Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 1: Franken-Diet-- Removing Weight Watchers

After a run of unsuccessful attempts, the most recent of which shall hinge on an inefficiency by Weight Watchers, I've decided to go Atkins until the Weight Watchers issue is resolved.

First, a complaint: In generating a new diet system with a points-formula that is too complex for a simple card-stock points determination device, Weight Watchers made an electronic calculator for the purpose. That is wonderful. But when I purchased a kit that was supposed to contain that calculator over a month ago, it contained instead an IOU coupon. Weight Watchers apparently had not "anticipated the demand" for the calculator that is essential for not only determining the points values in food, but also determining the daily points allowance that each member would need to know. So here I am, a little over a month down the line with no calculator. And now I'm told that it will be well into April before the new stock is released. What company in their right mind doesn't anticipate high sales at the beginning of a new sales campaign, AND during so-called "free registration" periods???

Now, savvy businesspeople may think this is a good idea. It forces new members to keep coming back to get their points adjusted every week. At the membership cost, of course. But the dependence annoys me, therefore I will boycott until my complaint is addressed by the company which I've contacted. And why? Other than the general annoyance, I don't have months to get underway. The first couple weeks or even month weren't bad, because my daily points didn't change. (But the diet fizzled when I saw food at the house that wasn't in the book, that I really wanted to eat and couldn't calculate. I could have estimated, but I shouldn't have had to.) :)

So here I am, starting the Atkins Induction diet. I'm staying under 20 carbs per day, eating lean meats, fish, eggs and leafy greens, perhaps some broccoli, maybe some onions or peppers. Perhaps some beef. I'm cutting out most real sugar and most caffeine, I'm takin' vitamins and drinking a lot of water. I'm wearing a pedometer and a WW points ticker converted into a carbs ticker. (The only item I'm not boycotting!)

WEIGHT: Somewhere between 280 and 284
ON FRANKEN-DIET: Well, it's still Franken-Diet, because I'm altering what I allow myself on Atkins (no heavy fatty meats and not much variety in vegetables, allowing more cheese...). But we'll see where it goes from here!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 20: A New Starting Day!

I've decided that my new weekly starting day will be Monday. I had some trouble with the middle of the week beginning. So here I go again, again! This should help quite a bit with my scheduling, too. If I'm having trouble getting exercise in, I can catch up on the weekend. I'll also save up points this way. Working at a school marginalizes the time I get to eat during the week. Splurge points, whatever amount I use, are easier to spend on a weekend of accomplishment.

Sunday will be the new weigh-in day, though, so I'll have to be careful. After a week of splurgy-blechs, I am back up to 280. This will be infinitely easier when I get my points calculator, hopefully this week. I'm also going to cut points-- whether the calculator tells me to or not-- because when I'm being strict, I don't use many daily points.

Feeling great outside! Susan visits this weekend. She may get suckered into a hike at the Falls!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 16: The New Week's Off to a "Meh" Start

After napping yesterday for almost 4 hours (felt exhausted after work) and waking up to nothing to eat, I ate some Chef Boyardee. A horrible choice! I haven't even calculated those points yet. I slept through Ryan and Mell's grill out, or I coulda had Ryan make me some grilled chicken for today. But I'll be making food tonight so that I can eat intelligently the rest of my week.

I didn't meet my goal for today of 260 lb. I don't know if I've made much progress toward it, but next week will tell. Hoping for good weather from here on out. Maybe I'll get out and do things!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 15: Calorie Bomb!

Chinese food joined evil forces with McDonald's to ensure Franken-Diet's momentary demise. And by "momentary," I mean all of yesterday. I blew out all of my "cushion" points and didn't earn any more activity points to undo the damage. But it was a rough day, so I made it a horrible day via eating. Luckily, Tuesday was the last day in my week-to-week diet rotation.

I get to start with a clean slate today. Considering Goal 1 (by 2/28/11) was 275 and I fell short of that, and Goal 2 is 260 (by tomorrow), I have decided to skip my weigh-in this week. I know it's bad and that'll just discourage me. I'll give myself another week to purge the food-nasties from my mind and body, and try to see if I meet either goal.

