For reasons known only to the jerks of the world I’ve been getting dozens of spam comments to this blog. So I went back through every entry and made them closed to comments. From now on, only 3FC registered users will be able to comment here. It’s not like I write my infrequent posts for anyone other than me anyway. Still, it seems kinda anti-social to lock folks out and I apologise to any real people out there who wanted to comment.
Meanwhile, before I was attacked by spam I was meaning to get around to writing an entry.
Pictured above are some english muffins I’m making. Turns out english muffins are really easy to make and so good fresh off the griddle. I’ve been going all out making food with sourdough and whole wheat sprouted flour. I don’t eat a lot of non-veggie or fruit carbs but through my whole weight loss I’ve always allowed myself the equivalent of a sandwich’s worth of bread – it might be pasta or a whole wheat english muffin but most days I had some healthy whole grain wheat based product. The beginning of the year I started baking with sourdough because I love sourdough bread but can’t find locally made whole wheat sourdough. I’m using a whole wheat starter and splurged for spouted flour because everything I’ve read makes me believe the spouting process really does make the wheat more nutritionally accessible. I’ve made some nice bread, plus crackers, cookies, muffins, and pancakes (the kids I work with are loving this new phase of my exploration of healthy eating!) but my favorite so far has been my english muffins. Calorie-wise, they are about the same as a Thomas’ whole wheat english muffin but the only ingredients are sourdough (water and flour), flour, baking soda, salt, maple syrup, and sometimes some ground flax seed. Plus I’ve been tossing in a quarter cup of freshly grated parmesian cheese and some black pepper at the very end since I mostly eat these as a sandwich bread. I allow myself two when I first make them because they are amazingly yummy right out of the pan. I am still losing weight!
My recipe is here: http://gnowfglins.com/2010/03/31/guest-post-sourdough-english-muffins/
I never thought I’d be so excited to be overweight but, yes, yes I am! I’m overweight! I’ve lost 100 pounds and I’m overweight!
35 pounds to go to be “healthy”….
I’ve been at this a year now. When I started i wasn’t even sure I was starting. I thought I was but all i knew for sure was I was giving up junk food for Lent. From there I progressed to counting calories then to trying to limit the number of calories I’d have to count per day. Over the year I’ve gradually moved to healthier foods and to working on my whole approach to food.
Back in January I wrote about committing even more to whole foods this year during Lent but since then I’ve thought a lot about it. I decided I could embrace whole foods without the extra push I get from Lent and that I needed God’s help for other stuff more. So, I’m giving up being a smart ass for Lent this year. Giving up sweet and salty stuff was easy by comparison…
Meanwhile, I have launched myself even more toward whole foods. I am now making my own yogurt at home and making my own sourdough breads. This took a little effort to fit these activities in to an already busy schedule but I’m doing okay with that. On the other hand, homemade whole milk yogurt is not a traditional “diet” food. And while I’m 100% certain that my home made sprouted whole wheat sourdough english muffins are not only tastier but also far healthier than the store bought ones (and amazingly easy to make!) I am also eating more bread now than I was. I used to usually have one slice of bread a day, now I have an english muffin a day, plus one or two the day I make them (because they are o nom nom nom fresh off the griddle!). I’m still keeping within my calories but I’m getting more fats and more carbs than before – and my weight loss has stalled. On the other hand, on a 3 month graph my current bouncing around the high 180’s isn’t any different than how things have been going since i started menopause, so perhaps the carbs and fats aren’t messing with things. The extra dairy (i think that was it) seemed to slow down or block up some essential bodily functions for a bit, but I seem to have adjusted and things are moving smoothly again.
So, that’s where I am right now – still a pound or so away form 100 pounds down but feeling good about the foods I am eating and how I am treating my body. I really want to pass that 100 pounds milestone and move in to being just “overweight” but I know I’ll get there. Probably this month, too.
This week marks the 1 year anniversary from my start on this journey to healthy eating. I’m now in the 180’s and only a few pounds away from being “overweight”.
I weigh less than I have in the past two decades.
I am really looking forward to this “new” decade!
