Monday, November 14, 2011

Holding Steady...

Still going strong!!!

I'm still holding steady at  7 pounds down since October 17th, so what that means to me is that I have not yo-yo'd at all in almost a month!  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  I credit my new way of eating, 100%.  I'm following the Four Basic Diet Rules RELIGIOUSLY, every day.  I don't eat unless I'm TRULY hungry.  That means, at the first sign of hunger, I don't stuff my face - I drink some ice water, a cup of tea, or I simply wait a little while before feeding myself.  When I do this, a LOT of times, what I thought was hunger simply vanishes.

I now always eat consciously, never while driving, never in front of the computer or t.v., never while multi-tasking.  I make every meal and snack an event all its own.  I SIT DOWN, take a little time with meal prep and presentation, and eat as slowly as I can - enjoying every bite.  I stick to single servings of single foods, and I've all but eliminated huge sit-down dinners with three courses, bread, and dessert.  They're not even missed!

I eat whatever I want - not what I "think I should" - but within reason.  I don't pig out anymore.  I am limiting my sugar drastically, and not wolfing entire boxes of Lifesaver Gummies or Good & Plenty when we watch a movie at home anymore.  I'm not snarfing ice cream with Hershey syrup every time my husband eats a little bowl.  I'm not eating entire bags of buttery microwave popcorn.  I'm not sucking down glasses of sangria whenever I feel like it.  I'm not eating second helpings of ANYTHING, and I'm trying my absolute hardest to AVOID ALL WHEAT.  I bought the "Wheat Belly Diet" book for my Nook.  I haven't had time to start reading it yet - but I will ASAP.  When I don't eat ANY wheat for a couple days straight, not only do I drop pounds, EVERY time, but I also end up having the most ridiculous energy I've ever experienced.  Wheat has been clogging me up and slowing me down!!!

And finally, I am putting down my fork as soon as I start feeling a little bit full.  I am not clearing my plate every time I eat - I save my leftovers, and eat them for a snack later.  I've NEVER done this!  Now, when I'm full, I STOP - get up - and walk away.  This is probably the most important new "tactic" I have.  I feel empowered that I am able to do this now!  I am re-training myself, one day at a time.  I eat completely differently than I did just one month ago.

My biggest challenge continues to be restaurants.  SO many of them just don't have anything on them that fits into my new plan!  I mean, come on - I can only eat so many side salads and cups of vegetable soup!  I have found a few places that are "me" friendly, though, and I will continue to go there when possible!  

I have set my latest goals and they look like this:

I want to be down to 139 pounds by November 30th.  This morning I weighed 146.5.  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is next Thursday.  I will have to be diligent and stick to my guns to avoid eating all next week, like I have in years past.  I will eat according to my new plan every day until we get together for the Big Turkey Meal with family.  And then, I'll keep sticking to it!  I can do this!  I have 16 days to lose 7.5 pounds.  NO PROBLEM!

My additional goal is that I want to lose my final 14 pounds during the month of December.  I do realize that this is a lofty goal.  I know how hard it is to be good during the holidays.  But I'm still going to try!

If it takes me until sometime in January to reach my final goal (125 pounds), so be it - I WILL NOT let any lack of success get me down this time.  Never again!  I am focused on the finish line now, and I can almost taste success!  It will be SWEET!

Here are a few of my new faves:

My new fave flavor - key lime!

Vegetarian - tofu protein!
LOVE this brand!
I have to fight my toddler for these!    LOL
Delicious in my new hummus!
New fave green tea flavor!
Don't laugh - these are sweet, no-wheat, and FOUR of them contain only 35 calories!

Monday, October 31, 2011



Things are coming together.  I'm at 146.0 pounds as of October 27th, and that's 7.0 pounds lighter than October 17th, which was my last blog post.  I've done a little re-arranging of my food choices, I've eliminated a few things I've been doing, and I've added a few things as well.  I've also found a whole new diet approach to think about, thanks to "Anne" from my friend Sarah's diet blog.

This stuff is too good to not share, so here goes!

First thing I ditched:  Daily weigh-ins.
I was starting to see that when I weighed myself every single morning, it was starting to depress me.  The depression comes from the inevitable yo-yoing that happens when you weigh-in constantly.  Many mornings, I'm still digesting my dinner from the night before - so I play the game of, "OMG, I gained weight, after eating only 1100 calories yesterday?!"  In reality, I probably didn't gain.  My weight just still included the mass from my dinner of the night before.

