Thursday, January 22, 2009

Okay, Here's What You Do

I just loved all your comments yesterday.  Who knew that two things that I've been thinking about in the last few days would be of such universal interest!  :)

So here's my brownie diet, from the beginning, because this is Lisa speaking.  In my first two pregnancies (bet those of you who asked me to elaborate never thought I'd start the explanation with "In my first two pregnancies," did you?  Unpredictable.  That's me.) I didn't lose my weight until after I had finished nursing (a year each) and then I just got thin again.  No effort or anything.  Then, during the years before Aaron came along I stayed thin and was exercising and avoiding chocolate and candy etc., right up until I gained that 5 pounds in America after my miscarriage

Once I got pregnant with Aaron I started eating chocolate again and stopped exercising.  I lost the five pounds I had gained in America, and didn't actually start gaining weight until my fifth month.  I was thin.  When I brought Aaron home from the hospital I almost looked back to normal (thin normal). Two months after Aaron was born, I was heavier than I'd been (without being pregnant) in eight years.  (!!!)

I was a little scared.  I didn't want to get fat, but I was too lazy to do anything about it.  Then Greg got a three week job in SLC doing translation for the church.  I decided to lose weight while he was gone.  I lost seven pounds in the first two weeks (by eating a heaping pile of veggies and a tiny bit of meat/carbs for each meal, and of course a brownie after dinner because I was being so good all day long) and kept it off.  For many months.  But the last seven or eight pounds weren't going anywhere.  

Finally I realized I needed to do something about it, especially if I want to get pregnant again one of these days.  So I started in on my no chocolate unless it's baked into something and baked stuff only after dinner plan, which I mentioned here on my blog.  After a month or two of that, I realized that it wasn't doing me any good.  So I completely bagged it and started eating dessert in the evening and then snacking on the leftovers all the next day.  After a few weeks of feeling terrible about myself I realized I was thinner than before.  I don't think I've lost more than a few pounds, but, you know how it is when you can feel on various parts of your body that the fat isn't there anymore?  That's how it is.  

Here's what I think happens: I eat brownies for dessert and then some more before bed.  The next morning I accidentally snack on them while I'm getting the kids ready for school and then am not in the mood for breakfast (why would that be?) and snack on some more mid-morning, and it fills me up until I have a late lunch.  Then a few a hours later it's dinner, and then comes dessert and the cycle starts again.  So basically, I am probably eating fewer calories overall.  Also, Aaron finished nursing later than the other kids, and I think my body may just be getting with the program (the losing-the-weight-after-weaning-the-baby program).

This is all really embarrassing and I should NOT be putting it on my  blog, but I hope it will help me to be motivated to be less of a glutton and to take a bit of control of my eating habits.  Still, it's hard, as I say, when I'm feeling thinner all the time, and unfortunately I don't have much less energy or anything, which I should on this kind of diet.  Plus, it's not this bad every day.  And if we have good fruit I'll eat that, too.  See?  Healthy!

Also, it's not always brownies.  I do make other stuff, but lately I've made them at least once a week.  I have spent the last 15 years or so in search of a good homemade brownie recipe (one that is similar to brownies from a mix--I'm one of those).  I have liked many of them, but this recipe is my favorite, by far.  It has kept me from trying out the recipe that Annette was kind enough to share with me.  And it kept me from making anything more interesting and exotic when Nathan was visiting.  I love it because it's one of the best tasting recipes IMO and it is simple and inexpensive to make, (doesn't have pounds and pounds of chocolate to be melted or require 4 different bowls).  I make them using only the pan that I melt the butter in.  Also, instead of the typical cup of butter and four eggs, it's got less of each.  Oh, and they're pretty with a perfect, crackly top. 

There is another kind of brownie that I also make repeatedly.  They're peanut butter brownies, and with some good dark chocolate filling them up, I can't resist them.  I always leave off the ganache because, come on.  I'm all about saving myself some calories and some money, and some effort and some dirty dishes (and plus they don't need it).

