Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Under the Weather

For the last few days, I've been feeling a little bloated. :-( And then yesterday, I woke up with a sore throat. Those things combined have made me feel tired and lazy, but that didn't mean my eating habits were going to suffer.
We tried turkey burgers last night, and rather than grill them, we wrapped them in foil, added spices and baked them in the oven. They turned out pretty good, so now we have a new choice for our dinner protein. :-)
Having a general knowledge of how many calories are in what size portion, has made grocery shopping fun. Sounds silly, I know. But it's a challenge now to put together a meal that is under 400 calories, and is something different. I've got a pantry full of cookbooks, but I don't really use them. Unless it's a day when I have more time to cook, I like to make dinners that take very little time.
This morning I weighed, and have lost 39 lbs. I'm almost to my halfway point! I can't wait for warmer weather and outdoor activity!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Untie the knot!

This morning, I put on a pair of my warm, cozy fleece pants to lay around in for awhile. When I tried to tighten the drawstring, I realized that I had tied the strings in a knot way at the end. I remember doing that, and I remember why I did that.
These fleece pants were on the verge of being too small for me, and if I didn't tie the strings at the end, they would have been pulled into the waistband when I stretched the waist to put them on.
Now, there is over a foot of string, tied at the end, hanging from my waist. Maybe it's safe to untie the knot now, and make a cute little girly bow. :-)

Today is Sunday, March 28 and I've lost 38 lbs.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Elliptically Responsible

Becoming calorically responsible was the easy part. Becoming elliptically responsible is completely different.
I don't hate going to the gym, and I don't love going to the gym. I go to the gym because the exercise is an important part of getting healthy and living long enough to see my future grand kids grow up. Besides, wintertime in Boise is no place for a wimp like me to be out walking and biking. The gym is at least warm.
In the winter, it's hard to find something to do that keeps my interest. It's a long, cold season where all we can do is brave the cold, and sometimes snow, to get to the gym and endure our daily punishment. :-)
Summertime is different. I'm out in the warm sun, sometimes participating with my son's baseball, or playing tennis on weekends. In the summer, if I skip a day or two at the gym during the week, I make up for it on the weekends when I'm out running around.
If only I could change my outlook on the gym. For a lot of years, I went to the gym without a plan. I just went because it was the thing to do. I never paid attention to how many calories I might be burning, or how using certain muscles with certain weights would change my shape. In the past, going to the gym was just another part of a failing weight loss plan that never really came together.
So now, I have a fresh start. I have the eating plan down now. That part is under control. Now I have to incorporate the exercise in a way that I like, and in a way that doesn't feel futile, like it has in the past.
Currently, I go to the gym two or three times a week, and spend up to 30 minutes on a combination of treadmill and elliptical. Then a few reps on a handful of weight machines that target legs, arms, chest, back and abs. It's a decent workout. As I lose more weight, I'll increase the times and weights.
My massage girl says I have strong muscles under the fat layer. Thanks, Kat. That's a real confidence booster. Ugh.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Setting My Pace

When I started this plan of mine, I set a goal for myself of 90 lbs. That is still a good goal, and I'd like to reach that, but because I'm so OCD, I'd like to set my goal for an even number. :-) So I'm altering that goal to 86 lbs. Once I reach that, I'll decide how much more I want to lose.
It's been 53 days, and I've lost 37 lbs. I looked back at my posts and found that as of March 13, I had lost 31 lbs. So in the last 14 days, I've lost 6 lbs. That is so great! And hopefully not too fast. You know they say 2 lbs a week is ideal. But if I can keep up this pace of 2-3 lbs a week, then I could easily lose another 32-48 lbs by the beginning of August.
At this point, having lost 37, I am almost halfway to my goal. I have 49 to go. I could totally be at my goal by the time I see my family in 4 months! Oh my! How shocked you all will be! :-)

