Saturday, April 14, 2012

Today - a rant of a different kind

So I'm on a diet. Scratch that, it's not a diet in the modern sense of the word, but changing to a healthier way of eating. You'd think eating healthy would be easy, right?

Surprisingly, it's not. You'd be shocked at how hard it really is.

About a month and a half ago I joined the Beyond Diet program. It's about heathy lifestyle choices and eating REAL food. Forget all that diet, low cal, low carb, low fat (and low taste) stuff that's loaded with chemicals. Sure it's quick and easy to toss in the microwave, but it takes me about 20 minutes to make a meal that tastes 100 times better, and is actually GOOD for me. No chemicals. All real, natural ingredients.

There's a short intro video on their website that gives a brief explanation of the program, and actually tells you several different foods to avoid - and even if you DON'T join, following those few tips she gives you WILL help you lose weight and feel better.

That brings me to my rant. I'm beginning to understand why it's so hard for people to lose weight after reading labels and comparing those to the things I should eat and the things my body can't process and put heavy stresses on it. Almost everything in the grocery store from breads to cereals to deli meats to canned fish to peanut butter and even fresh meats contain things they shouldn't. Finding things that are healthy, not loaded with sugar, salt or chemicals is HARD these days. Since when should meat have an ingredients label???? Shouldn't a fresh chicken breast just be a chicken breast? You'd be surprised. Almost every package of meat I looked at in the grocery store also included salt and water. Thank god I work at a butcher shop and don't need to buy meat there. I know exactly where all our beef, pork, poultry and lamb comes from, what it ate before we got it (we slaughter on site, we don't used boxed products) AND that there were no steroids or antibiotics injected into it. The bonus is that it's cheaper anyway - plus I get an employee discount on top of it. ;)

However, that's the only thing that cheaper. I haven't gone to organic veggies, they're too expensive for me to justify. I might eventually, but for now I'm still just buying the normal ones.

All natural anything is expensive. In a lot of cases, you have to do a lot of searching to find it because the grocery store just doesn't carry it. Even stuff that's labeled all natural or healthy choice and stuff like that? When you read the label it's loaded with things like sugar or salt. OR it has a list of chemicals that sound more like an experiment than food.

That's part of the reason I'm taking this step by step.

I've got a long way to go to make the switch to totally healthy, but so far the changes I have made? I've cut way back on sugar by giving up pop, juice and fruit drinks (never was one for energy drinks but I wouldn't be drinking those either). I've given up breads and cereals for the time being until I can find actual healthy versions. I'm drinking tons of water. I've switched to eating 5-6 small meals per day - breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack - so my stomach always has something in it. I'm eating protein with EVERY meal or snack. Well I started this in March and have been gradually making changes since then. I was already losing weight because I ramped up my activity level a few months ago, BUT since making these changes I've lost 15 pounds now in 5 weeks. My energy is better and I feel better. I find I care more about my appearance again and my self confidence is through the roof. In other words I'm starting to feel like me again - the me that disappeared years ago when medications, injuries, surgeries, a very BAD relationship and the resulting depression kicked my butt. But wait, my butt is (from it's heaviest point) 60lbs lighter than it was... so now who's kicking butt??? :D And Jon is happier because I'm happier. He's even starting to try to eat a bit healthier himself because he's realized that maybe that's why he's so tired all the time. :)

I get a cheat day once a week, where I can eat what I want - within reason of course. I should still try to eat my 5-6 smaller meals per day, but if I really want chocolate? I'll have it. Grilled cheese? Yeah, okay. Funny thing is I'm finding that since I cut out all the sugary stuff and have gotten used to unsweetened yogurt with fresh fruit, water instead of pop... when I do break down and have something I miss they are SOOOO sweet! I had half a brownie today and the first bite was pure heaven... a serious OMG. But after that I realized just how sweet it really was!

