I'm feeling a little less despondent this morning than I was when I wrote the last post, probably because two full days of clean eating has eliminated my weight spike. And thank you to commenter LeeAnn for reassuring me that I probably can continue watching portions for my health, and even if that tends to exacerbate my vanity problem, I probably don't have to stop, and can look for other ways to alleviate the vanity thing.
From 116.6 the other day, I'm now back below 112. Yes, I am aware that a lot of that weight is probably water. Still, I think it was worthwhile reacting quickly.
For one thing, I had lost track of portion size. During the first nine months or so of the baby's ex utero life, I needed to eat a lot more than I do now, and so I had pretty much been eating freely -- seconds and thirds, whole sandwiches instead of halves, et cetera. I have gotten out of the habit of starting with a small amount and then waiting to see if I needed more.
Are you curious what "two days of clean eating" looks like for me? I planned on avoiding white flour as much as I could and keeping the calorie load under 1400 calories (reasonable for me -- I'm quite small framed, and the baby has not been nursing heavily). I am currently staying as a houseguest, so I have limited control over what's available, but with self-control I can keep from getting derailed. Here's what I did for two days:
- Breakfast: 1 hardboiled egg. 15 fresh blueberries. Lots of coffee.
- Lunch: 100% whole wheat tortilla wrapped around half a cup of chili with beans, two tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, and a generous handful of fresh spinach, plus some chopped tomato and onion. 10 fresh cherries.
- Snack: 5 pecan halves, an ounce of cheddar cheese, and ten more blueberries.
- Dinner (from the local pizza chain): A big lettuce salad with an unknown amount of shredded cheese and one tablespoon Italian dressing. One-eighth of a large thin-crust pizza (bacon and veg).
- Unplanned eating: About a half ounce of hard pretzel near bedtime.
I felt hungry between meals right away, which I took as a good sign. Second day:
- Breakfast: One hardboiled egg. Fifteen fresh blueberries. Lots of coffee.
- Lunch: 100% whole wheat tortilla wrapped around 100 calories' worth of Italian sausage, 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese, and a handful of fresh spinach. Another big lettuce salad with an unknown amount of shredded cheese (left over from the night before) and one tablespoon Italian dressing.
- Snack: Five pecan halves and one small apple. Coffee.
- Dinner: About two cups cooked canned green beans. One half cup canned baked beans in a sugary sauce. One quarter-pound hamburger patty with a teaspoon of ketchup.
- Unplanned eating: About a quarter-ounce of hard pretzels. One bite of sugar cookie.
Being a houseguest here, I'm free to make my own breakfasts and lunches from whatever's around, and dinner is whatever's being served. The tortillas happen to be the most whole-grain bread in the house, so I stuck with them for lunch; on burger night, I quietly skipped the bun, and that didn't seem to cause a problem. I enjoyed small portions of the sweet baked beans and the carryout pizza. I measured the salad dressing and found the mixed-salad calories by looking them up on the restaurant website.
Some travel is coming up in which I'll have even less control over the types of food available, but I always have control over how much I eat of it. So I'm feeling a lot better.
On a related note, I recently picked up Gary Taubes' new book, Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. You may remember that Taubes wrote the huge tome Good Calories, Bad Calories, which I reviewed in some detail here. I will post a full review of the new Taubes book later, but the short review is this:
It's a shorter, more accessible version of Good Calories, Bad Calories. So if you have been intimidated by that huge book, by all means, read the newer, sleeker version, and if you wish your doctor or spouse would read GCBC, consider lending them the new, less-frightening book instead. It also contains dietary recommendations, basically for a paleo diet. I have some comments about these recommendations, but I will save it for my full review.