Sunday, June 7, 2015

Changes Coming, for the 100th Time


Looks like it's time to try yet again, make another plan, work on changing for the better and improving my health and weight. Sometimes it get really old, re-starting all the time. But you know, one of these times, it's going to stick. Maybe this is the time. Maybe today is the first step back to a normal weight. You never know. You have to keep trying. So here's what I am doing.

Breakfast is something I have figured out, and I know what is best for me even if I don't always do it. If I eat mainly carbs in the morning, I feel like crap. Sluggish, kind of half sick. I used to eat things like oatmeal or whole wheat toast for breakfast, but in the past five years or so those things just make me feel unwell. I suspect it has to do with blood sugar, which is probably not as level as it used to be, with age and obesity. The breakfasts I can eat now that make me feel good are protein-rich and low to moderate carb. I do fine with a simple protein shake, a Greek yogurt that isn't sugary, eggs and fruit, or my favorite: bacon (or sausage) and avocado with fruit (or sometimes with a bit of sweet potato). I feel great on those breakfasts. If I just stick with those, it's a good start to my day.

Dinner is pretty easy, because of my family. I mean, for the most part, I decide what's on the menu. I know how to do this in a healthy way, because when I was on Medifast or low carbing I got into a good routine of making a dinner everyone would like: a basic meat, a couple of vegetables, maybe a fruit. I'd make some rice or pasta or potatoes for everyone else and just not have any. I often subbed cooked squash for pasta or rice, and mashed cauliflower for potatoes, and I was happy with that. I just need to go back to that instead of the gluten free noodles and breads and such that I have been eating. There is the issue of potlucks and eating when I'm not the one cooking, but that's not an everyday thing. Maybe once a week... so I should be able to muddle through it by bringing a dish I can eat and not going back for seconds of whatever else is served. I'm also pretty solid on knowing how to eat at any restaurant (protein and vegetables), so that's not an issue.

As for snacks between meals, sometimes I feel like I need them to keep my blood sugar steady, or at bedtime because my stomach is growling and keeps me awake. Instead of the snacks I have been choosing (gluten free crackers, cookies, chips, etc) I need to go back to fruit, vegetables, and protein. Cutting out nuts for AIP got me out of the habit of using almonds as an easy snack but I am going to start eating them again. I mean if I am really hungry and need something, those foods will be just fine. I could also use protein shakes between meals if I need something  easy (they are 100 calories, so would not have as much impact on my daily calorie intake as the stuff I am eating now). Maybe I will even get some protein bars, as some commenters suggested in my last couple of posts. And of course, there is the option of just reducing my eating between meals. I think for starters, limiting my snacks to 100 calories, 3 times a day max, will be doable.

That leaves lunch which is where I tend to get into the most trouble with either being too busy and grabbing something convenient, but not very nutritious, or having some time to "indulge" between other activities and choosing to eat old favorites like chips, pizza (gluten free) or pasta (gluten free). I need a better lunch plan... but maybe for this week, I will just try to make healthier choices for lunch as I incorporate the other changes I listed above.

Also I need to be sure I drink more water, cut the diet sodas back out, and knock it off with the Starbucks matcha lattes. I have matcha at home, too, and make myself a cup with sugar and milk almost every day. It's kind of addictive, and since I cut out black coffee during AIP I have gone overboard with the matcha (which I don't have a taste for plain). I am thinking about adding back unsweetened almond milk and subbing that for regular milk, in smaller amounts, and cutting the sugar back as well.

I am still wearing my fitbit but not really doing anything with the info (since I have not been tracking calories this week). I guess what I will aim for this week is just an increase in activity over last week. Have to start somewhere. Plus I'll go swimming with my daughter and get more activity in that way.

Anyway, that's the plan for now; I pretty much ditched the starvation idea because of the effect just *thinking* about it had on my eating, plus all of the thoughtful comments I got giving me other ideas. I haven't gotten on the scale this week but I better do that too, right?

This is going to be a good week. I have other things in store as well that may help me reach my goals, but more on that later!

16 comments:

Joanna said...

I guess I don't get why you add sugar to your drink when you are trying to lose weight. That sounds sort of critical so I probably shouldn't even comment, but you say you want one thing and then you do another. I have commented before that I pretended to lose weight for many years and it got me no where. I hate to see the pain you heap on yourself. If you lose really slowly and then you gain really rapidly, you get no place in the end. The suggestions you have gotten from the earlier posts have been insightful, but you have your own style as we all do so I shouldn't even have an opinion about your diet. It just seems like you are flitting with this and that but you don't have focus. If you are on a low carb diet, then a high fat breakfast which includes bacon and avocado can work, but if you have sugar and carbs later in the day, then you aren't on a low carb diet. Just my two cents.

