Sunday, September 4, 2016

Weigh In And The Diet

It's Sunday again and time for my weekly weigh-in. I also wanted to update my thoughts on my "diet" (aka eating plan or "eating lifestyle.") I asked on Friday's post for people to leave a comment stating which diet they think would be best for me to follow. Someone who I won't name decided to chastise me via email for "making this into a contest. You should be able to pick a plan that is best for you YOURSELF instead of asking strangers to pick for you." Okay... well let me clarify. Like I said in the post, I know whole foods are best. I also said that I need to follow my endocrinologist's recommendations of limiting starchy, sugary, high carb foods. But just doing those things is not enough for me to lose weight. I have to take it a step further and *restrict* in some manner. Just going by my appetite is not working. And I have felt very resistant to restriction over the past year or two, simply because I have restricted *so much* over the last decade (by counting calories, or eating from a restricted food list, or cutting out entire categories of food.) I have felt like restriction led to food obsession and I don't want to go there again. That's why I asked for input: I know a few things that might work, but I am lacking the desire and commitment to do them. So I listed them here:

A. calorie counting
C. Medifast/Wonderslim (shakes all day and a measured meat/veggie low carb dinner)
D. something else... what?

I need to commit to something, just like I committed to this bike ride across America. Sometimes, all I need to do is make a promise in a public place, like this. I promised I would ride 3,035 miles and would try to finish it by next August. that is enough motivation for me to actually DO it. The next step is to make a commitment to some kind of diet, and since I was being flaky and wishy washy about picking something and DOING it, I wanted that feedback. I said I would do what the majority thinks is best. So far, that looks like calorie counting. Not my favorite thing, but I will do it.

This week I have been eating higher carb and unhealthier choices... and lots of juice and soup because I have a head cold. I am starting to feel better today. I weighed in at 243 pounds, up a pound from last week.

Today I am prepping my vegetables for the week. I am so blessed to have access to fresh, local, mostly organic produce! My CSA box keeps me focused (this week I got plums, cucumbers, carrots, apples, tomatoes, kale, and green beans) and my friends also share their gardens with me (lots of Roma and cherry tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and lettuce!) I have some beautiful heads of lettuce freshly picked this morning; they're soaking in the sink and will be getting torn and put into my salad spinner for prepped salads later this week. Tonight's dinner will be a vegetable soup with most of the CSA box veggies in it plus some onions, garlic, and ground beef.

If I end up calorie counting I am not really sure where to start as far as calorie levels goes. I know what my metabolic testing said two years ago (between 1152 and 1440 calories/day plus 30 minutes of exercise/day to lose weight). I know my endocrinologist suggests 1100 calories/day plus 30 minutes of exercise/day. The online calculators generally give me a LOT more calories (around 2200 cal/day to lose a pound a week). And I also know that when I successfully counted calories and biked before, I ate 1800/day in the beginning and had to cut down to 1500/day as I lost... and then stalled on 1500/day. So who knows. I think for the first week I will just track everything and get a baseline with no junk, and see what the scale does. I can change my calorie level to get results as time goes on. (Again, if you have a suggestion re: calories, please leave me a comment).


Anonymous said...

Not going to tell you what to do, but I think this is an interesting article about various approaches to weight loss.

But...I do think one of the first things you need to take out of your diet is processed foods.

Good luck!

Vickie said...

On your last post someone gave you the very good suggestion of planning meals/combinations/pairs/sets of food so you only have to calculate once. If you're visual, cards are a great way to do this. Then you are simply flipping cards thru the day. If you are an app person, most of the apps will let you save favorite combinations so you can simply click one thing and have a whole meal added.

I have suggested this exact same thing to many people over the years. It can be a big help.

Anonymous said...

