Fruit N Vegetable Food Challenge

Posted by lettucelose on December 8th, 2011 |Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 228 Comments

Today I resume my reduced calorie food plan and a revised work out program. After a very tense and stressful four-six weeks (all about being short on funds) I decided to take a “time out” this past week and just give myself a “rest” from all the “bean counting”. Dieting is stressful enough on its own without the addition of other external factors.

I have gone through two plus weeks of the worst insomnia I have ever had. I had been accustomed to going to bed around 2-3 am anyway but it seems like once I got into bed I couldn’t seem to settle down. My knees would hurt, my back would feel sore, then I might have a reoccurring itch that bothered me or simply I couldn’t get comfortable. Or I would fall asleep for an hour or two and then be wide awake. Last night I ended up taking 6 Tylenol PM over a period of 12 hours in order to finally drop into bed totally exhausted. Once I fall asleep I do usually sleep around 6-8 hours and it is restful sleep  but I have also been getting up around 2-4 pm! So, then the cycle repeats itself. I’m not tired before 2 am and then it starts all over again. I almost feel like a vampire…certainly, nocturnal. I keep thinking that I have adjusted so well to this that it is a shame that I am not working a third shift job. I certainly could do it. I have gone to bed as late as 8 am.

Like I said, I am resuming my reduced calorie food plan and working out today. I will also resume posting on the different groups that I have been posting on. I have had a dismal “show” of my lackluster efforts especially this past month. I would not say I was even trying by the third week of March. I am afraid that I may have even temporarily gained some of my weight lose back. I do think that a lot of it is the kinds of foods I am eating and I believe that if I can really watch the calories for even 4-5 days I will see an initial 5-6 lbs weight lose.

I have decided that I am going to drop down to 1500-1700 calories per day. Mostly because I can’t count on being active enough to eat more calories, in spite of my weight. I am also going to continue doing the strength training exercises since they seem to have been easy to adapt to my joints. I am really going to try and do a complete yoga/pilates dvd and I may even return to Richard Simmons since that does “break a sweat” and it isn’t as static on my joints as walking on the treadmill seems to be. One thing that I look forward to with getting some more money into our account is that I want to return to buying foods that will allow me to follow a more specific plan rather than hit and miss like I have been doing. I am sure that I will feel like I am “starving” for the first several days until my stomach gets accustomed to less food. Hopefully, drinking lots of water will help. None of this will work if I don’t apply it. I might actually have a new incentive to do so.

I decided that I would start a diet blog on 3FC when I resumed posting on there on a regular basis. I just wanted to be able to look back and see how I did and how far I had come. Well, the intention was good but the first two months has been short of a disaster. I ate a lot of extra sweets during the month of February. Then, in March, I was “pushing” for us to eat out a lot so I had to contend with the added sodium in restaurant food. Now, I am hoping that with spring really here and April being a new month that I will get back on track and make up for lost time. April will only be different if I make different choices. Period!

An incentive that I had never considered is the fact that since posting my diet blog I have actually had people who have checked it out and even commented on the content. As I was explaining to Paul, I now feel some added pressure to make sure that I am “walking the walking as well as talking the talk”. No, I’m not ranting about being obese and having been obese for nearly thirty years. However, I also haven’t applied all of the insight that I have shared either. So, this month has to be a plan of action put into practice. I understand if I don’t have dramatic results and I’m not even sure that any of the readers are expecting that but I have to at least put forth the effort.

One thing that I have given up, which I think is a good thing: is not pre-planning the end results. Who knows if I will lose  2 lbs or 10 lbs this coming month but whatever I lose I really have to put forth a good faith effort or I will risk losing my credibility which is something that I don’t want to do. So, I am returning to the belly of the beast and it starts when I awake from whatever sleep I will get between now and later this morning/early this afternoon.

Well, Day One of my returning to “eating less and moving more” wasn’t too bad. Although I pushed the calories over by 300 by eating a whole dark chocolate candy bar. It doesn’t feel like I am being “off ” my food plan since dark chocolate does not seem like a “sweet”. Paul got me a 90% dark chocolate bar the other day. It was like eating baking chocolate. It was bitter. I finished it off but it was definitely not something that you would “pig out on”. This one was 60% cocoa so it was more palatable. I definitely will continue to buy dark chocolate when we go to the grocery store. I really find that chocolate has a soothing effect on me and the antioxidants it has is also beneficial. I did my strength exercises. I also went into the grocery store with Paul. I feel like I would like to check everything out on the shelves. There just seems to be so many interesting choices. I can see that Publix is moving towards more “green” and organic foods. In some ways it seems like it is becoming more of a speciality store. I do know that I like it a lot and I like the direction that it is going too. Since we are “watching” what we spend there, I have fallen back on buying some of the generic store brands for things like bread, eggs and milk. For a long while I was buying Smart Balance, organic milk and Nature’s Own bread, which are all more expensive but lately I feel we need to cut back, at least for awhile. I’ll return to those other brands when it looks like our “finances” are improving.

