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!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Pot luck

Oooof. Didn't do so well with the Halloween potluck. Worst offender--plain old chips and sourcream dip. Second worst--the bacon wrapped jalapenos. But what went well? I'm defnitley getting better at eating what I like and not what I don't--therefore I left the globs of white bread that went with the chili and only had small samples of the less interesting dips. I walked to work today and tomorrow I begin the Lazy man Iron man. Yesterday was kind of funny--I did very well for breakfast and lunch--I was hungry when I came home but had the ward Halloween party. I "honored my hunger" by fixing the most nourishing thing I could think of that wasn't too big--a packet of peaches and cream oatmeal. It hit the spot and was a big improvement over crackers and cheese. I was late for the party so the only chili left was the FLAMING hot chili. I love spicy food, and it tasted great, but holy cow! There was very little cornbread left. About 1/3 of the way through the bowl, it dawned on me that I didn't HAVE to finish it even though it tasted good--I was about to go up in flames! There was no more cornbread, and water doesn't help with spicy food. I went to the doughnut on a string game and played to have a chocolate covered glazed doughnut to help with the spice! Normally, a glazed doughnut is the last treat I would choose, but last night I'm claiming it was for medicial purposes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gentle Gentle

Oh wow--FABULOUS trip. Nobody does it better than Disney. Weight-wise---on the upside, I must have walked at least 10 miles a day. On the down side--two solid weeks of theme park food. I think the food triumphed over the exercise. It usually does darn it, but I have some new thoughts.

Just before we left, I came across a picture--that I'll post if I ever find it, of a huge woman gnawing on a big (32oz) brick of cheese as she watched some event. I printed it out because I have trouble making the connection between my actions and the consequences when it comes to food. But this picture makes sense to me. Much as I love cheese, I simply do not engage in that behavior, and wallah!! I'm much thinner and healthier than that poor woman. Ergo--if I change my current behaviors, I will be thinner and healthier than I am now. By way of change--I have a new motto:

Worry less and do more.

Just that simple. Worry A LOT less about my weight, but everyday DO more things that are good for my body. Say "yes" to as many good things as I can--fruits, veggies, water, sleep, exercise, Say "no" to as many things as I can that don't do my body good--junk food, huge portions. The key is "as many things I can" sometimes, emotionally I really can't seem to say no to the goodie, and that's fine. This is just a ramped up version of what I did when I gave up altogether in Iowa--back then, my only idea was not to go out of my way to do things that would make me gain a ton of weight. It was intuitive eating in it's most basic unconscious form, and it worked--I lost 20 pounds in 5 years. "Worry Less DO More" feels different. This time I'm seeking out as many things as possible that will help me.

In a similar vein, I've been thinking about a college experience. I lived in the German house and we took turns cooking with the men's house feeding about 20 people. One night I was on dish duty and I was scrubbing as with all my might on some burnt on spot with no success. The guy I was working with stopped me and said--don't scrub so hard--just wash it gently--sure enough, he got the pot clean with no problem. I think weight might be the same principle---weight watchers for me is the equivalent of scrubbing with all my might. I think I need a much gentler approach. The old story of the contest between the wind and the sun to see who could make the man remove his coat first, also comes to mind. The cold wind blew with all his might and the man just held his coat tighter and tighter. But the sun shone gently and eventually the man took his coat off.

I know for sure that weight watchers makes me want to clutch at my old habits tighter and makes me wish for big portions of rich food. I think IE and the Worry Less DO More idea will be much like the sun--allowing me to release resentment, fear and all the other things that cause me to maintain a heavy weight.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One right move

Proud of myself! It's a small victory, but a victory none-the-less. Normally, I get hungry around 10 a.m. and so I will eat a snack at that time. Today, I wasn't hungry but habit triggered the need/want to snack. I remembered to think and realized that I wasn't hungry and then followed it up with--"I don't even want popcorn so I don't need to eat popcorn." And then I DIDN'T eat the popcorn. That's one. It occured to me that another day I might remember again. And then again. And again and eventually I might begin to be a person who doesn't eat when she's not hungry.

