Sunday, June 29, 2014

Donut Eat Junk

Day Two

On day two I weighed in at 259. That is a four pound loss overnight. I know I didn't eat enough food, but I was working and didn't plan well so I truly deserved to lose those four pounds. Woe is me.

Anyway, on the second day of my story, the future seemed so bright. I was going to eat my serving sizes and for sure eat as close to my calorie ceiling as I could. I intend to keep my food intake between 1800 and 2000.

The day was going along great. I wasn't starving, I was getting snacks and I had a good amount left for dinner. Spent some time working on the blog, which by the way looks like a weekend project, for the most part. Keeping track of all this is taking a good chunk of time.

I am very busy during the week, logging my food intake on Lose It! and taking photos of food and then taking photos of more food and also, planning ahead. That is what is key at work.

But right now, I am telling you the story of Day Two. Yes, so I am minding my own business when all of a sudden my daughter, Hannah and son, Benjamin come home from staying a few days with their sister, Elizabeth and brother-in-law, Russell, bringing with them, bad juju!

Yes, the evil saboteurs brought home Voodoo Donuts from that crazy place known as Portland!

However, I am determined to have a serving size of the Bacon Maple Bar, because, I will not be denied and I am trying to prove a point here about being able to eat serving sizes and there is something else but it escapes me at the moment.

It took Hannah and I twenty minutes to find calorie content for the Bacon Maple Bar. Only 407 calories. That seems pretty reasonable for a donut such as these. So I cut it in half and only used 203.5 of my "dinner" calorie total. But I really wanted to taste that Dirty Bastard donut. So I cut off a bite-sized piece of that and the Tang-y Glazed donut and added an additional 100 to the deal.

Voodoo Review: The Bacon Maple Bar was a culinary sensation in much the same way as when your pancake syrup flows over the side of the double-stack, onto the plate and slides under your bacon, contaminating it with maple sugary sweetness.  It was okay. I prefer a stand-alone maple bar.

But that is beside the point. By eating these donuts, I went over my calories for the day. Part of the reason was because I forgot to log a few items. I will make mistakes, guarantee that. Like many foods I have consumed because they were there, I wasted calories on treats I don't really care about. Donuts didn't make me fat. I could go years without eating a donut. I would much rather eat a Costco Roasted chicken... whole. (I have not done this, just noting a preference.)

On the morning after the Donut Debacle, I weighed in at 263. Yikes, back up three pounds.

The moral of this story is Don't Eat Junk. Says Me.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Oh, Weight, There's More

Did I mention I have a weight problem? You might have picked up on that detail. I have been battling with weight issues since before high school.

Mom, my sister, Debra and myself being dramatic. 1974
Several events happened during my preteens to throw me off course for a lifetime: I began developing breasts, everyone seemed to find that hilarious and worthy of funny comments; my parents divorced; I was sexually abused; my sister left home and my brother was sent to a boys home. Everything I knew about the world had unraveled and I felt very alone.

By the time I started 9th grade, I was so insecure about my body, that I wore my coat zipped up to my neck for the entire year. I was 15. That is when I discovered the self-medicating properties of food.

If I ate two helpings instead of one, I didn't feel quite so lost. I felt full. Feeling full felt like safety and comfort. However, the more I ate, the more I would hear comments like, "I eat to live, I don't live to eat." To hide the fact that I was having seconds, I helped myself to bigger portions.

In 1976 when I turned 16 and was sent to live with my mom, I had reached 165 pounds and had developed the unfortunate condition of bad acne. That year, I walked to School every day, dodging Slurpees thrown from students driving to Chief Sealth High School. (Yes I was in choir and it was just like in the series Glee.) I skipped classes and sat alone in the bleachers and watched the kids smoke pot on the football field. My grandmother died that year and I missed her terribly. This was a very dark period for me.

Life didn't get easier. I attended four different high schools before graduating in 1978.

The summer before my senior year, I stayed with my uncle in Ellensburg and helped him on his property, spending time with friends from junior high and 9th grade, and managed to lose 25 pounds. From there I moved back with my dad and spent my senior year enjoying my new friends, going to parties, smoking and slowly gaining weight again.

After Graduation, (145 lbs.) I worked for my stepdad. (165 lbs.) Then I got a job at the nursing home where I met my husband. I knew he was a nonsmoker so I ate carrots instead of smoking cigarettes. (135 lbs.) I went from a pack a day habit to a nonsmoker overnight. I stopped biting my nails at the same time. It was true love. (140 lbs.)

