This morning’s weight: 268.5. Total weight loss so far: an apparent 11.5 pounds. I don’t feel any… less heavy yet. And I still have to suck in the gut to button my pants. That’ll be the real measure that this effort is paying off… when I can at least get into a pair of size 40 pants. Yes, 40. I still have plenty of them on shelves in closets and in the back and bottom of various drawers. Part of the reason I started back on Atkins was so I wouldn’t have to buy a whole new set of size 44 pants. That barrier is just as much psychological as financial.
On the topic of finances, cost has been another of my tightly held excuses not to re-incorporate Atkins into my eating habits. It costs too much. I would tell myself that every time I thought about starting again. Meat isn’t cheap, not even the cheap meat. Fresh fruits and veggies are somewhat pricey as well. Compared to prepared and packaged carb foods, Atkins can feel a bit like paying to eat out every night (plus generous tip). But a funny thing occurred to me as I was cobbling together a shopping list on Wednesday: how much FOOD we still had in the house after a week There was cereal, tortilla chips, bagels, english muffins, pancake mix, bread, rolls, crackers… this was all stuff I would have eaten during the course of the week. (The tortilla chips wouldn’t have lasted 2 hours home from the grocery.) This is all food that we can now roll over into next week instead of having to buy it again, and since the girls eat far less that either myself or the wife, all this food may last for yet a third week. Did you know you can freeze bread? Sure can.
Another pleasant re-discovery I’ve made is that I’m actually using far less butter. Pretty much the only 2 things I would use it on was grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes (I’d also grill my rolls when I’d make hamburgs or hot dogs), but with those carby items now taboo, there’s really nothing I’m eating that needs butter. I suppose it doesn’t make all that much difference since fats are embraced in Atkins, but I prefer to go heavy on the protein and less on the fats if I can help it. Besides, did you ever pay much attention to the B-roll footage that news programs used when they used to do stories on the “new” Atkins craze about 3 years ago? They’d always play up that fat angle, showing foods frying in a splattering pond of butter or oil, or bacon sizzling away. As if I suddenly need to cook everything I eat in butter or oil now. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of non-stick cookware? Geesh.
As before, I’m in the habit of weighing in first thing in the morning. You’re not gonna weigh any less than you do first thing in the morning unless you’re, I don’t know, running a marathon. I’m still amazed at how much weight you can seem to lose overnight. Though, this time around, I’m not keeping track of how much I weigh at the end of the day. Other than this, I’m not keeping any written record of my progress. That end-of-the-day weigh in can become discouraging, especially if you wake up the next morning to find yourself at the same weight as the night before. The upside, of course, is seeing how much you’ve “gained” during the day. And while I’m on the topic of gaining weight, do your weigh ins before getting in the shower. On Wednesday, I added an whole extra pound in just 10 minutes. Who knew that your body could absorb that much water in so little time? I sure didn’t.
The two biggest obstacles I foresee are weekends and eating away from home. On weekends, I’m pretty much at home, and that can lead to thinking I’m hungry when I’m not. The snacking urge seems to build the longer I’m in the house with nothing to do. We’ve got a compact little house here and I’m probably never more than 50 feet away from food. As long as there’s stuff in the house to tempt me (and there always will be, though I can keep a tight reign on outright sweets) just being in the house is an ongoing battle. Eating away from home is an obvious problem. For example, this Sunday is my oldest daughter’s birthday party at my parent’s house. Cake and ice cream. Cake. And. Ice Cream. It’s gonna be tough. I’m going to have to go prepared.
Finally, I’ll mention the good news that the food choices I’d discovered when I did this last are slowly coming back to me. My favorite: pepperoni chips. They’re crispy slices of pepperoni like you find on top of a pizza, but without the pizza. (Auggh! Pizza! We usually do pizza on Friday nights! I’m gonna miss it) I tried snacking on pork rinds, and they’re okay, but those pepperoni chips win hands down. Just place as much pepperoni slices as you can, loosely overlapped, on some kind of baking rack and put them in a preheated 300 degree oven for 25 minutes. Keep and eye on them, though. I’ve found that a minute too much will burn them and then blegh. Cooking them this way is the best method I’ve found. Lying them flat in a pan leads to burning an over/under cooking, and placing them on a baking rack lets the excess grease drip off. Like I mentioned before, don’t eat it if you don’t have to. In a pinch, you can put the pepperoni on paper towels in a microwave, but you’ll have to watch them close or again, the burning. Once you take them out and let them cool they’re like a spicy spicy potato chip. Yummy. I like ’em with sliced cheddar cheese.
Ten days in and I’m happy.