I'll do what I can while I'm on vacation--TOMORROW!!! But I'm not too worried about it. This is a precious time--literally the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. I know I will eat fruits and veggies as much as I can because I'll needing energy--but I'm simply not going to worry about it and I will keep up the process when I get back. See you in 10 days!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Yikes!! Annoying after my fine feelings yesterday to be so munchie today. Everything seems to be going down the hatch. I think I know why, but I don't know how to put a stop to it. I'm a little tired--irritating to sleep so well all weekend, and then be restless on a work night. I have a lot of little things to do to get ready for our trip---not an overwhelming amount, but still a lot and I'm in a state of excitement and also some minor nerves--have I thought of eveything? Can my family really hold off and not implode before I leave? Will American airlines (who have been having problems in the news lately) get us there on time? Minor-level stuff---besides, I can't do a thing about my family or the airlines so why worry? I also think stepping on the stupid scale is having an effect. Deep down I might be worried that I'm going to revolt and go on a diet--especially after this trip. Also--part of me equates "nourishing my body" with difficulties and I'm happy to avoid those. I wish I could just shout at my brain--"whatever!!" and have done with it. I've already got lots done and I have plenty of time after work to take the key to the cat sitter, go to the ATM, mow the lawn, go to the store and finish up packing. Unlike poor Dave, I also have tomorrow after work to pack last minute things.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Word of Wisdom

The word of wisdom was the subject of Relief Society today. A MUCH needed lesson!! As I'm looking for answers on how to make good decisions while still honoring what I want to eat, the Lord is there to show me the way. One of my glaring problems that I almost never deal with is that I've never really eaten for nutrition, I've always only eaten for pleasure. My grandma Alleman would never have thought that way. She would have been after me to drink my milk and eat my veggies. How can I have missed the concept of nourishing my body? I've been taught all my life that my body is a temple--and yet I never deliberatley eat to sustain and improve my temple. I just take it for granted. That needs to start changing. I think if I can begin to work toward eating so as to run better and be healthier, I can begin to make better choices like eating less sugar--not because of weight, but because I know eating so much of it is bad for me.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I need my mommy!!!

Uh boy. Made the mistake of stepping on the scale. Yeah. There's a reason I'm feeling fat. I want my mom! What I need though, is Carol Brady or June Cleaver or my grandma or somebody. Some authority figure who loves me and will bake me cookies, but will mostly be there fixing oatmeal in the morning, casserole in the evening and making me eat my veggies. There are pros to tuna casserole. I've never made it in my life. Why? Because it's not that great. When my Mom served it--it wasn't that great and one serving filled me up just fine. Probably MOST meals at my house in the 70's were like that--quick, easy and kind of blah. I thought I was fat--and I was, by 70's standards, but now I'd be considered as having a perfect figure. I hate cooking blah. Somehow I've got to add the good "mom" voice to my IE efforts. I am NOT going back on a diet!!

Exercise is coming along nicely though. After Disneyworld, the idea will not only be to exercise but to improve. Today, Dave and I walked the color vibe 5K. For once, I would have gone faster, but he was being super careful not to do anything to his hip before our vacation. I had a BLAST!!! I want to do this next year and I have to do it with Catherine someday. Pretty much everyone wore white shirts and at different stations volunteers threw bright colors at us! It was so much fun!! At the end of the race we were all given our own bag of color and there was music playing and everyone was dancing and throwing colors. It was the BEST party I've ever been to!! I want to be healthy so I can always do stuff like this! Disneyworld will be plenty of exercise, and in November I've invited my co-workers to do the Lazy man iron-man with me. Somehow I've got to come up with a plan that marries IE with some kind of good sense! MOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Felling better. I'm glad I took the day off. I was a little worried today. The jeans that are clean are the size 14's that were uncomfortably tight the last time I wore them. Would I even be able to get into them? YES!!! I'm not sure if it's because I stretched them out last time, but they fit great and are even nice and comfy!! Hooray!!! Another VERY important feeling today--or rather lack of feeling. My new co-worker is much taller than I am, and although he is thin, he's simply built on a bigger scale than me. He came out of the kitchen with a sleeve of trail mix and some orange juice. Normally, I would have felt a twinge of resentment and jealousy--no fair that he gets to have a high calorie snack like that and I don't! Formal diets served to underscore that feeling. He gets to have more just because he's male and I don't. And now the resentment is more than just a twinge. I'm furious.

Today--nope! I didn't feel like that at all!!!! If I want trail mix and oj for a snack--FINE!! I can have it! The truth is that I probably won't want it as often as he does, because I am a smaller person. And actually today was a great example--I've been eating from a big bag of nuts that I got at the airport and so his snack didn't sound appealing at all. My grandmother was 4 foot 8, I naturally want to, and should eat more than she did. Someone who is 6 feel will naturally eat more than me, and someone who is 7 feet will eat more than him. I eat a great deal more than my cat and a great deal less than an elephant. It really doesn't matter and all creatures big and small will feel happy with the food they need--so long as they actually GET the food they need are free from jealousy that they aren't eating what the other guy has. Truly, the hummingbird doesn't want the lion's kill. And truly, I really don't want TWO cheeseburgers and a pound of fries that the linebacker might want. It's a liberating thought. If I actually did want it I could have it, but truly I don't think I really would want it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I feel "off" today. Probably the flu shot, or just allergies, or just plain hypochondria. I went to work where everyone was talking about getting sick. NO WAY!!! Disneyworld is next week and I will only consider myself sick if I am in the hospital. Meanwhile---yes, I was tired, and I've been a little achy and my nose has been running and my throat is acting like it wants to be sore but isn't yet. On a normal day it would never have occured to me to stay home, but today with nothing all that pressing at work, I decided to come home.

