I am learning to appreciate new things every day. Part of this is due to the fact that I am willing to explore new and different things than what I am used to. For instance, the natural coffee creamers I was preparing pretty much flat out sucked to be quite frank. So one day I decided that I would drink hot tea in the mornings and just cut out coffee all together. In doing this, I have found that I love tea and am trying out lots of different kinds. However that hankering for coffee still lingered. So once again I searched Pinterest looking for that perfect “clean” coffee creamer. People….it does not exist. So this morning I thought I am going to make a cup and just drink it black. Well the first drink had me thinking “ummmm no!” But I took a few more drinks and began to appreciate it for what it was and not what I thought it should be. I could actually taste the coffee and enjoy it without the creaminess and sweetness. Sometimes we get so stuck in our own ruts and bad habits that we can’t imagine anything else. I am learning to taste and appreciate things without all the extras. Last night we celebrated my dads 72nd birthday. We had grilled hamburgers. I laid mine on a bed of lettuce, tomato, onion, and avocado. NO BUN! I completely enjoyed it and then when cake time came around I felt the freedom to allow myself a slice. Moms Pistachio cake. YUMM! (The first refined sugar I have had in weeks) For me it is a victory that I can indulge in a piece of cake and not fall into the abyss of all my bad habits. I went to the doctors yesterday and my blood sugar was in the range considered “controlled diabetes” and therefore instead of returning in 3 months I have to go back in 6 months. I have to take each small victory as they come and look at the big picture everyday. One day I look forward to reaching my health goals. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and next time I go to the doctors I hope to be able to go off some of my medications.
The other day I took my daughter to lunch. Now that my eating is so restricted it is difficult to find something that is both enjoyable and doesn’t derail me. We tried a place called Crushed Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop. They serve soups, salads, and pizzas all made from healthy quality foods. It was amazing! The picture above is my pesto shrimp and artichoke pizza. (The half I didn’t already consume) The entire pizza was 400 calories and sooo yummy! Hannah enjoyed her chipotle bbq chicken pizza as well. If you have one in your area I highly recommend it. We have to enjoy our food as well as fuel our bodies. I weigh daily as instructed by my doctor. I have to remind myself that the number is not necessarily a true reflection of my progress. If I get too caught up in what the scale says discouragement can creep up and the enemy takes full advantage. I have to take one step at a time and remind myself that if I just put one foot in front of the other, that like the turtle I just might win this race. So far I am down a little more than 20 pounds. While that might sound like a big number, in the whole scheme of things it is just a fraction of where I need to be. It won’t happen overnight; but I am determined. We all have things we are trying to accomplish. We must have the patience to persevere and put in the work it takes to win the race!
One of the most important things when trying to lose weight is learning limits. One of the most useful tools in the kitchen is the scale. It is easier to stay on track when you know exactly how much you should eat. This can apply to many areas of life. When I was in the workforce I always did best when I knew exactly what was expected of me. As children we are in great need of limits. That is what a parents role is. Teaching children what is expected of them so that they become respectful, productive, caring members of society. The world today is in such poor shape because so many are being raised to believe that they can and should be able to do what ever they want. In dieting, as in life, there are rules and boundaries and the better you are able to learn them the more successful you will be. I made spaghetti for dinner last night. I used whole wheat noodles, organic no sugar added spaghetti sauce, and grass fed beef. While there were no chemicals or refined sugars in my meal, it could still be highly caloric if I didn’t limit myself. I ate a modest serving and filled the rest of my plate with salad. When I was done, the temptation to fill my plate again was strong. I enjoyed the pasta so much. But, I took a minute to think about what I am trying to achieve and the fact that I truly was content with the amount I had already consumed and refrained. This morning I woke to a 2 pound drop. It is rewarding to stay within the limits.
So, I don’t really know where to begin. At the beginning I guess. I have been overweight all of my adult (and teen) life. I would definitely describe myself as carb addicted. On March 1st we decided that next January we were going on a cruise. While not my first cruise, I decided that since we had lots of time to prepare I was going to feel better and be in better shape than on previous cruises. So right then and there I decided to go on a diet. Now, I am the queen of dieting. I know everything that I SHOULD do. Doing them is entirely different. So I started my usual calorie counting. I began at 279 pounds and I am only 5’2″. I can’t believe that I am actually putting that out into the internet world. I have always been an all or not at all dieter. Meaning, that I would do amazing if I started cold turkey and would continue to do well until I slipped. And then it was over. So I really worked on letting myself cheat occasionally and then refusing to let it end there. I was actually successful. Now one thing about me is when I diet I become obsessed. Reading anything I can get my hands on, searching the internet etc. I came across a book while out shopping one day called The Doctor’s Diet by Dr. Travis Stork of the Doctors show. While not following the diet exactly as written, I read it from cover to cover. I can’t say that I learned anything I shouldn’t have already know; but seeing it in print right before my eyes was a wake up call. It talks about how we as Americans are killing ourselves by how we eat. Many of the health problems that were discussed I am already taking medication for. My list of health problems are as follows: rapid heartbeat, obesity(obviously), uncontrolled type 2 diabetes with kidney complications, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. By this time my weight was down to 265. I decided that my new goal was to stop counting calories and eat in a way that could potentially eliminate all of the medications that I am on. I started slowly. First I bought all natural peanut butter. You know, that annoying kind with all the oil on top that you have to stir? Guess what! I love it! I began checking labels and looking for hidden processed sugars and chemicals. One of the hardest things is trying to find a replacement for coffee creamer! I have made a couple of recipes that I found on Pinterest. They are not great. But I continue to drink them and they get better everyday. The creamers I used before while sugar free (I switched when diagnosed with diabetes) are full of chemicals. I have stopped drinking Diet Pepsi and switched to La Croix sparkling water. The first can I tried made me want to gag. But I just kept drinking it and am now really enjoying it. I have decided to document this journey for myself and others. Also as a way of being accountable to myself. So, I am several days without processed sugar and chemicals and I have noticed a couple of things. I am completely satisfied after eating a meal of normal portion sizes. I am not thinking about what I can’t have, more what I can. Also, I have only lost 1 pound this week. I am currently 264 pounds. I know that by not counting calories and using artificial sweeteners, and products full of chemicals designed to trick dieters into thinking we are getting our sweets, and fueling my body in a way that will lower my blood sugar there is no way I won’t lose weight. So follow along this great new journey with me! The picture above is some banana muffins I made in the blender. They have oats, eggs, bananas, honey, and salt, baking powder and baking soda in them. I added blueberries and walnut. They were awesome! Better yet, everyone in the house liked them. That is saying a lot!!