What I Have Learned About Dieting

Many of you who know me or have been following my blog, know that I have weight issues and furthermore, issues with doctors and their fat shaming. I’ve been having weight issues since my first child was born, due to under-active thyroid. I think the biggest issue with that under-active thyroid was that for 5 years it went undiagnosed because doctors passed my weight gain off as “still eating for two” or “finishing what’s on the kids’ plates” or “sitting on my ass all day.” Those were just the nicer things they said to me. Once I was diagnosed and put on medication, I was able to lose some weight but then I hit a plateau….and stayed on that plateau for many years. Then I started having pain issues and my activity level decreased. That’s when my weight increased. At my heaviest, I was 275 lbs.!

Fast forward, to March 2016, when I was so fat shamed and humiliated that I left a doctor’s office in tears. I had no choice but to purchase a diet program — because up until then I had tried every diet known to man, except for the ones you have to pay for. I learned a lot about losing weight since then. I lost 10, then 20….and more. It was coming off! I lost 60 lbs. total! I hit a couple plateaus along the way. I even gained a little back, but I’m back on track now. I won’t give up!

Keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist. I am not a dietician. I am not a diet or weight loss counselor. I am writing from my own experience and the things I have learned are things that have worked for me. I hope this might help someone who is in the same boat as I am…..because we all know how much help doctors can be sometimes.

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Eat. Eat. Eat. Don’t starve yourself! You have to keep your metabolism going throughout the day but you will slow it down to a snail’s crawl if you skip meals or starve yourself. Also, be prepared to eat every 2-3 hours. That’s 3 meals, and 3 snacks per day. No, it’s not a lot! Eating this often keeps your blood sugar stable and you won’t get those sudden urges to pig out!

Watch your portions. Read the labels. Don’t take just a little extra; stick to one portion.

Find what your calorie intake should be and try to aim for that number. And yes, you have to count your calories. If you have had doctors tell you, “You just need to count calories,” they are only partially right. Counting calories is just a small part of losing weight, which is why I failed for so many years. I’m sure there are others who have had the same problem.

Drink 64 oz. of water each day. Tea and coffee can be part of that 64 oz. if it’s not doctored up with fats and sugars. (Use artificial sweeteners or honey, and fat-free, sugar-free creamers.) Other drinks like Crystal Light and the like are also acceptable – but drink mostly water.

Make sure to eat at least 4 servings of vegetables each day! Seems like a lot, I know. It’s really not. Half a cup cooked or 1 cup raw is one serving. Make sure they are non-starchy vegetables. Oh, and the best part (to me, because I love my veggies!) is that you can eat as many as you want and you really don’t have to count those calories!! If you get hungry during the day at any time, break out the veggies! (Just don’t drench your veggies with oils, dips, and dressings! Those calories will count.)

Limit salt, alcohol, sugar, fat, and calories. Limit the extras as well; things like salad dressing, ketchup, mayo, syrup, olives, chocolate, etc. It’s ok to have a serving (look on the bottle) of ketchup on your turkey burger but let’s not go nuts and consume too many extras. Salt and alcohol will cause a little weight gain so limit those and drink a lot of water. Water will flush it out.

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BREAKFAST: Eat within an hour of getting out of bed. This gets your metabolism going. Eat a protein and a carb. Not just any protein or carb. Eat LEAN protein and carbs that are low on the glycemic index. Look them up. Make a list of the items you like and can afford to purchase for your diet. Try low-fat, low-calorie yogurt and 1/2 of a whole wheat bagel or a serving of granola cereal and 1/2 cup of low-fat milk. There are many possibilities.

AM SNACK: 2-3 hours after breakfast have a snack. Your snack should be a LEAN protein at this time. Try a boiled egg, yogurt, or a palmful of nuts. It’s a great time to have a glass of water too!

LUNCH: 2-3 hours after your snack, have lunch. Have 1 LEAN protein and 1 carb, again low on the glycemic index. This is a great time to add 2 servings of veggies! If you love salads like I do, be sure to limit your salad dressings to 1 tablespoon. You could have tuna salad with wheat crackers or a turkey burger with a small wheat bun.

PM SNACK: 2-3 hours after lunch, have another snack. This time, have a LEAN protein and a carb. Could be an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter, or wheat crackers and a tablespoon of cream cheese. Don’t forget the water!

DINNER: 2-3 hours after your snack have dinner. Here’s where you get 2 LEAN proteins and a carb. You could have a chicken enchilada with cheese, or salmon and 1/2 baked sweet potato. Don’t forget to add 2 servings of veggies!

AFTER DINNER SNACK: 2-3 hours after dinner, choose a cookie, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, fruit or a brownie. Be sure to stick to one portion! You have to treat yourself or you will go nuts! Trust me, every single time I have tried to cut out my favorite snacks I have felt deprived and it just doesn’t work! Have your sweet or salty snack and then STOP!

