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!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Yes to carbs

Yesterday was not a fun day.  I figured out that even if I manage to get full on low-carb, it takes a lot of food to get there and I'm still not satisfied.  So, given that I don't like the low-carb days and also that they're of dubious worth---is eating that much cheese really good for me? Does just doing one low carb day even help? I'm going to give up those days and turn them into vegan days. I LOVE that there's not a sense of failure about this.  On the contrary! I've successfully completed several low carb days. I've learned that for me they are not a smart choice. I'm curious and rather excited to see how I'll feel about a vegan day. Lots of beans, veggies and grains. It sounds ok, and unlike low-carb, it will be very healthy.

Today is 2100--phew!  And I had an idea for rewarding myself. I've been loosely toying with all kinds of ideas. Clothes don't really motivate me, Food DOES motivate me but that's probably not the greatest idea, and I already do more relaxing than is good for me.

What I think I'll do is give Catherine $30--$1 for every good day I've had in January and tell her to surprise me with a gift card to somewhere.  Could be anywhere! Could be Olive Garden, could be target, could be Barnes and Noble.  But it will be both random and a surprise--very much in keeping with this whole project and my personality. I'm looking forward to it!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

grapes and cheese

Survived 1500 cal. Not horribly hard, but I need to relax a bit and spread my food more evenly throughout the day. By the time I finished dinner I was only at 1200--that meant a cake pop and milk which was great, but I think I would have had an overall more satisfying day had I gone ahead and eaten a bit more especially in the afternoon.

Today is low-carb day. I just do not get why I'm never full on a low carb day. For breakfast I had 4 slices of bacon and an omelette.  I've also eaten 1/2 a sleeve of nuts and more than 1/2 of a big bag of grapes and cheese. I need to put that away now so I'll have more later. As soon as I'm off the desk I'll try the beef jerky. I should be fine, but I'm not. Still hungry.  I'm amazed at people who successfully handle a real low carb diet.  Hopefully lunch will calm me down--a big serving of the bacon cheeseburger casserole (good! not as filling as you'd expect, but good), and some zuchinni boats---zuchinni brushed with olive oil and then a big helping of parmesan cheese.

Glad that tomorrow is 2100 cal. Real food and real pizza.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Today is my first 1500 cal day. That's the lowest I go--except for Flavor Point days that are right around there.  I seem to be unduly freaked out about it and sure I'll starve. But that's silly. Yesterday all the real food I ate came in at 1580 which meant I had enough for a cake pop and some milk. I think I'll live. Lots of people try to lose weight with 1200. No way. It's amazing what a difference those 300 or 400 cal can make.

I'm determined never to go too low or too hard again. Weight watchers was just too drastic. Also, Sean wrote a wonderful blog post about "The Click." I get what he's saying--I've experienced it myself many times in weight loss and other areas too. When "The Click" is on amazing things can happen--you're in the zone and nothing can defeat you. But I don't trust the "Click".  Too often the "click" will switch off without my even being aware it's off or why it flipped. One day I'll wake up and realize that I haven't practiced the harp for three weeks, or I haven't touched the project I was working on and enjoying for months. If the "Click" is set at a level that is too different from what you do naturally, then you'll get a major relapse.  

A healthy lifestyle can NOT be subject to the "Click."  Right now it's on for me--I'm liking my program, and I'm doing great. I know that soon enough I'll be bored with it and what then? I figure I have three safety nets---first this blog which can show me if I'm not paying attention anymore. Also my calendar where I put my daily star. If suddenly too many days go by with no star, then I know I'm off kilter. Thirdly, my "envelope" is deliberately adjustable. If the click is off, and I have no motivation to continue, I hope I'll at least scrape up the energy to fix the envelope--maybe up all the calorie limits, maybe take a deliberate and finite vacation but work toward some exercise goal. Whatever, the important thing is to be intentional about what I choose--and not just sort of fade unconsiously away.

But for today, life is good and already things I've practiced are helping me out. For example, on Flavor Point days lunch is often a single small item.  Even though I'm sure I'll starve to death today, I can't help but notice that lunch is BOTH soup and TWO garlic parmesan cressants. Because of Flavor Point practice, I think I'll be ok today. I have a banana for a snack and also some 100 cal popcorn if I'm really dying. And tonight I'm trying a new Hungry Girl receipe--bacon cheeseburger casserole.  No diet can be too awful with bacon cheeseburger casserole right?  In short, I'll be fine today because of the things I've already learned even if the day is a stretch.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

No sauce!!!

I FORGOT TO BRING THE BUFFALO SAUCE TO WORK!!!   I hope my family saves me on this one!!!  I'm really looking forward to lunch, and the sauce is key.  I'm proud of myself for doing so well yesterday.  I don't know why I like doing things like the flavor point. Maybe it's just that it's a vacation from responsibility and that makes up for the food.  Not that the food was bad, it just wasn't what I wanted is all.  Kudos to my family for eating the healthy dinner with me---fish, asparagus and oven fries. No way that would have been on my table 20 years ago!  I feel slim and light today. Strongly tempted to get on the scale but I resisted. It would do no good  If I find I've lost weight, I'd immediately self-sabotage. If not, I'd get mad and immediately self sabotage.

Today is 1900 cal. I'm excited. It's light and will move me forward, but with food that I really enjoy. Especially if my FAMILY BRINGS THE SAUCE!!!

I had to laugh a little at myself yesterday. I got a good lesson in the silliness of comparing myself to others.  At the gym I saw a man probably in his mid sixties running flat out uphill on the treadmill. I had no idea those treadmills even inclined that high!  I couldn't run that fast on flat ground with a tiger chasing me.  I felt very small and humble doing my slow walk on a small incline.  Talk about ego crushing.  I came back and told my 20-something co-worker about it. She knew exactly who I was talking about and told me not to feel bad. He intimidates the young college runners too.  I felt better.  But isn't that silly to allow my self-esteem to be so affected? I see a stranger much more fit than I am, so I feel bad? Then I hear that others have a lower standard so I feel better?  That's human, but it's also dumb.  How about I just be proud of myself for being at the gym too and doing something positive?

