Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We're On Facebook!

Shedding the Fat-Suit is now on Facebook.  Click the Facebook badge on the right to "like" the page and let's have some fun!

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Favorite Low-Carb Breakfast... Mmmm Eggs And Cheese!

Easy peasy.  Spray non-stick cooking spray in a microwave-safe bowl.  Crack three eggs into the bowl.  Don't be like me... remember to pierce the yolks so they don't explode on you later.  Pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream over the eggs and lay 3 or 4 ounces worth of cheese on top. I like to slice pieces of a good slab of mild cheddar into my eggs.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and dried dill over the top.  Do not stir this at any point, it's not necessary.  Somehow the cream and eggs combine into a cross between a souffle (that didn't rise) and an omelet. 

Cover with waxed paper and microwave for two minutes.  If it's runny, microwave at 30 second increments until it's no longer runny.  Allow it to cool for a few minutes and then dig in.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shrimp And Spinach Soup With Cilantro And Lime

This soup is fat-free, low-carb and my new favorite for Phase Two of the HCG Diet.  If you're on Phase Three or Atkin's, start out by sauteing the garlic in a pat of butter.  Then add the broth and go from there.

Ingredients (one serving):

1 cup broth (I used salt-free chicken broth because I didn't have any veggie broth on-hand)
1 garlic clove
1 lime
100 g frozen shrimp
3 cups spinach, chopped
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Blend
salt and pepper

Crush and chop the garlic clove and saute it in the broth.  Add the shrimp and juice the lime into pan.  Let the shrimp warm up, then add the spinach and seasoning to taste.  Once the shrimp is heated through and the spinach wilts, remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

I like my flavors bold and bright.  If you don't, you might want to halve the amount of lime juice and cilantro. 

This soup is a snap to make but no one has to know.  Serve it at a family dinner and tell them you spent hours in the kitchen.  For a non-dieting crowd, saute the garlic in butter as a first step, reduce the amount of broth, skip the spinach, and serve over brown rice.  And don't forget to give them some healthy veggies on the side.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dear Dairy

Flickr - redeye^
I'm five days into Round Two, Phase Two of the HCG Diet and finally hit the 20 lb mark, yay!  I lost 18 lbs on Round One and had really wanted to get to 20.  It's a good milestone.

When you're in Phase Two you only have one tablespoon of milk per day and no other dairy products.  In Phase Three you add dairy back into your diet.  I noticed I felt great in Phase Two of Round One, and then when I added dairy back in Phase Three I felt a little sluggish and struggled with some nausea.  And phlegm, yuck.  Now that I'm back in Phase Two with no dairy, once again I feel great!  Dammit, I love cream in my coffee and cheese in my.... well, cheese in everything.  But I may have to think about going easy on the dairy products from now on.  Forever, sigh.  Or just know that if I want cream in my coffee, I'll pay the price by feeling a little crappy.  Boo.   

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Starting Round Two of HCG Diet

I just started my second round of the HCG diet and I'm pumped!  I did phase 1 for three days instead of two since I was on the road all day Monday.  I felt like crap, eating all those carbs and processed foods after eating so cleanly for the last six weeks.  I was tired and nauseas.... I'm feeling better now as I start phase 2 and I can't wait to get on the scale every morning!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My HCG Experience

What I love about the HCG Diet, besided the weight loss, is that it is conducted in phases so you're not stuck in any one diet plan for long.  I get bored easily, hence my history of diet after diet.  I won't pretend to be any kind of expert on the biological process that are supposed to cause the weight loss.  You can google "Pounds and Inches" by Dr. Simeon for the details and the science behind the HCG Diet.  But here is my experience with the diet so far.

Phase 1: Loading.  (Two Days)

8/18/11 and 8/19/11 I began taking the OTC homeopathic drops and spent two days eating as much fatty food as I could.  I made sure to eat anything I thought I'd miss in the next six weeks.  All the fat is supposed to help you get through the first few days of Phase 2, when your caloric intake is cut drastically.  Please note that my starting weight is from 8/18/11, before I started loading.

