They say there's
nothing more boring than listening to a person talk about their diet. At
times, I agree with Them. My one exception is for friends of mine who are
facing a genuine struggle - such as Jennifer,
such as Shannon
- who deserve every ounce of support they can muster... But I'm told that a
journal for even the slightest diet would be a good thing and, given my
already well-established love of writing about myself, I don't think it would
hurt any. However, I'm going to keep the first week a secret until I've
finished it, then I'll publish for all to see....
So, my story. I don't want to lose a lot of weight. Ten, fifteen pounds at the most. Well, if I could lose twenty, that would be great, but I think that would be unrealistic. When I finished high school, I weighed 120lbs and was convinced, of course, that I was fat. Well, dumpy was the word - of course, looking back in my photo album, I realize I was skinny and stacked. I guess the fact that I had a hard time seeing my feet convinced me that I was a lard-ball, but that's another story...
By the time I finished college, I was closer to 130, but unaware of that, as I wasn't keeping an eye on my shape. I was healthy, I could still fit into most of my clothes, and I wasn't particularly fashion conscious or vain, so my general look wasn't a big factor on my everyday thinking.
Then I got hit by a double whammy - I entered the business world and I fell in love. I went from being a walk-everywhere pedestrian student - I walked at least two miles every day to get to class and around campus - to a sit-on-my-ass administrative assistant and I discovered that domestic bliss makes a person want to sit at home, snuggle and eat comfort food a lot. Oops.
For the past three years, I've been hovering between 140 and 150 - usually around 145, sometimes puffing up to 148 or 150. About two years ago, I gritted my teeth through a couple of months of dieting - I did the usual lo-fat-and-exercise-lots routine, and managed to shuck about ten pounds - putting myself back near the 140lb range, but I punted the ball shortly after that and just couldn't get the motivation together to start again. I just love cheese too much to stick to lo-fat eating...
Well, now the scale is stubbornly hovering at 145, and I don't like this trend. Also, my husband has been showing the side effects of domestic bliss, and I wanted to find a diet that he and I could try together. There was no way my three-egg-breakfast-with-bacon honeybunny was going to try a low-fat routine with me, uh-uh. Also, since discovering the joys of sewing and the local Renn Faires, I have decided that there are lots of nice clothes I want to wear that simply look bad on a short, well-padded broad - oh yeah, I'm five-foot-two (three on a good day) - so I was going to have to do something about that padding if I wanted to wear an Italian Rennaisance-era gown...
As mentioned above, I've got friends who are dieting and Jennifer, in particular, has been singing the praises of the "Atkins" plan for the past four months. It didn't seem too onerous - although I'm addicted to bread - and it's really working for Jennifer, which is a change from all of the diets she's tried in the past. She kept urging me to give it a go - because she wanted a fellow sufferer-uh, I mean, participant, I think - and I did a little research. Finally, after kicking the idea around for a few days, my mother enthusiastically told me to try the plan - and my own mother wouldn't tell me to do anything too horrible to myself, right? So I finally caved in and started drawing up grocery lists and talking to Alex about it.
Practical upshot: I just got back from the grocery store - yow, that was expensive! And Alex is going to try his level best to join me, but he believes that he's going to cave in completely when he's at work at jonesing for a soda. The compromise we've reached is that he'll only cheat out of my sight...
So, that all said, it's time to put up, or shut up.
I'm calling today Day Zero because not only did I go to the grocery store to stock up (and wail and gnash my teeth when I saw how many carbos are in milk, how come there are so few in cheese?) but I also started munching according to the proscribed plan, jotting down what I ate today and planning menus for the next couple of days.
High point of the day: I discovered Crystal Geyser do a fruit-flavored fizzy water that is zero calories and zero carbs. True, the flavoring seems to be entirely odor-borne - it smells like whatever fruit is on the label of the bottle, but tastes like regular fizzy water to me - but I think the psychological factor of that sweet smell will help me cope with the inevitable soda cravings that are going to strike.
Low point of the day: After thinking Great! I get to eat all the avocados I want - I love avocados - I learned that I've got to take it easy on them for this first two-week period, because they tend to average 14gms apiece. I made a similar boo-boo with artichokes. Ah well. And this chocolate-raspberry protein bar is a bit of cruel joke, too. But I paid $2 apiece for 'em - I bought two - so I'm going to eat them, dammit.
I'm reasonably optimistic that the water-thing won't defeat me. I've thrown out all my soda - I managed to time things so I was almost out of it, anyways. I think this is one of the few times I regret that aspartame, sorbitol and Splenda make me gag. I really, really hate the taste of the stuff. I've tried every diet soda that Jennifer swears she can't taste the sweetener in, and they've all defeated me. So, since milk has already been ruled out, that leaves me with...water. And 64oz works out to only four of the cups I usually drink from anyways. Easy! I hope... ;)
Although I'm already thinking about what I'm eating, today is not going to count as a diet-day because Alex and I have decided to make a ceremony of finishing the last carbo-laden snack in the house - a bag of Frites potato-snack thingies. Those ring in at 12gms of forbidden carbohydrate goodness per serving - and there's a good three servings left in the bag...
