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Skinny Saturday Report

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I know I’ve missed a week or two, sorry for the absence! Things have been just CRAZY around here, with no signs of slowing down in June.

Anyway. I have been both dreading and looking forward to this post since my last Skinny Saturday report. Looking forward to it because I had some pretty great success in the past two weeks. Dreading it because I’m a little worried about harsh judgements regarding my methods. And also dreading it because I’ve already undone a lot of the success I had.

So before I delve into the past two weeks, please just keep in mind that any negative comments won’t be published. But I’ll still see them, so be kind please. I’m not advocating or suggesting any particular weight loss method. What works for everyone will be different. This is just my own personal experience and journey.

A couple of weeks ago, I weighed about 185 lbs. A friend of mine mentioned that her husband has recently used HCG to lose some weight. Which reminded me of Kristen’s story, who had also found success with HCG. Her story had always intrigued me, but I didn’t think the weight loss would really be significant, and if it was– I didn’t think it would be real weight loss. But after seeing a real life example, standing in my living room, having visibly lost real weight, I felt like I wanted to try it.

Now, this post isn’t going to be about HCG. I’m not here to tell you what it is, how it works, or the merits of it. But I did find both Kristen’s post and this blog extremely informative. If you have an interest in it, and are looking for real people to share their real experiences, I’d start there.

I was nervous, so I brought my husband (reluctantly) on board with me. We ate SUPER low calorie (supposedly about 500 calories) and took the HCG tablets for two weeks. We ate grilled chicken, salad, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, tilapia, apples (SO many apples), asparagus, onions, and a green pepper here and there. It’s completely lean proteins, green veggies, and certain fruits (all in limited portions, but we were pretty liberal with the fruits and veggies). And it’s LOTS of water.

As long as I ate an apple between meals, took the HCG when I was supposed to, and drank the recommended amount of water, I wasn’t overly hungry, and my appetite wasn’t out of control. My husband said the same thing.

I was down to 171.6 after about 2 weeks, and I felt really, really good. My clothes fit me, I was getting comfortable feeling again. I felt like I could focus on other things in my life besides my weight and my next snack. I felt proud of myself. I felt clean from the inside out. I didn’t crave soda or sweet drinks (which has never happened before). And I made the most beautiful batch of cookies I’ve ever made without so much as licking a spoon. The truth is that I really enjoyed those two weeks, challenging as it was to change my habits. Of course, the appetite suppressant in HCG had a tremendous amount to do with my ability to comply with the diet.

A few days before the two week mark, I started gaining slowly, and reached 173. I don’t know what happened. My only guess is that I started eat protein in bigger portions than I should have. We were vacationing in California, and it was hard to be as in control of my diet as I would have been at home.

At the two week mark exactly, I attended BlogHer Food, a food blogging conference. I knew this was coming, and that I wouldn’t be done with the 3-week phase of my low calorie eating and HCG dosages. But I decided to end the phase a week early so I could enjoy the conference. I figured I’d put on a few pounds (in fact, I anticipated 5 or 6 within the weekend, taking into account water weight), and I thought I could live with that. After all, the point of this diet was really just to get me to a starting point– a way to put me on track for a lifestyle of cleaner eating habits. I didn’t mind if I gained a little back.

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So I enjoyed myself over the weekend, eating pretty freely. I was happy to come home and find that I had only gained 2 lbs. This is where the trouble started…

Complacency set in nearly immediately upon my return home. This entire week I’ve been trying to eat clean and healthy (not at the 500 calorie mark, aiming for more like 1200-1500), and failing miserably. It’s been a week of total binging, and as of this morning I’m at 179 lbs.

Truthfully, I’m thrilled to still see a number in the 170s on the scale. And my clothes are still fitting (a miracle). That’s more than I could have hoped for after the past week and a half of ridiculous junk food eating. But I feel so gross again. I feel bloated, and uncomfortable. More than that, I feel deflated and discouraged.

The trouble is that my eating is a compulsive behavior. I know that. I know what my triggers are, I just don’t know how to stop it. Or how to replace the compulsive junk food eating with something else. Or how to stop the cycle of diet, crash, guilt, diet, crash, guilt. I haven’t found the answer yet.

