Friday, December 30, 2011

Doing great...except for the part when I'm not

I'm feeling sorry for myself at the moment. I have a wicked head cold. Or allergies. Or both, I can't really tell. It comes and goes. At the moment it's here. I've been sneezing all day. I tried to exercise, but whenever I bend over to touch my toes or try to do a planky sort of thing, I start sneezing again. And then sometimes I cough.

I'll spare you the details on what all this is doing to my bladder!

I'm down to 295 lbs. Well, not today, but that's the new low. Remember, my experience on the bathroom scale is like a ping pong ball, but the new recent low is 295. I'm happy for that. Clothes are looser in interesting places, like my upper back, my axillary breast tissue (TMI?), my shins, even my feet. I used to wear 11WW, then went to an 11W, and now I wear 11C. Very cool! I can start wearing normal width shoes soon!

No weight gain during the holidays (yeah!) and no major parties coming up in the near future. The Paleolithic eating plan is working well for me. Since it's so cold (for dieting Californians, which is like all of us, 50-degrees F feels cold), I'm drinking a lot of my bone soups with lemon juice. I just made another one yesterday with the carcass of a free-range turkey. Mmmmm! It's nice with some chopped spinach or collard greens floating around in it, sort of like having miso soup. (I can't have that...soy. I miss it!)

Up until Christmas, I was going to Pilates for five classes a week plus a private session. I'm getting my joints, quads, hamstrings, glutes and lower back ready for my next big push, a 12-week figure weight-training challenge. The diet is going to get tightened up too. My goal is to push myself harder than ever for three months in order to drop as much weight as possible to get past as much of the type 2 diabetes and PCOS insulin resistance and weight loss issues as possible. I'm hoping that losing another 20+ lbs. will make it easier to lose the rest of the weight. I have a big goal, to get below 200 lbs by the end of 2012. At the end of Feb 2013 my COBRA health insurance will no longer be available to me and I have to go out to find my own. And I don't want to be turned down for anything because I'm too fat to cover.

(Divorce, the gift that keeps on giving!)

So anyways, other things are changing for the better...most notably, my legs are getting better looking. I have had issues with red necrosis between my mid shins and ankles, and issues with swollen ankles. I spent way too much time sitting for too long. The doctors never could do anything about the necrosis and I was afraid I was eventually going to lose my lower legs because of the diabetes. I kept being told to lose weight and exercise (duh!) and to wear compression stockings. Well, the stockings only seemed to make the problem worse. As did sitting for 20+ hours at a time on my overseas flights. I finally quit flying and sitting for hours and hours at a time (makes it hard to get work done though). I quit using the compression stockings. I started massaging my legs regularly, plus the weight loss and exercise, and I take two baby aspirin a day. I have also read that getting adequate micro-nutrients might have been an issue, so I'm taking more of that stuff too. And the necrosis is starting to go away! I've struggled with this issue for over 20 years. I weighed about 250 lbs when it first started happening. So maybe by the time I hit that number on the scale again, it'll all be gone. And I can wear dresses again without having to wear boots or opaque stockings with them (although a guy did give me his number when I was wearing the boots with a dress last month).

Okay, that's enough for now. I need to give my bladder a little bit of a break. I just ate and orange and it seems to have upset the balance of nature!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I might need to unfriend you...

...but it's not you! It's me!

I just figured out last week that I am a social-eating/drinking enabler. A few of my really good friends and supporters helped me figure it all out (Molly, Sheri, Lori and Beth - love you!!!!)

"What are you going to eat? I kinda want an appetizer, but not the whole thing. Will you split it with me, Georgia?"
"Okay. Order whichever one you want."

"Geo, I wanna have a dessert, but I don't want to be the only one who has one. Are you going to get one?"
"Sure! I was just thinking I'd like something to go with my coffee."

"Why aren't you drinking? Is water the only thing you're going to have? Well, that's no fun! Are you on medication?"
"Oh, um, no...I'll have a gin and soda."

For some reason, I can't stand my dietary ground when I'm with friends and we go out. I don't quite know why, but it ends here. If you want to go out with me because you want to eat what you want to eat without being questioned, I'm here to tell you that you are free to order whatever you want off the menu. You won't get any judgement from me! I just can't eat that.

You wouldn't ask someone with a strong peanut allergy to split a pb&j with you. Well, I'm here to tell you, if I eat something with you in order to support you, my ass will swell to gargantuan proportions. And they don't make an epi-pen for that!

If you find that I can't stick to my plan when I'm with you (and The Paleolithic Plan has been working so well - despite the summer of social eating and very little exercise), then you have my permission to remind me that I'm on a Plan and that you don't need me around to enable your off-Plan eating choices. The holidays are coming and I have a few food-centered social events coming up that I want to spend actually talking to people and not feeling like crap later for having too many Christmas cookies that I don't even like.

(But don't stalk me when I'm in the buffet line and try to embarrass me out of making poor choices. Show some restraint!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I really love eating well

I've been avoiding eating out as much as possible for months. But sometimes, I throw caution to the wind because I just want to go out and have a nice meal with special people. Tonight, the special people were my boys. I love them so much. We don't get to spend a lot of time together because we've all got our stuff to do. But tonight, it was Farmer's Market downtown, the weather was perfect closer to evening, and I wanted to walk around with my boys and enjoy one of the pleasures of small town life for which I'm cultivating a fondness.

We ate at Crush Kitchen + Bar, a local eatery that strives to adhere to the idea of building their menu from locally available produce (in fact, most of their produce they grow themselves) and having nearly everything made in-house. ("Except the gelato," we were told.) It's really nice to know that even in my small town I can find a restaurant that will provide me something really good to eat that supports my healthy lifestyle choices. We ate well!

I blurred the edges of my Paleolithic diet just a little. I started with the fried squash blossoms. The boys each tried one and then I ate the other two. YUM!!! So light, filled with ricotta and drizzled with a little chili sauce. (Not like my grandmother's...she always stuffed them with feta and dipped them in egg and flour before frying. Her's were MUCH greasier.) For dinner I ordered the full plate of roasted beets on a bed of arugula and topped with chopped raw almonds and a few bits of goat cheese. Beautifully dressed and lots of herbs too! So good! Not too far off the Paleo path, and I easily came in on target with macro-nutrients and fiber for the day.

We were too full for dessert, but I fully intend to go back for it at a later time. Maybe next Thursday we'll buy some cucumbers and tomatoes at Farmer's Market and eat them on the street then end up at Crush for some dessert. I read about their zeppoles from the menu and while I'm not much of a dessert eater...well, here's what the menu says. You read and decide what you'd do:
Zeppoles Italian donuts filled with vanilla bean pastry cream rolled in orange sugar on a bed of bittersweet orange chocolate ganache.
Duh!!! Guys? Can I have mine with the French press coffee?

After dinner, my youngest and I walked around downtown a little. All the vendors were packing up their pop-ups and putting away the produce. We had missed it all. But it was worth it. I got to spend a couple hours of quality time with my sons. We had good meaningful conversation, laughed some and ate well. Plenty of joy points for the day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

This video is looooooong, like an hour and a half, but if you're a sciency/mathy sort of person, you'll find this very interesting...or rather, eye-opening and shocking. Made me rethink about how much I was doing to help protect myself and my sons.



Sugar wasn't all that important to me, but I was indulging my kids. As of now, we're done with sugar at my house! And we're totally ramping up the fiber too!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Check out my home gym!

My older son and I spent a few days cleaning and rearranging things in the garage. I finally have a dedicated gym for us to use! No more fighting cobwebs to get to the treadmill.

In the garage I've got the treadmill, elliptical cross-trainer, weight bench with bar and weight set, step bench and risers, Pilates mats, a kettle bell and hand weights. My youngest uses the punching bag to practice taekwando. Still room to park the car!


There's additional equipment in the backyard. That's my rowing machine. I like using that early in the morning. TV and DVD player will be moving out there soon so I can do workouts in the fresh air.
An important part of working out is the cool down. I think it needs some potted plants.


And then there's pain reliever for the muscle aches. But that's at the end of the day.

