Shifting Stones

My skinny jeans await

Committed, recommited

I’ve had a bit of a rough half year to eight months diet-wise.  I restarted low carb (many times), tried South Beach (lost weight but was miserable, depressed, and for one of the first times in my life, needing help for “transit” issues), restarted low carb again, visited America, ate a bunch of crap, got back home to the UK and that night got the phone call that my mother died.  Back to America.  More crap eating and trying to keep the comfort eating at bay…

It’s a wonder I didn’t balloon up to where I was before the beginning of my “weight loss journey”.  If this is a journey, then let me extend that metaphor out a bit.  It’s been a long ass journey, half of it I have been holding on, white knuckled.  I am lost most of the time because I have a crap map written by thousands of people.  I can’t rely on any inner sense of direction because I have none.  Every time I pull over for directions, I get some toothless yokel with a different answer.  But I am glad I started it.  Grateful every day that I am at least doing something because where I was at the start of this “journey” was a hell of a lot worse than anything I’ve encountered along the way.
So anyway, there has been some backsliding (about 15 pounds at the worst), but I took some of that off, ever so slowly, when I noticed an upcoming date on my calender: my mom’s birthday.


There is no doubt in my mind that my mom’s eating habits killed her at an age that was too young.  Before her death, she was old before her years due to her size, her illnesses, and her depression.  I am speaking frankly about something I would have never had the nerve to say when she was alive, and for that I am sorry.
And she has passed on her eating to me.  Not through genes as we were not blood related (she adopted me when I was two).  If anything, I took on her habits with even more skill than she did, but I will be damned if I will let the same tragedy of a short, miserable life happen to me.  And I think that there is no better homage I can pay to her than to break out of this cycle.
Exactly a month ago today, I could have recommitted to low carb.  I think that most low carb eating plans are very good, healthy provided they are planned right, and promote long term weight loss and general well-being.  However, I cannot eat a diet that includes any animal products that I can’t be assured were produced ethically with minimal suffering to the livestock.  Because of this, our grocery bill at times could be quite high.  And even then with the reassurances, I sort of never felt all that comfortable eating meat.

So, instead, I drew up a set of rules and guidelines to follow which allows me to eat a moderately carb conscious diet but focuses mainly on organic vegetables and some fruit.  It’s not a vegetarian diet as we eat sustainable fish and seafood on occasion, but we’ve cut all sugar, refined carbohydrate, and have limited our portions of starch heavy foods.  I cut out most artificial sweetener, and my husband has traded his sweets and crisps for fruits and nuts.  We’ve started ordering food from an organic produce company, and eat most of our food from the boxes.

My husband, of course, has lost about twice as much weight as I have, but in this month, I’ve managed to drop 8.5 pounds.  I am almost at the weight I was before I visited the States.
I am hoping that this blog will help someone out there who is struggling.  Or is looking for someone to shout “ROAD TRIP!” when they hear about “weight loss journeys”.  Or someone who is willing to give me a pat on the back when I need one.  I will try to update it more than I have, including recipes, progress reports, and lame jokes.  I am looking forward to it.


Back in the low carb saddle

I’ve been back on track for about a week now after taking a few days “off” for my birthday and pretty much erasing everything I’ve lost from my re-commitment to weight loss until now.  Basically, I made a huge pig of myself, a huge lushy pig.

Now that I am back, I really, really want to stick with it this time, ignoring the times when I try to reason with myself to eat off plan.  Absolutely no cheating or planned cheats.  Nothing.  I want to stay with it until I can finally say that I am at least no longer obese.  Unrealistic expectations?  I wouldn’t be the first to pull it off.

That said, I could really go for one of those orange flavoured glazed donuts that I vaguely remember from my childhood.  I think Freifofer’s or maybe Entenmann’s made them.  They were all artificial and had orangey chunks in them, but I could really go for one now.  Good thing I am like 3000 miles from the nearest one.


3 weeks in, and I’ve lost 11.5 pounds.  Again, none of that should be “water weight” as I was on low carb before switching to this plan.  If anything, I am losing weight faster in the past few weeks than I did my first week or so.  However, if anyone stumbles on this blog with 15 or 20 pounds to lose, a little caveat, I need to lose multiples of that, so don’t expect the same results.

I also made the decision to try to give up artificial sweeteners for a while to see how I do without them.  I want to taste the natural sweetness in vegetables (some of them are very sweet) and my herbal teas.  Plus, I am not sure why I’ve used that crutch for so long.  I can see a very occasional treat, but for now, nothing.  I’ve been a day without them, and it’s not too bad.

The biggest wow has been how much my body has changed.  I have been dieting for years, and most of that has been low carb or low GI/GL.  I know the advantages of having enough protein and fat over starving your body of its building blocks for the sake of cutting calories.  I’ve even been this weight before on low carb.  This time I look and feel thinnner.  Even my husband has noticed, and he can’t get over it.  I am starting the beginnings of an hourglass shape rather than an apple.  Well, I am sort of turning into an hourglass shape if you look at me from the front.  I don’t know if someone who has never had an arse qualifies as an hourglass, ever.  I feel a bit sexy, and it’s a new feeling.

