Monday, April 19, 2021

Good Vibes Weekend Recap


I have to say it was a pretty good weekend.  We got the grill grates all cleaned up and ready to roll for cookout season.  Usually we forget and when we want to grill, we then realize it's a hot mess.  Our future selves thank us.  We walked in the cemetery before the rain rolled in.  We don't usually like to walk when it's tippin' 80 but when it's windy and cloudy, it's a go.

Before Easter, we met my mom at a park for a socially distanced visit.  She had a few things for me including a sculpture that my great grandma made of this glamourous woman of the 40's.  I always remember it being on her dresser or bedside.  It was so beautiful and elegant.  One time I told her how much I loved it and she said I could have it when she was gone and put my name on the bottom.  When she died, my aunt saw my name on it and was a little bummed because I guess she always loved it too.    She wasn't the one who said anything to me anyway, it was my mom who let it slip to probably feel me out to see how much I actually wanted it, which was a lot.  My aunt has two rambunctious dogs and I knew it had the potential to get knocked over there so I felt like it would be safer at our place anyway.  

When it was handed over and I put it up in the bedroom, I had this weird vibe from it.  It was like it had seen some stuff with her disease and the year after she died.  I didn't get the warm fuzzies I used to get from seeing it in Grandma's home and it didn't feel like mine yet.  I slept on it for a night or two and went to the Mr crying and said I didn't think I should have it yet.  I got a strong feeling my Grandma wanted my aunt to have it as she has been taking on a lot having to do with Grandma's ungrateful husband, getting their condo ready to sell as well as dealing with the catfisher he was involved with.  I asked her to stop by because I had something for her.  I thought she was coming the next day but she came a day early even though she'd be in the same area the next day.  I slipped her a card explaining to her that I was giving her the sculpture and all I asked is she keep the note Grandma put on the bottom on it and that her kids know that when it's her time, I get it back.   She said "really?" through tears and gladly accepted the well padded box with the treasure inside.  I felt good about it and I got confirmation Grandma was happy too.  I admit, I do kind of wish I had tried it out on the nightstand in case it was just the height that was off for me but I took a ton of pictures of it.  I hope she keeps it safe and I look forward to visiting it on occasion when this crap show is over.  Until then, I hope she gets only good vibes from it and the comfort and love of her mom and the memories she has of it too.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, April 16, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #16

It is FINALLY Friday!  Did you have a good week?  How's the weather by you- rainy, sunny, hot, cool?
There have been more days higher than I'd like but I'll revel in this time of year before flop sweat season.  The week has gone fast and slow much to our chagrin but the weekend is finally upon us and we are so down!

Guess who forgot to take dinner pics this week?


Anyhoo, let's get to...





How to Time Your Workouts Around Your COVID-19 Vaccination  (Good info to know if you haven't gotten yours yet!)

Break a Sweat With 17 Quiet, Bodyweight Cardio Moves That Won't Annoy Your Neighbors  (Um, if you're doing mountain climbers and plank jacks, you're annoying your neighbors which is why I'm doing this asap!  The rest are quiet though.)




Zoodle Stir Fry (This looks soo good!)

Honeycrisp Apple Broccoli Salad  (OMG, this sounds amazing!  I think I know what I'm making for cookout season!  I'd probably leave out the pasta though and cut back on the raisins and mayo)

What You Need to know About Cleaning the Vulva, According to an Ob-Gyn  (Man, those of us who grew up watching a woman skipping through a field after her douche sure feel jipped right about now.)



If anyone has any good products that remove pollen from concrete, give a shout.  That's the one thing we have constant struggles with this time of year is the pollen and I don't know maybe it's not pollen but it's green and it's in the grout of our patio stones.  Last year we had covered the patio with a canvas tarp hoping to thwart it and it did nothing.  It's not a job I relish doing but if we get the motivation, might tackle soon.

Any thrilling plans on your end?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Hump Day Survey


Time to get over the hump and slide down to the weekend.  Here's your weekly boredom buster!

What social stigma does society need to get over?  Couples who choose not to have children.

What’s something you really resent paying for?  Feminine products.  I don't CHOOSE to have a period.  We need to get with other countries and start providing pads and tampons for free.  (Definitely not tax them!)

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?  Stayin' Alive.  I don't care who judges me.  😋

When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?  What life was like before the internet.  (Blissful)

What inanimate object would be the most annoying if it played loud upbeat music while being used?  Enema

What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?  Elephant

What’s the most epic way you’ve seen someone quit or be fired?  That Jetblue flight attendant who had enough, grabbed a beer and deployed the slide on the tarmac and was like "tappin' out bitches!"

