Follow Me…Over Here…

I am back.

This blog doesn’t fit me anymore since I found out that I basically have no cartilage in my left knee anymore so aspiring to be an “athlete” seems a bit out of reach to me now. However, I am still struggling with my weight and food issues. If you want to follow me on my new blog, I’d love the company. 🙂

http://rdversusme.wordpress.com/

I’ve just put up the “about me” page but I plan to write a couple-a-few times a week to try to sort out my food and weight demons.

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SlimFast Versus the Holiday Parties

My husband and I are now six days away from our cruise, which is the compelling reason for following the SlimFast diet. We started our weight loss journey with 9 weeks until cruise departure.

To recap, in the first 4 weeks of our weight loss efforts (before SlimFast), I lost a total of 1.2 pounds due to a gain one week (this is about 0.3 pounds per week). In the 4 weeks we have been using SlimFast products, I have lost 4.6 pounds (or about 1.15 pounds per week). Total weight loss for 8 weeks is 5.8 pounds, or an average of just under 0.75 pounds per week. I am also down a total of 8 pounds since starting this blog about 4 1/2 months ago.

This is not stellar weight loss… but it IS a loss and even though excruciatingly slow, the loss is better on SlimFast. And I must mention this is all without doing ANY exercise.

So, holiday parties! This past week has been fraught with celebrations and lunch meetings!

First up was a 2-party day!

I had a lunch meeting at work that was easier to navigate than I anticipated. Since I knew I had another event the same day, I was waffling between being “good” and “throwing in the towel for the day” (the typical diet mentality which is the reason I counsel people not to diet!).

I arrived right before the meeting started, sat opposite the lunch table, and simply drank some water. I was questioned about not eating, to which I replied that I had a lunch in my office that I was going to eat right after the meeting. I did not share that lunch was a bottle of strawberry SlimFast with protein powder… I was very proud of myself for saving my “meal” for the evening.

The evening event was my first mini-ladies night at my new home to which three of my girlfriends came with food. I drank a couple glasses of wine and had a small plate of food for my dinner and counted that as a success! Until they left, and I went to town on the amazing buffalo chicken dip and spinach artichoke dip left behind. These foods haunted me and my husband for a few days this week…

Next up was an office holiday party!

I faltered. I was told the pound cake was out of this world, so I reasoned that this would serve as my “snack.” I took small spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese and two other items (my memory fails me), and a slice of that recommended pound cake. I ate it all… not a success; but not a huge failure either since I exercised extreme control and took truly tiny portions of everything except that darn cake!

On Friday, I had THREE parties to attend!

At the first party, I just made an appearance and, even though there was quite a spread of food, I just grabbed a bottle of water.

My plan was to not stick exactly to the SlimFast plan and to have a small lunch (instead of a SlimFast lunch) at the second party because it was a lunch party at a restaurant. How would it look if the dietitian didn’t eat? I got an apple pecan salad, dressing on the side and hardly touched, and drank water, I explained that I was saving my calories for my third party (which was very much true!).

At the last party, the wine and cheese at the boss’s boss’s house, I enjoyed a few glasses of wine and nibbled from a few food trays. A little fancy cheese on crackers, a little veggies with dip, and a little genoa on bread. YUM! I have to admit upon arriving home, I had more food…

What a week! So, I suppose now, looking back on all those events AND the fact that I did waffle here and there and had a few small mini-binges on leftovers, losing 1 pound this week is actually quite stellar. 🙂

Some overall thoughts about the experience in case I don’t get back before the cruise:

I have found that going on a diet that replaces two meals a day with liquids/smoothies has changed how I think about food and eating and hunger and fullness. I consider these cognitive changes to be a good thing and I imagine it is closer to how those who are lucky enough to easily maintain a thin/healthy weight think.

However, I know that people can lose 1.15 pounds per week eating real food instead of meal replacements. I wonder if I can do this now, after a mild re-boot of my mental wiring related to food and fullness. I want to say I know I could have done it without SlimFast; but then again, I didn’t, I somehow couldn’t. So perhaps I needed a drastic measure to realign my thoughts.

