The Castaway Plan

I have always wanted to go to Positive Changes and get hypnotized to love eating healthy and exercising. I wanted to hypnotize away my love of yummy food. I felt like that is the only way I could ever stop eating the foods I love that are so bad for me (chocolate, pizza, ice cream, creamy pasta dishes, cheese, breadsticks – take your pick). But lately I have kind of been starting to change my thinking on my own. Unfortunately it hasn’t taken complete hold yet, but when I stop and think about it this is what comes to mind… To have the health and body that I want to have, I should eat as if I am stranded on an uninhabited island.

Now let me clarify – I don’t mean to starve myself into anorexia. But as I am trying to think of food as fuel versus my favorite hobby, it brings to mind the survivor type shows my family watches. Survivor, Survivorman, The Island, Dude You’re Screwed, Ultimate Alaska Survival, Naked & Afraid, Alone – to name a few. We LOVE our wilderness survival shows in our house. Often on these shows they struggle to find food, and without food they have no energy to build shelter, gather fire wood or walk themselves to civilization. I remember on one episode – I think it was Naked Castaway – the guy was finding small snails or limpets of some kind on a rock, eating them and saying how many calories were in each one (something ridiculously small like 15 calories) and how many he would have to eat to get enough nutrition. On the show Alone, the men were almost starving on rainy days they could not get out and find food. Catching a fish was the highlight of their stay and kept them strong for another day. One guy was busting his balls trying to catch a moose to eat. A moose! Like who would that fill up? Starving people, that is who. So when I want to graze out of boredom or gobble up some deliciousness for the fun of it, instead I need to think about how if I was on that island, and I’d had a banana for breakfast, a citrus & beet salad for lunch, and a chicken & shrimp skewer for dinner, that would totally be enough to keep me surviving and moving. I don’t have to eat three slices of pizza to survive. If I was stranded on an island there would be no pizza, I would be happy to find snails and a coconut. (yuck) But you get the drift. I don’t want to starve myself, and I don’t want to eat like I’m poor circa Hunger Games. I just want to retrain my body to become more realistic on what it actually needs to survive and function. I have let my food cravings dictate my life for far too long. Now my body needs to use fat stores for energy. And replacing junk food with nutrient rich foods makes me feel great after eating instead of tired and bloated. When I do “cheat” I need to eat smaller portions because I am not climbing trees, chopping logs, or hiking across glaciers to burn enough calories to justify eating like a lumber jack or a navy seal. I sit at a desk for most of the day. Instead of feeling deprived when I can’t have French Fries, and am getting sick of sweet potatoes and chicken, I need to remember if I was stranded on an island I would be ecstatic to have sweet potatoes or chicken, its more than most of those “survivors” get in a day. Give me some salmon, squash and an apple and I should be good. No one needs Ding Dongs or Cool Ranch Doritos to survive. I wonder how many chemicals are in that cool ranch powder flavoring anyway?

In America we have so many choices in food and drinks; we are used to it all at our finger tips. (And the commercials – damn you Olive Garden!) But if you really look next time you are at Grocery store, it is REDICULOUS! We have a hundred different kinds of breakfast cereal. We have three or more brand names of every sauce or condiment there is, plus an original and fat free version of each. We have thirteen different flavors of Ranch dressing. And the number of different flavors and brands of potato chips is out of this world. How many brands and styles of every stupid thing is there? Juices, Pop or Beer – don’t get me started. But if I was surviving in nature (where none of those foods exist because those are all contrived with chemicals in labs and factories) I would have basic choices of meats and vegetables and need to make my meals from those. I am learning to bring vegetables of all kinds into my daily menu and it feels good. The Whole30 program started me on this course and now it is my responsibility to keep going, to keep making good choices, and to retrain my brain myself, without being hypnotized.

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I Want A Donut!

