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Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

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Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby cortcase » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:01 pm

Hi everyone,

I started South Beach in 2006. I reached my goal weight in July 2008, then I lost some more. My lowest ever was 136.2 in August 2010. My all-time new goal is to be 135, though I'm not sure I'll be able to make that happen. But I can definitely say I felt my best in the 130s, and I'd like to get there again.

One of the veterans once said maintaining is far harder than losing. At the time, I thought that was crazy. What could be better, I thought, than getting to your goal and knowing you made it? But 2.5 years after hitting goal, I understand why it's harder: Without that ever-decreasing number on the scale, you have to find another source of motivation.

When I was in the "losing" phase, I was an absolute, hardcore strict eater. I wouldn't even eat a bite of anything bad, most the time, and I was proud of myself because of it. Everyone was amazed by my willpower. Lately, my portion sizes have been creeping up. We've been eating out at nicer restaurants more, and I've found myself tempted by the desserts. I've also been drinking more wine, though I'm trying to limit myself to weekends. The worst missteps have come during some recent cruises. Every time, I vow that I won't make it all about food. Every time, I do. By the end of the cruise, I'm eating four meals a day and stuffing my face even when I'm full. Yes, I do work out twice a day on cruises, but it doesn't even make a dent, considering the processed food I'm chowing down on. And the whole time, I'm in agony, with the warring forces of food addiction vs. shame and self-loathing in my head. I came back from the last cruise in February up 10 POUNDS, and unlike in the past, it hasn't just fallen off with some Phase 1 eating. I'm stuck, and all my clothes are tight, and I'm miserable.

Besides being hopelessly addicted to food, I've become addicted to exercise. I'm now training for a half-marathon, which is great, and I'm up to running almost 8 miles straight (a few years ago, I started Couch to 5K and couldn't run for more than a minute at a time). But I work out every single day, and I feel guilty if I don't. It got to the point where I was sometimes doing cardio twice a day. I recently got a trainer and she's instructed me to STOP doing so much cardio because she said I'm telling my body it needs to keep up that pace for the rest of my life. So I'm incorporating more weight training and trying to force myself to take a day off every week. But psychologically, it's difficult.

I think I'm going to go back and reread the SB book, because I know what I'm doing isn't great. But any suggestions someone has for injecting some new life into my eating habits would be much appreciated.

B: 1/4 cup Egg Beaters mixed with spinach, diced tomatoes and a wedge of laughing cow cheese
L: Huge salad (probably too big, honestly) with a few tsp cheese, green pepper, tomato, cucumbers, chick peas and red wine vinegar or garlic/olive oil dressing
S: 1.5 tbps natural PB with celery sticks
D: Far too huge portions of SB friendly food, like meatloaf out of the SB cookbook, fish, small "cheeseburgers" on lettuce leaves made with extra lean ground sirloin. I'll end up eating a giant salad alongside it or a whole bag of steamed veggies with ICBINB spray and too much salt. I usually leave the table stuffed and I can't seem to stop myself once I get started. Once in awhile, I'll have oatmeal for dinner. I like to sautee swiss chard or spinach in a tiny bit of olive oil with tomatoes and onions and mushrooms, but then I still eat too much of it.
S: Sometimes a SF Jello pudding or mousse with Lite Cool Whip, sometimes anywhere from 1-4 cups of SF Jello gelatin with Lite CW...ugh. Sometimes will mix CW with a NSA fudgsicle.

I had to stop going places like Big Boy or Ruby Tuesday because I love salad but I also love ranch dressing and croutons ... and I'd end up eating FOUR big salads. Kinda funny that SALADS have become my addiction.

I rarely eat fruit. I rarely eat grains.

I know. I know. :(

My biggest nightmare is waking up and realizing I'm 230 pounds again. Every day that my clothes are snug, I'm full of self-loathing, remembering how I got down to the 130s and how wonderful I felt.

Please help. :(
Last edited by cortcase on Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cort's SB Photo Album
30/F/5'9"
HW: 229
SW: 219 (1/1/2006), 192.4 (restart 9/27/2006)
GW: 145 (ACHIEVED 7/24/2008)
CW: 138-139ish (90 lbs down!)
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby cortcase » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:02 pm

P.S. I know the scale fluctuates day to day based on water retention, hormones, what you ate the day prior, etc., but it seems like it's insane for me. It'll sometime vary 5 lbs in 24 hours, even if I weigh in every morning at the same time, unclothed, before eating, etc. (???)
Cort's SB Photo Album
30/F/5'9"
HW: 229
SW: 219 (1/1/2006), 192.4 (restart 9/27/2006)
GW: 145 (ACHIEVED 7/24/2008)
CW: 138-139ish (90 lbs down!)
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby Chris55 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:35 am

First of all, is the weight listed on your signature correct? If so, you're well within the lower end of a healthy BMI.

