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.

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Lard Belly

I’ve been on a Butter Bob binge.  What is a Butter Bob?  He’s a YouTube personality who has his own low carb channel where he discusses just exactly how butter makes your pants fall off.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Butter and other fats can help reduce your girth.

No, do not slurp on a butter shake throughout the day.  Please.

I’ve been off and on following a low carb diet for several years.  I hadn’t realized just how long until I looked at my Facebook On This Day section and saw that I was dieting at least five years ago.  Why aren’t I slim and trim by now?  Christmas.  Birthdays.  My mom’s house…to name a few reasons.  I haven’t been serious about it, is what I’m saying.  While I’ve been determined that I want to reach a certain weight,  those damnable cookies haunt me until I give in and shove a few into my fat face!  Oh, it’s more than a few.

I originally started a low carb diet after having one of my million kids-I can’t remember which child, but I did gain a lot of weight during pregnancy.  I took it as my chance to eat all of the crap I normally did not in hopes of my “baby bump” being more obvious sooner because when I first started having kids, I was very thin and really didn’t show until about five months.  Up until that point I mainly looked a little bloated.  My obstetrician told me to slow down because all of the weight I gained I would have to lose and that is no easy process.  Why didn’t I listen??

So after having one of my babies, I decided enough was definitely enough and read through an Atkins low carb diet book.  At that time, my metabolism was still fairly functional and as I started Induction, the weight started falling off.  Unfortunately, I was unaware of “keto-flu” and proceeded to become very light-headed, nauseous, and severely fatigued.  I only lasted about 48 hrs before I had to give up and drink some Gatorade.  I couldn’t care for a baby and not be able to get up off the couch.  I tried the diet on two separate occasions and promptly quit;  I got sick each time.

Years later, after witnessing both of my grandparents have to live with Type 2 diabetes, I decided that I really don’t want to deal with that as I get older.  Having to limit foods and take insulin shots is not on my agenda for my Golden Years.  So I did more reading and tried it again.  For some reason, I never got the keto-flu again.  I’ve stopped and started many times and have not gotten sick at all.  I have no clue why but I’m not complaining, of course.

My weight comes off at a snail’s pace;  it just doesn’t want to budge.  I was able to lose about ten pounds for my brother’s wedding two years ago but trust me, I’ve found them again.  I was resistant to the idea that diet soda can actually cause you to gain weight so I drank all I wanted with the thinking that there are no calories so that’s great, it’s a free for all.  Unfortunately,  for me at least, that doesn’t seem to hold true.  I’m going to cut down and then eliminate diet soda.  This makes me sad but my dentist happy.

In my attempt to conquer this diet and make it my bitch, so to speak, I’ve been looking into reasons why it hasn’t been.  Well, I can’t say it isn’t working, but it isn’t working fast enough, in my opinion-I’m a very impatient person.  So I’ve been scouring the low carb message boards, going through the entire catalog of Butter Bob’s videos, and basically dissecting just what it is I eat in any given day.  I eat too damn much!

Butter Bob details how he lost 145 pounds in 14 months.  That’s exceptional, right?  And he did it by eating a low carb/high fat diet-he didn’t eat anything fancy;  no expensive shakes or pills, no insane exercise regimen…he ate butter!  Let me clarify, he did not scoop off hunks of butter from a stick and shove it directly into his mouth, but he did use it to cook with along with lard.  He fried bacon every morning and added heavy whipping cream to his coffee.  All of these things I can do!  But what really intrigued me is the fact that he does intermittent fasting, which I’m trying today.

I’ve heard people discussing their intermittent fasts, or IF, if you want to be fancy, on the message boards.  They can vary in length and how many times per week.  I decided to try the fast that goes from dinner to dinner so as I’m sitting here typing, my stomach is a little rumbly because I haven’t eaten since last night.  I can do it.  I won’t die.  I have plenty of fat for my body to live off for these measly 24 hrs, and then some!  I figure if Butter Bob can do it and lose a whopping 145 pounds, then I can certainly give it a try in an effort to help along my goal to lose about 25 piddly pounds.