Now please feel free to explain why I should NOT eat like this and how bad it is for me.  Scare me out of this terrible cycle!  

And also, I'm not the only one with these backwards tendencies.  Annie wrote about how, to stay thin, she cannot exercise.  

25 comments:

MelancholySmile said...

Towards the end of my pregnancies, I feel so fat and icky that it's hard for me to eat well. I'm gaining weight anyway, so why torture myself with avoiding chocolate? Now, I'm worried that it's going to be even harder to go back to eating well because I've lost so much weight through nursing and marathon training that I've been able to eat pretty much anything my little heart desires for at least a year. Including holidays. Without gaining a pound. I know health should be the big motivating factor, but it's just so much more abstract than say, a dress size.

Oh my goodness, I'm a sucker for the chocolate/peanut butter combination. I like it in ice cream, though I can't buy it because it won't even make it into the freezer before I've dug out the entire peanut butter ripple. :)

Thora said...

My sister never loses the pregnancy weight until after she weans. I admit I've been eating horribly (well, lots of healthy food plus lots of unhealthy food). It's hard to eat well when you don't have to. I have no wisdom to give besides that I do not judge your brownie eating ways - not as long as you share the recipe, that is!

(By the way, your my husband's favorite blogger that I read. Just thought you might like to know).

McEwens said...

I think that is AWESOME you can lose and eat like that! I am JEALOUS!!!!!

Susan said...

There's definitely no magic to this. Brownies are a well-documented appetite suppressant! Plus, I think you may have failed to mention something here: milk. It plays a big role, haven't you read the studies on equal dieters with the same caloric intake where the ones eating dairy lost more weight than those not? A brownie with milk provides energy and protein (in the milk) and fills you up way better and longer than, say, a bowl of cereal for breakfast! Not to mention you've already got your chocolate/sugar fix for the next few hours....

My only complaint about this diet that I too have used to lose weight in an unplanned way, is that you really don't feel great about yourself after a while of being on it. (I know, it's not "a diet" that you really consciously are on.)

Moody said...

I think you're on to something. And I found Annie's post interesting too. Your body will tend to hang on to 8-10 pounds while nursing I guess just to make sure you've got some back up to make milk should there be a famine, but I could always eat like a teenager when I was nursing and not gain any more than that so I was happy! I don't have any weight issues and I've wondered if it's because I never tried dieting (cause I've heard it ruins your metabolism). Very interesting...

Barbaloot said...

Hmm---I'm fairly certain when I eat brownies and snack all day I still gain weight. Maybe I'm not eating enough cuz I'm still hungry when it's time for lunch and dinner... :)

Lara said...

I'll just say LUCKY YOU! And leave it at that. If I eat one brownie I will gain ten pounds. And that is not as much hyperbole as you might think, either, thanks to my lovely PCOS and such.

Sue Q said...

Hey, you have to visit my blog today. I have help for you!

I never had weight issues until I turned 30. I think gravity kicks in then, and there's only so much you can do to fight off gravity.

Anne said...

Yeah, this diet doesn't work well with my diabetes either. And I find myself doing it way too much! Thanks for the link to Annie's post Lis, I'm going to look in to the pilates thing and see if it will give me the exercise I need.

My Diary said...

I am so jealous. I just look at a brownie and gain 5 pounds. I am not here to discourage or scare you from your great diet, just to say, I wish I was you. Lucky Ducky.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Your metabolism sounds a lot like mine (used to be). If I ate chocolate, I was much thinner than when I tried to give it up. I am not sure why unless I was over eating other things in order to satisfy the craving, not sure. I could eat junk all day and not really feel too badly and not gain weight. Fast forward twenty years and I can't eat anything with sugar in it that doesn't instantly add 10 pounds and I don't know how to diet. Never had to before. Also, I have fibromyalgia, the advent of which I blame on stress but which I know has a lot to do with my unhealthy diet. THere really is a disadvantage to having a body that doesn't tell you ASAP that what you are eating is killing you. I'm proof. (Scared yet?) So, my advice is to learn to eat healthy ASAP--OR to get it while the getting's good, not sure yet which is better . . .

