Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's a good news bad news kinda post

Let's start with the bad news...I am sick. So there I was, feeling all smug and invincible, convinced my immune system was kicking ass, as everyone around me dropped like stuff that drops fast, when whammo! I got it. Fever, aches, chills, frigging annoying cough.

Boo and hoo.

I started to feel off on Saturday with a bit of a cough. I still went to the park with my fiancé and his kids for a picnic in the sunshine. It was a balmy 12 Celsius and nothing but blue skies, so who could resist? I rode the bike earlier that day, and no problem. I decided to do a few laps around the field and ended up coughing myself into some nice chest pain. I stopped running. I haven't exercised since. :(

The good news is I am down to 215.6. Couple pounds from last time. I'm sure at least one of those pounds is from my lack of eating the past three days.

One thing I realized over the weekend is that I don't think I'm in danger of and carb-rebound weight-gain. I've eaten carbs a few times now and my weight has stayed the same. I'm trying not to overdo it, but I had yorkshire pudding and cake with my late birthday dinner on Sunday (a feat possible thanks to the magic of Neocitron which knocked my fever down for a few hours), and the fam ordered pizza last night. No problemos. I could only eat 2 pieces though...which was amazing. I used to eat 4 without feeling really full. Gotta love stomach shrinkage!

Anyway, that's where I am. I still have this countdown clock in my head. I'm trying to figure if I can lose over 15 lbs more in a month and a half to be under 200 by Jamaica. That would be fine, indeed.

Here's hoping this cough will bugger off soon so I can try some more exercise!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Exercise Shmexercise.

So I'm still down about 10 lbs. It's definitely hit a wall since the thrill of seeing a pound a day leave my body (ok, it was water weight, but it still felt good!). Yesterday I ate a piece of banana bread- ooooh carbs! I thought maybe that would affect some water retention. It's funny, now that I think back, I was peeing like every hour after the third day or so on the low-carb plan. Now I know why! I'm much more back to normal now, so I guess all those lovely glycogens are happy to keep their water for now. Ah well.

That brings me to the thing I dread the most: exercise. Gah, it's the worst for me. Last time on this merry-go-round called weight-loss, I had a TON of people give me advice on exercise. Nice people. Well meaning people. But nothing they could say could help me like exercise. Oh, they said, just find something you like to do that's active and do that! Uh huh. What if there is really nothing I like to do? I only exercise because it is a good way to lose weight and to stay healthy. I suppose if you put a gun to my head and made me choose some sort of exercise that doesn't fill me with dread, I would say maybe walking. I don't hate walking. However, I do hate walking in the cold and the rain, which pretty much rules out the whole area of now- it being winter and all- for walking.

I haven't broken a sweat doing any type of the dreaded exercise yet, but I'd like to plan it out. I'm thinking I'll ride my recumbent bike to start. I like to do hand weights while I ride to give my heart rate a boost and work my upper body. I also have that arm workout video I want to try still. I used to do the 30 Day Shred, but lost the DVD. I replaced it with a similar Jillian DVD, but I didn't like it as much. I keep meaning to grab another copy when I'm out and about- I think it's still pretty popular. I did Jillian's killyourlegsohmygodplankingsucks workout the first time about 8 months into my weight-loss journey last time. It was in December, and I think I lost about 6 lbs in the 30 days. I think that's pretty good considering it was through Christmas feasting and I'd already lost 40 or more pounds.  It really helped develop my core and I got some nice leg definition from all the squats. Yup, I will check her out again for sure.

Wish me luck in my foray back into sweating and muscle pain...oh, and endorphins. I hope I get some of those!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jamaica, mon

(Before I get started, I posted my "WTF Happened" blog up here at the top to sort of tell people what happened when I fell off the blog-dar 3 years ago- sorry if the timeline is confusing!)

Did I mention I am going to Jamaica? In TWO MONTHS?!? It's only because I'm extremely lucky and have the best mom in the universe (no offense to your super moms, but, as in Highlander, there can be only one), and she is paying for my sister and I to go to my brother's wedding. The bitter in the bittersweetness of it all is that she just had a stroke over Christmas and isn't cleared to travel, so we will be going without her. Bitter bitterness, indeed. She's doing much better now, but she has blood clots- the cause of the stroke- and is on blood thinners that require her to get blood tests every three days. So on one hand, I'm excited to go to this amazing island, but on the other, no mom. I also have to leave my fiancé behind, so it will be my sister and I in a romantic tropical setting. The funny part is my brother booked a couples-only hotel, so you never know, we might even get mistaken for a creepy look-alike lesbian couple. NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING. God, no. It's so cool we get to see my little brother get married.

