Sunday, April 25, 2010

A cheatin' weekend

This weekend I cheated a little...we had "date night" Thursday night and I had one of Applebees' 550 calories meals.  I had the sirloin, with "seasonal veggies", which turned out to be a giant plate of broccoli and potatoes.  I was a little disappointed, wishing for a few carrots or something!  I know, that's not such a cheat, huh?  Here's the good part - I had 2 top shelf strawberry margaritas.  :)  Anyway, I have discovered an interesting link:  I used to wake up starving early in the mornings, nearly every day.  Most of the time, my stomach would wake me up before I was ready to awaken.  Friday morning I woke up starving!  This was the second time since I cut out meat that I had noticed that same occurence after eating meat.  Got up, stepped on the scale, and had not gained any weight!  Woo hoo!!  Friday night hubby fixed some low fat, Angus burgers.  I had one on my whole grain thin buns, with brown mustard, vegan mayo, lots of romaine lettuce and some dill pickle slices.  I also had a "shandy", which is a concoction made from a dark beer (Michelob Ultra Wheat, in our case) and topped off with something like 7-Up, or in our case, Mike's Hard Lemonade.  Again the next morning, nothing gained!  Hubby made a nice pork tenderloin on the grill last night.  I had a small slice (it was luscious!) with a large salad.  We ate early, so later while watching tv, I had some Orville Redenbachers Natural grain 50% less fat popcorn, and a few Immaculate cookies.  OMG, these are my new favorite cookies in the world.  I had only just discovered them, when Food Lion apparently decided to stop carrying them.  These little boxes of yum usually cost $3.99, so I keep them hidden.  :)  When I went grocery shopping this week, they were closeout priced to $1.79, so I bought every box they had!  Any, I after eating meat for three nights in a row, I got up this morning, got on the scale, and VOILA!!!  Another pound lost, for 9 pounds total now!  That is with no exercise to speak of in the last 3 days, unless you count a few hours of yardwork.  I am so loving this!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I wish I had started this sooner!

I almost don't even know where to begin...there are so many things I want to say, and so little time to actually put them down.  I have had so much success with my "life change" that people have started to ask me about the details, so I thought I would try to take the time to record it.  

Over the past several years, I had begun to gain weight, especially around my middle.  I am now 48 years old, and never really had a problem with my weight, until after ovaries were removed.  Then I tried every diet known to man, without any success.  I was tired all the time, had an average of 15 migraines a month, and took 3 different migraine medications, as well as blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid prescriptions.   I could not sleep at night, and was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and had to use a breathing machine at night.  So, I bought a treadmill, and a pilates home gym.  I was so tired I was never able to keep up an exercise program.  I made several appeals to my doctors to help me, to make suggestions, to try to find what could be the problem.  I was told many different things, which I'm not even going to go into here, but no really good advice.  I spent countless hours, days, weeks researching diet plans, exercise programs, to see what might work for me.  I should make it clear, that I do have a pretty long history of eating healthy and exercise, prior to beginning to feel the aches and pains of arthritis and the onset of the weight gain and tiredness. 

I was laid off from my job Dec 29, 2009.  When my husband made it clear he wanted the treadmill out of the house unless I was going to use it, I decided that no matter what it took, 2010 was going to be the year I made a change.  In January, I set the treadmill up in the living room so I could watch tv while I walked.  I put the pilates gym in the spare bedroom.  Beginning January 7, I started walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes, every day.  It nearly killed me at first.  My knees and feet hurt.  My hips hurt so bad I could barely sleep at night.  I went from the treadmill to the pilates gym, for 30 minutes.  So I worked out for one hour every day, except weekends.  After two months, I had lost 2 pounds.  I was so discouraged.  Although I could tell the workout was getting easier, I really couldn't tell any difference in my body.

One day I was watching Oprah, and the show was about the harmful food we are putting in our bodies.  She showed a clip of the movie "Food Inc", and had Alicia Silverstone as a guest, talking about her book "The Kind Diet".  Oprah mentioned that Amazon was running a special for her show, so I purchased both the movie and Alicia's book.  I can honestly say that it changed my life.  While I had already removed fatty meat, sugars, most refined "white" foods, caffeine, and milk from my diet, I was still eating a lot of processed foods.  Here is what I did, starting day 1.

I made a huge pot of vegetable soup.  I froze some of it.  I ate this vegetable soup every day, most of the time, twice a day.  I bought maple syrup, honey and organic raw sugar.  I already used brown rice, and love whole grains, I just added more to my diet.  I started eating more beans, black beans in particular.  I already used soymilk, and I added tofu to my diet.  All this gives me lots of protein.  I make my own hummus.  I found organic, vegan items at my local Food Lion and online.  I expected that I would be tired, but I actually have more energy.  I don't eat any dairy, with the exception of greek yogurt, because it is just so good for you, I didn't want to give it up.  I very rarely eat any meat, although I will, if I want it.  When I eat meat, it is a lean beef, chicken or fish.  I very rarely eat an egg, but again if I want it, I will.  I eat lots of grains, vegetables, and fruit.  I found a great website that has vegetarian recipes, and they are awesome!

Here's the good part.  Since I began this diet in March, about 6 weeks ago (maybe 8), I have lost 6 more pounds, and several inches.  You can actually see muscle definition now, and my husband is always telling me how much I'm shrinking.  I am still losing weight, even though I have slowed down my workout schedule a little.  I still exercise about 3 times a week now.  I love the food, it does not feel restrictive to me at all.  I think that when you know you are putting good things into your body, it makes you mentally healthier, as well.  I am sleeping all night, and have not had a migraine since I began my new way of eating.  I am hoping to be able to go off blood pressure and cholesterol meds someday.  

I did not measure before I started, because I had done so so many times in the past, and nothing worked.  I did find measurements that I had taken in May of 2009, and was not surprised to see that I had gained 11 pounds since those measurements were taken.  I do weigh myself daily, so I know exactly what I weighed, but I really wish I had measured, becuase that's where the big difference is.  When I started in April, I weighed 179 lbs.  I now weigh 171.  I'm 5'9" by the way.  My goal is 150, but I know that since I am adding muscle, a slow weight loss is expected.  Here are my results so far:

Hips  lost 1 inch (and my butt is no longer jiggly!)
Waist lost 3 inches
Bust lost 2 inches
Upper arms lost 1/4 inch each
Thighs lost 2.5 inches each
Calves lost 3/4 inch each

So I'll keep you updated!