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!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

490 the other direction

Danger, danger! I feel fat. My favorite Hawaii t-shirt was a little tight across the chest last night. NOT ok. But I have been having some new thoughts. I need to be careful not to freak out when I go in a good direction. The IE program emphasized eating whatever because often people have trouble with that. I think I have slightly less trouble eating chocolate or going to buffets than others might. But since IE is emphasizing eating freely--I need to be ok with the idea of NOT eating a lot if my body doesn't want it. Sometimes when I eat lightly or not at all (I haven't allowed this to happen often) a part of me freaks out--"OH NO! I'M GOING INTO DIET STARVATION MODE!! MY METABOLISM IS GOING TO CRASH!! or, even more common "I'M BEING DEPRIVED!!! I'M MISSING OUT!!! QUICK!! EAT AS MUCH AS I CAN SO I'M NOT DEPRIVED!!!" Not that I think any of this consciously--it just a powerful driving feeling that "I MUST EAT!!" IE suggests that that powerful drive will diminish if I will just refrain from dieting. Ok. I must also beware of "psuedo dieting"--that is saying that I'm eating intuitively, but really making my food decisions based on food police rules. Right now, I don't think I can distinguish between the food police and just not wanting food, or just making a decision because it's a healthy choice that I don't mind making. Whenever anything smacks of eating less or,heaven forbid a small amount, the inner sirens go off. Here's a major siren, "IF I EAT TOO LITTLE MY BODY WILL LEARN TO LIVE ON TINY AMOUNTS AND I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO EAT A BIG MEAL AGAIN WITHOUT GAINING A TON OF WEIGHT!!!!--QUICK!!! EAT SOME MORE!!!"

Monday, July 30, 2012

489 some pros and cons

Okay---lets see how intuitive eating stacks up against regular dieting--at least in my own twisted mind.

IE In some ways MUCH harder than a regular diet. Right now, on a regular diet I'd just be eating the pretzels with veggie cream cheese dip that I brought to work. With IE I'm having to wait until I'm hungry. I also have to deal with what I'm really feeling--do I have the munchies because I don't want to call my sister? Probably. Solution---call my sister. Then wait till I'm hungry, then eat what I want.

I actually LOVE this. Working through this type of thing IS the problem. These emotions ARE the problem. The solution of fixing the real problem, while eating as I need to feels like REAL progress, not just artificial diet "I hope I can hang on" progress.

Problem! I'm not at all sure this is going to work!!!! I'm not one of these people who claim to "eat so much" while actually eating 1/2 a salad. I really can put it away and I enjoy doing so. Also, I believe that the body really does have a "set point" and you have to override this pretty consistently to get the body to move in either direction. Thank goodness--that's why I haven't put on a bunch of weight in spite of my many "exceptions". The thing is though, that I've been pretty good about going back to WW after the "exception". I know the "exceptions" won't decrease in frequency--I'm afraid they won't decrease in amount either--and if I don't reign my eating in in between times...then I'm in big trouble.

IE--it DOES work even with me--at least to some extent. I did the classic IE thing in about 8 years ago in Cedar Rapids. I got competely fed up with the idea of a diet, and gave up. I decided not to worry about it--that I would only do something healthy if that was what I truly wanted to do. It worked--I lost 20 pounds. The catch? It took me 5 years to lose that 20 pounds! The bigger catch. I stopped there. It wasn't until I joined weight watchers at the beginning of this blog that I lost another 20. However---I wasn't using all the ideas of intuitive eating. I wasn't actively searching out my hunger and full signals or looking for ways to cope other than eating. Perhaps that's why my weight loss froze?

Diets. Dave lost 50 pounds on weight watchers. He's kept it off for about 5 years, but it's crept back on--galloped back rather than crept in this last year. It's hard not to think "well, he should have just been a bit more careful and caught the weight gain early on" Also, there are people like Sean of 505 lb fame who seem to be able to diet and successfully lose it for keeps.

However--I DON'T want to live like Sean! Monitor every single calorie for the rest of my life? Especially at the 1500 cal level???!!! NO THANKS!! Richard Simmons is another "success" story--except that I don't want to live his lifestyle either. Also--I've got about 40 years of evidence that no matther how much I may want to I can't stick with a diet long enough to get where I want to be.

I do have a little bit more IE evidence. Thanksgiving. I never stuff myself to bursting. It is the one day when I really give myself total carte blance to eat and I never binge. This has limited value though---for while I don't eat everything--I DO probably eat at least 5,000 calories. So it's not something I'd want to do every day. Although I'd like to. Another time Dad took me to Las Vegas for a week with buffets at every meal. Sure enough--by the last day I went to a fabulous buffet and ate a small slice of roast beef and a little cottage cheese and didn't even look at the dessert bar. I was just plain stuffed. I expected to gain a bunch of weight but I didn't gain any at all! In fact, I think I even lost a pound or two. However, I think that was partly due to being young. Fast forward 15 years or so and I went on a 7 day cruise. Again I ate freely with total abandon. Although I couldn't quite manange to eat much at the midnight buffet, that was the only time I didn't eat much on that cruise. The only reason I pooped out at midnight was because I'd already eaten a five course dinner that included steak, lobstor, quail, a mountain of sides, and a chocolate melting cake AND the nightly special dessert. Anyway--I gained 8 pounds on that 1 week cruise. The good news was that I lost it right away--but that's not because of any native intuitive eating virtue. It's because I simply don't have the means to fix all that food for myself every single day. I loved the buffets. I'm not at all sure that if I lived on a cruise ship that I would ever top out. I think I could happily eat my way to 400 pounds plus given half a chance. That makes me very nervous about intuitive eating.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

488 An example

I think I forgot to check my feelings today when I ate. I know I'm still partially eating just because I can. I don't entirely trust myself yet not to pull the rug out from under myself and go back on a diet. Maybe tomorrow I'll have some more time to list out the pros and cons--or rather the "proofs" I have from my own life on the pros and cons of both dieting and intuitive eating. I know they both work somewhat at least and intuitive eating is sure a lot more pleasant. Anyway--as promised, I took a snack to church--but this week I don't think I needed it. I ate it anyway. Next time I'll do better. I'll take the snack and eat it if I need it. At least I'm not eating more than I would otherwise, and there are a few interesting things to note---I still didn't want the leftover calzone. I'm taking it to work for lunch tomorrow, but more because it's easy, than because I'm dying for it.

