Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 9 - Week 2 - Phase 1

Day 9 – Week 2

I woke up feeling…better, different, not bloated.  Hopefully I’ve passed the flu-ish period I&N discuss happening sometime during Week 1.  It has been a good day.  I didn’t have any trouble at all getting down my vitamins and supplements.  I had a chunk of fresh mozz and some almonds for breakfast, lots of water, and a satisfying lunch of left-over chicken and broccoli stir fry for lunch.  I feel so positive and motivated.  I’m happy, and I am in this for the long haul.

As for number 2... Who does it work for?  Me.  (Austin Powers reference, ugh).  Thank God, its like all the stuff that I had in me yesterday is gone.  No bloated feeling and that's what it is attributable to.

I did go back last night and go through “the book” again, only to discover that I&N did Phase 1 for 6 or 7 months, and recommend that dieters who have more than 25 pounds to lose should stay on Phase 2 for a while.  I suddenly realized that…I had only read the Phase 1 part of the book, and never gone past it.  So, I’m a little bummed about the Phase 1 thing, because I was looking forward to champagne and low carb chocolate truffles.  Now it looks like that might have to wait a while.  On the positive side, the good thing about going through I&N’s book again is that they are so encouraging, and some of the new text that I read really pumped me up, and helped to reaffirm my commitment to being healthy.  I like that they almost expect you to have cheated during Phase 1.  I feel good that I haven’t so far (and I don’t count sick day number 5 because I had no choice and I was still pretty freaking good).  I feel like an above-average dieter with a good chance of success (for the first time ever). 

My energy is up…like way up.  I feel in control.  I am not having any cravings, even though there was a big open package of chips ahoy sitting on the lunch table only 3 feet away from me today.  It didn’t phase me at all. 

I didn’t weigh myself this morning.  My sister (weight loss guru who has lost 120+ pounds since November 2009) cautioned me about hitting a plateau and giving myself grounds for disappointment if I weighed myself every day (as opposed to once a week, where its more likely your end of the week weight will show a more significant change).  So, I was almost afraid to weigh this morning.  I think I’ve been cured of my addiction to daily weighing.  Its almost like, last week, it was miraculous and, this week, I’m just hoping that the miraculous continues to happen and don’t want to find out that its not. 

I am still searching for a tape measure, damn it.  I keep forgetting, then when I remember, its so inconvenient to go out and buy one.  So, I’m going to put it on my shopping list for groceries, so I’ll actually get it done when I am at the store.

I was so pleased with my broccoli stir fry, I have to put the recipe in.  It is so easy.  See the recipe section.

Day 8 - End of Week 1 - Weigh In

So, today was Day 8, the end of Week 1 of Phase 1, and boy, was it a crazy week! Being sick occupied 2 full days, at least. I'm thinking that being sick probably made it so that I didn't want to eat - maybe it boosted my ability to avoid problematic, carby foods... Who knows? Looking back at my posts in the earlier part of the week, it seems that I definitely had a zest for food.

I weighed in this morning, after going to the bathroom 3 times (ugh, the remnants of the stomach bug). This morning's total weight was 225.5. That is 6 pounds lost this week, and 6 pounds lost total. That is without doing a lick of exercise. I am going to incorporate exercise in Week 2 and see if it amplifies the weight loss. Hopefully it will :)

I haven't noticed any change in how my clothes fit yet, and I feel a bit bloated about the middle. I wish that I had gotten my act together and measured myself, as India and Neris advise.
I'm going to get that measuring tape today, and start doing measurements on weigh in day, so that I can keep track.

How do I feel:

Full all of the time with no desire to eat. Almost uncomfortably full. No cravings at the moment. Yesterday we went to Stew Leonards to grocery shop, and I managed to avoid all of the carby samples without any trouble, even as my child munched them right in front of my face.

Number 2
Well, today, I'm definitely, uh, looser, than most people seem to be at this part of the diet. I attribute that to the stomach bug screwing with my intestines. This morning was gross, like someone waved a magic wand and proclaimed: "you shall expel everything you ate on Day 7, NOW!" It was gross, but I have to tell you, felt good since yesterday I was sickly full and waiting, somewhat desperately, to go (although not constipated). Bizarro.

The "flu-ish" day
India and Neris identify a period in the first week of Phase 1 (that would be my last week), where you feel like you have the flu, and you're listless and gross. They attribute it to carb detox. I may have hit that point last night into today. I felt gross-ish yesterday (as described), and very tired and achy in the afternoon. When we came back from Stew's at about 4, I just wanted to go right to bed and sleep, which is not normal for me. I ended up taking a benadryl last night, because I was having some kind of skin reaction to something. Today, I couldn't get up at all. I slept to 10 a.m., which I haven't done since my college days. I still feel a little dopey. Maybe its the benadryl, althought, I've taken a lot of benadryl in my time and never had a reaction. I think I'm just going through the "flu-ish" stage. Hopefully its done soon. I&N said that you just have to push through it, and you'll feel fab.

