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!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Doing well?

Hmmmmm.  I'm having serious trouble staying in control on days that are not specifically calorie controlled. No doubt as a result of making those controlled days tougher. This past weekend, I haven't even wanted to try. Still----April was a much better month than March was so I was feeling pretty good until I added it up. I only earned $18.  Huh. There are 30 days in April. That's not very good!! No wonder I'm having trouble. Still, there's always tomorrow---or at least next week. Tomorrow we leave on vacation, and then I'll be back in business. I've already made the shopping list.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


A tough two days---and both successes and failures on all fronts. Worst, was sugaring out on Thursday. I'd already lost control at work (those pepperidge farm chessmen are fantastic), and eaten more cookies and chocolate than I needed. As a consequence, I wasn't hungry for dinner. So I went visiting teaching without. Ooops. One family had made homemade chocolate Easter candies and offered us some. I SHOULD have asked for one to take home. I've done that before with this family, but I didn't. I ate the homemade reeses egg. Declined seconds--not out of virtue, but because I was already slightly nauseous from sugar. Did not decline when they found the last almond joy egg. Those are my favorite!! And then they had just made homemade rootbeer--I never get homemade rootbeer. They offered a float. I asked for a tiny float. and for once I really meant it.  This family doesn't do tiny. Delicous, but bleeeech.  When I came home I felt as though I needed to eat something real just to absorb all the sugar.

Yesterday was graduation. Catherine was beautiful. It was a lovely ceremony.  Calorie-wise, I didn't do great, but thinking-wise wasn't too bad. I had a small breakfast because that's all I wanted. I ate a reasonable lunch at home rather than the free graduation buffet. I ordered a single scoop of icecream (this place doesn't do single scoop--it was more like three), but didn't finish--although I did have too many spoonfuls of others people's whipped cream and fudge. None of us ate too much of the rib dinner, but no doubt I still ate too much. So, no star yesterday, but no real guilt either. I will try in earnest for the next three days and then I'm off to Disneyland! There are no calories at Disneyland. Which is actually mostly true--for the amount of exercise Disney demands, I usually do all right. Menu is already planned for when we get back. Now, I'm off to work out on this rainy day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poor Sister

Next challenge to figure out. How do I circumvent the, "I can't have it tomorrow, so I'd better eat it today?" feeling. Technically speaking, I shouldn't have it today either! It's vegetarian day, not eat all the cookies and chocolate I can get day. It's so easy to lose track.

Unfortunately, I have an example of what happens when a person loses track completely. My poor sister--she's turning 40 this year. Catherine is graduating tomorrow with her associates degree and everyone is invited up. I live about 1 hour away from my Dad and sisters. Dad is coming up, my sister would have liked to, but decided she'd better not try it, because there is no parking immediately by the building and she can't make the short walk to and thru the building. I'm sure she's also worried about fitting onto the seats. She also can't really drive anymore because she can't stay alert enough to be safe, also she's lost her license, but even if she had one, she's hampered by fears and I doubt she'd be able to make a drive that's a whole hour away. It's just sad.

Comparatively, I'm doing great. But it's a bad comparison. How badly am I hampered by my poor choices? How awake would my mind be? How much more could I do if I ever conquer this problem?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Doing better again. Vegetarian day on Monday---I gave myself a red star because I'm sure I ate too much. I did discover a wonderful potato gnocchi receipe that will be terrific for vegetarian days to come. Yesterday was a Hungry girl day which was right on track plus I did an hour of exercise. I'm going to try to do another hour when I get home tonight--I need a buffer for Friday nights graduation dinner of ribs. I read something encouraging on Calorie Count the other day. A woman started out at about 210 and is now in the 150's. She did fine unless she went home where all the delicious goodies were. So what did she do? As she didn't go home all that often, she decided to just go ahead and enjoy the home food and not worry about it!  YAY!!! I love that!!!

It takes a lot of fierce honesty to truly judge whether an event is rare. I can certainly attest that every single day offers at least one "valid" reason to overeat. But truly---if you're eating right and exercising and you go home just a couple of times a year, you really can enjoy it.  Even Jillian Michaels says not to worry about food on Thanksgiving. Just get back on track the next day.  I just love that there are faint glimmerings of moderation and common sense out there in the world of weight loss.

