3 Months Later…

And I’m back.

Yes, I was too ashamed to post. You can basically assume that anytime I stop posting for more than a week, I am off the weight loss wagon, as it were.

And I was. Until 28 days ago, when it became abundantly clear that I needed to deal with my blood pressure, and fast.

I started a very low sodium, high potassium diet of around 1500 calories a day. I won’t tell you I stuck to it every single day, but I did stay on it far more days than not. And even the days I strayed, I have not had any binge days. Limited destruction at best.

The goal with my doctor was to see if I could bring the BP down enough in 4 weeks to skip meds. It’s down, but not enough. So I started a combo pill of lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide. We’ll see where that gets me in addition to continuing the eating plan in 2 weeks.

In the meanwhile, I have lost 16 pounds in the last 4 weeks. We’ll call that a good start.

Truth is, I can bring the BP down with meds and better eating (hopefully), but I will not be back in a safe zone and able to go med free until a get a very big chunk of weight back off, and start exercising again. Hopefully the latter will get easier as pounds trickle away.

Hopefully.

FlatOut Recommend This Flatbread Company

I discovered a new food company this morning that I’m pretty excited about, mainly because other than pizza, sandwiches aka “sammies” are my favorite food. That means lots of bread, or at least a wrapper of some kind; ideally one that does not trigger a zombie-like carbs ingestion frenzy.

zombiebread
There is no period after bread, because bread never ends!

When I was ordering a deli sandwich for my son, on the counter in front of me was this low calories, wrap option…from “FlatOut Flatbreads”  – which I had never heard of before today.

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 10.36.21 AM

They are a pretty good size, maybe 8 inches or so (said every man ever 😛 ) … so I grabbed a pack of those, and then a container of mozzarella fresca balls in the cherry size, and a bunch of fresh basil. I already had cherry tomatoes at home.

Shortly thereafter, I was slicing and dicing mozzarella (3 balls @ 70 calories), and cherry tomatoes, laying them on the flatbread with leaves of basil covering, drizzling on some Newman’s Own light balsamic, folding it up like the beloved newborn it was and voila… Margherita Fresca sammy for breakfast. Less than 200 calories with 14 grams of protein, low carbs and lots of fiber.

As to the wrap flavor and texture itself. It was okay, and for the quantity and low calories, even better. I’m curious now to try some of their other light products. I may actually prefer the original light over one of the flavored versions, but either way, I will definitely use these in the coming months and years ahead for sure to keep enjoying my sammies, just in a more responsible manner. 😉

And now, I need to go write a short “leadership message video script” for my day job, and then I really need to clean the house. I know. Try not to be too excited for me.

 

Friday Thoughts…

Today is day 12, so not a milestone in any sense, but as the week draws to a close, I do want to share a few thoughts.

First, I’m down around 10 pounds, and while most of that is water, it’s still 10 less pounds to carry around. I can feel the difference. I feel lighter and already have more energy.

Second, doing this, as has been the case before, is a full-time job mentally. Preventing myself from eating all the time takes a lot of effort and focus.

Third, god bless cherry tomatoes. My local market carries the Sunset duo and trio packs of cherry tomatoes and I am eating like a pound or more of them a day, just grabbing a few here and there as snacks. I am counting the calories of course, but they are pretty calorie-efficient for the flavor and fullness they give back.

ps_mastronardi_eco_flavor_sept_24_2014_body01

Final Friday thoughts…I feel like next week, maybe starting this weekend, are going to be really hard in terms of temptation and wanting to eat a lot. I’ll need to throw in extra willpower to get through it. I *think* that if I can make it to like a month on plan, and start to really notice how much better I am feeling, then it will be easier to sustain.

But… Need to get through this next few weeks.

Also – the stuffed peppers made for yummy leftovers. I just nuked half of one for lunch. Mmmmmm…..

Calorie Misfire

Remember to cross check calories listed when you use other people’s recipes. In the ongoing effort to try to have some family meals, I offered to make stuffed peppers (we had leftover cooked rice) while the guys were at mountain bike team training tonight.

Hey it only cost me $32 to get the rest of the ingredients needed for a meal that would use up 2+ leftover cups of rice. 😛

Ah that moment when you realize you’re an idiot. And also, that you live in a really pricey area. But I digress.

ANYHOO…I’m using a recipe that sounded good and was supposed to end up being about 377 calories per stuffed pepper. I even got the 90% lean ground beef instead of 80% to make it lighter. Mixed it all up, popped it in the oven and then….

I started adding up the ingredients combined and dividing by 6 (number of peppers @ 1 per serving).

377 my ass; it’s more like 652, even with the leaner beef.

Now, I had skipped my afternoon mini meal so I could have more tonight, so even at 652, I’ll only be a little over my thousand goal.

