Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Phase two and the PMS exception

I have now been on this diet for 18 days and have just entered phase two. Know what I get to eat in Phase two? Steak and baked potato. Oh I am SO happy.

This phase is all about alternating low calorie restricted day with slightly higher calorie days. So, I really get some variety here. The first phase was tough- but we made it.

Let me stop for a moment and discuss this PMS exception. I have never been on a diet which not only acknowledges this but uses nutrition to help with the symptoms and distresses of it. As I result, I got through that phase of the month with much more ease than I would have otherwise. The first thing Dr. Moreno suggests is three Brazil nuts. I know that some of you are going to scoff at that. I kind of scratched my head. But let me tell you what, I am starting to believe Brazil nuts are magic. During this phase, Moreno suggests several things that lessen symptoms and make you feel a lot better. Lean proteins- and you get to eat some lean red meat- iron rich. He also suggests banana and here is the best part. YES- I can have some chocolate. So I added in these things to a diet rich in vegetables (he recommends asparagus especially) and fruits and let me tell you what, I felt better when I ate this way. I did not have a pound of cookies or dive into a vat of ice cream. I had some steak, a banana, a fruit smoothie, spinach, eggs, salad and about two ounces of Swiss Chocolate. The good stuff. And of course the Brazil nuts. Moreno recommends extra calcium during this time as well.

I'm just going to keep Brazil nuts in the house from now on. Three of them are like little happy pills. Try it, ladies.

Okay so on to phase two. This phase is going to let me have blackeyed peas. I love them so much. And I get to make turkey chili with beans! I'm looking forward to that recipe. I think this phase will be a lot easier to deal with, with a little up and down. I'm going to have to plan meals more carefully. Moreno suggests odd days Phase One and Even days Phase Two and that sounds easy to remember so I think I will do that.

This phase has got lean red meat, shellfish, and oatmeal in it. Also, I can have grits- mmmm. When you have been restricted for 17 days, it's the little things that get you through. I am not a fish eater so I have opted for the fish oil supplements and also on odd days when I don't get enough probiotics, I take a probiotic supplement.

I've also upped my vitamin D.

I should also mention green tea is very important. I have two to three cups of green tea a day, and at least eight glasses of water. I'll let you know how phase two goes!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 14

John and I have done pretty well resisting most things- but we have had a real trial this week. This is normally the week of spoiling and indulgences. Mother's day. My birthday. Marissa's birthday. Mother's day I really wanted CAKE. But I stayed on the diet. Until my son brought home Pizza Hut pizza for me.

Now, he hadn't even realized that we were dieting- and I was really touched. Normally this would be a great gesture- honestly it was touching that he remembered and did something sweet. I had not planned on it but I ate one single piece. Moderation.

Damn it was good. I did not have five more pieces. Then of course, John went and got a piece. I said "The problem with one piece of pizza is you always want more than one."

He laughed. I began to cook myself a healthy dinner so I wouldn't be hungry for more pizza. I look over and John is putting another piece in his mouth.

He looks at me and says "I thought you meant that was okay?" Sigh. Why do I always have to be the bad guy? Wasn't it Mother's day? Am I now his damn mother too? He couldn't be happy with one piece of pizza that wasn't even meant for him?

So he put it down- it takes so little to corrupt him- but I know he has strength- I just hate that he acts like a little kid in a candy jar and I don't want to be in the role of hand slapping. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own diet. At this point, I had planned to strategically cheat- I had already decided I was eating some cake on my birthday. Seems only fair!

I knew my mother was making either my cake or Marissa's cake and that was something to look forward to. Moderation is the key to this- I'm not recommending cheating. But I am saying one piece of cake is not going to blow it.

I have never been an over-eater. I didn't feel in danger or eating a whole cake. What I do have is total self control before six pm. Somehow those evening hours kill me. I used to just go and get two cookies- and then like ten minutes later I would get three cookies, then like an hour later I would get one more cookie- not really sure that is moderation-

So two days after Mother's Day John brings home six chocolate covered strawberries. I was livid.

Aren't you on the same diet I am? What's going on?

He says- you made me feel guilty for not doing enough on Mother's Day (Isabella was really sick that weekend and he usually takes the girls shopping but because of activities and illness the best laid plans fell apart)

I said - first, I was teasing you- second- you brought home the thing that sabotages me. I pointed out he could have brought home any other lovely present that did not involve food. Now, I felt if I rejected the present, I was rejecting him. We had a very long talk about sabotage and things. You know, it's not like the majority of what we give one another is food based. I don't even know where this was coming from but it was a long and good talk ultimately about respect and all of that- which honestly there is a lot of in my marriage but every now and then something stupid like this comes up.

I ate one strawberry (I know, I shouldn't have- it was a compromise of sorts) but I gave all the rest to the kids to get rid of them. They did not complain.

