For the purposes of this pc journal, Friday is the start of a new week since April 1st was a Friday. My total 2 week weight lose was 7.8 lbs. It would have been more except the past three days I have eaten more daily calories. I have decided that I am going to continue to weigh in every morning and record my weight. I am also going to make a note of when I have exceeded my daily calories the day before and/or if I have eaten out the day before. I think, it will give me some insights into what impacts my weight and, who knows, maybe it will also help me figure how many calories I will need to lose a specific amount of weight in a specific amount of time. I do think it is useful information and I am not willing to discard it ” just yet”, in spire of the protests of some of my fellow dieters who feel it can be “maddening”. I say that it is only “maddening” if your self-esteem rises and falls with the numbers. I look at it more objectively. It is a piece of information that I am gathering to understand how my body’s metabolism works at any given time.
If/when I can get back into the recommended calorie range or even below it, I believe that I will see another 2-4 lbs lose. To recap, I decided to withdraw my participation (reporting) to three of the four groups that I was involved in. Each had a unique approach to being accountable. I decided on the Beck Diet Solution because I feel that it is behavior modification techniques that will help me stick to a reduced calorie plan long enough to see long term results. I feel this is the key for me to lose all of this extra weight. As the author points out, any healthy reduced calorie plan will work. The reasons that she cites why most people she has counseled fail is because they sabotage their efforts to the point where they either yo-yo, regain all of the extra weight or give up. I have done all three.
What I took away from these different support groups is that I needed to eat an even more balanced food plan than I “thought” I was doing. I liked cold purified or natural spring water but I never consciously and consistently drank a lot of it every day. That is something that I now do every day. I have been doing that for a couple of months. That alone is not enough to help me lose weight though. In the past couple of weeks, I began consciously eating 3-4 servings of fruits and 4+ servings of vegetables. Again, that alone is not enough to help me lose weight. After weighing daily with one of the “100 lbs+ to lose” group, I identified that all of the eating out at restaurants with the added sodium was causing my weight lose to stall (not to mention some days I was eating over my recommended daily calories). I began April with the intention to reduce my sodium intake. I cut back on eating out, drank additional water, or ate out earlier in the day which I think helped me not gain any additional weight but, again, it did not help me lose much more weight than the 5-10 lbs. which is usually what is called “water weight”.
So, all of this comes back to one thing, which Dr. Beck stressed; reduced calories. I have to eat less calories than I expend or expend more calories than I eat or a combination of both. Her approach is to aid with the behaviors to keep doing that long enough so I will lose all of the extra weight and then keep it off indefinitely. So, the past couple of days I have been reading her book that the Beck Diet Solution support group uses. I am going to follow it day by day as recommended until I have completed the initial 6 week program.
During that time, I will continue to do what I have been doing: I will log the food that I eat on the BLC site, stay within my calorie range (and I hope even eat less than that), log my exercise “calories” I burn on the BLC site, practice the BDS techniques, drink between 80-100 oz of water each day, work to reduce the amount of sodium I ingest, eat 3-4 servings each of fruits and vegetables (incorporating a variety along the way)and make a concerted effort to get to bed before 11 pm each night, refrain from having caffeine 6 hours before bedtime (that means after 5 pm!). One additional that I want to start “practicing” is to eat between 45-65 grams of carbs per “setting”. That is another tool that the diabetes instructor told us last month when I attended that four class series. The purpose of that is to control and keep my blood sugar level instead of up and down spikes. The “challenge” in doing that is I will probably have to eat less per “setting”, or at least, a specific amount of carbs anyway. The only time that this might be difficult is when I go out to eat.
Yesterday, we had lunch at GC. I made excellent choices except that by choosing to have dessert, which was an additional 400 calories, I bumped up my carbs by 20 grams. Had I gone with the fresh cantalope, which is what I usually do, I would have been fine. So, I need to add one more “behavior” to my growing list: preplanning most if not all of my meals. Right now, by leaving it to my “at the moment” decisionmaking I have inadvertently stalled or prevented myself from losing weight because if/when I choose foods that I won’t “burn off” through some kind of activity I am eating more than I “should”. As I move through the next couple of weeks/months, I am going to make sure that if I do decide to eat more calories at a favorite restaurant that I either consciously eat less the next day and/or do something afterwards to “burn off” the extra calories. My “solution” was to see how many calories I actually did have there and then have a much lighter supper (a chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread bread and an apple) . I did “allow” myself to have a small bowl of popcorn later. Although that wasn’t exactly pre-planning, I did intentionally eat less for the remainder of the day.
