Phase 2, Day 1

Weight: 149.4 lbs (67 kg)

To anyone who has been reading my previous articles: no, I didn’t get stuck in a time warp. I’ve decided to restart the 123Diet plan, this time with absolutely no cheating. To be entirely honest, I was inspired to do this because I was confronted about purporting to represent the program without actually properly following the program.

I could have simply ended this little experiment then, but I realized I didn’t actually want to. As much as having to say no to certain temptations (ok, mostly wine), can fricking suck, I knew that without both a structured plan and some external accountability incentive, my brain would go right back to my old chaotic pattern of fasting and bingeing, and I was just so over all that.

On Friday, day 12 of my pseudo-123, I did manage to drag myself to cycling class instead of going out and then had an on-program dinner, and I lost a pound. However, I gained 2 pounds on Saturday despite exercising for two hours and only cheating minimally (one diet coke when I needed a caffeine fix at a play and a little extra feta in the middle of the night), so by Sunday evening, I was back to being totally off the rails.

Oddly, I lost one of the two pounds I'd gained on Saturday anyhow, and so thus found myself surprisingly motivated to stay on track on Monday morning even before I found myself running into a more explicit incentive. After all, it had been months since I’d even started a week in the 140s. All-in it is....

Over the weekend, I’d also branched out from my apples and oranges a bit by experimenting with berries and grapefruit. My “typical” breakfast is now a mixed fruit “parfait” made with a tablespoon of fat-free Greek yogurt. These feel a little more like a proper meal than plain fruit did, and they’re a fun way to sneak in a tiny bit of protein before lunchtime, if only 1g of it. Post about the health benefits of yogurt coming up soon!

These parfaits also answer the question of how I should use my dairy allowance without requiring me to have any blasted cheese in the house. I’ve always found milk rather flavorless on its own, and one thing I have learned over all my years of dieting is how to enjoy my coffee as black as my soul!

After leaving work a little after 4, I had my afternoon snack of tomato, Melba toast, and cooked onion. I then walked around in the park a bit, then worked on some writing, then went to another theatre event at the same coffee shop I’d been to last Tuesday. I managed to stick to the green tea this time rather than order any alcohol, then chowed down on the burger and cucumber I’d packed on my way home! I woke up in the middle of the night again, which tends to be one of my worst times food-wise since I'm in zombie-mode and worried about getting back to sleep, but I only had some cooked onions and garlic instead of something off-program.

Total Food Consumed:

“Parfait” of strawberries, blackberries, and about half an apple, with a tablespoon of fat free Greek yogurt (Breakfast)

100 g hard boiled eggs and kale (Lunch)

Cooked onion and garlic, raw tomato, and Melba toast (Afternoon Snack)

100 g burger with 2 cups cucumber (Dinner)

A ton more cooked onions with garlic (Midnight Snack)

Total Exercise:

A little over an hour walking

Phase 2, Day 2

Weight: 149.4 lbs (67 kg)

No weight loss, but I shouldn’t be surprised about that given all my indiscretions over week 1 and 2; it might take a while for my body to snap into the optimal fat-burning mode that the precise combination of fat-burning foods recommended on the 123Diet usually facilitates.

I felt as wired as a jackrabbit all morning, but a lot more down and sluggish after lunch. I left work sometime after 5, but when I was halfway home, I realized that I’d forgotten my damn purse at the office! Realizing that I'd left both my drops and my gym membership card in it, I naturally had to go back, and thus only had time to go shopping for more healthy food rather than work on any of my own writing as I’d planned to do before the 8 o'clock yoga class I’d planned on attending.

I still felt pretty drained and out of it and don’t think I would’ve been in the mood for a more strenuous exercise class, but I found yoga genuinely restorative. I’m going to really make an effort to come on both Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on (though not this week, because I’ve already managed to find another theatre event to go to on Thursday….), which will still leave my Mondays and Fridays free for other adventures and my Wednesdays free for strength training….

I weighed myself again between getting home from yoga and eating my dinner, and I was still 149.4, which I suppose was a relief. I thus was pretty unsurprised when I weighed in at 149.4 again in the morning given that I'd eaten dinner so late, a yummy concoction of white fish, onions, asparagus, and spices.

Though I know eating late is one of the things you’re supposed to avoid on diets in general, (though I don’t think 123 has any specific rule about it…) I also have a neurosis about not wanting to eat my last meal of the day until I’m finished with all of my day’s obligations.

I also ended up waking up in the middle of the night again and having more cooked onions and garlic, plus some thawed frozen spinach. All drenched in plenty of salt, which I am simply unwilling to give up and which could also be a factor in this mini-plateau….

Total Food Consumed:

“Parfait” of strawberries, frozen blueberries, and about half an apple (Breakfast—I was out of blackberries!)

100 g chicken with 2 cups spinach, lemon, and chili powder (Lunch)

Melba toast, cooked onions, and 2 cups kale (Afternoon Snack)

100 g white fish with 2 cups cooked asparagus, some Bragg’s, some apple cider vinegar, and a ton of spices (Dinner)

More cooked onions and some thawed frozen spinach (Midnight Snack)

Total Exercise:

About half an hour walking

One hour yoga

Phase 2, Day 3

Weight: 149.4 (67 kg)

I’ve been eating so much garlic that my dad even commented that I smelled like garlic this morning. Oh well. At least I didn’t bring any more today, and at least I don’t have to worry about vampire attacks...