Anybody feeling achy?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I get bored so easily!!! Time for another personal challenge, I think

I'm starting a Ramadan-style fast tomorrow morning. I've been struggling the last few weeks. With everything! My weight loss is at a standstill, I've been letting my appetite rule my decision-making process, and I've been letting my mother hijack my life so much so that my exercise schedule is gone. So I've decided to get back on track using a vehicle...Ramadan.

 

Ramadan is the Muslim holy fasting month. It started last week. But my peri-menopausal body decided to surprise me with an extra-heavy Shark Week, which just knocked me on my ass for a few days, so I postponed the start of Georgia's version of Ramadan until all that business is done. I start my 30-day Ramadan-style fast in the morning.


Here's the fasting plan: Sunrise is around 6:15. I'm getting up at 5:30 for breakfast. It'll consist of a double portion of steel-cut oats, a poached egg and a little olive oil, plus my big cup of coffee with half and half. (I forgot to plan for cutting out coffee before starting the fast, so I'll wean myself by having a decreasing amount of coffee in the mornings over the next week or so.)

I'm going to keep drinking water during the day. I won't have any other sort of beverage. I'll be taking my vitamins throughout the day, so I need the water. I'm not Muslim, I can make my own rules about this! I'm also adding a good bit of skin-brushing on a daily basis, plus conditioning my skin with almond oil.

Sunset is just before 8:15, so to break my daily fast I'm going with a modified traditional method...three dates. That's how my Muslim friends broke their fast. I don't really like how sweet the dates are, so I'm going to make myself a date-banana smoothie with full-fat Greek yogurt. And I think that's all I'm going to have. If I simply can't handle that, I'll resort to vegetables. And going to bed by 10!

Right after sunrise, I'm going to start with the exercising. I'll spend about 40 minutes on my rowing machine, then Pilates. Around noon, I'll hit the rowing machine again. In the late afternoon, I'll do my weight lifting split routine. I'll exercise six days a week.

I should see a caloric deficit that will buy me at least a 5-6 lb loss. I'm going to weigh myself every Sunday morning and record it here. Plus all my personal observations about how I'm doing.

When I fast, things come up, and usually all my anger issues first. I may be in a pissy mood by Tuesday. Good thing I'll be seeing my therapist on Wednesday! I hope to work through some personal stuff over the next month. I have my EBT work to do and I'm very curious to see what the fasting will bring up for me.

I may be "fasting" from other things over the next month. Like no TV during the day, or other behaviors that lead to mindless eating. I drive a long distance on Tuesdays to go to class, and I have a tendency to snack on something along the way. Maybe I'll just turn the radio up loud. If I listen to NPR, I'll learn something!

Who knows where the next 30 days are going to take me. I hope it's a fruitful journey.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spent the morning prepping veggies

I picked up another big shipment of vegetables from the CSA farm yesterday. More chard, beets (and their tops), summer squash, tomatoes, oak leaf lettuces (two big heads!), jalapenos, corn, onions, basil...OMG! There's even more stuff! I've worked all morning to get it all washed and put away.

We've been eating really well at our house since I joined the CSA. Plenty of veggies, but they were starting to come in a little faster than my boys and I were able to eat. So last week I started blanching and freezing the vegetables that can survive those conditions. Namely the greens and the corn. It's simple to do, and the instructions for it can be found on the Pick-Your-Own website. (Pick-Your-Own vegetables...not your nose.)

(Sorry, I've been hanging out with my 13-year-old.)

So now I have close to a dozen bags of greens (collards and radish from last week, chard and beet from this week), and four family servings of corn on the cob set aside for the winter. How cool is that! In the fridge, there's three big bags of washed lettuces, cucumbers and leeks, ready for salads. On the counter I've got tomatoes in various stages of ripening. I'm having a huge craving for a BLT salad at lunch.

I have to say, with all these veggies, my intestines are finally happy. I've been reading up on pre- and pro-biotics, how eating those can be more important than eating a lot of fiber. The pro-biotics are the foods responsible for introducing the right bacteria in the intestines to support healthy digestion, and the pre-biotics are important for feeding that bacteria. Keeping that bacteria healthy and thriving is what helps food to digest and pass through, plus it helps maintain our immune system which prevents us from getting sick or speeds our recovery when we do get sick.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Very low calorie snacking

I tried avoiding the in-between snacks. There are no snack foods in my house. Just ask my kids. I don't really do the snack thing. But, I have no issue with putting together an entire meal when I'm feeling noshy. I can really eat a lot if left unsupervised and emotionally compromised, which is practically all the time during menopause. (Really, who wants to be around a menopausal woman? Are there examples of sexy menopausal women? No! Do cougars on TV struggle between taking their evening primrose or taking their pool boy? NO!)

(Yes, I'm having abandonment issues at the moment...wait it out, it'll change to something else soon.)

So, a lot of times, I want something to snack on. It only recently occurred to me to find something really low calorie to keep nearby. Usually I have the Trader Joe's Just a Handful of Almonds in the individual packets. And I will eat a whole avocado. No, not part of one. The whole one. And I've always got hard-cooked eggs or Portuguese sardines packed in olive oil at the ready. But none of these snacks are conducive to the calorie cutting measures I'm supposed to be taking.

Saturday I got my shipment of vegetables from my local CSA, Fresh Edibles Farm. There were three big beautiful heads of butter leaf lettuce in the crate. I washed them up, separated the leaves, spun them in my OXO salad spinner and bagged them for the refrigerator. And forgot about them. On Monday, whilst checking the refrigerator to see if anything new and tasty had magically appeared, the bags of lettuces caught my eye. I reached in and grabbed a leaf and ate it. Cold, crisp and naked butter leaf lettuce. So freakin' tasty! And more interesting than celery.

I'm going to have to start experimenting with fillers, because these little things are perfect for dips or as a mini lettuce wrap. I'm making some roasted eggplant dip tomorrow to dip them into, about 30 calories per tablespoon for my recipe. I'll take pictures and post it on my Paleo Eats page over the weekend.

My son made some taco wraps yesterday, with just a little seasoned ground turkey, olives, cheese and salsa. Must be careful not to let the calories creep back up. Two cups of lettuces are worth just 15 calories. Munching on those is satisfying. But just like anything else, this can get out of control!

Other very low calorie snack ideas (these are not ground breaking, I just hadn't considered them before). I'm shooting for items under 40 calories, because if I just eat a little bit, then I'm still burning stored fat and can go for a longer time without eating a big meal.

Cucumber slices
Blanched greens (dandelion, amaranth, chard, collards, kale) with garlic and fish sauce
Miso soup (I just found some that's soy-free and I can't wait to try it!)
Chicken broth with lemon (good cold too)
Chopped fresh tomato with salt

I'll add to the list as I think of things, maybe post them to Paleo Eats. I always accept suggestions to post. But I have to stick to minimally processed and lower carb foods.

(By the way, after a roller coaster ride back over 300 lbs, I'm happy to share I'm back down to 297 lbs, as of today. For now. Stupid menopause!)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Off-track with the supplements - bad

Okay, so while I was fully on all my supplements, I guess I wasn't just peeing expensive water.

I laid off the vitamins and supplements since I went on vacation, just to see what would happen to me. It's been over a month since I took anything and I feel like crap! I don't remember feeling like this before I started taking them all. It was a slow build of supplements and now I don't really remember which one is for what. (There must be a supplement for that.) So I'm going to write it all down here and then I can refer back to it.