What actors or actresses play the same character in almost every movie or show they do?  I don't think he can help it, Jeff Goldblum.  There are just some people who bring themselves into everything they do.

In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?  Toilet paper, toothbrush and water.

What hobby do you think would be a lot of fun to get into?  Kiteboarding.  (In a private spot where only the Mr could watch me.)

What pets did you have growing up?  Mostly dogs but I had a bunny before Mother Nature fried her in her cage with lightning and a kitten for 6 weeks before the divorce.

What was the scariest movie you’ve seen? Recently?  Girl House.  The rage that dude had was frightening.

What’s the best location to fully enjoy a good cup of coffee/tea?  Harney and Sons tea house in Millerton, NY

What weird thing do you have nostalgia for?  ORIGINAL Pizza Hut pizza.  Pillowy crust and cheese, zesty sauce.  Tastes like it was made with actual care instead of whatever they use now.  The Mr and I will wax nostalgic on that until we practically cry.  

How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?  Somewhat but I know when something is over my head and we should call someone.

Your turn!  Pick a few or all questions and answer in the comments!

What social stigma does society need to get over?
What’s something you really resent paying for?
What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?
What inanimate object would be the most annoying if it played loud upbeat music while being used?
What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?
What’s the most epic way you’ve seen someone quit or be fired?
What actors or actresses play the same character in almost every movie or show they do?
In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?
What hobby would you be a lot of fun to get into?
What pets did you have growing up?
What was the scariest movie you’ve seen?
What’s the best location to fully enjoy a good cup of coffee?
What weird thing do you have nostalgia for?
How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?

====================
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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

My Stint with Cabbage Soup and Did Any Weight Stay Off?



You all know how I feel about having gotten to the point that I even agreed to do this diet despite the success the Mr had with it 30 years ago.  I will start this off by saying I am reporting my own experience with doing this diet mainly because I'd always brushed it off when the Mr would bring it up when he was frustrated.  I was equally, if not more frustrated, when he brought it up at the point he did and I caved.  I am not condoning, supporting or suggesting this diet for anyone.  I am not a doctor and if you choose to do it, you're doing it at your own risk and need to consult your doctor before undergoing such a radically low calorie diet.

Plenty of nutritionists/doctors will say this isn't the way to get any weight off and sustain that loss.  Because of that, I did tweak it slightly to make sure we got our nutrients in, which surprisingly wasn't too hard.  We always take supplements only for the vitamins that we are chronically low on despite eating a varied diet with fruits, veggies, grains, etc.  I tracked in Cronometer so I could see what we were getting and what needed supplemented.  Even though the rule is "eat as much as you want of the soup/veggies" or whatever on your allotted day, it all still has calories.  So if you're slamming down 6 bowls of soup a day and all you can eat anything, I'd be right back at what my original calories intake was anyway.

(Double double, you're in trouble. No turning back when the cauldron bubbles)


I noticed on the days that there was no meat allowed that iron was going to be dangerously low (not that I ever excel at that nutrient anyway but worse than normal.)  I got the lowest amount of iron pills I could find then cut those in half and supplemented on the days I needed it.  I also wanted to allow for a bit of a brain equalizer because we were still doing light strength workouts (30 minutes tops) to maintain our muscle.  We could have a hard boiled egg and 15g of walnuts before and after a workout on non-meat days.  I'm not fooling myself, it didn't make this any healthier but I wasn't willing to take the kind of liberties I saw other people do and 15g of walnuts do wonders to bring you out of some side effects.  I wasn't willing to cheat on it like I saw some people were like "I had a muffin and some ice cream but I still lost weight."  I'm either doing this or I'm not.  I think an egg and walnuts to replace 75% of what I burned doing a workout isn't a sin in comparison.  I feel like anyone doing this would be doing a major disservice by not taking a multi-vitamin if they're not tracking.  This diet isn't to be done for more than a week.  You can seriously screw yourself up if you do and we had side effects which I'll discuss later.

Here's the recipe I followed which also gives you an outline of the diet in her post.  The tweaks I made were I used low sodium chicken bone broth to amp up the protein (not that it helped much) and used red onion instead of yellow and yellow/red peppers instead of green.  The idea is you can eat the soup and whatever your specified food combo is for that day.  

