Sunday, April 24, 2011

Carbs = Hunger = FAT: 4/18/11

I am a realist.

I realize that every once in awhile, over-eating is inevitable.  It's going to happen.  The dreaded "Food Events" of are going to gang-up on me sometimes.  What I need to do is learn how to handle them better when they happen.  Ideally, when I'm trying to lose 20+ more pounds, I'd sequester myself inside some kind of cocoon where there are no food temptations, no situations where everyone around me is eating all of the foods I love, and no deviation from my calorie-counting duties, my exercise machines, and my strict self-control.

Unfortunately, life doesn't roll that way.  The past week has been tough for me, but not because I'm losing focus, or because I don't care about succeeding.  I've had a very screwy week of eating.  Monday was perfect, ending at 1100 calories.  Tuesday was OK, with a lunch at Guadalajara at noon, but I skipped the chips and all but a couple bites of Spanish rice and tried the grilled shrimp and veggies, which was delicious.  That evening I did 50 elliptical minutes, which felt great - and sure enough, I was down to 147.5 pounds on Wednesday morning.  Wednesday was another great 1100-calorie day, combined with 60 treadmill minutes - but I was UP a half pound on Thursday morning.  Looking back, I think that tiny disappointment must have mentally knocked me down more than I realized, because my self-control flew into the shitter on Thursday afternoon and stayed there until Saturday evening.

I did not do well between Thursday afternoon and Saturday night.  I was on-track until 1:00 p.m. Thursday, and then... I LOST IT.  I went out for lunch to J.B. Schneider's with my hubby, and instead of ordering the big salad I should have, I remember thinking about my morning scale disappointment for one second, and immediately followed that thought with this one:  "I WANT BREAD."  

I ordered what I thought would be an OK sandwich, filled with grilled veggies on Italian bread.  It was delicious but greasy.  I substituted tomato-basil soup for the fries, which was the only smart dieting choice I made the rest of that day.  Back at work after lunch, it was as though the flood-gates opened - I was INSTANTLY famished all over again, within the hour, most likely from the unfamiliar white-flour bread carbs in my system.  I inhaled FIVE Red Vines (similar to Twizzlers) and TEN mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (OH MY GOD!!!) within an hour of lunch.  Yes, you read that right.  I devoured 625 calories of sugar carbs without tasting or enjoying them, AT ALL, and the remorse afterward only amplified my misery.

I first got addicted to Red Vines working at Hollywood Video.  I ate an entire box every time I worked.
I discovered there is a strange, "Red Vine / Harry Potter Culture" in existence.  Bizarre...
Yeah, they're small-ish.  But TEN of them STILL contain 450 calories!!!!!!!
I tried to reign myself in after that.  I tried to get a grip on my insane cravings for carbs and only ate and handful (maybe 1/4 cup) of dry roasted peanuts as I left work at 5:00 p.m.  Thursday ended with my favorite frozen Indian dinner, a Greek yogurt, a splash of coffee, and 55 elliptical minutes...but I was still up a full pound on Friday morning.

This is still my favorite frozen meal, after more than 7 months of eating them.  A LOT of them.
The "real" Greek brands taste better, but Dannon's honey flavor has the fewest calories.
Friday and Saturday sucked, calorie-wise and self-control-wise.  There are simply no other words to describe my actions.  I did well early in the day on Friday, in anticipation of my evening plans - a 4:00 matinee with my Mom and sister, followed by dinner out afterward.  At the movie ("Water for Elephants," AMAZING!!!) I ate an entire small lard-coated popcorn, TWO boxes of movie candy (Good 'N Plenty AND Jolly Rancher Gummies), and a smuggled-in can of Cherry Coke Zero.  India Palace followed at 6:30, with most of my usual favorites.  It was a free-for-all of hot chai, plain naan, basmati rice, tamarind chutney, and navratan korma.  The only thing I skipped were the veggie samosas; I had no room for them after so much movie food.  They were missed.

