Sunday, March 25, 2007


I spent the night contemplating this WW thing and decided to morph over to a high raw diet now rather than doing it more slowly. I remember how eating raw last year helped me to feel less depressed, cleared up my skin, and helped me deal with the desire to overeat so I figured, why wait any longer? I shopped for fruits, herbs and veggies for salads, and got low fat cottage cheese and organic nut butter for extra protein. I have extra virgin olive oil and avocados to make sure I get my good fats in. I bought fresh squeezed OJ rather than a bunch of oranges because I know I'm not going to spend time in the morning squeezing orange juice. I will start with these, and eat up the remaining 3 or so frozen meals I have in the fridge. I feel better already!

Now, tonight I'm going to be eating a very non-raw dinner with a friend. She is grilling steaks and roasting potatoes, and we'll have bread and dessert. All of that would be allowed on the WW Flex plan but I have to count points and would have to eat small portions to keep the point value low. I'm going to still count points with my high-raw plan as well. Right now I'm allowed 36 points a day, and 35 extra points over the course of a week. It should be very interesting to see how many points I manage to take in on a high raw diet. I'm guessing it'll very hard to make 36 points and that I'll settle into whatever points work for me.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I gained two pounds over the past week. I realize that many things cause weight to fluctuate, but I did eat waaaaay too much over the weekend. A new friend and I went hiking and then ate dinner at a restaurant that evening. I did not try to make up for the overeating, but by week's end I found that I had "undereaten" about 38 points total. This was mainly because I did not feel like snacking (except for one day where I ate pretzels) and because I ate low-point frozen meals and salads. I may have gained because I undercalculated my weekend points- who knows? The good thing is that even though I gained two pounds I still tracked my foods, ate what I should have over the rest of the week, and drank a lot more water than I usually do. I even remembered to take vitamins every day. I'm also proud of my hiking day. I got a lot of exercise completing my home organization, too: I had to put shelving together and do some heavy lifting over a three-day period. Doesn't count as cardio or anything, but I did get some musclework in.

Although I like WW for it's simplicity and dedication to health rather than to fast weight loss, it discourages me that I feel I'm "on a diet." That feeling occurs when I'm following the program properly but still feel hungry. At that point, I want to eat more but I tell myself I can't because of the point value of the foods. There are a few times when I feel so hungry on WW that I eat an extra meal. I don't go over my points because they give you an extra 35 for the entire week, which can be split into 5 a day (this week I couldn't do that because I'd eaten my extra 35 in one day!) I think that it's the types of foods I eat that lead me to feel hunger between meals. Perhaps it's the carbs or something in the processed frozen foods. Also, you don't get much buik in a "lite" frozen meal, so I don't always feel satisfied. It'll take me a while to adjust to these portion sizes if I keep eating frozen meals.

When I ate raw, I eventually stopped being so strict about counting calories and fat, or doing portion control. I ate when I was hungry, stopped when I was full, and still lost weight -and felt good! So although WW is great for losing weight and is very healthy, I'm still eating foods that scream "DIET" to me, and which don't fully satisfy me.

To deal with the hunger and lack of "satisfaction" I will try to take more fruit to work with me, and maybe make bigger salads. Over time I should phase out the frozen foods in favor of whole foods that I prepare myself, but that will depend on how much time I want to spend in the kitchen. That Vitamix is looking better all the time! I can quickly chop up a bunch of veggies and herbs and stick 'em in the fridge. I figure the money I spend on the Vitamix will be made up by not spending that money on the salad bar at Whole Foods!

I still have my days where I feel lonely and depressed, but I'm not eating my way through them. Unfortunately, I am not at all motivated to go to the gym and have yet to go this year. I have all the equipment I need so I have no excuse to avoid it except my mental state. I could probably use the endorphins to get me through the rough times, so I really need to start going.

Note to JennP who left a comment this week- it's nice to know others are trying (or thinking of trying) the same thing I happen to be doing. I do believe that I can adapt WW to a raw diet as I head in that direction. And maybe I'll get there sooner than later, since I'm not at all happy with the foods I'm eating now!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Good Second Week!

Today was weigh-in day; I lost 1.25 lbs. Not much, but much better than gaining. I used to celebrate on weigh-in day by eating whatever I wanted, and then spend the rest of the week in a panic, making up for overeating. This time I around I've decided I'll have treats, but they'll usually be things that are perhaps high calories but not totally unhealthy. Today's treats were whole-milk yogurt (instead of low fat) and an Amy's burrito that has 14 grams of fat in it (that's 7 points out of a 36 point day- not bad, but a lot for a smallish burrito).