Second thing I ditched:  Watching the clock.
 I've been trying as hard as I can to stick to the "5-Factor Diet" mentality.  What this means is, I've been watching the clock ALL DAY LONG, in order to make sure I'm eating often enough, and spacing my calories out in the correct increments, and not forgetting to eat every 2 1/2 hours, yadda yadda yadda.  I realized that this was causing me to THINK ABOUT FOOD ALL DAMN DAY.  I couldn't do it anymore.  For one thing, I couldn't keep up.  I felt like I was eating non-stop, even though I was really eating only every few hours, and then only a small amount of something; usually 200 calories or less.  In addition, I was GAINING weight doing this - most likely because of the fact that I was thinking about food ALL DAMN DAY.  It made me hungrier, and in moments of even slight made me cheat bigger and badder than I would have normally.

Third thing I ditched:  Counting every calorie.
I have been keeping track of my calories DAILY for so many years that it seems very strange if I don't do it even one day.  Every morning, I start a new little slip of paper while I drink my cup of tea or coffee.  I write the date at the top, my weight that morning, a list of vitamins I need to remember to take that day, and then I start my calorie intake list.  By the end of the day, if my calorie total is between 1100 and 1300, I feel like I've hit my goal for the most part.  I know from years and years of counting that 1100 calories is my "magic" number.  When I eat 1100 calories on any given day, I lose weight that day.  When I eat 1200-1300...I maintain my weight.  I almost never see pounds lost when I eat more than 1100 daily.  Sad, but true - for me.  From now on, I'm writing down the foods I eat, and what time I eat them, but I'm doing this more for documentation purposes in regards to my new eating plan.  I want to see how this all pans out.  I'm only 2+ weeks into this, so I have no idea what kinds of highs, lows, and plateaus are in store for me - and I'd like to find that out, in order to be able to share what I learn accurately.

One thing I've added:  The "Wheat Belly" Diet info.!
"Anne," from my friend Sarah's blog, posted a partial article written by Dr. William Davis called "Do You Have a Wheat Belly?"  I read it - then Googled him, and saw that he has also written books!.  Wheat Belly is BAD BAD BAD.  And we, as unhealthy Americans addicted to processed carbohydrates, all have it.  Here is a partial bit of that article:

Do you have a wheat belly?
By Dr. William Davis

Along with this pattern comes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes and pre-diabetes, increased inflammation, increasingly blood clot-prone blood. This common collection that now afflicts over 50 million Americans goes by a number of names, including metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome, and syndrome X.

But I call it "wheat belly.” Let me explain.

You’ve heard of “beer bellies,” the protuberant, sagging abdomen of someone who drinks excessive quantities of beer.

Wheat belly is the same protuberant, sagging abdomen that develops when you overindulge in processed carbohydrates. It represents visceral fat that laces the intestines.

I thought so, too, 12 years ago when I followed a strict vegetarian, low-fat diet, rich with “healthy” whole grains. I gained 30 lbs, my HDL dropped to 27 mg/dl, triglycerides skyrocketed to 350 mg/dl, small LDL went crazy, my blood pressure was 150/90, and I developed diabetic blood sugars─while running 5 miles a day. It’s the wheat. I eliminated the wheat and promptly reversed the entire picture.

If you don’t believe it, try this experiment: Eliminate all forms of wheat for a 4 week period–no breakfast cereals, no breads of any sort, no pasta, no crackers, no pretzels, etc. Instead, increase your vegetables; healthy oils; lean proteins (lean red meats, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, Egg Beaters, yogurt and cottage cheese); raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans; and fruit. Of course, avoid fruit drinks, candy, and other garbage foods, even if they’re wheat-free. (And don’t confuse this conversation with celiac disease or gluten enteropathy, an allergy to wheat gluten, an entirely different issue.)

Most people will report that a cloud has been lifted from their brain. Thinking is clearer, you have more energy, you don’t lose in the afternoon, you sleep more deeply. You will notice that hunger ratchets down substantially. Most people lose the insatiable hunger pangs that occur 2-3 hours after a wheat-containing meal. Instead, hunger is a soft signal that gently prods you that it’s time to consider eating again. You may even find that you miss meals, just because you forgot to eat. Very curious.