(I doubled the recipe and this is what two batches looks like.)

Let's get to it.

Day one: Soup and fruit day.

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)


Cosmic crisp apple for breakfast and tea.  Lunch: 1 ½ ladles soup, 3 oz grapes, 1 kiwi, 3 oz strawberries.  Right before going down to workout, I got lightheaded.  We had 15g of walnuts.   Dinner was soup, 5 oz watermelon and 5 oz of cantaloupe then had a clementine for a snack around 9:30pm when the edginess started.  It was actually pretty easy.

Nutrients for the day with supplements:

***

As you can see, iron was really low as I hadn't gotten supplement yet but everything else looked good.


Day two:  Soup and (non-starchy) Veggie day.  (This one SUCKED and made me very pissy!  Correction: Pissier than usual.)  

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)


Garlic green beans and tea for breakfast.  Lunch was 3 oz carrots, 6 oz roasted broccoli, tea and soup which I didn’t season and regretted it.  It needs meat.  Or cheese.  Or ham.  Huh?  What?   Dinner was soup and a 13oz russet baked potato (that thing didn't look bigger than 8 oz tops!) with a 1 tbsp of butter which I'm pretty sure I made love to and my brain was happy for some actual energy.  They give you the potato because they know otherwise this is the day you will say 'screw this.'


(Tenor.com)



***

As you can see, iron was a little higher due to that potato which gave me 21% of my iron for the day. (Supplement hadn't arrived yet)

Day 3:  Soup and Veggie/Fruit day

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)


Breakfast was a cosmic apple and tea which tasted amazing and I was full after half an apple.  (But I still ate that mofo!  Glad I did too because I was starving by lunch)  Lunch was soup, 3 oz carrots, 3 oz strawberries, 5 oz cantaloupe and 3 oz grapes.  Dinner was swill in a bowl, 10 oz roasted asparagus and lemon juice and 6 oz of green beans with garlic and sprinkle of nutritional yeast (1g).

***

Got the iron supplement but didn't feel I needed it.


Day 4:  Soup and Banana/Skim Milk day.  

(not pictured: 1 egg, 15g walnuts)


I really looked forward to this day but honestly, it was not great.  I would say this is as hard if not harder than day two.  Breakfast was a 5 oz banana and raspberry yogurt which we saw quite a few people were allowing that day in updated versions.  We thought one yogurt wasn't going to spin the Earth off of its axis.  Lunch was soup, a banana and 8 oz of skim milk and dinner was the same with walnuts thrown in beforehand and an egg later for good measure.  I did take half an iron supplement (50% requirement) since it would've been low otherwise.

***

Day 5: 10 to 20 ounces of beef or skinless chicken/soup day.  

(I didn't figure you needed to see a bowl of swill with the burger by now.)


It was a gift from the coincidence gods that this fell on our normal high cal day and also the kitchen delivery day that they botched so hard I was ready to slam my face into a Reese egg in the basement.  We don't eat breakfast on Saturday's anyway unless one of us has a headache so lunch was 8 oz of 85% beef wrapped in iceberg lettuce for a bun and soup.  Dinner was a 10 oz chicken breast with some salt free hot seasoning and watermelon/cantaloupe.  We're not a tomato household so that didn't apply but since we had a potential of 420 calories of tomatoes we weren't eating, we skipped the soup for dinner and had 12 oz of watermelon and cantaloupe.  (Gasp!!  FRUIT!  But it's mostly water and a fruit like a tomato just with a wee bit o' natural sugar, so I'm not going to clutch my pearls over it especially since we're saving just over 300 calories on the tomatoes.)

***



Day 6:  "All the beef or chicken and vegetables you want"/soup day.  

(Not pictured: 15g walnuts)


Obviously, I'm not going to go this far just to bomb it with meat sweats and eat a hog on a spit because a typed piece of paper circulating from the 60's told me I could.  We did a salt free fiesta lime 8 oz. chicken breast over brussels sprouts and a salad with a squeeze of lemon juice.  Snack in between was a bowl of soup.  Dinner was a 6 oz steak on cauliflower rice with steamed broccoli and a ladle of soup.  Both meals kept us super full the whole day on just over 800 calories.  

***



Day 7: Brown rice (or quinoa), unsweetened fruit juices, and vegetables/soup day (aka- thank you Jesus, it's the last day!")  




