I've reached the end of my rope. I joined a gym, submitted myself to the humiliation that is zumba, walked miles around my neighborhood, swam, did my own yard and housework and didn't veg in front of the television. I cut all sugar out of my diet and cut down my wine consumption. I didn't eat processed foods, searched out organics and cooked like a fiend with fresh ingredients. I avoided fried chicken, wouldn't even look at a fast food joint, limited my fat intake, gave up baked goods and my favorite sugar raised donuts. I DON'T EVEN EAT CHOCOLATE, FOR CRAPS SAKE!
All this and for what? I'm gaining weight like a bear ready to hibernate. Why? Because the one truly necessary medication I take is a combined anti-anxiety and migraine inhibitor that also has a notorious reputation for adding pounds. Given the above diet and exercise regime I've maintained for years, this was shocking. Nothing I've done to combat the gain has worked, so I finally broke down and consulted a medical weight loss center. After a lot of research and discussion I opted for the HCG diet. This is the one where you take a hormone twice daily and consume 500 calories per day for 28 days, consisting of vegetables, some fruits and lean proteins. No fats, oils, sugars or carbs in any form. My justification list for something this drastic is long but the bottom line is… I really don't like the way I look. I'm not accustomed to seeing my tummy bulging over my pants. I'm as thick as I am wide around my midsection. I simply do not approve of my mirror image. Not to mention my entire wardrobe is now pushed aside for the few 'new' outfits that fit me. So, before this extra 20 pounds becomes 40, I'm jump starting my weight loss with a pretty drastic diet.
My first week on HCG was more difficult than it should have been because I didn't 'load' properly. Loading is another word for eat like you always eat, except don't feel bad about it. For me though, it was more like this: for 2 days stuff yourself stupid with foods you haven't touched in 10 years.' I couldn't do it. I tried, but the added carbs and sugars made me lethargic and gave me an upset stomach. So I went into the diet at a disadvantage. On my first 500 calery day I was ravenous and dizzy. On my second day I was headachey as well. I couldn't control my hunger and ate the fruits and vegetables raw. My 6oz servings of protein per day were taco leftovers eaten cold right out of the fridge. It was not a pretty sight.
By the fourth day, though, I was feeling kind of all right. I went to the grocery store and bought every single item on the allowed foods list. I also looked through my pantry for herbs and spices, vinegars and other condiments. I layed it all out and surveyed my choices.
I decided that instead of looking at this from the viewpoint of "this is all I can have", I'd look at it like a cooking challenge. Sort of like when you get home from work on Friday and have to try and make a meal out of what's left in the fridge. First thing I did was dress up my water since I have to drink a gallon a day. Ugh. I sliced up some myers lemons, a lime and added a few sprigs of fresh mint. Delish. (Don't let the lime steep to long as it will make the water bitter.)
Next, I set about making some fresh condiments that I could use to dress up meats and salads. A pico de gallo with only approved vegetables was quick, easy and versatile.
A cucumber and radish salad with red onions, fresh oregano and red wine vinegar for lunch along with a small piece of plain grilled chicken.
For a snack I made an orange and fenell salad with sliced myers lemons (which are edible, peel and all.)
Dinner last night was a pan seared rib eye steak with a balsamic and shallot glaze and pan braised asparagus with garlic. (The balsamic glaze started life as a Walden's Farms Salad Dressing. An 'allowed' food.)
This morning, even though I was going to a breakfast meeting, I brought my own, a sliced apple sauteed in vanilla and nutmeg. (I used some stevia but didn't care for the weird numbness on my tongue. I am allergic to it.)
I'm getting the hang of this, and I think it's going to work out well for me. I'm thinking I'll post weekly, and share my experiences with you so that if you ever want to go on this kind of program, you'll have both real-life information to draw from as well as some recipes that will work for you.