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Just a few last things:

If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up! Just do better next time. You’re worth it!

Don’t forget to exercise a little. Every little bit counts.

Don’t weigh yourself every day. Weigh yourself once a week, in the morning.

Make yourself accountable. Write down everything you eat and drink, including calories. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Be honest with yourself. Reward yourself but not with food. When you lose 10 pounds, buy a new dress or new purse. Be kind to yourself. You didn’t gain the extra 10/20/30 pounds overnight. You’re not going to lose it overnight.

Create an inspiration board. I put post-it notes all over one wall where I can see it from my desk. My granddaughter even added one for me.

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Image Copyright Being Aunt Debbie

 

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Image Copyright Being Aunt Debbie

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I hope this will help someone. I know how it feels to not get any help from doctors. I know what it’s like to lose a little weight and then gain it back. I know how hopeless a person feels after trying so hard to lose, only to gain. It’s frustrating. It makes you feel like a failure. You’re NOT a failure. You just haven’t found what works for you. Just keep trying. NEVER give up! I’m here for moral support if anyone is in need.

Seriously, I’m here.

 

“I’m Just Ugly”

I told this story on my Facebook page tonight. I can’t believe how little things turn into something so hilarious!

Dad and I went to Chili’s for lunch today. We had only been seated for about 10 minutes before a few ladies came in and sat behind us. The thing is, one of the ladies peered down at me as she passed as if I had my clothes on backward or something. I had to do a quick check!

Anyway, the same lady got up to use the restroom and on her way back she did the same thing! I looked down at my shirt, thinking maybe I had salsa dripped down the front of me or something. Nothing there. Dad noticed too. I thought maybe she thought she knew me….

Shortly after, I got up to use the restroom. When I came back, there she was with that peering look again! I asked Dad, “Geez. Do I have slop all over my face? Are my clothes wonky? Do I stink?” He said, “No, you’re just ugly.” “Thanks, Dad,” I said. Then we just laughed our butts off. I hope the snotty lady was bothered by our laughter.

Lol. Filing this under #ShitMyDadSays

“Aurora”

Have you ever felt like a total dweeb because of your phone? Or some other electronic device? Perhaps you have an app that drives you nuts or makes you feel stupid?

I had an appointment yesterday and when it was over it was after 1 pm and Dad and I were famished. We were headed to a restaurant we had never eaten at before. I would have Googled it ahead of time, but my therapist had recommended it as my appointment was ending. It was called Texas Roadhouse.

I brought it up on Google maps on my phone and pressed “start” to activate Google’s voice assistance, whom I call “Aurora.” This voice doesn’t have a name at all, unlike Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. She’s known only as Assistant. She has no identity. How sad is that? Anyway, I named her “Aurora.” By the end of this search for the restaurant, I was ready to punch “Aurora” in the face!

I proceeded as directed by “Aurora.” Now the exact instructions she gave may be off, but you’ll get the gist.

“Continue on US 160 and take the MO-13 S exit.” 

Done. Easy enough.

“Proceed to left turn lane and turn left onto S. Campbell Ave.”

Done. Ok. This isn’t too difficult. Yay!

“Make a U-turn at El Camino Alto.”

Crap. A U-turn? Why didn’t we just get off the freeway further down, I wondered. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about a U-turn. Ok. U-turn made.

“In 600 feet, turn right onto W. Cardinal.”

Wait. What? What street? Didn’t see any street called Cardinal. Obviously, I missed it.

“Make a U-turn at Republic Road.” What she really meant was, “Now you have to turn around and try again, dummy.”

Ok. Aurora is directing me to turn around. Let’s try this again. Ok, back to the U-turn at El Camino Alto.

“In 600 feet, turn right onto W. Cardinal.” What she really meant was, “Let’s try this again, dumb ass.”

Crap. Where’s the road? There it is but I’m in the wrong lane. Too much traffic. Missed it again.

“Make a U-turn at Republic Road.” What she really meant was, “Are you freaking stupid? You missed it again!”

Here we go again. Got it. Back to that U-turn at El Camino Alto.

“In 600 feet, turn right onto W. Cardinal.” What she really meant was, “Don’t miss it this time you idiot!”

Yeah, yeah. Got it this time. CRAP. Argh!! This road is the freeway! Grrr…… What the heck is going on? Now that I’m back on the freeway, we see the sign for the restaurant. Ok. Now I have an idea where it is, maybe I can find it without “Aurora.” Tried my best to get over there, still kept getting in the wrong place. At this point, “Aurora” is telling to go here or go there, but I am ignoring her. I can hear her screaming at me, “ARE YOU DEAF? You gigantic dweeb!” Of course, she’s not really screaming at me or calling me names, but boy howdy, I bet she was thinking it!

