Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: Chaos

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 238.6 (up 3.2 pounds from last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49
Workouts this week:
30 minute cardio (2 mile) low impact aerobics x1 ? Maybe.
30 minute weight routine x1

Too much cake.

I have been over at my Mom's nearly every single day this week helping her (and my husband) get my 5 year old nephew's bedroom ready for him. And, my mother has cake. Not homemade cake, either. Store bought mousse cakes that demand to be demolished in two days while taking several breaks, just for a "small slice." Potato chips and cookies peak from grocery bags piled on the counter. They call to me even after they're put away into the pantry. Unfortunately, I am less than enthusiastic about this room make over project--so I am justify eating those treats as "my reward." That--and the fact that my Mom's fridge is freezing her food at irregular intervals so having fresh food (or even something cold to drink) can't be relied upon.

My stress levels are sky high. I wake up in chaos and come home to worse. I've neglected the house all summer and I plan to just leave things be until the kids are back at school next week. The kids do the dishes when I ask but never all of them all at once. (That's hard for even me to do.) Vacuuming (the other chore I ask them to do) is hit or miss. I haven't cleaned. I haven't made a menu plan for two weeks now.

Even so, that number up there feels a little unfair. It surprised me. Obviously, I have not figured out how to lose weight yet and live the life I have here before me. And when I say it like that, it's no longer a big mystery why I'm gaining weight. The life I have here before me is a life which packs on the pounds.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Healthy Diet


1) Satisfying. Each meal (or snack) should be able to keep you from feeling hungry for as long as you need it too--anywhere from three to five hours. The frequency with which you eat will depend on each person. There is an argument to be made that eating more often keeps the metabolism revved up-- and that will help with weight loss. It's an argument. Some can do this. Some want to and can eat more often than others, for others, (like me) this just leads to inappropriate eating. I prefer to eat as I did on the whole 30-- just three filling meals per day, no snacks. To my way of thinking, the less I need to eat, the less I will actually eat, and the less I prompt a rush of insulin into my bloodstream, the better.

2) Adequate calories for activity. (Slightly fewer for weight loss.)

3) Lots of vitamins and minerals (and other stuff science is only beginning to identify) found in whole foods.

4) Nothing you are intolerant towards, whether that be fat (my gallstones) or gluten (celiac disease) or lactose, for example.

5) Affordable.

6) Sustainable. This is more than just affordability, it also includes variety (if you can afford that), and whatever it requires of you to prepare the food you're eating. Some advocates of paleo diets advised their participants to "cook on the weekends" and if they meant cook all weekend (or even one day) for the week ahead, there's no way that would work for me. Not right now, anyway. For others, that might be fine, even fun.

I've left out the whole macro breakdown on purpose. (That is, what proportions of carbs/fats/protein should be in the diet). Human beings have survived on all sorts of diets--and no particular macro breakdown is appreciably better than another for weight loss.

Are there other things I should be considering? Is there anything I've left out?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: The Appointment

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 235.4 (up 0.8 pounds from last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49
Workouts this week:
30 minute cardio (2 mile) low impact aerobics x2
30 minute weight routine x2
at least one brisk walk with the husband and the dog.

I slept badly.
I am stressed about meeting with a GI specialist this morning about my gallbladder. I really do not want him/her to take it out. The only reason that I can see to take it out is so I'll be able to eat fast food again without fear. But that seems like a stupid reason to lose a body part.

As well, I just do not like doctors, generally.

I've also been over at my Mom's a lot this week getting my nephew's bedroom painted and set up for him. I'll be spending even more time in the coming days over there. I've let my house go, too. It's stressful.

Ugh. Still. I shouldn't be using food to deal with my emotions.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: Illlogical Belief

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 234.6 (up 3.2 pounds from last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49

Workouts since last week:
1 mile WATP w/Leslie Sansone video
at least one 20-30 minute walk with my husband and the dog
30 min (2 mile) Cardio workout w/ Leslie Sansone video
I don't quite understand the 231 pounds I weighed last week. I weigh myself in the morning, right after I've been to the bathroom, and I was 233, 231, 232, 234, and 233. The scale is rather arbitrary.

