Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What's Going In Your Pie Hole?

Yesterday I shared that the methods that helped me lose 100 pounds (and keep it off for two years) were no longer proving effective. Read yesterday's post to get caught up, because today we are sitting down with my new favorite trainer Kemper to talk turkey. Literally.

After that horrible weigh in, I sat with Kemper miserably recounting everything that comprises my usual diet. The conversation started in stellar fashion with this little gem:

"Don't judge me, but my big splurge happens first thing in the morning with 150 calories of iced coffee."

Kemper looked up from his notepad and said, "At what time?"

"Around 5:30."

"What's in your iced coffee? Do you make it yourself?"

"Nope. It's pretty much milk and sugar with a hint of coffee thrown in for caffeine's sake. But it's delicious and it's my treat." (*insert stomping foot*)

Because Kemper has amazing self-control he chose not to comment and asked me to continue. I told him I always eat toast with peanut butter for breakfast, a mid-morning snack of a Kashi bar or some fruit (a.k.a. always a Kashi bar), a ham or turkey sandwich for lunch, an afternoon snack of popcorn, and then whatever family dinner I prepared. He asked me about the quality of my bread. ("Whole wheat!" I answered proudly.) He asked what I ate after I worked out at night. ("Um, nothing really. If I have calories left I might eat cereal or ice cream.")

He sat back and said, "It looks like you eat a lot of carbs."

Dun - dun - DUN.

He went on to outline a plan that was partly brilliant and partly ridiculous for me to even consider. These are some of his suggestions that I took.

1. For one week (JUST ONE WEEK, KELLY) give up the iced coffee. It's a ton of sugar to start your day with, and leads to huge spikes in blood sugar that affect your body for the remainder of the day.

(We compromised with tea with cream. And? After a week of Kemper's diet I don't even want my iced coffee right now. WHAAAAA?)

2a. Replace whole wheat bread with whole grain bread, preferably Ezekiel bread.

(This is one of those things that will never, ever happen because I've tried Ezekiel bread and I hate it. I also have food allergy kids and am not spending a dime more on bread than I already do. We compromised with organic whole grain rice cakes that I already had at home - which I eat for fun because I love them.)

But not too angry.
2b. Never eat a carb by itself. Always eat a carb with a fat and a protein.

(This has led to food combining that makes eating waaaaay more fun. Instead of, "Ugh, I want to eat all the popcorn but instead I have to eat this sucky apple" now it's "This apple is amazingly non-sucky when you dip it in peanut butter!" Instead of suffering through a handful of berries (which are delicious but leave me seriously wanting) I now get a container of greek yogurt (which has a ton of protein) mixed with my berries. It's like a world of endless possibilities.

3. EAT MORE PROTEIN. LIKE, A CRAPTON MORE PROTEIN. A crapton is the amount where you think, "If I eat one more gram of protein I will yammy all over Lifetime Fitness" but add a chicken breast and a protein shake. That's close to the amount you should eat.

(This is actually my favorite rule and tied for the most effective guideline Kemper put in place. I think it's because it is about eating more - allowing more, not restricting. Also, I did a lot of Pinteresting research to find different sources of protein, which kind of felt like a treasure hunt.)(Rad.)

4. Drink more water. Focus on getting half your body weight in ounces of water everyday.

(For me that meant 80+ ounces of water every single day. This has tied for my favorite guideline because it had some unexpected effects. I am a diet pop girl. I drink it every day. I've tried to give it up but have been so afraid of weight gain (go ahead and laugh at the irony) that I've always returned to my calorie free taste fest. The craziest thing that happened when I started pounding water like I was Shamu without my pool (not a fat joke) was that I didn't have time to drink anything else. I was fully four days without diet pop before I even realized it.

5. Eat every few hours, and especially after you work out.

(This has been harder than expected. Sometimes I am still full from the last time I ate. But at least I don't feel deprived.)(Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that my biggest problem has been finding ways to eat all the food Kemper wants me to eat?

After my workouts I've been sipping some 100 calorie protein shakes. They a'ight.)

Now I am sure there are scientific facts and reasons to back up all this advice. I know it has a lot to do with blood sugar and muscle growth but honestly, science isn't my thing. When Kemper asked me to try it for a week (oh, and did I mention he told me not to count calories?!) I said I would but if I gained weight - "I'll quit my job," Kemper interrupted.

I followed this advice as best as I knew how. Here is a sample of my diet and what Kemper had to say about it afterward.

6:00 a.m.
 16 oz water
   tea with cream

7:30 a.m. 
rice cake with peanut butter
                two scrambled eggs (Kemper - can you add a third egg?)

8:30 a.m. 
16 oz water

11:00 a.m. 
Greek yogurt with berries (Make sure it's plain, not filled with sugar.)

12:30 p.m. 
                  salad (Throw on some extra olive oil for more fat.) (Emphasis mine.)
16 oz water

3:00 p.m. 
tea with cream
                ham and cheese roll-ups (That's good.)(I felt like I earned a gold star.)

5:30 p.m. 
BLT flatbread
16 oz water

6:30 p.m. 
32 oz water (4 mile run, Core 30 class)

8:30 p.m. 
protein shake (Can you add a banana?)

This day added up to around 1500 calories and 85 grams of protein. I also drank 112 oz of water (if you include my tea). 

Now, the moment of truth. The results.

After one week I lost 3 pounds and 2% body fat. I ate waaaaay more food (in volume) than normal, and never felt hungry-hungry. Even more interestingly, I'm not craving any of my junkie foods. Kemper gets to keep his job after all.

Now, I realize this is a really premature post. This is entirely too new to me to pretend I understand all that I am doing and why. I'm still really uncomfortable with not counting calories (in fact I cheated and totally did even when Kemper suggested I stop doing it). I am a 34 year old woman who has never known her hunger to dictate portion size. When Kemper says, "Eat some almonds and some bell pepper for a snack," I want/need to know exactly how many almonds and how much bell pepper he is talking about. This was kind of foreign to him. He suggested I read the serving size label and eat one serving. I still need these kind of rules. But so far Kemper has steered me in the right direction. So I'm following him.

My next weigh in is Monday night. I'll keep you posted. Have a great weekend!


  1. Dude!! Reading this brought me back to last year when I was facing all those issues. Kemper's suggestions were very similar to the nutritionist I met with. More protein, more protein! Glad it worked for you...hope it continues!!

    1. Thanks, Steph. I remember your frustration. I think I need to keep remembering your victory when you stuck with it all!

  2. That's what I am trying to do myself! I started working out with a fitness trainer and he told me the same things! I try to eat at least 125 grams of protein. It's so hard, but worth it! Good luck and keep us posted on how the "diet" goes.

    1. It seems to be what everyone is saying! I'm glad your trainer is in agreement. It is super hard to eat all that protein! I'll keep reading your blog for ideas :)

  3. Yay! Progress! I know you were doubtful of Kemper's wisdom.

    1. Oh, young Kemper. He has earned my trust. ;-)

  4. Uh-oh Looks like Kemper knows what he's talking about lol... I'm actually trying to do the same thing and work in some more protein, you just gave me the push to finally do it!

    1. Yay, Alma! You are a rock star already for getting back to the gym so quickly. I hope you are healing well.


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