  • PB 8, a pro-biotic acidophilus by Nutrition Now. 2 capsules every morning, on an empty stomach, to support digestive health. 
  • Bayer Low Dose Aspirin. I take two to prevent clots. This is the only medication I take and it was prescribed by my doctor because I have type 2 diabetes and this is supposed to help with heart health.
  • Alive! Once Daily Women's 50+ Ultra Potency Multi-vitamin by Nature's Way. One tablet (giant horse pills!) 100%+ RDA on everything but calcium and magnesium.
  • Pro╬▓eta by PharmaTerra. 2 capsules in the morning, 1 in the evening. To support and rejuvenate the pancreas.
  • Porcine Thyroid by Nutri-Meds. 2 capsules in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. To support thyroid.
  • Adrenal by Nutri-Meds. 1 tablet in the morning. To support adrenal.
  • Potassium Citrate by NOW. 1 capsule 3 times a day. To support electrolyte balance and helps with blood pressure. (I also eat foods rich in potassium like kale, chard, bananas, mushrooms, turnip greens.)
  • Oreganol Oil of Wild Oregano. 1 gel cap. As an antiviral and antibacterial, plus added anti-inflammatory. (I also use Greek oregano in my salads every day.)
  • Cranberry 2000 mg by Nature's Bounty. 2 caplets, three times a day. For urinary tract health.
  • Dandelion Root by Nature's Way. 3 capsules as a diuretic. Helps blood pressure.
  • Liver Blend SP-13 by Solaray. 1 capsule, for liver support
  • Kelp Caps by NOW. 1 capsule, for thyroid support. Provides iodine.
  • Pomegranate Extract by Source Naturals. 2 tablets twice a day. Antioxidant plus stimulates skin's collagen production.
  • GTF Chromium by Nature's Way. 1 capsule. Helps balance blood sugar.
  • Cinnamon Bark by NOW. 2 capsules, twice a day. Anti-fungal/viral/parasitic/inflammatory, plus helps regulate blood sugar, especially in conjunction with chromium, and a good source of manganese.
  • Silent Night with Valerian by Nature's Way. 4 capsules an hour before bedtime. (By the way, these smell terrible!) Helps me keep my circadian rhythm in the groove.
  • Vitamin D-3 by NOW. 1 softgel per week, because I don't spend a lot of time in the sun.
I started taking my supplements again yesterday. I still feel pretty yucky, but today I'm feeling just a little more energized than usual. I gained 10 lbs in the last two days (funny how I'm burying that info so far down in this post), but all my size 24 clothes still fit me. My hands and other joints are swollen and hurt a lot, so there's a lot of inflammation going on. Very likely some serious water retention. Because I did NOT even eat half of the 35,000 calories in the last few days that would have been required to gain this much so quickly.

What I did differently this last week was to increase fruit. I also caved to some carbs that I don't usually have. So I know this water weight is from the carbs needing to hang on to some water. Not going to be disheartened. Just keep moving, back to eating on plan, keep drinking water, keeping the sodium low. I think the struggle with water will continue until I'm done with menopause. My period is now coming every two weeks, but it's not as heavy as it was earlier in the year.

What do I do with all my unused feminine products? There must be someplace I can donate them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm having one of those weeks...

The food plan, not feelin' it.

The fitness plan, not feelin' it either.

Hoping going to Pilates will get me out of my funk. I don't have anything mind-blowing to share, nothing new to report really. I weighed in at 297 a couple days ago, but it's not impressing me much. I think this is the summer doldrums. I get reverse S.A.D., and I'm much crabbier in the summer than I am in the winter. (And my oldest says, "Mom, please point out to me how you're more crabby now than during the winter, because I don't see the difference.")

Actually, I want to nap. My sleep cycle is way off. So I'm turning off my computer and I'll have a lie down for an hour and then I'll go to Pilates. Since I'm already dressed for it. And I wrote it down in a public place and am sending it out to the world and people will hunt me down and drag my ass to class if I miss another one.

In the meantime, a little thought-provoking reading for you...

PS) Sheri, Rhyan wants to come over to swim tomorrow afternoon. Is that okay?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

299 and holding

I had a self-indulgent holiday weekend, so I knew better than to step on the scale on Tuesday morning. I spent a couple days getting back on track with lower calories, upped water intake, sleep patterns. I don't do well during the summer. I have that S.A.D. that happens when there's too much sunlight, heat and humidity. I need an air conditioner for my bedroom, because the house's a/c doesn't make it quite all the way to the back of the house. I tried to get up early to exercise when it's cooler. I'm going to have to shoot for something like 5 a.m. That still doesn't add up to enough sleep!

However, despite all of that, I am still clinging to 299 lbs. And my size 24 pants.

I've not been back to Pilates since I left for my vacation. When I return, I am going to be so sore! I'm hoping by morning. I've been busy with my mother's medical dramas this week. She has a way of killing my motivation! But this blog is about me! The other blog is about her!

For the weekend, I intend to get back into Pilates, weight training and cardio with some fun DVDs that I have. Not going to go nuts and kill myself, but I don't want to be overly sore after I go back and risk losing out on the benefits because my muscles are cranky. And I think this is going to be a very low carb weekend. Last weekend was a higher than normal carb/calorie weekend. It's only fair to balance this out.

I think I may be adding some tabs at the top of my blog soon. Recipes, book and dvd reviews, stuff like that. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Didn't gain, didn't lose...

Others are telling me that I did good by having maintained my weight while on vacation. I'm trying to talk myself into being happy with that. But I am happy that I went, and I feel pretty damn good right now. Creativity is back (yeah!), enthusiasm for life is flowing again...I'm even motivated about getting right back into the weight loss routine.

On Facebook, someone posted my high school picture (we're ramping up to a reunion in a few weeks). Well, at least I'm still that tall. And my hair looks better now. If only I had another five years to get back down to that weight before the reunion. Really, that girl looks great! But inside, she was so clueless, confused about where to go, and her self-esteem was really low. I felt so huge, and powerless.

I wonder what I'm going to look like when I get to goal weight. I'm hoping I look a lot more toned, more definition in my shoulders, arms and back. Hope my thighs are smaller. My stomach should be flatter too, because back then, I had hardly any core strength. I had no ambition for becoming more athletic or even active. I feel very different about that now.

My summer goals:
  1. Stay on track with the intermittent fasting. It works for me.
  2. Stay on track with keeping carbs low. That also works for me.
  3. Get back to the exercise. Pilates tomorrow night, plus daily aerobic activity and weight training.
I slipped into my size 24 pants while I was away. They all fit! Yippee! Shooting for getting them really loose by September. I like it when that happens!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Should I blog while on vacation?

I'm leaving for L.A. soon. With regards to staying on my optimum wellness track, I'm going to have fun! Hanging out with people I truly enjoy. Lots of laughter. And my mother is not coming along! In any way!

(By the way, if she calls you to find out where I am, tell her I told you I'm at UCLA at a writer's conference...)

(Plausible deniability.)

So, while traveling, I can easily stick to the intermittent fasting. Not a breakfast eater, planning to sleep in some. Spending the first few days shopping and won't be eating till later in the day. Keeping food choices clean and low-carb. No fast food. I won't be tracking calories and I won't be weighing myself, so this is going to be an exercise in really living with the choices that I make. Intuitive eating and exercise. I've packed my Pilates gear and some weights into the car too.

I packed along all my size 24 clothes too. They are all in their own little suitcase. Not quite fitting into some of them, but it's close. It would be lovely if by the end of the trip, I could button all the buttons and zip the zippers and not see lines where the fabric is pulling. That's my incentive and my yardstick on the trip.

Yesterday, I had my pair of size 26 jeans from Lane Bryant on. I'm bloated, so the waist still fit, but the seat and thighs were roomier than before. It's odd that I'm now losing fat through my seat and thighs before my waist. But I'm still dealing with stress on a daily basis (see my other blog to read about that), so I don't expect the waist to whittle down too quickly.

So, I don't know if I'll be blogging while I'm away. Bringing the laptop along, so I might slip in on occasion. Just to report on how much fun I'm having...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tweaking, tweaking, just keep tweaking

I've had some solid period of time where I've consistently kept my calories below 1600. I actually averaged 1580. I exercised consistently as well, but only Pilates. I kept my nutrients closer to what the CDC suggests, proteins at around 50 gm, carbs at a minimum of 130 gm, and I tended to fill in with healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. I kept fiber at 30+ gm. by eating lots and lots of vegetables and a little fruit.

Results...I didn't lose an ounce! In fact, I maintained my weight very consistently. Today I weighed in at 303 lbs. Lesson learned: that's my current maintenance level! I'm down 50 lbs total. I used to be able to lose weight eating more, but those days are gone. I have to accept that I need less calories now. And that my body is still insulin resistant and carb-sensitive. And that I'm going through menopause. And that I just have to eat less and exercise more, especially after I eat. And to not count the calories burned from exercise so I can let myself eat more. And I need to do more weight training again to build more muscle.

