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.

Results … Month #8

Results … Month #8 (Down 40 lbs) results-month-8

I can’t believe it! I dodged a bullet. Again!

I’m down 4.2 lbs for the month. I could pitch that as another success story for this amazing dietary philosophy I’m practicing. But it just doesn’t feel like that. I blamed December’s lackluster results on the holidays, January’s on work travel, & I’ve been mentally preparing to talk about the winter blues & blahs as my excuse for February. While all those excuses are true, the really huge news in this month’s story is that I haven’t abandoned the diet. I’m hanging in there. Falling off the wagon, & that has happened several times, hasn’t resulted in some huge rebound.

I started this program by practicing for failure. Let’s be real here, most of us yo-yo dieters know that we start a diet on Monday. We enthusiastically make our way through Wednesday. By Thursday, we feel like we deserve a treat. The wheels come off on Friday. And we binge ourselves to a new high on the weekend. Just a little reward before we start a new diet the following Monday!

That’s why I needed to learn how to fail … first. And I’m not talking carrots & celery sticks here! You’ve seen pics of some of my failure foods along the way. When times are bad, I’m eating more failure foods, more often. During those times, I’m eating as I might expect to eat when the diet is “over”. It’s pretty good. I can live happily on a diet that includes French fries & ice cream. Though, even by my rules for failure, I’ll admit to overdoing it on the chocolate!

My big fear now is that things are tapering off. The downward slope of my weight-loss graph isn’t as steep as it was during the first four or five months. Is this the end? Is this as good as it gets? Or will the warmer spring weather, when it finally deigns to arrive, bring along some fresh enthusiasm for the program?

At this point, I am grateful that I haven’t done the rebound thing. But I’m not sure what happens next. I alternate between being cautiously optimistic and then, despairingly melancholic about ever getting to a safer, healthier weight.

The next couple or three months will be very interesting. I’m writing the story, but I have no idea how it turns out.

Welcome to March … here’s hoping it’s a good month for all of us.

I Love Yogurt … Who Knew!

I Love Yogurt … Who Knew!instant pot yogurt

I made my first batch of yogurt in my new Instant Pot® & it was so ridiculously good, I just can’t believe it! Check out the pic of that spoon standing upright in it. It is firm, with a really smooth texture, and it tastes so creamy that it’s hard to believe that it doesn’t contain any added flavouring. It is just the Natrel® 10%, with a couple of tablespoons of plain Balkan yougurt, a 6% fat version, as a starter. It may be the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted. I have taste-tested it with some skinny people, and even they like it!

This was done with what is known in Instant Pot® circles as the “No Boil” or “Cold Start” method of yogurt making. For this method apparently, the primary ingredient, the milk or cream, must be of the ultra-filtered or UHT pasteurised variety. Without boiling, the potential for bad bugs to flourish is higher in regular milks. The No Boil process, on the other hand, is the simplest thing I’ve ever done. Toss the milk in the pot. Add the couple of tablespoons of starter yogurt and blend this with the milk. Put the lid on & press the Yogurt button. The pot does its thing for 8 hours. You then remove the pot liner & stick it in the fridge to set. For this little effort, I just can’t believe the result.

Not everything has turned out so wonderfully well, on the first attempt, in my new pot. But this one is a winner. And, along with this yogurt being so good, it ticks many of the boxes I want ticked from a dietary standpoint too. It is deliciously higher in fat than most store bought versions. The 10% cream does have a few additives but I’ve regularly consumed far more processed products than this. Though I’m not lactose intolerant, it being lactose free should cut down a bit on the carb content. And it’s a very neat way to get some protein when you’re more in the mood for dessert than dinner. I’ll be adding some fruit & a little shaved dark chocolate to a big bowl of this for something positively decadent.

For taste, this outcome is a gourmand’s delight. Now I must see if I can replicate the amazing result, but with less expensive ingredients! Along the way, I will have to test drive the boil & cool method with regular milk (full fat, of course!) too.

Watch this space, I’m sure I’ll have some entertaining disasters to add to the list of Instant Pot® success stories along the way! 🙂

Natrel® is a registered trademark of Agropur, Instant Pot® is a trademark of Instant Brands Inc.

Results … Month #6

Results … Month #6 (Down 35.8 lbs)Results Month 6

Happy New Year to all. May 2019 bring you nothing but the best of times!

