Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day challenge

For anybody trying to lose weight, there are enormous challenges when celebrating holidays. Thanksgiving is my biggest challenge. My brother and sister-in-law hosted a nice Thanksgiving dinner. And they were very smart in how they presented the food. There were several courses that could be eaten and counted against a meal plan.

The menu included soup, mashed potatoes, turkey, brussel sprouts and cole slaw. It was a vegetable soup with no pasta or potatos. I ate mostly white meat, a few brussel sprouts, a drop of cole slaw, and a small serving of mashed potatoes. But the absolute most considerate dishes were the appetizers. My sister-in-law put out a tray of raw vegetables and low-cal crunchy things with hummus. 

I was able to fill up on healthy, crunchy, raw vegetables.

Everything was easily counted against my diet and I was able to stick to my plan without feeling deprived.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beets are Red

I roasted beets yesterday. Sliced them up and included them as part of my dinner. They are both nutritious and delicious. And if you eat them, remember that certain things change color as a result of all the betanin.

1 pound

1 pound found its way back onto my body. I'm so disappointed. One day is all it took of not paying attention to my carbs and fats and one found pound is the result. Ack.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Party

Last night, my husband and I were at a party. I prepared by paying attention to the calories I consumed before the party.  I had a yogurt, a glass of V8 and a salad with no dressing. At the party I ate nuts and chips and 1 slice of pizza. I think I stayed within my calorie count but nutritionally, I didn't meet my individual counts for my starch, vegetables, fruits, dairy, proteins and fats.

I take that back. I most likely achieved my fat count and then some.

But today I am back on track with my eating. And all is right with the world. For now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18 - Eating for Comfort, Not

Today is one of those days where I would like to eat comfort foods. Unfortunately, my favorite comfort foods are very high in carbohydrates. Much discipline will be required on my part, to keep my hands from reaching for Pop Tarts or the great macaroni I made for dinner last night.

I'm craving comfort food in the same way I used to crave cigarettes. If I'm able to ignore one craving, technically, I should be able to ignore others. I just have to stick to my plan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16 - Relief

After my visit to the nutritionist yesterday, I feel an incredible sense of relief that the new eating plan is working. My motivation has been revived. Today following the plan has been much easier.  Empowered by ready-to-go vegetable soup, I now have a very low calorie meal accompaniament. My lunch consisted two bowls of vegetable soup and one can of tuna fish.

I'm still hungry.  But Doctor C gave me a hunger chart to help me decide the difference between hunger from the waist down and hunger from the waist up. Just discussing the issue of hunger seemed to really help. There is a difference between feeding your hunger and feeding your whatever it is that makes you want to eat.

She even gave me a time frame for approximately how long each meal should last which is helping me determine when I should eat.

I'm always amazed at how much I don't know.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15 - 7 pounds

Today I checked in with my nutritionist. I lost seven pounds.  Yay!!! That means in the first two weeks I've lost 3.5 pounds per week.  That is a little fast. A  more normal weight loss for me is general 1.5 to 2 pounds per week. But apparently the weight comes off more quickly in the beginning. If I could keep up 3.5 pounds per week I would meet my goal of losing 20 pounds sooner than February.

We discussed how much of a struggle it's been the second time around. Apparently, this is common for people who find themselves having to diet again. 

I talked about the conflict between my heart and my head. In my heart, I want to be instantly thinner without doing any of the work. Of course, I know this is impossible. You have to work for things that you want. And I really have to put in the work if I want to lose the weight.

Ultimately, I would like to drop 40 pounds by this time next year.  To tell you the truth, I would like to drop 40 pounds by tomorrow, but the first objective is more achievable.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 12 - Long Day

It's always a challenge to follow a meal plan if you're away from your refrigerator filled with your planned foods. But today I planned well.

For breakfast I had a fat-free yogurt, a banana and a piece of bread knowing full well that somehow there would be fat in my late afternoon meal.  I went to the Edison Cafe as I often do on long days, and ordered fresh sliced turkey breast on rye with mustard.  My waitress messed up my order and brought mayonnaise on the side instead. I went with it. The turkey breast was so dry anyway, it needed the mayo. At first I was sparing with the mayonnaise but after a while, I just decided to eat all of it.

