Monday, February 23, 2015

Four Day wins?

I love Martha Beck's books and I've been reading her "Four Day Win" "thinner peace" book on and off for a while.

Now I want to combine some of that philosophy with some of the things I'm picking up in the flexible dieting books I'm reading.

So, tomorrow is day one of a four day challenge.

This challenge is "Make better food choices"

1) Eat mostly (80%) whole, minimally processed, nutrient dense, filling foods. (four days = 12 meals * 80% = 9+ meals)
2) Eat a variety of Fruits and Vegetables 5-10 servings
3) Eat a variety of Animal Products

All super easy to do at this point.
I'm trying not to say "I failed" ... again

I'm trying to think of it as, "I've found something else that doesn't work for me."

The problem is it didn't work for me the other two times I tried it, but I did it again anyway *sigh*.

In acknowledging that what I'm doing isn't working, and that what I've done many times over and over again isn't working either I had to sit myself down and figure out some stuff.

First, I started thinking about the more recent times I actually had lost a significant amount of weight...

There was MediFast, super strict food control and quite a bit of exercise (I was doing triathlons almost every weekend) 50+ lbs of weight loss that lasted.. almost no time before I was heavier then ever.

Leanness Lifestyle, super strict food control and quite a bit of exercise 50+ lbs that time too - I 'maintained' a few months while I tried to lose more weight before I lost the 'fight' and gained all the weight and more back again.

Body for Life,  strict food control and daily exercise again I lost a lot of weight 40 or 50 lbs but weight loss slowed and then reversed an a very short amount of time.

Then there was that one time, I ate what I wanted, hardly exercised at all lost a lot of weight and kept it off for a year....

My brain keeps going back to those days -- what was different!?  I wasn't at my goal weight but I was pretty happy with how I looked and felt, and it was effortless.  The only thing that was 'different' about that time then any other time in my life was, I was single, I was living for no one but myself, I was happy.

Now, losing 50 or 100 lbs isn't worth getting a divorce over -- BUT that time at least gives me something to think about and shows me that I have it in me to lose weight and to keep it off for more then a day.

So next I started thinking about what WOULD my ideal diet plan look like.  I've realized that the strict dieting I've done in the past has lead to horrible rebounds and I've suffered from "famine brain" as Martha Beck calls it in her book.  I also knew that 'free eating' didn't really work for me (except for that one time, but as I said I'm not willing to leave my husband to lose weight)  I started a list and here's what I came up with.

My ideal weight loss program:

  • Generally low carb because this seems to be the plan that makes me feel the best (meat, cheese, nuts, veg)
  • Low calorie is ok, but not so low that I feel terribly hungry all the time
  • The ability to have a treat now and then without it blowing out my program or preventing me from losing weight for an entire week
  • Some flexibility (can eat at a friend’s house or restaurant easily)
  • 0-10 minutes of prep time required for each meal.
  • Not huge amounts of pre-planning required
  • Can lose weight without doing hours and hours of workouts (though will support these workouts if I choose to do them)
  • No requirement to eat constantly - as few 2 meals a day if that's all I have time for.

No problem right?

Body for Life was probably the closest to these - so let me check out the pro's and cons

Six meals a day is really too much work and too much thinking about food.  I hated constantly watching the clock waiting for my next meal time to pop up.

The planned free day is exactly what I'm looking for as far as 'allowing' treats. I think I got into trouble when I started trying to justify "two free meals" or some other form of 'allowed' junk foods.  I also hear my inner wild child, or my feast beast or my famine brain saying.. "But what about when they serve cake at work, if you only get one free day, then how do you get to have your cake?"

But then if I just say, free food anytime you want it, I'm not dealing with emotional eating

So I'm trapped between:

Super strict dieting sets off the feast beat - I can only keep it caged for so long before I snap and eat everything I can get my hands on for days on end (or longer). And I'm stuck on a yo-yo of losing a few pounds then putting them back on again plus a few friends.

No food restrictions means that I eat whatever I want whenever I want.  While my binging episodes go down some, I still have the unhealthy habit of eating my emotions and I slowly and steadily gain weight...

