Two Blueberries, Off-Plan Eating and How Did you Do?

How did you fare for Easter? I am utterly without a sweet tooth, and I fared well as a result! It’s not fair, but mine is a starch tooth. Where some folks crave jellybeans and Reese’s Peanut butter cups, I crave Wendy’s Baconators on buns, and calzones and lasagnas.

This brings me to how I spent part of my Sunday.

I was in the kitchen experimenting with the second wave of my cheesecake experiment.

You don’t know much about me, but if there are two things I have always excelled at in the kitchen, it has been with lasagnas and cheesecakes (at least in the high-carb world). Both are my signature dishes for both my family and with friends. This is why, when I was able to nail down a low-carb lasagna, my family was ecstatic. My taste buds were ecstatic.

That leaves the cheesecake.

Yes, I know there are wonderful cheesecake recipes out there available online. I hope mine will be considered among them for its ease, flavor and texture. These are important to me. As of yesterday, I have the texture and the ease… I’m still working on the flavor, and I’m *almost* there.

You’ll be the first to know.

This is where the two blueberries magically appear

I know sometimes the titles make no sense. “How the heck do two blueberries have anything to do with anything else?” Note that I am a woman of intrigue. Like the chick from Get Smart. No. I’m Maxwell Smart, minus the shoe phone (ATT voided my plan when I kept stepping on my phone).

When I’m trying recipes in the kitchen, I have to try them, too. It’s no use making something and not sampling it (minimally). I mean, if it tastes like crap (the crouton experiment of 2008 started my oven on fire and then tasted flame-broiled), and you weren’t alerted by flames…or the smoke detector… or Smokey the Bear… you have no clue how it turned out if you at least didn’t sample it.

Segue to… Food journal.

I don’t keep one.

I used a food journal the last time I followed Atkins. Keeping track via journaling caused me to hyper-obsess about what I was eating, and I usually panicked every time I ate over 500 calories. I was literally obsessed over the numbers for the entire time, and this made the experience a very negative one for me. As a perfectionist, I became obsessed with what I was eating to the point that I ate primarily eggs. As a result, I also cheated constantly, making myself terribly ill and often having to restart to maintain. In the end, the perfection and the obsession caused me to take a year-long hiatus from low-carbing. Food journaling did not help me– in my case, it hurt the lifestyle I should have been building and created an obsessive crash diet in its place.

For me, the less I pay attention to the fact that this is also a ‘diet’, the more I can enjoy the lifestyle. I have let go of my perfectionism, and I have begun to enjoy food again! I am having a fantastic time, and am losing faster than ever now as a result of using this as a lifestyle and because I’m listening to hunger and to my body and not making arbitrary plans for what I think I need.

I eat when hungry and stop when no longer hungry (though not when full, because that means one is sometimes eating more than the body requires for fuel). I easily keep mental track of ounces of cheese and other items I’m eating, even from recipes. After being an Atkineer from 1984 onward, you know these things by heart! I eat pretty much what I want to, keeping in mind that vegetables are non-negotiable. As a result, if I want pizza, there will be vegetables involved!

I’ve lost 57 pounds since January 1st, so it has definitely positively affected my weight loss.

So, here come the blueberries like little Oompah Loompahs (only blue instead of Jessica impson orange). I ate *gasp* two on a small slice of cheesecake I sampled. Did I regret it? Oh hell no. Two blueberries. Two. I even ate four stuffed mushroom caps I was experimenting with.

For whatever reason, the words, there on paper, in a journal I used to keep showing 2 blueberries and a few mushroom caps when not hungry would have killed me emotionally.

Now I’m like, “So what?” I didn’t go nuts, and I walked on the treadmill, so I’m still losing weight. I feel like I’ve been more healthy emotionally this time around because I’m not obsessing about the two blueberries and four stuffed mushrooms.

Now, some folks might call that a “cheat” anyway.

I say pish.

I think the whole *grabs my face* cheating thing is just abjectly frustrating. It makes it seem as though rational adults cannot enjoy some of the finer things in life without having committed some errant Cardinal sin.

I refuse to ever use the word ‘cheat’.

What is cheating?

Cheating is taking answers to a test that are not yours.

Cheating is infidelity, to a person, a way of life or to a cause (wearing a leather coat when you’re not at your PETA meeting).

Cheating implies a pejorative action in an underhanded way.

Am I underhanded in my eating? Do I undermine what is socially acceptable in my choice to eat two blueberries and four stuffed mushroom caps when not hungry?

I say heck no. Am I a bad example of a low-carb, out of control lifestyle, or am I making measured and conscientious decisions based on my personal life and life experiences?

