Sunday, October 21, 2012


Trying to be healthy is HARD. 8+ weeks ago I started on a journey to change my life. I eliminated all sugars and most starches from my diet. No more baked goods. No more candy or soda. No more potatoes or white rice. Whole grains, in small doses, and loads of veggies and lean protein to keep me from being hungry. Nuts are my new best is beef jerky! No more chips, fries, breaded chicken, pasta...oh boy has it been HARD!

New temptations crop up every day. TV commercials for restaurants I used to love are my worst enemy. They are closely followed by my own family. Yes, my junk-food loving boys are driving me batty. I woke yesterday morning to a fresh box of Dunkin' Donuts sitting on the kitchen table. I would have been ok, if the box didn't have a clear cellophane lid to show off the pretty pretty frosted goodies inside. Owie! My stomach just let out a long squealing gurgle with actual PAIN. Ugh. I've wanted a donut for weeks now.

I dream about ice cream too.

Now we have Halloween on the horizon. Used to be my favorite holiday of the year. An excuse to consume pounds of chocolate and sugary goodies? Hell yeah! Sign me up! This year I sent the husband out to pick up bags of treats. I told him NO CHOCOLATE! Get things I won't be tempted to eat. At all. He did pretty well, until I saw the bags of sour patch kids. Oh noooo... I love those mouth puckering treats! *sigh*

So I find myself eyeing the stash on top of the fridge. Even gummy crabby patties sound good (any Sponge Bob fans out there?) I smell donuts. *drools*

Then, last night, John made pasta for dinner. We used to eat pasta several times a week. It's cheap and fast. Max won't eat it, so I'd make him a hot dog, turkey sandwich or fish sticks. We ate it so often that I didn't look forward to pasta nights anymore. I was so sick of pasta! Then I went without it for nearly 5 weeks and thought I would die if I didn't get some pasta! Luckily there is one brand that is "legal" on my eating plan. Dreamfield's low carb pastas. I made a batch of elbows and stole a packet of cheese sauce from a family size box of mac n cheese sitting in the pantry. It was heaven! And I ate way too much. Between the high fiber content and forgetting to take my Lactaid, I was in serious pain. But it was worth it!

Late last night I caved again. I made Dreamfield's rotini and used low fat Velveeta this time. I even cut up a couple low fat hot dogs into the mix (Sheldon style.) It wasn't a donut or candy, but it filled that hole of deprivation I was feeling. I still can't believe I was up at 2am making mac n cheese like an addict falling off the wagon. Once again, I am paying for it today. Ouch. But it was so so good. Almost worth it. And this time I didn't eat the whole box. Progress!

I still want a donut, but I told myself no sugary treats until I see 100 lbs gone. Maybe by then I won't care about sweets any more. Maybe I will have that "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" attitude! Hey, I can hope.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Low Carb Warrior

First off, I have not joined the cult of mayo and bacon (love you Atkins devotees tho - you go get that bacon!) The eating plan my nutritionist put me on is a blend of low carb/low glycemic diets that the clinic calls Metabolic II. I am allowed some carbs. The list is pretty short and specific and includes a lot of what I like to call bark and twigs. I don't dig bark or twigs. ;)

Because the clinic is SO popular, I wasn't able to get an appointment with the doctor or do the assessment testing until December. They offered to have me see one of the staff nutritionists right away to kinda get me moving in the right direction. I decided I didn't want to just sit around for 4 months until a "doctor" could look me over and tell me I was fat and just HOW fat I am. Duh. I have mirrors. I just wanted to DO something.

The nutritionist was reluctant to put me into a specific eating plan without those tests and numbers in front of her. I get that. There is a science to it. But I'm glad she took a chance and gave me some guidelines to get me started. She told me not to worry about doing the math right now. Forget counting calories. Just eat what's on the sheet of paper, try to keep carbs to less than 10g per serving and see how it goes. Read my labels! Lots of good lean protein would help keep me satisfied.

