Monday, November 14, 2011

Shattering the Stall

I didn't just break that stall, you guys, I shattered it. It didn't work right away. Yesterday, the scale didn't move. Today, though, 2.6 down!  That's about seven and a half pounds in a week, which averages out to a little more than a pound a day.

I think I'm losing a little better on this round than I have on previous ones.  I should tell you that I'm using different drops this time around. I snagged these on sale at CVS.  They are not homeopathic and contain "HCG amino acid." I dig that they're not homeopathic, because it means I can keep up my mint tea habit and I can dye my hair without worrying about these things negating the homeopathics.  It tastes absolutely awful, but I only have to deal with it twice a day, and I'm actually getting used to it. I don't make my "cough medicine face" after I down it now.

So when I took the time to sit down and think about it, I'm pretty sure I figured out that my stall was caused by too much red meat. I'm going to try to keep my beef meals to one or two a week and rely on chicken and eggs for the rest of my  protein. This would be much easier if I ate fish at all. I wish, for the three billionth time in my life, that I could stomach seafood.

Two women at the bank today asked me if I've lost weight. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, that is the best feeling in the world.

Anyway, looking forward to the coming two weeks, I see Thanksgiving rapidly approaching. My husband asked me today if I'm going to be on protocol through Thanksgiving and I said yes. We're cooking here, so I am planning on making veggies that are completely protocol friendly, cheating slightly with turkey instead of chicken and cheating a little more with a sugar free, gluten free (ie Phase 3 friendly) dessert.  I've been looking at a few pumpkin custard recipes and am trying to find my favorite one. I'll totally be topping it with some sugar free whipped cream, as well.

Quick note to anyone who hasn't read through this blog much, when I say "sugar-free" I am totally NOT talking about nutrasweet, asparatame, or any other artificial sweetener. My sweetener of choice is liquid stevia.  It's totally yummy, completely natural, and doesn't cause an insulin spike like sugar does.

Unless something more exciting happens, next entry, I'm going to talk about how I'm successfully "cheating" on this round. Yeah, I'm cheating. It involves chocolate. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I hate stalls with a serious mad passion.  But I've come to expect them. So I'm not totally freaked out that the scale didn't move at all this morning.  In fact, I seem to have entered Challenge Mode without even realizing it. I spent the better portion of my online time this afternoon looking for tried and true methods to break through a loss stall on hcg.

Here are some of the better ideas I've found, just in case you also require a way to beat a stall into the ground.

1. The Apple Day. I actually kind of love Apple Days, and I've been known to do one even when the scale is moving just fine.  On an Apple Day, you get six of the biggest, juiciest apples you can find and eat them throughout the day. That's it. And by "that's it," I mean, that's all you eat and that's as easy as it is.  The first time I decided to do an apple day, I was very apprehensive. Apples are yummy, sure, but  nothing except apples for an entire day? Blech.  However, I found that I really enjoyed the freedom of not having to plan my meals or carry food around with me if I were going to be out during a meal time. I just brought a couple apples with me.  So on days when I know I'm going to be running all over creation, I sometimes will do an Apple Day, just because it's easier.

2. The Detox Bath. I am a big fan of baths. I love to sit in warm water with some music playing, a large glass of water and a book or magazine.  It's one of my favorite ways to unwind. This bath is like that, just a little different.  This bath is full of all kinds of fun stuff to help pull the gunk out of you. Through your sweat pores. If you don't like to sweat, get over it.  Add 2 cups of baking soda, 2 cups of epsom salts and 1 cup of sea salt to a bath that's as hot as you can stand it.  If you've got some, throw in some ginger, maybe a little tea tree oil. If you want it to smell good, add some lavender oil, or another that you love. Soak in it for 40 minutes. You are going to sweat. If you're not sweating, make the water hotter.  I also use a portable heater to make my bathroom warm, since my skin is pretty sensitive to hot water. When the 40 minutes is up, drain the water and rinse off in a warm shower. Don't plan on taking a normal shower and washing your hair and stuff. Your body needs to rest.  In fact, this is an excellent time to go to bed. You may continue to sweat for a good while after your bath. Awesome! More detox! (If you have high blood pressure, you probably should skip this bath.)

3. Journal your Food. I use SparkPeople to track what I've eaten throughout the day and my daily weigh ins. When I'm not on protocol, I also use the site to track my workouts and calories burned.  If you're not writing down everything you eat and making sure you're hitting and/or not exceeding your allotted 500 calories for the day, you might want to start doing that during a stall. Remember, not eating enough is just as bad as eating too much!