You should be eating fruits and grains, as well as beans and dairy. You need good carbs for energy and to feel full. You also should be getting your healthy fats in at each meal. A tiny bit of olive oil isn't adequate; you should be having a tsp. at breakfast, a tablespoon at lunch and at dinner.

Eating too many veggies isn't a problem. The problem is alternating between depriving yourself and working out at such a high level, and then overindulging when you eat out.

You need to find a way to have some balance in your life. You need to take care of yourself spiritually and figure out what all that self-loathing is about. Taking some time for relaxation, yoga, meditation, reading, spirituality, might be a better way than eating 4 sf jello cups. A cup of herbal tea and a good book might be more relaxing and more productive. Give yourself some space and some forgiveness for whatever has gone on in your life to get you to this point.
Restart 9/1/14. Weight: 202.6
Current: 200.2
Goal: 192.6 by 12/25/14
Beginning Wt: 191.6. On 1/09
Goal #1 Met: 160.0 7/09
Goal #2 Met: 155.0 3/10
Ultimate goal: 150-155 without having to kill myself exercising or give up chocolate, ice cream, or wine!
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby cortcase » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:58 pm

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your reply. My current weight post-cruise is hovering 147-148. I was 140-143 before I left, with 136ish as my lowest ever. All of my clothes that once fit comfortably are now disturbingly tight.

I forgot to add that I sometimes get a fat-free, sugar-free latte from Starbucks during the day ... so there's a cup of dairy in there, but I know, not much.

And I agree that clearly I have some issues that I'm using food to address. There's a lot of back story there that's kind of convoluted to discuss on message boards, but needless to say, I'm not in a healthy state of mind when it comes to my body.

I know you mentioned that I need those things to be full...but my main problem is, I usually feel full — I just can't seem to stop eating even when I am.

There's just something particularly dismaying about knowing I got down to 136 and not being there anymore. It feels far more upsetting to me than when I was still working toward my goal and just hadn't reached it yet...
Cort's SB Photo Album
30/F/5'9"
HW: 229
SW: 219 (1/1/2006), 192.4 (restart 9/27/2006)
GW: 145 (ACHIEVED 7/24/2008)
CW: 138-139ish (90 lbs down!)
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby Daisy603 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:32 pm

Sounds like you are really tough on yourself! I can totally understand the motivation you feel when seeing the numbers go down. I am currently below my goal weight, but leaving on a cruise on Thursday, so I feel it would be nice to have a few pounds to play with "just in case". I have a plan now, but I'm sure that will go out the window once I see all the food.
As far as exercising, you seem to be very motivated in that area! I would say there are worse addictions! :) If you're running 8 miles (WOW!), your body probably NEEDS the food you're eating! I would just give yourself a little time after your cruise...Don't beat yourself up so much. Hopefully you didn't feel so guilty that you didn't enjoy yourself!
Good luck!
SW- 128 on 2/28/11
CW- 114.6 on 6/13/11
Looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle- Enough of this yo-yoing back and forth!!!

Leaving my old SW & CW as a reminder that I can do this, but here's my current info:
SW- 142.8 on 6/3/13
Goal- 120
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby living_out_loud » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:21 pm

You have had huge success overall with this plan and have maintained reasonably well. Don;t forget to give yourself well-deserved credit. :D What do you think is different this second time around? Physical, mental?

I also wanted to ask you about the type of scale you use. We had a new digital scale that was not accurate at all. It would give me huge variations in my weight. My DH then tested it and had the same variations. We pitched it and bought a regular scale.
~Michelle

SW 174
CW 140
GW 145
I am female and 5'5
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby Kimboroni » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:02 am

You're certainly doing well in the weight department. Even though you're not at your all-time low right now, you're not anywhere near your high weight. Definitely find some ways to get positive self-talk back in your life. You're good enough, you're smart enough, etc....

Can you work with some professionals to get a handle on your relationship with food and exercise? Listen to your trainer and trust your trainer. Be honest with yourself and your trainer. Feed your body adequately.
My FAQ-- food lists, portion guidelines, etc.

SB since Nov '03
Goal: major weight loss (50+ lbs) & good health
Reached Jan '05!
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby amalfi_girl » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:42 pm

And I agree that clearly I have some issues that I'm using food to address. There's a lot of back story there that's kind of convoluted to discuss on message boards, but needless to say, I'm not in a healthy state of mind when it comes to my body.


I feel like you are cruising past this point, when it is at the core of your situation. If you don't confront the emotional reasons you are abusing food and exercise, it won't get "fixed." I know that's a hard thing to hear, because battling the emotional issues is a lot harder than learning to eat right and exercise (and we all know that is extremely hard), but it will be worth it when you come out on the other end.

