Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Back.

Ok, I’m back now, I think. I just haven’t taken the time to write in the last few weeks, but I swear my mind works in terms of blog posts now, and I narrate them in my head all the time. Want to know what you’ve been missing? Let’s see, health-wise, since having the swine flu knock me down a couple of notches, I’ve still continued to keep the cough going, and it has ramped back up to where my doc put me on an antibiotic again. I start physical therapy for the hip issue tomorrow (for “bursitis”, which is an inflammation of muscle rubbing over the bone.) I am VERY, VERY eager to gradually return to exercise, as I am especially missing my DivaFit class badly! I am still sporting the braces and sick to death of them. My orthodontist has assured me that they will still be on through next month and beyond, for my class reunion, trip to Vegas, and Halloween, unfortunately. Sigh… My wedding planning business is back in full swing with a bridal showcase last weekend that went smashingly well. My display kicked butt, and I got a ton of brides who actually gave me their info to contact them, without the guise of giving away a prize. Plus many more who seemed serious about contacting me, one of whom already has. I hope I get a good amount of business for next year, and then I hope I can handle it with my full time work schedule and not missing out too much on my kid! My honey was miserably sick over our Labor Day family beach weekend, but he’s fine now. My little pumpkin is having some adjustment issues to his new preschool class, so I’m bumming out for him. I know he’ll be fine, but I hate to see him anything less than ecstatically happy, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the subject of where I leave him for so much of the time. I’m taking him to see Thomas the Tank Engine in person next weekend, which should blow his mind if last year’s reaction is repeated. J

Oh, but you read this because you want to hear and talk about WEIGHT LOSS and stuff, right? Well, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. Or it. I just haven’t been keeping up with it lately. Again. But I did have a fantastic initial experience with the Total Sugar Addict’s Recovery Program (developed by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.), until I chose to take a break from it and voluntarily jump off the wagon. The problem is, when you do that, the wagon seems to drive away, for me at least, making it a lot tougher to get back on. Traveling this weekend makes it too tough a time to start over, but I vow to myself to reenter the steps again next week (there are 7 in all.) Do you want to know why? Because I DID learn a lot in the process, including the fact that I am a full-blown, hard core sugar addict, as I’ve always suspected. There is no way in hell I would confess to exactly how much of certain bad things I can and do eat in a given “off” day, but suffice it to say it’s pretty creepy. (And expensive, too!) So, a quick run-down of the steps (which are to be conquered one at a time she says, no all or nothing mentality here):

Step 1: eat a good breakfast centered on protein every day, within an hour of waking up. That seems sorta basic and obvious, but when I really think about what and how I eat breakfast, it was actually a lot harder to establish, and easier to fall out of, than I expected. Since I can’t eat eggs (allergy), don’t love sausage, and bacon is way more fat than protein, the only way I could figure out to get enough is by including either Greek yogurt (which has 3x more protein than regular) or adding protein powder to my breakfast. How much protein is enough? Well, according to Kathleen, an amount recommended on this program is only slightly more than the average recommended daily, and can be estimated by cutting your weight in half, and then dividing it by 3, giving you the suggested protein grams for breakfast (and eventually per meal.) So, a 200 pound person should be getting like 33 grams of protein at breakfast. Not very easy, people, but makes a HUGE difference in not getting hungry soon after! (People over 250 pounds are just supposed to use 250 to make this calculation.)

Step 2: learn how to journal your food and the associated feelings about it. Very tough. Not so hard for the Weight Watchers types, but even with my history of that, I’m still lazy about writing it down. And I enjoy the concept of documenting how I feel, as evidenced by this blog, but I’m poor at making a frequent enough practice of it.

Step 3: here’s where we get into the meat of it, and this one was tough at first but enormously beneficial- consolidate all eating into three meals without snacks in between, and those meals must be centered around protein (in the amounts described above) and also include a complex carb. Huh? Most diets tell us to eat more frequent, smaller meals, which is better for keeping a more even blood sugar. However, Kathleen points out, we sugar addicts tend to graze to a point of forgetting to stop, pretty much eating all the time. (Raising hand.) This is to teach us to consciously start and stop eating, and wait a reasonable length of time before eating again. The protein and complex carb combo actually managed to hold me between meals, much to my surprise, and at this stage you don’t even have to give up the sugars yet if you’re not ready, nor do you have to focus too much on portion control. No lie she says you can still eat your cookies or (insert your nemesis here) as long as you have it WITH your meal. I didn’t, when I was doing it, but I sure liked the idea of being able to.

Step 4: this is the one I raised so many questions with when I mentioned it before- the nightly potato. You are supposed to eat a potato near to bedtime at least 3 hours after your dinner meal. You must eat the skin, you can cook it any way you like and have it with fats (like butter, oil, etc.) but with no protein. What the F, right? I thought it was a little quacky at first, even though I’ve got a friend who swears by this program from past experience, but the scientific explanation makes it pretty logical. Apparently Kathleen has discovered that typically sugar addicted people have three components contributing to it, one of which is chronically low serotonin levels. Long story short: eating the proteinless carb allows the body to release a rush of insulin which chemically aids in the body in raising its serotonin levels, but by doing it while you’re asleep it avoids some of the other pitfalls of going on a carb rush, like craving sugar shortly after. If you still think I’m crazy, go read the book, I swear it makes sense. And, although initially the idea of a potato at bedtime seemed kinda unappealing, when I wasn’t snacking like I was accustomed to it was a MUCH welcomed yummy tv snack. I cut ‘em up and roasted them in olive oil, so they were like a plate of French fries. Fantastic.

That’s as far as I got in the program before opting out, but after that you begin shifting away from any “white foods” (like non-whole grain bread, white rice, etc.) to “brown” foods (complex and whole grain carbs), and ultimately away from any form of sugar or unrefined carb.

I know I am filled with empty promises to myself, but as stated above I’d like to plan to restart this program again next week, with the understanding of how badly I need it, and knowing that I’ve been spinning my wheels about weight loss for over a year now. I still weigh the same, I still eat handfuls of cookies anytime I want, and I haven’t lost a thing other than a tiny bit of my confidence that I can really lose the weight. So this program is going to change that.

Oh, yea, and Biggest Loser starts up again tonight. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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