Results … Month #9

Results … Month #9

Results Month 9

I changed this month’s animated pic. Typically it would have proclaimed that I was “Down 32 lbs“, since I started the program. Instead, this month’s says that I “Gained 8 lbs“. I am keeping the Results post heading consistent but I didn’t want to hide the fact that this month’s efforts resulted in a pretty big weight gain. The first time that’s happened.

Of course, what I really wanted to do was scream out …

What a total loser! Or maybe it should be … What a total gainer!

What I said, after stepping on the scale this morning, was a tad worse. I won’t repeat it here. But you might be surprised to hear that I deliberately brought this all upon myself.

I had scheduled June for a bread test month. A couple of opportunities for some good bread eating turned up at the beginning of last month, so I flipped it to March. I have managed to work a lot of things back into my diet & I really wanted to see if I could integrate bread again. Why?

Because I love bread, of course!

For an entire month, I ate bread. Sometimes in controlled doses, at other times with abandon. And that wasn’t quite what my original intention was. It got so messy, so quickly, that I really haven’t learned anything new from what should have been a month of measured bread eating. I was so out of control that I was blaming eating bread for the slice of chocolate cake that followed. And for the bag of chips I scarfed while watching the big game on Saturday morning. For most of the month, bread was being blamed for everything. It was a total fiasco. I was, all at once, stressed, depressed, anxious & furious. And stuffed. It was all bread’s fault. It certainly wasn’t mine!

Was I anxious & depressed because I was eating all that bread? Or was it the anxiety that had me eating more bread than I intended? The whole month was so out of control that I didn’t know which came first … the chicken or the egg?

In fact, I didn’t care if it was the chicken or the egg, so long as they were between two slices of well-buttered bread!

Not only have I gained 8 lbs over the past month, but I’ve learned little to nothing from the experience. So I’ll have to do the bread month again. Properly this time. Just not anytime soon!

Now, a new month, a new start. It’s April. Maybe I’ll quit bread & smoking at the same time for the day that’s in it!?!

Happy Fool’s Day to all.

Unfortunately, I’m not foolin’ about the weight gain for March. It’s real.

Mood Altering Foods

Mood Altering Foods

Sourdough Bread

I’m being lazy, sorry. I am recycling this bread pic because I wolfed down the tomato sandwiches too quickly!

I generally don’t eat candies so I have no idea if that red food dye still gets kids going crazy in the classroom. What does seem to have an impact on me is bread. Though I’ll admit sugar might also be making a contribution. Whenever I fall off the wagon and eat bread, I’ve usually fallen so far off the wagon that I’m devouring cookies, candies, and who knows what else. None of which aid weight loss. And some of which may be playing with my head.

I’m generally an optimistic person. On a bad day, I’m probably just a realist. It takes a really bad day for me to feel depressed. Though on any given day, regardless of mood, I can certainly be anxious about uncertainty. Or about something that matters to me. Whatever my mood, I can make the situation feel worse by eating bread. I was feeling a little anxious the other day. My diet was off the rails and I simply couldn’t get it back on track. I have no idea why but, in the midst of this, I was inspired to test the bread theory. Again!

Growing up, I absolutely loved bread. There is probably no better way to eat food than stuffing it between two, heavily buttered, slices of a crusty loaf, is there!?! Bacon and eggs, ham and cheese, cheese and onion, French fries (the amazing Chip Buttie!), cold cuts, hot meats, even potato chips! Fresh bread, toasted, it doesn’t matter, all are simply great. Just on its own, there’s nothing like oodles of melting butter on an oven-fresh hot loaf. My mouth is watering as I write, though I only had a couple of almost-boring tomato sandwiches for lunch the other day. Even they were delicious. I couldn’t help myself, I ate more bread with dinner that evening. That evening I felt great. No indigestion. No feelings of malaise. No depression. Had I overcome the effect? Could I safely eat bread again?

Unfortunately, the physical and mental challenges caught up with me through the night. Disturbing my sleep and leaving me to lie there worrying about how I might ever get back to losing weight again. The next day was challenging, I couldn’t stick with the low-carb regimen I had planned during those sleepless hours. I felt quite miserable about it all.

Yesterday, I thought I’d try fighting one kind of starch with another and I committed to a predominantly potato day. I had hash browns for lunch. And a ludicrously large bowl of home-fried potatoes for dinner. Okay, I admit it: I went back and had a second bowl.  I started out with at least a cup of olive oil (it’s a really big pan!), along with six or 8 cloves of garlic, one medium onion, and some hot peppers for added flavour. And then that huge pot of cooked-and-cooled potatoes hit the pan with a sizzle. I did sneak in a chocolate-nut mix dessert too, drenched in heavy cream.

While my stomach was a little distended as I trudged up the stairs at bedtime, the noise in my head had abated. After a good night’s sleep, imagine how elated I was to find myself down 0.8 lbs the following morning!

Had I banished the bread banshees? Was it the feel-good butyrate produced by my tummy bugs from all that resistant starch in the cooked and cooled potato? Who cares! Feeling good is feeling good.

I’m not sure that I’m back on track yet. But I am cautiously optimistic!

Let’s see if I can make it through the rest of the week without making any more silly dietary decisions. Even if I have to force myself to eat more of those amazingly delicious absolutely awful potatoes! 🙂

Results … Month #5

Results … Month #5 (Down 33.8 lbs)Results Month 5

Is this a diet that is beginning to fail or do I have a good excuse for such a modest loss in this, the 5th month of the program?