On my birthday I stayed on the diet for all the meals. I had one piece of cake and one cookie. It was really not so bad at all. My mother made the cake and we left most of it at her house and what we brought home, the kids ate quickly-

Now came Marissa's birthday. That was a real challenge because I was baking.

I have to say this- without any sort of modesty.

I bake amazing home made things. They are really good. I am damn good at it. No boxed mixes for me. I make it all. So it is some loving labor in the kitchen.

Now it started out fine- Marissa wanted a version of a strawberry shortcake birthday cake. So I doubled the recipe for hot milk sponge cake and cut up real strawberries. I made a butter cream frosting and then I decided to blend real strawberries into the frosting.

Okay, I have a fourteen year old and by definition, that means bratty. Even though she wanted this whole strawberry cake, she started pouting about the frosting having strawberries in it. She wanted white frosting. I told her I was going to blend whipped cream in it to make it very light.

Okay- there ensued tears and all that went with it and since it was her birthday, we compromised to a small layer of frosting- I had to. You can't just stick strawberries in the middle of a cake with nothing to stick to. Teenagers do not believe in the laws of physics but I have made enough cakes to know it was not going to work!

So NOW I have a whole bowl of frosting.

I refuse to waste a whole bowl of home made frosting.

Marissa had a class trip to Chicago coming up so I made three dozen cupcakes with chocolate chips in them and added cream cheese to the butter cream to thicken it up. Then I put colored sprinkles on top of them. They looked amazing :) John brought home a doughnut box from Schnucks to put it in and we put all the cupcakes aside.

Okay- this took me all day. I am very, very, very sure that I burned some calories doing it. And you know what? The cook gets to taste it. Did I mention how very difficult it is to make frosting without getting some on your fingers and being forced by the laws of nature to lick it off?

So I ate ONE cupcake and one piece of birthday cake. It is so hard to only eat one cupcake.

And I gave away a quarter of the birthday cake to my neighbors with some cupcakes- and another quarter of the cake went to my mother's house- and that left Marissa with some of her own.

I cannot be doing this baking every day- all those baking calories are not going to add up to losing anything if I keep licking that delicious frosting. But here it is.

I am back on track. Marissa took all those cupcakes with her to Chicago and there is one cupcake left in the fridge- pretty sure it has Isabella's name on it.

I should mention the good stuff, right? I have begun exercising in Stacy Park. John and I are taking our twenty minute walks around the track in the park. It's lovely.

John has lost ten pounds. I have lost eight. In spite of the cake!

Next I will tell you about the PMS exception.... stay tuned.

Day 4

I been eating a lot of the same stuff, kind of gotten into a routine. Last night, John texted "I hate this diet, Bratwurst is on special tonight.".

I texted back "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"

He promptly wrote back "Chocolate"

I was being a smart ass and quoting Kate Moss, the queen of the eating disorder/ heroin chic.

Chocolate tastes way better than skinny, Kate is an idiot.

But that isn't why we are doing this.

Last night, Isabella spiked a high fever and complained of a very sore throat. First thing this morning, I took her to Urgent Care to get her seen. She has strep throat. I went to the store and got her the ice cream she asked for. When she saw that we weren't eating ice cream with her, she asked "Why are you two on a diet?"

Before we could answer, she said "Oh, you want to get healthy and eat healthy food."

YES. That is a good example for my daughter. Not the endless pursuit of skinny but we want to be healthy. I don't want to know how Kate Moss maintained her skinny.

Okay, so there are ice cream and popsicles in the house.

Ice cream is John's biggest temptation. Honestly, I don't have any interest in the popsicles (they are the all fruit kind for the kids, not the pure sugar kind)

I feel bad that the ice cream is in the house. Bad for John. I worked to get all the unhealthy stuff out of the house. And I kind of screwed up today. I bought a probiotic low fat yogurt and then I ate it and realized I hadn't looked at the label and it had sugar in it. Not just sugar but high fructose corn syrup. I got a pretty big jolt after I ate it, I haven't had any sugar in five days! Honest mistake, though. I don't think it will throw me off too much.

I have rid the house of all other temptations but my poor sweetie with a sore throat, I just had to get ice cream for her. We will just have to deal with the presence of ice cream until the kids finish it. Ha, that won't be long.

I'm trying to keep a good attitude about this diet, and I think I am getting to the point where I just accept what I can and cannot eat during this phase, but in a few days I had started eating eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, chicken and green vegetables for dinner. It would be really easy to keep doing that. John has been more adventurous. Eggplant and salmon with onions and salsa- there are really a great deal of interesting ways to eat healthy and delicious on this phase. I have watched the things he puts together and thought, now a 'normal' non picky eater could really eat well. Me, I'm popping fish oil supplements and vitamin D and trying to find the things I will eat. Not relishing the idea of another night of chicken and green beans and spinach- I looked in the book for something good.