4. Check your labels. I'm not talking food labels; I'm talking personal care products.  If there is oil in, say, your moisturizer, your skin may be absorbing enough that it's having an impact on your scale. And check all of it, not just obvious things. Oil can be in anything from lip gloss to shampoo.

5. Add some variety.  If you're eating chicken and spinach for two meals a day, your body is liable to think there's not enough food around, and start holding on to everything it's got. If you're stumped for things to eat, check out Lianne's blog over at My HCG Cooking for some great ideas.

6. Chinese Water Torture. Okay, not really. But upping your water intake can get the scale moving again.  You should be drinking 2L of water per day, as it is. If you're doing that and still facing a stall, try drinking even more.  My rule of thumb, whether I'm on protocol or not, is that my pee needs to be nearly clear. If it's not, I'm not drinking enough water.

7. Poop. Yeah, I said it. There's something about this diet that makes bowel movements somewhat rarer than they'd been previously.  Lots of people swear by Smooth Move Tea. I am not a big fan.  A friend who is an RN suggested Milk of Magnesia instead, and on the few occasions I've used it, I've been happy with the results.  Please understand that taking any kind of laxative is not PART of this diet and is not in any way required.  If you haven't had a bowel movement in a few days, though, you could be facing some compact issues, and might need a little boost in that department. Some people suggest taking a daily fiber supplement while you're on protocol to avoid this problem altogether.

8. Exercise. A little.  Too much strenuous activity on 500 calories a day is going to backfire. You're likely to make your stall last longer, and do some damage to your body in the process.  Best case scenario of overexercising while you're on the Very Low Calorie Diet, you're gonna end up with hands like Madonna or Sarah Jessica Parker. (Google them. Frightening.) So you definitely don't want to overdo it. But, a nice walk, or some gentle yoga, even a little extra playing in the yard with the kids can help to break through a stall.  Again, I'd avoid anything having to do with weights, because, seriously, look at SJP's hands!

For my part, I did a nice detox bath last night, drank enough water to drown a cow, and took a half mile walk today.  I'll report back in the morning!

Friday, November 11, 2011

HI! Miss me? ;-)

I missed you too! I took pretty much the entire summer and most of the fall off from all things HCG, and here I am, ready to start my next (and possibly last!) round.

I must confess that I have gained some of my weight back. I'll tell you why.  First of all, I haven't done a full, real Phase 3 since my first round, and second of all, wheat is not my friend.

Phase 3 is just as important as Phase 2. In Phase 2, you lose the weight. In Phase 3, you tell your body, "Okay, this is where we want to stay." Phase 3 is vital to stabilizing. Obviously, I KNOW this. I just have a hard time DOING it.  Interestingly, I'm back to where I was at the end of my first round. You know, the time I did a full Phase 3. (headsmack)

I cannot tell you how much different I feel without wheat, in any of its insidious forms, in my body. I spend the first few days of any Phase 2 talking about how light I feel, and how energetic. I'm not bloated, I'm just...different.  A better different.  Then I leave Phase 2, do a half-assed Phase 3 and remember how delicious mozzerella sticks are. (headsmack 2) Here's the thing; in moderation (for me), yes, mozzerella sticks are fine and delicious. When you eat something breaded and fried more days than you don't.... problem.

I was doing okay, honestly, and then I went on vacation. Somehow in my mind, vacation=license to eat everything on the menu. Twice.  And I went on TWO vacations. A week with my family and then four days in Vegas. It's kind of amazing, really, that I haven't gained everything, plus some, back.  Again, I point to the fact that, eating whatever I wanted, for a couple MONTHS, has put me back to the point of my last real Phase 3. This just goes to prove that Phase 3 really is resetting our hypothalmus, and it's not all smoke and mirrors.

So, I loaded this past weekend, and in the past five days, I'm back down 4.8 pounds.  That puts me about 10 pounds away from my lowest weight on protocol and about 15 pounds from my goal.  I might be able to eek that out on one round. We shall see!

In the meantime, I'm making meatloaf for everyone tonight and I am really excited to eat mine with a little of Lianne's ketchup, designed specifically for Phase 2. :-)  Go to her site and browse the recipes, there is some incredibly yummy stuff on there. I am so jonesing for some Phase 3 pizza!