Moving towards my goals….slowly

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6/18/11:

Well, I have done my knee strengthening and stretching exercises for two weeks. Some are every day and some are every other day. Today, I awoke and I just didn’t want to do them. I did any way but this will happen. I wonder if it’s because I am gaining a little more strength now and I am probably pushing myself a little harder. It takes about 30-45 minutes to do every thing. I am also doing a little more walking throughout the week. It’s nothing “impressive” by “normal” standards but considering that I was solely using those electric carts at Wal-mart about 6 months ago, it shows that I am coming back after a prolonged period of “in-ability” to do some “normal” activities.

Yesterday, we decided to check out some of these health clinics that do have “reduced fees”. We have had many people tell us to try them and we just didn’t know where to start and/or we were concerned that we wouldn’t qualify or even be able to “afford” the cost, in spite of the fees being reduced. Well, we still have the last fear because, in spite of the fact that for a “household of two people” we are considered “middle class”, we are really struggling financially; especially since the beginning of this year. Mostly, because all of our money is going out for monthly expenses and debts we are paying off.

There is a health clinic directly adjacent to our community garden. I thought it might be one but I wasn’t sure if it was just for marginalized people; like new immigrants, or for “the rest of us”. We stopped in person and we picked up the paperwork. Now, we are beginning the process of finding out just what “reduced fees” will entail for someone like us. Both of our fears are that even with reduced fees it might be something we simply can’t afford. However, we are going to move forward on it. What has pushed us is the fact that when P went to the annual Men’s Health Expo last Saturday, he was examined by a dermatologist who discovered some “suspicious” growths on his neck and face. One may be a “basal cell carcinoma”. I think, I noticed this in the past year. I thought it might be something but I watched it and it never changed in size or oozed anything so I thought it was akin to my psoriasis that is along my scalp line.

I thought about it later and decided that this might be a good time for me to apply for this clinic as well. They can do the financial counseling at the same time; if they will allow that, and then I am “registered” with this health center and I can then go there without having to go through all of this at that time. I’d like to get a Pap smear; something that I haven’t had in a long time. I would also like a general gynecological exam; also, something that I haven’t had in as long. I could ask about the vaginal dryness, the excessive bleeding and also the overactive bladder. I don’t know if I would necessarily want to start taking a lot of prescription medicines for all of that but, at least, discuss it with a medical professional.

Since the  health clinic’s parking lot was nearly full we had to park about 30-40 feet away from the entrance so we parked near our garden plot. It meant walking up a graded hill which I was able to although I can feel how weak I’ve become whenever I exert myself, even a little bit. I have been reading this book about “Treat Your Own Knees” more and I am now seeing that I probably could move forward on working towards improving my balance and endurance. Walking is the best way to improve your endurance. P brought home a lot of information from the Men’s Health Expo including some on a walking club that meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month at P Mall. This coming Tuesday is the third one so if I can get myself up in enough time (it meets from 8:30-10:00 a.m.) then I will try to go with P. Of course, I won’t be able to go as far as he can but it will get me started also in a walking program. We had already talked about walking in the early morning hours at a mall since the weather has been so hot. Now, might be a good time to begin doing that; especially while P is not working regularly. It gets him back to exercising regularly like he was doing this past winter and some during earlier this spring—and, it gets me started as well. The author of “TYOK” reminds starting out with 7-10 minutes and then building up time and not being concerned about distance. So, am I take that the author means “going the time” is more important than “going the distance”? It would seem so! Good for those of us, like myself, who move at a turtle’s speed.

6/20/11:

I weighed in this morning at 266.4 lbs. I am amazed since I have really been eating way over the BLC recommended calorie limit and also a lot of those calories are higher in sodium!! Besides that, I had a “snack attack” last night before I went to bed. I was eating a lot of carbs!! I think what triggered that was eating homemade fudge this past weekend several times a day. Well, I can only attribute this to the fact that all of this strength exercises are paying off. I am building muscle and that is burning some calories.

I decided that to put my level of strength training up a notch and go to the advance level. I was wondering if that would mean additional exercises but instead it is doing more of the same ones I have been doing. It will be a struggle but I am up for it. So, for starters, I think what I will do is do 2 sets of 15 rather than 2 sets of 10. Then, when that starts to feel okay, I might increase it to 3 sets of 15.  After that point, I will have to decide whether I want to keep it at that or move up to a higher weight. I am only using 3 lbs free weights but the repetitions do “burn” towards the end of the second set. If I do decide to increase the weights, I don’t think I will go beyond 10 lbs. I think, by that time, it will be sufficient for where I want to end up.

Then, I took a look at how many calories are in some of my activities. I will need to be “busy” moving around for about 45-60 minutes every day doing stuff around here if I want to burn up the 201 calories they are recommending. So; that is what I tried to do today. Another day P was home so I just tried to keep busy around here and I managed to do that throughout the day. It did help though that I got up around 11 a.m. ( I didn’t have a very good night’s sleep last night because of the pain in my right leg). I did some laundry, loaded the dishwasher twice, then made some meals from our dwindling food “supply”. It isn’t all that dire since we still have quite a lot of good food left to eat but if we don’t get some money within three days; we will definitely be eating “lean”. So, for now, we are still eating well.

I made homemade chicken noodle soup. It wasn’t as “fatty” since I added in the white meat rather than boiled the whole chicken in the stock water so P didn’t like it as well as when I do the former but I thought it was good and it was probably a lot better for us too. I made up the last of our meat from the freezer: New York strip steaks. I did them in the broiler. They tasted very good. I made the M.O.M. potato salad and the CL cold broccoli salad to go along with the broiled steak. It was a very good meal especially considering we are really eating down our grocery supply and yet it still was OP (”on plan”).

6/21/11:

Today is the summer solstice. The news reported that we will have 14 hours and 22 minutes of daylight. The solstice itself is at 1:16 p.m. Starting tomorrow, we lose 1 minute of daylight until December 21st, when that will be the shortest hours for daylight. So, tonight it probably won’t get completely dark until 9:30 p.m. I prefer the longer days rather than it getting dark around 5:30 p.m. during the winter plus I also think it keeps me in a better mood. I never thought I “suffered” from S.A.D. until this past winter when I really did feel morose a lot of the time.

Neither of us slept well last night. I could really tell that my quad muscles were swollen. It was my day to do the quad strengthening exercises plus I also include my other strengthening exercises, which I have two that are squats, and I was up on my feet a lot yesterday. So, I ended up tossing and turning for quite some time besides taking more EX Tylenol before I was able to fall asleep –again shortly before 4 a.m. Paul said he didn’t fall asleep until 2 a.m. Well, today he was going to the DOL (again-this is the 5th time!) and he is going to see if he can find out why he hasn’t received any unemployment benefits in spite of the fact that he has certified for three weeks now and the system is accepting his certification. It is money we could really use right now. Also, he needs to get some form that states what his income is so he can apply for financial assistance for his doctor’s appointment for the basal cell carcinoma on his neck.

