Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 - Ugh

It's been over a year since I posted. I ended 2013 at my heaviest weight ever.  I felt horrible and was mortified by my double chin, thick neck, and enormous stomach.  I am happy to report that over the past 7 weeks, I have lost 31 lbs!

Give me a moment while I do a victory dance.  31 lbs whoop whoop!

What am I doing?  The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.  It works.  I eat lots of food, am not hungry, have energy, am alert, sleep better, feel better, have no back pain, and the pounds keep sliding off me.

The diet isn't easy.  There is a lot of prep and a lot of food restrictions.  But the idea of metabolic cross-training works.  It's something I had never heard of before.

I still have a long way to go with 100 lbs left to lose, but I can do it.

Cover art

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Year is This?

I am embarrassed that my "Fit in a Year" blog is two years old, and I am still not fit.  Well maybe a little fit.  But still fat.  Make no mistake.  I considered starting a new blog so that I could conveniently forget that this is my third (if only) attempt to lose 75 pounds or so in a year.  But the notion of creating a new blog sounded tiring, so here I am.  Day 732.

Last year was the year of the back.  I learned the source of my 2010 and 2011 chronic pain and had it fixed.  There are now two screws and a rod in my lumbar spine.  I am partially titanium. More importantly, I am largely pain free.  Still recovering, so I do have some exercise limitations.

Still munching on a few leftover holiday sweets, so today isn't a diet day.  Although I think I've stayed in my calorie range.  My target is 1600-1700 per day.  My diet will be mostly primal/paleo with one cheat meal/week.  Exercise goals are the same as usual, with an increase in swimming and return to strength training.  I walk almost daily (don't always get in a walk when out of town), and will keep that up in addition to 3-4 swims per week, 2-3 strength training sessions, 2-3 cardio whatever (hitting balls on the court, elliptical, plyometrics).

Will also be tracking my calories for at least the next 3 weeks, beginning tomorrow.  Maybe after the initial 3 weeks, I'll try tracking the first week of every month just to stay focused.  If I start to back slide, then I'll increase.

Here's to no more pain and happy new year!

My New Back

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Auto Pilot

I am finally in auto pilot.  No more crazy hunger, no more starchy cravings.  Things are good on the diet front. 

As far as my body is concerned though, things are not so good.  Had a CT scan and a follow up with the surgeon.  He says I need an L3/L4 fusion.  The pain I have been struggling with for the past year is caused from a cyst that developed because the L3/L4 disc has degenerated to the point of bone on bone joint contact.  According to him, remove the cyst, open up the vertebral level, fuse, and 3-4 months later, I am good to go.  Really?  I am terrified. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Slowly Losing

I lost 1.2 lbs last week.  That's it.  I'm a little disappointed.  I have been working hard, am nearly always hungry, and am doing as much as I can without my back hurting to the point where I am relegated to the couch.  My only splurge has been the vegan flourless peanut butter cookies, of which I have eaten two every day for the last week.  It would be easy to blame my slow weight loss on the cookies, but that wouldn't be fair to the cookies.  They have about 10 net carbs per cookie and 140 calories.  I have accounted for the calories in my daily log. 

I did go over my 1700 calories allotment 3 or 4 days last week, but according to, I still came in under what I should have eaten given my activity level.  But I suspect their calorie burn per exercise calculations are generous.

I am hungry.  Especially after breakfast/before lunch. Even if I eat a small snack, I am starving for lunch.  Afternoon isn't too bad.  I am often hungry before bed.  Sometimes I eat a little something, sometimes I don't.  I try not too, but if hunger is keeping me awake, I take in about 50 calories and am able to sleep. 

My goal for this week is to cut back on sweeteners...maple syrup, honey, coconut palm sugar.  I will limit myself to one sweetened product per day, be that plain yogurt with honey, a peanut butter cookie sweetened with maple and coconut sugar, or ice cream.  Just one sweet moderately low carb treat per day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Portion Control and Primal Peanut Butter Cookies

Today I made Vegan Peanut Butter cookies from Elana's pantry.  I modified the recipe slightly by replacing the agave nectar with maple syrup and coconut palm sugar.  Agave nectar is very sweet, so the exchange was not one for one.  For those of you who think agave nectar is good for you, check this out.