I had carbonara tonight for dinner. My carbonara is a huge pile of veggies (mostly broccoli) with a little whole wheat pasta (and an egg, parmesan, and 2 slices of bacon). It’s an easy, yummy, healthy, and highly satisfying meal for 400 calories. I ate around 5:30 and I won’t be hungry till after church tomorrow. It really sticks with me.
Last week I made a stir fry for dinner. It was mostly a huge pile of veggies (mostly broccoli) with about 4 ounces of raw turkey breast. It’s also about 400 calories and is about the same size meal. And yet I’m always hungry a few hours after I eat.
The carbonara is about twice the fat (13 v. 7) and about half the protein (26 v. 60). Fiber’s about the same. Carbs are 50 for the carbonana and 35 for the stir fry. The stir fry is twice the sodium too, because of the tamari.
So is it the fat that makes it stick with me? The bit of extra carbs? Whatever it is, I wish I understood it better.
First, the disclaimer: I don’t believe in horoscopes. That is, I don’t believe the stars predict if it’s a good time for a risky financial deal or that there’s a tall dark stranger in your near future. But I still enjoy the realastrology (http://freewillastrology.sparkns.com/) column in the local free weekly paper. It’s always semi-philosophical and funny.
Now, the horoscope:
In the early 20th century, many women at the beach covered most of their bodies with swimsuits made of wool. If they went in the water, they’d emerge 20 pounds heavier. Swimming was a challenge. Your current psychic state has resemblances to what you’d feel like if you were wearing drenched woolen underwear and a drenched woolen clown suit and a drenched woolen robe. My advice? Take it off; take it all off. The astrological omens are clear: Whatever your reasons were for being in this getup in the first place are no longer valid.
Well, I have been wearing a lot of wool… but that’s because we’re halfway through what has so far been an exceptionally cold and grey winter. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist (or an astrologer) to guess my psyche sort of feels weighed down. I am having no problem being on plan, that part is good. Which is really excellent and I’m not complaining about that at all. At all. And I’m not depressed, which all things considering is pretty amazing. But I just feel off, all off.
I’ve been thinking ahead to Lent. And to maintenance. I know this is sort of “long range” planning, especially the maintenance part, but look at it this way: it took me nearly 2 years of thinking about healthy eating before I started for Lent last year. I sure hope it doesn’t take me 2 years to start maintaining my weight-loss so maybe I need to start thinking about it now. And since Lent was my springboard last year…
I was thinking about giving up sweet stuff again this year, after all, it sure did me a world of good last year. But to me, giving up things at Lent is not just about the challenge of giving something up, it’s about growth as well and I think I’ve learned what there is for me to learn from last year’s challenge. (Giving up swearing, like I did one year, is probably a challenge I could learn something new from every year but I think that would be a topic for a different blog…)
The thing about Lent, at least for me, is I find the strength to do things I can’t seem to manage the rest of the year. Of course, being a Christian, I believe this strength comes from God but perhaps it is the power of tradition or the finite timeline (March 9 to April 23 this year) or it’s just me messin’ with my own head. But I can do things during Lent I’m not really sure I can do.
So, this year for Lent I’m thinking of really committing to whole foods. I’ve given up most highly processed foods and I try to make healthy choices, but there are always compromises. Like Stonyfield Farm is pretty good yogurt but why does it have pectin in it? Homemade yogurt doesn’t have pectin. I have a similar caveat about the locally made bread I buy. And why, when I’m surrounded by excellent dairy farms, am I buying pasteurized milk? My compromises make my life easier but I think I can learn by pushing the boundaries out a bit. Lent takes things that are difficult and makes them doable. And then perhaps they will stay doable for maintenance for the rest of my life.
I’m not sure how to make my occasional meals out with friends fit in to this plan though – giving up chocolate or sugar or swearing are all much easier in that regard.
Lent doesn’t start for about six weeks yet, so I have time to think and pray on it.
I’m not talking when you are legitimately hungry and took too small a portion the first time. I’m talking primarily about treats – when you portion out three cookies or a small serving of chips knowing that is a reasonable and not totally unhealthy amount. But then you go back for more…
I know the easiest way is to just not buy these treats. This is the approach I tend to take. And even when treats are available elsewhere I am pretty good at just not taking one – because I know if I have one I’ll want more and, so far, I don’t have much willpower about the more part.
