Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Analysis of a derailed diet.

Well I am still incredibly busy these days.
But at least the scale is finally starting to cooperate (somewhat) after going off the strictly low-carb plan.
I know that lots of low-carb critics always warn you when going off of a low-carb diet that you are going to blow-up like a balloon, and I know that dedicated low-carbers often dismiss this phenomenon as being the result of people not gradually stepping up their carbs ad going on pasta and cupcake binges when they go off the diet.
My honest opinion? They’re both right.
Don’t get me wrong. I still think that the low-carb diet plan is the fastest and easiest way to lose weight. In fact I am still going to take a lot of the principles and apply them to what I am doing at the present moment. I am going to continue to avoid added sugars. No HFCS. No table sugar. No white flour, no white rice….
I am going to eat brown rice and whole wheat pasta. I am going to eat natural sugars occasionally in the form of whole fruit. I am going to be mindful of the calories I consume and try to keep myself at about 1200 calories a day. I am going to continue to make sure that I get enough protein and fat to keep me satisfied between meals and keep hunger at bay.
Right now I believe with my whole heart that this strategy is the only way I will be able to keep losing weight. I was doing great on the low-carb plan, when I was able to actually follow it the right way. And that is really the whole key. Low-carbing is easy, but you HAVE to follow- it exactly. There is NO cheating allowed. There is no margin for error. If you go over your allotted carbs even a little bit you have an intense craving for more and it takes unreasonable amount of will power to get back on track. If you can stick with it for about 4 or 5 days, that all goes away. But- every time you fall off the wagon, so to speak, it become harder and harder to get there.
And to be honest, that’s exactly where I found myself these past months. Following low-carb religiously I was able to lose 40 pounds in 6 months. I was psyched. It was awesome! People noticed that I was trimmed, healthier and happier.
So what went wrong? Those same people who asked over and over again how I was losing the weight never got “on-board” with the whole low carb lifestyle. They pretty much refused to support me. In some cases I got the distinct impression they were trying to sabotage me. I don’t know if it was intentional or subconscious or completely imagined. I do know that any time I had to eat anywhere other than my own home I was faced with food that I shouldn’t eat.
When my grandfather got sick last summer, I started spending more time at my mom’s to be with him. And I cheated.
When my grandparents passed away in the fall, my family gathered to comfort one another- I cheated.
When my mother in law came to town to visit for a few months she showed her love by cooking Sunday dinners, - I cheated.
When the holidays season rolled around and rich food was everywhere – I cheated.
When my husband went back to work and our schedules changed I found myself rushing to get my son home before 7:00pm with no time to even re-heat a meal. And I cheated.
All these moments of cheating caused my blood sugar to soar and plummet repeatedly. The cravings came flooding back and the steady progress I had so painstakingly worked for evaporated. All I was able to do was maintain my weight in the 220-225 range. The longer it stagnated, the harder it became to loose. Finally in these last months I pretty much gave up completely. I still paid lip service to trying to be healthier and get it under control, but the reality of the situation was that I often found myself eating pop-tarts or chocolate cake or donuts or pancakes or pasta…and the voice in my head whispered it was okay, that I could restart my diet tomorrow.
But tomorrow never came.
I stopped blogging as often, partly because my work policies changed and it became harder for me to post during the day. But also in part because I wanted to be honest here, and I couldn’t be honest with you when I wasn’t even really being honest with myself.
The last three weeks have been a real eye opener as I have participated in this work challenge. I realized how very little I move during the day. I realized that I really don’t eat enough veggies. When I logged everything for a few weeks it kind of put things into perspective a bit for me.
So why not go back onto the low-carb plan that I had so much success with?
That’s a hard question to answer. The best answer I can give you is that I just don’t want to. My blood sugar is fine, so I don’t feel I need to keep myself at 20 or 30 or 40 carbs per day anymore. I am still feeling intense stress both at work and at home and I don’t really have the will to overcome the hurdles of going through a two week induction again. I know as soon as I start to feel the “Atkins flu” I’ll give up and it will be more of the same nonsense that I’ve been lying to myself about.
Also - if I don’t have the support of the people around me, then I need a weight loss plan with greater flexibility in my food choices. That only really comes with counting calories.
So rather than restricting the quantity of my carbs, I’m going to simply limit myself to high quality carbs. My goal is to make sure that every bite I eat is as nutritious as possible. I will try to be mindful of the glycemic effect of the foods I eat. But the only real “rule” I am going to follow is to aim to eat 1200 or fewer calories.
I’ve been doing well so far. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

If at first you don't succeed...

Hi there,
I thought I should check in with y’all.

As you all know, I’ve been struggling. I had to take a step back and dedicate some of the energy I was putting into myself and my diet and turn that focus onto my family, particularly onto my child. I’m happy to say that the boy is doing better. He’s eating again, though still not as much as I would like, at least he is actually chewing and swallowing food at every meal now.

I think part of what triggered the most recent hunger strike was potty training. Seems the boy is somewhat of a genius and put together that if he drinks a lot he has to pee a lot. Then he started holding his poop because it got hard to pass and he became constipated. This caused him to have a belly ache and he lost his appetite. Cue food refusal and weight loss.

Once I got things, er…moving again…. *ahem* he started to drink more and then began to eat a little again. He was back to weighing 28 pounds as of this morning up from the low point of 25 (though still a little down from his high of 29 lbs in November). So crises averted for now.
I wanted to thank all of you for the great support and words of encouragement you gave me through all of this. It really meant a lot that you were there thinking of me and I appreciate it tremendously.
Now for the damage control.

Stress eating combined with the high-calories meals I was making for the boy have caused me to bounce up to 228.


So I am going to try to do better. I’m giving up red meat for lent. And as I mentioned before my two bestest girl friends at work and I are doing the “New Weigh to Move, Eat and Live” challenge. We’re team Mission Slimpossible. And I bought a cute new pair of kicks for walking on my lunch break. Sculpt and Tone sneakers from Fila.

I am going to try to update y’all more often, but they changed my internet access at work recently, so I’m not sure how that will go…I guess they want me to actually work instead of blog- go figure!

I will definitely try to get an update up at least once a week though, I like it too much ‘round here…