Well, P was told that his claim has been under investigation since June 15th. He finally got a hold of the woman who left a message and she said that since he is self-employed she doesn’t believe he qualifies for unemployment benefits. Well, he has been getting them for the past two years so it seems “odd” that is an issue now. The people at the DOL told him to keep certifying. He said he is inclined to believe them first. All we are hoping is that this gets resolved asap. We have a couple more bills coming out of our account by the end of this week and I would hate to have overdrafts that we couldn’t do anything about.

It was then that P told me that this morning he vented at L, his friend and C’s Mgr, about hating being self-employed, etc. L told P that even the “staffers” had to take another cut in pay recently. P usually keeps quiet about how he feels, even to me, so this really surprised me and I hope that it surprised L because it’s not like P to complain openly to someone at CM because he has always had them in such high regards. It probably wasn’t a very “good” thing to do but certainly understandable given the circumstances. I know that P is resisting having to take another job other than this. The past two years have been a “demotion” of sorts by going from being full time employee with benefits to a sub-contractor but he has had work and some weeks he has done very well.  In spite of the slow recovery in this area, this has been the slowest P has had since 2009. In fact, this is as bad as we have had it since 2004-2005; if not worse, because we have been constantly “short” on money.  “Something” has definitely got to change for us. Neither of us are quite sure. Whatever it is, I sure hope that it is soon. Very soon.

6/23/11:

I am out of Tylenol PM so I haven’t been able to fall asleep before 4 a.m. each day. I did lay down when P went to bed, which was around 11 p.m. but I only dozed off for 10-15 minutes. So, I decided that I would get up and make a recipe from a diabetic cookbook which I bought in the past year or so and which I have just begun making some recipes from. So far; everything that I have made I have really liked. Earlier “today” (actually yesterday since it is 1:45 a.m.) I made a whole wheat crust pizza with vegetables. The “twist” was putting an ample amount of shredded cheddar cheese in the dough. I didn’t have the reduced fat but it was a nice touch that really made the crust itself tasty. I would definitely make it again since it was really quite easy but for a “treat” I would add real meat instead of veggie “meat”; which is all I had actually. I even think P would eat it. He had a small piece today and thought it was really good.

Well, I just finished making oatmeal raisin scones. It called for “pulsing” the oatmeal into a fine meal. I have a very small food processor which I am not even sure that I have used before so I put the flour and the oats into my blender. It worked out fine. It also called for buttermilk. I finally got some a few weeks ago and it got pushed to the back of the refrigerator so it was half-frozen but that also kept it fresh since it was past the expiration date. One thing I have found out from these older cookbooks is that buttermilk is a key ingredient if you want fluffy baked goods; like pancakes and, of course, these scones. I used mixed dried berries because I had eaten the last small box of raisins. It still turned out really good. I had two hot from the oven with lots of “butter”. Yum. Yum.

[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.]

Self-treating my bad knees …surprise, it’s working!

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6/10/11:

Today, I just wanted to sleep in. I got up around 5 a.m. but rather than stay up, I took some more Tylenol PM and had breakfast. Within a couple of hours, I was really sleepy. However, I had to go to the bathroom a couple of times before I really stayed asleep. Well, I have been doing both my quad strength exercise along with my stretching exercises from that book for a week now. I do the stretches everyday, the quad exercise every other day and I have also included (since I am already down on the floor) ab crunches; the ones I used to do 14 years ago! I finished off with doing the upper body strength exercises BLC online recommends.

I think about the benefits I will get from doing all of this–and keeping it up! The shoulder work will give me a better posture so I’m not slumping over (which I do). The abs will also protect my lower back but it will also give me core strength so I can stand longer and, of course, look a lot better through my middle. Then, the knee exercises will strength and elongate my upper thighs through stretching which will allow me to do “endurance” exercises longer and be able to really push myself to perform the exercising at peak muscle capacity.

All of this is exciting. I can barely wait. I think the best way to “test” my endurance will be to just go to Wal-mart or any larger indoor facility and walk around. I say Wal-mart because there is enough to look at that I could take my time and check out every aisle if I wanted to. When we went the other day, it was nearly empty of customers. That would be a perfect time to do some “shopping”. It would allow me to see how long I could last and how far I can expect to go. It might also build up my endurance as well. In fact, this is an excellent idea for “planned exercise”. It might also desensitize me from feeling that since we don’t go to Wal-mart very often that I should “spend, spend, spend”. I was thinking about how Dad spends an hour in one of those carts and all he buys is breathe mints and batteries. Well, I will run this by P and see what he thinks. After all, it is air-conditioned and they also have a McD’s so if I get too tired or want to sit down for awhile, I can always buy a soda or Happy Meal.

This past week, I have decided to take a little different approach to my weight lose efforts. Since I am focusing on establishing this new habit of daily strengthening and stretching exercises, I am just going to “relax” a little on counting calories. I’m not going to use this as an “excuse” to overeat but if I go over a couple hundred calories I’m not going to worry about it—for now.

Well, I threw “caution to the wind” and I had 4 servings of pasta along with the rest of some pre-cooked meat and tomato sauce. That is a lot of calories, carbs, fat and sodium. I ended up having around 3000 calories for the whole day and over 4000 mg sodium. I won’t be losing weight doing that. At different times during the day, I was both hungry and also “just wanted” to eat. Have I decided again to go on a “maintenance” food plan? I did this over Memorial Day weekend. At least, that made more sense. I like to feel like I can “celebrate” the holidays. I have a lot more work to do on my sabotaging thoughts. I’m not fooling myself regarding this. I like to be more relaxed in my eating especially when it comes time for restricting calories. I just hate it. If I could eat 2500 calories a day and still lose weight I would do it.

Well, I can see some of my stress-induced eating as well today. I awoke around 5 a.m. and I was nervous about how we were going to pay two bills ($173.77) which is due tomorrow and then GP ($187.+) which is due on the 16th. I did go back to sleep within a few hours and slept well but when I awoke sufficiently I called a number I had for GP to see if I could make payment arrangements. I haven’t had to do this in years. In fact, it’s been so long, I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to do it. Well, I was really relieved to see that they have it incorporated in their automated system so I didn’t even have to negotiate with a csr. The system offered June 30th and I took it. What a sense of relief I had after that. The remainder of the day felt a lot better after that.

P called and had some news. A had an ultrasound and the baby is a boy. P is thrilled to death. I reminded her that she had nothing to do with it. P said she doesn’t want another girl to compete with S. I don’t see that as an issue but maybe P does. P told me that A has given away a lot of S’s clothes to her friends who were also having babies. I would have preferred if A would have saved some of the things that I bought S simply because some of the stuff was really nice and could have been used for another girl, had she had another girl. I think some of P’s concerns are just plain silly. It sounds like the baby is healthy which is a great relief for A since she had surgery early on this pregnancy.

Mine/our primary concern was praying that A would follow through on this pregnancy and not have an abortion. She came really close but we were praying daily and God intervened. I want to be as supportive of this pregnancy as I/we were of her pregnancy with S. After all, it isn’t just enough to pray that the child isn’t aborted, there needs to be support (emotional and financial) besides. I am well aware of that. I/we have given generously  with S and I hope to do the same with this baby. I guess if A wants to pass on what she feels she doesn’t need any more, it was a gift and that is her “right” to do so.

