TT Thursday : 4th wk weight loss challenge – finally yesterday, plateau broke

TT Thursday : 4th wk weight loss challenge – finally yesterday, plateau broke

Cactus Catz -- barbecuing hamburger
John’s hamburger on the grill

(for those who don’t know, I blog on Thursdays about my progress on my HealthyWage weight loss challenge.  I started at 252 and want to get down to 185.)

All week I was flipping between 243 and 244. I was being good, mostly — four days ago had one slip up, was riding with Carol, encouraging her to drive because her car had been unused for a few weeks which is very bad in Arizona. So while we are going nowhere in particular, she says let’s stop at Dairy Queen and I had a small cone which triggered a craving for fried chicken and coke — I went to Church’s but switched to Bourbon Chicken (not fried), cole slaw and water once I got there. I realized later that it wasn’t so much that the ice milk cone triggered fried chicken as it was my mind saying, “Ooooh, we were bad today so let’s be bad all day and start over tomorrow. Forget being good”.

My bad habits surged up, hoping to escape. I didn’t throw the whole day away, though. No french fries. No fried chicken. No cola. And that’s a change.

Then the day before yesterday I finally broke the 243 and hit 242.9 but it was the morning of July 4th and I was going to my brother’s for barbecue. I surprised myself and made up a three monkeys rule and stuck to it and it worked! The next morning, today!  I was looking at 242.2.  Woo hoo!

The monkeys got it right : See no Evil, Speak no Evil, Do no Evil

I know it’s supposed to be “hear no evil” instead of “do no evil” but the “do no evil” is the funny monkey

See no Evil

Don’t look at the chips, potato salads, breads and desserts

It’s simple. If you’re standing have conversations with people, don’t do it near the chips, carbs or sugars. They are going to be there but you don’t have to stare at them. Looking at them is going to make you want to sample them and then you’re a goner. If you want to stand near food to have conversations, go stand near the barbeque where they are grilling veggies and meats.

If people are bringing in food, offer to keep an eye on the kids while they do that so you don’t have to help unwrap anything.

If you want to look at dessert, don’t do it in public!  Treat dessert looking like porn.  Look at pictures at home where no one can see you and there is no dessert for miles around.  It’s better if you don’t look at it but hey we all have our vices.

Do not look at dessert when it’s out in public, enticing in open containers, begging you to touch it.  That’s when you say, “Look, Mr. Dessert, you’re sexy and all but I’m being faithful to my Diet.  He may make me a tad grumpy now and again but he’s good for me and means well.  So I’ll just leave you alone and go sit by the pool where I can’t see you at all.  Sorry, don’t mean to hurt your feelings but you just flirt way too much.”  And walk off.

Hear/Speak no Evil

You don’t have to talk about food all the time

People don’t talk that much about food — you just think they do.  When you’re on a diet, especially in the beginning, your attention zooms towards any mention of food.  Great restaurants, the best place for tiramisu, the latest potato chip flavor, sales on cake and the swapping of pie recipes: all of these and more suddenly drop into your waiting ears and bring up visions of food.

Also people can get a little foodcentric when they’re on a diet and be the ones who bring up food in a conversation.  Honestly, it’s easier to stay away from food in a barbecue/party situation if you’re not so focused on it.  You don’t have to talk about your diet or food or calories. Talking about fitness is fine as it takes your mental focus off of food.

Listen to or start conversation on how people or children are doing in their lives.  Taking the focus off of you gets your mind off of your stomach.

Talk about books, movies, the latest news.  There’s a big world out there and it’s not just all about the Food Network Channel.

From Amazon:

Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook

From Garden to Grill: Over 250 Vegetable-based Recipes for Every Grill Master

Farm to Table Asian Secrets: Vegan & Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season

Do no Evil

Do good.  Bring a healthy delicious dish.

A lot of people associate good foods with sugar or starch so that’s what they bring to a barbecue/party/potluck because they want people to enjoy their dish.  So it’s up to you to bring something that’s on your diet but is also delicious enough that everyone likes to eat it.  I had a roommate who was skinny and always eating no calorie foods like tasteless ricecakes.  Put me off healthy food and diets for ages but I was wrong. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be bland or boring.

When I lived in Japan, my Japanese friends brought vegetable dishes to a potluck and rarely if ever brought dessert.  Sugar wasn’t a big thing there. The focus was more on delicious fruits and vegetables in season.  I lost a lot of weight in Japan and wasn’t even trying just because people ate differently so I did too.  When I returned to America, so did my bad habits and weight — cake, pies, cookies, ice cream, yum.  The thing was in Japan, the potlucks taught me vegetables are yummy too.

Make the dish fun and childfriendly and you will get bonus points.   In a family affair, doing that will have a ripple effect beyond more than one family barbecue/party/potluck. If it’s delicious, soon others will be doing the same thing.  (Did I bring a healthy dish?  um, nope.  My brother is a fussy eater and his mother-in-law is super nice but she teaches cooking.  I don’t have confidence yet in my healthy cooking skills but I will work on it and bring something next time that will knock their socks off.  Or at least enjoy, crosses my fingers).

Don’t be a martyr.  Don’t stand around with an empty plate, sighing, because you can’t eat the snacks or appetizer like everyone else can.  Besides being a downer, it’s unnecessary.  Use proteins and veggies as snacks.  Nibble on a deviled egg if you’re peckish while you’re waiting for your steak or hamburger to be barbecued.  Fold a piece of lettuce over a tomato slice, making a mini veggie taco for something to bite into.  You’re not being deprived.  You’re just learning to eat differently.

Tables and counters are a jumble of food.  So when you’re getting your protein or veggie snack, treat it like a search and rescue operation.  Swoop in, drop it on your plate and fly out before you start drifting over to the chips and desserts. We know you like flirting with Mr. Chips too but today you’re giving him the cold shoulder because you know he’s just not good for you.