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The only time good eating habits seemed to come naturally is when I was running (a little compulsively). And I do have good news on that front! In the past two weeks (in addition to my crazy eating ups and downs), I’ve been doing a lot of work on my foot. I was fitted for new (nice) running shoes, picked up some exercise toys for my foot, and have learned quite a few strengthening, stretching, and pain relief techniques for my Plantar Fasciitis. I’ve been taking care to do all of these religiously every day, and I’m happy to report that I’m finally seeing some PROGRESS!

I’ve been on 3 mile walks for the past two days without any abnormal pain following the walks! I think that deserves a quick woot woot! I’m feeling SUPER positive about this, and I’m hoping to be running again by the end of the summer (and I’m crossing my fingers that it’s even sooner than that!)!

So anyway.

That’s my story of the past two weeks. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster.

I want to end this post by reaching out to all of my fellow “chronic dieters:”

I had a thought while I was walking this morning… I was thinking about how embarrassing Skinny Saturday has become for me. How mortifying it was going to be to tell you all that I had actually taken pills and eaten 500 calories a day for two weeks to lose weight and then binged my way back to where I was before. It’s not easy to share that. I thought about how much I’m dreading the comments about the dangers of HCG and crash dieting. And about how I couldn’t stand to hear one more person advise me to just “find a healthy lifestyle that includes lots of fruits and vegetables and exercise.”

I just hate the thought of presenting myself to everyone each week as this constantly failing “chronic” dieter. But then I realized that it’s not necessarily about the number of methods I try, it’s all about fighting the battle. It’s about being persistent, continually trying, not giving up and letting myself go. It’s the old cliched adage of seeing how many times you can pick yourself up after falling down.

So… to any of you who are fighting this battle too, and feel like your “chronic” dieting has made you appear ridiculous to those around you,  just know that I believe it’s worth continuing the fight.

  • Weight: 179.00
  • Loss: -3.8

Oh, and to anyone who is wondering how my husband did… he lost 25 lbs. And hasn’t gained anything back. *eyes rolling*

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

26 comments on “Skinny Saturday Report”

  1. Please don’t be discouraged. I’ve changed my goals over the years. It’s no longer about losing weight, but about gaining health. I will say that the sugar’s had to go, and as a result, I’ve lost a nice amount of weight without counting any calories. I can’t eat sugar in moderation. I just can’t. So it’s a very rare treat. But I’m not a dessert blogger, so it doesn’t have to be a big part of my life.

    Overall, though, I’ve let go of the guilt. I looked back and realized I’ve felt guilty about my weight for 15 years. That’s a lot of time wasted!

  2. OMG if this isn’t me,but your beautiful. I on the other hand weight 208 and
    can not get started on dieting ( eating healthier). I do well for a month then
    hit bottom. I also am a diabetic. You are a great inspiration to me!!
    Thank you for a great site.

  3. Way to lay it all out there, girlfriend! It is a vicious cycle, a constant struggle. In the year + since I’ve lost, I’ve found that the way to maintain is to make exercise a daily activity–do SOMETHING! I fluctuate a few pounds here and there, but I’ve stayed pretty constant with my exercise, no matter how much junk I eat one day–I do better the next. I love how you say you felt good “inside and out” it’s SO true! To feel like you have that control–if only for a while is so wonderful–keep it up my friend!!

  4. That would be exactly the same with us: me barely losing and James (who doesn’t need to lose any) would lose 25lbs. I swear he just thinks about doing crunches and his abs look better. I have a friend who had a lot of success with the HCG diet as well. Keep on keepin’ on!

  5. I loved your honesty. I know how you feel, the minute that someone comments on my weight loss, it’s over. My bad me says “wow you are looking good, you don’t need to deprive me anymore”. I wish the strong me would get stronger. I know what I need to do, I know how to do it (I’ve done it soooooo many times), I just need to be consistent and go for the healthy lifestyle I crave. I know that you can do it too.
    By the way, my eyes rolled too when I read about your husband’s weight loss, why is it that they can give up a beer and lose the weight. Not fair is it?