During the past few weeks, I've struggled so with hunger. I drank coffee with cinnamon, took extra cinnamon capsules, took those HCG drops, tried to distract myself with activities, ate those Miracle Noodles with no calories or carbs in them (if you really want to clear out your intestines, eat a package of those!), meditated, did extra plank progressions (my waist is a little smaller!), but I'm still hungry all afternoon and evening, like never before. I think it's because I cut the protein.

So, this week's dietary tweaks...cut calories a little more, increase protein to 120 gm and keep it lean (where it was before and I didn't get hungry all the time), cut carbs to below 100 gm, keep fiber at 30+ gm and fill in with healthy fat choices. And drink lots of water. For exercise...I missed Pilates this morning so I'm going to do it on my own in the living room this afternoon, then continue with that daily. Will keep up with the rowing machine and weights for upper body.

Next week is vacation week! My plan is to bring my Pilates toys and weights with me. And actually use them. And I hope to be walking a lot, whilst shopping and looking for the movie stars at the mall. And I will stick to the dietary plan too...intermittent fasting and the right nutrient mix to manage hunger and cut calories.

I do believe I will be getting extra liquid calories next week, in the form of Chardonnay and Petite Sirah. And gin. (No, not all at once!) Let's put those under the category of grown up fun and stress management!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Weight-loss related things are happening

This morning I put on some shorts to go to Pilates. Normally I wear Pilates or Yoga pants, but they were all in the hamper, so I pulled out one of my pairs of Danskin shorts. I don't like to wear shorts. Not because my legs are too chunky to wear shorts. I have nicely shaped calves and now my ankles are slim. (No more cankles!) However, between the bottom of my calves and just above my ankles, the skin is so badly discolored, dark purple and red blotches. It's about a five-inch strip that wraps all the way around. It's a circulation issue, one seen by obese people and diabetics. I started getting it years ago, right around the time I was pregnant with my oldest son, at 270 lbs. At first I thought it was because of a really bad sunburn I got in Mexico. A doctor once told me there was necrosis and blood pooling and that I would have to live with it and it would never go away. It's really unattractive and I avoid wearing clothes that show my legs. I don't wear shorts, or dresses and skirts unless they're maxi length.

Well, it's starting to go away. I hadn't noticed it because I simply don't pay attention to it. Or rather, I avoid looking at it. But about 25% of it, on both legs, from about the dead center of the back of my legs to just around the sides of my legs, has faded out a lot, to almost a normal skin tone. Even the upper parts of the blotchy areas is starting to fade, and I'm seeing some spots of normal color in areas of darkest discoloration. It's noticeable, because my Pilates instructor pointed it out to me. So it's not a figment of my imagination.

I'm very excited about this! Super excited about it! Because other areas of my body that are shrinking, they're basically just deflating and sagging more, which is still such a downer. But having this problem with my legs slowly but surely disappear is wonderful! Really, I'm almost crying about it today, I'm that happy!

I may start shopping for dresses soon. I have a few in my closet I haven't worn, but they're starting to get just a little too loose. I'm not going to toss them out. I'll just tailor them down later, once the discoloration is just about gone.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hunger, it's not so bad!

My calories per day are averaging below 1515, finally. So, I'm not starving myself, I'm just concentrating my calories later in the day and it's working out fine! Last night I went to bed after having gone out to dinner with my younger son. We went to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and then went to a local brew-pub for an early dinner. Hadn't eaten anything up to that point, because I knew I'd be okay and I wanted to eat what I really wanted at the restaurant. We were going to go for Chinese food, but Rhyan didn't feel like it. So we split an order of nachos (not that tasty, so I didn't eat much) and then I had a big salad with very little dressing. I even removed the croutons! Sometime later, I was feeling a little hungry and chose to have some lean turkey. Total calories came it at 1412 for the day. I slept fine, and this morning felt just fine.

I would love to muscle my calories down to around 1200 calories. I'm feeling motivated to shed the pounds now. Plus, I bought a few pairs of pants for the summer at size 24 and I want to fit in them by the time I leave for my summer holiday. Going to LA for a week to hang out with good friends, going to see U2!

(GOING TO BE WITHOUT KIDS AND MOTHER FOR NEARLY THREE WEEKS! It's hard to not shout this from the rooftops right now...talk about a weight off me!)

Spending the weekend staying active and not eating much. I have a big container of herbal iced tea ready, and I've already had my coffee. I have asparagus, kale and chicken planned for dinner this evening. I have lots of work to do. I may even move my rowing machine to the backyard patio for the summer. Hey, I could even bring it along on my trip! It would fit in the car!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Experiments with hunger

It's not an evil thing, you know...getting hungry. Bad things won't happen to me if I get hungry. I can easily keep from eating on the front end of the meal, easily not eat for 15- 18 hours at a time. But the backside of a meal, that's the tough one for me. If I can become the queen of not eating after my meal...

That's what I'm working on tonight. I went to Pilates this morning, then had a private session with Lori-the-wonder-coach. We talked about some stuff, how I do my diet/exercise research for comfort instead of getting outside to actually exercise. Yes...this is true. Time open the garage door and get back on the treadmill everyday. I was worried about getting hungrier. With more exercise comes more appetite. And snacking after dinner is an old habit. OLD habit. I don't plan for it. It just happens.

So tonight I'm planning for it not to happen. I already ate. Had my 1500 calories of lean protein, appropriate carbs and healthy fats earlier today. I'm currently in the process of drinking the rest of my water throughout the rest of the evening. I have some herbal teas with cinnamon ready for prime snacking hours. Picked up my herbal concoction from Sheri's for getting sleepy and going to bed by 11. Got my new Phillips Wake-up Light plugged in and set for 7 a.m. And after that I'll be getting on the treadmill.

(I'm saying that publicly because around 7:20 a.m I expect Sheri to call me to make sure I'm getting my shoes on and getting the garage door open. And Sheri, you have to give me a chance to get to the bathroom first and then throw some clothes on!)

So the experiments with hunger will continue. I've been reading that it's a mind game, to get past the hunger. Feel the hunger, wait 20 minutes and it'll go away. We'll see...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm feeling MUCH better

Just got back from Pilates and I feel wonderful again. I was having a really tough time sleeping, and then woke up lethargic and achy. Monday, I decided to fast until 3:30 pm, then kept calories and carbs under control and quit eating at 9:30 pm. Took a supplement with valerian root and hops and finally fell asleep by 11 pm. Had a really good night's sleep, for the first time in over a week, and woke up refreshed and energized. (Although I had a disturbing dream about X, so I woke up very annoyed! Even when I'm sleeping, he thinks he can dictate how I live my life!)

Today I fasted until 3:30 pm again, then have been eating lots of veggies and a little lean protein. My oldest son and his girlfriend are making dinner for us right now, some sort of Indian curry. I turned her on to Indian food recently and now she can't get enough! I saved 600 calories for dinner. I love curry.

So, before I started eating today, I weighed myself. I had bloated back up to 307.5 lbs yesterday morning and I freaked myself out enough to get back on track. Back down to 302 today. Obviously a lot of bloating involved over the weekend to have dropped 5.5 lbs in a day-and-a-half. Am headed back in the right direction and confident that I'll break past 300 lbs by the end of the month.

What is the heck with the self-sabotage? I have bumped into 300 lbs so many times in the last 20 years, only to pop back up. I don't know what's bugging me about it this time. Sounds like it's time for a little emotional housecleaning about this.

I am angry that it took me so long to accept that eating less is the only way I can lose weight.
I am angry that I get hungry and remain hungry when I clearly don't want to eat any more.
I am angry that even I define myself in terms of 300 lbs.
I am angry that I believe everyone judges me first by what they see when they look at me.

I am angry that I hung on to weighing more than 300 lbs just to prove that I contributed to society and lived a full life despite what I weigh.

I am sad that so much of my identity is attached to my larger-than-life personae.
I am sad that there were people in my life who were so uncomfortable with who I am naturally.
I am sad that I felt pressured into toning myself down to make life easier for them.
I am sad that I ate so much to stuff the largeness of who I am.

