Halfway

Two weeks into the diet and I’m already feeling a bit sick and tired of it. I’ve had food yesterday, nice food. The photos are slightly blurry, I was too hungry to care about that. I had chicken with all the vegetables I could think of. The green beans and the peppers were surprisingly easy to cook – throw them in a pan with a bit of water and let the steam do the rest.

No worries, I did not eat all the food on that plate, only half of the meat and most of the vegetables. For dessert, we had apricots and raspberries. I have a thing for raspberries.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that my life after this diet is not going to be easy. I’m still quite tempted to try sweets and sandwiches. And muffins, oh, the blueberry muffins… What – I hope – will keep me going is the pure acknowledgement of the fact that indulging into these foods has brought me here. So, from now on:

No more chocolate, cakes, pain aux raisins, donuts and mini-muffins. Not only did I eat all of those without giving it any thought, but I also stuffed my face with the store bought version of them. These obviously had a lot more sugar, fat and preservatives than I actually needed. It would be a lie to say I will never touch any of these in my life. But I’ve decided to bake my own if the cravings are getting too serious and always choose a healthy recipe. I rely on my lack of time and enthusiasm to postpone such cooking sessions and I’ll share the results with my friends (so we can all be fat and happy). I know there’s only a small step between “I’ll have one, just this time!” and “I’d better finish this box before these cakes get stale.” so I must pay a lot of attention to this matter.

Choose the right serving size. I don’t trust those guidelines which start with: “Low carbs, low fat diet, eat as much as you want.” Maybe a tall, strong man can easily get away with some extra calories. I’m a little being, so it’s quite easy to double the amount of what I should be eating. Overeating has a great effect on me, any extra kilo on my body gets noticed. Also, cooking for one person turned out to be a pain. I always end up with more food than I need. Good food that I shouldn’t waste, right? This is going to be tricky at first, but I’ll make sure to pack my lunch and snacks in smaller containers. Spreading the food in several small meals should also help. I have a limited space available in the freezer, but I’ll do my best to use it wisely.

Less going out. Eating out has definitely become a habit in the past year and, unfortunately, this added to my bad list. You never have control over what’s in your plate. The servings are usually huge. There’s always some extra sugar and starch in that delicious sauce or in that steak glaze. The salad dressing adds lots of calories and the croutons…God knows what they’re made of. This is going to be tricky for me. I can’t say no to a dinner out, I would miss the social part. I already have favourite places and nice memories related to various restaurants. I can’t recreate all the dishes, the exotic cuisine of different countries. But I’m not ordering Domino’s pizza again, and I’ll stay away from Subway. I won’t rush into any restaurant every time we’re going out shopping or watching a movie at the cinema. A trip to the market and some tasty healthy cooking seems a better deal. Fortunately, my friends are determined to eat healthier as well and this will make a tremendous difference.

Carefully plan my snacks. When I realised I was getting fat and decided to take some action, I started cooking my own healthy food and pack my lunch everyday for work. However, most of the time I neglected that 4pm tea break when hunger was settling in and good food was unavailable. So I pretty much ended up buying disgustingly sweet fruit cakes from the cafe. I plan to turn these snacks into small meals. Some cottage cheese and a banana, some fruit and nuts, maybe a ham&cheese salad, I’m not sure yet, but something needs to be done.

Sleep well. Right now my sleep is chaotic so I’d better clean up my schedule fast, otherwise I will end up eating late at night. Calories make up for the lack of sleep, but they also get stocked in that round belly. And overestimating the amount of food you need when tired is such an easy thing to do!

We all know the rules: no sweets, no bread, no pasta. We all break them. I doubt I will become that purist who never again touches grains or sugar. I will live as one for a while, though, and see how things unfold from that point. I will probably make new mistakes. Hopefully, I won’t get back to the old ones. This is not going to be easy. It shouldn’t be.

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Sleep

I survived Day 11, which seemed to be one of the most chaotic so far. I woke up rather early yesterday, but I couldn’t eat anything so I had my first shake quite late. Then I got stuck in two meetings and delayed my shakes even more. Add the extra recovery shake and you have a recipe for disaster.

My sleeping pattern this week was madness. My brain just doesn’t want to switch off. I don’t know if it is stress related, or it has to do with the caffeine I’m getting from the pills. Normally, I don’t drink coffee at all, so it must have some effect on my system. Therefore, I usually sleep when I crash. So there I was last night, sipping through my shakes, lying on the floor and watching Grey’s Anatomy. Needless to say, I woke up at 6 am with a horrible pain in my legs and moved to my bed.

Today is a great day. The scale finally showed a number that’s not around 56.5. Ok, it was 55.9 kg, it’s not much of a difference, but it still feels good. I’ve lost about 2 cm from my waist and my arms feel skinnier. It’s little improvement, but no diet is a miracle diet. This is going to be a long journey.

I definitely need to organise my life a little bit. Sleep deprivation is affecting my diet and it’s been a major problem in the past as well. Most of the kilos I’m trying to get rid of at the moment are due to about a month and a half of writing, eating, writing, sleeping 3 or 4 hours, writing, even more eating and so on… And such times will return. I must be ready and stay healthy.

Just to keep this post short (I know some people love that), I’ll get into more details about eating habits and mistakes next time.

