I lost a pound this past week, which isn’t nothing. It’s especially not nothing considering that I did my fair share of splurging, between the Chinese food fest and fat-kid Sunday brunch. Essentially, it’s a good lesson that working out combats all evils. It’s also a good lesson in not letting your diet prevent you from eating scrumptious things (hence the inspiration for the post below). So for the record: I have lost 12 pounds, and now have 12.8 pounds to go.
There are certain obvious items to avoid when you’re trying to lose weight: fries, Twinkies, hot dogs. And then there are borderline dieting behaviors that some people might caution you against, but are not hard-and-fast No-Nos. If you have any chance of surviving a long-term diet, you must allow yourself particular treats that enliven your earthly existence (even if they aren’t A++ healthy). Below, I have listed my It’s-Ok rules. These are the habits that, if I kicked them to the curb, I might lose weight faster. And yet, I don’t really care, so away from the curb they remain.
1. Full-fat dairy. Ever tried eating low-fat cottage cheese? Personal take: Capital G Gross. Yogurt, cottage cheese–I eat whatever fat percentage I want. Notably, I get 2% fat cottage cheese. N.B. I do drink skim milk, but only because I think other milk variations taste like cream.
2. Cheese. If someone told me I had to be vegan, I’d kick him in the teeth. Since I don’t use salt very much, sometimes I use cheeses such as Asiago or Parmesan to flavor my soups or veggies. Also good for eggs.
3. Fruit juice. I don’t keep it in my house, but if I go out to brunch and see fresh-squeezed OJ or grapefruit juice on the menu, I am in.
4. If you go out for dinner, GO OUT FOR DINNER. I used to eat out or order in 4-5 nights a week. Now, I try to limit my weeknight restaurant dinners to 1. This is because I think it’s pure idiocy to go to a restaurant and order something like a salad (unless I want a salad). Life would be too sad if I went to sushi restaurants or pizza places and ordered salads or bland food. Now, I cook for myself most of the week and when I go out or order in, I get what I want. Ordering dumplings? Get ’em pan fried the way I like them. Side of coleslaw? Eat it.
5. Spicy mayo. I am sure that my large following of Japanese readers is hissing at me right now, but I can no longer enjoy sushi without spicy mayo. I don’t much care if we’re talking 50-100 extra calories, bring on the sauce!
6. Fruit fruit fruit. For the most part, I try not to eat carbs for dinner. I do not, however, adhere to this rule when it comes to fruit. Since they came into season, I’ve been eating clementines like they’re going out of style. I’m sure Atkins & Co. would say I’m wrong, but I’m not terribly concerned. Lately, I have been consuming fruit 3 times a day: pre-workout banana, blueberries in my breakfast smoothie, clementines at lunch and sometimes at night.
7. Wine. I have never been much of a drinker. Jenna, Erica, Tommy and any of my other dinner companions will tell you that 1 glass of wine will last me well into dessert. Still, when I started this diet, I had to make a decision about alcohol. My decision was that, whenever possible (i.e. unless I’m at a dive bar where the wine is more like juice) I would order wine. Red is better for me; white has fewer calories; both will give me wicked hangovers if I have too much. Still, if I am craving booze, I will have me some wine–rare though those instances may be.
8. Coconut water. Maybe I am a gullible loser, but I have totally hopped the coconut water bandwagon. I don’t always need the 50-80 extra calories this little beverage provides, but I use it in a couple cases. First, I use it if I get to work and am feeling woozy after exercising earlier in the day; it provides electrolytes, which makes me feel less woozy. Second, I use it if I have a headache and don’t want the caffeine in an Excedrin. Third, I use it in place of juice when I want a sweet addition to my afternoon snack.
9. Steak. No doubt, I could stand to order more fish when I go out to eat. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I love red meat like I love rainbows and pandas. Whether it’s vaca frita or filet mignon, I can’t pass up beef. Since the only way I know how to make steak is to pan fry it in butter, I no longer cook it at home. Which is why, when I am out, it’s all steak all the time.
10. Dried apricots and raisins. Since refined sweets and sugars are definitely personae non gratae, my only refuge is dried fruit. If I am in the mood for something on the dessert-y side, I reach into my desk drawer for some apricots. And when I go to the movies, I pack a baggie of raisins and almonds. No, it’s not some MEGA SPLURGE, I grant you. Still, there’s fiber in these little guys but not much else nutritional value. And if you close your eyes, it’s almost like a Skittle…
Any of you who know me know that I hate shopping. Hate it. I grew to hate it even more as I, well, grew. The last thing you want to do is go to a store, only to find that you’re a size bigger than you thought. Plus, why buy new things when you can continue to wear that Banana Republic sweater you bought in high school? I rest my case.
