Holding steady at 135…and Fighting the Baked Goods Craving

Back, Fiend!

Well, everyone- after holding strong for a good, solid month and having lost a grand total of five pounds, it sometimes gets discouraging. I would like to see more off by now, and I have kept to 20 grams of carbs. I think I have become so bored with salads, but then when I have one, I devour it with great zeal. I want to move to OWL, but I am not sure how I should use that extra 5 grams of carbohydrate. Really? What can I have for 5 that’s even worth the chance of slowing what little progress I have already made?

Tonight I had an amazing omelet which included avocado inside it. I had not tried that before, and it turned out amazingly light and fluffy. To carry on the Mexican flair I topped it with salsa and cheese. It was simply delicious with bacon, as well.

Afterward, I took the advice of another low-carb blogger and made a heavy whipped cream/cocoa/DaVinci vanilla syrup mousse, of sorts. Then I froze it, and turned it into a very nice milkshake. I think the carb count on it had to be around zero-2. I have been hungry today, and I haven’t really been since this started. I wonder if that is a good sign that my body is actually at a good balance where I can effectively lose weight. My ketone level was at moderate this evening, which is more than usual! I have tomorrow off, and I am going to do the  Just Dance 3 game, and maybe some walking at the park.

Every commercial on TV tonight seems to mock me. There’s Dominoes Parmesan bread bites ads, and the bakery goodies being prepared by a cupcake shop  owner who is happy she chose some business credit card, blah, blah, and all I can focus on is this delicious looking cornucopia of flour, sugar, and chocolate. But, I can easily refocus as soon as the visual cue is gone. I guess my next goal is to get to 130 lbs, then switch to OWL.

That’s all in my low-carb world for today. I hope everyone is losing weight, and feeling great!

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Hello Breakfast My Old Friend. Weight LOSS UPdate!

Yes, it’s true, for all of you just dying to know….will Lee lose weight? Well, I finally did! I started this Induction journey on approximately January 10, and through various failures, I finally became victorious. Induction is now working, and I am at my lowest weight this morning, the lowest weight I have had in about a year and a-half. Here it is, drumroll, please. At my Wedding Day weight of….

135 lbs !  

This means I am down a total of 6 pounds from my starting point. I think this all would have gone faster had I not overeaten the protein under some misguided notion that you can eat all you want on Atkin’s. I forgot the part about being actually hungry. With protein, you can eat less and still feel quite full. So as I have learned to manage portions, (four slices of bacon works, why eat 6??) and realize that two eggs are filling, I don’t need three, etc., I believe the wieght will continue to come off. How long to stay in induction? I think I will give induction another week. If I can make it down to 130, I will then go to phase 2. Ultimately I would like to be at 125 again. That’s quite fine. 120 would be some kind of crazy dream, but I can go for it.

The other gratifying feeling I have today is realizing this is my 30th post in just under one month, and I have finally found other bloggers to read something other than my low-carb blogs! Mark Kaplowitz is a very funny and professional writer out of New York that does a great series, “Remember When…?” and he liked my “Stupid Things” blog, which is very fulfilling, because my life is not only about what I eat every day, and planning a low-carb meal. I enjoy writing, and humor, and art, and photography. Nobody has been reading my other posts, and I was starting to feel like they weren’t any good.

Today I had two eggs and bacon, scant avocado (just wasn’t in the mood after all) and bacon. I had an Atkin’s approved for Induction bar first, and coffee. I will be more than fine until my lunchtime veggie fest. Speaking of which, I think today I am going to change up the usual salad, and make it somewhat more interesting.

Wish me luck!

The Mona Lisa of Breakfasts...

Day 13. Progress, and great forgotten truths!

This morning, I weighed, and I am at 137.6, at first thing in the morning, prior to breakfast and a lot of water. That’s great, I always weigh in the morning. So, the Ketostix are fairly consistently staying at ‘small’. I have seen less than that, but it seems to be averaging to small, and that’s better than none, for sure. I am going to call this day 10 in reality, because I don’t believe I was really getting it right the first few days I got back on induction, but that’s ok. I can already see more lines and shadows in my tummy area, and pants are already fitting better. I am feeling more energetic, but when I do sleep, I sleep harder, better.

Ok, so my beginning weight less than 2 weeks ago was at 140-141. This is certainly no record weight loss so far. Most people would never notice three pounds, but it is significant to me because I haven’t seen 137 in over a year. I have been a constant 140, and it felt like it was too often lately that I would see 142, or even 143. So, yes, I am moving in the right direction.