I found a recipe for turkey taco salad in phase one-

I used ground turkey, taco seasoning and put it on a bed of lettuce. The recipe called for reduced fat cheddar but I put mozzarella on it instead, since it was a low fat cheese- and much better tasting in my opinion than reduced fat cheddar and I put a little plain greek yogurt on it. Okay, I was a little concerned because I am not a fan of trying new food but it was delicious. Really delicious. Greek yogurt was an excellent substitute for sour cream, and gave me a probiotic serving.

John is finding some great combinations and reaching out into this diet for some good recipes and I'm working on it as well. This phase won't be as difficult with a little creativity. I'm used to making substitutions in my life- asking for "no mushrooms" at restaurants so this is kind of no different. I'm looking at all of the ingredients in this phase and looking at how I can adjust this diet so I can work with it.

So, really the only thing we are bitching about is lack of chocolate.

Yesterday, John woke up and said "I got the same amount of sleep as I usually do, but I feel like I have more energy and I need less coffee." He reported that he lost three pounds.

Day 2 or 3

So John is making this day two even though it is really day three, because he ate bread on day one... but I ate almonds, so I guess we're even. And I will live with it, because he and I need to be on the same schedule.I've decided a couple things. First I am going to only weigh myself once a week. I just don't want to deal with the whole thing if I find I'm not having immediate results. So, today is Thursday. I will weigh myself next Thursday. I did get my starting weight. I'm not posting it here because really, it's none of your damn business. LOL. I know some people do that to keep themselves accountable but I share so much of my life that some things are just private. Maybe at some point, I will feel like sharing it, but right now, my husband doesn't know and my best friend doesn't know, so I don't think facebook gets to know.

Some of you might call this shame. And you would be right. I have shame about my weight, I probably always have. My drivers license says I weigh 115 pounds. I was lying about it when I said that. I weighed about 102 but I wanted to weigh about 115 so I thought if I said that, I would be able to make it happen. At the time, it was a goal. LOL, I had no idea how to make myself gain weight- nothing worked at the time, the whole weight thing was a mystery. All through school people taunted me for being too thin. In middle school, they hurled the word 'anorexic' and 'skinny bitch' at me on a regular basis. I never did anything to be thin. I never starved myself, I had no eating disorders, I just was what I was. I had serious shame about it. I remember wishing my thighs would touch so that the cats could have something solid to sit on when they got on my lap. That is just about the epitome of irony, seriously. But I just wanted to feel NORMAL. Because if I was normal, they wouldn't notice I was so different.

In high school, the taunts turned to jealous taunts. They were convinced I must be doing something. So, as you can see, weight shame was always with me.

I think my mother's endless quest to get back to what she was worked on me, too. My mother was a tiny, thin woman who filled out in her thirties to a more normal weight but she was constantly chasing the too thin. In fact, I look back on the pictures of my mom in her forties and she looked amazing- and thin.

I had my share of friends who were overweight. We connected in part because they were taunted on the other end. It really was all about being different, I think. I was always saddened by their struggle. They thought about every single thing they put in their mouths- all I could do then was listen, now I really get it.

Back then, I just did what I wanted, if I was hungry, I ate, and I ate whatever I wanted to eat- I really kind of destroyed my body with fast food. I'm not even talking about the way I looked, because on the surface I looked pretty healthy. Physically I was fine into my thirties- but I am sure that years of smoking and years of fueling my body with terrible food contributed largely to my depression and lack of energy. I even had good checkups at the doctor but I suspect this issue now was caused by my lack of caring about myself, my body.

I really think this kind of dieting is a mental journey as much as a physical one.

I don't know when I started using food as a comfort. I remember my friends with weight problems suggesting to me that I have chocolate ice cream when I had a rough day and I remember thinking that it would make me throw up if I even tried that.

I only ate chocolate then when I was happy-

I still don't really overeat but I have gotten myself to a learned behavior of eating something sweet after dinner. When I quit smoking, I was pregnant and I was quelling the craving with a sweet treat after dinner. Somehow this has turned into I can't smoke, so I am going to eat more dessert than I should-

And to be honest, the best appetite suppressor was Dr. Pepper- no idea why- but back in the day, I could just drink it all day and not be hungry. I gave that up about eight years ago, so when I quit smoking, I had no vices left and I am such a rebel, that did not sit well with me.

I just created another vice because I gave up all of the ones I had- aren't I clever?

I mean, I don't even miss cigarettes and I really value what eating healthy has brought to my life but it means that I want to have dessert, you know cause I ate healthy all day- that habit is going to be difficult to break.

The last two nights I have been looking for snacks and there is nothing on the list of foods I can eat that I want to eat. John keeps complaining about being hungry. I'm not really hungry, I'm just bored and I want chocolate or cheese or some almonds and peanuts. And I can't have any of those. I could have some chicken or some salad or veggies. But I don't want those cause I ate them for dinner.

