Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week 8: The Carb Trap 2

As I mentioned in my last post, I've fallen into the carb trap this week. And as I predicted, I DID gain back all the water weight from week 7. And as I assumed, I've taken a morale hit from said weight gain. AND as I know myself, this will not be the last time I mess up a diet. I mean a lifelong eating adjustment. But I'm trying diligently to climb back up in the saddle and ride off on the dusty, lonely trail of dieting in the household of a skinny hubby.

Weight last week: 271.8 (ish)
Weight this week: 279.8

GAIN of 8 lb. 

I feel like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man today. That is all! :)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Carb Trap

I was wondering why it usually takes me a month to get in the habit of consistently staying in ketosis. My first week of Atkins was perfect... no major screw ups and a moderate testing for ketones. This week, I've had three off days (but only the three evening meals across those three days) and I'm completely negative for ketones. I shudder to think what the scale will tell me. I've probably loaded back on all that crazy water weight from last week. 

So, as usual, I'm back at square one today. I hate this pattern, especially since Atkins is stupidly easy to follow, if a little challenging in the variety department. I may not get back to last week's weight by the Tuesday weigh in, but I'm going to try hard to eliminate carbs. I don't really think it's much of a let down, considering I've struggled with staying on every eating plan I've adopted. But this is the one diet where I know I feel better. I know I can succeed. I've proven success. And I just let my willpower whistle and look away as I sabotage it.

I've told Brandon I'm not having dinner with him (when I get off work and he's on lunch) unless we choose a place I can eat Atkins-friendly. Not many choices in this town, but better than NO choices. 

Since this isn't a diet as much as a lifelong-lifestyle-changing-eating-plan, I know it takes an adjustment. And if I can make it past the two weeks of Induction, it's smooth sailing from there on out (barring the inevitable, occasional plateau). So here I go again on my own. Going down the only road I've ever known... :D



Monday, January 16, 2012

PROGRESS: Week 7, Hello Ketosis!

The Franken-Diet is what I call the Frankenstein's monster of diet parts and pieces that work for me. 

Now I'm in the low carb stage of the Franken-Diet. Ketones are the byproducts released as the body burns primarily fat instead of carbohydrates. The ketones are purged through urine, saliva, and probably through every other gland. Testing high for ketosis is bad if you're not trying to make it happen through dieting. But I'm trying...

I'm testing Moderate for ketosis, finally. For the first week or two of low-carb eating (via Atkins Induction), I purge water weight rapidly, due to the diuretic effect of ketosis. After that, weight loss slows to a normal, "healthy" rate as I increase my carb intake by measured increments. This initial stage of the diet fools the body into thinking it's starving (no/low carbs= starving) even though you're cramming food into it (mostly protein). As a results, hunger is suppressed. Blood sugar is incredibly stable. My stomach is nice and calm. The food is rich and satisfying. The cravings and food addictions subside. And your body is forced to mobilize fat because you're not giving it any carbs!

Go to the official Atkins site for more information: http://www.atkins.com/Program/Phase-1.aspx . 

Weight 2 Weeks Ago: 277.2
Weight 1 Week Ago: 280 (From the "Crap, I didn't lose weight because I didn't focus" files!)
Weight This Week: 271.8

8.2 Pounds Lost!

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting a wonder diet. The science behind low-carb is sound. I also eat more naturally on this diet than any other. (Seriously-- God may have made sugar, but He only facilitated the production of Twinkies with that creation...) This is only a "diet" if you have no intention of changing your habits for the long term. The Lifetime Maintenance on Atkins is full of vegetables, occasional fruit, and some dairy. And regardless of the avoidable minor inconveniences, I'm going on how I feel, which is awesome!

Good Things That I Ate:

1. Breakfast: Eggs with Bacon Pieces. A bit of Mexene Chili Powder (my favorite egg-topper!)
2. Lunch: Lean Hamburgers with Mayo and Ketchup
3. Alternate Lunch: Chicken Salad (made with canned chicken breast, dill relish and mayo)
4. Dinners: 20 Carb Avocado Salad, Plain Salad with Ranch (bleh!), 20 Carb Taco Salad, McD's side salad with 2 Chicken Grill Patties and Ranch, 

20 Carb Taco Salad
Easy Recipe: Prepare taco meat using lean ground beef (or what-have-you) and serve with fresh spinach, chopped onions, sour cream, a drizzle of taco sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!

