After all those years, everything just got thrown together and mixed up until the job of sorting and throwing out the entire mess loomed like an impossibly huge monkey on my back.  The task has always existed, but had grown to such an imposing size that it was very daunting.  The thought of dealing with it all caused me daily stress and depression.

Well, now, the task is nearly complete.  I've been accused at times of being a "classic hoarder," but I know that I've never matched that neat definition.  Hoarders CAN'T throw anything away.  They look at an old newspaper or a half-empty bottle of something and they feel crippling mental anguish at the thought of being seperated from it.  

This is not me.  I WANT to be rid of my junk.  I WANT to not think about it every day.  My limitation is my nutty, crazy-busy life.  In order to sort through junk and organize your life, you simply must have the free time to do it.  This is what I lack.  I have not had any free time in almost 25 years.  

Does this sounds like a lame excuse?  
I only wish it weren't the truth.

Hoarders have rooms in their houses that look like this.  We don't.
My junk looked more like this, though most of my stuff ended up in plastic bags over time.
So I've been spending the past three week-ends sorting and throwing, organizing and cleansing.  It feels wonderful!  But the diet takes a hit when I'm doing an activity that keeps me so focused, and far away from the fridge or the kitchen.  The only solution would have been to pack a healthy, calorie-counted lunch and take it over to the old house with me.  

Coulda, shoulda - but didn't.  

In fact, the day started out on a carb-saturated note.  My older daughter and I "celebrated" the fact the our Big Apple Bagel franchise was recently re-opened (we've been suffering, big-time!!!) by treating ourselves to a bagel on our way to drop her off at a friend's house.  Mine was huge, onion-flavored, dripping with plain cream cheese, and washed down with a bottle of orange juice.  Yep, you guessed it... about 800 calories. 

Big Apple Bagels - ONION!
Once I got back home, I grazed a little during the day, and then finished the evening at a movie with the hubby ("Eclipse!") and the subsequent movie food:
Buttered movie popcorn:  Lard-drenched goodness!
Large fountain Root Beer.  Burp.
Entire box of Good & Plenty.  My FAVORITE candy.
So, yeah, Saturday was another bust.  I wasn't exactly depressed about it, just a little disappointed because this is my first week of focused, brutally-honest blogging about my journey.  I won't blow smoke up anyone's a$$, least of all my own.  Dieting is miserable.  I can't think of anything I despise more, with the exception of certain lab procedures I won't elaborate on here.  Suffice it to say, I struggle with it, every minute, of every day.

Friday, 9/24/10:

Weight before eating today:  157.5
Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less
Total calories eaten today: Over 2000.  (BLECH.)

Friday was a good day for me, calorie-wise, right up until the end of the work day.  At 7:00 p.m. I dropped baby off at Grandma's for two hours, and my teenager and I hit the mall for some retail therapy.  She loves the mall, but I loathe it.  I get hives.  
We were there for our weekly "Mom & teenager time."  We try to do something together a couple hours a week, just the two of us.  This week, I tried to talk her into seeing "Eclipse" again in the theater.  She rolled her eyes at me.

Anyway, we got to the mall, and being at the mall around dinner time usually means snarfing at the Food Court.  Of course it doesn't HAVE to mean that; I COULD have brought a Kashi bar and a bottle of water with me.  But what the @#$* fun is THAT?!
Pretzel Time!
Within an hour, I had inhaled a "Toffee Walking Stick" from the "Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory."  I'm not 100% sure of the place's name; it's a huge kiosk with wall-to-wall sugary carbs; that's all I know.  I also have NO IDEA how many calories are in one of those sticks.  ICK!  I followed the foul thing with a can of Dr. Pepper pilfered from my Mom (150 calories), and a medium-sized pretzel bites with cream cheese from Pretzel Time (575 calories).  ONE tiny little hour, and my previously-wonderful calorie-counting Friday was in shambles.  But honestly,  I felt OK about it, because I had done really well until that point.  And I felt positively VICTORIOUS when I drove away from the mall without allowing the Cold Stone Creamery's tractor beams to alien-abduct the car, as it sometime does... 

On a related note, one book that I've read and re-read is "The Cabohydrate Addict's Diet."  There are some aspects of the Carb-Addict's Diet that I absolutely agree with, and which really work for me.  

