Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Driven by The Numbers

A few of you have asked about my recent weight loss, so here's the story. I have made some dietary changes but not really with the intention of losing weight. I was pretty fine with where I'd landed. However my health wasn't optimal. My LDL numbers were too high and I do not want to go on meds, so I decided to make some changes to see if I could pull the numbers down.

I've been eating low-carb for the better part of ten years and I still think that getting off processed, high-carb, baked goods, frankenfood, sugary crap is the way to go. I could write volumes about what it has done for me. That being said, as a lover all things marbled and cheesy, my diet was too high in saturated fats and probably too low in fiber. So it was time to make some adjustments. It is also important to note that I am a volume eater, hence the big ass salad at lunch, the big ass omelet at breakfast and lots and lots of roasted vegetables. It's more important to me that I can eat 100 calories worth of roasted broccoli than 100 calories of brie, as an example. I remember something Diane wrote about a while back about "add ins". "Wouldn't this be better if I just "added" this or that?" Yes, it would be, but pretty soon I'd added too much crumbled bacon, too much Gorgonzola, too much whatever. So I scaled back to basics.

None of this is rocket science. When the scale started dropping (and I wasn't hungry) I began to chart and track and of course, this is a matter of calories. It always is. There are no magic shortcuts. And while I don't do well on calorie-restrictions, my goal here is to cut back on saturated fat and boost my fiber - the calorie reduction is just a bonus. I am unwilling to be hungry.

Those are the dietary changes - now for the lifestyle changes. More sleep. I'm not getting up extra early. I'm not working out in the morning. I'm trying to get as much sleep as I possibly can. My alarm is set for 6:30 and I need to leave for the bus at 7:40. That's cutting it about as close as I can. I rarely, if ever, sleep until 6:30 - more like 5:20. But when my alarm was scheduled to go off at 5:00 am, I was routinely waking up around 3:45. This is so much better.

And there is another factor at play - working a program of recovery - mind and body - to the best of my ability. I'd been partnered with an alcoholic who recently began his own program of recovery. It seemed pretty damned hypocritical of me to sit around "knowing" how his recovery should look, when I hadn't been willing to devote myself to mine. This is not a competition - this is about me keeping my side of the street clean. Stepping away from the cheese can't be as difficult as it is to step away from the bottle.

So here are the highlights:

1. Gave up morning coffee punch most mornings
2. Substitute Eggbeaters Omelet chockful of vegetables for eggs most days
3. Have become a pescatarian, most days
4. Olive oil is the fat of choice
5. Olive oil is the salad dressing of choice
6. Fage and Fruit – best thing ever
7. Big Ass Spinach salads for lunch
8. Only eating hard cheeses
9. Testing out steel cut oats as a breakfast option a couple of times a week
10. Lots and lots of roasted vegetables
11. More Superfoods – salmon, spinach, blueberries, flax
12. Lots more sleep
13. Season with herbs and spices, not salt

So there it is. No one is more surprised than me. Oh, and the level of exercise has remained about the same. I'm getting daily exercise, mostly of the walking variety.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make Adjustments.



  1. Lordy I'm a bit jealous. This is exactly what I've been thinking about in regards to taking something else to the next level. I'm a fan of volume myself and I would totally eat this way all the time if I thought it possible to do it and have no stress. But, I cook for two and there's no way the Mr. will do it. (I've tried, believe me.) I do manage the big ass omelet and salad most days and it's easy to not eat at work. It's dinner that gets me most of the time.

  2. Really interesting plan. Now a question what is a pescatarian?

  3. I totally agree with your new approach - I'm a volume eater too, and I have a real problem with those who say eat 'a little of the real thing that you really like and it will be so much more satisfying' - uh, no, a little bit is never satisfying!!! I swear by high fibre and lowish fat myself, though no-one would consider me low carb... Sounds like you're doing great at eating healthier, and the weight-loss is just a bonus!

  4. Working my recovery is the key for me for sure. On so many different levels.

    I need to make some adjustments to my food and I could starting loosing again. I am too comfortable where I'm at.

    Mind, Body and Spirit!

  5. Your adjustments sound spot on (well, except for the pescatarian part - I don't do fish). Fage and fruit? Preaching to the choir, sister! Fiber? Huge salads? Cutting out the "add ins"? Yes, yes, and yes! Bet you feel loads better, too. And I'm impressed with your sleep - that is one thing I have to work on. Glad you wrote this post - I've noticed that your weight has gone down and was wondering what was up.

  6. Congratulations on not only the weight loss but on working out your own plan that is successful, smart, and tailor made for you!

    I love this! Thanks for the mention!

  7. Sounds like such good planning or progress or one of those 'P' words. Pwerds!

    Steel cuts oats are one of my faves though steel cut oats = gassy tummy.

  8. Don't underestimate just the power of you being on your own in all this as well. Maybe the was the real key that clicked everything together?

    and heck yeah to oats!

  9. LowCarb Roxie with a little something here,
    A little less something there...
    And restful sleep....the centerpiece of recovery - physical and emotional!

  10. I've been working on some of the same and found some great ideas here. I'm cutting out diet soda and adding more water and tea. So far, it's working well and definitely on the same track to cut out sugary junk. Have been doing smoothies with Greek yogurt in the mornings and flax seed and do feel better and mor energy.

  11. I must be a pollo-terian. I eat lots of chicken, heh. I like your plan, it's a nice, easy to follow recipe for success. Just one thing missing from that list...water. I don't see any water, girlie.

    I need to give up my coffee punch but I.don't.wanna.

  12. A - You're my hero. Way to work a program!

    B - I totally caved and looked up 'pescaterian'. Neat concept. Very do-able, but I love me some pork too. Well, and beef and chicken. Smoked or grilled, of course.

    C - I do the big ass salad and combine it with smaller portions of meat & carbs for dinner. Just have to remember to eat the salad first! Salads are such a pain to prepare though.

    Keep up the great leading by example - that's the best part of any program.


We'll try this for a while.