Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's a vacation for, anyway?

I mean, we go away to "get away from it all," right? Or so I told myself when faced with my first non-home-cooked meal.
 I just got back from a weekend in Victoria, which is a lovely part of Vancouver Island for anyone not familiar. I was kinda worried about trying to stick to this horribly restrictive diet while I was away,  but actually, before I even left I had pretty much decided I wasn't going to go all 17 Day Diet-y after all. We didn't take a car over, so we were hauling our bags around with us. It was stressing me out trying to figure out how I could carry grocery's onto the ferry over to the island, or if I could buy groceries when the nearest grocery store is a 15-20 minute walk away, or if I did get groceries, I would have to eat them all there or bring the remains back, and that brings me back to hauling bags around. . so I figured I would just eat what I wanted and try not to go crazy.
I feel a wee bit bad for eating things like pizza and pasta which are so decidedly not on plan. You know what though? I had a great time, and eating didn't become a source of stress.
On the plus side, we walked for hours both days we were there. I just wish it wasn't in the snow! Brrr.
The hotel we stayed in was fantastic. It was one of those Groupon deals, and if nothing else, it introduced me to a hotel I would never have stayed at before. It was the Parkside Hotel and Spa, and it was right near the Royal BC Museum and the B.C. Legislative buildings. Also, the Old Spaghetti Factory was right down the road. Heh.  We had gift cards! What is a girl to do??

I did a weigh-in this morning, and here is what the scale gods have decreed for the week:

No change.

I guess I will take that over a gain! We'll see what my birthday does for me this week...there will be cake, after all.

Until then, I am all about the chicken and veggies. Yummmm.

Here are some pics of the hotel:

 Really cool atrium with koi pond.

 Me wanting this master bathroom. Had a lovely soak in this huge tub.

 Amazing kitchen and dining room. We got to cook ourselves breakfast an' everthang. 

 Cozy living room, and teenagers doing what they do...veg in front of the TV.

View from hotel balcony. You can see the top of the parliament buildings all lit up in the back. It's blurry because I could only stand to be outside for one shot. Brrr!

 Me and teenager #1

My Terry and teenager #2. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carbs are my friends, whaddya know?

Since I have added some carbs to my plan, I have felt soooooo much better! Today I was chipper, awake and had energy all day instead of dragging my grouchy ass around. All it took was two slices of whole grain bread last night and some oatmeal today. Other than those additions, I followed the 17 Day Diet. The extra bits are allowing me to reach 1200 calories, finally.

Tonight I had diced chicken and grilled peppers with crushed tomatoes over s piece of 16 grain bread (only 100 calories and darn tasty). I actually felt like I ate something afterwards.

Of course I can't forget today was weigh-in day. Time to see if the scale gods would smile upon me as they once did. And you know what? I got a great big grin today! I am down 6 pounds from last week. Yayyyy!

I am not fooling myself that next week these fickle gods will show me the pearly whites quite so dazzling again. But I will take any loss I can get!

To recap my week...

Following the 17 Day Diet to the letter was a fail.

I was able to resist all temptations that came my way (oh, except the bites of b-day cake).

I have eaten more vegetables this week than I have the last two months combined. No kidding.

I can't wait to see what next week will bring!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I have had to make many changes to my life in the past year, and this past week was no different. Starting my first day back to work I said a big resounding NO to any and all of the junk food I previously happily stuffed into my pie-hole. Well, not so much pie, but anything else was allll gooood. It was surprisingly easy to stay away from my usual pitfalls. Ok, I did look longingly at the trays of warm chocolate chip cookies as I passed near the school cafeteria. Over the past year I would happily go plop down a dollar or two for these delicious morsels. I mean, do they have to be fresh from the oven and ooey-gooey soft? So far, I have managed to ignore them, along with the various pizza sales that go on at lunch time. I was sorely tempted by the arrival of freshly-baked chocolate chip oatmeal muffins in the staffroom on Friday. It was even worse when I went back in later to get something from the printer, and there was one lone muffin left on the plate. No one would know, the devil on my shoulder whispered. Just eat it. Hell with that! I gave the devil a mental flick off my shoulder and cursed the muffin out loud (something to the tune of "fuck you stupid tempting muffin!") and took a picture of it instead.