Today is a "high fiber" day AND the work potluck, which is already looking fabulous. We're having BOTH a cheese ball AND chips and cheese dip. However, I am at least trying to get my fiber. I had a good fiber breakfast and I'm dutifully eating carrots now. Maybe my co-workers will help me out by eating all the food, but I hope not. :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bit of a bender

Oh dear. It's so incredibly easy to go off the rails. I tried on Saturday--made the best choice I could at the Mexican restaurant, but we had leftover pizza for dinner. I love pizza in any form. I had two pieces plus a big cabbage salad and a reeses egg. One good thing about trying to control things is that I was actually really full with just these two pieces. Normally, it takes at least five pieces before I begin to feel full.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. Again, began with good intentions. We had those tube cinnamon rolls for breakfast (shaped like Easter Bunnies--thanks pinterest!). I ate two--which meant 4 rolls. Usually, when I'm really counting 2 means 2 total, not two bunnies. Had a side of a dark chocolate with breakfast--then a small chocolate at church. Then lunch at Lisa's.  It was the funeral potatoes that were my undoing. Loaded with cheese and sourcream--I'll take funeral potatoes over candy any day. Then there was the birthday cake. This was my fault. I requested this. A layer of chocolate chip cookie mix. Topped with reeses eggs, topped with a fudge caramel brownie mix.

Ended the day with popcorn.  Yes, well. No stars for yesterday or the day before.  The rest of this week is iffy as well, but I really think it's a divinely helped iffy. I didn't pull any Free Days for the week, but I DID honestly pull out 2 vegetarian days and a high fiber day. GREAT! Again, my intentions will stay good. But as my last attempt with this program shows, I don't do very well with too much freedom. However, I'll do the best I can and these days will enable to me to get through all of the "exceptions" that are coming up this week and at least technically, still stay on plan. I think that's important.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Soup delusions

I tried. I wanted to go out to eat if we went all the way to slc for the reception, so I looked up Zupas and found that the turkey bacon panini wasn't very many calories. I had a harder time with the soup--my favorite is the wisconsin cheddar. I couldn't find this exact soup online, but I was delight to see that other cream of broccoli or cheese soups were only 220 cal. Really?  I was starved so I didn't question it. We got to Zupas, and I have never seen soup that thick in all my life. It was more the consistency of oatmeal than soup. No way that a Zupa-sized bowl of that was 220. However, I was too hungry to be rational and the internet DID say it was 220, so I ate that soup (and sandwich, and side of bread and strawberry---all accounted for assuming the soup was 220). It felt good.  I also behaved myself very well at the reception. They had two of my favorite weaknesses--crackers and cheese, and really good cookies.  I had a little fruit,and only 2 crackers with 2 small slices of cheese. Even though the soup was probably 1000 cal all on it's own--I gave myself a red star for the day.

Today is worse. Breakfast on track. Lunch problematic.  We went to Javiers for an after recital lunch. I got something off the lunch menu and tried to take it easy on the chips. Tonight is pizza. I give up. I will try to be fairly moderate, and I will also do my best to earn calories for tomorrow.

I feel a little better about my efforts after yesterdays reception. My dear friend, who we went to see, has put on quite a bit of weight. She's still darling. I weigh exactly the same as I did 24 years ago when we left Japan. This isn't that great, because I weighed too much back then, and still weigh too much now, but I could have added a whole bunch of middle-age spread and I haven't!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stupid Scale

Why oh why do I do this to myself? Really, once a month weighing is MORE than enough for me. Actually, I'm doing great and feeling great, clothes are fitting better and even the evil scale reveals a 3 pound loss for April which my brain and good sense thinks is great. My emotions though, are annoyed. I feel thin. I'm hungry, and that's all I get??

Yes.  Weight loss is SLOW, slow, slow, slow, slow, and that's okay. Everyone says that clothes are a better measure anyway. Besides, it WAS my  birthday last week and I ate plenty, and I ate lots of cake on fast Sunday too. And yet, I'm still 3 pounds ahead. I should celebrate!!!  But not with food. YIKES!!! This upcoming week is a diet disaster! Worse, I've been feeling sick and so haven't earned any exercise calories at all!!!

Let's see---tonight there is a wedding reception
tomorrow is my harp recital which ends at lunchtime, which means we'll want to go out for lunch with Dad
Sunday is Easter--plus my family is making a special cake for me
Monday is cake with the Weber State president
Wednesday is a work potluck (the BEST)
Friday is Catherine's graduation--ice-cream afterward and a special dinner for her that night.

And lets not even discuss the leftovers that I'll be wanting!  Good grief! This is April I'll be keeping track, but I really don't think April is a particuarly difficult month.

So what am I going to do? I honestly don't know. For tonight, I've already told Dave that if we go to the reception, I'd prefer to eat someplace like Subways where it's a little easier to control the calories. Unless it's super good reception food, I can usually pass up wedding cake no problem.

Tomorrow--if we go to Famous Dave's I'm doomed. There is NOTHING healthful on that menu. Maybe I'll put my highest calorie day here--and even if lunch goes off the rails, I'll make a point to keep breakfast and dinner on track?

I'll try to earn some extra calories for Easter candy and cake--but I don't think I'll worry about Easter too much. We're having funeral potatoes which I love and that's worrisome because they are uber calorie dense, but I've already set Sunday aside as a day where I can eat where I'm satisfied at the main meal, and have 1 serving of dessert. I know I'll want more of that cake and some candy too. But I'll try to keep in under control and earn those calories.

