Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dun Dun DUN!

It's been a few days since my last post, and here I find myself doing yet another steak day. Oops.

The days in between the last one and now have been fine — I've indulged a little bit here and there, but mostly, the weight has been stabilized slightly above my final diet phase weight. I have five days left on maintenance before the two load days (that is, eating whatever I want) I have prior to beginning my next diet phase (excited!), and I hope to make the most of those days staying on track, eating healthfully and in reasonable portions. I think I can handle it.

On Friday I'll be visiting my practitioner to see what is in store for me in the next diet phase. It could be a little different from my first round — the length of time I do it, the amounts of food. I'm interested to see what I'll be prescribed!

The cause of today's steak day was a lovely dinner at a friend's house yesterday. I did have two small slices of pizza for lunch, but I don't think that's what did it. At Katie's I had dinner and a quite indulgent dessert that involved several different types of cupcakes. I probably ate too much bread and too much dessert. Wait, no. I KNOW I did.

And you know what? This morning when I woke up, I felt hungover and it wasn't because of any alcohol — there wasn't any! I believe that I had a food hangover, if you can imagine. Honestly, fasting today feels kind of good, but I will enjoy the big steak (and apple) at the end of the day.

Overall, I still feel very positive about my experience and also feel that I am learning a lot about myself and my relationship to food. If all goes well, I'll be doing the diet phase for a total of six, maybe seven times, and it seems to me that I will have plenty of practice establishing a new set of habits, once and for all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sure enough! Steak Day Part 2

Yup, just as I suspected. I was up three pounds from yesterday. I could sense that as soon as I ate that stupid Chinese take-out. Oh, and the few pretzels and cheese dip I indulged in after I posted last night. It is like my mom says, as long as we stick with foods that are actually good for us, we do OK. It's when we start adding crap here and there that gives us trouble. That's so true, at least for now. I need to focus more and more on healthy, whole foods and much less on foods with little or no nutritional value. It's not always the most fun, I grant you that, but it's what most effective and what ultimately makes me the most happy. I tend to get a little sad when I eat junk food.

So, as per Steak Day regulations, I just finished up my dinner of a lovely chuck eye steak, just over a pound's worth of meat. I also had an apple. And that's what I get to eat today, along with all the water I can force myself to drink.

See, wouldn't it be so much easier to just eat reasonably every day so that I don't have to have a Steak Day? Yes, I believe so.

I'm learning, I'm learning.

It's all good.

NEXT: More on this whole hcG thingy, from my perspective, plus a Dr. Oz video!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Food Diary 2/23

Things have been going well. Yesterday I was on the road all day driving to and from Potsdam, NY to deliver thirty-five pieces of art to the gallery at the SUNY college there. All told, it was a 12-hour trip and I did pack some healthy snacks, and two water bottles. I drank both water bottles and ate an apple and some raisins, but we didn't stop to eat a meal until about 3:30pm. I ended up ordering a big old jalapeno cheeseburger and some garlic mashed potatoes, which I savored and enjoyed, fully expecting to have to do a steak day today.

Surprise! Instead I dropped a half pound. Got lucky. :)

I don't know about today. That Chinese for lunch will probably get me with its sodium, but no matter.

Also, can you tell I love steak? I am surprised I am not all steaked out by now, but I do really enjoy it. The one I made tonight was particularly good; the olive oil really improves the flavor (I also put minced garlic on it, too, before I throw it in the pan.


Here's what I'm working on today.

Raisin Bran with whole milk and a sprinkle of sugar

Chinese take-out: General Tsao's bean curd (about a cup) and 1/2 c. or so of white rice, and one eggroll

(Not the best choice, I know. I ended up eating in a real hurry in order to get to work on time, too! Ugh.)

handful of raisins
half a sliced cucumber

8oz. chuck eye steak
8oz. brussels sprouts
about 1.5T olive oil


Monday, February 21, 2011

Food Diary 2/21

This is my last day on phase 1 maintenance. I showed up on the scale by about 1/2 pound from yesterday, but I am still under the "over 2 pound" limit for doing a steak day. ;)

Water throughout the day (though not as much as I'd have liked)

1oz. gruyère cheese
Chobani pomegranate Greek yogurt
diet Pepsi (I know, weird — I don't really care for coffee or tea in the morning!)

8oz chuck eye steak
a shitload of roasted brussels sprouts (still working on portion control, but whatever — it's veggies!)
about 2T olive oil
diet pepsi

about 12 medium shrimp
a big salad: veggies with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, parnesan asiago dressing, and black olives
diet pepsi

about 2T white chocolate peanut butter (less of everything than regular PB!)
another 1T of aformentioned peanut butter
1/4 c. of raisins

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food stuffs

I'm not counting calories while on maintenance, but I thought it might be a good idea to take note of what I eat each day to see what works and what potentially doesn't. Obviously truffles and donuts are no good at this point. ;)

Sunday, 2/20

Water throughout the day, and one or two cans of diet Pepsi.

One Empire apple with about 2T. peanut butter

One top round steak, about 6oz
8-10 asparagus spears, tossed in a swig of olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and roasted

A handful of roasted almonds

Shrimp scramble made with four eggs, 15 smallish shrimp, 1oz. pepper jack cheese, handful of cherry tomatoes, two green onions and various aromatics, also about 1T olive oil, plus a dollop of sour cream, salsa, cilantro, and hot sauce
1/3 an avocado

about 2T white chocolate peanut butter
a handful of raisins

Saturday, 2/19

Note: I was teaching until 3pm and didn't have much time to eat anything until dinner.

Water throughout the day, and one or two cans of diet Pepsi.