I know, due to my excellent photography skills this looks like a cookie.
But it is a muffin. Really.

Feels good to resist! But, things have not been all kittens and rainbows and uneaten baked goods with this diet plan.

I have been feeling really drained and light-headed every afternoon. I tried to eat some more protein, as I said I would, but it hasn't helped. I find it really hard to eat any more vegetables or chicken than I already am. Ugh. I was curious to see how close I was getting to the desired 1200 calories/day, so I found a calorie counting website that I liked, and plopped in the food from my week. I had to use some foods that were "close enough" on the available list of foods, and the others I entered manually with the nutrition info on the packaging. I was a bit shocked to see that I was eating between 600 and 800 calories/day. No wonder I was feeling so crappy!! And I guess it makes sense! The fruits and veggies I am eating don't amount to many calories, so the most I am getting comes from the protein. A chicken breast comes in under 200 calories for every one I could find on the lists, so you can imagine my lunches and dinners are very low-cal. Breakfast is ridiculously low-cal if I don't eat eggs- just fruit and yogurt? My yogurt is 35 cal/serving, and an apple is about 65 cal. Um yeah. Not much there. The only way I could see to increase my calories is to eat more protein, but I just can't do it. I can eat more eggs in the form of egg whites, but again, they are just so unappealing.

The other side-effect of this restrictive diet is I have come to sort of hate eating meals. Every time I think of eating more chicken or more salad or more veggies of any kind it is all just so very gag me with a spoon (sorry to get a little valley girl circa 1986 on you). I get crabby and annoyed when faced with what to eat for lunch or dinner. NOTHING appeals to me. I have tried adding the naughty marinara to ground poultry as I mentioned last post, and also salsa the other night. That does help quite a bit, and is better than just a chicken breast. But still, I am so blah about it all! It is demoralizing and making me a crab to be around. This is why I HATE diets. I hate restrictions and that feeling of deprivation. My bf and his kids are having tacos and I CAN'T EVEN HAVE ONE!??! C'mon! My inner child throws a temper tantrum and all I can do is just sit and watch them eat. I tried chicken tacos with lettuce wraps, but it was a fail. The salsa was too watery, and the lettuce was too big and it was just ick. I ended up going with a plate of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, my ground chicken taco meat and a bit of salsa. Kind of a taco salad without the taco. For lunch the next day, I added salsa directly to the meat and heated it up, put that on my salad and YUM much better. That will be lunch today, too.

My solution to all this is to adjust things a little and add some healthy carbs/starches from the Cycle 2 plan into my breakfast and lunch options. I am going to try oatmeal for breakfast and maybe some brown rice or potato with lunch, or maybe a slice of whole wheat bread. I am still trying to stay lower carb, so portion sizing is important here. I am also going to toss out the "no carbs after 2" rule. I have done some research and most critics can find no scientific bases for this. Most say, it's about the calories you eat, not where the calories come from. Makes sense to me! I will stick to the old "no food after 7 pm rule" though (not a rule on 17 Day Diet). That worked for me the last go-round to avoid ingesting late-night calories. I am also allowing myself 1/2 a bag light popcorn as a snack. It is higher in sodium than is strictly healthy, but I don't get salt from anywhere else other than any processed foods I am eating, which right now is almost none. I have never been one to add salt to any dish that I am cooking or eating.

I am hoping that these additions will bring me up to the correct calories and give me some more dang energy! I haven't walked every day because I just feel like a limp noodle. Glad I didn't burn off too many of those precious calories now. 

This plan is still good for getting me back to healthy eating and saying no to bad foods again, but it is just too restrictive for picky-ol' me to be 100% healthy. I will be weighing myself tomorrow morning to see how things are going. 

