I have had a few people tell me that reading about my weight loss has inspired them and I've gotten a couple of emails asking me what I am eating. So I thought I would just post about it for anyone who is interested.

I started out very strict on phase one of South Beach. I did that for eight days and then I went to phase two, which allows a little more variety. I added primarily some whole grain cereal, whole grain bread and a little fruit (mostly frozen blueberries on my cereal). I am avoiding sugar, white potatoes, white rice, white flour and high fat foods. I make sure I do eat protein, fiber, more veggies and good fats (like olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts).

For my protein, I eat mostly eggs and chicken at home. But I eat grilled shrimp when we eat out or sometimes grilled fish (depending on the restaurant and their choices). And I occasionally have a small steak (filet). I eat a lot of salad at home and add protein to it. The easiest way is to add one or two hard boiled eggs to my salad with lots of veggies. I try to keep spinach in the house all the time and eat plenty of it in my salad (along with romaine lettuce). Sometimes I add kidney beans to my salad for extra protein. If I have a ripe avocado, I love to have that in my salad. Sometimes I put cold shrimp in my salad. When I was on the strict phase, I completely gave up croutons. Now I will sometimes splurge and have a few croutons or some crunched up pita chips. I don't do raisins in my salad anymore because they're loaded with sugar.

I snack on a handful of nuts (pistachios, almonds, walnuts or peanuts). I try to buy dry roasted nuts. I also have a South Beach protein cereal bar sometimes if I need something quick or feel like I need some protein. I like the chocolate better than the peanut butter. I eat Uncle Sam Cereal most mornings with nonfat milk and frozen blueberries. But sometimes I switch it up and have oatmeal or a couple of poached eggs on some whole grain toast. It kind of depends on how much time I have. On phase one, I was eating a veggie omelet every morning and I got kind of tired of omelets.

I weighed 126.0 this morning. So when I lose another 4/10's of a pound, I will have lost ten pounds. I don't need to lose another pound, but I have 125 in my head as a goal and I'm still shooting for that. I feel great. And it's not hard. I do not feel the least bit deprived. I am eating this way because I want to now.

Last night my small group came over and we had pizza because I had worked all day at Stein Mart and didn't have time to cook anything. Dana brought a low calorie, thin crust, veggie pizza from Papa Murphy's. Janet brought a chicken fajita and mushroom pizza. And I ordered a six cheese thin crust and a double mushroom thin crust from Papa John's. I ate one slice of the veggie, one slice of six cheese and one slice of mushroom. Then when everyone left, I had a few more bites of each with John as he ate. I was sure I would gain weight. But I lost weight yesterday. My scale weighs me in .2 increments. That's why I know when I've lost 4/10's of a pound or whatever. I had eaten very little and very strictly during the day, so the pizza didn't create a weight gain.

I am definitely splurging at this point, mostly on the weekends. But even my splurging is so much more controlled now. Everything I eat is a decision, not an impulse. We tailgaited with friends before the Titan game Sunday. I had stuck to my diet all day Saturday, then we went to B. Mc Neel's Saturday night. I had an entree salad with grilled shrimp and two pieces of bruschetta as an appetizer. Then Sunday morning, I had a biscuit with egg, cheese and grilled pork tenderloin. I passed on the little chocolate donuts and the fritos. I chose to indulge in a biscuit. And I had one spoonful of hashbrown casserole from Cracker Barrel. I even had a very small piece of sour cream coffee cake. I wanted it and felt it was worth the splurge. Then I just went back to eating right. And I did not gain any weight over the weekend.

Another thing I sometimes indulge in is a small glass of white wine. There is only one wine that really tastes good to me. It is Columbia Valley, Cellar Masters Riesling. It's very smooth, slightly sweet and no bitter taste at all. Everything I have read lately says that one 5 oz. glass of wine (red is better, but white is also beneficial) is good for you and even helps avoid belly fat. So I feel like this is a healthy splurge and I am not tempted to over indulge. Most of my life, I drank no alcohol whatsoever. But I like to have a little Riesling in a nice wine glass and after I drink about half of it, I add some Diet Sprite and make a spritzer out of it. It gives me another glass without having any additional wine. I don't have wine every night, but I have a glass several times a week.

If I want something sweet at home, I have a sugar free fudge bar. I don't get a spoon and have several bites of ice cream anymore. Another thing I eat as a snack or even as dessert is Activia Light Vanilla Yogurt. I love it and I keep it in all the time. It's a great thing to grab on the run.

I make chili with ground turkey breast and that is something totally allowed (even on phase one) that I have enjoyed eating. I also make a minestrone type soup with ground turkey breast, kidney beans and lots of veggies. The base is chicken broth and lots of Italian tomatoes.

I think I mentioned before how I remake a taco salad at Don Pablo's. I have romaine lettuce, black beans instead of refried, no shell, salsa instead of dressing, chicken fajitas, diced avocado instead of guacamole, no cheese or sour cream. It tastes great and is really low carb. You don't eat low fat or fat free salad dressings on this eating plan because when fat is removed, sugar is usually added to replace the flavor. The best dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But you can also have thousand island or ranch in moderation. I make homemade thousand island dressing on a regular basis and keep it in the fridge because we eat salads a lot for dinner and John also loves thousand island. I just try to be very careful about the amount of dressing I use and I have the thousand island. It tastes good and I have continued to lose weight.

I think a key to being successful is finding things that you enjoy eating so you don't feel deprived. This Friday night I'm going to make tacos for my kids when they come over. And I plan to eat tacos. But I probably won't eat a fried tortilla and I won't eat rice. I will have a carb balance whole wheat tortilla (which I love) and fat free refried beans. So I really won't even be going off my diet and yet I will feel as though I'm splurging. I probably will have some tortilla chips and homemade guacamole. So the chips will be carbs I normally avoid. But I won't let myself eat the quantity I normally would.

I hope all this is helpful. I have found this to be the easiest way to lose weight that I have ever tried. And normally, the reason diets don't work well for me is that whatever I tell myself I can't have, I wind up craving even more. I am not into deprivation. But I have found that giving up these bad carbs has made me want them far less. I don't struggle with cravings at all. And the weight loss I have experienced has really surprised me. I set out to lose five pounds. I have lost almost ten.