Signs of progress

This week, Sharon wrote a great blog post about signs … signs of spring, signs of change, signs that it’s the right time to change. And the post title made me want to start singing about long-haired freaky people (the ’80s version by Tesla, of course. I am a child of the ’80s, after all — although I don’t remember the F-bomb, so maybe I was thinking of the original by the Five Man Electrical Band).

Either way, Sharon’s words got me thinking about the signs in my own life.

This lonely pile is all that's left of last week's snowstorm. Two-plus feet of white stuff ... gone.

A sign of spring:  Yes, all that snow that screwed up my St. Paddy’s weekend has melted, leaving this one lonely little pile in the neighborhood.

Signs of progress: In addition to clothes fitting better, my fitness level seems to be improving. Today, I walked for 30-plus minutes (sometimes at a pretty fast clip) and could have gone longer had I been gifted with more time … Four weeks ago, before I started bootcamp, a 20-minute walk seemed like torture and left me winded.

Signs of a much-needed new attitude toward exercise:  I think I mentioned this yesterday, but exercise is becoming a habit. It’s something I know I need to do as soon as I wake up … and my day doesn’t feel quite right when I skip it.

Signs of satisfaction with my appearance: For the last few days, I’ve found myself thinking I could get used to looking like this. Sure, I still have 50 pounds to lose … but I no longer look in the mirror and think, “You look like crap.” (I know, I shouldn’t think that anyway. But you’ve surely heard that saying about being much harsher to yourself than you are to your friends. Yeah. It’s true.) Perhaps this marks a new era of self-acceptance.

Anyone else feel like bursting into the song from "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" after reading my photo title?

Signs low-carb eating is becoming second nature: Even when I wanted comfort food the other day, I bucked up and stuck to my low-carb plan. I knew, somewhere deep inside, that a milkshake and fries wouldn’t improve my mood … and, in fact, would make me feel worse. (Little did I think the same would be true for sugar-free chocolate I subbed for the high-carb treats — but I didn’t realize I was OD’ing on sugar alcohols because I forgot about what I’d eaten for breakfast.)

One of the best things about Atkins is the way I can stick to it without feeling deprived. There are still enough low-carb products (like the bread from Julian Bakery I just discovered thanks to a Facebook ad) and recipes that if I want, say, a cookie, I can have one. (I have homemade low-carb zucchini muffins and peanut butter cookies in the freezer right now, as well as two partial loaves of Smart Carb bread.)

The best part? Eating one of those treats doesn’t produce cravings. In fact, not counting depression-induced urges for carb-y goodness, I rarely have cravings anymore. Gone are the days when I see a cookie/donut/bag of chips in the break room at work and HAVE to indulge.

I put a frozen zucchini muffin to good use by making an egg sandwich — 6.8 Net Carbs (mostly in the muffin).

After work tonight, I wanted a snack. But with weigh-in set for the morning, it had to be low in sodium, so most nuts were out. And after OD’ing on sugar-free chocolate Monday, I’ve been a little leery of eating more.

That meant it was time to get creative. I ended up making myself an egg sandwich on a zucchini muffin (George Stella’s recipe). Topped with a slice of cheddar cheese, it made for a very satisfying nosh with just 6.8 Net Carbs.

That put me at 28 carbs for the day, under the 30 I’m allowing myself. And the best thing? I’m totally satisfied.

Why did I stray from the low-carb path again? Right now I can’t imagine. (Of course, when I’m not doing Atkins, I can’t imagine giving up pasta, bread and potatoes … but once I’ve gone without them for a few days, I don’t miss ’em at all.)

I did experience a bit of a travesty today when I finished  a jar of nut butter and stuck it in the sink to wash it. I so wished I could use the leavings to make Overnight Oats. But oats definitely aren’t on OWL … maybe someday, when I’m doing Lifetime Maintenance.


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