Can't wait for lunch! Dave is bringing the sauce! Phew!!!  I got another vindication yesterday that gentle and happy is the way to go for weight loss.  Ali, the first female winner on the Biggest Loser, has come out and admitted to some weight gain.  She still looks great at 167, but she confessed that she was at her winning weight of 122 for about 2 minutes. I like her a lot and hope she finds peace with being the healthy and beautiful person she is. But I'm becoming increasingly angry with shows like the Biggest Loser who do nothing to address the real issues of why a person is eating more than they should. Let alone helping them find ways to enjoy eating less and working out more.  Ditto Weight Watchers.  Sorry folks, giving people good healthier receipes is important, but goes nowhere close to solving the problem of addiction!

Monday, January 27, 2014

No star

Today I'm back on track with Lemon Day. Blech, fish for dinner, but with oven fries so that makes up for a lot. Best of all, it's only flavor point for today. Tomorrow is back to calorie counting, which is good because I want some more Hungry Girl buffalo wings.

Yesterday was disappointing. Hopefully I didn't go too far off the rails. I don't think I did, but I didn't get a star because in the end I just didn't count the calories.  The night before I went out of my way to figure out all the calories in the Domincian dinner. Ugh! Way too many calories for mediocre food, but the real problem was that not only were the calories high, they were hard to estimate.  I really hate figuring out the calories in soup. I can figure out how much the entire batch is, but how much is a 10th of that?  I suppose I can pour the soup into a big measuring cup and then into a big bowl and figure out just how many cups of soup the recipe made, but I'm balking at doing that.  Then there were the pork chops--with a bone so it's hard to weigh, then there was bacon wrapped bananas--again, not impossible but annoying to figure---about 1/8 of a banana with about 1/3 of a strip of bacon is about...?  I did a rough guesstimate, but wasn't too happy. It was a 2100 cal day, but my mind was still thinking 1900 and although I wasn't very hungry I didn't feel like having a miniscule dinner to make up for a weird lunch which was somewhere withing a very wide guess range.  So I said forget it and had a reasonable size bowl of Catherine's taco soup (very healthy), 2 slices of her declicious homemade sour dough bread with cheese broiled on top (one slice would have been better).  Had I stopped there I would have at least given myself a red star because I did at least sort of try to work out the calories, but by this time I was tired, cranky and annoyed at the food part of the day.  We finally made the frozen pumpkin white chocolate chip halloween cookies that had been sitting in the freezer.  I had three with some almond milk.

Overeating is a funny experience.  The first cookie actually seemed to last a long time, I was interrupted by the cat and was surprised to see how much of it was left. I would have been perfectly fine with just that which I savored and enjoyed. But since I was in "what the hell" mode, I ate the other two also. The other two went down much more quickly and easily than the first. After that I was all set up to eat five more, but some common sense kicked in and I called it a night and went to bed.

Oh well. I'll have a very good food and exercise day today. I'm also inclined to count my blessings. I'm following another wonderful blog--300 pounds down. This amazing lady posted the most detailed, heartbreaking authentic description of her food (specifically sugar) addiction. Her food problems are MUCH more difficult to deal with than mine.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hungry girl and ice-cream

I LOVE Hungry Girl!!  I made her buffalo wings yesterday and she got it right!!!!  I've been in quest for good healthy wings for years, and she got it right!!!!  Super easy receipe too--easy to google.  The wings look a little different than my beloved chili's wings, but the taste is perfect.  I also made her jalapeno poppers--also very good, those are a little more effort, so I might not always bother, but yesterday's lunch was fantastic.  I had--A double portion of chicken wings with blue cheese crumbles on the side. Two large jalapeno poppers, carrots and celery, a string cheese, 5 olives and a bagel with laughing cow cheese. Worked out to be about 700 cal--but it was A LOT of food. After that all I really wanted was something sweet. Catherine had made a delicious taco soup and I fully intended to eat it for dinner, but I also wanted to go on a much needed date with my sweet husband.  He wanted to head for the darling old-fashioned ice-cream shop down the street. I could have made better choices there, but it was about 5 o'clock already and I still was full so I said, "what the heck" I'm going to eat dessert first--or in this case, just dessert.  No idea how many calories my single scoop (pralines and cream) hotfudge brownie sundae had, I just hope it was 900 or less.  It was great and I loved our date, but I made a discovery.

Cranky daughter with a cold plus a dinner of just sugar makes for a very irritable me.  I wasn't sure how to grade the day--but truly, having that ice-cream with my husband was important.  Today has it's own difficulties which I'll talk about tomorrow, but nothing terrible, and the rest of this week should be right on track. Exercise was very good yesterday.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Too much

Boy, you just can't trust skinny people to provide for office treats. The cheese dip was wonderful, but ONE bag of chips for the 14 of us? No doubt there's some sort of correlation between my tiny coworker and what she thinks is a large amount and myself and what I think is a large amount. But I firmly refuse to acknowledge any such thing in the face of really good chips and dip.

Spectacular fail yesterday in "letting go."  I made sure I didn't suggest to Dave to not buy the breadsticks and he came through with flying colors and ordered the cheesy bread first thing. I thoroughly enjoyed way too much calzone and breadsticks while watching Hitchcock's The Birds.  However, although I ate too much, I was at least hungry. And I don't think it's entirely a bad thing to feel hungry and want something and then experience the joy of really having that something. I gave myself a red star for being technically on track--I was vegetarian at least.

This week is mostly calorie counting at various levels with a Flavor Point day and a low carb day thrown in. That'll be fine.  Today I'm just happy because two t-shirts which have been a little snug across the chest are fitting better! YAY!!!  I got up and did the 40 min total body burn dvd, and I'll eat 1900 cal and be just fine in every way.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's OK to let go!!

