15 Apr, 2012

Up 0.4 for the Week

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

A small gain this week. It’s definitely disappointing–I’ve only lost a total of 0.6 pounds in the last 2 weeks, which is frustrating. I’ve been struggling with how much to eat lately, and I think that’s definitely being reflected on the scale. Since I’m not really “dieting,” just trying to eat better overall, I know that weight loss is going to be slow. But I think I really need to pay more attention to when and how much I eat. I should only be eating when I’m hungry, and I should only be eating enough to fill me up. It IS possible to have too much of a good thing!

Other than issues with quantity of food, I’m doing okay with the no-sugar/no-processed foods plan. I did break down and order a burger, fries, calamari, and some rolls one day this week. I’m sure that didn’t help my weight. But other than that moment of weakness, I’ve been going strong. I still feel good, and my face looks a lot better (minimal breakouts). It’s just that the weight loss has pretty much stopped, and I’d really like to get back on track with that. Hopefully I can tweak some things this week so my next weigh in will be a little better!

08 Apr, 2012

Easter Surprise!

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

I lost 1 pound this week! I’m down 11.6 total!

Normally, 1 pound would be a little depressing. But I weighed in every day this week at or above 177, which would have given me a gain for the week, so I was completely shocked to see the scale go down! So much so that I weighed myself 3 times, and I got the same number all 3 times. I’m truly shocked and pleasantly surprised!

Sometimes I have to remind myself that since I’m not really “dieting,” it’s unreasonable to think that I’ll lose huge amounts of weight every week. What I’m doing is creating a new lifestyle for myself. One in which I eat real food and stay away from sugar and processed foods. I haven’t been exercising much, though I definitely would like to make that a regular part of my life. And I don’t count calories or weigh food anymore. It’s so liberating, and it’s so rewarding to know that the choices I’m making ARE healthy, good choices that are helping me lose weight. Yes, it’s going to be a long road to get to my goal, but that just means I’ll have a long time to “practice” this new way of life. And then when I finally do reach my goal weight, hopefully it won’t be a huge struggle to stay there!

Goals for this upcoming week: Eat less and listen to my body. I have a dog walking job all week, so I’ll be getting more exercise than usual. This week will be a test as to how well I can balance an increased appetite with eating what my body needs. And my mini goal is to lose 1.6 pounds. (I know, I know; see the side note below. I need to stop setting goals.)

[Side note: I’m trying to get away from setting weight loss goals. I don’t want to think in terms of “I want to weigh 150 by this date;” or “I just need to lose 5 pounds right now;” or “I want to lose 10 pounds this month.” I was talking to my dad about this, and he made the point that there’s no point in making goals. If you meet them, you would have met them even if you hadn’t made a goal. And if you don’t meet them, you’ll be disappointed, and for me, that sets me up for failure (“I didn’t lose 10 pounds this month!? I quit! I can’t do this!!”). He said it’s better to just take it one day at a time, let your body gradually learn how to become healthier with the foods you’re feeding it, and eventually you’ll notice big changes! So TODAY, I’m going to eat as well as I can. And that’s my only goal.]

04 Apr, 2012

Not Too Much.

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

Michael Pollan has very simple advice for how to eat. “Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much.”

After 4 full weeks of focusing on eating real food and mostly plants, I need to turn my focus now to “not too much.” Before I discuss that, though, let me just say that I definitely still think there’s room for improvement in my diet, and I will always be thinking about how I can make the best choices every time I eat. I have a lot of canned foods in my pantry that I try to eat every now and then just to get rid of them (high in sodium, processed, not real food). I’m trying not to eat sugar, and I still end up eating a lot of sugar, I think. And some days I feel like I’m in a rut—I run out of ideas for things to eat and default to tuna salad or bacon. And those aren’t plants. I’m definitely still working on what I’m eating because I want to to consciously choose real food and mostly plants for every meal.