Phase 2: Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) (21 to 40 days)

8/20/11 through 9/7/11 I was on a VLCD while taking the homeopathic drops sublingually three times a day.  I ate 500 calories a day which came almost entirely from vegetables, fruits and lean meats.  At first it was hard to avoid sugar, I have a major sweet tooth.  And I  love bread.  But I figured it was only three weeks... knowing that it was not forever made it so much easier to do than other diets, where I was cutting out some foods forever, in theory. 

I lost 18.4 lbs between 8/18/11 and 9/7/11.  The clothes I was busting out of now fit loosely, and I've even had to stop wearing a few pieces because they're just too small!

Phase 3: Maintenance (21 to 40 days)

On Maintenance you stop taking the drops and begin eating 1500 to 2000 calories a day.  You slowly add fats back into your diet like olive oil and coconut oil, dairy products like cream and cheese, widen your selection of meats, vegetables and fruit, and add nuts also.  You just can't eat carbs or sugar, with the exception of what is present naturally in the fruits and other whole foods you eat.  I'm on Day 13 of Phase 3 and really enjoy it.  I no longer crave sugar or bread, have heavy whipping cream and vanilla stevia in my coffee in the morning, I don't count calories but I'm sure I'm getting upwards of 2000 per day with plenty of fruits and veggies... and I'm maintaining within two lbs of my weight the last day of Phase 2.

After Phase 3 you can move on to Phase 4, where you slowly incorporate new foods into your diet until you are no longer on a diet at all.  Or you can do another round of the diet, which is what I'm doing.  I start again in October and can't wait to see more changes in my size and shape!

Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss program.

FTC disclaimer: I receive no compensation from HCG companies, I'm merely recounting my own experiences.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Lost 18 Lbs in 3 Weeks on the HCG Diet

If you've been read my blog for any length of time, you know 1) I want to lose weight and 2) I clearly have attention-span issues.  I've tried Weight Watchers, Atkin's, Gastric Mind Band Therapy and now I'm moving on.... to the HCG Diet.

For the record, I think WW, Atkin's, and GMBT are all great ways to go to lose weight.  And I credit the GMBT for helping me stick to the HCG Diet.  But I didn't stick to to the program on any of those weight-loss plans long enough to see any substantial results.

I first became aware of the HCG Diet almost a year ago.  I knew of two people losing weight on some restrictive diet, but I didn't pay any attention.  As the months went by I noticed they were looking fabulous, and someone I knew a little better went on the diet.  She lost over 20 lbs in three weeks and insisted she wasn't hungry or tired or losing muscle.  So I talked to her alot more about what she was doing and I started looking up information on the program.

What I found was that many people both in the medical community and in the general public have reservations about the HCG Diet.  And just as many people, both medical professionals and laypeople, are strong advocates for this program.  I decided to make my own decision; I decided to try it.

Google "Pounds and Inches" by Dr. Simeon for basic plan information on the HCG Diet.   His plan was developed using injections of the HCG hormone, however I'm using an over-the-counter homeopathic version that I buy at CVS.  I'll go into the particulars of my experience with the HCG Diet in future posts.  But for now, my post title sums up my opinion on the HCG Diet so far.... I lost 18 lbs in three weeks!  Wahoo!

FTC disclaimer: Since I am blogging about the experience, the Gastric Mind Band service was provided at no charge.  I receive no compensation from Weight Watchers, HCG companies or Atkin's, I'm merely recounting my own experiences.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Big Four-Oh!

Today's the day, I'm 40... Some people might find it a little upsetting to hit the next decade, but as far as I'm concerned every day above ground is a good day.  Plus I lovelovelove birthdays! 

My present to myself was starting yoga again yesterday.  It was fab.  And I bought a 30-day pass so hopefully I'll be able to go three or four times a week and really get in the habit of fitting it into my schedule.