I am already doing most of this so I don’t think that it will seem “overwhelming”. However, having to report the same things over and over to four different groups (3 of which called this participating in a “challenge”) just was “too much”. I don’t feel that I was deriving any additional benefit from all this reporting either. I see the benefit is from the “doing” not “reporting it”.
It does mean though that I am going to have to be scrupltously honest with myself in doing all of this. If it looks like at some point I need to report to someone other the Beck Diet Solution group then I will do so. Maybe, I will even feel I need the interaction of other dieters at some point. For now, I feel the BDS group should suffice. I will also connect with some of the other people, on both the 3FC site and BLC site, I have become “friends” with just to let them know how I am doing or especially if it looks like I am running into some problems. I might even “report” to these individuals briefly once a week. Besides, helping me, it might also help them as well. Right now, that sounds like the level of “reporting” that is doable. Once or twice a week! Well, I think all of this sounds like a good solid plan. Now, to implement it day by day.
My next personal “challenge” will be to eat less each day and to resume moving around more.
Well, I have just returned from picking up my free trial pair of contacts from my eye care specialist. For the past year, I have “endured” wearing the same pair of free trial pair of contacts. I try to not wear them any longer than I need to and I have tried to keep them as clean as possible. Still, since they were drying out, they were becoming increasingly more uncomfortable to wear. I am very excited to say that I am going into Easter having “acheived” some of my “hopeful” or “wishful” desires “fullfilled”. I have the outfit from last year that I didn’t end up wearing. Since I have lost 34 lbs since then, it should fit even better. I had my hair trimmed and I will be wearing new contacs so I’ll be able to see “everything”!! I decided to go on PL’s site and I ended up ordering a pair of linen peep toe small wedge shoes. Last year I bought a pair of hot pink flats to wear with my dress but I felt they fit “tight”. I think these will work although I am sure I will have to get some of those heel wedges to fill in the heel.
I did my Day 3 reading from Beck Diet Solution besides some supplemental reading from one of the “Biggest Loser” cookbooks. Day 3 was “eat sitting down”. Well, I feel pleased (and relieved) that this is one behavior that I do and actually insist on doing. However, while reading this Day I was struck by another behavior that I need to work on. I am not sure if it will be one of the Days coming up but I went ahead anyway and decided to do a “Response Card” regarding that: pre-planning meals and staying within a specific calorie amount for each meal. I think doing this could be the “key” that will keep me from eating past my recommended calorie range. Without pre-planning a specific amount of calories per meal, I have a natural tendency to “overeat” even when I am eating really healthy meals.
Today was a perfect example. I consciously ate a larger breakfast because I “thought” I would be going to the retreat and I didn’t know when they would be feeding us. However, eating 1/3 of my calories “sets me up” to continue to eat more calories per meal right through the remainder of the day. Looking back on today’s food choices I ate really healthy food. I had 4 servings each of both fruit and vegetable. If I hadn’t eaten the entire dark chocolate candy bar, I would have still been at the top of my calorie range! I was over my calorie range significantly but I decided that I would just “maintain” today since I was feeling weak before with all of this bleeding. Paul got me some multi vitamins which I took a double dosage.
I have both heard and read that more than likely the cause behind my excessive bleeding is an excess of estrogen. Excess body fat creates excess estrogen! One woman on 3FC told me that it might even get worse before it gets better too. I felt she was saying that as I am losing weight that may happen. She didn’t say it exactly but I felt that is what she meant. Well, I do know that when I experience a hot flash (and for me it is more of a feeling of being warm) that the bleeding starts at that time. Maybe, the next time I am at a drugstore or at Wal-mart, I can ask a pharmacist if they think me taking soy isoflavone plus progesterone cream might take care of it. I was doing that about 8-10 years ago but when I heard that even plant estrogen can cause breast cancer I stopped doing both. I have also heard the progesterone cream can have potential cancer risks.