However, a bigger problem for me right now is how much I’m eating. I always kind of laughed at overweight people who claimed they ate really healthy foods, just too much of them. Seriously? You ate too much broccoli and now you’re obese? But I sort of understand that statement a little more now (though I still don’t fully believe it). My problem is that I’m eating a lot of real food and I’m eating a lot less sugar; but I’m still eating too much. Yesterday, for instance, I wasn’t hungry for dinner. But I decided to eat anyway. I had seared tuna (cooked in ghee); then freshly ground peanut butter and 85% dark chocolate (stay tuned for my homemade Deconstructed Peanut Butter Cups recipe!); then homemade corn chips and guacamole. True, what I ate was mostly real food, and for the most part it was low in sugar (except for what was in the corn and the chocolate). But it was too much. Like I said, I wasn’t even hungry before I started eating all of that! I just wanted to eat!

Today, my goal is to listen to my body and feed it what and when it needs to be fed. I’m planning a big salad with sauteed veggies and leftover tuna for lunch, and sea scallops with more vegetables for dinner. That should be really filling for me, and it will provide me with the protein, healthy fats, and good carbs that I like to have each day. And best of all, if I listen to my body, I won’t overeat.

Sometimes I worry about not eating enough. You always hear that one big mistake dieters make is not getting enough calories, and I don’t want to make that mistake. I don’t want my body to “go into starvation mode” and stop losing weight. But at the same time, I am the only person who knows what my body needs! If I’m hungry, I’ll eat. And if I’m not hungry, I’m not going to eat. There is no set number of calories that I should be eating every day, despite what the countless calorie calculators, nutritionists, weight loss plans, and good-intentioned advice-givers tell you! Every day is different, and every day I should be listening to what my body is telling me instead of starving myself on 1500 calories or force-feeding myself 1500 calories because someone else told me that’s what my body needs.

When I was on Weight Watchers, I would play around with my daily points so that I always had plenty leftover for a nightly splurge. And whether I was hungry or not, I would eat the nightly ice cream or cookies or chips because I had enough points for them. But Weight Watchers is a one-size-fits-all plan. What I’m doing now is trying to learn about my body. I don’t want to train my body to fit within certain parameters. I want my body to train me. I want to listen and hear what my body is telling me. I think once I can master that, I won’t worry as much about how much I’m eating. I’ll eat as much as I need to eat, and I won’t eat more than that.

I’ll check in later this week to let you know how this is going. Just like switching to real food and cutting out sugar, I think this is something I just need to practice to get better at.

On a side note, I’m around 177 lbs right now—up a little bit from my Sunday weigh in. I think it’s partly due to too much sugar, and partly due to eating too much in general. So those are the things I’ll be working on the last 4 days of this week, and hopefully I can get back to losing weight!

03 Apr, 2012


Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

I have no food.

I mean, I have food. But not good food. For the past 5 days or so, I’ve been living off of the last bits of real food I have. And I’ve been supplementing my diet with ungodly amounts of 85% and 90% chocolate, because they’re so low in sugar it doesn’t count, right?

Here’s what I ate yesterday:
Breakfast: oatmeal with almond butter and a Ghirardelli dark chocolate square
Lunch: ~3/4 cup canned chili, corn, and black beans, on top of the last of my salad lettuce
Dinner: tuna salad sandwich on buttered Ezekiel bread, ~1 cup of nuts (almonds and pecans)
Dessert: almost an entire bar of 85% chocolate and 1 slice of bacon (bacon chocolate anyone?)

Since my new way of eating involves eating real food and not eating sugar or processed foods, I haven’t been worrying about writing down what I’m eating or counting calories or any of that. But yesterday marked 1 month since starting this new lifestyle, and I can see that I need to do some sort of assessment.

Most of the time, I think about getting some of the following in over the course of the day (I don’t worry about this for every single meal): healthy fats, carbs, protein, and whole grains. And in that order (so more fats than protein, for example). Here’s what I consider to be in each category:

Healthy Fats: pastured butter, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, mayo (I definitely don’t eat this every day).
Carbs: whole grains and lots of veggies! No vegetable is off limits, but I do need to watch my intake of corn and black beans because they have a good amount of natural sugar; and the whole grains I eat have plenty of carbs.
Protein: fish, eggs, bacon, milk, chicken, beef (in order of highest consumption to lowest)
Whole Grains: Ezekiel bread, quinoa, oatmeal.

