Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

Its been over a week since I started The Hunger Game, and I am very pleased with myself.  Its not so hard to wait until you are hungry.  Food tastes better when you are hungry.  And real hunger is not such a bad feeling.  Its not that horrible, low-blood-sugar hunger that I have feared.  And I have not experienced that for years now.  That is what helps me to make good choices in what I am going to eat most of the time.

Over the weekend I was going over my food in my mind and trying to add the calories up (I can’t make myself stop!)  And I realized that I could pretty easily write them down in my kindle.  So I thought I’d share what and when I ate for three days of The Hunger Game.

Its been over a week now, and its going very well.  The biggest difference is in my snacking, both planned and unplanned.  I am not having any snack with my afternoon coffee, and many times I eat ‘dinner’ late, and there is no hunger afterward (or time) so I do not have dessert.  And then there’s all the times during the day when I might grab a handful of walnuts.  None of that going on either.  Overall, it seems like I’m eating less.  I don’t know if it will make any change in my weight though.  We’ll have to wait a month to see that!  Which, BTW.  I laughed at myself when I checked my schedule to see when the month would be over.  The last week of The Hunger Game will be spent in Sisters, Oregon,   on a trip I have been looking forward to for months.  It will be a good challenge to NOT eat when I am not hungry, especially on the long drive.  I don’t think it will be so much of an issue while I am there, because I will still be able to have treats or eat out.  I’ll just have to wait until I’m hungry.  I am taking a workshop with two great teachers, and was so looking forward to meeting a long-time blog reader-friend.  Just yesterday she called and said her work schedule was not going to allow her to come.  I am so disappointed!  I was so looking forward to meeting you, L., and I hope that we will be able to plan a meeting in the future sometime!

So here’s my food log:

FRIDAY:

  • 6am–coffee
  • 8am–English Muffin French toast (200c)
  • 11am–honeycrisp apple and Justin’s cocoa almond butter (300c)
  • 2:30pm–cube steak w/tomatoes and boiled potato (300c)
  • 4p-6:30p–Swim
  • 7p–Vicky’s vegan banana nut muffin (250c)
  • 8p–microwave carrots, roasted beets (150c)
  • 12a–walnuts (200c)
  • TOTAL 1400 calories

SATURDAY:

  • 6:30am–coffee
  • 7:30am–yogurt w/muesli, walnuts, and ch. chips (300c)
  • 10am–apple w/string cheese  (200c)
  • 12–Vicky’s taco salad  (350c)
  • 4pm–coffee, blueberry pudding cake (300c)
  • 8pm–tomatoes, popcorn w/2 sq. sugar free chocolate (250c)
  • TOTAL  1400 calories

SUNDAY:

  • 6am–coffee
  • 7am–flax cake with walnuts, peach topping (350c)
  • 10am–1/4 quest bar
  • 12:30pm–3/4 quest bar (175c)
  • 1:30p–froyo (400c)
  • 5:30p–4 oz chicken breast, corn on the cob, tomato (300c)
  • 9pm–yogurt/honey/walnuts (125c), Vicky’s nutty nibbie cookie (75c)
  • TOTAL  1425 calories

Now.  The calories are approximations.  But I did try to be honest, and I erred on the side of rounding up instead of rounding down.  Its really interesting that they are almost exactly the same total each day.  I’m not going to continue to do this.  I want to see what happens when I eat only when I am hungry and make healthy choices the majority of the time.

Did the observant among you notice that I said I was swimming from 4-6:30pm on Friday?  Yes, that’s right!  I reached my goal of swimming 2.4 miles on Friday!!!!!  I was beginning to think that I was not going to make this goal.  But with a little encouragement from Shelley (“it’d be a nice way to end September,”) and a not-crowded pool on Friday afternoon, I decided to go for it!  I know for sure it is not physically as hard as running for that amount of time.  It is almost more of a mental challenge (I’m cold, I’m hungry, I HAVE TO PEE LOL).  Anyway, I’m not much of a goal-setter.  But it has been fun to set goals and then actually reach them.  My next goal will be to get back to the weights and work on that 100 pound bench press.