We don't do fruit juices so we didn't have any of those.  Man, I really had to choke down the 1/4 cup quinoa for breakfast since I couldn't add milk or anything to give it a bit of sweetness since the ginger and pumpkin pie spice didn't help much.  (Pumpkin is starchy so couldn't use that.)  I wasn't in the mood for savory quinoa either so it was two bites with a hot tea chaser.  Repeat.  Lunch was a ladle and half of soup, 1/2 cup (cooked) quinoa which I put in the soup, 1/2 bag of roasted broccoli, and 2 oz carrots.  Dinner was the last of the soup with 1/2 cup of brown rice and brussels sprouts with garlic.  I thought I was going to yarf.  I really reached the end of my tolerance with the soup and we both gleefully poured the leftovers in the disposal.


(Tenor.com)


Here's our summary of our experience.

Side effects:  

Day one: about an hour after lunch and my body realized what was up, I got lightheaded.  I had my 15g of walnuts which helped about 15 minutes later then the egg after our workout which helped keep me even the rest of the night.  I didn't experience any gastro distress because it's not too far off from what I normally eat (sans soup) but the Mr was peeing like a racehorse.

Day two:  On cue, about an hour after lunch, I got lightheaded and brain foggy.  Concentration was a little hard which I didn't like at all.  I literally looked at the remote and didn't know how to use it for a solid 20 seconds.  My brain tingled.  I can't describe it any other way and the Mr experienced the same the next two days.  That is a screwed up feeling.

Day three:  Cravings for meat or any kind of food with substance kicked in.  (This was likely because as I was checking emails, things popped up like a Chinese restaurant (which I rarely crave) and a meatloaf sandwich from a restaurant I know screws it up every time.)  Thankfully that didn't last all day and I only got mildly dizzy after our workout (light band workout) and ate an egg and it went away after dinner.  Today is the day the Mr's brain fog kicked in though.

Day four:  Pretty rough on the lightheaded front.  I woke up feeling great and was looking forward to some variety with the bananas but it didn't help much.  Both of us felt like crap when we'd get up from the couch.  We knew this is the last truly depriving day before starting to add back in something that would actually not screw us up from being too low.  I felt better after lunch on the dizzy side but then a little cramping kicked in after having a banana for a snack after lunch (3rd banana of the day.)  I didn't feel like I could exercise this day so we skipped.  (You're not really supposed to anyway)  What I also didn't like was since this was the highest calorie day thusfar, I really felt like I "should" exercise which was exactly the numbers obsession I was not looking forward to but knew would happen before starting it. 

Day five:  This was botched delivery day so I'm sure my anger at their ineptitude was heightened by no food since everything was in coolers.  This was the first day neither of us had side effects after eating though.  Score!

Day six:  No side effects today at all.  

Day seven:  Pure joy that it's almost over!  It wasn't too bad overall but I was surprised this day was as hard as it was.  I did get some shakiness in the evening.


Surprises

There were a few things I expected but didn't materialize.

What I was surprised by is the main side effect everyone who has done it said would happen never did.

(Tenor.com)

I actually farted LESS than I usually do.  Most people have the gas because they're not used to fruits and veggies but I eat those every day.  So actually, that was a weird bonus.  On the down side, I expected to crap like I was being paid (like the Mr was most days) but nope, same horrid BM schedule which was 3x week.  (I don't have an issue, it's just my system.  Always has been.)

I also thought that I would be dry heaving to get that soup down but I think the fact I made the version with bone broth and not the sodium bomb version with dry onion soup and tomato juice went a long way in that department.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't craving it but the fact I wasn't holding my nose and swallowing it without chewing was surprising.

I was surprised at the energy I would initially wake up with which was a plus but it was very short lived and within an hour or two the lightheadedness would set in so I enjoyed it while I could.

Our joints felt better almost immediately which was unexpected.  

I was surprised I didn't wake up hungry.  I ate at my normal time which is late, 10:30-11am on the days I ate breakfast.

Some undies I ordered 6 months ago that always fit weird and were relegated to the "someday drawer", fit by day 3.  I consider it a win because they still fit a month later.

The morning after the final day (Tuesday) we both weighed in.  Here are our totals.