Melody found a picture of me from a few years back. I look absolutely skinny then compared to now. That disturbs me since I hadn't realized how quickly I'd piled on pounds up toward the 300 mark. Granted, I was about 240 or 250 at that time, but it was enough of a jolt to wake me up to the real problem! I gained the most visually obvious weight in just a few short years. I really piled it on. And until I get down to 240 or 250, I'm just struggling down to my early post-college weight. Not even the lifelong over-weight. Very scary.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 13: Franken-Diet!

The tracking part of my diet experiment is wonderful! I've managed full ketosis with little discomfort on lean chicken and fish, vegetables-- including avocado! I've limited my intake of calories via WWP+ point tracking and my intake of caffeine by not buying any. I've only drunk one or two "real" sodas since Day 1, and that was in the absence of acceptable diet options.

When I don't manage to keep within my carb limit for the day, I at least stay within my Points limit. I've jogged around my ketosis level a few times and still continued to show weight loss. I'm a bit nervous going into this week's weigh-in, mainly because of the Melody dress-shopping binge. But I've got a great long-term goal in mind. I think I cited March 17 as my Goal 1 date for 261 lb. Don't think I'll drop 15 lb by then, but I may... You know about miraculous spurts?

I have exercised in a consistent manner: four days this week, three of which earned over 10 activity points for WW.

And... I feel physically better! I'm sleeping well, except for the steady occasions of Atkins' diuretic effect, and feeling stronger. It's weird to mention, but I squatted down to get something out of the back of a low cabinet and stood up without falling over or hurting myself, or sitting in the floor to reach. I also noticed that my flexibility improved by the fourth day of exercise. The virtual instructor said "grab your toes or reach as far as you can" and I reached as far as he said instead of settling for the ankle or lower leg

PROGRESS PERCEPTIONS: Noticeable improvement in flexibility, strength and balance. Better, more restful sleep. Better mood?!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 12: Franken-Furnace

The Franken-Diet's Atkins side is raging against me today thanks to a fast-food binge yesterday. I could have eaten healthier, but not Atkins-ier, probably, given the mall food court location and all its temptations. I did NOT, however, have the mint chocolate ice cream that beckoned. So it coulda been worse. Although my body is not happy with this one day, I'm having no trouble slipping into healthy behaviors today, unlike previously, when one day destroyed my resolve.

I did walk all day almost everywhere from the moment we made it to Lexington. (Melody was wedding shopping for her dress-- decided!-- and her bridesmaids' dresses. Last week I found my wedding dress and bought it. This week I found all three of my bridesmaids' dresses. I'm about 3-0 ahead of Melody now. If only I could get "the ring" and an official announcement sent out...)

HOW I FEEL: Cravings are really down, despite yesterday. I just realized that I feel tons better, with a sense of well-being about my ongoing physical improvement. I was able to leave food on my plate, separate one meal into a meal and a snack for later, and eat only one of the two small fast-food sandwiches I bought for dinner. The self-imposed behavior modification all started with the right mind-set. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 10: Ketosis and the Smell of Progress

I've been well under my WWPointsPlus goal number all week. It's not that hard, considering it's such a high starting number! I should get to recalculate later this month. The Wii Fit Plus says I'm 276.5 lb as of yesterday evening, fully clothed and after dinner (these things make a difference, no???) and I'm inclined to believe the Wii. It's a good confidence boost. I expect spurts of weight loss because of ketosis for another couple weeks.

I did the ketosis test yesterday. My level of ketosis is "High"-- somewhere between the two highest levels on the ketone-chart. This means that I'm mobilizing fat instead of burning carbs for energy. Jogging that new balance around every few days is going to be good to jumpstart weight loss again and again.

The down low on ketosis is that ketones are released when fat is mobilized for energy. Ketones exit the body through your breath and bladder, mainly. So you get a weird, not-unpleasant breath and you "pee strong." Drinking tons of water helps with the latter.

The other weird thing is that I'm loving the plain foods that I'm eating. It's all just un-messed-around-with in a good way. Cheese and soy sauce and spices are the only thing I've eaten that aren't in basically their natural form. No carbs equals no over-processed foods. I did eat a couple cookies for my enjoyment, but it wasn't a true craving. Simplifying my food and focusing on lean protein has literally made me feel better about my progress and my body.