Hope your New Year's commitments are going well out there! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rules rules rules!!

One of the things that I hate most about diet plans is all the stinking rules. When I break a rule or stray from the path, I feel all bad and guilty.

Yesterday while grocery shopping (for the second time this week- more on that in another post), I got all excited when I checked and saw I could have some low-carb marinara sauce "in moderation." I bought the one with the lowest carbs and started planning how I could use it with my lean protein. I am so tired of chicken and salad already, and that prompted me to buy lean ground turkey this time around. I figured I could do the turkey with some diced peppers and onion with a bit of the sauce. Lemme tell ya, it was delicious!

 As you can see, I still got my trusty salad in there!
(and is it wrong that I wanted to go in and photoshop out that little splotch of sauce?)

So what's the bad, you may ask. Well, I forgot the rule that I am not supposed to eat carbs after 2pm, and the stupid sauce has carbs. I felt the bad guilties. Cheating already, even unintentionally kinda sucks.

The worst part is that it was my niece's birthday dinner last night, and my mom made her favourite dinner (and mine), lasagna with a big ol' birthday cake for dessert. But thanks to my cheater-sauce, I didn't feel all that deprived watching everyone eat lasagna. The hardest part was probably just the smell of that cheesy goodness baking in the oven. My mom even tried it and said it was really good. Yay me! When the birthday cake came out I was faced with another dilemma. Should I have a bit? On this subject I am of two minds:

1. Don't eat the forbidden sugar-fest. It is not on the plan and therefore eating it is bad bad bad. If I start to eat off plan foods, it could slippery-slope me all the way to a pizza and chipapalooza.

2. Eat a tiny sliver of cake. Life is short, and what diet is completely ruined by a smidge of cake.  Complete deprivation of all foods, especially on special occasions could also lead to bad binginess at worst and a feeling of frustration that the plan is too strict at best.

Even my 17 Day Diet partner said, "Just eat the damn cake," or something to that effect. So I ate the thinnest little sliver. And felt bad all over again. Sigh. I can't win.

I did feel better that, after the party people left around 9, I still got on the treadmill to do my 17 minutes of walking. I did it on an incline cuz I am badass like that.

But, I do know that in the grand scheme of things, some errant carbs and a couple bites of cake and icing will not be the end of my healthy eating. This morning it was all about the yogurt and grapes. I have leftover turkey for lunch and my snack bags of cut up peppers and carrots and my 2nd fruit serving of grapes. 

My next dilemma is a trip to Victoria next weekend, and then my own birthday the 18th. Um, why did I start this plan now??? Daaaaaaaaang girl, check your calander!  It's just such a pain in the ass. Eating like this while away blows! I will have to bring yogurt and fruit with us, or buy it there, then only eat at places where I can get a salad and some protein. We had planned to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner while we were there, and boy do I love me some of that sourdough bread and sinfully good garlic butter. Carb heaven! So I miss that? Then for my birthday, do I eat a friggin salad and chicken and leave out the birthday cake? Blargh! This sucks a whole lotta ass. Reason number 464 why I hate diets. Restriction sucks.

Oh yes, and I stepped on the scale today and I am down 2 lbs since Tuesday, so that is encouraging. I won't weigh myself again until next Tuesday, so we will see what the rest of the week brings. If you need me, I will be over here gnawing on some chicken.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I wasn't sure if I was going to do this, but....

...here I am! It took a lot of hemming and hawing to get here, gotta tell ya. After so long away, it is hard to come back, especially after gaining weight. But I figured I should stop being a pussy and just DO IT.

So. Yeah. Um. Well. Hmmm. I guess I should just go ahead and tell you (assuming there is still a you out there to read this) how much weight I have managed to gain back in the last year.

40 lbs.