But I had planned on having a glass of red wine too, so now that’s off the table dammit.

Bastards.

Anyway, here they are with about 25 minutes to go (for the uncovered cooking stage). Festive little fuckers, aren’t they.

28379062_10156312276823586_6900170973148872704_o

Finished… Pretty good and one was definitely enough!

28467952_10156312433578586_42835126182215680_o

 

Getting All Mathy

So one of the things I do obsessively when I am actually losing weight, is to endlessly calculate about the weight loss…what it will take to get down to a healthy weight–and when it might happen.

Without accounting for any trainwrecks that may happen along the way *ahem* …

Girl eating big sandwich
This. Looks. Familiar.

… the math is simple. You need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound. If you know your basal metabolic rate (BSR)*, and if applicable, how many calories you expend exercising, and keep close and accurate account of what you consume….boom. #NotRocketScience

So I am not exercising yet, still too heavy, and for my gender, at my current age and weight, my BSR is estimated to be 1951. So just by being alive, that’s approximately how many calories I burn a day. I am targeting to consume about 1000 calories each day, so that means I am burning 951 more a day than I am taking in. Thus if I stick to the calories in, and do not do anything else, I will lose just under 2 pounds a week.

(951*7)/3500=1.902 pounds

And that math works until I have lost enough weight that my BSR goes down – which can happen fast if you are doing it right. For example, when I am 20 pounds lighter than I am now, my BSR will be 1860, nearly 100 calories less. So my weight loss will slow down continually as I lose weight, unless I eat less or start to exercise. #AgainNotRocketScience

Looking ahead, here’s what I can expect without accounting for the exercise calories (that I will most certainly be adding, once it doesn’t hurt so much to move, and I am not worried about crushing my carbon bike frame – LOL)….

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 1.09.53 PM

Okay, initial math homework done and it’s time for an Atkins Shake…my over-the-counter meal replacement of choice. They are not all I am eating (obviously), but I plan to use them heavily to help manage calorie slippage or miscounts from actual food consumed.

Tomorrow will be 10 days in, which is a damn good start, and 1/3 to a full month, which will really feel meaningful. Been a long-ass time since I have stayed on my eating plan for a full month.

Ciao for now!

* There are quite a few BSR calculators online, this is just one and seemed more conservative than others, so I use this one. Would rather assume I am burning less calories to be safe!

 

Week One Done

It was an interesting weekend to try to stay around one thousand calories per day. Our high school age son joined the mountain biking team, and this was the first race weekend.

And when I say race weekend, I mean, it’s most of the weekend…you are not just going to a single race, like a game, and it’s over.

The races are typically out of the area, this weekend was 3 hours away, at Ford Ord, in Monterey, CA. The families arrive the day before for the riders to pre-ride the course, then there is a team dinner, bed, back by 7:30 am, and the day ends around 4 by the time all the division races and podium awards happen. Then drive 3 hours back home.

Also – this is such an endurance sport that there is a constant focus on getting the riders to EAT. Huge, carb loading dinners the night before, large carb breakfast 3 hours before the race, then more carbs at least once an hour before race and then lots of protein after the race.

So there is food everywhere!

So how did my diet go? Not 100% on plan but I am content where it landed.

  • Saturday I had about 1900 calories, and most of that was at the team dinner, and included one 20oz beer (we were eating at a brewery) and some Smartpop cheddar popcorn later that night. What the day did not include was any sense of loss of control of what i was eating.
  • Sunday, race day, the only food options were what was at the team tent for the riders, so I stayed made sparring choices: a banana, a small bowl of a spinach and feta salad (that had a lot of dressing but it was a little portion overall), plus maybe 3/4 cup of a cold noodle salad, plus a single cheeseburger with mustard and tomato only, then we had dinner when we got home last night at a local restaurant, I had a grilled steak salad with tomatoes and some crumbled blue cheese, no dressing. But I only ate about 1/3 of the steak, no more than 3 ounces. I did have 2 glasses of red wine and god was that needed by then. My educated guess is 1500-1800kcals for the day. More important, no sense of eating more than I should, or loss of control. Sunday I also walked and stood far more than I have been in this last year.
  • Even eating more than originally planned, I am down a half pound from when I weighed on Saturday (2 days ago).

The most significant occurrence this past weekend was not what I ate (or did not eat), but how much I hurt during and afterward.

It was a critical reminder about how lifestyle limiting being really obese is. Simple walking and standing around is really difficult to do for very long, and makes otherwise super fun events a terrible challenge, and adds a sense of loneliness and isolation.