I made the decision yesterday that I’d give the fast a whirl.  I watched Butter Bob cook his fried chicken in lard so I made a quick shopping trip and picked up the bone-in chicken thighs and legs along with some garlic to make my garlic butter to spread over the cooked chicken.  I was drooling at the thought.  My mom saw that I’d bought some lard the other day and this was our conversation:

What are you going to do with that lard?

I’m going to cook with it.

But that’s not good for you!  Aren’t you worried for your health?

It’s not bad for me following my low carb diet-I’m not going to drink it…and besides, I’m quite sure Grandma cooked with it when you were a kid.

No…I don’t think so.  But she did cook with bacon grease…

She’s so funny!  I laughed at her response because she said it so innocently.  Lard is pig fat, bacon grease is pig fat.  The difference is that bacon grease is very salty and contains whatever seasonings were present in the bacon itself.  Depending on the brand, I’m sure there are preservatives in there.  Lard is just pure pork fat.

I fried up what felt like a hundred pounds of chicken pieces-it seems to take quite awhile to get the skin crispy and browned so I just kept it frying until it looked pretty.  My kids liked it and since it’s also cheap, I’ll probably make it fairly often.  I can cook up quite a bit on the weekend and have it throughout the week if I just throw it in a ziplock bag.

How does it look?

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It was delicious-especially with the garlic butter on top.

I had two thighs and a drumstick and was absolutely stuffed and I was hopeful that it was enough calories to tide me over until dinner today.  So far so good!  I’ll let you know how the scale treats me in the morning after having more fried chicken tonight.

 

Have an egg in your coffee

Have you ever put an egg in your coffee?

If you’ve never been on a low carb diet, you may not have heard about bulletproof coffee.  It involves coffee, butter, an egg, and coconut oil and blending together until frothy.  The egg is undetectable to the palate and if you blend it well enough, it isn’t oily, either.  People generally drink this as a breakfast substitute and because of the amount of fat, it can keep you satisfied until lunch.

I don’t generally drink bulletproof coffee but since I haven’t been losing and made the decision to experiment with my diet, I made one for myself this morning and I’m drinking it as I type.  I didn’t add butter to my coffee this time because I want to try it with just the coconut oil and see how the scale looks tomorrow.  I’ll switch it up in a few days to see if that makes any impact.  Here’s hoping!

I know the idea of a raw egg in your coffee sounds a little gross but it does get cooked as it’s being whipped in the hot coffee itself.  I didn’t use an actual blender because I’m lazy and like to do things as easy as possible.  Instead, I used my Ninja Coffee Bar-I have this one, and the built-in frother does the job nicely.  Before I brewed the coffee, I added some cinnamon to the grounds because it tastes nice.

So the basic idea is brew, plop, froth.

The fat goes in with the egg to make some nutritional sciencey stuff which you can google to your heart’s content.  I don’t know if it really works so I’m going to try it out in my experimental process.  The low carb forums I belong to sure seem to think it’s the Holy Grail of coffee breakfast drinks and it won’t kill me.  Probably.


It just looks a bit like a cappuccino, right?  I promise, you can’t taste the egg.

Low Carb staples

I’ve been a member of a low carb forum for about two years and I like to watch for products and recipes that look tasty and easy to make.  Yesterday I saw a food posted that looked like something I’d like to try so I went to the grocery store in hopes of finding it.  I looked where I thought it would be and had no luck.  I commented on the post asking where they found it and was directed to the right place.  Isn’t that great?  People on diets usually love to be helpful because they know that we’re all in the same boat-we’re fat and sick and tired of it!  So later today, after getting an oil change and picking up prescriptions, I was able to run over to the store and find just what I wanted.  See, when I go to my mother’s house, like I’ve mentioned before, she has a treasure trove of crap food.  That’s the road to sabotaging your diet, I tell you, so be prepared and bring your diet food with you, if you can.