I got mixed up on the class times and when I got to the yoga studio a class was already in session.  I'd left my water bottle in the car anyway, so I started walking back to get it.  As I left, I walked past a big semi parked on the street.  The motor was running and it was really loud, but as I passed it I could hear someone yelling.  I couldn't make out what they were saying and I figured it was just the truck driver yelling at someone.  But the yelling continued and I heard a "Hey!" so I turned around to see what was going on.  And a little bitty pixie of a yoga instructor had spotted me at the door to the studio and was hollering down the street at me!  She waved me back to the studio, told me where to put my shoes and purse while she found a spot and laid my mat out for me.  Clearly the universe wanted me in this yoga class today and there was no way I was going to miss it.

The class was awesome.  We spent most of the time on the mechanics of downward dog, which is my most-hated yoga pose.  But the instructor really broke it down.  We did alot of stretches specific to the pose.  She also showed us how to use a partner to check our form and for additional stretching.  So I straddled a total stranger who was down on all fours.  Seriously.  I squeezed her waist between my legs and she reached forward as far as she could.  When it was my turn to be squeezed I found out it was a really great stretch.  Of course after that we felt compelled to introduce ourselves... if someone's going to straddle me, I want to get her name so I don't feel so cheap.

Do you buy yourself birthday presents?  If so, what are some of your favorite ways to treat yourself?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

You Know You've Been Neglecting Your Blog When...

You can't find the USB cable to download photos from your camera.  Because it's been that long since you've uploaded any pics.  Seriously, I tried to find it, and I really want to get those pictures of the owl downloaded.  But since I'm here now, I might as well do this thing... blog blog blog!

Not only do we have an owl that hangs around in spring and fall, we also have a little family of foxes that has moved into the field behind our yard.  They've gotten so used to us and they're so bold now.  One day last week I was drinking my morning coffee on the deck and suddenly noticed the not-so-baby fox about 10 yards away.  He's about the same size as the adults, but he's very playful and his coat seems brighter and newer so I'm assuming he's a juvenile.  He hung out in that spot, nosing around for bugs and chomping on an occasional blade of grass.  He was there for several minutes before trotting away.  I'm going to have to take the camera out on the deck every time I go out there if I'm going to get a picture of the foxes though.  They're not skittish, but they do slowly trot out of sight after you watch them for a few minutes.

Ok, enough random rambling.  I'm going to work on finding that cable for the camera.  Stay cool!  It's already steamy here and it's barely after 10:00 a.m.

Friday, July 8, 2011

3 Months Later...

Hello World!  I'm still here.  Still sassy, still tubby, and still thinking of you.  Seriously.  I have a camera full of pictures I need to download, from the owl that hung out on the light-pole by the barn all spring to a step-by-step group of photos of my favorite Liz-original tuna casserole recipe.  Something will happen and I'll think "I should blog about that!" And then I don't. Before I knew it three months had passed.  So, I'm just popping in to say I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer.  I'll be sharing my backlog of photos and maybe a recipe or two in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Over 7 Lbs!

Last Wednesday I weighed in with a 1.8 lb loss for a total of over 7 lbs, yay!  Not sure about how this week will go, I'm struggling with tracking this week.  And the last week and a half I've had some trouble getting all my food packed up and taken to work.  But I did ok at weigh-in, so I'm thinking that means I have a good idea of what I'm supposed to be doing.  But we'll see how it goes this Wednesday!  Still lovin' the new Weight-Watchers, and still thinking it's the hypnosis that's helping me along.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Even Steven

Weigh-in was Wednesday and after last week's awesome 3 lb loss, I was disappointed not to lose this week.  But I didn't gain either.  I totally stuck to the plan, so I'm thinking I'll back off of bananas this week.  Bananas are free (no points+) on the new plan and I did hit them pretty hard this last week.  They're easy to stuff in my lunch bag, and easy to grab after work when I'm hungry and haven't made dinner yet.  But they are nature's candy bar!  So I'm backing off.

