Day 28: Working on a lifestyle change

Well, I’m still following plan and keeping up with things.  I had a burger from Red Robin last night to celebrate the holiday, and after looking at the nutritional information (really, I wish I had done so before eating it), the hubby and I both agree that we will stick to making our own burgers at home.  I’m trying to recover quickly from that misstep, so today has been (and will continue to be) pretty minimal.  A couple days cutting back on fat and starch will do me some good to bounce back from that.  I tell you what, though, I probably wouldn’t be bouncing back quite so quickly if I wasn’t also using to keep a better handle on my daily intake.  Previously, I probably would have said, “oh, I just went off plan, screw it, i’ll eat everything in sight!”  But I’m a bit more aware of how much damage I’ve done and what I need to do to account for it and balance it out.

Let me say that is not the only reason I’m succeeded (and I am succeeding).  There is something to be said for composing your daily food intake of a good balance of protein, vegetables, fruits, starches, and fats.  I could definitely use loseit and stay under my recommended daily calories by having coca-cola and oreos, but that’s not at all balanced.  I feel good when I’m eating the mix of foods recommended by slimgenics.  Honestly, my stomach felt awful after eating that burger.

As part of my efforts to make sure this change is sustainable for the long term, my husband and I are going to make at least one new recipe each week, and it is limited to under 500 calories for a meal.  We’re frequently consulting our Cooking Light magazines (which he graciously subscribed me to for my birthday) and picking things out that sound good.  On the weekends, I’m making a meal with him that we can both enjoy.  Sometimes this meal is a slimgenics approved meal, and sometimes its not (like this past weekend when we had this linguine with two-cheese sauce).  What I’m trying to do, and what I think I’m successfully doing is finding healthier ways to enjoy flavors I like.  The cheese used in this pasta was pretty sharp, so I didn’t feel the need to have so much of it before my tongue got the “mmmmm cheeeeesy” sensation.  Next time, I’ll probably cut back on the basil and use a bit of garlic, and this will be my go-to for an alfredo sauce fix.  We had it alongside a 5 oz grilled chicken breast and fresh steamed broccoli.  He was still a bit hungry after dinner and actually said he wanted “dessert” (seriously, this man could go the rest of his life without eating sugar, and it would be a piece of cake (no pun intended), so I was absolutely flabbergasted to hear that word come out of his mouth)!  I quickly made the slimgenics-approved microwave flourless chocolate cake, along with some strawberries and a bit of light whipped cream.  He really enjoyed it (and I did too!).

On the agenda for this week, he has picked out two new recipes from the magazines and we will be making those for him to enjoy during the week.  I’ll be grilling up some more chicken breast in the morning, and I will also make the lemon thyme sauce I’ve been enjoying lately.  I’ll look through the slimgenics recipes again this week and find something new to try.



More reasons why I think I’m doing so much better than last time.

One of the different approaches I’m taking this time around is actually trying some of the slimgenics recipes.  If I want this to be a life change, then I need to find some things on the slimgenics plan that I enjoy so much that they carry over with me even after I’m done losing the weight.  This change in eating habits cannot be the means, but the ends.  I have to figure out how to make this manageable for me long term.  If all I’m thinking is, it should just take me 1 year to lose the weight, and then I can eat CHEETOS again, all I’m doing is setting myself up for huge and heart-breaking failure.  If what I’m thinking is, I can’t eat the way I was before.  It wasn’t sustainable, and I have to start eating better starting right now, then I’m setting myself up for a  change that could be life-altering and enormously fulfilling.


Thinking about my dad, he lost a lot of weight on the Atkins diet.  For him, it wasn’t just a temporary thing, though.  He still takes his bread off burgers and sticks to a high-protein high-veggie diet.  Sure, there are days that he will splurge and eat a chocolate cake over the weekend, but he’s back on high-protein high-veggie for the rest of the time.  That’s how he’s been able to maintain his weight-loss over the last 10 years (holy cow!).  That’s his way, though, and I love bread too much to be able to commit to the Atkins lifestyle.  I’ve got to find my own way.  The way I see it, if I can’t commit to eating the way I’m eating right now for the rest of my life, I will never be able to keep this weight off.  That doesn’t mean that I’m ultimately going to be eating like I’m on slimgenics plan 2 for the rest of my life.  What it does mean is that I can take satisfaction in being on plan two enough to fall back on it when I do need to drop a few pounds if the scale is creeping up a bit.  It also means that I will be more comfortable making healthier decisions on a day-to-day basis.  This the mentality that I have to come to grips with, and I think I’m doing it.