Survived the day yesterday. Today's challenge is a harder, and so far I'm not succeeding very well, but at least I'm conscious of what the challenge is.  The challenge is to LET GO. It's ok to change. It's ok, it's ok, it's ok!!! You'd think after all these years of struggle, the one message I'd have internalized by now is that it's ok to change.  NO!!!  I haven't got that message at all.

This morning, I wasn't as excited as I thought I'd be to be able to eat anything I want. I wasn't all that particuarly hungry.  The correct response, when one is not especially hungry is to eat a small amount. But the drive to eat according to habit rather than hunger is strong. Especially when I've been looking forward to not being hungry. It wasn't a crazy silly breakfast--I had a lite bagel, and a banana with peanut butter. I really could have skipped the peanut butter and I certainly could have skipped the chocolate shavings I put on top. But I've been missing chocolate the last three days, so even though I didn't really care if I had chocolate I had it anyway.  That's so weird! I also had a large glass of milk. The milk was a good choice. I both wanted it psychologically and needed it physically. I've been careless about taking my calcium pills and the foot cramps came back last night. You can bet I took the pills this morning. The banana is also helpful. Now I'm at work. I was hunting around the parking lot for the car because there is a picture in the trunk I need. Couldn't find it. Stopped back by my office to make sure Catherine wasn't waiting for me, then went back out to look some more, but not before I snagged a hershey's kiss to eat on the way.  It was while I was walking back to the lot that the thought first occurred to me that it was ok to change.  It's OK not to eat chocolate just because "I can." It's ok to eat small portions if that's what I want.  

Believing that and acting on that is something else again.  I'm back in the office now and a little bit hungry. I know full well that there will be chips and queso dip in 90 minutes, but I'm in the mood for a little something now and I brought crackers and cheese. I'm eating some of that right now as I type. That's just plain weird.

The only solution I can think of is to keep trying. It's a very positive sign that I wasn't wanting to go crazy with food this morning.  I just need to learn to trust and let go. The food is going to be there--or rather, the opportunity for indulgence is always going to be there.  Even if the apocolyse comes and I'm starving to death-indulgence will be there because at that point all food will be an indulgence and I will be searching hard for it and enjoying when I find it. Till then, I am surrounded by cupcakes and queso dip and I can trust that this sort of stuff will always be around, so I can relax and let it go if I don't want it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Okay with Temptation---so far

Temptation is all around me today! I forgot I was judging the FBLA competition this morning. I'm really embarrassed. I'm not dressed professionally at all (plan was to hide in my office working all day), and I was late to boot.  Anyway, they still gave me a cup with pens and candy in it. When I was done they pointed me toward the lunch buffet. Luckily, it was still quite early, and although I remembered the food from last year, I didn't actually go to see it so I was ok.  At 1:30, and quite hungry I finished class and came to my office for lunch. There is a delicious looking piece of cheese pizza sitting in the kitchen. Good Grief!!

More and more and more I'm liking this plan that I'm on.  If I were just trying to do Flavor Point for real---meaning forever, I would be profoundly unhappy about passing up the candy, the buffet and the pizza. But I'm not doing Flavor Point tomorrow and I'm not cheating either!  Tomorrow is a  vegetarian day.  I'll do my best to stay in control, but I'll be having an artichoke cheese calzone from the Pie (a favorite!), possibly some cheesy bread, a little candy, some popcorn, a glass of milk with breakfast, and some olives on my salad.  On second thought, maybe I'd better skip or modify the cheesy bread. But the point is, that I'm really and truly happy with Flavor Point today. It's given me three days of exceptionally nutritious, moderate eating on a much higher plane than I'm really ready for. That can only have blessed my body.  Tomorrow I'll continue the effort to eat healthfully AND I'll be honoring my real desires and my real life (coworker party--I'm bringing cupcakes).  I feel as though doing so much flavor point this week has been a boost both to my body and my ego. Also, it hasn't been so long (it's only 3 days after all!) that if I draw another FP slip tomorrow when I plan for next week it'll be just fine. I'm actually looking forward to BOTH another flavor point day AND having some cheese tomorrow.  I wish I could be assured of some weight loss too, but that will be bonus if it happens. In fact, I'm sure, it won't happen as quickly as I want it too. But I'm convinced that I'm on the right track here. Something on a deep level is healing and learning to trust.

I'm in the mood to describe what I've been eating.  Especially last night's soup. It will not become a family staple that's for sure. Onions sauteed in olive oil, spinach, peas, a few spices and mint. Mint was a bad idea.  Run the whole mess through the blender and add a little buttermilk and heat up.  Thank goodness I only made a 1/2 batch. I swear it grew too. After Dave and I had served ourselves, I swear there was more in the pot than before (we threw it out). It wasn't entirely horrible. Next time I pick mint day (hopefully not soon), I'll be ok with the soup (sans mint), but I suspect that I'll be eating it alone.

Today, is a fairly merciful flavor point day. Day 31--a mixed bag.  Genuinely good french toast with strawberries for breakfast, yogurt with raisins and nuts for snack. a really good turkey sandwich for lunch. Extra good, because I got to use basil pesto. I'm still not used to having just one thing for lunch--like just a sandwich, no apple, no chips, no nothing. But I found out last summer that this kind of thing is common in China. They really do just order a hotdog or whatever over there and that's all. And they're skinny. Probably some kind of connection. Afternoon snack, chips and salsa--yea! Dinner of fish tacos will also be good, but I'm having to overcome my fish prejudice.  It's only tilapia, and I've drowned it with so much lime and jalapenos and other things it should be fine. I'm not sure if it's the same receipe that Catherine found that I really liked, but it's close.  This diverges from strict flavor point, but I'm saying it's ok, because it's equivalent calorically, and more importantly, helps move me in the direction of eating fish. I've brought it with me so I don't have to wait until 7:30 or 8 to eat tonight.  Last night took some real doing cooking-wise but I think it's worth it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

THREE days!