It’s unconventional, I know. The last 500 patients I’ve done this with also thought so─until they lost 15, 20 . . .70 lbs along with all the undesirable metabolic “baggage.”

While nearly everyone knows that candy bars and soft drinks aren’t good for health, most Americans have allowed processed carbohydrates, but especially wheat products like pretzels, crackers, breads, waffles, pancakes, breakfast cereals and pasta, to dominate diet. I blame the extreme over-reliance on these foods for the obesity and related abnormalities: wheat belly.

How did this all come about?

Back in the 1960s, we had sandwiches on white bread, hamburgers on white flour buns, spaghetti made with bleached, enriched flour. Data from the 1970s and 1980s, however, demonstrated conclusively that using whole grains, with the bran and B-vitamins left in, was better: better for bowel health, blood pressure, cholesterol values.

Fast-forward to the 1990s and the new century, and the mantra has evolved to “eat more whole grains, eat more whole grains,” repeated by “official” organizations and propagated by countless media conversations. And Americans have complied.

But while video games, unhealthy snacks, and vending machines have been roundly blamed for the nationwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes, it’s curious that increased  weight has befallen even active people who eat “healthy”: yes, plenty of whole grains.

In my view, it is the grains that are largely behind the obesity and diabetes epidemic, at least among the frustrated health-conscious.

But not all grains. Oats and flaxseed, for instance, seem to not contribute to weight and the associated patterns like small LDL.

So that's the bare bones description; I recommend that everyone buy the book "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis.  I just bought it for my Nook.  I can't wait to read it.  I am experiencing bizarre spikes of energy already in the past few days, after only reducing my wheat consumption - I haven't even eliminated it completely - YET.  I am seriously considering doing this, if my current energy level is an indicator of how I am supposed to feel without wheat clogging up my system.  I am also having virtually NO hunger pangs - ALL DAY!  This is the biggest break-through of all for me.  It could end up being life-changing.  And a big Life Change is exactly what I need right now.

I have been stuck at the same weight - between 148.0 and 153.0 - since the end of last APRIL.  This has been more than just a plateau.  This has been me banging my head against the wall, counting every calorie, trying desperately to exercise as much as possible, avoiding my favorite foods in favor of eating "healthier" whole-grain varieties.  Have I been sabotaging my efforts all along?  It would appear that this is a possibility...

My Secret Weapon:  The Four Basic Rules of Dieting

You can Google this - "Four Rules of Dieting" - and you'll see many articles mentioned about this.  It can be written out or described in many different ways, but really it's just the most basic, common-sense approach to getting healthy and losing unwanted pounds that ANYBODY on earth can and should be doing, every day, with every meal and snack, 24 hours a day.  In my own words, here's the deal:

Rule #1:  Don't eat unless you're ACTUALLY hungry.
This is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT rule.  It is also the one that I can honestly say I have never been able to manage, until NOW.  I am finally ready now.  And it's working.  All it means, literally, is this:  When I feel the very first little "tickle" of a hunger pang starting, I do NOT feed it.  That would have been the "old" me; the one whose automatic response for a tiny feeling of hunger would have been to "make it stop, before I REALLY get hungry."  NO.  Now, the "new" me WAITS.  I stop what I'm doing for just a second and I evaluate.  "Am I actually hungry?  Or might I be thirsty or dehydrated instead?"  Then, at this first sign of "hunger," I grab a glass or bottle of ice-cold water and start to sip it.  I DISTRACT myself from that tiny little hunger pang with ice water, and 9 times out of 10, it is proven to me that NO, I WASN'T really starving to death; I just wanted a little something in my stomach, and it didn't even have to be food - water did the trick.  A little water volume, and my "feed me" impulse disappeared.  When you approach this first rule in this way, you WILL FIND that you are eating far less often and smaller amounts than you were before.  All I needed was a few days of crazy success with this to be hooked.  This will sound bizarre, but I tracked my calories the first three days that I stuck like glue to this rule - and each of those three days, I consumed LESS THAN 800 calories.  I was shocked.  But that was all I was hungry for!  I alternated cups of hot tea, cold-brewed iced tea, and ice water with single-size servings of individual foods all day, and by the time I crawled into bed, I felt successful, happy, and FULL!  It has been so long since I didn't feel hungry when I got into bed at night that I have no idea how long ago it was.  I will promise ANYONE who does this for just one week that you will lose AT LEAST three pounds that week - and every week after that, should you choose to keep it up.

