My daily food log..

When I first started this blog, I had some fancy ideas about including a lot of food-related content, as well as weight loss updates and general info. Clearly, I set the food aspect of this task aside in favor of my weight loss documentation. However, lately I’ve had a lot of questions from people on Calorie Count about what I’m eating and how I manage my blood glucose. So, I thought I would address those questions in an entry here.

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I basically flipped out about food. I instantly formed a fear of carbohydrates of any kind. This was before I started counting calories, and before I was legitimately counting carbs. I was basically winging it, and because I knew so little at the time, I generally avoided as many carbs as possible, without a second thought about what it might do to my energy or general feeling of well-being.

The funny part, is, that I was still eating more carbs per day back then than I am right now, and back then, I seriously thought I was close to being carb free. I realized the reality as soon as I started logging my food on CC. As I educated myself about diabetes, and became more aware of the carb content of many foods, I ended up finding great low Glycemic Index food alternatives for many of my preferred higher carb foods. I traded white potatoes for sweet potatoes. I use french fried onions in my salads instead of croutons. I eat strawberries instead of bananas. I learned that eating a high fiber food, such as broccoli, when I’m having a starch, like sweet potato, will slow down the digestion process of the starchy food, and thus, avoid blood glucose spikes. I also learned about the importance of eating plenty of good fats. Since my carbs are limited, fats are now my main energy nutrient, and it has been liberating to shed that old “fat makes you fat” mindset. It’s simply not true!

I try to limit my daily carb intake to approximately 100 grams, because that seems to be the happy place in terms of how my blood glucose reacts over time. And also, as a side note, I don’t go in for that whole “Net Carbs” thing. If there’s a carb, I count it, whether it comes from a fiber source or not.

Breakfast is always my lightest meal of the day, contrary to popular recommendations. I’m just not a morning eater, never have been. My meals get incrementally more caloric as the day progresses, and that works for me.

Breakfast

Fruit and yogurt:
170g container of plain 0% fat greek yogurt
50-85g fresh or frozen strawberries, quartered
1 packet of Stevia-based sweetener (I’m liking Truvia at the moment)

120 calories, 14 – 18 carbs, depending on amount of strawberries used.

and/or

Cheese omelet:
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
1/2 to 1oz shredded cheddar cheese
(sometimes a bit of broccoli thrown in for good measure, but only if I feel like finding room for the carbs by omitting something else later in the day)

207 calories, 0 carbs
Combined total of 327 calories, and 14 – 18 carbs on days when I eat both.

Lunch

Tuna Sandwich:
2 oz “very low sodium” Starkist tuna (1/2 can)
1 TB mayonnaise
1 tsp sweet relish
1 whole wheat pita pocket (1/2 of the pita “round”)

250 calories, 20 carbs

Salad:
2  cups of lettuce
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 avocado, cubed
5 low sodium black olives, roughly chopped
2 TB french fried onions (for texture)
Vinaigrette:
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard

308 calories, 16 carbs
Total of sandwich and salad combined – 558 calories, 36 carbs

Dinner

7-9oz boneless, skinless chicken breast (baked)
150-200g sweet potato (baked/microwaved)
125-140g broccoli (steamed)
1-2 tsp butter
(Sometimes I’ll sprinkle 2 tsp of grated parmesan cheese on broccoli and sweet potato instead of using butter)
1/2 TB mayonnaise (I mix herbs and/or spices with mayo and spread it on the chicken breast before baking. It adds flavor, and keeps the chicken moist. I know it sounds very scarily like something Paula Deen would do, but it really is a must for me)
1 slice of havarti or swiss cheese (I add this to the top of my chicken after it is cooked and still warm.. because.. well.. it’s delicious, dammit)

Approx 700-750 calories, depending on size of the chicken and sweet potato.
Approx 50 carbs, again depending primarily on the size of the sweet potato.

Daily totals using the highest numbers: 1635 calories, 104 carbs.

This daily caloric intake permits me to maintain a -1000 daily caloric deficit, which equals out to 2lbs lost per week. This is based on my personal BMR number, and obviously may need some altering for someone that isn’t my physical doppelganger. At my current weight, it is still safe for me to lose at this rate, but, as I lose more weight, I will need to make my deficit smaller in order to lose in the healthiest possible way.

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The Time Has Come…

Yes, it’s time. Time to keep to my word and post my Before and Current photos. I have had a huge amount of anxiety over this moment, and I hope that once I do this, I can shake it off and move on.

I think I mentioned before that I felt it was important for me to post these photos because I believed it would be helpful in terms of dealing with some of the self-loathing issues I seem to have concerning my appearance. I’ve always felt this way about myself, which is pretty terrible to admit, but not at all surprising to anyone that knows me very well. It is at the root of a lot of my failings in life, which are many, and has been the deal-breaker in many failed relationships.

My before photo is rather sad. I instantly feel exactly how I felt at that moment whenever I look at it. I was still utterly saturated with the symptoms of my recently diagnosed diabetes, and you can see it very much in my face. My skin and hair were dull and dry, and every part of me was swollen and uncomfortable. Not to mention about 70lbs fatter.

So, without further ado —

Image

There. Now I just have to keep breathing and maybe I’ll get through this.

I was approximately 315lbs in the Before photo. I started off at 333lbs, so yes, it was actually even a little bit worse than that initially, if you can imagine. Granted, I realize now that the first 15-20lbs lost were likely just comprised of water, and not actual fat. But there it is. I am currently 260lbs, with a goal weight of 193. However, my goal weight is basically just a number I’ve chosen arbitrarily, simply because it is less than 200lbs (and also because it makes it an even 140lbs lost). I’m close to 6′ tall, and my “ideal weight” is supposedly between 165-180. When I get to 193, I will choose how much further I want to go based on how I feel. I won’t know until I get there, and I’m fine with not knowing with any certainty where I’ll end up. Wherever it is, it will be an improvement from where I was, and where I’m at right now. But, for what it’s worth in light of that, I am halfway to my goal: 73lbs down, 67 to go.

I wish I could say that this has been difficult so far. In all honesty, it hasn’t been. Not that I don’t have days when I want to eat things “normal people” eat, or have days when I just don’t want to work out. I do. I totally want a huge pizza all to myself almost all the time. I would love some coffee ice cream. I just can’t do that to myself, though. That feeling I had when I was in the midst of the diabetes symptoms is not a feeling I want to revisit. Ever. I think I feel this has been easy because I’d had such a terrible preconception of what weight loss entailed before I started all of this. I thought it was going to be agony. I thought I was going to burn out and give up because it was so hard. But, I haven’t, and I won’t, because I’ve actually enjoyed all of it so far. I’ve learned so much along the way, and I just want to keep learning and finding new ways of eating and living in a healthy way.

I have a new doctor, by the way. A bright, soft-spoken woman that made me feel at ease right away. I told her about my recent weight loss, and she told me I was well on my way to reversing my diabetes. Reversing!! If only that could be true. I hope it can be. She lowered my Metformin meds by half, ordered new labs to see where I’m at, and set me up for another appointment next month. Hopefully, I’ll have more good news to share with you by then.

Thanks to everyone that has supported me so far. It has meant the world to me, and I appreciate it more than I can say. :)