Then again, I did go to a movie last night and eat copious amounts of chocolate, including m&m's.

I've been inconsistent with recording what I am eating. Looking up calories got old, really fast! In fact, I think I only looked up about one day's worth of food. EitherI need to simplify this, invest more time, or find another method.

I really should promise not to eat any more junk food. But, I don't want to make promises I may not keep. I still have this belief, clinging to me like a stubborn toddler to her mother's leg, that I should be able to eat anything I want --and lose weight, too. Intellectually I know this is absurd.

Emotionally, I'm clinging to that leg for dear life.

Honestly, I don't know what to do with that.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August Menu Plan, Week 2

All of the meat for this week, except the salmon, will be from the freezer.

Wild Coho salmon steaks, fresh, $1.89/100 g.

Still, horribly expensive, but as Bittman says, it is Wild-Salmon Season.

Weekly Meal Plan (temperatures in parentheses):

Monday (26): Lemon and herb salmon, rice, corn on the cob
Tuesday (25): Brined, BBQ chicken, cucumber salad, broccoli
Wednesday (28): Crock pot garlic pulled pork, boiled potatoes, coleslaw
Thursday (29): Home made hamburgers, potato salad, spinach, tomato, black olive, and feta salad
Friday (26): Unstuffed cabbage, rice.
Saturday (22): Italian #3 (from Well-Fed, p. 37), oven-fried potatoes
Sunday (24): Moroccan grilled chicken, (Well-fed, p. 37) rice, fruit salad.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What's Important?

"It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle."

We hear this over and over again in the weight loss world.

What does my "lifestyle" have to do with my weight?

I thought I understood it. Paleo-low-carb-theWhole30 --none of that was a diet-- it was, I thought--a healthy way to live. I still do. But, I hope it is not the only healthy way to live because it isn't sustainable--at least not for this single income family of four which includes two teenagers.

I need a way to eat that I know I will be able to do for always. I need a way to exercise that's attainable no matter what my circumstances, too. (Though, I'm fortunate and I know it is highly unlikely that I'll ever live in an urban environment without sidewalks, or where it is too dangerous to walk outside, thank goodness.)

It's about sustainability. It's about consistency. It's about eating and exercising in a way that I want to live with forever.

And it about more than food and exercise.

The way you live affects the way your body manages your weight.
Erika Nicole Kendall. Excerpted from Why Is It “A Lifestyle Change?” | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss.

What's "way I live?" how and when I sleep, how I manage my stress, the quality of my primary relationships, whether I'm happy or depressed. I musn't forget this.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: Its Working.

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 231.4 (down four pounds from last week (Aug 1))
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49


Man, am I thrilled to see that my newly recommitted efforts have made a difference on the scale!

I've been "watching" what I eat. I've been stuffing my ears with wax and ignoring the siren call of the potato chips at the grocery store. I had chocolate, but I read how many calories were in a serving and ate less than I would have.

I've been working out. Leslie Sansone and I are becoming buds again--and twice I've said "yes" to my husband this week when he asked if I wanted to walk the dog with him.

I've only been writing down what I'm eating for two days now and I think this whole looking up calories thing is for the birds --but it is for thin, agile, perky little singing birds-- and I aim to be one, in time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Menu Plan, week 1

I am planning my suppers a week at a time now.

I noticed a few months ago that if I bought meat when it came on sale, it was actually cheaper than buying it at full price on 10% Tuesday. As a result, I now have a freezer full of food--and we need to eat it up.

I could make up a menu plan for the month with what we have on hand, but I choose not too. I made up my menus weekly last month and I actually enjoyed it.

Advantage: I did not under buy--or over buy on produce. Because I do so much work up front planning the monthly menus when it came time to sit down on Sunday and figure out the produce we needed for what I had planned, I was slapdash and hurried about it. That led to forgetting items and sending my husband almost daily to the grocery store on his way home from work. Even though he is very good at sticking to the list and rarely goes off plan, it didn't seem the best approach, really. The less you go into the grocery store, the less you will spend. End of story.