Flickr - ianqi

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gastric Mind Band Therapy + A Solid Plan = Success!

Flickr - Leo Reynolds
 Lost 3 more lbs this week for a total of 5.4 so far.  I was afraid the weekend did me in, I ate out a couple times and it can be so hard to estimate nutritional values when someone else is cooking.  But everything turned out fine.  And by the way, I think the reason the weight-loss is going so smoothly this time is the hypnosis, it really is helping me stay on-track.

FTC disclaimer: Since I am blogging about the experience, the Gastric Mind Band service was provided at no charge

Friday, March 11, 2011

It Seems to be Working

I lost 2.4 lbs last week.  Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it was all from my boobs.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Starting to get it

Since I rejoined WW last Tuesday, I've been struggling to figure out the new points plus system.  I think I've got it.  Today is the first day I've planned out with the right number of points.  We'll see how it goes!

Breakfast: english muffin sandwich with cheese, egg and Canadian bacon,
Lunch: turkey sandwich with hummus, cheese, spinach and mushrooms, bowl of bananas and strawberries,
Snacks: chicken and mushrooms, 1 cup yogurt with Splenda and blueberries,
Dinner: homemade pizza: flatout pizza crust, lots of veggies, some turkey, 1/4 cup cheese,
Dessert: banana berry smoothie with spinach (you can't taste it, I swear!), yogurt, milk, flax seed and Splenda.
Add a couple coffee's with creamer (already figured the points plus for that) and I think we have our first planned and on-point day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

denial. A state I am so familiar with that I don't need a map.

Yesterday I had the day off.  After a lazy morning, I went to the gym and then (wait for it) re-joined Weight-Watchers. 

I was really frustrated when I quit WW several months ago.  After becoming familiar enough with the point-system I was able to take a good guess at what points a food would have... it was about 50 calories for one point, with fiber reducing the number of points and fat increasing them.  And I came to the realization that it was a very low-calorie diet plan.  I thought "I don't need to pay someone to tell me I can't freaking eat anything!" 

But they changed their program recently.  Now points are figured using grams of fat, fiber, carb and protein.  Calories don't figure into the picture at all and the purpose of refiguring the point system was to help people make better choices, eat healthier foods. And  I realize I was oversimplifying before, and WW is so much more than what I was frustrated about.  And it still is.  They provide support and tools to help you rethink what you're doing and establish new healthier habits.

Today at lunch we were talking about WW.  The lunch group included two life-time members, who had achieved and maintained their goal weight for some time.  I talked about the thing that frustrated me the most, that WW was so low-calorie.  It wasn't until later that I thought about the fact that I was with two people who had used that low-calorie system and had great success.  It's not the system that failed me, I failed to utilize the system.  I criticized it for being inadequate, but I didn't follow it.... that's why it didn't work for me.

Basically, I was complaining about WW because I was in total denial.  A state I am so familiar with that I don't need a map.

So...... yesterday I went to the gym and then re-joined the new and improved WW.  Here's hoping I can master a new and improved attitude to match! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Loss, And A Loving Link

We lost someone recently.  It's the saddest, most horrible thing.   A family member lost her husband, their young sons lost their father.  As difficult as it is for me to try to understand and accept how someone so healthy and kind and good can die, I can't even imagine what his wife and children are going through.  In the flurry of activity leading up to the services this weekend, someone told me about something called a Care Calendar.  There's a website where you can set up a calendar of a family's needs, such as meals and errands, and then family and friends can see what needs to be done and sign up for that task or event on their own.  Someone has to administer the Care Calendar account, so someone needs to stay on top of the family's needs, but that means that there is only one person the family has to update instead of needing to constantly go over everything with everyone who wants to help.  What an amazing, loving idea for a website.  Please check it out, maybe it will be useful for someone you know who is going through a difficult time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stupid Gym, Stupid Reasons Not To Go