I feel that calorie counting isn't going to make that much of a difference unless you also severely restrict sugars and processed carbs. You have restricted your calories a lot recently, it seems, from reading your posts, and it doesn't make that much of a difference. Have you read The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor? Excellent book with a lot of scientific data behind it and praise from a lot of doctors and health personnel. He also has a web site, I feel like his approach is the most well researched of anything I have read. Now if I could just get myself to follow his advice. Despite gastric sleeve surgery, I still have a sugar/carb addiction, and I suspect you do as well (although you do far better than I do at restricting these things).


Gina said...

Lyn, eat to live is so low calorie you have to struggle to get enough calories. At the same time you are eating nutrition packed veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. I really encourage you to check it out. It is eating natural unprocessed foods. Not a diet a way of life. Dark leafy greens are a staple. At least consider it before you move on. Im not trying to be an evangelist just the plan that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of everything and anything that comes in/from a package. Whole, real foods. It's hard to do, but I've dropped from 129 to 114 and I've never felt stronger, healthier or younger. Stop eating processed crap!!! and watch the starchy carbs. Either get serious about what you're saying you'll commit to doing or just live life as a fat person. No shame is either option, but choose and committ!!!!!!

Anna said...

The online calculators didn't work for me, either. I'd go a little above your endocrinologist's recommendation and do 1300 to start. Then, if you've begun to lose weight, you can continue on that plan and add in a 100-200 cal. snack for days when you're very hungry. If no weight is lost, then maybe bump it down for a little bit, so as to "prime the pump." Oh, and don't forget the fiber. I think that's one of the reasons that Medifast works well: there is fiber in every meal, and they expect you to get fiber in your Lean and Green. I didn't consider those things when I was trying to do it on my own. Now, I know I'd add in fiber (even going to a tsp. of something like Benefiber with some of my meals (that's for when I get to my goal--30+ pounds to go!)

Joy said...

I would suggest that you cut as much processed food as possible out of your menus and cook/make as much from scratch as you possibly can. There are so many recipes/resources online that you need never be lost for ideas.
The other thing I have found words for me is to cut out the snacks. If you can't do that, safe something from your meal to have later instead of an extra. If you do 'little and often' then they are not snacks, of course.
Good luck - I hope you find something that suits you long term because, really, this is the rest of your life.
J x

MargieAnne said...

Hi Lyn.

I think you've got it together. The final paragraph makes sense to me. I know you generally eat real food and now that you are over your nasty cold you are planning healthy meals again. Like most things we have been working on for a long time we can suffer from diet fatigue. Diet, as in planning menus, eating style etc. I'm so glad you had this semi-free period but are not willing to stay in that mode.

Last night I learned our middle son has type 2 diabetes. He has known for a while how to put together a healthy diet. Now he has moved into a place where he has no choice if he wants to recover his health. He is also a paraplegic so has many challenges to face. How awful if he let the diabetes damage his sight or cause amputation of feet or legs. You might ask why I write this. He is 46 years old and terribly over-weight. I hope I can help him improve his lifestyle choices.

I know one of the main reasons you want to lose weight is to improve your health and well being. I want to cheer you on. You have many wonderful decades ahead. It's worth the pain of settling on a sustainable lifestyle eating plan that will help you maintain health through those years.


Unknown said...

Have you looked into the ketogenic diet? Like, not medifast, but rather a high-fat, low-carb true Keto diet? It worked wonders for me and my husband. We are also both athletes, and the diet allowed us to maintain optimum energy levels(unlike Medifast). Perhaps you've tried this - sorry if so:) I'm not a regular follower of you blog, just happened to find this post. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are doing great. Take care of yourself, give yourself grace, and love yourself like you'd love and care for a child. Think of yourself as a little girl - how would you treat her? If you want to look into the Keto diet, check out Maria Emmerich at She has a few great cookbooks as well. Best of luck to you - just remember that you're doing great. Live life well and be proud of yourself!

Anonymous said...

