Friday, July 22, 2016

Not Much to Say


The restricting didn't work this week.

I stuck with my eating plan the first 2 days. I tracked those days and stayed under 1000 calories and 100 g carbs. I wore the Fitbit and walked about 6,000 steps/day. I biked 25 minutes/day.

Then I got on the scale and was up another half pound. June 20 was my "Day 1" eating on my plan. July 19 was day 1 giving up. I stopped wearing the FitBit and biking. I ate whatever I wanted to for meals and snacks. I ate normal portions: a couple of pancakes, a sandwich and chips, some chocolate. No cake or cookies. But I feel like I have gained ten pounds in less than a week. My pants are tight again. I mean I actually have to pull to button them. How that can happen in a few days, I don't know. I feel exceptionally huge.

Restrict and exercise for a month and lose basically nothing.
Eat what I want without bingeing for four days and gain quickly.

That's how it always is. None of this dieting business makes sense anymore. I wish I had just hung on and kept it off when I had it off, because losing it again is a whole different ballgame.

Screw it. I have a life to live, fat or not. I'll let the doctor sort it out when I go for my appointment this week. I'm asking about WLS.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stupid Weigh In and a Summary of My Year


Well I have not been posting official weigh-ins on Sundays like I used to, but instead posting vague references to being up and down the same half pound and of gaining and losing 4 pounds of (I assume) carb bloat around the 4th of July. This is because the scale is *frustrating* to me. It makes me insane when I do (what I think are) all the right things and don't get my "paycheck" of deserved results. But yeah, I am pretty resigned to the fact that I don't usually get the losses, or gains, that I would expect from how I eat and move.

So basically, last July I weighed 240 pounds. By this January I had lost 11 pounds and was down to 229. It was slow going, but with some effort I got down to 226 by May 1. By the third week of June I weighed 238 pounds... a rapid, 12 pound regain in under 2 months, even thought I WAS making an effort and having a lot of good days. I know it is hard to believe a person can gain weight that fast without binge eating, but I wasn't. I never binged once. I overate junk about half the days for 2 weeks and that was the result I got.

Since June 19 I have been restricting what I eat. I posted most of my intake/menus in blog posts or in the comments if you're interested. This week I made a commitment to walk and bike every day and I have kept that. Today I weigh 238 pounds... still. Same as I weighed about a month ago. I believe (I have to believe) that if I keep my carbs and calories low and increase my activity this month, the scale will respond.

This week I am keeping a close eye on the carb content of my food. I'm not tracking, but am using the Medifast meal guidelines (see last post) to decide what to eat or not. That basically means I aim to get plenty of protein in a small amount of calories and eat about 15 total grams of carbs at a sitting. For example, this morning I had black coffee with half and half, an Egg Beater omelet with one slice of bacon, 2 sliced mushrooms, and a sprinkle of grated cheese, and a small nectarine. That's close to the 15 grams of carbs I want, is low calorie and high protein.

I put my FitBit back on this morning to encourage me to walk more. I also downloaded Pokemon Go on my phone at the urging of one of my kids (yes an ADULT kid!) and I will be out hunting Pokemon with several of my kids this summer. It seems silly but it is a BIG thing around here, with large groups of people of all ages (even my age!) out hunting Pokemon in the parks. I think it is a fun way to get in more walking and family time and meet new people!

Goals:

Keep going with the low carb, low calorie eating, including plenty of protein and local produce
Walk every day and get 10k steps/day
Bike most days for 25 minutes or more
Continue to gather info about WLS and talk to my doctor at my next appointment
Weigh 199 pounds on January 1, 2107
Take up kayaking and paddle boarding next summer

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Medifast without Medifast foods? A step above a post-WLS Diet


I've been thinking really seriously about getting the sleeve, and talking to some folks who have had it done. I have a local friend who had some kind of WLS and has had a ton of trouble (although she is thin now) and am going to talk to her about her experience tonight. This is the first time in my life that I am *seriously* considering doing this. In the past I have always been too afraid to die, leave the people I care for, etc, but I think I am entering a different mindset of making myself an at least equal priority to my family. With the kids moving out I have been sorting and tossing a lot of things I never thought I could let go of. I am starting to phase myself out of the caregiver role and into more of a role that involves taking care of ME. I still have kids with medical issues that need care, but somehow I feel differently, like I matter. That's kind of a hard thing for me to say, because it implies that I have felt like I *don't* matter. I know I matter! And yet, if I am honest with myself, that is exactly how I have acted and subconsciously felt at times. Everyone else is important, but I only matter because I am taking care of them and they need me. Once they no longer need me, I won't matter. And that's not a healthy way to think, even if it is buried under the knowledge that of course I matter. I just need to bring the "mattering" to the surface and start caring for myself with the intensity that I have always cared for others. I have been putting myself last for 26 years. This year, I am getting a promotion.

