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!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy- Groan- Thanksgiving

The holidays are upon me. The Thanksgiving feast was fantastic. I didn't catch cold after all, and I had such a fun time cooking with Catherine on Wednesday. I can't wait for Monday when I will get a grip again. All my clothes are tight. I drew slips out of the hat last night and Dave is shopping today.

So, why wait till Monday? Why not get a grip right now?  Because I'm an ADDICT that's why!! I am trying in a small way to get a grip right now, but the house is still full of Thanksgiving stuff, and I don't want to let it go.  The mind is a weird thing. Christmas is coming and there will be lots of goodies all month long---but that's ok, because I've set up my mind to deal with that.  This weekend, actually isn't all that tempting (I'm already sick of leftovers and I'm not that big of a pie person), but I have not set my mind up to control anything, therefore it isn't going to happen--at least not much.

I can tell that psychologically I'm revving up for another big push. This is good and bad---good, because I'll be successful in my quest to make significant progress by my birthday, which right now sounds fantastic. Bad, because I can't live in a revved up frame of diet mind. If I only lose weight by will power, I will fail. The yo-yo will go right back up.  So PART of what's in my head this weekend is a defiance of the revving up. I'm NOT going to do anything more than any other healthy person on the planet is doing. I AM going to have to do a whole lot more than comes naturally to me though.  The plan is a whole lot of exercise, a whole lot of water and a whole lot of saying NO to this addiction which will not feel good.  It took a full three years to become comfortable without diet coke. It might take 30 years to become comfortable eating right (at which point I'll be nearly 80---but hey, there's the next life to consider too).  It doesn't matter. What matters is progress.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a cold

 I'm coming down with a cold from pure exhaustion I think. All I ate at Disney is part of the culprit too. When I eat right (read--eat a whole lot less), I catch far fewer colds.  Happily, I have tomorrow off so I can sleep in and even though I'll be cooking Thanksgiving food, that's an easy pleasure and I can take a nap, drink a lot of orange juice and hopefully shake this.  Tonight is unfortunate though. Far from resting, it's my late night at work and then I have visiting teaching too. My appetite is down--which is probably a good thing--not that it's stopping me from eating chocolate.  Stupid. Pure addictive behavior.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Oh my, but I do love food.  I mean I really love it. I look forward to it, I enjoy it and I fantasize about the next time I can have some. It's also my goto for whenever I'm bored and it enhances all experiences.  In short a problem.

I thoroughly enjoyed disneyworld.  And, I did walk miles and miles and miles and miles. And I ate freely and happily--it got to the point where I didn't want chocolate chip cookies, I'd already eaten so much. It takes a bit to get me to that point!  This week is Thanksgiving. I'm not worrying too much. It's easy to pick up old habits at home---which are far from perfect or even good, but a whole lot better than theme park food.  And I'll start up the real program again on Monday.  I'm adding some slips for "small food" days--meaning many meals of just 100 to 200 cal spread throughout the day.  It's good for me, and I'll be interested to see how I respond to that both physically and psychologically.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

High Protein

Ok, to finish yesterday's thought. Funny how other people's crazy ideas seem obviously problematic, but my own dumb ideas make perfect sense. :)  Human nature.  As I mentioned, yesterday was a pure quack diet--Day 5 of the "Lazy Zone" from faddiets.com.  The thing that was appealing about this besides the total lack of any thought on my part, was that the day included Chinese food from the grocery store.  YUM!  Sensible eating plans NEVER include grocery store Chinese--unless it's a special indulgence carefully worked into your schedule. Technically, this was carefully worked into the schedule too--except that I wasn't the one doing the thinking and working so it just felt like carte blanche to have Chinese. EXCELLENT!

The price of eating a foolish lunch on the Lazy Zone was to follow this plan:
Breakfast--a Slim Fast bar
Dinner--a Healthy Choice Dinner (I added a salad with diet dressing as well)

And that's all. Obviously no one in their right mind would want to do this for more than one day, and because I knew I didn't have to--it was ok to stick to it.  I had quite the temptation to fall off the wagon too.  There was a power outage just before I left work. It was rumored that it would last for hours. That meant I couldn't microwave my dinner. Which meant that we would need to go out for dinner. (Heaven forbid we eat something simple like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) I was starving at the time and breaking the diet (which was by all counts stupid anyway) sounded great.  Darn power came on as I was walking home.  Catherine wanted to eat out too, but I was tough--I needed to not cave in and she needed to eat the food in the fridge so we don't have a bunch of leftovers molding in the fridge while we're on vacation.

