Holiday Frenzy

December 1st, 2010

Why is it that the Christmas season used to feel long and fun and now even though it starts earlier every year (at least in the stores) it whizzes by and I can’t seem to keep up! We do have a big family and so the gift buying always takes time. Every year I say I will start early, but as shopping is not fun for me I always procrastinated and end up scrambling.

Dieting during the holidays is another difficulty because of all the events and parties. I end up making cakes and cookies that I need to take to these, but really should not eat myself. Then when you are at an event there is the desire to taste all the yummy looking dishes or pressure from people saying ” oh you have to try the pie, casserole, cookie, etc that I made, it is soooooo good…… “.

I am taking each event as it goes. Thanksgiving was at my house and I was able to make versions of my favorite foods that were less calorie and carb intensive. For example when making the sweet potato casserole I took some of the potatoes and added olive oil instead of butter and did not add any sugar. I topped them with just some pecans and they were really delicious yet diet friendly. The same with the green bean casserole and the asparagus casserole. I did eat small tastes of the pies and stollen but stayed away from carb intensive cake. I didn’t lose any weight, but I didn’t gain any either. I accept that sometimes the scale won’t move for awhile and that is ok.

I plan to taste things that I want to taste but keep to my protein shakes and bars for many of my meals. I will add more salads and soups to counteract hunger for the carb intensive stuff. I am not going to stress about food, the holidays have enough stress as it is!

Weigh In!

November 24th, 2010

I weighed in at 168 this morning so I am very elated since this is a new 10 year low! I am down a total of 42 lbs since mid June and I even took almost two months off the diet for my intensive travel during October and November. I think the horse back riding and the exercise I am doing to strengthen my legs and core is helping me to lose weight faster again. I did also help unload a bunch of hay yesterday. I love exercise that accomplishes something.
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving but dreading it to. I don’t want to over eat and sabotage how good I am feeling so I think I will cook separate versions of sweet potato casserole, asparagus casserole and green bean casserole in small dishes for myself so that I can enjoy them but without the extra carbs and fat that all the flour, sugar, marshmallows etc add. I don’t really like those much anyway.

The best exercise machine!

November 23rd, 2010

I actually have several excercise machines but just a few days ago I found one that I am really going to thoroughly enjoy!
My Nordic track is the oldest. I’d say it is at least twenty years old and it has occupied it’s very own spot of honor in the attic for about 19.5 of those years. Then there is the one that Chuck and Christie are always telling us really works. I’m happy to report that when I do use it it does work! But I have a real problem convincing myself to be consistent!
I also have a Gazelle, perched in front of the TV in the bedroom. Oddly enough I prefer sitting on the couch when watching TV.
Time to get some real exercise! I finally figured out why I find it so difficult to deal with these machines………Booooooooring!
So I decided that I needed to do something challenging and fun, exhilarating and new, something outdoors and enjoyable. No not running or even walking. Where is the excitement in that!
I am taking up horseback riding! Dressage in particular. Had my first lesson on Sunday from a woman who is an excellent rider as well as an excellent teacher. I can’t believe how fun it was! They tell me it is great exercise too, but to me that is the side benefit from the pure joy of it!
I think I will advocate finding excersize in the activities we truly enjoy and we are much more likely to stick with it!
I may even be more motivated to use the exercise machines to build up the core strength I need to be a good rider. I so love the horses!

A Diet that Really Works!

November 21st, 2010

And works fast! who wants to spend months losing just a few pounds? I have been so pleased with my results and the fact that the weight came off so quickly. I enjoy shopping for clothes again now, no need to go to the specialty stores that sell clothes for size 14 womens and over. I never had much luck finding things that looked decent there. Why do they have so many things that are sleeveless or with puffed sleeves? both made me look even bigger.
I am now totally convinced that carbs are what makes most people overweight! And right behind them are fats. I have been reading several blogs that are written by calorie counters and most of them try so hard to stay under 2000 or 1600 calories. I read what they eat. Usually, cereal, bagels, sandwiches, pasta, potatoes etc. The problem with this is that the more carbs you eat, the more you crave. Read up on type two diabetes and insulin resistance. Most seriously overweight people are facing one or the other. The only way to stop this vicious cycle is to reduce the carbs and fat you take in and give your pancreas a rest!
No matter what diet type you prefer if you don’t reduce the carbs and fat you eat, the weight will not stay off. You can only starve yourself for so long before your body rebels and you en up gorging on food.
so you are probably wondering what you should eat if it is not to be carbs and fat? What about protein and fiber? Think meat, fish and non starchy veggies. it is really simple. and take my word for it after three or four days the carb cravings stop and your energy level will increase. If you say , but I can’t live without some sweets or treats, that is fine, but substitute chocolate, or vanilla protein shakes and protein bars to get your sweets. use stevia in your coffee or tea and totally eliminate sugar and diet sodas (they also raise your insulin levels).
If you try this for a week, you will lose weight. Probably more than you would lose in a month of calorie counting. what does this diet cost? Nothing more than you are already paying for food. probably less if you buy lots of processed and diet food.
Try it for a week, make sure you leet your daily carbs below 35 to 40 grams. Read the rest of my posts to find out exactly what I eat and read the labels on everything to check carb content. For veggies you can google carbs in vegetables to get a list. Eat enough meat, veggies and salad so you won’t be hungry. watch what you drink too, it counts and drink lots of water to flush out the fat and the toxins in it! No diet that makes you hungry will work long term.