ADDICTIVE.  I can eat a whole box and not even notice.
Mindless munching.
Saturday (yesterday) was much the same, except that I didn't bother to count calories AT ALL.  I snarfed a frozen, generic white-flour waffle with spray butter and fakey syrup in the morning.  (In my defense, I did make it for baby, but she only wanted her venison bacon - so I ate the waffle, rather than throwing it out.  Lame excuse, but true.)  Around noon I ate a heaping bowl (at least a TRIPLE-serving) of Golden Grahams with WHOLE milk, less than an hour before heading to my Mom's house for Easter brunch.  WHY did I feel the need to do that?!  I should NOT have eaten that cereal, knowing I was about to embark on a holiday calorie-fest.  I felt like I was starving, and I can only assume that it was the white-flour waffle and fakey syrup carbs that spiked my hunger response so dramatically.  I felt like I couldn't make it less than an hour without food - so I grabbed the first thing that popped into my brain, which was cereal.  

THIS is NOT a healthy breakfast.
With the high fructose syrup omitted, here's what you get now:  Corn syrup, "liquid sugar" (natural sugar & water), lactic acid, cellulose gum, preservatives, caramel color, and a few other mysterious ingredients I can't pronounce.
Easter brunch was delicious.  Appetizers were veggies and dip, crackers and pickled herring, Coke, Dr. Pepper, little dishes of jelly beans and toffee-covered peanuts.  Dinner was baked ham, cheesy-scalloped potatoes, green beans, ceasar salad, Apple-Snicker salad, dinner rolls with butter, and I had two glasses of my favorite sangria.  We watched a movie afterward ("Kate & Leopold," sweet!), which included buttery microwave popcorn, more pop, and coffee with yummy flavored creamer.  I got home with the kids after 8:00 p.m., with a very over-full but deliriously-happy stomach.

SO then...

Can ANYONE OUT THERE explain to me why I felt the need to wolf down ANOTHER huge bowl of Golden Grahams at 10:00 p.m?!?!?!?

Apparently, I cannot have these in the house.
You don't really have to tell me why.  I already know why.  The carbs from my delicious, decadent holiday dinner party caused my insulin response to spike, which is why I felt like I was STARVING to death at 10:00 p.m., even though my stomach was still distended with the food I had inhaled all day.  I wasn't really hungry, CLEARLY, but I felt like I was.  

The following statement is of course just my opinion, but in case I haven't made my thoughts on the subject clear enough in the past, I'll repeat it now:   


I know that a human needs a certain amount of the RIGHT carbs to function.  Those are not the kinds of carbs I'm talking about here.  Obviously, the kind I mean are the ones that aren't whole-grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans - a.k.a. "healthy carbs."  I mean white-flour, refined, processed, sugary carbs.  When I eat them, I literally LOSE ALL CONTROL over any eating that follows.  

I bought the "Carb-Addict's Diet" book years ago, and one of the first things written in that book is a list of questions designed to tell you what "type" of carb-addict you are.  Based on your answers, it tells you whether your addiction to carbohydrates is mild, moderate, or severe. 

Here's a link to this Quiz - EVERYONE should take this!!!
The Carbohydrate Addict's Quick Quiz

Guess which one I AM???

Yep.  I'm a "SEVERE" carb-addict, according to the "Carb-Addict's Diet" book.  So I guess it shouldn't really surprise me that eating the "wrong" kinds of carbs affects me so dramatically.  I KNOW THIS about myself.  

So why is it SO hard to avoid them???

I'll let you know when I solve that puzzle, and then I'll share my billions with you.

I'm SIX POUNDS heavier this morning than I was on Wednesday morning - that's just 96 HOURS ago!!!  Needless to say, I'm pretty disgusted with myself today.  Today will be a good day, though.  I WILL consume no more than 1100 calories, and there WILL be an hour-long workout.  The thought of anything else today is repulsive.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still On-Track!!! 4/11/11

I am starting to believe that this may actually be possible.