Mind you, I’m not too happy starting out the new year myself, this morning. I’m down another 2 lbs this past month. A month that included the challenge of settling in to a new home, AND the Christmas holiday binge season. Yes, I’m down 2 lbs. But it could have been so much better.

It seems like I couldn’t stop myself eating garbage for the past week or so. The closer I came to the monthly results day, the worse things got. I was trying to justify my behavior on the grounds that if all the bad stuff was gone, I might get off to a great start in the new year. But I managed to change all that for the worse when I went shopping yesterday!

The only new year’s resolution that I’ve successfully managed to keep in recent years is the one where I resolved not to make any more new year’s resolutions! Despite sticking with that philosophy, I still feel like I ought to be doing something bigger, better & bolder on January 1st each year. In anticipation of that, I thought we’d try something different, something a little more diet-friendly, for the New Year’s Day dinner today. We decided to go with the traditional Irish meal (North American version!) of corned beef and cabbage. With potatoes, of course. That should work well with my dietary ambitions. I could reduce the number of potatoes. And I could devour a whole pot of cabbage if I wanted. Of course everything would be heavily buttered too.

We went shopping for the beef brisket yesterday. Now you probably won’t believe this but all the Christmas chocolate was on sale too. Half off! Seriously, who could resist? I’ve loaded up on those delicious Swiss chocolate balls. Some holiday-sized slabs of those English chocolate bars that I grew up with. And some other silver-wrapped Christmas chocolate figures, they were just so cute. I really looked hard for the dark chocolate versions of all those items. But they must have been very popular for the holidays, they were all sold out! 😉

Already, in my head, I’m writing excuse for next month’s results. I don’t know what else to say!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

But really … losing weight, even just a little, over the Christmas holiday is good. Isn’t it!?! LOL

 

 

A Lifetime Achievement Award

A Lifetime Achievement Award

Greek Salad Fast Breaker

Was so looking forward to eating that I forgot to take the pic before diving in! Oops!

I gave myself a lifetime achievement award yesterday … and the reward was one of my childhood favourites: egg ‘n’ chips for dinner, three fried eggs and the entire basket of French fries. All for me! This was followed by an utterly decadent blueberry ice-cream, with chocolate. Then I ate the rest of the chocolate bar!

Why this self-bestowed award?

Because I did my longest fast ever. At 89 hours, I was mere hours short of having not eating anything … zero, nada, nothing … for 4 full days. I had absolutely nothing but water, carbonated water and coffee the entire time. This all came about from doing the one day fast I spoke of in the last post. I’m not sure what came over me but, having done the one day, I just felt compelled to go for the second. Somehow, that managed to turn into this four-day thing.

So how did it feel?

Day 1 was, as you might expect, a day of thinking about not eating. Which meant I was only thinking about eating! The first half of Day 2 was about the same. But by the afternoon of the second day, there were no hunger pangs. No desire to eat. Not even when smelling and seeing the curry fried rice, the pulled pork sandwiches, and who know what else I had to watch everyone else eat during that time. Once my body started supplying its energy needs from my very ample storage depots, the feeling was … one of almost ecstasy, freedom, liberation, I don’t know. But it was something that left me feeling unshackled. And I was bright, alert and doing everything I had to do. And no, I wasn’t irritable and grumpy. Though you might need to get some external corroboration on that last one!

Due to the attendant water and electrolyte losses, I was adding pink Himalayan salt to my coffee on the 2nd and subsequent days. This will sound crazy but you should try your favourite coffee with a little salt and some heavy cream, it’s really good! Or maybe not if you’re already eating the high-salt diet that comes along with eating processed foods. Though perfect for the first two days, I was sneaking in a little cream by the 3rd day. By mid-morning on the 4th day, I was feeling a little light-headed. I did a couple of salted coffees but it wasn’t working. I decided to break the fast and have lunch. I had intended to have bacon and eggs at a local diner, though I hadn’t quite decided on whether or not to have the home fried potato too. But as we took our seats, a ginormous Greek salad was delivered to an adjacent table and I switched to that. The bacon was still on my mind though, so I added a side order of bacon to be crumbled atop it! The dinner and dessert we spoke of earlier followed later.

So what was the outcome?

From a weight standpoint, you’ll have to wait and see … I only log numbers at the end of each month! But I feel I have opened a new door with this longer fast. One not only with weight-loss potential, but with other potential health benefits too. Perhaps for the body and the mind.