Becky said...

Holy smokes! How is it that you're not diabetic already - that's insane!!

(Is this the kind of shock and awe you're going for?) :)

That Girl in Brazil said...

Chocolate is a neccessity for me. (And - it sounds like other women as well.) When I "go off chocolate" I end up gaining weight, because I overeat in other areas to compensate for not eating one of my main food groups.

And dude - can you buy peanut butter there, or do you import?!

Heather of the EO said...

Just today, I twisted around to reach for something and realized that my top back met my bottom back. Never in my whole life have I ever had back fat. Lately my once BEAUTIFUL metabolism (the metabolism that loved chocolate) is dying out on me.

It's very VERY sad. I thought it would last forever, but I wonder if every woman has a certain date on her pre-ordained calendar when her metabolism simply stops whirring. (is that a word?) Some get to keep that metabolism forever, others never really had it, and some lose it somewhere in their 30's-like me.

(This information is totally hypothetical and cannot be used against me in a court of law.)

wendy said...

I just think God must like you guys better then me --annie doesn't have to exercise (thin) you can eat brownies (thin) me --looks at food, thinks of food smells food (not so thin) Hmmm. HOWEVER, I will justify it a little by saying once you hit the BIG M (menopause) my metabolism hit the road and nothing that worked before is working now. Please pass the brownies.

Melanie J said...

You're a very lucky girl and I'm trying not to hate you right now. Sigh.

Melissa Bastow said...

If I try your brownie diet and I end up getting fatter (which I already know will happen, because I've actually done this before, but let's just pretend like I haven't, for commenting sake) you will owe me like....$42 million. Sound good? Ok. Cool. (I'll collect in a week.)

kitchenditcher said...

Oh no...I DEFINITELY need to keep brownies away from my mouth!!

charrette said...

I LOVE that you're actually losing weight on this brownies-no exercise regimen! If only....
Actually, it might be a tad psychological. My cousin had a terrible weight problem because she was always worrying about it. She said as soon as she stopped WORRYING about her weight, she lost 90 pounds. And kept it off! She's skinnier than I am now. (I'm sorta jealous.)

Josi said...

I used to be able to eat that way with similar results--but not anymore. So sad.

Kazzy said...

One of the bottom lines here is that you are naturally thin. So the brownies thing makes sense in that you are actually eating fewer calories over the day because of how and when you eat, but you are naturally thin too. I hate you. Kidding... Anywho...

Annette Lyon said...

My metabolism is bizarre--and totally changed after baby #3.

At one point, I was exercising like a fiend and couldn't lose a pound--but then stopped exercising when I got sick and then suddenly dropped several pounds.

It was a turning point. Now, I try to exercise because I know I feel better (and am a happier mommy when I do), but it scares me, because I usually can't lose weight when I'm doing it. Bizarre, yes.

The browniei diet sounds far more tempting that Annie's salami one. :)

Kimberly said...

That reminds me so much of my life before I got married. EVERYTHING I ate was junk though...no good food whatsoever. But I ate little enough of it that I stayed thin. Now, I eat much healthier, but much higher quantity, and I gain if I'm not careful.

I don't get sick half so often now though. Yeah...that's all I got.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Lisaway, you did it. You officially converted us as fans. Anyone who is as committed and as inspirational about dessert deserves our continued attention. :)

-Francesca

Beeswax said...

I thought I could do it, too.

But then one day, my pants didn't fit.

(It is all fun and games til your pants don't fit.)

But I still made brownies tonight. With buttercream frosting. Who knows why? But they were very nice.

When I lose weight, I can't cut out all treats. But I do have to cut back.

I will say, though, that I gain weight when I exercise, to. And sit-ups make my normally flat belly (don't hate, is my best genetic inheritance, you should see my horrible feet) pooch out.

You keep on keepin' on with the treats, lady. You are livin' the dream.