I crossed off the five fats on my list of allowable foods. And I won't eat anything else with fat in it for the rest of the day. That's fine because I have my entire vegetable allowance plus half my starch allowance left for the day. And I'll be able to fill my belly with that much food left.  I can still also eat another yogurt and another piece of fruit, so I'm golden.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 11 - Dreaming about Food

The dream I remember from just before waking involved copious amounts of fried chicken that I couldn't eat because everyone on the buffet line got it before me. You don't need to be Freud to see the meaning of this dream.

The weird thing is, I hardly ever eat fried chicken. I never make it and I don't crave it or think about it.

Why did my brain pick fried chicken as the denied food of the dream? Why not sandwiches from my favorite deli or gallons of ice cream?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 10 - Struggling Part II

The point of yesterday's post was to explain how much easier it was to follow my diet the first time around. This second time seems like more of an effort. I'm not as heavy as the first time I made the effort. And I don't look THAT bad. But I definitely feel it. My back is achy, my feet hurt and my clothes are shrinking.

I know that if I don't stop  myself from gaining weight, that I'll end up as heavy as I was or heavier. That's why I'm going through with all this nonsense. I don't want to look like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

Part of why I'm doing this is to feel better but mostly it's for vanity reasons. I want to look good. I want to look great.

All I have to do is push through this struggle to get the weight loss off the ground. Then I should be able to follow my plan more easily as good habits replace old ones.

That is my hope.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 9 - Struggling Part I

It isn't necessary to say this, but dieting is difficult. Writing about it seems to be helping me deal with the struggle. If you're interested in my thought process please keep reading. Maybe it will somehow help you with your struggle.

How did I do it the last time? I think I was successful because I kept convincing myself that I was changing my style of eating rather than dieting. I was also extremely motivated because of pictures I had seen from a friend's wedding. I looked really, really heavy. I remember I had to buy a size 18 dress and then on top of that, I wore a slimming undergarment to make myself look better. A girlfriend commented later on the day of the wedding when she helped me off with the corset that it was really, really tight.

She was right. And the pictures, while they were beautiful, did not reveal the image I had of myself in my head. Up until I saw those photos, I believed I was carrying me weight well and convinced myself that there was no problem. Even though my size 18 clothing were starting to shrink. At the doctor's visit that followed the wedding, my GP told me that I was obese and that I should lose weight. He recommended my nutritionist and after meeting with her I dived into my new healthy eating plan head first. After six months, I noticed that my feet and back felt better and there was no more heartburn, which I discovered is triggered by fatty foods (in me).

My body was telling me all along through aches, pains and heartburn that I was hurting myself by maintaining an unhealthy weight. And I didn't realize it until after.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 7 - Thanks Mom

I went food shopping today and bought piles and piles of vegetables which I'm planning to consume this week.  My mom swung by in her car which is always good for me because I got to do a nice big shopping.  First we drove over to Costco where I picked up bulk items - chicken, cereal bars, yoguts, etc.  Then we drove over to Berry Farms where you can find great deals on fresh veggies. I bought broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, apples, bananas, tomatoes, peppers - well, you get the idea.

I'm preparing chicken soup for dinner. 3 fresh onions, 1 pound of carrots, lots of celery, a whole head of garlic and some chili garlic sauce we picked up at a Japanese grocery store earlier this fall.  You might have guessed from the ingredients that I'm trying to prevent a cold from coming on.

And who doesn't like soup on a cold, rainy night?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 6

Yesterday, I did not eat enough food. It's hard on days that I'm out of the house all day. I worked a long, long day. For lunch/dinner I went to Hallo Berlin and had the Dr. Atkin's special, which consisted of mostly sausage and sauerkraut. It was a lot leaner than I expected. When I got home last night, I knew I hadn't eat enough starch because I was sooooo hungry. So, I ate a cup of brown rice (3 starch counts) with some left over cabbage from the other day.

As if I wasn't eating enough cabbage, this evening for dinner I cooked potatoes and pork with sauerkraut in my ceramic cooking pot. I'm still having a starch issue.

I had a cereal bar which provides me with 1 1/2 starches. Tonight I'm going drinking with friends so that will fill out the starch alottment. 

Another area where I fell short yesterday was Non-starchy vegetables. I made up for that today by eating a big salad for lunch and by adding four small cucumbers to my evening meal. 

