Breaking Bad (Habits) Part 2

So dieting….. am I right?? Just to give you an idea of how it is going, I may or may not be sipping on a Dunkin Donuts Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and munching on a chocolate donut. In my defense, they were hand delivered to me at my office on a rough day by a sweet friend who knows how much I adore sweets (and also how much I hate diets). How could I possibly turn that down?  Am I supposed to let the poor defenseless donut die a sad death in the trash can?

I’m sure you can tell my mindset and dedication is wavering, but let me fill you in on how I got here, and really exactly where I am.

Week one was pretty darn hard, as you could tell from my first post. Day 6 was my cheat day and I took it pretty easy. I ate off my meal plan and just added in a few cheat items, like a roll or two, and a cookie or two, and a Diet Coke or two. You know, the important things!

But after going 6 straight days without sugar or dairy or carbs at all, my body didn’t handle itself very well after cheat day. I felt ill. But my cravings became harder to curb. And my will to live became less and less. So I cheated more. If we’re being totally honest, I can’t quite call it cheating if I’m still consuming way less calories than I normally should be, you know? 

On Day 14, I was down 3.5 pounds. I felt good. I was halfway to my goal weight. And the best news of all was that we got new meal plans. With more calories. And with normal food. No more chicken and spinach!! Everyone at the gym was super excited. And I have to say that I’m pretty happy with the new plan. It’s the Mexican Food meal plan and it includes things like cheese (gasp) and tortilla chips (double gasp). 

The only problem is that I misjudged just how stressed I would be at this time of year. Am I the only one who hates January??? I’ll post more on that later, but I have been turning to food to make me feel better way too often. And wouldn’t you know it, the stars aligned and I found a bakery that makes some amazing Triple Berry Tres Leches Cupcakes. Don’t ask me how I got there. I’m not sure I can recall. Bakeries must have magnets or something that force my car in the parking lot and my person through the front doors. And did I mention the Girl Scout cookies on every corner?? I mean….

So today is day 21 (of 56). I haven’t lost any additional weight this week. But I’m counting that as a win. Maintaining is just as important as losing, right? And I totally have the maintenance thing down… as long as I can keep my donut trips in check. But it was really good and totally worth it. Just sayin’…  

Obviously I still have some work to do if I ever plan to give anyone qualified advice on dieting.

Breaking Bad (Habits) Part 1

Breaking Bad Food HabitsLike 90% of the world, Erika and Tracey have both made health and exercise related New Year Resolutions. While we are both doing pretty well, one of our favorite contributors, Andrea, is putting us to shame. This is serious stuff for anyone and for someone who loves her food as much as we do, this is downright inspiring.  

My name is Andrea and I am a carboholic. It’s ugly, but it’s the truth. For a long while I’ve been in denial about how my addiction to sugar and bread has been affecting me, but now I’ve been forced to deal with it head-on. It is time to start breaking bad food habits. Ok, so maybe it was my idea, but I’m totally facing it. And it’s hard.

As typical New Years Resolutions go, I had the super great idea to sign up for the weight loss challenge at my gym. The initial reason for signing up was that I’m a tad competitive and wanted a chance at winning some prizes. Also, I had no idea what was in store for me and thought it would involve limiting portions or whatever. Wrong. Majorly wrong.

Fast forward to my weigh-in.

Step 1 – Stand on the scale. Easy. Take off my shoes and every extra piece of clothing possible to decrease the number as much as possible.

Step 2 – Get measured. Also pretty easy and semi-painless. Since these are numbers I didn’t have to see, they didn’t bother me as much.

Step 3 – Out come the calipers. I hate these things. No one likes to be grabbed by their fat rolls, let alone have those rolls measured with…. Pinchers.

*At this point, I feel like I’ve got it made. I can totally win this thing.*

Step 4 – Sit down to discuss a meal plan. Turns out that these meal plans are configured for you by a computer based on your measurements and percentages. It becomes obvious very quickly that computers have never eaten a bite of this food in their lives – all the foods listed are bland, flavorless, and contain zero ounces of pleasure.

Step 5 – Haggle relentlessly over substitutions and more exciting options with the trainer (or, rather, the computer).

The main idea is that the first two weeks are the clean-eating cleanse phase (breaking bad food habits) and then we follow that with a diet plan that is more diverse for the next six weeks. I will admit that at this point I still felt pretty cocky about the whole thing. That is, until I realized what was missing. Sugar. Bread. Diet Coke. Items that were essentially the lifeblood of everything good and happy in my life. I was scared and I panicked. I went on a minor food binge for the rest of the day in preparation for what was to come the next morning. I ate all my favorites… sugary cereals, tacos, donuts, gyros, and ice cream (not in that order). Obviously, not the best approach, but I ended the day semi-disgusted with myself and ready to go sugar-free.

Here are some general feelings that I have experience while going through this process…

Day 1. Dude! I feel great! This is going to be a breeze! The food isn’t that bad and I’m not even hungry. I thought the whole concept of losing weight meant starving yourself but I can totally handle this! Seriously rocking the workouts and the food prep.

Day 2. Still going strong. I am going to kick this challenge in the butt! The workout was good and my energy levels are still high. By the end of the day though, I really do start to miss dessert… and Diet Coke.

Day 3. What the crap happened to me? I feel terrible. Seriously, seriously terrible. I have no purpose anymore. There is no meaning in life without chocolate. And I can’t even tell you what I would do for a huge, buttery homemade dinner roll right now. Diet Coke would totally make me feel better… but blast, I cannot have it. Skipping the workout today because of the general lack of will to exist.

Today is Day 4. I guess I feel better. I suppose I’ll drag myself through the motions today. The workouts are supposed to boost my energy so I guess I’ll go. Dang, that was the hardest workout of my life. I feel like I’m exercising in a pool of Jell-O. Now I’m generally exhausted and slightly depressed. Even the 2.5 lbs I have lost so far don’t do much to cheer me up.

Mostly, I have spent a lot of time daydreaming about cheat day (Sunday). I already know exactly how I want to cheat and what I will savor the most. They are big plans: I will add dark chocolate to my boring daily snacks of nuts and berries, I will have a thin crust veggie pizza with no tomato sauce for lunch, and I will enjoy some rolls with my dinner. Most importantly, though, is the addition of Diet Coke back in my life (even though it is only for a day). It may not sound wild and crazy, but I do want to have a chance at winning this thing so I’m mostly taking it easy on the carb-loading. That, and I don’t want to make myself totally sick by overloading my system with stuff that I’ve been depriving it of for 6 days.

I can’t say I feel any better yet. My trainer admitted today that he was pretty worried about how I would fare without sugar. And so far I would have to say that I’m not faring well.

Stay tuned for Part 2…