Food: last night was my husband’s and my date night. We went to a great restaurant nearby in St Helens, and I ordered a wonderful spinach salad. It was covered in these tender, delicious steak medalions. There were succulent little bacon pieces on the salad, and I asked for some tomato. They sprinkled on mozzarella cheese, because I wasn’t in the Bleu cheese mood, which is normally what they put on this salad. I skipped the fresh beet crinkles more because I don’t like beets, but also because I figured ‘sugar’ beets would have too much sugar content.  I was almost satisfied with this salad, but still felt a bit hungry. I snuck a little piece of round, delicious cheese out of my purse. It’s the kind that comes in the net bag, and each piece is wrapped in plastic and red wax. (blue bell??) Anyway, after my husband laughed good-naturedly about my purse stash and pulling it out at the dinner  table, I was feeling pretty great. I was very overdue for dinner, and had been quite hungry, but not surprisingly so, considering how little I had to eat yesterday. If I was not on Atkin’s , with its high protein count, and low carbs, I would have been having a low-blood sugar attack if I had to wait for dinner. I know, because this happens to me regularly if I begin a lifestyle of one- sugar- rush- to- the- next- eating, as I am prone to do anytime I stop eating right!

Before I discovered Atkins, breakfast would be something like cereal. Not a sin, but not containing enough protein to keep me satisfied for long. By lunch, I’d be starving. Lunch would usually be a sandwich, a few chips, and inevitably, a candy bar or 4-6 cookies. I ate until I felt sluggish sometimes, so of course, by mid-afternoon, I would be hungry again. If I was being ‘good’, I’d grab a sugar-laden yogurt. More likely it would be more cookies, or chocolate. I’d still be hungry by dinner, though. Too much spaghetti or pizza, cheesesticks, or steak and baked potato, loaded would be a typical dinner. Or, I might have chosen fish and chips with 2-3 beers if we went out. The worst part about this vicious cycle is how it made me feel. If I was too late in getting my next meal, I could have a full-blown low blood sugar crash. I would feel confused, begin sweating, get extremely light-headed, feel tingly all over and be engulfed with the overall need to eat right that very minute, and felt like I could and would hurt anyone who got in the way. I’ve actually had to rescue myself or have others come to my rescue with a quick banana and juice, or crackers, cheese, and milk. It would take about twenty minutes to feel normal again. That’s no way to live.

Sometimes, I’d eat ‘right’ of course, but before Atkin’s, I never understood the problem with starchy foods. I knew candy bars were not a good idea, but it had not occurred to me that potatoes, rice, and bread/rolls could be a problem. I, too was raised with the 80’s mentality that dry bagels and pasta, prepared ‘low fat’, or plain popcorn and celery sticks were the path to righteousness. While I learned to stay away from fried foods, that was never a problem for me, simply because I just don’t like most fried foods.

We have a junk drawer at home. It’s where all the kid’s Easter, Christmas, and Halloween  candy goes. We have a pantry right now that contains those cheap boxed donuts, white and milk chocolate drizzled popcorn, toaster pastries, and all the makings for pancakes or waffles. We have ice cream in the freezer, at least two different flavors. Prior to starting back onto induction, these ‘foods’ would have been nearly impossible for me to resist. Now that I am not eating those things , I have stopped craving them. I am not sure why this occurs, but maybe the body ‘wants’ what it is ‘used’ to. Or perhaps it is the constant roller coaster of rising and falling blood sugar levels that causes us to crave the ‘fix’. It really is an addiction when you’re living the sugar-laden life.

I met a lady at work the other night, and we had a wonderful conversation, once I got a word in edgewise. She was speaking very quickly, she was almost hyper. She was asking me for advice on skin care products, finding nothing to be helping her acne. I told her I suffered with it well into my 30’s. She asked if I felt I ‘grew’ out of it. I thought about it for awhile and realized that it was in my mid- thirties when I first tried Atkin’s! I remembered one of the great benefits whas how the pimples vanished, the redness in certain areas of my face went away, my scalp condition all but disappeared. I will maybe always have these latent issues, but they definitely become much worse when I am not limiting my sugars.

All of this information seemed like a revelation to my customer. I also told her about how limiting sugar greatly affected my moods and energy. I was stabilized, no longer going from one sugar rush high, down to a sugar crash low. Then my customer was in awe. “Oh my gosh! I just was crashed on the couch and didn’t want to go anywhere about an hour ago, but I got up and ate a bunch of brownies, and …” I followed up on her thoughts. “And, I see a lot of myself in you, because look how pumped up you are now. Then, later, you will probably crash again.” She recognized how she was using sugar as her personal speed, and comfort food. I could see it in her! She was way too amped to have not either just had a triple shot espresso or a whole lot of sugar. I hope she will discover the truth for herself. She indicated that her kids were starting to follow in her poor eating habits, and to gain weight. She felt the only reason she was not overweight was because of the huge role that caffeine and nicotine are also contributing in her overall lifestyle.