I went to the gym today.  I had to outsmart myself to get there.  I never watched Stargate Atlantis when it was on television and have been buying the seasons one at a time on Itunes and watching it on my laptop.  Love that show!  And today I realized DUH I could watch it on my Ipod while I'm on the elliptical at the gym.
Stupid gym.  I've wanted to go for months and have only been going once a month. For various stupid reasons....
  • I didn't want to be one of those New Year's resolutionists everyone complains about at the gym, crowding the place for the first few weeks of the year.  Really?  That was really a reason I didn't go to the gym?  Because of something someone wrote in an article or a blog?  Stupid reason. 
  • I didn't want to go because we had over a foot of snow and driving was a bitch at the very least, hazardous at most.  Ok, good reason. 
  • I didn't want to go because I'm fat.  Really, that was one of my reasons not to go to the gym and exercise.  In my defense, do you know that place is wall-to-wall mirrors?  I really regretted my decision to wear hot pink horizontal stripes today. 
So, I went.  I tried out the new "watching TV episodes on the Ipod while ellipticalling."  Awesome!  Much better than watching the sports that are on all the TV's in the gym.  By the way, that's just one more thing that makes me feel like I don't belong at the gym... sports on almost every TV.  I'm not a sportsfan, I'm just a fat chick trying to shed her fat-suit.

So now I've got a battle plan for the gym.
  1. Load up the Ipod with more Stargate Atlantis.  Buy the next season and only watch it at the gym.
  2. Choose an elliptical further from the wall o' mirrors next time. 
  3. And no more stripes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lovely Limas

I hope everyone affected is recovering from Snowpocalpyse 2011.  I was grateful that my neighbor threw a plow blade on a 4-wheeler and took care of my driveway.  Maybe all the snow lately is why I've fallen in love with lima beans... their pale green bodies are the same color as new leaves in the spring, and man am I jonesing for spring. 

I really am obsessed with the limas right now.  I've been eating them once or twice a day, every day for at least two weeks.  And whew, that's alot of fiber, people.
luluisforlovers (Creative Commons-Flickr)
I've had them plain as a side dish, added to rotini with chopped ham, added to stir-fry with cubed beef and some other veggies, and in a thrown-together homemade soup.  I think my favorite way was the pasta dish.  I made a faux alfredo sauce by making a white sauce and replacing half the flour with grated parmesan cheese; it was perfect with the ham and pretty green little beans.

What's there to love?  What's in a lima bean?  According to The World's Healthiest Foods, not only are they chock-full of heart-healthy fiber, they are also a good source of magnesium and folate which can reduce your chances of heart attack. says they also contain the mineral molybdenum that can help if you are senstive to sulfites.  Sulfites are preservatives common in salad bars and deli foods.  And I was surprised to read that one cup of pretty little lima beans contains 24.9% of your daily value of iron.

So they're good for you and they're yummy.  What's not to love?  Have you had lima beans recently?  What's your favorite way to prepare them?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Big Lucky Winner! (Creative Commons-Flickr)

The winner of the $55 gift certificate to is bcbeaveratheart!  Bcbeaver, click "contact me" in the right-hand column, send me an email and I will reply with your gift certificate code.

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

$55 Gift Certificate Giveaway

This contest has ended.  Winner TBA soon.  Thank you for stopping by!

It's time for another CSNstores gift certificate giveaway!  If you weren't along for the ride last time, at the CSNstores websites you can buy just about anything from coffee tables to treadmills to knick knacks to clothing. The gift certificate is for $55 toward any item in the, although it doesn't go toward shipping. To enter just leave a comment on this post and be sure to include your email address. An extra entry will be counted for each entrant who happens to be (or becomes) a follower of my blog, who tweets about the contest or shares it on Facebook.  Just come back and leave a separate comment for each action to get credit for it. This contest will end at 5:00 p.m. CST Sunday January 23, 2011. The winner will be chosen via and announced in a blog post shortly after contest end. Please respond within 48 hours so I don't have to choose another winner.

This giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canadian readers, my apologies to everyone else!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ted Williams' Story Makes Me Misty

It's all over the news about Ted Williams.  He's a recovering addict who lost everything on his way to rock bottom.  The former radio announcer has been clean for over two years.  He was panhandling at a traffic intersection with a cardboard sign that said he had a God-given Golden Voice when someone recorded video of Ted demonstrating that voice and telling a little of his story.  Then they posted the video on the internet.  Now he has job offers pouring in and is being interviewed on television almost daily, and is also reuniting with his 92 year-old mother after 20 years. 

I can't talk about it without getting teary-eyed.  He is so humble and so grateful for his new-found good fortune.  Homeless, when asked what he would like to do with income from the job he would choose, he said he wanted a home.  An apartment or a house where he could cook dinner... that chokes me up.  He is being offerered major announcing jobs and when asked what he wants, he comes up with something so simple and something that I take for granted every day.  I have a home, I have a place to cook dinner, and I have a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night.  And I have so many more things that I take for granted.  I live a low-key, fairly simple life, and sometimes I think about the bigger, better things I want.  But I neglect to give thanks for something that is so immensely significant: a home.  It's so easy to take that for granted but Ted Williams has reminded me that there are many, many people who don't have this.  They may bounce between the homes of friends and family, they may stay in shelters, or they may sleep in their cars or on the street.  I'm going to give thanks every day for my home.  And I wish Ted Williams continued sobriety and all the luck in the world.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

December... Oops

I can't believe I let Christmas go by without wishing you a Merry Christmas... Merry Christmas!  I hope it was wonderful and full of love and joy.  That said, on to the progress notes: So you know how I  said one of the results of the hypnosis was that I felt like I had a little Good Health Fairy sitting on my shoulder giving me advice?  Well, apparently in the month of December I had her gagged.  Poor little thing.  I stopped listening to her.  The hypnosis doesn't do all the work for you, you have to follow-through on the advice: have a glass of water, take a walk, put some more veggies in that dish, etc.  And for God's sake put down the stinking frappucino! 

For a month full of homemade candy and cookies, I supposed it could have been worse.  I gained 4.8 lbs.  That puts me up 2.8 lbs from my starting weight.  Yikes.  So, I've taken the gag off the Good Health Fairy and she hit me over the head with her wand a couple times.  I'm not listening to her 100% but I'm letting her talk and taking more of her advice.  Most notably exercising.  I know that once a week is not sufficent exercise, but it's more than I had been doing.  And for the last three weeks I've worked out once a week.... the first week I hit the elliptical at the gym, and the other two weeks I went ice-skating. 

The long and short of it is that I've been struggling lately and I am so thankful for the Gastric Mind Band Therapy, because I think without it I would have gained alot more than 2.8 lbs in the last few months.

FTC disclaimer: Since I am blogging about the experience, the Gastric Mind Band service was provided at no charge.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

There’s No Way In Hell I’m Giving Up

2010 was a year of trying and falling down for me, again and again and again. Sometimes I took longer than others to get back up. Sometimes I was tired for weeks on end with no motivation and took way too long to get back on track. But as I look back at the year I see the positive: I tried. I know didn’t try as hard as I could have, or for as long as I could have, but I did try. And I will continue to try. I truly believe I can beat this weight thing. This is a process, and if I am successful at it then I have a lifetime of maintaining a healthy weight to look forward to, and that will be work as well. So I am not going to let one measly year of false starts hold me back. There is no way in hell I am giving up.

Now, on to a summary of 2010 Shedding the Fat-Suit blog happenings. This year I…
And in 2010 I gained and gained and gained. Maybe I’ll try fewer dessert recipes in the New Year…

So now it’s 2011. I’ve found that New Year’s resolutions are bad luck for me, so I’m not making any. But I am making plans. This year I plan to blog more consistently, eat more vegetables, exercise more, and not beat myself up when I fall off-track. I’ll just do what I proved I’m good at in 2010: get up, dust myself off, and try again.

Happy New Year!