I have started fantasizing about eating… the allure of the silky mouthfeel of avocado has been dancing in my mind and all my favorite restaurant meals are popping into my brain at all times of the day.

I’m excited to get back to real eating soon! I’m interested to see how the “mental re-boot” I think I’ve experienced will stick with me once I leave SlimFast behind…

To be continued!

Posted in diet, dietitian, eating at parties, food, fullness, holiday party, hunger, party food, RD, salad, satiety, slimfast, weight, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Very SlimFast Thanksgiving

The SlimFast diet is still going strong in this household, even with Thanksgiving this past week. My husband and I did eat more than usual for our holiday dinner and leftovers meals; but we stuck with the SlimFast program otherwise. In other words, our holiday dinners were still our only real meals. 3 snacks, 2 shakes, 1 meal.

After dinner on Thanksgiving we both remarked that we were fuller than we had been so far on the SlimFast diet. We had turkey (of course) cooked in the slow-cooker, stuffing, roasted butternut squash, and chipotle mash (made with cauliflower instead of potatoes) topped with homemade gravy. Our eyes were bigger than our tummies when we filled our plates! Even so, I lost 0.8# over Thanksgiving week and I chalk that up as a success!

I realized, since I hadn’t been full to the point of uncomfortable for many many days, that I did not LIKE the feeling at all. I guess I was so accustomed to it from experiencing it so often (more than I like to admit) that I never really realized how uncomfortable and icky it is. Having a perpetually empty stomach on this half-liquid, half-food diet has, yet again, changed my perspective in a way I did not foresee.

I don’t like full! Hopefully, that realization will stick with me after SlimFast has gone by the wayside.

Speaking of which, 20 more days until the cruise! This is the reason for such a drastic short-term measure and it’s closing in fast. I have lost a total of 4.8# since starting the “cruise weight loss efforts,” 3.6# of which is from SlimFast, and a total of 7# since starting this blog last July.

Excrutiatingly slow weight loss when I put it out there like that; but still it’s a loss and considering I stopped thinking about how I was eating and am still hardly exercising, I’ll take it.

Speaking of which, I do intend to get back to the gym this week since there’s only 20 days left to lose weight… but as far as that whole “athlete” thing goes, well, I was diagnosed with grade IV chondromalacia a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think I’ll be too much of an athlete/runner with no cartilege left in one of my knees. However, I will start my physical therapy exercises this week and will be learning about taping soon, so I guess it could still happen!

Posted in athlete, diet, exercise, food, nutrition, overweight, RD, slimfast, stomach, Uncategorized, weight, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 1 Results

Today was the official weigh in day and in the first week of the SlimFast diet, I lost 2.8#. That makes a total of 4# since this last attempt has started, which means that in the 3 weeks prior to SlimFast, I only lost 1.2#. I’ll take 2.8# in one week over that any day.

My hunger is some days a struggle and other days not a struggle at all. Today, it’s a struggle…

For some reason, there is no pull to “cheat” on this plan. I’ve been trying to figure out why, all of a sudden, I have this never before experienced level of willpower. When I am trying to eat healthy and make sound choices to lose weight and I’m still eating food for all three meals and snacks, I tend to disregard my goals and just eat what appeals to me (and how much appeals to me!) at the time. On this plan, I don’t do that. It’s either a shake or a meal and I keep choosing the shake. It’s either the snack I brought with me or I buy something else and so far, I keep choosing what I’ve brought with me. I don’t yet fully understand the mental shift that’s happened; but I’m pleased with it.

In terms of bathroom habits, things have not fully returned to normal. There is much less volume (less in, less out!) and it’s difficult to go at times. Today, we started adding a fiber supplement for an additional 10g fiber a day. Our typical diet was very high fiber before this adventure began. I’ve also started adding protein powder to my shakes this week since I could not find the high protein SlimFast (20g) and had to get the regular stuff (10g). The protein powder (whey) adds 80 calories and 18g protein, which I actually think might help with the weight loss since it increases my calories slightly.

My husband lost 2.2# this week for a total of 6# since we started. It’s so not fair that men drop more weight more quickly than women!