I used to buy the Carb Master yogurt for my diabetic grandmother because they’re low in carbs and have nice flavors.  The banana cream pie is my favorite so far.  5 grams of carbs is low for a yogurt and if you’ve ever looked at a regular yogurt to see just how much sugar it contains, you might be shocked at how much you’re consuming.  Along with the yogurts, I bought some Banquet brown and serve sausages, and Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles.  I was fortunate that Ralph’s had the Jimmy Dean’s on sale because they were getting close the expiration.  I love a good sale!  I bought ten because I didn’t want to seem greedy but I think I’ll go back and buy the rest, Ha!

I’m going to stash some of these in various corners of my mother’s refrigerator and freezer so I’ll have something to eat when the need arises.  I spend a lot of time at her house over the summer to take advantage of her air conditioner.  If I hide them well enough, hopefully my brother won’t eat them.

These are quick and easy low carb foods to keep on hand:

I’m considering my weight loss from today forward as and experiment.  I haven’t been losing for a few weeks so I’m going to try a few things and see if that helps.  I’ll share my successes and failures and maybe we can help each other, as well.  I do recommend joining low carb forums to help keep yourself motivated-pictures of people who have reached their goal weight help with keeping your mind focused.

We can do it!

 

Same book, new chapter

It has been a busy two weeks as I’ve crammed in as many dentist appointments as my kids’ mouths would allow.  My husband started with a new company after quitting a truly corrupt and vindictive one and that meant we were on a serious deadline for what we could have done with our insurance.  I was able to get three kids in for cleanings, fillings, and extractions.  The kids may be unhappy with me now, but they’ll thank me later.

We’re starting the next chapter in our family and I’m optimistic.  Although we would love to have Robert home each night, he’s not at a point where he can do that just yet.  Since his experience is with entertainment transportation, and that seems to be where the money is, that’s where he’ll stay for the time being.  I do hope that it opens the door to other opportunities leading him back home that would allow us to do family activities.  I know that’s his desire, as well.  But for now,  he keeps on truckin’.

The two youngest kids will be starting a new school in mid August and I’m so excited for them!  We’ve homeschooled for the last four years (and I’ve not done what I set out to do) and I believe we have a close bond because of it.  I think their time with me out of the public school setting has allowed them the freedom to further explore their interests and talents.  Hannah has developed a love of dance, art, and theater,  Elijah has a comedic wit about him that he’s been allowed to nurture, and Matthew has cultivated his love of music and languages.  I honestly believe that having the kids away from the constant scrutiny of their peers has allowed them to strengthen their foundation in order to pursue what truly makes them happy without worrying about criticism.

I do have some concern about the influence the new kids will have on mine but I think that may be overshadowed by my joy in knowing they’ll develop friendships.  I’m hoping that since this school is geared towards the arts the kids they befriend will be more quirky and less materialistic.  It remains to be seen.

Robert has a new job, the kids have a new school, what do I have to look forward to?  My goal is to write more because I enjoy it and to look into possible freelance opportunities.  I think it’s a great way to get my feet wet and I won’t know unless I try, right?  Hopefully I can couple my writing with my weight loss trials, as well.  I’m failing at it and I’m sure others are too, so maybe our commiseration will lead to success!  Well, that’s what my fat ass is wanting anyway…

I have goals.

I’m also determined to declutter my life.  I have too much stuff and not enough space to store it.  Our belongings invade my space and it bothers my brain-it’s hard to focus when nothing is where it should be.  So I’d like to throw a bunch of unecessary crap away.

I have a dumpster and I’m not afraid to use it.

Clothes, papers, shoeboxes;  just junk  I don’t need and want to be rid of.  I’m about to throw two of my thrift store chairs out and get a couple of bean bag chairs or something.  My animals won’t stay off the furniture so there’s no point in having anything nice since they hair bomb it.  Sweetpea decided she couldn’t get a good enough cubby hole in our big comfy chair so she ate a good chunk into it.  Foam balls everywhere.  Our kitten, Phillip, loves to use this foam as soccer balls so I find them all over the house-even in my bed.  Can you picture it?  Lord help me.

So here we are, standing at the precipice.  We can embark on this new adventure knowing it may have its tough spots but if we keep our eyes on the prize,  I think it will be worthwhile.

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?