Just as I plan to invest in a pair of A&F booty shorts upon completion of this dieting master plan, I have also decided that I am going to splurge and buy something from Eileen Fisher. Are you all familiar with Eileen Fisher? Eileen Fisher is, in my mind, an incredibly hip designer who recognizes the importance of comfort and linen. Eileen Fisher, in my friends’ minds, is for old ladies. Whatever, haters: when I wrap myself in silk come October, you can continue to have your awkward denim and stilettos. EF is my new BFF.
I got on the scale today in Florida and it read 146 lbs. back to me. That would mean I lost seven pounds in a week, which I am just not willing to believe. Sure, it would be nice, but also a little scary. I never intended to do this the super-sonic way. My parents hypothesize that it’s because we’re eating “dinner” at 2pm and not eating anything too heavy beyond that hour. Plus, I am working out for an hour. I guess… Still, I will be weighing myself Thursday morning when I return to New York, to see if it’s a difference between the scales here and there. If, however, the 140s are here to stay, damn does it feel good to see that little 4 again. There’s something about being on the wrong side of 150 pounds that makes you feel like a heifer.
…I would go to Starbucks and order a venti hot chocolate with about a pound of whipped cream. Then, I would raid Rhonda’s desk and eat all of her white chocolate peppermint bark. That might be enough to satiate the ungodly chocolate craving that has taken hold of my body.
All in all, I didn’t manage to gain any weight this past week. Freaking miraculous. I stayed at exactly 153.2 pounds. Imagine my surprise. I really think not gaining weight is the best one can do around the holiday season. That is, unless one actually manages to stick to the plan one set out for oneself. Yeah, in that case, there would probably be some actual weight loss. Bah humbug.
Allow me to reveal a truism: When I am eating poorly, I am a lot less likely to get on the blog and wax poetic about how much I love to eat broccoli and drink coconut water and work out. If I am stuffing my face with Chinese food and movie popcorn, as I’ve been doing for the past five days, I stay as far away from here as possible.
What am I hiding from?
Well, mostly I am hiding from that little page called Food Journal where I have to sit my ass down and count up the hundreds of calories that were in my bagel with cream cheese. It is less than fun to realize there were more calories in my Saturday-night entree than I have been consuming in entire days. Capisce?
Just because I write about my dieting perils doesn’t mean I am any different from other dieters. I experience shame when I fall off the wagon. I experience that sense of self-loathing when I go whole hog and order 2 bagel sandwiches for breakfast. All the the while knowing that it’s hard enough to lose weight restricting myself to 1200 calories a day, let alone 3000.
Needless to say, this past week was not the most successful. It started with too many dinners out, and ended with spending the night away from home and being without my blueberry smoothies (hence the bagels). In the past, I have never been able to screw up and then get back on the horse. This time around, however, I have managed to do it. But what I’ve still not managed to do is figure out how to indulge a little but not Santa-sized. On Thursday night, for example, we had pizza and beer at a party. Did I need 3 pieces of pizza and 4 beers? Hells NO. I don’t know when it’s going to kick in that I need to respect the boundaries I’ve set for myself, but someone needs to tell that little devil on my shoulder to cut it out—that egg roll is not calling anyone’s name, you little jerk!
I know I said the Favorite Recipes page would house all recipe-related things, but it appears I lied. I am taking this opportunity to share a recipe and a neat cooking trick my mom just taught me.
When Erica and I made cookies for Jenna’s party last week, I ended up with some leftover pureed pumpkin. My freezer could not be full of more soup, so all pumpkin soup recipes were out. Despite how ubiquitous pumpkin recipes supposedly are (ahem Erica), I couldn’t find very many to fit my tastes.
Luckily, Libby’s to the rescue! I found this incredibly tasty-looking recipe for shepherd’s pie that used pumpkin for the topping. Interested in making it healthier still, I substituted a sweet potato for the regular white potato. I was also concerned about the fat in ground beef, which is exquisitely yummy but not too low-cal, even in sirloin form. Sad about resorting to ground turkey t, I talked to my mom. She recommended cooking the beef in its own pan before adding it to the veggies, then draining the grease and even rinsing the meat with water. I mean, that’s pretty genius. Thanks, Mom.
When you’re done baking, I suggest cutting the pie into 6 squares and putting them in different Tupperware containers for lunch or dinner. I did the math and say it’s about 220 cal. before serving, assuming 6 servings.
Bon appetit, pumpkin people!
Four weeks have elapsed in Bridesmaid Weight-Loss Extravaganza ’09/’10. I I am down to 153.2 pounds, which means I lost about 6 pounds in a month. I was just glad, and surprised, when I got on the scale this morning and saw I’d lost more than a pound in the course of a week. I was also quite heartened when I did the math and noted that I have 18.2 pounds to go. For some reason, seeing 18 as opposed to a number in the 20s made things so much better. It did not, however, make better the pain in my left knee. I think it’s my body reminding me that I’m not allowed on the treadmill, but I am just SO. SICK. of the elliptical.