It seemed so easy and promising. A friend, who is smaller than me, posted on facebook that she lost 11 pounds on the 7 day cabbage soup diet. That's exactly what I need, I have 9 pounds of baby weight left! This is going to be easy I naively thought as I excitedly wrote out my shopping list and bought enough supplies to last me through a long winter.
I cooked up a huge batch that boiled over, wondering if it would get me through half the week. After all, you can have limitless amounts of this concoction. But what I didn't realize at the time was that I wouldn't want to. It's cabbage soup. Soup, with cabbage in it. When you're hungry, just about anything tastes good, yet by the fifth day, I preferred not having anything to having a bowl of the soup.
Day 1 - On this day you're supposed to have only fruit. Somehow, I missed that, mixing it up with day two when you can only have vegetables. So I ate a raw bell pepper and a huge bowl of sauteed mushrooms in addition to the soup. I had my coffee black, which was an improvement since I usually add a lot of creamer, and not the low fat or low sugar kind. I probably did not drink enough water, and couldn't resist my 10 calorie root beer.
Day 2 - You get to start the day with a baked potato, which I eagerly placed in foil and put in the crockpot on low for 9.5 hours the night before. Boy, was I excited for that potato, with butter! We went on our usual 3 mile morning walk and I was famished by the time we got back. I started talking myself out of the diet, knowing having simple carbs at any time of the day was pointless, and that's all that was in the potato. We went to story-time at the library and I gave her a bath, while heating up the soup. I poured myself quite a large bowl, and didn't even eat half of it. I weighed myself, which I won't do again until the end and was relieved to see I had lost 2 pounds. But, knowing each pound must be lost by creating a deficit of 3,600 calories, I didn't consider it "real" weight loss or attribute it to the magic soup. Most likely, it was because since I knew I was going to be doing this, I splurged and had four (!!!) pieces of pizza the night before I started the diet, and they were now likely out of my system. This is the day I first caved. Knowing that day four allowed for protein, and having a surplus of 90% lean in the fridge from our first trip to Sam's Club, I decided to make myself a burger. A big, fat burger. In fact, Nathan watched me pressing it and adding the seasoning and said it was more accurately described as three burgers. But I didn't have a bun! Hours went by, and I should have had more veggies or soup, but it just didn't seem appealing. We went on another 3 mile walk with Autumn all bundled up. When we returned home, Nathan made himself burritos and the whole house smelled amazing. I resisted as long as I could, then swooped in for leftovers, which fortunately was only about four tablespoons full of meat. I did not have a tortilla. I went to bed still mildly hungry, and with a resolve to do better the next day.
Day 3 - On this day, you're only supposed to have fruits and vegetables in addition to the limitless soup. I started the day with a baked apple with cinnamon. Realizing the only time I have ever had a baked apple was in pie, something definitely seemed to be lacking. It did make the house smell good though. I grabbed a handful of blackberries and packed the cold soup in Tupperware to take to visit my friend. She was nice enough to have a veggie tray for me and slices of pineapple, which I nibbled on while I heated up the soup. When I came home that evening, I was starving but not hungry enough for a second bowl of soup. Instead, I cheated and had a big glass of my 10 calorie root beer.
Day 4 - On this day, you're only supposed to have unsweetened yogurt, milk and bananas. But, I added two scoops of chocolate muscle-milk protein powder to the milk, yogurt, ice, coffee, banana and cinnamon in the blender. You're not supposed to have any fruits or vegetables, but I figured an avocado and two cucumbers were innocuous enough, and blended them with plain Greek yogurt to make a cold soup, with a pinch of dill and sea salt on top. Maybe I wouldn't need to do this if I was actually having the soup, but have completely gone off it today. I would rather have nothing than the soup, if that tells you anything. It doesn't taste bad...it's just not good. Around 2 pm, I made myself a burger, no bun, and thought this is starting to seem more like the atkin's diet than the cabbage soup one.