Unsurprisingly enough, I've added The Nutrient Data Laboratory at the USDA onto my bookmark list, already. I'm going to be stopping by there a lot, I'm sure.
So, tomorrow I weigh myself, and dust off my barbells for exercise later in the week. We'll see how it all turns out, I guess. Will I stick to it, or will Tuesday afternoon find me giggling maniacally, wrapped around a full 2-liter of Coke and calling it my precious? Follow the link to find out!
I weighed myself
this morning. 143lbs, although since I'm just starting my period, there's no
telling if that's a reasonably accurate number or what's going to happen over
the next few days... I'm used to seeing a number between 145 and 148 when I
jump on the scales most mornings. But I won't be climbing on the scale again
until Day Eight, so maybe things will have settled a bit by then. For my
reference, I'll probably be using 145lbs as my usual weight - I think the diuretic
side of my PMS just got more aggressive than usual.
To my utter non-surprise, I was ready to commit murder for something sweet by lunchtime... I've got to find a diet soda I can tolerate. The barely-flavored fizzywater is going to keep me going for only so long. And I've got a bitching caffeine-withdrawal headache. There's no point in drinking Orange Pekoe without sugar or milk. Maybe I've got some Earl Grey in the house...
Breakfast is going to be a challenge, I have realized that already. As is getting enough fiber. I think I'm going to just get into the habit of a protein bar first thing in the day. Not only do the Atkins bars have 19gms of protein per serving, they're so dry and ucky that they take two glasses of water to wash down. I'm not going to complain about killing two birds with one stone...
Another challenge will be insuring I get enough fiber. This meat-and-cheese routine is a little light on the roughage. I haven't had lunch, at this time of writing, but I'm thinking home-made tuna salad and a lot of celery. I'll have some broccoli and salad with dinner (more chicken) and that should do it. I hope.
Man, oh man, mixed nuts have 7gms of carbohydrates per ounce. Do you know how little an ounce is? I got out my kitchen scale and divided up my bag o'nuts into one ounce portions for future snacking. It's not enough. *sigh* And I've got to take it easy on those artichokes I bought, too...
I'm going to go look for some Earl Gray...
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Conclusion: I've gotta find more veggies with a decent amount of fiber and not too many carbos...|
Drat. No Earl Gray in the
house. But I'm going out to meet Ryan for lunch, later, and I'll be in the
vicinity of the grocery store, so I'll pick some up, then, along with some
more protein bars. I like chicken and all, but not for breakfast. And I don't
care what the rules say, I want some caffeine. I had a thumping
headache all day yesterday, and I'm willing to believe that caffeine
withdrawal had something to do with it.
That lunch with Ryan will be my first test. What am I going to order? I'm thinking we can go to the local hot-dog joint and I can skip the buns. And can I resist the sweet siren song of sodapop? That's going to be a toughie... Ah well, tune in after lunch!
So much for the test. Ryan called to cancel lunch. It was probably for the best. I was dead tired at the middle of the day and I retreated back to bed for a nap. However, it made me realize I had nothing in the house for lunch other than string cheese, tuna and celery - and I couldn't find the can opener - so I had string cheese and celery for lunch. Tonight, I go to the grocery store and pick up some more things. Especially some more veggies like green beans, spinach and tomatoes. Alex took some cherry tomatoes to work with him, for snacking, and he says they're great....
Oh bliss! I can have a small glass of dry white wine with dinner - 5 grams of carbo, or thereabouts. It actually made me rather light headed. Still, it was a break from my thumping headache that seems to have permanently bonded with me. Tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to take a short walk and hope that helps. I think my growing stir-craziness in the house isn't helping.
Dinner was rather decadent, actually - smoked salmon, an avocado, some cheese and a bit of wine. Of course, the cat became my best friend and the dog was seething with jealousy.
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Conclusion: definitely got to work on the fiber thing. Would have easily come in under with the carbs, but for the wine and the protein bar I had as a late-night snack... Carb-Solutions Creamy Chocolate and Peanut Butter flavor, surprisingly palatable!.|
A couple of tests
today. Glasses of sugary-sodapop were within my reach. But I resisted! My
kung-pao chicken came over rice, but I resisted! Not a single grain was eaten!
I'm a little bit proud of myself.
I'm also blissfully gulping down a small cup of unsweetened Earl Gray right now - sweet, sweet caffeine... A three-day headache was just too much.
Unlike Tuesday, I don't feel massively logy today. Tuesday was rough: pounding headache, I slept late, took a mid-afternoon nap and was still zonked out by 9PM. From 9AM Tuesday to 9AM Wednesday, I think I was only awake for about seven hours. I'm feeling a bit worn around the edges, this evening, but nothing as severe. For all I know, it was just my period giving me grief.
Found a flavor of
Carb Solutions brand protein bars that I actually consider quite palatable -
namely the creamy chocolate and peanut butter flavor. I'm sticking to only one
of those things a day - usually at breakfast - because I really shouldn't be
relying on them too much. Having 'em at breakfast suits me fine, because
there's no way I'm coordinated enough to scramble eggs and cook bacon
just after waking up...
