In Which My Body and I Take a Cruise

It’s been just over 2 weeks since I started my new diet (I’d meant to update after one week, my bad). So far I’m down 11 lbs!  🙂 In my announcement of my plans, I received 99% positive response from folks offering great support in this, but you can never please everyone, and I didn’t expect to, because I am not you, and you are not me. However, I am not going to further address the negativity in this post because I’d like to sustain a positive momentum in this challenge. I will simply say that I appreciate each and every one of you who responded with such support for me. Thank you. ♥ I encourage you all to find your own paths to health and happiness, and if my experience helps you get there, all the better! 🙂

I’ve moved beyond the ‘attack’ phase of my diet (no pun intended), and now expand all of my available foods to include vegetables. Yum. Details on this first phase are in my other diet post. This ‘cruise’ phase of my diet consists of alternating protein days and protein + veggie days, and will last until I reach my target weight. I’ll also be having 2 tbsp of Oat Bran each day (usually eaten in a yummy pancake, but there are other options), and walking a 1/2 hour (which I may or may not have been keeping up with regularly… ahem). The speed of weight loss has decreased now, as my body is reacting to what’s going on and due to the reintroduction of vegetables (all of this is explained in the Dukan Diet book) for a more balanced approach. I should still be on track to lose about 2 lbs a week, but it’s a bit weird to see a bit of a halt in progress since I was literally melting a lb a day in the first week! All good things must come to an end, or at least a transition period.

Over the past 2-ish weeks I have noticed a few things about my eating habits. I was eating CRAP before. No wonder I couldn’t lose any weight. I was kidding myself into thinking ‘lean pockets’, Special K, and cheese and crackers were healthy enough that I should have been losing weight. Read the labels people. SERIOUSLY read the labels of the foods you eat. Look at the fat content, carb content, sodium content… It’s all related to why, despite THINKING you’re eating healthy, you’re probably not really eating healthy (maybe ‘healthy’ yes, but for weight loss, no). Then, go buy some food without labels! 😉

That said, I’ve been eating a bigger variety of foods lately than I ever was before. I think this is partially because of the restrictions on the diet forcing me to seek out variety so I don’t get bored. I want to be sure that I can keep this going for the months and months that it will take me to reach my goal. I expect to be at this phase of the diet until Christmas. For realz. Thankfully my husband has been very supportive, and has been helping me to create some good dinners. I’m glad that I can have soup again. We attempted some chicken broth w/ chicken in it, and not much else, and it was not so pleasant. Now I can reintroduce my beloved miso soup w/ tofu, and tomato or squash soup, or other vegetable soups given that the carb content isn’t too high. I can also do some veggies and low fat/low carb dip, or salads (with a careful dressing choice), or low-fat veggie burgers and so on.

I also discovered that amongst the food we’d removed from the cupboard, another full bag was food that my husband wanted, so it wasn’t that bad! We’ve also struck a deal that for every 10 lbs I lose, I get a treat. LOL  Treat #1 was a lovely bouquet of flowers. hehehe…

I’m not going to pretend this was easy. It wasn’t. I miss baking. I miss cookies, and crackers, and chocolate, and pasta, and sandwiches and cereal. But, I know it’s worth it, and I know eventually I will be able to eat all of those things again. If I just focus on what I can’t eat, then I’m not going to get anywhere. This diet doesn’t expect anyone to live permanently on food sources that are insufficient for life-long living. The body wasn’t designed to be consistently losing weight, so of course what I am eating now will differ from what I eat the rest of my life. Grocery shopping is really difficult right now, as I become accustomed to finding foods that are appropriate, and avoiding ones that aren’t (the myth of sticking to the exterior parts of the store without going into the aisles is completely true, btw). I just tell myself that this is FOR the rest of my life, but not for the rest of my life. lol 😉

There are a lot of things I can and do eat, so I will happily share some recipes in the future, and keep you all updated.

11 and counting.

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In Which I Attack My Body

The Reason

In California, or maybe just this area of California, people are skinny. The stereo type of Californians being active, beachy, tanned people and crazy dieters is actually somewhat true. Of course not everyone is like that, but some are. Stereotypes, however judgmental and close minded they are, are still somewhat based on actual observations. But let’s not go there. Around here though, it’s sometimes actually at a point where I see another overweight person and want to hug them and say ‘Fight for your right to be fat, sister!’, but of course, that’s inappropriate too.

I’ve been self conscious about my weight for a while now, ever since I gained back the SEVERAL pounds and then some, that I lost a few years ago. I have even noticed a recent unwillingness to be in full-body photos, an inability to do regular tasks without pain or struggle, and an irritation at the wonderful clothes in my closet that I can’t wear, let alone the struggle I deal with when trying to get new clothes in this town (which really seems to only cater to the thin). I’m too fat to go paragliding, I’m almost too fat to fit into the seat on the bus without sitting on someone, and almost too fat to fit into one of the rides at the fair. According to the BMI rating, I am actually obese. OBESE, for crying out loud. Seriously. I’m not just whining or exaggerating. This is fact. This is ridiculous.

The Process

I have been mildly attempting to watch what I’ve been eating lately (blah blah blah), and of course that has been failing. I’ve toyed with the idea of joining Weight Watchers, but didn’t think that system would work for me. I feel as though I’m mildly hypoglycemic, and my husband agrees at my symptoms. My blood sugar goes squirrly when I don’t eat enough, and I start freaking out. I get dizzy, fever, my heart races, I get short of breath, and tell him I need to drop what I’m doing and eat now, and so on.  So, that said, the idea of having to force myself to eat less and face this issue and these symptoms kind of made me freak out a bit. Not to mention, the idea of constantly counting calories and points seemed really annoying and just not my thing. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, because I’ve seen that it does. I just mean that I can’t see it working for me.