We’ve decided to stick with it for at least another week. We have four weeks to go until the cruise vacation and we both want to be as slim as possible for it.

Oh, and while all the flavors are actually quite good, the strawberry SlimFast brings me back to my childhood memories of Strawberry Quik and I love it!

Posted in diet, fiber, hunger, nutrition, protein, slimfast, strawberry, weight, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SlimFast Reflections on Food and Eating

There are two things I want to talk about tonight.

The first, simpler one is that my stomach must be shrinking! Although, I do not remember learning about anything like that actually happening in any of my anatomy/physiology classes… Hmmm.

I am, regardless of physiological stomach capacity, getting full much sooner than usual when eating my one true meal a day at dinner time. I wonder if this is how gastric bypass or lapband patients feel? I have maybe 10 bites and I’m already feeling that feeling of fullness beginning. Which is not a good thing since I need to get in around 500 calories with dinner!

Frustratingly (is that a word?), my weight was up 0.8# this morning on Day 5. I realized that I had a high sodium sauce with my dinner last night so I’m chalking it up to that. Of course, I had canned soup tonight (over leftovers – brown rice and chicken cooked in sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds, ginger powder, sriracha, soy sauce, and hot sauce, yum!) so I expect the same thing tomorrow.

Which reminds me, I should drink some more water.

The other topic of the evening is my popcorn binge.

A little history is warranted. I have a long history with a ridiculously huge bowl of popcorn.

It goes back to my high school days. I used to come home from school in the afternoons and make a huge pan of oil-popped popcorn on the stove and then eat the entire huge bowl. Daily. Yes, every school day.

This habit has waxed and waned over the years; but when I come home tired, hungry, upset, or just wanting to veg out with a DVD, that popcorn pan comes out and I fill and eat a huge bowl of popcorn. It’s completely mindless and a true binge in that my mind checks out and my hands and mouth keep me eating. I will even, at times, think, “hey, I’m kinda full… I should put the bowl down” but I never do and somehow I finish it off every time.

Just yesterday, my husband was working the evening which is a danger-zone-time for me, and I found myself leaving work and thinking about coming home to watch a DVD and pig out on popcorn…

But wait, what about the SlimFast diet?? Yep, that saved me. And this is what I want to talk about (finally!), I REALIZED that this binge was in no way based on HUNGER or any fuel-related need at all. It was a completely emotional eating escapade. I guess I’ve known that on some level for a while; but since I’ve so drastically changed my relationship with food this past week, I could clearly see it for what it was.

(I just realized while re-reading this that high school wasn’t a glorious time of my life so it makes sense that this developed into an emotional eating self-care type of habit).

So, this SlimFast adventure IS giving me a new relationship with food. I feel more control over food, I feel that I don’t NEED big portions, and I feel pretty good about those things.

I’m still working on how to fit in my dinner when I get full so quickly… but we’ll see what happens as things progress. I’m only on Day 5 after all!

Posted in binge eating, diet, dietitian, emotional eating, food, nutrition, overweight, slimfast, stomach, weight, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SlimFast Day 4 – So Far, So Good

I’m actually doing quite well on the SlimFast program. I’ve lost 2.2# in 3 days which is, of course, mostly water weight. I’m eating my BMR, which I do recommend as an absolute minimum to those who have little weight left to lose. My BMR, last time it was measured, was around 1,150 calories a day, so hitting around 1,200 a day is okay for me.

I’m happy to report (cover your ears if you don’t like potty talk) that my poo has returned to nearly normal but now my pee smells slightly funny. Food in, food out – it’s all in the RD’s realm of appropriate and necessary discussion! My hunger is also quite tolerable. I eat when I’m hungry and am adjusting to the smaller (some non-chewable) meals. It’s also super easy and I feel like food has less control over me, which is nice. I’m still eating 2 real food snacks and a real f’ood dinner and replacing breakfast, lunch, and the evening snack with SlimFast products. I really enjoy the chewable meals. 🙂

My husband is not doing as well. He is up 1.4# in the same 3 days and I think it’s because I didn’t add enough calories for him. His BMR is around 1,800-1,900 and I think he was getting about 1600 calories so his body is fighting him to hold onto all it can. We’re upping his intake today by another 200 calories (whey protein powder added to shakes) to see if that helps. He was also having difficulty with the “food out” part of the equation so I may also add some fiber supplement to his shakes.