I was so depressed about my weight back in January.  I couldn't imagine what it was going to take to finally turn things around, and for the pounds to start coming off.  I felt sabotaged so much of the time.  I started this blog on September 20th of last year, in anticipation of the looming Thanksgiving holiday.  I was hoping that the blog would prevent my yearly "holiday weight-gain."  It didn't.  I weighed 159.0 on the first day of this blog, and by February 7th of this year I had gained an additional 6.5 pounds.  It seemed like I was never going to get a grip on my weight.  That prospect had me feeling so sad and depressed, every day, that I was struggling to even remember any of my reasons for wanting to lose this weight in the first place.

DESPERATION DAY:  February 7, 2011
I keep trying to pin-point what caused the wake-up-call for me; what was my exact "rock-bottom" point or epiphany.  Ultimately I think it was a whole pile of things mashed together, like potatoes.  (GOD, I miss potatoes...)

But the one thing I remember most clearly about February 7th was that I woke up feeling utterly miserable, and I slogged to the mirror, looked at myself, and I looked hideous.  My face looked all puffy and lumpy; my skin looked gray and unhealthy.  My hair was streaked with gray and I was wearing the only thing I COULD wear for pajamas; baggy sweats and an over-sized t-shirt.  And I just remember this one thought that popped into my head, which was, "Do you want to look and feel this shitty forever?!"  That thought was followed quickly by, "If you were Chris (my hubby), would YOU want to wake up next to you every morning?!

The answer to both questions was, of course, a resounding, "HELL NO!!!"

No shit.
I remember making a little promise to myself that day, which was to give my weight-loss effort the serious planning and consideration and attention that I knew it was lacking, starting at that moment.  And for whatever reason, on that day it stuck.  I couldn't stand to look at myself in that mirror.  I didn't just look like a triple-sized version of my former self.  I looked unhealthy, and even sickly, straight down to my soul.

Now it's about nine weeks later, and I've finally made some real progress.  The first four days of this past week were great.  I weighed 147.5 pounds on Thursday - which meant that I had lost 18.0 pounds total by that point.  This has me feeling very optimistic, over-all.  I am ABSOLUTELY psyched up about it.  I am still following everything I've been writing about on here for the past few weeks.  My daily calorie goal is 1100, and I hit that mark exactly last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  I am doing 4 to 5 hours of cardio each week, split between the elliptical machine, the treadmill, and a bit of Tae Bo and "Wii Zumba."  The "Yoga for Weight-Loss" DVD hasn't clicked with me.  I tried it once - I actually got nauseous doing it!  Is that normal?  I think I may have tried to do it too soon after eating dinner.  I'll try it again at some point; I'm just not sure when.

Pretty much.
Every time I do an hour of cardio I'm burning about 400 calories, which lands me at about 700 un-burned calories for those days.  There is no possible way for me to not lose weight consuming so little, and that is no doubt why I am losing pounds.  The bonus I am experiencing is an increase in energy.  I know that my food choices are influencing this greatly.  When you're only eating 1100 calories daily, every single calorie counts - this was evident from the first week.  When I eat 1100 healthy, high-quality calories, I feel great all day - AND, I rarely experience cravings between meals.  This shocks me!  My daily calories now consist of lots of tea, lean protein, rye crackers and Ezekiel bread, Greek yogurt, apples and berries, raw veggies with fat-free veggie dip, plain chicken broth, calorie-countable-frozen dinners like organic Indian meals with peas, garbanzo beans and rice or organic cheese enchiladas, lots of sugarless gum, and a few diet pops here and there.

Typical American Dieter

The weekends are still the toughest for me, beginning on Fridays when I get home from work.  My diet "Danger Zone" is from Friday around 6:00 p.m. until I go to bed on Sunday.  Right now, I am still struggling to get my cravings under control during that time period.  I am doing GREAT all week.  I am exercising, and sticking to 1100 calories per day most week days.  But once the work week ends...

All holy hell breaks loose.