Rule #2:  Eat whatever you want - not what you think you should!
I don't recommend taking this to any crazy extreme.  I am very careful with this rule.  I don't allow myself to fall into any patterns of, "I can eat anything I want - so I'm gonna eat movie candy and ice cream for dinner tonight!"  I think it's very possible that people out there could take this rule too literally, without some guidance.  So, I'll share my own interpretation of this.  In a nut shell, if you want to lose weight, you have to get rid of the crap food in your life.  You need to avoid fast food places, you have to save pop for very rare, special occasions, you have to stay off the white-flour-processed carb bus, and no, you CANNOT eat chocolate cake for breakfast washed down with a glass of sangria.  This rule must be followed with intelligence.  I found this easy to do by making TWO LISTS.  Grab a pen, if you want to do what I did - because I could NOT have lost my last seven pounds without my two lists.  It's all about brainstorming, and for me, it was actually a lot of fun to do.  It took me about two hours total.  First, I made a list that I called my "Healthy Food List."  I listed every single fruit, vegetable, lean meat, low-fat or fat-free dairy product, oat and flax-seed foods, low-calorie snack, low-fat/low-calorie/low sodium condiments and dips, low-calorie and artificial-sweetener-free beverages, low-calorie frozen or packaged meals, low-calorie homemade meals, and vitamins/supplements that I love.  I consider this list to be my MOST IMPORTANT TOOL in my weight-loss battle.  What you will do with this list is simple:  When you feel genuinely hungry - not just a little hunger twinge, but serious HUNGER, that makes your stomach growl out loud - you simply pick something - ONE THING - off of your "Healthy Foods" list, and you eat it.  SLOWLY.  Never inhale it.  Enjoy it.  Drink some ice-cold water with it, not matter what it is, and by the time you've consumed a single serving of anything on this list - I guarantee that your hunger pang has either been severely reduced or completely eliminated.  If not, then pick ONE MORE item from this list - and eat a single serving of it - SLOWLY.  You see the deal here?  The object is to put just enough food in your stomach to satisfy your REAL hunger, but no more food than you need to do that.  In this way, by eating one item at a time, you will find that often, you won't need to eat more than a single thing to eliminate your hunger.  Do you have any idea how many calories this saves over the course of an entire day?!  Believe me - it's A LOT.

The second list you will make is your "Fun Foods List."  Again, I divided my list into the following columns:  Meat/Protein, Dairy, Snacks, Condiments/Dips, Beverages, Grains/Fiber, Frozen/Packaged Meals, and Homemade Meals.  This list contains all of my all-time favorites in these categories which did NOT MAKE the "Healthy Foods" list.  This list has the bacon, butter, shredded cheese, ice cream, movie candy, pretzels and chips, cookies, guacamole, Coke Classic, sangria, cappucino, bagels, pasta, cereal, rice dishes, crackers, toaster waffles, etc. etc. etc. on it.  Basically, everything NOT low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, and low-sodium.  One day out of every seven, I allow myself to eat from BOTH LISTS.  The "Fun Foods" list is there so that I don't feel so deprived, limited, restricted, etc.  It's so I can look forward to a plate of vermicelli on the weekend, or a can or two of Coke once a week, or a bowl of cereal once a week.  This sounds extreme, but it isn't.  I have more than enough delicious foods that I love on my "Healthy Foods" list.  I simply HAVE TO DO THIS if I am ever going to lose my last 21 pounds.  I am at that "breaking point."  I MUST be this diligent, if I'm going to succeed.  Period.

Rule #3:  Eat consciously and enjoy every bite!
This rule is KEY.  I have drastically slowed down my eating.  For one thing, I'm forcing myself to never eat while doing ANYTHING else.  NO multi-tasking with your food, people!  The reason for this is that we eat WAY TOO FAST when we're busy doing other things at the same time, and we also don't get any enjoyment out of the experience of eating, and as a result, we rarely feel satisfied when we look down and see that our plate is clean.  So what do we do?!  We eat more, hoping to find that feeling of satisfaction and happiness.  And we never feel it.  In addition to this, when we wolf our food down in front of the t.v. or in the car or as we rush out the door, we're screwing up our body's natural ability to tell us when we're full.  We're in a hurry, so we grab something processed or pre-packaged, whether it's healthy or not, and we snarf the entire thing down whether we're hungry for that much volume or not.  We don't give ourselves the opportunity to enjoy the flavors, the textures, or to experience the sheer joy of eating.  I promise you, when you take the few extra minutes to sit down, eat slowly and deliberately, and really make yourself experience your food, eating will become a whole new pleasure for you, as it has for me.  I look forward to everything I eat, but I do NOT eat anything until I'm legitimately hungry for it.