Using the loseit app in conjunction with slimgenics is the best thing I could possibly have added to my regimen (other than generally mentality changes).  I’m getting a great visual picture of what I’m eating in calories, and where to make adjustments.  Maybe I had two apples yesterday, and I’m up a pound today.  Using loseit, I’ve been able to see what each of my foods does calorie-wise, and if I had two apples yesterday, I might have two servings of raspberries today instead (which I’ve learned is lower in calories than the apples).  Yes, it’s a simple concept, and I could have been doing this on my own, but apps are there to make life simpler, yes?  And this app does exactly that.  No more looking up calorie contents, sugar, protein of some of my foods.  I just log it in the app, and there it is.  Sure, some of the information on there is wrong, and maybe it doesn’t recognize EVERY single UPC you scan (how cool is it that you can scan your food and there it is?), but it’s not hard to enter new information for a product and then never have to do it again (for example, the dried porcini mushrooms we had last night had not been added to the database, but they have now!).  With the help of loseit, I’m now tracking my daily calorie intake in a spreadsheet and matching it up against my weight-loss trends.  I’ve figured out that my max daily calories should be no more than 1,200 (and following slimgenics to the “t” makes it SO easy to accomplish that).  Seriously, I feel so smart!  I’m tracking my actual weight, daily calories, average daily calorie in-take over the last 7 days, weekly weight-loss %… it is a lot of numbers and graphs, but what can I say?  I’m an accountant!  Numbers is what I do!  And I like having any excuse to do cool stuff in excel.  *Removes the green eyeshade and puts her slide rule and #2 pencils back in the drawer*


All that being said, I went off plan yesterday.  I had a huge craving for an enormous bacon cheese burger (which is the only thing I want when I have a migraine, and I sadly had one yesterday).  This burger would probably be 1500 calories on its own O_O.  So what did I do?  I made a compromise.  I had 2/3 cup of marshmallows, 40 chocolate chips, and an 8 oz glass of half 2% milk and half skim milk.  I logged ALL of this into lose it, and you know what?  It was only 300-350 calories of damage–SO much better than 1500.  I omitted some of my foods (like my second portion of fruit, which is high in sugar), I might omit some of them today to kind of make up for the that deviation, but that’s ok.    Another thing: after having all of that, I no longer had the craving for the burger.  Not sure why that was enough, but it was, and I ended up preparing this chicken cacciatore recipe as I had originally planned.  It was very good, too.  I had it along side 2-3 cups of steamed broccoli, and felt great eating it.  I think I prefer porcini mushrooms in a cream based sauce, but this was still good.  The hubby was absolutely RAVING about it.  I ended up doubling the recipe, so he has leftovers to take to work, and that helps me have confidence that this plan can be a more permanent solution to my weight issues.


I also want to say that I don’t know how well I would be able to do this if I didn’t have him right there along side me, never judging or criticizing me for my weight, but never failing to offer encouragement when I’m doing something good for myself.  It also helps that he likes the food I’m making!


OH, I mentioned earlier that I would post the flourless chocolate cake recipe, and here’s a link to it.  It’s also gluten free, so if you or anyone you know is sensitive to gluten or grains, this is a really great, decadent, and guilt-free treat!


Low-Fat Ranch Dressing

I made this this afternoon and smothered about a tbsp on the chicken breast I grilled this evening. It really took the flavor to another level! Only 20 cals in 1 Tbsp!

The Craving Chronicles

Who doesn’t love Ranch dressing? It’s creamy, herby, cool and delightfully flavorful. It’s one of the few dressing you’re almost guaranteed to find on every salad bar and in every restaurant. But have you ever looked at the nutritional information? Let’s just say it’s not the healthiest thing you could top your salad with. Sure, you could use the reduced fat or lite version, but they never taste the same. I always find they have sort of a weird aftertaste.

Low-Fat Ranch Dressing

So I’ve decided to take my salad’s fate into my own hands. I made my own Ranch dressing. Most recipes call for a mixture of buttermilk and mayonnaise, but I couldn’t stomach the thought of using all that mayo. (At least, not for this. Let’s be honest. I love mayo.) So I cut the mayo way back, added Greek yogurt, and threw in some herbs fresh from my garden. Call…

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Encouraged, trying some new things

Looking back on my posts over the last year, I was reminded of how quickly the weight-loss occurred when I was following the plan.  Specifically, looking at this post where I documented my 30 lb photos, I was flabbergasted to remember that the weight-loss occurred over only 3 months.

I remember after losing 30 lbs, I felt confident.  I felt in control and successful.  And, for the first time in my life, I felt legitimately sexy (which was a nice way to feel).

Allow me to post those pictures again, because it feels damn good to think about how I can achieve that again, and go beyond that.

I’ll be there in a few months.  Just you wait and see!

