NOTE: Photo removed
This picture was taken pre-move, pre-cancer, pre-stressed-out husband, pre-staying-at-home-full-time, pre-major life change. It was last 4th of July and I weighed around 125. I obviously was not thin, but I felt like my normal, typical self…(with my typical “junk” in my trunk.)
Now, I am very ashamed to admit this, but between the months of November and April I allowed myself to put on a total of *gulp* 20 lbs! I hadn’t EVER weighed 145 before except during pregnancy. What was even more depressing was that I weighed 130 a week after giving birth to Zephan! There were no excuses here. The extra weight could not be blamed on baby-fat. It could, however, be blamed on eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted…which usually meant eating any time I felt stressed, tired, bored, happy, sad, angry, etc. I was out of control and I knew it. I knew it was time to reign myself in and shed those pounds.
The interesting thing to note is that I could still fit into most of my clothes; they just looked bad and I felt uncomfortable wearing them. It’s a bit depressing, really, that 20 lbs….which to me sounds like a lot of weight….does not look drastically different. In fact, some of you might see me now and not even notice that I have lost much weight. But I know how I felt 20 lbs ago! It was so uncomfortable. Having rolls of skin touching under my rib-cage and thighs scraping together reminded me of pregnancy. And if there is any one thing that DEFINES uncomfortable for me, it would be pregnancy!
Right now, I am back to weighing 125 and would love to lose another 10 lbs. So, you ask, how did I lose the weight….especially with eating all that dark chocolate? Well, I so wish I could say that I did something minor and magical and the weight just fell off. It didn’t. I began in May, walking several miles nearly every day of the week. I also began changing my eating habits to ones that I could sustain for a long period of time (hopefully a lifetime, but I’m a realist). I have yo-yo’ed with my weight for several years, and I’ve always lost it in the past by doing the low-carb thing. But, I just knew that I wasn’t willing to live a life without carbs so wanted to find some other ways to shed the pounds. These tips go back to the good, old-fashioned world of low-fat and low-cal. So if you’re still completely caught up in the all-protein, no-carb fad, these tips won’t work well for you. Anyhow, here’s what I’m doing to satisfy my need for junk food while trying to lose weight…
- Eating dark chocolate-Sounds crazy, but this has saved me! If I can have a few squares a day, my cravings for cookies, brownies, ice-cream, etc. are held at bay.
- Pam-I only cook with Butter-flavored Pam. I don’t use butter or olive oil anymore.
- Protein-I try to eat a bunch of it in the morning, and make sure I get it throughout the day.
- Hungry Girl tips and cookbook– I can’t really recommend all the recipes in her cookbook because some of them are just plain gross. (Do NOT try the brownies made with pumpkin. Gandalf wouldn’t even eat these!) But by following her ideas I have become a smarter shopper. I buy the lower cal and lower fat version of everything which adds up to lesser poundage.
- Fat-free yogurt-I especially like Yoplait Light FF in Boston Creme Pie and Key-lime Pie. I take a dime sized amount of Hershey’s Syrup to the Boston Creme to give it what it’s missing (chocolate), and I will crush up half of a low-fat graham cracker for the Key-lime.
- Smart snacking-I love to snack and am not willing to give this up. So, instead of snacking on chocolate chip cookies or a bowl of ice-cream, I snack on Jello pudding’s 60 calorie Dark Chocolate flavored cups. They are chocolaty and creamy and at 60 calories you can even embellish them with whipped cream! You could even go crazy and eat two of these bad boys without much damage. I also like eating Quaker Oats Rice Quakes in all flavors. The Carmel Corn is especially yummy and can be dipped in your pudding.
- Slim Piggies– Fat free Hebrew National hot dogs rolled and baked in Reduced-fat Crescent rolls are yummy and can be had as a lunch. (Uh..just one. Not the whole batch.) I also really like to use turkey bacon in place of real bacon. You can make a delicious wrap or sandwich with avocado, tomato, and turkey bacon with a little FF Ranch.
- Splenda-What a fabulous invention! I use splenda in all my tea, coffee, soda, etc.. I refuse to drink a calorie; I would so rather eat them!
- Arnold Bakery Light Multi-grain Bread-This has also been a lifesaver! I like to eat a piece of toast with my egg in the morning. I also still enjoy a good PP&J at lunch. But with most breads, you’re getting 100+ calories per slice! Two slices and you’re already at 200 calories before you slap anything in between there. Most of the light breads (Weight Watchers Wheat is also not bad) only have 40 calories a slice. I have tried numerous varieties of light breads and Arnold’s is my favorite so far. Another quick tip: Take your 40 calorie bread and make french toast. Mix egg, skim milk, splenda, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg. Dip bread. Fry (in Butter-flavored Pam). Spread with Smart Balance Light spread and top with Light-syrup.
Okay, I could go on and on here, but I think that is enough tips for now. Oh yes, and if some health-nut reads this entry and feels the need to inform me of the benefits of fruits and vegetables, please keep your sage advice for someone who needs it :). I am an educated woman and understand and appreciate the necessity of healthy-whole-foods-eating. I am also a woman who is not ready to give up my junk food! As far as my junk-in-the-trunk goes, I will gladly give some of it up, but let’s face it…most of that is genetically mine to keep for the long run :).