March 23rd

The Mr:  -12 lbs
Me: -8 lbs

His reaction:  

When I weighed in and saw that I had lost 12 pounds total I was happy but I have to admit a little disappointed that it wasn't something more eye-dropping like when I did the diet 30 years ago and lost (if memory serves) 21 pounds. I was hoping to see 15 or so at least but again, 12 pounds is nothing to sneeze at either. The interesting thing for me is that I now have more insight into how starving myself compares to how I was eating before the diet. I was eating the right foods and had just started doing a little better about tracking before this but now it has motivated me to track even more accurately and weigh ALL the food as I prepare it, not just eyeballing it. I hope to keep that up as it will be an added benefit, for me personally, from doing the diet and in a weird way that makes it just as worth it to me as the weight I lost on the diet. I know a lot of detractors say fad diets don't teach you anything but I do believe it reminded me of some of the extra attention I was no longer giving my day to day lifestyle eating before. I do recall gaining similar insight 30 years ago when I did it and that insight is what helped me lose more and keep it off until I basically just stopped about a year and a half later.

My reaction:

I'd be lying if I said I was less than pleased with those results given the claims of practically 'guaranteed 10 lb loss' and you figure with exercising in there to maintain muscle (even though it was minimal) that it should be more than than.  (I was also seriously regretting doing our hardest strength workout the night before weigh in because I was sore where I wasn't with any of the other workouts so I know there was inflammation that likely kept me 3 oz from being in the next set of numbers down.)  So yeah, wasn't a totally happy camper with my results commiserate to the amount of sacrifice and screwed up side effects I was having for a few days.  I was, however, grateful for the looser legs, slightly decreased gut girth (lost an inch).  I think I was also back down to pre-Vermont weight.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the loss that would've easily taken me 2-3 months to get off given past history but that is assuming it stays off.

(Tenor.com)



We went back to our typical eating and full on exercise habits for the week.  (1500-1600 cals for me/1800-1900 for him)  I was interested to see if weight would immediately come back on as the calories increased by a 300-600 or not since everyone always says "it's water weight".

March 27th ( Usual Saturday weigh in after 4 days of our typical food)

The Mr: +1
Me: +1/2

I know I should be happy with that but I wasn't.  I kept my calorie intake over the next four days 1425-1525 calories.  My calorie allotment for the day to lose 2 lbs on paper is 1535 before exercise.  Plus there was exercise in there between 300-400 per day.  Nothing crazy or slamming to the joints that should've produced any major inflammation either.  This is where some people are giggling.  "See, fad diets don't work." 😝 Anyhoo.   

I also know that with burning off 400 from 1450 average, that means I'm netting 1050 calories which is way below what is acceptable.  I also didn't want to overwhelm my body coming off of 800-1100 calories per day so that'll be adjusted the following week and we'll see if that really blows sh*t up for the worse

The Mr was also disappointed there was a small gain after only 4 days but feels, at this point, that it did help him more than he was able to do on his own before.  That remains to be seen.

One of the first big tests would be a full week of our "normal" way of eating.  We did a high cal day with a 3000 calorie cap the first Saturday off the diet.  That is under a pound gain on paper and before anyone recoils in horror at that number, here's an example of how easy it is to reach it.  Let's say you skip breakfast since you know you're having a bigger lunch.  If you get McDonald's medium quarter pounder value meal with drink and a few ketchups for your fries, you're at 1150 calories.  For dinner, you split half a small pepperoni pizza from a place like Papa John's and a 12 oz soda.  1050 calories.  Then if you satisfy your sweet tooth with one cupcake from a chain cupcake shop that you work on throughout the day for 800 calories.  These are for mediums and smalls which are not what many people get so you can see how easy it is to hit that 3000 calorie cap.  (This isn't what we had, just an example.)  If you're eating at a sit down restaurant, your burger alone is 1000+ calories and the fries are 600+.   But we wanted to see what it would do, so we did that then went back to our normal healthy eating throughout the week.

April 3rd

The Mr: stayed the same
Me: stayed the same

11 days after going off of it, we did not gain any significant amount of weight back and that was with a high cal day involved.  In the full week after going off of it, my calories were 1700-1775 all week, 64 oz of pure water (which you guys know how hard that is for me) plus tea, and exercise every day with calorie burns between 300 - 450 most days and 600 one day.  He calorie cycled between 1800-2200.

April 10th

For me the following week would be the REAL proof in the pudding to either declare cabbage soup a total waste of time or not.  Easter was involved.  One thing we (I) go completely overboard on are Easter baskets and we already had our stuff bought well before the thought of the diet was put into my head so I thought that would be the true test because with ham and all of the sodium laden traditional food and the basket, we're usually an easy 1-2 lb gain and that's without having come off a fad diet.  Here are what I consider our "final final" results.