So yay! Gold star for yesterday, and thank heaven today is "high protein" which means normal food--but with an eye to protein. Cottage cheese with fruit and a bagel for breakfast. A chicken salsa salad for lunch, string cheese for snack. Dinner is more iffy---eating down fridge food--I'll probably have the veggie lasagne. Then starting tomorrow--I'm off on a wonderful Disney vacation--horrible food, but tons of exercise--it usually washes out more or less.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Low carb Day

Ugh!  HOW do people live a low carb life??? I ate quite a bit yesterday but was never full or satisfied.  I don't have all that many days in the envelope thank goodness, but I'm not going to weed them out. It's good to wean myself away at least a little from "must have" foods.  It helps to put food in its proper place--I love all things bread, but I can still be happy without them (at least for a day).  That's an important concept---I can be happy without all the food that I think I want, just as I can be happy without all the stuff I want at the mall. Also, is it my imagination or are my pants a little looser?

Today is pure quack diet--I don't have many of those in my envelope either, but there are a few, because quack diets are so amazingly seductive! (Plus, it's such a relief to not have to live them forever!).  Funny how the mind is.  There is a blog I follow--very sweet sounding lady who is also trying to lose weight. She's on my facebook feed and I really wish her the best. She's just starting again to try to lose weight and she's doing it with the help of some miracle substance.  Like all these "miracles" it's supposed to be safe and stimulant free and has a gazillion testimonials. Happily, she's also working on incorporating other healthy behaviors. I admit to being tempted by these things--an easy fix to a life long problem--sounds fantastic!! But, so far I've avoided them reasoning that if they were really that great, my doctor would be the first to recommend them. However, that doesn't mean I'm not going to happily embrace other solidly stupid ideas.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Detour at Zupas

Oh boy,

Yesterday was a hungry day. Odd--last time I did flavor point I was surprised at how little real hunger I felt. But the thing that really got me yesterday was exhaustion. I walked home from work as usual, planning to make the official flavor point dinner, but when I got home Dave was on the couch and I sat down next to him and that was it. I could have slept the night through. I needed to run an errand, which was the last thing on earth I wanted to do, Catherine was at work, so when Dave tempted me with dinner at Zuppas just the two of us before going to the store I said yes. I'm not feeling too guilty about this. I was starved and exhausted and my body definitely needed as well as wanted food.

So, I've given myself a silver star for the day and moved on. (Gold stars are perfect, red for really good effort, silver for made an effort but had a major failure at some point in the day).  Today is low-carb.  I have some better information this time---I got the "low carbs for dummies" sheet off the web and am going with that. It's actually quite liberal. It seems to me to mostly just being avoiding breads and sweets and things. Okay. Amazing how difficult that is. For breakfast I had bacon, eggs and milk (1%). I've been snacking all morning on nuts, grapes and cheese and I am MORE than ready for my lunch. Good lunch--buffalo chicken on a bed of spinach and tomato with blue cheese and even two wasa crackers (the only bread-like substance for the day). I won't starve, but I suspect I'll be very ready for dinner.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy-ish quack days

It was a nice weekend. Friday was a free day so I was able to go to the movies and have popcorn. Saturday was 2000 no sugar and I'm proud to say I did pretty well. Yesterday was 2100, I did fine until it came to the cookies--I had about 1000 cal left by dinner, but I was starving and didn't feel like counting--especially in the face of more cookies than I should have eaten. Even still, it's not like I gorged myself and I feel good about the day overall.

Tomorrow is another low-carb day, I'm a little bit better prepared and I can have salt which means a snack of nuts. It will feel good to have what I want because today is a hungry day-- (fasting with snacks)--Flavor point mushroom day. I've got to hand it to these receipes, they are really good! a mushroom thyme omlette for breakfast and a portobello, blue cheese and sundried tomato (with oil) sandwich for lunch. It makes all the difference to have something different to go to tomorrow, and it feels good to have a little control and it feels good not to worry about the stupid scale. I'm doing my best and that will simply have to be good enough!

Friday, November 8, 2013


Ooops! Yesterday was supposed to be "Vegetarian no sugar" and I only read the "vegetarian" part.   The "no sugar' would have been a good thing, because boy, did I have a sweet tooth yesterday.  I made two discoveries yesterday #1--much as I like popcorn (air popped with olive oil), I don't feel very well when I eat the whole thing. and #2--spaghetti squash spaghetti sounds much better than it really is. Dinner last night was filling and healthy, but left me distinctly flat.

Third bonus discovery----I need to plan better. Maybe this week is just new or weird or something, but I don't feel as though there's much variety at home, not enough fruits and veggies, just lots of milk and cheese--which I love, but enough is enough.

As I mentioned before, this coming week will take some doing--trying to eat down our food for vacation isn't a great time to suddenly want lots of variety. Today is a free day--but it's tomorrow that I want to go to the movies. I might actually go to the movies without popcorn!---eeep!   Or at least without the whole hog junk food fest.

For now, I'm off to class to work on a group project. I hate group projects. They're so much more inefficient than doing them by myself.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

waffles and popcorn

Lots of waffles last night (4 anyway). I substituted applesauce for half the butter--totaled up how many calories in the whole recipe and divided by the number of actual waffles.  Happily, that meant 4 waffles plus diet syrup for two, and raspberry jam for two with lite whipped cream, milk and hot chocolate. It felt very nice.