It is a lot to consider. Having these kind of menstrual flows is also detrimental to my health. I get really wore out from the blood lose. I am sure that I am anemic. It is also socially isolating. It is very disruptive to my ability to attend certain “functions” like the retreat today. I am just not sure why it suddenly began up again this past week. The only thing that I can think of is that I have really tried harder to eat healthier and reduce the amount of sodium I ingest; both of which helped me to lose 8 lbs in the past two weeks. Could it be the weight lose triggered this? I don’t know.
I slept well last night. I got up once but I managed to sleep around 8 hours. I washed and styled my hair, got “dressed up”; all with the expectation that I would have a full day ahead of me. Well, I can tell you that it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. As soon as I started walking out our door and up the steps to our car, I could feel just how weak I am right now. I”thought” that maybe having something to eat would help that. I do think this “weakness” is related to having lost close to a pint of blood yesterday. I thought eating at COB would help. I think I will probably need more calories today than what my reduced calorie food plan recommends but this is unusual circumstances. I don’t think two days of eating more calories will hurt me overall and it will probably help me move through rebounding from this excessive bleeding. My blood pressure has been much lower-106/54- and I think the weakness is from that. I am sure that I have been dehydrated. I drank more although I probably made the mistake earlier today in drinking some caffeinated diet soda. I feel better now after eating about 1000 more calories that I have been. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may need to increase my calories a little bit. For now, the bleeding has stopped for today. Then, I have to seriously think about what I should do for future times. It is bound to happen again.
Although I slept close to 8 hours, I awoke frequently during that time. I went to bed before 1 am but then I had slept quite a bit on Saturday so I was half-expecting that I wouldn’t be as tired yesterday. Today, I started pre-planning each meal or snack within a specific calorie amount. I don’t think breakfast-afternoon snack will be hard. I do expect that eating less for supper will be though. I am beginning at 2100 calories which is the top of my recommended calorie range. I hope to work off the recommended 200 calories per day from exercising; if not more at some point. If that is the case then I will be able to still eat around this amount of calories and still lose. I am glad that BLC doesn’t promote really low calorie food plans. They are more prone to strongly encourage an increase in physical activity. I didn’t work out today because I wanted one separate “day of rest” after all of the bleeding that I have had in the past week. I am glad that I ate the amount of calories this past weekend. Yes, it caused me to have a temporary weight gain but I know it is not going to stay and I feel my body needed the extra nutrition. I ate healthy. I just ate more. In the future, I am going to make sure that I have something like Pedilyte popsicles or Powerade instead. I was somewhat reluctant to do that but now I realize that would have been best. I become seriously dehydrated. That is why I am so weak, my pulse increases and my B/P really gets low. I felt it was better to gain a few retro pounds than think I could safely “diet”. There is a time and place for everything. I feel a lot better today.
My legs bothered me throughout the night and are even bothering me now but I still managed to go to bed (although getting up multiple times) and sleep through the night. This habit is getting easier. However, after having the extra calories, it looks like my body is really holding tight onto the extra sodium-induced water weight gain. This has been the case since I restarted my weight lose efforts; now, going on three months! It feels ridiculous to be trying so hard to eat the recommended fruits n vegetables every day, stay within my calorie range as best I can and then still see only a few pounds lost. It is really frustrating.
Well, today I resumed doing my strength exercises. I was really seeing some progress there for awhile. I noticed that the pain in my shoulders had lessened for one thing. Even my posture was straigthening out. I haven’t exercised for several weeks. All of this has been a lot of stopping and starting. Again, inconsistency. How can I expect any lasting results if my efforts are “hit n miss”? Realistically, I can’t. As I am known to do, I “impulsively” ordered three exercises dvds which I should be getting sometime later this week or early next week: Pilates for Inflexible People, AM/PM Stretches and Joint Mobility. There’s no argument that I certainly could benefit from all of these. As soon as I get them, I am going to mark out time to do them on a daily basis.
