Monday, April 5, 2010

Getting control

It's been eight days since I've posted anything. I don't have an explanation as to why I've been so silent. I didn't fall into a vat of Easter chocolate, or have some sort of out-of-control eight crazy day binge.

Actually, it's been the opposite. I'm finally figuring out how to do this, after forty years of trying to eat healthy, the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.

Weighin 4/3/2010:  170.4

Weekly loss:  0.6 pounds

Total loss:  -69.0

My goal for the week was 169.6. I didn't make it, but that's okay. Considering I was 181.2 four weeks ago on March 6, that's an eleven-pound loss for the month of March. Not too bad for someone that's been going the wrong direction with her weight for the past several months.

I finally feel at peace with my new way of eating. There are a few new things I'm doing that has really helped with my food cravings and binges. I haven't had a binge since I made these changes four weeks ago. It's been a miracle.

1. No added sugar
2. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night
3. Less processed foods
4. Mini-meals and eat more often

Avoiding added sugar has been the easiest for me. The first few days without my beloved Weight Watchers ice cream bars was hell. Even after the first week of being sugar free, I almost bought a box. I'll always be addicted to sugar, but as long as avoid it as much as possible, it's losing it's hold on me.

Getting enough sleep is difficult. Mainly because it really cuts into my free time. Between working full time, working out for at least an hour a day (usually an hour and a half), and preparing healthy food, plus sleeping eight hours, there really isn't much time left during a normal week day.

I've finally realized the importance of sleep. Maybe I miss out on a TV show I wanted to see, or I can't read as many blogs or even post on my own blog, but it's made a huge difference in my binging and weight loss to actually get enough sleep every night.

Processed foods
I still eating processed foods, but I'm a lot more conscious about what's in the processed foods I'm eating. Not all processed food is created equal.

About four weeks ago I was making my favorite Weight Watcher recipe for chicken fajitas. I was crunched for time, trying to get to bed by 8:30pm after getting home at 7pm. I had purchased frozen fajita vegetables. Normally I use fresh bell peppers and onions, but I keep a frozen fajita vegetable mix on hand when I'm in a hurry.

As I was stir frying the vegetables I was reading the label. I wondered why there was 35 calories a serving and each serving was only 1/2 cup. Bell peppers and onions are extremely low in calories.

I read the label: Red peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, onions, corn syrup. CORN SYRUP! What the hell was corn syrup doing in my vegetables?! The rest of the ingredients (and there were several) were mostly unpronounceable. Now I understood the 35 calories per 1/2 cup.

There are frozen bell peppers and onions without added corn syrup. I'd just been picking up a package without actually reading the ingredients. It's all processed food, some of it is healthier.

Mainly I'm paying more attention to what I'm eating. For example, I traded out my Oroweat Sandwich thins for a slice of Dave's Killer bread. The calories are almost the same, but Dave's bread is a much better choice (see ingredients list for both at the end of this post).

I'm not talking "clean eating". I've read the book on clean eating, and if I had all the free time in the world, I doubt I would spend that much time shopping for and preparing my food. I'm talking about "cleaner" eating. Cutting out as many of the chemicals and additives as possible without making preparing our meals my full-time job.

Six Mini-meals a day
We've heard this for years, eating smaller meals more often. I've been following Lyn's blog about eating six smaller meals a day on her MediFast plan. I decided to give this a try on my Weight Watcher plan.

It's not easy because it seems like I'm eating all the time. Sometimes meetings at work get in the way, or something comes up, but it's my goal to eat about every three hours.

My lunch and dinner are smaller these days, but my snacks are more significant. I try to always eat a carb and a protein together. I'm making sure I get 65 grams of protein a day. These complete snacks/meals with the carb and protein really help me feel satisfied.

None of this is new information. I've known all these things most of my life and you probably have too. The only thing that's new is that I'm actually making it part of my life.

It's been four weeks since I incorporated these changes and it's made a huge difference. The craving for sugar that was once uncontrollable is gone. The starving-to-death hunger I felt on a daily basis is mostly gone too. Sometimes a meal will be delayed, then I'll feel that old familiar hunger that makes me feel crazy. Fortunately it happens a lot less often now.

I'm pretty sure someone will comment, asking how can I live without ever having a cookie again or a piece of candy? The same way a recovering alcoholic can never have a drink again. I'll probably slip, but my intent is to give up sugar completely. I know this won't work for everyone, but it works for me.

I feel like I'm in control these days. This is something I can do for the rest of my life. It turns out it's not about total deprivation; it's about eating healthy food, eating it more often, but in reasonable amounts. Totally do-able.