Food-wise, I was proud yesterday that by the time dinner was ready, I realized that I wasn't really all that hungry and stopped after eating about 1/3 of it. Good job!!! Today, I'm wondering if it was less that I've learned anything and more that I'm a little sick. But it doesn't matter! I could have eaten it all and sick or not, I recognized that I didn't want to and that's good behavior! Today at work someone brought moist pumpkin bars. I didn't really want one, but I did want a taste--I took a sliver off of one and satisfied that craving.

Boy, I really am a little tired. There is exciting Disney stuff to be done and it is sounding burdensome rather than exicting. I'm also irritated that I've just had a non-intuitive piece of cheese. It's okay! It's comfort food and I guess I'm in need of comfort today. It might also be a reaction to the thought I had yesterday that I'm actually eating far less cheese now than I did on weight watchers! How about that?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Flu Shot

I was a good girl and got my flu shot this year. I didn't last year and feel lucky to have dodged the flu bullet. Beautiful day outside!! Let's see--what's going right today? Walked to work. I'm a little worried about the 5K on Saturday, I don't know if it's the 1/2 marathon or Nashville or what, but my legs feel like they're made of lead. Did well with b-fast (I ususally do), and lunch is healthy too. They gave out huge slabs of coffee cake at the health fair. Kudos that I recognized that the pieces were huge. And semi-kudos for only eatng 1/2 for now and recognizing that the sugar load is making me really tired now. Less kudos for fulling planning to finish that cake after lunch---(it's really moist!), but I will at least try to ask myself if the cake is what I really want and if not to let it go.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Things I do right

Good intuitive eating class yesterday. It gave me hope that I really am on a road that goes somewhere. So to help counteract that deep voice that says, "this is all well and fine, but you'll never really change," I'm going to write down as many evidences of my own success as I can think of as often as I can possibly remember to do it.

I love my walks to work, and I love to be active in general--going to Nashville showed me that my activity level is easily on par if not better than other skinnier women.

Yesterday I really wanted my healthy dinner of portobello mushrooms and watermelon. I didn't want dessert.

Today, I loved my breakfast of an eggwhite omelete with spinach and jalapeno and a laughing cow cheese, 2 slices of bacon, 2 slices of light toast and chocolate milk. I also loved my lunch of melted cheese on homemade wheat bread and a cabbage salad. I'm looking forward to a healthy dinner too---a new Hungry Girl receipe.

--I had a few setbacks---too many choc covered peanuts, and a little too much of the dessert bread somebody brought---but although I opened my pop-tart crisps, I discovered I didn't want them and put them back. Also yesterday, I had a lot of flame doritos, but looking back, I ate a really normal to small amount of them. I also said no to buying the Halloween Oreos--that one took a little will-power, but only a little--they're expensive, we didn't need them and I'll get them when we come back for Halloween. That didn't feel like a diet decision--more of a life decision.

Also, I acted on the thought to call my sister. Much better to just do it than to avoid it. I getting much better at facing avoidant behaviors. My instinct is still to run, but I am slowly improving.

So the verdice is YES!! I am far from a hopeless case!!!! Take that subconscious negative voice!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mindful Hummus

Oh WOW WOW WOW!! I'm just back from the Nashville conference. If you ever get the chance stay at the Gaylord Opryland. I won't even try to describe it--other than to say it includes an indoor boat ride through the hotel. Go look it up and book your vacation--completely mindblowing.