A sandwich baggie full of green grapes

Shrimp scramble made with four eggs, 12 smallish shrimp, 2oz. pepper jack cheese, handful of cherry tomatoes, two green onions and various aromatics, also about 1T olive oil, plus more sour cream than was necessary (adjusted the next day), salsa, and cilantro
1/2 a can of black olives

An Empire apple with a spoonful of peanut butter

Friday, 2/18

Note: A did a steak day today, after showing just about a two pound gain.

Water throughout the day

One HUGE steak (a pound and a half!)
One large tomato

Thursday, 2/17

Water throughout the day, and one or two cans of diet Pepsi.

About 8 medium plain shrimp, 1oz gruyère cheese, and a small bowl full of fresh strawberries

Open chicken souvlaki (salad, dressing, and chicken only — no pita)

Two homemade peanut butter truffles
One glazed donut stick (ugh, that thing was huge, too!)

8oz. strip steak
Brussels sprouts, tossed in olive oil and sea salt and pepper, roasted

The Concept of Maintenance

I'm back!

So, I wanted to at least say a bit more about the hcG Protocol. Here is a link where I found some useful information beyond what my practitioner gave me. Yes, the website is annoying but the info is there if you filter out the ads and other crap.

Basically, you're in diet phase for prescribed amount of time; my first one was 31 days. During that time, you eat about 500 calories a day and also take hcG drops, which purportedly allow your body to produce an extra 1000 to 1500 calories to make up for such a low actual intake. Some people inject the drops; I do it orally three times a day. You eat no starches, sugar, or oils, little to no milk, no eggs. You can eat a variety of protein sources – meats with visible fat trimmed, most seafood. Lots of veggies, and some fruit. Oh, and I got to have two melba toasts with my lunch and dinner. How could I forget? No breakfast except coffee or tea.

I know, it sounds weird and slightly sketchy. But, it works very effectively. For my mom, it was great because she never really experienced hunger or cravings at all. It was harder for me, but obviously not impossible. Some days I skated through, while others it was all I could do not to do something. My partner was a wonderful help keeping me focused on why I was doing what I was doing. So, obviously different people have different experiences, but everyone as far as I know, gets amazing results.

My practitioner said that I could expect to lose 36 pounds in the first 31 days. I didn't quite make it with my 27, but I also had two days in there where I totally went off course. If I hadn't done that I'd probably have dropped at least another five pounds, I think.

My mom is a superstar. I honestly have not seen her so beautiful and so happy in a really long time. Maybe never, in fact. She's lost fifty pounds since late September and hopes to lose a little bit more. She just loves the diet and hates being on maintenance – but that is an important element of the program. It's what, for me at least, makes this so doable. Yes, the diet for a month is hard, but it's only a month. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm now in my fourth day of the first phase of maintenance, which involves eating what you want as long as it's not sugar or starch. Then, starting on day 6 for another ten days, I'll be in phase two, which allows the slow and limited introduction of sugar and starch. All the while, you're still trying to eat reasonably. If you gain more than two pounds above your diet phase end weight, you take a "steak day". You eat nothing all day but drink as much liquid as you can (preferably water). Then, for dinner you have the biggest steak you can find and either an apple or a tomato. (I know, more wackiness! But, I had to do a steak day on day two and lo and behold, it works.)

Beyond maintenance phase, you get two days of eating anything you want; then you go back into diet phase. Each time you start a new diet phase, you get re-evaluated by your practitioner who tells you how long to stay on it and how much you'll expect to lose. You do this ad infinitum until you're done losing the weight you want to lose.

So that's it in a nutshell. It sounds wacky, I was skeptical at first. All I know is that I finally got to the point where I just had enough and I think I really needed to see a fast result in order to really want to stick with this effort to finally lose the weight I need to lose. I'm eating so much more healthfully now AND I am really learning how to gauge my portions, which has always been a big problem for me.

It's interesting, in fact. I am finding being on maintenance right now a little scary. It feels like I am flying without a safety net. The first day on it, in fact, I did go a little... well, I didn't go crazy, but I was much more liberal than I should have been. Like, I ate some of those handmade truffles given to me by a friend (why not? they are small!) and I did have quite a large donut at the art opening I attended that night (what's the big deal? I am on maintenance!) paired with three reasonable meals equaled a two pound gain the next day. Did I ever learn my lesson! (Not to mention that I wasn't even supposed to have any sugar or starch yet, duh!)

The ensuing steak day worked, and yesterday I had a fine day. Today feels good, too. I'm calming down a bit now and realize that hey, silly! It is GOOD that you are just a few ounces above the final weigh of the diet phase! You are not supposed to lose weight right now. Your body needs to adjust.

It's all pretty interesting stuff. And it's working for me!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hello, again

Here I am! Back from the dead! Well, not really... though I do enjoy all things zombie, I am not one myself. ;)

For the past month, I've been following the hcG Protocol which was gifted to me by my mom – you go to a practitioner and get your instructions and your special hcG drops and everything – and have dropped 27 pounds.

This, of course, was after having reverted back to just under 350 pounds. Drastic measures were needed, and after seeing how much success my mom had (50 pounds in a few months, and she felt amazing), I decided to take her up on the offer. Yes, it is extreme. Yes, I know it's a lot of weight to lose in so little time. But after this lifetime of struggle and being so big, I realized, holy crap I have to do something drastically different. I need to get rid of this extra weight before it really wreaks havoc on my health. Up until now I've been lucky and I am perfectly healthy except for some vitamin deficiencies common to where I live – D and B12.

So anyway, I just finished up my first diet cycle and today started my two weeks of maintenance. Then, I'll start again and hopefully lose another 25-30 pounds, and so on.

I'm doing well and will write more soon. How about you?