Weight Loss Wednesday – Week 7

Things I have noticed since beginning the weight loss program:

  • Five inches have disappeared off my waist in the last seven weeks, despite having lost just shy of fifteen pounds. 
  • I fit into clothes I haven’t worn in two years (mostly tops) and they look just as good on me now as they did then, even though I’m still about 25 pounds over my goal weight. Riding is seriously toning my core. 
  • My love for crappy food has stayed the same, but my tolerance for it is lower. For example, I went to the Devon Horse Show over Memorial Day Weekend, and the food options weren’t the best. I’d had my shake and my protein bar, and caved and had ice cream and a slice of pizza at lunch. I’d planned to cheat big and have funnel cake or something for dinner, but I couldn’t stomach the thought of it, so I had a Caesar salad instead. 
  • That said, there are lots of days when all I want is junk food (or more recently, pasta) and the thought of anything I’m allowed to have (especially chicken) makes me want to puke.

This week was kind of a bust – I only registered a loss of 0.2 lbs at weigh-in because I went to Devon and ate pizza and ice cream.

In the interest of posting this in a timely fashion, I’ll hold off on a review of the recipes I’ve tried lately. Also coming is some actual knitting content, I swear. I’ve been knitting…which is why I haven’t been blogging. And pictures of Cinnamon. Gah. 

    Weight Loss Wednesday – Week 6

    Nothing too crazy to report this week. Highlights and lowlights:

    • Had a rough day yesterday, which ended with me getting into it with an already-rude guy at the UPS store who told me I couldn’t pick up Scott’s package because we don’t share a last name, which devolved into, “What happens if I never take his last name?” because I was already feeling antagonistic. Caved and bought a Starbucks, but I only got a grande (not a venti), had it made nonfat, and got sugar-free mocha syrup.
    • Discovered a new dinner option: inside-out chicken cordon bleu. Huge hit with Scott. And I quote: “It doesn’t even feel like I’m on a diet!”
    • That said, I have had several days in the last couple of weeks where I don’t want to look at, think about, or smell chicken. Oh my god. So over the chicken.
    • Final weigh-in for this week: 170.2 lbs, which is apparently 3 lbs down from what I was last week. I’d reported it as 171.2, but I was wrong – I looked at my paperwork, and my last weigh-in was 172.8. All told, I’ve gotten rid of 13 lbs.

    Scott and I met with the dietician instead of doing our group class this week. I explained my anxiety and other emotional symptoms, and asked if she thought it was related to the diet. She asked some questions about my history and what’s currently happening and said that she doesn’t feel that it’s related to the program. She thinks what’s probably happening is that because I am, by my own admission, an emotional eater, I may be having to face my anxiety and depression by experiencing it rather than eating it. It doesn’t help me right now, but that explanation does make sense. She wants me to keep an eye on it and she put it in my file to mention to my doctor, so when I come in for my 20-pound follow-up, if it hasn’t improved, we can look at managing my meds.

    Goals for next week are to hit the gym at least once a week in addition to my ride. I’d like to eventually work my way up to 3 days, but given that I don’t go at all right now, once is better than nothing. Also, watch this space for actual knitting content – I have thirteen rows and a picot bind-off and the wedding shawl is finished! – and probably a riding lesson recap, or at least some adorable pictures of Cinnabutt.

    The down side

    I try very hard to keep this blog from getting becoming a moody hole of self-pity, but I’m also a big fan of real talk and real-life blogging, and I think some things are worth mentioning, especially because the readership on this blog is so small that I’m sure no one will mind (or notice) if I indulge myself a little.

    Like many people, I struggle with anxiety and depression, and I’ve been mildly medicated for these things since 2014 or so, which…truth be told, happened much later than it should really have happened. Up until recently, I’ve had it under control. I did therapy for two years in conjunction with meds. I did meds alone. I started riding in conjunction with meds. Over the summer, I told my doctor that I wanted to come off the antidepressant. I thought it was hindering my weight loss and I didn’t think I needed it anymore.

    My doctor told me to hold off a bit because I had a lot of life stressors happening at once. And she was right – in November, I broke my elbow, which was basically my own personal three-month hell because I could do virtually nothing for what felt like forever. On January 8, I moved, and on January 11, I started a new job. We’re in the middle of wedding planning, and there’s a lot of financial stresses associated with that in particular and adulting in general. And now I’ve gone and completely upended my diet.

    It’s been a lot.