I stopped at Whole Foods for my weekly stash of salad fixin's. They have a corn "salsa" once in a while that has feta cheese in it that I really like. I can make that on my own but today I bought it, along with tabouli, marinated artichoke hearts, and a couple of other mixtures. Almost everything I get from them is marinated in olive or canola oil, herbs, wine and/or vinegar, so I find no need to add salad dressing. I also bought tomatoes, hummus, Ezekiel pita bread, 7 Amy's burritos (I have one every morning for breakfast), low-fat cottage cheese, mini mozzarella balls and roasted tomatoes (to make caprese salad) and feta. I bought fresh mangoes, strawberries and a container of pre-cut fresh fruit. I can see that dairy products are going to be the hardest for me to give up as I go more towards a whole foods/vegan/raw type diet.

So far I feel good about my trip back to health. Getting my health on track is great for my self esteem and is leading me to take charge of other areas of my life that need improvement. For example, my clothes are mostly either too big or too small, old, or not appropriate for the weather. Usually I tell myself that I shouldn't spend money on clothes, but what I'm really doing is avoiding dealing with being large and having to find flattering clothes that fit properly. Since I'm realizing that wearing styles that I like has a positive effect on my my self esteem, I have to do myself a favor and spend time in clothing stores no matter how much I hate the process. Another thing is my hair. As I've mentioned in the past, since losing hair last year I've covered it up with wigs, hats and scarves. I'm now looking for someone to style it for me so that I can stop wearing the wigs and hats.

Have a great week, everybody, and big thanks to those who have left me some kind and supportive comments. They really help!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A New Year, a New Me

I have decided to get back to blogging after several months off. As some of you know I was having difficulties staying raw due to personal difficulties (stressful relationship, stressful academic requirements, abject poverty- you know, the usual). Since jumping off the raw wagon I regained almost all of the weight I'd lost, along with the health problems - the bad skin, the "allergies," the severe back pain, etc. The hair loss I experienced from losing 25 lbs in one month (January 2006) has not totally been rectified so I'm still wearing a wig to deal with that.

This year I am in a new set of circumstances and felt that it was time for me to start getting back to health. For one thing, I am now single and living on my own. Although it's lonely, it's not like I've never been in this position before- it just takes time to get used to. I've also found a great job as a sociologist, working with a wonderful group of people. I love going to work everyday, even when I feel overwhelmed with full-time work and full-time school. So stressors still exist in my life- they'll never go away- but they are different and are not causing me to turn to food.

Rather than jumping full on into raw, I have gone to my old standby: Weight Watchers. I weighed in at 325 lbs, and I did not cry. I am using their "Flex" plan, which gives a point-value to foods based on their fiber, calorie and fat count. This means I can eat anything I want, as long as I don't go over a certain number of points (37 for me at first, due to my weight, gender, and sedentariness). I chose the Flex because I didn't want to feel that I was suddenly switching to a "diet;" I wanted to first get used to tracking what I eat.

I drank 20 oz of Pepsi, ate full-fat frozen meals, had nuts and lots of brie that first week and lost 9.6 lbs anyway. At the WW meeting when they give everyone the opportunity to celebrate their losses, I almost didn't say anything because I really don't care about the pounds as much as I care about getting the junk out of my system and getting the good stuff in. My celebration is about weaning myself off of fat, sugar and salt. And after week one, I've begun to do that.

I know I said I am lonely and alone, but I actually have a roommate. She's barely around because we have different schedules, but she's a health nut, which is great for me. She went to Whole Foods and brought a lot of good salad stuff, so I did the same this weekend and now the fridge is stocked with great salad ingredients. I might be returning to raw sooner than I'd planned! I even went to the raw restaurant for the first time in ages and got the raw pizza, and couldn't eat all of it. (In one sitting, of course, I can eat a ton of food that's bad for me. Hello, irony). My week's menu consists of low- or no-fat cottage cheese, smoked salmon, fresh fruits and vegetables, skim milk, Kombucha teas (the Synergy brand), low-fat/high fiber frozen meals, caprese salad (because I love cheese), whole wheat bread, diet Snapple, and nigiri sushi. Over time I'll eat fewer prepared foods, more whole foods, and more raw foods. But I believe I'm one of those people who needs a higher percentage of protein, therefore I will probably never give up the cottage cheese or the fish. I'll simply eat less of them because I'll be getting plant proteins as well.

Thank you to everyone who has been supportive during my absence. I was happy to receive encouraging words, support and understanding. I didn't think my blog still existed since it's been neglected for so long, but here it is, patiently waiting.

I'll update the blog probably on a weekly basis rather than daily, as I am busy with my new awesome job, and my full time academic load. Since I weigh in once a week, that day will be a good day to also update the blog.

Happy (belated) New Year! :-)



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