I got online almost immediately and went through the newborn boy clothes to see what is available. I decided to start with a Garanimal 24 piece layette set in shades of blues and greens. There are little knit caps, footed sleepers, socks and gowns. His birth is expected November 3rd. So, S will be 20 months old. So, as I buy I am going to have to keep an eye on winter/cold weather clothes. It sort of feels a little “weird” to shift gears and buy the newborn sizes too but that is where it all starts. For me, this helps me feel close to them even if I won’t see either of them “who knows when”. At least, I know they are getting clothed. A likes my choices so that also helps.  Being a Great-Aunt is as close as I am going to get to being a Grandma so I am enjoying every moment of all of this as much as I can (long distance).

I had 97 cent shipping so when that comes I will include that with the things I got for S earlier this week. I think it will help A feel more positive about having another child if she sees that he will start out as well taken care of as S has been. I doubt whether anyone will consider giving A another shower. That is one of the “down sides” of a second (subsequent) child. They just aren’t heralded into the world quite as grandly as the firstborns. So, I want to make sure that A knows that someone does realize this and helps out (as I can). I know that it has been quite an emotional roller coaster for A so I hope this will be a “celebratory pause” for her. When she sees the little boy things I think it will help her envision him being here and wearing them. I know as a new mother that is one of the things that helps cement the “reality” of the coming birth. It did for me. I used to go in and take each little outfit out, look at it, touch it and then put it back in the drawer.

6/12/11:

Well, P went to the Men’s Health Expo again yesterday. It costs $25 and he gets a lot of basic exams for that cost. He had the prostate screening, a full blood profile (fasted for that), oral mouth check, blood pressure and weight check; the main ones. His blood pressure was 120/70, which is really surprising because it used to be around 106/60 for the longest. It has been in the past year that his blood pressure has risen. I am not sure why either. His BMI is still 29% which is the highest percentage for being overweight. If he were to gain additional weight he would be obese. I find that really hard to believe because ever since I met him he was so thin. He has gained some weight but it is all in his stomach and chest area; which is not the best place to gain it either. For the most part, he eats really healthy. He has begun walking in the past year but he hasn’t kept it up on a regular basis in the past couple of weeks as it has gotten a lot hotter. His goal is to lose around 35 lbs. I hope that he will be able to. I am so glad that there is something like this for him to go to. It covers the basic checkpoints of most annual physical exams. The cost is amazingly low and affordable for us.

Recently, he had his vision checked and he now needs prescription reading glasses since one eye is different than the other. Well, right now, we don’t have $200 for that. Besides the cost, P is “notorious” for misplacing his glasses (and cell phone) all the time. Last week, we got a value pack of 3 of stronger reading glasses. I told him to leave one pair in the car, one pair at home and the other I put up in case he loses one of those two. He said it helps his vision so we are going with that for now.

Somewhat even to my own surprise, I announced first to my Beck Diet Group and then to P, almost simultaneously, that I’m throwing my hat in the ring to start the formation process to join the lay order of the Carmelites. From my understanding of P has shared with me their primary focus is a life of contemplative prayer. Since prayer, especially the rosary, and also reading the Bible have become an important part of my spiritual life the past couple of years; I think it would be a “good fit” for me. I told P to go ahead and share the “news” with his Director, D, who has approached me a couple of times in the past 18 months about joining them, and then we will see what will happen after that. P gave me some of the books he was given when he began. So, the “journey begins”.

I am trying to create a new habit of making sure I get my quick exercises done upon awakening. I can do the stretches in bed before I rise and then I do the quad strengthening every other day and my abs every day. It doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes tops. What I look forward to is not having to feel self-conscious about my pot belly. I haven’t decided exactly when I will really start throwing myself into harder aerobic work-outs. Ideally, I would like to make sure that my quads really are a lot stronger so that my knees are “protected” when I start up some of these dvds again. I will get a lot more out of them and, hopefully, my knees will be able to handle the stress. I think, I am just going to play it by ear and see how my knees are reacting to each new layer of added stress. I am still using a lot of Icy Hot on my knees and legs during the night when I go to bed. I am just trying to be patient with this process because I feel like I if I lay down a good solid foundation of strengthening the essential muscles then I can really make up for lost time once I do begin to do the more daunting workouts.

And, it is not easy to be patient either. There are several people in the Beck Diet Group that have lost over 60 lbs already. I don’t know how long it took them but even so with me coming in with so much to lose, it seems daunting to me that I will ever be where they are at. There are three of us who are in the upper 200s.  For me, it is just a matter of dealing with some “obstacles” (my eating out so much, eating too many calories, being able to be more active) more effectively. I think, once I do that I will be “on my way”.

The main obstacle right now for me is to be able to get my muscles strong enough to support my body (and weight bearing joints) so that I can work off some of the extra calories that I am eating. Once I can achieve that level of fitness, even if it is no more than as a beginner, I can really move forward. In the meantime, I am tweaking my food plan. It is evolving in what feels like a “natural” progression. I have been eating no-sugar desserts; like cookies, ice cream treats and puddings, for the past two months. I will say that I am just getting plain sick of the lack of sugar. That sounds silly to say but it is the truth. I miss sugar. For awhile, fruit helped satisfy my sweet tooth but even that has passed. I am assuming that at some point I will begin to reintroduce sugar back into my food plan; either on a one-time basis, like for birthdays, holidays or celebrations; or I will allow myself a small amount within my food plan. For the time being, I am going to just follow this because my fasting blood sugar still remains over 100 mg/dl when I have had a lot of carbs and/or sugar, like last night when we had delivery pizza and I had a regular Coke with it. This morning, my fasting blood glucose was 108 mg/dl. Certainly better than the 118 mg/dl that it was two months ago but it needs to be in the low 90s before I can feel that I can add sugar back into my food plan on a more regular basis. I am willing to wait. Now, when I do have some sugar, it does seem very special since I don’t have it very often. I just make sure though that I only have a little bit so I don’t end up setting off a binge.

I am hoping that once I get more active, the weight will come off more predictably and more quickly. I am going to try the BL Fitness Program for one thing. I will also work out to both RS dance dvds and JM Shred dvds. I would love to see the kind of results that they do on the tv program! I could drop all or most of my weight by the end of this year. That would be phenomenal! Again, their emphasis is “building muscle/burning fat”. They don’t show much about the diet except having the chef make some low cal cupcakes or low cal entrees. I am beginning to think that it is important, if not more important, that I really push the “building muscle/burning fat” ratio more than the psychological skills of the Beck Plan.

I mean, once I identified some of the sabotaging thoughts that I have had in the past that were preventing me from losing weight and also keeping it off, it actually became easier to catch myself when I was thinking along those lines. I have also discovered that although you do need to have good habits overall there still is “wiggle room” when it comes both to a food plan and working out. For example; just go to our garden during the hottest part of the day so I guarantee to sweat irregardless of whether I am actually doing much, I will lose some body fluids. Also, if I do some of the housework around here and keep at it until I get tired, more than likely I am burning some calories. I have been doing that in the past couple of days with pretty good results.