You went to an endocrinologist because that person is a specialist in metabolism. Why do you not follow what that doctor told you? I would trust that advice over miscellaneous strangers on the internet. Weigh your proteins, use a measuring cup for the other foods and don't overthink the entire process.

Allie said...

It almost sounds like you are ready to dive into this again. Remember you said that before you start, you start eating really bad, like this may be the last time I have pizza so I better have some, this may be the last time I eat donuts, bakery items, doritos, etc. You eat some of each so you won't miss it and then dive into full steam ahead. I'm sure we will see great things coming soon!

Lyn said...

Yeah, I am ready. I got this.

Diana said...

Hi Lyn! Well, here we go again, down the same path. It cracks me up how we coincide in doing the same thing at the same time.

Yesterday I dropped out of Weight Watchers since I hadn't gone in months and was paying them $45.00 a month for nothing. I logged into MyFitnessPal app on my phone and counted calories all day. It's only $45 a year for the app without ads, or free if you don't mind the ads. I signed up for the paid one a few months ago. Used it for a coupe weeks and loved it (actually lost a few pounds, but gained it back as soon as I stopped counting calories (!).

I highly recommend an app like MyFitnessPal. It makes counting calories a lot easier. If you have a fitness device like a FitBit (I have the Apple watch), it counts your exercise and translates it into calories. Although I never eat my exercise calories because I think that just defeats the purpose of exercising. I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in months and got in my 10,000 steps.

So we're back in the saddle again. Well, you've been in the bike saddle for a few weeks now on your bike which looks like a lot of fun.

As far as some of the comments that calories don't matter, I don't believe that for a second. I've been at this a long time and calories do count! Eating whole food is better according to all the people that seem to know everything, but a calorie is still a calorie, whether it's a handful of healthy almonds or a bad-for-you candy bar. Too much of anything can make us fat.

Best of luck to you my friend, we're going to make it one of these days, as long as we keep trying. Just never giving up is the key, right?. :)
Kind regards,

Lyn said...

hi Diana! Good to hear from you again! I hope you'll update on your blog so we can cheer each other on. I have always enjoyed reading when you wrote :) Let's get this ONE last time okay??? We are getting too old for this! lol...

Anonymous said...

You can't really go by the calorie count of 9 years ago- 1800/1500. You were 38 then. Now you are 47 and entering menopause. I would go by the metabolic testing you had done. Start there and do the biking and see how that works. And of course, it goes without saying, you have to stick with this every. single. day. If you cheat, it doesn't work.

Sam J. said...

How about seeing a dietician. Following her meal plans to a t and have weigh-ins with her?

Anonymous said...

With calorie counting, it only works for me if I make sure I am filling up on some low-calorie types of food like fresh veggies. Even though all foods are possible there are some things that are going to be pretty rare for me. Like most pie pies, as in "Ermmm, no, I cannot have an 840 calorie pot pie that is six and a half bites, that is not going to work for me." But that is the "every day" for me. On the days I don't track, I know I am going over. Whenever I think to myself "My goodness there's no way in double hockey sticks I could keep track of everything I ate!" that is a super good indicator it was probably over my allotment. But I still go by the rule of not eating until I'm uncomfortable (which I think is an excellent rule for most people).
I did go to the fair this year... and had roasted buttered corn, vanilla custard, mini doughnuts and pizza. That is one day a year!! All the holidays and "fun days" could add up to maybe 30 days and I have 335 other days where I am pretty boring and do alcohol OR dessert OR pizza OR candy, with some tweaks on the portion sizes if I want a bunch of things.
I love getting frozen dinners because you can get something that is "like" Indian food or Mexican or pasta, but is a reasonable portion.

MaryFran said...

I like the plan of just starting to track and see where it leads. You have a rough idea of where you need to be calorie-wise so you have a starting point. From there you can tweet for your individual body!

Calories in versus calories out is the main rule of humble...burn more than you eat and you should lose! But that said...for me....carbs are a biggie...I have to limit my carbs!!!