I’m disappointed that here I am nearly one year later and I will still be wearing the same clothes that I wore last year. I now think about some of those clothes I gave away and I think it might be nice to have some of them. However, I really had to make some tough choices. I mean, I barely have the room for what is in our closet now. Well, I am going to play it by ear this coming season. If it looks like I am really doing well with weight lose, I will give away what is too big for me. I’ll try not to hang onto too much “extra” except the better quality clothes. If I can stick with some form of exercise, even that will help me move down into the next size. Still, a size 22 is a plus size and not a “normal weight” size.
I have been talking back and forth with one of the people who was in my BLC group. She is struggling with getting back on track. She was diagnosed with diabetes and I think she still takes pills for it. Fortunately, I do not. We have talked about how difficult it seems to be to lose weight. I am hoping that the BDS will be the key to overcoming that hurdle. What I have changed since joining BLC is logging all of the food I eat so I have elevated my conscious awareness of what and how much I eat. I have also begun drinking a lot more plain water the past couple of months. This past month I have even made a very concerted effort to eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. Fruits have never been too difficult for me to do but vegetables have on an ongoing day to day basis.
As I was telling this woman, I might have to seriously reconsider following the South Beach Diet again just to jump start my weight lose. Again, it might be a result of the fact that I am not being active. Even Beck Diet Solution says that we have to be flexible in moving from plan to plan if one isn’t working out. I love meat so for me that would be the main plus in that. I think I could forego most carbs most of the time. If it meant losing weight at a consistent clip, it would definitely be a trade off. I won’t do anything this coming week because we plan on going to GC for Easter and I do plan on “indulging” some. However, it would mean that I would be giving up all starches like bread and cereal for two weeks before I could slowly re-introduce some carbs back into my food plan and even then it is a very slow process. According to the book that process could take upwards of 4-6 weeks since you only re-introduce one carb at a time and see how your weight lose is and especially your food cravings. That part is very tedious and that is one of the things that I doubt whether many people do as he suggests.
Out of that low-carb way of eating has spawned some of the more creative ways of having carbs without having the starcher versions: spaghetti squash for spaghetti and mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. I have tried the first and it wasn’t half bad although I felt like I could eat a lot more than regular pasta probably because it was a lot lower in carbs. Another thing many people who do “low carb” is to use lettuce leaves in place of bread. There are also some low carb bread products on the market although I haven’t tried them…yet. Well, I will give this some more thought but I am leaning in that direction at this junction. I need to get this weight lose moving downwards. It just isn’t healthy the way that I am going.
The main concern with the South Beach Diet was that it sounded like most people didn’t lose more than an initial 20 lbs. I think it’s because it is a big switch for a lot of people to go from eating a lot of carbs to quite a severe reduction of them. Usually, it was the people who were big cereal eaters who “complained” the most. I actually was never much of a cereal eater except for the past year or so. For me, the big “deal” is foregoing bread since that is the staple of my starch eating. After that, I like having pasta every so often.
After I laid down for about an hour, I thought about this some more. I remembered that I lost weight when I ate less period. I even noticed that sometimes when the sodium was higher, I still lost. In fact, not only did that happen recently for a few days but I remember that since I thought I weighed less than I actually did last summer BLC had bumped me down to the 1500-1700 calorie range and, although I struggled to get to 1500 calories, the times that I ate between that calorie range I was losing weight. So, the answer might simply mean that I will need to eat less calories. Now, that is going to be hard. I can easily eat 1000 calories going to GC or China One Buffet, not to mention I can eat 800-900 calories when Paul brings home food from Donnie’s, which he did tonight! What that means is I am going to have to eat a lot less the rest of the week so I can eat like that for one meal. It reminds me of what I just read somewhere: calories in, calories out. I can wrestle with this all I want but that is really what it gets down to.
So, what I need to do is two things: work at getting down to 1800 calories each day, breaking that amount up into 4-6 meals per day. Then, concurrently, I need to try to burn off 200 calories per day. Ideally, some kind of aerobic activity where I can work up a sweat. I am eating too many calories. Period. I will admit that I thought there might be some “trick” involved in drinking a lot of water, lowering my sodium or even eating my recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. All of those are good things in of themselves but none by themselves will cause me to lose weight. I am not burning up the calories that I am consuming. So, I have two choices: eat less so I force my body to burn off the excess or become more active and force my body to burn off the excess.
