A Weight Watcher’s drop out

To say that life has gotten busy would be quite the understatement…

I’m exhausted a lot of the time and when I have a few minutes where I’d like to sit down and update, the phone rings (or I get a text), or I’m getting harassed by the city, or whatever else-nothing but interruptions.

Anyway…

I started diet #927 last month-Weight Watchers.  I wish I could say that the weight is just pouring off but I find that I’m gaining and losing the same two pounds.  I don’t understand it-I count *everything* with no success.  I’m not happy-in fact, I feel like I’m always starving.  I don’t think it’s going to work out between the two of us.

Weight Watchers starts you off with an amount of points depending on how much you weigh and give you an additional 35 points as your safety net in case you go over.  You pull from those extra points when you deplete your daily allotment.  I suppose it’s a bit of psychology so you don’t feel like a failure.

I’m allowed 30 points per day.  Their plan has been altered so that now all fruits and most vegetables are zero points.  This means I can have grapes, strawberries, mangoes…without guilt!  On low carb diets, fruit is a no-no.  I may have gone a little overboard with the mangoes for a week but, hey, according to them fruit is good and better than cookies.

But this plan isn’t working.  30 points equals about 1400 calories, not including whatever you eat in fruits and veggies.  So while I feel like I’m starving most days, I’m still not losing-but still feeling like a total loser. I read all of the success stories on their message board called ‘Connect’ and wonder what the hell I’m doing wrong and why my system is so inferior to everyone else’s.  They are all losing consistently, while I am not.  Why??  I’m starting to wonder if they pay people to post on there to keep sales up.

What gives?

I can tell this diet isn’t going to be one I can stay with because I need to see some sort of reward-if I’m going to lose out on money and calories, I need to see the numbers go down on the scale.  I have to feel like my sacrifice is going to reward me and so far after a month,  I’ve lost about one pound.  I bloat a lot from the processed foods on the low point list-what in the world is in shredded nonfat cheese to where you can have a half cup for 1pt?  That doesn’t sound right, does it?  Nothing is filling and I find myself overly focused on what I can eat next when I didn’t have this obsession prior to Weight Watchers.

When I signed up, they gave two options on how to pay:  one month for $20 or three months for $40 so I chose the latter.  I’m not sure I can do the whole three months without any change.  I find myself really getting depressed about this whole thing.  It makes me wonder if I have some strange tropical disease (while never actually leaving the country) that makes it impossible to lose weight, but all my blood tests are normal.

I can always buy a tapeworm…

Any suggestions?

I’d like to feel as happy as I can make myself look and all that will take is 20lbs.

img_0831

A Low Carb Primer

Have you thought about how much sugar you consume on a daily basis?  If you’re like the typical American, you probably have not.  It’s in almost every processed food you have in your refrigerator including hot dogs, American cheese slices, and ketchup.  Did you know that one teaspoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar? 

Diabetes runs in my family, unfortunately, so I try to avoid sweets as much as possible.  This is especially difficult when I visit my mother as she has an unending supply of pies and cakes.  She knows she shouldn’t eat them but they’ve provided her comfort since my dad passed away.  We have discussions about good food vs. bad food and she has a fairly good understanding on the topic but chooses the sugar route regardless.  We can lead them to water…

If you look at the packaging on any food you purchase, you’ll notice a nutritional breakdown on the label.  Calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, etc., are all included.  If you follow a low carbohydrate diet, carbs and sugar become your primary focus and the lower you can keep it, the better off you are.  Foods that have zero or negligible carbs are meats, fats, and eggs.  Cheeses are generally low but be sure to check the packaging.  If you absolutely have to have a soda, diet is ideal, although it is bad for your teeth.

You’ll find that if you distance yourself from sugar and eat more foods with moderate protein and higher fat, your appetite will decrease.  If you feel you need something sweet to snack on, there are many treats you can have that don’t contain sugar including sugar-free jello topped with cream you’ve whipped yourself.  I like to keep sugar-free Torani syrups in my pantry because I can mix them with anything in order to satisfy my craving for something sweet.

Some filling low carb snack options include:

  • salami with mozzarella slices
  • bacon
  • olives
  • pork rinds

There are so many low carb options out there and when you begin to change your diet, the simplest food choices make it easier to stick with it.  Just eliminating sugary cereals and sodas can make a huge impact on your health.  Watching my grandparents struggle with Diabetes and seeing them sneak sugary treats when they thought no on was looking has made me even more determined to do what I can to prevent this from becoming my reality.  I don’t want to be a slave to insulin and doctor visits every three months.  Life is hard enough, I don’t want my health contributing to that.

Learn to read labels-even if you aren’t following a low carb diet, it is important to know what you’re eating.  It is also important to realize that labels are broken down into serving sizes so, while you may think the entire package is one serving, there may actually be many servings. Take this package of salami, for example-the serving size is 6 slices and the nutritional information on the label is for those slices.  There is 1 carb per serving size so if you were ravenous and ate the entire package, aside from having pungent intestinal distress, you’d only consume 16 grams of carbohydrates.  That’s quite low.


You can play around with sauces, too.  I adore Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce on everything.  I love the flavor and put it on top of salami and cheese, eggs, steak, you name it, and at less than 1 carb per tablespoon, you get a lot of bang for your buck.


 If you decide to change your diet to one that is low carb, I suggest doing some research on the subject and checking with your doctor to see if it is something that would work for you.  I picked up some low carb books from my local thrift store and have read them several times, including this one.  I like how Dr. Atkins breaks everything down and makes the diet simple to follow.  If a diet is complicated, I lose interest.


(It’s not the prettiest copy but it was cheap)

If you are eating low carb, tell me your experiences, won’t you?