LOVE this book!
The diet is similar to others like Atkins & South Beach, in that it has you eating lots of protein and extremely low carbs throughout your day, to keep up your energy and and reduce hunger pangs.  Then, if you've made it to dinner time and you've followed the plan up to that point, you get what they call a "Reward Meal."  EVERY DAY.  This meal has zero limitations; it allows you to eat WHATEVER foods you're craving, and whatever size portion you want.  The ONLY restriction with your reward meal is that it can last only ONE HOUR.  For one hour each day, you get to eat your favorite foods, or the foods you've been craving all day, and you get to do it guilt-free.  
The Whopper
 The bizarre thing is, this diet actually works.  As strange as it seems, and as unlikely as it sounds that you'd be able to lose weight while still indulging your cravings, it DOES work.  The trick is to not go so over-board on your reward meals that you double (or TRIPLE!) your calorie intake for the day.  It's worth reading the book, and trying the diet... it works, every time I follow it to the letter!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Disturbing Images Make for Good Motivation, no?

Sometimes all it takes to make me "try harder" when I'm dieting is seeing a shocking photo or observing a 400-pound person stuffing their face in the food court at the mall.  Now, before anyone flips out about me being "insensitive," please understand that I do feel sorry for any morbidly obese person.  I cannot imagine what life must be like for them, and because I can't relate to it, I won't judge.  But I also believe that if a person wants to change themselves badly enough, whether physically, mentally, spiritually, or whatever, then they COULD do it.  I truly believe this.  I don't believe that anyone's situation is impossible.  If a person doesn't have the means or the motivation or the strength initially, that's just no excuse, in this day and age.  The help is out there; it's available to anyone who needs it.  I know there are those instances when an obese person has physical reasons (thyroid problems, pituitary problems...) that cause their weight to be out of control.  In those cases, dieting or lifestyle changes may not help at all.  But for the majority of people, especially those fighting the battle of the bulge, the most common reasons for being over-weight are often laziness, lack of motivation, lack of willpower, depression... ALL issues within the average person's power to change.

I have a tough time believing that ANYONE wants to look like this:

This is TRAGIC.
Um... NO.
 I have an equally tough time understanding why anyone would try to look like this on purpose:

UCK. not sure how this one got here.


Thursday, 9/23/10:

WEIGHT before eating today:  157.5

Daily Calorie Goal:  1200 or less
Total calories eaten today:  1165  (Better!)

Thursday was a bit easier with the calorie-counting, especially after waking up nauseous from the Wednesday-night pig-out.  I felt sick all Thursday morning.  I barely felt like eating anything Thursday, at least until around 3:00 p.m.  I had one of my favorite frozen meals, which is one from the "Amy's Kitchen" brand, called "mattar paneer."  It's SO tasty.  I highly recommend any of Amy's entrees.  They're all organic, and I'm full for several hours every time I eat one!  This is my favorite:

Obviously, there are a "few" other foods that I can't live without, in addition to occasionally relying on Amy's Kitchen or some other brand to do my calorie-counting for me.  Here are a few, and I'll post more as I think of them all:

Venison tenderloin, on the grill or sauteed in garlic, mmmmmmm.  Low-fat & low-calorie.
Could not live without this.  Soy-based and zero calories.  I eat very little real butter anymore, thanks to this.

Eggs.  No-brainer for protein - and only 65 calories each!
The next food I'll be trying, with fresh fruit thrown in.  I haven't found a good local brand yet.
This brand tastes great in a cup of milk with a couple ice cubes blended in for thickness.
Two tablespoons, 180 calories = hunger put on hold for awhile.
My favorite fruit.  1 cup of raspberries contains only 64 calories!
Actor Ryan Reynolds eats cooked, steel-cut oats every morning to stay in shape.  They're chewy, but VERY filling!
Yeah, it's processed, but it's also protein, and oh-so-yummy... and 35 calories per slice.
Slim Fast shakes DO suppress hunger.  They're my "go-to meal" when I have zero time to prepare something.
Almonds kill hunger, and are good for you, too!
When I want to feel full but not eat something heavy, a cup of hot chicken broth only has 5 calories!
Another delicious "Amy's Kitchen" entree!
I try to eat one apple EVERY day - only 90 calories!
Once in awhile, beef jerky is a favorite treat.
LOVE steamed cauliflower, with "Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray!  
My all-time favorite veggie.  With spray butter and a little salt.

LOVE this dip on mini carrots, mixed with fat-free sour cream - as well as the new "Harvest Dill" flavor!
Can't live without hot lemon-flavored green tea.  With a teaspoon or two of sugar.
It might sound boring or cliched, but Jello is the perfect "sweet treat" when dieting.
Stole these from my toddler!  Only 20 calories for two biscuits.  (These kill a sugar craving!)
I eat these sweet onions raw on salads, I cook them with everything, I love them with anything.
The only thing we put on cooked oatmeal!  50 calories per tablespoon.  VERY sweet, but pure & natural.
Perfect snack!  14 carrots contain only 35 calories.  (Before the fat-free dip!)

I have many more food "weapons" in my arsenal.  Those pictured above are some I can't live without, when trying to lose pounds...  More to come!