Of course, heading to a tropical island does evoke a small amount of anxiety over having to expose more of my pasty flesh to the world. I have been telling myself for, oh...about six months now, that I need to get my ass in gear and lose some pounds before Jamaica. I had this little internal countdown going. If I start today, I'll have six months to lose weight! If I lose 8 lbs a month, that's almost 50 lbs! Yeah! Then it turned to, if I start today, I'll have four months to lose weight. I can lose 40 lbs in that time! Now I'm down to two months left. Not sure how much I can lose in that time, but I'm certainly going to do my best!

I'm still doing the low-carb, low-glycemic thing, and I love how I feel doing it. I think that low-GI might be the way to go for me, rather than low-carb. Although, I'm thinking they sort of amount to the same thing.

Pretty soon, I'll be off the restrictive Dr. Oz plan and I will start moving my ass with some exercise. My friend sent me this arm work out video that I'm keen to try.

I'm hoping I might get a few people reading my blog again. I'm trolling for new blogs to read since I realized that 90% of my old flogger buddies are all gone from bloggerland. Anyway, if you are joining me and have few spare moments, you can check out my old posts and see the skinny me that I want to be again! I miss that girl. Sigh.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Woah, what the hell happened?

So this is what it feels like to be resurrected. *cough* A bit dusty, a bit rusty, but here I am.

What the hell happened?

I don't have any inclination to regurgitate everything that led me to this place, but here is my new reality.

I am separated from my husband.
I no longer live in my new house.
I am in a new relationship.
I have gained about twenty lbs in the last five months.

You may now pick your jaw up off the floor.

Though I feel horrible for hurting my ex, who is a good person, he is not MY person. The only regret I have is hurting him.

I feel totally shitty for gaining weight. I just plain stopped exercising when the relationship shit hit the fan. My routine was decimated...and I have not managed to get it back on track.

I am about one size some clothes still fit and others are sadly tight. It sucks a lot.

I am getting my shit together slowly here. I have a great new guy in my life...he is amazing and sweet. I have my exercise bike now, which is what helped me lose my first fourty lbs

Wait...what about water weight?

Ahh yes, water weight. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. I lost 10 lbs in 10 days with the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss plan (Not called "Kick Start to Weight Loss" as I had thought...oops), and someone uttered that oft repeated phrase, "Well, you know that's mostly water weight." That someone happened to my brother who was pre-med before he became a high school science teacher. My question back to him was, "Yeah, but do I have TEN POUNDS of water in my body to lose??" He said, "Probably!" Well crap.

I decided I had to look into it. I found, through my friend Google, a web page that seemed to explain the whole concept of water weight. You can read it here. Basically, it says that people who go on a very low carb diet, such as the one I am on, the majority of that first bunch of weight is water. It is all very scientific with words like 'glycogen' which is apparently stored in your liver. Glycogen is also known for attaching itself to water molecules, "it turns out that each gram of glycogen is bound to four grams of water.This means that when your liver and muscles are charged up with glycogen you gain four times the weight of that glycogen in water." What? FOUR TIMES!??! That's just evil.  Of course that means that as soon as you eat carbs again, you replace that glycogen and its accompanying water. Thus, you gain weight rapidly.

I always knew any weight quick to come off or quick to come back wasn't real weight. I would often go up a couple pounds after a heavy meal or a birthday celebration, but over the next few days of normal, healthy eating it would go away again.

That being said, water weight isn't the only weight I've lost on this plan. I know that some of it is real fat loss. I did go a little crazy over my birthday weekend and ate off plan with carbs and fat and sugar galore, and I did gain a few pounds back. Make that 2. So, I think that it's safe to say that I've lost some real weight here! Yayyy!

That also inspires me to try to incorporate some complex carbs in my diet after my 2 weeks are up, to see if it triggers any of the old hunger signals. Oh yes! The article explained that too!

That's because when you cut out your carbs you eliminate the blood sugar swings that cause hunger in most people. The cravings you used to get when dieting may fade out in as little as two weeks. When you stop eating in response to those nasty hunger cravings, you will find it much easier to eat a whole lot less than you used to. It is the drop in calorie intake that follows this drop in hunger that that results in the very real and often dramatic weight loss so many long-term low carbers report.

