The self evident truth of weight loss

I’m sorry. I really am.  That horrible thing everyone has been saying forever is true. If you want to lose weight you have to sustainably and consistently create a calorie deficit.  I’ll give you a moment of silence to mourn..

The experiment with the 3 day deal was predictably a complete and utter failure. I came home from my 4th weekend up a pound from my original weight (which would have happened no matter what because I spent the whole of the holiday weekend shoving food in my face.. but still..) I am convinced that any time you actively deprive yourself of a food or group of foods, you are setting yourself up for one hell of a binge later on down the road.  As they say “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

Things that actually do help

Of course, will power is the best thing you can possibly hope to have, but, if you are anything like me and are completely and utterly useless in that department, here are three things that I found  that really help.

1. Calorie counters/ diet trackers

The absolute best innovation to weight loss/ diet alteration are the many free calorie tracking apps/ sites that are available.  Most (if not all) offer some kind of premium membership for a fee.  As long as the app has accurate calorie values and you are able to log EVERYTHING that goes in your face, there is really no need to upgrade to any kind of paid membership.

I have personally used Lose It! and My Fitness Pal. I used lose it the most in the past, but have recently become frustrated with conflicting or down right incorrect calorie data, a lot of food options that are unavailable, meaning you have to go through a couple of the same item before you are able to actually select and log, and many of the “checked” foods are even inaccurate. I am now back to using my fitness pal and am very pleased so far. I have also heard good things about Fat Secret. There are many others out there, and if you find another really great one, please share it in the comments.

2. A food scale

If you’re going to be logging your food, you’re going to need to know how much to log. Measuring your food by weight is the very best way to do this. (You should see how much pasta I can pack into a 1 cup measurer… it’s insane.)   At first it is a pain in the ass to pop everything on the scale, but after a while it becomes second nature.  I actually just put my plate on the scale and tare it for each item I will be eating, or I build food like sandwiches/salads etc. right on there.

After having a couple, I personally like the more compact digital models that go to a tenth of an ounce.  I have never had an expensive or super fancy food scale, and I really fail to see why on earth it would be necessary for this purpose. I currently have this scale and I love it.

3. Comfortable shoes

Oh fuuuuckkkk. I know. I know. I’m right there with you, but in order to consistently create a deficit we actually have to exercise more. Just go for a walk.. it’ll be nice.

 

 

 

3 Day Military Diet

In searching through old pins, I discovered this diet that lasts for stints of 3 days at a time, claiming that weight loss of up to 10 pounds per round is possible. As someone who has successfully lost large amounts of weight prior to and after my pregnancies, this seems outlandish at best. However, it’s only three days and is worth a try right? First impressions after reviewing the “diet”:

1. This is not healthy. It is not well rounded nutritionally and puts you at around 1000 calories a day. That said I expect that yes, a good amount of weight can be lost with such minimal intake.

2. Exercise will probably be insanely difficult during the three days, but the disclaimer is made that real exercise should be reserved for the 4 off days between rounds.

3. The “diet” claims the foods boost metabolism, but I feel that rather than boosting metabolism it functions more as a sort of fasting tool, with a stomach shrinking/ appetite retraining effect.

4. Lastly, I will not be in the least bit surprised if every pound and then some is gained during the off days even with a good amount of restraint towards intake source and amounts.

What is this diet?

The diet is a very strict meal plan for 3 days. The foods are not super foods at all, and are in fact extremely cheap (the fact that you need so little food is also a plus as far as frugality rates).  The foods are actually pretty unappealing to me – hard boiled eggs, plain tuna etc. but I figure I can hack three days of just about anything – afterall, I have spent three days of my life in labor and look how wonderful that turned out! Exercise is encouraged during the three days in the form of intentional movement, but challenging workouts are to be reserved for the days following the meal plan.

Day 0

Today is the day before my start tomorrow. I have shopped for all of the food I will need and have copied the eating plan along with other helpful tips (a slice of cheese is actually 2 ounces in this plan) along with a little chart to record my start and finish measurements and weight onto a notebook page that I have put on my fridge.  I have eaten the traditional pre-hell diet brownie and am dreading tomorrow.  Maybe I ought to slug down a beer or two to calm my nerves about the situation….

Day 1

6:30

Woke up dreading eating canned tuna today – almost didn’t get out of bed.

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Choked down half of grapefruit, am grateful for it’s assistance in getting down the copious amount of peanut butter that has me smacking away like a dog. Had to drink more than the recommended amount of coffee or would die.. or possibly kill family – its a 50/50.

10:00

I exercised with babelette sitting and jumping on me. Want snack. Had to kick older children outside to curb my insanity.

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Was so ready for lunch I thought eating the tuna would be easy. WRONGO! Ever chew and chew and chew something but find yourself unable to swallow and end your own misery? That’s what a can of tuna on a piece of toast is. The deed is done with a little help from the dog and babelette (maybe she’s not mine?)  My hands and mouth need to be purified.