Months leading up to our wedding, I worked at McDonalds, I was swimming a mile a day at the local health club and had joined my first weight loss program: Weight Loss Clinic. It cost me about $267 to eat 500 calories a day. When I say that to myself, I cannot believe I survived on so little. I remember at one point, I couldn't finish part of a meal because I was full. after six weeks, I lost 15 pounds. (125 lbs.)

Our Wedding Day. A very happy day. (130 lbs.)

On the honeymoon, because I was starving before we got married, I wasted my $267 by gaining it all back plus some in two weeks. (145 lbs.)

(155 lbs.) During my first pregnancy, I didn't gain enough weight, only 15 pounds. (170 lbs.) What was interesting about that is for the first time, I could eat what I wanted. I didn't feel anything was off limits. No pressure. No cravings. Easy pregnancy. Beautiful baby girl (8lbs 6oz). (150 lbs.)

(165 lbs.) While carrying my second child, I gained plenty and was tested for gestational diabetes. Tests were negative. Quick delivery. Another beautiful baby girl (9lbs 3oz). (190 lbs.)

(173 lbs.) Giving birth to our third child was as easy as the others and we were blessed with another beautiful baby girl (9lbs 10oz). (203 lbs.)

(190 lbs.) When I was pregnant for the last time, the doctor referred to me as obese. That was not me, even though I was heavier than I had ever been. This time, my baby was breach and I had a c-section. We had a beautiful baby boy (10lbs 11oz). (235 lbs.) Time to stop having children.

My weight just kept going up from there. I have been on so many weight loss programs it is hard to recall them all. Weight Loss Clinic, The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Scarsdale Diet, Weight Watchers, The American Heart Association Diet, The Atkins Plan, Slim Fast, The Hawaiian Diet, Bob Greene's Best Life Diet, The 31 Day Diabetes Cure.... I cannot remember them all.

One year, I decided to workout instead of diet. I gained 40 pounds that year.

In 2010 (274 lbs.) I signed up for NutriSystem. It worked very well for me. Over the course of six months I lost 60 pounds. (214 lbs.) and managed to keep it off for almost a year before the weight started zooming back up.

In December of 2013, I realized I had to figure out something because I was nearing 300 pounds. (280 lbs.) I thought at 300 pounds I would just give up, gaining more and more until Richard Simmons found me and saved my life.

Rare sighting: me, earlier this year. 2014
I joined millions of other Americans and made a new years resolution, joined NutriSystem again and began January with yet another diet plan. In the first month I lost 10 pounds and then I lost interest in eating my solitary packaged food. I didn't completely fail because I decided I would try to get a grip on my portions, eat what my family ate, and stay in control without feeling like I was missing out on certain foods.

This new plan also included eating snacks. I was very wary of eating many snacks all day but it actually worked for me. I wanted to eat, and snacking let me do it. So up until the beginning of summer, I was down 17 pounds. (263 lbs.)

Today I weighed in at 259. This means I have lost 21 pounds since January first, four pounds since the beginning of Summer, one week ago.

There is so much more to this story. I haven't even touched on Fibromyalsia and body image, but it is just way to long already. I do have to mention, my husband has been wonderful through all the different renditions of me. One thing has always been constant is his love and support. He loves every part of me, all the curves and all the edges... except maybe my kneecaps, which I think are ultra-cute but he has never thought the same.

I can live with that.

I'm Wasting Away to Practically Nothing!

Day One

I can relate to Ursula the Sea Witch (The Little Mermaid.) I am pretty much hungry now. I realize for myself, hunger may just all be in my head. I don't have to eat to be starving. Hunger pains are a mystical rarity to make me pause and wonder at these strange noises coming from my abdomen. I rather enjoy a good hunger pain.

I enjoyed legit hunger pains on day one, although, I consider them to be a result of poor planning. I was working and didn't give a thought to my food that day. I know, I'm thinking that too... "not make a plan for the first day of Summer? That's irresponsible."

Not that I am claiming this to be the most "responsible" diet I have tried, but I like it so far. As you may have read in an earlier post, I don't have many rules. But the rules I do have, I am clinging to like velcro on my favorite sweater. I won't let go until I find a hole... and there are holes, just not ones big enough for me to crawl through yet.