Rule #4:  Stop eating when you start to feel full!
This should be self-explanatory, but how many people actually DO this?!  Very few.  I never have.  We're humans, which means we're all members of the "Clean Plate Club."  If we were growing up during the Great Depression, and our great-grandmother told us, "You'd better clean your plate!  You don't know when you're gonna get to eat again!" - it would be understandable that our plates would be licked clean at every meal.  But we Super-Size EVERYTHING now, even in our own homes, and even the most well-meaning home-cooked dinner of lean meat, veggies, salad, and fruit for dessert packs more volume than most stomachs need in one sitting.  Honestly, three- and four-course dinners like that have become a thing of the past at our house.  We almost never do them anymore, because when we do, we all lie around like giant slugs afterwards, kicking ourselves for eating the very-healthy venison steak, PLUS the mountain of very-healthy steamed broccoli, PLUS the very-healthy side salad, PLUS the very-healthy fruit for dessert.  We simply do not NEED to pour that much food into our stomachs at one time.  The entire concept of the three- or four-course meal is very unrealistic for anyone hoping to lose weight.  Did you know that your own stomach, when empty, is the size of your own fist when it's closed?!  Think about your last sit-down family dinner.  Was the total volume of that meal larger than the size of your fist?!  If so, than I would bet my own stretched-out stomach and wheat-clogged intestines that you felt like a hippopotamus after eating that meal.  In short, when you start to feel the smallest feeling of fullness while eating, just do yourself a HUGE favor - just PAUSE.  Put your fork down.  Sip some ice water.  Focus and concentrate on what your stomach REALLY feels like.  PAY ATTENTION to it.  If you're even starting to feel full...stand up, bring your plate to the counter, grab a Tupperware container, dump your leftovers into it, shove them in the fridge as fast as you can, and WALK AWAY, PEOPLE!  Go brew yourself a steaming cup of lemon-green tea, and sit down with a good book and take your mind off of food - and allow your body to get to work digesting your meal.  You'll not only save yourself from consuming calories you weren't even hungry for, but you'll also completely avoid the horrid feeling of an over-stuffed stomach.  This in turn will make you feel great, because you'll feel in control of your eating - and you'll gain even more motivation to stick with eating by the Four Rules, knowing that you have the power and ability to stop yourself from sabotaging your weight-loss efforts, simply by paying attention to the natural cues your body has been sending you every day of your life.  Incidentally, by reducing or eliminating wheat products from your diet, you will eliminate the biggest sabotaging factor of all - because consuming WHEAT screws up our body's natural ability to feel full, as well as causes our hunger response to rage out of control by screwing up our insulin levels.  No wheat = less hunger, as well as the ability to know when we're truly full.

So, there it is.  This is all I'm doing.  I'm following the Four Rules TO THE LETTER.  I'm paying attention to how my stomach REALLY feels, for the first time in my life.  It's WORKING.  I'm eating so much less now that I can hardly believe it myself.  I'm not hungry between meals - and most shockingly, I'm NOT hungry in the evenings!!!  I never thought this would ever happen to me, as long as I lived.  I feel as though I can't fail while following this plan.  THAT is the single-best motivator of all.

I'm still trying to exercise as much as possible, but it's tough.  Some weeks I'll get three or four treadmill or elliptical workouts in, and other weeks I'm lucky to get one.  The great thing now is, this sad fact isn't enough to derail my motivation or my efforts anymore.  I'm too psyched about the new way of eating.  If I get the exercise in, that's great - but I'm looking at it more as an added bonus to my over-all weight-loss goal now, rather than something that I have to somehow manage, otherwise I'll "never lose the weight I want to."  The exercise is the extra kick in the pants - but no longer the "do-or-die" activity I once thought it had to be.