I can be amazingly short-sighted.  The way this week worked out I have THREE Flavor point days in a row! That's tough.  I did want some flavor point, but not three, and defnitely not in a row! I originally put back one of the FP slips, but when I drew another one right back I decided that it was fate and wouldn't hurt me.  And it won't hurt me, but I keep thinking that I'll be doing this forever--like all the other times I've started a strict-ish diet--like weight watchers or even Flavor Point, and the thought of doing this forever (forever defined as 6 weeks) IS daunting. There's a very real part of me that thinks I'm going to try to stick to this forever. I think it will do wonders for my little psyche to wake up Friday and realize that I'm done.  I was hungry yesterday, and because of the holiday yesterday felt like Monday and I'm doing this till Thursday which seemed a long way away.  Thursday is tomorrow.  You'd think I'd have enough perspective to handle three days, but apparently not! It still seems like a long time just now.

And I'm not entirely starving. Yesterday was pineapple day. I love pineapple, and I liked all the recipes.  Today is a new day for me--Mint day. I've never made it that far in the book. Lunch is a salad with tuna and a hard boiled egg. Meh.  But dinner is going to be exciting.  It's a weird soup with spinach, peas and buttermilk. I'll either love it or hate it--I doubt there's going to be a middle road on this one. But it appeals to my sense of adventure so today will be fine.  Tomorrow will be fine as well--it's the last day and Friday I can relax a little with a vegetarian day. The problem with Thursday is time. I have harp at 6:30 and since we're down a car at the moment I'm going to be stuck on campus. It's going to be a looooong day. I'll have to pack both lunch and dinner and I think I'm making myself tired out in advance.

One very happy mercy.  My co-worker's birthday is on Thursday and we're bringing treats.  Happily, he's taken the day off so the treats will appear on Friday when I can eat them, instead of the last Flavor point day. Phew!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Panda Express

I'm proud of myself for yesterday's effort. Not only did I get in a really good workout, but I successfully ate at Panda Express.  Boy oh boy, Panda Express is a calorie disaster! But Catherine had a craving and the Panda has a very good nutrition guide online.

It's still a mystery to me how people can go to a place like this and make healthy choices.  The whole reason for me to be there is specifically to eat the orange chicken and crab rangoons.  If I wanted a healthy option, I'd stay home and have something healthy without smelling the stuff I really want.  I got online to see what I could do. Here's what I really wanted and what I certainly would have ordered if I was just going in without thinking about it.

Fried rice--520
Orange chicken--420
Beijing Beef--690 (OUCH!)
crab rangoons--190

Grand total--1820

Yeesh. That's terrible, even by my standards which can be pretty low when I'm hungry. I decided that I could live without two full entrees and I remembered that the portion of rice was ridiculously huge.  So after considerable thought I went with this:

Fried rice (only ate half--brown rice would have been a better choice, but it was only 100 cal less and I eat it all the time, I decided I wanted a treat) 260

Orange chicken (shared with Catherine so I only ate half--PLUS I dropped one piece on the floor! Deep regret there!) 210

Shanghai steak instead of beijing beef (not a thrilling, but an adequate compromise this time) whole serving 220

Crab rangoons (non-negotiable) 190.

Total:  880  Still a heavy calorie lunch, but doable. It was a 2000 cal day, so I could still have some dinner, which was a good thing because lunch sure didn't fill me up. I've noticed that about fast food--I can eat an enormous amount of fast food calories and still be hungry.  I first noticed the phenomenon with Arbys. I can eat a giant roast beef sandwich, a large curly fries and a turnover and STILL be hungry. It isn't fair. If I eat that many calories, the least my body can do is register as full! But the bright side of this is that because of the hungry factor, I rarely eat at fast food places.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Really big serving

Why oh why oh why do workouts take so long??  I did the 40 min Hip Hop workout today and I swear it lasted at least two hours even though the clock says it only took 40 minutes.  It was a tough workout for me. I was dripping sweat. Good!  I'll try and get back to that work out fairly often until it isn't a tough workout any longer. For now though, I'm just glad to be sitting here typing.

Yesterday was "high protein" and so for dinner we had steak, we also had shrimp even though that was supposed to be for the upcoming "pineapple day." We'll have more shrimp tomorrow.  I also tried a new broccoli garlic oven bake that was delicious. That's a do again for sure. The only problem with the dinner was the size of it. I took my piece of steak, and a potato, and the brocolli and the low-cal coconut shrimp and realized that I had a LOT of food on my plate. The thought did cross my mind that I didn't have to eat it all, that I'd probably be happier with just half. I should have gotten up and put back half, but I didn't.  I foolishly thought I'd quit when I was full.  Why I would think that I have no idea. I ate all but the last bite of steak, plus a few more shrimp.  Technically, I was still within bounds--it wasn't a calorie counting day after all, but that dinner was huge and knew it and still ate it anyway. I gave myself a silver star and will try to do better next time.

However, I'm excited about my progress!  I don't think I've lost any weight yet, but the fact that I would think I would only want and need 1/2 my meal is a big step for me! And it wasn't that I'm trying to lose weight. The feeling came from some real security that I could have more if I wanted more, that plenty more days and meals would come my way so I didn't need to worry (this is all good intuitive eating feelings). It really felt as though my inner skinny me was allowed to surface and voice what she wanted. It makes me want to protect her and encourage her voice.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A walk

It's finally a little warmer and the sky is blue today. I just had a lovely nap and I'm going to walk the 5K.  1800 cal yesterday wasn't hard at all. I made zucchini fritters to go with our turkey burgers and they were great. I wonder how much the oil had to do with the overall satisfaction? I really need to look into healthy oils. I made myself some popcorn with olive oil. Two tablespoons (240 cal) of oil to be exact. So, it wasn't a low cal snack, but it sure was a satisfying and filling one.  The oils on Flavor point and the miniscule amounts of nuts really do make a big difference.  I've always eaten a heavy fat loaded diet, but mostly in the cheese department. Has my body been crying out for healthy fats all these years?