Back From Florida!

November 20th, 2010

My Aunt and Uncle just had a fantastic Fiftieth Anniversary party and it was so worth the long trip to Florida to attend. My family lives all over this country and several other countries and it was great seeing folks I hadn’t seen in years. Our family loves to party and by party we mean eat and drink! I certainly ate way more than I should have and the schnapps and wine really aren’t diet friendly either. I did lots of walking and we took my daughter to Epcot on one of the days. The best thing about theme parks is the exercise you can get zipping from ride to ride!
Speaking of Epcot, this is the time of year to go - no lines. from what I could see only one of the four parking lots plus was full. It is really pleasant to walk in and get right on a ride, it makes you feel good about the over eighty dollar per ticket price. We tried lots of international foods, deciding to split them like snacks instead of having big meals.
Got home and had not gained or lost any weight. Considering all the off plan food I am getting more confident that my metabolism is defiately changing for the better.
I am taking up a new sport tomorrow. I need the exercise and have fallen in love with horses. So at my ripe old age I am going to learn to ride!

Back From Australia!

November 10th, 2010

Well I have been off my diet for the past five plus weeks. I have not gone hog wild on food, but have had many more carbs than the IP plan allows. I didn’t really have a choice because when you travel, especially to another country you don’t normally have the same foods available to you. I also wanted to fully experience the foods native to the culture I am visiting. I really believe in culture immersion to make your experience more native and enjoyable.
I also had wine with my dinners and a few cocktails with friends. My trip was great and the scary part was getting home and onto the scale. I only gained 2.5 lbs. Which is to be expected the day after you get off a diet like this because once you increase the daily carbs you will retain some extra water which thee body stores with them.
This reenforces the fact that the IP type diet resets your metabolism. I am slowly easing back to my diet as another twenty pounds of fat still needs to be removed from my body. I’m a size 10 right now but since I am very small boned I probably need to get back to a size eight to feel really comfortable.
The holidays are always so much harder when trying to lose weight so I see a challenge coming on.
I am thinking that right now I may rethink my foods again to allow more carbs especially in the form of fruits, veggies and whole grain breads. I will post the new eating plan soon and let you know how progress goes with it.

When I look back at my weight loss records I can see that I lost I lost 25 lbs from June 18 through July 31st. That equates to 25 lbs in the first six weeks. The first two weeks of that I just cut back the carbs and ate two salads per day with my meals. The four weeks after that I stayed on the IP alliterative plan that I outlined in the first few posts here. I did not cheat at all and since I was in ketosis, had really no cravings or desire to cheat.
Now if I look at August and September, I only lost about fifteen more pounds in two months! although that is not bad weight loss from the supposed two lbs per week rule, it is still significantly less than what I was apparently capable of.
What was the difference? My son got married at the end of July and all the family was in town. I had a few drinks, ate more carbs than I should have and had some wedding cake etc. Then a few weeks later I went to a week long conference that provided meals for us. I tried to eat on plan but lasagna and stuffed noodles, pies etc. Aren’t exactly diet friendly. A couple of weeks after that I went to the state 4 h horse show with my daughter and the farm she rides with. Those four days I should have had the shakes and bars I brought with me but decided to fit in and had some bread, eggplant pram, carrot cake etc.
So despite all the off plan days, I did not gain any weight back. I did not lose what I could have though. Since I do the alternate plan ( I don’t work with a clinic or buy IP foods) it did not cost me as much money wise but I still would like to get this weight off and then be able to go to phase two, three and four and eat more normally.
With my big trip coming up I have to face the fact that I will probably stall for another month. I have learned to make better food choices though and know that I need to limit carbs, and especially sugars!
If you are struggling with wether or not to cheat on a diet where ketosis is the goal to get your body burning the fat don’t do it. All the days it takes to get into ketosis, usually three or four are lost when you eat too many carbs or sugars. If you must cheat, then cheat smart with one of the protein bars that taste like a candy bar or nuts or cheese and severely limit the quantity. The extra fat in these will help satisfy hunger and not stop ketosis. A piece of cake, donut, candy bar etc. Will stop ketosis and cause more cravings when the sugar high drops after a few hours and make it likely that another cheat will happen. Some people also tell themselves “I already blew it so another few cheats for the day won’t make a difference” WRONG! The more carbs you eat the more you will crave. Carbaholism works just like alcoholism. Giving in to the fallacy that one little cheat won’t mater will lead down a very slippery slope.
Find ways to stop the cheat by getting on line at the forums to find inspiration. Change the activity that brings on cheats. Walk out of the room. Do something you have been putting off. Go brush your teeth, do some jumping jacks, get on facebook etc. Remember your goals, pat urself on the back for all the progress you have made so far. Picture yourself in that lovely new bathing suit you will be buying next summer…..

