Note: I decided to combine the Beck Diet solution with my Biggest Loser Club recommended food plan. I call it “Beck Plus Diet”.
Well, officially, I have lost 6.2 lbs since last Friday when I started my “Beck Plus Diet”. Since that time I have “tweaked” my Response Cards that Dr. Beck recommends you make so that I feel it reflects my present circumstances and allows me to battle some of the common diet pitfalls; ie, overeating, unable to withstand temptations, unplanned eating, sabotaging thinking, etc. It really is about sticking to a plan long enough for the results to happen. What my food plan ended up being is more defined than I would have originally thought it would be but with those kinds of results above it is certainly doing what I was hoping that it would do. I really feel like I have a thought out plan that I can take with me into almost every possible circumstance or, at least, the ones that I seem to face both every day or when I am out eating.
Since this has been a week of poor sleep and a lot of mid-night “distraction” eating, I have decided that when I am faced with this situation in the future, I will allow myself to have a bag of Smart Balance low calorie-low sodium-low fat microwave popcorn. It takes me quite awhile to eat it and it should “satisfy” my desire to be doing something while I am struggling with my pain or insomnia. Ideally, sleeping through the night is the best solution but when that doesn’t happen I have an alternative that won’t be such a diet-buster as some of my other night times “noshs” were getting to be. It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat 800-1000 calories on foods like cereal, toast, juice and milk. Like Dr. Beck says; a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Then, I have to make sure that I eat less when I do awake from my morning sleep and that means long hours in between meals struggling with both hunger and just the stress of trying not to overeat because I ate when I wasn’t hungry only needed a distraction because of me being up during late night/early morning hours. This schedule has really seemed (intellectually) “unnatural and insane” to me. The surprising part is how I have adapted to it fairly easy.
Also, I am going to make it a top priority to get in my 3-4 servings of fruit and 4-6 servings of vegetables every single day. I noticed what a difference that made for me during the month of April so that is worth continuing and repeating “moving forward”. I decided that I am calling a moratorium on all “C foods”; ie, cookies, candies, crackers, chips, chocolate, cakes, etc. I just feel that for the time being until further notice I am only having fresh fruit as my dessert choice. Right now, I am having an afternoon snack of a bag of the popcorn (above) and diluted (adding half juice and half purified water) 100% grape juice. I am really going to “hammer home” fresh fruit and juices as my source to go to for when I’d like “a sweet taste”. (Note: I have been doing this and I have also noticed a significant softening of my stools plus some residual gas. I have actually been eating as much as 50 grams of fiber each day!)
So, I have a plan now that I pray that I can draw that “symbolic line” as Dr. Beck calls it and not cross. I really want to lose this weight. I know that part of the reason why I have yo-yoed is because I was always making room for exceptions, overeating regarding calories and certain foods, allowing trigger foods in here and then falling prey to eating them until they were gone; just to name the ones that seemed to pop up all the time. I might really surprise myself if I really stick to task and follow my food plan. I would love it if I lost an average of 4-5 lbs a week like they do on the “Biggest Loser” show. That would really help boost my confidence. Right now, I don’t feel deprived. I feel a little hungry but not deprived. I’ve decided that I am going to wait awhile before I re-introduce Splenda-sweetened desserts. I would really like to lose another 25-30 lbs before I do that. Ideally. I say that because maybe by that time I will have had knee/hip surgery and I will be able to walk and be more active so if I do have a dessert (Splenda-sweetened only) I will be able to handle it both metabolically but psychologically. When I read above all the things that I “allowed” to happen, I feel foolish. Like, what were you thinking? I was victimizing myself over and over again. I just want to do this in a smart way. Here’s hoping that I will.