I want a fucking donut! Not because I actually want to eat that sugary fried happiness, but because I am so tired of cooking. A toasted low-fat whole wheat waffle with peanut butter takes 2 minutes and is only 165 calories. A bowl of instant oatmeal only takes a minute, and my favorite Greek Yogurt is already in the fridge. Running to the store for a donut would take ten minutes roundtrip. But I can’t have any of those things. There is nothing quick and easy about this Whole30 eating plan. I’ve spent hours in the kitchen dicing vegetables, steaming, baking, chopping, peeling, dicing more vegetables. I’ve dirtied so many dishes, knives, choppers – my dirty dishes volume has tripled. And that is a chore I already hate with passion.

So am I happy today? Obviously not. After doing the rest of the dishes from last night, chopping, and then cooking the spinach frittata, I finally got to eat breakfast at 11am. I’ve spent more time on my feet in the kitchen the last week alone than I normally do in a month. I’m worn out and cranky. As soon as I get one meal’s mess cleaned up its time to make the next one. Make that two meals – a healthy meal for me and a normal meal the family will eat. I want someone else to cook and clean. I want it to be easier to eat healthy. Let’s get a drive-thru fast food place that is all Paleo and whole30 meals pre-prepped. Or a pizza place that delivers “Mom’s salad & Whole30 approved dressing” with the kids’ large pepperoni. Well, I only have thirteen and a half days left so I guess I can put up with being the kitchen bitch for two more weeks if it means I lose another five pounds. But that won’t stop me from complaining and daydreaming of donuts.

 

Meal planning is a Bitch

Continuation of Whole30 Journal…

Day 7

I was pleasantly surprised it took this long, but night 7 I am finally sick of my Whole30/Paleo meals and wish I could eat something else. A toasted English muffin sounds good. I think I have hit this “bad meal attitude” today because I am at the end of my premade meals. I have one serving of sweet potato hash left but I’ve already eaten that 3 times this week. I have one serving of Paleo Spaghetti left but I had that for lunch earlier today. It is Thursday night and I think that after cooking at home for six out of the last seven nights, it is just that night of the week where we would normally come home too tired to cook and order pizza. But since I cannot order pizza, or any other kind of shortcut, I am stuck with “nothing sounds good”. I made left over pork burritos for the boys and I snacked on imitation lobster and cooked carrots – just two random things I had in the fridge. It was not emotionally satisfying but it filled me up so I have nothing to complain about. I did 45 minutes on the treadmill.  I felt a little light headed at the end, the low amount of calories might be starting to get to me, or maybe its because I went off and left my water bottle on the counter at home, but after 24oz of ice water and some beef jerky, I feel good again.

Has any Whole30 alumni out there also experienced a bad day around day 7 or so? It probably doesn’t help that Thursdays are normally my most tired day of the week – after getting up early all week, working all week, the body is dragging and the laundry is stacking up; you just want the weekend to get here. Friday is always better because even though you are still tired, you get an energy/attitude boost because, duh, it’s Friday.

Day 8

I’m sick of water. I was already drinking a lot of water before I started this program but I would also have chocolate milk or cranberry juice or lemonade when I wanted it. Now, my only option is water. And green tea, which I have been drinking every morning. I’m not drinking Spark because it has sucralose in it. But at lunch time today I am craving a giant glass of cold milk. Don’t worry I didn’t cheat and still don’t plan to either. Instead, I planned out the next 7 days of meals so I have something to look forward to and can stop by the store for the 18,000 vegetables I need. Here’s what my next few dinners will look like:

  1. Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad (Pinterest)
  2. Mexican Tuna Boats (Whole30 Cookbook)
  3. Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad (Pinterest)
  4. Asian Zucchini Shrimp Stir-fry (Pinterest)
  5. Melissa’s Chicken Hash (Whole30 Cookbook)
  6. Salmon w/ side of Beet & Spinach Salad (salad from Shape Magazine)
  7. Grilled Chicken Breasts w/ Asparagus or Broccoli

Will my whole family eat these? No. My husband has been trying my meals but also still eating his regular food and bad snacks. My boys won’t try most of this except the shrimp and chicken. So I am still making two sets of meals all the time. This is where single people or people without kids have an advantage. For the rest of us I guess we just grin and bare it because I can’t use my family as an excuse for me to be fat anymore. Eventually it’ll rub off on them.