This whole process of waking up to how addicting sugar and sweets can be has changed my life. As another blogger so aptly put it, carbs are ‘pervasive, seductive, and addicting’. It’s a difficult path to stay forever vigilant – always winning the fight. The birthday cake often wins, especially when it’s your own children’s, and maybe you even made it! So this is why this is the third serious induction phase I have  undergone.  I had been, for the past few months, limiting myself with sweets and eating low-carb meals, but I was still overdoing it to the point of seeing an almost ten pound gain over this time last year, the last time I succeeded in Atkin’s.

Temptations: there’s always something like grandma’s famous pumpkin – chocolate chip cookies, your own amazing brownies that everyone wants you to bake, etc.,  and it gets really hard to not give in and partake! We have tools, though. We learn low-carb methods of baking goodies, or we find something to do our time other than to eat when we have no hunger. We choose a piece of cheese over cheese-nips. We make a low-carb cheesecake but don’t live to eat it.

So, even if the scale is not showing an eight or ten pound loss for me yet, I am confident that it will. I am already winning. I have converted my body chemistry over to a fat-burning machine. I am reaping the benefits of not irritating my nerve cells with the stimulant effects of sugar- thus healthier skin. I am not spending afternoons wading through low-blood sugar fogs, or rattling on at 165 mph monologues while simultaneously zipping around the house working on three different projects. I have leveled out. This is a benefits- side to Atkins that I had forgotten, and am glad to be re-discovering.

P.S. I have not been able to wear them for months, but my favorite jeans fit wonderfully today!!

Day 12 – Atkin’s Induction.

My clothes fit better! I have still not really seen much of a change on the scale, but my pants are not too tight anymore. At least, not my regular pants. I still have several pairs I bought about ten pounds ago, that I haven’t been able to wear for awhile, and I am still not able to . However, I have to say that for the first 2-3 days, I wasn’t exactly following the rules. I was easing into it but I was not full-on induction yet. So, really. I am not gong to get upset or give up if I haven’t lost weight yet, I will just keep going and continue to make it happen.  Tonight I continued my focus on variety. I had an all-organic, nitrate/nitrite free chicken sausage with fresh zucchini, cauliflower, and yellow squash. I am satisfied. Dessert was sugar free jello and whipped cream. (2g)

Also today, I had one Atkin’s bar ( 2 g), one whey protein drink with water and 1/2 and 1/2.(4g). I had 2 cups of coffee with splenda and cream. ( 3 g each?) Quiche breakfast this morning was about 3 grams. Up to 17 grams now. Then there were whatever carbs may have been in the veggies I ate tonight, which could not have been more than 1.5 cups. So, I believe I am at 20 or at most 22 grams for the day. I will Ketostix test tonight and again tomorrow morning. It’s been a good day. I look forward to a time when I don’t have to be so focused on eating; but as long as I am still getting back into the swing of it all, that’s the way it will be. 

 

Atkin’s Induction- day 5.

The first couple of days were not easy, because I had forgotten some of the basic tenets of Atkin’s. First of all, during induction, you need to be careful how much coffee and Splenda you consume. You have to remember that just because it’s called “pea and bacon” salad at the local grocery store deli, doesn’t mean it’s sugar free, and that when you pick the sugar free flavor at the frozen yogurt store- it may still have 19g of carbohydrate per 4 oz serving. I picked at my few bites to keep my family from looking at me as though I must have some sort of terminal disease. They know I love frozen yogurt, with all the goodies on top. But that’s what has gotten me into this mess, and I had to correct it. This is the third serious foray into induction. Atkins is the only lifestyle that ultimately works for me. When I consume sugar- whether it be in candy, beer, wine, cake, pie, or COOKIES, the result is always the same. My rear end expands and my thighs become ponderous. My back gets rolls, my face plumps up, you get the idea- I end up settling at about 20 pounds overweight. Portion control doesn’t work for me. I have a strong self will. I have given up smoking, and I can give up carbs, too. Just don’t ask me to eat 1/2 piece of cake, or one scoop of ice cream. Once the sugar addiction is triggered, I have a very hard time slowing it, much less stopping it. Suffice to say, at the yogurt shop, I envisioned myself picking up the marshmallow goo squeeze bottle and just tilting my head back and getting my fill. It seemed appealing, momentarily. As it was, I had already watched my family greatly enjoying their pepperoni pizza with extra stuffed crust. I had the chef ( Brandon, was it?) prepare me a ‘supreme’ sandwich- as a salad. They were quite accommodating in that request, but it wasn’t quite satisfying. That evening my husband very nicely took me to the grocery store and I got some snacks I could actually eat without guilt- though some are intended for after these first two weeks, or beyond if I haven’t lost at least 8 ( just a random number) pounds by then. I have been reading a lot of blog posts about induction- the challenges, the fears, the disbelief. I have studied all the science and tested the theory. I know it works. I also know how easy it is to become complacent and slip back into the old ways and gain the lost weight back. I only have about fifteen or twenty pounds at most that need to go. The first eight or ten will probably be easy. At least, they were the last time I did this. I have added exercise to the mix this time, however. The way my body works, and maybe others as well, is that the weight loss wil tend to happen in retroactive spurts. So, not really surprisingly, I have not really seen a weight loss reflected on the scale as of yet.