So I lost three pounds just not giving in to boredom and making sure there was no chocolate in the house.

I don't know why John is so hungry all the time. This diet is actually pretty filling for the most part. I think we are still in mourning for our sweets. I had to marry someone with a huge sweet tooth!!! Anyway, this first phase is the most restrictive so once we are through this, we will get back other things in the next phase.

I have not figured out the regular exercise thing yet- that is next on my list-

Doing the 17 day diet

17 Day Diet Day One
by Vanessa Roman on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 1:23am

Okay, I'm not usually a fan of doing things like this, writing about a diet, but I was asked to, and I have seen others doing it to keep themselves accountable so I am going to give it a shot.

I got the book a couple weeks ago but decided to start after Easter, after all the chocolate was out of the house. So today was the first day.Yesterday we went shopping and got a lot of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins.

The first thing my husband said was "I think I'm going to get more out of this diet than you are."

He will. He's right. The biggest challenge is that I am a ridiculously picky eater and I'm used to having my way.

Some of you know this about me, some don't. I've only been overweight for about five years. Before that, I was skinny girl. I was underweight for most of my life, after Marissa was born thirteen years ago, I moved into a normal range of weight, then I gained about 20 more than I was comfortable with and dieted my way down again to a happy weight. I weighed 130 when I got married. I am 5'8. Before I had Isabella five years ago, I had never weighed more than 150 pounds. Usually that meant I was nine months pregnant-

I was about 130 when I got pregnant with Isabella. That was the highest pre-pregnancy weight I had ever been. Usually I was about 105 starting weight. So when I gained 45 pounds, it was more than I had ever weighed before. I knew something was different and wrong with this pregnancy- and for the last few months, I was pretty much only about to get up and go to the bathroom and go back to sitting down. I couldn't walk any distances or do anything strenuous. If I stood up for longer than ten minutes, I got weak and dizzy.

Now I will tell you this, I never exercised but I always had very physical jobs and led an active lifestyle.

After I gave birth, I could barely make it to the end of my driveway without getting winded. I began walking a little further every day at about six weeks after the baby. Slowly, my strength came back, but I noticed the weight was not coming off. I did not try to diet while I was breastfeeding, just tried to eat very healthy. Still, exercise and healthy eating made no difference.

After about a year, I knew there was a problem, I knew something was wrong and I joined the YMCA and began the battle in earnest, working out regularly and eating properly. I made some small strides at one point and lost some weight, started to feel better, but I couldn't maintain it. It was like I was walking through mud, I had to fight extra hard to lose even one pound. If I let go of the vigilance for a second, I was right back where I started. Then for no explicable reason, I began to gain weight randomly.

I knew this was not the body I had grown up with. Everyone said "you aren't working hard enough." or "you're getting older." After nearly three years of the struggle, I went to the doctor and my thyroid was tested at MY insistance. It confirmed everything for me- my thyroid was slow. As soon as I went on the medication, I felt better. I lost about fifteen pounds- worked my ass off and felt better but regulating a slow thyroid is a process- it takes time to get in right. I am tested every six months to see how it is working, and the first year, I had to up the dosage twice.

Finally, it appeared to be working. I lost a little and managed to maintain it for a bit of time.

But I was exhausted with the fight. I gave up my expensive gym membership and gave up counting calories and just gave up. I'm spoiled. I have never had to do this. I resent it. I had all those years of not being consumed with everything I put in my mouth and now I am obssessed with it. I don't want to look like this. Every part of me is profoundly uncomfortable.I don't know who I am any more at this weight. But I refuse to stay at home feeling sorry for myself and I refuse to give up. I have spent the last six months giving up and letting go of myself. I have gained back that fifteen pounds and I hate it. I hate looking in the mirror. The joy of shopping is completely gone. I hate the way I look in pictures, I won't even think about acting in a film, the thought of seeing myself is just devastating. Today, I found pictures of me at my wedding shower and I looked so good.

I want to get there again. I'm just not a quitter. I can't let this thing beat me up like that. I want desperately to be back in control of my weight again.

So the first day. I would like some chocolate and I would like some cheddar cheese but otherwise, it is not that bad. I have no idea what I am supposed to snack on so I just had three regular meals-

2 eggs for breakfast, a mixed greens salad with feta cheese, an apple, and a tablespoon of olive oil dressing for lunch and dinner was a turkey burger(no bun) with green beans and spinach and a tablesoon of greek yogurt- for dessert I had five red grapes instead of chocolate. I drank two cups of green tea and eight glasses of water-

I was kind of hungry in the evening so I had a spoon of peanut butter. Then I found out I wasn't supposed to have that. Eh, I will figure out acceptable snacks tomorrow-