6/16/11:

Well, I am continuing with the exercises and stretches. It has been 12 days thus far. I am now beginning to notice that my right knee is not hurting as much although my left one is at different times depending on what I am doing. I am also noticing that I can do the exercises without my knees really hurting like they did at first. I can also put the left knee on top of the right knee when I am sleeping on my side and it is “okay”. Before, my right knee just wouldn’t tolerate any pressure on it. Another side note: although I have been eating way more than I should be if I really want to consider myself dieting. I think, I must finally be building some muscle and being active enough, at least some days I am, that I am maintaining my present weight within a lb or so. I think what this points to is that when the time comes and I am ready to really kick some butt in my work outs and reduce the amount of calories I am eating: I will start seeing some good weight lose!! I’ve decided that I am going to try one of these work outs one month after I began this knee strengthening exercises. So, that would be July 4th. I will see how I do and then decide whether I can continue to do those or I need some more knee strengthening exercises.

Unfortunately, our tomato plants look horrible. I had P dig up the two smaller ones which still haven’t gotten any tomatoes yet. I sprayed them the last time we were there. I rinsed out the spray bottle I used but maybe I should have put it in the dishwasher. I am wondering if there was a residual of the former contents in it and that was what killed the plants. We were told to be on the lookout for large green worms that eat tomato plants and I thought I would get a jump start and spray them. Well, I picked off all the dead limbs and leaves of the last two that both have a small green tomato on. I’m not holding out too much hope for them though. If there are some medium-sized tomato plants left in the nurseries this weekend I might just get two new ones and start over. I feel that with this heat, we should still be able to get some fresh tomatoes this summer.

[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.]

Getting better a little at a time.

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6/3/11:

Good news. I weighed in this a.m. at 269 lbs. so I have lost the (extra calories/sodium induced) weight I regained from last weekend’s departure from my food plan. For the past three days, I have tried to slowly return to the food plan I have decided to follow. Each day, I try to eat a little less calories and do a little more activity. I took my blood glucose before I had lunch (which was D’s P brought back yesterday but I didn’t eat because my stomach was still tender from all the medicine I have been taking) and it was 80 mg/dl!!!  I have never had that low of a reading  since I have been monitoring (February 2010). I hope everything is accurate. I am at the bottom of my test strips but they haven’t expired. Well, that is certainly the kind of “news” I like to hear.

I slept through the night although I was up several times. I managed to stay in bed for about 5 hours which is getting to be longer than the 2-3 hours I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. Ideally, I would like to get 6-8 hours every night all at one time and not broken up into 2-3 segments. This has really been quite a trying two month’s period for me. Between my arthritis flaring up (predictably so), two heavy periods which left me exhausted and depleted each time for 4-5 days, seasonal allergies and then all of this sleeplessness followed by a mild cold; it has just been one long trial.

However, now that I am feeling better, I am also feeling uneasy about all of the time that has been “lost” where I haven’t paid attention to the “unfinished” stuff in my life. I certainly haven’t forgotten any of it either. It weighs on my mind every day, to one extent or another. Right now, things seem to have “settled down” some and I am hoping that will remain so I will be able to pick up where I left off and, hopefully, be able to cross these off of my “to do” list. I will rest easier when I can say that. I feel an “internal” pressure to just get things done around here. I have been doing a few things but it seems like the normal everyday things just seem to consume more of my time so I don’t always really pay as much attention to the other stuff as I would like to. Then, I get started playing online games and I can spend 8-10 hours over a period of time on that. When P is home during the evening though I refrain from that and join him in watching some tv together. I think that it’s important that we spend some time together each day. P has also expressed that he likes it when I go to bed when he does. I try. I don’t always end up doing that or even staying there once I do but I try.

6/4/11:

I weighed 267.4 lbs this morning. Well, I am steadily losing the sodium-induced water weight from last weekend. I have now lost 7 lbs in 4 days and I really haven’t been eating within my calorie range either. In fact, I don’t think I have had one day this past week where I was able to eat under 2500 calories! So, I feel fortunate that, in spite of the higher calories, the water weight went away. . Hard to believe that I could retain that much fluid but I think I could easily lose another 2-3 lbs if I would eat less. I actually ate quite a bit yesterday and the sodium was high so that was a surprise when I got on the scale this morning. I’ll keep working at getting my calories less though because that is when I will start to see “new” weight come off rather the same 5-10 lbs over and over again.

I was eager to change the scale on the BLC site since I was honest about the recent re-gain. Since January 27th when I rejoined I have lost 10 lbs. That averages out to be around 2.5 lbs per month. That seems pretty pathetic in one way and one could even say it shows more failure than anything but since that time I have worked consistently on changing my food plan for the better. I have consciously begun to eat more vegetables. After two months of eating a lot off my food plan including delivery pizza, fast food and lots of chocolate; since April 1st I have made a decision to go no-sugar and I really have stuck to my guns on that. Granted, I have had a few slips but that was all they were—slips. I have discovered in the process that going “no sugar” has really helped curb cravings and overeating to a significant extent. Now, I really need to hunker down and really apply myself when it comes to exercising and burning some of those additional calories off.

This past week I resumed exercising.

Last night, I had one of the best night’s sleep I have had in quite awhile. I went to bed at 10 p.m. and was able to stay in bed until 8:30 a.m. I did get up several times to go to the bathroom (hence the lower weight this a.m.) and I had a horrible leg cramp around 3 a.m. that got P up even since I was yelping loudly. He massaged it and we both went back to sleep. Well, that explains the leg cramp since I usually get those when I have lost a lot of fluids (and probably electrolytes along with it).

If I were following my food plan I wouldn’t be journaling this. I didn’t this past weekend and that is why I am continuing to go up and down the same 5-7 lbs. Going “off plan” was more about making food choices that were high in sugar/fat/sodium and calories than anything else. We ate at GC for P’s birthday but I am so accustomed to eating there that I could have made better choices (which I usually do) but, again, I got it into my head that this was a “celebratory” meal and although it was his birthday and not mine I decided to deviate and have both regular Coca-Cola all weekend and two glazed doughnuts for dessert at GC.

Well, today is a new day and new week. On Saturday, I began doing the recommended self-treatment for eliminating my knee pain. Since this is the primary reason why I don’t walk for prolonged periods of time, I am really hoping that this will bring me to a place where I can choose to resume walking on the treadmill and/or outdoors and also doing more of the active workout dvds. I am having trouble with some of the stretches. The back of my thighs have always been tighter than the front (maybe this is part of the explanation of why my knees hurt) and when I try to do the quad stretch one of the muscles cramps up and it is very painful. I usually have to ask Paul to rub the muscle until it calms down. I don’t think is “normal”. According to the author of this book(let) it should take about 8 weeks and then the muscles should be strong enough to support the knee and then the pain should be gone. If it works, then I will feel more inclined to push myself harder on the treadmill and/or the workout dvds and then I should really see some progress.  Then, I might be able to go for longer walks with P by early fall. I do think that if I can get to that point, the weight will come off a lot easier since I can really “ramp up” my activity level. So, I just have to be patient awhile longer.