Dinner Variety

It's been 53 days of eating like a normal human, and I'm really starting to notice the change in the way I look. I've been noticing for awhile that my clothes fit better. Good thing I kept all my old uniforms... the ones that I kept growing OUT of. :-) Summer's coming, and I'll have to order new shorts that fit. And maybe one or two of the little carrier skirts. Yay! New clothes!
The types of dinners that we've been sticking to have been your basic meat and vegetable. Sometimes a little fruit thrown in, or cottage cheese, and always a big salad. I'll put a hard-boiled egg on the salad, tomato and light dressing. The lettuce we keep cut up and ready, and ironically, in an old, plastic ice cream bucket.
But for variety, instead of grilling chicken, or even a lean beef patty, we have started checking the stores for low-cal, inexpensive tv dinners to give us a change of pace. The Lean Cuisines are good, for the most part. And Healthy Choice has some good options. But honestly, for the price, they're not so great. The one thing I like is the Lean Cuisine French Bread Pizza. Oh, and the Philly Steak Panini is really great.
But those dinners cost between $2-$3 each. And although that's not a lot, it makes for an expensive trip to the grocery store if we're going to stock up for a few weeks.
What we've found that we really like are the small tv dinners that are made by Banquet, Swanson, etc. They have small portions, always include a vegetable, and are most times less than 250 calories, depending on the meal. And those smaller dinners cost less than a dollar! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! They might have more sodium, or more fat than grilling my own chicken, but some days, I just need to eat and crash. And these dinners fit the bill!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Boots.

When I was 17, I weighed 170 lbs. I wore a size 11, and I didn't feel heavy. I remember feeling like I was bigger than my friends, and I worried about that, but I didn't feel fat.

I had been chubby my whole childhood. But now at age 17, I felt like I was an average size, and was happy with my weight, for the most part. That is, until my then boyfriend made a deal with me that changed my view of myself.

There were a pair of boots that I really wanted. They were the really sexy ones... thigh high, with super high heels. I had seen them in a catalog... probably Frederick's. So I had never tried them on, and I had no idea if they would fit my legs or whether or not I'd look like a couple of stuffed sausages.

Anyway, I never got the chance. They were expensive boots, and I couldn't afford them. My boyfriend told me, "I'll buy them for you if you lose 30 lbs." Ugh. There went my dreams of the new boots, and at the same time my self-esteem was shattered. I thought he liked my shape! I thought he thought I was fine! Apparently, not.

I never got the boots, and I've always thought about them. Not because I would wear them these days, but because I never got the chance. Silly, right? Crazy the things that shape our poor, impressionable minds.

Today is Wednesday, March 24th, and I've lost 36 lbs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dinner out!

Since I've been on this new eating schedule, which has been about 48 days now, I've been to three restaurants. The first time we met friends for breakfast, and was teased about the small amount on my plate. I left that restaurant full, and had eaten a 2 egg plain omelet and one pancake.
The second time we went out to eat, we went to a Mexican restaurant and both ordered the chicken tortilla soup. We had some chips and salsa, but only a few. We also had a good sized house salad.
On those two occasions, I felt like we were counting our calories, and stayed within our daily limit.
But last night, I knew in advance that we were going out. I woke up ready to plan my calorie intake for the day.
The first thing I did was go to the restaurant's website to check out the menu. It had the usual choices of meat and fish, and some nice soups and salads. After reading all the options, I made my choice.
So I spent the day doing my regular chores, and made an effort to spread my calories out longer in the day. I also had a big glass of water with Benefiber to get me through the afternoon.
By the time I got to the restaurant, I had only had my Egg Beaters in the morning, and an afternoon apple. This schedule deviated quite a bit from my normal plan of 100 calories every 2-3 hours. I had gone longer between snacks, and eaten less. But my goal was to save what calories I could for dinnertime, just in case something unexpected was on the table.
I got to dinner with about 800+ calories available to spend. But the unexpected was about to happen...
Our hostess ordered wine. And appetizers. And as much as I would love to shout from the rooftops that "I've lost 34 lbs and I didn't get to this point by drinking wine and eating appetizers!", I couldn't do that. I was going to blend into this party, and they wouldn't even know I was eating light.
So I accepted the half glass of wine that was poured for me, and it was delicious! :-) I also had one bite of the grilled asparagus on bruchetta and one crouton with warm artichoke dip.
What I ordered for my dinner was a cup of tomato basil soup, and the mixed green Mignonette salad with balsamic dressing and crumbled bleu cheese. It was a good sized salad, and was plenty for dinner.
At this point, I was thinking that I might go over my allotted 800 calories for the night. But since I didn't bring a calorie book with me, I had no idea what I was eating. I just hoped for the best. It all looked like a common sense meal, but I know the soup had heavy cream in it, and the bleu cheese was probably a no-no.
Then dessert came around. The table decided to order two to share, and we asked our server to bring a tiramisu, and a baked apple with raisins and a caramel type sauce.
I had two bites of the tirimisu as it came around, and two bites of the apple. They were both so good! I hadn't had sweets like that in 48 days!
We finished up with strong coffee. It was really a great night out, and a true test of my will power. Honestly, I think I did fine, and it wasn't hard.
Something has clicked in my brain, and I'll never look at food the same way again. I still have some bad tendencies, but I haven't followed through with them. I'm able to stop myself, and that is a sure sign that I'm turning things around. Thank God!
Oh, and I guess my internal calorie counter was working last night! I weighed this morning, and lost another pound! I'm at 35 now! I love that my goal keeps getting closer!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fat! Fat! Water rat!