 

4:00

Went for a bike ride with all 3 creatures to the park and am completely wiped out. Not sure if it’s because I’m fat and out of shape in hot weather, or fat and suffering from short term malnutrition.

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Etta James is singing “At Last” all through my brain.  I am swapping 6 oz greek vanilla yogurt for the ice cream because if I had ice cream in my house and it passed my lips I would go hog freaking wild. Dinner is actually huge. I seasoned my chicken with just salt and pepper.

Day 220160630_081137

Down 3.4 lbs. Not any hungrier than I normally would be in the morning.  I’m cheating with my coffee again because there’s just no freaking way.  I will think about easing up on it today – key word here is think.

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Nothing that I’m particularly averse to eating for lunch, but even as someone who is fine with white creamy foods (we all know someone who gets extremely grossed out by these I think) this is really an odd and unappealing plate. Maybe sensory deprivation is supposed to serve as an appetite suppressant?

 

3:00

Cheated and ate 3 saltines – you don’t say no whan a baby feeds you.  You just don’t.

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Dinner at last. Enraged at my children I’m so jealous – damned little ingrates.

  • Babelette (who I am desperately trying to wean) was up all night screaming from this damned raw broccoli.

 

Day 3

Down another 1.2 lbs (4.6 total from start) this morning and 1 inch lost everywhere. Not very hungry, but breakfast was fine despite being weird. Coffee is a must.  Thing 1 read plan on fridge and commented “None of these foods go together. Why are you doing this?!”

6:30

Very busy day getting ready for last minute 4th weekend plans. I was good through lunch. Went to Costco with all 3 of my children (really that should be the end of this entire post..) Ate cookie in car while waiting in line for gas to recouperate from my trauma. Needed another after arriving home 45 minutes later. After storing the Costco shopping, I had to brave the “real” grocery store with the three manic imps. Bought a deli fried chicken meal with the intent of giving it to children and still having my planned meal of chicken, yougurt and banana half (no fucking way could I do 2 cans of tuna). In the car on the way home, eyes barely above the wheel (I was 5’7″ the last time I was measured), I realized that the slumped over shoulders on once statuesque women have nothing to do with a decline in  bone density.  The condition is in fact the manifestation of their shattered spirits and broken minds after over exposure to children.  Fuck this. I’m eating the fried chicken.

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Starting anew

I have been the worst blogger ever!  In my absence on the blog, I went back to school, lost all of the weight (55 pounds) from things 1 & 2, promptly got pregnant with thing 3, had her after gaining a whopping 90 pounds.  So, I’ve been a bit busy surviving and haven’t had time to share my take on subsisting. As previously mentioned, I gained 90 pounds immediately after earning the happiest body I have ever had. I’m sure you can imagine how miserable it is being trapped in a fat body all over again.  Fortunately for me, I am down and “only” have 55 of that 90 left 1 year post partum.  I know I can do it again, and I got my tubes tied to prevent another self sabotage – HA! So until I have all of this weight off, I am taking the blog for a ride with me down weight loss lane. I will be cruising through my pinterest boards from when I first lost the weight and trying out the things I didn’t last time, as well as implementing what I absolutely know works for me (but it’s sooo damn hard) .  I will be starting tomorrow with the “3 Day Military Diet” that claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in 1 week.  That post will be up on Friday.

Giving Thanks With Wee Ones

Every November I start a project to get my kids thinking about what they are thankful for. In the past we have always made paper chains, but I just love their little drawings so much that I have to keep them and frankly, I’m running out of room to store the things! So this year I decided to try something new. I have since seen this on Pinterest as well as in a magazine (Family Circle I think), which only validates the sheer genius of the activity.

Firstly I had the task of once again explaining what “thankful” means, that it is things we already have, and not necessarily just “stuff”. I am thrilled and tickled pink to say that tonight while doing our project and deciding what we would be thankful for today, Thing 1 triumphantly declared that he was thankful for me!! It does not get any better than that.

Here is the project in progress:

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Things 1 &2 and I do one each every single day and will continue to do so until Thanksgiving. I will share what I’ve cooked up to keep them busy while I cook soon hopefully (I know I’ve been a dreadful blogger!).

I started off by doing a Google image search for leaf coloring pages for kids. I used this free coloring sheet as my template and just cut tons of them out of colored paper. I hole punched each one, threaded some yarn through tying it to the top of the leaf and pinned some larger strands of yarn to the wall to tie the leaves onto for our banner.  Then we just color and tie them on staggering them by tying one tightly and the next loosely and so on.  After they color I also like to write whose is whose and what the picture is on the back of their leaves so I can compare each year and see how they grow in thanks.