Betsey C. said...

Sounds like a good, doable plan, Lyn! Be sure to eat healthy foods that you like so that you are happy. I adore salad, so that's what I usually have for lunch, with some protein on it in the form of chicken, salmon or egg. I make my own dressing. Delicious!

Good luck, and enjoy your summer!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a good, moderate diet.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first commenter that I really shouldn't have an opinion on your diet one way or another, however as you've laid your foods out there I'm just going to go ahead and ask - why not eggs for breakfast? Bacon, while delicious and "low carb", is a bit of a nothing-food nutritionally speaking. If you had eggs in the morning, you'd get the satiety of a healthy dose of protein (bacon isn't a high-protein food...in fact, on diabetic meal plans it's classed as a fat). Your breakfast, such as it is, is very high-fat but incredibly low protein.

It doesn't have to be so hard. Eggs for breakfast - add a SLICE of bacon, if you want. For lunch, some chicken breast or salmon over a big salad. Load it up with all the veggies you want - avocado makes a great "dressing", just toss it with the salad until the creamy avocado coats the greens. Dinner - again, more lean protein, simply prepared veggies and even a measured serving of rice or potato (if you're not avoiding them). Dessert? Fruit.

With such a variety of produce available you don't have to be hungry, and you don't have to eat boring food. You DO have to shop well, cook every day, and prioritize actual food over convenience products. As others have said - blueberries, not blueberry ice cream.

Lyn said...

I don't mind respectful comments and suggestions, thank you!

Joanna~

I was putting sugar in the tea because I like it and it is 16 calories. I get that on principle there should be *no added sugar* and that's what I am trying for this week. I know even with no syrup the Starbucks matcha powder does have sugar (way more than I add at home) so I think cutting those out and subbing the homemade, low sugar type is a decent step down. I totally agree with you saying I don't have focus. Absolutely true... I am trying to get focus, commitment, motivation to stick with a healthy menu.

Betsey~

I do find that if I make a list of healthy things I really love (cucumber slices, berries, melon, steamed squash, baked salmon, etc) I am far more likely to be happy eating it than I am when I make, say, frozen green beans (tonight) just because they are in the freezer (and then I eat some and don't feel very satisfied).

Anonymous~

Yes, in my post I listed eggs as one of my usual healthy breakfast options. I did cut them out while on AIP but added them back this spring and eat them a couple of times a week for breakfast. Not sure why, but lately I have really been averse to salads in general. I tend to like lightly steamed veggies much better or just a bowl of baby carrots... just need to sub those things for the habitual gluten free processed foods and chips I've been eating lately (why? Because they taste good, I like them, and as Joanna said, I've been unfocused. Trying to adjust my attitude now). And I agree on your dinner list; that's exactly what I said in my post (except I am trying to cut the carbs and would avoid the potato or rice generally speaking).

I am thinking if I stick to the plan it will help me get my head back in the right place and better nutrition will foster even better good habits.

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea to come up with go-to foods for your meals and snacks and a variety of them so you don't get too bored.
And to get rid of the caloric drinks.
Good job getting back up, that's all we can do.

Amber said...

I'm glad to hear that you are no longer going to starve yourself. There may be temporary weight loss, but it always comes back plus more. As long as you are not gaining weight, you are ahead of the game, even if you aren't losing. When times get tough, shoot for maintenance. When you are feeling good, aim to lose. That's what I do.

You say oatmeal doesn't work, but have you tried mixing it with protein powder? I find that the blood sugar response isn't quite as powerful when protein and fat are added. For example, I cook 1/4 cup of oats in 1/2 cup of water (the microwave works). Then, in a separate bowl, I mix 1 scoop of vanilla whey with a splash of cold water. I whisk until it dissolves into a smooth paste. Then I stir this smooth paste into my already-cooked oatmeal. Sometimes I add 1 tsp of coconut oil for fat or eat a cheese string separately as a snack. One scoop of Optimum Nutrition's "Natural" vanilla-flavoured whey plus 1/4 cup of quick oats is only 200 calories. It makes for a really cheap breakfast. Sometimes I like to throw pumpkin seeds and sliced strawberries on top. To be honest, I prefer savoury breakfasts myself, but lately haven't had time to cook in the mornings. If you have time, then go for whatever you like best!

Lunch is the only meal I pre-cook for the week. Yesterday I made 5 servings of sausage and vegetable penne for Monday-Friday since I work in an office. If you are uncertain about lunches, you could always cook them in advance. Ultimately, whatever works for you is best.