The other “news” is that my body is responding nicely to my “Beck Plus Diet”. I came up against my first “test” yesterday when I was really hungry. I was sort of antsy, since I was inbetween naps, and feeling tired and out of sorts when I came across the rest of the marshmallows from when I made homemade fudge for Easter weekend. They aren’t high in calories but they are pure sugar/ empty calories and I really had to “pause” for a few seconds, while deciding how I wanted to handle that. Not only did I toss them in the garbage but I purposely put them under the empty tray of the chicken I was making for supper so, potentially, the raw chicken drippings would fall all over it. I could have snuck one out later but the odds that they might be contaminated cinched the deal. I was surprised at both my quick thinking but also my stick-to-it-tiveness. I usually crumble pretty easy when it comes to “sneaky bites”. I kept thinking of all those times when I did cave in and I had a cookie (or dozen) or anything that wasn’t on my food plan. This time I did it. I stuck to my guns but there may be a time when I am weaker (I can’t imagine that since I am feeling pretty vulnerable right now but it’s possible) so it was a short term “in the moment” victory. This is what Dr. Beck calls “strengthening your resistance muscle”.
Right now, as I am sitting here, used to doing night time eating while I am sitting at the computer playing online games, it seems like a tough “bargain” but how will I ever get down to my goal weight if I don’t cut off the non-ending eating that I have a tendency to do? P ate 4 Kit Kat chocolate bars while we were watching tv tonight. I could smell the chocolate from where I was sitting. I was eating some fresh, cold, ripe watermelon (which I really love) and that was satisfying to me but I could still smell the chocolate. I wonder if I will have this “problem” every day for the next 15 months that I am expecting it will take to lose all of this weight? OY! That would be quite a challenge. Although, he doesn’t eat Kit Kat bars every night; just every once in a while.
I mentioned this situation to my Beck group and the Diet Coach said he hoped that it would get easier for me. I don’t know. I really struggle to eat less food. I always have. That has been one of the hardest parts of dieting for me. Eating less. That may sound laughable but I really feel like I have a larger appetite than most people. When I hear about people eating a couple of crackers and a half of this or that I wonder why they haven’t keeled over. To me, I have always associated feeling overly full with feeling strong and more substantial. That has really been my self-perception regarding my larger size. I felt formidable. I felt psychologically stronger. Again, I think this is because I felt very vulnerable when I was thin and I was both molested and raped. I never felt empowered because of my thinness or attractiveness. I felt vulnerable to men’s advances, especially their impulsiveness, and how they acted when they were aroused by how I looked.
Dr. Beck covered in detail about learning to accept hunger as part of dieting which is what I have tried to do. The problem is if I allow myself to get too hungry then I have a tendency to overeat at the next meal. Then, there are hese night time noshes.Since we usually have more protein at our dinner/supper meal, I usually am not very hungry even before bedtime. However, when I awake and I am in pain, I have started a bad habit of feeling that since I have a small glass of skim milk with my night time pain meds, why not have a bowl of cereal as well? Well, the reason why not is that since I am logging these night time noshes it uses up 1/3-1/2 of my daily calories so I am crunched to eat a lot less throughout the rest of the day. I start out with a small bowl of cereal and before I know it I have eaten 800-1000 calories and I am still usually not full.
The majority of the time I am not even hungry when I am eating which is really sabotaging my dieting efforts because when I finally do become hungry, I have already limited myself in how many calories I can eat because of what I ate 8-10 hours prior to that. I am also eating those calories where I am not getting a chance to work them off too. I have begun to call this distraction eating. I am not truly hungry but because I am in pain, the act of eating distracts me from the pain until either I give up, fill up or get sleepy enough to fall back to sleep.I see the best solution is to get a good night’s sleep. However, doing that seems near impossible for me right now. The more I want it the more elusive it seems. I can see areas where I really have my work cut out for me. This is one of them.
So my “assignment” is: to strive to be in bed during the night, stay there until early morning and then eat a breakfast in the morning hours not at night.
I am up again in the middle of the night. I did sleep for about 45 minutes but I awoke cold and my right hip was hurting. I also think that I am going to have to make sure that I don’t have it too cold in our bedroom since that can also make my joints hurt. I had noticed that last year when I was wearing shorts and sitting near the vent in the living room. Afterwards, my legs were aching. It’s hard to know how to set the a/c right now since we have been having cooler weather overall.