After finishing up a few other articles I’d been working on, I, a total chocoholic, seized on the opportunity to go down a google wormhole about what makes chocolate so bad for you and cocoa powder so good after looking through a new version of the 123Diet recipe book that included some shake recipes made with a low-fat cocoa powder called Wondercocoa. Though I think may have to order it off Amazon to actually get my hands on some...

In the afternoon, I tried a new strategy to maximize the efficiency of my lunchtime walk and hopefully avoid feeling so slumpy after eating. I took my drops right before clocking out, grabbed my cucumbers and chicken, threw a bit of salt and chili powder on them, then ate them as I was walking. Crazy I may be, at least you can't call me lazy!

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I still felt low-energy after lunch, but felt a lot better after I drank some more water. Somehow I was registering the vague sense of unease I was feeling as “tired” rather than thirsty, which I would naturally react to by drinking more coffee and tea, which of course would only dehydrate me more! I somehow think that because I drank water in the morning I couldn’t possibly need any more in the afternoon, this despite having walked for an hour in the sun in Florida!

I definitely also felt better in general throughout the day than I did on Monday and Tuesday, and certainly better than during my last two weeks of utter chaos. Another grand thing about this job is that there are perpetually posts and other things I should be working on, so there's really no time to overthink my own diet. Instead, I get to the learn that cocoa was once called "the food of the Gods!"

I spent all day mentally preparing myself for strength training, and so had no problems following through and going. That didn't make the workout itself any easier, but I had moments of feeling powerful and strong along with my moments of total exhaustion, and even thought I looked a little leaner in the mirror...

Afterwards I rewarded myself with a packet of konjac noodles. I've also found it helpful to save extras like that for days I get to eat dinner peacefully at home and stick to simpler stuff when I'm on the run. Also, have I mentioned that I freaking love konjac noodles?

Total Food Consumed:

Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and apple “parfait” with a tablespoon of yogurt (Breakfast)

The rest of yesterday's apple (as I'd only used about half in the parfait) (Midmorning snack)

100 g chicken and cucumbers (Lunch)

2 small tomatoes and 1 packet Melba toast (Snack)

100 g burger, 1 onion, 2 cups spinach, and 1 packet konjac noodles (Dinner)

Thawed frozen spinach (Midnight Snack)

Total Exercise:

1 hr walking

1 hr strength training

Phase 2, Day 4

Weight: 149.4 (67 kg)

Oddly enough, I wasn't that bothered by the lack of weight loss today. Before 123, a gain or failure to lose would have inevitably been followed by agonizing and fasting, but today, I knew I would still be able to have all the same yummy foods as usual! I'm confident that the scale will reflect my progress eventually, and between work, the gym, and theatre stuff, I'm staying way too busy to obsess.

Between getting caught up in learning some basic HTML for our new recipe post format plus my natural compulsion to stay at my desk at long as possible, I didn't end up taking my lunch break til around 1:40, staving off my hunger with gum in the meantime. I took my food to go again, and I do wonder what on earth the drivers of all the cars I pass think when they see me walking around eating cucumbers!

I also finally remembered to bring in a pack of sparkling waters today. I've already finished almost the whole pack; I think I was more addicted to the sensory stimulation of getting up to grab a bubbly liquid and drinking it than to the artificial sweetener or even the caffeine. I also "invented" my own diet soda of sorts by mixing one of my sparkling waters with some 123Diet tea and some coconut flavored stevia drops.

I finally left work close to 6, then had my tomatoes and Melba toast, then attended a Forum hosted by a local theatre company. Once more, I resisted the wine! Knowing that indulging might be the end of my whole experiment seems to be a much more powerful motivator than just confessing it was... It takes me a while to set my mind on things, but I can be very stubborn when I do!

On the way home, I had my packed eggs, my packed kale, and my packed spinach. I don't think it's a technical violation of the rules that I had this amount of vegetables at once, but it hadn't been what I planned on doing... however, I didn't end up waking up in the middle of the night to eat this time, so maybe eating more at dinner preemptively replaced my odd habit of night snacking?

I also had a tiny bit of fish when I got home after my mother told me my eggs had probably been a few g short. In measuring this fish and seeing that it was an improbable 0 gs, I realized that the food scale I've been using is actually somewhere between 5 and 10gs off! How do I miss this stuff?

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Total Food Consumed:

Blueberry, blackberry and apple “parfait” with a tablespoon of yogurt (Breakfast) (out of strawberries this time!)

The rest of the apple and the rest of yesterday's apple (Morning snack)

100 g burger and 2 cups cucumber with salt and chili pepper (Lunch)

Sliced tomato and 1 pack melba toast (Snack)

100 g(ish) eggs and fish, 2 cups kale, 2 cups spinach (Dinner)

Total Exercise:

1 hr walking

Phase 2, Day 5

Weight: 148.8 (67 kg)

Finally, a real loss, if only a small one! For the first time in ages, I'm refocusing on the long game rather than getting caught up in day-to-day fluctuations, which is actually really refreshing.

Also, I recently purchased a smart scale, and though I've been too overwhelmed by all its flashy numbers to record them every day, I have noticed a .2 increase in my percentage lean mass and about the same drop in my percentage body fat, which means that my fears about losing muscle on the 123Diet have so far been unfounded. I'm not really trying to gain muscle either, just to maybe tone a tiny bit and maintain the pathetic level of fitness I currently have.

Packed for today are another parfait, eggs, a burger, cucumbers, spinach, and kale, now precisely measured since I've figured out my kitchen scale's pitfalls. Another jam packed weekend of running around lies ahead: play tonight, gym tomorrow morning, play Saturday afternoon, improv show Saturday night, improv workshop Sunday morning, then more plays Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. As I've said, I function best in hyperspeed....

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