I am glad that I lost 7 pounds, I'm just bothered that I don't feel any lighter. I think I'm still waiting to, uh, vacate some stuff (see, number 2, above)

I'm going to go back and skim through I&N's book tonight and refocus for the coming week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 6 - 1/28/11

Well, this blog has fast forwarded to Day 6 because, between Days 2-5, the stomach bug made a horrifying appearance in my house. I, myself, was personally, uh, occupied, with the bug from Days 4-5.
Day 4, I didn’t manage to keep anything down, even water.
I went off the diet temporarily on Day 5, because all I could keep down was diluted G2 gatorade (about 10 carbs from that beverage for the day) and about 15-18 triscuits. I also skipped the vitamins and supplements on Day 5 because I could not imagine trying to swallow anything as large as my fish oil pill or co-enzyme Q10 pill.
I’m still a little skeeved out about it, so today, on Day 6, I’m going to take my vitamins and supplements this evening when I feel more settled.
Breaking the Habit of Daily Weighing
I am really into weighing myself daily – and the diet book says not to do it. I need to break the habit, because although it has been encouraging (as of Day 4 a.m., I was down 5.5 pounds), if the scale goes the other way, it might lead to discouragement and maybe some poor behavior on my part.
The interesting thing I learned, though, is that I didn’t lose a drop of weight after being sick and literally not consuming anything that "stuck with me" on Day 4. I weighed myself on Day 5 in the morning and was down to 223 pounds, but when I weighed myself this morning, back up to 226, which I attribute to thoroughly rehydrating myself on Day 5. Gross sickness aside, does this mean that by sticking to the diet I lose more weight than I would if I didn’t eat at all? Not that the latter is an option (I’m not the kind of girl that can go without), but just goes to show how effective the diet is and how terrible an idea it is to starve yourself.
In any event, I am feeling much better today. I am not going to give myself heck about my carb intake yesterday – I was sick, it was minor, I needed electrolytes desperately, and there was no way I would keep down dairy or protein if I tried.
My Resolve / Head Games
I told my husband, last night, that I felt really good about this diet, and I thought I could lose a lot of weight on it. I really mean it. It worked immediately, and seems to still be working. I feel like I am in control right now, and that feels even better than my initial weight loss, because I’ve always said about myself and diets that "I have no willpower".
I am realizing now that "willpower" may not be the issue, because… as India and Neris observed in their book (and I am very loosely paraphrasing), the first and most important issue is your perspective, i.e., you have to keep firm in your mind that you are not "suffering" on this diet, that you are not "denying" yourself, and focus on enjoying the delicious, fresh food in front of you and not bemoaning what you can’t have and would really enjoy. You’ve got to be firmly positive inside your own head.
When dieting in the past, I’ve always obsessed about what I can’t have, and I’ve gotten overwhelmed and cheated, then completely fallen off the wagon and never looked back.
Now, I am positive about what I’m doing and what I’m eating. I made some kick ass pork chops in a brandy-mushroom cream gravy the other night, with spicy sautéed spinach on the side, and as I ate it, I was like, "heck ya, I am not denying myself" and I really meant it. My daughter’s mac and cheese was appealing, and so was my husband’s side dish of plain white rice (see Cravings section, below), but I didn’t feel the desire to cheat, and it didn’t take much "willpower". It was an easy decision on my part, and by making it, I felt that I was doing something good for myself.
I don’t have major cravings yet, although I have been lusting after… plain boiled white rice with butter and salt on it. Crazy, no? Maybe its because my stomach’s been off and that is about as bland as you can get. I foresee some difficulty in the future with bread, pasta, chocolate, etc., but I’m going to cross that bridge when I come to it.
Number 2
1 cup of sautéed spinach is nature’s broom. It was some scary…stuff.
I’m not sure what the deal is, but somehow, lightly sautéed spinach seems to work better for me than raw spinach. Maybe it is because sautéed spinach is more dense and compact than fresh, so you get more in 1 cup of sautéed than you do in even 2 cups of fresh (and I have a limit to how much of the fresh stuff I can eat in say, a salad). Also, I really enjoyed the sautéed spinach a lot more than the raw stuff (even dressed up).

