As most curvy girls can relate, this isn't my first attempt to lose weight. Countless Weight Watchers sessions, reading up on trendy diets, fasting, raw diet, 3-day diet, yoga, you name it, has led to temporary results. So what makes this time different? It is about pain management. The more weight I lose and the stronger my abs/core get, the better off my back will be. As I sit here, I am in some pain as the Naproxin sets in. My goal is to stop taking pain pills and never have surgery. Besides, I'm back to a weight I'm comfortable in and look good.
Last week, I reached my second goal on this journey. My initial goal was 10lbs and that came off pretty fast in about a month. Now I'm at 20lbs lost which took about another two months. Of course, this is a journey, and I'm about half way to my pie-in-the-sky goal. You know, the goal you dream about but never think could be a reality. But after the past few months, I have started to allow myself to do a tiny, microscopic dance of joy at the thought that it could happen. Wouldn't it be great to be at my comfortable weight again, I thought back in January when I started going to the gym. Well, here I am and I'm going for more!
So how is it that I lost 20lbs since January? I read everything and stopped listening to everyone! I found my motivation after the doctor's visit and didn't look back. I must emphasize that I would not have been able to do this without the drive. It took YEARS for me to get my brain to click and put my wish into motion. The head game is the first obstacle and it's tough! The next step was to take the best ideas from everything I've ever heard/read/learned/done and do my own thing.
Since people have started to notice my weight loss and are asking what I've done, I realized that the answer is more involved than just saying Weight Watchers, Atkins, or 3-day diet. So, I decided to write about it. I'm not trying to brag about it. In fact, I've been sitting on this post for over a week, wondering if I have the courage to put myself out there like this. I realize that I'm not alone in this struggle and that I have had a breakthrough—a life-changing, life-affirming breakthrough. Take from this what you like and leave the rest. Do YOUR thing (not mine necessarily).
I started off by assessing my food intake and deciding what was going in and particularly, what wasn't. I decided that dairy made me feel awful and carbs were too addicting so I cut them out. This may or may not work for everyone but it did for me and I feel good. Next I decided that I like lightly steamed veggies and I also liked salads . . . my salads, . . . the way I make them. So I went to Trader Joe's and found pre-packaged, chopped veggies that were easy to use in stir frys and salads. I decided that on weekends, I could still enjoy my breakfasts that I make despite my ban on dairy. I was going to have my eggs and eat them too. And yes, this includes the whole wheat tortilla. I also decided that I would stop eating "diet" food. No more Lean Cusines, no more splenda, no more food with more than 5 ingredients I can't pronounce. I cut out the processed food and decided to eat whole food. Apples, oranges, almonds, chicken on the bone (anything but the pink slime), corn on the cob, edamame, 75% cacao chocolate, etc. I also cut out Diet Coke which was already on my list many years ago but I had to reaffirm it because Diet Coke is so addicting. I may still enjoy it but will not buy the 2 liters or have it in the house. If I want soda I grab Hansen's made from sugar cane or Jarritos with that awesome Mexican sugar. I'm just not having soda every day. One can once a week, maybe.
So here is the breakdown with the various components to my new eating habit.The thing to note is that these are not rules. They are guidelines I keep in mind. If I stray once in a while and have a couple of those delicious Kings Hawaiian fluffy breads from heaven, no biggie!
|Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. So good for you!|
Another great way to stay hydrated is to drink tea. Hot or cold, noon or night, tea in any variety is good for you. Just avoid the sugar. You can do without it (including the aspartame).
|Let's get physical! So 80s at the gym.|
|Hiking in Griffith Park|
FOOD, DELICIOUS TEMPTING FOOD
|Best dressing ever|
Other salad toppings I enjoy include red beans, garbanzos, and I often top them off with avocado slices. Another salad option is a scoop of tuna salad on top of a chunky tomato salsa and mixed greens. Top the tuna with some Tabasco or Tapatio hot sauce and yum! On a side note, I also buy a tub of chopped salsa that I add to almost everything. It's a great way to add more veggies to omelets, chicken, quesadillas, etc.
For dinner, I might make a stir fry with chicken or shrimp using veggies such as carrots, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and the coleslaw mix. First, I fry up chopped onions, minced garlic and carrots in extra virgin olive oil. Then I add the brussell sprouts and any other veggie that take longer to cook. Last is the cabbage. The key to making a good stir fry is the spices and sauces. I use rice vinegar and oyster sauce. Once I pour the steamy mix onto my plate, I squeeze a line of Sriracha on the side of the plate for dipping. Delicious!
DO NOT EAT LIST
What I avoid: dairy, processed foods, greasy meats, and carbs. I may have some of each now and then but removing dairy from my diet has helped a lot. I didn't think it would but I can feel the difference. Dairy always made me sluggish and bloated. Not so much anymore. I also decided not to eat processed food including all that diet fare. First of all, it taste terrible. Secondly, it tastes terrible! Who knows what chemicals and unnatural ingredients are in there. I avoid aspartame. Instead I opt for full fat butter, fizzy regular Jarritos (I can't believe they came out with a diet version. Just wrong!), and the turbinado cane sugar for my coffee. Soda is hard to give up but I will have some once in a blue moon. Again, I'm not restricting myself at all. If I want it, I have it. At the same time, I think, do I want to eat/drink this, or do I want smaller hips? Once you start to see your body change, that answer comes easy.
I'm not a big follower of supplements but if you have your daily vitamins, do your thing. One thing I do recommend is buying a big can of psyllium husk. It's a ground up seed that you can add to almost anything you're eating. It doesn't taste like anything and is a great way to get fiber in your diet. Just don't add it to cereal. There you can taste the crunch. Not so good. I add it to my daughter's home-made smoothies and quesadillas and she doesn't notice it one bit.
ON THE WEEKEND
Ah, the weekend. A time to relax and enjoy the good things in life. Well, my ideal weekend involves my delicous omelets. Yes, I am avoiding dairy but I can't let go of this! I make all kids of omelets topped with anything from nopalitos (cactus), soyrizo, migas (fried tortilla chips--not store bought), to bell peppers, red/orange peppers, chunky salsa, avocado, sriracha, you name it. Add a side of pinto beans, a whole wheat tortilla and some good coffee and I'm set.
Extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado. I basically fry everything in EVOO to my heart's content. I know the Greeks were on to something so I'll do my thing until the research catches up. In fact, I did read somewhere that EVOO does not make you fat or clog your arteries. Plus, it's more expensive than regular frying oils that you don't go too crazy with it either. I also like to eat almonds. Whole Foods in Pasadena (which I hardly get around to) had these amazing roasted almonds coated in either Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar or their Liquid Aminos, can't recall. Either way, I was in heaven! They were so delicious. I have to go back for more.
My favorite treat is chocolate. I have become a chocolate snob opting for dark chocolate containing 75-85% cacao. My favorite is the one with sea salt. I eat at will. For my daughter, I make smoothies. I buy the frozen fruit bags, mainly strawberries, pour 2 cups of them in the blender, add about 1 cup of non-fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup of fat free milk, a few teaspoons of turbinado sugar, a tablespoon of psyllium husk and blend. I serve her one glass and put the rest in the freezer for a cool after-school treat. My kid loves it!
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM
As my favorite Weight Watchers leader, Rosa in Burbank, would say "Strive for 5! Strive for 5!" Don't worry about the big picture. Strive for your first 5lbs then strive for another 5. Small steady steps will get you to your goal. Don't get defeated. Find your motivation and your inspiration. The rest will follow.
So there you have it. I hope I didn't miss anything and if I did, fire away! Ask me anything.