Being overweight makes you an easy target. The general population finds that teasing and humiliating fat people is okay. I've had a lot of skinny girls with low self-esteem use my weight as their number one go-to insult. Of course it sticks with you. If it didn't, there wouldn't be a post about it on this blog. But I've said before... my self-esteem has always been higher than one would expect it to be. I don't carry myself like I'm ashamed of my weight, although I was never happy about it.
There was a time when I had my son and his friend in the car with me. I made another driver unhappy with my lane change, and as that driver passed me, he gave me the "puffy cheeks". Now, the kids just assumed he was making a silly face, but I knew better. Those puffy cheeks are the universal sign for FAT. He was mad because he thought I had cut him off? So he gives me the fat face? See what I mean? It's the number one go-to insult. He was probably saying to himself, "That fat b*tch!"
That's just a silly example, but for anyone that's never been overweight and hasn't been in the position of hearing those comments and seeing the gestures, you might not think it happens. But it happens all the time.
I'm so done with allowing people to treat me like that. My losing weight is not going to stop the jerks from being jerks. They're out there, and they will continue to harass the chubby girls. But they won't be targeting me anymore.
Oh, BTW... I've lost 34 lbs now. :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18

Happy (day after) St. Patrick's Day! I've lost 32 lbs so far, and staying right on track. My goal is coming closer every day. I don't have crazy cravings, so this whole process is fairly easy. It just takes so dang long!
As far as having green beer last night... I skipped it. I'm not a big beer drinker to begin with. Now if someone would start making a green wine, well, then... we'd have to talk.
We used to open a bottle of wine with dinner maybe once or twice a month. Just often enough to where we didn't have to dust the bottles in the wine rack. They were moving out fairly regularly. But we haven't done that in weeks. It's just not worth wasting calories on.
I don't know how drinkers, I mean regular drinkers, can lose weight unless they are constantly working out and burning if off. Alcohol has a lot of calories, whether it's from the sugars or whatever else. I'm just not interested in partaking. :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010


Temptations. What are those? Oh yeah... those commercials with oozing cheese dripping from a steaming pizza. The smell of foot-longs grilling outside of the Home Depot, and bread baking inside Albertson's. I know temptations.
But I move on. I have to. I'll change the channel or shut my eyes. If I'm out where I can smell something yummy, I slow down to appreciate it, then remind myself that when I get to my goal, I'll have a little of the something that smells so good.
In the meantime, I satisfy my need for sweets differently. My coffee maker is one of those that makes one cup at a time. And each cup can be a different "flavor". But the coffee "pods" that go in the maker aren't full of calories. They are just black coffee with a hint of a flavor. Mostly just a scent. But I can have coffees that are scented like butter toffee, french toast, or cinnamon pastry. That's all I really need. Just the smell works for me.
I did, however, have to make a Valentine cake for my son a few weeks ago. It wasn't too long after I had started eating healthy, when that dreaded holiday came around.
I make my son a Valentine cake every year. Always bright pink, with red hots. It's kind of a tradition. So far be it from me to take a year off because I wasn't strong enough.
I made the cake, and as I finished frosting it, I tasted the frosting from the knife. I just needed that satisfaction. But once I tasted it, I was good. I didn't need any more. My son actually ate the whole cake! He wouldn't be too thrilled if he knew I was admitting this here, but it's true. It took him a few days, but he ate it. By about the third day, he was asking me how many calories I thought were in each piece he was eating. I estimated about 400, and his mouth dropped. He's getting an education about food and what's good for you, that's for sure. :-)


Seems like about every third day, I lose a pound. I like weighing every day. My scale has "tenths", not ounces to the right of the decimal. So I weigh myself and if it says ___. 4, then I can figure that the next day, I'll have lost those 4 tenths, and be into the next pound. Some people will tell you not to weigh daily. I like to think that's for people that cheat on their diets and don't want to be disappointed. :-)
I don't "cheat". I eat what I want, in smaller portions, and keep my calories to no more than 1100 a day. That way, I know my body will drop the weight, eventually, and I can weigh daily with a little incentive.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13