Exercise is the other thing I've been doing daily for the past three days. I've made it a priority and that seems to be working out. That, too, has made me feel immeasurably better since it acts as part and parcel of the overall improvement process. I want to look better in clothes... and costumes! :-D I want to feel better. I may even want to jog or run or take up a martial arts class. I want to hike for miles without falling over out of breath! Cumberland Falls and summertime, here I come!

For the first time in my life, and with many goals in place, I feel totally committed to getting my health under control. I feel completely committed to this year. 2011 will be a very positive, eventful year!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 9: Going strong!

I'll say it again: working benefits my diet. I like this temporary sub-teaching job for many reasons, and this is a good reason! I can't eat junk if I don't bring junk. I can't eat high-fat cafeteria food if I don't go there. I can't eat during classes. I can only eat before school and during lunch, which keeps me from snacking. I also focus on mostly protein during the morning and day and don't see carbs until I make dinner, which saves me WWP+ points as well. I'm having trouble eating enough points to meet my daily goal, but I'm not hungry.

I do have some back pain associated with my almost two-hour daily car trip and perhaps some kidney pain from not drinking enough water (pitfall of Atkins diet). But I'm working on that with exercise and pacing about the room, as well as upping my intake of water.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 8: Franken-Diet PROGRESS!

I am down to 278 lb. That's a 2.9 lb loss from my last posting, and a 7.9 lb loss from Day 1 of Franken-Diet with Weight Watchers Points Plus. So far, with several mess-ups and a whole lot of chicken, I've managed to lose weight.

I feel content and un-hungry with few real cravings. I've even remembered to take my vitamins! Sooo, preliminary studies are showing that the Franken-Diet's system of checks and balances are working even better with WWP+, which allows me more points (or I've finally buckled down to the reality check of focus). That, and I've eaten an avocado a day for almost every day this past week and a half... It hurts in the points category AND the carbs category, but I save them up daily for this purpose.

Weekly "Boring" Food Staples:
1. Chicken (baked or grilled) or Grilled Salmon (rarely beef)
2. Lettuce for dressing-less salad
3. Cheddar or Parmesan cheese for dressing-less salad.
4. Eggs (microwaved, occasionally with bacon or a bit of salsa added) with Chili Powder
5. Avocado (tossed or mashed with onion powder, cilantro and a bit of lime juice, eaten with dressing-less salad or mixed in chunks with Salmon)

Considering that my blog-starting weight was 291, and my overall highest weight was 300, I'm about at the 10% weight loss point that lowers my risk of most of my major health risks. Feels good. I think I'll keep going!

Next major goal is 261, I think.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 6: WWPointsPlus/Atkins Franken-Diet

There. Now that my titling system is totally upended, I'll give the briefest of updates.

1. I went to session one of Weight Watchers Points Plus and got my books from that. Out with the old, in with the new. The new WWP+ system is very similar to the Atkins Diet concept. Both take into account the body's digestive processes related to the TYPE of food eaten, instead of calories alone. The main difference is that Atkins forbids fruit and some vegetables while WWP+ makes most of these items "free." So, I've integrated the more accurately designed WWP+ routine into my Franken-Diet.

2. Franken-Diet functions fairly well. I weigh in tomorrow, and have kept within one threshold or the other as my rules dictate. When I can't keep my carbs down due to a special day, I'm able to let the Points soak up the overage. And overall, I think I'm eating less than I would have otherwise. The combination of tracking, eating lean meats and pure fats, eating vegetables, and avoiding almost all sugar and excess caffeine leaves me feeling healthier and more alert. I've even remembered to take my vitamins a few times, thanks to the WWP+ tracking booklet.

3. Unless I've lost no weight whatsoever, the Franken-Diet can continue as it is now. I still have to pick up a special calculator from a WW meeting to recalculate my permitted points as needed, but I may still have hit ketosis, regardless.

1. Ryan and Melody's wedding 9/10/11 (I be a bridesmaid in green. Makes me nervous!)
2. Ren-Faire in June, 2011 (I am indeed one of those people, sorta.)
3. Halloween! (Yes, I'm also one of those!)
4. An as-yet-undisclosed event in November.