I wasn’t even that active yesterday and I still managed to lose 1.5 lbs in spite of eating more sodium. That is the KEY! Eat less, don’t worry about the sodium IF I am active so I can sweat some of that off. Today was yet another day that P did not have any work. He has had one job this week and that was for $36! It is really scary. I didn’t want him to “worry” and I knew that if he didn’t have some things to fill his time, he might get mopey. Luckily, he did get $212 for unemployment so I suggested that we do some of our personal “errands”. We went to GC for lunch. Then, we stopped at the NFSC and signed up for our community garden plot. The manager was really informative. He even said we could have some of the seeds he had stored in a refrigerator in his tool shed. We have access to the tools and the rain water that collects in two different barrels. I think I can put P to some tasks. I think once he gets involved he is really going to enjoy it.
I was able to “maintain” my weight from the day before in spite of extra sodium and calories. Again, movement was the KEY. My legs and knees were really hurting by the end but it is clear that if I want to be able to eat well and even err when it comes to extra sodium, activity is the answer. Starting this coming Monday, I plan to really jack up my activity and get this weight moving down instead of up and down. I even put the actual weight on my BLC scales. I really hope this is the last time though that I have another month of up and down. I have made improvements though since I restarted with BLC back in the end of January. One thing that has really helped was accepting these challenges and then actually doing them. Especially this past month when I began consciously eating 3-4 servings each of both fruits and vegetables. I have found that my blood glucose seems more even although when I had that heavy menstrual flow I was experiencing a lot of shaking. I took my morning fasting yesterday and it was 114 mg/dl. I’m disappointed because I would have thought that with all the healthy eating it would have gone down. However, I am eating more fruit and that can raise your blood glucose in spite of it being good for you. Well, it just means that I have to work harder at becoming more active so I can use up some of that “underutilized” sugar in my blood.
Although it has been a slow start for me this year I think that I have actually made quite a bit of progress in becoming healthier and eventually thinner. This is time for me to give myself credit for what I have done right. I’ve consistently logged my food even when some of it was embarassing to admit. I’ve developed a habit of drinking more water every day and this has cut back on my diet soda consumption quite a bit. This past month I have made a concerted effort to eat the recommended servings of both fruits and vegetables and I have done that for 20 days thus far.
My hope is that beginning on this coming Monday I am going to continue to do all of those good things that I have been doing for myself and restart exercising on a daily basis. I think that if I can really up my activity level, I can still lose 2-3 lbs a week and keep my present calorie range. I hope so but I won’t know until I try it and see how my body reacts to the changes. I have been going through the Beck’s Diet Solution book. I have been writing my “suggestions or reminder” cards as directed. I have noticed that I “gobble” sweet foods quickly. I think because those are the kinds of foods that give me a “quick sugar rush”. The proverbial “melt in your mouth” kinds of foods. So, I have decided to target those types of foods by purposely slowing down how I eat them by breaking them into small pieces/segments.
I think that the main reason why I haven’t lost all of this weight is inconsistency in my efforts. I will go great for 2-3 weeks and then I will have a patch where I either make some choices that cause me to fall off my reduced calorie food plan or I get distracted by external events. Again, I think that it will take a more disciplined effort on my part. I have put more thought and effort into how I have been buying my groceries and preparing my meals. For breakfast, I made a homemade (and much healthier) version of an Egg McMuffin. I used a multi-grain muffin, one egg, one slice of turkey bacon, a TB of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 tsp of margarine. It tasted really good and it was visually satisfying too. It was quick and easy too.