I finally ended up back on the original road and U-turn. Let’s try this again. Before we got to the U-turn, we noticed there IS a road that we missed, but in our defense, it actually looked like a drive way to the Subway located there and the road sign was hard to see.

Ah-ha!!! Made the U-turn, made that right hand turn onto W. Cardinal and we were on our way. Good thing, because we were starving!! There’s the restaurant!! Yay! Pulled up and parked. We wondered why there were no cars in the lot…. Then we read the sign. Dammit! It’s one of those places that open only for dinner: 4 pm to 10 pm. Seriously? It was only 2 pm! Crap. All that work for nothing.

We were just going to go back to the area of town we were familiar with to find a place to eat when we noticed FD’s Grillhouse not too far from the Texas Roadhouse. Sounds like a plan!! It was actually open! Yay!

We both decided on a shrimp platter, mine with batter fried shrimp and Dad’s with grilled shrimp. We both got a baked potato. I had cole slaw and Dad had broccoli. I was so parched I drank 3 glasses of iced tea! Dad had his Merlot. I hate wine. It stinks and tastes awful. I almost had a beer, but I was too thirsty.

When our meal came, it was just in the nick of time! I think my stomach was ready to eat itself. The food was great! The baked potato could have been much hotter but the shrimp was delicious!

I’m glad “Aurora” was no longer ‘with’ us. I don’t think I could stand her judgmental little thoughts (imagined by only me) throughout lunch. Whew! What a day!

 

 

A Ray, A Sparkle & Perfectness

Amidst all of the political BS and devastation due to hurricanes and fires, I have to set my mind to a more positive channel. I HAVE to. The awful things that happen to people consume me. The political shit storm of opinions and uninformed comments consume me. By consume I mean that I am overwhelmed with a multitude of feelings such as a profound sadness and helplessness for people who are experiencing such losses and an intense desire to put my fist through the face of an idiot who hasn’t taken the time to research anything before forming an opinion. 

Sometimes I am so overloaded with sadness, rage, empathy, concern, sorrow….that I need to unplug from the world. I have decreased the amount of time I’m spending on social media and doing other things like reading, writing, doing word puzzles to keep my brain sharp, making a holiday shopping list, crafting, crocheting, doing a few extra chores, and making lists of things I need to do, recipes I want to try, ingredients I need to buy, and the like. I wish I could do more, but chronic pain and mobility issues play a big part in deciding what I do each day. 

I think I watch less television, but when the other person in the household has to watch all day long (and sometimes the same exact news repeated numerous times throughout the day) it’s rather hard to get away from. I do retreat to my room for large chunks of the day to unwind, nap or just write.

There have been a few things this week that have made me smile and forget about the YUCK of life. There’s one particular thing that stands out from this past week.

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My grand daughter called me the other day. It was nice to hear her little 8-year-old voice. I have missed her a LOT! It’s been 2 months since her last visit. We have made some plans for a visit week after next, but nothing is set in stone as yet. I look forward to seeing her. She makes me laugh and I love her hugs! She’s got to be the most considerate and helpful child on the planet; another reason she’s so easy to love! Her overnight stays are the best! We have a little bedtime rhyme we have shared since she was just a little bitty thing and it goes like this:

“I love you little,

I love you big,

I love you like a little pig.”

We always get a little chuckle out of it and I cherish these special moments. Another special moment I get to witness is when she and her (Great) Grampa are watching SpongeBob SquarePants together. All I can do is grin from ear to ear when they’re laughing their heads off! Too bad the other 2 grandkids don’t get to enjoy these special times with him too. 

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So, there’s a little bright sparkle of goodness, a ray of sunshine, a pocketful of perfectness that is my little Doodle Bug coming for a visit soon!!  Boy, do I need that visit!

There Is Always Something To Be Grateful For

I am trying to be a bit more positive this week. Last week kind of threw me for a loop! It was rough. I’d like to take some time to write about a few of the things I am grateful for…. There’s always something to be grateful for; no matter how bad it is, no matter the struggles.

 

  1. I’m grateful for my Dad. He’s not just my Dad; he’s my best friend and “partner in crime!” He’s 80 years old and in pretty good health. He’s in better shape than I am!
  2. Over the weekend, one of my furbabies had a problem that led me to believe I was going to have to make that final decision. This morning, she was back to her old self. Still 15 years old and nearing the end of her life, but I am grateful that this week I won’t have to say goodbye.
  3. I am grateful for the good night’s sleep I got last night. It was refreshing. It doesn’t happen often!
  4. I am grateful for the skill to crochet. It helps my hands not freeze up from arthritis. I am working on a poncho for my cousin this week.

 

I think I will start writing at least one thing I am grateful for each day. It helps to be positive. It helps to be grateful. It helps to look forward and smile. What are you grateful for tonight?

 

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