 Sean reminds me on his blog that I can't do this alone.  Too true! I always forget that I must have God's help in this.  I feel a little like a mad scientist with my varied approach to things. I have no idea what happens if I eat few carbs one day and quite a few the next? Will my body just glom onto the new carbs? Today is high protein---I'm not trying to overeat, but if I eat a few more calories than I did yesterday will my body pack it on?  OR now that my mind is happier and my body is getting enough food on all days will my body sense that all is well and release the weight? We'll see, but for now it's walk time.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


The Pizza Pie Cafe is a super cute restaraunt.  Not quite as good as Cici's I think---too much crust and the blue cheese dressing not as thick, but worth going back to every blue moon or so. Actually, I'm really proud of us.  Buffets are one thing that we've almost cut out completely.  We've never been to the Chuck-a-rama down the street, and I don't even know where the Chinese buffets are.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Pizza Pie and ate until I felt done with no worries at all.  Today, I wish my tops were looser, but mostly, I'm ok with that.  I want to be thinner, but not at the expense of a life that I want to live--and that life includes the occasional (truly occasional) pizza buffet.

One thing various blogs remind me of is that I NEVER want to get to my ideal weight only to discover that I don't like the lifestyle that will keep me at that weight.  Maybe that's rationalization, but given the spectacular failure rate of diets, I don't think so.  I might be stuck, but at least I'm not going in the wrong direction.

This week will be interesting.  Three flavor point days! That makes up for this week that had none.  I'm excited for them. Actually, I think the trickiest day this week will be tomorrow--a "high protein" no sugar day. It's Sunday, and we always enjoy playing games and having dessert. I've decided to deal with it by making these high protein snack balls that have been making the rounds on facebook.  They contain honey and some chocolate chips, but the focus is the high protein peanut butter and oatmeal.  It will give me something to munch on.  I'm calling it close enough.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Yay carbs!

Survived the low-carb day.  I did pretty well remembering that it wasn't a day to just pig out and eat thousands of calories of cheese.  I gave myself a silver star for eating too many peanuts though.  This was partly a packaging problem.  A package of Sabritas (my favorite lime flavored peanuts that are not available in Utah) is 280 cal.  I had 1/2 a bag and a whole bag.  I knew I'd probably want more than the 1/2 but some muddy reasoning made me eat the "old" 1/2 bag first. Then I opened the new bag and ate more than I really wanted from it--about 3/4.  I also indulged in a a little chocolate--a very little--1/2 of a small square of dark at lunch and 1 hershey's kiss at night.  Not terrible, but out of keeping with a low carb day.  So, a silver star.

One very good thing I finally looked up was what exactly IS a low carb day?  100-150 grams is a good day, anything under 50 grams is considered very low carb.  Next time I'll aim for under 50, but consider anything under 100 a gold star day.  That makes me feel a little better.  I'll also type in here so I don't forget---we're counting "net carbs"  that means total carbs minus the fiber.  Makes life a little easier.

Today is a free day. YAY!!  But I'm excited about my attitude.  We're trying the all you can eat Pizza Pie Cafe tonight and I want to really enjoy it. Here's the exciting part---I'm actually realizing and remembering that to really enjoy it, I need to be hungry for it.  To be hungry for it, I can't go crazy eating heavily all day long. Therefore, I'm really not wanting to eat heavily---I want to enjoy my pizza! Totally natural, normal and wonderful response.

In honor of Free day, I made sure that I'm excited about all of today's food. I had some orange juice for breakfast (a treat),  I made a healthy wrap for lunch, but I'm also having the chips and dip I've been craving, and some chocolate chip cookies. A psychologically satisfying day.  I'm excited to pick out next week's seven slips.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Yay! Sean's back

It looks like my favorite blogger, Sean is back.  He often inspires me.  Right now he's making me feel a little better about this whole process.  He's gained back some weight. I'm not glad he's gained it back, but it DOES help me feel better about just spinning my wheels the whole time I've been writing this blog. Sean has amazing strength of will. If HE finds this journey difficult, it IS difficult. And, he hasn't gained it all back--and neither have I!  I've carried a 25 pound weight loss for almost 10 years now, and though I'm frustrated that I've stalled at this level, I should celebrate that success.  Also, another blogger has her goal weight of 199. It's nice to know that somewhere out there there is someone who dreams about being where I am right now.  It makes me want to count my blessings a little more.  Also, all evidence to the contrary, I'm convinced that I've got hold of some real key truths about weight loss

Anyway, today is a low carb day. I've just spent over $10 at the little convenience store on campus to buy---a caffeine free diet coke, some gum and some jerky. Talk about expensive!!! I need to look at getting jerky from the dollar store more often. It's a real treat in every way. In my mind it's expensive so I rarely buy it---therefore it has that real extravagant aura about it.  Plus it's rich tasting, long lasting and low calorie.  And today, it's also low carb.  More jerky will be in my life.  It's calling to me right now in fact, but I'm not eating it.  I'm remembering a little better today that just because today is not a calorie counted day, doesn't mean to stuff in as much as possible.  I had one of Catherine's delicious souffles and three pieces of bacon for breakfast and I'm not hungry!  I'm experiencing preparatory hunger--that is, I have to eat a really early lunch today and so I'm imagining I'll be hungry all afternoon, which means I'm imagining I want to eat now, even though I don't really. I'm determined to have the jerky whenever I want it, but not before I want it if that makes sense.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Counted fajitas

I really need to accept the idea that it's ok to eat less, even if I'm "entitled" to eat more.  Yesterday was fine calorie-wise, I was very good about lunch. I planned on a slice of Catherine's homemade bread and guessed it was 100 cal. But when the bottom of the slice turned out thicker than I planned, I decided that it was a pretty hefty piece and called it 150.  Melted an ounce of cheese on top and had it with Dave's low fat stew. It was really filling. I think I could have stopped 1/2 way through the bread.  Also, I wasn't exactly starving for the 100 cal popcorn later.  I'll have to do more thinking about that. If I'm not losing weight, then I need to make an adjustment. And all scale woes aside, I don't have that skinny "I'm losing weight" feeling.  It's hard though--Usually I only get that feeling when I'm doing something like weight watchers and also feeling starved. I don't want to do that, it only leads to failure.  OK---any adjustments here need to be VERY gentle so I don't derail my own efforts.