I can say “no” to cheap mass produced junk treats but some things just taste like more.
I can accept that my homemade chocolate chip cookies with all their buttery and sugary goodness are always going to taste like more. I can’t even write about them without wanting them and wanting lots of them. And no amount of practice or daily exposure will ever reduce their power. Being full, eating them very slowly or mindfully – all useless. That way lies madness.
But I think moderation can be learned for other foods. I know if I haven’t had a piece of Klinger’s parmesian black pepper bread for a while the first time I have it I want more right away. I can use mindfulness and willpower to defeat that urge and by the next day the bread is just as good but the novelty has worn off. The first fresh strawberries of the season are the same way.
As I slowly move closer to maintenance I hope to start to learn more about moderation and what makes food taste like more to me.
I bounced in to Onederland for a couple days in November but since starting menopause my weight loss has slowed and also my bounces are wilder so I didn’t expect to stay there. But my bounces were all heading in the right direction on the rebounds so I just kept on bouncing along.
A week ago I moved in to Onederland for real for sure and for certain and I am there to stay!
In January 1992 I weighed 203 so pretty much I weigh less now than I have for 2 decades. I feel great! I have a pair of 36 Levis hanging next to my current work jeans (2 pairs of 40’s and a 38 – one 40 is very loose and the other fits like the 38 – so much for quality control….) and I can put them on and zip them up. They’re still a bit tight but they don’t look like I’m a fat girl trying to squeeze in to my old jeans. I love love love those 36’s – they are the first jeans that look “normal” to me. The 38’s are unquestionably smaller than the 48’s of long ago but they still look “big” to me. The 36’s though, when I opened the package (I buy them used on eBay), I felt like I was looking at jeans I could never ever fit in to, they looked so normal.
As of today I’m 90 pounds down, so two thirds of the way home to 150. I can’t even imagine what size Levi’s I’ll be wearing 45 pounds from now. But I’m excited to find out!!!
There have been so many times the last couple months where I wanted to come record something here but life just got a bit ahead of me and updating this blog was pretty far down on the list.
But I’m pleased to report that despite too much to do and too little time I’ve done pretty good staying the course with the healthy eating. I’m not losing like I was but I’m still losing a little very slowly. I weighed in today at 200.2! I have been in Onederland a couple times last month but they felt more like flukes, whereas recent weigh-ins feel more like the real deal.
The big thing I really wanted to post about was my annual blood work in October. It was great! I went from a TC:HDL of 4.8 last year (you want something under 4.5) to 2.8 this year. So losing weight has been good for more than just my jeans size. Which was kinda the whole point, really. Dr. Norris was very pleased with my weight loss and that I was doing it sensibly with healthy eating and exercise and not setting unrealistic time lines and expectations.
Speaking of jeans – I’m currently wearing a very comfortable 38 (I started with some not terribly tight 48’s). I have a pair of 36’s hanging there to inspire me. I can put them on and even button them but I sure wouldn’t be comfortable wearing them yet. But soon, soon. And they look so small to me. They are the first pair of jeans I’ve bought that haven’t looked big to me. They look normal sized. Even at the slow rate I’m losing now I should be wearing them by my birthday!
Menopause has been a bit of a challenge for me. Not only has the weight loss slowed but the mood swings are wider and the cravings stronger. It’s like living thought puberty again only this time I know it’s all hormones. Instead of gaining a pound for no apparent reason like I might have during my cycle before now I gain 4 or 6 pounds. I still bounce back down again but in general I’m just bouncing around a lot more and with bigger bounces. At first this really threw me – “life is so unfair!”, “I’ve been eating right!”, “Noooooooo!” – and I did have a mini “oh screw it all!” right around Halloween. But, like I said, I know now it’s all hormones, including the inclination to say “oh screw it all!” so I got hold of myself again pretty quickly.
I tried to sign up for Sarah’s “No Gain Holidays Pledge” but seem to have lost the ability to post to her blog. Still, I’m there in spirit. My goal is to be in Onederland at the end of the holidays. And then just keep on going!