Just what I need; a SECOND mouth to shove food into
Today is Monday 4/18, which means I am posting a week late.  This post is really for last Monday.  I will post again this week at some point, just to keep my posts up to date with one per week.  I hate falling behind like this.  I started this post last Thursday, and am just now finishing it.  Can you say, "How can anyone have so little free time and be sane?!"  Yeah, you said it.

So this past weekend sucked calorie-wise.  I did great until Friday evening.  Then I blew it.  Friday was perfect until 5:30 p.m., and then it was movie candy (chowed while ON the treadmill, no less...!), microwave popcorn, ice cream with chocolate syrup and chocolate chips...  Grrrrrrr.  Saturday was a bagel with egg and cheese at Big Apple Bagels, tomato-basil soup with saltines, and 2 mini cheesecake muffins, then later on I gobbled vermicelli with Parmesan after feeding some to baby, and I wrapped up my Saturday splurging on a date with the hubby that included a margarita, 3 slices of crostini with mozerella, movie theater popcorn, a box of Jr, Mints, and a handful of mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  Sunday was great until 5:30, again... and then a GINORMOUS diet fail consisting of 2 Pillsbury Crescent rolls with butter, a can of real Dr, Pepper, a bowl of Golden Grahams mixed with Honey Bunches of Oats and covered in WHOLE milk, a bunch of pretzels dunked in whipped cream cheese, a bunch of Nestle chocolate chunks, and a mini Snickers bar - ALL consumed within a 40-minute time period.  NOT kidding.

I might as well have eaten this for my Sunday splurge; it probably contains less calories over-all

I HATE it when I do this.  But sometimes I'm an idiot, and I do this.  

All I can do is get back on the horse and resume.  And resume I have, three pounds heavier this morning than I was on Friday morning, but even more determined to lose it again - plus three more pounds - this week.

I will not eat the pretty donut.  I will not eat the pretty donut.  I WILL NOT eat the pretty donut.
My obvious goal this coming weekend will be to NOT eat enough carbs and sugar and calories in any given 40-minute period that would be enough to sustain myself for four days.

Even the best of intentions backfire occasionally...
How the hell did this get here?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Almost Half-Way There...!!! 4/4/11

I have had a pretty great week...though I didn't exercise as much as I wanted to, with only three workouts total on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I also didn't count calories on Saturday or Sunday. 

So then, what was so "great" about this week???

I felt great.  I was motivated, focused, and in control of my eating and my cravings for the majority of the week.  I had set a "mini-goal" for myself that I would look and feel better by the Home Show on Saturday, and I met that goal.  Part of the reason that I chose the Home Show for this goal was that I was planning to stop in to say hello to my old co-workers from Energy Plus, whom I haven't seen since July of 2008.  At that last visit, I was 8 months pregnant and almost 180 pounds.  Even though it turned out that they weren't at the Home Show this year, it didn't matter - I walked around the DECC for an hour and felt great, in a new (used) pair of (sort of) skinny jeans and a cute new hooded-sweatshirt from Target, and a new pair of the most uncomfortable flats ever created by man.

So apart from the miserable shoes, I felt amazing, and I even stopped at Big Apple Bagel on my way home and indulged in an "everything" bagel with tuna on it, as well as half an "apple pie" bagel with honey-cinnamon cream cheese, a 20 oz. bottle of Coke Classic, and a mini bag of nacho cheese Doritos!  FIESTA!!!

It all tasted fabulous, of course - but I felt like utter SHIT for hours afterwards.  My stomach was SO stretched-out that I could barely move.  I couldn't eat another thing the rest of the day.

I intended for Sunday to be a strict calorie-counting day, but then I made Paige some vermicelli for lunch, and I caved before I even fed her any of it.  I had about two cups of pasta with spray butter and parmesan cheese, and a glass of milk.  That was followed by a lemon-poppyseed muffin (and more milk), AND a dish of vanilla ice cream with Hershey's syrup, Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chunks, and MORE milk.  Then for dinner came shrimp fajitas, chips and salsa, and a small margarita at Guadalajara, and of course buttered popcorn, Twizzlers, and cherry Pepsi at the movie "Arthur."  All-in-all, a "free-for-all" kind of weekend.  Pure, evil, decadent excess.