The Mr:  +1 (which is exactly what he would've likely gained in the past or actually a pound less)
Me: -4  (It was period week which always nets me sometimes my only loss for the month but yeah.)

He calorie cycled and thinks maybe 2200 might be too high so he'll cut his back to 2000 next week.  I think the fact that he didn't gain like 5 lbs means that the weight lost from cabbage soup is actually going to stay off since we're obviously not doing Easter every weekend.  (We even got out and walked a few laps for 600 calorie burn on the high cal day and we usually don't workout that day.)

I drank my water, poo'd like a champ (but I am on antibiotics so who knows) and my calories were between 1500-1700.  Workouts were butt kickers on strength days and pretty low key cardio like walking or a shorter modified Beachbody workout.  Four pound losses never stick around for me so it'll be interesting to see if that stays or not.  I almost always gain a pound back but hopefully my body will throw me a bone.

So.  There you go.

You may be asking yourselves...



I would not be totally against it, particularly if we're coming off of a vacation and the scale was done gifting our sodium weight loss and was stuck for a few weeks after getting back to normal.  I certainly wouldn't look forward to it but I would at least know that I need to have more non-starchy veggies for the second day to be able to make it through.  I would also need to make sure we hand picked the bananas for banana day because the jerk who picked ours basically gave us ripe ones to begin with so then they were 4 days overripe by the time we got to them. (I actually had to throw one bunch away.)   So yes, while it's not healthy, I think maybe doing it once a year if we feel like we need to as long as we supplement and plan better instead of ordering random crap during a crying jag is acceptable.  (But that isn't the goal and I don't plan on it because I don't want to screw up my metabolism.)  I would likely take the higher cal days on the diet and tweak those to fit in and maybe calorie cycle before going back to this.  At this point, I just wanted to try it once because I've heard about it from the Mr for 30 years now and wanted to be able to bash it with authoritah.  Right now if you told me I had to do it starting tomorrow, this about sums it up.

(Tenor.com)

I will say this, it did inspire me to work in a lot more vegetarian meals into our diet and look up a lot of volume eating recipes.  If nothing else, I have to say it has given us a renewed sense of enthusiasm and inspiration to get out of our typical food rut.  We already have some new favorite vegetarian recipes we've made more over their meat counterparts.


What about him?

Right now I feel like it was worth doing because it did give me the boost I needed to get out of what has felt like a long pandemic plateau. It really boosts your willpower seeing results like that even if it is also a major drain on your willpower to make it through. I also find that it puts everything in perspective again too, in a way. What I mean by that is when you are eating healthy but have cravings for things it is easy to talk yourself into extra calories here and there and those add up. But when you go through a day like day 2 on this diet where you find yourself eating green beans for breakfast instead of perfectly good breakfast foods in your fridge then you know you can avoid any craving if you keep the right mindset. It also forced me to eat slower because you cannot eat that soup fast along with most other things.  

I will say that the adjustments the Mrs. made to the soup made it way more palatable every time I ate it than it ever was when I did this before. The chicken broth alone is a huge improvement. Also, adding in the walnuts and egg option helped a ton with side effects and I believe helps protect from muscle loss as well as the strength training we did. 

But would I do it again? Honestly I feel like I never want to do it again now that it is done but given the results, I feel like it could help in the future after a vacation or another plateau potentially so I won't say I never will do it again. I am just so relieved it is over now and want to relish in the fact that it is done.






====================
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Monday, April 12, 2021

Desperation Makes for Bad Choices


*Note: this was written during a moderate depressive episode mid-March*

I don't even know where to begin.  How about I just throw this out there and work backward...I am 38 lbs higher than the lowest weight I've ever seen in this "journey."  Let me give a time frame for this.  

February 25, 2017 is when I saw that low and I saw it for a day.  (I saw it once or twice a few years earlier but never for more than a day.)  I was always consistently 5-6 lbs over that but I have to count it as my lowest even if I literally blinked and it was gone.

By September 2019, I was 12 lbs higher.  It wasn't the end of the world but I knew we needed to reign it in, especially when in 4 months, I gained another 9 lbs by years end.  