I lost less weight over the last couple of weeks than I did the first two weeks. I know this is normal (I’m not going to lose 3-4 lbs a week!), but I also feel a little. . . off. I’m trying to figure out a couple of things right now: 1) how much to eat when I exercise (not enough vs. too much); 2) how to save money with this new lifestyle (I haven’t gone to the grocery store because it’s so easy for me to spend $150+ in one trip!); and 3) how much to eat on a daily basis (only eating when I’m hungry vs. getting enough calories to not go into “starvation mode”).

As far as feeling “off” right now, I know it’s because I’m eating too much sugar, and it’s coming in through all the chocolate I’m eating. Normally I would try to get under 5g of “known” sugar a day, and hopefully less than 10-15g total (i.e. I “know” how much sugar is in packaged chocolate, but I don’t measure out corn or black beans, so I don’t know how much sugar I’m getting through some of the real food I eat). Yesterday I think I ate way more chocolate than I realized, because I woke up at 4:30am with bad cramps, and as I write this, I’m feeling awful, physically, and also really angry with myself.

What I need now is a trip to the grocery store! I need to stock my kitchen with all the delicious goodies I’m used to eating: eggs, brussels, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, salad lettuce, potatoes, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, avocados, asparagus, and all the other delicious foods I’ve been eating more of lately. Normally for lunch, and sometimes dinner, I’ll eat a huge salad topped with tons of vegetables–the veggies are seasoned so well that I don’t need salad dressing (very high in sugar anyway). But obviously, since I don’t have any vegetables in my kitchen at the moment–or salad lettuce, for that matter–I haven’t had a delicious salad in several days (a bowl of lettuce topped with canned black beans and corn just doesn’t cut it).

But in addition to veggie salads, I would get plenty of healthy fats in through my almost daily avocado and pastured butter, which I usually cook the vegetables in. I’d get in plenty of whole grains through Ezekiel bread. And I’d usually cook some fish for dinner or have eggs for breakfast to get in some protein. And my treat each night would be ONE small square of chocolate (not 8).

This is the way of eating that made me feel really good. This is the way of eating that was helping my skin clear up. This is the way of eating that was helping me lose weight and still eat as much as I needed to without worrying about anything. And this is the way of eating that I need to get back to. I’ve gotten a little off track recently, and I’m definitely paying the price for it right now, but I’m stocking up on the good stuff TODAY. Like, I’ll be the first person in the grocery store when it opens! And oddly enough, I can’t wait! Yesterday most of my food was white and brown, and I’m seriously craving something green right now!!!

Sometime in the next few days, I want to write posts about exercise; getting enough to eat; and the weight loss aspect of all this.

27 Mar, 2012

Sugar = Bad Skin?

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

I noticed towards the end of the day Sunday (a day and a half ago) that my face was starting to break out. And yesterday, a few small bumps turned into 8-10 red spots all over my face (chin, nose, forehead, and one next to my eye… ugh!). My first reaction was “Are you kidding me?! I’ve been eating so much better, what’s going on?” I thought maybe I was going through a second round of “detox,” which seemed strange. But that may actually be the case… because I had sugar Friday night!

I have no way of knowing for sure if sugar is the culprit, but my face had been clearing up after almost 3 weeks with no sugar. And that was without washing my face as consistently as I should have, and I wasn’t using any sort of acne medication. All I do know is that suddenly my face is totally broken out, and it happened 2 days after I had a sugary meal–probably more sugar in one sitting than I had eaten in the entire 3 weeks of no sugar.

I first decided to cut out sugar after reading (okay, skimming) a book called The Clear Skin Diet. And now that I’ve been following the advice in that book (which also calls for cutting out dairy, which I’ve cut down on considerably), I really believe that it’s the sugar that was causing my skin to break out so much.

I used some Benzaclin on the spots last night, and they’ve faded a good bit as a result. I don’t like that I needed to use the medication, but now that I’m back to eating better, I hope my skin will stay clear on its own.