Well smack my ass and call me Betty, that's exactly what's happening to me! This diet is specifically tailored to cut cravings because it cuts carbs and processed sugar! Aha! I get you know Dr. Oz. 

Well, I did get this before, but it's just explained way better in the article. So, there ya go. I'll stay low carb for now, and try to incorporate some of the better, slowwwwww burn carbs later. Like sweet potatoes (those are the bomb yo) and whole grains. I really want to try this refrigerator oatmeal I've been hearing about. Looks seriously yummy.

I gotta say, I seriously love not feeling hungry all the time. It's like a whole new world, where I think maybe I can just forget about food for a while. Like make it so it's not a thing in my life. A constant, insistent thing. Here's to trying, anyway. ;-)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lordy, lordy look who's forty (and blogging!)

So here I am, on the verge of turning forty, and what do I find myself doing? Trying to lose weight. Again. Go figure! Yes, weight-loss goals have dragged me back into the blogging world. I thought I might as well give it a go again. It's been an age and a half since I've last blogged, but maybe there are some die-hards out there who might see this in their blog feed and remember me from the good ol' days. If so, Hello! How are you?

I seem to be getting about 20 hits a day on this poor dusty thing despite the lack of blogging activity. I always wonder what people think may have happened to me since the last blog post so long ago. Well, I will tell you.

I gained more weight. Not a horrible, terrible, ghastly amount of weight, but basically I am back where I was when I started this whole crazy journey in 2009. If you want to know part of what happened you can hit my archives to my last blogs before this one.

 Last time I blogged I was trying out the 17 Day Diet, and I have to say that was a miserable failure. The restrictions made me feel like a grumpy, hungry bear with a head full of fuzz. I just ended up eating normally, which means poorly, immediately after and gained back the 7 lbs I lost. Since then, I've skated along, being unhappy with my body but doing nothing about it and slowly, bit by bit creeping up to my current weight. Well, not quite. Because I have started again. I was looking for a nice way to kick-start my weight loss because I have to do something. Not just for my health and happiness, but also because I'm going to freakin' Jamaica in two months! That's the land of shorts, tank tops and the dreaded bathing suit. I've been telling myself for FOUR months already that I would get started on a weight-loss plan "soon". Yes, soon. It will happen soon. Or never. Maybe never.

I had to give my head a shake. When the new year came and went and I was till doing a bunch of nothing, I stumbled across Dr. Oz's Kick-Start to Weight Loss plan. I thought I'd see if my fiancé would be into trying it with me. What I like about it was all the veggies in the plan. We were just telling our fat selves that we have to eat more friggin' veggies already. Also, it was supposed to cure cravings for sweets and carbs.  All good stuff to me! So we went out and bought a shit-ton of crap the plan had on it's shopping list (I love that it has a shopping list!). We couldn't find rice protein powder at le crappy grocery store we frequent because it's cheap, so we bought a whey-based powder instead. If I had to wait another day to start this thing to scour health food stores, I might never start. It was now or never. I am SO glad I chose now. :)

If you want to check the plan out, click here

It's pretty simple stuff. The first day came, and I started off with a smoothie of raspberries, banana, unsweetened almond milk, flax seed and  protein powder. I was a bit worried I would be starving a couple hours after drinking this, but it is definitely filling with some staying power. I am supposed to have hot water with lemon, but my slow-ass doesn't have time for that in the morning.

Unlimited veggie broth is on the list as well. We found some organic stuff (recommended if you don't make it yourself), but it wasn't low-sodium. We found low-sodium the next shopping trip though. I put about two cups of the broth in my trusty Costco thermos with some liberal sprinklings of pepper and sip it most of the afternoon.  I can also eat unlimited amounts of low-glycemic index veggies throughout the day as well. Veggies are not really my thing, so there are about 5 on the list I really like eating. I decided to cut up a bunch of colourful peppers to snack on at work along with some sliced cucumber. I also made a salad of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, red onion and a bit of balsamic for dressing (the only "approved" item for salad dressing). I now add a couple small grilled chicken cubes and/or brown rice to this salad to keep it interesting and more filling. I've also brought homemade hummus for my veggies.

