Monday, the 18th - ???.
Mea culpa. I decided to skip last week's update, mostly because of laziness and also because I didn't have much to say in the way of new sentiments.
There's no weight noted for the beginning of the fortnight simply because I was still on my period at that point, and I knew that whatever the scales would say would probably just be depressing. So I stayed away from 'em.
So I'm doing a self-described 'modified Atkins' approach at this point. The high-cholesterol facet of Atkins really had me worried from the start. My mother's recent revelation that she and my father currently have a cholesterol count over 250 (and a long-standing family history of heart disease) brought the long-term ramifications of this diet into sharp relief, and got me thinking that heart attacks can sneak up almost any time, so I probably shouldn't be doing my best to help my aorta slam shut.
Also, once one is within ten pounds of their final goal - as I now am - I've read that the Atkins approach isn't so effective any more. At this point, I have to go back to the tried-and-true method of weight loss. Eating less, and exercising more. Bummer. ;)
It's a lot easier to count carbs than calories. Atkins encourages one to eat a lot of neatly packaged and labeled foods, and it's easy to look at the back of the cheese wrapper and jot down a single digit number on one's daily counter. Calories can be a little more fiendish, though. Is this a tablespoon of mayonnaise? I don't know, it looks more like half a tablespoon to me... Thank heavens I've already picked up the habit of obsessively weighing my portions - it's been most helpful for keeping an eye on the intake. An ounce of cheese isn't very much, as I have already discovered! More to the point, I don't have to guess if that slice of bread is two ounces, or what. Just cut it, pop it on the scale and figure out the calories and carbs from there.
I haven't totally abandoned the Atkins approach. I'm trying to keep to less than sixty grams of carbohydrates per day, although my success has been erratic - and I've paid the price for it with all those nasty ups-and-downs of blood sugar. It's the bread, I tell you. I love eating bread, and two slices are such a measly portion. Last weekend it was fruit juice. I was at a Vampire RPG, and I was drinking cranberry juice all night long. Oops. Still, at least it was juice. Soda still tastes like cough syrup to me, so I'm happy to avoid it.
I'm also keeping a close eye on my protein intake. Enough protein every day keeps my body burning its fat reserves, rather than muscle. So I'm still eating a fair bit of meat - and the occasional ounce of cheese - but I'm sticking more to chicken and tuna, with steak down to once a week, rather than practically every night. I've gotten rather fond of steak in the past month, but I just can't keep chowing it down like I have been.
So what am I eating? Not a lot, really. Y'know, that whole 'eating less' thing means a lot less, really. I'm shooting for 1,500 calories per day in three meals and two small snacks. So far, so good. The appetite-suppressant effect of Atkins helped me break the snacking habit (while simultaneously forcing me to realize how much I was grazing, all day) and now I'm having more-than-anticipated success in keeping myself from sitting down at the computer with 'a little something' every two hours.
Usually I have a carb bar - I actually like the Carb Solutions bars, and they provide a good dollop of protein - or a banana and a bit of cheese for breakfast. Lunch is usually a can of tuna with half a tablespoon of mayo (I've got to go buy some no-fat mayo, so I can dollop in more, tuna is so dry!) and two cream crackers. Dinner is whatever I can talk Alex into cooking - steak, chicken, or bringing home a sandwich, which I only eat half of, and save half for lunch the next day. Snacks, I let myself misbehave a little. An ounce of potato chips, or some Carbolite chocolate. Did you know that Carbolite actually has more calories than regular milk chocolate? But unlike regular chocolate, Carbolite's calories mostly come from fat, not sugar, which is why it's better for those who are paying closer attention to their carb count than I am. I just don't want to get used to too much sugar in my diet again, so I'm sticking to it... Although that bag of Cadbury's mini-eggs in the kitchen (my husband and I love those things) occasionally gets the better of me, and I have one or two of those, instead of my regular snack...
It's not a very disciplined approach, I suppose. But it seems to be working for me, so far. The next trick is to keep getting exercise. I've been fiendishly spring cleaning my house for the past week - and if you saw my house, you would know that it counts as exercise. I've been scrubbing floors, unpacking boxes of still-unpacked-debris, rearranging closets and doing laundry - which includes manhandling it onto washing lines in the backyard. But the house is almost clean now, and I don't think it's going to be providing me with many aerobic challenges until it gets messy again. Granted, that won't take too long, the way my husband and I live, but still... I need to exercise now.
I'm reluctant to pick up my weights again. Although I love the routine once I get started, it's a tad dull - most weight routines are, of course - and the first two weeks are murder. I'm not a fit person, as you might guess, so all that lifting and stretching makes me regret my every sin until I get used to the routine. I'm not well-known for my staying power in the face of adversity and, at this point, I'm having a hard time even finding enough courage to get started. But I'm going to have to, I know. Walking 2 miles every other day is only going to get me so far... I've just got to remind myself that the final reward will be worth it, even if it takes me a few months to get there.
So, I pulled out my 'masochism pants' the other day. I actually managed to get them over my hips! Okay, so I probably lost the top layer of skin in doing that, but still, I did it! Of course, there was no way in hell they were going to zip up but progress is progress.
I got back on the scales after my period, and was relieved to see that I had shed some of that weight that had so annoyed a week ago. As I had expected, it was almost entirely water weight. My body likes to think it's a camel in the Sahara, or something...
As of today (Sunday, March 3rd) I weigh 135lbs - first thing in the morning, and without a stitch on, granted, but I'm still happy.
Now I've got to try to grit my teeth, watch what I eat and try to exercise my way down to 130lbs. I've got a feeling that this is going to be much harder than the first ten lbs... And anything beyond that is going to be gravy! And yes, I'm cutting down on gravy, too...