Good example yesterday of what this is supposed to look like. Our hostess at the BBQ drank water instead of lemonade--I should have done that too--I prefer water, lemonade is too sweet, and she left half of her steak. No way I would have done that, I really wanted that steak, but Becky is much smaller than I am. Perhaps when I'm that small, I won't want so much steak either. Maybe. It was really good steak.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

487 too full

I think I might rediscover good old-fashioned eating sense along this path. Last night for the Olympic opening ceremonies we ordered from the Pie Pizzaria--INCLUDING their fabulous cheesy bread. We also made salads and sat down to feast. I feasted and enjoyed every bite. I stopped after eating 2/3 of a calzone that was the size of the plate, four cheesy bread sticks (large) and all the salad. I wasn't overly full. 1/2 hour later I WAS overly full. Ah HA! Maybe that's why grandma always said to leave the table before I was full--because if I eat till I'm actually full at the table, I'll be TOO full shortly after.

Course, part of my problem is that I don't mind feeling too full. I like that feeling, and my lifestyle usually supports it--sitting on the couch watching the Olympics was just right. Sewing, reading, practicing the harp, doing any kind of craft, cooking, talking---all those things work just fine. Books always talk about feeling sluggish and bad after overeating. Sluggish--yes,probably, but bad? RARELY. I've been blessed with good health and I usually feel just fine.

I will admit though, that I had no desire for the rest of the calzone today. I still ate plenty, including a delicious steak at a friend's. Will I ever just get tired of food in general? I don't think so---especially if I'm waiting for hunger before I eat. That's what makes me nervous about trying to do this. One thing I can try is to do something more active after dinner---then I might notice more that being weighed down with food doesn't feel good.

Friday, July 27, 2012

486 Hungry?

Uh Oh. The headachy feeling yesterday isn't entirely gone and Dave is sick. And, just to borrow trouble whereever I can find it, I got to wondering what you do with intuitive eating if you're diabetic? It'd be just my luck to finally get a grip on the food issue, and then go diabetic (it runs in the family). But that kind of thinking is both unhelpful and ungrateful. God has been very good to me, and if diabetes IS in my future, it will only be because I have something to learn that will help me. SO---no more about that.

I don't have time to write much, so I'll just touch on a comment a reader made that I think will be very true in my case. She was saying that much of the program was about waiting. Specifically, waiting to become hungry and waiting for emotions to pass. I can already see that's true. I waited out my emotions yesterday. This morning, I wasn't in the least hungry. I waited until I was and still didn't eat much. I'm still not sure what to do about "taste hunger". We went to Zupas last night and it felt wonderful and satisfying. After my visits, I had some more homemade rocky road ice-cream. I'm not how to handle that intuitively. I can't imagine a time when I wouldn't want homemade ice-cream but yet, if I eat all I want at dinner I will never be actually hungry for it. Even if I were hungry--it would be foolish to try and satisfy real hunger with ice-cream--I'd have to eat gallons of it. Although...there is a big difference between what I was feeling last night, "rocky road ice-cream, SURE!" and a genuine craving for something. The past couple of months I haven't been able to get enough peanut butter cups--but that craving seems to be fading out. Still...this area will be troublesome I'm sure. Right now I'm having a slice of pound cake. Am I hungry? Yes..No...? Maybe? I certainly wasn't craving lemon pound cake until I saw it. But here it is, and here I am...so.....SURE!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

485A afternoon munch

ok--this is going to be a very good thing. It's 3:45 in the afternoon and I want something to eat. Why? Good question! I'm plenty full from lunch. So why do I want to eat? What emotions are going on right now? I've got a few--brewing--none crisis level, but altogether...it's triggering the "I need to eat" signals. I'm tired, also headachy--I think I need to start taking Allegra again. I'm a little bored, I'm a little anxious because I sent an email to my sister--nothing big, but I've been enjoying a few family-free days and don't want that to stop, also balanced checkbook--sigh, also have a long night ahead--harp lesson I didn't practice enough for, a hot walk home (think I'll call Dave to rescue me), and two church visits at 7:00--one to an inactive stranger and one to a sister dealing with some major hostility issues (not directed at me). Lastly, I'm between books. I want to finish the Terry Pratchett, but I'm not really in the mood for it, I want to finish the Dick Francis which I love--but I've watched a lot of violence lately and I think I'm avoiding the dramatic bad guy show down that's coming.

Easier to eat than to stop and think what I'm feeling. But I'm glad I'm here in blogland thinking. Here's where weightwatchers breaks down. I have a 100 cal pack of popcorn here. On ww--no problem--I would eat it. But what would that solve? How will that teach me to manage being tired and unenthusiastic about my evening without food? Writing this has helped. My next appointment should be short. If it is, I'm giving myself what I really need--a brief nap.

485 finshed book

Well, I finished the book, "Intuitive Eating". The ending was disappointing--there were examples of success, but they were all extreme examples of recovering anorexics and bulemics. I guess the message was that if these people can recover, I can too--but I would have preferred more specific help things like "rare" eating. How do I go somewhere unique and not overeat when I know that I literally will never have the chance to eat this food again ever? Or even if it's not entirely unique but things like Christmas which only come once a year? I know I've answered those questions for myself many times in this blog, but I'd like more help.