I’ve learned a few things since I tried this the last time.  I’ve learned that if I’m going to have control over my eating habits, I have to exercise control over the other areas of my life.  So, the hubby and I are putting a few things into action.

1. We’ve got a regimen we’re following to keep the house clean.  Keeping the house under control helps me feel like I can also keep a good handle on my food intake.

2. (Be forewarned, this is a bit gross)  I’m a picker.  I pick at things, like zits or scabs, when I’m stressed or just bored.  As a result, I don’t feel good about my skin, which drags me down about my appearance and makes it harder for me to care about keeping going with my weight-loss.  For this reason, I’m getting a fidget.  I need something to occupy my hands and keep me from destroying my skin.  Sitting with something like this in my hand or in my pocket will help keep me from doing that.  I’ll pick at the fidget instead of my self.  This fidget is also discreet enough, and doesn’t make any noise (unlike a clicking pen, a ball chain, or something else).

3. I’m going to make a journal page template and take it to Kinkos.  I’ll have about half a years’ worth printed up, and I’ll keep it in a binder.  Having these already set up for the different meals and the other goals will make it that much easier for me to justify journaling on a daily basis.  I’ll try to post a picture once I’ve done this.

4. I’m reminding myself that this is a life change.  Last time, I was excited to become thin and be able to eat junk food, but in moderation.  I didn’t really know what that meant, though.  What I’m realizing is that I have an addiction.  An addiction to sweets, and if I feed that addiction even after losing the weight, I’m going to end up at 194 lbs or even worse.  How did I get here in the first place, if not through feeding that addiction?  I need to learn to enjoy and take satisfaction in healthier foods (or, alternatively, separate satisfaction from foods).  I don’t think it’s bad to celebrate with food, but I think it can be dangerous.  For me, some of the most unhealthy comfort foods I have just remind me of good times; I feel good eating them, because I’m reminded of the family I spent time with, or the awesome feeling of summer break when I had time to do whatever I wanted.  I need to learn how to separate these feelings of nostalgia and reminiscence from those unhealthy foods.  For that reason, I’m committing to spending as much time working on my mind as I do working on my body.

Honestly, a lot of the foods I “love” don’t really taste that good.  They’re just comforting.  Remove the comforting feeling from those foods, and I end up with little desire to actually eat them.  This is what I’m going to work on.

5. I’m also going to try to find healthier and PERMANENT replacements for unhealthier foods.  One such replacement that I’ve already found is a flour-less chocolate cake recipe developed by Kim, the resident foodie for slimgenics.  She’s just an outstanding chef, and she comes up with so many recipes that I never would have thought of.  Now, I am just short of a chocolate cake connoisseur.  I will search high and low to find the best chocolate cake out there (the best chocolate cake I’ve EVER found, by the way, is the Guinness Chocolate Cake at Kilkenny’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma).  The cake recipe she created is so moist and rich, and the dark chocolate cocoa I used made it so I was satisfied with just a little bit.  Paired with some raspberries, I could have this cake on my birthday and be completely content.  I’ll try to post her recipe in a few days (EDIT: YOU CAN FIND THE RECIPE HERE).  She also has a recipe for eggs benedict (along with a multitude of other recipes posted on the slimgenics online community), which I’m dying to try when I have the time to do the cooking and clean up.

I think these strategies are going to help me get to where I want to be.  For the rest of my life.

I’m also going to revisit my physical assessment tonight, so I’ll be posting again shortly.

Zucchini chips recipe

In trying to make myself enjoy more vegetables and find substitutes for foods I need to stop loving, I found this on the boards in the slimgenics online community, posted by our resident foodie, Kim:

Zucchini chips!

“We’re in love with zucchini chips – slice your zucchini thin (use a mandoline) and place on a baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt, bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, turning periodically, then reduce oven temperature to 300°F and bake until splotchy brown and crisp, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to paper towels and let cool. These will keep at room temperature and are great with lemon-herb yogurt dip.

Try zucchini tots, like tater tots, shred the zucchini and mix with egg and seasonings.  Bake in a mini muffin tin until set and crispy on top (Pinterest has several recipe variations for this that are easily modified).”

Going to try this once I’m done with the fresh start days (chicken, cucumber: we’re in this together!).

eggnog recipe

I found this recipe for eggnog on the site (it’s actually their affiliate christmas tree site).

First of all, I love pickyourown.  SO MANY GOOD RECIPES for canning, and I made some outrageously good apple butter last winter with their help.  Also, salsa that my uncle LOVES.

The recipe is here, and it’s supposed to be fat and sugar free.  We’ll see how I end up doing it, and while not every item may be on plan, if I have to have eggnog this christmas (I do), this will be a better option.