Monday, April 14, 2008
Diets, life and me
On March 6th Casey (my youngest daughter) and I started a diet. Oh I guess we can call it a “diet”, but it’s really a life style change. We needed one very badly. I felt like $hit and she felt like $hit and it sucked to wake up in the morning, every morning feeling like $hit. Something had to change. We’d run the gambit of diets and I could list quite a few to our credit. Heck, I could write a book on “Anti-dieting” citing every diet not to try and why! They just don’t work. Sure, I know that’s a catch phrase, but it’s really true. If you don’t change your whole thought process on “food’’ you are likely going to keep rebounding and loosing weight your whole life, which is what I’ve done. I’m almost 51 now and god knows, I’m educated on food, and diets and diet-flops. I am the “Diet GURU”… Honestly I did TV Infomercials for a nationally known diet company and was a spokes model and leader. Err… that didn’t work either. I might have lost 100 lbs but I was always hungry and unhappy with how I looked at food and wished I could eat.
OH what a feeling…
How I felt was horrible. Let me tell you just how bad… My Blood pressure was elevated, 187/89. I felt weak and listless. Had no energy. I snored horribly due to the weight on my chest and neck, constricting airflow. I was so stiff and sore that it was hard to even roll over in bed anymore. Then it took me quite a while to get all the body parts comfortable. Then I’d have to roll over and begin again! Man… It felt like slow death. I hurt inside my body… I figured it had too much weight pulling on my ligaments and those were being stretched painfully. I knew I needed to diet but nothing, (and I do mean nothing) worked! Mom suggested I try the Diabetic Diet. I was insulted with the suggestion, but I knew she was right. It was either this or turn into a blob and die and laid to rest in a piano case.
After talking with Casey, we decided to try doing a modified version of the Diabetic Diet. Being as neither of us where (as of yet) diabetic, we could change some of it, without altering the outcome. For instance, we could enjoy fruit a bit more because we weren’t concerned so much with strict insulin levels. Eating fruit causes a temporary rise in blood sugar.
Now, one of the important features of this type of diet is the total change in insulin levels your body has. Not that that is rocket science - no, but people don’t seem to understand that insulin dependency – (high insulin level) makes you “HUNGRY”! Once the insulin levels are brought down your hunger will subside and you won’t feel like a raging lunatic wanting to feed constantly. Trust me I know first hand about the pain in the tummy and the nausea associated with insulin-hunger. Before we totally changed our eating habit, I would have to eat every 2 hours or feel sick in the stomach. I had mood swings and was grumpy and tired most of the time.
With some deep soul-searching, we decided that a few food items were absolutely on the chopping block. Some were all right to eat but in very moderate portions. I’ll list them here and then a short explanation of why they are omitted or limited.
Milk - (limited) It is used like a sugar in your body and produces insulin.
Candy – (duh) If it has any added sugar period, just don’t eat it. It will go straight into your bloodstream as sugar and cause insulin crash.
Soda – (omit) It is garbage. Even the sugar-free kind is garbage.
Sugar – (omit) It is a simple carbohydrate and goes right into the bloodstream as insulin.
White Flour – (omit) It is refined and all of the good has been removed. It also is a simple carbohydrate and produces insulin.
White Rice – (omit) It is refined and all of the good has been removed. It also is a simple carbohydrate and produces insulin.
What we do eat –
About 1800 calories a day (give or take a little)
Any Fruit (moderate portions) (½ c – 1c with each meal)
Any leafy or green Vegetable (any portions)
Starchy Vegetable – (moderate portions once a day) (4oz)
Any lean meat (98% fat free) (moderate portions) (4 – 6 oz -each meal if desired)
Two Starches a Day out of this group. - (Not a hard fast rule, but one we try to keep)
- Whole Wheat reduced calorie bread (70 calorie –2 slices -once a day)
- Whole-wheat tortillas, or Bagels (reduced calorie once a day)
- Brown Rice (1/2 c – 1 cup if starving – evening meal)
- Low carbohydrate high fiber pasta only (1c – 1 1/2c cooked pasta if starving – once a day)) (forget the whole wheat pasta, it’s gross)
- Wheat Flour – (limited)- thickener
Mayo – (Sure if you are moderate- yes). Don’t go nuts slathering it onto stuff – measure it, eh..
Salad Dressing- (Any- but measure- check carbohydrate information. Make sure it’s low or it has no SUGAR)
Eggs – (just keep in mind the calorie content and enjoy em – Gods little miracle food)
Oh yeah... A few hard fast rules…
- IF YOU ARE HUNGRY EAT!
- IF YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY DON’T!
- WHEN YOU EAT – ENJOY IT AND EAT TILL YOU FEEL FULL – THEN STOP!
We’ve forgotten in this country what it feels like to eat until full…so; you may have to reeducate yourself there. Often times, I just need a drink.
However, my body is saying, “I think I am hungry”. When this happens at nighttime, I’ll grab a half-cup of 2% milk if I feel hungry and usually the sensation to EAT leaves. Then I go on to bed.
Well that’s about it…
Not really a hard “diet” huh? It’s more of a different way to approach food.
Is it working? Well, yes it is, thank you for asking… Since March 6th 2008, I’ve gone from 230 to 213. – Which is 17 lbs in 5 weeks.
Is this typical for everyone? Well, I’m not sure. I’m my own guinea pig. However Casey has dropped 2 sizes and feels wonderful! She refuses to weigh on a scale. I weigh, but only every so often. I’m not addicted to the scales. Mostly I go by my clothing and I can tell I’m shrinking.
Am I happy? Yes! This is the most happy I’ve ever been on any eating regime. I feel free…
A word of warning…
When you begin doing this your personality will change. At first you will be a major grump (bitch mode) because your body has been so dependent on insulin that you go into withdrawals like you would a drug. You’ll have mood swings, and want to eat the bark off a tree, with raging hunger pangs. This is normal and goes on for three days so, just tough it out. It leaves after it’s done kicking and screaming (about 72 hours). Drink a good bit of water and eat frequent small meals of the above foods – but limit the starch content of any food during this period.
Now, I can pretty much go through my day feeling good and not feeling hungry except when it’s time to eat! That’s amazing for me. I don’t wake up sick to the stomach wanting food. I don’t go to bed hungry. I don’t feel head achy or grumpy most of the time. Life looks brighter out from under the cloud of insulin dependency.