    I had a bout of adjustment issues when I first started my job. Changing jobs was a huge transition. I went from working part-time in a public school, because that’s all that was available at the time, to full-time at a desk job in a large corporate environment. I had a hard time adjusting to sitting in a gray cubicle – alone – all day every day. I knew when I took the job that I currently have that it was going to be largely repetitive over the longterm, and that my ultimate goal was to move into a research position at the same company within a few years, so what I’m doing now is not my end-game or my ideal job. I still have days where I feel a little down because this job is not as inherently satisfying or rewarding or as fun as working with kids, but I have to remind myself that a.) they were never going to make me full-time at my last job, b.) the salary I make now is double what I was making and I needed the money, and c.) the perks are good. Also, there were a lot of things about working in schools that I didn’t love: spending full days in IEP meetings, being constantly yelled at by angry or ignorant parents, physically restraining kids in our behavior program, coming home every day exhausted and drained.

    Anyway, I digress. I was doing much better until I started the new low-carb diet program. I don’t want to blame the diet for my mental health, because I realize that it’s a conglomeration of factors that account for the changes I’m experiencing, but I have read quite a bit that substantiates the idea that low-carb diets can cause serotonin imbalances (i.e.: anxiety and depression), particularly in women. I’m going to meet with the dietitian tomorrow and I’m planning to ask her how to deal with it from a diet perspective.

    All that is to say, I feel like I’m struggling, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. I’m finding myself pulling away from things I used to enjoy (although not everything), and I’m increasingly more irritable. I’ve found myself saying to friends, “I feel like I’m getting meaner,” or “Jesus, I’m nasty today.” But it’s every day. I have less and less patience with being at work, and more and more I feel like I just want to be at home. I’ve also had an increase in migraines (four or five in the last month, as opposed to four or five in the last two years) lately. I feel a general sense of ennui. As much as I’m pleased with the weight loss, I need to determine if these emotional symptoms are related to the diet, and if so, how to control them. And if they’re not, then I need my meds adjusted and I was clearly very, very wrong when I thought I was well enough to come off. More than anything, I’m afraid. I allowed myself to get to a really bad place before I asked for help, and I don’t want to go down that road again…but on the other hand, it’s familiar and because of that, it’s oddly nostalgic and comforting, and that’s terrifying.

    #firstbootproblems

    Equestrian confession: I have never owned a pair of tall boots. I’ve never needed them. Up until the last three months, I never thought I would need them because I didn’t want to show.

    However, I do need new boots in some fashion. My paddock boots are old and beat up, and the suede half chaps I bought last year are getting there as well. When I told my trainer that I was in the market for new boots, she suggested I get tall boots because they’d last longer than my half chaps and I could show in them, since I’ve now decided that’s a thing I want to try. So on Saturday, I went boot shopping.

    On the recommendation of my trainer and also general good sense because their return policy is awesome, I went to Dover. I explained to the lovely and helpful salesgirl that I had ridiculously muscular calves and thought I might be a tough fit, that I knew nothing about tall boots, and that I’d like something in the $200-$250 range that was appropriate for schooling-to-show. The girl gave my legs the once-over and said, “You should be fine to fit. We’ll try a regular medium calf.”

    You should know where this is going by now.

    Several pairs of boots (and several skin-pinches) later, we had only found one pair of boots that even remotely fit my leg properly. It’s what the girl called a “sock style” boot, meaning that the leather was incredibly soft and hugs the leg like a second skin. They were actually super comfortable, except for the fact that they were a dress boot (rather than a field boot) and I couldn’t really bend my ankle. The salesgirl swore the boots would stretch and allow my ankle to bend, but she also told me that the stock-style boots don’t have a break-in period, and those two things seemed contradictory. The other issue is that the leather of the boot was so soft that I really think that the fit of the boot wouldn’t be maintained past a few months; once it broke in properly, the boots would probably drop and bag, just like my regular “going-out” boots that I wear to work.

    You can just tell these will sag after a few good rides. Also you can see all the “fallen soldier” boots behind me that just didn’t fit.
    Bagging was the issue in general: because my ankles are so slender (8 inches in diameter) compared to my calves (15.75 inches standing, 16.25 sitting), what fits me in one place logically doesn’t fit me in the other. The girl at Dover told me I’d probably need a custom boot, which, with wedding payments and general living, isn’t a possibility right now, especially when I don’t even know if I’ll like showing. We tried a leather half-chap with a zip-up paddock boot, but I had the problem again with the bagging in the ankle.

    My trainer seems less concerned about my boot-shopping woes than I am. She says to go boot shopping with her next time, and we’ll find something – boot or half-chap – that works. Right now, we’re both on the same page: lace-up paddock boots (because I’ll get a better fit and more mobility through my ankle) and a decent leather half-chap are probably the way to go.

    The hunt continues.