My kids are really learning what thankful means, and are truly starting to think about it every day before project time, and I am truly thankful that I get to sit down and color and chat with my two amazing little creatures who in their thanks never fail to awe and amaze me.

The Best Part of Waking Up II

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Okay, so I switched to straight coffee for a while and hence haven’t posted the better creamer instructions – but I’ve  had one hell of a sweet tooth  lately and just needed a little something in the morning to curb it. Here is my favorite creamer that I modified from Deliciously Organic. This time around I made just a simple mocha version, but I’ve used this base to make other versions which I will include at the bottom of the post🙂

All of the creamers I use follow the same base and only the additives change. All you are doing is whisking it all (except extracts) together in a pot until it is nice and steamy, removing it from the heat, and then adding in any extracts. Pour it through a cheese cloth lined fine sieve into your container of choice. Shake well before each use as it does tend to settle. Easy Peasy! Enjoy!

The Base:

All you need for mocha!

All you need for mocha!

2 c. Half and Half

2 Tbsp Syrup

For Flavors add the following to base –

Mocha:

2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Vanilla

French Vanilla:

2 tsp Vanilla

Pumpkin Spice: (strain this through your cheese cloth lined sieve really well so you don’t have a gooey lump of pumpkin at the bottom of your cup!)

2 Tbsp Syrup

4 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree

I think the fact that I hadn't had coffee yet caused most of those little spills under my creamer jar...

I think the fact that I hadn’t had coffee yet caused most of those little spills under my creamer jar…

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/8 tsp Ground Cloves

1/4 tsp Ginger

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Vanilla

Almond Mocha:

2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Almond Extract

Lettuce Never Buy This Again

Hooray for food you can grow from waste! I ran across a list somewhere, showing things you can grow from the “waste” of what you buy. (As soon as I relocate it I will link up to it here). And I was surprised to see that you can grow lettuce from  the stump you get off of your store bought leaf lettuces! Of course I just had to try it because if it’s free I’m all in! So, I chopped my stump off and grabbed an empty soup can, my used coffee grounds and of course the container of dirt I keep below the sink (you’d be surprised how often it comes in handy..) and set out to test this theory.
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I used a small screw driver and a hammer to pop some holes into the bottom of my can and then mixed a 1:3 of coffee grounds and dirt right in my can. I popped my stump in and covered it with dirt, gave it a little water and set it in a little dish on the window sill (so it wouldn’t pee all over the wood window frame of course).  I did all of this on the 15th (6 days ago). 

 

I took this picture yesterday. So, in just 5 days my little baby stump is already growing up! I can’t wait to eat its little head!

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The 74 Calorie Health(ier) Cookie

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I totally had to take two bites before taking the picture… the first one was all gooey choco-fied and you couldn’t see the dough texture😉

Yes, you read that right.  I made a “healthy” 74 calorie cookie, and honestly, I think it’s pretty good! Of course, it does have a drawback – the texture is a lot softer than the real deal, and I think it’s more “bread-y” than my originals. However, after seeing a picture of myself taken recently, I really don’t care about texture all that much. If I can get my sweet fix without guilt and not have to buy bigger jeans, I can totally compromise with eating a softer cookie.

What You Need:img_0899

1/2 c. mashed banana – I just used 1 med/lg one and came in a tiny bit under 1/2 c.

1/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp molasses

1/4 c. applesauce

1/2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c. chocolate chips – I use ghirardelli 60% cacao

 

Preheat oven to 375.

For the banana mashing, I just peeled my banana and plopped it in a bowl and went to town with the hand mixer. Once it was mostly mushed, I added in my sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp molasses.  Beat on low until mixed (just a couple seconds), add in apple sauce and mix again. Sift flours, baking soda and salt in and beat until well incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice. Toss in chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla and mix again!

Finished dough.. I was a little nervous!

Finished dough.. I was a little nervous!

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet – these will stick! (It also should be noted that this dough is not as thick as the traditional stuff.)  I got 24 out of this recipe. Bake for 10 -15 minutes, or until set and very light brown.

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

Cool and eat with absolutely no guilt and a happy little smirk.

Just so you can justify that smirk, here are the stats. Healthy cookie is in green.  Regular cookie is in red. Stats are for a single cookie (not a batch hahaha) 

Calories                                   74                       114

Fat  g.                                        3.2                       6.5

Saturated Fat g.                      1.8                      4

Cholesterol mg.                       0                       18.2

Sodium mg.                            72.1                 100.8

Carbohydrates  g.                 11.5                     13.5   (The numbers are close here, but remember the KIND of carbs you’re getting is important too)

Fiber  g.                                       1                           0.1

Sugar  g.                                      6.3                        9.1   (Again, be aware of where the sugar is from – there’s some good stuff in that fruit!)

Protein g.                                    1.2                        0.8

 

 

I found the nifty sub ideas at Picklee.  :)