I recognize that some of my “habits” have contributed to some of the pain I am having: doing a lot of sitting throughout the day and night, air temperature in our apartment, forgetting to take my Aleve throughout the day so I have a steady stream of that pain reducer in my system, “pissing around” with my diet and attempts to lose weight (including added sugar which is known to cause flare ups with arthritis) and not strengthening my muscles. It is hard to admit that I am also exasberating this pain I am experiencing but I am.
I am realizing more and more that although it does seem to take more effort, I need to keep pushing for some of these simple things in my life which will bring back benefits double fold. If I want things to be different, then I have to be willing to make the effort to help make them different
Well, my Mother’s Day was very quiet. I didn’t leave our apartment. Instead, I ate “OP”(on plan). It has been 9 days that I have done that and I have really felt the desire to eat anything that isn’t on my food plan. Today, since it was a recognized holiday, in the past I would have allowed myself to eat “off plan” and overeaten. I did this on Easter. Between P and I, we finished off a 13″x9″ baking pan of homemade fudge. It was delicious. I’m not doubting the foods that I could have chosen if I had done that same thing would have tasted just as wonderful BUT then I would have eaten more calories than I “should have” and I would be facing a weight gain instead of either the same or less plus I would have had to log those “slips” and I would have had to face the fact that I was giving in once again. I can see where Dr. Beck is correct when she says that it does strengthen your “giving in” muscle rather than building up your “resistance muscle”. I hope someday that I will be able to have just one or two pieces of fudge. Period. Unfortunately, right now, I just haven’t the skills to do that so, for now, it is off limits for me.
Today, I really felt the stress of sticking to task. The “withdrawal” that I am experiencing is how I “use” food to cope with emotional/stressful situations in my/our life. I think I will probably go through this every time there is a holiday until I break the connection between “it’s a holiday/special occasion so let’s celebrate by eating foods off my food plan.” This is really ingrained in my psyche. Today, it became very apparent by just how much it is.
So, I posted exactly what I was feeling about this. I always feel vulnerable after I submit the post though. I wonder what people are thinking of me. If they think, “Wow, this chick has got this bad.” Well, I do and I am in the right place to give and get support for my personal “demons”.
Again, I slept poorly. I awake after about an hour the first time and I felt like I had pins n needles up and down both my legs. I laid there for about an hour and it did eventually go away. It made me wonder if some of this is from inactivity during the day so my legs and muscles are “reacting” to that inactivity. When I say that it seems so self-incriminating to admit that I might be contributing to some of the pain that causing me to be awake during the night. I don’t know this for a fact so I could say I am speculating but I wonder if a doctor would tell me that.
I have been wanting to go to Wal-mart to fill up on the OTC medicine that I have been out of for some time. I decided to walk the entire Wal-mart while P was having an eye exam. It took about an hour for that so I am assuming that is how long I was walking. It was a “waddle” at times and definitely slow but I was moving. I decided that it seems easier to get spontaneous exercise in than planned so I am taking advantage of days like this. We ate at GC afterwards. I was really hungry since I had a small breakfast(mostly carbs although lots of fiber in the shredded wheat) many hours before that. I have found this past weekend to be quite difficult in terms of just staying the course. The Beck Diet Coach commented that he hoped it would get easier for me. I don’t even know how to respond to that. I don’t have a lot of faith in myself when I actually am knuckling down to dieting because I have gone up and down the same 35-45 lbs for the past couple of years. I think I will start to believe more in my abilities when I am below 245 lbs since I haven’t been there in a very long time. The day I am 244 lbs and I am feeling good about that then I will say, “Hey, I’m doing it!” Although I might always struggle with doubts right up to hitting my goal weight. We’ll see.
Well, I took a different tactic regarding my irregular sleep patterns. I decided to go ahead yesterday and get out of the apartment and do some “normal” activities instead of returning to bed to sleep until 1:30 pm like I have been doing. I also went to bed last night around 11:30 pm. I awoke a couple of times. I do think that the fan is just too cool right now. It cools the surface of our comforter and that alone gets my joints aching. I noticed that I was having the same problem last year when I was wearing shorts around here and the a/c was on. I didn’t make the connection at the time until much later but I hate to admit again that some of this could be avoided if I were just more aware and then planned accordingly. If I am open to what I am observing, I think I could find answers to some of the questions that bother me.