20 Carb Guacamole Salad
Easy Recipe 2: Prepare guacamole by mashing a ripe avocado and either 1) adding lime juice, cilantro, onion powder and garlic powder OR 2) using half a pack of prepared guac seasoning (has more carbs). Then serve over spinach with sour cream (didn't like this in the salad), bacon pieces, Parmesan cheese and some pepperoni slices.

Low Carb Snacks:

1. Mac's BBQ Pork Rinds (like no other! *sigh*)
2. Portioned beef jerky
3. Cream cheese (sometimes WITH the pork rinds. Don't knock it til you tried it!)
4. An occasional spoonful of peanut butter (I think I had one all week)

Here Are Some Things I Did:

1. Saved almost all of my allotted carbohydrates (20g/day) for dinner. I will continue to do this because if I veer off the all-protein path during the day, I'll screw up at night. It feels like splurging when I wait! And for each of these "splurge" dinners, I ate a SALAD!

2. Measured and counted everything with carbs! Grippo's Powder is now on my list of no-nos. It has 4 carbs in just one teaspoon. So I made a couple mistakes early in the week. 

3. I had an avocado a day for over half the week. 15 carbs, well worth the scrounging and saving of carb grams. Oh, and something about Omega something-something good for me...

4. Did at least one full day of burnout sessions with the exercise bands at work. I did a different routine between each call until I was a tired little puddle. I spent about 5 hours (minus call time) playing with those rubber bands, not realizing how sore I would be today! I shall call it Chair-Fu Calisthenics and Rubber-Band Boxing!

And I'm trying to do more of the same for this upcoming week! I just realized I can make my baked salmon and avocado recipe! Mmmmmmm....



Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 6: The Punchline

This week, four overall statements can be made.

1. Between restaurant food, visiting, snacking, and stress, I only ate Power Foods for about a third of each day.

2. My featured dieter Donna did pretty dang good this week, with only a couple oopsies along the way. :)

3. I did not lose weight this week.

4. I'm feeling the wooziness of some blood-glucose issue, which I intend to remedy with Atkins Induction.

I grocery shopped yesterday, tired of the slim pickins at the house that were anything but slimming. And as I shopped, I gravitated toward Atkins-friendly food. I know I said I'd transition over to a pseudo-Atkins diet in time, but I'm trying it a month or so earlier than I planned. The Franken-Diet twist is that I'll have lean beef, chicken, fish, and eggs with pure fats (lean meat instead of ANY meat I want). I bought some salad things and avocados for veggies, and some low-carb snacks (pork rinds and jerky) which I already portioned out into serving sizes. I'll have eggs for breakfast, snacks at work, a hamburger or chicken salad for lunch, a salad with avocado and pepperoni for dinner. I used my buddy Ryan's grill-n-freeze method for fresh tasting hamburgers without having to make 'em each day. I'm counting portions and carbs, and only eating when I'm hungry. I'll be keeping my daily carb count at 20g or below and testing for ketosis at the end of the week. Ketosis has been my Achilles' heel. If I can get in, I'll be fine. I'm sure I was just screwin' up the last time I tried this version of the Franken-Diet.

The real challenge of any low-carb diet is the first two weeks, when the rules are more stringent. Other than very limited food options (a plus for lazy me!), you've got the carb and caffeine withdrawal. And you've got the higher cost of so-called "real" food that is eaten in larger quantities.

So this week's diet felt more like a bad joke. The punchline? Feeling sick AND disgusted with myself are surefire ways to make me go low-carb. :) (Oh, come on. The punchline to a bad joke isn't SUPPOSED to be funny!)


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

FEATURED: Donna's Path

Meet my coworker Donna. She's a real sweetheart who gave her permission for me to do an ongoing feature on her in Tamara Henson's Health Overhaul. I have permission to display, GASP, her REAL WEIGHT!!! I'll give updates on her progress periodically.