Gina said...

Hi,

I just discovered your blog while I was searching for AIP and thyroid. I found your story very interesting and I am glad you have shared it. I don't think at this point I am ready to dive into the Whole 30 diet (it is just so restrictive), but I am trying to get my eating under control. I am addicted to sugar and am cutting out the carbs. I am doing the 17 Day Diet right now and it is helping to get my cravings under control. I don't know if you are at a point where you want to try a new diet (lifestyle plan), but I would highly suggest looking into the 17 Day Diet. Thanks again for sharing your story!

CatherineMarie said...

*hugs*.

Not all carbs are bad. You can get great fiber from carbs, quinoa, brown rice, etc. And for me, carbs for dinner help me sleep better.

Why not try to tackle one bad habit a week? Focus this week on eating a better breakfast. And maybe throw in an extra walk.

Next week, work on finding some good salads and things..and not all salads have to be lettuce cut up with dressing. I've done great grated salads/slaws that go well with a sandwich or piece of protein.

Don't thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

16 blessings'mom said...

Lyn, I love how you answer so gracefully. I have had some success with going on a ketogenic diet, but I am not losing weight as fast as I had hoped I would when I finally decided to be 100% faithful. It has been about six weeks, and I have lost only six - seven pounds. I have coconut oil in my morning coffee, then usually only two meals a day, which are usually eggs with spinach, or meats with veggies, and nuts for snack, berries once a day....with cream sometimes. It's not high protein, but high fat (good fat), and is very satisfying. My hot flashes disappeared, and my sugar cravings are totally gone. I'm still attracted to baked goods and ice cream, but that physical Have To Have Some feeling is gone. I have had four bites of dark chocolate in these weeks, and found it very sweet, and was satisfied each time with just the one bite. I do put unsweetened baking cocoa in my coffee or tea sometimes, blended with a little bit of coconut oil and cream..yum. Anyway, I love how you never give up, and just thought I would share with you what seems to be helping me, after these four years of trying and trying and trying to get to a healthy weight...
(after 20+ years of being heavy...)

Della

Anonymous said...

If you really go to a potluck once a week or so - really?? - that sounds like it could be a HUGE problem. It's basically a buffet, and hitting a buffet on a weekly basis sounds like an ongoing opportunity to sabotage yourself.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

Yes, I do. The potlucks are something I will keep going to; I need to make a list of five or six easy things I can bring that are healthy and that people will enjoy. People always bring salads; I have brought cooked vegetables or deviled eggs before. I am thinking if I can make some kind of low fat chicken salad that would work. The potlucks are not for the primary purpose of food, but for socializing with friends. So sometimes in the past I have eaten beforehand and just had a light salad when I get there. It's doable, but with the wrong mindset I could definitely go off plan. So far I have never had a dessert at the potlucks.

Betsey C. said...

Do you have a gas grill, Lyn? I like to grill veg in summer. Yesterday I did a mix of peppers, summer squash, mushrooms and onions. I cut them up and put them in a big bowl and mix them up with a bit of oil and some seasonings. I have a grilling pan that is like a square wok with holes in it. It works really well for grilling veg. I love them as a snack and on sandwiches, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn! Your post really resonated with me this week. I also feel like I have breakfast and dinner down pat when it comes to eating healthy, but I could probably make better choices in between. In fact, over the last couple of weeks my weight loss has stalled, and I'm pretty sure it's because I've been going out for lunch while at work a lot more frequently. Before the stall, I was taking leftovers from dinner the night before to work for lunch, and that worked out since my dinners were on point. At any rate, it was better than the deli sandwiches and pizza near my work! I wonder if that's something that could help you as well? All it takes is making a little extra for dinner, then taking the extra portion and wrapping it up. I'm hitting the reset button too this week!
-Maria

Anonymous said...

Looking back at your July 16, 2014 blog about your metabolism .

" In order to lose weight, I have to eat between 1152 and 1440 calories AND have an active lifestyle AND exercise 30 minutes/day. In fact, both the dietitian and the endocrinologist said that I should aim for 1100 calories per day, which is on the lower end of the "weight loss zone" recommendations, because I am just not as active as the 'average' person. And yes, that is *with* the 30 minutes of exercise per day... 1100 "

This just seems to be the reason for what you are facing.

Lyn said...

Betsey~

I don't have a grill right now. Our old charcoal grill was rusting out and I haven't gotten a new one yet. I miss grilling! I love grilled veggies too.

Anon 1~

Leftovers are a good option! I need to cook more food... lately it's all getting eaten at dinner!

Anon 2~

No doubt.