One of the unwritten rules I am following is not to deny myself a food because it's not good for me or the food in question has too much fat, etc. I am focusing on portion control, which is a big problem for me

I have given myself permission to eat anything I want or whatever is available to make my meal. There is no guilt in this.

On June 20, summer's eve, I made oatmeal cookies with raisins, my all time favorite, knowing I would be having cookies the next day. It was lovely having those cookies. I counted the calories and moved on. Easy peasy.

The funny thing is that I didn't feel the need to eat more because I know I can have them again any time I want old fashioned oatmeal cookies. There are 15 baggies in my freezer with four small cookies in each bag (ounces matter) waiting for me whenever I get the need for a cookie. I love knowing I can have them... which somehow, oddly enough, gives me no driving need to eat more. This must be what "Average Weight" people do. Hmmm. Food for thought.

My thoughts on the first day of Serving Size Summer, reference the daily food intake image above.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are listed first, followed by all snacks with time notations for each food consumed.

My first challenge was Pizza. The pieces looked huge and I wanted to eat the whole thing. I didn't have the time to do a search at work and find out the calories, so, I cut a bit of the slice off to what I thought was an appropriate serving size (estimating 1/8 slice of medium pizza.) Later that evening I searched up the serving sizes of Papa Murphy's Garlic Chicken Pizza and came up with 320 calories. I realized that was for the piece on left, the one I didn't eat. In hindsight, I should have eaten the uncut slice because that is a serving size and the calories stated were based on that size. It was delicious either way.

As you look at the graphic you might notice that I ate carrots all day. Part of that is because that is what I had available and we haven't been shopping in a while.

The other reason is that carrots are my favorite go-to snack. These are a staple in my life, as will be reflected in my nutrition fact graphics. I have so many people say to me, "you shouldn't eat so many carrots. They are full of sugar." Well, to that I say, "carrots are better for me than a Baby Ruth. Carrots are better than a pound of bacon... better than that bag of Lays Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips... and yes, carrots are better than a stalk of celery which is about 7 calories. Carrots helped me stop smoking. Carrots are a happy bright orange, carrots also sound like the word used to measure diamonds." I could go on, so all you carrot haters, BACK OFF!

The disheartening note about carrots is that a serving is just 10 pieces. Sad, sad day. Some labels list the serving as 1/4 package. Thats very nice, so when you look at the graphic, I haven't doubled my serving size, which would be cheating, I have just followed the current recommendation for that particular brand.

I did lose three pounds overnight, I know, water weight whatever. I know it was because I didn't eat enough calories to slow things down. Although I do want to lose weight, I am not in a rush. Tomorrow (I will try to eat more... that is funny coming from a pre-diabetic, obese American. If you could only hear me laughing.)

I love the support I am getting from this. My family, friends and co-workers are more aware of a serving size and will offer me snacks with the qualifying information so I can choose if that is where I want to spend my calories. See, choices make me happy.

Although I didn't eat enough calories on the first Day of Summer, I considered it a successful beginning to my journey. I stuck to my plan. (I should get a big banner saying "Mission Accomplished!" Nah. That might be jumping ahead... this is, after all, only the first day.)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Tools and The Rules

Day Two

Well, two days have passed on this new blog adventure. I have been very diligent in keeping track of my success or lack thereof. I decided that it would be nice to share the tools I am using to help me remain focused on the Serving Size Plan.

I downloaded this App on my phone years ago and have used it off and on to track my food intake. It is so easy to use. I can also scan UPC codes to access nutrition information, make a plan that records my calorie intake against my available calories for the day, and keep a log of exercise. If I upgrade this App, there are even more features.

My old calorie counter paperback (first publishing 2003-this is the 2007 version-not that old), fits right into my purse and has been useful when I didn't understand the serving sizes the way they are spelled out.

Along side this book is my iPhone loaded with the very handy Lose It! App and the Camera App which I have and will be taking photos to illustrate what serving sizes look like compared to what I have been consuming.

I will use these tools along with my trusty weigh scale which always has better news than the doctor's weigh scale. I don't understand why they would use faulty equipment.

The weigh-in is not as important as the "how I feel" aspect, but I do need to keep track to see if I am losing too fast. I know, most of my life I couldn't lose weight fast enough but lately I have been more patient.

