Weight-loss Plan before Vacation

Yesterday was my brother’s birthday. Yesterday we had pizza, breadsticks fried Chinese chicken wings, and honey bun cake. Yes, honey bun cake. I ate about two slices of cake, two slices of pizza, a breadstick, and, I am not over exaggerating here, at least ten chicken wings.

I think I might have gained five pounds.

Now I’m a week and a day out from my cruise to Alaska, and while a pudgy stomach will surely keep me warm for the cooler temperatures, especially when I’m climbing that glacier, I still want to look and feel my best for my trip. Believe it or not, I want some of the pictures I take to actually feature me (proof that I actually went because, you know, it still hasn’t sunk in yet—eh, poor choice in words…). I don’t want to have to edit myself out of all the pictures because I look like the whale on the whale-watching expedition.

So I’m going to attempt something drastic. No I’m not going to starve myself, skip meals, pop weight loss pills, or get plastic surgery. But I’m going to try a diet experiment.

You’ve heard of the keto diet, right? High fat, low carb, moderate protein, supposedly meant to transform your body into a fat-burning machine. A co-worker of mine is on this diet, and he’s really shredded the pounds—not that he needed it; he was already skinny.

Anything low carb I’ve always been skeptical, because who are you to tell me I can’t eat my spaghetti and bread and potatoes and oatmeal and bananas? While I do try to watch my carb intake because diabetes runs in my family, I also know that not all carbs are created equal. Fruits are carbs, vegetables are carbs, whole grains are carbs, and they’re good for you, much better than that stuff that comes in a box.

But then one week I ate creamy broccoli cheese soup for lunch for four days straight . . . and I lost 4 pounds. Maybe there’s something to this keto. . .

So here’s my plan for this week:

  • Drink more water to detox from the binge eating and sabotage of yesterday
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Increase natural “healthier” fat intakes— avocados, full fat Greek yogurt, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, eggs, nuts and seeds, fresh natural cheeses, whole organic cow’s milk, plant milk (I make my own hemp milk from raw hemp seeds), cooking with vegetable oils like olive, grapeseed, and coconut
  • Stop snacking and candy picking
  • Track meals to hold myself accountable
  • Lose between two and five pounds by next Monday (Tuesday I leave for Alaska!)

Today for breakfast I made a triple berry smoothie with raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, half a banana, a quarter of an avocado, and half a cup of milk. Not much for low carb, but I’m not trying to be too strict on those. I feel with the increase of fat, it’ll keep me full longer and I’ll naturally eat less of everything else. But to intentionally eat 20 net carbs in a whole day sounds like death!

Mid-morning snack to hold me over to lunch was sixteen shelled unsalted peanuts. That’s a serving. Yes, I counted them out and put the bag away, because I tend to go overboard when snacking on peanuts.

Lunch is a homemade chicken club sandwich with whole wheat toast, lettuce and tomato, the another quarter of that same avocado, and sharp cheddar cheese (Did you know a serving size for the Sargento ultra thins is actually three slices? The 45 cals. is in the one slice, but it’s something to keep in mind the next time I make a sandwich and need more fat). Tonight, I’m making a creamy corn chowder for my lunch the rest of the week, and maybe a small romaine lettuce salad with an oily balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.

For mid-afternoon snack, I’m having an apple—skin on because skin has fiber—with homemade natural peanut butter (just peanuts and coconut oil).

I haven’t decided on dinner yet. I was thinking spaghetti, but, carbs . . . so maybe I’ll dust off my spiralizer and make some zucchini noodles with meatballs. Yum!

I really hope this diet plan works out (and I pray I stick to it). It’s not totally keto, but hopefully it’s keto enough that I can get rid of this pudgy stomach. If nothing else I hope to lose some water weight with all this water I’m drinking (and with the number of times I’ve gone to the bathroom already).

I follow a dieter who posts a lot of keto videos on YouTube, and she said a sure sign you’ve gone into ketosis is that you feel a little fatigued in the beginning, and you may also get the occasional headache. Well currently, I’m experiencing both, so that gives me hope!

We’ll see what happens. I’ll let you know next week my results. Wish me luck!

Holiday Temptations while Counting Calories

Everybody knows calories don’t count on Thanksgiving . . . or the day after, or Christmas . . . or the day after, or New Year’s . . . or the day after . . . Let’s face it, you can forget about sticking to your diet plan until at least January 3rd.

But if you’re like me, and you’ve been busting your butt all year (technically, I started this journey in June, when I disappeared from writing), you don’t want to toss all of your hard work down the drain by overeating during the holidays.

Then again, that mac and cheese sure looks scrumptious . . .

Via Steve Johnson -- Flickr Creative Commons
Via Steve Johnson — Flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving morning, I made the mistake of stepping on the scale. I wasn’t expecting to see a number I particularly liked, I just wanted to measure the damage I’d have to recover after feasting out later that day. Imagine my surprise when the number flashed and the ten pounds I’d been struggling to lose since September were wiped away! I had to weigh myself again just to make sure my mind (or the scale) wasn’t playing tricks on me. The number flashed again and it was no joke. I nearly screamed.

I am now only 2.5 pounds heavier than my skinny as a twig brother, who is about 7% body fat. Don’t know how that’s even possible unless all of his weight comes from his height and his bones, and his muscles are just denser than my fat, but I’ll accept that. I’ll probably keep this news to myself for now. My brother can be a total dick sometimes, and he is skilled at crushing a girl’s spirit when it comes to body image and appearance, even when he doesn’t mean to. That’s a man for you. Sometimes they don’t know when to shut the fuck up, keep a compliment a compliment without following it up with a backhanded slap across the face.

I went into Thanksgiving dinner with that number burned into my brain. I tried to be conscious about what I was putting on my plate. It wasn’t hard to skip certain foods. After all, our Thanksgiving dinner was catered this year, and half that shit I didn’t want (I’m very picky about foods other people cook).

The dressing looked like raw liver pudding with bits of egg white in it (we still don’t know what he used to make that shit, it was just gray mush). I heard the green beans were good, but the casserole on top was a lumpy, soupy, “don’t know what that white stuff is” mess, so I had to pass (I will never understand people’s obsession with green been casserole. I so much prefer my veggies cooked PLAIN). The ribs were more fat than meat. I skipped the gravy because he didn’t make it with the turkey giblets (Grandma has spoiled me with her giblet gravy). In fact, the turkey was actually bought from the Honey Baked Ham store (or so it tasted), along with the ham! On top of that, the man forgot the bread and pie. (may all low carbers dance and shout for joy!)

belly-body-calories-diet-42069

So what did I eat for dinner? A little turkey and ham, mac and cheese, of course (though not as much, because it wasn’t Grandma’s mac and cheese), some sweet-ass yams that my brother didn’t think were sweet at all (have I cut my sugar intake that much?), some cabbage my mom cooked, some clean (meaning NOT seasoned with bacon grease!) black-eyed peas that I cooked, along with rice (because you can’t have beans without the rice, especially when the gravy ain’t Grandma’s giblets), my homemade tart cranberry sauce (that my brother kept calling “that pure shit” like I’d cooked him up a pound of coke. No, chile, it’s just fresh), and some turnip greens that were surprisingly delicious. I usually eat my leafy greens by pinching my nose and gulping them down, but these turnips were so good, I had to get myself a second helping!

I think I did pretty well keeping myself under control this Thanksgiving. But I was still stuffed afterwards, falling asleep like a Thanksgiving pro on Granddaddy’s couch while watching football. It’s going to be tough seeing that number again with all these leftovers in my fridge. Thankfully, my mom portioned out most of the food and put it in the freezer, and my food vacuum cleaner brother should take care of the rest before the week is out.

My sabotage actually came a few days after Thanksgiving, when my mom and I went to a church fellowship at a restaurant called Class E, supposedly fine dining (so it says on the door), but it’s really an overpriced soul food buffet. I ate more mac and cheese than I should have and had banana pudding for dessert. However, in my defense, it was $16 a person—I was trying to get my money’s worth!

Now that it’s back to the ol’ grind (it was so hard coming into work yesterday, I had to write this story for some comedic relief), I need to dive back into my normal eating routine so I can see that magic number again, and maybe one lower than that. But it is officially the holiday season now, and avoiding certain foods is only going to get harder. As long as I have a few “clean” dishes of my own to add to the potluck, I should be OK. Hey, maybe I’ll even share some of my recipes with you. 😉

Let me know if you want the recipe for these pumpkin spice pancakes!
Let me know if you want the recipe for these pumpkin spice pancakes!