For as long as I remember, I have loved food. I love eating really good food, I love experimenting in the kitchen and whipping up a great meal , and I love watching TV chefs prepare exceptional meals. My wife and I share this infatuation, to the point where the highlights of our vacations can be finding a really good restaurant or trying a new exotic dish.
I can’t help but feel that this part of my life is stressed and neglected since I started this diet. I also realize that my unhealthy obsession with all-things-related-to-food is undoubtedly what landed me in this situation to begin with. Now that I am exhibiting self control, I realize how much food took over my life. I sometimes find myself daydreaming about lunch at 10am, then I snap-to and remember that all I can eat for lunch is coldcuts (which disappoints me).
I used to love watching the food network and almost salivate at the fat drenched, beautiful meals that Ina Garten prepared. Now if I walk into a room where my wife is watching the TV chefs at work, I quickly walk out and spare myself the jealousy. I really think that those cooking shows are the equivalent to ‘Food Porn’.
This week I have felt that my cooking has been grossly uninspired. I just cant muster the effort to attempt complicated dishes that will most likely be disappointing, due to the restriction of ingredients. This morning I prepared egg-whites and on a whim I decided to try to add a low-carb dill sauce that I found at the supermarket. It was disgusting, I sat at the breakfast table defeated. For the first time in a long time, I hung my head and ate the whole meal, I ate it because I needed to eat breakfast and didn’t want to cook again. I ate it because it was food. I am not saying that all my meals are bad, but some are really bad and disappointing.
For the past 6 weeks or so I have been in the Cruise phase of this diet. I am starting to get used to my foods and for the most part I am pretty content with my food selection. I guess you can say I have hit a rhythm. This morning my scale said that I was down 3.2 lbs which makes a total of 22.6 lbs overall. Not too shabby.
The big change since I last checked in is that people are really starting to notice my weight loss. Everyone I see has something nice to say, its really nice but I think that its starting to define me. To be honest I kinda want to blend in and not have my diet and weight-loss take center-stage, but I guess it comes with the territory.
My clothes are definitely starting to fit differently. About a week ago I ran out of holes in my favorite belt, I thought about cutting new holes but decided against it. I also have to retire some of my pants, in fact my whole wardrobe will soon need to be swapped out for smaller clothes. I haven’t decided whether I should box up and store my ‘fat’ clothes or if I should donate them. Boxing them up just feels like I am planning to gain weight again. I guess I’ll have to think some more.
About 4-5 years ago I put a box of clothes in storage labelled ‘skinny clothes.’ These were clothes that I wore for a short time following an Atkins’ diet adventure. I say short time because I only fit in them for about 4 months, I rebounded fairly quickly. So I found this box in my garage and decided that I should open it before spending money on new clothes. I found some clothes that I used to love, and some from fashion trends past. I was somewhat disappointed to find out that I only fit in about half of the clothes. This was reminder that I haven’t even reached 1/2 way to my goal yet.
In the last two weekends I have been to 3 bbq’s, These were particularly challenging for me, the typical food at these events aren’t always diet friendly. I have found that well done hamburgers with mustard are close to acceptable, and one bbq had grilled chicken, score! The bbq I went to yesterday wasn’t quite as easy. We were celebrating a 3rd birthday for a cousin of my daughters. We arrived about 10 am and the lunch came out around 12:30; fresh fruit, Peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, Macaroni and cheese, or meatballs. OH no, this was the first time since starting the diet that I went anywhere which didn’t have food that I could eat. I sucked it up and quieted my hunger pangs till 2:30 and drove to closest restaurant with grilled chicken. I thought not drinking was tough, but not eating proved to be a greater challenge.
I started work this week, I admit that I was a bit concerned that staying true to the diet would be tough in the office environment. I was laid-off from my last position about 2 months ago, and staying true was pretty easy when you have all the food you can eat in front of you at home. At work you only have what you packed, if you want to snack you better have planned for it and don’t give in to temptation.
There have been some awkward moments. My first two days on the job I had to explain to my new colleagues why I was eating cold cuts and mustard in the lunchroom. I have declined three offers to get after-work beers, and I’m the guy who eats ‘cinnamon pancakes’ in his cubicle. As it turns out the scent if cinnamon is quite recognizable and potent. All-in-all I have found that planning is everything. I usually pack a yogurt, a prepacked container of cold cuts, mustard, and my gallette for the day. Small frequent meals seem to help as well.
Today was my toughest day yet, I accidently slept in, when I saw the clock I freaked, I was supposed to have left 5 minutes ago. I got dressed as quick as I could, ran to the kitchen and threw my cold cuts, mustard and a yogurt in my cooler and left for the city. No time for coffee, this would be a rough day. I got to work on time and had my yogurt plain with a splenda, yuck. When lunch time rolled around I realized that never put an ice pack in my cooler for lunch, yummy luke warm meat with mustard (I only ate them because they were still in a factory sealed container). I was pretty hungry for most of the day but I managed. I have learned my lesson, pack lunch the night before.
I really love this sausage! I work it into a meal at-least once a week. My favorite way to prepare it is to take the sausage out of the casings, crumble, and fry it up. Its a good addition to eggs and sauces. Once its cooked you can store it for a about 5 days in the fridge. One bit of advice is to either cook it or freeze it soon after you bring it home, I have had a few packages spoil well before the printed date. I have found it at Stop and Shop and Price Chopper Supermarkets
I recently have acquired my appreciation for yogurt. I have tried a few 0%-fat plain greek yogurts and this one is my favorite so far. Its seems a bit smoother, less sour and less chalky that some of the other brands. I have seen this at all major supermarkets in my area.
I love coffee, but since I started this diet I have been drinking my coffee black with splenda. When my buddy tipped me off to this creamer I was really happy, it has no fat and only 1 gram of carbs per serving. I have found that it is also decent to cook with. I have seen it at Whole Foods and Hanniford’s, it is usually found in the ‘natural products’ section.
So in the Dukan Diet book, the doctor emphasizes the need to walk 20 minutes a day. He says however, you should not participate in sports or hardcore exercising because your body is already working hard to burn your fat reserves. I didn’t exercise until a week or two into this diet. This was mostly because I was so drained. Everyday from 3pm and on my body was exhausted and my mind seemed fried. I actually felt ‘dumb’. I attributed this to my body adjusting to losing weight instead of having a surplus of calories. Once I exited the attack phase and added some vegetables to my diet I started to feel better.
I am not an avid jogger, but from time to time I try to regularly work it into my schedule. This is mostly because I am too cheap to join a gym. So one day I decided that I was going start jogging again. I thought that since I hadn’t done any exercise in the past six months that I was going to suck wind. But to my surprise it was pretty easy, on my first time out I ran 1.8 miles! I could really feel a difference since I lost the 10lbs. That night I probably doubled my water intake, and then I was up every 2 hours through the night to pee. The next morning I was sore and I didn’t lose much weight 0.2lbs, boo.
I was determined to keep exercising, mostly because as I lose weight I’d like a somewhat athletic build. I waited until my muscles recouped (about 3 days) and ran again, this time I made it 2.5 miles (the longest I’d run in 4 years). I also added push ups and sit-ups to the routine. And just like before more drinking, peeing, no substantial weight loss.
I went back and looked at my weight loss logs and found for the period of time following my exercise (the next two days) my weight loss was higher than normal. I now go jogging about twice a week, and I try to avoid it on my protein days because I am usually more tired on those days anyway. If I just cared about strict weight loss I would definitely chose a lower impact method and increase the frequency.