Monday--I'll put my lowest calorie day here, so the cake won't throw my overall calorie intake too high. If possible, I'll only eat half. (that may or may not be psychologically possible depending on how good the cake is)

Wednesday is simply going to have to be a free day I think. Hopefully, I'll draw one of these out honestly. If not, I think I'll cheat and find one.

Friday, Not too hard--I'll aim to earn some calories, but I can manage a dish of ice-cream, and whatever we have for dinner.

How's that?  I honestly don't know. Does all this represent a real effort or just a whole lot of rationalizing? It's genuinely better than  a crazy food free for all.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What do the experts know?

My anthropology class is wonderful. I really think every person in the world should take it. The whole class just underscores the fact that you simply can NOT help anybody unless you understand that person or society. I would just love to lecture to the world's dieticians/weight loss "experts." I think they know about 5% of the problem. It's a crucial 5%, but it's still just 5%.  For example. Exercise is beneficial. Great. Wonderful. And maybe they have great ideas about what exercises will be best. Again, great. But all the knowledge in the world doesn't mean a thing if they can't get the person to DO the exercise.

That's where knowledge of the patient comes in. They simply don't know why the patient is unmotivated to exercise. Maybe the patient herself doesn't know why she's unmotivated, but THAT's what the specialist needs to concentrate on. They can throw out an idea like, "find a friend to exercise with." But unless they've taken the time to listen to the patient, it's like they're throwing random darts in the dark.

Why this bothers me so much is that I've wrestled with this problem all my life, and it's taken far too many years for me to realize that the "experts" don't know much. It's a difficult thing to realize. After all, they are thin, and I am fat so obviously they know what to do to be thin and I should listen.

Sort of. They know what THEY need to do to be thin.  They have NO IDEA what I need to do to be thin. What obsticles do I need to overcome to be able to live a life similar to theirs? The infuriating thing is that they seem to have NO notion that they are lacking the most important information of all!!!

Ok, just needed to get that off my chest apparently. Today, I feel slim, my pants are fitting better and I feel encouraged. I also feel sick. I'm finally coming down with the cold that flattened Dave a couple of weeks ago. If it kills my appetite, that would be great. Today is 1500 cal. Those extra 200-300 cal on other days sure do make the world of difference. My good intentions were to ensure that I had snacks today, but I good derailed by the siren song of a reeses egg.  I threw in some carrots for a snack and am calling it good enough. Actually, my whole lunch is snacky. Oh well. It's what I want, and I'm telling myself that I wouldn't want it if my body didn't need it. That's interesting that I can sincerely believe this despite a lifetime of evidence to the contrary.  The food is healthy--just not too plentiful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lazy Morning

Calories are more flexible than I think. Sometimes (most times), it feels as though I can hardly eat anything before the calories are all used up. Other days it's astonishing how much food I can pack into a calorie limit. You'd think then, I'd track those abundant days and eat like that all the time right? Well, no. Although I always try to make healthy choices, I usually simply want to eat what I want and I'd much rather eat a small amount of whatever that is, than eat a larger amount of some substitute.  So, no snacks today. Bummer.

It's a yummy food day nonetheless, even without snacks. I knew I'd want a solid breakfast. The plan was to get up when the alarm went off and get ready quickly so I could enjoy my food. I'm the world's slowest eater, but I usually have to inhale breakfast or eat on the run because I don't like getting up in the morning.  Not even close today. I didn't get up and I didn't want to rush so I didn't. Dave offered to take me to work and I jumped at it. Today is 1700 cal, and the idea is to have 500 for breakfast and lunch and then 700 for dinner. Ok. But even though what I'm eating sounds large-ish, it looks and feels small to me.  Thank goodness for gum. Here's the menu--

A jimmy-dean breakfast sandwich
a big banana with PB2 peanut butter
milk with quik for chocolate milk.

chicken with Frank's buffalo sauce
white tortilla (weird this--I actually prefer whole wheat, Catherine likes white and we get it for her sometimes, but I hardly ever touch it. Except last night. It had to be white. Maybe that's my inner junk-foodie demanding a fix. So long as it doesn't become a habit, fine.
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Dinner--not exactly planned yet, but will have a Hungry girl chocolate chip scone, a huge omelete, bacon and maybe some fried potatoes if I have the calories for it.

So---hardly starving, but it feels small. But the good thing is that this is good practice. I want to get to the place where I eat some ONE thing--a wrap or sandwich or whatever, and I realize that I've just had a perfectly fine lunch. Every meal does NOT need to be a full blown feast. It doesn't need to be a sandwich AND chips AND a pickle AND a fruit AND some milk AND a pop AND some cookies. Honest. Provided the sandwich is reasonably healthy--a sandwich is ok. If fruit and a pickle show up--great, but truly, one item is ok.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hey! I'm a model!