25 Mar, 2012

Honesty is the Best Policy

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

The friend I went out with Friday night was in my apartment yesterday. Friday night, you may recall, we went to a bar, and I had 2 beers and a bunch of sugary food because I was too afraid to talk about going sugar-free. Well, on my wall calendar I had marked “Day 1 Sugar Free” so I could keep track of how long I’ve been doing this. And of course, my friend saw that and asked about it. My first reaction was “Oh crap, what am I going to say–this is so embarrassing!” But I turned around and calmly said “Oh yeah, I stopped eating sugar three weeks ago.” And then I went on to talk about how I also cut out white flour and processed foods, and my focus is on eating in a way that makes me healthy, helps me lose weight, and only supports food suppliers that use ethical practices.

She was so amazed that I don’t eat sugar, and she was really supportive! We chatted for a few minutes about how we’re both trying to be healthier people, and then we moved on. It wasn’t awkward or weird, and I didn’t feel ridiculous after talking to her. I was pleasantly surprised by how excited she seemed to be for me!

I just hope that I can continue to lose weight so I can show her that it’s working for me. I actually want to show my family that it works, too. In addition to treating my body better and getting healthier, I hope to reach my goal weight by simply eating real, unprocessed food because I want to be an example to others. It’s easy to preach that we shouldn’t support factory farming and fake food products and that we should support farmers and local growers. But it’s another thing to follow your own “rules”, eat a certain way, and become much healthier in the process! I have daydreams about losing the 60+ pounds I need to lose and then talking to friends and family about how I did it. I want to be successful for myself, but I also want to inspire other people to truly think about what they’re eating. Change can start with one person, and in my circle of friends, I want that person to be me!

24 Mar, 2012

I had sugar!

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

And I’m not using that exclamation point in a good way. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but at the same time, I’m not going to beat myself up. Moderation is key! I don’t say that because I’m planning on eating sugar in moderation anytime soon, but because I’ve been sugar-free for almost three weeks so one meal with sugar won’t kill me.

I went out with a friend last night for wine. However, I decided a beer would be better because maybe it would have less sugar. Then we decided to order food, and of course there were no good options at the BAR we were at (mistake #1, haha). I ordered potstickers that were in a really sweet sauce. They were okay, but the sauce was really sweet. I don’t know if the actual potstickers were made with sugar or white flour, but I tried not to think about it. Then, we ordered a second round of beers (mistake #2). By that point my friend wanted dessert, so she ordered a plate that had 6 mini brownies, each topped with a mini scoop of ice cream and a mini dollop of whipped cream.

I’m not at a point in this sugar-free lifestyle where I’m comfortable talking about it with my friends yet. When I eat at home, I eat really weird food sometimes (salads with leftover potatoes and roasted veggies with no dressing?). And in the past (almost) 3 weeks, I’ve only been out to eat with my family, and we went to normal restaurants where I could order fish and salads. But at this bar last night, I had to do the best I could.

My point is, I really didn’t want to eat any of the brownies. I wasn’t hungry AT ALL, and I didn’t have any craving for the sweet food. But I also didn’t want to not eat any and deal with my friend pressuring me to try them. So I decided to eat one. And then another. And then a third one. And they weren’t even good!!!! Like, not at all. Overall, this isn’t a big deal. I’m not happy that I ate those gross sugar- and white flour-filled brownies, but today is a new day and I will be back on my regular diet.

I knew I was going out last night, so I had a light breakfast and a light lunch, so if I were counting calories, I was probably on the lower end. That made me feel a little better about having the sugary dinner and dessert. Today I’m only down 1 pound for the week. But this whole week has been kind of a struggle, so it’s not like I gained back anything I had lost prior to yesterday.

The current loss of only 1 pound is another thing that’s been bothering me all week. I’ve been weighing myself every day and the scale hasn’t moved much all week. It’s been frustrating, but I had two great first weeks and I need to remember that I’m not going to lose 3 or 4 pounds every week. I am still so new at this that I’m constantly nervous that cutting out sugar, white flour, and processed food isn’t enough to help me lose all the weight I need to lose. If I stop losing weight, I wouldn’t know what else to do. But 1 pound is a loss, and I’m going to be happy with that and then get on with my life for another week. Tomorrow will mark 3 full weeks…. only 1 week away from a month! A month of being sugar-free!! I’m so proud of myself!