For dinner, the first day we did chicken in a marinade of balsamic, bit of olive oil, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, basil and pepper along with brown rice and salad. We have since then also made turkey chili with kidney beans and crushed tomatoes (though we had to cheat a wee bit and add some tomato sauce), and it was delicious, and turkey meatballs which were meh.

For snacks at home,  I have some plain 2% Greek yogurt. Plain. Yuck. It was so bad I had to try some vanilla and cinnamon to choke it down. Le crappy grocery store doesn't like to stock the plain yogurt, so we ended up with vanilla after that, and wow is it so much better! I felt a bit bad as it has more sugar than the plain, but I luuuuurve eating it, and I need something that makes me happy to eat it on this plan. I also have nuts and the hummus and veggies at home. I plan on making some wicked tzatziki as well. Garlic-y goodness!

Here's what it all looks like broken down for me.

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Salad with tomatoes, onion and balsamic dressing*

Snacks: 1 cup sliced bell peppers, veggie broth, sliced cucumber, hummus, handful of nuts, yogurt

Dinner: 6 oz chicken, 2 cups salad greens, tomatoes, sautéed bell peppers and onion, 1 cup brown rice.

*I sometimes add 1/2 cup rice and some chicken, but then take that portion from my dinner.  

The result? I've lost 9.5 lbs in 10 days. I feel good. I feel energetic. I have less body pain (weird, right?), and I am less sleepy in the mornings and evenings. AND I don't have any desire to eat sugar or carbs. Not only that, but I am almost never hungry! Even when I am hungry, it feels different. I used to feel this pit of gnawing emptiness in my stomach when I was hungry before. Like this insatiable monster was screaming "Feed me! FEED ME!!" in my head constantly. And the monster didn't particularly give a crap what I put in there, just as long as it was something. That something was invariable full of sugar and fat. Now, my hunger is like this tiny little fairy lightly flitting around my stomach saying, "Oh hi! Yes, I'm a bit hungry, but it's no big deal. Feed me whenever you like!" It's the weirdest thing! Quite often if I ignore it, the little fairy just gives up and goes off to do whatever little stomach hunger fairies do.

It's like the polar opposite from my 17 Day Diet experience. So. Much. Better!

A little more about the body pain. For about a month before this, I had a very annoying pain in my back on the right side that only came after I was lying in bed for several hours. It started out I never felt it unless I was in bed for like 8 hours (like on a blissful sleep-in on a Sunday), but it gradually came on sooner and sooner. In the end it hurt after about 4 hours of lying down. I thought maybe it was my mattress, but since we can't afford a new one right now, kinda just let it be. About 3 days into this diet my back stopped hurting. Just. Stopped. No idea WTF is up with that. None.

So that brings me back to today, on the cusp of turning forty. Where do I go from here? How do I start this next chapter of my life?

First of all, I plan to stick to this plan! I like it. Dr. Oz said somewhere to add unlimited lean protein and nuts to the plan for long term. I do get a bit sick of veggies, but I am trying some new ones. We had roasted cauliflower the other night. Nope, still tastes like cauliflower despite the internet's exuberant claims it could convert me. Darn you Pinterest and all your lies. The sautéed eggplant we did last night was a bit more palatable. I also plan on addressing my old nemesis: exercise. I don't like it. I worked out every day for 4 months on my last weight-loss journey and it worked great. I don't want to do that this time. Ick. I  do want to do some sort of activity every day, but I'm thinking walks will intersperse more intense workouts. I'll let you know how it goes.

Overall, I'm extremely hopeful for the future. Losing nearly 10 lbs is extremely motivating. Not feeling hungry all the time is also extremely motivating! Maybe I can stop obsessing over what/when I'm going to eat next because my stupid stomach monster is gone.

I do have one hurdle to get through. Since tomorrow is my birthday, I'm eating off-plan. I've planned it, even. I will eat normally for breakfast and lunch, but dinner will be something else, and there will be some appies and chocolate cake for the party. I'm a bit worried the hunger monster will return after I consume a bunch of carbs and sugar, but it's my 40th freakin' birthday! I'm eating and having some dang cake. But, I will go back on the plan, and will even tack on a few extra days to make up for it.

Stay tuned to find out what happens in the aftermath of eating (ok, and if I'm being honest, drinking) "the old way" for a night!

Stats:  Day 10

Starting Weight: 228
Current Weight: 218.5

Weight lost: 9.5 lbs