Wednesday, January 29, 2014

E Takes on The Dr. Oz 2 Week Weight Loss Challenge

Desperate times call for desperate measures and I was desperate to jump-start my weight loss. I had been stuck, injured, and totally out of sorts and uncomfortable for almost a year. Actually, when I had to go gluten-free and dairy-free, I was thrown off kilter and I let everything get in the way of maintaining a weight loss that I had worked hard to achieve. That is why I decided to give Dr. Oz 2 Week Weight Loss Challenge a try.

Normally, I do not do any type of cleanse, detox, drastic diet.  When I was considerably younger, I am positive that I aided in the ruin of my metabolism by dropping my calories under 900 per day and doing all types of crazy fad diets to lose weight. I eventually joined Weight Watchers and achieved my goal weight and Lifetime membership. I kept the weight off for several years until I let many factors get in the way and slipped back into that uncomfortable overweight hell.

When I saw the restrictions on this plan, I thought, "Oh nooooo!" "I can't do without my coffee." However, I  jumped in and here are my observations:

The first thing that you must do is watch the videos of the show and download the food list and smoothie recipe. Go over it, look at it. Think of dishes that you can prepare and plan, plan, plan. If you do not meal plan, you will fail. It's too easy to fall back into the choices that got us here.

Second, make your shopping list and remember that you might need to divide up that initial trip, especially if your family is not eating the same things.  In retrospect, I would have split up the rice protein and probiotic and separated some of the items. Things such as frozen fruit and veggies and the vegetable broth, if you choose to start with pre-made broth, can be bought well ahead of your start day.

Next, follow the plan. Don't try to get fancy and guess if something is okay. Most often, if you think it's not okay, it isn't. Fortunately, there is a Facebook group where you can ask questions, check out food ideas, etc.  This is not an official group, but it has been a godsend. Also, check out June's YouTube videos. (You have to try the hummus!) Everyone is nice and encouraging. It's a great group!

Last, don't keep hopping on the scale. It will only stress you out. If you can't wait until the 2 weeks are complete, only weigh at the end of the first week, but don't become frustrated. Hang in there, drink your water and stick with the plan.

Here were some of my thoughts during the toughest time--those first three to four days:


Eliminating sugar and sugar substitutes. I was both knowingly and unknowingly consuming a huge amount of sugar.
Focus on vegetables
For me, finding an alternative protein powder. The rice protein powder has been the only protein powder that I can use with stomach upset.
Addition of probiotic
I am already gluten and dairy free
I am back to scrutinizing labels. I bought 2 items that I can't eat--a broth that isn't wheat and dairy free( (I was trying to save a buck.) and my plain coconut milk yogurt has ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, yup sugar--great.
The detox bath!

No resource for questions
Too personalized for some--not enough structure
Cannot maintain extreme low carb long term
Missing some of the most nutritious vegetables--carrots, sweet potatoes
So restrictive there is no exercise
For me, the am smoothie doesn't cut it, but once I ate 1 oz almonds, I was ok.

The smoothie. I used a NutriBullet and blended everything then added ice and blended again. I put it in a shaker bottle and threw it in the freezer until I was ready to go to work. Not perfect, but not awful. If you have trouble with textures, caution on this one. Some decrease the amount of ground flax seed.
I was hungry within 2 hours of the smoothie so I ate my portion of almonds and I was good until lunch.

3oz chicken breast, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli roasted then I felt the need to drink part of the broth (store-bought with kale and garlic added)
I had planned to use my coconut milk plain yogurt for a snack until I realized that plain is not unsweetened--fail!
My next snack option was hummus that I had stashed for an extra snack. I looked at the label and it was a no-go due to the agave. By now, I am frustrated and also realizing how much sugar I was eating by way of default. We're not even talking about intentional.

DAY 2 & 3

Breakfast --smoothie with almonds for my morning snack

Lunch--I had an errand to run, so I ate my bean salad before leaving and a couple of hours later, I had my official lunch--chicken, rice, Brussels sprouts

Snack-- broth

Dinner--I was able to delay dinner--tilapia, rice and more bean salad. I normally have to eat as soon as I get home, but I could delay it. The only problem was my hunger after 8 because I ate dinner later. At least, I was able to avoid eating.
Head fog, no headache, but no coffee insanity. Some periods where I felt as if my blood sugar was dropping, so I would eat. I found that the nuts are invaluable for this.
The afternoon and evening drag time is very evident. I am waiting on that energy!


Starving by smoothie breakfast time
Nausea last night--maybe vitamin
GI issues occurring less frequently
Next week--more variety-- use turkey burgers/ground turkey in addition to chicken
The support group in invaluable!! More ideas, run foods by them to see if they fit the criteria, see how everyone is feeling and what they are doing.
Periods of lightheadedness.

I wished for an official page, forum, or someplace you could get official answers. We did well on our own page, but if you are nervous or needy and need the official word on things, just know that there just isn't that support from the man himself. 

It's very low carb, and that can't be maintained forever which brings up my next complaint. Aftercare or lack thereof.  On the videos Dr. Oz just says that when we're done he will let us have unlimited protein and nuts and extra berries for something sweet.  That's it. No maintenance plan, but that. I just don't find that realistic; so, here's my plan.