A few food notes:

  • English muffin french toast:  I use Thomas’s Whole Grain English muffins, split in two. I mix 1 egg, 1/4 cup almond breeze, and 1/4 cup eggbeaters, with a bit of cinnamon, splenda, and vanilla.  Let the muffins soak for a bit in the liquid, then cook in a pan sprayed with pam.  Top with spray butter, cinnamon splenda, and SF syrup.  I think this is my most ‘processed food’ meal that I eat.  So delicious and filling.  Then I save the egg mixture, and the next day use it to make two flax cakes!
  • Microwave carrots:  I LOVE carrots fixed this way.  Just wash carrots (don’t peel) and cut into approximately equal sizes.  Put in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with Mrs. Dash and a little salt, and top with a bit of lite butter.  Microwave for 2-3 minutes and stir to evenly coat with melted butter and spices.  Microwave for another 2 minutes until soft.
  • The flax cake with walnuts and peach topping:  I made the flax cake recipe, but left the blueberries out, and just pressed a few chopped walnuts into the top.  The peach topping I made the same way I make my pear spread.  It worked wonderfully, and I will be doing this with fruit in the future!
  • The froyo on Sunday was not planned…I went to the gym after church, and was so disappointed that the pool was closed.  It was miserably hot, the air conditioning in my car is STILL not fixed, and I WAS hungry.  So I headed to froyo.  The shop in town doesn’t really have good frozen yogurt (2nd time I tried) so I know I would have felt better if I had just gone home and had something healthier.  Oh well…

And last, I want to include a few links that I’ve run across.  They are all written by low-carbers (which I am not,) but they apply universally to all types of eaters.  Loretta left this link to a podcast in the comments on my last post.  It is long, but this woman speaks so well about how the body processes food.  She is not a scientist, but it seems she has done a ton of research.  Everything she said made sense.  And she talked a LOT about “women of a certain age.”  She was coming from the angle of low-carb eating, but everything she said applied to all people interested in losing weight and increasing health.  It is a really long podcast.  But much more interesting and informative than the ‘movie of the week.’  (do they still make those?)

This was a very interesting post, written by a young doctor, about “The Weight Loss Conundrum.”  Again, a low-carber, but again, it applies to everyone.

And lastly, this link, about intuitive or mindful eating.  I think what I am doing now might be my version of mindful eating.

 

 

 

 

Layer upon Layer, A Body of Knowledge is Built

How long have I been doing this?  In January 2013, it will be 9 years since I started this last weight loss journey.  NINE YEARS!!  Nine years of reading and researching how to do it, anything and everything about food and nutrition, various types of diet theories (Weight Watchers, paleo, vegetarian, raw food, intuitive eating, low carb, calories in/calories out, whole grain, you get the picture,) the whole psychological component to weight loss, why some people succeed at maintaining weight loss and what and how they do that, oh, and exercise.  I’m sure I left something out.  But you know.  Its a LOT of information.

And the thing is…all of it is useful.  Even the stuff I have decided is not true for me.

Yes, it is frustrating that there is not more definitive information about obesity, its causes and cures, and weight loss maintenance.  But still, we have an awful lot of knowledge to draw upon.  Layer upon layer, I have added all this to the base of my eating and exercise habits.  When I decided to try The Hunger Game, I did not throw away everything I knew about good nutrition and what works in my favor.  If anything, I am using that information more than ever.

It kind of drives me nuts when people who have been doing this a long time figuratively throw their hands up in the air and act like they do not know anything.  We know a LOT.

Part of what I know is that it is hard work to maintain a lower body weight.  It is hard because as you age, something or other goes on in your body (more efficient?  slower metabolism? hormones?) and your body holds onto weight.  Helen reminded me that you don’t need to eat as much when you get older, and the next day I got an article in the mail saying that women who have gone through menopause need 200 calories LESS a day!  Oh my goodness.

It is hard work to maintain a lower body weight if you have previously been very overweight for an extended part of your life.  That is a theory I believe because of the overwhelming amount of objective information available (evidence gathered by various scientists, and also the testimony of many many people who have lost weight and maintained that loss with varying degrees of success.)

I know a LOT about food and nutrition and how the body processes food.  (Oh, side rant:  I know many of you would be more comfortable believing that the body is a machine–that you can input certain food or exercise and you will receive the same results every time.  I’m sorry, but that is simply not true.  The body is closer to a work of art than it is to a machine. Period.  end rant.)  So at my best, I am easily able to choose healthy, balanced whole foods that will keep me satiated for 3-4 hours.