My stats: Female, 43. Caucasion/Native American/French. Weight 140 .Goal : 125. Height 5’4″. Small/medium frame.

Health: Great. No known issues.

Today: coffee with cream and splenda- 2 cups. One Atkin’s bar. Two eggs and bacon. One mozzarella stick. No, not breaded and fried!

Lunch: Leftover tuna salad, a half cup I guess, to which I added a liberal amount of olive oil, on advice of some of the Atkin’s forum posters. Ok, that was a snack, here’s my actual lunch: grilled chicken with green beans and broccoli. It was divine. It was a late lunch. I was busy playing Just Dance 3 with the hubby and kids on the Wii. I made a lame attempt at Zumba 2 also, but was out of steam. So, I was actually not too hungry when dinner rolled around, because it was then that I had that second cup of coffee, or was it the third? I am not sure. Maybe it was a PEPSI ONE, sweetened with Splenda, which I like a lot, but understand I must limit. Finally, dinner was grilled salmon, which I topped with homemade guacamole, and broccoli. Finally, I had my five carb Breyer’s ice cream bar, and I hope that’s ok, because I didn’t have much in the way of carbs elsewise. 3 for each cup of coffee, 5 for the veggies, and five for my treat. True, the fake sugar was not a vegetable source, but I don’t plan to eat the ice cream every day. Tomorrow I plan to start the day with an Atkin’s shake, since apparently those are ok, while the bars are not during this phase. Guess the bars have more carbs.

I know that this plan works, and I know it is hard to stick to the rules at times, but I take it as a personal mission to help educate people that white bread and milk are not the foundations of nutrition. French fries and burgers and shakes are tasty, but for people like me, all that starch based ‘food’ is like a wicked drug that leaves you only wanting more. Like a performance engine, your body requires quality fuel. For those athletes who have very little body fat, carbs ARE a good energy source before major exertion, but even athletes need adequate protein to build and sustain muscle mass. Knowledge is power, but doing can be difficult. I have my favorite staple foods that keep me going when I feel carb deprived. Substitutes. Guacamole is one. Making my own low carb cheesecake is another. Now I know that I have to wait on some of the sugar free candies and treats until the Next phase of Atkins. I am nearly halfway through the first stage. I will keep everyone posted as to how I am making it work. I still need to refine my carb intake on a couple of things, and pay attention to details to keep from making time costing mistakes. Example: read your labels FIRST. If it doesn’t have a label, like the innocent sounding ‘pea and bacon salad’ at the grocery store deli, it probably has corn syrup and/or sugar in it.

One last note for now. Your family, friends, and waiters will not necessarily know or understand what you are doing when you begin. They might think you are crazy when they see you order bacon and eggs with hollandaise sauce and yet skip fruit at the Shari’s breakfast on Saturday morning. They might question your cholesterol levels and heart health saavy. If you meekly proffer up some refutations, do your reading first and find out that it is not the fat that leads to obesity unless it just so happens to be combined with white flour, starches, and sugars. Think of how early man ate, before modern agriculture. Hunter/gatherers ate meat, greens as they were available, and in season, some fruit. Perhaps they dried some, but mostly it was a seasonal delight, most likely not enough to cause obesity amongst people whose daily survival depended on hunting and the favor of the gods. Next post, I will be sharing my favorite induction recipes as I remember or find them. I would love some if anyone wants to share, also. Good luck! Take it day by day. I found a great blog here, LCC . I think it is low carb connections. Atkins.com is great, and I have the new book on its way to me via Amazon now.