It's probably psychological, but my jeans felt the tiniest bit looser around my thighs this morning. Probably just the seams getting ready to give way... ;)
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Conclusion: Better, but god knows what's going to happen to my GI tract...|
Today was a better
day. Jennifer mentioned I should feel a change in energy level, and I was
definitely feeling perkier this evening, although I was still a bit tired and
sluggish during the day. But around 7PM I felt like I was ready to go bungee
jumping, or something.
Protein overload today. Alex cooked huge steaks for dinner. But it was so tasty, I couldn't resist. It's just red meat with blue cheese on it, but it was nummin' - and also better than a pound, pre-cooked, which is why the protein count is so high.
Got my hopes dashed on the wine - at least with Kendall Jackson, I did. The customer service reps promptly replied to my request for a carb count and it's 15gms per 6 oz glass. Yow! Which means I probably severely blew yesterday, as I was working on the 5gm count... So yesterday's total was probably closer to thirty, rather than twenty - maybe even higher than that. Odd, really, as the USDA declares a dry table wine to have less than two grams for the same size serving, whilst a diabetic carb-counting site I rely on claims between two and eight grams for six fluid ounces and a wine-advice site I've hit declares a count of eleven grams for six ounces. Even dry wine, it seems, is all over the place. Conclusion - skip it for now. Stick to hard liquor. :)
But, goof-ups aside,
I'm feeling okay. The constant hunger pangs of Monday and Tuesday are gone,
but I find myself just wanting to nibble on things - the curse of an
oral fixation, I guess. I need to find some sugar free gum that I can
tolerate, or something. There are only so many pens in the house that I can
Tomorrow's going to be another test day. I'm going into the city to see a band at a club. Beer will be within arm's reach, and I'm told that I can't even think about that unless it's Miller Lite - ugh! With luck, my stony-broke state will help stiffen my spine when it comes to resisting the allure of the hops...
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Carbs||24 gms - damn wine!|
|Conclusion: Blew it, but not as bad as yesterday. Am I going to have to start buying Metamucil?|
I'm writing this the day after - it was a late night last night. ;)
I'm pretty proud of myself. My husband and I went out to meet some friends at a Mexican place before going to the club, and I didn't cheat! Not even when that big bowl of crispy, delicious looking tortilla chips was right in front of me. I remember staring at them an awful lot, I'll admit, but I didn't eat a one. A few stray grains of rice and a blob of refried beans got tangled up with my dinner, but nothing to panic about. I had the filling from some crab enchiladas and salad, although I should have ordered the steak - it would have been a bigger portion of food!
At the club itself, I let myself have a few drinks - all vodka tonics - so that actually didn't mess things up for me. Although, man, those potato skins they were serving smelled good! And I think all the jumping and hollering I did counted as a bit of exercise - ditto the brisk walk to and from the BART station.
Otherwise, I'm feeling good, although I think string cheese is stimulating my appetite in some weird way. It's one of my standby snacks, but I seem to feel hungrier afterwards...
Oh, and I got some Trident gum to satisfy my urge to nibble. Something on the labeling confuses me. The stuff is artifically sweetened, but it claims 1gm carb per tiny stick, and the words Not a Low Calorie Food are emblazoned down the side. Odd, that. But I'm willing to mark down a carb for something that keeps my mouth happy for nearly an hour (oh, stop your dirty thoughts!)
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Carbs||16 gms - I think!|
|Conclusion: Not bad, given the temptations I was facing!|
Weirdly enough, I can't remember what the hell I did on Saturday. I was in bed most of the day,
dealing with the encroachment of a chest cold - I must have picked up a bug at the club I went to last night - and now I'm
fretting that I'm somehow depressing my immune system...
However, I do still have my carbo count on the notice board on the fridge...
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Water||Um, about 80oz, I think|
|Conclusion: Getting the hang of it, now...|
Gamed at Kevin's and actually did very well - fortunately, there weren't many tempting munchies. However, I've got a hacking chest-cold and the urge to curl up with hot chocolate is nigh-overwhelming.
Jenn distracted me with Atkins' "chocolate" which was surprisingly palatable. It seems I can tolerate splenda in tiny amounts, and maltitol (whatever it is, there's a lot of it in this fake chocolate stuff) reasonably well. Actually, I shouldn't call it 'fake' chocolate, because it does contain cocoa liquor, which is more than I can say for "white chocolate"
I spent most of the day drinking tea - for my throat - and eating tuna... Jenn also turned me on to the Atkins breakfast bars - particularly the cinnamon bun flavor. Again, it's quite tasty. Yay! I've found some pseudo-sweet things I can eat!
I'm definitely starting to experience the decreased appetite that accompanies a lo-carb diet. Unfortunately, this means I have to remember to eat, and make sure I pack in at least 1,000 calories per day. I'm pretty sure that at least two days last week, I came in under that - very bad. So now I'm carrying cheese with me everywhere. And eating more steak!
The Obligatory Daily Totals
|Carbs||15 gms - I think!|
|Water||lots! - I quit counting cups after a while...|
|Conclusion: Not bad!|