I’m sorry, but we’re grown. We’re taxpayers, and we subject ourselves to the yardsticks of others based on the fact that we’re supposedly climbing onto and down from some make-believe wagon that so many claim to fall off of. There’s no wagon, folks! This is a lifestyle. For life. This is the long-haul. If I can’t occasionally enjoy something for the sake of what it is, what’s the point?

If I can control your food choices on occasion, what is the big deal? I exercise. I eat everything else on-plan. A calzone every 2-3 months isn’t going to cause me to sprout a third butt cheek so long as I: 1. have eating under control the rest of the time (I do); 2. do not suffer from an eating disorder (I don’t); 3. do not suffer from chemical issues which would bring on further binging (I don’t); and 4. get back on plan with the next meal, exercise and live a healthy lifestyle (I do).

I’m not advocating people eat off-plan. I’m trying to shift a few paradigms and create some understanding. I don’t need a food journal to keep me on a healthy path, and I can partake in the occasional high-starch meal without detriment.

What have your experiences been?

TOPS today!

I didn’t go to TOP

S last week due to familial flu. I had it and so did two of the kids. I went nowhere. We were all fine by Tuesday, and even Monday night I hit the treadmill.

I am down 7 more pounds this week.

Since I was gone last week, they generally split the 7 pound loss in two, so I’ll register with a 3.5 pound loss for the week. Who’s complaining? Not this girl!

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Comments

  1. I’m just incredibly proud of you, and very happy for you.

    I agree. The abuse and misuse of the word “cheating” makes me think of those who were raised on the old “diet mentality” (I was), where one extra sesame seed brought on feelings of failure.

  2. Jen Miller says:

    Look at you go!

    Okay I have a question… and you might not want to answer it but I’m hoping you do!

    I’ve been doing low carb for the past couple of weeks and I haven’t seen a whole helluva lot of progress. So my questions are to you:

    1. What’s your normal menu look like? What do you eat on a normal day? Do you measure out everything?

    2. What kind of exercise do you get in a day/week?

    3. How many carbs do you eat? Are you going by net carbs or all carbs?

    I’m thinking I’m doing something wrong…whether that be eating too much fat (I’m sure there’s such a thing) or something…but I know this diet works as you’re a prime example along with my boyfriends parents…I’m just confused!

    Please help! :D (I think you can email a response can’t you?)

  3. I agree with your opinion on the whole ‘cheat’. Last night I ‘cheated’ but I really don’t get guilty about it. Altho I was committed to back on track this morning. That’s the main thing.

    By the way, I stumbled across your blog and saw your weight loss progress and am floored! 16lbs in your first week! Amazing! I noticed you mentioned you were a former Atkins follower. Does that mean you aren’t now? Do you follow a specific ‘plan’? Congrats on your progress and I enjoyed reading your posts.

  4. Nice job another 7 pounds gone! In no time at all you’ll have to prep for your next photo shoot! :)

    To me a WOE has to have a balance, an occasional piece of lasagna is okay when your in ‘mental’ control. The key is you mind set, if you eat emotionally, stay strict to plan when your vulnerable and use common sense and less ‘black and white’ rules when you are on top of your game and in control. Just my 2cents. – Dee

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m proud of you!!! Honestly. Been off the site and off the LC diet because my Mommy died. I will start again. Now is impossible. But you are my hero.

    Nilda

  6. I’ve been lurking around LCF for a looong time, and after reading about them for months, finally got up the nerve to try your Oopsie rolls last night. I am just stunned–can’t believe they are that good. And much easier than I thought they would be.

    I had a Baconator for lunch in your honor today. And an egg sandwich tonight, so I can see I’m going to have to work to control myself…

    You’ve already said you don’t do a food journal, but I’m another one who would love to get a sample of a few day’s meals (if you’re okay with sharing them). You’ve had such great success, and I’ve been really struggling trying to figure out “how much is too much” while I’m doing Atkins.

    Congratulations!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Jaimie, all I can say is…You GO, Girl! You, and your blog, ROCK. I love reading about your life. And, I love your recipes; I’ve tried a couple and have plans for more.

    And I agree — this is a way of life, so an occasional indulgence comes with the ride. The important thing is to get right back on track.

    Patty

  8. I am not a blog reader…. but I was googling oopsie rolls and came across your blog. It’s incredible. Your weight loss, motivation, and you writing style is so awesome.

