Success for the first time in at least a year!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I posted this morning to one of the two 4-Hour Body/Slow Carb diet teams to which I belong on Sparkpeople and realized my post was more like a blog than a post. So I'm copying it here and sharing some changes in my measurements.

I looked into and then started on Timothy Ferriss's Slow Carb diet because I know from my own weight-loss history that eating higher protein/lower carb works for me (I used to weigh 240 pounds), plus a guy at work lost 170 pounds and has maintained it for several years. I find the meal planning to be simple; I'm down from eating 6-7 times a day to 4-5; and after at least a year of frustration, hunger, and ZERO weight loss, I am officially 9 pounds down as of today's weigh in! That is, 190 down to 181.

(The 200 that begins my little weight tracker on my Sparkpage is what I weighed when I joined Sparkpeople a few years ago. I lost and kept off that 10, although I’ve been yo-yo’ing below and around 190 since then, and I’d been sneaking up towards 200 again throughout 2010. My period of 240 pounds was 10 years ago, following my younger son's birth and during the breakup of my marriage.)

I adjust the eating plan a little because, while I've never been told I'm carbohydrate sensitive, I feel strongly that I am, and I'm a little leery of how many carbohydrate grams are in beans. I tend to eat something carb (1/4 cup beans, half a grapefruit, or a little cottage or feta cheese) with my eggs in the morning; I have 1/3-1/2 cup beans with my lunch and dinner; and I eat 100% protein for snacks.

I am almost never hungry. Actually, I take that back - I get hungry when it's appropriate (like after I haven't eaten for 4 hours or after I work out), but it feels different. It's not that desperate sugar-crash hunger where I feel like I could eat the tires off my car if I don't get something right now!!

Saturdays are the best cheat day for me, and the last two Saturdays, I've had some roadblocks to my actually being able to enjoy my cheat days (I was on the road one day, eating M&Ms to keep awake; and I was recovering from oral surgery last Saturday, eating ice cream). Today, I'm looking forward to lunch & dinner meals that are NOT on my plan, and maybe some ice cream. But after today's weigh-in, I'm looking forward to getting back on my eating plan tomorrow more!

In addition to weighing today, I measured. I last measured on January 3rd and measure no change in my neck, arm, or calf sizes. (I’m bummed about the arms.) However, I do have some really great improvements to report, in just the past 19 days:

1.5 inches lower on my waist measurement and 1.75 inches lower on my hips – that also calculates out to .4 improvement in my waist-to-hip ratio (i.e., I’ve gone from 0.85 to 0.81 – yippee! I’ve almost graduated from Avacado to Pear!).

I’m also .25 smaller on one thigh, so I'll assume .5 inches overall on both thighs. I did work out this morning, but it was a brisk 32-minute walk on the treadmill – I don’t know if that measurement would have been more positive had I measured right when I’d gotten out of bed this morning, but I’ll take 1/2 inch!

That's (drumroll) 3.75 inches in 3 weeks. Wow. Plus, my chest. I realized I haven’t been measuring my chest, but believe me – it’s smaller. That’s the first thing that goes when I lose weight! Of course, at 240 lbs, my chest was so large it got in the way of nearly everything I did! So I’m good with the idea of growing a little smaller and maybe having to buy new lingerie. I’ll deserve it. And one of the nice things about being middle-aged (I'm 47) is that my chest *should* remain a little on the large side just because of menopause.

I’m pleased with my progress and my experience on this eating plan. I hear people say, “I couldn’t do that all the time; I’d be hungry,” but they’re wrong about the hunger thing. The diet gets a little monotonous at times, but I shake it up with different meats, different vegetables, and switching out my carbs at breakfast sometimes. The AWESOME thing, with my limited schedule, is that it’s super-easy to pack lunches to take to work. It takes, like, 5 minutes, and I'm done. More time for my kids! And using the copy-forward function and the food groupings on Sparkpeople has made logging my food extremely easy, too. There's something to be said for monotony.

Since most people I work with know my coworker lost 170 pounds on this same eating plan, they’ve been inquiring when they see me microwave my container of vegetables/beans/protein, and I’ve had the opportunity to spread the word a bit! Many of them knew me at 240 pounds and have watched my struggles over the 13 years I’ve worked there, and they are very supportive. I hope they will applaud me when I reach my goal of 145 pounds; I know my kids are pleased to see me shrinking, and I'm just tickled. I bought new jeans in December, and I'll be really pleased to give them to charity once they're falling off me! Luckily, I've been hopeful and have held onto my smaller won't cost me a fortune to lose weight.

As I said above, today is my cheat day. I ate a breakfast that was on program, and I just had ½ grapefruit as a post-workout snack (that helps decrease insulin production later, according to Ferriss). I have plans to treat myself to a wicked lunch that includes lots of cheese and tortilla chips (but also lots of protein and vegetables) at Qdoba later on, and dinner might just be a huge salad with cheese (I miss dairy!) or some soup and half a sandwich at Panera. I am looking forward to some ice cream later. However, I've been doing a lot of reading about insulin, leptin and other hormones; and how excessive carbohydrates (even "heart healthy" whole-wheat bread) messes with them. Wow. That's all I can say. I'm floored by what I'm learning. That information, and my easy weight loss, suggest that despite a yummy break today, I won’t have any problems going back on my plan tomorrow.

My blogs are usually much better organized than this (I'm a writer by training, if not on the job now). I feel like my ideas were all over the place this morning. So, thanks for reading my disjointed thoughts!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love this post. Thank you for sharing.
    2645 days ago
    Laura, like you, I think there might be too many carbs on this program for me to lose weight if I follow it as written. I'm doing more research on the paleo thing. (c: It's good to see inches moving down pretty quickly (or so it seems to me) for you, even though you feel the weight number isn't moving fast enough. Maybe you are growing some muscle with your fat loss?

    Keep up the good work!
    2646 days ago
    Congratulations on your progress! I enjoyed hearing how things are going for you with the diet. I'm early into it and still trying to get into a routine. I don't quite have the lunch packing thing down. Keep up the good work!
    2646 days ago
  • BARB0927
    Congrats! I can relate to the great feeling of eating low carb & high protein. My high protein diet has produced success as well! What types of bean dishes are you eating? It feels great to finally see the scale move after a 6 month plateau. I wish I would have thought to take my measurements because I'm finally fitting back into what were my super tight size 4 jeans! I've been losing 2 pds a week and have kept it up despite not working out.
    Wishing you continued success. emoticon
    2647 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.