Saturday, May 18, 2013
Well, it is Day 11 of the 23 so about half way there and I am down 17.2 pounds from my highest (after the 2 load days) which is 15 pounds from my original starting weight. I went to see my naturopath on Tuesday to get measured. I lost 9 inches all together! 6 1/2 inches from my mid-section and the rest from my neck, arms, calves. Exactly what she told me would happen when I asked her how we could be sure the loss would come from abnormal fat and not lean muscle. So far I am pleased with the program. I am not hungry at all and I have a lot of energy. Here's the stats for the week:
May 12th - 252.2
May 13th - 249.2
May 14th - 246.6
May 15th - 244.8
May 16th - 245.6 - not sure what that was about!
May 17th - 243.6
May 18th - 241.6
I continue to learn a lot about myself as an eater this week. I have learned that I do a lot of "tasting" when I cook. It is amazing how much I put into my mouth as I chop up a salad or especially if I add shredded cheese to anything. I am definitely a "taster". This week has been frustrating cooking for others. We had a Mother's Day BBQ with out of town guests and I grilled Cod and asparagus. I don't think the guests noticed that I didn't eat the yummy side dishes they were eating. I am fortunate that my MIL and daughter are trying to eat healthy too. Passing on dessert and drinks was the hardest part for me, but I am proud that I did it.
Another break-through I have had is in how I prepare food. I realized this week that I tend to use a lot of butter and olive oil. You see, butter has never been forbidden while working with my naturopath. It is one of those fats I was allowed. But now that I can't use anything (butter, oils, not even spray Pam) I am realizing how MUCH butter and oil I was using. Quite liberally when sautéing veggies and I always cooked my fish with pats of butter over it. I found that I was quite satisfied with only lemon juice and dill over my fish. I found that steamed veggies are just as delicious without the butter. I am noting these things in my daily journal so that afterward I plan to make a poster for my fridge. So far, here's what I've got:
Use less butter and oil.
No tasting while cooking!
I have been active like she has told me to. I have done 15-20 minutes of walking each day. I am going to incorporate stretching DVDs this week. I have felt really good physically with the exception of two days where I felt a little light headed, had a headache, and felt acidic in the belly. My naturopath explained to me that this is normal and would pass (it has). The body stores toxins in fat and when the fat is released, so are the toxins. Additionally, when the candida die off they also give off toxins - sometimes this is called "carb flu". It makes you feel a little sick for a couple of days but then passes. It has passed. For the acidic feeling I can drink ginger tea or slippery elm tea (also called tummy soother).
My weightloss is going to slow down - she said the typical first week loss is 10-14 pounds and then 5-7 pounds per week after that. Originally I said I was going to try for the 41 days (the maximum you can do this) but now that I am on it I am not sure I will make it - in fact, doubt I will. Not because this program is hard - it's not - it is just terribly frustrating to be so limited in what you can eat - and also to be an island when it comes to eating with other people. I am quite bored of eating this. If I were single it would be better, but cooking for a family is tough mentally. I have found that I can't even watch Food Network anymore because it makes me crazy to see all the yummy dishes that I used to say I could make later - in reality I need to not make those kinds of dishes all the time. I need to focus on good, healthy foods and keep those decadent foods for parties and special occasions. For me every week I had those decadent foods. I can't do that and maintain my healthy lifestyle. So I am continuing to pin yummy paleo recipes and low carb recipes on my Pinterest board. I am definitely looking forward to maintenance where I can eat any fruit, veggie and meat in any quantity (within reason).
That's it for this week - thanks for the love and support - especially from my OWs!
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
I have been seeing a naturopath for about a year and a half now. I started to see her after my dad died of a sudden heart attack at age 62. It devastated me and really caused me to think about my life and how much more of it I want to live and live it healthy. There also happens to be a strong family history of diabetes from both sides - mom and dad. So with double heart disease and double diabetes risk factors facing me I really began to worry about my future.
My naturopath has educated me on so many levels. I understand more how the food we consume is used by the body - how much the food can negatively affect the body too. I am definitely a big believer in trying to eat as clean as possible. So why do I still struggle so with my weight? Why can't I get past the hump?
Well, there are many reasons why and maybe the bottom line is because I give up or give in too often. Because at this point I certainly know what I should be doing. Why am I not doing it?
I don't know if you have ever had this experience but I can go along great - feeling on top of the world because I've lost weight and feel good and then WHAM! I see a photo someone took of me or I see my reflection in a store window. Suddenly reality hits me like a ton of bricks - I have a long way to go to look on the outside like I feel on the inside. It overwhelms me sometimes. When you have a significant amount of weight to lose it can seem impossible.