I'm over the hump, and moving down again. This morning, I have lost 31 lbs. I haven't weighed this little for years. ........did I say "little"? That's hardly a word I would use to describe myself.
Let's say, this is less than I've weighed in years. :-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Snack Schedule

So I gave up the details of how incredibly out-of-control my eating habits were in the past. To put over 4000 calories in my body daily, with only the exercise that I get at work, was making me very round!
Let's go through an average day for me now. Remember, I eat 100 calorie snacks, every 2-3 hours.
6:30 am. - Wake up and have coffee.
8:30 am. - 1/2 cup Egg Beaters (60 calories)
11:30 am. - Mini-Clif bar (100 calories)
2:30 pm. - Special K bar (90 calories)
3:00 pm. - Apple (70 calories)
5:00 pm. - Banana (100 calories)
5:30 pm. - Cheese Stick (80 calories)

Dinner is always around 6:30, and it's a variety of different things. I really love grilled chicken breast with fresh avocado. Bunna likes to have a hamburger patty with cottage cheese. We will always have a large salad with a diced hard-boiled egg, tomato and low-cal dressing. I love to put a little sliced pickle or just a sprinkle of dill on my salads, too.
Dinner will always include a small portion of meat or protein. I say "protein" because it's not always meat. I really love my Morningstar Grillers. These are vegan patties made of strictly soy. If you've ever had a cheap Quickie-Mart burger, you've probably had something similar. They taste similar to a beef patty, but they have a different texture. Personally, I love them.
We also always have a vegetable.
My son is not on this diet, although he eats what we do, in a slightly larger portion. If we make burgers, he has his on a bun and we don't. I'll make him pasta or rice, and it's just for him. He's not suffering... he's a growing boy! :-)
After dinner, we may or may not feel like we want dessert. Bunna usually has an apple before bed, and for my son, I'll whip up a quick mousse or make him a hot chocolate. If I have a sweet tooth after dinner, I've got the small 60 Calorie Jello puddings for that.

Okay, let's sum up. During the day I have my snacks which add up to 500 calories. On a hungry day, I might eat an extra snack. So let's say 600.
Dinner is always between 300-400 calories, plus dessert if I have it. So the most I'm eating daily is 1100 calories. That's a far cry from the 4000+ I had been eating before Feb. 2. That in itself is enough to get my body to start dropping weight.
My snacks are low sugar, not too high in carbs, and low fat. Our dinners are lean, grilled meat and vegetables, for the most part. (What would I do without my George Foreman?!)
This schedule has gotten so much easier since my stomach has gotten smaller. I don't feel that hunger until at least an hour and a half after a snack, then I gauge how many calories I can eat for the day, and spread my snacks out as necessary. Easy peasy.

In Control

Things have sure changed, and changed for the better. The food habits I had for so many years are beginning to be slowly pushed away, and this new feeling of well-being is overcoming me.
I have been on this new eating plan of mine for almost 6 weeks now, and I feel so in control. I'm basically a control-freak anyway, so I don't know why I didn't figure this out sooner! Food, or at least the food I put in my body, is one of the few things I can control.
I'm also a planner. I use lists, and I make them all the time. I schedule my day around my errands and my lists. The way this diet works, I can incorporate all my innate, controlling urges into one master plan! Muah-ha-ha!
I knew when I started this, that it was going to be very regimented, and dogonne it, that's exactly what I needed. I suppose that's why so many people start the pre-packaged diets. For a lot of people like me, that's the only way to do it. You have to have a tight little package of rules; something you can get your head around. For a lot of years, I was trying to use little tips and tricks from a variety of diets. I would eat a small breakfast, or none at all, then gorge myself on a big pasta lunch. The next day, I'd get up early, full of motivation, and go for a nice, long, brisk walk. But then for dinner, we'd go to the All-you-can-eat buffet. I was taking two steps forward, and one step back everyday. I was defeating myself and didn't even know it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Calorically Irresponsible

I call this blog, "Calorically Responsible" because for years, I wasn't. For years, I was calorically IR-responsible. If I thought back to the way I was eating up until a month or so ago, it's amazing my heart kept beating!
A typical day would be a big bowl of oatmeal with butter and brown sugar. I fooled myself into thinking that because it was oatmeal, it was good for me. And oatmeal IS good for you... just not in 2 cup portions, swimming in butter and sugar.
If I had my oatmeal at 8am, then by 10:30 or so, I was ready for a mid-morning snack. A snack would be either 2 top ramen packages, or maybe a couple hot dogs, wrapped in a couple tortillas with American cheese and mustard.
Let's see... how many calories are we up to for the day? Maybe 500 for the breakfast, and another 600 for my "snack"? But we've only just begun.
I leave for work around 1:00, so before I would leave for work, I'd have a little something. After all, I'm in my work vehicle all afternoon, and don't have time, usually, to break for a snack.
So before work, I'd have a sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly? How about 2? Let's make it healthy... let's say peanut butter and banana. Considering peanut butter is 190 calories for 2 tablespoons, and I would put probably 3 tablespoons on a sandwich, a banana is 100 calories, and the bread is another 200... There's another 600, give or take, for that little morsel.
Then I'd head to work. I have a little soft-side cooler bag I carry with me to work. In the summer, it's full of half-frozen water bottles, and very little food. I'm not happy eating when I'm hot. But wintertime... well, that's another story.
Sometime around 2pm, I'd start feeling hungry. So I'd reach in my bag and have a granola bar... 200 calories. Then around 3:00, maybe another snack... cookies? There's 300 calories. I always brought a diet soda and sometimes another sandwich... 500 more calories. At the end of my route, I'd have 2 cheese sticks. At 90 calories each, there's another 180 to add to the list.
Once home, I'd make dinner. We would usually start with a salad, with cheese, croutons, and lots of ranch dressing. Fried chicken, enchiladas, Rice-a-roni, burritos, Hamburger Helper, or pizza. If I had been to the store that week, I would have dinners ready to make up when I got home. If not, there would be nights we'd go out. Primo's All You Can Eat Pizza. Or the Sizzler for salad bar. That sounds healthy, but on that salad bar, there are chicken wings and nachos.
Let's say on an average evening, including a bowl of ice cream or slice of cake, I was eating nearly 1700-1800 at one sitting.
Add that to the day's totals...and you realize that I was eating over 4500 calories a day. Some days it would be less, some days it would be more. There is no doubt in my mind why I gained over 50 lbs in the last 3 years.


Wow. It seems like forever that I was stuck with a loss of 29 lbs. I finally, this morning, weighed, and am (to the tenth of a pound!) at 30 pounds. I am really hoping to keep up this 2-pound-per-week loss, but this slowed me down.
I suppose it's time to get back in the gym, and switch it up a bit. I can't go any lower in calorie consumption. I'm already between 1000-1100 daily, and that's as low as I should go.
Maybe a big calorie day would jumpstart my system again! :-)
I have gone on walks the last few weekends, and actually went to the gym 4 days ago. I always try to go when Bunna is there, and maybe that's my mistake. If I go later in the morning, after he's home from the gym, I might spend more time doing what I need to do. When we're there together, I spend 10-15 on the elliptical, then do a few weight machines, then I follow him around visiting about his night at work. How productive is that? Not very.
Okay, as Harvy would say..."Your goal for next week is 3 pounds". (Celebrity Fit Club)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9

This morning, I weighed, and no change. No biggy. I've felt a little bloaty the last week or so. It will pass. :-)
Bunna has reached his goal weight, and now wants to continue to lose a bit more. He has lost a total of 18 lbs, and is at the same weight as when he was in the National Guard. He's feeling great!
I went to the gym yesterday, but skipped it today. I've got an ab machine here at the house, and I think I'll start using that at night before bed.
I just keep telling myself... swimsuit weather... swimsuit weather... :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Makes you go.....hmmm.

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always had."

Progress: March 8

So to recap, I started on this weight loss mission on Feb 2. The first week went really well, and I was so motivated! By cutting the high carbs and sugar out of my diet, and reducing the size of my portions... I lost 12 pounds the first 7 days. Wow! It was really working! And it was easy! I had been feeling a little hungry between snacks, but other than that, the effects were all positive. I had energy again! I didn't feel like I needed a nap at 11am. The lethargy was gone! I stopped loading my body with processed junk, and I started feeling human again. Strange how that works....... :-)
Over the next few days, the progress slowed, but remained consistent. I lost 3-4 pounds the second week, and since then, I've been averaging 3 lbs a week. So at this point, it's been about 35 days, and I've lost a grand total of 29 lbs.
The way I look at it, I'm a third of the way there. I set a goal of 90 lbs when I started this, and I estimated sometime around August I would reach that goal. It might take me a little longer, but at least I know my weight is moving in a steady downward direction now. My motivation is still high! Every time I get on the scale, I see that my work is paying off. I do weigh every morning, and even if I don't drop an ounce, the numbers I see are still making me happy. To be nearly 30 lbs lighter than I was 5 weeks ago... well, it's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Calories in/Calories out