IF he would have had a weekly paycheck that we knew what it was and it was something we could count OR if both of us were working, then I might have agreed to it but we do not know from week to week what his income will be. We are literally (and have been) living week to week for months now. I am so damn sick and tired of being so strapped for money. It has stressed me out so much for the past several months and especially the past couple of weeks. I am sure that is why I was having such difficulty sleeping. Here I thought it was all behind me. We need a break and we need it badly! I will admit that we do have spurts of extra cash that have really come in handy but that is not the same as moving us up economically from just above the poverty line to a more secure level of income. I have prayed and prayed about this until I feel like I am tapped out. I do feel like I have faith that God will and has answered our prayers in many different ways and many different times but this is one area that it just seems like we are limping along.

4/2/11: Well, I have lost 2 lb of sodium-induced weight. It is a shame that I have as my “official” weight on BLC as 268 lbs. I still have 6 lbs before I will reach that. We are starting up a new challenge in my BLC support group. It is a fruit n vegetable challenge which I feel relatively confident that I can meet each day quite easily especially if I put my mind to getting all my vegetables in. Also, for the person who has the biggest percentage of weight lose besides eating all their fruits and vegetables plus a mystery value(which I’m not sure what that would be either) has a chance to win a BLC t-shirt. I think that would be really neat if I did win it although a lot of these people are a lot farther along than I am in terms of being able to be physically active. I’ll do my best which I really hope that I do this month. It would be nice to be the “comeback kid”. P, the leader of this group, lost over 10 lbs in the past 4-6 weeks. She also does a lot of working out. She seems to be the one who is the most motivated. It is hard to tell what the others are doing though. It sounds like a lot of them are either just maintaining (like myself) or bouncing back and forth (like myself). The person to beat then would be P.

Well, for me the real key for me is to keep my calories down and try to find ways to get activity that burns calories in. I did walk with Paul when we went grocery shopping last night. I didn’t have much  pain in my knees. As long as I go slow, it is doable. I am going to try Richard Simmons dvds again. I find them fun and I do end up “sweatin”. I am going to do my best to make this a priority and keep it a priority from now on.

4/4/11: Again, it is around 1 am on Monday. I still consider it Sunday night though. Well, so far I have been doing pretty good with my food plan. I weighed this afternoon and I was down 6 lbs!! I have noticed that if I can keep my sodium around 2500 mg I can see some weight lose. So, 3000 is just too much for me and anything above that I know I will be retaining some “water weight”. I was back on the website a few minutes ago so I put down the weight I was last Monday and also Friday even though I am not sure if I will weigh in on that later Monday morning. I do think that if I have a really good week I could easily surpass that. I sure hope so. It will be nice to be on the “same page” both at home and the website. I knew it was sodium-induced weight gain and I believed that if I really kept a close tab on everything I would lose that quickly. That may not happen after this initial weight lose but for now I will be happy back to what I am posting on BLC and also my ticker on 3FC.

I am very proud of myself for saying “No’ to our favorite Chinese restaurant and instead using that money we would have spent there on additional groceries to support my food plan. I knew we would spend $20 there and we really didn’t a lot of groceries when we went on Friday night. When I weighed and saw the lose I was so glad that was what I chose to do. Now, maybe, I can lose 2-3 lbs a week if I can really stick to my food plan, drink the water and especially keep that sodium around 2000-2500 mg.
It really means that I will have to consider carefully what foods I am willing to eat based on their sodium content. Well, we have four weigh ins this coming month. May 2nd is  the first Monday so I have 4 weeks to lose an additional 10-12 lbs with 15 being the best. Although I have no way of knowing if my body will respond in the way I would like it to; ideally, I would like to be 258 lbs by May 2nd.

Well, I have my “work” cut out for me. I limited myself to the mini chocolate candy bars but my dinner was pretty sparse. Since I had two hamburgers for lunch I ended up only having an apple for dinner and some chocolate candy bars. I could have had peanut butter on celery but, quite honestly, the candy bars sounded better. I didn’t exercise although I had intended to. I feel somewhat self-conscious when Paul is hanging out around here. However, I am going to have to get over that because I do need to work out. Period!

Later in the Day/Evening of 4/4/11:

I ended up having 2 1/2 hours sleep! Tops! I am speechless about this and how it has evolved. I am trying not to “freak out” about it and not dwell on the fact that I have bouncing between 3 hours of sleep and 10-12 hours of sleep. Obviously, it is not a “normal” sleep pattern. I actually awoke feeling hungry so I got up and made a breakfast like I like to have only it is usually 600 calories or 1/3 of my daily calories.  I am very tense about deciding whether to get a quick cash loan or not. I often wondered what we would do in a real “emergency” and now I think I know where we could turn to. It is sort of a relief to know that we would be able to get access to some quick cash if we absolutely needed it.
After all, we might need to fly home to Minnesota if one of our parents became seriously ill.  Or car repairs that extended what we could comfortably come up with. However, I don’t want to use it just because we “failed to plan”.