I’m going to claim that I’ve got a good excuse! And I will use that same excuse for being almost two weeks late in posting my weight loss for the previous month. I think I’ve just come through the most harrowing couple of months of my life. I’m not talking the extreme stress that might be the consequence of the loss of a loved one here. Nor am I talking financial ruin, nor any major health issue. What I am talking about is taking one of those life-changing decisions that saw me pick up all the dominoes & just toss them in the air!

In a nutshell, we decided to move to the coast. At the 11th hour, following a vacation, we changed direction & switched coasts! Our house sold quickly. With a short closing. And the maelstrom began. I won’t bore you with all the details but let me share one anecdote from the adventure that that typifies how totally upended our lives have become. En route to our new destination, we left our hotel room to eat. When we returned, the cat was missing! We were stressed enough already, this was just too much. Had housekeeping opened the door to let our moggie escape? After half an hour of searching the room, wandering the lobby and corridors of the hotel, we finally discovered our missing pet. She had, somehow, found a hole in the fabric of the box-spring and made her way inside the box-spring base of the bed!

Amid all the turmoil of fast-closing houses, finding a replacement home with a short closing was a huge challenge. Scheduling movers, cancelling services, signing up for new services, & all the stuff of moving are challenging at the best of times. Doing all that over long distances more so. Having to do everything under the pressure of such short, & tight, deadlines gave me an enduring dose of stress the like of which I had not experienced before. And it’s not over yet.

Needless to say, eating well ceased being a priority. And yes, I’ve eaten all the bad stuff you could imagine over the course of the past six weeks. I’ve had fish ‘n’ chips, Chinese take-out, & I’ve even eaten pizza, bread base & all. I’ve munched cookies & sucked on sweets to keep me alert as I’ve driven through snow storms. I’ve fallen down so many times that I can barely recognize which way is up any more. Mea culpa.

On the bright side, since I started this whole exercise, I have learned a lot about what & how I should be eating. And I seem to have developed a penchant for doing the right thing. Even under such pressure, I have a noticeable bias towards making better food choices. While bread is so easy to eat on the road, I veered towards better eating following every bread binge. While the sugar fixes kept me going on long drives, I tended to avoid sugar the following day. The upshot of it all is that I was down two pounds in a month of some serious stress, some serious dietary abuse, along with a total lack of routine & familiar surroundings.

All in all, given the circumstances, I’d say that my two-pound loss wasn’t all bad for that particular month.

Now, in advance, I’m trying to come up with an excuse for this month’s possibly disastrous outcome! And if our new appliances aren’t delivered before Christmas, it might be a turkey sandwich picnic on the beach for Christmas dinner! 🙂

PS … I carried the scale with me on the drive to our new home. The weight recorded is the weight on December 1st. My intentions were good!

Bread Depresses Me!

Bread Depresses Me!Nova Scotia Lobster

I still don’t know if this is real or imagined but bread definitely does something to my mood. I keep coming back to this because it’s the one thing I haven’t figured out how to integrate into my dietary regimen. Yet! I’m sure there’s a solution out there, maybe an old strain of the wheat grain will work for me. Or an alternate grain, but I haven’t bothered to chase it down yet.

Meantime, I’m faced with the fact that I pay a price for eating bread. I pay with reduced impulse control. I pay on the scale. And I pay by feeling just a little blue afterwards. And often this persists through to the following morning. After eating bread, I am tempted by other treats that, typically, don’t cross my mind. I try to buy a bar of dark chocolate in anticipation of the loss of control but even that doesn’t provide sufficient resistance sometimes. Most interestingly, I tend to have feelings of light despair, uneasy anxiety, or perhaps it’s just a hint of melancholia. None of these feelings are normal for me. Circumstances don’t change but, after eating bread, I do. It’s possible that the other items I eat, because of the lack of impulse control, are contributing but I think I’ve narrowed it down to bread.

So why do you eat it then, you idiot!

Well sometimes you just do, don’t you! The past week vacationing in Nova Scotia has been wonderful. And one of the great things about being in Nova Scotia is the wide availability of seafood, particularly lobster. Once considered nothing more than a sea bug, an ocean cockroach, it’s now a luxury dining item. Because of demand, it’s not cheap here either. But it’s a lot cheaper than back home so I’m indulging! Anything you can imagine is done with lobster here. And it’s available everywhere. Forget gourmet restaurants, you can get lobster from diners & food trucks in Nova Scotia! Sure you can eat just lobster but you can also have lobster salad, lobster Cesar salad, lobster cakes, lobster club sandwiches, even lobster mac & cheese. And a big favourite with the tourists is the lobster roll. It’s exactly what you’d imagine … a big roll of bread, stuffed to overflowing, with lobster meat. I just knew I’d have to have one. And I did. Yesterday.

So today, I’m just a little off as I write. I’m looking forward to eating far less today. And definitely no bread. I hope I didn’t do too much damage & that my scale will forgive me when I step aboard.

PS … I have to add that this is a fantastic place for a holiday. It’s just ridiculously beautiful, the air is clean, the beaches are glorious. The people are great & the food is to die for. I warn you though, don’t think you’ll accomplish all you set out to do. Maps & the internet do not provide insight into all the distractions you’ll face along the way. Everything takes longer, way longer, than you imagine because it’s impossible to resist the impulse to follow one more sign, to a place with some unpronounceable name. And then you’ll find yourself sitting on a beach, in a deserted cove, that you can call your own for an hour or two. It’s magical. I highly recommend a visit.

And yes, the lobster roll was worth the pain! 🙂