Instead of putting all of your focus on the food and exercise, why don't you try keeping a journal for one week where right before and right after you eat, every time you eat, you write down (1) how hungry you are on a scale of 1-10, and (2) what you are feeling. You'll probably see a pattern forming pretty quickly. For instance, you may see that you weren't really that hungry when you went in for a second afternoon snack, and that you wrote down "feeling anxious" or "stressed about work" over and over throughout the day. That would seem to indicate that your problem isn't really the food, it's work, or whatever else you are stressed and anxious about. At least then, with the evidence in your hand that what you want is relief from that underlying problem--not food--you can try to tackle the real issue instead of trying to hide it with food and guilty feelings over your food and exercise.

Good luck, you CAN do this.
5'11"/30 yr. old

START: 268 (1/1/10)
NOW: 223
First Goal: 214 (no longer "Obese"!)
Second Goal: 205 (wedding weight!!)
Ultimate Goal: 190's (dream of all dreams!!!)

http://eatrunhavefun.blogspot.com/
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby oldpjams » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:56 pm

Long term maintenance is FAR harder than weight loss.

If your goal is to live right on the edge of being as lean as you can possibly be, that's 10x harder still.

Maintaining the lowest weight that your body will allow year round and forever is impossible -- at least for the purpose of this conversation.

At a high level of exercise, your body is not the "fat burning machine" that workout dvds promise -- your body actually becomes extremely efficient at making the most of what it is given. You become a "fat storing machine." As soon as you back off slightly, your body wants to "store."

To make matters worse, you can only ramp up your exercise so high. At some point you are doing 2-3 workouts a day, 6 days a week, and there is nowhere left to go.

At some point, you need to periodize your ideal weight just as you periodize your training and your diet. If you want to have a "peak" and be super lean for Summer, or for a half marathon, then there will be other times during the year when you need to back off and allow your body some rest.

If 135#s is the lowest, leanest weight that your body will achieve without jeopardizing your health, then you will not be 135#s all year long.

I won't give emotional advice. I don't know you.

My opinion, as a complete bystander, is that you are in a much better place than you think -- you're just a little panicked. I can relate -- I feel as you do every Spring.

I don't post here much anymore -- mostly because I don't eat very SBD and have no SBD advice to give. I don't think your menu looks horrible. I would put salads out of your mind unless you drown them in cheese or dressing. Otherwise, you can eat salad with a shovel as far as I'm concerned. Same with steamed vegetables.

You should eat grains and fruits if you are exercising as described. You will feel better and it will help not hurt weight loss. You should not do P1 EVER AGAIN while exercising as described. All it will do is drain your glycogen stores, wreck your workouts, and further convince your body to store whatever it can when it becomes available.

You will get far better results from your workouts with 1-2 days of rest per week. Rest does not have to be completely inactive -- a long mellow walk is fine. Adding lean muscle via resistance training won't look good on the scale, but you will be leaner, your body will be more forgiving of a bad meal, and you won't plateau as quickly with the running or be as prone to injury.

Most of my other advice would be heresy here, so I'll just leave it at that. SBD is a very solid program that was developed as a solution to a specific situation. You aren't in that situation any more, so some of the advice in the book doesn't apply to you and actually can work against you.
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby cortcase » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:07 am

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I sincerely appreciate them. I know there's a lot of truth to much of what you guys are saying. I'm wondering if I've jacked up my metabolism with the sporadic way I've been eating fruits and grains. They've been very sparse over the last year or so. And I know I should be proud of how much weight I lost, but I just can't feel it. All I can focus on is how I can do better. Where's the line between being too hard of yourself and letting yourself off easy? I've never been able to figure that out, especially since my success came when I was super, super strict with myself...

Oldpjams, I'd be curious to hear what your habits are like now ... you make a lot of good points. If you're concerned about raising alarms with "heresy," feel free to private message me. :)
Cort's SB Photo Album
30/F/5'9"
HW: 229
SW: 219 (1/1/2006), 192.4 (restart 9/27/2006)
GW: 145 (ACHIEVED 7/24/2008)
CW: 138-139ish (90 lbs down!)
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby RedRox » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:31 am

I miss your "heresy"! :lol:
Dude: 5' 11" - 54: Started 04/01/04
Ramblin' along in P3 since June '05...

Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants. -- Michael Pollan
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby oldpjams » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:56 pm

Making trouble takes so much time and energy tho, Red.

I don't have any big secret to share. It's become my belief that barring other factors (e.g. medical conditions), if you exercise HARD and with attention to detail (varying your workouts every 6-8 weeks, periodizing your workouts, proper recovery, etc) AND you eat plenty and well then your body should eventually adapt to your lifestyle and you should gradually get fit and lean.

