Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I lost 6 pounds during my first week on the South Beach Phase 1 diet! I chose this diet because my weight had been plateaued for months and I had gained two pounds over the holidays. I was 19 pounds from my goal weight and wanted to jumpstart my weight loss plus reignite my motivation. Phase 1 is tough; for the last week my diet has consisted of lean meats, vegetables, cheese, nuts and 100 calorie desserts. No fruit, bread, or processed foods.
Needless to say, I am very pleased with these results but already concerned about how I will transition from this diet back to my regular eating plan after I finish week 2. I think if I follow the general principles of South Beach Phase 2 which reintroduces complex carbohydrates and whole grains, I will be okay. The only thing about South Beach I don’t like is feeling discouraged from eating certain fruits and vegetables because of their glycemic index. For example, I like carrots. Why feel bad about eating carrots? Are the morning fruit smoothies that I enjoyed in the warmer months a problem? They helped me lose more than 20 pounds last year.
So after my two weeks are up, I’m going to focus on the general principles found on the Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Source at www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource. It’s based on the federal government’s my plate guidelines, with a few tweaks. Here’s the plan in a nutshell:
• Use healthy oils like olive and canola for cooking, on salad and at the table. Limit butter. Avoid trans-fat.
• The more veggies—and the greater variety—the better. Potatoes and French fries don’t count.
• Eat plenty of fruits of all colors.
• Drink water, tea, or coffee with little or no sugar). Limit milk/dairy (1-2 servings/day) and juice (1 small glass/day). Avoid sugary drinks.
• Eat whole grains (like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain pasta). Limit refined grains (like white rice and white bread).
• Choose fish, poultry, beans and nuts; limit red meat; avoid bacon, cold cuts and other processed meats.
• STAY ACTIVE!
Stick to this plan 90% of the time. Since there are 21 meals and 14 snacks a week, this means that each week, I can have two “junky” meals and one “junky” snack. I can save them for the weekend or disperse throughout the week. This will help me avoid feeling deprived.
I am now 13 pounds from goal. If I can stick to this plan, I should be able to get to goal in about 90-100 days.
Onward and downward!
Monday, January 07, 2013
After months of a plateau, I just blasted off five pounds. I jumpstarted my effort with the South Beach Phase 1 diet, which is a temporarily restricted eating plan designed for fast weight loss and an ending to food cravings. Phase 1 is tough--I mostly eat lean meat, veggies, nuts and cheese. No bread, fruit, little dairy and no processed anything. Today is day six and I've already dropped five pounds.
I didn't think I could eat 1,200 calories a day. On SP, I'd been hovering around 1,500 to 1,700 calories a day--sometimes more. It's now clear to me that because I'm so close to goal, I can't get away with that any more, dang it. My dietitian advised me months ago to eat around 1,200 a day to lose 2 lbs a week, but it seemed like too much of a sacrifice.
Now, I'm learning it's possible to cut my calorie intake way down without feeling like I'm starving. Once the two weeks of South Beach Phase 1 are over and I have more food choices, I'll need to figure out what else I can incorporate into my diet without consuming too many calories or triggering my sweet tooth. It's all one, big tricky experiment.
For now, though I rejoice in knowing that for today, at least, I'm 14 pounds from goal. It's a great feeling!
Sunday, January 06, 2013
I make no bones about the fact that I have been divorced and single for a long, long time. Like most single women in the 21st century, I've dated and had a few relationships, but love? No, not really. Along the path I've met some amazing men and some fantastic losers. My closest girlfriends are still waiting on me to write a book about all the bad dates and weird personalities I've encountered over the years. They've even developed nicknames for some of the worst offenders.
Two years ago, I found myself an unemployed grandmother-to-be. It was a scary time because for the first time in decades, every aspect of my life was uncertain. Where would I live, would I find a job, how can we afford a baby? What will happen to my daughter? There was no time to even think about dating or meeting men. I put my love life on the back burner.
Now, it's 2013. My daughter and grandson are doing well, I downsized from a three-bedroom house to a 2BR apartment, and I've been steadily employed for about a year and a half. I'm 50 pounds thinner and life is calm and stable. Time to get back "out there."
Like anyone else, I carry my fair share of "baggage" from previous relationships and tendencies to invest time and effort into men that aren't worth two dead flies. None of this has changed simply because I'm thinner. What has changed is that I have more choices about who I can date. It's not only about being slimmer, but feeling healthier and more confident about myself which attracts more people. When I was younger, I detested this type of attention. I'm sure it factored into my weight gain. Now that I'm older, I feel more grounded, wiser and focused about what I'm looking for. The unwanted attention is easier to deflect.
I think the biggest change is a new sense of calm about being single. It now feels like a choice, versus feeling invisible to the opposite sex. This calmness is going to help me do a better job of really evaluating if a man deserves to be a part of my life versus glomming on to any decent-looking man who gives me the time of day. It's given me the confidence to throw a few fish back into the sea because of varies character defects that I would have previously overlooked or rationalized. It also helps that nothing shocks me anymore. For example, last month I traded phone numbers with a man who I later learned was engaged by googling his name (And had the nerve to ask me for my number--seriously!?). Appalling, but there are a lot of scandalous people out there and not everyone who is good to you is good for you. That's key.
So after a long absence from the dating scene, I'm back "out there", meeting, greeting socializing and dating. I'm dealing with the challenge of eating properly during dinners out without looking like a "salad-eatin' b!tch" or abstaining from alcohol while I focus on dropping more weight. I'm also dealing with how to overcome the inherent awkwardness of first dates and conversation without giving into the strong urge to run home and pull the covers over my head. I'm also dealing with the reality of being a 40-something single grandmother in a society that worships youth.
Regardless of what happens next, I'm glad to be back on the singles scene feeling healthy and looking my best.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
I cheated. This morning, after 3 days on the South Beach Phase 1 diet, I weighed myself. To my surprise, not only had I lost the two pounds I gained over Christmas, I'd dropped another pound! Now, I recognize that water weight can really wreak havoc with your weight, but I had not weighed less than I do today in years. It's encouraging news after plateauing for months.
Maybe I revved up my metabolism? Maybe this cold I've been battling for the last week curbed my appetite? Maybe three days on a low calorie diet after all the holiday treats was a zig when I'd been zagging? I have no earthly idea. Still, it's a good feeling to know that I'm only 16 pounds from goal.
I still have 11 days to go on South Beach Phase 1. I'm glad it's having the desired effect of jump starting my weight loss before I return to my regular eating plan.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Today is my second day on the South Beach Diet--Phase I. The purpose of this 14-day eating plan is to banish food cravings, whisk away the two pounds I gained over the holidays and recharge my motivation.
Today, I followed my plan to the letter:
Breakfast--eggs and turkey bacon
Snack--celery and laughing cow cheese
Lunch--burger patty and grilled vegetables
Dinner--3 oz grilled chicken and a tossed salad
Dessert--sugar free jello and a dollop of whipped topping
All in all, a disciplined day. I even spent some time in the kitchen grilling vegetables, baking chicken breasts, cooking hamburger patties and washing/cutting/bagging celery.
In general, people lose 3-7 pounds during Phase I. Hopefully, I'll achieve similar results. My next scheduled weigh in is Wednesday, so we'll see.
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