20 Mar, 2012

“No” sugar

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

I’m on Day 15 of no sugar no flour. I’m doing very well with the no flour–that’s not bothering me. However, I’m really pushing the limits on no sugar and I’m starting to have cravings again. I haven’t been eating fruit, so I’m not getting sugar that way. My biggest problem is that I’m indulging in extra dark chocolate every night. Because it’s such dark chocolate, it’s very low in sugar… unless you eat a lot of it. Then you eat a lot of sugar.

I think tomorrow I’m going to challenge myself to abstaining from chocolate. I can see that I’m very close to falling back into old, bad habits, and I want to prevent that. Fifteen days is such a huge accomplishment for me, and I want to make it to 3 weeks, then 1 month, then 2 months, and so on. I want this way of eating to become my way of life. I just need to start tightening the reins now that I’m mostly adjusted to a better diet.

As of this morning I’m only down 0.2 for the week. After two great weight loss weeks, such a small loss after 2 days surprised me and made me frustrated. I need to remember that every week won’t be “huge,” and just because one week isn’t great it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped losing weight. I think part of me is waiting to find out that cutting out sugar isn’t going to help me lose weight–like that will be my excuse for giving up again. But I need to stick it out during the rest of this week and keep my chin up. It’s only been 15 days, and in that time I’ve lost 7.4 pounds! So I’m taking a deep breath, pushing aside these ridiculous negative thoughts, and I’m going to focus on recommitting to no sugar tomorrow.

Cutting out sugar and adding in exercise every day WILL help me lose weight! I have to remember that, and I have to be patient and stop planning to lose a certain amount by a certain date. I think I’ll try taking it one day at a time, and tomorrow is a new day!

11 Mar, 2012

One Week

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey|Weekly Assessment

I am so happy to be writing this: I have gone one entire week, 7 full days, without eating sugar, white flour, or processed foods. I’ve also cut way back on dairy and salt. I lost 4.2 pounds this week without counting calories, planning my meals, or ever worrying about when I would eat again. It was wonderful. But aside from the obvious changes, I wanted to write about some of the smaller changes I’ve experienced. Before I started this I searched online for any information I could find about what to expect with this new diet, and I didn’t find much. So I thought I’d document my own experiences.

Before I started, I actually wrote out a meal plan for the entire first week. Three meals a day that followed my new plan. Low to no sugar. Low dairy. No processed foods. Focus on protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and fruits and veggies. I should also note that this entire week I was on spring break, so I didn’t have anything to do all week except focus on eating better and getting through the “detox” period.

Day 1:
Today I followed my meal plan. I didn’t have too many cravings for sugar or anything because I was just… committed to not eating it. Eating the things I cut out wasn’t an option, so I didn’t think about it. It sounds so easy when I put it like that, and to be honest, it kind of was. I didn’t have any noteworthy effects from my new way of eating.

Day 2:
Followed my meal plan all day today. Today was the first day of my symptoms. I had a dull headache almost all day. I slept a lot. Wasn’t really tempted by any cravings. My skin looks horrible. I have breakouts on my forehead, chin, and cheeks. I am really not happy about this, but I know it’s probably a normal part of “detoxing.” Also noticed that I’m having some bathroom issues (diarrhea), but I hear that’s normal.

Day 3:
Followed the meal plan almost to a T. Today I had the worst symptoms of the whole week. I had a headache that lasted all day, and I started having cold-like symptoms. Cough, stuffy nose, sweaty. I felt pretty bad today–spent most of my time sleeping and/or lying around watching TV.

Day 4:
By today, I had pretty much given up my meal plan. I used it for ideas, but I basically ate whatever I wanted (mostly leftovers that I hadn’t planned on). My symptoms from Day 3 were still there, but much less intense. I still had a dull headache, but only for part of the day. And I still felt a little bit like I had a cold, but it wasn’t so bad that all I felt like doing was sleeping and not moving.

What was really interesting about today is the fact that I started my period. And I had almost NO cramps. Normally I’m totally wiped out and miserable on the first day, and I usually take handfuls of Motrin. But not this time! I was so pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure if this was just a fluke, or if it was related to the huge amount of water I’ve been drinking all week (I had over 100 ounces of water today), or if it was related to my new way of eating. I’ll definitely be paying attention to this next month.