So, in  the meantime, my weight lose might be slower since I will be more limited in what I can and can’t do. However, I am still going to try to build muscle in the meantime since I will need muscles to be more active when the time comes. I am also tweaking my food plan as I am going along. Although I had regular Coke and donuts for dessert yesterday, I also had 3 servings of vegetables, lean sirloin steak and baked fish and limited my the portion of the other starch (rice). Had I not tried the garlic cheese stick (which I wouldn’t get again–it wasn’t that tasty for the amount of sodium it had in it) and the one slice of pepperoni pizza (which was definitely worth the extra sodium!) I would have had a good OP meal. I still think that I have come a long way from my former food choices. There would have been a time when I wouldn’t have gotten any vegetables at all. Right now, my body isn’t as “forgiving” because I am not active but there will come a time when I could have regular Coke once a week and possibly a dessert on occasion and still be on the downward trend with my weight lose. I look forward to that time. I think, it could be by fall.

The past couple of nights I have made it a point to go to bed around 10 pm. Last night I was able to stay in bed (except for multiple trips to the bathroom) until 5 am. That is the best I have done in months. I had breakfast and then I did my strengthening and stretching exercises. That is the best way to go about that. Do them right away in the morning and then they are done. I think the longer I wait during the day, the more “excuses” I can think of to not do them. I think that is with most people. I used to do my walking the first thing in the morning when I had a regimen of doing that. I need to pick that habit back up. So, it is 8:30 a.m. and I have had my breakfast, did my strengthening/stretching exercises, made the bed, cleaned up and I have a second load of clothes in the washer.

Well, once again, I noticed that my knees really hurt shortly after doing the exercises that are “supposed to” make my knees “pain free”; so, I didn’t go everywhere that I wanted to go but I was satisfied with what I did manage to do. We got a 4′ tall wire fence for our garden, which we will put in later tonight. Then, we ate at my favorite Chinese buffet place for lunch. Now, that I am “better” physically, I have been using my free time to do some running around; running around that I just didn’t feel like doing before. If we had more money and the weather were milder, I don’t think I would stop until I “dropped”. I really miss just something different than going to bed, hanging around this apartment and, yes, playing online games. For now, I relish the times when I can get out and do something different than what I have been doing for months on end.

Of course, the entire country is under this oppressive heat wave so then it makes it a little more difficult to be out in this heat. Finally, I convinced P to start running the a/c in our car. In the past couple of years, we have opted not to and some days it was pretty tough but he felt it was hard on the car engine and it does use extra gas but I told him that there were times when he would come in and he looked exhausted. I just said we’ll pay the extra money on gas this summer, especially since this weather more typical of mid-July. I sure hope we aren’t stuck with this the entire summer. If so, it will make it seem even that much longer, although we have excellent central air in our apartment. That makes it more pleasant to be indoors.

6/7/11:

Again, I was able to sleep at least 6 hours within one stretch. I do get up multiple times to go to the bathroom but I fall right back to sleep so I am okay with that. I got up around 7:30 am and I did my stretches in bed–my thigh muscles are very tight and my right knee feels swollen when I try to bend it. Then, I got dressed and got on the living room floor and did the three different exercises for the abs (or core muscles) that I learned years ago and do get the results. I have decided that I am going to do my abs every morning first thing before I have breakfast so that they are “done” and I don’t have to think about trying to “fit them in” with whatever happens the rest of the day.

Another thing that I am trying to do is get out of the apartment more frequently. There have been times in the not so distant past where I didn’t leave this apartment for a couple of weeks at a time!  So, in spite of the oppressive heat, I willingly got out of the nice a/c to “tag along” to our garden and put up fencing and water our plants and eat at Wendy’s for lunch. I did get a little bit of coloring by being out in the sun but I urged P to wrap it up when I was even feeling like I had gotten a little too much sun. He is much fairer than I am and he burns; not tans. I know that you aren’t supposed to water your grass or plants during the hottest part of the day but considering it was as hot at 10 a.m. as it was at noon, I think that would be splitting hairs today. I made sure that it got a lot of water; enough to last a couple of days.

I think we should also consider thinning out our peas again since I thought the plants didn’t look as robust as they did earlier this week. It could be the sun but let’s see if we can thin them first and if they rally back. If not, then we know they are more suited for a winter garden. Some of this may be learned by trial and error. I think thinning might be the first choice and then we can check back a few days later and see how they are doing. They looked so promising a week ago.

For example, I thought the only answer for my knees and the pain/inflexibility was surgery. It still may be the case but now that I have found this small book on how to eliminate the pain I am wondering if this might be a better answer. Given the fact that we don’t have health insurance nor the money to pay for elective surgery at this time; it might be “an answer to my/our prayers” even if it isn’t what I thought would be the “answer”. SO; it is very well possible that God will have an absolutely different but brilliant answer to our financial insecurities. I am open to anything that will allow us to meet every bill that is looming on the near horizon.

6/8/11:

Well, another blessed night of sleep. I felt like sleeping longer so I stayed in bed until 7:15 a.m. I went to bed at 10 p.m. last night but, as usual, I was up and down every two hours to pee. I’m used to it and as long as I fall back to sleep I don’t let it bother me too much. Once again, I did my knee strengthening exercise then crunches and some stretches in bed. My thigh muscles are very tight. They have always been tight but not as tight as they are right now. I now understand that this is contributing to the knee pain.After having breakfast, I suggested that we go to Wal-mart. I honestly thought we could “afford” it although once we got home and I thought about the purchases I made, I realized the majority of it I could have waited on. Unfortunately, that often happens in spite of all the signs that point to us being in serious financial trouble if we don’t get some money in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been feeling so good after a rested night of sleep that I wanted to get out of the apartment. Wal-mart was nearly empty so I could take my time and look at what was on the shelves and enjoy shopping. Again, relaxing in a store with so many cheap choices can mean spending a lot more money in the end.  I also look at it from the perspective of it is a large open area, I can walk slow and it is a/c. I was also feeling really upbeat with the fact that I could walk around the majority of the store without yelping too much from my knees. There was a time not long ago when I couldn’t do that. I know when my knees have had their limit though and as soon as it approaches that point I tell P it is time we check out. He is getting used to this cue so he knows that we need to wrap it up whether we have gotten everything we came there for. In this case, it was a good thing because that kept a cap on the spending. Still, I didn’t need to buy S another summer dress although it was so cute and when I got home I realized that the cute sandals I had gotten before I saw the dress matched! I also bought her some swim diapers, a couple of coloring books and crayons. So, I will try and send all of this within the next week.