It has been 12 days since I began adding the Beck techniques to my food plan. I have tweaked my Response cards as I become more aware of how I could customize her techniques to fit me and my “situation”. The bottom line though is I need to eat less calories and/or burn more calories so there is a caloric deficiet in my body which will result in a weight lose. It really doesn’t matter what diet you choose but it should be healthy enough so you aren’t ruining your health and interesting enough so you will want to stay on it.
I have been listening to the other group members and what they are or aren’t eating. At this point, I am beginning to believe that my “on plan” is whatever will get me the results that I need. Right now, it has become more strict than what I thought it might be originally. Part of the reason I am doing this is to combat unplanned eating, overeating “trigger” foods like chocolate or some salty, high fat foods like delivery pizza and simply establish a pattern of healthy good eating habits. I just feel that it is almost too soon for me to take too many “liberties”. I think this is the best and most wise way to proceed. Once I have firmly established eating healthy the majority of the time, I might dip my toe in the water and see how far I can go without accidentally setting myself up for a binge. However, last night I already tested myself. I am so spontaneous at times I surprise myself. Again, I think why I suggested that we go to McD’s is that any “accomplishment” for me seems to warrant a “reward”. I can see that this is a habit that is really going to die hard with me since I have used this a lot and for decades. At least, I am already becoming more aware and sensitized to when I do it.
After we dug up the hydragnea plant, I suggested that we go to McD’s. Boy, talk about seeing my thoughts almost as I was thinking them! I was feeling uncomfortable about P doing all the work while I essentially was “giving orders” so I suggested that we go to McD’s for a little “treat” (again, there is that reward element). We hadn’t eaten in 7-8 hours by that time. As soon as we got closer and I got a whiff of the fries and burgers my hunger increased. However, I am very pleased to say that I kept my head and I ordered a hamburger Happy Meal along with a small reduced fat vanilla ice cream cone. Then, I even did one better. I encouraged P to take one bite for every bite I did so I ended up having half of a Happy Meal. It wasn’t enough food to hold me all day but it was just enough for an evening “snack”. I also stayed within my BLC calorie range as well as keeping the sodium under 2500 mg. I was “lucky” and did okay but I am not thinking that means I can go ahead and start reintroducing chocolate or even doing some home baking from the Splenda or Biggest Loser Dessert cookbooks. I am thinking “maybe” by my birthday but, again, we’ll see.So, for now, I am proceeding cautiously especially with foods that are not home prepared and have passed my “clean” kitchen test.
So, we brought the plant home based on the Master Gardener, D, suggestion that the direct light was too much for this shade loving shrub. We heavily watered it and it will stay on our shaded porch. It is a perennial so it should come up again and again. Eventually, it will get so big that we will have to consider a complete transplant in a yard.
Well, I did manage to sleep about 3 1/2 hours last night. Unfortunately, I began drinking caffeinated diet soda and I think that contributed to my awakeness that I am now experiencing. I rescheduled the t.v. appointment for Friday morning. I was trying to think of “plausible excuses” but I got the automated system so all I had to do was follow the prompts and reschedule; no explanations or excuses “required”. Today is a stellar t.v. day and I just didn’t want to disrupt my programming while a technician re-wired us for t.v. Oprah has been bringing back past memorable guests and today she is having women who have lost over 100 lbs and the one woman who she has had on her show a few times who has lost over 300 lbs. Sitting here, wanting to eat more calories than I “should” (if I want to lose weight), I see 100 lbs as a goal that seems “unattainable” but that is only because I haven’t arrived there yet. I can barely wait until I am back down in Misses sizes. I think once I get to that place it might actually be easier to lose weight. Right now, it is a real struggle.
Then, tonight is “Biggest Loser” and also a documentary on Chaz Bono becoming a man. It is an unusual phenomena that I don’t quite understand. He was on Oprah yesterday and I thought he came across as being quite composed and at peace with himself. I still see some womanly characteristics in him though. Mostly more of the take charge kind of qualities; which I guess are more masculine except in the context of being in his kitchen at home, it just came across as more motherly to me. After all, I don’t see too many men washing dishes. Most guys are socialized to let the woman do the dishes. I have often wondered if N would have been different had I been a “normal” weight. Well, we will see how he reacts when I do become a normal weight.