Day 5:
Cold symptoms mostly gone. I’m noticing that my period is much lighter this month. Again, I’m very curious to see how my period goes next month. Very dull headache. My skin is starting to clear up. Or at least, I’m not developing any new breakouts. Phew.

Day 6:
Nothing specific to note. My headache is gone. My cold symptoms are hardly noticeable (but still there a little bit), and my skin is looking better. I feel really great today! Very peaceful. I haven’t been sitting around thinking about food all the time, so I feel less anxiety overall. I’m not worried about overeating or not getting enough. I’m satisfied.

Day 7:
I feel very normal today. My skin is getting a little better each day. No new breakouts, but I’m still healing from the breakout earlier this week. Still coughing every now and then, but the cold-like symptoms are mostly gone. No headache whatsoever. My period is over–only lasted 3 days this month. Have still been having bathroom issues, but it’s getting a little better.

After 1 week, I feel good. But I don’t feel so much better that my life has been changed. I think it takes at least 2-3 weeks to really adjust to this kind of change. Right now, I feel like I normally would after one day of eating well. I don’t have a lot of gas, I don’t feel bloated and disgusting, I don’t feel really heavy. I just feel normal.

During this week I read a lot about what sort of changes to expect. I think I’ve experienced most of the symptoms I read about, but maybe with less intensity than I expected (which is fine!). Most of what I read said that it really takes between 10 days and 3 weeks for your body to really adjust to a healthier diet. That makes sense–for more than a decade I’ve been surviving off of junk food and crap, and that’s the fuel my body is used to using. Now I’m giving my body better fuel, so I know there will be a period of adjustment.

I’m hoping that after a month, 4 solid weeks, I will have dropped some more weight, my skin will clear up, and I’ll start feeling the winds of change. Right now I feel pretty much the same. I’m okay with the way I feel today, but I do hope it gets a little better. As I’m writing this, I’d rate the way I feel as a 5 out of 10. Sounds kind of low, but it really is much better than I’ve felt in the past!

See you next week!

09 Mar, 2012

My Last Diet

Posted by: onephatchick In: The Journey

It has been a year and a half since I’ve written anything here. I have a lot of excuses for why I haven’t kept up with the blog, why I’ve gained 20+ pounds since I lost logged in, why my life has gotten out of control. But the excuses aren’t important. What matters is that I’m back.

This is a place for me. I think a mistake I made earlier with this blog was trying to write for other people. I wanted comments, I wanted a lot of people to read my blog, I wanted the blog to be successful. I wasn’t really focused on doing this for me. But I am now. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with the blog now, but I do want to try to log my weight each week.

In an effort to do it “right,” I’ve updated all my pages, including taking hideous, embarrassing photos of myself for the Track Me page. Please don’t look at them, but if you must, remember that it’s a starting point. Both my highest and lowest point, simultaneously. The photos represent both my highest weight and my lowest point as far as self esteem and confidence go. But it can only go up from here!

I am a work in progress, and I’m learning to accept that. Each day gets a tiny bit easier. Today begins my fifth day “sugar free.” In my world, this means I’m eating very low amounts of sugar, processed foods, white flour, and dairy. After a few rough days in which my body seemed to be going through some sort of re-setting process, I’m feeling pretty good. Sugar cravings are minimal to nonexistent. My skin is slowly clearing up. I’m drinking lots of water. And I feel like I’m finally on a path towards living a healthy lifestyle. My goal here is to work on making myself better. I’ll check in on the blog and try to update as much as I feel comfortable with, but I don’t want this to become something I feel obligated to do. Part of becoming a healthier me is learning to do things that truly make me happy, and I’m excited to start learning more about myself through this process!

  • coffeebarchick: You know I could feel your excitement as I read your post. If I could weigh 160 tomorrow - I would turn about dozen cartwheels down Broadway. Sendin
  • incontrol2day: Just checking in on how you are doing! Happy holidays!
  • emmacat268: This is about where I am at now. I'm trying to control my eating, but mainly I'm just exercising a lot. I stopped writing stuff down because I did the

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