A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts.
- Emerson, American Poet and Essayist (1803-1882)
Journal of my seven day journey on the cabbage soup diet.
Day 1 – 238 pounds
Day 1 Plan: GET FRUITY! Fruit: Eat all of the fruit you want (except bananas). Eat only your soup and the fruit for the first day. For drinks- unsweetened teas, cranberry juice and water.
7:46am – Heading to the grocery store to pick up ingredients. The battery is out on my old scale, will probably just pick up a new scale instead.
10:05am – Picked a perfect day to start my cabbage soup diet, St. Patty’s Day, baby! The local Ralphs had cabbage on sale for $0.19 / pound. (Or was it $0.19 head? Whatever.)
Came back with groceries, a new scale, weighed myself, 236.6. Then I got the bright idea, hey, let’s get a second opinion, so I pull out the old scale, ready to swap batteries and . . . it springs to life. So I bought a second scale to replace one that was already working and had a good battery to boot. This is not too uncommon in our household actually, although usually it involves me buying something I know we already have but don’t feel like digging through the garage for hours to find.
Scale number two puts me at 240.8. So I weighed myself on both scales, decided to go with the happier assessment from the first scale, realized a picture would make it official, but by that time, I’d eaten some cabbage soup and was up to 238 on the first scale, which split the two original readings, so we’ll call it 238 as the initial weigh-in and I’ll stick with the new scale.
9:18pm – I got a 2 hour walk in this morning, that was ambitious, I stuck to the plan, ate nothing but cabbage soup and fruits (I probably tripled my fruit intake for the year in a single day) so I behaved myself, but there were people happily chomping away at tasty foods in the home here all day and I’m in a pretty foul mood to tell the truth. I just want to hit the rack and go to sleep and put this day in the books. I’ll probably be in a better mood when I wake up, knowing I stuck to the plan and made it through day one.
Day 2 – 236.4 pounds
Day 2 Plan: EAT YOUR VEGGIES! Vegetables: Eat until you are stuffed will all fresh, raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. Try to eat leafy green vegetables and stay away from dry beans, peas and corn. Eat all the vegetables you want along with your soup. At dinner, reward yourself with a big baked potato with butter. Do not eat fruit today.
3:27pm – I was out all day today with a 9am appointment that took me right up to the drive out to a meeting at noon, so I didn’t have a bite until I made it back home around 2pm. Actually weighed myself first thing in the morning and was down to 234, but only snapped the picture when I made it back in the afternoon, with 64 ounces of diet coke in me and weighed in at the 236.4 pictured. That was right inline with the 2 pounds that were added between the morning weigh-in and the afternoon weight on day 1.
Something I discovered today was that sharing all of this on the blog and having respect for people who stop by the blog and read has actually been really helpful in giving me strength and making failure not an option with this diet. The half-dozen times this morning temptation was strong and as easy to give in to as slipping into a fast food joint for a quick bite of something tasty, all I had to do is think to myself, “Dude, if you slip, you gotta share it on the blog” and then I told myself, “How much would that suck if you had to tell everyone you were too weak to stick to the plan? Forget that, you can make it home to your cabbage soup.” And so I did.
Which leads me to my first revelation about dieting – if you share with your friends and family that you’re going on a diet and tell them you’re going to stick it, the thought of straying from the diet is a hundred times more difficult than if you’re dieting solo and have only yourself to answer to. Of course, this all hinges on whether you have a personality like mine where you have a compulsion about being honest or whether the thought “of nobody will know” comes easy to you, but it makes sense to me now why Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are set around having an advisor monitoring your progress and going in for your weigh-ins, because you have someone other than yourself you have to answer to, and in those cases, honesty doesn’t even enter the equation because the scale doesn’t lie!