  6. Drinking a protein shake once a day helps me keep my snacking in check. And I mean one scoop of protein powder and 8oz of water. I don’t fill it up with carbs from a banana and fructose from blueberries and strawberries. When you do fall off the wagon, just get control again with the next meal, and don’t be so hard on yourself. You are human and this will be a life long battle.

  7. You are Amazing!!! The hutzpah it takes to tell these stories each week is truly inspiring! You might not be happy about the way you look and feel, but let me tell you. After spending the weekend with you I kept thinking what is she so worried about? You are beautiful and you have a great figure!!! Just keep up the good fight and you will get to where you want to be!!!

  8. I really appreciate these reports. I have battled binge eating, weight loss and regain, and a serious negative body images since I was in 8th grade. At 29 years old, it doesn’t seem there is an end in sight for this battle. I have been at my lowest weight of my life and then at my highest in the last 6 years and the fluctuations drain me mentally. I love reading these reports and the comments to realize that I am not alone. I’m not crazy and I’m not lazy and stupid because I can’t achieve my goals. There seems to be lots of lovely women fighting the same battle as me and its good to know I’m not by myself in this. Thank you for sharing your inside world. I couldn’t be so brave and I truly appreciate that you are. Thank you, thank you. Good luck and good job!

  9. Ashton, my dear friend, I don’t know where you are on your life journey, but I’m nearing the half century mark. I’ve done nothing short of pure starvation in my attempts to lose weight. After years of compulsive eating, yo-yo dieting, and “torturing” myself trying to exercise in a disabled body, I ended up having gastric bypass surgery. I lost 155 pounds in 9 months. I went from 270 down to 125 and felt like a new woman. The problem was, the surgery didn’t change my head. I was, and still am a food addict.
    I picked up a horrible disease called Pernicious Anemia and it’s almost taken my life 4 times now.
    Anyway, in an attempt to correct the problem, I had a hysterectomy last August. The good news is that it worked…. my anemia is FINALLY under control. The bad news… I’ve gained 55 pounds. I’m up to 180 and trying desperately to get #FitBy50. I want to lose 50 pounds by my 50th birthday (on January 30th).
    I’m going to continue to do what you are doing so wonderfully… rolling with the punches, picking up the pieces when you fall and putting them back together again so that you can carry on. GOOD FOR YOU, Ashton!

    If you ever need or want the shoulder or listening ear of a fellow addict, please reach out to me. I’ve overcome the addictions of alcoholism (I’ll celebrate 16 years of sobriety in July), gambling, and drug use (I smoked 1.5 packs of cigarettes every day for 23 years and quit cold turkey 2.5 years ago). Food addiction is by far the most difficult one that I’ve faced in my life. Unlike the others that I mentioned, I cannot stay away from food altogether. I HAVE to eat to survive, but as soon as that first morsel hits my lips, the addiction kicks in. It’s an AWFUL battle, but I believe that it CAN be won!! LET’S DO IT!!

  10. Ashton sweetie, I hear you and just want to tell you I love you and support you! I’m probably close to you in weight. I don’t own a scale and avoid them at all costs. I’m 5’9″ and wear a size 12. I have a few size 14 and few size 10’s in my closet and I judge myself on how comfortable I am in those clothes. Some days are better than others and we just have to live with it and keep going! Never give up the fight!

  11. Ashton, I wish I could be in your living room for just like five minutes to give you a hug and some words of encouragement (Okay, maybe 10 minutes, because then the last five I could pick your brain about blogging . . . )!! I just wanted to say that I, as a loyal Skinny Saturday Reader, don’t see you as a chronic dieter. I don’t pity you. And I don’t see any reason for you to write these posts with shame or embarrassment. You are an amazing, strong, beautiful, and brave woman. You are doing wonderful! Everyone has struggles in life, and maybe one of yours is about seeing your struggles with compassion (I know it’s been one of my struggles!). Keep going, Ashton. On another note, I can completely relate to what you are talking about with the run down gross bloated feeling. Whenever I make better food choices, I feel BETTER. You’d think it would make it a lot easier to make good choices all the time . . . and yet, I just ate my weight in cookie dough.

