diet, Health, Weight Management

VLCD 22 & 23 (and Apple Day)

On Tuesday (VLCD 22), I woke up to a 0.2 gain! While I had been singing about the greatness of coconut oil, could it be stabbing me in the back? Maybe it just doesn’t work with HCG? I think I’m going to stop using it until after the diet. 

I haven’t lost much weight since beginning this diet, but I’m officially in a stall. Dr. Simeon’s said that a stall was four or more days without weight loss. It was exactly four days for me. 

While Dr. Simeon’s believes a stall eventually corrects itself, he developed a few strategies to help break it. One such strategy is Apple Day. This is eating up to six apples between noon one day and about noon the next. Have your coffee/tea for breakfast then have apples until lunch the next day while still taking your HCG drops. Dr. Simeon’s said this should get the scale moving again.

The thought of eating apples all day did not sound appetizing to me. I was going to give it another few days before taking this drastic route. 

I ended up doing an unplanned Apple Day yesterday (VLCD 23). I spent all day tiling my kitchen. (Yes, I felt very capable after watching a how-to video on YouTube!) What I expected would take a few hours ended up taking the full day…and I’m still not done. By 5 pm, I realized I had not eaten, but it was time to pick up my daughter, so I grabbed an apple. I went home to prepare something to eat, but my daughter reminded me that she had to go to choir rehearsal. By this time, it was 7 pm. I planned to grab an orange, but there were none, so I took another apple. We returned home just after 10 pm and by then, I had no appetite, so I ate another apple. 

Today, I had a loss of 0.8 lbs. While I’m happy to see the scale move in the right direction, I’m still 0.4 lbs over my Saturday weight. 

Before giving up, I think I’ll wait and take my measurements on Saturday and at least finish up week 4. Then I’ll make a decision. Let’s see if the scale continues to move…

Here’s a before and after photo of one portion of my kitchen:  

I worked all day yesterday and never even stopped for my plank and squat challenges. However, I feel like I’ve been lifting weights. Every bone in my body aches today. I slept like a baby last night.  I may not do the challenges today either. I just may finish my kitchen and retire early. 

Grace and peace,


diet, Health, Weight Management

VLCD 20 (picture day)

Today is my 20th day on HCG 1234 so that means it’s picture day! I share photos every 10 days wearing the same dress. After all, this diet is called pounds and inches. Therefore, I weigh myself, take my measurements, and take photos. Here are photos taken earlier this morning:

Side view; by day 20, I look a little more confident

Arms out; hips getting a little smaller

Better view of arms; why don’t they look any smaller?

By the way, I can stay on this plan as little as three weeks or as long as six weeks. Tomorrow makes exactly 21 days, so I can end then, or any day thereafter. However, I think I’m going to continue. I plan on giving it a go another 2-3 weeks. 

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here in NJ. I’ve done my squats and planks for the day, and now I’m sipping green tea on my deck and reading a book. Life feels good now…

My view on my deck

My Bichon, Snowflake, rests at my feet

Enjoy the rest of your day! Grace and peace…


Challenge, diet, Exercise, Health

VLCD 19 (Coconut Oil and Measurement Saturday)

I guess you could say I went rogue on this HCG diet. I’ve eaten all of the right foods, I just added a little coconut oil. Egad! Coconut oil is not an item listed in Dr. Simeon’s original HCG protocol. Yesterday, I sautéed my shrimp in about 1-2 TBS of coconut oil and sprinkled a little Old Bay Seasoning on it. It was heavenly! I felt tremendously guilty afterwards, but it was soooo good!

I hesitated as I got on the scale this morning. I did not need a repeat of last week when I ate too much of the wrong foods and gained 1.8 lbs! I’m just gonna say it: I WAS AFRAID! However, I promised that I would not run away from the scale or from this diet ever again. With both feet on the scale, I slowly looked down and a 0.8 lb loss was staring back at me. I lost 0.8 lb the day before that as well. Prior to that, my daily losses have fluctuated anywhere between 0.4 and 0.6 lbs. 