Which brings up another "benefit" of being on a standard type diet--you know whether or not you're doing well!! I'm not really sure if yesterday went well or not and that's disconcerting to me.

Some of the other "benefits" the book brought up which I had never thought about are these. With a standard diet there is the excitement of hope. There's the excitment of results as measurable on the scale--especially at the beginning. There's the sense of belonging to the great American dieting group--everyone's on a diet. At the begining there's the self-esteem that comes from doing something about a problem--and it helps that I can point to that something which is concrete. Dieting also creates excitement about food--my favorite thing--I look forward to eating it. Also, there is the excitement of the "forbidden" foods. I never thought about that! I don't know how much I actually respond to the "forbidden" idea--I mean, I never eat just because it is forbidden--but there's no question that I eat BIG when I get a chance and really enjoy it because I don't know when I'll have another excuse to go to a restaraunt or have a big meal. Even failure on a diet is somewhat comforting--when I fail I have "permission" to indulge. Also, I've been overweight my whole life. This is the only reality I know and it's comfortable.

I'll be re-reading the principles of the book many times. Also working on the LDS 12 steps and some of the literature from over-eater's anonymous. Those work well with intuitive eating. OA especially talks about "abstinence" defined as not eating in an addictive way. I like that. There are many ways to eat cookies--sometimes I eat them in a normal way, other times I'm clearly escaping something and it isn't obvious just from my actions if I'm misusing those cookies. I think I'll try and write out anything I do that I'm pretty sure is a move in a positive direction as well as explore the fuzzier areas.

I took the book's advice yesterday and BOUGHT SOME CLOTHES THAT FIT. I've been going around in these gigantic capri's that I bought last year. I like the concept that respecting your body is respecting your body--so dress yourself however you like with clothes that fit you as you are now, not as you wish you were. That's why I haven't replaced these clothes long ago--I was on ww--I was sure to be thinner soon--why waste the money? It's funny the book mentions underwear specifically--I have some that are from 40 pounds ago. Time to get some new undies! I got 3 pairs of capris for summer. Tops were more difficult. I didn't buy any because I didn't want to buy any in an xlarge size. Silly. I know better than just about anyone that clothing sizes don't mean a thing--but when I first began fitting into plain large tops that was exciting and I vowed I'd never wear an x-large again. mmmmm--truth is, that it's a rare plain large that really fits. I'm kind of between sizes, but it's hard to eat my words. However, being the rebellious soul that I am, and life being what it is--I bet if I go ahead and buy some cute tops that fit now, I might not be wearing them long. Anyway, I'm at work in pants that fit and I feel slim and pretty rather than baggy and frumpy. It feels good.

Last night was a little on the fuzzy side. I knew I was hungry when I came home--so I had a banana muffin and some milk before shopping. I had been sort of planning all day to have some homemade rocky-road ice-cream because I could--so it's hard to know if I really wanted it or not when the time came. Well, yes, I wanted it--but that's because I might have called it quits on dinner too soon--I made stuffed portabellos--and I quit after eating one--not so much because I was full I think, but because I wanted to eat ice-cream without overeating, and I wanted one to take to work today. I think the result was that I had a much bigger bowl of ice-cream than I normally would have eaten. Maybe. I did also eat some crackers and cheese between dinner and the ice-cream just because I did think dinner was on the way light side. Fuzzy. I don't know whether I did well or not. Right now tho--I KNOW I'm doing well. I was a little hungry awhile ago and had an apple and a couple of fig newtons. Result was that I wasn't hungry for an earlier lunch. That was 45 minutes ago. I didn't just eat lunch on auto-pilot. My schedule allowed me to wait for hunger today and I did. NOW I'm hungry, and NOW I'm going to sign off here and have lunch.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

484 Understanding

Boy, does it feel good to read this book!! I'm not sure it has all the answers, but at least the author understands the ISSUES!!! This is the exact opposite of weight watchers that claims to have all kinds of answers, but as far as I can see has NO IDEA of the problems of weight loss even are.

For example--last night I read about a woman who learned intutive eating well enough that she knew when she was full and knew when she had reached that last magic bite that would satisfy here. She STILL had a problem because she was angry that she was full before she wanted to be done eating. She still wanted the taste and the sensation and the pleasure of eating to continue--but her body was signaling enough. HOORAY!!!! That is often EXACTLY how I feel. That's why I was writing yesterday about the need to avoid temptation. It's nice that I can go to the cheesecake factory and have cheesecake--but the cake is very rich and odds are that my body will be finished looooong before my mind is finished.

So what to do? Well, I could use more help on this part---basically their idea is that by continuting to apply their principles--honoring hunger, never restricting food, honoring fullness, looking for ways to satisfy other needs like boredom or anxiety without food, that eventually these feelings of wanting more even after I'm done will ease up. Well....I hope so. What can I do but keep trying? At least I feel validated.

Another thing that I really liked was the very simple and obvious sentence that went something like, "It's not appropriate to use food to deal with emotions." OKAY!! Yes! One of those things that I "know" but good for me to hear. That's not to say that people don't use food for emotional reasons--they do all the time, and it's ok to use food to soothe and protect sometimes--just not all the time. It's not supposed to be the first and only go-to coping mechanism.

482 or 3? from the other day

I wrote the following a couple days ago on the work computer that won't post and then forgot to post it at home. As it happened, we stopped at Walmart for something else that night and I got my peanut butter after all.

I'm not sure about lunch today--I ate it all and I'm fine, but what are the odds that the lunch I packed is exactly what I need--not too much or too little down to the last bite? Practice practice. It took some thinking, but I know what I want now--I'm a little hungry, but nothing I have sounds good. What I want is peanut butter. A weird craving, but there it is. Poor craving won't get satisfied until shopping on Saturday. I"ll live.

