Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Diet That Changed My Life

Here is the diet plan for the 2-Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan that I just completed. It is easy and should work for anyone. I lost 12 pounds and 5 inches on my waist in the 2 weeks! 

Here are all the details:


-WAKEUP: Start day with cup hot water ½ lemon
-MEAT: only one serving of meat (3-6 oz of chicken, turkey or fish) per day
-CARBS: ½ cup of cooked brown rice a day (otherwise no carbs/starches)
-FATS: good fats in moderation (olive oil, avocado okay)
-DAIRY: 1 cup of Greek yogurt per day as an afternoon snack (otherwise no dairy)
-VEGETABLES: unlimited low-glycemic vegetables (see list)
-DETOX VEGETABLE SOUP: drink all day long as much as you want (see recipe)
-OPTIONAL SNACK: 100% organic whey protein (1 teaspoon diluted in 16 ounces of water)

-Take probiotic in the morning
-Take a multivitamin (preferably ½ in the morning & ½ at night)
-Detox bath every night (soak with 2 cups Epsom salt & 1 cup baking soda) 

-No meals between 8pm-8am
-No caffeine (ONLY green tea)
-No alcohol
-No white foods, corn or potatoes
-No artificial sweeteners
-No additional exercise

Artichoke hearts
Bamboo shoots
Bean sprouts
Brussels sprouts
Beans (green, kidney, garbanzo)
Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
Pea pods
Sugar snap peas
Swiss chard
Water chestnuts
Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, iceberg lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)

-Rice protein powder (package with at least 28 servings—28 tablespoons)
-Whey protein powder (small container)
-1 ¾ cups ground flaxseeds
-3 ½ cups brown rice
-1 bottle olive oil (about1L)
-Balsamic vinegar (or other preferred vinegar) for salad dressing
-Green tea
-Epsom salt
-Baking soda

-4 lemons4 lemons
-56 oz frozen berries
-4 bananas
-2 quarts unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-4 avocados
-7 plain 2% Greek yogurts (6oz serving size)
-1 ½ lbs chicken, turkey, or fish combined

4 large onions                       8 carrots
4 cups winter squash           8 celery stalks
2 cups cabbage                  Dried ginger
8 cloves whole garlic          Sea salt, to taste
4 cups root vegetable (any of the following: turnips, parsnips, rutabagas)
8 cups chopped greens (any of the following: kale, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, chard, dandelion)
(Or you can buy boxed broth from the grocery (5 quarts of low-sodium, organic vegetable broth)

Breakfast Smoothie
·         2 tablespoons rice protein powder
·         2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
·         ½ cup frozen berries
·         ½ banana
·         1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

Vegetable Broth
For every three quarts of water add:
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         2 carrots, sliced
·         1 cup of winter squash cut into large cubes
·         1 cup of root vegetables: any of the following:  turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas for sweetness
·         2 cups of chopped greens:   any of the following:  kale, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, chard, dandelion,
·         2 celery stalks
·         ½ cup of cabbage
·         4 ½-inch slices of fresh ginger
·         2 cloves of whole garlic (not chopped or crushed)
·         Sea salt, to taste
Add all the ingredients at once and place on a low boil for approximately 60 minutes. It may take a little longer. Simply continue to boil to taste.
Cool, strain (throw out the cooked vegetables), and store in a large, tightly-sealed glass container in the fridge.
Heat gently and drink up to 3–4 cups a day.
Makes: 2 quarts or 8 cups
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
The Vegetable Broth - I bought the Pacific brand low-sodium, organic vegetable broth. It was not so great, but I forced it down. If you can make your own vegetable broth, it will be better. But it's cheaper to buy the broth. When I had a hard time drinking the broth, I added the brown rice and some veggies to it and made a soup. Slightly better, but not my favorite thing.

The Detox Bath - Ok, if you are a bath person, you will have a better time with this than I did. I hate baths and had to force myself to do this. If you google detox baths, it says you need to stay in the tub for 40 minutes. But A) who has the time; B) there is no hot water after about 5 minutes; C) who wants to sit in tepid dirty water with nothing to do; and D) why...just why! If you can do it, more power to you and kudos.

The No Additional Exercise - That doesn't really make sense, although it shows you that you can lose the weight without exercise. Of course, exercise is a key to a healthy life. And if you exercise while doing this, you will lose more weight.

I have to say, I am not hungry eating this way at all. It is a huge change from the fast food, take-out, diet soda addicted life I was living just 3 weeks ago! Since starting this, I sleep better, have better concentration, and all around feel great! I am no longer looking at this as a diet, but as a lifestyle change. That is what will keep me on the right path. Let me know how you do and any questions you may have. 