Yeah, yeah, I know there are hundreds of success stories out there of people just like me who did it. They took all the weight off and kept if off and they did it on their own merit. I get that. But I also get my own reality, excuses, and frankly real life obstacles that I can't seem to over come. I won't bore you with the details of my busy and stress filled existence. Let's just leave it by saying its a miracle I don't weigh a hundred pounds more than I already do.
So, getting back to my naturopath - when I saw her last month she asked me what I was thinking about doing next in my journey. Did I want to continue going as I was or did I want to try something new. I told her I had been thinking about eliminating things from my diet to see if I had any food sensitivities, as I suspect I do. So she told me to consider a form of the HCG protocol.
For those who don't know HCG (human chorionic gonadotrpohin) is a hormone pregnant women produce to mobilize non-essential fat to nourish a baby. This hormone allows women who are undernourished and underfed to give birth to healthy babies. The man responsible for this research was Dr. Simeon. Dr. Simeons "also noted characteristics of the obese. Nearly always they had a depressed metabolism, constant state of hunger, cravings, and many would actually gain weight when on a calorically deficient diet. Dr. Simeons discovered that the diencephalons, (or the hypothalamus) a primitive part of the brain, was responsible for the the accumulation of fat through various factors, a condition we call obesity. Dr. Simeons explains that there are three kinds of fat. The first two are normal fats, structural fat that resides around organs and joints, and fat reserves which are used for energy. The third fat is an abnormal fat that accumulates around the hips, thighs, waist, stomach and other unwanted areas. These abnormal fats do not move with normal diet and exercise. The body holds on to these fats for extreme emergencies such as long term starvation. However, during pregnancy, these fat reserves are burned for the baby and also when inadequate calories are consumed, the hCG will mobilize this fat storage. This is how the hCG works on a low calorie diet. The abnormal fat is mobilized by the hCG. The purpose of this diet is to re-set the diencephalons so that your body does not go back to its original weight. This is when life style changes need to be made." You can read the full article here: http://www.bodyhealthyself.info/hA2cg-Diet
.html - (but it is full of typos so use other sources if you have any interest in looking into this. I just wanted the explanation of how HCG hormone works).
So anyway, I told her I would look into it. I spent hours researching blogs and youTube videos of people who have done it. I watch Dr. Oz's five part series on it. I read Dr. Simeons entire research manuscript. Then I made a huge list of questions and went to see my naturopath last night.
First of all - let me say I knew there was NO WAY she was going to put me on a hormone taken from pregnant women or any other place - totally against homeopathic medicine! So I proceeded to ask her all of my questions and she thoroughly explained that I would be taking HA2CG drops- which contain no HCG hormone what-so-ever. It contains two bioidentical amino acids that do the same thing the HCG amino acids do - make your body use the "abnormal fat". The drops also contain 21 homeopathic ingredients for appetite control, blood sugar management and immunity support. It provides a good cleanse for your liver and kidneys and knocks out candida. In addition to the drops she recommends a potassium/magnesium supplement.
One of my biggest concerns is gaining all the weight back. She said that in 50% of her cases that has been true. She said those people did one of two things - and admitted it - they either cheated during the 23-41 day diet (which did not reset the hypothalamus) or they went back to their old eating habits. She said she feels that I have shown already that I am willing to do the low carb diet necessary to keep the weight off. She feels that this would help me get over the hump and gain some momentum and motivation to keep going. Here is what the diet looks like (please try not to judge):
2 days of "loading" while taking the drops 3x day under the tongue - eat as much as possible for 2 days.
Days 3-41 (you have to do a minimum of 23 days but no more than 41) you eat 7 ounces of protein, 4 cups of veggies, and 2 fruits per day along with the drops and 1 gallon of water each day. Because of the restriction on what kinds of fruit, veggies, and meat - and you may have no oils, butter, dressings of any kind - the calories add up to about 500 a day. You are not living off of these 500 calories - you are living off of your stored fat. That is why you need supplements for some minerals.
When you finish your last day of drops you continue 3 more days with the low calorie diet. Then you go into 3 weeks of maintenance where you can eat any amount of meat, veggies, and most fruits. No dairy, sugar, grains or starches yet.
