(Belated) Week 4 Weigh-in

I meant to write this a few days ago, but I guess I got distracted and forgot.

Last week was my experiment with not tracking my food. I had hoped that I could continue to follow the general idea of the cleanse while still eating the foods that I had missed during the 3 week period. That didn’t work. I made cookies twice (once because it had been forever since I had chocolate chip cookies and once because I needed to bring a food for class). I ate way more cookies than I should have, and I don’t even really know why I did it, as they weren’t even that good.

I also started eating a lot more bread and cutting down on my fruits and vegetables, due to a number of factors. First, we planned dinners for the entire week without factoring in the fact that most recipes made 4 servings and it was only me and my mother eating most of the time, so we had a lot of leftovers. Then I also got ciabatta bread because it had been forever since I had had a nice piece of bread. They go back quickly, so I had one of those a day for breakfast instead of my regular smoothie (as the strawberries would stay in the freezer and be good for a long time).

So my breakfast was bread, my lunch was leftovers (which, since it was my first week back, didn’t contain nearly as many vegetables as it should have, if any), and my dinner was another meal that was delicious and vegan but hardly as nutritious as it could have been. Plus there were cookies, and I didn’t watch my serving sizes like I should have.

When I stepped on the scale this weekend, I had climbed back to 287 pounds, meaning that I completely undid the last week of the cleanse. I’m not upset about this, though. I think this was an important week for me. I needed this time to go back to how I used to eat (just a vegan version of it) and realize that it wasn’t worth it.

I don’t need coffee. It’s really not even all that good. That’s not to say that I will never drink it again, but it will definitely be more of a treat now than an everyday thing. The same goes for processed sugar and sweets. I will still have cookies and muffins sometimes, but it doesn’t need to be all the time, and when I do have them, it should be in small amounts.

This past week I’ve felt so bloated and sick. I hadn’t thought that my system had changed so much on the cleanse, but I guess it did because I definitely did not feel good this week. I was eating things I knew were bad for me, and I’m not really sure why. I knew as I was eating most of the foods that I shouldn’t eat them, but I did it anyway. I wasn’t hungry, but I would have another bowl of soup. Or I would be hungry, and I would make a bowl of processed vegan soup stuff instead of having an apple.

Well not anymore. I had my “fun” for the week. I saw what it was that I had been missing, and I learned that it wasn’t worth eating anymore. In a way, I’m glad I did this. When I don’t eat something that I really want, I start building it up in my head as being this great thing. This was even worse after three weeks without sugar or caffeine. My memories of these foods were all positive, and I couldn’t wait to eat them again. Well, now I’ve eaten them, and I’ve gotten to experience them in a new way.

I’ve been doing better this week. Both this morning and yesterday, I woke up and had a shake. Now, I am trying a different shake now (banana, unsweetened almond milk, natural peanut butter, and a little unsweetened cocoa powder), but I’m still having a shake. I’m also going to switch between the chocolate PB one and the strawberry banana one. I think starting the day with something easier to digest is a good idea.

Yesterday I had chili for lunch and lo mien for dinner. The chili wasn’t all that great for me, but the lo mien had a bunch of cabbage and stuff. Today for lunch I had a hummus wrap filled with vegetables. I’m currently looking at recipes that include a bunch of vegetables along with pasta and quinoa and other grains. I still want to find a balance between the way I used to eat and the way I ate on the cleanse, but I’m going to be smarter about it. I need to include at least one fruit or veggie with every meal, more if I can. If I’m going to have pasta, it needs to either be filled with vegetables or be a smaller portion with a large salad next to it.

I’ve also been exercising. I do 30 minutes on the elliptical and then follow that with crunches and exercises using small hand-held weights. It might not be the most rigorous exercise program ever, but at least I’m moving, and that’s what counts.

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Cleanse Days 4 and 5

Food Recap
I’m glad I decided to add strawberries and bananas to my meals. My smoothie Wednesday morning was delicious. A cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a cup of strawberries, and a small banana. I was doubtful that it would keep me satisfied until lunch, but it actually did. I had the smoothie around 11 this morning, when I was hungry for the first time, and then I had lunch around 2:30.

For lunch on day 4, I had another lentil and brown rice burger on a brown rice tortilla with lettuce and that red pepper sauce. For dinner I had another big salad and a mug of green vegetable soup, which consists of broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and green beans all blended up.

Yesterday was my first day of the cleanse when I actually had to be out of my house for a large portion of the day. I’m currently working on getting my Masters in Teaching, and this semester I go spend one day a week in a classroom. This interfered with my 12 hours with no food, but there wasn’t really much I could do about that, as we don’t eat or drink in the classroom after homeroom starts at 9 am, which was the earliest I was supposed to eat. I ended up having my smoothie at 7:30 before I left for the school, and then I had a black bean and quinoa salad with pineapple salsa. Aside from the fresh parsley, which tastes just like cilantro (which I absolutely despise more than almost any other flavor), it was pretty good.