I am also thrown-off by how much CRAZY ENERGY I have now.  My guess is that this is due to both the lack of wheat and processed white-flour crap in my system AND the smaller amounts of food in my system at any given time.  In a nutshell, I'm not bogged down anymore, with anything.  It's making me talk a mile a minute, hop and bop around my house like a insane person, and it's driving my husband CRAZY.  In a good way, of course, but he also asked me what kind of drugs I was taking.    LOL.

Finally, my scale is going in the right direction again.  This is the first time I've had a little taste of success in so many months, I'm a little in shock.  It feels surreal, that something so simple could produce such immediate results.  I mean, let's face it:  the information has been there right in front of me, all along.  True, the "Wheat Belly" information is newly-found, but the Four Rules are something I've quoted many times - I just never was able to stick to them the way I'm doing now, for some reason.  

Now, they're my mantra.  For LIFE.

For anyone out there reading this post, I'm attaching my own "Healthy Foods" and "Fun Foods" lists below.  I scoured calorie-counting books to make sure I wasn't forgetting any of my favorites; these lists are only MY favorite foods - but it will give an idea of how in-depth I got with this.  Having a comprehensive "Healthy Foods" list means that EVERY time I find myself hungry, I can grab it - and I immediately see something on it that will satisfy my craving.  I don't know what I would do with out it!!!  (Well, yes I do - I would grab the box of carb-filled Goldfish crackers or a one-pound bag of Life Savers Gummies, rather than something that won't derail my progress...)  My "Healthy Food" List is my Magic Diet Pill.  And filling my house with those foods equates to "stocking the arsenal" for success.  With the right foods surrounding me, I cannot fail!!!!!!!


My Favorite Vegetables: 

chick peas
green beans
red beans
sugar snap peas
sun-dried tomatoes
sweet potatoes

 My Favorite Fruits: 

mandarin oranges

My Favorite Healthy Meats/Protein: 

imitation crab
pickled herring
wild boar 

My Favorite Healthy Dairy Products: 

1% fat cottage cheese
1% milk
2% milk string cheese
Greek yogurt
hard-boiled egg whites
"Laughing Cow" low-fat cheese
whey protein powder

 My Favorite Healthy Snacks: 

dried fruits
dry-roasted peanuts
"light" microwave popcorn
pumpkin seeds
raw almonds
rice cakes
sunflower seeds

 My Favorite Healthy Condiments/Dips: 

fat-free sour cream
fat-free veggie dips (homemade with Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix) 
"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray butter
"light" mayonnaise
minced onion
parmesan cheese
peanut butter
"Wishbone Salad Spritzers" spray dressing
yellow mustard 

My Favorite Healthy Beverages: 

1% milk
chicken broth
cold-brewed iced teas
fat-free Half & Half
hot teas
mineral water
"spicy" V8 juice 

My Favorite Supplements/Vitamins: 

Fish Oil/Omega 3
vitamin B12
vitamin C

My Favorite Healthy Grains/Fiber Sources: 

Bran Buds
Ezekiel bread
Finn Crisp crackers
Grape Nuts
rice cakes
rice crackers
RyKrisp crackers
Wasa crackers
"Sarah Lee" 45-calorie bread 

My Favorite Low-Calorie Homemade Meals: 

chef salad
egg sandwich
lettuce and tomato sandwich
stir-fry with meat and veggies
taco salad
vegetable soup
venison steaks 

My Favorite Low-Calorie (300 or less) Packaged/Frozen Meals: 


"Amy's" Mexican Tamale Pie (150 cals.)

"Pagoda Express" Vegetable Egg Roll (150 cals.)

"Tasty Bite" Bombay Potatoes (210 cals.)

"Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers" Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with rice (230 cals.)

"Amy's Light & Lean" Spinach Lasagna (250 cals.)

"Starkist" Teriyaki Salmon

"Starkist" Orange Miso Tilapia

"Kitchens of India" Red Kidney Beans Curry

"Lean Cuisine" Mushroom Pizza

"Healthy Choice" Pumpkin Squash Ravioli


My "Fun Foods" List:

animal crackers
banana bread
bar-b-que sauce
buttered popcorn 
caramel dip/sauce
cereal bars
Cheese Nip crackers
chocolate milk 
Cocoa Wheats
cream cheese
Danish pudding
French bread
French fries
French toast
fruit juice
fruit snacks
Goldfish crackers
graham crackers
granola bars
hard cheddar cheese
hot cocoa
hot dogs
ice cream
Indian naan bread
"Jacobsen's" Snack Toast
maple syrup
minute rice
movie candy
pop (Coke, Dr. Pepper, Creme Soda)
Pop Tarts
pretzel crisps
protein bars
red beans and rice
Ritz crackers
salad cherries
saltine crackers
shredded cheese
tortilla chips
turkey bacon
wine coolers

Monday, October 17, 2011

38 days 'til TURKEY TIME!