Meanwhile, it was refreshing to read that an apple might not fill you up. HELLO! THANK YOU! I've been preaching that for years. Every diet says that for a snack you can have a piece of fruit. HA!! A banana is a little helpful--but an apple or an orange isn't helpful at all as a snack!! It was nice to read that if a body needs carbs or protien an apple simply will not do the trick. BRAVO!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

483 temptation

Batman is THE movie to see. LOOOOOONG movie! I think it would be greatly improved if it had been a good hour shorter. We ate lunch at the movies--a noted vice. My sandwich wasn't as good as it usually is, the jr's (a kind of flattened tater-tot) were fantastic as usual, and I wanted movie popcorn. I left the crusts, didn't finish the jr's and didn't finish the popcorn either. Still, I ate a great deal more than my body needed I'm sure. Later, I made cobb salads for dinner---those turned out to be larger than I meant to make. It felt good to use real blue cheese dressing. The small triumph for today was the croutons--for some reason I didn't want any on my salad. I don't know why--I like croutons, but I didn't want them. Anyway---two thoughts--I never want to be told what I can and can't eat again. It's feeling really really good and right to have access to everything. On the other hand---overeating is a weakness. It makes sense to avoid places where there is a lot of temptation. That's not to say I'll never go to the movies again. I will, and I'll have popcorn and maybe even lunch--but I don't need to seek out reasons to weaken my body. Rather, I want to surround myself with healthier places and thinking--I don't know how this will translate in the real world. Luckily, I work in a very healthy minded office. I sense at this point this will not be so much of a change in behavior, as a change of thinking. To begin to become something other than the rebel dieter. There is a big difference in thinking--"I have to eat this or that" or "I can't eat this or that" to thinking---"what would be best for me right now?" Perhaps often, what would be best would be to stop and let my poor digestive system rest once in a while. I can also forsee when the best thing will literally be a large piece of chocolate coconut brownie. In the meantime, I'll keep working on exercise. I got up and walked a 5K with Dave today in addition to mowing the lawn. It felt good.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

482 Church snack

This is really going to take some practice. Next week I'm going to bring a snack to church. On the one hand this is right in line with my normal habits--I always get hungry inbetween breakfast and lunch, but oddly, not between lunch and dinner even though that can be a very long stretch. Still, I feel ridiculous. Church is only 3 hours long--I can last it out for pete's sake! Yes, I can. But I was quite hungry for lunch and I might have eaten less overall if I had had a snack. A snack it will be next week.

Also tricky--learning what full is. For example--right now it's 10 p.m. and I could easily put away a full meal if I were at a restaraunt. But Dave just offered me a backwards Oreo cookie (design side in--someone at quality control missed that one) and I had no desire for it whatsoever. Am I hungry or full? Or just simply have I had enough Oreos for today?

Lunch also tricky---I had what I wanted--the leftover pizza, some watermelon, a cabbage salad, some veggies some doritos. I was still genuinely hungry. Had a muffin and a small glass of milk too. Felt ok---far from stuffed, but ok. You know how they say it takes 20 minutes to fell full? Maybe my clock is slow. I think it takes me more like an hour to feel full. I'm already the world's slowest eater--that lunch took me longer than 20 min, but I didn't really feel as though I didn't want more food until I was drifing off for my Sunday nap. I want to use some common sense, but I want to make sure it IS common sense and not just bad habits in either direction.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

481 dessert

Huh! I could have sworn I posted yesterday--apparently not. I did well. We went to a baby shower that had a "dessert potluck". Talk about a normal diet disaster! It was nice though---I had what I wanted--a chocolate chip cookie. Then a sample of carrot cake, blueberry cheesecake, plain cheesecake, a stuffed animal cracker, another taste of carrot cake and one more cookie. That last cookie was a bit much perhaps, but I wasn't stuffed, but I was well and truly done with dessert. There was also a fruit tray and a veggie tray--I made the very non-diet decision to skip both. I'd had plenty of fruit already, and had just finished a big cabbage salad at home. I figured I was well nourished with fruits and veggies, I just wanted dessert. I tried a carrot with dip just to see if the dip was anything special--it wasn't. Dessert it was. Incidentally, it was also my first experience with anything gluten free. The mom has celiac disease so nothing had gluten. The cookies were made with buckwheat flour, rye flour and sorghum and I can honestly say there were some of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had in my life! I was tempted to stuff myself with one or two more just because I could, but I was saved by the thought that there were going to be a ton of leftovers, and I wouldn't have any problem taking a few home. I did, and they have been even better today.

Today also good. I made "baseballs" which I love, and some new healthy muffins. I did some gardening and some dance dance and as I was putting groceries away I realized that I was hungry even though I'd had breakfast. Normally, I would have just waited for lunch which wasn't far away, but I decided to "honor my hunger" and had a few wheat thins and mozzarella cheese. That cheese felt good. Technically a person can have cheese while on weight watchers, but it's such a high point food that cheese isn't a very practical choice. I had some cheese!! Perhaps it helped---I had 2 baseballs and more cheese for lunch also some doritos which I didn't measure, but I wasn't interested in eating a ton of them. I think I might have eaten less of them than if I had measured.

Dinner was our travel dinner in Seychelles. I wasn't very excited about it because it was a tuna based stew. But it was healthy, and reasonably authentic so I thought it worth venturing out of my comfort zone for. Quite good!! Dave likes it well enough to have again. I don't really, but he wants to start eating more fish--that would be good for me too. Not excited about that plan, but this tuna stew (with coconut milk) might be a good gateway into the world of fish. We had it over brown rice and had a fancy floats complete with swizzle sticks to go with it. I realized I was full before I finished. Neither of us liked the plaintain dessert I made--I don't think I would have eaten all of it even if I had been starving, but I wasn't hungry--we both threw the dessert away and I had another cookie.

