Sunday, November 25, 2007


How does one recover from a weekend (or longer) of indulgence, due to Holidays, stress, or sickness? How do you get back on track? This is one of the most important (if not THE most important) things we can master. Why? Because everyone gets off track. Everyone has a bad day, or few days, and whether we succeed at weight loss or not depends entirely upon whether we can get back on program (eating healthy) in a relatively short period of time. Because, as I know so well, those "days off" can easily turn into weeks, months, or even YEARS of unhealthy eating and can send you rocketing right back up the hell scale to your "start weight" and beyond. Just think... what if, all those times you started a "diet" and lost a few pounds, you actually stuck with it and didn't regain the weight? Where would you be right now? Well, I can tell you where I would be: at my goal of 168 or maybe even less. Maybe even down to my "dream" weight of 140! It is the days, weeks, and months of being "off plan" that add up to weight loss failure and being imprisoned in a morbidly obese body.

So how DOES one recover? You have to put the brakes on, and you have to do it SOON. If you have been off program for a week or more, you have gone too long! Anything you regain in a week, you can take back off relatively quickly. A lot of that will be water weight due to increased consumption of salt, fat, and carbs in processed foods. But if you go longer, the weight becomes real, "stick-to-your-ribs" (literally) weight that is much harder to scrape back off. But it is never too late. The sooner the better, but the most important thing is to start NOW. Not tomorrow. If you always wait til tomorrow, you will never have a thin today.

Here are my tips for recovery.
1. Throw out all the junk. It is not wasteful to throw away a box of Twinkies. It is wasteful to EAT them. Stop treating yourself like a human garbage disposal.
2. Buy produce. Go to the store, and stock up on healthy stuff. It doesn't have to be expensive. Get veggies and fruits that are on sale this week (squash, apples, green beans) and get some frozen, bagged stuff as well (peas, baby lima beans, broccoli). Make it a point to eat this stuff at EVERY meal. Have some fruit with your cereal for breakfast, or veggies in your egg white omelet. Have this stuff for snacks. Make healthy meals that you will ENJOY.
3. Start drinking tons of water. All day, between meals, with meals. It fills you up and hydrates.
4. Remember the big picture. That stupid Oreo is NOT important. If you love it so much, bag it and put it in the freezer and you can have it when you lose 10 pounds (if you still want it). This is important. It is hard, but it is important and anything worthwhile is worth fighting for.
5. Be as active as you can. Walk or ride a bike or something. Rake leaves. Enjoy it.

I think it is essential to eat things you LIKE. This is your life. It should not be miserable. Why escape the misery of being fat just so you can be miserable eating stuff you hate? I love Thanksgiving leftovers. But I need to be wise about it. So my menu for today looks like this:

Breakfast: 1 reduced fat, homemade waffle topped with 1/2 sliced banana and 2T lite syrup, with a small cup of coffee with fat free hazelnut creamer.
Lunch: turkey salad, made from diced turkey breast, a chopped boiled egg, lite mayo, spicy brown mustard, and pickle relish, on one serving of whole grain crackers, with a side salad of romaine lettuce, petite green peas, bacon bits, and light blue cheese dressing. To drink, a tall glass of iced lemon green tea.
Snack: fresh roasted green beans and baby yams (roasted in olive oil with salt and pepper)
Dinner: I am making a wonderful pot of soup from my turkey carcass, and I will have a large bowl of that, with a slice of homemade low fat beer bread with 1/2T light butter.

Now doesn't that sound yummy?? Not horrible and diet-y at all. ENJOY your food.
And please, never throw away a turkey carcass!!! You know, the bones of a picked-over Thanksgiving turkey? Oh man, it is wonderful for soup. Take that carcass and roast it in a pan, uncovered, for 15 minutes at 425 to bring out the flavor. Then put all the bones (I also add the wings if no one has eaten them) into a pot and cover with cold water, ALMOST covering the carcass. Add a tablespoon of salt and simmer it for an hour or two. Your house will smell fantastic!!! Then, turn it off and let it cool. Pour through a strainer and let the broth cool more and spoon all the fat off the top (or refrigerate it and then take off the solid fat later). Then pick through the bones, get off all the meat and put the meat back into the broth for soup. You can add cubed turkey if you want more meat. Then chop a couple of carrots and a stick or two of celery, and an onion and throw that in the broth and simmer it. You can add a few cloves of garlic if you like (I do). Season it with salt, freshly ground black pepper, a little thyme if you like, parsley and if you want a stronger poultry flavor you can add a bit of chicken bouillon. Simmer til the veggies are tender. (You can add egg noodles or some minute rice while it simmers, if you want). If it needs thickening, add leftover gravy (mine is nonfat, watch out if yours isn't), or thicken with a half cup of cold water mixed with 3T cornstarch. Viola! Yummy, healthy soup. Even better if you use whole grain noodles in it, or cooked brown rice. Delish!!

