Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day (Two and) Three: Welcome to My World

Yesterday came and went so quickly, I never found time to journal. Here's a quick recap: I was HUNGRY(!) most of the day. I'm sure that had to do with not eating much on Day One, and then, of course, being on a plan that I just can't go stuff my face with whatever is within reach. The good news is that I had no more sugar withdrawal symptoms; one day of feeling like crap, and I'm bouncing back to feeling good!

At this point, I haven't yet received all of the details from MRC for the long-term details to get me to 150 lbs. by October 1st. The first week is called "Pre-Conditioning" where you get a very general menu plan and a shopping list. I would guess the idea is to ease you into the healthy eating, without hitting you over the head right out of the gate with weighing and measuring.

So, yesterday went good. I was hungry, but I never once craved something sweet. That definitely proves to me that eating sugar causes you to want more and more sugar; the only way off that crazy ride is to give it up completely...I'm wondering if I can do that long-term. Obviously, my track record isn't very impressive. Who will support Weight Watchers if I finally kick my sugar habit???

I'm a baker in a bakery, and work four days a week. Yeah, I know. No wonder I'm 50 lbs. overweight. Today was my first day back after having three days off. I start work at 5:00 a.m., so I typically eat a banana on my way to work and then have a latte a couple of hours later. Wouldn't you know it? Neither bananas or lattes are on my Pre-Conditioning plan! (Bananas have too much sugar to make the fruit list, and milk also has sugar in the form of lactose. Let's not even talk about the sugar in the flavored syrups...yikes.) I've gained weight in the 10 months since I started working there, and it's no wonder. Everything is homemade, from the honey pecan sticky buns to the peanut butter fluffernut marshmallows, and it is ALL delicious. I should know; I've tried everything. I'm sure I nibble on cornbread, biscuits, a broken cookie, etc., way more than I realize, so that will continue to be a challenge being surrounded by the most wonderful smells and sights of homemade pastries and the best lattes in town. Here are just a few pictures I took one morning of a special order I had boxed damn. good.

Peach-basil biscuits, maple bacon biscuits, peanut butter cookies,
monster cookies, chocolate chip pecan cookies, and salted brownies.

Cinnamon rolls, cherry almond coffee cake, pecan coffee cake,
and, my very favorite, honey pecan sticky buns.

Honey latte...mmmm, so yummy.

Caffeinated drinks also didn't make the short list of the Pre-Conditioning menu, for the very reason that it's dehydrating. I'm not quite ready to give up caffeine, but I am limiting myself to one cup of black coffee or one Diet Coke per day, and then drinking extra water to keep myself "flushed". Black coffee may not be that difficult to give up, if ya' know what I mean...

I think the biggest challenge for me will be finding variety in meals, and coming up with recipes that are actually good. A dry chicken breast will get old really fast. I put a rump roast in the crockpot this afternoon that is rubbed with seasoning, (no salt), and 1/2 cup water added for moisture (no broth, either.) Hopefully, it won't be tough and bland. Here's a link to the recipe: Rump Roast Au Jus. Thinking I could have it with potatoes and green beans, and then recycle it into tacos. I'll report back on how it turned out.

In closing, Debunking the Myth of Sugar:

"A wise woman puts a grain of sugar into everything she says to a man, 
and takes a grain of salt with everything he says to her."
~ Helen Rowland

Actually, I think Helen is right about this one.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day One: My name is Andy, and I'm addicted to sugar.

Consequently, I'm also 42-48 lbs overweight, and have been nearly all of my adult life. I have what's cutely known as a "Sugar Tooth", but a lifetime of losing and gaining weight ain't all that cute. It could be partially blamed on genetics, and the fact I was punishingly trained to clean my plate as a kid, but that aside, think about the affinity we have for sugar as soon as we come out of the womb. We're given milk and juice as infants, and finger food like bananas and PB&J sandwiches as toddlers. Macaroni and cheese is every kid's favorite, not to mention sugary breakfast cereals. In addition, we come from a culture that celebrates and mourns by gathering around food. From birthdays to funerals, we eat, and what's our favorite thing to eat? Dessert, bread, pasta ... sugar.

I've lived so much of my life dieting, it could be considered some kind of sick hobby. In order of the diets I can remember trying, here's the short list: grapefruit/tomato/cottage cheese diet, nutri-system, Atkins, "Fit for Life", Dr. Oz's "You On A Diet", at least one of Bob Greene's weight loss books, Weight Watchers (x 3), Jenny Craig, the Southbeach Diet, and the Paleo Diet. My apologies to the diets I tried, failed, and can't remember.

Yesterday, I plunked down the fee for 17 weeks' of expertise and support from Metabolic Research Center (MRC), where they GUARANTEE(!!!) that I'll lose 48 lbs in 17 weeks, as long as I don't stray a bite from their plan. That means by October 1st, I will weigh 150 lbs. As with any diet worth its' salt, I'm required to journal, so I figured why not share it with the world. Welcome world. Wish me luck.

Last night I over-indulged on sugar because I knew it would not be on the plan to successful weight loss. I reminded myself of a lady I once knew who had emphysema. Every time she got fired up (no pun intended), to stop smoking, she would sit in her living room the night before and chain smoke cigarettes...she probably had one in each hand and puffed the night away. So much so, in fact, that she ended up in the ER every time she tried to quit smoking. So, yes, I could have had a fork in each hand the way I put that birthday cake away... like a windmill of forks shoveling cake into my mouth. The expression, "like a fat kid eating cake" would be the appropriate visual here, but instead, I'll just share the pretty side of sugar and its' alluring presence.

Chocolate cake made with buttermilk and coffee; topped with rich chocolate ganache, 
freshly whipped cream, and sugared berries.

Today, after going 12 hours without sugar, (and seven of those hours I was sleeping!), I felt absolutely horrible! I was prepared to have the flu-like symptoms of detoxing from sugar, but to wake up and have felt so badly in such a short time was unbelievable. I was shaky, had a raging headache, nausea so bad I couldn't even eat breakfast, restlessness, agitation, anxiety, and mood swings. In my state of withdrawal and confusion to this reaction, I searched the web for more info about sugar withdrawal symptoms and was truly shocked to see articles comparing sugar addition to actual drug addiction, and likening sugar withdrawal to that of a heroine addict going through withdrawal. Seriously, it's THAT serious???

 This is the breakfast I couldn't finish because I felt so sick. The plate
is already cleared of one egg that ended up in the dog's bowl. Notice the fuzzy quality
of the photo? I guess that's called tremors in detox lingo.

It's now about 6 hours since I started this blog post, and I've napped through the nausea. I have yet to eat lunch, or even take a shower, as far as that goes. I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow being better. 

Plan on a "Debunking the Myth of Sugar" closing to my daily blogging during this 17 weeks. Today's truth about sugar is this:

A spoonful of sugar does NOT help the medicine go down.
(Ask any diabetic about that one, if you don't believe me.)