I know a lot about exercise, and what part it plays in weight loss (very little) and weight loss maintenance (a lot.)  I know that the body gets accustomed to the same exercise and gets more efficient at how it processes that exercise (not fair!) so that it is good to continue to challenge your body with exercise by increasing the intensity or by changing the type of exercise periodically.  I know that it is good for your heart and your mind.  I know that it keeps me from becoming stiff as a board, so I keep doing it!

It took a while, but I do understand very well the part that the mind plays in food choices and eating.  I learned that for me, anxiety was the single largest factor in why I overate.  Just learning that was a tremendous step forward in changing my relationship with food.

So I know all this stuff.  I did not discard one bit of it when I decided to WAIT UNTIL I WAS HUNGRY to eat.  Honestly, it just makes sense to me.  Just one more piece of the puzzle.

Cooking Light and Eating Well

Cooking Light and Eating Well –those are two of my favorite magazines.  And together they just happen to describe my preferred way of eating and cooking.  Today started out with a bowl of Classic Custard Oats  (think I’ll make this into a recipe on my sidebar since it is my favorite way to have oatmeal in the morning.)  I tried cooking the oats in half almond milk and half water, because I liked the oatmeal at Jamba Juice so much, which they claimed to have simmered in soy milk.  I didn’t think the almond milk made much of a difference in my oatmeal.

I had read Miz’s guest post this morning  before my oatmeal was cooked, so I tried to eat it mindfully.  I thought Gina’s post was  really inspirational, and her blog has a lot of interesting and well-written posts about mindful eating.  Mr. Monk was not impressed with my need to eat mindfully.

Really? This is the only chair in the house that you can eat mindfully in?

Then I spied the newest issue of Eating Clean, and a recipe that I had found interesting was bookmarked.  I did a few chores, and  finally got out for a nice walk with Noah.  Then it was lunchtime, and I made a frittata!

It was a ‘spaghetti frittata.’  Here’s the original recipe.  Of course I mucked with it just a little bit.  Added the tomatoes to the mix (instead of on top,) and added a bunch of chopped spinach and a little garlic.  Oh, and I used asiago cheese instead of parmesan, because that’s what I had.  It was very tasty.  I have to say that the spaghetti did not add much to it.  I think I would like a lot more veggies, and a little more cheese.  I might muck with the concept, and see if I can’t come up with something I like better.  Still, it was fun to learn a new cooking technique (flipping a frittata.)  I actually halved the recipe, and it provided a very large piece for about 230 calories.

I cut up a pineapple that was perfectly ripe, and had a wedge of that with my lunch.  Did a few more chores, and then  it was off to the gym!   First time in almost a month.  Yikes!  It really felt so good to do a weights workout,  and then head down to the treadmills to do a walk /run.  Of course I had timed my visit perfectly so that I could watch Oprah while I walked on the treadmill.  Stupid news people.  There was a fire at a local large mall, and they deemed it necessary to delete Oprah and show non-stop coverage of a smoldering fire.  Honestly.  Most of the time I am so glad I decided to give up having a television in my house.  But wait!  On one of the other televisions by the treadmills, the food network was on, and I got to watch Alton Brown for the first time!  I’ve heard his name forever, but I didn’t realize that he talked a lot about healthy cooking and eating!  He did a whole segment on smoothies (guess what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow) and then did a very interesting segment on brislings, which evidently are a superior type of sardines.  I think I might try them again.

I picked up some of my favorite lo-bars at the gym, and had a couple of them for an after-workout snack.  Yum Yum Yumm.  (Every time I say that I think of that stupid statue in ‘Night at the Museum’ saying Yum Yum Dum Dum.)

Back home again, and I prepped some brussel sprouts for another recipe I spied in the Eating Well magazine.  Then I took all three doggies for a walk.  This is becoming a habit I enjoy very much.  And of course, the dogs are thrilled with my new habit.

Here’s the original brussel sprouts recipe. This time I substituted walnuts and rosemary for the dill and almonds.  Again, tasty.  But actually, I think the most flavorful way to prepare brussel sprouts is to just roast them.   I paired the brussel sprouts with a bowl of the cottage cheese/crushed pineapple/walnuts.  Weird combo, but its what I felt like eating.

All in all, it was a very satisfying day of cooking, exercising, and eating MINDFULLY.