Someone, who shall remain nameless, asked me about exercise, so I'll give you my take on that.
Of course it's important! You have to build muscles in order to burn more fat more efficiently. We've heard it a million times!
In my case, I figured... one thing at a time. I've been a member of my gym for about 5 months now, and until I started this diet, was going 3-4 days a week. Fifteen minutes on the elliptical, and then various weight machines. I also have a fairly active job. So I'm not a couch potato, unless you call typing into a blog a couple times a day potato-like.
I cut back on the gym only because with a drastic reduction in calories, I felt I had better let my body get used to using the energy I give it, and not put too much of a strain on the whole system. I don't know what would happen if I got to the gym and didn't have enough energy to do a decent workout. Would I feel faint? Would I just get tired? I don't know. But I thought it was best to chill on the workouts for a bit. I still have my active job, and the calories I burn there are keeping me from turning to mush. I have good muscles, and I eat enough protein to maintain them. As I get smaller, I'll start going back to the gym.
Remember, the whole concept of calories in/calories out is based on exercise, and burning more calories than you eat. In order to lose weight, you have to have a deficit there. You have to eat less than you burn. It couldn't hurt to find a website that has a BMR calculator (base metabolism rate), and determine what you're burning daily just through breathing and body functions, etc. That helps you determine how many calories you can eat, and still keep a good deficit in order to lose weight. But you don't want to go under 1050 calories for the day, so if that's the only way for you to reach a deficit that will let you lose weight, I suggest more exercise.
And that's all I have to say about that. :-)

Setting the record straight...

First of all, I've got no right to advise anyone on how to eat. Except for the fact that I've read a few books, and had tons of advice given to me over the years that somewhat sunk in. I'm in no way a nutritionist. Actually, I'm the farthest from it. I'm a mail carrier. So go figure. I just put into a cohesive plan, the basics; what I consider common sense. Common sense that I ignored for so long.
I'm only putting all this in a blog to kind of chronicle the journey. It's a public blog, so anyone can read it. And hopefully, if someone heavy like myself, can relate to the dieting cyle I've gone through, then maybe this will help them. I don't think any doctor would say that my plan is bad for you. In fact, my doctor has been after me to lose any amount of weight for years. You know what they say... "Losing 10 pounds right now reduces your risk of diabetes and heart disease". I don't know who said that. I just know I've heard it. :-)
So follow along with me as I strive to lose the dead weight. I've decided to be brave and put in this blog some of the things that I've kept most private for years: my weight and size. Ugh.


One more common sense item we can't forget. WATER. It's that clear stuff that comes out of the tap... that stuff you pour into the coffee maker...
I think water is great. It's cheap, and it fills you up. Between snacks, it's a great way to keep away the hunger pangs, until your stomach shrinks. By the way, I think hunger stinks. But doing this diet, I rarely felt hungry. And if I did, I'd drink some water, with or without Crystal Light, and be happy when the time for my next snack came along.
I guess around 64 oz daily is good. I also add Benefiber to mine, so I get extra fiber that way.
As you lose more and more weight, you'll notice that if you don't drink enough water, your urine will be dark, and you'll start to feel really dehydrated. The fat cells that you are emptying need to be flushed, and you'll have toxins that need to be rinsed out of your body.
Drink your water! Your skin will look better, too!


In addition to the small snacks and one meal, we also thought it best to supplement with certain things we might be missing with our food intake.
We bought a multi-vitamin, Omega 3, extra vitamin D and protein powder for shakes. We take our supplements every day, and occasionally, when I want to up my protein intake, I stir up a small shake for one of my snacks. We found a sugar-free powder that tastes pretty good, and I mix only a half scoop of powder with a cup of milk. This keeps it right around 100 calories, and the protein keeps me going until my next snack time.
The higher fiber, and higher protein snacks keep you feeling full longer. And until you start shrinking your stomach, you will feel hungry... even with only 2 or so hours between snacks. It took me about 3-4 weeks before I got to the point where I had to remind myself to eat. My stomach finally shrunk, and I stopped watching the clock!