    I am somewhat a low carber but haven’t taken the plunge yet into the Atkins diet. You blog however, makes me want to try it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Okay Miss Cleo…Fess up,..Where is that deliciousio recipe??? Hmmmm? You keep making (creating new things) and your fans are patiently waiting!!!

    babydollsea (marla:)

  10. Hummingbird says:

    Right on Sister! Life is ALL about balance! Sure, we all tipped the balance a little too far to one side, that’s why we are all HERE (low carbing) seeking balance again ~ but life is too damn short not to enjoy two blueberries and 4 mushrooms now and then! Your 57 lbs of success speak volumes as to the lifestyle that works for you. Congrats on another 7 lbs in one week – wow!

    Since everything else you create is so yummy, I cannot wait for your cheesecake recipe! I will look forward to that as my reward for a successful 2 week Induction so please try to have it ready for me and everyone else by April 5th!

    Your adoring fan,
    HB

  11. glad to see cal countings are not an issue and eating to satisfy hunger has been embraced. :)

    Another thing I’d like to point out for you Cleo my friend is you are a role modle for many new low carbers and while you and I both know your current carb levels are well below your CCLL many others new to low carbing might not know theirs nor understand why eating extra didn’t stall you out nor send you into craving issues and could be stumbling major having extra food cause Cleo does it and lost 7 pounds last week!!!

    As a carboholic having experienced a bender of my own I know all it takes for me is one extra bite just as Dr Atkins says in rule 5 of DANDR cause one leads to 2 and then another and soon the entire bowl is gone and I’m looking for more and it can be days before the bender off switch is found.
    So for those of us who can’t turn it on and off “cheating” on our diet limits has to be something we do not tolerate.

  12. Thanks for sharing about this, Cleo.
    I, too, do better when I don’t keep TOO much track.
    Personally, I find that eating what I feel like eating while trying to include some variety and NOT religiously counting anything works best for me.
    I DO watch carbs by not eating starchy foods and only eating packaged foods whose net carb count is single digit for the amount I’m eating (the lower the better).
    I find that when I try to eat what I think I’m “supposed” to eat, and keep to some kind of numbers, I don’t feel as well or loose as much as when I “listen to my body”.
    For me, eating plenty of fat has been very important along with getting adequate protein and veggies.
    But I think the best way is to experiment to find your own best combo of foods and eating patterns.
    Some people do better with keeping records, others don’t.
    Some people need to eat more fats, others need to watch calories, others are sensetive to certain foods that cause them to stall.
    I also noticed that I do loose bodyfat, but weight loss goes in spurts, so don’t get discouraged – just try to eat the foods that make you feel the healthiest.
    I would say it also took me at least a month or two to get used to eating low carb.
    I did eat some higher carb foods on Easter, but included lots of fat and protein along with them, and got right back to the regular foods after that.
    I got a little nervous about it, but then I decided not to worry and go back to what I was doing before, and it seems to have been OK.
    Some people like to include 1 meal, snack, or day per month to have foods they normally wouldn’t eat. I think this might be a good idea, and could be used for a few holidays or birthdays per year.
    This method doesn’t work for everyone, but I plan on using it if I need to.
    And like Cleo said – it’s important to be both committed and flexible to make the lifestyle/diet doable long term.

  13. Dana Seilhan says:

    Last time I was doing Atkins I used SparkPeople, but it wasn’t really about obsessing, it was about wanting a record of what I ate so that when I told people, “Hey, I was 237 and eating 2000-2900 calories a day and still losing weight,” I could have something to point them to if they called me a liar. I am so fed up with calorie theory, I don’t know where to begin.

    But… It got me obsessing anyway, and it made eating a lot less fun and more like a chore, even as I learned some things about nutrition that I hadn’t known before. (Did you know eggs are a good source of selenium, and that you can get magnesium from coffee? Me either.) But I’m not sure the education was worth it if I was obsessing about food on one hand and getting my teeth set on edge every time I read something from SP about the virtues of low-fat, low-cal diets on the other.

    So… If/when I start this again, hopefully for the LAST time, I think I’ll just follow the book’s instructions and somewhat wing it. That seems the saner route.

    And ditto on wanting the cheesecake recipe! :)

  14. cleochatra says:

    You guys are so inspirational!

    I am rereading your comments and thank you all for your words of wisdom, support and experience.

    I am always learning so much from my incredible friends!

    I am still working on the cheesecake recipe! I got the thumbs up from kids, but am feeling a little bit wily. I want to come up with something better. You’re worth it!

  15. cleochatra says:

    Debbie– I so love low-carbing! It is a lot of fun, and it’s so versatile. I hope that if you’re out there giving it a go, you’ll let me know how you are faring!

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