Oh, I have to share one more thing before I sign off.  My good blog buddy, Shelley, went to a ‘Wienerfest‘ in her home town, and was so sweet to get me a souvenir.   Only, she said, in her post-9 mile run  haze, she didn’t even think about the ‘double entendre’ of the caption on the shirt.  I laughed so hard when I opened the package, because, honestly, I would not have thought of that when I saw it either.  It is such a classy looking shirt, and I am so very fond of Texas and Texans (lived there for 8 years) and of course, I am a big fan of the wiener doggies.  Thanks again Shelley!

Eating Reasonably

What do you think about that phraseology?  Is that a better word for some of us than ‘intuitive?’  That’s what I think about the way I”ve been eating most of the time recently.  Its helped that there hasn’t been much junk food in the breakroom.  Even when there was, it seems like I’ve been better at controlling the amounts of junk I ate.

Here’s how I ate yesterday.  Confession first.  I did not take Noah for a walk FIRST.  It was a conscious decision.  Dog training was coming up, and I have a long-standing ‘date’ to talk to my brother on Saturday morning (6am my time, 8am his time, ) and share a cup of good coffee.  So I started out with one of those little protein bars, only 50 calories.

At 9am, right before I left for dog training, I warmed up a leftover banana chocolate chip pancake, spread a little greek yogurt on there, and rolled it up.  Topped with a spray of ‘butter’ and some cinnamon splenda.  BTW, this was Georgie’s creation, and quite yummy.  Very similar to our protein pancakes, but she decreased the amount of cottage cheese and added some banana. Most delicious. Her recipe makes two big pancakes, thus the leftover.  Calories:  280.

By the time I got back from dog training at 12:30, I was pretty hungry.  I had gotten a package of ‘sopas’ [ingredients:  corn, water, and lime] at a new market, so had that with a little cheese on  top, and my ‘simple salad–just romaine, home grown tomatoes, and garlic salt.  I had a 3 ounce piece of beef, and a fuji apple.  Pretty big lunch for me, but very satisfying.  BTW, the sopa was similar to those ‘little puffy corn tortilla thingies’ that I was eating a while ago.  Remember I said they only had 115 calories?  Yeah, that’s what the package said.  When I went back to get them again, the package said 230 calories.  Which actually makes more sense…  Lunchtime calories:  500.

Now, this next part might not seem reasonable to you.   But that new market that I had checked out?  Kind of like Whole Foods.  And I was thinking about how I DIDN’T get any of their fancy desserts.  And how I was wanting something special.  So I decided I could have two of these ‘red velvet brownies’ I had made a while ago.  They are not exactly ‘health food,’ but they are definitely better than  ‘junk food.’  The red in them comes from BEETS!  Total calories:  320.  Most satisfying on a lazy Saturday afternoon  watching the Dog Whisperer from the couch.

Dinner:  I roasted some beets from above market, and made a salad with some baby greens, walnuts, beets, and a little blue cheese from the same market.  My first blue cheese!  I feel so grown up.  I was starting to feel like I was getting a cold or a sore throat, and I wanted something cold, so I had a small bowl of that delicious combination (from Vickie) of cottage cheese, crushed pineapple, and walnuts.  I could get in trouble with this stuff if I wasn’t careful.  Calories for dinner:  480.

Late dessert:  I tried something new.  Shelley keeps talking about the Oikos Chocolate yogurt.  I just can’t find that stuff.  So I got the idea to melt some chocolate chips and mix it into some homemade greek yogurt (plus a little splenda.)  Quite tasty.  170 calories with the walnuts on top.

That’s 1800 calories for the day.  Not losing weight calories.  But reasonable maintenance calories.  Lets see, I got in some whole grains,some veggies, some fruit, some dairy, some meat, and some chocolate.  All the major food groups covered.  I don’t eat that much every day, ESPECIALLY the two brownies.  Some people would disagree with adding the calories up.  That’s not reasonable, they would say.  But for those of us with long-term food issues, it is comforting to add up the calories honestly and see that a day of good food was still within reason.

In the interest of full disclosure, here are a few unreasonable eating habits I am working on.  I started taking a little bowl of walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips to bed with me every night.  NOT  a good habit, and one I am working on stopping.  One of my strategies is to save my ‘planned dessert/snack’ for as long as possible.  Then I am pretty full, and not as tempted to take my ‘trail mix’ to bed.