You see, I've suckered her into getting healthy with me, following my very simple plan. Now, I'm not a doctor and she knows it. :D But she can't deny that the simple mishmash known as the Franken-Diet will at least be easy to follow, if a challenge to continue. We suffer from the same pitfalls of cravings, so I really understand where she's coming from. So here's my interview with her, to get us started:

1. What health problems do you have?

"Asthma & Bronchitis, Bulging disc and arthritis in my spine due to a fall in 2008"

2. Why do you want to lose weight?

"To better my health and and view of myself. To make a better me!"

3. What is your food poison?

"Chocolate!" (Yeah, Donna. Me too!)

4. What are your current eating habits?

"1-2 times a day, whatever I want" Includes regular Mountain Dew, various sugary snacks, highly processed  convenience foods, fast food, and the candies!


Height: 5'6"
Age: 33
Highest weight: 357 pounds
Current Weight: 357 pounds

GOAL 1: 300lb (Timeframe, unknown)
GOAL 2: 275lb (25 pound mini-increments)


PROCESS: Donna begins her diet today, using my Simply Filling Power Foods list and also my recipes.

This is what I told her:

"1. Eat whenever you're hungry, as often as necessary, for these first few days
2. Eat as much of the approved foods as you want until you're no longer hungry
3. Eat at LEAST 3 times a day, whether your meals are small or large. Or two meals and a snack. Every time you put Power Foods in your mouth, you rev up your metabolism.
4. Measure servings of everything, even if you eat multiple portions!

Because you're used to high calories in smaller meals, you'll want to eat more low-calorie foods to make up for it, so you don't get faint and end up sick from changing your eating habits too quickly."

I'm excited for Donna!

If you want a feature on my blog, and you're ready to do your own Health Overhaul, copy and answer all the questions and profile items and send them to tamaravmhenson (at) gmail (dot) com. Attach a photo, if I don't already know you through Facebook (where I can snatch my own pic). And if you freak out about the world knowing your weight, just enter pounds you want to lose! :)




Holiday damages aside, I honestly didn't get focused well enough to do the diet all that well this week. Candies finally dwindled to nothing. Other junk foods did the same. Restaurant food was eaten once or twice. Hot chocolate sustained me during my cold (which is also dwindling, but still present). Hot Chicken and Pasta sustained me at lunch. And sometimes at dinner. I even had a couple caffeine-free regular Pepsis. So I expected my weight to go up, not down. I did the weigh-over I usually reserve for when I think I should weigh LESS! :) And the third weigh-over of relative confusion...

Weight Last Week: 279.4
Weight This Week: 277.2

That's 2.2 pounds lost. I'll take it, and actually update the ticker so it'll be accurate.

Good Things I Ate This Week:

1. Chicken and Pasta
2. Baked potatoes with fat free sour cream

Here Are Some Things I Did:

1. Prepared the soup ahead of time
2. Baked stuffed peppers last night
3. Dutifully ate oatmeal, cinnamon and Sweet N Low for breakfast this morning
4. Otherwise, not much!

Things I Plan To Change This Week:

1. Decided that oatmeal is kinda unappetizing to me. Will probably eat some type of protein for breakfast instead.
2. WW Simply Filling is the focus of this week. I can't cheat if I don't have the food in the house to do so.

UPDATE: I entered my original weight of 300lb to be more accurate with total weight lost (not just weight lost since the blog started). And I entered my current weight for today. And I didn't cry. But here's the chart:

Weight Chart


I want to stick with Simply Filling for a month and see how much progress I make versus days on and days off. I then want to transition to an Atkins-style WW diet, incorporating my Simply Filling food list only and eating lean proteins and vegetables until I'm close to my goal weight. (Incorporation of several diets, hence "Franken-Diet") Then I want to transition again into a lifelong healthy eating habit as I shed the last few pounds. I expect my food list at that time to be the WW Simply Filling list I compiled, with perhaps pure fats and cheeses in moderation instead of unlimited fat free. That way, I'm eating mostly all natural foods that I could grow or produce on a farm. :)

I don't know how long this is going to take. I've piddled with it for a year, never really locking in a routine, even when the routine worked in the short term. So I'm going to say that in 5 months of diligence, I should be close. I'll gauge it again in a month. I don't want to wait another year to finish my health overhaul!