To me, this transgender phenomena seems to be more of wanting to be outside of the cultural norm but yet not quite absorbing the entire societal norm of male or female. I even wonder if someday transgender will evolve into a prototype called “feminine male” or “masculine female”, where the person decides to allow certain dominant features to be more apparent and these individuals are more andronyous than anything else. The fact that some of these transgender are okay with having part of their body parts and not others tells me it isn’t about the being exactly a clone of either a female or a male they wish to achieve or have as an outcome but a more blurring of the definition of being gender-specific in how they behave within our culture and society. It kind of reminds me of the early desires of the women’s movement where women said that they didn’t want to be defined by being homemakers or mothers but if they wanted to be a doctor or lawyer they would be able to express that part of themselves.
Although, I would consider myself to be very feminine overall, in some areas I seem to have a masculine “edge: when there is a problem to be solved, I am in my element. I take charge quite easily and I am decisive when I am making decisions. However, I don’t have the ego needed to “get ahead” in the work world. In spite of me not contributing some form of income, I actually enjoy being home. It doesn’t sound very impressive or ambitious but I don’t really care. I enjoy the “roles” of being a wife and mother. If I never had to have another job for the rest of my life, I would honestly be okay with that. As long as it didn’t mean that we wouldn’t have to suffer any more financial hardship, I would be more than okay with that prospect. In fact, that is my secret desire. I think P is aware of it since I don’t hide my feelings about this. I think he is somewhat “shocked” about me saying that especially given our present financial circumstances. It is a state of limbo neither of us feel comfortable with. P doesn’t press the point because he is worried about getting the work he is offered done in a timely and accurate manner. It takes some of the heat off of me but it also makes me feel really anxious about just “sitting on it”. It is a really awkward and uncomfortable position to be in. Sometimes, I am honest to a fault, even at my own detriment.
I took a very sound nap which took me hours to really awaken from. I was able to get dinner ready for us so Paul was able to eat before he headed out to church to sing for our new priest’s installation. I decided (once again) at the last minute not to go. I just was tired and my mind was in a mental fog. All of this sleep deprivation is really hard on a person. It took almost 4 hours for me to be fully and completely awaken!! I watched “Biggest Loser”. There are only two more shows, I think. I still am confused about who appears to be “the favorite” to win. The two sisters seems to be Jillian’s favorites. I think it would really be an “upset” if the older man, Jay, won since everyone on the BLC website had voted him as the one most likely to leave the ranch. He surprised everyone by losing 9 lbs which this late in the game is pretty awesome. The women were able to manage 5 lbs each. When the younger man, Austin, only lost 1 lb. he was really so emotional about it. He knew it meant only one thing: he was going home. I would like to “simulate” the Ranch experience here at home. I got this idea the other day when I was writing out my Response cards. I thought I am already giving some time and energy into making sure that I stay on my food plan why not take it a step further and create some “challenges” for me to do at home to spur me on to work out a little harder?
I slept a little better. Emphasis: little. I had to stay up after 8 am since these technicians were coming out. OY! I stayed up during the night and watched some of the programming that I had recorded. Then, I returned to bed around 6 and slept until 8:45 am. Well, it ended up being one technician and he reconnected the Internet remotely but he came into the apartment to fix the phones. That wasn’t until 1:30-2 pm. OY again! So, I was pumping caffeinated Coke Zero in me and I was really feeling quite tired by the time I decided to lay down. I was only able to sleep for 1 hour. P came home briefly and then went to choir practice. He brought me home Subway. I ate nearly 1000 calories in the middle of the night/early a.m. I had an apple this afternoon to curb some of the hunger I was feeling. That is not the best way to spread my calories around but as long as I am getting up in the middle of the night with pain I am afraid it is going to be a temptation. At least, I am logging the food as part of the day’s plan. It just really squeezes for the rest of the day. If I am feeling better tomorrow I am really going to try (for the first time in a very long time) to do one of the workout dvds.