Second, debby’s supply of ‘healthy baked goods’ can get a little out of control.  I like to bake, and I like having a variety.  But for goodness sake.  There’s only one of me.  So I don’t get to bake any more goodies until the current stock is all gone.  When there is too much food on hand, I am tempted to overeat.  (don’t want it to go to waste…) I will just have to be content with  bookmarking promising new recipes.  Like this one.

Today after church I still felt a little puny, so I changed my meal plans.  Something cool for my throat, and something warm and comforting for my tummy.  Just right!

Banana smoothie: frozen banana, ice, water, and whey (leftover from straining my yogurt.)

Classic custard oats with cinnamon, splenda, walnuts, and raisins.

This reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to mention.  I really believe that eating healthy foods and exercising has vastly improved my immune system.  I just don’t get sick that often.  And usually when something starts up like this, it is mild and short lived.  I also noticed that my complexion is a lot better.  Anyone else notice these positive side effects of the healthy life?

And now, in spite of not feeling 100%, I am heading out for a walk.  Because you-know-who has been very patient for as long as he can.  And maybe I’ll feel better for it too.  BTW, PJ asked if the little guys get to take a walk.  They do!  They used to be content to stay home and have a cookie while Noah and I walk.  But once I started taking them, they really want to go too.  Its quite the hoopla getting them all leashed up, but once we get out there we’re very organized.  So I usually take Noah for a longer walk, then loop back, and take everybody for a shorter walk.

Enough.

So.  I started this post a few weeks ago.  Then I noticed a few things.  So its been edited, and now I’m not so sure of myself.

August 31, 2010. First.  This is the hardest one to say out loud.  For now, I’m calling it quits on trying to lose more weight.  I guess I’ve lost enough.   Its hard enough trying to maintain this 100 pound weight loss.  And though it is a little disappointing to think that this is as far as I’m gonna go, that’s reality.  Quick weight loss recap:  Starting about Jan. 1, 2005, at 50 years of age,  I joined weight watchers at a starting weight of 255.5.  It took about a year and a half to lose 87 pounds, putting me at 168 pounds.  That puts us at about July 2006.   After that, it took a great deal of effort and probably about 4-6 months to lose another  thirteen pounds to get me to 155.5, my 100 pound weight loss.  Since that time, I regained 13 of those pounds (back to 168,) then started working out with a personal trainer and re-lost those 13 pounds.  I have really not gone below 155.5  except for maybe a day or two in  all that time.  Today, after taking a wee break from vigilant maintenance my weight is again at 168.  (The overachiever in me feels the need to point out that ALL the 168 weights were fully clothed and in  the middle of the afternoon …)

Recently, they started something called ‘My Chart’ online, where you can look at your medical record.  It was a bit jarring to see 168-167-168  on my medical record, EVERY TIME I have gone to the doctor’s in the last four years!  Seems like my body would prefer to be at 168, and not 155.  However I am not.   Darn it, this is complex!  Okay first I have to admit.  I just like saying I have lost 100 pounds.  Must be the Monk in me.  Its such a nice even number.  And so much more impressive than 87.  But that’s just a silly reason.  For someone who isn’t really even 5’1″, 155 pounds is still very heavy.  Intellectually, its the max I can consider carrying,   But my body seems to be saying–hey, we (the cellular we) think 87 pounds is a very generous amount to give up.  We’re really not comfortable living with less. Aack.  More negotiations to follow.

Currently I am working my way through the ‘Do You Use Food to Cope?’ workbook, and I am doing pretty good with some of the suggestions and information.  This book runs along the same lines as mindful or intuitive eating.  I am not weighing myself, and I am not tracking my food 100 percent, although on most days I could tell you EXACTLY what I ate, when I ate it, and how good it tasted.  And I would know an approximate calorie count too.    I am still eating the same very healthy food that I have learned to eat over the years.  Still eating 5- 6 meal/snacks per day.  That’s the next enough.  To maintain this weight, I get to eat enough food to be happy and satisfied each day.  [ added today:  I made myself finish the book last night.  I learned a few important things from this book about how my obsession with food started, or was nurtured.  I also realize that I like to eat 'recreationally,' and that is not gone.  For example, when I watch my bi-weekly quilt show, I like to have popcorn and a little chocolate, EVEN IF I'M NOT HUNGRY.]