Things I'm doing differently that I'll keep:

Less sugar--read the labels--it's in everything
Less red meat
Less caffeine more Organic green tea--The caffeine withdrawal was worth it and honestly, it wasn't that bad
More veggies
Roasting my own almonds, walnuts, cashews
Roasted chickpeas (yes, roasted, crunchy goodness)
Breakfast smoothie.
Watch the sodium.
I'm actually going to keep the broth idea. Since there is a great veggie list, I can vary my add-ins for a filling snack.

Things that I will change:

More fruit--still less than before
More carb--still less than before
An occasional egg/egg white
Increase lean protein servings

I forgot one thing. After all of the above, I lost 8.2 pounds!! That is on the low end for those doing the challenge, but I'll take it. Thanks Dr. Oz!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lesson learned 2013

Are you a procrastinator? I should have written this year-end post before 9 pm New Year's Eve, but there are so many things running through my head that I can't focus enough to get it done. 

This has been an insane year for me. I started off focused, but I let one event throw me off focus and it was downhill after that both emotionally and physically. I let anger, disappointment, and an injury keep me from my goals. I've learned that it just can't continue. Going forward, if I can distance myself from a negative situation, I won't hesitate to do so. I have to do that for me. 

This year has not been all negative. I will focus on those blessings and cultivate my new relationships and opportunities. I'm going to be busy, but I am also making time to do some things that I've wanted to do for a long time, so get ready for me to blog about my new adventures. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Stress Plan

I have made progress, BUT....

I am struggling.  Once again, but this time I am not giving up. Here are the issues

  • I am stressed.  
  • I am eating more.
  • I am not getting enough sleep.
Yes, they are all related, but I refuse to give in----AGAIN!!

Here's the plan

Get in the game:

  • Continue to journal my food and exercise

  • Continue going to the gym and commit to those home exercise sessions
  • Find a way to positively deal with the stress. Blog more, but some days I can't write eloquently enough to put my words on a public forum. 
  • Give up and go to bed. When you don't sleep it affects your hunger hormones (ghrelin) and the viciou cycle begins 

This a journey, a process.  I have to learn and not repeat the same mistakes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Birthday

I had planned to do one of those fancy blog posts about birthdays, but my FB/Twitter post sums it up.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's My Job

This morning I had a chance to reflect on several people who made a difference in my life. Family, friends, preachers, teachers who sometimes said or did the smallest things, made a difference and I carry those things forever. Maybe it was a "don't do that" or a "this is what you should do", or even "that look" across the room. At times it was a gift or loaning something to me until my parents could afford the item I needed. I had the best "hand-me-downs" a girl (and even an adult) could ask for. At other times, it was a chance or a second start. God knows I've needed second, third, and I'll just stop counting chances. 

I only hope that I can do the same.  It's the one way that I can attempt to adequately say, "Thank You". It's not always easy. Actually, the gift giving and the little acts of kindness are fun and easy. Whatever you have is a gift anyway. 

The advice, the "don't do that" part is more difficult. I'm not perfect, that's how I learned this. The older I get, the less I hold back. I'm sure it causes resentment, but I would be remiss if I didn't share what I've learned through my life experiences as those before me have done. If only I had listened....

Before my late Mother passed away, we were having a big laugh about her knowing everything and generally being in my business when I was growing up. Her reply was, "That's my job". So when I re-gift whether its a treat, a hug, a word of wisdom, or I'm just "telling you like it is" remember, "That's my job". 

How many people helped mold you? Are you sharing your gifts and your life lessons or are you being complacent? Are you doing your job? Make a difference, be an influence. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

That pile on the floor

It seems insignificant doesn't it? A pile of jeans on the floor. Waiting for the the washer. To someone losing weight, it's an NSV (non-scale victory). When you've gained weight, a pile of jeans is not usually in your dirty laundry. They are avoided because you can't fit into your old ones and you refuse to buy that larger size. You resort to sweat pants, yoga pants, anything with a stretchy waistband.

So here's the reason that I now have a pile of jeans on the floor. (Please excuse the messy room. This is my candid shot on the way to the gym.) Progress. Little by little, I'll get there. I have lost 14.7 pounds since January. Since I started using My Fitness Pal, my weight loss is  at 27 pounds. (We won't mention the last time that I lost 40 pounds.) No, I haven't lost fifty pounds,or even twenty yet, but a quick glance in the mirror gives me more inspiration and it should give you inspiration too.  Don't get caught up in that competitive trap of saying, "I've only lost_______". Only? Really? Proudly state how much weight you've lost and say, "Thank You" to that compliment.

We deserve those moments and we worked hard to achieve them, so be proud of the 1 pound weight loss, the jeans that fit so own them, the stairs that you can walk without getting winded and use them as motivation. Do it for you.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Love

Here we are at Easter. Do you remember those days?

 From Christ in Poetry by Thomas Curtis Clark and Hazel Davis Clark
I had to memorize a speech to be recited on Easter Sunday. In front of everyone. In my itchy, frilly, cute dress. Yes, there were meltdowns, but it made for some nice memories and a commitment to my spiritual future.

Now I have a question for you. Where's the candy? Remove it from the house, your desk, your purse. It's trouble for chocoholics. We just can't stop. Even when we know it will spike our blood sugars, make us hyper, make us irritable, cause tummy upset, we still can't stop. And no, don't hit the after-Easter markdown bins. Who needs a stockpile of chocolate in the house, even if it's in the freezer?

Instead, let's enjoy the holiday. After all, Easter is truly about love, more than any other day. Save those calories for a great meal with your family. It will give you more fulfillment than chocolate ever could.