6/9/11:

I feel like I am on a roll but I have had another wonderful night’s sleep. Granted, I get up about every two hours to pee but I do fall back to sleep almost immediately so I can live with that. I have been really trying to go without a nap also so that I will feel tired enough to go to bed by 10-11 p.m. So far, it seems to be working although I do have a “natural” dip in the mid-late afternoon. Well, once again, I did my stretches and ab crunches first thing in the morning. After P prayed his morning prayers, we prayed our rosary. We are nearing the completion of this 54 day novena. I am so glad that we both could do this together and that we have made every day thus far. Then, P had a few things he needed to get done today. I am always glad when he has “some” things to do because he gets really antsy when he doesn’t have any work.As for me, I just enjoy when I have a “good day” (without pain or missed sleep).

Well, I finished making homemade chicken noodle soup. I cooked the whole chicken long enough that the carcass just fell apart. I appreciated that since I hate boning a whole chicken. I put the different parts into separate containers. This will make it a lot easier to reheat later on. I also put aside some chicken breast meat for me. It is so much more tender when you just boil it in some seasoned water. I hate dry white chicken meat. Well, I had a cup of it and it tastes very good. P just loves it. I would make it more often but the big stock pot takes up quite a bit of space in our refrigerator. I am glad that, at least, we have a well-stocked kitchen right now. We really don’t need to do any major grocery shopping for another week.

[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.]

M.O.M.’s cooking

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 31 Comments

5/27/11:

I went through the Month of Meals cookbook (compiled by the American Diabetic Assoc) or MOM is how I abbreviate it for my BLC food log. Yesterday, I made one of the recipes, black bean chili, and had it for lunch. Last week, I had made the potato salad, something I really love also. I can really taste the absence of fat and salt in both recipes but they were still very tasty. I think today I will try to make a couple more of the recipes. It is fun to experiment when you have most or all of the ingredients readily available. The black bean chili is a great way to get my vegetables in and not feel like I have a mound here and a mound there sitting “alone” on my plate.

The only thing is when my appetite increases (like after cleaning the porch last night) I do want to have some food so I have been going over my daily calorie limit, unfortunately. Usually when I first start being more active this happens. If I remember, just like the early hunger pangs as I adjust my calories downward, this will go its course and then I will be able to be more active without “needing/wanting” additional calories. At some point, I am sure that I will probably have to even plan a light snack for after working out. However, if I really work out hard enough it does the opposite and acts like an appetite suppressant, sometimes for several hours afterwards. Right now, it is just getting back into the full swing of things so, once again, I am going to have to be patient with the process.

Maybe, I need more “prep” time than what Dr. Beck lays out in her book. She said 2 weeks but for me it has now been four weeks and I have been more “maintaining” a 5 lbs weight lose from the first initial week than actually losing. I am going to cut myself some slack here because when I began reading the book I was still experiencing the heavy menstrual flows and the acute arthritic pain not to mention I haven’t slept well for nearly six weeks. I feel I am making progress. Since May 1st I have been able to buy the food that would support me in eating healthy. I have really gone to the grocery store armed with a lot of nutritional information culled from a lot of sources which I then see what is available to support that. I also have cracked open a lot of my cookbooks, especially the ones geared towards diabetics. I feel more in the mood to cook now that I have more food available to me. It also has been really fun to try different foods that I didn’t before because we weren’t spending the money at the grocery store. This is one aspect of my present weight lose program that I really hopes continues. It gives me such hope that I can have a varied, tasteful and healthy food plan as long as I can “afford it” financially. Here’s hoping. (fingers crossed)

About two weeks ago, I decided that I would really make a stronger effort to go “no sugar”. What I discovered by doing that is a lot of the stronger physical cravings triggered by my blood glucose rising rapidly dramatically fell off.  That action alone brought a lot of sanity into my behavior towards food.  Now, that I have made an assessment of my weaknesses and strengths regarding dieting, I can be more on the alert for how my weaknesses derail an otherwise steady progress. I have more hope because I have a better understanding of what I am doing right and what I need to work on and improve.

Within the next two weeks, I will be receiving a heart rate monitor, some new (more difficult) BL dvds and the second edition of the Beck Diet Solution. I went through the “Treat Your Own Knees” book last night and although I haven’t read it in depth yet from what I have read it sounds like by me strengthening my thigh muscles, doing some key stretching and then doing some walking followed up by some physical therapy treatments, I should eradicate my knee pain. It sounds logical from what I have read so far. I think it would be wonderful if I could resume some of my former mobility and strength. It would also go a long way in helping me to lose weight since I really do need to be more active so I can burn more calories.

In some ways, it does make me feel a little foolish, especially if I find out that really all along all I really needed to do was lose some weight, get my muscles stronger and be more active. In my defense, I didn’t “discover” this book until just recently so how would I have known exactly what to do to treat my knees? I wouldn’t have.  On the other hand, won’t it also be wonderful if I can walk without a cane and even better yet go for a walk with P? That will not only rebuild my strength and stamina but it will also help me lose weight. Not to mention, I might be able to postpone surgery so, if we were able to afford health insurance, the rider that would be on that surgery I could actually “comfortably” wait until that was lifted and then I could have the surgery? I think any or all of these possibilities are exciting.

For an “unending” breakfast this morning, I decided to have the nutri-grain blueberry waffles along with the new sugar free maple flavored syrup I ordered through the mail. First of all, you can have 1/4 cup which was enough for 4 waffles. However, although there was no disclaimer on the label, I have had a lot of gas and some stomach upset since then. I could have had half of the serving size but I guess, first time, I thought I would see how much 1/4 cup was. It is plenty enough. I know that a lot of programs do not endorse using sugar alcohol for that reason but the diabetic recipes often call for that so I figure that if I were diagnosed as a “full blown” Type II diabetics I would be probably encouraged to use them as an alternative to “added” sugar products. So, I am going to use them while I am following a weight lose food plan since I have found that when I have sugar foods I do have a tendency to crave more food as a result. Not to mention, repeated use of sugar foods would also raise my blood glucose.

When I was out shopping, I got more highlighters and recipe cards to finish up the Beck Diet Solution book with. We always check out the “latest” candy selection. I had sworn off all the chocolate but it’s been quite a while and I actually felt like I was in a lot more “control”. I scooped up the last of the  sugar free selection.

5/30/11:

Hard to believe that it is already Memorial Day Monday!  P’s birthday is next Sunday. I wonder if the rest of the summer will fly by as quickly as the first five months of this year have so far. I decided to “relax” my dieting efforts this past weekend and I can say that it makes all the difference in the world right now. We had PJ’s pizza on Friday night. I haven’t ordered that in a couple of months! Even P remarked that it had been quite a while. Suffice to say, I believe that I can wait yet another couple of months to do it again. That is real progress. Then, we got some of our favorite mini chocolate bars yesterday. I had a few but again I didn’t feel like a non-stop binge coming on. Progress again!  What has changed? Well, I think the way I viewing dieting in general and I really owe it to the “work” that I have been doing in this Beck Diet Solution.