What I have been doing to avoid weighing, measuring, and counting calories and carbs (which I hate) is this: I have started using more pre-packaged foods that are already portioned and are higher in protein, lower in carbs. For a long time I have eyeballed labels looking for "Medifast substitutes"... foods that are similar in nutritional content to a Medifast meal (about 90-110 calories, 11-15 grams of protein, 8-15 grams of carbs, 4-5 grams of fiber, under 4 grams of fat). A lot of people who used to do Medifast got tired of the skyrocketing prices and have looked for alternatives such as the WonderSlim and BariWise diet foods from DietDirect.com (affiliate link... I use their products a lot), Quest bars, and other packaged foods that they could use as a meal in the 5&1 Plan, getting the same results at a lower cost. Heck, I have even seen people sub things like a low fat string cheese for a Medifast meal because the most important thing of all on that plan is to keep your carbs low, and string cheese generally has 0 carbs. Anyway, the old 5&1 Plan on Medifast was just 5 protein meals and one meat/vegetable meal per day. It was nice because you never had to track ANYTHING. You just eat the 5 meals, and all you have to measure is your meat (weigh it, 5 to 7 ounces) and your vegetables (3 servings, a half cup each but for raw greens you get a full cup for a serving). If you eat those things, it automatically will be 800-100 calories, over 72 grams of protein and under 100 grams of carbs every day without tracking. That was so easy but boring. I am thinking I could do the same thing with random protein meals and whole foods that have a similar nutritional profile, and then eyeball the dinner to be about the same as a Lean & Green meal on Medifast. I am not going to get obsessive and count and measure spices like Medifast asks you to do; instead I could make one of the meals each day a no-carb snack to allow some wiggle room for the carbs in seasonings. What do you think? Can I do "Medifast" without actually using Medifast products? Would it be easy and stress free and result in weight loss? I'd be getting a solid 900-1000 calories a day which is probably slightly more than I am eating now, and also more than I would be eating after a VSG. If I am willing to eat well under 1000 calories a day after WLS, it can't be any worse to do it now. If I can't stick to it then so be it, I will try and get the surgery and that will force me to eat that way.

Today's menu (updated after dinner):

coffee with half and half
a hard boiled egg
a small nectarine
a packet of protein pretzels with a spoonful of hummus
a bowl of fresh kale that I cooked with onions and chicken broth
a protein bar
a large heirloom tomato from the CSA box, diced, tossed with fresh basil also from the CSA box, one chopped string cheese (because I had no fresh mozzarella), a drizzle of olive oil, and salt & pepper

I will have something as a snack later, maybe protein pudding or something else around 100 calories.

Walked the dog and biked 25 minutes. Input welcome.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Deadline


In a couple of weeks it will have been nine YEARS since I started this blog. I cannot believe that. In that time, I've lost 103 pounds, been up and down the scales repeatedly, regained 70 pounds but always kept off that last 30 and, for the most part over the last two and a half years, have just been swinging back and forth between 225 and 245 pounds. For the year and a half prior to that I was swinging between 205 and 225 pounds. It's been about three and a half years since I have seen 199.

I cannot express to you how determined I am to get this weight off. I am *almost* to a point where I would consider weight loss surgery. I really feel like that might be the only answer. But my fear of surgery and complications is pushing me to give this one last shot before I start asking my doctor for details on WLS. Every day I push myself to give my best effort at weight loss the "old fashioned" way. Every day I try to not eat until I really *need* to, and then make it the smallest possible amount and only a limited selection (produce, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and protein bars/shakes/products), with limited carbs. I am making time now for the walking and biking that I need to keep my metabolism from screeching to a halt while I restrict. This fat is in the way and I have to get rid of it.

Today I haven't eaten yet (just black coffee) but the plan is to cook up some kale and onions for lunch and some cabbage with beef and tomatoes for dinner. I will use my protein shakes and protein water to get through the afternoon and evening if I need it. They are only 60 to 110 calories each so a good portion of protein for little calories as a snack. With about 200 calories for lunch and 400 for dinner, plus 2-3 snacks, I will stay well under 1000 calories a day.

I am tired and frustrated with this whole "journey" and so over it, and ten years of blogging about it without getting to a point of long term maintenance is NOT an option. I am giving myself until my ten year bloggiversary in August, 2017, to be at goal whether that is by diet and exercise or by surgery. This is just getting stupid and needs to be fixed.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Self is Last


Do you ever feel like you just can't get enough things done in a day? I am having that kind of week right now. I have all the intentions to fit in a walk and a bike ride every day, but it isn't getting done. I am getting lots of *other* things done, but as with most Moms I tend to put my own needs on the back burner and put everyone else in the family first. It's crazy because when my kids were little I felt like I never had any time, but I was so sure that when they got to be teens and older I would be so free! I remember when I had 3 little babies/toddlers and one of my good friends had ONE toddler and three older kids ranging from 10 to 16. I thought, "wow, why is she still so frazzled? Why is her yard and house still a mess when she has all those older kids to do all that work for her?" Ha, yeah. Well I got a taste of reality when I had teens: teens are WAY more work than I thought! Even with really good kids who do chores and help, their needs do not diminish just because they are adult sized! Now my boys are all 20+ so they really *are* mostly independent. Three of them need very little from me aside from the usual support, love, and family time. But as they move out of the house, their old chores fall to me. And lately I have been on a rampage getting rid of things that were just collecting dust! I had saved lots of old toys, furniture, and household stuff thinking they would come in handy someday. And as they have moved out they have also left a lot of their stuff here in boxes and tubs... some that they intended to come back for later, and some that they will probably never want again. So my task this week has been sorting all the boxes that are stacked in the guest room and the garage, checking with the boys as to what they want or don't want that was theirs, and donating a lot of things to others in need. It is a lot of fun (I like to sort and clean and is kind of cathartic) but a lot of work and takes hours. I get sucked into it and then have to still run errands, cook dinner, care for the dogs, go to appointments and spend time with my kids who still live at home. My daughter has a lot of playdates and youth group stuff, and we hang out with friends a couple times a week. Bottom line is, I am putting my own physical health LAST by not walking and biking... and that has to change NOW.

I don't want to stay fat, I really don't. I want to see results from the restriction (I am back to eating mostly protein and produce in small amounts; if my eyeballing is close I am eating between 800 and 1200 calories a day). I feel better when I exercise, too. So yeah, no more excuses, I am getting in the exercise EVERY day.

This weight loss thing is annoying sometimes so I want to get it finished within a year and then just focus on maintaining the loss.