  12. I am totally in a funk right now too. I need to get back to my “goal” weight but I have not the time or energy to work out. Right now, I hate food. Nothing sounds good to me, nothing is appealing to eat, healthy or not. And because I am trying not to eat sweets, I find myself thinking about them more and more. I feel like Paul Rudd in “This is 40”, when he eats the cupcake out of the sink, although I could never do that. For the few years that I was strict on my WW diet, I didn’t eat so many foods, and now that I have re-introduced those things to my life it has become harder to let them go for a second time. Evil pizza. Keep on trucking until you find what works for you, EVERYONE needs a jump start somewhere. I am still waiting for mine.

  13. I know your pain so well. I am sure I have lost and gained 1000 pounds in my life. No joke!!! Such a battle to fight.
    I have taken HGH before but no loss at all for the 4 months I did it. I have never heard of the one you are talking about.
    I hope you find what will work for you and all the others too.

  14. Ashton, you’re so open and honest, don’t feel one bit embarrassed about sharing your dieting story with us! I personally think you’re a huge inspiration and you shouldn’t worry one bit about what people think, just keep trying and focus on giving it your best and finding joy in what really makes you happy! :)

  15. I believe in yooooou! And I’m glad you didn’t skip out on the amazing eats of Austin. It was worth it, in my opinion! Not only that, but now you know that this particular diet doesn’t totally work for you. That means there is something out there still that WILL work, ya just have to find it! And I know you will. In the meantime, give yourself a hug! You’re BEAUTIFUL, talented, smart, funny, and have an amazing husband and kiddo. Don’t let those extra few pounds make you forget about that!

  16. Hello! I don’t normally post comments here, and haven’t been reading for very long, but I feel so compelled to say something right now, so I’m gonna ; ]

    I mean first of all, let’s talk about how brave you are for sharing this! I blogged for over a year and a half before mentioning my weight gain, and attempt to lose. I’m just surprised that you are so willing to share this, and am pretty happy with your honesty (hooray for that!) I also know what you mean. I, personally, have never been a dieter. I like to eat. Bottom line. And when I came across an article in my studies in school (I was a Sociology major) about the difference between men and women when it comes to appearance, and how men exercise to lose weight, but women diet–something sparked in my brain. Exercise! Obviously this is not so easy for you since you’re a little bit hurt at the moment, but doing what you can will help so much. I, myself, am actually down about 17ish pounds since I started my “journey” in January (started at about 196). It’s been slow, but on average I’ve lost about a pound a week and am finally seeing results. I mean, it sucks. Having to wait this long to see a change–and then seeing a friend who says she’s lost 20 pounds in 2 months and I’m like “Whaaaaaaat? No fair!” But I mean, the “journey” is different for everyone. And notice I put quotation marks around the word journey? It’s because I hate that term haha. And I hate saying “blah blah blah lifestyle change blah blah.” No, it’s not a lifestyle change to me. My lifestyle does not consist of what I eat and how much I exercise. That’s just some of it you know? But anyway… You’re probably sick of advice, but mine to you is to find what works for you. For me, that means losing weight slower because I’m not willing to completely cut out things like cheeseburgers and brownies from my diet lol. But I do want to say that I eat better! There comes a time when you no longer want to hinder your progress, so you start eating healthier. And it helps! And eventually you stop craving the not-so-good things, and start wanting the healthier things–it’s a scientific fact man! That’s how it works! And I know you said you have triggers and do the binge eating? I do that sometimes too, but I turn it around because I can get myself to think about what I want in the long run vs what I want now. Is what I want now worth sacrificing what I want in the long run? Most of the time it’s not. So I get back on track. And I actually don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I just wanted to share some things about my story in case it helps you. Just start thinking long-term, instead of now. Ya know? : ]

    Anyway, this is probably all empty advice. I know for me that no matter what people said or what inspiring messages I saw on Pinterest, nothing inspired me better than me. Once you make the solid decision for yourself and find inspiration within, then you’ll be able to make it happen. : ] And I wish you so much luck when you do!!

    P.S.–I was wondering if maybe you could not publish this comment? I didn’t really write it for your readers, but more for you. So as long as you read it, it doesn’t need to be published : ]

  17. I really appreciate your honesty in these posts, and I really can’t imagine being able to do the same if I were in your shoes. I totally understand your issue with compulsive eating, as it is something that I struggle with too. It is almost worse for me when I am running a lot though, because then I almost feel like I deserve to eat whatever, whenever I want. It is a constant struggle, but know that you are not alone, and that there are those of us reading about your journey who are rooting for you the whole way. Just make sure you feel good and that is really all that matters.

