Grey Day? No … it’s Blue Monday!

I doubt it’s really true that the 3rd Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year for everyone. But it sure felt like it when I went outside for my predawn coffee & saw the ridge of icebergs that the snowplough left at the end of my driveway!

Blue Monday … Grey or Great?

I was aching from the shovelling activities of the previous day & I made the mistake of “treating” myself to some starch selections for dinner last night. Followed by sugary choices for dessert! I love cramming that junk into my face but there is always a price attached to it. Indigestion, poor sleep &, for me, some sugars & starches are mind altering substances. They bring my weight up & my mood down.

Since that terrible week of eating on the road at the beginning of the year, I’ve been doing reasonably well. I wouldn’t pretend that my head has been 100% in the game, but I’ve probably been around the 80% mark. I’m not checking in with my scale, that thing is heartless, merciless, so I’m going to leave that ’til the first of the month to come.

A little later, I went for predawn coffee number two. Taking my cigarettes with me, not even a sliver of guilt attached to it, I went out to soak up some additional angst. I was trying to perk myself up with the thought of those lucky folk living in the southern hemisphere at this time of year. I bet they are enjoying the January temperatures at that end of the planet.

Imagine my elation at seeing the end of driveway clear! Good neighbours can be mind-altering too. Thank you, kind neighbour.

Bring it on Blue Monday, there are people that have my back. And I’m betting that’s true for you too.

Happy Blue Monday!

Results … Month #10

Results … Month #10

Recovering from a fall!

Made an amazing new discovery this past month … it looks like it’s more difficult to lose 8lbs, than it was to gain that 8lbs in the first place!

Who knew!?!

After last month’s disaster, I wasn’t all that optimistic coming into the new month. It was the first time since I started this whole exercise where I felt that I really might have to force myself to “go on a real diet”. Considering I was going into the 10th month of the program, I was a little taken aback by that thought. Fortunately, it didn’t last long, & I was back to testing & tweaking again, within 3 or 4 days.

“Testing & tweaking” is how I try to add credibility to the act of me trying to figure out how to eat more bad stuff & not pile on the pounds. One of the new foods I tried this month was coconut sugar. It’s supposed to have a few less calories, a slightly lower glycemic load, a few more nutrients, & some other good stuff, like inulin, when compared to regular sugar. One of the best ways to test a sugar is by adding it to something that tastes nice … like cheesecake!

The cheesecake was pretty good. The darker color of coconut sugar gives the finished product a light caramel color. Makes it look like something far more wicked than it is. Not that a cake made of full fat cheese & sugar isn’t already a little wicked. Turns out it doesn’t behave quite like a glass of iced water when it comes to weight control. But, then, a life without cheesecake just wouldn’t be right, would it!?!

Bottom line is that I still haven’t recovered all of that 8lb gain from the previous month. But knocking off 4.4lbs for this month isn’t too bad. Besides, I generally didn’t feel up to working too hard at it. So it’s a bit like I got an almost-free 4.4lb pass for the past few weeks. Maybe this new month is the month where spring will finally be sprung. Maybe I’ll get rid of the rest of that rebound. And maybe we’ll soon get to those warmer months where I can start testing the dietary value of beer & wine on the deck. In the company of the little birdies, flapping & twittering around the treetops!

Roll on summer. Aaaahhhh!

PS … The cheesecake diet, even when the cheesecake is made with coconut sugar, will probably not become the next hot diet for rapid weight loss! 🙂

How to Make Skinny People Fat

How to Make Skinny People Fat

Haggis & Chips

Comfort Food! Aaahhh!!!

You have no idea how difficult my life can be sometimes. I have a lot of expertise in how to get fat. I’m lucky enough to share my life with someone who doesn’t get fat. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that: I am lucky enough to share my life with someone who is even luckier, not because she’s get to share her life with me, but simply because she doesn’t get fat! Indeed, every now & again, she’ll come to me & say something totally & utterly excruciating, like …

“I’m down a few pounds & I don’t think it suits me, what should I eat?”, with that look of total innocence on her face.