After the 3 week maintenance you begin to add back in one thing at a time and see how it affects you - if you add in rice twice during the week does it make you gain? Feel achy? Change your mood? If yes, you are sensitive to rice. Try something else the next week. If no, then keep eating rice and add in something new the next week. The key is to only add in one thing at at time.
So I decided to do it. I may not make it the whole 41 days but I am going to try because this is it. I won't do it again. I feel confident after talking to her that this is a good decision for me. I trust her - I know that she is in the business of healthy living and would not suggest this to me if she didn't believe in the product. She used it herself, as she does all the products she sells. She believes in me too. I will see her weekly to weigh and measure and she is available to me by phone for any questions that come up. There are no side effects except those that occur through other detoxification programs.
I am mentally and physically prepared for this journey. I will blog each week about my progress and I appreciate any support from you, my Spark family. I know this isn't for everyone, but for now, I know that it is for me.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Here is what I wrote back at the end of January (at the beginning of my success) in a blog called "There's a difference"...
"I wish I could bottle this feeling. It feels good - confident, content. I'm not naive when it comes to this - I realize I am going to face obstacles - plateaus, temptations - but I think I am ready to face them without giving up this time."
Well, I really do wish I could have bottled that feeling because I don't have that feeling right now and boy do I wish I had it! I am facing an obstacle right now - the obstacle is how do you get out of vacation mode and back on track?
It hit me this week that it's April and April is when I give up- not intentionally, but after the first quarter the newness and excitement of fresh beginnings has worn off. Now it's work. Now it's easy to be lax in my choices. Now it's time to put my money where my mouth is so to speak. It's time to put up or shut up when it comes to what I believe about my journey. It's time to answer the question -
Did I REALLY change how I approach food and exercise, or did I just get carried away by my temporary success?
Let's think about this for a minute. What are the things I have "claimed" to have gotten control over?
Water - am I still drinking my 64+ ounces each day? Yes.
Exercise - do I miss it? am I still trying to do it? Yes.
Veggies - am I eating enough? No. am I trying to incorporate them? Yes.
Smoothies - am I making them? No. Do they make a difference in my appetite and health? Yes.
Carbs - am I eating them? Yes. Should I be avoiding them? Yes.
Okay, so what does this tell me? It tells me that I have not completely thrown in the towel. It tells me that I only have a couple of changes to make to get right back on track. So what is stopping me from making those changes? When I identify that then I will be one step closer to making these lifestyle changes permanent.
What is stopping me? My thoughts on that:
-I love carbs. No doubt about that. But you know what? Carbs make me achy. When I try to stop eating them I get headaches. And again, I love them. I have two choices - find recipes where I can still enjoy them without flour/sugar or give them up completely. I have had good success making breads and desserts with almond/coconut flours. I have had good success making crunchy/salty snacks with veggies. So I already know this is a successful change for me. So it is a no brainer that I can go back to a low carb lifestyle with minimal effort - it is the second thing that is stopping me that gets in the way and that is...
-stress/time management. Teaching is a stressful job. Well, let me revise that - the teaching part doesn't stress me out - it is the balance of being a good teacher and time management. Planning good lessons takes time - time outside of teaching hours. Time that cuts into my exercise time, my trying new recipes time. Not only am I a teacher, but I am lead mentor of my entire school and team leader over 6 other teachers and 4 specialists. Planning for those twice weekly meetings also cuts into my time. So I have to be on my toes with food management and planning or I stress eat like there is no tomorrow!
So armed with this information how do I move forward and avoid the down ward spiral that ALWAYS happens. How can this year be different than the past? I need a game plan. I need accountability. I need goals.
GAME PLAN: I will continue to drink my daily water. I will commit to 20+ minutes of exercise daily. I will have a spinach smoothie every day. I will aim for less than 70 carbs daily.
ACCOUNTABILITY: I will continue to be honest with my OW team and with my husband on how I am doing. I have already started to head off temptation my telling my husband in advance of what is coming. For example yesterday the school was ordering chinese food for lunch. I told my husband in the morning to say to me "you are not ordering chinese food today. You are going to eat your healthy kale soup for lunch" and he did. And although it was silly, I had someone else's voice in my head telling me the right thing to do. I also counted his cookies and lunch cakes one time and told him to check when he came home to see that I hadn't eaten any. It was a strategy I used to get the voice out of my head that was nagging me to have his snacks. It worked and I could stop obsessing about them.
GOALS: My goal is to lose 20 pounds this quarter. By the end of June I want to be 230. By the end of July I want to be 225. We are going to the beach the last week of July. I want to feel good in my bathing suit. I can do this!
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