Then, we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and I made some good choices. I was so hungry though that I could have easily gone back for seconds on many of the different food choices. I didn’t. I managed to keep my sodium under 3000 mg which that is saying something considering how notorious Chinese food for being high in sodium and probably MSG. I ate more foods off of the cold buffet like fresh fruits and vegetables. Still, I went away wanting “more”. Later in the afternoon after the wire transfer was done with the money I felt like I was relaxed enough to lay down. I fell asleep for about 2 hours. When I got up we watched one of our movies. When he went to bed I made homemade chicken noodle soup. It smells so good in here. I had promised him that I would make that Sunday and then today so it was close to midnight but I “got it done” In fact, he smelled it and he came out around 2 am to take a taste before I put it in the refrigerator.


It’s a little past midnight. I didn’t go to bed “last night” until 3:30 am! The storm had settled down by then and I had finished making my homemade chicken noodle soup. I got up about 4 hours later.  I made some much needed phone calls. I ended up laying back down since I had taken a couple of Tylenol PMs in the meantime. I also figured out how I could fit in my fruit and vegetables for the day so I did some meal planning.

Since P had to go to a monthly  meeting, I decided to go back to bed and I ended up sleeping until 8 pm! At least, this sleep is restful and I did awake feeling like I had gotten some quality rest. I have just tried not to “panic” about the fact that my sleep pattern is very irregular. I try to do what I can during my waking hours to “take care of” what needs to be taken care of so I am not “losing out” in doing what I need to do during the daylight hours.

As I am prone to do, when I was posting on the 3FC website I ran across a link someone suggested about exactly how many calories per day a person should have. Of course, I am always interested in stuff like that; more information to help me in losing weight, and that link of course brought me to some other information about how to really “burn the fat”. Well, I am always leery of any site that doesn’t say right out how much something will cost so I took down the information and went on and got what appears to be a similar book by the same author “second hand” for $10.47 with S/H. I think it’s a lot better deal anyway. I can mark it up as I want and read it more effectively than an e-book. Plus, I am sure I saved $12-25 as well.

I am liking this fruit n vegetable challenge. I think that is probably all I needed to make sure that I get those in every day. I also noticed that by making sure that I am eating at least 2-3 servings of both food groups the accumulative amount of calories I am eating is a lot less. That sort of surprised me but I am also glad to see the variety of foods I can eat even around 1500 calories. I weighed when I got up from my late afternoon nap and I broke the 270 lbs mark at 269.4 lbs!! I sure hope that is what I will weigh tomorrow morning. It will definitely be awesome if I do. As soon as I hit 268 lbs then I will finally be at where I have posted my weekly weight on both websites. Yes, I cheated there for almost a month but I just couldn’t admit that I had really slid back into a lot of overeating and bad food choices. Ideally, I would like to get down to 267 lb by this coming Monday so I could legitimately be at the same weight where I am here. I think if I continue to really follow this fruit n vegetable challenge I will succeed in losing at least 10 lbs this coming month. When I say that, I am also hoping that it will be 10 lbs beyond the 8 lbs that I was carrying around for the second half of March. I think that it is possible for me to lose 18-20 lbs this coming month if I really keep my sodium low and try not to go way over the calories I should be eating to lose weight. It would really be great if I could start out the month of May around 256-258 lbs. It is possible.

Since Easter is practically at the very end of this month I should have no trouble fitting into what was supposed to be my Easter dress last year. I am looking forward to wearing that. I have since lost over 30 lbs since last Easter with the possibly of losing another 15-18 lbs so it should fit quite comfortably


I am very pleased to say that I have lost 5 lbs since April 1st. 1 lb per day. It is a much needed boost in the arm for confidence regarding my ability to get back in the saddle and knuckle down for losing weight. I did some reviewing of my sodium levels and if I can keep my sodium intake around 2000 mg or less I have a better chance of really seeing some significant drops;which, of course, is exactly what I want to do. Paul is picking up Donnie’s for me today but I will be eating that for lunch/dinner so hopefully I will be able to flush out the added sodium so my weigh in tomorrow will be good. Now, that I see what I need to do to get the kind of numbers that I would like to see helps me plan my meals more carefully. Wouldn’t it be nice to lose 20 lbs this month? After that, wouldn’t it be nice to see a 12-15 lbs lose after that as well? Again, knowledge is power.

I really credit weighing every day last month with really opening my eyes to the impact that sodium has on my weight lose. Now, the challenge will be to navigate throughout each day and make sure that I really bring that sodium down. It might simply be more of an issue now since I am not at my heaviest any more. I have read other people talk about how they have to bring their sodium down to levels as low as 1200-1500 mg!! Considering what I have been ingesting that seems nearly impossible to me but I do love stepping on the scales and seeing the weight drop like this so I will really hone this from now on.

Another thing that I have noticed is, in the brief time that I have been eating fruits and vegetables and also measuring my portions, has also allowed me to “eat more” food since they are lower in calories to begin with. It does make me stop and reconsider how I have been eating before. I now see how I was setting myself up for frustration unknowingly.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]

6/29/12: There are no accompanying videos to any of my blog entries. For those of you who claim that, you are confusing me with another blog or site. Please check your facts before leaving comments to that affect. Thank you.


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