Is she just trying to torment me or what!?!

But of course, ever dutiful when called upon, I will immediately try to help her out. Yesterday, & I’m still in my flu-season-comfort-food mindset, I thought I’d marry my own desire for comfort food with her desire to add a few pounds. I’d just have to eat a bit less of whatever pound-padding creation I concocted.

It’s no surprise that our favourite comfort foods come from our younger years, but choices were limited. We were busy yesterday & didn’t have time to hit the grocery store, so the cupboards were pretty bare. There was a decent selection of healthy choices but that wasn’t what either of us was looking for. I unearthed a can of haggis and, wonder of wonders, a can of baked beans! There are always frozen fries in the freezer so that was it: the complete fattening meal. A can of fatty meaty bits, loaded with oats to soak up & disguise the sheer volume of fat. A can of potentially healthy beans that are swimming in a sugary tomato sauce. And spuds so finely slivered so as to maximise the grease-attracting surface area of a veggie that might otherwise be healthy.

Now I must admit to enjoying my combo platter of sugar, fat & starch. Unfortunately, the Skinny One wasn’t enjoying hers. She’s not a big fan of haggis. The beans weren’t like the ones she had as a child. And there were too many fries on the plate. OMG!!!

While she went off to boil an egg, to accompany the single slice of Jarlsberg cheese she placed on a small plate, I finished off her leftovers. Only about 90% of the original meal! I know, I’m weak. What can I say. Other than I enjoyed her’s too.

After that amazing little keto-friendly “dinner” she had prepared for herself, she then went to prepare dessert. It was some kind of upside-down pineapple cake. With ice cream.

“Would you like one too?”, she inquired. More of that innocence in play!!!

I should have pulled the battery out of the scale last night, but I didn’t. So this morning: I’m up, she’s not. And we might have to go through this exercise all over again today. Aaarrrrghhhh!

Good thing we’re all out of haggis & baked beans! 🙂

Get Fat Like the Cat!

Get Fat Like the Cat!The Fat Cat

At the weekend, our pet store was sold out of the grain-free cat food so we picked up a small bag of the regular stuff, to tide us over. That word “regular” is potentially one of the most dangerous words in the modern North American vernacular. We talk about regular sugar, for example, as opposed to sweeteners. It lends an air of acceptability and normality to things that might not necessarily be acceptable, nor normal, given our genetic inheritance.

As kids growing up in the countryside, our pets were free to move between the house and the great outdoors. We fed them table scraps and all sorts of foods that might be frowned upon by pet lovers today. Indeed, our parents weren’t impressed with our food disposal techniques back then either! However, given freedom of choice, animals are a little smarter than humans. It wasn’t unusual to find dead birds, rabbits and mice at our back door. These pets still knew how to eat a more natural diet, and they went hunting when they’d had enough of human junk food.

Now, as city dwellers, we feed our house-confined pets from bags of processed food bits. Yes, they have pretty pictures of salmon fillets and prime cuts of chicken on the bag, but some pet foods are heavily biased towards grain. Eating such foods, our cat got fat. No, our little kitten was obese! So we switched to the grain-free foods and … wonder of wonders … out kitty slimmed down a bit. She is still overweight. But I think it’s fair to say that she’s no longer at the kitty BMI level of obese.

We typically feed our kitty twice a day, morning and evening. Like all hungry pets, she nibbles enthusiastically when her bowl is first filled. But then she saunters off to lazily perform her morning ablutions. She’ll wander back and forth to the bowl for an occasional nibble so that her morning bowl probably survives ’til about lunch time. Her evening bowl usually has some few leftover pieces that will survive ’til the following morning.

I noticed that her morning bowl of this new bag of grain-based food was gone within the first hour!

Is it possible that cats can’t have just one cookie either!?!

And isn’t it funny how we like to feed our pets a healthier diet than we sometimes feed ourselves! 🙂

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!