I also replaced the two tablespoons of palm shortening with one tablespoon of coconut oil.  The results?  Amazingly delicious. 
    • 1 cup blanched almond flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
    • ¼ cup grade B maple syrup
    • 4 tablespoons organic coconut palm sugar
    • 1 tablespoons melted coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a small bowl combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a medium bowl mix together peanut butter, sweeeteners, oil and vanilla with a hand blender
  3. Blend dry ingredients into wet with hand blender until well combined
  4. Roll 1 tablespoon of dought into a ball and place onto a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough. 
  5. Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes until golden around the edges
  6. Serve

Each peanut butter cookie is 154 calories.  High calorie but not high sugar, so they provide energy but no insulin spikes.

Recording my food in a daily diary has led me to focus closely on portion control.  I find that if I make something and store the leftovers in one container, I am more likely to have a few extra bites.  But if I portion it out into single servings, I don't overeat.  I eat the designated serving and then that't it.  On Saturday, I cooked ground beef for tacos.  It was 3/4 of a pound of beef.  After cooking it, I formed three piles in the skillet and served myself one.   The other two I stored in separate containers in the fridge. Then yesterday, I reheated one portion for a two taco meal.  When I made honey vanilla custard for company (with a little leftover), I poured the hot custard into individual ramkins.  Each ramkin is a serving.  No more no less. 
This is something I have not done before, and I think it's helpful.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Panda Express

I've been super hungry for lunch this week.  Today I added 200 calories to my breakfast in an attempt to stave off hunger a little longer.  It helped, but not so much that I would do it again.  I think I'd rather have a 100 calorie snack at 10:30 or 11:00 and then lunch.  I save 100 calories that way and still calm my hunger

Today I wanted something different for lunch.  Something that was not in my fridge or kitchen.  I had to run a couple of errands, so while I was out, I went to Panda Express.  But for the record, I researched before I left the house.  I looked up nutrition information for Subway, Taco Bell, and Panda Express.  PE was the only low-carb, low-calorie option. 

At Panda Express, I ordered steam veggies as my side, green bean chicken, and kabori beef.  Total calories?  455.  That's right folks.  455 cals and roughly 45 grams of carbohydrates.  This included half of a fortune cookie.  It was a nice break from my usual fare.  I was satisfied.  Not full, not tired from carb overload.

Some diet and nutrition books recommend eating less than 50 net carbs per day for weight loss.  I find that number difficult to consistently acheive.  Other books recommend staying below 100 carbs for weight loss, a number that although still quite low, is easier to acheive if abstaining from sugar, bread, pasta, etc. 

I've been tracking my calories, loosely, for the past couple of weeks.  But I have decided, after reading The Amen Solution, to track my food for 10 weeks.  I've never tracked food for longer than 5 weeks.  Sheesh.  Ten weeks is a long time.  

Here's my food diary for today.  I haven't had dinner or my afternoon snack, but I have already planned out what I will eat.  I do this regularly and rarely veer off plan.  I burned about 600 calories today in over an hour of walking and swimming...not at the same time.  My aim is to stay under 1700 calories per day.  I went a little over today (88 cals), but I don't think it will make much of an impact.  Yesterday I was under 1500.  With my exercise level, 1600-1800 is about right. 

And for the record, my carb count today was less than calculated by, as indicated in the below diary.  My NET carb total was about 115.  A little high, but I did have that oatmeal at breakfast.  Also, I did not eat all the (sweet) sauce on my Panda Express entrees.
Food Diary
P.S.  My body did NOT like Panda Express.  Won't do that again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crises Averted

Today I wanted pasta for lunch.  Or thai noodles.  Or mexican take out.  I stood in my kitchen with a package of high fiber spaghetti noodles in my hand and an open jar of marinara in my fridge, as well as some Italian chicken sausage, but after reading that an 8th of the package contained 35 carbs and only 3 grams of fiber, I put it back in the bottom of the drawer and ate leftover chicken stew with cauliflower mash.  I didn't particularly enjoy lunch, but I averted a carbohydrate crises and feel stronger for it.  To satisfy my "I didn't eat anything I really liked" pity party, I made some hot cocoa with unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, and about a teaspoon of xylitol.  I'm sipping it now and am satisfied. 

It turns out that the happy feeling I get from eating bread, potatoes, pasta, pizza, and such is not all in my head.  It's physiological.  Eating simple carbs releases dopamine to the brain, as well as a host of other things, all of which create a pleasant feeling.  No wonder so many over-worked, stressed out, lonely, sad, broke Americans are overweight.  We eat to feel good.  And then we do it again.  And again.  And again. 

I am learning to accept that food should not make me happy.  That the once in a while treat while out with friends/family is all well and good, but day to day, my goal should be to eat for my health.  That doesn't mean food can't taste good.  It does mean that I should always ask myself what food choices are best for my body.

Bread Makes you Fat

Random Image - Thought it was Funny