Oh, I get to eat tomorrow!!

About the V-Diet

I’ve always dreamed about having my own food blog, where I can share tasty recipes and gorgeous photos. Unfortunately, I don’t cook enough to justify a dedicated blog. This diet, however, deserves all the attention. My kg and cm don’t matter right now, but there are a few things I’ve learned which are worth sharing. Especially, I’ve been reading arguments against this diet which have proven to be wrong, but nobody talks about that.

I’ve been picturing my life on the diet since I’ve decided to do it and, I have to admit, everything turned out pretty different.

What I thought: “I will starve on this diet and the only way I’ll be able to survive is drinking mint tea all day long.”

Wrong, completely wrong. I am actually less hungry than usual, because I’m having food every 3 hours. And even if I get a bit hungry, I know I can wait another half-hour or so and have a shake. Psyllium husks definitely make life easier. It doesn’t feel I’m on a liquid diet, it seems more like watery porridge. I can’t imagine how it would be to take fibre pills instead. I’m guessing I would struggle a lot more.

What I’ve learned: I need more fibre in my meals.

“I will constantly wait impatiently for the next shake.”

I actually feel full most of the time. Sometimes I wish I could skip a shake, but I force myself to eat it anyway. Any delays and I get extremely hungry afterwards and crave for unhealthy dishes.

So, I will need to eat more regularly and pack several snacks for work. And when I say snacks, I don’t mean a fruit or some nuts. It has to be a real meal.

“My belly will be empty and flat all the time. Clothes will suddenly fit me better.”

I couldn’t get this more wrong. I’m a small person and I find the shakes too large. I am bloated and full most of the time. I’m not worried, though. It seems to be a common symptom. This is the 10th day and I’ve only shed about 1.5 kg and no cm. Still, I feel different. My muscles are definitely getting stronger and I can feel them underneath that layer of floppy fat. It’s getting less difficult to sit properly at my desk and my back doesn’t hurt anymore.

So, our new training program must be working. I like the V-challenge, I will do it after the diet as well.

“I will want to eat only healthy food after this diet.”

Everybody mentioned that. In my case, this is not much of a difference. My favourite dish is grilled chicken with vegetables. I liked healthy food even before this diet. Ironically, at the moment I’m craving all sorts of unhealthy stuff – extremely greasy salty junk food. I’m not too worried yet. I know this won’t last. I’m just a bit hungry and sentimental now.

“The diet doesn’t teach you how to eat healthy.”

Indeed, it doesn’t encourage you to count calories, grams of fat or carbs. But it does make you eat more regularly. It does  make you more aware of your protein intake and your sugar levels. And you suddenly realise you need less than you thought.

“I will be tempted to eat real food all the time during the diet.”

This is actually the easiest part of the diet. You simply know you cannot eat anything else than the shakes. I usually don’t miss solid meals. Sometimes smelling real food makes me feel full and happy inside. I get enough nutrients from the shakes, I don’t need to add more.

Just to make it clear, this doesn’t mean it’s easy all the time. I do get all sort of cravings out of the blue, but I know it’s only psychological, there’s no need to panic about it. Just wait and it will go away with the next shake. Sometimes I act silly and take detours on my way home just to sniff the ‘Trailer of Life’, although I’ve never eaten at that place and have no intention to. Or sometimes I’m tempted to follow people just because they carry food and smell delicious. Crazy, huh?

I guess I should stop here, otherwise somebody would be too lazy to read.

I’ll talk about the mistakes I’ve been doing before the diet and how I plan to balance these on my next post.

Hello world!

So here I am… after one year of stuffing myself with mini blueberry muffins and pain aux raisins from the supermarket, gaining 8 extra kilos, at the end of my first week of real dieting.

I’ve always tried to avoid diets, keeping it simple, planning my meals better, refusing to count calories, and indulging whenever I felt like. However, a new country, a new lifestyle, less opportunities and time to cook, more stress and sleepless nights, they’ve all taken their toll. The steak+salad wonder has lost its magic and, in spite of rigorous training, those extra kilos are here to stay. For a little while, I hope.

My training buddies are going through this crazy V-Diet and I’ve decided to join them. This blog is the result of one week living on protein shakes only and longing for real food. I won’t say craving. Cravings are irrational food obsessions. What I’m experiencing now is similar to having your best friend moving to the other side of the planet. I’m simply heartbroken. All that, plus the occasional cravings.

As a consequence, I’m starting this blog in the attempt to track my progress and the problems I encounter through and after this diet. Will I be able to shed those extra kilos and keep a full, healthy and delicious life? Am I going to find that balance we are all aiming for? I’m hoping this blog will be the proof of that.

But it’s a long way till there. Tonight I’m obsessing over Sun-dried Tomato&Basil Chicken Pasta and I’m sniffing the chocolate brioche my boyfriend left in my room. I’m not going to eat it, that’s for sure, and I have no intention in doing so after the diet. However, the pasta dish is a must. The thought I shouldn’t be eating it at all ever again …throws me into despair. One thing I must learn for sure is how far I can push these cravings and how little I can indulge before it really affects my progress.

For now, I’m sticking to the diet and counting down the days. I’m expecting a rough Week no 2 and, so far, I’ve been proven on numerous occasions that I completely underestimated the difficulty of this diet.