Ah, yes.  So with two more weeks gone and a couple more pounds gained, I've gone backwards a little.  AGAIN.

New goal:  I need to lose THREE pounds per week, every week until Thanksgiving, which falls on November 24th.  That's roughly 5 1/2 weeks, or 38 days, to lose 18 pounds.

I've had two bad weeks.  Too many food events.  Too much crap food around, both at home and at work.  Too busy to cook and too many "meals" in the car and on the run.  And waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much between-meal snacking.  

Yeah, I know everything I've done wrong.  I always know.  It's not like it's some big mystery.  I love food.  I eat too much.  Yadda yadda yadda.

So now what?!

New tactics.  I'm trying a variation on my usual theme.
My days are going to look like this, for the next 38 days:

7:30 a.m. - cup of tea with 2 tsp. sugar & 2 Tbls. fat-free half & half (50 calories)
 (+ ice water)
9:00 a.m. - Slim Fast Shake (190 calories)
 (+ice water)
11:30 a.m. - apple (90 calories)
(+ice water)
2:00 p.m. - cup of tea (50 calories) & Greek yogurt or serving of raw almonds (150 calories)
(+ice water)
4:30 p.m. - Slim Fast shake (190 calories)
(+ice water)
7:00 - frozen meal or calorie-counted supper that includes a little protein, fiber, & a good carb (400 calories)
(+ice water)
 9:30 p.m. - cup of tea (50 calories)

Total for the day:  1170 calories

So................................. Anyone notice the ICE WATER theme?!

Yeah.  I NEED to drink more water.  I am such a pop addict...I can't go more than a day or two before I am dying.  I CRAVE pop.  Coke Classic, Dr. Pepper, Creme Soda, aaarrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

The crazy thing is, when I follow the above plan, to the letter - for say, one week - I drop pounds like crazy.  The little "meals" are spaced out every few hours, so I never have to go so long without something in my stomach that I'm terribly uncomfortable.  Yeah, I feel hungry all day.  But it's a "mildly annoying" kind of hunger, rather than the "clawing-my-insides-out" kind.

The ice water throughout the day further fights cravings and keeps volume in my stomach.  The apple and almonds or yogurt are healthy snacks.  A little protein, a little fiber.  The tea, sipped slowly, is a treat - I've always loved it.  Tea is not a negative for me.  The Slim Fast shakes keep me full for two hours, easily.  And by the end of the day, after all the teeny bits of foods and beverages, the 400-calorie supper literally feels like a pig-out - even though it really ISN'T!  I'm so stuffed after eating 400 calories, that I have ZERO room in my stomach later in the evening, and this minimizes my chances of a late-night binge.  By doing this kind of minimal eating and drinking all day long, my stomach shrinks ALL DAY - and it holds noticeably less volume by the time evening rolls around than even one day before.

I'll attach a few pictures of my favorite foods that fit nicely into this "plan:"

Love green, love white, love black...
Fights between-meal salt cravings!
I need the calcium!
An apple a day!
Berries berries berries.
Keep raw almonds in the freezer for crunchiness!
This protein kills any craving.
Dry-roasted peanuts, one of my favorites.
LOVE hard-boiled egg whites - especially on salads!
I sometimes replace Slim Fast shakes with this powder mixed with 1% milk.
Hunting season is here!  Low low low-fat and tasty.
Thanksgiving dinner, here I come!
These WORK.
Dip in homemade fat-free dip!
Still my all-time favorite frozen meal.  And I've tried them ALL.
LOVE these meals.
A can of low-cal soup and a big salad is a PERFECT supper!
Another favorite soup.  CREAMY shrooms!

Now that I've decided to give this variation a try, all I really need to do is add in some exercise.  My goal is to get on either the treadmill or elliptical machine 3 to 4 times EVERY week, plus spend time with my giant squishy abdominal ball as many days each week as I can manage it.  My core strength is LAUGHABLE.  Possibly non-existent.