Such as! Last night, I had about 900 cal left for dinner. That's enough that I often don't bother counting, figuring that pretty much anything is within that range.  Umm, No.  I decided to be sure and actually count out the fajitas and I'm glad I did.  It's still a guesstimate because I'm never quite sure on stuff like stew meat mixed with veggies, but I figured one of my fajitas, with a side of black beans and home baked chips was 670 calories!  That's a perfectly acceptable amount for a dinner, but I wouldn't want to eat twice that and I easily could have and usually do.  Kudos to me for counting.  That's a gentle change I can do.

Today is 2000 cal again but without salt.  There's something else. I bet if I cut down on my salt I'd lose a bunch of weight. I wonder if I want so much salt because I have low blood pressure? However that may be, I need to work on not going crazy with salt.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Finally warm enough to walk to work again.  Did well at 1800 cal yesterday and am doing well with 2000 today.  Catherine made this absolutely fabulous vanilla souffle for only 120 cal. I had it for breakfast with some blueberries. That's got to go into my own cookbook.

Today I'm struggling with hunger. Not that I'm hungry. That's the problem. I don't trust not being hungry. It still feels as though my weight only drops off if I am hungry. I hope that's not true. For now, I guess I'll just stay the course.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Should have listened!

UGH!!!  I know better!!! I gave myself a red star yesterday. It was a "high fiber" day and I did make some good high fiber choices, but I sort of selectively "forgot" to eat lightly. This morning I felt heavy and was paranoid that I'm not making a difference. So I stupidly got on the scale (I seem to always want to get on it when I think the news will be worst). 202!!  AAAAAARHRHRHR!!!!!!

Honestly!!! I know better than to upset myself with the stupid scale. But I am upset and I am worried. The one thing that's keeping me from going off the deep end though is the knowledge that there is A LOT of room for improvement especially on the days where I'm not counting calories and I'm not doing flavor point. Working out needs some improvement too. It's been difficult with weather and sickness, but that's really no excuse.  Also, regardless of the stupid scale (which technically doesn't count til April 1), I AM making better choices pretty much everyday. That translates into good things and maybe even weight loss someday.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Silver Star after all

Well! I was all set to give myself a red star yesterday for overindulging on the bread basket. BUT dinner was a remarkable experience for me.  I made baked monte cristo's a fairly dense calorie choice.  But since it was small meals day, I planned to eat half my serving, play on the wii and then finish my dinner. 1/2 serving of this stuff is REALLY small.  I had no intention of stopping there. But I ate it and what do you know? I was done! I really didn't want the second half.  SO....here's the amazing part.  I didn't eat it!  WHOA!!!  I got a little bit hungry just before bed so I had a small glass of almond milk and a small cookie.

I decided that that behavior earned me a silver star for the day despite the bread basket.  It isn't just about losing weight, it's about changing the behaviors and mind set that cause me to stay overweight.  Although, my goodness, it's a long road!  Today is "high fiber" and my lunch we much larger than it needed to be.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2 slices of pizza

Phew! Eating just two slices of pizza is really hard for me! But I did it! 1900 cal on a pizza day. Yay me!!  And today I wore my size 14 jeans. They've always been a stretch (literally), but I think a bit less so around the waist today.  Today is another "small meals" day.  A red star day I fear.  Breakfast was good, but I took C to SLC to buy a camera and there is the cheesecake factory there.  Overall we did very well we both ordered off the skinnylicious menu. I had the pear and goat cheese flatbread and she had the potstickers, and we shared them--fabulous both! Not anymore expensive than food court food.  That's ok. The problem was the free bread. Not only did we eat what they brought out, but we (meaning mostly me) ate most of the second basket as well. With butter.  We skipped the cheesecake in favor of some Mrs. Fields mini cookies later. Those are bad for me too, but at least they fit in well with the "small" idea.

So, a flawed effort, but still hanging in there.  I just ate a banana. And I'll eat my dinner (baked monte cristo sandwiches) in two shifts.

I'm also feeling sadly vindicated today. Sean, of my beloved losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com  has just revealed that he's gained some weight back.  I don't know how much, but enough apparently enough that it's noticeable.  He's back in there fighting now and I wish him well with all my heart. But it makes me feel even more that I'm on the right path here.  If a diet is too hard (his was 1500 cal per day), then not only can most people not stick to it permanently--but you're fighting the addiction tooth and nail rather than letting the addiction melt away in a loving and doable way.  I really believe that--although I realize that this thinking might just be part of my own addiction which wishes that it wasn't as hard as it is.  We'll see who's right in 5 years. Hopefully we both are. I've never met Sean, but he's inspired me so much--I badly want him to succeed.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Juries out

Well...not quite sure how I feel about "small meals."  I think I did pretty well. It was awkward--but mostly because it's not something I'm used to.  On the one hand I didn't eat the popcorn or the string cheese. But on the other hand would I have eaten as much as I did had I not been deliberately thinking about food the whole day? Not sure. I think I ate a little less at dinner.  But the big triumph of the day was only eating 1/2 of the tollhouse bar.  I hope these little triumphs add up to something. I guess they will---whatever the scale says in April (you can see I'm already wanting to use the scale in hopes of some kind of validation), I think I can be certain the number will be less than it would have been otherwise.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Super healthy dinner yesterday.  I made a sort of sweetpotato nachos.  I sliced up sweetpotatos and baked them, then on top we put quinoa, black beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, onions and chopped poblano peppers and sour cream.  I have it for lunch again today.  A do again receipe I think.  I've never been overly fond of rice. So things like quinoa and bulger wheat are great substitutes.