I am still afraid to be me, fully.
I am afraid the real me is too much to handle.
I'm afraid that even I can't manage the real me.

I'm afraid I won't ever be able to fully develop into a whole adult woman.
I'm afraid of who that woman might be.

I regret holding back on my personal development

My unrealistic expectation is that losing weight will open up new opportunities for me for which I'm not emotionally prepared.

A realistic expectation of myself is that I can choose in which direction to move or not move my life, and I don't need the excess weight to make or rule out that choice for me.

I need to keep living life with eyes open to all possibilities.
I need to keep making healthy choices that support my goals of optimum wellness.
I need to trust in my ability to go in the direction I truly wish to go, and that I have the resources within myself to do just that.

Okay, so, there's absolutely no sane reason to hang on to weighing 300+ lbs any longer. None. I'm done with it. My gut is done with it. I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.

I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am soooooooooo done with weighing over 300 lbs.!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

About last night...

I continued to eat after I wrote my blog entry last night, until I got uncomfortably full. And then I watched episodes of Numb3rs on Netflix on my computer till 3 a.m. That's an old behavior. It's something I used to do to avoid some pain that came up when I went to bed every night. I was numbing myself and emotionally checking out. I think it's about missing my little dog, still.

Chloe used to curl up on my pillow at bedtime, waiting for me to get in bed. Then once I got under the covers, I'd hold them up and she'd slip under the sheets and start trying to find a spot to sleep in. Sometimes she'd dig at the mattress, until I'd make her stop. Then, if I had settled in and rolled to one side, she'd curl up behind my knees, right next to me. We'd both move around at night, but she'd always find a spot right next to me. In the mornings, the moment I started stirring, Chloe would emerge from the covers and lay her head on my arm until I opened my eyes. Then I'd get some good-morning puppy kisses and we'd snuggle for a few moments. If it was cold, she wouldn't get out of bed until I came back from the bathroom.

This morning I was feeling around for her under the covers, out of habit. This pain of missing her isn't going to go away for awhile. I've not been sleeping well, and that makes me more tired during the day, which makes me want to eat more later in the day. The first thing I need to address is the sleep. Because I don't really know how to address the emotions of grief, except to just go through them and trust that they'll eventually subside.

And I need to get back to some things I used to do that were helpful and good for me, body and soul. Back to Pilates tomorrow morning. And back to work. And later today, I think I'm going to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard. I bought a rototiller at Lowe's last night, plus some organic compost and soil. I have seeds and seed trays. The laundry room is going to turn into a vegetable garden nursery for a few weeks, I think.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The mother of all refeeds

Been keeping control over my daily caloric intake pretty well this week. Didn't seem to matter, however. I have popped back up to 304 lbs today. I know it's water retention. The minute the temps start to pop up, my ankles swell up.

Other contributing factors are a desk job, and I haven't gone to Pilates or done any exercise all week. I promise to be back on track by Monday, and tomorrow I will be doing some gardening most of the day. The desk job will continue to be an issue, unless I decide to get myself one of those standing desks. I was going to use my FitBall instead of the desk chair...

So I'm a little freaked that I didn't drop below 300 lbs. I so wanted to make that big announcement. But I have bumped into 300 lbs so many times, only to creep back up. Today, after my disappointing weigh-in, I lashed out - at Starbucks, with one of their Artisan Bacon Egg and Gouda sandwiches. And then, I admit it, at lunch I made a run for McDonald's and got a whole meal, Angus bacon and cheese burger, medium fries and a Coke. And then tonight, I had lentil soup at my mother's house. And finally, just now, a big glass of milk and a Hostess Lemon Pie. I ate just short of 3000 calories.

I used to eat like this, only more, years ago, when I was really struggling with depression and sleep apnea, just after I had my first child. I gained most of my excess weight in those months. I don't know why I made these food choices today. I don't feel anything at all like I did back then. I don't think. I do have a really good sugar buzz going on now!

So, I'm going to do what a lot of normally thin people do. I'm not going to analyze this any more. And tomorrow I'm going to wake up and get back to my normal, healthy choices. I just had to write this all down and release it into cyberspace.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm about to say good-bye to weighing 300+ lbs

I got on the scale before having my first meal of the day...300 lbs. Today I weighed in at 300 lbs. And after today, I never, ever have to say that again!

I wish I could feel some joy in this, but not just yet. I lost my little dog this week. She was hit by a car and died on the way to the veterinary emergency clinic. I'm really heartbroken about this. I didn't eat for two days. Nor did I exercise. I cleaned house instead. That's all I seem to be able to do.

I'm sure with time I'll feel a surge of joy and sense of accomplishment about the fat loss. Maybe once I'm below 290 lbs. When I hit 270 lbs, I will have officially lost all my "baby fat" from having kids, 20 years ago. At 240 lbs, that's the weight I was when I had to start taking steroidal meds for asthma and bronchitis issues. I really packed on the pounds then! 225 lbs is how much I weighed when I got married. 175 lbs is how much I weighed when I met the X and somehow decided I needed to start dieting. It's my goal weight. When I get to 175 lbs, that's when I'll find a good plastic surgeon and we'll discuss what excess skin needs to go.

I'm looking forward to creating a positive history for myself once I've reached my goal weight. Plenty of time to enjoy life between now and then too. Not waiting to start living. Just pausing to miss my little Chloe. I feel so grateful for having her in my life, even if it was only for a year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's all about the calories


Have gotten down to 304 this week. Not feeling the joy about it yet. Definitely feeling the impatience to get out of the 300s. I'm pushing myself to leave the 300 lb. club by the end of this month. I wonder what I'll do when I get there...definitely write a post about it.

It's about the calories. That's what I'm accepting now. It's not about all the tweaking and the nutrient manipulation. Losing weight is not about how many carbs I'm eating, or if I'm eating healthy fats or lean protein or enough fiber. It's not about the vitamins and food supplements I'm taking. It's not even about all the exercise I'm doing. Losing weight is about eating less calories. And that's hard for me to do!!!!!

I get hungry. I really wish I didn't. When I get hungry, I'm in danger of over-eating. Because I like to feel full when I'm done eating. I've resorted to the intermittent fasting because I can manage when I eat more easily. I only eat between noon and 8 pm. I only eat two meals in that window. My first meal is a breakfast-like meal that includes eggs and veggies, and I try to keep it under 500 calories. I try to keep it all very Paleo-like too, mostly veggies, some fruit and lean proteins. No grains, legumes or dairy. But I do love cheese with my eggs...Monterey Jack with mushrooms, Gruyere with spinach, Feta with asparagus, Montrachet and caramelized red onions...do I need to keep torturing you? Or myself? I limit the cheese to two days a week, because if I don't have any, I crave it badly, and if I eat it more often, I'll lose control over it.

The second meal is a bigger meal, obviously. Sometimes it's a not-so-big meal but then I get snacky afterwards and grab handfuls of dry roasted low salt pumpkin seeds. The calories have been adding up with the after dinner snacking, even if they're all Paleo and holy. I really need to get on top of that snacking thing. Sometimes my protein portions are too big. I can't eat one tiny lamb chop. Gotta have three! I can easily eat 8 oz. of meat. And then I load up on the veggies. Lots and lots of fibrous veggies, all sorts of greens. Last night I had two cups of boiled dandelion greens and two cups of braised kale with my skinless chicken thighs. And then I had 3/4 cup of the pumpkin seeds...360 calories. So easy to go over the restricted calorie limit. But I really try hard not to go over my current BMR. Maintenance is okay sometimes. Gaining is NOT okay.

I just started doing this third thing, fasting once a week. I did a 24-hour fast yesterday. Actually, 22 hours. I was ravenous after weight training and Pilates last night, so I broke the fast with a lonely grilled chicken thigh from the refrigerator. Then I proceeded to eat a total of 1305 calories. And I still lost a pound overnight. I thought I'd go for it again today, not eating until dinner. I made it to 2:30, and then caved to 1/4 cup of the lovely oven-roasted mushrooms and shallots I was caramelizing for the coq au vin I'm making for dinner tonight. I also had to drink 2 oz. of the Van Ruiten 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel that I poured into the crockpot over the chicken. Such a good wine!