Well, after getting the Internet back I quickly posted on my Beck group. I hate to admit that my posts are very long but I have had some positive feedback from them so I guess that is okay. I usually try to make comments about the Day I am working on and what I have gained from that then I do personals. I have already gone back and tweaked some of my Response cards as I get deeper into the book and something sparks me to consider or add something else to my cards. Today, I really had to make a card on defining what exactly is my “On Plan”. If I don’t know what that is how will I know when I have strayed from it or am tempted to do so?
We finished up our “errands” by eating at As. I will admit that I usually try to “fan dangle” a meal out whenever we get a list of things to do. Paul is usually agreeable to that. I don’t have to twist his arm too much. I look forward to opportunities to see how well I do in picking out lower calories foods from the menus. A’s actually makes it easy in that they have sections for entrees under 550 calories or WW’s entrees. Tonight I had a really good one that probably will be a staple: 7 oz house sirloin, grilled shrimp, new potatoes, broccoli and a bruschetta sauce.
I wanted to take it a step further and go to YM’s and try their frozen yogurt. I got the only one that was no sugar! It was coffee flavored which tasted like a dark chocolate. It was very good. That place is expensive though. By self-serve, people end up loading up on the frozen yogurt, which is priced according to ounce, and then further loading it up with toppings which adds an extra weight. Clever pricing. Since I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a lot of calories, I didn’t fill it very full. They noticed. Still, I got the nutritional information from them and I was able to determine how I would handle this place again. P was being a good sport about it but he isn’t sold on frozen yogurt although to me it tastes better than full fat ice cream. I really felt I left there and A’s having Aced a test.
I have been working on creating a lot of counter cards for sabotaging thoughts and as I am doing the “work” it is bringing up a lot of feelings I have about feeling unsafe, feeling anxious and in general feeling overwhelmed at times. I have been sharing this with my Beck diet group. I am aware that this might make some people uncomfortable so I don’t try to elaborate on it too much and I also do try to make most of my post about the work I am doing in the book as a point of reference.
I think by doing some of this deeper work I am coming up against the reasons behind why I have remained obese for close to three decades. Basically, I felt that by being so large I could protect myself from unwanted sexual advances. That; and I never really felt comfortable with my own sexuality and sexual needs. When I was molested it made what should have been a healthy libido and turned it into a twisted, dark and shameful part of me. I’ve known this intellectually for a very long time but I just never acknowledged how that made me feel. I think, finally, I am. I also still have some residual anger towards the different men that victimized me. I thought I had gone through all of this when I was in sexual abuse therapy but I always was overeating then and that was a mask over what unresolved feelings that remained. In other words, there was unfinished business and work to be done. I think I am starting to do the remaining work now. I don’t know if it is an appropriate time but I am doing what I can on my own. I don’t know if I will need to revisit a therapist or not.
Interestingly, I looked back over the chart that BLC does of my diet progress and I noticed that this past week, my eating doesn’t have the jagged up and downs of eating way too much 2-3 days a week followed by eating lower the other days of the week. This past week each day is within a few hundred calories of each other. I think that speaks volumes. I think it means that I am getting back on track and staying there, not flipping all over the place. I would say that I am actually settling down to a routine. I hope that this will translate into a steady weight lose as well. Steady is good. I know that I have really come far in a very short period of time (a month). I think, once I get this initial groundwork laid, it will just be a matter of daily reapplication of what I have learned until I am at my goal weight.
I honestly think that I will do it this time and I also think that I will be able to maintain the weight lose. There is a certain “let’s get on with” feeling though that I have. This season’s “Biggest Loser” is wrapping up. The average monthly weight lose for the women contestants was 20 lbs and the men’s was 28 lbs. If I could mirror that kind of weight lose I could be my goal weight in 6 1/2 months! Just in time for Thanksgiving and the holidays! The fastest weight lose for some of the 3fatchicks is 10-12 months for over 100 lbs. Well, I haven’t begun working out a lot yet but I have a feeling that once I do, I should see some good weight lose. I hope to start that quite soon.
[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]