    Weight Loss Wednesday – Week 5

    Literally nothing of interest happened this week. The big thing was that I did make cauliflower crust pizza, and I think we paid the price for that this week at weigh-in. In the interest of full disclosure, Scott and I both had a falling down last night, to the tune of two slices of pizza each. I’ve been dealing with a very low-grade nauseousness this week, which I don’t think is all diet-related; honestly, I think I’m coming down with something (and no, lest anyone else ask, because the question was already posed by one of my coworkers this morning – I am 110%, unequivocally, entirely certain that I am not pregnant. I am not harboring a fetus, but I may be harboring some sort of germ). But last night, I could not stomach the thought of another salad or another piece of chicken. Couldn’t do it. I was still within my calories and well within my carbs for the day, so I said the hell with it and got some. It was better than vomiting my chicken, and I was pretty sure that was going to happen, because I dry-heaved at the mere thought of poultry.

    So final weigh-in this week put me at 171.6 lbs, which is a whopping 1.6 lbs down from last week, and brings my grand total to 10.8 lbs lost. It’s not a big loss, but a loss is a loss. I’m also not entirely certain it’s accurate. I had snarfed my dinner (more chicken. Whee) literally an hour before weigh-in; some weeks I don’t have time to eat beforehand or I drink a shake rather than eating a solid meal because I’m tutoring. I don’t love that we get weighed in the evenings, but the morning group sessions are…well, in the morning, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and I work an hour north of where the clinic is, so it’s just not feasible. When I weigh myself in the morning at home, I’m currently vacillating between 169.8 and 170.2 lbs. Based on my morning weights, I’ve lost closer 14-15 lbs total.

    Still,  I think the cheese was the culprit this week, between the fake pizza and the real pizza. I ordered a food scale so I can be more accurate about my portions too (and who am I kidding, so I can weigh yarn). The dietician also gave us a great idea last week, about making a snack of those cute baby bell peppers and one wedge of Laughing Cow spreadable cheese. One wedge of the Laughing Cow is enough to stuff three mini peppers, and the cheese is only 35 calories and 1g carb per wedge. Plus, it’s cheese! This week’s flavor is Asiago and it’s the best thing ever. Pairs really well with the peppers. As a bonus, the peppers are super crunchy, and crunch is something I’ve missed a little on this diet. And guys – the tiny peppers are adorable! They’re colorful! And so wee!

    I haven’t scouted any new recipes to try this week, but I’m working on it. In the meantime, stay tuned for a riding post or two – I have a lesson tomorrow and I’ve been trying to write a post since Sunday about my misadventures in boot shopping – and some knitting content.

    Desert island cravings

    Tonight’s dinner adventure was an answer to my most frequent craving: pizza. I love pizza. It’s pretty much my favorite thing to eat. If I had to eat one thing every day, three meals a day, for the rest of my life, it’d be pizza. It’s my “desert island food”.

    The problem with pizza and the program I’m on is that pizza is full of carbs. Crusty – delicious, bread-y, yeasty crust – is nothing but carbs. And carbs, sadly, are still in the no-fly zone. However, the internet is a beautiful thing, and with a minimum of googling, I found several recipes for low-carb pizza crust, most using cauliflower and cheese. In the end, I chose this recipe from Popsugar because it didn’t require the cauliflower to be riced. Our ancient food processor broke not too long ago, and with us being a few months away from our wedding and even fewer months away from my bridal shower, I refuse to buy new appliances right now. The Popsugar recipe called for grated cauliflower, and I had a cheese grater and a fiancé willing to grate an entire head of the stuff while I did some housecleaning.

     

    Once the cauliflower was prepped, the rest of the cooking was easy. The “dough” came together quickly and cooked easily. The only mistake I made was not reading the first line of the recipe thoroughly enough, and I missed the part of the instructions that say to line the pizza pan with parchment. Later on, the recipe said something about the “prepared” pizza pan and I was like, “Prepared how? Mentally? Do I need to give it a pep talk?” Turns out, that mean lined with parchment. The lack of parchment didn’t hurt anything, except it was bit a harder to get the pizza off the pan, and the crust didn’t crisp the way it probably would have had I lined the pan.

    Before

     

    Final verdict? Taste-wise, not bad! There was a mild cauliflower aftertaste, but nothing too strong or off-putting. I would have liked the crust to have been a little crisper, but I think that’ll happen if I cook it on parchment like I’m meant to. In the future, I’d like to do a version with pesto sauce, grilled chicken, a little fresh mozzarella, and some sweet balsamic vinegar drizzled over top.

    Sure looks good masquerading as a regular pizza though, huh? And the best part? I calculated the calorie count – 350 calories for half a pizza, which is exactly what I should have for my “high protein, low carb” meal per day. Even with all of this, I was at 60 carbs for the day. Awesome.

    After