Porkchops with mushroom cream gravy:
4 1 inch thick, boneless pork chops
Quick Brine (4 tbsp salt, 1tsp honey, 1 cup water, shake well and put in tupperware)
8 oz mushrooms
Splash of brandy or cognac
2/3 cup cream
1/3 cup chicken stock (gluten free)
Brine porkchops for 2-4 hours, dry thoroughly. Brown porkchops in butter in frying pan over medium high heat. When browned on both sides, remove chops to plate and keep warm (don’t worry about cooking through). Add mushrooms to pan (don’t add salt) and brown thoroughly. Add splash of brandy and deglaze pan. Add cream and chicken stock. When mixture bubbles, turn heat down to medium, add pork chops, put lid on pan, and cook for about 5 minutes more or until chops are cooked through. Take off heat and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes before consuming.
Note: you probably won’t have to add salt because your pork chops will add plenty of salt to the party. Also, I’m not worried about the honey in the brine… not much actually gets in to the chops.)
Sauteed spinach
1 garlic clove, smashed
½ cup cream
1/8 tsp Crushed red pepper flake
Fresh nutmeg, grated, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups raw baby spinach
Cook garlic in butter medium saucepan over medium heat until it softens but does not turn brown. Add everything but the spinach to the pan, infusing the cream with the other flavors, heat to simmer slowly over medium low heat. Add spinach in 2 batches, waiting until first batch wilts before adding second batch. Fold cream over spinach mixture to help spinach wilt. When greens are vibrant green but softened, remove from heat and serve.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 2 - Monday 1/24/11

Day 2
Breakfast: Chunk of cheddar cheese and a cup of beet soup for breakfast;
Lunch: leftover very low carb chicken parm, spinach salad blue cheese dressing, 1/4 cup tuna salad made with mayo and sour cream, one hard boiled egg, seltzer water;
Dinner: ??
By the end of the work day, I had gotten in about 6 glasses of water, 1 cup of decaf orange flavored tea (plain), and 1 can of seltzer water. 
Multi-v, co-enzyme Q10, psyllium husks, fish oil
I had a hard time getting these huge pills down.  Even though I took them after eating some cheese, my stomach felt off for a while.  Cup of tea and some soup helped. 
Today, I had wanted to wake up earlier, make breakfast and get some exercise in, but was not able to get out of bed early enough.  My back was twitchy last night, and I took a muscle relaxer and ibuprofen, which made my dopey this morning.  The plan is to exercise when I get home from work. 
As noted, the vitamins were tough this morning.  I felt a little like I was going to puke.  Drank 2 huge glasses of water to try and get them down okay.  Not a good thing.  I am going to see about spreading them out throughout the day. 
Feel a little constipated, which is surprising considering all of the high-fiber veggies I'm eating and the psyllium husks and the water. 
I want to make some breakfast items ahead of time so that the preparation time is short in the mornings, otherwise I don't think I'm going to last.  Also, this diet clearly requires some forethought in the menu planning area generally. 
Told the girls at lunch today that I'm trying this low carb, high protein thing.  Probably should have kept my mouth shut :)
Found the Neris & India webpage today and signed up for that: google "pig2twig" and you'll find it to.
Not hungry.  Crave carbs already...probably not a good sign ;)
Pork chops for dinner, I think.
Sticking to it. 

Getting Started - Sunday 1/23 (Day 1)

My name is Kate.  I am a 30 year old woman in Connecticut, with a family, a profession, and a generally busy life. 
I am starting this weight loss journey at 231.5 pounds.  I have high blood pressure and am pre-diabetic.  I want to change these things around, be healthy and fit, be more attractive, and be a good, healthy role model for my daughter.
On Saturday evening at about 11 p.m., I purchased the Kindle version of Neris & India’s Idiot-Proof Diet, and read it in bed while my husband slept.  I like Neris and (particularly) India, and their candor and humor.  The diet is basically low-carb, high-protein.  Its broken down into 3 phases.  The first is the introductory 2 week phase, which is strictly no carbs.  Then, apparently, you get to phase 2 and you start adding indulgences a little bit at a time.
I weigh about what they did when they started, and I like that the book chronicles how they each lost 70 pounds during the following year.  I could stand to lose 70 pounds, although I haven’t weighed that much since…
So, I decided to start first thing the next morning.
I got up, weighed myself (after going to the bathroom):  231.5 pounds
They recommend doing measurements, but I haven’t found a measuring tape yet.
My goal: is to weigh 150 pounds, and to get off of my high blood pressure medicine.
That means that I am working toward a healthy and safe 80 pound weight loss.
Day 1
Sunday went like this:
Bacon and eggs for breakfast;
Cheese for snack;
Salade nicoise (no eggs) for lunch with baby spinach, 1 can tuna in olive oil, olives, cherry tomatoes, squeezed lemon, salt and pepper;
Chicken parm (breaded with parmesan cheese only, used Rai’s vodka cream sauce which only has 4 carbs per ½ cup serving, covered with organic mozzarella and drizzled olive oil).
Snacked on celery sticks with blue cheese dressing later at night.
I didn’t exercise.  We did a lot of walking when we were out shopping, but I didn’t do anything purely for “exercise” sake, which I think is what you’re supposed to do.
Drank water like a crazy woman.  I definitely got 12 glasses in, plus the Rooibos tea they recommended, which has a sweet flavor.
I took my multivitamin and fish oil.  I hadn’t yet purchased the coenzyme Q10 or psyllium husks that were recommended.
Generally, I felt good.  I got a little heady at dinner time, and really felt starved, even though I had munched on a ton of allowed snacks during the day, and had sucked down water like a fiend.  I really craved sweets.


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