A couple of key factors were “defining” a plateau. She defines plateaus into two categories: short and long term ones. I realized that I had more control over my weight lose than I had previously thought. In fact, if I am experiencing either there are things that I can do about those to get myself started back in losing weight. Before, I would see even a slight weight gain that some how I had failed and done something wrong which then the anxiety sometimes lead me to either overeat at the next meal since I tend to have an “all or nothing” mentality towards dieting and felt like “what’s the use?” or simply to reinforce the insecurity and mistrust I have had in my decision making and choices I make in this area. For me, this has been very freeing. It also helps me to “reduce the stress” (another lesson) since I do have unreasonable expectations of my own efforts in dieting, which, again, was very freeing. I can lower my expectations enough to reduce the stress without compromising my weight lose goals. That was a huge revelation for me. Again, it gets back to the “all or nothing” thinking I have previously had.

So, this weekend, I am relaxing my dieting efforts and eating “off plan”. I am still logging everything I am eating and I am also weighing myself every day. So, now I am viewing this “going off plans” meals/days/weekends/maybe even some day the “holidays” as “temporarily going on maintenance. Yes, the “danger” exists that it might be difficult to resume going back “on plan” and, therefore, I might not want to do that but, again, since Dr. Beck emphasizes that success or failure really depends on: first, our thought processes, then, secondly, our behaviors; why not, view this as it is a conscious decision to eat “off plan” knowing full well that will slow, stall or cause a temporary weight gain and that if I take ownership of that decision and I can live with the short term consequences; than why not?

So, the benefit of seeing these same actions in a different light is that I can avoid many of self-defeating thoughts that I had before and I probably can and will get back on track a lot more quickly as a result. I will say that one of my strengths is the ability to get back on track. In some ways, I do have the ability to flip dieting on and off like a light switch. I used to see this as a weakness but now I am beginning to see it more as a strength and a strength that I can use to my “advantage”. Later tonight we are going to have our “annual” brat supper that we typically have during one of the summer holidays. I don’t think I have had brats since this time last year. When it dawned on me that this is an “off plan” food that I rarely “indulge” in I decided that I am going to enjoy it for today and then tomorrow it is back to “business as usual”. I like that “strategy” and I think that will help me move through the remainder of my weight lose journey easier and feeling like I don’t have to have super-human willpower to lose all of this weight. That alone is a great relief and I also think a “recipe” for failure too had I continued to hold onto that unrealistic expectation.

So, my “plans” today also involve some “spontaneous movement” (I prefer the word movement over exercise since I feel that is what it is): I am going to have Paul help me take the two rockers from the porch out to our cement area between these two buildings and I am going to really clean them up good. I bought a small plastic bucket and a long handled brush(actually for car tires). If I had a garden hose I would have used that. It would have been quicker and easier but I don’t so this is the next best thing. Then, I will wait for them to dry. I hope to begin the spray painting the dark wood chair. I bought two cans of paint so let’s see if this will be enough. I have been wanting to do this for several years but just never got around to it.

Finally, I got some decent sleep. I felt like I was coming down with a mild head cold yesterday so I began taking some sinus/allergy medicine for it. If I take two of them, it really knocks me out. I figured it was the combination of all the fans and a/c running that irritated my sinuses. I was able to get about 8 hours total today. What a difference that makes!!  I think, I had had several days/ nights with less than 4 hours each day and it was rough. Let’s hope this is the start of my sleep turning back around to “normal”. I have decided that I am going to do everything I can to not oversleep as well; out of boredom or even feeling blue. I am going to do my best to stay alert and stimulated throughout the day. I realize that part of the reason why I seemed to spend a lot of time sitting here at the computer was I simply wasn’t filling my day with enough things to interest me and keep me stimulated. Plus, I now think that I was also having some S.A.D.D. during the winter months. It seemed my mood brightened as soon as April came around only to be “slayed” by my arthritis and that flare-up along with the two heavy menstruations I had. Boy, what a past 4 months it has been. I sure hope that I am pulling out of a lot of this so I can really move ahead on some of the things that have been on hold during that time.

This past weekend, I “allowed” myself to relax on my food plan. I didn’t go into the weekend thinking that I would but once I ordered Papa John’s pizza on Friday night (which I haven’t done in two months) it just seemed to evolve. I still feel like I ate in a fairly disciplined way. I did have regular Coca-Cola and some mini chocolate candy bars but as soon as the clock struck midnight last night all that “indulgences” ceased. Getting back on track is essential if I am going to “allow” myself some “off plan” eating. The success of doing that will also mean that I won’t lose much ground when I do. I have been very careful the past 6 1/2 weeks so this was a risk to do this. However, I was willing to take that risk since I know how stressed I was feeling going into the weekend (the lack of sleep was the primary cause) and how much more relaxed I became when I made the decision to do that. It is not easy dieting and especially under these circumstances. I think that “on occasion” if/when I can do this I will allow some of that built up tension to be released. I am well aware that is also saying that I am still “using” food as a stress-reliever. I guess, this is a more conscious effort. I acknowledge that I am an emotional eater. Not as bad as I used to be, for sure, but I still “use” food to relax and unwind. It is a work in progress which I feel I am winning.

6/1/11:

Well, I slept better last night. TG. I did get up around 5 a.m. and I am returning to bed in a few minutes. All my eating over the weekend resulted in a nearly 6 lbs weight gain. Last night alone I ended up having a 1200 calories “nosh”. Since I was prompted to weigh myself on BLC I did put in the weight gain. Not a great way to start out a new month but “Oh well”. Now, to get back on track. I plan on working out when I reawaken. I also plan on working out 5-6x a week. This will be tough at first but once I get used to it the benefits will really be worth it. One benefit is that once my metabolism picks up I will be able to absorb these detours from my food plan a lot better. In fact, I might not even regain any weight. Since I ate over 3000 calories each day this past weekend and even closer to 4000 calories along with added sodium, I am not surprised by the weight gain. However, I do hope that I can get back to 2100 calories today and within a few days be around 1800 calories.

Since I didn’t fall back to sleep right away, I got up and thought I would exercise while P was doing some “errands”. I did about 10-15 minutes of STOIV. I could feel it in my knees, especially the sideways movements. I felt clumsy and really out of shape. It is always hard to start all over again. However, it is a start and I have to begin somewhere. I might actually try it again tonight when P is at choir practice. I will just keep returning to it until I can do a little more each day.

Well, as it turned out, the summer cold that I have been fighting returned and I ended up sleeping a lot. I’m not sure how much but I would say between 9-12 hours over three separate times. I seem to feel the best when I take the Emergen-C which is 1000 units of Vitamin C and some B vitamins. It felt like that is what I needed to do so I went to bed around 10 p.m. and I got up in the middle of the night, although this time, I had, at least, slept some before I did get up. My joints are holding their own. Crossing my fingers but other than the twinge of pain in the sides of my knees when I move suddenly, I am able to sleep when I do go to bed except when I am dwelling on the many different things in our lives. The good thing about being sick. You stop “caring” so you can care for yourself. There’s a lesson in there.

Well, my latest renewed efforts to get back eating OP (”on plan”) and exercising is starting out slow but I am getting back on track and that is the main thing. Although I really do enjoy taking time off from my dieting and eating some of my old favorites, I really hate the fact that I “had to” change the scales on the BLC site backwards—again. However, if/when I get back where I am working out diligently like I have in the past, I will be able to ride out those kinds of “bumps” a lot easier and with less “damage” to my weight lose progress. It is just getting back to that point again that takes time.