The biggest things I've noticed apart from the weight loss is how much energy I have, the huge decrease in body pain I'm feeling, and that I'm eating a LOT more than I ever did before. I'm rarely hungry unless I get lazy and don't make dinner right away when I get home from work. Oh, and my hair is thicker and shinier than before. And my skin looks better. I'm sleeping better. I FEEL like exercising. I FEEL like doing stuff. I FEEL great, to be honest. And my colitis is SOOOOO much better. To be honest, that was the main reason I started this - I was having far too many flare ups and the prognosis was another round of steroids, which inevitably meant another massive weight gain. So I decided to try this first. I'm very glad I did.

Okay on to other more stitchy matters... I want to again thank everyone who took the time to read my blog posts on infringement. I won't inundate you with details again, just again say thanks. :)

And other stitchy stuff... well I haven't been stitching much. This past month has been such a whirlwind - printing, shipping and re-inventing my whole lifestyle - it's been very hard to concentrate. I have done a little, but I haven't taken any pics lately. I worked on Sleeping Beauty a bit, started the Antique Lace Band Sampler and started Rosewood Manor's Trip Around the World Quilts, but haven't gotten that much done on any I'm afraid. I have however, been doing some designing, and will be starting the model stitching on a new series as soon as one of the colours I need is back in stock from Valdani. :) It's a very colourful seasonal series, which can each be stitched on it's own or all together as one large design. I can't wait to show it off to you as I work on it, in fact I wonder a little if my focus on this design is part of the reason I don't feel like stitching - I want to be stitching this!! :)

Right now, however, I do have the stitching bug. So with that I'm off to stitch a little before bed. :) Happy weekend everyone!


  1. What a great post, Nicole! While reading, I almost feel like I was talking to myself, because I have been and still am going thru the frustrations you say. But pushing the frustrations aside you are obviously on a successful road, congrats on your weight loss!! Thank you for some inspiration!!

  2. Congratulations on your decision!You're very right. Two years ago I decided to join weight watchers again and this time I also wanted to cook healthier. So I really cut back on the meat (replacing it with eggs, cheese and sometimes fish). I am very careful to use as much fresh products, buying them with the farmers when possible, and very little prepacked products. It makes a huge difference as you say. I feel better, I have more energy and one of the best things: I already lost 50 pounds. However I still crave chocolate from time to time:-)

  3. I lost 66 pounds at and it's a free site. It IS hard to lose weight -- but persevere and you can do it!

  4. Congrats on your decision to eat healthier! I have various health issues too, and decided that this year I was going to take control of my body again. With that in mind I joined Weight Watchers Online, and have been able to lose 15lbs so far. I'm very mindful of my 6 year old daughter watching what I do, so I'm trying to get across to her that I am eating healthier, and try my utmost not to mention the "D" word around her.

    It is really hard though, especially as I am a self-confessed emotional eater. That's something I do need to work on. And eating healthier is not cheap either - we're a one income family with a cross stitch addict & 2 growing children to support, and it's too bad that the overprocessed chemical laden boxed & canned meals are so much cheaper than fresh products. I'm looking forward to the snow finally melting, the ground finally thawing & planting some veggies to enjoy!

  5. Thank you ladies, and congratulations to you too!!

    Honestly, it's not the not eating junk food I'm finding difficult. Part of this plan is cheat days and such so if there IS something I'm craving, having a little isn't terrible. Plus I find that anything greasy or salty or sugary leaves me feeling pretty nasty after - tired, lethargic and bloated. The hardest thing is the hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners in almost everything out there. It's maddening!

    I am very proud of how well I'm doing. At my worst last summer, I was 235lbs, after a back injury had me less than mobile for several months. Last July I decided that I needed to get more active and in doing so I lost about 40lbs fairly quickly. But then I hit that plateau around Christmas - 180-190 and holding - and I thought I was eating relatively healthy. But the colitis has been VERY persistent, and I'm finding out now that a lot of that is due to all the supposedly healthy whole grain breads I was eating. Now having started this regimen in addition to keeping active, as of Saturday I'm down to 172 lbs. I'm wearing clothes that haven't fit in a decade! I'd like to get down to about 130 lbs, which for me is a size 5-6. Fair way to go yet, but I know I can!!!

  6. It is really hard though, especially as I am a self-confessed emotional eater.But pushing the frustrations aside you are obviously on a successful road, congrats on your weight loss!! Thank you for some inspiration