I also toyed with the idea of going vegetarian or vegan. For health reasons and for animal welfare reasons. I even had a great dinner and lesson around Whole Foods with someone I met last year through volunteering. She’s a big advocate for Veganism. I talked to my husband about wanting to try this and he balked at the idea, saying he was vegetarian for years and vegan for one, and he didn’t recommend it. He worked for 8 years at a health food store, and despite him being skinny as a post and no personal experience in struggling with being overweight, I do have to respect that opinion too. So, if I’m going to eat meat and dairy and so on, I can at least try to do so with consideration to where it’s coming from (i.e. eggs from cage-free chickens, and so forth). My vegan friend would be sad. 😦

The Diet

Last week I stumbled across The Dukan Diet. Don’t laugh. I too scoffed and turned my nose up at ‘fad’ diets, but then I read a little bit more on this, and felt like Dr. Dukan kinda knew what he was talking about. I showed it to my husband. He agreed that I’d lose weight by eating like this, and approved of its methods. So, given that I just had had enough with being fat, was in the right mindset, and had the support, I went for it.

The Dukan Diet consists of 4 different phases, calculated to last a certain length of time based on how much weight you need to lose. Phase 1: The Attack Phase, lasts 1 week for me. The Attack Phase is: “A regime of pure protein jumpstarts your weight loss with amazing results.” Why? Because people like me need results, and need them NOW. When I change my diet in a major way, it had better be worth it. This phase is designed for results, immediately, not for a sustained eating change in the long term.

We emptied the cupboards, and the fridge, of everything that had carbs, fats and sugars. Five (5) FULL grocery bags worth of food is now sitting on my kitchen floor (see left). There’s also another bag that’s not in the photo of things I can’t eat from Easter (like jelly beans and an awesome looking chocolate thing). As a result, this is the new cupboard photo on the right. There’s even a section just for my husband, with foods that he wants to keep around. Beside the paper barrier (lol) is a stack of various sardines which my husband loves, but which make me want to vomit. It’s a further deterrent against peaking around on the shelf and sneaking foods that I shouldn’t have. Since the food he wants is still in the cupboard, that means the 5 bags that we are trying to figure out what to do with are filled with food that only I was most likely to eat. Yeeeeah…

In Phase One, I’m allowed to have egg whites, salmon, crab, lean chicken and lean turkey (and lean red meat if I want, but meh), including lean deli meats, as well as non-fat dairy of any kind. I’ve got non-fat mayo, non-fat cheese, non-fat cream cheese, non-fat milk, non-fat cottage cheese, non-fat yogurts, etc, all 0% fat. So I guess that’s something! I can eat these foods in unlimited quantities. Let me repeat that. Unlimited quantities.

I also have 1 1/2 tablespoons of Oat Bran every day, and am allowed a cup of coffee if I want (*phew*). Since the cupboard photo was taken, I’ve added a container of protein powder (chocolate flavoured, so I can get my fix, if need be), and Stevia, which is a sugar alternative (per husband’s suggestion). I have tried the protein drink, which is satisfactory, but not the sweetener yet. We got it because I was buying fruity yogurts, which despite being non-fat, broke the carbs and sugars rule. Pout. I find regular yogurt to be really bitter, so hopefully some sweeteners will help.

There’s also a small bag of food set aside which has things that I can eat during the second phase of the diet. It’s a small bag… In the second phase I can add different foods (vegetables mostly), but still need to keep carbs and sugars and fats outta there. I’m scared. I’ll talk more about Phase 2 when I get there, since I realize this post is super long already.

I’m still adjusting, considering that it’s only been a couple of days. I love my chocolate, peanut butter, cereals, crackers, breads and pastas, but not as much as I hate feeling this way.

We’ll see how things are next week!  Wish me luck, and let me know if you’re interested in trying this out too. Check out the dukan diet website for more info.

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30 Day Song Challenge – Days 13 & 14: Guilty Pleasures, Unexpected

Day 13: A Song That Is A Guilty Pleasure

I don’t know if this is exactly a guilty pleasure, because that would imply some shame in admitting that I like this song. Even apparently 14 years (yes, FOURTEEN) after it was released, still not ashamed. Oh my, 14 years though?! Anyway, I could’ve also answered this one for the song that I can dance to. Maybe THAT’S what makes it a guilty pleasure…

This next one’s a bit of a transition one between these two. It’s a guilty pleasure, and I think one that people wouldn’t expect me to love (but who knows). This is the version of the video that first made this a ‘sensation’, but check out the official video too (linked in the youtube page’s description). It’s actually super cute, in my opinion. Warning, this is the version with ‘explicit lyrics’. Here’s the clean version.

Day 14: A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love

I almost started to think that Day 13 and 14 were basically the same, but then I realized that most people probably wouldn’t be too surprised in my answer(s) to #13.

Day 14 was actually really hard. I don’t know what people would or wouldn’t expect me to love. I try to share music I love (part of the motivation to do this challenge). Why keep it to yourself?

Anyways, I think it would be this one. It’s so bad… lol but funny. Let’s put a disclaimer on this one too. Not for everyone… haha

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