Which do you think is the better choice?

Oroweat Sandwich Thins ingredient list (also called Arnold's depending where you live):

Dave's Killer Bread ingredient list (Powerseed, my personal favorite):
INGREDIENTS: Organic whole wheat flour, organic cracked whole wheat, water, seed mix (organic flax, organic ground flaxseed, organic sunflower, organic unhulled sesame, organic pumpkin, and organic black sesame seeds), organic fruit juices (organic pear, organic pineapple, organic peach), organic oat fiber, organic vital wheat gluten, organic oats, sea salt, organic cultured wheat, yeast , organic rice bran extract


Alan said...

Have you tried Great Harvest? I love their Dakota and it's pretty much the only bread I allow when I'm off processed foods and whites. Haven't seen the ingredients list, though.

Pamela said...

Diana! Yay! I was just hoping that everything was going okay with you. I'm so glad to hear that it is. You know I've been cheering you on from behind the scenes!!

Rettakat said...

It took a while for the sugar cravings to subside for me, but they do. I haven't had sugar since March 16th, 2009. It really does get easier.

People get all worried about what they have to give up if they were to stop eating sugar. Yeah, I gave up intense cravings, irresistible urges to pig out, calorie/chemical laden treats screaming my name trying to bully me into going off plan... it was so worth not eating sugar, just to get some peace over this food thing! :-)

I am so happy for you, that you are seeing progress, and DOING those things you know to do, that work for YOU. Good for you!

Rettakat said...

PS: I forgot to say, I think the new look of your blog is absolutely adorable! I love it. :-)


Miz said...

love the new look!
and you know, sometimes life just demands SILENCE in order to be ready to share and still again.

(Im GF so Im no help on the breads...)

Ron said...

I have been eating like 6 meals a day for a few years now. I too have bean trying to eat cleaner. By the time I kick the bucket.... I may be a thin corpse LOL,but I doubt it.

Roxie said...

Diana, you sound so good! I'm glad you've found something that works for you and it brings you peace AND surety.

Congrats on the big loss in March. Very cool.

Splurgie said...

Thanks for telling about the corn syrup in the peppers. I would have never suspected to see it THERE. It will make me be more careful about reading labels too. You sound more upbeat everyday.

Helen said...

When I was first diagnosed with my throid disease, my doc asked me to start reading labels to look for High Fructose Corn Syrup. I can't believe how many things have HFCS! Of course then I started noticing other added ingredients that I just didn't want or need. It's amazing how much that is done, isn't it!

Silence is Golden sometimes and if you're using the time to figure out what you need to do for you, that's even better.

Carrieheff said...

So glad you are back. I never want you to feel like blogging is a chore so if you go for a while, don't feel bad. This should be fun and cathartic, not something you "have to" do.
Fruits have sugar in them don't they? Natural sugar? I wonder if eating fruits help your body get some sugar and not crave it. I don't know that I could give up all my treats, but reading your blog makes me want to try.

bbubblyb said...

I'm so happy things are going so great for you. I feel envious every time I read about you going to bed and getting 8 hours of sleep. I wish I could make myself do it. I know it's not about wishing just doing but I'm not there yet lol. Way to go on the past month you are doing terrific. It's true we have to really be aware of what we are eating.

Sandra said...

Excellent post Diana. It is funny how all this stuff isn't new information to all of us but it isn't until we actually start paying attention that it really seems to sink in.
You are on your way GF!

Debbie said...

Hey I am glad you are back and I love the way you changed your blog.

Graciela said...

Glad you are back, I've missed you! And I'm glad that you weren't "away" because something "bad" had happened.

I love Dave's Killer Bread. I toast it and then put a little "Better'n Peanut Butter" from Trader Joe's. Have you tried it? Lots lower in fat and calories and is really good.

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

Congrats on an awesome month Diana!!!

M Pax said...

I use Trader Joe's organic oat bran. It's 80 cals a slice and organice. I bought a package of the orrowheat cause it was on sale at Safeway and I've never had it. Now you made me sorry I did. LOL

I gave up the Skinny Cows. I went organic. There's these coconut milk bars at Whole Foods that I like. I love coconut. I was inspired by Jack's post on hi fructose corn syrup. I find my cravings after dinner have diminished a lot.

I'm glad you've found things that are working for you. Hooooo!!! For that. My plan is very similar, only I eat 5x a day.

Glad you're doing so fab. :D

Tony The Pink Panda said...

Grats on no binging, and I love the new layout. Seems like sugar is a big factor for you when it comes to binging - glad you are figuring it out!