I will post some recipes as I make them. Having support is another key to living a healthy life. I believe you can do this and I will help you in any way I can! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Real Story

I wasn’t always overweight. I was an average sized child and teenager. Many of my relatives were overweight, but it was never a real issue with me. My mother was overweight and I remember her trying different diets and going to a gym occasionally. She managed to give me her weight issues. She would call me “thunder thighs” and “hippo hips” constantly when I was a teenager. I believed I was enormous when in reality I was an average size 6-8. I even drank Slimfast shakes when I was 14 years old. Even when I started college, I was an average size and shape. I was in plays in school and the community and loving all the attention. That would all change.

By the time I turned 21 years old, I went into a deep depression and turned to alcohol and food to cope. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was gaining weight in order to hide. I was small, pretty, and in the spotlight all the time. In gaining the weight, I would be fat and ugly and not apt to be taken advantage of
. All it did was make me dislike myself and retreat from people, plays and singing. I even dropped out of college in my last semester.

Throughout the years I’ve tried different diets. I had some success with Weight Watchers in 2003, but I haven’t been able to keep the weight off. I would keep turning to food to comfort myself when upset. I believe weight loss will never happen without the entire mind, body, spirit connection happening. I wasn’t ready to pull it all together then.

I finally finished my BA in Behavioral Studies in 2005 at 30 years old. The college hired me and things started looking up for the first time in my life. I started getting back into singing. I was working out my past in counseling. I also have a strong faith in God. So my spirit and my mind were being strengthened, but I was still overweight and out of shape. 

After being laid off from Harvard University in 2008, my life again went through a major depression. I moved all over the place, rented rooms from people, never kept a job longer than 3 months. I was completely depressed and food was my steady companion. Fast food, Chinese food, pasta, bread - nothing healthy and nothing helping. 

I was at my heaviest I have ever been last year. I guess to be completely honest I have to post my weight. I hit 250 pounds. And that is a huge accomplishment even posting the number, because it's something I am ashamed of. I can't believe I let myself get to weigh so much. But I don't want to beat myself up over it...because I'm really good at that! So I keep applying to weight loss projects on Dr. Oz. Thankfully I got into one now! And it is not only changing the way I eat dramatically, it is also changing the way I look at what I eat. I have been able to eat out while still sticking to this 2 week diet. I'm searching the internet for different ways to prepare all these vegetables I have to eat. And with social media, facebook & my blog, I have the support and accountability I need to make this successful! 

So to lose almost 10 pounds this past week, has been so amazing for me! To be under 240 pounds is exciting! Of course I totally want some chili cheese fries from Wendy's...but what will that do for me? Make me feel horrible and have regrets. I feel better than I have ever felt before! Whether it's the multivitamin or the healthy food or the happiness that I am losing weight or the Holiday Spirit, or most probably a mixture of everything...it's working for me right now! That's all I have to know. It's working and I feel great!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Follow the diet-filled road to Oz!

Recently, I was chosen to participate in a 2 week rapid weight loss project by Dr. Oz. I was given the list of foods and the instructions on what to do, and on Saturday, November 30th I began my 2 weeks. While I cannot give out the diet or the instructions until after the episode airs (per a producer), I can discuss what I have done and how it's going and the like. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you have seen my daily posts about the diet. But because I couldn't for the life of me remember my old password to get back here, I wasn't able to give you my daily account here. But I will going forward. 

However, with all my struggles with eating Greek yogurt and not wanting to take the detox baths (I really am a shower chick!), I was able to lose 8 pounds and 3 inches on my waist!! 

Starting now, I'll write here as much as I can about a variety of things. I look forward to sharing my journey with you!

I'm baaaaaack!

Hello there my friends. Sorry I took so long to get back here. Life has gotten in the way of my life! But now I'm back and completely focused and newly dedicated to my writing. I know there are many people out there who can relate to some of the things I think and feel. Being a single woman; being overweight; living paycheck to paycheck; wanting more out of this life; trying to find your place in this world...pretty much hits home for just about everyone out there. So maybe we can ponder this life together. Join me, won't you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have you always been...well...big?

I love people. I really do. Why else would I major in Behavioral Science? I am always shocked & amazed by people's actions (or inaction!) and reactions. So I have to wonder, when did we (we as a people) decide not to be polite...to toss manners out the dirty window?

Being that I live so close to New York City, people just take it in stride that everyone is rude. It was never more apparent to me than when I moved back to NY after living in TN for 3 years. Crossing the George Washington Bridge into the city I noticed the noise for the first time in my life! The cacophony of blaring horns, truck engines, people yelling at each other, and the consistent hum of the city itself do a number on one's ears. But that doesn't explain why people are rude. That only illustrates some of the rudeness.

What I'm talking about is the general daily things people do or say to each other. For instance, when did a pregnant woman's belly become public property? What thought pops into a person's head that says it is OK to rub a stranger's body? And what do they - the rubbers - hope to get from this experience? I think this is a fairly new phenomenon. I just can't picture Victorian era people popping the bubble of personal space to rub a strange belly. Although pregnant women were probably secluded in some basement room in the house & only allowed to come out to use the bathroom.