Hollie, of 300 pounds down wrote a very accurate rant about the fashion industry having nothing decent in the really large sizes. Just for fun, I looked up Catherine's, an online plus-sized store. Really??? Although I thought that there were a few things that would be nice at any size, no way should anyone over 300 pounds wear the bright neon striped rainbow shirt. Probably not anyone over 100 pounds should wear that. On the one hand it was fun to look at the sight, because their plus-sized models were all my size, and yes, the stuff (even the rainbow number) looked ok on them--and would look ok on me. It was fun to look through the pictures and think, "well, I could wear that and that and that, but really heavy people couldn't!"  I don't often get to be the person that things look good on.

Seriously, though I really hate the fashion industry. People my size don't need to shop at online plus-sized stores (unless we really want to) because we have other options. People who ARE shopping at those stores because they have no other choice, will NOT look anything like as nice as the models look when wearing the same outfits. (Not as nice as me!) What are they doing putting size 14 or 16 people on those catalog pages?  Selling clothes, I guess. But I wonder how much that really works? I have the same problem at the mall. Those outfits on the models are NOT going to look the same on me and it's frustrating! I think if they had a genuine size 16 or 18 or 20 model and the clothes looked good on that model, I'd buy a whole lot more clothes!!

I can't decide if I'm glad or sad about today's birthday treats. Glad-ish, I guess. Chips and salsa and apples and a really good apple dip. I think I kept things to my allotted 500 calories--even with the two snickers bites that weren't on any plan.  Today is sesame day. Love these days, it makes me so much happier to embrace calorie counting tomorrow.

I worked out quite a bit yesterday. Not sure if I'll get any exercise in today since it's a late day, but if I can walk just a 1/2 hour here at work, it shouldn't be hard to stationary bike for another 1/2 at home. I think I will. Once I'm off the desk, all I have to do is make phone calls off of an endless list. A couple of walking breaks will be welcome.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Get to work

Oh my!  I'd better get to work fast! I had my bookclub lunch for which I'll pay 1000 calories. I just found out that tomorrow is birthday treats which I'm planning on eating about 500 calories worth--so I'll need to be sure I earn another 150 tonight. That will wipe me out completely and there are still many events to go. I have managed to exercise for personal treats as well though, so I don't feel as though my exercise is being completely taken over by outside events. The other week I worked hard to have a big pizza dinner. And Saturday I worked specifically for birthday cake. Yesterday was fast Sunday, so that meant birthday cake too. The problem today is that I'm not suffering enough! Between my birthday and a big dinner last night and a big lunch today I don't feel as though I'm dieting too much!  Not that this makes me content. I'm still torn between worry that I won't lose anything and greed---I would really like to go home and have crackers and cheese.

I think I'll survive. And I'll stick to my course. Today is 1500 cal and I'm counting lunch as 500 so I can still have a very reasonable dinner (especially if there's any goulash left.) It's all good.

Hollie, however, from 300 pounds down, hasn't posted in a bit. She has the most inspiring blog I've ever read. So much so that today I went back to the beginning and started a file to keep the posts that inspire me the most. This girl really needs to write a book!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fast sunday

I love Fast Sunday. Not the least because of the freedom of the food in the evening. Oh dear. I think the day is supposed to be about something a bit more uplifting. In my defense, I did watch a beautiful video on lds.org and watched a conference talk too. Fast and testimony meeting was a blessing too. Dear little Emily Sohler (just 16 or 17 years old) said exactly what I badly needed to hear. The Lord is truly helping me in every way and I can trust that he"ll help those I love too.

I continue to be grateful that mine is "only" a 50 pound problem. This blog shows a net loss of about zero over the last three years. But on the other hand, I could have easily gained 50 instead. I feel hopeful about my new plan. But even if the things I learn only keep pace with the increased difficulty in weight loss as I get older, that's something. And perhaps in the resurrection the improved habits will rise with me and I'll have a better body than I was able to achieve in this lifetime.

I'm just a little worried about this weekend. I took my birthday off. But yesterday I had a large piece of cake and ice-cream, and that cake was made with extra butter. However, I did walk for two hours to off-set those calories. Tonight, I had a big dinner and more cake and ice-cream. Hopefully, the calorie count wasn't too outrageous. Tomorrow, I will cash in 1000 calories that I've earned.  I guess I'm just not sure that exercise really will offset food problems. But since I'm not yet willing to exercise too much self-control on "exception" days, I'll just do the best I can and see what happens.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I'm officially 50 years old now. That seems completely impossible. I had a lovely birthday. Stepped on the scale (since it was Friday morning)--200. Yes! This latest plan is working!! Four pounds down---at least for the moment.  I asked for and received a basketball, so we all went and played a very unpracticed game of horse.  Lots of fun, and I was proud for getting out there and doing something. As it was my birthday, it was a free day and I ate a whole plenty including movie popcorn. Movie (Noah) was terrible, popcorn was fabulous. Went to Tocano's, a brazilian buffet, which was fantastic and then had birthday cake on top of that. I enjoyed it all whole heartedly, and today I'm back on track with my first Hungry Girl day.