Thursday evenings, my boyfriend and I get together with a friend of ours and write/watch cat videos/hang out. I decided to change up my eating schedule a bit more for this, so I had a big salad when I got home from the middle school (around 5) and then had another smoothie on the way. Then I had an apple on the way home (around 9).

Reflection
I always hear people talking about sticking to 1200 calories a day, and I always thought those people must be crazy and starving all the time. Now I’m looking back over my calorie intake for the past few days (I started tracking calories on Monday), and I’m shocked. My calorie intake has ranged from 950 to 1400. The first two days that I tracked were higher (1400 and 1300), but the past two days were lower (950 and 1010). I’m a little bit worried that I’m eating too few calories — MyFitnessPal keeps yelling at me that I’m going into starvation mode — but I don’t feel like I’m being unhealthy. I do feel hungry a lot of the time, but you’re supposed to feel hungry before you eat. I usually just eat when I feel like eating, which I think is part of how I got to 300 pounds.

I’m just going to keep going with this cleanse and try not to worry about it unless I start getting lightheaded or dizzy or something. For now, I feel good. I was really craving pizza and junk food last night (as that was what our friend was eating, so the whole place smelled like pizza), but now that I’m away from that smell I feel better. I’m still looking forward to making vegan pizza when this cleanse is over and I can eat wheat and tomatoes again, but I’m not feeling miserable. The first time I had a strawberry-banana smoothie, I added vanilla to it in an attempt to make it taste sweeter without adding sugar (which I can’t have except for what is naturally found in fruits). Now it’s been a few days, and I really like how they taste on their own. I don’t feel like they need anything at all.

I’ve just started day 6 of the cleanse, and I’m still happy to be on it. That has to be a good sign, right? 🙂

Let’s try this again

Okay, so it’s been about two and a half months since I last posted on here. As per the rules of this blog, though, I’m not going to beat myself up over that fact. I’m simply going to acknowledge it and move on. I am happy to announce, though, that I have not gained weight in the last two and a half months. I’ve actually lost weight.

Starting weight (Nov. 22, 2012): 303.8
Previous weight (Jan. 12, 2013): 298.4
Current weight (Mar. 30, 2013): 295.4

Weight loss since last weigh-in: 3 pounds
Total weight loss: 8.4 pounds

Okay, 8.4 pounds in 4 months isn’t really all that impressive. Still, I managed to keep the weight off without tracking anything or exercising at all (except for the exercise I get at work). And it’s not a gain, so that’s exciting.

I’ve decided to work harder on fixing my eating habits, though. I may not have gained weight, but I’m still eating way too many unhealthy foods, and I don’t like that. My mother has started this cleanse program that she saw on Dr. Oz a while ago, and I’ve decided to give it a try myself. It’s called the Clean Program. You can choose to buy the expensive shake packets and supplements, but we’re not doing that. We’re simply going to be following the recipes listed here: Clean Program Meal Plan. You can also get the Clean Program Manual here.

I’m sharing this information in case anyone’s curious what I’m doing. I’m not trying to say that anyone else should do it. I’m going to start it tomorrow. My mother’s been following the recipes for a week now, and she’s enjoying it. She says that she feels better, and she’s looking forward to continuing for the whole month. Since she seems to be enjoying it, I figured I would give it a try, as well, especially since work ended yesterday, and I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands now.

For anyone who doesn’t want to read a 48-page manual, here’s a summary of what I will be doing for the next three weeks:

I will be cutting out dairy, eggs, meat, gluten, soy, sugar, and caffeine. There’s a whole list in the manual, but these are the main things I won’t be eating. Obviously cutting out meat isn’t a problem for me since I do that anyway. There’s actually a version of this plan that allows you to eat certain fish and organic chicken and turkey, but I’m not doing that one. Eggs and dairy I’ve been meaning to cut out completely anyway, so that’s also not really a problem. Cutting out soy will be a little more difficult, but I’m sure I can manage. It’s the gluten, sugar, and caffeine that will be a problem. I eat those things all the time. Of course, I also know that caffeine and sugar isn’t all that great for you anyway, so it’s probably good that I cut it out for a while.

The gluten is really the big thing that I was on the fence about cutting. I know a lot of people have issues with it, but I don’t really think that I do. However, the goal of this cleanse is to cut out foods that are the biggest triggers for people and then slowly add them in later and see if they affect you, so I guess it can’t hurt to try it for a couple of weeks. I can always add it back in later.

You eat three meals on this program. You have a shake for breakfast (made mostly from fresh/frozen fruits and/or vegetables). Then you have lunch, which usually consists of a salad and some sort of entrĂ©e, which you can find in the Meal Plan PDF linked above. Dinner is some sort of vegetable soup. There’s a list of approved snacks you can eat if those meals aren’t enough, although I also have a list of several vegan snacks that I’ve found on other sites that I know fit the guidelines of this program.

I will be tracking my food on My Fitness Pal again, not because I think tracking is the best thing ever, but because I’m curious to see what the nutritional information will look like for such a meal plan.

I can’t promise to blog every day or anything, but I’ll try to post frequent updates on my progress.