I may sound a little negative today but it’s all good still and the best news is I get to weigh in again tomorrow so hopefully that will give me another boost of excitement. If not, I know for sure that spending time with my friends will. Happy Friday everyone!

 

Obsessed with Progress

My journey on the Whole30 continues and yes, I am going to continue to bore you with every detail. Well, not all the details, I will try to never mention my poop – that is an old person thing and since I am 39 for only a few more months I am going to pretend that I am young.

It may just be me, but it seems like the only way I can succeed at the health and fitness thing is if I completely obsess about it. It has to be all or nothing. As much as I do love to half-ass things, eating right half of the time did not make me lose any weight. For the last six months I have actually been at my highest weight ever. (Tied with my final pregnancy weight on the two days I gave birth…TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING COMING OUT OF MY BODY. So right now I pretty much weigh the same as one and a half of me. Katy+1) Anyway, back to my addictive personality…if I cannot be addicted to Coke-Cola, chocolate and bacon cheese burgers than I have to be addicted to exercise and nutrition. Which may be one of the reasons it took me so long to commit to the healthy life style – I didn’t want to be that annoying un-fun friend that can’t go to lunch or have a drink, won’t share your nachos, or orders a dish but “with no cheese, no ham, hold the croutons, dressing on the side and substitute the white onions with red onions”, or whatever ridiculous requests that make waitresses roll their eyes and possibly spit in your food. I had it so ingrained in my brain that food is fun and fun is food. I think I liked being with other people who loved to eat as much as me because it made me feel more comfortable about myself. Little did I realize everyone else has already switched over to smart eating and I’m the only one still diving into Alfredo sauce with reckless abandon. My BFF always orders a salad and I never see her filling her food hole with countless chips or crackers. Sure she has a brownie every now and then but she also runs umpteen miles in a day so a moment on her lips never appears on her hips. Yep, it is definitely time for me to change and it is OK. As long as I can like myself without eating my emotions and all the delicious fattening foods, I’m sure others probably can too. (As long as they are not reading this blog right now, right?) By the way, the first two months I didn’t have soda I had no personality; I was a walking zombie.

Luckily I am not a zombie on the Whole30 though. I feel GREAT! Yesterday (day 5) I did 48 minutes of “hills” on the treadmill (until my butt cheeks literally hurt). And today (day 6) I weighed myself again. I have lost 5.5 pounds since Christmas, 4.5 since I started the Whole30 and the Advocare 10-day Cleanse on January 1st. That makes me so HAPPY! Just being able to see results quickly helps keep my morale up so I can stay committed to it. I am still sticking to my approved meals and even though I have only been eating around 800-900 calories a day (I know, that’s too low, it’s not on purpose) I have great energy. I don’t feel deprived, hungry or slothish. The only reason my calories are so low is just that I am only eating natural foods and with no carbs other than vegetables and fruits, and no dairy, there aren’t a lot of calories in the food I am eating. I am getting better nutrition than I ever have. So I am not worrying about that. I have enough fat reserves on this body to last a month on Naked And Afraid. Which brings me to my goal – my goal is lose 25 pounds by June. Twenty-five pounds lighter will not make me thin or give me a bikini body (which I haven’t had since I was 18), but it will make me healthy and strong, and fitting into my cute pants again.

I am hoping that once all my eating habits are changed, my body doesn’t crave the artificial things anymore and my weight is under control that I won’t need to obsess about it as much and can relax into good habits. I just won’t be there for a while yet. So, sorry friends, I will be the one ordering the “grass-fed buffalo, organic sweet potatoes, no butter, dressing on the side…” etc. from now on. And I love you and thank you for your support.