I’m actually enjoying this experience and thinking I may test drive a bunch of diets so I can have my own personal experience and feedback for them. But, shockingly and against all that I believed prior to this experience, I’m finding this SlimFast diet to be pretty okay. Go figure!

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It’s Okay. I’m Under a Dietitian’s Supervision.

Hello again! I realized that the day of my last post was the day before my husband and I got a new puppy! I guess I’ve been preoccupied being a doggie-mama and blowing off my healthy habits…

Current weight: 151#.

I am down 3# from when I started this blog, which means I’ve lost about 1# per month. Not amazing statistics.

I’m back because I decided to take drastic measures. My husband and I have an amazing vacation coming up. A 7-day cruise! Yay! I totally need a break and am so excited… except for the part about not having anything to wear on a cruise in which I feel comfortable… and to be honest, we’re going to some islands that may have nude beaches so I’d like to feel quite a bit better about myself before having to potentially go through that experience if we happen to stumble across one!

So, I sat down and made a plan. It was a good plan too! I counseled myself the way I’d counsel a client and I wrote down 3 realistic goals for nutrition and 3 for exercise.

Nutrition: (1) keep a food journal including hunger scale and feelings, (2) Use the hunger scale, (3) Increase fruit, vegetables, and dairy by including 1 meal that is salad-based and having fruit or yogurt for snacks.

Exercise: (1) Run Tues/Thurs/Wkend for 30 minutes in morning using 5k101 program, (2) Weights/strength on Mon/Wed after work, (3) Fun activity with  husband on weekend.

It went GREAT for the  first two weeks and I lost 2.2#… and then week 3 I gained 1# back. I was so unmotivated. I decided it was time to take drastic measures.

I decided I wanted to get away from FOOD since I have such a hard time controlling myself! I was eating when I wasn’t hungry again and eating past fullness. Food had control over me and I felt like I needed a re-boot of sorts.

Enter Slimfast.

Yep. Slimfast. I’m one part ashamed and one part proud. See, I would NEVER advise a client to follow this type of program; but I can put on my “RD Hat” and look at it like an experiment, like I’m going through what my clients try so I can learn about the experience…

But the fact is that I have a cruise in 34 days and I want to drop weight quick and I do realize this is short-term temporary weight loss that I will most likely put back while on the cruise.

In reviewing their plan, it’s not as bad as I anticipated. It provides about 1,200 kcal a day which is the bare minimum for a shorter older mostly sedentary woman such as myself. My husband is doing it too and I added 400 kcal to his plan. 

I’m on Day 2 and I have hunger; but it’s not overwhelming and I can always have something when the hunger hits since there is a lot of intake (not EATING; but intake!). They suggest 1 shake, 1 snack (100 cal), 1 shake, 1 snack, reasonable dinner (500 cal), and 1 snack. So I can get something whenever the hunger comes on and it almost satisfies me…

I’m doing fruit and pretzels as snacks so far. I got some of their snack bars and they are very candy-like which is yummy but I feel like having REAL food and am concerned about my fiber intake (and this concern is evident in my poo already!).

The shakes also are pretty good. I put mine (dark chocolate, 20g protein option) in a mini-blender with ice and cinnamon to make a smoothie of sorts. My husband adds 1/2 banana and some greek yogurt to his for the calories.

An RD’s opinion?

This is reasonable as a diet IF  (1) you want to take a break from food, (2) you understand it is temporary and you will probably gain the weight back, (3) you use the 20 gram protein shakes (not 10g, it’s not enough!), and (4) you use real food for snacks (the slimfast snacks are like eating candy all day long and I have concerns for long-term habits if used).

I’ll keep you posted!

Posted in diet, dietitian, food, hunger, nutrition, RD, slimfast, weight, weight gain, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment