31 October 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Blimey! Just how many times in a single day can a poor fat lass swing from mindset to mindset? Ever had 'one of those' roller-coaster days?

The day started off well enough, albeit a tad too early for my liking, with a fun rowing session on Connie and a successful stint at the good ole abs stuff. My bus came on time, it didn't rain on me and I got to work without a quiver. Mindset pretty good at this point.

The morning went along fairly well, and I got a fair amount accomplished,but then... whammo! Just before lunch the Bad News Bears ganged up on me and I had one hassle after another. Sometimes they didn't even wait until I'd dealt with one 'crisis' until the next one rolled along. I won't go into detail but somehow, each and every one of 'em became 'my problem' to sort out. Mindset now? Grrr, pretty bad!

Stomped out, still growling quietly to myself, at lunchtime down to the solicitor's office to sort out a change to our wills. Good move as my 'witnesses' were both lovely people and between that and the walk in the fresh air, I was back into a positive mood again.

OK, back to the grind and I WAS going to eat my lunch in peace. Er, that was the plan, anyway. It didn't happen! So at 4pm I've just finished my lunch (though I can't say I really enjoyed it much) and am, once again, pretty grumpy.

And the ugly? Yesterday, I was given a box of chocolates as a 'thank you'. A lovely gesture and, I felt, quite undeserved. I took the box home to dutifully give away. I felt strong, and good about that and not even minimally tempted. Great stuff, eh?

But today there was an exhibition with a mini competition at my workplace. Go on, you've guessed it haven't you. I won it... and the prize was the bloody great box of chocolates! My reaction was an immediate 'great, wow, fantastic' until the penny dropped and I realised I couldn't even eat one measly choccy without the low-carb business going snafu! Oh.... rude words!

Of all the days to tempt a fat lass almost beyond bearing, this one is it. Feeling mightily peed off, I put the box out for the office gannets to devour, and busied myself until the blasted box had completely emptied. Didn't take long. Guess who disposed of the empty box though? Yep, yours truly!

Ho hum, tomorrow MUST be a better day, right? Onwards ever...

30 October 2012

Holiday victory!

Well, the annual challenge has come and gone and I'm really proud to report that, when it comes to weight, we've both passed this particular year's test with flying colours.

I'm talking about holidays here (vacations for US readers), and the toll they can take on losing or maintaing a sensible weight.

This year we thought it might get a wee bit more difficult as we're still pretty new to the idea of low carb and were not sure if we could translate this into things like eating out - specifically for the birthday meals.

I thought we'd be likely to be tempted by the idea of cake or desserts or higher-carb treats and half-expected us to fall off the wagon, or at least wobble wildly. I'd even made a few mental contingency plans for what we'd do if (when?) this happened - mostly to be honest and admit it, then get right back to being EXTREMELY careful as hell with everything we ate.

But... amazingly, we didn't need to 'make amends' in any way and we rode that wagon quite comfortably for the whole time we were away. I'm so, so proud of us both and so, so grateful that some aspect of the low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein way of eating seems to help us both with keeping good control.

Without the little (carb-driven cravings?) internal voice saying 'but I want the cake' it's generally pretty easy to see something appealing, think 'hmm, that looks delicious' but still just walk on without any real regrets.

I feel that we ate really well, er... luxuriously even, in the time we were away. I don't feel in the slightest 'deprived' and we certainly seemed to eat more/better than usual. In fact, I often found that I felt quite full, and even skipped a few meals for small snacks instead as the thought of a full plate just didn't appeal.

I did have one day of feeling 'oh, poor me', when thoughts of 'but I can't have a...' got a bit intrusive (that was the day before we had to leave and my black dog got tetchy that our holiday was nearly over), but it still didn't translate into eating high-carb foods.

Does this class as a NSV? Well, sort of. It's a whole heap of victories in my mind, and even the scales said nice things on our return (neither of us had gained at all) so I guess it's SV + NSV.

17 October 2012

Psyllium husk, flax seed and apple porridge

After Friday's gloopy stuff (and Monday's poor effort, which set so solid I could have used it to hold a sizeable pane of window glass into a frame!) I've decided to change how I make my mid-morning 'fake porridge'.

Yesterday's take on this was worth the experiments, and today's is the same... er, 'recipe', if I can call it that. It's low carb, tasty, a nice sensibly 'porridgey' consistency and very satisfying. A little bowl of this totally negates any longings for my beloved (but now off limits) oatmeal.

So, what did I do?

Chopped half a nice apple into small chunks (mine are 'Honeycrisp' from Lidl), dipping these in water with a little lemon juice so they didn't go brown.

Drained the chunks and sprinkled them with a tablespoon of psyllium husk and about the same of roughly ground flax seeds (a.k.a. linseeds here in the UK).

Then, I just covered the mix with a layer of full-fat milk, stirred and left it to stand and allowed it to swell (this doesn't take too long). If it looks a tad dry after a while, I may add a touch more milk, and give it another stir.

Finally (and this is the nicest bit), I put a layer of Greek yoghurt over the top.

It's good. Really good. Not worth a picture as it isn't exactly pretty, but it fits the bill nicely.

15 October 2012

What's happening...?

Update time. OK, so I guess I'm slowly, slowly getting a wee bit more convinced... and I'm really rather enjoying this new low carb life.