Whole30 – Day 4

I am feeling good! I made it through the work day without any slip ups. I can’t believe I am doing this! I know it is only day 4 but I NEVER stick to an actual diet plan. I’m the girl that loves to eat. Normally I am like “ah I’ll just eat this instead..” and cheat on every diet. But I am really trying to change the way both my mind and body think about food and so far it has not been too hard to stick to. The meal planning prep work is the key. I was also worried about having to make two meals for every meal but so far I have been making the husband and kids have the same meat dish as me, same vegetables they won’t eat, and then just make an additional side of noodles or potatoes for them that I avoid. There will be some nights they’ll have to order a pizza or something for themselves. So I am hoping I can keep this up because as silly as it may sound I am feeling pretty proud of myself and also feeling really good energy.

 Tonight I made the Spaghetti Squash with homemade marinara with ground bison. I never made my own spaghetti sauce before so I was skeptical, but it turned out really good. And with left-overs for lunches. It all took longer to prepare than I imagined and so I got to the Gym late; 10pm and every treadmill was taken. So I left and went back home. I know January will be busy at the Gym with all the fellow resolution makers, I just need to find that perfect time of day. It is twenty degrees outside so there is no freaking way I am walking outside, I’m a cold-wuss. Well, ta-ta for now.

 

Whole30 – Day 3

I LOST 3 POUNDS! I normally only weigh my self once a week when trying to lose weight but I just couldn’t help it, and I am glad I did because I needed a boost of encouragement to keep my morale up. I do feel like it is the kind of weight that will come back on as soon as I start eating grains again, but hopefully after a whole month of this healthy eating not only will I lose much more than 3 lbs, but hopefully the habits will be so ingrained that I don’t care as much about bread or cheese. That is the whole plan anyway right, to break the sugar cycle, the sugar cravings, and enjoy the flavor of real natural, non-artificial foods.  

The husband I made it to the gym again to use the treadmills, however when we got there, they were all full so we did the stationary bikes for 20 minutes instead. That is not a long workout but much better than nothing and it got us sweating and breathing hard.

 Tonight was the first time I ate out since starting. I know we are supposed to avoid eating out on the program, but my kids needed some food they would like and I knew this restaurant had a salmon dish I could order that would qualify. And I did have the grilled salmon salad and it was tasty and filling. The only downfall was sitting next to my husband who had the chicken parmesan that looked so delicious, my mouth was watering. BUT I did not even have a bite. I did not have the sesame crackers that came on side of salad and I only used half my the vinaigrette dressing knowing that it of course had some sugar in it. I did good.  

I have to go back to work tomorrow, which will be a new test. I have my lunch ready and will have breakfast at home so I will only have to avoid snacking on wrong items but I have carrots, apples and almonds to take in case I get hungry in between. Wish me luck.

WHOLE30 – Day 2

Day 2:  I was a good girl and followed the rules again today. But due to the long lead time on food prep I didn’t eat lunch until 2pm, something I will have to work on. The prep time seemed a little overwhelming but now that I have lunches ready for the next five days I feel much better. I still need to get my breakfasts pre-made but other than eggs, I am not sure what else to have. Time to get some more ideas. I have not worked out yet today but still might go to the Gym tonight since its open 24-hours.

This morning I was missing toasted English muffins and the rest of the day I was missing cheese and chocolate ice cream. I do think the dairy is going to be hardest thing for me to give up and will be the first thing I want back when my thirty days are over.

Today I ate:

breakfast:       banana & AdvoCare Fiber

lunch:              sweet potato hash with ground turkey and red pepper

dinner:            grilled steak, shrimp & roasted Brussel sprouts

It may not look like enough fruits and vegetables but I was full all day except right before lunch because it took too long.

I had a total of 785 calories today, again myfitnesspal says that is too little, but everything I ate was very nutritious, and how can I rack up a lot of calories without any breads or dairy? Eating additional fruit will put me over my sugar limit.