So, tomorrow is back to the grind.  I'm ready for it.  I'll be up a pound or three from where I'd like to be tomorrow morning, but I'll shave those off early in the week, if I stick to my guns.  And I will.  I am primed to meet my half-way mark this week, and I won't be robbed of that victory!!!  I will have about 4.5 pounds to lose by Monday, April 18th to be on-track, and I know I can do that.

I'm getting psyched-up to go see "Water for Elephants" in 12 days, after reading the book, which was amazing.  My new mini-dieting goal for the next 12 days is to avoid all cheating and skipping of workouts until after that movie comes out on April 22nd.  I know I can do this for 12 days.  And if I do it, I will allow myself some buttered popcorn and Junior Mints (or Good 'n Plenty) at that movie.  If I don't...then I won't. 

The best part about EYE CANDY???  Zero calories!!!


Setting little mini-goals for myself like this is helping to keep me motivated!  I am still on-track to reach my end goal (40 pounds total weight-loss!) the first week of June...I am excited to GET THERE!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Best 6-day Effort in the Last 52 Days: 3/28/11

This diet thing is finally starting to come together for me.

My constant declarations of "I'm SO SICK OF BEING THIS FAT!" must have somehow seeped their way into my brain at last, because I have to say, this past week, I have been a dieting MACHINE.

I'm motivated.  (How?  Why now?)  I'm determined.  (Me?  HUH???)  I'm focused.  (The most surprising of all.)  I'm on a @#$*^ MISSION.  This week I have managed what I sarcastically refer to as a more "anorexic outlook" to the whole dieting thing.  All this means is, I have noticed myself thinking things like, "Well, one pound lost is GOOD, but you can do BETTER."  Or "Yeah, you just went an hour without a bite of something, so why can't you go another hour?"

From everything I've read, this is how people with anorexia think all the time.  Anorexia is terrible, and it kills people, but the basic behaviors that cause it all center around self-control.  And let's face it, a total lack of self-control is the real reason most Americans are so damn fat.  So, I have borrowed a few of these self-control-inducing mantras to help me survive mid-day cravings and avoid late-night cheats.  And by God if this cuckoo psycho-crap doesn't work!

I know that if anyone reads this blog, I'll inevitably get a few comments about this.  Nobody need worry; I love food too much to ever starve myself to death.  I couldn't survive without great food.  I also don't have it in me to be so disciplined all the time that I end up being underweight.  As far as I'm concerned, my use of any little self-control mantra is simply a means to an end.  I'm fat.  I don't wanna be.  So I will do what I must to facilitate the process of shedding the fat, and right now, that requires a hefty dose of me messing with my own head.

(In other words, never fear...this would never be me):

Photoshopped, but still scary.

Basically, I see a little extra mental self-control as my own way of talking myself out of eating what I shouldn't, when I shouldn't, and also a way of keeping me from screwing up an otherwise awesome day of dieting with 15 minutes of random, uncontrolled snarfing.  Hey, I can admit it.  I am a known expert snarfer.  I had it down to a science, too.  I could make half a cheese pizza disappear before I even realized where it went, and the fact that I barely tasted it going down was irrelevant.  My stomach got what it wanted, and thus was satisfied for a little while.  But as we all know, the guilt afterwards hardly makes the binge worth it.  I can't believe how many times I did this.  I say "did," past tense, because my new mantras prevent such snarfing, and this is simply one HUGE problem solved.  