  18. Ashton, thanks for sharing this! You have no idea what impact it has had on me, and the impact that I know it has had/will have on others. The really hard, dark, depressing side of that vicious weight gain and weight loss cycle is that a lot of the time you feel like you are so alone. Hollywood, dieting companies, etc. make it seem so easy to lose weight, while I always feel like I’m lost in my own world doing something wrong because I can’t do it like they do. (Wait…we’re not all Hollywood stars..?) So, thanks for sharing your experience and making me, and lots of other women out there, know that we’re indeed not alone in this journey.

    You’re beautiful!

  19. Bravo!!! I appreciate your courage sharing what you really don’t have to with us. I’m not reading any comments here. I hope you have many encourages. I also hope any negative people will just ignore, or click away, or whatever… Why read someone’s personal thoughts and waste time ripping them to shreds. I’ll never understand that. Anyway, my only question is DID YOU REALLY ASK YOUR HUSBAND TO DIET WITH YOU??? Lol joking, as men are NOTORIOUS for losing weight so quickly and keeping it off. Well, I respect what you’re doing and you are a voice of encouragement to every person who wonders why they can’t easily overcome, like all the skinny, toned, tan, celluliteless, fit person they (we) see on almost every “encouraging” picture.

  20. I commend you once again for sharing your story. Its so hard to put it all out there feeling so vulnerable. But you are helping people. You are helping others to see that its normal to have the urge to crash diet. And its normal for a chronic dieter to be up and down so often. To find that balance is so very difficult, but you are so strong for sharing your experiences.keep strong girl!

  21. Please just keep going!!! I ate super clean and exercised every day (6 days a week) for 2 months before i even started to see any weight loss…. as of now i’ve only lost 6 lbs in this past month and the scale has resorted to not budging again… ugh. so frustrating. I am still much heavier than you are if it’s any consolation. you can do it!! i know it’s super hard and very discouraging but you are such an amazing person and you are not 100% defined by how much you weigh (as cheesy as that sounds).

    And men suck. damn your husband for losing that much weight and keeping it off. LOL :-P

  22. Omg I just burst out laughing at the end of your post (about your husband, the eye roll). That sounds like EXACTLY what would happen if my boyfriend and I did something like this!! What is up with men and their stupid(ly efficient?) metabolisms?! Or just their ability to restrain themselves around chocolate? Not fair.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I admire you for putting your story out there. I’ve been trying to drop 10 pounds for months now and it is so frustrating to see 5 lbs gone, then back again. But your last few paragraphs were so inspiring–so I’ll keep fighting the battle. Thanks for a great post!

  23. Ashton, I am so sorry that you’ve been caught up in the diet roller coaster, or as you put it, “the cycle of diet, crash, guilt, diet, crash, guilt.” I was in that same boat until a friend of mine lent me a copy of Intuitive Eating. She told me it would be life-changing. I didn’t believe her at first. You really have to be ready to say goodbye to the vicious diet cycle. The restriction of diets is what causes the binges–we crave what we can’t have the most. Then we tell ourselves we’ve already blown our diet, so we engage in “last supper” eating, convincing ourselves we will start a new diet tomorrow, and THIS time, things will be different. But the truth is, diets don’t work. I think we all know this deep down inside, but yet the multi-billion dollar industry successfully convinces us otherwise. I wish you the best and want you to make peace with food. Yes, I still have days where I eat more than I should, but those days are getting fewer…and I have given up the guilt. Good luck and God bless.

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  25. Have you heard of the book Intuitive Eating? I really like it, and feel it’s a very healthy and moderate approach that can help you get out of the diet and crash cycle. Whatever you do, I hope you find something that will not only help you feel good on the outside, but peace on the inside. Hugs! Megan

    • I have heard of it, and it’s on my reading list! I’m reading one right now that Shanna recommended, and I’m loving it so far. Chris really wants to read Intuitive Eating. I’m thinking he can read that while I finish mine, and then I’ll snatch it from him when I’m done :) . Thanks Megan!

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