 

Bye Bye My Sweet, Sweet Soda

If you know me in real life, or follow me on Twitter, you know I struggle with my love of (addiction to) Coke-Cola and Pepsi. Regular full strength sugar, no Diet for me. I love the taste. I love the pick-me-up. I am not only addicted to the caffeine but also the sugar and fizz. And now that I have tried the new Pepsi version made with real sugar instead of corn syrup – I know I am actually addicted to the High Fructose Corn Syrup, because the real sugar just does not taste as good to me. I love the syrupy sweetness of HFCS. But I do know and understand how bad it is for me and have been trying to quit drinking it. All that extra sugar ruining my diet. Carbonation stretching my stomach. Chemicals doing God knows what to my Liver & Kidneys. I have seen Coke clean battery acid off my husband’s truck battery. I know this cannot possibly be good for me in any way and have read of the addictiveness of sugar. Heck, I live it. Then when my mother recently had a scare with her kidneys, I really wanted to cut it out of my life. At first I was just limiting myself to one a day. Or only when I eat out. But some days I would slip and have three. I know it has to go completely. Even one soda a day puts me over my sugar consumption and calorie goals and I do not lose any weight. I’ve even read that the carbonation is bad for my asthma. I have tried quitting a number of times. I usually only make it 2-4 days tops before I go back to that sweet deliciousness that makes me happy and keeps the headaches away.

This time, I actually feel like it is going to be different. I think I had my “ah-ha” moment finally. We were at my 9-year-old son’s baseball game last Thursday. There were two families sitting next to us that had a bunch of little kids walking around & playing in front of us. This tiny little boy (about the size of mine when they were 6 months old, but I had tall babies) was maybe 2 years old (because he could walk & talk) is standing in front of us with a Mountain Dew can tipped up, all the way back just guzzling it as fast he could. It looked SO WRONG! It looked as wrong to me as if he’d had a cigarette in his mouth. I was thinking how proud I was that we never let our kids have soda and even today at 9 & 12, they don’t drink it at all unless they might try orange soda at a birthday party where they aren’t offering any non-pop alternatives. I was so glad we had made that healthy decision for our children. They’ve never wanted pop. They drink water or fruit juice or Lemonade, which do also have sugar but not all the other chemical ingredients. My youngest had a taste of my Coke one time and thought it was disgusting. I am so glad. There are plenty of junk foods they love that can give them obesity, at least I don’t have to worry about that one right. So as I am thinking this, then a little girl from the other family finished off a can of Pepsi and asks her mom for another one. Thankfully the Mom tells her No, that it is too close to bedtime. This little girl was a tiny pale skinny thing, maybe 4 or 5 years old; cute as could be. But the sight of these small children drinking these sodas shocked me. I don’t know why, I know that other people let their kids drink pop. Not a bid deal. Everyone’s choice to parent how they see fit. But they were so young and in that moment it looked like a bid deal to me and it made me think. Why am I putting something in my body, that I absolutely don’t want my children putting into theirs? Do I care so little about myself that it makes it ok for me to put junk in my body and ruin my own health? Don’t I want the best for myself, same as I want for my kids? How can I tell them its wrong if I do it myself?

And so there you have it. I have now made it through day 5 of soda-free living. Coke replaced with green tea, cranberry juice and more water than I’ve ever drank in my life. I even passed the hard test of eating out in a restaurant and not ordering a Coke. That was the worst part so far. I really wanted one. But I didn’t do it. The discouraging thing is that I have not lost an ounce of weight yet and still feel really bloated. And I feel happier when I have a sugary Coke-Cola then when I don’t. But I have to believe that if I keep at it forever, eventually my body will be cleansed, I won’t have the cravings, my moods won’t be affected anymore, and will eventually be able to lose weight again with proper diet and exercise. Now I must repeat this to myself every day to keep up the good fight.

Wish me luck.

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