You know, a little wine definitely takes the edge off a fast. Not something I'm going to do everyday. Mostly because now I'm writing funky HTML code for my new web design project. Drinking on an empty stomach is not conducive to productive work!

Somebody mentioned to me something about posting pictures. Not making a decision about that yet. It doesn't feel like something I want to do right now. Maybe because this new stretch of weight loss hasn’t been going on very long. I just want to make sure I stay on track for a while longer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The big picture

Been doing a lot of reading lately, reading and exercising and eating less and doing emotional house cleaning. And I'm feeling good! Today I feel so good! On top of the world!

I'm feeling obnoxiously good.

I think I get it. I think I get it all - this weight loss, health and overall wellness thing. And I feel very free and at peace about it all. I know what works for me and knowing this feels good!

With regards to losing weight, it's all about the calories. How much I eat, or don't eat, over time. I am 5'11" tall. My current Basal Metabolic Rate for 305 lbs. is 2080.5 calories. (Yes, I lost a little more weight and I'm just 5lbs away from never, ever weighing 300+ lbs again!) My "ideal" weight is 165 lbs. The BMR for that is 1462. If I eat an average 1462 calories a day, I will eventually weigh 165 lbs.

With regards to being healthy, it's all about what I put in my body. I am a type 2 diabetic. That sets me up for blood pressure, heart and cholesterol problems. If I keep to a Paleolithic eating plan, which means lots of vegetables, some fruits, moderate quantities of lean proteins, the right fats, and plenty of fiber, barring anything like cancer or an intimate encounter with a bus (or the wrong person), I should live a long life with ample quality of life. I don't have to eat like this 100% of the time, but I've had plenty of experience not eating like this, and frankly, no brownie, bag of Cheetos or Big Mac will ever come close to how good I feel when my body's being fed organic, chemical-free, unprocessed nourishment. I say eat how you want to feel!

With regards to feeling good, it's all about exercise and body movement. I do Pilates to improve and maintain my range of movement, strength and to keep pumping those lovely endorphins into my system. I pump weights for very similar reasons, and to keep my lean muscle mass at a certain level. I should do that at least three times a week. I should also be doing some sort of aerobic activity for 30 minutes, six days a week. This not only helps with cardiovascular health, but also helps the brain generate new, healthier circuits, and keeps me capable of learning new things and staying creative, even as I age.

With regards to keeping it all balanced and achieving a certain quality of life, social intimacy, vibrancy and spiritual growth, it's all about brain health, emotional well-being and managing stress. And for that, I'm will remain involved with EBT, maintain healthy social connections, live with purpose...drink some wine and have fun! And I'm still going to listen to the rock music!

This big picture of the rest of my life doesn't mean I will be immune to the bad stuff, failures, pain and suffering. Heck, how great can the good life be if we didn't learn to appreciate it with the occasional season of hard times? We can plan for the bad times, but not live in anticipation of their eventuality.

I'm choosing to LIVE! And to live well! They say that's the best revenge. But if that's my only motivation, it kinda tinges the eudonic pleasure of it all. Doesn't it?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stupid, STUPID HIDDEN SOY!!!!!!!

Those exclamation marks in the title of today's post are about all I the energy I can muster. My soy sensitivity has been engaged and I'm pretty worthless for the rest of the day. I can barely keep my eyes open right now.

I had a can of tuna, labeled "yellow fin tuna in olive oil", so I bought it and thought it was safe. But the back of the label says the tuna was processed with soy, so I'm screwed! Six cans of tuna that my sons are going to get. Back on the prowl for soy-free tuna.

I was feeling so good this morning! Got so much done! Was looking forward to Pilates! I guess I'm fasting with only water till this all goes away. I'm sure to see a gain in the morning. Grrrrrrrr!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I held a straight plank for 1:05!!!

Do you remember when I was so proud to have accomplished knee planks? I was able to barely hold on to them for 10 seconds. My forearms ached, my shoulders wanted to explode...that was a whole year ago. But I've been getting stronger and stronger and today, just for the fun of it, I had someone time my full, straight planks. One minute five seconds, and Lori said I had perfect form.

And then I blacked out. Don't remember much after that.

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now. Holding a full plank for a minute is 66% more effective at building abdominal muscles than sit-ups and crunches.

That's it for tonight...can't really top that!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Feeling weary tonight

I'm ready for bed...it's almost 9 p.m. Had a full day. Good day too. Can't do another thing.

I weighed in at 306.5 today. Been hovering there since last week. Happy that I'm not bouncing up, but scared I'll be stuck here this week. Wednesday is my measurement day, the end of the 50-Day Challenge. I would dearly love to hit 305lbs. on Wednesday morning.

I've been rocking the Intermittent Fasting. I can handle this method of eating! As long as I'm staying out of the kitchen, limiting eating time to the eight-hour window, and cutting calories overall, I am losing weight. And as long as what I'm doing is working, I'm not going to change a thing!

I highly recommend reading Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. It's a downloadable pdf file. It's not a diet. You can decide what to eat. It just addresses when to eat. The book is actually Mr. Pilon's masters thesis. Lots of research went into it.

Okay, brain is done for the night!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I smell biscuits!

I don't know why, but since yesterday, I've been smelling KFC biscuits wherever I go. It's odd for my hometown to smell like biscuits. Normally it smells of Cheerios or Lucky Charms (from the General Mills plant) or fermenting wine (in the late fall, after the grape harvest has been processed).

Sometimes, when I experience an unexpected weight loss, I start craving foods that are totally not OP. Like I'm scared of the fresh loss because it means something, somewhere in the back of my brain, and "Little Georgia" feels the need to sabotage "mature Georgia's" efforts.

I'm going to do a little emotional cycle here about this:

I am so freakin' scared to be thin!
I am so freakin' scared that when I'm thin, I'll lose the protection my big body gives me against the big, bad world around me.
I am so freakin' scared that I won't be strong enough to protect myself from "evil invaders" (men).
I'm scared that being thin means I will lose myself.
I'm scared that being thin means I have to pay more attention to my sexuality.

I'm scared to trust another man.
I'm scared to feel vulnerable.
I'm also scared to be alone.

I'm sad that I was not raised to have a healthy sense of self in every aspect of my life.

I'm also angry about that too!
I'm angry I was raised in a spirit of fear, paranoia, distrust and absolute ignorance!
I'm angry that I now take care of the person responsible for that!

I feel guilty that I didn't have all this figured out years ago.

Unrealistic Expectation...that I should have had all this figured out on my own, given the upbringing and resources I had at the time.

Realistic Expectation...that I will continue to figure all this stuff out as I move forward in life, and that it'll be all the more meaningful as I mature.

I expect myself to address these sabotaging moments to find the underlying issue that's causing them.

I expect myself to continue using my emotional cycle tools to work this stuff out and zap those ridiculous cravings.

I expect myself to stay on track with my nutrition and fitness plan. Because that's what I really, truely want to do.

My postive, powerful thought: I really want to lose the weight and feel healthy and genuinely strong!!!

The essential pain is that I will continue to bump into my fears about being thin.

The earned reward of this work is that not only will I achieve optimum health, but I'll have worked through all my emotional issues about intimacy, personal integrity and authenticity!

Wow! I feel so much better now! I feel grateful to have learned the process I just worked through to get here.

Grind in: I want to achieve optimum health and vitality way more than I want those KFC biscuits!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back on track this Easter morning

Happy Easter to everyone so inclined. It's a cloudy, rainy Easter Sunday in Central California, but I see a break in the clouds coming up. We're headed to my sister's today. I'm bringing my opinions, aloof boys plus one vegetarian girlfriend, salmon fillets, spanakopita, galactoboureko and wine. My mom's bringing tiropita and judgement. My sister is providing lamb, salad, bread and the bedlam only her brood can bring. It should be fun!

(I am going to let you Google all the Greek dishes...)

I'm happy to report that the Intermittent Fasting and I are getting along just fine. I just weighed in at 309 lbs. And my caloric counting hasn't been too consistent. My range over the last week has been anywhere from 1400 to 2100 calories. But I'm strictly keeping the eating between noon and 8 p.m. I'm going to be able to enjoy Easter dinner. But I think I'm going to skip the wine. Maybe. Depends how much judgement my mom packed in her purse.