So what has accounted for 0.8 losses recently? The only thing different compared to other days was the coconut oil. Was it a mere coincidence? I went to the Web. One website, Livestrong, reported that certain oils (saturated/ hydrogenated vegetable oils) are not allowed because they are high in calories. It also insisted that low calorie oils like coconut oil are allowed. In fact, Livestrong highly recommended the use of coconut oil on the HCG diet.  

Another website, Miracle Skinny Drops, reported: “Coconut oil has been much discussed by those on hCG as a way to lose weight. We believe that coconut oil can boost energy, while decreasing cravings for carbohydrates and sweets. It is known to stimulate metabolism, improve digestion, and release fat cells.” 

This site also said: “Coconut Oil is low in calories, low in fat, and nutritious, while providing the body with an energy source instead of carbohydrates. You do not need to count coconut oil in your daily calories since it is not stored in our bodies. Coconut Oil will indeed assist in raising Ketone levels which causes the release of fat.” Two to three TBS per day were recommended. Wow! Could it be true? Can I really enjoy some coconut oil, in moderation, for the rest of this diet and lose weight?

In other news, I satisfactorily managed 125 squats yesterday on day 11 of my squat challenge…and I did it with ease! I planned on doing five sets of 25. Instead, I did three sets : 50, 50, and 25. It’s unbelievable how my heart was racing by the time I finished. I then moved on to bicep and tricep work with my dumbbells. Today, I’ll take a rest from arm work. (Remember my post on VLCD 18 about the importance of rests?)

I’ll give you one guess to figure out who held her plank for 40 seconds. Okay…do you give up? It’s ME, ME, ME!!! I’m so proud!

It’s Saturday and that means it’s measurement day. Let’s go!

NOTE: In parentheses () is the amount lost since last Saturday. Total losses appear below:

Neck 13 1/2″ (-0″)

Chest 37″ (-1/2″)

Left upper arm 14 1/4″ (-0″)

Right upper arm 14 1/2″ (-1/4″) 

Waist 32 1/2″ (-3.0″)

Hips 45″ (-1/2″)

Left upper thigh 28 3/4″ (-1/2″)

Right upper thigh 29 1/4″ (-1/2″)

Left lower thigh 23 1/2″ (-1/4″)

Right lower thigh 24″ (-1/4″)

Left knee 16″ (-1/4″)

Right knee 16 1/2″ (-1/4″)

Left calf 17″ (0″)

Right calf 17″ (0″)

Lost This Week= -6 1/4″ 

TOTAL LOST = -16 3/4″

OMG! Three inches from my waist! I always lose from my waist/stomach first. I wonder if the planks are helping. I notice the need to work on my lower abs so I might try some reverse crunches. I wish I had greater losses in my hips and thighs, but I’ll get there! 

Happy Saturday…grace and peace!


Challenge, diet, Exercise, Health


I DID IT!!! I held my plank for 35 seconds yesterday!!! It got shaky for the last five seconds or so, but I did it! It may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is to me. I am soooo proud of myself!

So for my great achievement, I am rewarded with an additional five seconds. Yes, folks…beginning today and for the next two days, I have to hold my plank for 40 seconds. Yikes! However, like yesterday, I’m going to give it my all. Further, after a day of rest from squats, today I have to do 125. The squat is an exercise I actually enjoy, but 125?

My plan is to do them in five sets of 25 with short rests between each set. My thighs haven’t hurt at all during this challenge. Let’s see how I feel after 125 squats!

I recently added a little arm work out. Nothing big, but I’m just trying to tone. Using 3 lb hand weights, I perform a few sets of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and tricep extensions. I also do a few shrugs. I’ve noticed that my biceps are stronger than my triceps.

Now on to my daily weigh in – the scale showed a loss of 0.8 lbs. Today makes exactly three weeks before I leave for Martha’s Vineyard. I’m hoping to make a lot more progress before then. It would be great to be in the 160s by that time. I’m hoping to bid adieu to the 180s by this time next week.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow is measurement day. I’ll be up bright and early with my measuring tape. See you then!

Grace and peace!