I am very happy with the exercise I am getting on a daily basis.  The best information we have (NWCR) says that people who have maintained a weight loss for a long period of time exercise approximately one hour a day.  Thanks to Mr. Noah, I am meeting that goal easily.  Sometimes I run, but I am never going to be a runner.  I have enough joint damage and mild arthritis that there are too many days I don’t think it would be wise to run.  So its hard to improve your time and/or distance when you can’t be consistent.  But I can walk and hike  with the best of them.  I am going to the gym regularly.  Get in the pool at least twice a week, and I do some pretty heavy duty lifting.  I am doing enough exercise.

I haven’t mentioned being creative lately, but I am pretty happy with how that is going too.  The reason  I haven’t talked about it is  because I have been working on  my Pay It Forward challenges.  Lots of creative fun.  Just can’t share it with you.  And as I am with most projects, I am anxious to finish these now so I can get on to the next project.  I am getting enough creative time.  [obviously, written a few weeks ago.]

Spiritually, I am also happier with my choices.  I am (most days) spending time reading spiritual books, the Bible, journaling, and spending time in prayer BEFORE I hit the computer for blog reading.  [oops.  Except today, I started writing this first.  Because I was thinking about it a LOT yesterday.]

Added today:  This morning I checked out Dietgirl’s blog, and she wrote about her struggles and her stint with intuitive eating. (loved Pubsgal’s comment on this blog.) Dietgirl’s been at this A LONG TIME.  It gives me hope, and helps me to realize that its okay to still be having these struggles.  I do feel a little pressure to be a ‘role model’ of a ‘maintainer’ when my weight fluctuates rather consistently between these ranges.

However, onward and upward.  The trail mix crack is out of the house.  No, I did not throw one single bit of it away, even though I realized it was not something I could eat in a controlled manner.  It is something that has to be relegated to the kingdom of chocolate chip cookies–a food that is so perfect to me that I will only have it once in a while, bought for a one time treat.  Not kept in the house.  Period.  I will continue to work at getting to 155 and STAYING THERE.  I know its not optimal to have your weight fluctuate this much.  Some days I am tracking my food instead of listening to my hunger signals.  Some days I weigh myself (funny thing was, in the middle of all this, my scale died. so I had to stop weighing.  But there is still a scale at the gym, so I can check once in a while.  The NWCR also says that most maintainers weigh regularly.)  I know I’m not going back.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of…debby, a short formerly fat middle aged woman who still loves food.

IE Brain Swirl

Why do people think the scale is bad but don’t think millions of mirrors (at the gym) are bad?

What set me up to ‘comfort’ myself with food?  Could it have been the fact that my parents always had to have a second bottle of formula warmed up and ready to go so that when I finished the first bottle they could give me the second before I started screaming?  Is this an example of ‘imprinting’ behavior on a human  being?

Well, as you can see, I am working my way through the ‘Do You Use Food to Cope?’ workbook.  I am determined to continue on and work through this (maybe last?) roadblock to permanent weight maintenance and peace with food.  This gal’s thoughts are pretty much in tune with the IE line of thought.  Its just that this book is obviously big on the food/emotion connection and is set up as a 15 week workshop to work through that.  Its almost funny that at the same time, I had an appointment with a counselor at work to talk about some of the things that are bothering me at work.  My FIRST EVER visit to a counselor!  So what was funny was that I said I wanted to talk about this specific issue at work, and I wanted to talk about ‘I want to retire.’  So I guess I blathered on like I do here, and then she would say to me, now tell me about _____.  And I would think ‘what the heck, is she reading my mind?‘  But I had just mentioned something in passing and she picked up on that.  So we discussed A LOT more than what I went in for.  You know me.  I just wanted simple solutions to these two complex problems.  Anyways, between her and this darn book, its got me thinking about stuff that irritates/frustrates/stresses/angers me.  And wondering whether I should address these things a little more.  I just don’t want to be somebody who blathers every emotion they feel the moment they feel it.  Not necessary, IMO.

Okay.  Back to the IE stuff.  This book also tells you to get rid of the scale early on.  So I did.  Well, its still in the bathroom.  But its getting pretty dusty.  Now, a week or two ago, I was thinking this way:  I know my weight is up, but I don’t care.  Not as in ‘I don’t care, I’m gonna eat my way back up the scale to my ‘natural weight of 255′ (that’s a little IE humor.)  But as in, “I don’t care, I am a 55 year old woman who is very strong and has great endurance and eats an extraordinarily healthy diet.”  It felt really good to feel that way.  Very freeing.  But this week I feel a little more like, ‘uh, oh.  I am definitely gaining more weight than I want to.  Don ‘t like certain unnamed items of clothing being this tight.’  Interesting thing about IE and this book is that they are very firm on saying that your body will reach its natural weight, but they just refuse to address anything about what is a healthy weight.