I haven't experienced the pregnant belly laying on of hands thing, but I have personally experienced another oddity of people. The trying-to-be-politically-correct question, "So have you always been...well...um...big?" What kind of question is that? The best answer I have found to answer this is, "What do you mean? I'm big?" Thus putting the random ball back into their bizarre court.

OK - so everyone knows I'm on this new dieting/changing life routines kick. Fine. But it doesn't just end there. Every single day, people ask me how it's going! How much have you lost? Are you exercising? And then the winner, Have you always been big? You know they want to say: Were you fat your entire life or where you thin at one point & chose to get fat? That's really what they are asking! And really - how rude?! It's like asking, Have you always had that...what is it, a mole...on your face? Or even, Have you always had that overbite?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Welcome to my Transformation Journey

So here's the deal: I turned 36 years old and realized that I am living the life of a 70 year old, overweight spinster. I was hiding from life. Why? Because I HATE how I look. I was feeling fat and ugly. I felt everyone who looked at me was thinking, "Eeeiiiww - look at that girl - she's hideous! I hope she has a good personality!"

Up until a couple years ago I was always busy. I went out with friends all the time - to movies, bars, concerts, etc. And then in November of 2008, I was laid off from a major job (as the Manager of Examinations at Harvard University) and entered a major depression. I gained more weight and stopped doing everything. I have been holed up in my room with food as my only friend.

Until NOW!

I have to thank Dr. Oz for the kick in the ass I needed to get back on track. Well, I have a lot of other people to thank - but they don't have the million dollars dangling in front of me! Dr. Oz announced Transformation Nation with someone winning $1,000,000 in April 2012. It's not only about weight loss, but living a healthy lifestyle. It was what I needed to hear to take the first step into my new life.

So why blog about this? A wise woman told me that you cannot change your life in a vacuum. Meaning that I can't do this alone from the comfort of my bedroom. I have to get out there and I have to have help. I KNOW there are tons of women (and men) in similar situations - so let's help support each other on this transforming journey! Whether it's losing weight, getting out of the house, making new friends, or getting off of Facebook for a little while, let's be there for each other.

I am going to put it all out there: my weight, measurements, pictures. I also want to post things that will be helpful to everyone: healthy recipes, stress-relievers, and items that I find work for me. And I want the same from you, my followers. Feel free to comment and share your stories from your transforming journey!

So let's DO THIS!

Big Girls Don't Do Yoga

Have you ever tried to relax? I mean really relax. Taking deep breaths, meditating on quietness, emptying your mind kind of relaxing. It's hard to do. Especially when life includes iPods, cell phones, blackberries and all sorts of other electronic devices beeping at us from all sides.

My idea of relieving stress, especially once I'm already stressed-out, is throwing and breaking things. I've been known to wipe out a knick-knack shelve in under 5 minutes! But then I feel a little better. So why would people think calmly breathing in a room full of calmly breathing strangers help me?? But still, it's something that might help me - so I gave it a shot.

I signed up for a free yoga group and talked myself into going. I made it into the yoga room and froze. In front of me stood 20 clones of the same woman in various stages of stretching. I thought there was some weird mirror thing going on; I saw no differences in these women! They were all 5 feet 7 inches or taller, wearing similar colors of the same tanktop, slightly loose yoga pants (I didn't even know there was such a thing as yoga pants!), same tight pony/bun in their blonde to brunette with blonde highlighted hair, with all the same build - slim to skinny. These were no ordinary women - they were yoga-women! What did I walk into - Barbie's Stretch & Tone Studio?!

That's when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror - all 5 feet 3 inches, 200+ pounds of me! I have never felt shorter or fatter in my entire life! I wore my typical work-out attire: baggy black sweat pants, a very large T-shirt that I usually wear to bed as a nightgown, and the Dr. Scholls walking sneakers with gel soles that I spent a lot of money on to only wear the few times I work out. My chestnut hair is pulled back into a ponytail, but tons of whisps stick out all over. I didn't care about any of that 10 minutes ago! Now, I might as well have been standing there naked!

Then it began - the yoga-ing. That's when it finally hit me: big girls, like me, don't do yoga!

Taking the Plunge

I finally succumbed to it - the pull of electronic journaling. I've been thinking about it for a couple months now. Do I really want to put my life out there for random people to read & dissect? Do I want to open my life up to anonymous, voyeuristic wanderings of others? Apparently I do.

I will come here daily to write out my thoughts, essays, poems, issues, meanderings and other musings regarding weight loss and my transforming journey. Turning 36 years old has given me a new outlook on life. I am finally going to be open and honest about my weight issues. We all have them - I'm gonna throw the door off the closet and talk about them! Along the way, I hope to meet others on similar journeys and include them here. 

So, here we go...welcome to my life.