For the remainder of the day, I can still eat 1 dairy count, 1 fruit count and some more fat. Although my salad did have nuts which I counted as 1 fat for the day. And as many non-starchy vegetable as I like.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 4

I'm not feeling it today. I'm just not that excited about counting my food. Of course I am. After all, that is the whole point of paying someone a pile of money to help me.

Today is blah day. I'm already almost out of veggies because I used most of the ones I bought on Tuesday in that soup.

I cooked a couple of steaks with ginger and garlic. I'm roasting potatoes for Jon with thyme from our garden.

And I'll probably eat another pile of lettuce to keep it going. And a cucumber.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 3

I stepped on the scale this morning and I have already lost some weight. Or - my scale is not working properly. Or - the nutritionist's scale was not working properly when I weighed in on Monday.

Eating went very well yesterday. My ginger turkey patties were delicious. The vegetable soup was great. I did something new by adding three cloves of raw garlic to the finished soup which gave it a flavor kick that was missing from my recipe.

For today's main meal, I'm defrosting chicken thighs. I haven't decided yet how to cook them. I'll either broil them or boil them. Broiling offers more flavor while boiling provides me with chicken stock I can use for another time. I have arugula from my garden and it's still growing in spite of the cooler weather. It's actually growing better than it did over the summer. I'll probably mix that into a salad.

So far today I've had a fat free yogurt and an apple. I'm still deciding what to do for my starches today. I'll probaby eat some of my left over brown rice and some whole wheat pita.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lunch and Dinner

I threw a bunch of non-starchy vegetables into a pot to make a vegetable soup. The vegetables include 1 red onion, 1 pint of grape tomatoes, 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 green pepper, 4 sticks of celery and 2 zucchinis. I also added 3 chicken boullion cubes and 6 cups of water. I'm broiling my turkey patties. I am making brown rice.

Today, I've eaten 1 yogurt, 1 banana, 1 apple and 2 slices of turkey breast.

Very exciting. Right?

Day 2 - Ground Turkey

Yesterday went pretty well in terms of counting my food, but in terms of planning it, I was shooting from the hip. I went to the grocery store and picked up a few food tools that will help me for the next few days.

My nutritionist allotted me 5 vegetables every day. But don't get the wrong idea. She told me that this is just a guide and if I want, I can eat more than that, as long as they are non-starchy vegetables like potatoes or beans like chick peas. Cucumbers and lettuce are a great go to. They are crunchy, nutritious and satisfying. Plus, lettuce and other salad greens are considered free foods which means I can eat them without limitation. There are other free foods but some of them have limitations and counts which is kind of confusing but it's all part of the work.

Tonight I'm planning something that I hope will be yummy for dinner. Yesterday, I picked up some ground turkey meat, ginger and mushrooms. I plan to mix that all together with an egg white. And then make turkey burgers which I'm hoping won't be dry and bland. Every ounce of ground turkey counts as 1 protein and 1 fat. So the rest of my day, is going to planned around eating 3 to 4 ounces of my patties.

That's going to be tough. The fat count is very restrictive. But it was paying attention to starches and fats that helped with my intitial weight loss 2 years ago.

I'm determined to make this happen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

20 pounds by February

Two years ago I stopped seeing my nutritionist after losing 40 pounds.  Since then, I've gained some weight back - 20 pounds to be exact. After a very long decision making process, I started seeing her again yesterday. She is one of my favorite people. So many experts talk about weight loss, but very few make sense to me. This doctor knows how to explain things to me in a way that I can accept. My first goal is to lose 20 pounds by February. After February, we'll see.

One of the many things we discussed yesterday was how people fall back on old behaviors, even when they think they've learned new ones. This is what happened to me and now I'm ready to confront this issue and make some changes.

Doctor C. and I decided to work with exchanges. I'm counting my food by different categories.

7 proteins
6 starches
5 fats
5 + (non-starch) veggies
2 dairy
2 fruit

To help me, Doc C. gave me a food exchange book written by the American Diabetes Association to help diabetics keep track of their sugars and carbs.

So far today, I've had 1.5 starch, 2 dairy, 2 fat, 3 veg, 3 protien and 1 fruit.  That leaves me with a nice allowance for dinner.

More to come.