Once we had an idea of idea of what to shop for, based on the pay-plan items, we went shopping. We started at Costco. After all, if we were really going to save money on the experiment, we needed to buy in bulk. We took our list of the nutritional break-down for the pay-plan snacks, and started comparing.
We started in the health food bar area. And moved on to the pre-packaged 100 calorie snacks. The health food/energy bars we found were all over 200 calories each, and unless we planned to break them in half every time we ate one, we were going to have to find something else.
The 100 calorie snack aisle was full of possibilities. Honestly, the world is full of diet food. Every food manufacturer has their hand in making something that will help us lose weight. The stores, the television, the magazines and the newspapers are saturated with weight loss ideas. So why not take advantage of it? For the plan that we devised, those little 100 calorie snacks were perfect.
We found granola bars, Mini-Clif bars, little cookies and crackers. We chose items that were low in sugar, not too high in carbs, and had the most fiber. The fat content wasn't a big concern, although it is a big component of gaining weight. But on this plan, where we were basically going to start by cutting calories, the fat was a non-issue. More importantly, we wanted to stop putting the sugar and carbs in our bodies.
What we didn't find to fill the pantry at Costco, we found at Target, in smaller boxes. We also found the Mini-Clif bars, which turned out to be our favorites, on sale at Walmart.
We stocked up on apples, and cheese sticks, and bought Eggbeaters. I really love the egg beaters! For a good sized portion, it had less than 100 calories, and we found they were a quick breakfast in the microwave.
We got home, unloaded and organized our pantry, putting all the "diet" snacks in one basket. We made it easy for us to follow the plan, by having a specific place in the pantry for our allowed snacks. I was feeling really good about this!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Snack all day!

So here was the plan we had come up with: Keep the calories around 1000, and spread those calories out during the day so you aren't hungry. Then in the evening, or whenever you wanted to use them, have that 300-400 calorie meal that would include a small portion of meat, a vegetable, and a salad or fruit. We worked it out so that every two hours, we'd have a snack. (At this point, Bunna was on board, too!) So, a 100 calorie "snack" at 8am, 10am, Noon, 2pm, 4pm, and a small meal at 6. Another 100 calorie snack before bed, around 8pm was okay, too. This kept the calorie intake to 1000, give or take, and it kept your stomach busy so it didn't think you were starving it. By eating consistent small "meals", your metabolism didn't get the chance to slow down. Nutritionists warn about going too low with your calorie intake, and since the Bunna is not an old, fat woman, we decided he should have more calories. He basically eats an extra snack a day.
Crash diets are defined as anything under 1050 calories daily. The way this plan was designed, I was getting just about that many each day. The huge difference in the way this plan forced me to eat, was that I was not going to allow myself to sit down and pig out on a plate of pasta anymore for dinner. I was not going to have a hot dog and potato salad at 10am anymore. There was a schedule, there was a limit, and there was suddenly motivation. Motivation, because I knew there was will power IN ME. I just hadn't tapped it for years. This time, I had a plan, and I was in the right frame of mind to pull it off!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Just like the library is for readers, and the park is for joggers, and the mall is for shoppers... McDonalds is for eaters. I'm not a fast food person anymore. When I drive by the burger places, I just remind myself..."That's where fat people go."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Plan

Okay, so the plan my friend was using had a website. And on that website, they detailed the ingredients and nutritional values for all their foods. They also outlined the basic plan, and eating schedule. It seemed like it would work. But, the food they packaged for you into their beginning 6 week supply was going to cost about $300, give or take. Depending on whether or not you bought the package as it was, or if you substituted different items out of their "a la carte" menu. Regardless, it was a lot of money, and I knew I'd better think long and hard before I make the investment. Don't get me wrong... I would take out a loan if I thought I would be investing in something that would help me lose the weight and keep it off! But this was something I needed to think about.
My first step was to write down all the calorie, sugar, carb and fiber content of the "plan's" foods. Those four components were what mattered most to me. Calories and sugar being the most important, and carbs and fiber also important, but not as much. I had been on super-low carb diets, and they always seemed to be detrimental to my health. I didn't like any diet that restricted my fruits, or my dairy. I believe those things can be in any diet, in moderation.
So I had my list of items, and their nutritional content. Now, it was time to go shopping.