Like most people, I've had ups and downs over the years (I started SBD something like 8 years ago). Time and time again I've found that it's easier for me to "fix" a small weight gain by increasing the amount of calories I burn rather than decreasing the amount I consume. Sure, if you are eating half a jar of PB at night then that is an easy problem to identify and fix.

My family eats well. We eat whole grain, lean protein, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and we try to minimize processed foods and empty calories. I do not count servings of grains or worry about adding sugar to food (honey, maple syrup). Compared to the meal plans outlined in the book or by people here I eat a shocking amount of grains, fruits, starches, and simple sugars.

The book was written as a solution for obese heart patients. It's definitely modifiable for people of all types, but at some point you have modified the diet to the point where it's not that recognizable. I'm sure that Agatston would love to take credit for "eat right and exercise" or "eat whole grains and lots of vegetables" but he's not alone.

Cort, if you are near your ideal weight, training for half marathons, and you are exercising 2x a day and 6 days a week, then you are better off giving your body what it wants and needs and letting it adapt to your athletic lifestyle. Don't misunderstand, there's nothing wrong with the basic concept of P2/P3 SBD, but your activity level is atypical and your diet needs to adjust accordingly.

Your body wants to adapt to meet the demands of the environment. Your body believes times are tough..."working hard lifting stuff and running all the time." You need your body needs to believe that food is plentiful, so there's no reason to hang on to extra fat.

Don't worry about the cruise. All you've done is given your body a rest and created a "valley" so that your body will be able to have a "peak" later on.

Fitzgerald's book on getting lean is pretty good, but runs somewhat contrary to SBD. There are some concepts that are questionable but it will expose you to some ideas that SBD does not:

http://www.amazon.com/Racing-Weight-Lea ... 1934030511

YMMV on all of this, but I'd be willing to be that if you:
increase whole grain and fresh fruit
continue to avoid excess deserts
continue to train for the 1/2 (especially as the weather warms)
continue with resistance program (make sure your trainer knows your goals and adjusts your program monthly)

then you should have no problem getting where you want to be over the next few months.
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby RedRox » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:17 pm

oldpjams wrote:Making trouble takes so much time and energy tho, Red.


And all this time I thought it came so easily to you!! ;) :lol:
Dude: 5' 11" - 54: Started 04/01/04
Ramblin' along in P3 since June '05...

Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants. -- Michael Pollan
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby cortcase » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:05 pm

I know I'm being psychotic, but I'm starting to panic. I have a muffin top now, basically, and I didn't even look this bad on the cruise! It's insane, and my inclination is to go double up on cardio, but my trainer ordered me not to...all of it is so confusing, but I know her reasoning is that I can't keep up that amount of cardio forever and that ultimately muscle burns more fat...

So I'm resisting the urge to go work out again...I did an hour of weights this morning with lunges, squats, etc.

B: 1/4 cup Egg Beaters with spinach, diced tomatoes, 1 wedge Lite Laughing Cow cheese
L: 1 bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal made with 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk and SF maple syrup (I usually have a big salad, but I was craving this like crazy today...I know, I should have had veggies :-\)
S: Celery with 1.5 TB natural peanut butter and cinnamon
D: I'm stir-frying tons of veggies with a little bit of chicken; the sauce I'm making calls for corn starch but I'm not using that. It'll be all SB-friendly.
S: Will be a SF Jello pudding with Lite Cool Whip, and I may have a cup of hot almond milk with cinnamon

I look at that and think, that doesn't seem like too much...? Yet, I feel like an elephant right now.

I bought some apples so I can start trying to force myself to eat more fruit. :-\
Cort's SB Photo Album
30/F/5'9"
HW: 229
SW: 219 (1/1/2006), 192.4 (restart 9/27/2006)
GW: 145 (ACHIEVED 7/24/2008)
CW: 138-139ish (90 lbs down!)
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Re: Veteran plea for help: Need menu revamp, encouragement

Postby Kimboroni » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:22 pm

I'm not sure if you're eating enough protein to support the new weight training regimen. All you really had was one egg worth of Egg Beaters and a "little bit of chicken." There were a few other foods with bits of protein, but not much. Not that you have to eat huge amounts of protein, but I don't think that seems even adequate.

Stressing out isn't going to help you lose weight. It does the opposite. So you need to let this idea of perfection go and just do the best you can, which for now means eating well enough to fuel your body, doing your weight training, and not obsessively doing cardio. Relax and be happy. Get enough sleep.
My FAQ-- food lists, portion guidelines, etc.

SB since Nov '03
Goal: major weight loss (50+ lbs) & good health
Reached Jan '05!
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