As I looked back on that time period (the 9 lb gain) on my 'one happy year' journal to see if there were any events that might've triggered anything.  At first glance, nothing seemed like it should've been stuff I stress ate over until you list it all out.  We were still in the midst of finishing the basement, particularly the laundry side which was a huge pain.  The Mr was studying for a test but it was over and he passed by that time.  My friend's mom (and my second mom) was dying of cancer just two months after her dad had passed from it too.  Oh wait, we did vacation during that time.  Crap.  My friend had to cancel her wedding because of her mom's death and we went on the fall trip we originally cancelled to attend her wedding.  I was having a lot of stress with laptop issues, and some family stuff on the Mr's side.    Then went on another long weekend trip.  A Christmas/bday gift that was quite expensive went awry for his mom and I think after weeks of dealing with it, I probably face planted into a few extra Christmas cookies.  Then started a bit of our living room reno stuff like making a shelf for the pass through, and made 2 weeks worth of meals for my pregnant friend.  Mom was being a poop on Christmas Eve before she even got in the door so I probably face planted hard into leftovers when she left since I hadn't begun medicating with wine because the pandemic hadn't happened yet.  Okay.  So when I look at all of that, I basically was a cortisol factory for those four months and then we know what happened in 2020 coupled with eating Vermont for the holidays because we were being forced to have a certain kind of holiday.  I know where this leads.  Well, actually, I'll tell you where it led...to an additional 17 pandemic/vacation pounds.  That would be 38 lbs higher than the lowest I saw in 2017 and 26 higher than when I started 2020.  It is beyond unacceptable and it's not like we even stopped exercising either.  We were still exercising 5-6 days a week but our stamina was horrible compared to pre-pandemic and our self worth was plummeting.

As we approached our 25th anniversary, I was like "I should get a nice dress."  Do you know how IMPOSSIBLE it is for someone who is disproportionate on top and bottom to find something in their size when they're fat?  So just like when I f**ked myself being a fat bride, I f**ked myself out of a 25th anniversary dress that I didn't have to settle for.  25 damn years and I hadn't learned a thing.  To add to that, I was having some issues that were directly related to weight gain that had me in pain for over four months which is another post.  I didn't know how I could have this problem now but not when I was almost 200 lbs heavier.  The Mr was also incredibly frustrated with his weight gain and made the same suggestion he's made in the past when we get to that point.  "We should do cabbage soup."  

You know as well as I do if you've been here for a long time, fad diets are NOT our thing.  We know "the weight will come back and that it's water weight the scale 'rewards' you with."  We know it's not a long term thing.  However, the Mr did it twice back in high school along with the egg diet for a month and lost 50 lbs and kept it off for a year.  (He worked a regular job and didn't exercise but to be fair, he was 18.)  I always turn him down flat or consider it for a few minutes to be nice and throw out alternatives.  Something in the desperation in his voice about how embarrassed he would be when they start calling people back to work and how he was tired of seeing me in such pain with my issue, made me think of it for more than a few minutes.  When he went up to bed, I looked up the recipe.  We eat Brussels sprouts all of the time, this couldn't be much different, could it?  After a few minutes, I was adding items to an Amazon Fresh order and thought "if I sink $100 into this and hit order, then I HAVE to do it."  That's exactly what I did.

I don't think any of you will ever know what it has taken me to admit this especially when I think I know how it's going to end.  You know that our desperation is off the charts for me to agree to it.  I am sobbing as I type.  The constant stress of this pandemic has completely stalled my already slug like metabolism.  Nothing I did worked and I tried all of the calorie ranges.  My water still sucked but even the few times it didn't suck for a few weeks here and there, it's not like it made a difference.  I was starting to consider things I knew I would regret and this stupid one week meal plan was the safest one, believe it or not.  I knew, I would likely regret it but what was ordered was ordered.  Then when it came, it was time to get down to business.  To say the Mr was surprised to be greeted by an email I sent at 1am saying "enjoy today, we start cabbage soup tomorrow" was probably an understatement.  

I blogged my experience daily which I will include in one post tomorrow.  Yes, that means it's done and has been for almost a month so no need to tell me what a bad idea it is or judge us for it...too late!
😝

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Friday, April 9, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #15

Howdy do and happy Friday to yoooou!  Another week is wrapping up and another weekend is up for grabs.  All of the trees are looking pretty and the grass is finally no longer that heinous looking straw color that makes it look like it was set on fire at the end of Fall.  A little green goes a long way.  I also know that means the flowers from the tree out back are going to be raining onto our patio so we'd better have the leaf blower charged.  It looks pretty but dang is it a constant fight!

Here's a sampling of our eats from this week.