It's going to be hard to change my focus away from losing weight and toward healing my relationship with food. Of COURSE I want to lose weight. That hasn't changed! And I'm glad the book was written by nutritionists--who remind me that the idea isn't to ignore good health. Only to learn to make choices according to what will make both my body AND my mind feel best. Not just eat the healthy stuff because of some rules.

Speaking of rules. They warn about black and white thinking. Usually they use the example of eating something like cake and thinking you've been "bad" or eating celery and thinking you've been "good". I don't have too much problem with guilt that way. But I think I might be engaging in black and white thinking when it comes to portion sizes. "Big is bad. Restaurants are bad. Small is good." I think I honestly believe this regardless of circumstances or my own needs. One personal experience against this kind of belief system---sometimes I have super "hungry" days where no matter what I eat I just can't seem to get full. Usually on those days I will EAT. I've learned not to worry about them, because I have never gained weight on a hungry day. I don't know if my metabolism just goes into overdrive once in a while or what--but I've learned to eat what I need then. I get into trouble when I eat a bunch of stuff I don't want just out of habit, or because I enjoy eating. Oddly, I get into trouble also on days when I'm not very hungry at all. I'm afraid to eat too little for fear that I'll trigger my body into going to the dread diet starvation mode. Silly, if I'm not eating much in response to my genuine needs--then I'm HELPING my body. I ate VERY lightly during the early part of my pregancy because I had no choice--my body insisted, and likely it was the best thing I could have done. Toddlers often eat next to nothing and then some days surprise everyone with what they can put away. The idea is to get back to that.

Long post, but some good learning going on I think.

Friday, July 20, 2012

479 Mongolian Grill

I did weigh myself yesterday--188. Not great, but a relief that I'm not back in the 190's. It's also something of a confidence booster in that I really can trust myself not to gain a bunch of weight even in the face of holidays, vacations and a total lack of motivation. I've had one foot in the intuitive eating camp for years and the other one in the diet world and the rest of myself in a state of flat out rebellion. No wonder I'm confused.

As I've been reading along I'm not hearing a message of go pig out carte blanche--although that might be a beginning stage. I hope I've been eating often enough and heavily enough and recorded those "failings" here enough that I can begin to let go and eat what I want and need even if it's light and healthy. I began yesterday. It was kind of funny, I had to go to the dentist and I found myself saying to myself as I passed places--Little Caesars--I can have that, Sitara India--I can have that, Baskin Robbins--I can have that. It was fun. Of course I've been having all that all along, but never without feeling as though it was an exception to good eating for some reason. Then last night, the missionaries fell through so we went out to Lee's Mongolian BBQ--a dump of a place that a friend recommended. It was good. I stuffed my bowl full and added all the sauces they recommended including the oils--I didn't go crazy with the oils, but I did add some. They fried it all up on the spot and also gave us small bowls of rice, eggdrop soup and a really good sesame bread. I think I did really well!!! I kept reminding myself all through the meal that I could eat all of it, I could go back for seconds, I could eat some of it now and some of it later if I wanted, or I could eat some now and have something else later and take the leftovers to work, whatever I wanted I could have. The eggdrop soup was tasteless--I didn't eat any of that. I ate about 1/2 the bowl and the bread most of the rice and realized that I was full. Dave decided at that point to go back for a second bowl himself. Now what? Actually, it wasn't a problem. I was full. I knew I could have the rest of mine anytime--even right then if I wanted. I nibbled a little on my tasteless soup and bits of his bread--really not much. And thought I might have some homemade ice-cream later after my meetings.

By 8:30 during the last meeting my blood sugar must have been dipping. There was a big bowl of mini muffins. They didn't look at all appealing when the meeting started, but by 8:30 they did. I had one. It was great and I took another for the road--it was great too. I knew I could have whatever I wanted at home, but I wasn't really thinking about food. I never officially called a stop to eating for the night, but it turned out I was done after the muffins.

I haven't read up yet on what to do about "preventative eating". That's eating when you're not hungry because you know that you can't eat later when you will be hungry. That's always breakfast for me. I'm never hungry when I first wake up--always about 1 or 2 hours later. I could take breakfast food to work, but I already pack a lunch and don't want to take b-fast too. I always eat breakfast anyway (because I always can eat). Anyway, I don't think breakfast is much of an intuitive problem--I always eat what I want and it's usually pretty nutritious anyway. Lately, I've been indulging in a Hungry Girl suggestion of frozen pretzels--these are great! Heat one up spray it with butter spray and drench it with parmesan cheese and salt. I had one of those, some applesauce, 2 slices of bacon and some milk with Nestle's quick. With the exception of the chocolate that's a pretty normal breakfast and it clocks in at less than 500 calories--which I won't be tracking, but it IS nice to know that it doesn't take a 5000 calorie feast to satisfy me for breakfast. I forgot to pay attention as I was going along as to whether or not I was full before I finished or whether I still needed more afterward--but that will come with practice. I feel pretty good as far as that I feel happy and satisfied with the meal.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

478 Healing the food relationship

Okay! Okay! I'm giving intuitive eating a go. Funny how these things come along--I really don't think I'm ready for it, but I'm being pulled strongly that way, and that often means that it's the right thing to do. I bought a nook version of the book last night and it is speaking to me much more forcibly than it did when I first read it. I've come a long way. One interesting insight---I've known about using food to cope with problems (I'm an expert at that), but I'd never considered dieting as a tool to cope with problems! I really think I do that. There are three areas of my life that trigger super strong emotions--my family, and also weirdly, my inability to do math, and my inability to lose weight. I'm furious at the way math is taught in America and I'm furious at diet programs. In both cases they promise but they don't deliver. This blog only narrowly escaped my latest weight watchers rant because I went out of town.

