Cheat Days Will Fuck Up Your Shit

The end of this week marks the one month anniversary of my relationship with weight loss, and I’ve decided to celebrate it in true “I’m 13 and this is my first relationship ever and every hour is a milestone” fashion with an update on my journey as well as offer my opinion on a part of weight loss I hear so much about — cheat days.

How My Journey is Going:

In my one month of weight loss, I have lost a total of about 9 pounds.  That’s NINE pounds.  That’s an entire gallon of milk off of my body.  Do you know how crazy that is?  Look at this!

screenshot_3
MyFitnessPal is an amazing resource with an even more amazing community.

This line is me.  As you’ll see, it was not a consistently downward streak — if you are just getting started on weight loss or are feeling discouraged, take a close look at that line.  It doesn’t just go in one direction.  Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it doesn’t move at all, and on extra special days, it goes down.  That’s when we celebrate.  Hell, today my weight even went back up a little.  It happens!  It happens and it’s completely normal and okay.  Remember that if you lost every day, you’d disappear.  You’re too wonderful for that.

My measurements have gone down, too!  That’s probably an even more amazing feeling than the number on the scale decreasing is.  If you aren’t already — start taking your fucking measurements!  They have saved my sanity on more days than one.

I have dropped one pant size.  I can now fit comfortably into a 22, and squeeze into a 20.  My 24s fall down every 30 seconds.  I will soon have to go on a thrift store adventure to cover my ass while the weight comes off.

screenshot_4
These are huge!

And now that I’ve shared my joy, onto what you really came here for…

Why Cheat Days Will NOT Be Fucking You Gently

When I was growing up, I always wanted to lose weight.  I wanted to be skinny and hot so shitty teenage boys whose pubes were still growing in would consider me an acceptable addition to their nightly-visited mental spank bank depository.  At my thinnest, I weighed 150 pounds, which is considered about 15-20 pounds overweight for someone my height; not quite obese, but a little out of shape.  Unfortunately, I am the spawn of a short woman who is the spawn of an even shorter woman.  We are very small people.  15 pounds is a lot on my 5’2″ frame.  15 pounds is the difference between me looking good naked and looking like a dilapidated and discarded Tupperware container of pink fleshy Jell-O, so I’m sure you can understand my 16-year-old self’s desperation to lose that 15 pounds as quickly as humanly possible.  I didn’t know a damn thing about nutrition, though.  I, like many others, assumed losing weight meant eating a steady diet of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables.  In other words, boring your taste buds into suicide.  So, how do you combat the perpetual agony of hating everything that goes into your mouth?  This question is what introduced me to the concept of a “cheat day”.

I discussed my plans for weight loss with a family friend — someone who had been dieting for as long as I could remember. (I wish I would have realized there was a reason they had never stopped dieting…)  She told me about the “cheat day” and how if you behaved yourself all week, you got to eat anything and everything you wanted on the last day because you fucking earned those three slices of cake.  Because you stayed under the rest of the week, apparently the Calorie Gods decided in your favor to ignore and void all cheat day calories.  That’s totally how it works!  Trust me.

And that’s what I did.

Fast forward a month, and despite paying my dues in the form of sacrificing my enjoyment of food (and life), I still ended up gaining weight.  Why?  Cheat days.

Why Are Cheat Days So Bad, Anyway?

  • All-or-nothing diets never work.
    • If you feel deprived, you’re going to be miserable.  If you’re miserable, you’re going to hate the process of losing weight.  If you hate the process, odds are, you’ll never make it to your destination.  You’re way more likely to give up on the way.
  • Deprivation leads to binging.
    • It’s a lot easier to stop after one cookie if you allow yourself to have them when you want them than it is to tell yourself no.  When you finally let yourself, your self-control is going to take a serious hit.  That “I’ll just have one” can easily turn into “I’ll just have the whole box”.
  • Weight loss should not be a punishment.
    • Losing weight should be fun and inspiring.  Don’t make yourself hate it by never letting yourself enjoy food.  Even if you do succeed in your weight loss, you probably won’t keep it off.  Do you really think you can continue hating your meals for the rest of your life?  Because I sure as hell couldn’t.
  • The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.
    • Knowing you’re not allowed to have something makes it all the more taboo, exciting, and desirable.
  • One day can negate a ton of progress.
    • You could have lost 1.5 pounds this week instead of the half pound you ended up losing  had you found ways to work in the junk food you want into your diet, rather than over-eating all of them on the final day of the week.

And most importantly…

Health is a lifestyle change.  Your goal weight is not the final destination.

This is a journey that never ends.  The happier you can become with your new choices, the more comfortable you will become with sticking to them.  Eventually, eating less will be easier.  The human body is absolutely incredible and can adapt to so much.  Give it time to grow and it will reward you.

Fall in love with the journey and not the destination.

 

Advertisements

Lean Cuisine, Deep Dish (Craveables) Spinach and Mushroom Pizza — Diet Food Review

Trying to preserve more of my calories for dinner today, as I feel like I’m going to have an almost ravenous hunger spike today.  For lunch, I chose one of the lower calorie items from my freezer: Deep Dish Spinach and Mushroom Pizza.

img_8868

Look, Mom. I did my own photography today. 

I thought today, instead of the messy rambling I did last time, that I would set this review up into categories.  Maybe that will help break up the terrifying wall of text and you’ll be less scared about reading about my mouth’s emotions.  We’ll see; let me know your thoughts.

Visuals

Once again, Lean Cuisine has done a pretty damn good job at making the food actually look like the picture on the box.  This looks like real food and I don’t worry too much about how many machine bowels it’s passed through before ending up in my mouth.  It doesn’t look like it was squeezed out of a test tube — that’s a success!