So far the Hungry Girl day has been great--helped on by starting full, but even so....yum. I had a bowl of yogurt with peaches, cinnamon, fiber one cereal and almonds for breakfast, a big salad with chicken and garbanzo beans for lunch and I've made a new discovery--Kale Chips. Weirdest thing, but Hungry Girl knows her stuff. Take kale, spray it with canola spray, salt it and bake at 425 for 8 minutes. They actually taste good. They're too fragile to dip, but otherwise a perfectly good substitute for chips. I"m going to the store in a minute and will buy another bunch for later this week, they're that good.  I got a lot of exercise in today as well by walking to the Pleasant Valley Library--there and  back is about 5 miles. I need to do another 15 min of exercise and then I'll have 2 hours, which I plan to blow on birthday cake and ice-cream tonight.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Add another party to the April list---a tenure party at the end of the month to celebrate Dave. I fear I might have to use some self-control soon. I'm blessed to have such a happy life!!

Yesterday was great. But it's another testament to the fact that you can't fool the body. I don't care how big the meal is, if the calories aren't there, I know it.  For dinner I had:

A big hard roll, with hummus, grilled veggies and 1 ounce of cheese, 2 baby dill pickles, 42 pretzel sticks, 1/4 cup of onion dip and a huge pear. All this was slightly under 600 cal. I was fine, but could easily have eaten 3 times as much. But it feels great to be doing well. My pants are a little looser today and my face feels thinner. I earned 300 cal of exercise yesterday too. I'm in "the zone." Which is good, but also scary because I haven't really built the safety net yet.

One of the problems with dieting, is that it separates me from true hunger. True, I ignore hunger equally when I'm not dieting--I just eat all the time, but it's a problem if I'm not at least eating in response to real hunger enough because then I'm more likely to suddenly snap out of the zone. For example, today I have a delicious  big lunch planned (buffalo chicken, with salad and blue cheese and a bagel), so I had a light breakfast of a Jimmy Dean's breakfast sandwich. I nuked it, but left the house without it. Dave was so sweet--he came running after me with it. Of course I wanted it, but I'm semi-used to being unsatisfied so I didn't even notice that I hadn't had any breakfast. That's a dangerous place to be.

Maybe an acceptable to me "safety zone" could be what I'm planning to do on Hungry Girl days. Her plan is just a little too calorie low for me, so I've deliberately added extras to the plan to bring it up to around 1500-1600 cal. Maybe I can still "pretend" I'm strictly following the plan as is--but deliberately add what I need to if I need a rest? That way, I'm still aware--I'm still trying--I won't be losing weight, but I'll be able to eat a little more in a hopefully responsible way and hopefully hold the line until I'm ready to take the next plunge downwards.  Still need to think about this.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Exceptions part 600

Good grief! The "exceptions" are spinning out of control. No wonder I have such a hard time! April should have been a relatively easy month. There is my birthday and Easter. My birthday is free and I can exercise to handle Easter. But there's also the book club lunch, Catherine's graduation, cake with the university president, and now my co-worker is quitting so there will be another work potluck to wish him well! I think there's some other stuff too, but I can't remember it all just now. I can't skip any of these events and I don't WANT to skip the food. I'm going to need to step things up a bit if I want any freedom to splurge a little on my own terms. I'd like to save up for my popcorn/cheese fix, but it's going to be difficult with all this other stuff getting in the way!

I've decided that there is simply too much wonderful stuff in the world. I read about the 10 worst foods in the world, and they all sound delicious.

However, I'm still on track, and, more importantly, doing well psychologically. I stupidly got on the scale this morning (203). As usual, an infuriating experience, but the fury is much lessened today. I really probably am retaining water, gaining muscle and/or just generally re-adjusting. I'm also reminded (by a kindly nudge from my Heavenly Father) that even 3 pounds a month is terrific progress. And that three pounds is an overall measure--it might be two pounds one month, four pounds the next and so on. As I was walking today I was very aware of all the temptation around me. It's incredible--and oddly comforting. There's obviously nothing wrong with me for being tempted when the world is full of nothing but. It's hard to make good choices, but it's ok that it's hard. Anything worth doing is. I'll be ok.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Safety Net

Where is everybody? Sean has vanished from blogland, and Hollie from 300poundsdown hasn't posted in nearly a week! Sean, I'm worried about. No blogging usually means a person is off the wagon. Which brings me to my thought for the day---a safety net. Nobody would dream of learning to walk a tightrope without a safety net. I'm sure beginners are only a few feet or inches off the ground. In high school gym class, the balance beam was ON the ground and for good reason. I don't think weight loss is so much different--here we addicts are, out of control on the ground, but we hate being down here, so we soar up to the ranks of those in control which is usually a very different lifestyle to the one that we're accustomed to, and start trying to balance our lives in this new way.  Like any beginner in anything, of COURSE we are going to lose our balance. Frequently!

