Cabin Fever

I must admit that it has been quite hard to get rid of my pre-vacation-apr├Ęs-holiday-peak-of-winter weight. I couldn’t sustain the weight loss from my last post. I may be finally experiencing what other may call diet fatigue. It is day 878 of my very liberal 17-Day Diet so I guess, it was bound to happen. Being stuck at home for the past two days because of the winter storm does not help either. But 3 lbs in 2 days? How? First of all, MIL (Mother-in-Law) is a pretty good cook and is constantly excited to have us at home all day and available for feeding. Then I watch all these movies and that begs for snacking opportunities. Then there’s the shoveling and house work. Ok, so that is supposed to make you lose weight, but you justify eating for all the activity forgetting the basic tenet of dieting: Calories Consumed < Calories Burned. Maybe it’s about time to live a little more on the edge. Maybe on day 1000. Maybe this is just a simple case of cabin fever.

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Falling Off the (Blog)Wagon

So I stopped posting… for a loooong time. Well it was more of a writing slump than a diet setback. Or was it?

The trip to the Philippines last November did not do me any good. My spirits rose as much as my weight. On the week before I left for vacation, I proudly hit the 60lb weight loss mark at 130! After one week of home cooked meals (three times a day and did I tell you that all meals come with rice?!) I was back to my longtime average of 135. The trip to Bangkok was not of much help either. Yes, I ate a lot of fruits but eating pomelo and guava and green mangoes in the middle of the night (complete with that Thai dipping powder!) was destined to be evident on the scales. Two weeks after we got back was the start of the Christmas Season. Need I say more?

I peaked at 145 after New Years… Just 10 above my longtime average but it was still 15 more than my lowest weight and 18 above normal BMI. I fell of the the Blog Wagon and ate all the way down the hill. It’s the start of February, back to 138. Whew!

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Pomelo Salad (Bangkok)

Unfaithful

I am happy with my 17-Day Diet regimen (back to Phase 1). The Greek yogurt and honey for breakfast still makes me happy. I am still excited by the sight of collard greens and grilled chicken. The steamed fish still makes me sigh with bliss.

Then one day, this coworker of mine heated up her lunch in the office microwave. The aroma caught my attention. Savory. Decadent, I bet. So I asked what it was and she said Paleo. Even the name sounds sexy! It was a Paleo Diet and just like most “fad” diets I assumed it was heavy on the pocket. She broke down the numbers… and it was good. Must be hard to make so just to humor her I asked for the recipe. Damn! That’s easy to make!

Call me unfaithful. Here’s the recipe:

SAUSAGE WITH LEEKS AND TOMATOES

2 Tbs coconut oil
3 medium leeks, chopped (whites and light green sections)
1 lb ground, seasoned sausage
1 (28 oz) can fired-roasted, crushed tomatoes
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 head cauliflower (florets only)
Instructions
Heat a 3-4 quart pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and leeks, and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Add ground sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is done.
Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, lemon and red pepper flakes (optional). Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, microwave the cauliflower for 5 minutes (or roast at 450 F for 20 minutes), and pulse in a food processor until a rice-like consistency is formed.
Season the sausage and tomato sauce with sea salt to taste, and serve over the cauliflower.

55 by 45

I originally had a 40 by 40 plan in mind. That was to lose 40 pounds by the age of 40. I was about 180lbs 5 years ago, and my aim then was to make it to 140. Instead, I gained about 10 more in the next 3 years! So there is reason to celebrate, today I turn 45, I am down by 55! I am just 5lbs away from my target weight (which is still 10lbs above the lowest range of my “ideal” weight) but I am way out of shape. So I fit in smaller sized clothes but some if them don’t fit well. The more daunting task of working out to whip myself into shape lies ahead. Never ends I tell you, it never ends.

Buzz Kill

With every “high” one gets from a successful weight loss, one is bound to get a buzz kill. Amidst all the compliments of “wow, you look fabulous!” and “you are an inspiration…” and all those other glorious things you hear after losing over 50lbs (without medical intervention of any kind), I finally heard one of the most tactless comments, “oh, you lost weight, are you sick?”, and she looked so sullen when she said it. Ok, maybe the fact that it has been 5 hours since my last meal when the comment was made might have contributed to the effect, but still, you don’t come up to people and ask the if “they’re sick”!

Oh well. I’m sure to get those once in a while. No harm done, just a buzz kill.

Tooting Your Own Horn

I am not one who enjoys hearing compliments. When I am praised for doing a good job, I shrug it off and accept that it IS what I am expected to do, to do a good job all the time. But when someone calls me out on how much weight I’ve lost, I gloat and unabashedly exclaim my most recent weight reading! Losing weight, yes all 55 lbs and counting, is something that I did with my own effort and motivation. I did not have to get paid for it, and it was not to satisfy anyone’s expectation. I know I must remain humble, but for this, I toot my own horn.

Tags and Sizes

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Naturally, when one goes on diet, the closet gets a makeover too. I used to wear XLs and XXLs or Size 16-18. But as I started shrinking, I had to buy clothes in smaller sizes. This was an expense I was not prepared for. There is a notion that going on a diet is expensive. It usually involves purchase of specialty food, and specific moderately expensive ingredients. But with my current diet, no special purchases were necessary (except for the Greek yogurt stash in my fridge). The expense came after seeing my empty closet.

Shopping for new clothes, although a very pleasing and extremely rewarding endeavor, was not in our budget. The advantage of fitting in a smaller size is that there are more clothes that fit. No need to rush the purchase. Unlike when I was a size 18, if I found something that fit me well, I’d buy it in different colors since I didn’t know if I’d be able to buy another one of the same style again. I had to buy new underwear too! What surprised me though, was my new bra size. Popular belief has it that you will go down in size with weight loss… But it is also possible that even if your circumference gets smaller, your cup size may increase. That’s what happened to me! I was a 38B now a 36C!

Last year, I gave away over 10 trash bags full of clothes of varying states of use. Some of them were well-loved, others still had tags on them. If I did the math on the cost of all the clothes I had to get rid of, I might have been tempted to keep some of them in the attic. You know, just in case the diet didn’t work or just in case I gain weight again.

But these “just in case” thoughts constitute premeditation. It’ll doom your diet to fail. It’ll give you comfort to rebound.