Still wanting miracles. I'm wearing my Hong Kong Disneyland shirt under my sweater today and it's as tight if not tighter than it was last summer. This just takes awhile. I'll be furious if I don't lose any weight by April, but at least I'll be healthier.

today is my first attempt at "small meals" It's fun--a little silly. Catherine points out that it probably means 6 small meals a day--not eating every hour. I now myself. If I try to eat 6 meals a day it will BE six meals and I'm sure they will grow.  I'm not exactly eating every hour, but I'm trying to put at least an hour in between eating things.  At home I had some orange juice and bacon. About two hours later I had a banana, an hour after that I had a lite bagel.  That's breakfast. I'll probably munch on some carrots soon.  So far, so good. There's something to be said for spreading things out. I certainly like the concept of eating all day long. :)  I need to find some other blogs. I'm lonely out here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yay food!

Well, I enjoyed? my day yesterday. If I think of these things as a day of fasting, then it's not bad at all--on real fast Sundays I never get to cheat with a quarter pounder!  I hadn't been to McDonald's in ages. I like how all the calories are on the menu now. I might need to go back again in the near future. Discouraging though that the hamburger/fries combos are over 1,000 cal and ever mind the fat content!

I think yesterday I probably ate around 900 to 1,000 cal. Too little. I wish it were as easy to eat too little as it is to eat too much. I suppose it probably was in ancient times.  Anyway, I didn't think it was affecting me, but when we got a call saying the Bishop wanted to meet with both of us tonight I was unreasonably worried about it. Today, a day with food, I'm back to my more normal mood.  It makes me appreciate those with depression and other mental illnesses though. How terrible not to be able to control how you feel!

Today, I was a little discouraged that my pants aren't any looser, but I am pressing on--eating vegetarian today, but trying hard not to go crazy. I think I'm coming down with a slight cold.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Silver Star

Overall, I did well yesterday.  Except for maybe two things---instead of baked oven fries, I opted for chips and dip to have with my turkey burger. That's fine. Not as good a choice as fries, but fine to have once in a while---it would have been better had I really measured out the dip though.  The thing that really got me the silver star though was dessert.  We still have some shortbread cookies left from Christmas AND I love chocolate milk. I had too many cookies. Plus a couple of chocolate kisses.

How can I do better next time?  Well---a couple of factors were going on here.  I think part of me wanted to be sure I was full coming in to today's plan which is Lazy Zone day one--ergo--a hungry day.  Also knowing I would be low on calories today did I think it was ok to go overboard yesterday?  Also, I'd earned 5 gold stars in a row. Does part of me think that it's unrealistic to earn gold stars consistently? Or am I afraid of gold stars AND failure?  Or, maybe it was just as simple as that I really like those kinds of cookies and I hadn't let dinner settle long enough that I registered as full?

Next time. I can make a point of waiting at least 1/2 hour after dinner before dessert. I can also have Dave or Catherine bring me a reasonable amount (one or two) cookies instead of going for them myself.

On a different note--I've been meaning to write down this thought. It just goes to show how different we all are. I've been reading Drop Dead healthy by A.J. Jacobs. Really fun book! He's trying to improve every health aspect of his life. And one thing he does is to try to slow down eating. He talks about how it feels weird that his wife and kids are done in 15 minutes and he's still at the table.  Slowing down while you eat really is good advice. But I need to be more like his wife and kids!  I'm already the world's slowest eater. What I need to emulate is the concept of being DONE with a meal.  Like many overweight people, I use food like salt and add food to EVERYTHING--meaning everything I do.  Sure I have meals, but there's the nibbling before the meal, the picking off the yummy bits after the meal and the pretty much continuous little eating in between every meal. Often the only reason I stop eating is because I have to go to work or sleep. I'm sure if I were a stay at home Mom I'd weigh much more.  Work is really helpful actually. I bring my lunch, I eat my lunch and then there is no more food. I have to be done. This plan of mine is really helping with this concept.  Weight watchers should have helped---after all, I'd eat and then be done--but I think because I was often so hungry after eating that it didn't register that I was really done.  With my own plan it's better. Often I wish there were more food, but I recognize that I've had enough so I've been able to be more like A.J.'s kids---eat and then go off and do something else.

Today will help with that too.  It's a silly day and I'm sure I'll be hungry, but since it's my own choice to do something stupid there's no resentment.  On the contrary, I've been "commanded" by my diet to go and eat a quarter pounder at McDonald's tonight.  Right on! I don't know that I've ever eaten an entirely guilt-free fast food burger, but I will tonight. That's because the rest of today's menu is: Breakfast--a high protein bar, lunch a Lean Cuisine with a slice of cheese and dinner--a quarter pounder and salad w fat free dressing.  Lazy, not especially healthy, but low-cal.  The real perk of these quack diet days though is that they generate real gratitude for the bounty of wonderful food I eat at all other times.

Monday, January 6, 2014


YAY facebook and the internet!  And thanks to Nicole who posted this.  Snacks are a bit of a struggle--mostly because I never plan for them so I never have the ingredients.  I'll make a point of incorporating a few of these every week.  I'm especially excited to try the skinny nutella!

Today IS a better day. I really think I was down on blood sugar yesterday.  I'm pleased with myself today. It's a "not counting but in control" day.  This is the hardest type of day for me, but also, I think the most important, because it's where I need the practice.  Since today is the first day of school, I figured my boss would probably bring in bagels or something so I didn't really eat breakfast. I had a little milk and a sliver (literally) of banana bread.

Sure enough! She brought "energy foods". Granola chunks, mini health muffins and peanut butter stuffed pretzels and craisins.  So for breakfast I ate one of the fresh rolls I'd brought and a babybel cheese, and some granola and pretzels. Loved the pretzels and went back for more, but I looked at the calories this time--140 for 8 pretzel bites. Ouch.  I'd already eaten about 8, plus granola--say 200-300 cal, the roll--125, the apple--80, the milk from home 100 the sliver of banana bread about 50? Suddenly I realized that I'd had plenty of breakfast, plus I wasn't hungry.  I wrapped up those pretzel bites and they're sitting in my office now.  Perhaps I'll have them later for a snack. I'm proud of myself for catching that and not mindlessly eating a whole bunch of those pretzel bites!