I hope I can keep this up.

Always read the labels…

So, when I was doing low cal vegetarianism, I found this hot chocolate drink that tasted lovely, was low calorie (I think 30 calories a mug), was relatively low carb for an occasional treat (5 gm a mug), but was of course, a cocktail of chemicals and weird stuff.  I had (have) some left, so a few nights ago when I was really craving something sweet and chocolatey, I made myself a mug.  I downed about half of it, when I decided to double check the carbs in it.  When I glanced at the ingredients, glucose was relatively high on the list.  Glucose.

I still finished the mug of chocolate.
However, I know why on previous attempts at low carb this year, things sort of stayed steady.  I was drinking that stuff or adding a spoon to fresh whipped cream about every night.

I should bin it, but Mr Moggs likes it, so it’s still there.  This is the second thing I found this week that had sugar in it that I used regularly during low carb.  The first was a rice vinegar “dressing” which I just assumed was rice vinegar.  Because things here sometimes only list the macro-nutrients in 100 g, 100 ml, or whatever, I have to do maths in order to figure out the carbs.  If there’s one thing I am, it’s really lazy about maths.  It was still relatively low carb, but still.

I have an official weigh in tomorrow and I will update this then.

A week in

So I am a week in, and I am down about 3.5 pounds.  Remember, I was already on low carb before I started this plan, and this is entirely real weight loss, and not water.

We’re going shopping later, so I am going to try to figure out a menu.  I don’t do menus really.  My normal thing is to go to the shop, look for what’s on sale, buy at least 7 dinners worth, and buy some stuff for lunches and snacks.

The pork belly turned out to be incredible.  I am making another today, so I might post photos and a how to guide.

What I’ve eaten so far

Other than Monday (the sort of kind of IPD day), I have had the following:

Tues: B-Generous amount of duck and truffle pâté spread on a few celery sticks

L-Salami slices with mild cheddar (going to go for medium at least next time.  My tolerance of mild cheese has gone down)

D-Slow roasted pork belly, green beans w/butter

Snacks-A few cashews, a spoonful of peanutbutter

No caffeine, no Splenda.

Wed:  B-Peanut butter spread relatively thinly on celery sticks

L-Salami w/cheese


Snack- A couple spoonful of Crème fraiche (yeah weird, I know) and a spoonful of peanut butter

I managed to go without caffeine, but I had some Splenda.  I am going to aim for moderate amounts of Splenda.  I can’t really get into many hot decaf drinks without it.  I guess I could buy some decaf coffee, but I don’t really care for it.

I shouldn’t have weighed myself this morning, but I did.  I really want to do an official weight loss on Tuesday, so I will reveal if I lost any then.  Overall, I’ve felt okay, if a little sleepy without the caffeine.  I think I had the worst of the “ketosis flu” yesterday with headaches on and off (but mild ones, not migraine-like–don’t let anyone make you think the adjustment headaches are unbearable).  My skin feels incredibly soft.  Much softer even than when I do normal low carb.  I think it’s because of the amount of water you drink with this and the very high fat levels.

Regarding the Splenda, I don’t see that it’s really not by the book (caution, justification ahead) as they mention it as acceptable if you have to have a sweetener.  Then they go on about it being just modified sugar, and how that might affect blood sugar levels.  Well, from countless people on BS monitoring who have done low carb, I guess it doesn’t so if we eliminate that concern, there’s just the general concern about Splenda’s safety overall.   So, I shall have a bit of Splenda, and I am not cheating.  So there.

Day 2. Or day 1. Maybe day 1.5?

Yesterday started out pretty strong, but we went to a friends house and I ate more than I should have, and I had caffeine.  I didn’t eat too many carbs and no “baddies” (even though I was awfully tempted by some pretty lush looking homemade biscuits).  It was a very excellent meal, and worth the overload on amounts.  I should have steered clear of the sodas, of course, and the after dinner coffee, but I didn’t.

So I did a restart this morning.  Well, sort of.  I don’t really think that I should totally discount yesterday because I was able to stay low carb, and IPD is meant to be flexible enough to take in things like parties, although probably being flexible on the first day isn’t what they had in mind.  But what is important is that this morning I didn’t hesitate to commit the day to sticking to the eating plan.  Maybe what’s even more important is that I didn’t take yesterday’s excesses as a licence to go even more overboard and maybe eat some sugar.

The thought of the day is something about obstacles not being there as long as you focus on the goal.  True, but I think you have to define a goal.  Is it a goal weight? A goal size?  Or is it the things that are motivating you to lose weight in the first place?  Saying something like, “I want to lose weight so I can be more active,” sounds a lot like what makes someone want to lose weight, but really, the goal is there.  When your activity level increases, you have met one goal of the huge complex goal of losing weight.  So we should also remember those goals as we reach them.

Moving away from the SoCal glurgey motivation-speak, I have to love a diet where I am learning to cook pork belly.  Cooking pork friggen belly.  That is so far down the list of things that I’d thought I’d be doing in my lifetime.

Menu posting later.  Maybe.  No promises.