A Caturday In Hiding

Poor Honey had to go to the vet yesterday. She went from 16 lbs. in January, to 17 lbs. in March, to a whopping 19 lbs. at the end of May! She has been on a diet since January! That didn’t work, obviously.

To the vet she went. She was not happy. In fact, she looks pissed.

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                                                                Image Copyright Being Aunt Debbie

She was a good girl though. She hissed at me when I put her in the carrier, but no hisses at our new vet. Everyone commented on how gorgeous she was… I think this may go to her head and cause her to expect more food.

The vet checked Honey’s thyroid, which was normal. She took a ‘picture’ of her belly to check for excessive liquids or masses. Nothing abnormal. Diabetes was ruled out as she shows no signs of that. She does have big bones so she may have some Maine Coon in her, but her belly shouldn’t look like she swallowed a bowling ball.

So, first step… Change her diet to a special weight management metabolic cat food, to try to trick her metabolism into high gear…or least a higher gear than it’s stuck in right now.  EXPENSIVE cat food, I might add. Ok. I’ll try anything at this point, but after a couple of months if she doesn’t lose weight then I’m trying a different kind.

As soon as we got her home yesterday, she hid under my bed. Of course, she hadn’t eaten anything all day so I fed her and she came out for that…naturally.

I didn’t see her much until just a few minutes ago. She spent her entire Caturday hiding under my bed. I think she thought it would be safe to hide in case I wanted to put her in the cage and go for another ride!

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                                                                  Image Copyright Being Aunt Debbie

She decided to give Alice a bath and Alice loves that! I gave Honey a good brushing while she was occupied with Alice. When I stopped brushing, Honey stopped and looked at Alice like, “What was I thinking?”

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                                                       Image Copyright Being Aunt Debbie

So, Honey, aka Fatty McCatty, aka Porkahontas, among other funny names….is unhappy and hungry. I just want her to be at a healthy enough weight to be able to run and play with the others. I want her to be able to jump on my bed with grace. I want her to be playful and energetic once again.

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.

 

A Few Changes

As stated in my previous post, I am making some dietary changes. I have tried diets of all kinds before. I’ve even gone as far as to not call them diets, but a plan to eat healthier instead. I always fail. I think I may have tried to make too many changes too quickly, so a new approach is in order. I’ll change a few things at a time, giving myself (body & mind) a chance to become accustomed before moving on to another change. Makes sense right?

For some time now, I have removed sodas from my diet. Occasionally, at a restaurant I might have a root beer but for the most part I’ve been drinking Iced Tea. I’ve been using Splenda to sweeten my tea because I’ve been drinking it sweetened all my life. I’ve been cutting down the amount slowly so not to drive myself insane. LOL. Of course, I need to add more water to my diet so I’ll have a glass of water with every meal, instead of tea.

Since this dietary change is not only for weight-loss purposes but also for pain relief (from arthritis) I am drinking one 8 oz. bottle of Elations per day. Elations contains Glucosamine 1,500 mg and Chondroitin 1,200 mg for bone and joint health. It hasn’t helped with my arthritis yet but I’ll keep drinking it. What can it hurt, right?

Today, I purchased some All Natural Black Cherry Juice at the local Natural Foods store. Now when I say local, I mean 30 miles away. That’s local to us! It’s pure cherry juice with no added anything! I’ve learned that cherries have anti-inflammatory properties and that eating 12 cherries a day can help relieve pain. Ok, so I’m going to drink 6 oz. of cherry juice at least once a day. That would have to be equal to or greater than 12 cherries a day, right?

I think if I continue to make minor changes and give myself a chance to get use to one before making another change, I think I’ll be able to do it. I’ll have to let you know how it goes.