This was one of my biggest unsolved dilemmas, in fact.  "How do I stop myself from eating crap once I start?"  I have NO "off button" when it comes to certain foods.  Specifically, buttered popcorn, anything on the menu at India Palace, Coke Classic, any pasta with butter and parmesan, Big Apple Bagels, Chex Party Mix, Guadalajara chips and cheese dip, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Cold Stone Creamery's cake batter ice cream, Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, Starburst Gummies, Junior Mints, Hacienda del Sol margaritas, Cruz Garcia Real Sangria, and so so SO many others.    <sigh>

Ah, enough with the drooling on my keyboard.  I'll get to eat all of those foods again someday, in definite moderation, but for now, they're OFF LIMITS.  I can't go near them.  I have to drive a wide circuit around our favorite restaurants now, because I'm currently depriving myself so much, and I crave diet-unfriendly food even more because of that.  (DUH!!!)  However, I've been doing a lot better with this.  A couple weeks back, I was whining about how restaurants were single-handedly derailing me every week.  And it's true; they were.  But I was also not exercising even the tiniest bit of control when we'd visit them.  My past two restaurant outings were turnaround experiences for me.  An omelette and fruit last week for lunch at Perkins, and then Monday this week I had a big fresh shrimp and spinach salad at J.B.Schneider's in West Duluth, with a little olive oil and a lot of vinegar drizzled over it, and a diet Pepsi.  The "old me" would have never done this.  SHE would have ordered creamy, gooey pasta alfredo, garlic breadsticks, and a margarita.

So here's the reason I'm all charged up, in a nutshell.  I made a little chart, after doing some more math.  The math says that I am 61 days away from June 1st, which is just under 9 weeks.  I know that seems like gobs of time, but it's not.  The weeks fly by way too @#$*^ fast, and I know this.  I discovered after doing the number-crunching that I only have to lose 3.0 pounds per week to reach my goal by the first week in June (125 pounds, or "pre-pregnant weight").  Three pounds per week for me is ABSOLUTELY do-able!!!!!!!  Here's my little chart.

Monday, 3/28/11  -  Weight:    153.0

Subtracting 3.0 pounds each week, here's how it would/should (WILL!) look:

Monday, 4/4/11  -  150.0
Monday, 4/11/11  -  147.0
Monday, 4/18/11  -  144.0
Monday, 4/25/11  -  141.0
Monday, 5/2/11  -  138.0
Monday, 5/9/11  -  135.0
Monday, 5/16/11  -  132.0
Monday, 5/23/11  -  129.0
Monday, 5/30/11  -  126.0
Monday, 6/6/11  -  123.0



But I AM completely on-track to do this.  My last 6 days of eating and exercising looked like this:


Saturday, 3/26/11  -  weight:  152.5 / ate 1050 calories / burned 325 calories on the elliptical.

Sunday, 3/27/11  -  weight:  155.0 / ate 1205 calories / burned 400 calories on the elliptical.

Monday, 3/28/11  -  weight:  153.0 / ate about 1330 calories (not sure how much my shrimp salad had in it...) / No exercise.

Tuesday, 3/29/11  -  weight:  153.5 / ate 1100 calories / did 20-minute Tae Bo Basic workout plus burned 125 calories on the treadmill.

Wednesday, 3/30/11  -  weight:  152.5 / ate 1100 calories / burned 400 calories on the elliptical.

Thursday, 3/31/11  -  weight:  152.0 / ate 1100 calories / burned 400 calories on the elliptical.

Friday, 4/1/11  -  weight:  151.5


I'm completely focused now, and kinda excited to see how I do this weekend.  I've lost a total of 14.0 pounds as of this morning, since February 7th.  I don't want to screw this progress up!!!  Normally, the upcoming weekend would terrify me, and I'd already be anticipating how many different ways I was going to blow it all to hell.  But today, I am seeing the weekend in a whole new light.  We're taking my mom-in-law out for a birthday-lunch tomorrow to Guadalajara, and I'm not worried (much)!  I am not going to have a margarita; it'll be diet-something instead.  I'm also not going to eat fajitas or liquid-ecstasy cheese on ANYTHING.  Those two things alone will help me a lot.  I'm thinking a big salad with salsa instead of cheese, and NO chips!  It'll taste (almost) as amazing, I'm sure.

I'm actually more worried about Saturday evening.  I'm going to the Ziigwan Pow Wow at 5:00 p.m. for a couple hours, and for me, pow wows always mean one thing:  FRY BREAD.

Pray for me, people.