Challenge, Exercise, Health


I dropped another 0.4 lbs. I feel like this is going soooo slooooow! There are various tips for stalls, but this is not a stall – I am losing, albeit rather slowly. I’m praying for patience. 🙏🏾

Today I’ll be officially 1/3 done with my plank and squat challenges. It’s day 10 of 30 and I move up to holding my plank for 35 seconds. I’m a little nervous about that. For the past three days, I’ve had to hold it for 30 seconds. I did it, but it was challenging. Thirty-five seconds might be pushing it today, but I’ll give it my all. When you struggle by the 30th second, going an additional five is tough!

As far as my squats, today is a rest day. This will be my second rest day during the squat challenge. In fact, I have a rest day every five days. During these days, I feel like I’m wasting time and should still do squats on my own. In my mind, rests hinder my progress so I must do squats daily if I want my thighs to get thinner. Not true at all! 😱

An article I read on stated: “Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen.” Apparently while I’m resting, my body is still working. Rest is an important part of the process and I wasn’t aware of this. From now on, I’ll accept my rest days and be grateful. 

I just downloaded a running app on my iPhone called C25K by Zen Labs. It’s one I’ve used before and with which I had tremendous success. 

A few years ago, I began running and was in the best shape I’d ever been since high school. Then I stopped. I want to get back to that. (NOTE: See the photo below. It was just a few short years ago. This is my goal!)

I’m not sure when I’ll begin, but when I do, I’ll be running three days/week and working toward running 5k. The app combines walking and running with more walking during the first weeks and building up to more running in later weeks until you’re running a full 5k by week 8. t week. This was a no no.

You can download the app to your iPhone or Android phone. Click C25K to find out more about this app. 

That’s all for now…

Grace and peace!


diet, Health

VLCD 16 – I’m a Snail, but I’m Winning the Race 

I just got off the scale and I’m down another .6 lbs today. As usual, I’m slow and steady. I feel like I’m losing at a snail’s pace and it’s driving me crazy!!! 

I don’t want to be a snail anymore! Now…I’m not demanding to be a hare (although it would be nice), but at least let me move up to turtle status!

HOWEVER, excluding my cheat day, I consistently lose daily and have not yet stalled; so I suppose I am still winning the race. I’m thinking about cutting the fruit for the next few days to see how that impacts my losses. 

In other news, I’m beginning to see a difference in my stomach. When laying in bed, I used to be able to grab a lot of skin; now it’s getting flatter. When standing and looking down at the ground, I can see my feet. I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn’t see my feet over my stomach before. In my own way progress is being made. Honestly, I would rather see physical changes than changes on the scale. For me, my goal is to have a smaller me and fit into and look better in my clothes. Nonetheless, I hope these pounds and inches become friends soon and work together to show losses. 

Day 9 today on my plank and squat challenges and I’m hanging in there. Until tomorrow…

Grace and peace!


diet, Health


Yesterday I  mainly ate my protein and fruit. Today I woke up to a loss of .8 lbs. I am now 186.6. On Saturday, before my cheat, I was 186.8. Three days after my cheat, I am finally below my “pre-cheat” weight by.2 lbs. Based on this, my assumption is that after a cheat, it will take 3-4 days of clean eating to get back on track and start losing again. This whole cheat thing has probably cost me about 2 lbs. Saturday’s eating/cheating just wasn’t worth it. 

I must say, though, that I am proud that I didn’t run this time. My first few days on the diet, I cheated, then gave up. This time, I accepted my punishment (weight gain) and stayed on plan. No more giving up for me!!!

On a positive note, I’ve completed seven days on my 30 day challenges. Yesterday, I did 90 squats. I still feel no pain…and I know I’m doing them correctly. The squat has always been one of my favorite exercises. I held my plank for 30 seconds. It was hard, but I did it! Me…who initially struggled with a 12 second plank can now hold it for 30 seconds!

I think I’m going to add some crunches and lower ab exercises to do more work on my pouch. 

Lessons learned:

– After a cheat, eat clean moving forward. DO NOT GIVE UP! 

– Expect 3-4 days until your body readjusts and begins to lose again. 

See you tomorrow! Grace and peace…