But for now I am going to continue on this path.  It would be nice to not have to battle with myself  every time something stresses me out and I want to eat in response.  And I can see how if I could overcome this, I WOULD lose the weight again.  You simply can’t lose weight when you have a ‘bad’ day once or twice a week.  (sorry for using the ‘bad’ word in regards to eating…)

Okay.  Now, on the other hand, I also have some very strong thoughts about the whole IE/anti-IE camps.  Have you heard the word ‘comorbidities?’   Defiintion:  two or more coexisting medical conditions.  Yes.  And I think that is exactly what is going on in many severely overweight people.  Or we could use that horrible but very descriptive medical term:  morbidly obese.  So if a person has comorbidities, both conditions must be treated. Both are sometimes equally as critical in needing treatment.  And sometimes brilliant doctors will disagree on the exact treatment plan.   Most people who are morbidly obese have several comorbidities*.  And they all require treatment.  IE is possibly not going to be able to treat all of those conditions.  A diet ‘plan’ or ‘program’ is probably not going to be able to treat all of those conditions.   And we all know that diet alone or exercise alone is not going to be able to treat all of those conditions.

So.  Continuing on.  ‘My counselor,’ (I like to call her that) picked up on the fact that information is important to me.  And for me, in this area of my life, that has been to read and explore information about what has helped others to successfully lose and maintain weight loss, and to learn as much as I can absorb about nutrition  and exercise.  If I was to choose a single piece of literature that has had the most positive impact on any success I have achieved, it would be the Nutrition Action Healthletter. It is published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  No ads.  No conjecture.  No promises of ‘instant miraculous painless weight loss.’  Just the facts, ma’am.  Some of those facts are good and exciting.  Some of them scared me enough to make me stop eating hamburgers.

Come back tomorrow for MORE food talk.  You know I can’t stay away from that topic for too long!

*and you all understand here that I am not talking about stuff like high blood pressure, diabetes, or joint pain.  I am talking about whatever it is that made us eat enough to become morbidly obese.

I’m Back!

I’m back, and guess what the first topic of conversation is?  You only get one guess.  Yep, that’s right.  Its food.  I can’t help myself. In reviewing the past ten days, I’m actually pretty excited about how I ate.

I have SO MUCH to tell you about this trip,  but I think I’m gonna go backwards in time, like that crazy Seinfeld episode about the Indian wedding.  So let’s start with this morning’s breakfast, shall we?

Those amazing protein pancakes, topped with a really juicy, delicious ripe peach.  Yumm.  I got some great peaches at Costco before I left on the trip.  They travelled very well, and two of them made their way home with me and were still good!

Last night I called my ‘babysitter’ on my way home to tell her I was coming home a little early, and she told me that Sophie had refused to go in her crate after the first couple of days.  Her comment was “she acts like she’s the boss.”   Hmmm, looks like she understands Sophie perfectly.  So, when I walked in the house at 9pm, it smelled a tad like a kennel.  Guess who was shampooing the carpets at 10pm?   But you know what?  This kind of thing even makes me happy, because I had the energy to do that after driving all day, and also because I had cleaned the house just before I left so it was relatively easy to spot clean the carpets.  This is a different scenario than would have happened in my former (fat) life.  My late dinner last night was also a classic.  One of those little ‘puffy’ cheese-filled  tortillas with some enchilada sauce and my simple salad, and some greek yogurt with frozen  blueberries and some walnuts.  Yumm.

It just seems natural to go back to my ‘regularly scheduled eating.’  This is also different than my last trip back from Oregon, where I obsessed about food the whole way home.  This time I had quite a few healthy snacks with me, and I ate them all.  The only thing I stopped for was coffee.  Do you guys have Dutch Brothers coffee where you live?  I LOVE these places.  I mostly go to them when I’m in Oregon. There’s only one in California, as far as I know.  They are all drive through, and they always have the nicest young people working in them.  They prepare each drink individually, even the ‘just coffee’ that I usually order.  This time I had one frozen ‘Dutch freeze,’ and one ‘regular coffee.’  Coffee perks me up a little better than coke, so I was able to keep driving without getting sleepy.