Why is that? I don't exactly know why I picked math and weight out of the hat of things that are faulty in this life, but I wonder if I don't use both of these subjects as safe places to direct emotions that are too angry and unsafe to express to my family. I bet I do exactly that--and one of the consequences is that I put up real resistance to becoming successful in either math or weight loss plans because if I succeed, then maybe the systems aren't so faulty after all and THEN what do I do with my emotions?

Maybe I CAN be successful with very gently healing my relationship with food--intuitive eater style now. I HAVE worked on the real problem of my family. I've opened myself up to my responsible sister even though I knew it would be painful. And I've been reaching out to my irresponsible sister. I've tried to be open with Dave and vent my feelings that way. In short--I'm determined to deal with the real problem and I have been dealing with it. Maybe my death grip on food right now is more of a matter of habit than of necessity. I'll be finding out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

477 More intuitive eating

I wrote yesterday's post on the run. Anyway---what about that burger? I wouldn't have wanted to miss it, but I didn't need it. Part of me is now saying to myself that I could have had half. But that never feels like a realistic option. Once I start eating when I'm not especially hungry the after burners turn on and i want every bit of food that's there.

I'm really thinking more and more about intuitive eating--obviously, I'm spinning my wheels. Part of me very much wants to commit to 1800 cal and enjoy losing weight--at least getting to the 170's sheesh!!! But I'm just not doing it! I don't understand why. I ate a good breakfast, I have a good lunch planned, I'm munching on fresh garden peas and even the pancake dinner tonight is fine. So why not count it and feel good? Because I DON'T WANT TO! I just want to move onto other things, but I'm afraid I'll put the weight back on. Not very afraid---I've lost it so slowly that I'll regain very very slowly too--plus I really am exercising more and am more aware. But aware enough to go it on my own? Hardly! Let's see....it's July, and I haven't lost an ounce since Christmas. In fact, I'm nervous about getting on the scale. Aggravating!! Even if I'd lost just one pound a month I'd be in the 170's now. I'm getting on the library website right now to see if they have the intuitive book and checking it out after work. What do intuitive eaters do about a Snake Pit Burger?

I have a real problem with rarity---the burger was a rare event--I literally may never have another. Can I ever look at something like that and just say, "so what?". This morning I was thinking about a gooey chocolate cake and wondering if I could ever just consider something like that as just food. That's all it is--just food. Tasty food to be sure, but could I ever eat that cake according to my real needs? I can well imagine eating three pieces of it one night and being satisfied by that for a long time and not needing any more of that particular cake or other sweets for a while, but I'm not sure that the next day I wouldn't want a pound of buffalo wings, and the next day something equivalently fattening. Although...I notice i haven't eaten any olives in the past weeks--I was craving them like crazy on weight watchers (probably because i wasn't eating enough fats), but I'm sure I've been eating so many fats lately that I don't need the olives. That's been very natural. However, also natural---we ate out every meal all weekend. Am I satisfied? Nope! I'd love to go to the Olive Garden tonight.

Arrrrghghgh! this addiction is driving me crazy!!!! It seems like it ought to be so simple and it just isn't.

476 Vacation

Back from Montana--a total food disaster, but it does make me want to actually read the Intuitive Eating book again rather than just vaguely remember it. I wonder what the author would have done last Friday. Last Friday we went to Idaho Falls--we got there at lunchtime and ate at Smitty's, famous for the world's best pancakes. Normally, I don't even LIKE potato pancakes, but these are to die for. I had one of the most satisfying lunches of my life--I was hungry and that lunch satisfied me on every level--scrambled eggs, 3 thick slices of bacon and three large, rich potato pancakes with sour cream, and two mugs of hot chocolate with real whipping cream. I don't know if it's my good german genetics or what, but I'm partial to heavy creams and heavy in general. OK--a perfect, intuitive fantastic lunch. Dinner-time came around and because my lunch was so satisfying, I wasn't in the least hungry. OK--I'd certainly had plenty of calories, and my body was telling me that I was still full--easy choice--go do something else---specifically take the walk my body wanted. WRONG!!! Idaho Falls in home to the Snake Pit restaurant--famed for it's great food AND Harrison Ford had just been there two weeks ago! Even though I was full, I knew I'd have no problem putting away a full blown 7 course banquet. To the Pit we went and I'm glad I did---that blue cheese chili burger was the best burger I've ever eaten and that includes the "best burger in Paradise" from Aruba (which was fantastic).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

467 soft food

Yesterday went well. I tried the gas for the first time at the dentist and am disappointed!! I think it worked somewhat in that the procedure wasn't painful, but I didn't feel like I was floating or that I was in an exceptionally good mood or anything. Bummer. Oh well. I had brought a healthy lunch but my evil co-worker temptress, Jane brought up a plate from the staff barbeque. The thing that got me there was the blackberry cobbler. WOW YUM!! That was the end of the healthy lunch idea. Rationalizing that I probably would be eating much dinner I went to the BBQ--Delicious! Weber State does us well. They had au gratin potatoes--something I never, ever make. Gosh, I could eat that by the pound. However, true to my rationalization--I really didn't want much dinner. We went to Lisa's house and she fixed a chicken and rice casserole that happened to be perfect for me--very soft. The family meeting went great! I think we got things basically set up in the right direction and I feel that my way is clearer now to be able to help my sister in a truly meaningful way. Today is still a "soft food" day--and darn it, I forgot to bring snacks! I might have to run up the the bookstore for some--I'm not supposed to have things like chips and nuts and spicy food--which means that all I want is spicy food. Well, that's not quite true---It's a little later now, and I did go up and buy a banana and a nutri-grain bar and now I've just finished a very good (meanng both tasty and healthy) lunch and am feeling good all around. Now, if I can only work in a nap---I've got 9 minutes till my next student comes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