I've taken to walking everywhere this week. To the store, to Pilates, to get my nails done. I'm so happy I'm living where I am, very centrally located between downtown and shopping. I never want to move from here!

So, got to go make the syrup for the galactoboureko. I'm going to allow myself a single piece, maybe half a piece. Depends on how good it tastes! I don't think high holy day calories count. Right?

Monday, April 18, 2011

The new routine

(I'm still tweaking the plan.)

Over the weekend I tried something new. It's called Intermittent Fasting. I know, I know...everybody's been talking about eating five to six times a day...yada, yada. I just don't do well like that! I'm in the kitchen too much. I have to stop what I'm doing to go find something to eat. And it means there are five-six opportunities for me to overeat.

So, there are a couple methods for IF, but I'll only explain the one I'm doing. And I won't explain the science, other than it's supposed to somehow help blood sugar levels be better regulated. And that's important to me. I'm choosing to do this because on days when I have been too busy to eat during the day and only ate after three, I didn't eat so much, I had a lot of energy during the day, and I lost weight.

IF a la Georgia, goes something like this: I don't eat anything until after 12 p.m. I stop eating by 8 p.m. My first meal is around 20% of total calories, and more protein. The second meal is around 50% of total calories with balanced nutrients, and the third meal is around 30% of total calories with extra carbs from more fibrous sources.

I'm going to try this for a week. First two days went well. I could tolerate not eating till noon. I had a cup of coffee with cream, under 50 calories. Didn't really get blood sugar up with that. Didn't struggle much with eating after 8 p.m. either. Kept to my calorie allotment as well.

I don't know the science behind why this works for some people. At this point, I don't care! I'm tired of doing research. I just want to eat a healthy diet and exercise because it makes me feel good. And I don't want my weight loss to be the all-encompassing focus of my life any more. I want to actually have a balanced life!

As for exercise...I haven't been to Pilates for a week! I don't like that, but I'm finally feeling free from the soy-intolerance for the first time in over a week and I'm feeling pretty good. I think I really want to concentrate on cardio today. I'll get back to Pilates, soon. I just need to get out and walk on my own for a bit.

M W F - A.M. power walking, P.M. weights
T Th - A.M. HIIT, P.M. Pilates
S Su - Fun activities, gentle walks

My youngest and his friend have the week off from school, so today, we're going bowling!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reset button pushed, heiney kicked...that's enough with the pity party!

The last time I was in a soy funk, what got me out of it was just fasting for a day or two, and avoiding breakfast this morning already has me feeling better. Sticking with hot beverages and water today. And moving my body.

(I gave up on myself yesterday evening and definitely overate - by 1000 calories! Showed a gain of five pounds again this morning...318. Damn it! I will NOT be popping up over 320 again! I am so angry that I popped over 315 again! That was my new high limit, and I will be back under it again by Monday morning!!!)

I have a lot to do today. My bedroom imploded on me over the last few weeks while I had bronchitis, actually, since my dad passed in February. It's time to get that under control. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom, because it's also my office. I wish I could change that. I have a gorgeous teak computer armoire in storage that I want to have refinished and moved to my living room. That's where I'll be moving the office to later this year. But in the meantime, papers need to be filed, books put back in their place, and boxes of stuff moved out to garage storage. I'm going to stay busy today!

Last night I was led to an article on the NY Times about the dangers of sitting at a desk too long. I'm rethinking my work schedule as a result of reading the article. I'm setting a timer for myself, so I don't sit still for too long. Gotta get the kids moving too!

So that's enough time on the computer today!

Friday, April 15, 2011

When I haven't been here for a few days, you know I'm struggling

A week ago, I was in such a good mood, positive, hopeful, full of myself. 24-hours later, I was kicking myself for making a poor choice, and I've been struggling with it all week.

We went to San Jose for an overnight trip. We spent the night at a hotel with a restaurant. (I like room service coffee in the mornings.) I had made plans to eat right, and at dinner I had a simple salad and was happy with that. For breakfast, we went down for the buffet. Pastries, cereal, breakfast meats, Denver scramble and potatoes...not what I was hoping for. I really only wanted an egg white scramble with spinach and some coffee. Should have ordered the room service breakfast and gotten exactly what I wanted...

Something in the choices I made for breakfast (the Denver scramble, bacon and andouille sausage) must have had some serious soy in it. I'm thinking it was the sausage, because those can have soy fillers. I should have known better...I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!! Inside of 20 minutes, lethargy swept over me, a huge headache and I felt like I was suddenly an arthritic old woman. Somehow I managed to get the kids to the museum and we walked around all day. I drank a lot of water the rest of the day. I struggled to stay awake on the drive home and I fed myself pumpkin seeds for a little energy all the way home. By the next morning, I had gained five pounds. I have been suffering from lethargy and achiness all week.

This morning, I'm still quite lethargic. I woke up feeling fine, but once I ate breakfast, I felt the lethargic slump set in again. I bought a brand of "cage-free" eggs that I hadn't tried before, since the ones I usually eat weren't available. I think those chickens must have been given feed with soy.

Have only been able to drop two of the five pounds this week. Haven't exercised much all week. Haven't eaten much all week, but I was back on track with nutrients and supplements. Hoping I'll be back in the swing over the weekend.

I'm dressed for Pilates already...it starts in 35 minutes. I really just want to go back to bed, but I'm hoping that once I get to class and get moving, I'll start feeling better. Last time I went to class was Monday. The stretching was beneficial while I was doing it. I don't know...I'm just not feeling it this morning...maybe this afternoon I'll go out for a walk.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Am I on a roll?

The scale and I are friends again. Weighed in at 310 lbs this morning. Yippeeeee!

I think Fridays are good weigh-in days for posting weight progression. It's before the weekend, so I'll be encouraged to stay on track all weekend. I think that it's good to stay on track and not have "cheat meals" or "cheat days" at this time. I don't feel the need to be self-indulgent at this time. Or rather, my self-indulgence now includes healthier indulgences rather than poor ones. I'll still weigh in during the week, just to see how my efforts during the week are paying off. I soooooooooo want to crack the 300s this month! I really want it!!!! I think I may just be able to achieve it!

Took my smart-ass to Pilates this morning. Fridays is our break down class, where a few specific exercises are broken down until we get it right. I believe my abs and my smart-ass are going to be aching all weekend!

I'm cutting calories a bit more, but only just a bit, because I can! I'm still keeping caloric intake above 1400, and I'm cycling the caloric cut through the week. Not doing it every day. Lori said it best in class today: Eat like a king at breakfast and like a pauper at dinner.

This week's nutrition challenge involves eating three balanced meals and one to two snacks, plus not eating anything after dinner. That last part is going to be so tough! I caved and had a coconut macaroon last night. A single one, small, but still, I didn't earn a star on the chart because of it. We'll see how the weekend goes. The challenge will be to not overeat as well as make the right choices.

We're going on an overnight trip to San Jose and visiting the Tech Museum. I should pack some appropriate foods for the trip, as well as plan for meals out. We'll eat dinner out, breakfast at the hotel and lunch across the street from the museum. So I should pack the healthy snacks and beverages I'll need for in between. The hotel restaurant does an omelet bar on the weekends, so I can ask for my egg white veggie omelet and even have a little cheese with it. Maybe I'll pack along a slice of my bread to be toasted. Across the street from the museum is a burger joint that does turkey burgers wrapped in lettuce, plus salads. If I eat a good lunch before we leave the house, then I can keep dinner small at any restaurant we go to, with just salad and perhaps a grilled salmon portion. No alcohol, shakes, sodas.

We're bringing the dog, so I'll have to take her out for walks a few times. I'm going to bring my laptop and the beginning Pilates DVD, or maybe I'll use the hotel gym.

I'm feeling on top of this now!!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Waiting to get hungry

Today I woke up with renewed commitment to my efforts. I realized, after doing some simple math, that I've already dropped 10% of my weight and I'm finally on to the next 10% goal. There's a fresh pile of clothes I need to be rid of and I'm looking over some websites for new smaller ensembles. I'm finally at a size where I can actually be as picky about what I want to wear as who I want to date!