This semester I have wellness time a little earlier. I think I'll like that a lot.  I did very well today.  The treadmills at the gym have a couple of video paths. So today I took the 1.4 mile Haleakala Hawaiian path, thinking to get a baseline time. I did.  Twenty-three minutes. No speed demon here, but in my defense, it was mostly uphill.  I found out that even at a very slow jog (4.2 miles) uphill is too much for me.  I mostly walked it at 3.5, but I did go up to 4.2 on the flats and downhill.  As always, boredom is a major factor when running. Even beautiful Hawaii was not exciting enough to make the time go quickly.

1 Apple Slices
2. Carrots with Avocado Dip
3. Sliced Veggies with Zucchini Hummus
4. A Medium Banana – Need 5 Reasons to Bite Into a Banana?
5. Dried Fruit Chips (with no added sugar)
6. A Hard-boiled Egg – Learn 3 important health benefits of eggs.
7. String Cheese and Grapes
8. Fruit with Skinny Nutella
9. Air-popped Corn
10. Rolled Turkey Breast (Boar’s Head Deli Meat has no nitrates nor preservatives)
11. Pineapple Spears – Give Yourself 5 Reasons to Pick Pineapple.
13. Sliced Bell Pepper with Skinny Ranch Dip
15. Celery with Skinny Peanut Butter
16. A Handful of Almonds
17. Sweet Potato Hummus with Whole Wheat Crackers
19. A Handful of Pumpkin Seeds
20. A Cup of Sliced Berries- Learn 3 reasons to jump on the berry bandwagon.
21. Steamed Edemame with Sea Salt
23. A Cup of Cottage Cheese
24. Steel-Cut Oatmeal – Try our Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.
25. Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip with Fresh Fruit
26. A Clementine (Cutie) Orange
Fabletics Active Wear
30. Sliced Red Pepper with Hummus
31. Homemade Trail Mix
33. Quinoa – Try our Quinoa Pilaf
40. Curry Yogurt Dip with Whole Wheat Crackers
42. Chunked Watermelon
44. Raw Broccoli with Skinny Ranch Dip
46. Romaine Lettuce Wraps
47. A Small Box of Raisins
48. Sliced Tomato and Feta
49. Greek Yogurt with Blueberries

Read more at http://skinnyms.com/50-clean-eating-snacks/#gKQhRFFGGP89hCQh.99

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Slow Road

Fast Sunday today. Feeling both hopeful and frustrated with myself.  I began this blog nearly three years ago and.....I'M PRETTY MUCH THE SAME WEIGHT!!!  Satan tells me I've always been fat, always will be fat, and I have three years of written material that proves I haven't learned anything and am just spinning my wheels.   Let's see what the Lord might tell me---overweight yes.  With at least some good reason. Who says I haven't improved or learned anything?  How much heavier would I be if I never tried? How many new recipes have I discovered? How many miles have I walked? How many work out tapes have I finished? How many laps swum? bike miles ridden? How many health problems have I avoided because of my efforts? There's no telling.

I AM hopeful that I will get somewhere with my new plan. It really IS different because it came from me not from some outside place that makes me feel rebellious.  But what if I live to be 80 and die as chubby as I am now?  Well, is that the worst thing in the world? YES! my mind shouts, but not really. Isn't everything else more important? Have I made any progress in the things that really count? Yes. Maybe I'm just a little discouraged because I'm fasting today and my blood sugar is low.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Enjoying a vegetarian day today and trying not to go wild just because I "can" eat cookies. Just read an article that is important. Important enough that I think I'll print it out.  It's by a woman who had a sugar addiction and was morbidly obese. She lost the weight.  The thing that she was frank about was that she suffered quite a bit to do it! It's not easy to break an addiction. Obviously, as this blog show, I'm trying to suffer as little as possible. And while I firmly believe that good feelings are key to success, sometimes things are just plain tough and that's normal and a message I need to hear sometimes.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Steak rolls yesterday were fantastic--one of them came to work with me today for lunch.  I'm calorie counting today which means I can have sugar--YAY!  Santa brought me some dark sea salt chocolate--love those things.  I'm really loving the short duration of everything. I didn't need sugar yesterday, because I knew I could and would have it today. I don't mind counting calories today because I know that I won't have to count them every day next week. I've been hungry today (in a healthy way) but I don't mind because it's my choice to save up for pizza tonight. Did moderately ok on the exercise front too. Ran around campus delivering cards (uphill), then walked a briskish mile on the treadmill at the gym which is also uphill. Want to walk home, but am told it's really cold so I think I'll wimp out.  I feel good. I feel like some of the Christmas gunk is starting to exit my system and I feel hopeful.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

High Protein no sugar

Most normal people start their resolutions on the 1st.  Due to scheduling problems, I began today on the second. We had all kinds of yummy snacks on hand yesterday, and happily some of them have made it to work with me today.

Today is high protein--no sugar.  The no sugar is a little tough, but otherwise I'm doing great and my portions have been very good too.

Catherine fixed a really yummy crock pot oatmeal this morning--she'll have to make that again. For lunch I had a few boneless buffalo wings from Chili's--my favorite thing. It felt nice--I know they're not a particularly good choice, but I didn't have all that many (5) and they are chicken which is high protein. With it I had a slice of homemade dark bread, and an entire fresh zuchinini sliced up.  For a snack I had some kashi crackers with 7 layer bean dip (actually a quite healthy choice).  I got to walk around campus a bit this afternoon, and will walk home tonight.  That may or may not be such a healthy choice--the air quality is horrible.

I feel a little tired, partly from no sugar and partly because I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep last night.  But I'll live.  Catherine is making "balsamic steak rolls" with a mashed potato/eggplant mix. High protein and added veggies.  I feel pretty good about that!