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!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Fun Pot-luck day at work. Made better because I'm not beginning my diet till Saturday and made better still by the fact that there are days on the upcoming plan that I could incorporate a potluck.

I made an envelope (I might need a bigger one!) And the slips are all printed out. I'm excited for this venture. I was also thinking about something I learned in my psych class. People with OCD actually have slightly enlarged amygdalas (that control emotion---like fear). I read an article saying that with therapy and hard work on the patient's part the amygdala actually began to look more normal on the scans. Can that be true with weight loss? I don't doubt for a moment that something in my brain is more inflammed than a thin person. Almost the ONLY time I am ever satisfied with eating normally, is when I'm getting sick. Only then will I not want a third cookie. Obviously, my bout with weight watchers wasn't long enough for my brain to actually change. I wonder if it's even possible to heal? I'm rather thinking that the best I can hope for in this life is to achieve a sort of "happy management."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Plan

I ran out of time last night. I'm rather excited about this plan. I feel more ready for a change and since this is really my idea, maybe I can escape some of the colossal resentment that weight watchers triggered.  I'm going to do this diet travel envelope style. That is, I'm preparing a real envelope that will contain slips of paper.  Every Friday (because I make the shopping list on Friday) I will pull out seven slips and that will be what I do for that week. Goofy, I know, but it's striking me as a fun thing to do.  Since all diets basically boil down to--move more, eat less--I expect to get bored and irritated with this as well, but I'm hoping that the variety combined with success combined with a little committment ( the commitment isn't much yet) will allow me to stick with it. Plus blogging. I learned on weight watchers that I can't do without blogging. As you know, I tried not blogging hoping to cut through the addiction by not focusing on food as much--sounds good, but doesn't work.

So!  Here's what's on the slips.  MOSTLY calorie counting--anywhere from 1500 to 2100 calories (right there is a little variety--what kind of day will today be?), I'm also bringing back the flavor point diet--I have all the days on slips from 1 thru 42.  Sometimes it's real relief to not have to think about what you're eating, but just have it mapped out for you, other times it's a relief to be able to count because that allows me to eat whatever I want.  There are also days where I don't count, but it's a vegetarian day, or high fiber, or high protein or low carb day---I'll have to be careful not to go nuts overeating---a person can pack in a whole lot of vegetarian calories, but the intent for all these days is to keep calories reasonable (even tho I won't be counting), but to add some good things to my body.  For every 10 slips of "diet" I have a FREE day. That's just what it is---if I want to lie on the couch and eat donuts all day I can. Not that I would ever do that----I would lie around and eat cheese and popcorn. :) Some weeks I might not pick out a FREE slip, other weeks I might get lucky and pick out several. I also have a number of "controlled but not counting" days. The object there is to simply live naturally as though I already weighed 150 pounds. Hopefully, I've hit about the right balance of these (roughly 1/4 of the days are flavor point---I might make those a little less) but if not, I can tinker with the plan. Starting in March my hero Hungry Girl is coming out with her diet. I love HG receipes--if her diet sounds good I'll incorporate it here.  I even have just a few fad diets in the mix, just because they appeal to me for some reason---not many, and I don't intend to do any for more than one day, but what fad diets do is to make me glad to flee back to a "normal" day of calorie counting.  I've discovered faddiets.com--hilarious!  So, I've got the cookie diet (6 cookies plus a 300 cal dinner), the ice-cream diet (1250 cal through out the day and then a bowl of ice-cream), Jared's subway diet, The "Lazy Zone" diet--this is a seven day plan based on the Zone. It's actually very healthy but lays out a rigid food plan (which is what makes it a fad). I include it because it involves some McDonald's hamburgers and parfaits, but I'd only be picking out one of the days.  There is a week-long fad diet---the WW2 ration diet.  Again, pretty healthy--WW2 rations plus fruits and veggies. If I pick that one out of the envelope I'll decide if I'm in the mood to dedicate my whole week to that.  In addition to these things every 10 days or so I've added a double exercise day. Also days that are no salt or no sugar.

I think I'll stick pretty closely to whatever I pick out for each specific day--but I'm open to switching things around if it makes sense. If I have a free day--I'll put it the day I have the potluck at work for example. Planning out a week in advance will also help (I hope) me to determine whether or not any upcoming event really warrants an exception to the plan---is it Christmas Day for example?

A few things I haven't worked out yet are rewards. I'm determined to throw out the scale. I think I'll weigh in on Jan 1 just to see, but the scale simply doesn't work for me. No matter what it says, good bad or neutral I manipulate the information as an excuse to overeat. I'm not worrying about vacations (esp. the upcoming DisneyWorld trip--I figure I'll burn off whatever I eat.)  Anyway, I AM going to buy a pack of stars to put on the calendar each day I do well. Maybe I'll buy myself some new piece of clothing each month I do well overall--except that I'm not really motivated by clothes. Perhaps the calendar will be enough--it's visual, and at the library it supplied an amazing amount of motivation.

I'm excited to see what the first week will look like. And I'm excited to regain a little control. All my clothes are getting tight.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The white queen

I'm reminded of Alice in Wonderland where the white queen keeps running and running just to stay in one place. That's weight loss (or non-weight loss) for me for sure!  Still, as I've mentioned before, I'm not much worse off than I was in 2011. And I'm ready for another goofy plan. Well....maybe not so goofy---I'm trying to incorporate all the things I like. I'm going to start on Saturday--which is good, because we're coming into the holiday season.

One of the BIG problems that any diet has is BOREDOM!!!  It's unbearable to me to count points or calories for any real length of time---although I do like the control it gives me.  I can't even READ about people doing this---my favorite guy, Sean Anderson--of "losing weight everyday" fame blogged faithfully for two years and lost over 200 lbs by eating 1500 cal a day. He was beautifully faithful and I still love reading his blog, but every now and then I just want to shout, "SEAN! Eat the second helping!!"  Crazy! It's not even ME that's being deprived. I enjoyed my week on flavor point, but things like that or Jenny Craig or Nutri-system simply aren't practical for everyday real life.

SO---I'm taking a leaf from my other blog--the travel envelope, where I randomly go places every month or so. For some reason the randomness of that type of travel really appeals to me and makes the whole venture more exciting.  I'm going to do the same thing with my new plan.