This morning, still suffering from lingering bronchitis that got me down over the weekend, I skipped Pilates. I don't like that. But chest is still stinging when I breathe deeply and my ribs and head hurt when I cough. I just need to rest. I ate heartily this morning, though. Breakfast was a whole bundle of pencil-thin asparagus, cooked till crisp-tender and then included in a single egg + 4 egg white omelet with a little French chevre (soft goat cheese) and a slice of the Julian Bakery sourdough bread, toasted. Yummy. Cooked it all with a little olive oil. A total of 378 calories. And that's all I've eaten today. That's all I wanted. I drank water, took nutritional supplements, but no other food.

I really want to wait until I feel hungry. I was angry with my mother a couple hours ago, but I didn't want to go into the kitchen and deal with the emotions through eating. I deserve to eat when I'm genuinely hungry. I also deserve to deal with the emotional situation with authenticity. I need to show myself some compassion. I need to accept that I can't make up for her state of mind and I am not responsible to make things right for her with other people. My actions must spring from my own sincerity.

That applies to eating as well. I am free to eat when I am sincerely hungry. And I will make a wise choice, at that time, that supports my efforts and wellness goals.
Penne with roasted veggies, from Giada

This doesn't make my cravings go away, however. Dammit! Do I have power over my cravings? I don't know. I'm craving pasta, a nice buttery bowl of pasta with vodka sauce, oven-roasted veggies and cheese. There's actually some in the freezer right now. I was saving it in case my son's girl friend was over and got hungry. She's vegetarian. It's almost five right now...dinner's not till seven...maybe I am a little hungry right now...

Old habits...no, I'm going to wait until I'm genuinely hungry!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I love this man!

Really, I have a HUGE crush on Alton Brown! Have for years. He's smart, he's creative, he's nerdy and so funny! And he loves food! What more would a girl want? I love his new eating style, healthy and balanced, simple, and not afraid of good food!

Check this out!

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's raining, I'm feeling sickly, so I'm scouring the Internet today

Been finding all sorts of interesting things to read today. Started on the Green Mountain website, which led me to all sorts of lovely blogs on health and wellness. Will be adding a few of them to my list on the right. There were many notable passages on why obsessing over losing weight was not helpful, how all this modern research on the effects of diet and exercise doesn't help paint a complete picture of the truth about optimum health, and the U.S. isn't the fattest nation on the planet (there are, in fact, 10 other countries in line ahead of us!).

Here's a passage from Refuse To Regain, a site by Dr. Barbara Berkeley and Lynn Haraldson, "dedicated to providing information and support to people who have lost weight and want to keep it off forever."

From the article by Dr. Berkeley of March 5, 2011, "The Perfect Diet: Does It Exist?" She shares wise and balanced guidelines for finding the right diet for you.

  1. Your diet is good if it is helping you achieve normal blood sugar, decent cholesterol readings, low triglycerides and a good blood pressure. If you already have some of these problems, your diet is a good one if it is lessening these markers or allowing you to decrease your medications.
  2. Your diet is good if it is allowing you to stay at a good weight. That weight doesn't have to correspond to a perfect BMI, but it should be as low as you can comfortably maintain and should stay relatively stable.
  3. Your diet is good if your energy is good. If you are sluggish or have no energy to get out and move around, look at making a dietary change.
  4. Your diet is good if it exposes you to the fewest carcinogens.  We get enough exposure to cancer causing chemicals in our air, plastics, x-rays, and modern products.  Avoidance of processing and additives is the basis for every healthy diet whether it be Primarian, Pritikin, Vegetarian or an Atkins variant.
  5. Your diet is good if you can believe in it and stick to it. If you are simply eating reflexively, without any specific thought, it's unlikely that your diet is healthy. The reason is simple: we are presented with few good choices. In order to eat well, we have to eat mindfully.
  6. Your diet is good if you wake up without guilt.
  7. Your diet is good if eating it makes you not only healthy...but happy.
Well, reading all of that validates my choices. I'm still not earning stars for sodium intake today. Even homemade chicken soup tastes pretty bland if you don't salt it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I was really dreading this part of the nutritional challenge

Au revoir my tasty French fleur de sel!

The USDA recently changed their sodium recommendations, reducing it from 2300 mg to 1500 mg. So, we're working on sodium intake for this week...and after everything, this is the one that I struggle with on so many levels. I like salty foods! I like bacon with my breakfast. I like roasted, salted nuts. I went a little crazy with the Trader Joe's uncured corned beef for St. Patrick's Day. I like a snack of hard-cooked eggs with a little salt. I like fancy salts. The gray sea salt from France that's so expensive (and I don't care). Hot dogs. Homemade oven fries with salt and lemon. (Oh yeah, you really need to try some lemon on your fries!) Pickles. Salted butter. A bowl of ground up toasted sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, black pepper, garlic and salt...and then you take a hunk of whole wheat sourdough baguette and dip it in good strong extra virgin Spanish olive oil, and then into the sesame seed mix...really, I should get a room!

It's so easy to go over the recommended salt intake if you're not watching. I just had breakfast, under 400 calories, carbs at 46g, fiber at 23g, sugar at 2g, protein at 31g, fat at 13g...and sodium at 704mg! What had sodium in it? The poached eggs, the bread and the spinach! I didn't even salt my food! For lunch I was planning to have the Vital Choice sardines packed in olive oil and a couple cups of beet tops and three Organics Everything crackers - that's 676 mg of sodium right there!

My point is that many unprocessed or minimally processed foods already have sodium in them, naturally occurring. I am not someone who eats a lot of processed foods, mostly because a lot have soy in them, and I have a sensitivity to that. It's not difficult to get to the 1500 mg limit in a day. In fact, you really have to try to keep it below that level. Perhaps based on what I've had for breakfast and what I'm planning for lunch, dinner will be limited to boneless/skinless chicken and a big salad with 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, an avocado, cherry tomatoes and a cucumber. Wait...even without dressing, that puts sodium at 1796 mg for the day! Calories only at 1547!

If there's a week when I'll be dropping weight, this will be the one! This is going to be an educational week for me!

Humans do need salt, but perhaps only about 500 mg. The average American eats 4,000+ mg a day. And that mostly comes from processed foods or eating out. Sodium is necessary, to keep our electrical systems running, to take in certain nutrients, and for fluid balance. Too much causes the cells to retain fluid and can result in high blood pressure. Not everyone is sensitive to sodium intake. Recent research shows that only about a third of the population is sodium sensitive. The rest of us can probably manage the amount of salt we get by drinking more water...but then again, most of us don't drink enough water.

In recent weeks, anticipating this particular nutritional challenge, I cut back on adding salt to foods while cooking them. I used to add salt to the water in which I was boiling my pasta, greens and poached eggs. I am only using salt at the table now, and I'm thinking that I'm going to pre-measure a quarter teaspoon of salt per day for myself. I can just take a pinch of that to add to my food, as needed. 1/4 tsp salt is 300 mg. Maybe I'll go with 1/8 tsp for today. Perhaps I should just skip it altogether. After a week of seriously reduced sodium, my taste buds will adjust and I'll be okay, and the occasional piece of feta will seem so salty that I'll have to rinse it down to get the salt out of it. (Didn't know you could do that, right? Put a piece of feta cheese in a small container and cover it with plain water. The excess salt will leech out and you'll still have a tasty piece of cheese.)

I'm going to miss my breakfast bacon this week...even the Trader Joe's uncured turkey bacon that's practically holy has 180 mg of sodium in it!

(By the way, I weighed in at 313 lb this morning. First time I broke below 315 lb in quite some time...hoping it's a permanent breakthrough!) 


Some time later in the day... 

I am not happy with my decision to throw caution to the wind and eat something salty. It was the last piece of corned beef. I thought it was all gone, but there was one more slice. And eating it totally blew my chances of getting a star for today! 1290 mg of sodium!!!

I have no calories left for the remainder of the day. Because I was hungry and I also ate a banana and a handful of roasted unsalted macadamia nuts. I cooked chicken and broccoli for the boys. I'll just have the beet greens, I guess. If I want more food, I have to spend time on the treadmill first!