 

Dieting with panache

I’m always on a damn diet.  I think I’ve spent more time on than off, as a matter of fact. You’d think I would be at the goal I’ve set for myself;  that magical number where once you reach it the clouds part, the sun shines brightly, and the angels sing.  Ah, nope.  I feel like a fat lump of clay.  My husband says I look good to him and never says anything negative but I want to look good to me.  I’m not sure where I’m failing but I hope to get it squared away soon.  What a waste of time and energy to be consumed by things one puts in one’s mouth (pun intended)!

I find it hard not to be swayed when I visit my mom’s house.  She buys nothing but crap.  Cookies, cakes, pies, Twinkies, and Ding Dongs, you name it, it’s probably stuffed in her pantry somewhere.  I try to stay out of her kitchen as much as possible.

In my quest to shrink my size, I’ve read and reread numerous dieting books.  The one that seems to appeal most to my appetite is low carb.  I’ve read two separate Atkins books numerous times and there are plenty of celebrities who have had success with it.  For some reason, I seem to be one of the few who hold on to pounds like my life depends on it.  I’m determined, however, and I’ll share some recipes and such along with pictures because maybe you’ll be the one able to tell me what I’m doing wrong!

And even though I haven’t managed to lose a large amount of weight yet, I almost feel like a semi pro in the low carb world and may even be able to help you, even if it’s just to get you to consider how much sugar you eat through the course of a day.  That would be helpful, wouldn’t it?  Well of course it would, silly.

I’m not a fancy cook;  no chef extraordinaire, but I do like to try out a new dish or make something unusual.  It’s not always a winner, not by a long shot, but you don’t learn unless you try, and I can share my successes and failures with you here.

I know it’s June, it’s not a new year, but I do have new things on the horizon and I feel hopeful.  My kids will be starting a new school this fall, my oldest son seems receptive to rehab, my second son is thriving in the Navy, and I’ve been writing blog posts consistently.  These things make me happy and I feel as though it gives me the extra push to do better with my diet-like I, too, might succeed!

I love avocados.  Living in California means that they’re abundant, too.  I even have an avocado tree next door that is, oh, around 60 years old, I’d say.  My grandparents planted it from a seedling a friend had given them and it has grown abundantly.  Of course, none of them are ripe yet so I spent $3 on two at the local farmer’s market.  I normally wouldn’t buy them because they’re so pricey but they looked so good.  After looking around on Pinterest I concocted this recipe.  Sometimes the stuff you throw together quickly can be the most tasty.

Now don’t frown, this was delicious and quite filling.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 small avocado, halved
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of real butter
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cotija cheese
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce

I halved the avocado and set it aside as I fried the mushrooms in the butter.  After they were done cooking, I put them on a paper plate and fried the egg in the remaining butter until done.  The egg fit nicely inside the avocado and then I topped it with the mushrooms, cheese, and horseradish sauce.  This was so good and I was satisfied for several hours, afterwards.

Nutritional info:

  • avocado 4 net carbs
  • egg 1 carb
  • mushrooms .56 carbs
  • cotija cheese0
  • horseradish 1 carb
  • butter 0 carbs

This brings the grand total to 6.56 net carbs.  That’s very low carb and full of healthy fats.

What do you think, would you try it?

I broke my liver

After drinking every day for the past, say, ten years, aside from the occasional hangover recovery day, I haven’t been able to bounce back.  I haven’t had any alcohol for nearly 30 days and I assumed the weight would melt off of me in puddles.  No such luck, sadly.

I allowed myself nearly two weeks to eat ice cream and other fatty, sugary foods in an effort to be a little kind to my system during its detox.  Obviously there’s no medical necessity for this but my brain needed a break.  Cue expansion of butt.

I’ve tried quite a few different diets over the years but I seem to be happiest on a low carb, Atkins style diet.  That doesn’t mean I actually lose much, but I love bacon and can have it eating low carb.  I’m not sure I’ve actually done this diet and gone longer than one week with no alcohol.  Why?  I’m all about instant gratification and if I gave up something I loved, wine, I expected to see some results.  Fast.  Since I didn’t lose while not drinking, I’d decide Why suffer? If I’m not going to lose anyway, might as well enjoy some wine.  And the cycle continued of dieting, drinking, and not losing.

I’m going to try my hand at patience-it’s certainly not one of my strong suits, but I don’t have much choice.  I’m not happy with how I look so I need to do something about it.  Only I can fix Me, right?

So here we are, adjustment time.  No sweets, no breads or pastas, no liquor…No fun.  I’m kidding, I’m not feeling as though I’m missing out on anything, really.   I know I can do this, it’s the waiting that kills me.

My scale has been broken for about a year-it seems to be stuck at the same weight without budging.  Well, until this morning, that is.  It was about five pounds less than it has been shouting at me for months.  Thank the Lord!

Here are some low carb foods I enjoy eating:

  • Eggs
  • Beef
  • Butter
  • Half and half
  • Avocados
  • Nuts

All of these full flavored and full of fat foods are acceptable on this diet and if I feel hungry, I go back for more.  It’s pretty simple. If I were to try a complicated diet, I’d never stick with it.

Do I see myself ever being 120 pounds again?  Only in my dreams where I have a fantastic super charged metabolism and waif like figure-a time in my life where I could eat whatever and whenever I wanted and only needed to sneeze to lose five pounds.  Life was good!  But I was also only 19 and I wouldn’t go back there for anything.

We’ll see how it goes and all I have to lose is, oh…30 pounds…!

The kids wanted me to make a stir fry for dinner and while theirs had hoisin sauce in it-which contains sugar,  I made a separate batch that used only soy sauce.  It’s fairly easy to make modifications in order for us to all eat the same meal.  We can all be happy!