Today is vegetarian. Actually, yesterday wound up being vegetarian, but today is different--no counting calories, but a real effort to eat as many fruits and veggies as I can. I've brought a raw turnip to munch on and popcorn for a snack. The popcorn and my breakfast are perhaps, a little iffy.  I probably didn't need BOTH the muffin AND the bread with melted cheese. But it felt good and lunch is a pear and raisin salad with a few walnuts and a little cheese and just one roll. Tonight is spaghetti squash spaghetti which should be both filling and super low cal.

Most importantly, I'm feeling good and excited to pick out my slips for next week. Next week's challenge is that I won't want to buy much fresh anything since we're going to Disneyworld and don't want a bunch of stuff rotting in the fridge.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ahhhhh carbs

Boy! Yesterday was much harder than I anticipated. And yet, I ate lots of good food that I like. The fish, as I mentioned was surprisingly good.  Dinner too, chicken with buffalo sauce and a big serving of spaghetti squash was great ---chaser of a hunk of meatloaf, and dessert of blueberries, very tasty and sort of filling, but not really.  I"ll have to do a bit more planning the next time I pull carbs out of the hat.  Today is happily 2000 calorie.  I THOROUGLY enjoyed my morning breakfast of a lite bagel with jalapeno cream cheese dressing, a glass of milk and a banana.  Lunch was happy too.  The only problem with today is dinner---for some reason we all decided that we wanted waffles. NOT a calorie friendly choice. I've had to eat quite lightly to accomodate for them, which is fine but a little tough.  But it's MY choice to have waffles and it was my choice to have a 2000 cal day. It makes all the difference in the world.

Tomorrow is vegetarian. I'll have to be careful here--all kinds of fattening things are vegetarian---my idea is to eat as many fruits and veggies as I can along with other stuff, but not to go bananas stuffing myself with cheesecake and nuts. Actually, today will be vegetarian too---I don't have the calories to add bacon to the waffles tonight. But I'm looking forward to not being hungry tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Oh wow. I'm glad I'm not trying to do a low carb diet for more than one day. I'm dying for some chocolate.  And I'm finding out that although I love cheese, I really love it with crackers or fruit or bread. Not just on it's own, and there's really a limit to how much I can eat (this feeling is still leftover from our gourmet pumpkin dinner).  Anyway, low-carb today has resulted in a VERY healthy lunch--grilled tilapia and a spinach and lettuce salad with blueberries, walnuts and a little cheese with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. For some reason last night I just felt as though I wanted a piece of tilapia for lunch (we have some in the freezer from my bout with the flavor point diet). The thing that's weird, is that I don't like fish. I have never, and I mean NEVER eaten fish unless I absolutely had to. But I guess my body wants some it's low carb, sooooo ok! It would be great if fish turned out to be like olives, where I never liked them till all of a sudden I couldn't get enough.  I'd love it if I could get hooked on salmon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

So far, so fun

Ok!  I liked picking the slips out of the envelope--it felt good to be able to switch one of the days around to accomodate what was going on in my life.  So Saturday was a "not counting but in control" day--and I did just fine.  I tried some Hungry Girl nachos for lunch--super good.  And went to JB's for dinner because we were in salt lake---super mediocre food and I didn't eat most of it, although I did put blue cheese dressing and bacon on my salad. Was VERY sparing on sweets all day.  Sunday was fast Sunday---ate way too much of Catherine's loaded brownies, but since it was fast Sunday would still be well within a normal calorie range.  Today is 2100 calories---doing fine here too--looking forward to an interesting dinner---not low cal, but within range.  Tomorrow is "low carb no salt."  Okay---I've been looking up low carb stuff. This means bacon and eggs for breakfast!  Also a big spinach salad, some blueberries for a snack, also some nuts for a snack---oh crud! no salt. That means yummy lime and chili flavored nuts are out.  Oh well. Cheese is in, and that makes up for a good deal. In fact, I feel so good about what I'm doing that I might even break down and have a piece of the tilapia that's in the freezer. I"m not wild about tilapia, but it's good for me, and since I don't "have" to eat it, I feel better about it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lifestyle Eve

Ugh! Woke up last night with a well-deserved stomachache. It's rare that I overeat to that extent--I think it was the pumpkin dinner that did me in---loads of cheese. Fantastic, but apparently a little indigestable. I finished cutting up my slips, bought a bigger envelope and am very excited about choosing the first 6 slips tonight (6 because Sunday is fast Sunday).  I really think this can be workable. I might go to SLC tomorrow to help Lisa with some flooring--which probably means lunch out or Lisa will fix something--difficult on a typical diet, but I think I'll be able to incorporate stuff like that.