A huge problem with the diet industry is that they can't admit this fact. Can you imagine an advertisement that goes--"Here's our great plan, but when you can't stick to it, here's plan B!"  No way. Nobody is going to admit that their wonderful plan is anything less that wonderful at all times. No dieter is ever going to have serious difficulty. A "difficulty" is usually thought to be something like having a cookie--and we're told not to worry about that, but to get back on track. Good advice. But hellooooo!!???? I don't think most of us ARE worried about the cookie! We're worried because suddenly the idea of tracking another point or calorie is totally repugnant. We're worried because there's a barbeque coming up and NO!! We don't want to be reasonable!! We're worried because we're spinning out of control and don't know how to stop because we don't WANT to do what you're telling us we must do!!!

This is what I want to scream at Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and all the rest of them. HOW WILL YOU HELP ME WHEN I DON'T WANT TO FOLLOW YOUR PLAN ANYMORE???  I might forgive them for not addressing this issue, if they weren't charging so much money!! So, what do I want from them? After all, it's not their fault I don't want to follow their plan. No. But it IS their fault that they make no effort at the psychology behind addictive behavior. Biggest Loser is the worst about this.  I expect them to know how to help people want to come back. Overeater's anonymous is the best--and ironically, it's free.

In the meantime, we need a safety net. What am I going to do when I'm tired to death of my slips and counting calories? I can see right now that 1500 is simply too hard for me to want to sustain--and thankfully, with my plan I don't have to. I love Sean's example which shows me that I can sustain it for an awfully long time--and since my plan is easier, I can sustain it even longer---hopefully some version of it for a lifetime.

But what's my safety net going to be? When I've had it? I could add 300-400 cal per day and go into maintenance for awhile---unless I'm sick of counting calories. I could "take a break" for a certain amount of time---but I'm not at all confident that I could get back on track right away when the time was up.

From this post you might think I was already ready to throw in the towel. Actually, I'm doing great! I used 50 earned calories yesterday so I could have a small cookie and I'm enjoying the sensation that I'm losing weight. I've also got 1000 calories in the bank for my book club group which is going to meet in a buffet. But I'm hungry right now. I'll have a snack in a few minutes, but I'm pretty sure it won't be enough and my lunch seems very small to me just now. I have to be very careful not to think that I have to be hungry all the time.  I want to store away another 500 for office birthday treats, and I also want to "earn" my favorite fix of popcorn and cheese. Tuesday is my late night, so I don't know that I'll want to exercise today, but even so--it might we worth using some calories (I'll have time to earn them back before monday), so I can manage today. I'll see how the snack goes (PB2 and rice crackers). I also have my birthday to look forward to this Friday---a real free day!!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Oh boy.  Still being very blessed. FINALLY talked to my sister last night, and she agreed to move out of her (and mine and Lisa's and the grandkids house) this summer. That right there is a major miracle. So I know the Lord is helping me with this but--oh wow, the sheer amount of work (think the show hoarders) coupled with the poor health/inertia/unrealistic ideas of my sister, makes me want to run to the other side of the world. What I did was to lick the bowl of our chocolate melting cakes much more than I should (Silver Star for yesterday). I'm greatly relieved that this phone call is over, but will be even more relieved when all of this is over.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Feeling blessed in every way. A whole week and still going strong. :)  Yes, I would love more food. No, this isn't exactly easy, but I can feel the Lord's help in this. Actually, Lord's help isn't quite right. It's abundantly clear that I can't do this at all even with divine help. What the Lord is doing, is pretty much lifting this problem from me. My job is to not get in His way and let Him recreate my body and my life. So in a way, I'm "helping" Him--not the other way around. And my help is about as helpful as a two year "helping" to make dinner.  But that's ok. It's how the two year old learns. Eventually, I'll learn too.

Dave made a different kind of pancake this morning. Usually, I have no problem just eating one, but today that was tough. Realized, it's probably going to be more difficult in the future too, because I'm coming into breakfast hungrier.  No matter, one was enough.  Really delicious lunch of homemade bread with spinach dip, and I cleaned up my recipe collection yesterday and rediscovered the weight watcher truffles. YUM! Made a batch of those. They're tiny, but only 45 calories of dense chocolate yumminess.

