Monday, January 17, 2011

Deciding to Try the Cabbage Soup Diet

Two years ago, I reached my heaviest weight ever in my life. Most of my life I had been thin, both naturally and because I was a runner. But due to injuries, I could no longer run. That, together with age had allowed my weight to creep upwards gradually. I was miserable and the Christmas holidays were right around the corner. The prospect of adding additional weight over the holidays was very frightening so I decided to take charge of it before it got totally out of control

On the advice of a friend who had tried it, I joined a free website called Spark People is a terrific site for those who are focused on long term changes for both weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. It also allows you to join various sub groups of people of similar ages and interests. They provide some excellent tools for meal planning, exercises, motivation, as well as tracking food and exercise minutes. Based upon your age, sex and amount of weight needed to lose, Spark People puts you on a recommended range of daily calories which includes not only a maximum number, but also a minimum number of calories per day.

In December 2008, I became a member of Spark People and religiously logged on every day and tracked everything I ate. Shortly after joining, I also became an active member of a sub group for those over 50 years of age who needed to lose ten pounds or less. The major focus of this group was exercise with the most popular challenge being the monthly pedometer challenge. What this challenge did was allow each participant to set a monthly goal of steps and then track them using a pedometer. Thus each person competed against themselves. I found this challenge a great way to force me to stay with my walking program which was my primary form of exercise.

I started off at 130 pounds and was only able to fit into two pairs of pants that I owned. My goal was to reach 118 pounds and fit into my favorite clothes. One of the first things I did was to eliminate sugar from my diet. This meant no sweets during the Christmas season. Some of my friends thought that was a bad idea, but it actually made staying with the program easier. From the first of December through the end of March, I stayed totally on my program. Every day, I logged in all my food, ate zero sugar, and walked at least three to five miles a minimum of five days a week. I lost sixteen pounds and became very fit. Spark People was a great way to give myself accountability and I really recommend it for anyone who wants to be on a long term weight loss and fitness program. Spark People is what you make of it, but it can be very time consuming tracking every bit of food and exercise.

Gradually, I got tired of logging everything in and fell back into some bad habits. In the last two years, I slowly had put back on a significant portion of that weight I had lost. Before it gets out of hand, I decided to try a different tact to jump start my diet. I am using the Cabbage Soup Diet for the first five to six days. If it works the way it is purported to do, it will be enough to get me back into eating better and healthier. Monday is my first day on the Cabbage Soup diet.

After making my decision to try the Cabbage Soup diet, on Sunday I went to the grocery store to purchase the ingredients for the soup. These included cabbage, onions, green bell pepper, two cans of diced tomatoes, carrots, and mushrooms. These ingredients were to be chopped up and mixed in large pan along with 48 ouces of water and two bullion cubes. I put all this into a crock pot and it was almost overflowing. Normally, the Cabbage Soup diet is followed for a maximum of seven days, but on the evening of Day 6, we will be attending a party, so I am planning on staying with it for five days. The soup will form the basis for my meals with certain specific foods allowed to accompany it each day.

Since I will be on a very restricted diet the next several days, I decided to enjoy a good dinner Sunday evening of roast beef, potatoes au gratin, asparagus with butter, and red wine. Monday begins my diet. Woo Hoo (sarcasm intended)!

These blog entries over the next several days are intended to document if and how the diet has worked for me on a daily basis and my impression of it.

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