Food-wise--all I can say is that I HOPE I'm moving through the IE process. We left on Wednesday and yes, on Sunday at the airport when everyone else ordered Wendy's, I went to the other deli and ordered the fruit and cheese tray and some pretzels and hummus and an 80 cal mango shake. VERY intuitive. I was junkfood and sugared OUT. (I say was because that was yesterday---today I'm perfectly ready to indulge again. The problem is that it take SOOO MUCH food to get me to that point! And even if I know I'm not eating intuitively, I usually can't stop so it doesn't seem to have any practical value. Case in point--went to the Grand ol Opry. We didn't have time to eat before we went, so we were stuck with concession food junk---beside, this was the Opry--my mind yells that this is a golden chance to splurge---Must say IE is helping with this--I did realize that it wasn't a splurge so much as just another night of eating what I wanted---Anyway, they had tempting bags of garlic-parmesan popcorn. I bought one. Blech. Did they pop it last week?? I think before IE I would have eaten it anyway. I had ZERO trouble not eating it and throwing the bag away after the program even though it was a waste of $4. I was able to see that whether or not I ate the popcorn, I would still have wasted $4. Good right? Yes!!! I ordered the hotdog and big pretzel I wanted instead. I knew I was more than done with the pretzel by the time I was 1/3 through. Did I stop? NO way! I ate the whole thing AND I ate the horrible cheese sauce it came with. Here's another IE moment--the vast conference dessert bar. I had exactly what I wanted--fruit, a cheery tart, a brownie tart, a "shot" of key lime pie, some other desserts I can't even remember and a flan--the flan was great--served plain in little bowls, you could then go to the topping bar--where i topped it with caramel, a heap of candied walnuts, dark chocolate shavings, real whipped cream and a cherry. True, I didn't touch the bananas flambe, the ice-cream or the peach cobbler, and I didn't have seconds on the other desserts--but it's hard to see virtue in that when I "intuitively" went back for TWO more bowls of loaded flan. I'd love to call this progress--but I don't know. With stuff like this I've always been at least somewhat intuitive, and maybe that's why I don't weight 400 pounds, but it's going to be hard to get to goal weight stuffing myself with flan and pretzels. Worse, one day I wasn't even hungry--but it was a chance to get away to eat at the opryland backstage grill. I had buffalo wings and fried green tomatoes--fantastic!! It was the best food of the whole conference. I wasn't hungry, but I'm glad I ate it. What on earth is my poor brain supposed to do with that????

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

a new thought

A lot to say today. First off, I'm going to stop counting days. It doesn't seem relevant anymore--these aren't days ticking off being good or sticking to a difficult plan--this is a blog about becoming healthier and more comfortable in my skin and healing my relationship with food.

One thing that's becoming hugley apparent to me is that I'm massively suseptible to my surroundings and occasions. I don't know what to do with myself this month--I'm leaving for Nashville in the morning, and then to Disney World (WOW!!!) on the 17th. Both food disasters--Disney especially--it's the food and wine festival. But other than that, I think I want to try to manage my surroundings better, because as you'll read here, I really can't handle being near food.

Friday was my Dad's birthday and Lisa made a pampered chef concoction to DIE for! in a 9x7 ish pan--the first layer is chocolate chip cookie dough, next layer reeses peanut butter cups, top layer carmel truffle brownie mix. Bake. It was EXACTLY what I wanted. I had two pieces and asked for more to take home. I did well with the cake at home. I didn't have any on Saturday after the marathon, because I didn't want any. On Sunday, I took my great big piece out to eat, but only had 1/2 of it. The reason I stopped was because the dessert was soooo good, and I could tell that I wasn't tasting it or enjoying quite as much as I was at first--it was too good to not enjoy it to the full, so I stopped to save it for another time. PERFECT intuitive eating behavior.

Yesterday I went to the first of 3 intuitive eating classes here. The instructor was pregnant and it inspired a new thought. One of my fears with IE is that I won't be able to do it because I had SUCH a hard time with it when I was pregnant. At the time I wasn't on IE or anything particular--but my pregnant body shut down and refused to eat fat, sugars or salt. I lost a ton of weight without dieting---on the contrary, I was trying to eat as much as I could manage so as not to starve the baby. The fear comes from my memory of being so frustrated that I couldn't eat!! I especially remember going to a fabulous rib place--I knew the food was great, it was also out of our normal budget so it was a special treat and....I just couldn't eat it. I think I ordered an english muffin (dry). I felt left out and that I was missing out!! I wanted BBQ ribs and I could have had them, but my body just didn't want them.

Okay. HOW on earth am I going to live IE when I so deeply resent saying no to food EVEN when I don't want it???!!! Yesterday, at the class, it occured to me for the first time to challenge my memory of being pregnant. Yes, I was frustrated at the rib place--but that is the ONLY specific frustration memory I have! Looking back, I wonder if in reality I was ok with what I was eating most of the time and if the frustrating times were just once in a while?!!! On IE--that would be just fine! If most of the time I'm eating according to need, and then have the occasional rib blow-out--fine!!

I was excited about this new thought. Which makes my behavior last night disappointing. We forgot to buy meat so we went to Zuppa's where I ate past fullness--though I was excited that the soup and sandwich got me past fullness. That wouldn't have been horrible, but Dave took me for a surprise trip to subzero ice-cream. I didn't want ice-cream at all, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings either. No prob--I ordered the smallest possible with the idea that I would nibble and take it home. Even the kid's size portion is enormous AND there was a special so everything came in a waffle bowl. I nibbled as planned, until I discovered that sub-zero waffle bowls are GOOD--normally I don't even like waffle bowls. In the end I nibbled my way through all of the ice-cream and most of the bowl. sigh.