I had meant to walk up to campus because I had to return a wii game to the library. But it was wet and cold and I was still a little tired from Friday's effort. So decided to call today a true day of rest. Feels like a smart decision, not just a cop out.  I love that in this life I can keep trying and trying again.  I love the saying that the road might be long, but it is always directly beneath our feet.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


So far, so good. Last night I discovered that all it takes to make me happy is about 1500 calories per meal . I had a wonderful pizza dinner--pepperoni lovers pizza, breadsticks, wings, salad. I could have eaten more, but I'd "only" earned 600 extra calories. It really felt good. For wellness time, I walked and did the rowing machine. Then I did another 15 minutes of walking to be sure I did the full hour. Then the weather was nice after work and I went on my hike. Holy tamales, it went straight up hill! I huffed 45 straight up, and then minced straight down for another 45. This brought me back to my office. I picked up my stuff and walked another half hour home. I was good and tired and I thoroughly enjoyed my big pizza dinner. Later, I finished off the night with a couple of girl scout cookies and a mini hershey bar. Perfect.

Today is 1700. Hard for me, but although my choices probably weren't the wisest, I liked them. At the moment I'm at 1500 because I want dessert. I had two orange rolls and some sausage for breakfast. A random lunch of snacky stuff---spinach crab dip, homemade chips, tomato soup, an apple and some brie. No much of any of that. And for dinner I had ONE count it, ONE piece of pizza. It might be the first time in my life I've ever eaten just one slice. ONE slice pizza, one buffalo wing and a cabbage salad with three olives. I could have easily eaten 4 times as much, but really, I'm ok.  And now, we finally filed our taxes, and I'm going to have one of Catherine's pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and some hot chocolate with whipped cream (diet, naturally).  

Exercise-wise, I was still a little stiff and tired, so I did a gentle 45 min of wii with a lot of yoga and 15 min of gentle bike. I'll give myself 100 extra cal for that. One thing I always forget, is how well I sleep when I exercise. I slept like a rock last night.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A little bit down

YAY!!! 3 pounds down so far and I don't think it's all water weight either. When I weighed last week at 204 I'm not at all sure my body was finished packing on the pounds from the previous two week orgy so I'm quite pleased with 201 (or as pleased as anyone can be with such a weight).  the working out is really helping.

Glad ice-cream diet day is over. Actually, I did pretty well, but I gave myself a silver star--there was just a bit too much nibbling I think. I didn't get to eat the ice-cream early as planned darn it. I was derailed in this and also my harp practicing, by a free magic show at the library.  I love magic, so I saw that, went to harp and didn't get my ice-cream till after 9:00.  Someday, when I really learn how to eat within reason, life will be so much nicer.  At the library they had crackers and cheese. I'll take crackers and cheese over ice-cream any day. Even last night I realized that I could have had those instead of the ice-cream, but I'd been thinking ice-cream all week and by that time I was determined.

Today is 1800 cal. Plus earning calories for pizza tonight. :) It will be interesting to see if I think the pizza will be worth the work.  I walked to work (doesn't count), Did 1/2 hour of rowing (that's for weight loss) and walked 15 min. Later, I'll walk another 15 min (that's 1/2 for extra calories). After work, rather than walking home, I'm going to walk up the hill to the 36th street trail head and continue walking until 45 min have passed, then I'll turn around and walk back to the office (for another 1 1/2 hours of earned calories) and walk home (doesn't count).  That gets me home at 6:30 with TWO hours of earned calories. That's 600 extra calories to use on pizza.

Lastly, I love this image from Fitness Nerd

hedge maze

He says, and I can't agree more, that weight loss is less like a straight journey, even one with bumps and hills, and much more like a labryinth. YES!! Lot's of dead ends and things that don't work.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brain Games

Wow---an actual original idea about weight loss. Thanks again 300poundsdown!  There's an article from Psychology today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/choke/201107/training-the-brain-avoid-temptation that talks about how stronger executive function in the brain (like memory) helps with impulse control. OKAY! I need to take luminosity more seriously. My memory is getting weaker by the minute--might be time to actually do something about it.

In the meantime---today is ice-cream diet day. Happily, it's one of those days where it feels as though I have plenty of calories (I don't, only 1200). But I was careful about dinner. Both dinner and breakfast have very few calories so I have a reasonably hefty lunch AND amazingly two snacks.  Good snacks too. Popcorn and then blueberries and brie cheese. One thing that will be helpful about today is the timing of the bowl of butter pecan ice-cream. Normally, I like to have desserts--well, food in general, at the end of the day. It signals that the work of the day is over and that I'm relaxing. But today, I have harp lesson unusually late at 8:30. It would be better if I ate the ice-cream earlier. If I do that then the ice-cream will be just what it is--ice-cream. Yummy, but that's all. That's an emotion that I need to practice.

The other emotion I need to practice is patience. My brain is fine with the fact that my sweater is still too tight. My emotions on the other hand are complaining loud and clear--after all, I've been good for what? FIVE whole days now! I feel great and have lost that bloated feeling. But my clothes are still tight! What's the problem???  Sometimes it would be so nice to be a vulcan.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Still doing well

Hope makes all the difference. I'm a little hungry today, but it's okay, because I COULD, if I wanted to, eat anything I wanted---I have the calories saved up. But I don't want to. I want to eat in the wildcat room on Monday, and I want to eat Pizza on Friday and I really feel as though I CAN and it will be all right.  I'll be able to easily save up 1,000 for Monday even though I can't work out extra tonight because I have to go to SLC. I had wellness time at work so I at least earned 150. Tomorrow and Saturday I'll be able to get what I need for the 1000. Then for Friday, whatever I earn on Friday will be used that day for PIZZA!!  YAY!  I spoken many times about "exceptions" I swear, they happen almost daily---but I finally feel as though I have an effective way to deal with them.