Day 5 - I couldn't bring myself to have any of the soup today, in spite of the fact that there was a gigantic tub of it in the refrigerator. I started my day with a protein bar, and then went on our usual 3 mile walk. When we returned from the walk, I did a Denise Austin post-pregnancy ab workout on the floor by Autumn. She likes me being on the floor with her and interacting. The video was too easy and too short, so I followed it with a regular ab video that was more challenging. I didn't complete everything on the second one, but tried. When she napped, I went into the garage and did 2 sets of lunges with the 35 pound bar, squats and chest press. For a late lunch I had another hamburger and the leftover chilled cucumber, avocado, yogurt soup. Today was the day on the diet where you just eat protein like steak or chicken in addition to the soup, so I feel I followed it pretty well, considering. Are you still reading this? It's getting awfully boring, isn't it? There's probably a lot of other thing you would rather be doing, aren't there? You should probably stop reading and go check on the laundry and just assume that I followed the rest of the diet. Okay, if you're still with me and holding out for when I really mess up, here it is. I had my book club in LA and on the drive there, actually believed that I wasn't going to eat any of the food, even though I was famished! Walking through the door, the delicious smell of home-made onion soup wafted over me. Onions are pretty much like cabbages, I thought, as I was handed a big jadeite bowl filled with steaming soup. Maybe so, but cabbage soup doesn't have a delicious hunk of bread smothered in baked Gruyere cheese in it. This wouldn't have been so bad if I stopped there, but I must confess that I had one of my friend Helen's peanut-butter bars. Then, another, and then two more. Yes, I had four of them, but in my defense they were only about one square inch each, so it was really only like having 1 1/2. Or so I told myself.
Day 6 - Almost there! Started the day with a protein shake and 3 mile walk/jog. I ran about half of it, pushing the stroller. I did wake up feeling guilty for not following the diet, but still not bad enough to eat any of the soup. I was determined to not let yesterday's transgressions affect today. I did zero snacking, and had 1/3 of a burrito from Baja Fresh (split with my husband) and some of his nachos. One thing I did notice is that usually, this is all I eat but I feel like I could eat more. But instead, I was stuffed. I feel like my stomach is shrinking.
Day 7 - Today! Finally, the last day! It was easy to be good today because I knew I didn't have to make it through an entire day. We had 6pm reservations at Gulliver's for our 2nd wedding anniversary (forth as a couple) and I was planning on having a nice, 11 ounce filet mignon. First thing I did after making Autumn a bottle was weigh myself and discover that
my total weight loss was 3 pounds.
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by this, until I put it in perspective. On a given week, I would be thrilled with that amount. I just had high-hopes with this diet that all my baby weight would be conveniently gone before Thanksgiving. But, I know that the slower the weight comes off, the more likely it is to stay, and that it's actually small changes over time that make the biggest difference. I still have 6 more pounds to go, and am already planning a before and after posting, with photos taken one month after I had Autumn. This won't be the end of my diet and fitness posts, as that what my blog started out with, but it may be the end of the crazy fad, quick-fix posts.
What I learned: it is small changes over time that make the real difference, not some crazy cabbage crash diet. I knew that going into it, but wanted something to put the unhealthy eating habits that had crept up in check. Being on this did prevent me from mindless eating. There were many times during this week when I would have grabbed a handful of this or that and resisted. Case in point: I went into the garage to do laundry and noticed an old, unopened box of swedish fish that Nathan had taken out of his Mustang. they had been in his car since February. Ooh! Sweedish fish! I thought, knowing but not caring how old they were. Maybe it was the hunger speaking, but I was fully intending to open the package right there and scarf down a whole handful. Doing this also helped hit the reset button and possibly shrink my stomach a bit. The portion and plate size has more than doubled since the 1950's and I know that in many ways, its not what we eat, but how much we consume. By the end of the week, I was noticing I was filled by much smaller portions.
Now, time to get ready for that steak!
Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018
1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!
Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.