I bought some whole wheat pizza crusts already made up and ready to be used. I am sure the fact that I don’t have to mix the actual flour, etc means they are considered processed but I was also thinking of the money. I got three medium sized crusts for $4.99. I think I will make one for lunch. I have lots of vegetables to pile on it. I could even add some leftover chicken or turkey bacon. That would add some sodium but I love pizza and, again, I was thinking of the cost factor. If I can get in the habit of making some “healthy substitutes” for some of my former favorites, I might go a long way in saving us some food dollars at a time when we really need to be. Sometimes, I get tired of all the extra work it seems it takes to try to save even more money. Unfortunately, that is when I slip up and we eat out several meals in a row. I guess, that is part of the overall learning curve involved
Well, I have been conversing back and forth with another woman I met on the BLC site. She is seeing a doctor next week about her diabetes and you can tell she is very concerned. She is on 2 pills so her diabetes is a lot worse. Again, I am just so grateful that I caught mine when I did. I can’t seem to budge right now from the teens but, at least, it is better than it was a year ago. I think everyone who has had struggles is thinking about the day after Easter and really knuckling down. For me, it will mean moving a lot more. It will also mean that I am going to do my best to eat at 1800 calories and if I move more than I will actually be “consuming” 1600 calories per day. It has got to be that way. I am sure that I will probably have some days where I will really be hungry. It will definitely mean that I can’t eat too many “empty calories”.
I personally think that the main reason most people fail at dieting is that they just don’t want to do what it takes to get the weight off. I don’t necessarily think that it is laziness but I do think that it is really hard to be that disciplined day in and day out. No matter what anyone says you will have to change the way and what you eat while you are losing weight. Now, most of the experts say that if you don’t make a lifestyle change you will gain the weight back. According to Dr. Beck, the hardest part is losing the weight. Sitting here, I would agree with her. The past three months have been so “typical” of how I approach losing weight. I have allowed myself to overeat on many occasions. I have also allowed myself to eat many of the “wrong kinds” of foods. I have simply eaten too many calories for someone as sedentary as myself. I have given in to impulses, bad habits and whims.
Depending on what I weigh this coming Monday and on May 1st, it is possible that I haven’t lost more than a few pounds in three months. If that isn’t failure, I don’t know what is. Had I come out of the gate really sticking to 1800 calories and getting some kind of movement in every day, it is very well possible, I could be 25-30 lbs less than I was when I rejoined BLC. I’m not. Well, it was a poor showing but I did do some things right and I continue to do them. First of all, I haven’t given up on myself. I could still turn this around. If we eat out on Easter Sunday, I will enjoy myself. I will make sure that I have my fruits n vegetables but I will probably have a piece of cake or pie for dessert. I am going to make homemade fudge so that will probably be my indulgence over the weekend. We “inhale” that like it is “air”. I know however I “approach” this weekend, it will show up on Monday’s weigh in. I am sure that there are a lot of other people who will be thinking and saying the exact same thing. I will try to show some “common sense” though.
Come Monday, whatever fudge is left I will either have a very small piece or, ideally, “none at all”. We’ll see how I do. This is where the Beck Diet Solution is supposed to come to the “rescue”. For me, it gets to be an unending cycle. I lose a few pounds and then something comes up where I go overboard and I lose ground only to get back on my diet and do it all over again. Considering I am not exposed that much to food I sure seem to have trouble with it. It certainly slows down the process.
Recently, I have come up with the idea of making my weight lose goal of losing 130 lbs by our 10th wedding anniversary on August 17, 2012. It is doable. That is 8 lbs per month. I have already told others in my Beck Diet Group about it. The coach thinks it is doable but, again, it won’t be if I don’t put some action into place. What I have discovered is that the most important number I need to aim for is lower calories. I can actually have higher sodium if I have lower calories. Granted, my weight lose might not be as dramatic but it does allow me a little more leeway in the choices of foods I can eat. I just can’t eat as much of them!
Well, this all has really been a very slow learning curve, it seems. Three months has almost gone by and I have not lost any significant amount of weight. However, in the light of Dr. Beck and giving myself credit, what I have done is set up a support network of fellow dieters to share with, which I do on a daily basis, I have begun drinking more water every day, I am eating a more balanced food plan every month, I am logging my foods and calories every day faithfully, and, on occasion, I am even being more active. I am going to consider May 1st my new “restart”day for my end goal of being 140 lbs for our 10th wedding anniversary. Ideally, I would like to return to those same places where we had our pictures taken and have our pictures taken then. I would also like to go on a honeymoon. For me, it would be closure and a nice sealing of what I hoped our wedding day would have been.
[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.]