Busy Week Ahead

September 27th, 2010

I am praying for a less hectic and more productive week. I have decided that this needs to be a happy week so I can lose a few more pounds before I leave on my trip to Austrailia. Of course hearing about the emergency landing on the news this morning isn’t helping with the calm factor.

One of my family members is undergoing some biopsy outpatient surgery this morning and I am praying the news will be good. This has been a rough year for our family as far as health issues go. I feel like my weight loss will definitely help my own health. I have been in a caregiver role before and it can have huge impacts on your own health.

another lost pound today confirms that I have been retaining water. I will mix up a huge jug of my water, lemon juice and stevia on ice today and make sure I drink it all!

if anyone has any hint for traveling in Austrailia, let me know!

Rough Week!

September 26th, 2010

I only lost one pound this week and I attribute some of that to stress. I was really worn out after spending four days, thur to Sunday last week at the state horse fair with my daughter and friends. It was hard to eat on plan. Then Monday I found out that a lady I work with and think the world of because of her positive attitudes and energy, was diagnosed with cancer. I have been praying for her and know that she has a great burden to deal with right now. Then I got some kind of infection on the right side of may face that presented as horrible toothache pain. Had to go on antibiotics for that. Also the stress of an upcoming trip that I still have a bunch of planning and packing to do added more pressure.
I am just really tired and having trouble sleeping and nausea from the antibiotics. Being sick sucks! I have added yogurt and some fruit to my diet. I expect that will slow down weightless. But that is ok as I am in a size 10 now and don’t want to lose too much after I pack for my month long trip. I also expect I will have to eat more carbs next month so if I maintain my current weight until I get back home I will probably be fine. With all the walking I will be doing I don’t think it will be too hard.

Why so many diets don’t work

September 23rd, 2010

I tried lots of other diets before this one and many didn’t even last two weeks. Many of you have probably had similar experiences, or diet failures. Since this plan is working so well for me I have been thinking about the “why?”.
So here is my thoughts:
1. I am not craving carbs - this used to tempt me to cheat
2. I am not hungry - I am eating enough food volume, probably more than I used to eat.
3. I have lost weight rapidly - it is encouraging to drop clothing sizes in just two weeks
4. I have not had to add exercise - it is actually discouraged the first few weeks.
5. I have not had to prepare elaborate diet meals - not a whole lot of effort or time required.
6. I can order meals at restaurants that comply - makes eating out easy.
7. I have more energy and feel better than before- makes keeping to the plan easier.
8. I have not gained any of the weight back- even when I have eaten off plan for a day or two.

I think the fact that I never used to eat breakfast, used to eat a sandwich or soup at lunch, ate a big dinner and lots of snacks after that really was the worst way to eat. I now cringe when I see people eat cereal and a banana for breakfast because I know that the carb load will make them starve for more carbs by lunchtime. I drink a protein shake or eat two eggs and I won’t get the blood sugar jolt, get fuel for my muscles and have to remind myself to eat again at lunch time.
I have a huge salad for lunch with romaine lettuce and up to two cups of additional veggies either piled on top or sauté them in some olive oil. The I can have up to five ounces of tuna or chicken breast or other protein. Believe me when I tell you that there is no room for dessert or anything else. At dinner I have meat or fish, another two cups of veggies and another salad if I want. The key is that the veggies must be the low carb ones like spinach, squash, cucumbers, zucchini,mushrooms,broccoli,cauliflower,turnip greens, etc. But all of these can be sautéed, steamed, raw etc. And you can use spices that will enhance the flavors.
Yes, sometimes I think I would like to have the bread, potatoes, sweets, cakes etc. But I don’t seem to crave them the way I used to. I look at them and ask myself, do I want to knock myself out of ketosis for three days and set back my weight loss? Or would I be satisfied with one of my protein shakes or bars instead? They are like milkshakes or candy bars and can satisfy that sweet craving but won’t compromise my weight loss. Usually that works and I get past it.
I still don’t understand diets that make you reduce you calories but don’t change the things you eat. What you eat has a huge effect on how you feel and how your body will crave food. I understand that not all diets work for all people but diets that don’t address your blood sugar levels will never get you past feeling hungry and hungry people will get tired of feeling that way and eventually eat the wrong foods. And exercise, while great for you, does not do the trick when you are starving hungry and eat a 500 calorie piece of cake. It probably would take two or three hours of strenuous exercise to work that off. Diet sodas are another joke. The aspartame in them makes blood sugar spike just like sugar and you are guaranteed to feel really hungy a few hours later. If I can’t control my hunger any diet I try will fail. You can have willpower for a few days but most of us dieting need to lose more than three to five lbs.
We also want a diet that can become a way of eating long term. Many people lose weight on diets but then gain it right back when they go back to ‘regular’ eating. I realize that I will never be able to do that. I will always need to limit my grains, carbs, sweets etc. My diet plan has phase 1 through 4 and if I start to gain weight I will be back on phase 1 for several days until I lose it again. It is a lifetime thing. Many people dieting tell themselves….when I finish this diet and can eat this or that again. Most likely this or that will have to be controlled or eliminated, or the weight will come back.