466 A reminder about love.

Stephonie's comment the other day left a link to a WONDERFUL blog. Check out the post she recommended at http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/what-i-miss-from-135lbs-ago/ In this post a woman who has lost 135 pounds talks about what she misses. In my opionion she nails it right on the head as far as missing the glorious free food-for-all of life. I totally get this. I LOVE to eat, and I love looking forward to the next thing I'm going to eat, and I love the idea that there are seconds and thirds and then something else yet to eat. In fact, this whole blog is about the quest to lose weight while still holding on to precisely these feelings. For me the joy of feasting is simply something I do not want to live without. I'm willing to live with it in moderation--but to never feast again? That feels to me like never seeing a sunset or going on vacation again. What I really appreciated about her post was in the second and third parts though--she talked about what she loves now that she's so much lighter, but the important thing was the respect she gave herself at all points in her life whether she was big or small. She didn't reject her bigger self or feel disgusted by or disappointed by her big self. She is wise enough to realize that she's always been the same person all along. She says it much better than that, so check out the link. This is something I really struggle with. Even though I know full well there are many parts of me that aren't perfect, I just HATE to admit it. I hate this to the point where it's difficult to change even my hair or my clothing because that means I have to ADMIT that my hair or clothing or whatever can be improved. It means facing up to the fact that maybe I've been walking around for years looking like a frump and I don't like that. It's actually more comfortable to remain a frump while getting constant verifications that people still love me--I guess in that way I can retain the illusion that I look they way I imagine I look (terrific) rather than look in the mirror, accept whatever reality I see there and improve it. Completely irrational I know. And this is slowly changing. Also, thank heavens, this weird disconnect seems limited to my appearance. I have no problem acknowledging problems of character an working on those or trying new things. For example--I'm thrilled that I've begun to run 5K races and walk 1/2 marathons. I think this is so great! I don't criticize myself for not having done this all my life--of course, I should have been more active when I was young, but I wasn't and I was still a great person. I'm just glad I've discovered this now. That's the attitude I need toward improvements in the weight loss area. I look better now than I used to. I could look better still. So what? I was a lovable person then, I'm a lovable person now, and I'll be lovable at my ideal weight too. I imagine this kind of thinking is a big problem for dieters. I really hate it when the Biggest Loser program sets up contestants to show so much loathing for their former fat selves. I think for many of us there are very good reasons for being the size we are. And overeating, while not the best way to deal with problems, is a whole lot better than overdrinking, drugs, abuse, suicide, or withdrawal into a host of mental disorders. How dare the Biggest Loser or any person criticize someone's weight and imply that they would be a better person thin??!! They will be a healthier person, and that's worth striving for, but better? I'm absolutely convinced that making improvements in any part of our lives can only be done from a platform of love. I suppose you can force a little short term change with criticism, shame and hate, but it will always backfire.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

465 A comment

What's the deal with no paragraphs in a blog??? Sorry for the huge dense post with no breaks! I've tried both leaving spaces and indents. No luck. YAY Stephonie for leaving a comment! An insightful one too. Two things---I like what she said about not battling our bodies. AMEN to that!!! Who would want to? That's really why weight watchers fails for me. It always feels like a battle against my will. What I really want is for my will to change so that I don't have this problem! I think I'm making some progress here---as in it's genuinely no harder to maintain this weight now than it was to maintain a weight 45 pounds heavier. I believe there's a balance--to lose weight I must change my habits, change is uncomfortable--there has to be enough experimentation and effort to enable change to happen, but not so much that I blow up in a fit of deprivation and quit. It's not easy to tell the difference between making excuses for poor behavior--and wisely moving slowly and preserving my will to keep trying. I'm sure I'm in the excuse camp much more than I ought to be. She also mentioned the book, Intuitive Eating I really need to buy this one. I've read it before and it is my goal to live the life of that book. To work WITH my body and eat whatever I want and not worry. I did this perfectly and easily when I was pregnant and lost over 30 pounds. The catch there was that if I ever ate more than my body wanted when I was pregnant, I became sick. That's not the case now. I can merrily eat much much more than my body needs and feel just great. I usually don't even realize when I've crossed that threshold. But even still.....and this is why weight loss is so annoying!!! At the very beginning of this latest journey, when I was trying the Lean and Free plan (see very first entries of this blog). I learned that if I just let myself eat whatever I want at home, that I will eat between 2,200 and 2,400 calories a day with surprising accuracy. Amazingly this is EXACTLY the amount that a moderatley active woman of my height should be eating. So WHAT IS THE PROBLEM???? Why am I not the perfect weight??? On one level anyway the answer is simple---I live in America and I have a weakness for food. What really happens is this: I eat my through my day in perfect accordance with what my body needs--about 2,300 of reasonably well balanced food. I do this without effort. THEN I go to the movies and ALSO eat 1,500 cal of movie popcorn. And the next day (today) there is a potluck at work and I can't resist all the goodies so I ALSO eat 4 extra cookies, AND chips, AND pizza bites, AND extra hummus and pita bread--this on top of what would normally be my lunch. And then tonight there is Relief Society activity with dinner--that means it's either mediocre food--so I might not eat huge amounts, but guaranteed what is served is high fat/carb/sugar. OR it's really good--and I won't have the will power to say no to whatever goodie is there. THEN tomorrow there is the BBQ lunch at work---good food, lots of it, and again high in all the wrong things. This will be followed up with dinner at my sister's house--complete with high stress family issues and high fat foods. Thursday should be normal, but Friday I go to Montana---vacaction mood and restaurants and or parties all the way. It's just plain TOO MUCH. Instead of averaging 2,300 cal a day in a given week, my actual intake is more like 3,500 cal and I simply can't metabolize that much. I remain fat. I've learned that my body is actually quite forgiving. If I had a day like today once a week or so I would be FINE. But it isn't once a week---it's literally almost every day! The temptations override my natural systems and I simply haven't learned to appropriately cope. It doeesn't help that it's 103 degrees out there either so I will not be walking anywhere outside today. Anyway---I still think for now I need a crutch--whether it be weight watchers or calorie counting or whatever, it helps me to at least not overeat on days when there is no particular reason to overeat, and it also helps over time to modify behavior. I really do eat a lot more veggies now than I used to, and drink more water and move around more. I've become perfectly happy with normal sized breakfasts, reasonably happy with normal sized lunches, tolerating healthy snacks, and stil struggle with dinners and normal sized desserts---but I'm working on that. In short there's hope, but no guarantees that I'll actually overcome this problem in this life-time. I hope I will.