I ate a few deviled eggs, a great barbecued ribeye, and a lettuce tomato taco and felt satisfied.  It was hot so I also drank a lot of ice tea. That helped too.  And the next day I stepped on the scale and found I’d lost another 0.7 pounds even though I went to the family barbecue.

And that’s how you can get through a family party without falling off the diet wagon.

So I think I broke the plateau, crosses my fingers.  This week my weight loss was 1.1 pounds but that 1.1 happened over the last two days, bringing my total loss so far to 9.9 pounds (I so wanted to tell you 10! So close!).  I am in the green on the Slimming challenge but plateau put me in the yellow on the HealthyWage challenge so hopefully will kick some butt this coming week to get me back on track.

Slimming Jackpot Challenge, 3 month, goal 6% loss, share in the pot with everyone who loses 6%

HealthyWage, 6 months, goal 25.78% loss, prize: $768.27

I also like to assess changes each week.  One thing I’ve noticed is that I’m not constantly feeling hungry like I did the first two weeks. It’s getting easier to eat smaller portions.  I still get hungry at night but usually I’m not hungry all day long.  I used to have a habit of a midnight snack before I went to sleep but I don’t do that any more.

Every summer, I used to go to Circle K all the time to fill up a big extra-large styrofoam cup 64oz of coke with lots of ice.  I haven’t drank soda in weeks now.  I freeze 17 fluid ounces of bottled water and grab that when I go out instead.  I drink that in the house too.  The cola habit had me peeing a lot and I used to wake up several times a night to go to the loo.  Now I pretty much sleep a solid six hours before I wake up to go.  So I am sleeping much better.

Kate M., our HealthyWage coach, suggests that we break our big goal into little manageable goals with deadlines to acknowledge our progress as we go.  For her example she showed:

1. quit soda by the end of next week
2. drink a minimum of 64 oz water each day by the end of this month
3. lose 4% by the 15th of next month

Since I already quit soda, I’ll steal two of the goals and add a third.
1. drink a minimum of 64 oz water each day by the end of this month
2. lose 4% by the 15th of next month
3. make batches of cold brew coffee and ginger lime water.

The reason for #3 is I keep buying lemonade due to the heat but a 52 fl oz bottle contains 840 calories,  most of it from sugar.  It is pure filtered water, lemon juice, cane sugar and natural flavors (whatever natural flavors means).  So sugar is the 3rd most ingredient but it’s still not good because I’ll easily drink half a bottle a day.  I bought a batch of limes and a bit of ginger root so I’m going to try to make my own without sugar and see how that goes.

Also I’ve made cold brew coffee before and like it a lot.  It’s not bitter like hot brewed coffee that’s been iced but has the same kick. I want to try something with the cold brew, in a blender with ice, nutmeg and cinnamon to see if I can make a frappucino that has good flavor without any sugar. I miss Starbuck’s Frappucino like a venti Ultra Caramel but it’s 540 calories.  That’s like a whole meal.  So I’d like to create a delicious alternative.

That’s it for today’s TT Thursday.



Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

HealthyWage Disclosure:  I am signed up as a HealthyWage affiliate.  If you join through the links above, I’ll get a commission.  However, they also have a friends link, if you join up by clicking this friends link, it adds a $40 to your HealthyWager award if you complete your goal and $40 to my HealthyWager award if I complete my goal.  We don’t get the $40 if we fail.  I think the $40 is for HealthyWager challenges only and not the other ones like the 6% individual challenge or the team challenge. The HealthyWage affiliate link doesn’t matter if anyone succeeds but there is no benefit for the friend, just for the affiliate no matter what kind of challenge they join. I think joining through the friends link also lets you view your friend on the dashboard: you’ll see their name and what % they’ve lost so far but not the actual weight.  That’s private unless you make it public.

20 Replies to “TT Thursday : 4th wk weight loss challenge – finally yesterday, plateau broke”

  1. I am not on a diet to take weight off, but I am on a healthy eating regimen to prevent gaining weight. Gaining is easy to do–loosing is hard (how profound I am!) Common sense plays a big role in eating I think. Doing the “wrong” thing is always dangerous because you may be tempted to do it more and more. Glad you are still on track. Good luck and watch out for those monkeys!

    1. You guys help keep me on track. Knowing I’m going to do a Thursday post makes me think twice before giving in and buying a pizza. I hadn’t had one in weeks and mostly because I really don’t wnat to do a confessional.

        1. Nooo, no pizza??? Oh my birthday’s in August. That’s not so long to wait. I can understand your desire for “bad food” dwindling. I have noticed that I am gradually beginning to change tastes. I’m not ready to say I’ve given up fried chicken but I’ve noticed I’m not craving it like I used to.

            1. I can understand that. I used to like sugar in my coffee but once I stopped putting it in, I got used to coffee without it and now sugared coffee tastes too sweet.

                1. When I go out, that’s the coffee I like to get. At home, I’m becoming partial to cold brew that I make myself even though it’s kinda messy. It’s not as bitter as hot brew coffee.

  2. One day at a time. You’re doing great and the weight will come off. You seem to have the right approach and that’s the important part.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

    1. Thank you! I am trying and it’s getting easier to make healthy choices: like cole slaw vs fries. I really appreciate all your support

      Hope you’re having a great weekend and are out on the water!

  3. congratulations on your progress and even more so on learning alternative healthy things to eat and drink. Not easy, and worthwhile nonetheless! You’re inspiring me.

    1. Thank you. I’m hoping one day I can do long bike rides like you. I don’t think I can do marathons as my knees wouldn’t like it but I remember long bike rides in Japan’s countryside and it would be nice to be able to do that again here.

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