We have another race weekend in 2 weeks, then 2 weeks after that, then 3 weeks till the 4th and then the final is 3 weeks later in mid-May. *whew*

I’m not sure how much difference I will notice losing 5-10 pounds in the next 4 weeks when it comes to being on my feet most of the day, but hopefully by the last 2 races I will be more like 20-25 pounds lighter and it will be easier and therefore more fun.

We’ll find out. Onward and downward. One day at a time.

Day 5 Coming to a Close

So far I don’t have to reset the “Days since last episode” button yet. Whew. Other than work, kept busy (and distracted) today by making a video for my daughter’s 17th birthday. She’s in China for the year, and I last saw her in August, so going through all the pictures to make this video made me very weepy…in a good way.

Slowcooker Southwestern White Bean Chicken Chili

So one of my biggest challenges trying to get back into a long-term (god, so long) controlled eating plan…is my family. Honestly, they have been through this with me so many times, and though I am saying this, not them, they are pretty over the whole dieting thing. It’s much easier for me to avoid regular foods altogether, to just do shakes and bars. So. Much. Easier.

But…not eating any meals together is hard on the family dynamic. And frankly, I have not been all that wonderful to be around since I’ve ballooned up again. So, I’m going to try to find a middle ground somehow, at least to get into a routine.

In that spirit, I am making this now for me, my husband and 14 y/o son to have for dinner later. They are off mountain biking now, and it’s quite cold, so this hot and spicy chili will hopefully be welcome.

28161690_10156292108433586_4657522379656225440_o
I’ll be honest, this really does not look appetizing. That said, a lot of my crockpot recipes don’t look good at the start, so I’ll hold out hope. We’ll see in a few hours. I’ll post a “after” picture later.

I’ll have to confirm measurements once it’s done, but I believe that it will come out to be less than 200 calories per serving, and is super low fat. Well, I won’t be eating it with blue corn tortilla chips, grated colby jack and sour cream like the two guys will, but as I say…they are off mountain biking and will have earned it.

Recipe

  • 1 pound skinless chicken breasts, chopped up to preferred size: 520kcal
  • 2 cans Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Jalapenos, 14.5 OZ  210kcal
  • 1 can white kidney beans + 1 can cannellini beans (regular size cans): 720kcal
  • 12 ounces (3/4 of 1 lb. bag) of frozen “fire roasted” Trader Joe’s sweet corn: 400kcal
  • 1-12oz jar of Trader Joe’s Hatch Valley (Green) Salsa: 110kcal
  • 20 oz Pacific Foods Chicken Broth: 37kcal
  • 2 TBS lime juice 8kcal
  • 2 chopped green onions: 10kcal
  • 1/4 cup (or to taste) chopped cilantro: so low, not worth counting.

2015 kcals for entire slowcooker pot…we’ll see how many cups that yields in about 4-5 hours.

Add sliced chicken, salsa, beans, tomatoes, corn and broth to slow cooker. Set on high. Was ready in 3 1/2 hours, longer would have been fine too. Add green onions, lime juice and cilantro in the final hour. 6-7 hours of cooking time for low heat option.

And now I’m back to say it was FANTASTIC! Picture colors below are muted for some reason and do not do it justice. The flavors were so, so good. Perfect amount of southwestern heat. I will make this again many times. As per the recipe above, it made 12 cups, so 168 calories a cup. I had 2 cups. YUM.

Things I would do differently next time (maybe)… As you can see from the photo, it was a little soupy in terms of consistency.  Next time I might try cutting the broth back to 10 ounces, or even less, instead of 20 oz for comparison. I could also drain the tomatoes, but I used those japaleno flavored tomatoes, which I think contributed the wonderful flavor overall. And also, it was awesome even with more soup liquid, so no need to change unless you really like a more traditional chili texture.

28335896_10156292510288586_4966755616942628715_o

 

 

Stealth mode

Pssst…I’m back, but don’t expect much writing for now. Right now I am solely focused on getting through each day without breaking my eating plan. And it’s only day 3.

I’ll add just this, I have been feeling like utter shit for months physically and mentally because I have gotten so heavy again. Can’t keep living like that, cause it’s not living.

Onward and downward, I hope.

Still Here!

I bet you thought my going radio silent meant I was no longer trying to re-lose weight (as it so often has meant). Nope. Just super crazy busy.

I have lost 14 pounds since I started this about 6 weeks ago. My goal (as I said at the start) is….

I should be able to lose 2 pounds a week, but let’s even just say 1.5 a week. That should be more than reasonable, and still put me back down to a healthy, moving weight by the time we leave for New Zealand.

So for the first 6 weeks, that would be 9-16 pounds, so I am right on track. I did have a few bad food days, but got back on track after each binge and have been eating moderately in general rather than fasting, so at this time, I am planning to just stay the course and am feeling good.

More in late February after I finish a huge work project.

Bye!