Monday, July 9, 2012

464 Peaches and fries

Counting today. Had a yummy breakfast of a fresh peach with milk and splenda and a lite bagel with spinach avacado spread. Tonight I'm trying two new hungry girl recipes--a crunchy chicken strip thing and some ranch bacon butternut squash fries. Tomorrow it's exceptions all the way---potluck at work and RS activity with dinner. I have GOT to figure out hwo to manage this stuff. I don't want to count calories or points at a potluck. So the solution should be to load up on the fruits and veggies and go easy on the stuff I know is calorie dense. I have the hardest time with that though--a potluck means CELEBRATION and to not dig in and have everything I want signals deprivation in a major way. I need to mentally unhook those things. It still is a celebration whether I eat like a pig or not. And I am still enjoying everything and it's still an extravagence because of all the variety that I don't usually get. Why not enjoy the fun on sampling and ALSO enjoy the fun of becoming slimmer?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

463 Pressure cooker

Actually had a very nice time with Dad and Riley yesterday (took Dad too on the spur of the moment). Then in the evening Dave and I went to my friend's dance and spent most of the evening chatting with a wonderful couple. Even still---the pressures of this particular season of my life have just been building and building and building and building. Yesterday I found myself irritated with everyone and everything, Dave most of all, and today in sacrament meeting we sang "How Firm a Foundation" and I just lost it. The pressure cooker had reached maximum and it blew. I couldn't stop crying. I just needed to cry--physically as well as emotionally. I spent the whole meeting fighting for composure and left before the closing song so I could go home and let go which I did. I feel better now. And am self-medicating with popcorn and a little slice of cheese. I think I won't make cookies though. I was looking at some recipes thinking I might take some to someone and also have some chocolate myself. I realized though that I don't want one cookie. The cookie recipes all range from 100 to 170 calories per cookie and I want at least 15. I've already had 1/2 of a girl scout cookie bar (very good!) for 100 cal, and the popcorn--I think I'll save myself some time, money and calories, and just have a ww ice-cream truffle bar for dessert.

Friday, July 6, 2012

461 a good 5K

I think my 5K's are getting better. I weighed in at 188---sigh, but got out there and walk/ran a 5K with one really good long running stretch, and also spent some time digging weeds in the front yard. Food was good--dinner is always my downfall--I probably didn't need 3 pieces of pizza even though it was the delite chicken and artichoke heart. I didn't need 3 cookies either (Dave was supposed to have one). Too bad quilting doesn't burn a bunch of calories. It would be great if napping would burn a bunch too. Oh well. Tomorrow's challenges---I'm taking Riley to the dinosaur park---long drive, an anxious experience because I have no idea what to talk to him about--I expect there will be dino-nuggets at the park. Later, we've been invited to a dance with refreshments--I'm making up my mind to be reasonable on both counts.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

460 After the Fourth

Wonderful fourth yesterday, I think we finally found THE place to watch fireworks. The cherry pie was good and the KFC was good too, but happily KFC is not a product I'm tempted by in normal life. Once a year for the 4th is plenty for me. Back on track today---I'm getting on the scale tomorrow no matter how frightful and getting back to work today. I walked to work, had a reasonable breakfast---frosted mini-wheats and a banana. Lunch is the leftover chili relleno--a very modest portion and I think dinner tonight will be turkey burgers. It's good to know that I'm not giving up anything except overweight. I CAN have anything I want---cheese, butter, popcorn, oreo shakes and still lose weight. I can even have totally unreasonable meals from time to time, and I think I've proven to myself that those meals will happen---example---I'm going up to Montana next week and I will have a Nancy's pasty, but that will be an isolated deviation and will be ok. Also coming up are my Disney World trip, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will celebrate and that's fine. Changing my eating habits is permanent and they've evolved into something much better than they used to be, but living at a normal weight means just that---NORMAL--not eating gigantic portions at every meal, but also not bringing celery to the thanksgiving feast, or bringing my own salad dressing to the restauraunt.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

458 Almost the 4th

Wow--this has been the most difficult stretch yet for me. Between extreme family stress and a total lack of motivation and temptation around every corner...it's been a rough time. I really think the hardest part about losing weight is simply caring enough to get the job done for as long as it takes. I'm feeling off today---probably because I ate much more heavily than I'm used to yesterday. I even skipped lunch--not by way of a weird punishment--I just simply wasn't hungry. I was pleased that the option to not eat when I wasn't hungry crossed my brain. It's incredibly easy to eat just out of sheer habit and not listen to your body at all. When I came home I did nearly an hour of dance dance. It helped. Tomorrow is the 4th which means sleeping in and fried chicken. I made a "light" cherry tart--from the cooking light book. I don't think it's actually very light at all since it used a real pie crust. Will give weight loss another go on July 5th.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

456 difficult exercise

Fast Sunday---a good thing. I broke the fast early though---I feel tired and headachy today. But I just had a big glass of water and some aspirin too so hopefully I'll feel a little better. Exercise is the current challenge. It's blazing hot out. I'm so glad we didn't have to settle in Arizona. Tomorrow i go ot SLC to meet with the Financial Advisor and then over to Dad's, so it will be difficult to work out, but the rest of the week should be a lot of fun. Tonight I'm having a good dinner of steak and potato with fried onions and mushrooms. I'll be glad when Dave is back--I'm lonely without him.