I'm not really missing bread or potatoes at all, and decent, seedy bread, especially home-made, was what I expected to miss most. I was never too bothered about rice anyway, and wasn't absolutely passionate about pasta either. I've created a low carb 'porridge' work around (Greek yoghurt mixed with ground flax seeds and psyllium husk, which 'sets' into a nice porridgy consistency*) so mid-morning break is no longer a trauma.
*don't know what happened to Friday's though - it seemed to turn into slug-trail gloop, not porridge!

I'm thoroughly enjoying eating loads of gorgeous kale and cabbage and cauliflower and spinach and eggs and avocados and yoghurt. I've rediscovered a delight in nuts, cheeses, meats and... er, butter.

There.... I've gone and said it. I've outed one of my guilty secrets. The fat lass is enjoying butter! What's worse, we've even cooked with cream a couple of times!

You can see, can't you, that I still can't put hand on heart and say I feel 100% comfortable with the dietary change. I am guessing this is legacy stuff - mostly because I still can't make my inner monitor, that 'gut-feeling' part of me, accept the increased fat, after sooo many years of 'low fat' or 'no fat' as a mantra. It still 'feels' wrong/bad/naughty/sinful... But I'm sticking with it because my logical brain tells me it's the right thing to do and, despite the inner guilt trips, I am actually liking it.

My one little spark of defiance to low carb comes in the form of a nice, sweet, juicy, Pink Lady apple every day. Yes, I do know they are almost certainly higher in carbs than I 'ought' to be eating for a snack, but when it comes to these it's to hell with absolute compliance - I'll forego something else, but I won't/can't put aside my apple addiction. Fat lass stamps her trotters!

Checked for ketones in urine again at the weekend and, although I'd expected (hoped) to see a nice pretty deep purple response like last weekend, it was quite a lot less distinct than before. However, any change to purple = ketosis, so I mustn't get hung up over a colour change, even if it's paler. The fact that I got a colour change at all is in itself very reassuring (albeit in a slightly odd sort of way) as it tells me I'm still 'on track'. Hence the purple 'heart' above.

The other signpost to progress is the scales and, given the radical change in diet, my weight is remarkably steady. I've definitely quit losing, phew!, (and put back on a teensy bit) so I'm just hovering around the 54kg mark (eight and a half stone) again - just below this morning. However, with that, even if up or down a pound or so, I'm happy.

Er... make that delighted actually, not least because that's the sort of number I could never even dream about way back in 2007 when, obese and uncomfortable and unhappy and not much less than double this weight, I started my marvelous weight-loss journey.

Lovely hubby is equally happy with the new lifestyle, which makes me a much more relaxed person as I do rather fret about him like a mother hen! He is itching to get back to some decent exercise though - more specifically, onto the wondrous Connie. Now he's put a pound or so back on, and if he can gain another pound, we'll feel happier for him to get back at it.

I think I've made him quite envious in the mornings when Connie and I have a happy, early morning rowing session together. Some mornings there just aren't enough minutes though, as I enjoy it so much I could keep on rowing for a lot longer than I've time for. Good old work, and public transport timetables, drag me away from her... sigh.

Hey, fancy the fat lass wishing there was more time for exercise! Times really have changed, haven't they?

Onwards ever...

05 October 2012

Life... is going well

I haven't said a great deal recently. Going quiet like this might indicate that things have slipped and that the fat lass is struggling. Not this time though :-)

It just indicates that I've been rather busy (oooh, and how!), and preoccupied and had little time to think about writing. Work has been mad, but also this low-carb business takes some thought and coming to terms with. The upside of this, however, is that it seems to be going really well for both me and for my lovely hubby.

There is one small thing about it though... and that is that I'm feeling guilty, and I can't quite shake the feeling that I'm doing something 'bad'. Actually, that should be 'Bad', with a great, fat, capital B!.

And 'fat' it is, because I'm consuming more fat that I've done for years!

Despite reading the science (and, I think, understanding it) this newly acquired habit still feels like something I need to/ought to hide. Yes, I'm actively in 'ketosis' so am burning fats as a primary energy source but it still 'feels' a little screwy in my mind. Hmmm, fat lass emotion trying to over-rule fat lass brain cells again!

This desire to hide new habits is especially the case at work, in a shared office who have got used to seeing nice 'healthy' fat lass lunches of veggie crudites and low-fat, home-made youghurt dips.

This means that there have been a few raised eyebrows at my recent cheese and avocado snack boxes, glistening with olive oil, and one or two 'hey what the...?' looks at my conveniently placed jar of peanut butter (crunchy, please, with no added sugar or salt) to have with my daily apple.

Today's lunch will raise a few more eyebrows, I suspect. It's left-over menemen from last night's dinner - so an egg, and loads of peppers and tomatoes and onions and herbs, in a sauce glistening with... yep, you guessed it,olive oil.

And what do the scales say about this increase in fats? Well, I 'think' I've stopped losing weight (er, seeing a sudden drop of several pounds to well less than eight and a half stone on the scale scared me witless!). I have 'maybe' stabilised, or even clawed my way back up a little. Tomorrow's weigh-in will tell.

With what I'm eating, in calories from fats alone, it feels like I could sustain a large and particularly active army! However, I'm feeling great on it. I feel strong, and healthy and I seem to have found a way to overcome the... er, digestive... issues which did worry me a tad. The addition of a teaspoon a day of psyllium husk seems to be doing the trick, but I'll let you Google the reason I felt it was needed [sheepish grin].

Onwards ever...

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