Have I counted any calories, so far? Nope. Have I strayed from the rules? Twice now. That so called sugar-free ice cream was still 18g of carbs per serving. Eeep! But damn, it was so so good. I finished the container and didn't buy it again. Today I got 2 sausage mcmuffins with egg...the plan was to toss the muffins and just eat the 2 eggs, cheese and meat. The cheese melted totally into one side of the muffin! So I tossed the top half and just ate half the muffin with the rest. And I feel guilty as hell! Will one english muffin derail me? No. I just see this as a lesson learned and I will buy some more low fat cheese slices for those times when the damn buns steal my cheese.

Are the changes working? You bet your sweet bippy they are! I've lost 20 lbs in 5 weeks. I got into the van to drive the boys to school this morning and my stomach is no longer touching the steering wheel. It's been years that I've had to have the seat all the way back and the wheel up high so I could fit. Good thing I am tall! I was also able to climb the half flight of stairs in my split level without stopping half way to catch my breath. That hasn't happened in a long long time.

Exercise is a critical component that is currently missing from this lifestyle change of mine. I still struggle with pain and arthritis, back issues and bad knees. I am still using a cane for short walks and my walker for longer jaunts, but I have hope now that maybe being lighter will allow me to move more easily. I see physical therapy in my future if we can work things out with our insurance plan. They are so damn picky about where you can go and I don't want to be driving all over the state just so a therapist can hurt me.

So do I miss sugar and starch in my diet? Hell yes! All those people who told me the cravings would stop after 2 weeks or so...well, they totally lied. Heh. But I understand why they do it. I dream about cake. I dream about buttery croissants and chocolate chip muffins and mashed potatoes and rice. I want CANDY!  Thank goodness for diet soda and sugar free jello. I never would have lasted this long without it.

The clinic has a staff shrink that I saw a week or so ago. The nutritionist thought I had "issues" with food. Ya think? When eating is all you can do for fun, you eat. I was eating my pain. Eating to get some enjoyment out of life. Eating away my depression. Eating because I was bored and there are so so many tasty things to eat out there. Eating became the focus of my days. I just finished breakfast...hmm. What should I have for lunch?  It's sad, but true. When you can't go anywhere or do anything, eating fills the time. But like illegal drugs or alcohol  it doesn't make anything BETTER. Just worse. So the doc is going to help me move past all those things that make me want to eat to feel better. The jury is still out on that one.

Over all, I am in a good place, mentally. I still feel motivated. The cardiac issues were a set-back, I must admit. Finding out I have 50% blockages in both major blood vessels leading into and out of my head is a scary thing. My heart has a little damage too, but the doc says none of those things caused my problems. These things are manageable with good diet. I have that covered! It's just good to know about these things so I can be careful and having them monitored going forward. The vasovagal syncope is still a mystery. One trigger seems to be the sound of loud yelling, I discovered. fighting around me! M'kay? Unless you want to help scoop me off the floor. I plan to continue my usual conflict avoidance tactics. The shrink tells me that's normal. Nice to know there is something normal about me. Ha!

Time to pick up the boys. I see a salad in my future. Extra spinach.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Technology Rant

So my cable company, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to "upgrade" their service. What are they doing? They are making it so you can't view their programming on ANY channel without one of their cable boxes attached. So, no connecting the cable straight to a TV for just the basic level of service. And no using our home-brew DVR setup. We are using an old PC of mine with a TV tuner card and this neat software called Beyond TV to record all my favorite TV shows. It will all stop working as of 10/9.

Nice that they time this for right when the new season of programming on the major networks is starting. Le SIGH. Now I don't know what we're going to do. I know what our cable company is trying to FORCE us to do. They want us to upgrade our cable boxes to ones with the DVR built in. For a buttload more money each month in rental fees. Yeah. No thanks.

So I guess I am just going to cross my fingers and hope I can catch my shows online. Many of them are not available as streaming. Gah! Fine. The universe wants me to give up my TV habit too. FINE. I will give up TV.

I can live with just watching old reruns on Netflix. Sure. I can do that. I gave up sugar, didn't I?