As for the beer bread, I know someone will ask, so here ya go:
3 c. self-rising flour (important! use self-rising flour!)
3T sugar
1- 12oz. beer
Mix with a wooden spoon (very sticky) and put into a Pam-sprayed 9 by 5 bread pan.
Let rise 15-30 minutes.
IF you can handle a little fat in your calories for the day, melt 2T real butter and drizzle over the top. This is tasty but not totally necessary! Other than this butter, this bread is FAT FREE.
Bake 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Very yummy, in moderation. I have 5 kids and a husband so there is no risk of me binging on this loaf. If I get one slice I am lucky!

Life should be enjoyable. Do what it takes to make YOURS happy. Losing weight can be key to this, but eating delicious, healthy foods plays a big part too. Don't suffer needlessly in a jail of obesity... and don't torture yourself with foods you hate. But whatever plan you choose, take that step NOW. The rest of your life begins TODAY. It is not going to wait for you. Do it now.


FatGirl said...

Such a good post. The biggest problem I'm having is that OUR leftovers consisted almost entirely of pie and cakes because my fiance's mother bought 6 (!!) freaking pies for a t-giving of 10 people, and now we're stuck with them. The mind, it boggles.

honib1 said...

oh my god that bread sounds great.. but do u have any ideas calorie wise what a slice is???
wonderful post and wonderful ideas too

Heather said...

Thats a great post since I am going through that. Today I just jumped back on track like nothing happened these past few days and I think thats the best way to do it.

And you are right about the Oreo. It will always be there, its not going anywhere. so when we are all thin and lovely, we can go for the oreo. and I bet we wont even want it so much after all this hard work!

honib1 said...

just gave u an award please come visit my blog and collect it

Lady T said...

your soup sounds tasty....indeed.

i'm getting myself back on track too...funny that i ran into your post today and your talking about the same thing. thats what i've been reminding myself of. its ok to indulge from time to time. but i just cant let it be a constant gorge fest for days and days on end.

Sarah Joan Mokhtar said...

fantastic work! keep it up! may I suggest continuing the great work and menu, and excluding the man made carbs ala atkins? it may help reduce the carvings and speed up your wornderful results :) take care!

Melanie said...

Just what I needed to hear this morning. You're so right about the most important factor in weight loss success is figuring out how to get back on track, because it's true that we WILL get off track at some point. I'm currently in a major slump (got off track and stayed off track after a good start...) Thank you for the encouragement. It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in this struggle.

honib1 said...

just thinking about you.. please hang in there.. you can do this.. all that you want to do.. find that faith...your last post was wonderful.. looking forward to the next.. and by the way the 30 pounds shows on you wonderfully.. what an awesome loss...

Teale said...

I needed this. Thank you!

Maha said...

I made your beer bread last night. I was a little skeptical, but it was quite yummy. Everyone had seconds. And it was so easy to make, I was able to let my 3 1/2 year old do nearly everything! It's a keeper!

Cameron said...

You sound like you're an *amazing* cook! :)

Diandra said...

I do not know if I am different from other people, but I have found taht if I do not have "guilty" (or hidden) pleasures, I tend to tire of them rather quickly. Before the holidays, the BF and I settled on certain treats we both like (instead of buying a crapload of cheap junk, as his family tends to do). I took my share of the treats on a plate and put them in my room - and you kow what? I did not eat all of them, although christmas sweets are among my all-year favorites. Instead, on the second day, I was tired of them and craving vegetables and fresh fruit. I imagine that for someone who says to themselves, "No, I cannot have this. Okay, just one. No, really, just one. Or... maybe one more. But now I'll stop..." it must be way harder to listen to their bodies. After all, their subconscious (which basically works like a toddler) believes that it will NEVER EVER AGAIN have sweets, so it grabs as many as possible.

I am more in favor of working with my subconscious instead of fighting it. If I crave something, I will often take myself to the store, go to the aisle and there try to decide whether I really want to eat that. In the beginning, the answer was "yes!!" 95% of the time. Now it is maybe 5% of the time. And if I want it, I buy it and tell myself, "You may eat this if you want to. But you don't have to."

(And you wouldn't believe the amount of "treats" I have thrown out after a taste because I did not really want them.)

(Have I mentioned that I have lost 34lbs this way without feeling deprived and with very little food struggles?)