Yup. Nice eh? I was roughly 167 lbs. give or take when I separated from my husband. Now I am 207. Ugh. It sucks SO MUCH to be back above 200 lbs after being below it for nearly TWO years. The worst part is not fitting into all the awesome clothes I bought the last few years and are now languishing in storage bins. Poop. On toast.

So what am I gonna do about it? Well, I will tell you!

I was talking with my boyfriend's mom over the holidays and she told me she would love to have someone do this diet she had read about with her. She showed me the book, and I thought, what the heck! Might as well give it a go. I figured it would be a good way to motivate me and get my healthy eating jump started.

I have become very, very bad a saying no to food. Cookies, chips, pizza were all eaten with little hesitation. I was, however, very, very good at saying no to exercise. That combination made it possible for me to put on over three pounds a month for the last year. I could use the excuse that I had just separated from my husband for a while, and then that I was living part of the week with my new guy and part of the week at my mom's, so no easy way to get back into a routine. But now, the excuses have worn thin, and I have gotten fat.

Which brings me to my plan. The diet I am trying is the 17 Day Diet created by Dr. Mike Moreno. I know, I know, I HATE the word "diet" too. I can't believe I am actually ON one. But, it is something that is helping me eat healthy foods again AND giving me a structure to stick to, so I can say no to eating crap again. For those of you not familiar with the diet, I will tell you bits and pieces as I go, but I recommend you google that shit cuz I am not going into all of it all here. I will wait.

Done? Good. Ok, so I am doing the first cycle of this diet, and I am on day 3 of 17. I am eating lots of veggies, some fruit, yogurt, chicken and drinking green tea and a ton of water. And I am hungry. Well, today, so far not as much as yesterday. I have done very well following the plan the last few days, even when I cam home starving yesterday. I can eat unlimited veggies and lean protein in this cycle, so I am going to try to eat more to avoid the hunger.

So here's a sample of my day:


cup of hot water with lemon (supposed to aid digestion or some such thing)
cup of green tea
container of fat-free yogurt
medium apple


large salad with peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and 1.5 diced chicken breasts
2 tbsp fat-free Italian dressing
cup of green tea


2nd apple
cut up peppers (1 pepper's worth)  and baby cut carrots (3/4 cup or so)


More salad with grilled peppers and large sliced, herbed chicken breast (omg, so yummy!)
cup of green tea (you sensing a theme here?)


2nd yogurt.

I can eat unlimited veggies and lean protein from a list of foods, and I am supposed to have 2 probiotic servings (I choose yogurt) and 2 servings of fruit. The fruit has to be eaten before 2pm as a part of the "no carbs after 2" rule. Eggs are also allowed, but I can't have any more than 2 egg yolks a week (I think...don't have the info here). I am also supposed to have 2 healthy fat servings (like flax seed oil or olive oil). Next cycle I get to add more foods to my list, and cycle 3 even more foods get added. The first cycle is the most restrictive, but people say they have lost anywhere from 5-15 lbs in the first 17 days. That wouldn't suck.

As for exercise, I am supposed to do 17 minutes of moderate exercise a day (I choose walking). Moderate because the first cycle is so low-cal, it will drain too much energy to do any major exercise. In the next cycles I will increase my exercise.

With exercise, I did fail yesterday. I went to my boyfriend's and didn't get a chance to walk. I felt bad about it, and I probably could have figured out a way. It is harder to find the time when I am there as we are always busy doing things. I have a treadmill at my mom's now, so it is easy to do that the three days I am there. Going to have to be stronger the four days I am at the BF's house, that's for sure.

So that's the plan, for now anyway. Despite my hatred for the "D-Word" I am hopeful that this will help me get back to healthier eating and exercise and saying no to junk food.

And if you think this diet is crap, you are worried for my health, thank you for your concern, but I think I will be ok for 17 days. I won't be eating so low-cal forever, and the plan will get me eating lots of other healthy foods soon. K? K.

Stay tuned for a weigh-in tomorrow! See if anything has come off yet. ;)

Hope everyone in bloggerland is doing well!