About the same time I realized I needed to do something about my weight, I was also having a small party at our house. We do this all the time during football season. Bunna invites his friends over, and my son has his over. We always invite our best friends and their son, and always call my good friend. This time, I called my friend, and although she was busy anyway, she told me that she and her boyfriend couldn't come because they were on a new eating program. She was very excited about it, and told me the details during our short phone call. She explained that she had seen the results of this program first hand, since a few of her co-workers were doing it. It sounded like a miracle! But this miracle was going to cost me. The program she was on required buying pre-packaged foods, and following strict guidelines. The guidelines I could handle. It was the pre-packaged foods that worried me. The expense was one thing, but I needed to research the program to be sure it was right for me. After all, I've tried a lot of miracle plans, and I didn't want to fall into the same trap. But she was so excited, it motivated me to get busy and start checking into what her plan had to offer. And more importantly, it sparked my competitive nature. Not to compete with my good friend, but to find a way to follow her plan, without spending the money.

The journey begins...

So I found myself at age 46, extremely overweight. My son is 13 now. I can't blame my weight on the pregnancy anymore. Besides, I had already lost that "pregnancy weight" 10 years ago! Now I was at a weight I'd never been to before. When I ordered my work clothes, (uniforms), I had to order a larger waist size, again. And when the pants arrived in the mail, I held them up. Surely, these are too big! But I tried them on, and sadly they fit. Oh no.... I knew if I wore those pants, it would be the beginning of the end. I was on a weight-gaining rollercoaster, and at this point in my life, I was gaining speed as I gained weight. I had put about 8 inches on my waist in the last 3 years. It was unreal. I had outgrown my uniforms, and folded them up nicely, and put them away. I always told myself I'd have a use for them again, when I lost the weight. But suddenly, I realized it was now or never. I heard my mother say in my mind, "You're not getting any younger! You should lose the weight now before your metabolism starts working against you!"
Of course she was right. At my age, it's more difficult to lose a few pounds, much less the 90 lbs I was looking at. But every journey starts with one step, right? Ugh. Here we go...


I told myself when I got pregnant... "I will not be that loud, fat mother on the sidelines of my son's soccer game!" I didn't want to be that person. It wasn't me. Inside I was a healthy, strong, smart woman who knew better than to hurt myself with food. My family was health conscious. I knew that I could be more athletic and attractive if I followed their lead. So I tried.
My sisters were runners. I tried that. My sisters ate health food. I tried that. My sisters ate sensible portions. I tried that. Nothing stuck. Nothing came together as a cohesive plan.
In 1999, my son was three, and I was hovering just around 200 lbs. I was single again, and my life was busy and hectic. You would think that I would burn calories and stay on the right track, right? Uhhhhhh... no. Didn't happen.
I couldn't get myself in a daily routine that included taking care of myself. And when I met my Bunna, I found myself in a wonderful, loving relationship that made me feel so comfortable, I started to let myself go again.

Oh, how I've grown.

When I was little, it was considered "baby fat". Then, I graduated to "chubby". By the time I was in high school, I was considered a "big girl". I maintained that "big girl" weight for years. I was the girl no one wanted to mess with. At 5'10", and 170, I was within my safe weight range, but still looked like a big bruiser. Over the years, I slowly put on more weight. I was in good, safe relationships, and became comfortable. My self esteem never seemed to go down as I gained the weight. I was what my friend, Yvonne, would call, "Reverse Anorexic". I looked in the mirror, and thought I was thinner than I really was. I didn't see it sneaking up on me. By the time I was 30, I was over 200 lbs. I got married that year, and 2 years later became pregnant with my son. I gained 44 lbs with my pregnancy, and I entered the hospital to deliver my son weighing 276 lbs. It was incredible. I was huge. My son was a big baby, but he was NOT 44 lbs! :-)
In 1999, I was divorced. That same year, I was also diagnosed with gall bladder disease. At 232 lbs, I was severely overweight, and all the grease and bad food I had been putting in my body was making me seriously sick. In order to postpone the inevitable surgery, I began eating better. I decided to turn an emotional time in my life into a turning point. I cut out all red meat, and greasy foods, and began walking on the treadmill for an hour a day. Within about 2 months, I had lost 40 lbs. I was below 200 for the first time in years, and I was ecstatic!

Politically Correct

We've all heard the jokes. "Fatty, fatty, two by four"... "Short for my weight"... "Junk in the trunk"... All very funny, right? But nothing very politically correct.
I have heard them all, and have decided that the most PC phrase I can come up with is "Calorically Irresponsible". I came to this conclusion because finally, after years of failed diets, I realized that what everyone was saying, from authors to television journalists, to nutritionists on late-night tv, was true! Calories DO count! And in order to lose weight, you have to count them! If you're not counting calories, it's likely that you won't have much progress in your weight loss battle.