As transgressions go, it wasn’t a massive one … but I did eat something that’s supposed to be off-limits.
Let me start from the beginning. I made the mistake of stopping at Arby’s on my way to work, during the lunch rush, when I hadn’t eaten breakfast. (I didn’t wake up ’til nearly 10, and wasn’t terribly hungry, so it didn’t make sense to fix breakfast when I could wait an hour or so and have lunch.)
As I stood in line at Arby’s, I was suddenly ravenous — and I convinced myself I needed a 4-piece mozzarella sticks with my bun-less roast beef sandwich. I’d been doing so well on the low-carb plan that I deserved the “treat.” Besides, they couldn’t have TOO many carbs, right?
Let me tell you, those mozzarella sticks tasted fantastic. And a quick check of the LoseIt! app (hours after the fact) tells me a 4-piece mozzarella sticks has 9.2 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams fiber for 8.7 Net Carbs.
Not a diet-buster by any means.
Unfortunately, the marinara dipping sauce added another 5.2 NC … Oops. Lesson learned: Bring own marinara next time I feel like cheating with mozzarella sticks.
But you know what? I’m not sure I’ll feel like cheating again anytime soon. This was my first time straying from the low-carb plan since I restarted on Jan. 1. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve gone over 20 NC, maybe to 25 or 30 … but there’ve been no massive “oh my god, let’s eat EVERYTHING IN SIGHT” moments.
And, even with that slight amount of carbs, I noticed a slight dip in energy around 3 or 4 p.m. … the same afternoon slump that used to plague me every day. Before I started Atkins the first time, I’d fall asleep on the couch watching The History Channel every afternoon I had off.
In fact, last night I stopped for gas after work … and then I pulled into the parking lot at In N Out. I’d been thinking of a burger for about an hour — but after I parked and cut the engine, I realized I wasn’t really hungry.
“Why eat if you’re not hungry?” I asked myself.
When myself came back with no good answer, I restarted the car and drove away, burger-free.
I’ve had other victories over food lately, too. When our lovely newsroom assistant brought in brownies the other day, I barely looked at them. Okay, I did note there were two kinds: cream-cheese frosted and turtle … but neither variety was strong enough to pull me off the low-carb path.
It’s a process, I know. There’ll be other cheats and setbacks … but I remain convinced that consistently eating low-carb is easier than any other diet I’ve tried. I’m thankful for the structure and the way it allows me to live without constantly obsessing over my next meal.
P.S. Since I have no pictures of mozzarella sticks, enjoy this gratuitous shot of me at my lowest adult weight, having fun at Olympic Garden in Vegas. I’ll get there again (hopefully both to that weight AND to Olympic Garden)!
In my little corner of the world, today’s been a pretty good day. The sun was shining and temps were in the high 50s — I was able to walk outside this afternoon in my shirt sleeves.
Even better? I posted another loss this week … down another 1.8 pounds, for a total of 17.8 since recommitting to low-carb life on Jan. 1.
Sure, a 1.8-pound loss is the smallest loss I’ve seen since the re-start. I also freely admit to drinking more beverages laced with heavy cream than I probably should have this past week. I also picked up a bag of sugar-free peppermint patties.
Eating sugar-free junk food is something I haven’t done yet.Perhaps I should keep it that way — and I most likely will once the bag (and its companion Sugar-Free Reese’s PB cups) are gone. What can I say? They were 2 bags for $5 at Walgreen’s, and I was looking for something to buy to get cash back.
And I’m still struggling to get enough water, even with the snazzy new stainless-steel water bottle I snagged myself with a gift card from my former roommate.
I know low-carb eating is a long-term commitment. There will be weeks when I don’t see quite as much progress, and I need to accept that reality.
The good thing about eating this way is how easy it is. I’m not constantly thinking about my next meal; I’m full for HOURS; and I can whip up smoked sausage and eggs anytime for a quick low-carb meal or snack. Grocery shopping is easy, too: hit up the produce aisle for zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, turnips and radishes and then head straight to the meat, eggs and cheese.
Bam — in and out in less than 30 minutes!
After my last quickie shopping trip, I resurrected one of my old favorite low-carb recipes: Broccoli Crunch Salad.
The link takes you to my blog post with the recipe, but it’s so simple you really don’t need a recipe. Just chop a head of broccoli, cook up several slices of bacon (today I went with six) and mix 1 cup of mayo with 2 Tablespoons each of cider vinegar and Splenda for the dressing. Crumble the bacon, throw in a cup of shredded cheddar (sharp for me, please) and toss until coated. Then enjoy.
Of course, if I were really ambitious, I’d make my own paleo mayo, using Mel Joulwan’s recipe. I’ve done it before, and it always turns out fantastic (and free of those crappy seed oils some experts say we need to avoid). It might be even easier now that I have an immersion blender. (Note the Sept. 15, 2015 update at the top of Mel’s post.) But I haven’t tried that yet, so I can’t say for sure.
This batch of Broccoli Crunch (like all the others I made while losing 110 pounds on Atkins the first time) was made with plain old Hellman’s mayonnaise. If my food’s going to kill me, the damage is most likely already done.