Day 3 – 232.4 pounds
5:36pm – Before I even mention the plan for the day, I just have to comment on the awesome feeling of waking up, hitting the scale just two days into the diet and finding myself already almost six pounds lighter. It makes the self-sacrifice one-thousand percent worth it. And I know some would say it’s just water loss, but no, I gotta say you’re wrong, the soup is liquid based, and then beyond the soup, I’ve mainly been getting through the hunger with water, juice and more water. Two days in, almost six pounds lighter. I am fired up!
Day 3 Plan: MIX IT UP! Combine days one and two by eating all the soup, fruits and vegetables you want. No Baked Potato.
Day 4 – 229.8 pounds
9:50am – Reflecting on three days in the books, this is a pretty brutal diet as far as the level of self-denial involved. Day 2 I could hardly stand to watch my Laker game for all the Jack in the Box and Del Taco commercials. I finally had to stop watching TV. Looking at the results though, almost 9 pounds in three days?
Thank you, sir, may I please have another bowl of that delicious cabbage soup???
Day 4 Plan: GO BANANAS! Bananas and Skim Milk: Eat as many as eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup. This day is supposed to lessen your desire for sweets.
Day 5 – 228.2 pounds
Day 5 Plan: BEEF AND TOMATOES! Ten to twenty ounces of beef and up to six fresh tomtoes. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water this day to wash the uric acid from your body. Eat your soup at least once this day. You may eat broiled or baked chicken instead of beef (but absolutely no skin-on chicken). If you prefer, you can substitute broiled fish for the beef one one of the beef days (but not both).
5:00pm – Did a weigh-in around noon and snapped the pic. You know the diet is going well when losing 1.6 pounds in a day is a bit of a let down. The two-hour walk has been my secret weapon. Managed to get one in on days one and three, need to try to get in a two-hour walk this evening I think. Do not want to lose my momentum!
Day 6 – 227.4 pounds
12:00 noon – They say hunger is the best sauce, I can tell you four days of cabbage soup diet makes for one hell of a sauce. I’m sure I’ve had just as good, but never have I had any better than the steak I had last night.
Got an iPhone app called Passometer, figured out for the first time what my two-hour walk entails – 7.46 miles, 14182 steps, 1166 calories burned.
Found an interesting bit of info to put that 1166 calories in perspective:
A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories (meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately one pound per week: 500 x 7 = 3,500
It’s easy to see that a calorie deficit of 1000 calories would mean that you’d lose approximately two pounds per week. And that’s a good number to remember, because two pounds a week is commonly accepted as the maximum rate of weight loss that is healthy.
So yes, I’m well aware that the ten pounds I’ve lost in the last five days is extreme and no substitute for a long-term healthy lifestyle adjustment, but damn, if losing over ten pounds in five days is wrong, I don’t want to be right!
Day Six Plan: BEEF AND VEGGIES! Eat to your heart’s content of beef and vegetables this day. You can even have 2 or 3 steaks if you like, with leafy green vegetables. No Baked Potato. Eat your soup at least once.
Day 7 – 228 pounds
Did not stray from the diet, not in the slightest, but gained back a half pound between yesterday’s weigh in and today. I guess those first few pounds are the easiest. Either way, I’m six days in and exactly 10 pounds lighter, so hopefully with seven days complete by tomorrow, I can beat that 10 pound mark by an additional pound or two.
Day Seven: BROWN RICE FINALE! Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables: Again stuff, stuff, stuff yourself. Be sure to eat your soup at least once this day.
Final Result at the End of 7 Days:
226.6 pounds – 11.4 pounds lost
The seven day diet is over, and let me tell you, it was seven LONG days, but the results were worth it – after seven days, the final weigh-in showed me having lost 11.4 pounds.
My first thought after the final weigh-in: “MY GOD, I CAN EAT ANYTHING IN THE HOUSE NOW!” So yes, it’s back to the world of cheese and bread (oh how I missed you both so!) and that first quesadilla was heavenly, but I have to keep my wits about me and remind myself – losing 11 pounds took a struggle of seven days, gaining them back would be as easy as indulging for two or three.