In January I started the cliched "New Years Resolution" weight loss plan and have lost 17 pounds up until I started this plan. That is almost three pounds per month. Very slow... however, I have noticed my body seems to like this pace of adjustment.

I began my serving size challenge yesterday and overnight I have already lost another 3 pounds. It could be reflecting water weight falling away as often happens in the first few days of starting a new eating pattern. It could reflect the fact that after eating breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, a snack/dessert, my caloric consumption added up to 1,686. I had 472 calories remaining.

In these first few weeks, I am not going to deny myself things that I like. I will still eat the potato chips but I will stick to a serving size... lunch today was a challenge for me when I put 3/4 cup of chili in the fridge because 1 cup was the recommended portion. Three days ago, I would have eaten the whole can, today I am having fun being in control.

My Serving Size Summer Plan has very few rules but, nonetheless, I am going to be strict about following the guidelines I have set in place. They are listed here:

1) Use Food label Nutrition Facts for serving size information (or a calorie counter/book)
2) Keep calorie intake under 2000
3) Daily weight checks (If I lose too fast after the first week, I will increase daily calories)
4) Be honest about my progress

There you have it. These are my tools and my rules, granted this is a very unscientific experiment and I am not a doctor, nor have I played one on TV, although, I was Mrs. Hyde in a play a few years ago.

And now a quote from one of my all time favorite movies: "...thems' my rules....!" Richard Dreyfuss From Goodbye Girl.

   Until next time...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hello Summer!

Today is Saturday, June 21, 2014. The first Day of Summer!

I love Summers. Back when we were raising all four kids, my husband would finish teaching for the year, and after I cleared my calendar of freelance design projects, Summers were all ours, so, we slept in, went camping, or ventured out on Road Trips. It really meant all six of us were together for almost two whole months. I loved it!

This year will be different. Our household has dwindled down to three. My husband, Gerard, will be off teaching Summer School and will be very busy with lesson plans and creating activities for his class (this occurs at home because teacher's planning time for Special Ed doesn't happen during "Planning Time.") and as teachers often do, he has a second job on the weekends. He will be very busy.

Our son, Benjamin, is the last of the FAB FOUR still living at home and we have come up with a few new and creative ways to do something productive, have a lot of fun, laugh, probably cry and just make the most of the time we have together since he will be graduating high school next year.

We have agreed to help each other as much as we can on our tasks to encourage success for us both. Benjamin's project will be diving into social media: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc. My project is this new blog, Serving Size Summer.

In the early 1990's, nutrition facts became a requirement for food labeling. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) created a standard of nutrition information based on serving sizes Americans consumed in the 70's and 80's. Back in the day when we didn't have an obesity crisis. Before wheat, corn and soy became additives in our packaged food.

A few months ago, the FDA  announced a plan to change the serving size recommendations to reflect what Americans actually eat. Similar to what they did before... except this time, the FDA will be using our out-of-control consumption as the norm.

Does this idea bother anyone? Americans are already bad at managing their food intake. I am a prime example of this. I didn't get to weigh almost 300 pounds by following the serving size information. I basically just ate as much as I wanted and the results, are disastrous.  It didn't happen overnight. I believe I did this by ignoring the recommended serving sizes of the foods I consumed.

The FDA's plan would make my mismanaged dietary habits seem normal. I could then consume larger quantities of guilt free foods. Some people wont even be aware that the serving size was changed. They will look at the label and be happy to have permission to eat more.

Here is an example. A seven ounce bag of sour cream & onion potato chips is 1051 calories - almost half of your recommended calorie allowance for the day in a 2000 calorie diet. The current label states that a serving size is one ounce of chips. It could be somewhere between 10 and 17 pieces for 150 calories.

If there is a seven ounce bag of chips sitting on my counter, I would want to eat the entire bag and be resentful of every other hand that went in for a taste. I am an obese American after all and chips are my favorite thing, and yet I know 7 ounces of potato chips would not be a good idea.

I could list hundreds of foods in the same manner, but what my goal is for this blog, is to show myself what the current food labeling system means to me in my daily life, use the information within a 2000 calorie diet, get healthier, move further away from Type II Diabetes and lose some of my belly fat.

I may not always stick to this plan perfectly but I will be honest about my failures as well as my successes. Today I spent the day keeping track of my food intake and am happy to report, I followed my plan very carefully. Later, I will show you what my first day of Serving Sized food looked like.

Stay tuned.

Here is one story: