Losing weight in spite of myself.

I began this blog in February 2011 as a way to help me not quit trying to lose weight, and to learn a few things. It's been an interesting and powerful experience. It certainly confirms what I've long suspected--that although I am a genuinely happy cheery person in the main, I am NOT a happy cheery dieter. I DETEST losing weight. I resent being overweight in the first place and I am a virtuoso in the art of self-sabotage. And YET--I'm doing it! I'm fighting and kicking and EATING all the way down, but the weight is finally going down. The plan I was following in February was a half-baked one largely based on wishful thinking. I gained a little weight and decided to get real. I knew I couldn't just join weightwatchers or count calories or do any one plan and expect to be successful. I decided if I was going to bother to make the effort to lose weight I was going to throw everything I could think of at the problem. And so I do. My real "Day One" for this blog is April 1, 2011. I joined weight watchers, I joined caloriecount.com (awesome website), I read the blog losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com religiously, I keep this blog faithfully, I joined the health programs sponsored by my insurance, I use the principles from overeater's anonymous, I use my church's 12 step program as well, I subscribe--and use--Healthy Cooking Magazine.

The result of all this? Painfully slow progress (About 20 lbs in 10 months). But it IS progress and like the little engine that could I keep on trying in my rebellious way. I have no intention of quitting. This is by far the longest sustained weight loss effort I've ever made in my life. Successful I think, because for the first in my life I've done this MY way--which I've discovered, involves a lot of pizza and restaraunt food. I'm convinced this is the only way to lose weight. For me it must be MY way. For you it MUST be YOUR way. Not weight watcher's way, not your doctor's way, but YOUR way. Any plan or idea I use is only a tool.

The latest plan to lose weight my way began on Oct 29, 2013. It really is my own crazy plan. As you'll see if you read that post. I've implemented the best ideas of all sorts of eating plans and thrown out the scale. A couple of months in and I'm definitely healthier. I'm actually enjoying myself. I won't weigh until April 1, 2014, so I'll see then if this works the way I hope it will.

There is no magic weight loss bullet. But there IS a great deal of magic in the discovery of what I can happily live with (very different from what weight watchers tells me I can happily live with) and still have the body and health I want.

Good luck to all of us on this journey. It's quite a trip!

Monday, February 28, 2011


Wow!  Thank you Weber State walking group.  Two people said the right thing and apparently today was the day I was in the right psychological spot to hear it. We had a brief intro to intuitive eating and one lady said that intuitive eating was very hard for her because she had such severe food allergies--to wheat, milk, oranges and who knows what else.  Not surprisingly she's really been struggling. All I could think was how much I would hate that. One of my big fears is diabetes--not because it's dangerous, but because I would feel so terribly restricted.  With as much resentment as I carry now toward any kind of food limitation, what would I feel if I had some medical problem?  After the lesson came the walking. I walked with a different person today--Chelsea.  Thank you Chelsea!!  She was talking about her sister-in-law who had diabetes and is on dialysis and has all kinds of horrible health problems and restrictions. Tough stuff--and this sister-in-law is bitter and angry about it to the point where she rarely smiles and takes very little joy in anything.  Would I be like that?  I like to think that with most tragedies I would have a reasonable amount of fortitude and courage, but with food??  Probably yesterday, I WOULD have become miserable and resentful. I've felt plenty resentful about food even without a disease. But as of today, I think I would be much less so.  I wouldn't want to turn into some embittered old hag on any account.  I sure hope I'm never tested, but if I developed some awful disease and could never have the foods I love again---I think now I could better remember that food is ONE part of my life and I could take joy in all the other parts--my family, my hobbies, this beautiful world--a million things.  It would be a very hard trial for me and I hope I never have to face it--but I would do much better now.  Thanks to this breakthrough, I believe that my efforts here and now have suddenly become easier.

I've also forgiven the Lean and Free book today for not being perfect.  I rediscovered a pineapple chicken recipe that I really liked, and also remembered a few others that are terrific.  As for the "veggie pizza"---I'm grateful for that too because if I make it on an english muffin or lite bagel or something it's a fantastically good snack!!!  The spread is just fat free cream cheese mixed with a little dill weed and onion powder to taste.  I'll be eating this a whole lot more in the future.

Saudi Dinner

Oops.  The post titled Saudi Dinner was meant to go into the travelenvelope.blogspot.com website, but I accidentally posted it here.  I can't quite delete this space, so I'll just take this opportunity to whine one more time that the ethnic dinner I prepared with no attempt at being healthy, turned out to be far more healthy than the meal I planned from the diet book!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Betrayed by the book!

Hey what gives???!!!  Given that the last three days have been challenging, I went out of my way to plan a very healthy dinner straight from the book for tomorrow. I've had this receipe before---bascially, you take those tube cresent rolls and bake them flat, then there is a mixture of cream cheese with lite mayo and spices spread that on the cresents and load up with a bunch of raw veggies.  It's really yummy, and with lite everything AND with that actually being IN THE BOOK--I thought I would have a nice on track dinner that would allow some leeway with lunch.  HA! That "veggie pizza" is about 65% FAT!!!! 

Trying to work that little dish into my day was a real pain.  This is the first time that I've felt like I was back on weight watchers--doling out parsimonious little snippets of this or that and cutting out things like 1 lousy ounce of cheese, and generally feeling that I can't eat anything but celery sticks.    I am NOT willing to live like that.  Thank goodness this didn't happen earlier in this effort to improve my eating.  The only thing that saved me tonight was that I found we did have a tub of fat-free cream cheese and I never liked mixing it with the mayo anyway. It made a huge difference.  Actually, if I eat as planned, tomorrow will work out to be one of my best days yet--even with the crescents (they're loaded with fat even though they're "lite").  But I am angry and scared--I don't want life to be a choice between being fat or having to watch every tiny morsel that crosses my plate. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

GREAT website

Went to Maddox yesterday and it was FABULOUS.  I'm sorry to say that after eating a salad with blue cheese dressing, two big rolls and 3 cornpones (muffins) with raspberry dressing, a large baked potato with trimmings, a large steak, a side of carrots and 1/3 of a large piece of cheesecake I was not overfull.  I really do have a big appetite. 

I didn't plan out either yesterday or today exactly.  That is to say, I didn't write anything down.  However on Maddox day I ate a breakfast exactly the same as other days this week and for lunch I had leftovers from Thursdays stroganoff dinner.  For snacks I had preztels and yogurt--both well under 20% fat.  Today was similar.  It was the RS party.  Nowhere near the orgy of Maddox of course, but I knew it wouldn't be a fat friendly meal. I did the same sort of thing.  A bowl of cereal an milk for breakfast with fruit.  Enjoyed the luncheon and had turkey burgers with oven fries for dinner. The presidency gave me a loaf of whole wheat bread from the Harvest company as a thankyou for presenting.  WOW!!  Delicious and virtually no fat at all.  I will rave at a later date about american bread--blech.  But this stuff has body and substance and flavor.  I will be buying more of it for sure.  Yet one more blessing for attending relief society.

Exercise at least, has been on track.  Yesterday I walked to and from work. And today I walked to the library--a good hour of exercise.  I need to improve on walking briskly not just strolling--but at least I'm out there. 

Tomorrow presents another challenge.  I'm back to writing my food plan out.  But tomorrow we will be in virtual Saudi Arabia.  Let me explain.  About two years ago I was bored silly at work and decided that if I couldn't go on vacation in reality I could at least go mentally.  I typed out every country in the world and every state in the US--put them in an envelope and drew out a country at random.  The first one was Madagascar.  I checked out books and videos and at the end of the month looked up Madagasy food and made as authentic a meal as I could.  It was so much fun we (my family) has been doing this ever since. Every month we pick out a place--sometimes we do a lot, sometimes a little.  But since I love food, I always manage to make at least one meal usually at the end of the month.  By the way, I keep a blog (a much more interesting blog than this food one) about our adventures at travelenvelope.blogspot.com.  

So, like I said, tomorrow we'll be in virtual Saudi Arabia.  I was worried about having a third uncontrolled meal in as many days, but Catherine found a wonderful web-site  caloriecount.about.com.  You can track all kinds of things, but the great thing is that you can put in your own recipes then click a button and Wallah!  There is a nutrition label! Fats, calories, fibers, sugars.  It's wonderful.  Much faster and more informative than trying to look up individual ingredients in my clunky calorie guide.  It isn't perfect--slightly weird ingredients tend to be offered in grams rather than ounces, and I was asking for dates and hummus and the like.  Still, a tremendous help.  So I know what the Saudi dinner will cost me---too much fat.  But not crazily too much fat! Either 26 or 29% depending on how much of the cake I eat, and the calories are right on track.

I find it easiest to plot out what I think I'd like to eat on a given day for all the meals--I write out each item and its calories and fat, but don't total anything up until the end--it's the sum of the days and weeks that matters not any one choice.  Happily, calorie-wise eating what I want is relatively stable between 2,100 and 2,600 cal.  Keeping the fat in line is where the challenge is, but it hasn't been too burdensome--Mostly because I've been keeping pretty much full with food that I like and eat anyway.  The big changes are having fruit at dinner and far fewer desserts and high fat snacks. Normally, I would resent not eating these things, but I think the book is right--I've been fully nourished lately, so my body isn't demanding anything extra.  It's only my mind that's in the habit of wanting goodies, but even my mind is calmer because my stomach is full.  And, anyone who's reading this blog knows that I've hardly been depriving myself! When I can keep my fat percentages in line as easily as I can the calories in general, then I'll think about easing up on planning every little thing.  Until then, I think I'd better stick with writing things down as much as possible.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rare Food

Yesterday went well except that the exercise just didn't happen. I didn't set foot in the door till about 6:30--made dinner as fast as I could--left at 7:15 to get Dave, didn't eat till around 8 and the phone was ringing with congratulations for Catherine all night.  Oh well.  The best part food-wise was the s'more.  I love our gas fireplace and I love to make smore's which used to be an extremely rare summer treat.  They aren't bad at all calorie/fat-wise if I make them with choc chips rather than full candy bars, which I do all the time anyway.  Also, my Levi's fit easily this morning--always a happy sign!

This semester has been tough with late night eating.  On Mon and Wed I have class immediately after wk for two hours, on Tues I have RS meeting at 7 and every other Thurs I have harp lesson.  This is too much on top of a 8-5 job.  I'm glad it won't be forever.  I'm taking the summer off from school.  I suppose, as with everything else, I just have to do the best I can.

Tonight we're going out to dinner! And, if weather permits, not just anywhere, but to Maddox!  The BEST steak place in the world.  Which brings to today's topic--rare food.  I'm a little concerned---already in just barely over a week, I've had movie popcorn, tonight I'm going out, and tomorrow is the big Stake RS activity with lunch that I can't skip.  That's three very high cal/fat events in a short time and I'm afraid that's not out of the ordinary in my life.  So--what to do?  Keep on with the blog for a start I suppose.  At least now I'm aware and so might be more motivated to do something about tomorrow's lunch at least (the food probably won't be that great).

 Maddox though....I'm flat out point blank unwilling to even consider trying to make good choices there. I've only been there one other time for a retirement dinner and it was one of the best dinners I've ever had.  When I go tonight and look at that menu I know that whatever sounds good to me really won't just be good, but really great--AND the earliest I might go there again won't be until MAY IF we go for Catherine's graduation.  There's a real chance we won't go back for years because it's very expensive.  Maddox is rare food.  The thinking is that I won't get it again so I'd better enjoy it as much as I can while I've got it.

I don't even WANT to improve this thinking. Eating at a place like Maddox--meaning eating whatever and how much I want--is a very real pleasure.  Why would I want to give this up?

It will be interesting to see if and how my thinking changes over time.  For now, at least hopefully Maddox situations will make me more aware of how important it is to make good choices whenever I possibly can.  At least, in honor of the impending feast I walked to work even though there was a little snow last night.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hey, I have a follower! Welcome!

Today is a great day all around. Catherine's been accepted to BYU--we're so proud of her!!!  And I've lost 2 lbs--despite yesterday's pancake day.  My idea was to have two pancakes.  Catherine's idea was to make gigantic pancakes and then split one.  We did.  It was a LOT of pancake.  Naturally, it did not occur to me that I could put any of the pancake back. One side effect of watching my weight is that once I say I can eat something--whether I write it down or put it on my plate, it is MINE.  I still have strong lingering traces of thinking I'm soon going to be deprived or something.  Whatever.  I ate a huge amount of blackberry pancake, plus a hefty portion of "fried" potato and onion.  The good news is that I didn't like the way I felt afterward.  Usually I enjoy that over-stuffed feeling, but it was just plain too much pancake.  I'll try to remember this feeling tomorrow when we go out to dinner to celebrate, but I'm not going to worry about it too much.  I'll eat well for breakfast and lunch then, if I CAN make a good decision or two at dinner without feeling deprived I will.  If I can't---well, that's what? 2,000 cal worth of high fat food? Some of the cals and fat I would have and should have eaten anyway.  The rest can be absorbed over the next week of good living and shouldn't impact me too badly.
     As for today--I've got some more of that spinach dip that I love. I didn't feel like facing the cold to walk to work so I'm planning a vigorous bout of wii tennis tonight.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yesterday went surprisingly well.  I wasn't particularly hungry at any point of the day and didn't even eat all that I had allotted myself--but still ate a good 2,300 cal.  Since I didn't eat the lean b-fast pocket for a snack, I thought I might treat myself to a smore after my RS meeting.  I didn't even want it.  VERY ODD for me. It is possible that the lack of appetite was due to a poor night's sleep and being tired is one of the things that will kill my appetite.  Usually though the level of tired I had triggers sugar cravings.  So I will consider this a possible sign of success! Also experiencing some digestive changes--can't decide if these are good, bad or random.

Today we're celebrating our family 'Pancake Day'.  Dave loves pancakes and fixes them for us every Sunday morning. We tease him about his obsession.  Last year Catherine discovered there really was such a thing as Pancake Day. So I wrote an anthem (set to the tune of Weasel Stomping Day by Weird Al)--so you can imagine the quality.

This year we discovered that Pancake Day isn't necessarily on Feb 23 or 24 but on Shrove Tuesday which of course, is connected to Easter and changes.  Ooops. Oh well.  We had plans so we're celebrating anyway with pancakes on a stick for breakfast and blackberry pancakes for dinner.  I'm not really a huge pancake fan, but it is really nice that pancake day isn't blowing my eating plan.  On the contrary---the day planned out easily at 17% but it'll be bumped up to 20% because I'm hooked on those flavored almonds--lime and chili especially.  Those are a healthy choice but they are nearly 100% fat.  I'd never tried pancakes on a stick---you can find them in the frozen aisle.  Hardly a heath food.  They're the size and shape of corndogs.  It felt very non-diet to have two of them for breakfast with syrup.  I love it when things feel non-diety.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


How can there possibly be this much to say about food? I know this blog has about a six week life span before I get bored with it, but I will try to push through and maintain it because I think it's valuable--all the more so when I don't want to keep it.

 Today I feel irrational.  I've only been trying new eating patterns for what? Five days? WHERE ARE THE RESULTS??  Worse yet, I don't just want any old results--I want spectacular results!  The problem is trust.  The big advantage to WW or Nutri-system or whatever is that I have faith that those programs will work--I've never been able to stick to them, but IF I ever did, I'm confident in the result.  I'm not confident in this program--I'm not suffering enough.  I'm definitley not confident in myself.  So, I want a sign and I want it fast.

Even as I type that I can't help but remember that within the last 5 days I've had movie popcorn, brownies, cherry pie, scones with whipping cream and biscuits.  Could I make better choices?  I honestly don't know that I can at this point.  I want to scream at the invisible Gods of weightloss--those who tell me they know how this should be done and who would presumably not approve of my choices--that I AM making better choices! I didn't eat all those things in the same day everyday like I wanted too.  I've passed up all kinds of things in favor of fruits and veggies.  This is an old grievance--in every other aspect of life, effort yields rewards--except weight loss. Even a little effort yields a little reward--except weight loss.  I HATE curtailing what I eat when I have no faith that my efforts will make the slightest difference. 

   I'm being silly and I know it.  For starters my efforts over a lifetime HAVE made a difference--I don't weigh 300 lbs and at 46 I have no serious health issues.  I just need to be patient.  I AM eating much better. Eventually good things will happen. I just wish there was some kind of monitor that would say--"Congratulations! Today's efforts resulted in less plaque in your arteries, less stress on your kidneys and 2% better brain function."

Patience is not one of my virtues.  And the scary thing is--this post represents how I feel about food on a good day.  I'm actually not feeling deprived or angry at all.  This is simply a brief touch on baseline resentment. Let's try the gratitude thing--

Today I'm glad that I can walk both ways to wk. Glad for the weather, glad for the time and glad for the ability to do it! There are many who can't even walk down the street.  I'm looking forward to a baguette with chicken and melted cheese for lunch.  I haven't been very hungry today, so I didn't eat my lean breakfast pocket which was putting both the calories and fat on the high side today.  Sugar cravings seem to be subsiding somewhat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cherry Pie

I'm liking this plan---it strikes me as about the right level of difficulty.  Today I ate 2,329 cal with 21.3% fat.  You'd think that would be easy--it is, after all, quite a bit of food.  It is NOT EASY for me, but it IS something I'm willing to work with and experiment with and learn from---I feel as though it's possible--a very different feeling from any other diet plan.

  Breakfast was fine and dinner was fine and lunch ought to have been fine---it was picture perfect beautiful!  Today is president's day so I had time to really make it good.  I had one of those cup of soups, a roast beef sandwich on a sourdough muffin loaded with veggies, 1/2 cup of the spinach dip with brocolli spears and 13 wheat thin chips, and grapes.  I wasn't all that hungry when I started eating, but I was much hungrier when I finished.  It took more than an hour for lunch to "hit" and fill me up. This is a problem with snacks too---left to myself I eat loads of snacks--from boredom mostly but also because I simply love food and the act of eating.  It doesn't matter if I'm hungry or not, or if they fill me up or not, because there is always more.  Every diet I've ever seen, including this one, tells me that I should snack (though not the way I like to snack)--the idea being that frequent small meals keep one's metabolism stoked.  I don't know how my metabolism responds, but if I'm hungry between meals it generally takes a whole lot more than a snack to fill me up.  If I'm not hungry a snack serves as an appetizer and leaves me hungrier.  Often, like today, I wind up eating my snack along with my meal. We'll see how tomorrow goes--I planned quite a high calorie day (2838 but only 21.5% fat.  If I don't eat all I planned all the better).  According to the book this level of calories should be just fine--it just seems strange to put that much food into a "diet."  I'm thinking it really should be fine because left to my own devices the breakfast and dinner would be about the same, but lunch would be bigger and there would be some seriously high cal snacks plus several raids into my work chocolate stash. 

The thing I really loved about today's plan was the CHERRY PIE.  This was great.  I planned it (481 cal 125 of those from fat).  I made it (real reciepe from Betty Crocker. And I ate it--I budgeted for a full 1/6 of that pie.  I love that I could fit this into my plan.  This wasn't some weird receipe and the portion was what I wanted it to be.  I truly hate "lite" desserts that have you divide a 8 x 8 pan into 32 servings (or even 16!).  Give me a break.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

forgot gratitude

Ooops.  I forgot the gratitude part in my last post which supposedly is the whole point of this blog.  Just goes to show it isn't that easy to change thinking patterns. It's easy to be grateful today--it's Sunday and we had such a huge storm that they canceled church! It felt great to just stay home for a day.  My sweet Dave is the one who got up to fix the scones--he even used 1/2 wheat flour and egg whites to improve the health of the recipe.  He is fantastic.  I'm also grateful to just plain have such a great abundance of food and warmth.  We complain a lot that we're just scraping by--what with huge student loans and all, but come on--we were able to go to the movies and have popcorn, we had a lovely roast beef tonight and there will be no lack tomorrow.  Even the cats are well-fed. Most of the world is not so blessed.  I had the health to go out and shovel the drive and build snow creations without feeling over-taxed.  Food-wise--those cheddar biscuits were great! I'm glad I can have some more tomorrow---with a big salad and maybe some soup they won't be a bad choice at all.   

fat beef!!!

   I made a cardinal rookie error yesterday. I'm still nervous about eating bazillions of calories, and my plan yesterday was really good with the exception of the popcorn so I ate my lunch and went to the movies as planned, but was slightly hungry.  MISTAKE to be slightly hungry in the face of movie popcorn.  All's still ok--I probably only ate 10 cups instead of the full 11.  It would have been far better to have a couple of hundred calories worth of healthier snacks and THEN face the popcorn.  Next time.
   Today (Sunday) surprises me. There are a few high fat items on the menu--but not anything obviously terrible.  To wit: Scones, roast beef and cheddar biscuits.  YIKES!!  Those things put the fat totals back up almost to movie popcorn day levels at about 30%.  This and yesterday are what the book calls "B" days.  I still cherish some hope for fat loss because it's still a whole heck of a lot better than I eat when left to my own devices. I'm convinced my previous fat intakes had to be around 50-70%
    I'm hoping to mitigate today's damage with exercise--I should have walked for 50 min yesterday, but didn't find the time (or desire in the face of seriously damp and gloomy weather) so promised myself an hour of wii exercise today.  Last night it snowed so hard they actually canceled church!  I did my wii, shoveled the driveway and am now going out to make a mighty snow creation.
     Tomorrow is Presidents day.  The challenge here is incorporate a cherry pie into my life without blowing the fat limits---I forsee a lot of veggies. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back to normal obese

Phew---the wii says I'm back to my normal BMI obese level (a low 32)---this as opposed to the other day when I was a whole two points higher.  This makes me very happy because I feel as though I've been eating a great plenty. For example yesterday I ate:
2 bagel things with garden veggie cream cheese, banana, 8 oz milk, a little (3 oz?) leftover gyro meat, a big serving of homemade tzakikii sauce, whole tomato, apple, about 5 big celery boats with PB2 (fake peanut butter that really works) and raisins, 1/2 can beef soup (had planned for a whole can but wasn't hungry), a ferro rocher chocolate, 4 mini pizzas made on muffin halves with pepperoni, cheese and mushrooms, a big salad with feta cheese, two jalapenos w/ cream cheese and a whole package of cherry jello with chocolate sauce.  Not bad!! that came to 2073 cal and 25.9% fat.  At the end of the day I was still a little hungry though.  It was ok however, because I knew I could have had something if I'd really wanted.  I was just too lazy to think about it.

Today's plan is slightly higher cal, but lower fat 2353 and 20.9% fat.  I'm excited though because I'm making my favorite spinach dip and we're  having hamburgers and oven fries for dinner--another favorite.  I'm also making new recipe of pumpkin carrot muffins and plan to have one with a glass of milk after dinner.

Movie popcorn wise----I've decided not to worry too much about it.  Should I eat the whole 11 cups all by myself--the cal total would go to 3263 and 34.6% fat.  Not great, by any means, but still only about as bad as my "normal" patterns.  I think a lot of my problem comes from movie popcorn types of things.  Overall good habits, but then 1000 cal popcorn, or 1,500 cal at Olive Garden add to that daily "oops" consumptions of things like valentine's candy, sleeves of nuts, wedges of cheese--those can add anywhere from 500 to 1000 extra cals on a daily basis plus really up the fat content.  I think this is what is keeping me overweight--because my actual meals are usually not too bad, and I do walk a lot, so I tend to feel resentful because I think I ought to weigh less than I do.  I wonder if I should have been grateful all these years not to weigh 100 lbs more!  ANYWAY---the plan is to order popcorn as usual.  Happily, I'm a very slow eater and always eat one kernel at a time anyway. I'll make a moderate effort not to consume a huge amount, but if I do--well---the rest of the day is on track. I'm also justifying this because I really don't go to the movies very often.  Part of this blog is to make sure stuff like movie popcorn really is as rare a treat as I think it is. If I'm tracking some equivalent splurge 4 or 5 times a week then I'll have to make some adjustments.

Goal-wise--I'm shying away form them, having made far too many weight-loss goals in the past and failing.  However, I AM looking forward to celebrating some milestones such as a BMI of 29--that's officially just plain "overweight."  And I'm really hoping for vindication someday if and my weight drops back to my all time low weight watchers weight.  When that happens I will do an indian war dance of celebration, because it will mean success on MY terms ie: a heck of a lot more food and freedom than WW gives you!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Uh oh.  A medium (11 cups) movie popcorn with butter is 910 cal 639 of which is fat.  I just found out though that the dollar theater uses real butter!  Would I really eat 11 cups though? Yes.  Harry Potter's a long movie. 

Wildcat room

Ack! Stupid Wildcat room.  NO blue cheese crumbles and NO decent diet dressings either! Only low fat ranch. Yuck.  I don't even like full cal ranch much.  Proud of myself though.  I fixed myself an enormous vat of salad and tried to go easy on the full cal Italian stuff.  The sheer quantity of vegetables was enough to fill me up to the point where not only did I not eat the soup I brought for later but I didn't even eat the 100 cal shortbread cookies that I love.

Dinner was nice too, I forgot the fruit, but figured I'd have an orange with a brownie to look forward to after harp lesson.  Wasn't particuarly hungry for either--still ate most of it though.  Someday I'll be able to pass up the things I'm not hungry for/don't want but not quite yet. 

I think the major drawback of planning out meals is that it makes it very difficult to listen to your body.  Still, I've been overriding inner signals for so long that I'm liking having a plan for now. Hope to very slowly adjust to a more intuitive style over the next year or so.

Summary: about 2,100 cal and 14% fat. Took the day off from exercise.  What did I love?  The cool square salad "bowls" (seriously, I would serve a whole family out of one of these), love peas, love bacon for breakfast, really liked being full and nibbling on a very rich brownie in front of the fire as I studied--also liked having the orange slices with it. Also liked the day of physical rest because I needed it. Like having a mind and body capable of learning to play the harp. If nothing else, I have slim fingers and wrists. I don't think it would be possible to play the harp with fat fingers.

A skinny girl once said to me "it's impossible for me to be fat in the summer." She was always running around doing all kinds of sports in the summer.  I feel that way about my hands--it's impossible for me to have big hands. Now to expand that feeling....

I don't anticipate any big challenges today. I felt ready to walk again after my day of rest and am walking to and from work--about a mile and a half each way going gently uphill on the way up.  LOVE everything bagel thins only 110 cal.  Had two for breakfast with garden veggie cream cheese.  Tomorrow might be a problem though.  I've been wanting to see Harry Potter 7 again, and I do love movie popcorn.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good sleep

Yesterday went well--largely, I think, because I know I won't always have to be so rigid. The planning is taking WAY too long.  I will have to dig out the old WW cal guide--it's much better organized than the big cal guide so I can actually find stuff--that alone will cut down on the time.

Last night's sandwich--once I finally got to have it--was REALLY good and REALLY satisfying.  I think I'll plan something similar on the menu more often.  I'm sure I can find a bun that works just as well with less than 340 calories though!  I think I will also plan in at least one chocolate treat while at work everyday.  Everyone has candy on their desks--I'm sure resentment will strike fast and deep if I think I always have to pass these up.  Otherwise, a great day.

Today the weather is against me. I'm going out to the Wildcat room here on campus for lunch with a friend. I was going to ask her if she'd mind going to subways, but there was a storm, and I didn't want to ask her to drive.  Happily, the food there is mediocre except for the salad bar.  My plan is to have a big salad with diet dressing but with blue cheese crumbles. I don't mind skipping the main meal, but passing up the blue cheese dressing (and no, I can't limit the dressing to 2 TBLS or whatever) is a deprivation.  One that I don't mind today, because motivation is high, but not something I'd always want to skip. I brought a fruit cup in case the salad bar is missing fruit, and also a can of Progresso lite Beef Soup in case the salad alone doesn't fill me up.  This is giving me a great sense of security.  Dinner will be BBQ chicken with a potato and peas, and I saved room for Catherine's brownies (300 cal for only 2 inches worth!!). 
   Rewards:  I LOVE the center cut bacon I had for breakfast today--3 slices = only 70 cal.  I also love blue cheese crumbles.  I like feeling in control--not as much as I usually like overeating--but a really good feeling for now none-the-less.  I also slept well last night--not something I can take for granted anymore at a peri-menopausal 46 yrs old.  I don't know if that specifically had anything to do with eating well yesterday, but what the heck--I'll put a point in the "eating well actually makes a noticable difference in my life" box.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A list of what I like

This first post will be a long one.  Sorry.

I've been impressed by the blog losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com.  It's written by a guy named Sean who started out at 505 lbs and is now down to his goal weight of 230!  I don't even know him and I am so proud of him.  The number one difference in his success and my failure in the weight loss world is that he was consistently GRATEFUL for every little thing.  He loves little McDonald's soft serve ice-cream cones and would blog about how cool it was that he got to eat them and still lose weight.  He was grateful for the smallest things--the day he looked in the mirror and could see his ears, when he realized he could walk around Walmart and not be winded--any and every step along the way.

I haven't quite decided the purpose of this blog.  As the title states I am THE Rebel Dieter.  I've tried to lose weight all my life and always wind up deeply resentful of the whole process.  One day I decided to write down a quick list of the things that bother me about dieting--with the idea that if I wrote them down I could put them behind me.  In about 5 minutes had written no less than 80 separate issues.  Hmmmm, seems that I have a bit of a problem.  These issues have evolved into a book I hope to publish someday.  Maybe I'll even post some things from the book here (but not too much as I still cherish a dream that this will be a phenomenal best-seller).  I've lost and kept off about 30 lbs without dieting using the principles I discovered.  But I'm a long way (about 50 lbs) from getting where I need to be. 

So, what am I doing here in cyber-space?  Well, I'm not being particularly accountable.  I tend to feel oppressed rather than motivated when people are counting on me to do something I'd rather not do ie: lose weight.  I'm also not going to reveal exact specs on what I weigh and how that progresses or not--for one thing that puts far too much value on what the scale says and then I start playing mind games and...well, the scale was one of the original 80 issues.

What I think I need to do is to track roughly what I'm doing--hopefully everyday, and then reflect (briefly) on the previous day and what would have made my efforts more successful and enjoyable. I'm also going to track what feels great about any healthy thing I do and/or if I'm not being so healthy, is there anything that I dislike about the feeling or results of eating say---3/4 of a pizza by myself.  Mostly, I need to feel more genuinely grateful for the terrific body I already have, and celebrate the little improvements--and have this on record so that I REMEMBER that I have much to be thankful for.

So, here goes. 

The plan du jour is the Lean and Free plan written by Dana Thornock in the 90's.  Her idea is that if you are optimally nourished you really can, and SHOULD eat till you're satisfied which will probably be about 3 to 4,000 calories.  Her recipies are really yummy and I love the idea of eating till I'm full as opposed to say what weight watchers thinks will keep me full.  For that optimal nourishment you should drink a lot of water and at every meal have a fruit, vegetable, protein and grain.  The fat content should be kept at about 20%. 

I've been doing this (sort of) for about the last two weeks.  I feel terrific and my skin is visibly younger looking.  Plus my rabid cravings for salt have largely subsided. I've been surprised at how few fruits and veggies I really had been eating--I thought I generally did quite well!  The problem is that I sort of missed the part (although she has it in bold several times in the book) about how you need to very gradually increase your calories.  ooops.  I've been loading the fruits and veggies, having extra sandwiches, eating lots of "healthy" dips and trying out some muffins and date bars, plus being a lot more free with anything else that was billed as sort of healthy like granola bars-- all of this I ADDED to my already more than plentiful non-dieting eating style.  Big ooops.  I'm up about 5 lbs and feel distinctly pudgy.   Still, I'm convinced this program's got the right idea.

One of the reasons I rebel against diets is that the better you follow them the less you are rewarded.  Take Weight Watchers--if you lose weight then you eventually have to give up points so you get to eat even less.  Some reward. 

With this plan if I do well, I can ADD more calories if I want them and the theory is that my metabolism will be conditioned to handle them.  We'll see.  I badly want this to work because I really hate the alternative.

Sooooo, here's the plan. I really needed to get a grip so last night I carefully planned out what I would eat today.  I'm bringing the calories back in line to about what I think I eat on a day of reasonable behavior--about 2,200 cal. Unlike my normal behavior though, I have all those fruits and veggies AND I kept the fat percentage down to 20%.  It turned out to be plenty of food and about 2,400 cal, but what was embarrassing was how much more I know I would have eaten had I not planned this out!! Good heavens!  How much have I been eating these past two weeks?????

Until the end of Feb. I will keep the fat and calories at this level and be pretty rigid about planning things out.  I'm confident that IF (always a big IF) I actually do this I will lose weight and inches, because even though it sounds like I'm eating a lot--it's still considerably less and healthier than my normal patterns.  Best of all, the better I stick to the plan, the better the rewards get!!! I will add more calories if I need them (I might, I'm hungry right now--and I'm supposed to eat until "full satisfaction"), and eventually I'll be less tied to the planning as well--maybe only really counting once a week or if my weight starts creeping up. We'll see how it goes. 

Exercise-wise the weather is getting warmer and I have a terrific job that allows for "wellness time."  I've joined a group that meets on Monday afternoons to walk and learn various healthy things.  There is a "walking plan" that slowly builds up until we all walk the Ogden Half Marathon together in May.  I like it.  I like to walk, but because it's easy I imagine I do it more than I probably do. This week the walks on the program are beginning to be a bit longer than I normally do.  I'm pretty sure I could step out the door and walk the marathon right now, but I'm determined not to slack.  It takes me 30 min to walk to work.  Today the plan was for  40. I left 10 minutes early so I could get it in.  It's a small effort but I'm proud of myself.

Food-wise I had 2 cups of frosted mini wheats, milk and a banana (veggies aren't mandatory for breakfast), Lunch was carefully controlled nachos with three corn torillas worth of chips, cheese, guacamole, plain yogurt, jalapenos, refried beans, and a fruit cup.  Snack was a date bar.  Right now I'm hungry but I won't get to eat dinner until after my night class---a big sandwich (hoagie bun alone is 300 cal--I could make a better choice, but Dave already bought the buns specially) with lots of veggies, an apple and some pretzles.  That's it.  What's noticably missing is the CHOCOLATE and any kind of dessert.  But I wanted a lot of cheese on the nachos, and I figured a relatively sugar-free say wouldn't hurt me in the least--it's been waaaay overboard lately.  So I'm okay with it for one day.

Grateful---I walked for 40 minutes--no prob!  Even though I feel really fat my clothes still fit.  I feel good that at least today I'm more or less in control.  I really loved the nachos. Best of all, I don't dread tomorrow because I feel as though I can live at this level and still be happy.