Easter Sunday dinner looked a little different this year since we spent a few hours of it in the ER.  (We celebrated on Saturday so we'd have an extra day to work off the chocolate.)  So I made a BAS (Big Ass Salad) with balsamic dressing topped with chipotle sweet potato and a honeycrisp apple.



Workout was Beachbody's MBF Day1 leg day and my butt was on fire the next day!

Monday was Brussels lemon ricotta flatbread.



Workout was 2 laps around the hood.

Tuesday was grilled General Tso's with cauli-rice, broccoli slaw, pineapple, water chestnuts and baby corn.



Workout was MBF day 10 Upper Body hell session. 

Wednesday was Lobster Ravioli with vegan alfredo sauce and grilled asparagus.




Workout was MBF Core.

Thursday was Chicken Zucchini Parm.



Workout was T25 Focus.

Now let's focus on...




Most Americans say the pandemic has been bad for their weight  (Yeah...you'll learn more about that soon.)

What's behind the rush to return to 'normal'? ("Experts say optimism, frustration and desperation may be factors."  No sh*t, Sherlock.  Doesn't mean it's okay to start acting a fool and disregarding all you've done to keep you and others safe or else we're never going to get out of the variant spiral.)

Why Volume Eating Is the Ultimate Weight-Loss Hack  (I can vouch.  Stuff yourselves silly on veggies and try not to yarf.)


The Plant-Based Food Group That Helps Support Muscle Strength  (I'm going to start buying more.  My legs need all the help they can get!)

5 Strategies To Quit Bedtime Procrastination & Get To Sleep On Time  (ROFL...I am literally doing this exact thing as it's 11:55pm.  Guess I'll start tomorrow.)

Plants That Grow in Full Shade  (Ooh!  What are these climbing hydrangeas you speak of!)

The Best Old House Instagram Accounts to Follow  (Great, like I need more ideas.  I do.)


30 Stories Of Coworkers From Hell People Had The ‘Pleasure’ Of Working With  (Aren't you glad you're (hopefully) working from home?  Hmm, I wonder if the Mr has any tales from hell about his new co-worker this year.)

I'm thinking maybe we might be proactive this weekend or something.  There's some weeds I should get to and maybe clean the door and outside light glass.   Look at me sounding all motivated and crap! 

You got any good intentions for the weekend?

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hump Day Distraction


Happy Hump Day!  Yes, more questions.  Nope, I'm not getting tired of this yet.

Let's dive in!

What is the first lie you ever told?  I wish I could remember.  I hope it was a good one!

What is your worst personality characteristic?  Always think the worst of myself.

What is the worst food you've ever eaten?  We've established anything with caraway seeds but thousand island dressing is a close second.

What is the worst advice you’ve ever given?  If I'm asked for advice, I give what I think they should hear not what will blow smoke up their butts.  So I guess ask people I've given advice to.

Describe your worst day ever.  The day Grandma didn't know me anymore.

What is the worst trouble you got into as a kid?  Probably anything to do with grades and Mom wasn't too pleased when I had to call her to come downtown so we could get my car out of impound after the Gene Loves Jezebel concert.

Describe the worst movie you’ve ever watched?  Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion and Trainwreck which we left the last 10 minutes of.

What is the worst pick up line you’ve ever heard?  I can't repeat it here but a guy's co-worker was trying to get him laid using his cancer as an incentive.  (Kind of like the whole "I'm going off to war, this could be it" thing from back in the day.)  

What is the worst holiday you’ve ever been on?  Our 20th anniversary trip was not stellar.

What is the worst grade you ever got?  The lowest one.

Do you prefer the pool or the beach?  Neither.

Do you prefer books or films?  Films

Do you prefer nights out or nights in?  Typically nights in but I'm going a little stir crazy.

Do you prefer mornings or nights?  Nights

Do you prefer summer or winter?  WINTER!!!  I HATE Summer.

Your turn!  Pick a few or all questions to answer in the comments.

What is the first lie you ever told?
What is your worst personality characteristic?
What is the worst food you ever eaten?
What is the worst advice you’ve ever given?
Describe your worst day ever
What is the worst trouble you go into as a kid?
Describe the worst movie you’ve ever watched?
What is the worst pick up line you’ve ever heard?
What is the worst holiday you’ve ever been on?
What is the worst grade you ever got?
Do you prefer the pool or the beach?
Do you prefer books or films?
Do you prefer nights out or nights in?
Do you prefer mornings or nights?
Do you prefer summer or winter?

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