The simplicity of, "Eat a palm sized portion of protein and a fist size portion of carbs" is really close to what I'm looking for - no food logging!   Who couldn't walk into a restaurant or a friend's house and figure what to eat with those simple rules.  But that simplicity also lead me to eat a very boring diet.  Every night I would come home and throw some chicken in a pan, put some veggies on top of it and stir fry that with rice.  Every day at lunch it would be a salad with some chopped chicken on top.  There has to be a way to have these same rules but modify them in such a way that I don't have to count calories or carb grams and still feel like I'm eating for my goals.

There was also the fact that I started really undereating - only eating around 700 calories a day in fact -- that of course lead to a really big binge/rebound eating.

Anyway... I've picked up some new books and I've dusted off some old ones to try and figure this out and put a new lifestyle in motion.

The two I'm using to set myself up an eating plan are "Flexible Dieting" by Armi Legge and "A Guide to Flexible Dieting" by Lyle McDonald.  I'm hoping these can help me get some insight into creating a plan where I can limit intake enough to see progress, but not so much that the wild child starts going crazy and takes over my life (again).

As an aside here - remember when I talked about how when I was single for that year my weight loss was effortless?  Well one other answer to that could be because I let my wild child out a LOT back then.  She got to have her way in so many other ways that she didn't have to resort to food as her only outlet for having fun.

I'll come back and post more when I have a more solid plan!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

I know, it's a little late, but what can I say?

My Diet 2 Go experiment start out great.   Then the holidays hit... after that I was back to my starting weight again.  I've pretty much floundered through January and now, here it February and I'm looking to hit it again. I restarted my Diet 2 Go subscription and I was in for some pleasant surprises.  They've added a lot of new meals since the new year and added a lot a variety into the substitutions section.  This is good for me because I'm pretty picky and there were a lot of meals I was substituting and at one point I ended up skipping a while week's worth of breakfast because there was nothing I liked.  The good news is, they don't charge you for meals you've skipped but it meant I had to figure out what I was going to eat those days instead.

So that seems to be resolved now - I went back through the 5 weeks of meals and there isn't a single one where I can't find something I would eat.

This morning my day started with the Diet 2 Go Cheese Omelet which consists of an "Egg Puck" (tastes better then is sounds), cheese, spinach, bacon and salsa.  I throw out the salsa cause I don't eat tomatoes or onions, but the rest got nommed up!  I like the Diet 2 Go eggs, the bacon is good and crisps up nice if you cook it right and the spinach... well it's spinach.  A little salt and pepper and all's good.

Lunch (which I just finished) was Chicken and Bacon Cheddar Melt.  This is a portion of chicken topped with cheese and bacon, spinanch and Broccoli in what they call a "Cajun Cream Sauce".  The chicken was fantastic, the spinach was, again, spinach and the broccoli.  Well, I don't know what they put in the cajun cream sauce but it tasted like someone just soaked everything in vinegar for a long while.   When this comes up again I'm gong to rinse the broccoli off before reheating and HOPE that it's salvageable.  Everything else was tasty enough that this meal is staying in the rotation.

Dinner tonight is Chicken Roma, but I'll review that tomorrow when I post after lunch (at least that's the plan).

On the exercise front.  I made a go of it for a week at the beginning of January, then haven't managed to drag myself out of bed early since then.  I did, however, sign up for a Go-Go Burlesque dance class on Monday nights and I've made every one of those classes.  It's been loads of fun and I'm saving up to re-up when this 12 week series is finished.  I'm struggling to find something else that I enjoy enough that I WILL NOT MISS it no matter what!  Maybe a different dance class every night?  I doubt my husband would like that though.  I really am stuck here.  I have a really hard time getting up early and my evenings are pretty full - (I commute 2 hours each way 3 days a week).  Trying to work out at lunch time hasn't worked for me yet.  Unless I have some sort of appointment I tend to put off leaving my desk until it's too late and it's time to go home.  I'm going to have to spend some more time getting creative in this regard.

As for weight - well, as I said I'm back to my starting weight :(  BUT I do feel fitter and a little thinner around the waist so maybe those dance classes are paying of in some way.  Here's hoping!

I'll be back tomorrow!