Best of all, even if I don't lose weight, I still feel as though I'm doing my body good. After all, all this effort is at least preventing me from gaining weight very fast. But I think I am and will lose weight this way. Feeling a bit hungry usually means that I'm losing weight.  Today I've had fun food---somehow those delicious enchiladas that Catherine made just don't sound all that great--I think it's the tortilla---maybe I'll throw out the tortilla and have them with fresh homemade corn chips tomorrow instead. That sounds much better.

Today, I had a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich, a banana and milk. Then for lunch I had--31 gorgonzola crackers from Trader Joe's, 6 olives, 2 string cheeses, 6 slices of ham, a cup of soup and best of all, one of those reeses peanut butter eggs.

Dinner will be great too. I only earned $5.25 in March. I gave Catherine the cash and told her to buy me a treat. She did great! Fancy bread and brie.  That will be dinner tonight!!

Tomorrow is ice-cream diet day. Classic quack diet stupidity. No way I'd want to do this for more than a day, but I'm looking forward to it tomorrow, because the butter-pecan ice-cream has been in the fridge since Saturday.  SO---1200 cal, then a big dish of ice-cream. I'm thinking of an egg-white omelete and some light toast for breakfast--that's going to be under 200, then I've already planned for stuffed portobello's for dinner--I think I can add either some spaghetti squash, or cabbage salad or both for practically nothing. That will leave me quite a bit to have a satisfying lunch. I'm thinking it will be ok to have a light dinner because the ice-cream will shortly follow and that will fill me up both in body and spirit. You simply can't fool the body. All these websites that talk about how much brocolli you can have for almost nothing? True. But if you tried to fool yourself by eating 6 cups of brocolli for lunch and nothing else, your body would know that it hadn't had enough calories and would complain. At least mine would.

Anyway, then it's Friday with hopefully good weather so I can go hiking, then a nice pizza dinner.

This is tough. But it's a tough I can tolerate. I've decided that finding a plan to deal with obesity is the same as finding any other medication to help any other disease. You simply have to figure out what the patient can tolerate.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A better day

What a difference a day can make! Dave brought me flowers, but the day continued to be annoying. One annoying thing that worked out much to my benefit was trying to turn in that grant application. I couldn't find where to turn it in, so I went to the place where the department was housed--the Miller building at the bottom of campus, next door to my building. Nope. I had to turn it in to the committee chair who works in...drum roll....FACILITIES MANAGEMENT! Are you kidding??? FM is is at the extreme opposite end of campus well above the stadium!! Weber State is built on a mountainside--it gives real meaning to the phrase, "it's up there."  There was nothing for it but to take a deep breath and dash up the mountain as fast as I could.  I made it in time, but without the letter from my supervisor, I had to hope that she'd get it to me and that they'd let me add it to the packet. This was all definitely the 1/2 hour of exercise I had missed on wellness time.

Bless her heart--she gave it to me first thing this morning. I made the mandatory 17 copies (not kidding, don't ask), and went charging back up the hill. I made it---my stuff was still in his in-box, so I slipped in the letters. Phew, in every sense of the word.

Meanwhile, food was pretty good yesterday--pecan day is one of the better flavor point days. I really liked the chicken.  Today is 1700 and I'm struggling a bit--but I had a poptart for breakfast and that atones for a lot. The problem today is the actual counting--I guesstimated that my lunch (enchilada and corn) was about 500 cal. Okay. Well, it's gradfest and they gave us all $5 lunch vouchers and it's taco tuesday. People have been raving about the street tacos for ages. I got two and some beans and I'm guessing it's about 600 cal? Not impressed with the tacos.  They were plentiful enough and with the beans they should have been filling, but I'm not really full today. I still have 1/2 a muffin and some celery to nibble on, but I'm at work till 6 and am going straight to a meeting after that. Dinner is also a little hard to estimate--himmel and erde--potatoes, turkey sausage, apples and onions. Very healthy and filling, but difficult to dish out exactly 1/5 of the pan or whatever. Oh well, my best will have to do. I'm proud of myself for saying no to all the goodies that are all around me today. I'm also hoping to put in another 40 min of exercise. I need to collect calories---our book club will be meeting soon, and there's going to be office treats (not a full blown pot luck thank goodness), for the April birthdays and Catherine's graduation, all of which are going to involve food that I don't want to say no to. Not to mention Friday night pizza nights. I'm going to need to work hard!