So, now I check the weather (I don't want to use the oven on a hot day. 24 degrees is a hot day in these parts.) I look at the Safeway flyer, think about what we're doing, and then pick what to eat.

(All temperatures are in celcius)

Tuesday (21)
Ground pork with cabbage and apple on rice. (Well Fed)

Wednesday (18)
Homemade pizza with Bittman's simple pizza dough.

Thursday (20)
 Shepard's skillet with broccoli

Friday (23)
Magical Chicken legs, rice, cabbage and carrot salad

Saturday (24)
Crock pot Stroganoff, spinach salad.

Sunday (25) My daughter's 13th birthday!
Brined, BBQ chicken (Well Fed p. 69), Hash browns. Corn on the Cob. salads. Homemade chocolate cake with chocolate icing and ice cream.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Waking Up

Today, I weigh 235.4 pounds.

And I know why.

Throughout this weight loss journey I began in October of 2012, I have wanted losing weight to be easy and effortless.

I figured if I ate the right food in appropriate quantities, exercised every couple of days, slept right and managed my stress, I'd lose weight. And so I did.

Until I didn't.

I used the whole30 as a weight loss diet--which it isn't--and it worked! Then, a few months later, I did it again and it didn't. (Yes, I lost weight. But then I gained it right back.) I became frustrated with the lack of texture in my diet--eating meat and vegetables constantly meant no creamy, no smooth and, what I missed most, no crunchy. Cheap cuts of meat are fatty cuts of meat and when I was told I had gall stones and realised that eating fatty meat probably triggered my attacks, I lost it.

I also wanted to see how much fat I could eat without triggering an attack. So, I dove head first into bags of family sized potato chips, large chocolate bars, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, grilled cheese, bags of M&M's.


I think eating Paleo, as laid out in the whole 30 protocol is a marvellous way to eat: but it is not sustainable for me. Nor is it necessary. Fortunately, other than tiny gallstones, I have no gastro-intestinal issues.

I like the Perfect Health Diet. In their chapter on weight loss, The Jaminets advise eating less fat, (trimming visible fat, not eating the chicken skin, using low-fat cooking methods) and eating to the calorie level you wish to sustain. There may be more recommendations, but these two I remember. (I got their book out of the library. Twice.)

They advocate eating "safe" starches such as white rice and potatoes. Dairy is allowed in it's "processed" forms, like cheese and yogurt, and as a fat, like cream. Milk, given its lactose, is not recommended.

I can live with this "diet."

But I cannot eat blindly. I cannot eat "as much as I want" even if it is "clean" and unprocessed, "natural" food.

I have to be conscious. I have to put in some effort. Exactly what I was hoping not to have to do. This blog post, by Erika Nicole Kendall has convicted me. In it, she writes:

Because… wait for it… auto-pilot doesn’t work for weight loss! That’s right – you can’t do it. Why? Because waking up one day and deciding that you’re going to go auto-pilot eating nothing but grapefruit for breakfast and lunch can’t change the fact that your auto-pilot used to lead you to McDonalds or Krispy Kreme for breakfast every morning. Auto-pilot, unfortunately, does equate to mindlessness. It’s operating without thinking. “Not thinking” before led us to being unhealthy in the first place. It certainly won’t lead us to “healthy,” and if it does, it certainly wouldn’t do it overnight… or in two-six weeks like other diets. Excerpted from The Anatomy of A Diet: Why They Work, and Why The Success Never Lasts | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss
For me, the whole 30 was my "auto pilot." Truly. That's probably exactly why its creators don't want it to be used and viewed as a weight-loss diet. Using their diet protocol as a way to become lazy about what I put into my body is likely the very last thing the Hartwig's would have wanted.

So, I am left with the task of becoming conscious whether I like it or not, whether I want to be or not. Does that sound nuts? Honestly, I'd really rather be lazy. I'd rather it not take time and effort on my part. Sigh.

I am going to have to learn to count calories.
I am going to have to track my food.
I may even have to weigh and measure.

I really, really don't want to.
But I also really, really don't want to be 235 pounds. Or, even, 200 pounds.

me, at 235 and my new haircut!

So, time to put on my big girl panties.
You know, this could be good.