So.   That little phrase I stuck in there–I ate them all.  That is the only criticism I have of my eating on this trip.  I ate a little too much food.  I can’t believe it, but in ten days of travel, I NEVER went in a restaurant or a fast food joint.  Can you believe it?  I had lots of thoughts about them.  And gave myself permission to go.  But when I thought about the food I would actually eat at a restaurant, and how I would feel afterwards, it lost its appeal.  This is also a big improvement for me.

Let’s see now.  In the interests of full disclosure, I will say that four baked goods  (from bakeries) were consumed, and four servings of frozen yogurt were enjoyed.  Oh.  And there was that giant bag of Costco Trail Crack Mix that disappeared over the course of the ten  days.  This is something that ‘intuitively’ I will not be buying again for a long time.  I was fully aware that I would eat too much of it when I bought it.  But I have wanted to eat it for four years, and I decided that that would be my treat for the trip.  And really, that is probably why I didn’t eat more junk on this trip.  I was content eating this junk.

The scene this morning:

Mr Monk enjoys ‘his’ chair.

Sophie tries to catch some ‘rays.’

And me. Au naturel  ‘morning’ photo.  Hey, I haven’t gained back ALL my weight!

A big batch of my homemade yogurt is incubating.  I will be picking up the big guy later today.  All is right in debby’s world at the moment.  Come back later today for more pics and chat!

I Just Want to be a Real Girl

I just want to be a real girl.  You know, like Pinocchio dreamed about.  Isn’t that what we all want?  Maybe that’s the reason for the current interest in intuitive (mindful) eating* in blogland.

When I first started this journey, and it looked like I might be successful, I said I didn’t care if I had to go to W.W. every week for the rest of my life–it would be worth it to keep the weight off  (you know, like some alcoholics need to go to AA meetings every week for the rest of their lives.)  Along the way, I became a ‘professional’ tracker of food, first points, then calories.  And I said I didn’t mind writing down everything I ate for the rest of my life, if it would help me to keep the weight off  (you know, like some people with a chronic illness need to take a pill or a shot every day for the rest of their lives.)  And I mean it.  I would be willing to do these things, if that is what is necessary.  But just like Pinocchio, or a former alcoholic, or the person with a chronic illness, I long for ‘normal.’  Gonna give it that old college try.  And even if I can’t get there, I am learning new stuff all the time, and it is all beneficial to me.

There were several things I picked up from reading the IE book.

  • One was to enjoy the food while I was eating it.  They suggest NOT doing anything else while you are eating, so you can focus on enjoying the food.  This is hard for me since I live alone.  But I have tried to JUST eat and  concentrate on the textures and taste of the food.  Everything I eat is darn good, so why not enjoy it?  And I do like knowing when I am getting to the bottom of the bowl, instead of being surprised when I go for the next bite and there is nothing left!
  • Honor your hunger.  You know I’ve been working on this one.
  • Cope with your emotions without using food.   Ugh.  Of course, this is nothing new.  Its been around FOR YEARS.  The media.  Oprah.  Everybody has been saying, you have to deal with your emotions.  But most of the time they seemed to indicate that it was some deep childhood trauma that you had to deal with.  Which made me say, I am not an emotional eater.  I just love food.  But now there have been several books/writers talking about just using food to cope with everyday stuff.  And that does resonate with me.  Its driving me nuts that I eat so much some days at work.  And at home, where there is just as much food available, I am completely in control of what I eat.  I just got a new book, Do You Use Food to Cope?, and it is set out like a workbook with 15 weeks to work through.  I will probably be mentioning it here for the next few (15)  weeks.  It is also so helpful to hear individual’s personal experiences with mindful eating.  Thanks so much to Miz and Dietgirl for their excellent podcast on all things IE.   Christie at Honoring Health is one that I check regularly, and Katy at Health for the Whole Self is another that I enjoy.

I just want to be a real girl.

*BTW, I wanted to point out  that intuitive eating is not instinctive eating, which is what I think some people take it to mean.  I think intuitive indicates that you take everything you know and understand about yourself and food, and use that information to make the best choices for your whole life.  I’ll probably write more about what this means to me later.  Because you’ve never heard me talk about this stuff on this blog before LOL.