Taste

I feel like this really needed some love in the spices department.  The flavor was extremely mild.  Sure, it’s a vegetarian dish, and spinach and mushrooms have very mild flavors to begin with, but even the sauce lacked a punch.  It wasn’t bad, but if the sauce had instead been mixed with a fuckload of garlic and cayenne (I like foods that make my breath so stinky that no one will ever consider kissing me for the rest of my life).  If you like foods that are easy on the stomach and don’t taste like much more than a mild cheese, you’ll probably like this.  Me, though?  I like to eat things that don’t taste like nothing.

Texture

This pizza did a lot better in the crust department than the flatbread from last night did.  While the crust on the bottom was a bit squishier (likely due to having moisture cooked in from being covered in a heavy amount of sauce), the edge crust surprisingly had a little bit of a crispness to it.  The edges are pretty similar in texture to a pizza dough you might make at home.

Portions

The pizza took up the majority of my dinner plate, so it’s pretty large. It’s not all that thick despite being deep dish, but it was pretty filling anyway.  I had it on it’s own for lunch around noon and didn’t feel hungry again until 6:30 or so.

Calories

This weighs in at 350 calories, which isn’t bad. You could have some veggies on the side to round it off closer to 400, which is apparently the recommended meal size.  By recommended, I mean dogshit.  Do you know how many times I’ve eaten a 400 calorie meal?  Like twice.  I think one of those times when I was still breastfeeding.

TL;DR Section for you nerds who want to read a blog without actually reading a blog:

PROS

  • Cooks surprisingly well for bread in a microwave
  • Low calorie
  • Pretty filling

CONS

  • Tastes like virtually nothing

FINAL RATING… 5/10

I didn’t have a thrilling experience, but it wasn’t painful.  It was just meh.  I would probably eat this again because I’m a fat fuck.

Lean Cuisine, Chicken Ranch Club Flatbread Melt — Diet Food Review

Looking at the freezer that I’ve stocked to the brim with various boxes of “health” branded mystery meals, I happened upon the idea to start writing reviews of the ones that I try in an attempt to add a little more interest to the process of trying to fool my previously food-addicted palate into submitting (quietly) to the low-calorie lifestyle I’ve adopted.  For those who are unfamiliar with my approach to shedding pounds, I haven’t really changed much. I eat what I want, but I keep a scale and a calorie count at hand at all times.  I do my best to cook myself great meals, but the biggest thing that has yet to change about me is this:

I’m really fucking lazy.

Okay, not lazy in general, but when it comes to food? You mean to tell me I have to take the time to make food every day? Cue the diet ready-meals.

In my experience, anything that says “healthy” or “diet” on it that isn’t a fresh piece of produce sucks.  A diet piece of cake cannot exist in a way that’s going to satisfy my confectionary lust in the way I so desperately need.  What’s worse is health nuts trying to pass off bird food as an appropriate replacement for other, more delicious foods.  If you try and tell your brain that a squash tastes exactly like spaghetti, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  Learn to appreciate healthier options for what they are, and you’ll have a great time.

Chicken Ranch Club Flatbread Melt

10823

This idea didn’t occur to me until the thing was half eaten, so I borrowed a picture from Lean Cuisine’s website.  I’m sure they won’t mind, seeing as I don’t get paid for this shit.  

The first thing worth mentioning about this is that I surprisingly didn’t fall victim to the classic marketing technique where the picture on the box is 8 quintillion times more attractive than the real thing.  That picture up there is actually exactly what it looks like, in other words; pretty fucking nice.  It looks more like it came off a panini press or my oven than my microwave.

The bread is a little thicker than the flatbread I’ve had in the past, and it’s got some kind of garlic/herb crusting on the outside which I thought added a much-needed touch of flavor and color.  Unfortunately, as expected, the bread did end up kind of spongey from being in the microwave.  Have you ever made eggs and toast and had the toast be done way before your eggs, so you pop them in the microwave for a few seconds just before eating them so the butter melts? No? Well, it’s like that. Kind of soggy and soft.  It wasn’t terrible, but if you have the time to pop this in the oven for a few minutes instead, I think it would turn out way better.

The description says the filling is a mixture of “white meat chicken, tomato, bacon, and a ranch sauce”. There’s also some kind of cheese in there, but I guess Lean Cuisine decided it got to be the third wheel in this sandwich relationship and wasn’t worth introducing up front.  There’s not much to be said about the chicken.  It’s seemingly grilled and lightly seasoned — a little too lightly for my tastes, but there’s enough else in the sandwich to make up for the lack of spices.  I only encountered a single tiny piece of bacon in the entire sandwich. Luckily, it was on my last bite, so I got to remember it fondly in aftertaste. The sauce didn’t taste very much like ranch dressing to me, but it wasn’t bad.  Very creamy. The flatbread melt didn’t really taste like something I’d consider “diet”. It tasted pretty close to actual food that I’d make at home. Even better, it was actually filling and took up half my plate! It was big for a frozen meal.

Overall, this was one of the better frozen ready meals I’ve had. My only real complaint, again, is with the bread texture, which can probably be fixed by baking it instead.  I still have to dock points for it though, because if you’re marketing a food as microwavable, the result should be just as good microwaved as it would be baked in an oven.

TL;DR Section for you nerds who want to read a blog without actually reading a blog:

PROS

  • Surprisingly large in size + filling; acceptable as a meal
  • Cheese!
  • Tastes like actual food and not food for birds
  • Low in calories (370)

CONS

  • Bread gets spongey in the microwave
  • Singular lonely bacon seeks attractive, tan, greased up, bacon lover
  • High in carbs, if that’s something you care about — I don’t (52g)

FINAL RATING… 8/10