TG, I have been sleeping a lot better these past couple of days. What a difference that makes too! I have tried to get up from here periodically and do something around here. Just to stretch my unused muscles for one thing but also so I can “say” that I have done something besides play online games while I am waiting for my pain meds to kick in; which, sadly, I hate to admit I do a lot of. Now, that it seems that I am having some good nights which gives me some good days, I really need to do more of the things that I have been putting on hold for several weeks now.

[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.]

No Sugar “Sweets” aren’t so sweet

Filed Under Keeping It Real | Leave a Comment

Week of May 20, 2011:

Well, I have already had about 1/2 of my daily calories and it is only 6:45 a.m. I would call that emotional eating. The more I eat the more I want to eat too. I slept 1 hour before getting up to take some additional Tylenol PM. I had a cup of milk to wash that down with, one serving of sugar free chocolate chip cookies and 2 cold hot dogs. Then, I started to feeling somewhat hungry so I had 2 servings of cold cereal with some lite soy milk. Soon after that I made some toast with natural peanut butter. Now, all of these foods are healthy (the hot dogs might be the only questionable one due to fat -although this is a lower fat one-and the high sodium) but I am eating and I would continue to eat if it weren’t for the fact that I know that I shouldn’t. I’ve stopped for now but I know if I allowed myself I could continue eating until I had eaten several more hundred calories. Why am I doing this?

For all the reasons that I shouldn’t be. Maybe, the cup of skim milk could be “justified” because I take that with my sleep/ pain medicine and coating my stomach isn’t all that bad of an idea but the rest is partially because the food is readily available, my guard is down (I’m sleepy but not yet that sleepy) and because I have “allowed” myself to do so. It just goes to show you that I have my work cut out for me when it comes to eating when I am not hungry. This habit alone will keep me obese, if I allow it to. In fact, right now, I feel like going into the kitchen and eating a lot more until I am very full. That is the set up for a binge so that tells you I am feeling emotional right now even if my eyes are getting sleepy and I really couldn’t tell you what I am feeling emotional about.

I would not have labeled this “emotional eating” until I read the Day devoted to that in the BDS pink book. I began calling it “distracted eating” but Dr. Beck labels that as “emotional eating” so I guess it is. Actually, any reason you are eating other than hunger could/should be labeled “emotional eating”. Well, I will return to bed shortly and I will probably sleep through the time I would normally eat lunch so when I get up I will probably eat either an early supper or, if I can, hold off and eat a later dinner. However, this sets up long stretches where I am not eating as a result. It is not the healthiest way to eat, that’s for sure.

Well, at least, I am detached enough about this that I can observe my behavior as it is happening and see how the dots are connecting with each other. As she states so emphatically, stop at that moment and then proceed with your next OP meal when it is scheduled to happen. Well, time to give myself credit. I managed to go through several nights this past week without “emotional eating” so I have to acknowledge I have done it so I am capable of doing it again. Right now, I am going to return to bed. When I get up I am going to take a shower and maybe what might be a good thing to do is put on a Richard Simmons STTO dvd and that might help me sweat off some of the sodium-induced weight I gained over night and also maybe help drop  1/2-1 lbs besides.

I am very grateful that we can “afford” to buy the food that will “support” my food plan and healthier way of eating. I hope that I will be able to continue to do this “moving forward” and not have to cut back so I’m not able to try new recipes and foods. I just love to look into our cupboards and refrigerator and see all of the healthy choices I have available. Since we do not have health insurance nor can we afford to be self-insured, I have often “drilled” P about how eating healthy is our “assurance” in avoiding seeing the doctor.

I received my sugar free food I ordered online. It came within 48 hours. I was hoping that the assorted snack pack were of everything they offer. Instead, it was two of the things I had bought on Monday and a third one: pecan walnut brownies. I gave one to Paul to sample. He didn’t think they were half bad. I didn’t either. What I like even more is that I can truly stop at one package without feeling like I have to eat more and more. That is another advantage of eating no sugar and an important one: I have better control over how much I eat when I do eat it. However, the main disadvantage is that I have been quickly substituting eating sugar free cookies, brownies or a Klondike bar for healthier alternatives like raw vegetables or fresh fruit as my snacks.

I began reading the “Biggest Loser” Fitness book. According to this book, this is the workout that they put the contestants through while they are on the ranch. Or it is implied anyway. Essentially, it is a combination of circuit training followed by cardio. So, that is exactly what I am going to do. They have several different levels even within Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. I think I could follow up with doing a RS dvd afterwards. That should make a person good and tired after doing that! You’re supposed to do it in such a way that you are moving very rapidly through the different “core” exercises so I would say that by the time you get to the cardio you are well warmed up and ready to hit the ground running when it comes time for the cardio. All of this is supposed to be done at 80-85% of your target heart rate.

Well, we have a heart rate monitor on our treadmill and I could take my heart rate with my fingers like the way everyone “used to do in the old days” but now everything is electronic so I decided to go ahead and order a heart rate monitor. With an extended one year warranty and taxes, I paid $65. In order to deflect the cost of the extended warranty, I decided to have it shipped to the Dunwoody Wal-mart. I was going to wait on this until I had lost 50 lbs or more but I really do want to get the full benefit out of these workouts. It did have some medical questions that it asked beforehand: have I had chest pains when working out (I have some very mild ones when I start up the first time after a long absence but they go away within a few minutes and don’t return the second time I work out), do I have any joint problems (yes!), etc. but I can take it slow and work my way up too. I really want to do this. I know that it will help me sleep better, feel better emotionally and it will definitely help me burn up calories and I won’t be so worried if I stray a little bit from my food plan. After this past weekend, where I just really felt like I couldn’t face another strict day of dieting, I knew it was time to bring this part of my plan back into full force. I logged what I ate late last night but when I do that it “cheats” me of the calories I need for “today” and now here I am right before bed, snacking on cereal and sugar free cookies.

I continued to read through the Biggest Loser Fitness Program. As soon as I have become more acquainted with it I am going to start it. I am sure that I won’t be going at 80% of my target heart rate at the beginning anyway but I might have worked up to that by the time the heart rate monitor comes. I think it will help me burn enough calories where I can eat about the same amount of calories that I am eating now and lose weight. At least, that was the case last summer. I do not look forward to eating any less than what I am eating now. There is an overview of their food plan and the calories are really low. Which surprises me because they have me at such a high calorie range right now. Well, time will tell how much I need to cut to see a consistent weight lose. As I mentioned to P, if their calories are that low on the ranch how do they manage to do the workouts? When I was going at my peak a few months ago I was so wiped out I had to take a nap shortly afterwards.

5/24/11:

Before I went to bed I finished off an open bag of the sugar free cookies. They don’t have a lot of taste–remind me of vanilla wafers–but they were hard and had that “crunch factor” that I like when I want to eat indefinitely. I knew while I was eating them that I could end up with a lot of intestinal gas because of the sugar alcohols. By the time I finished it off I really had an off after taste in my mouth. I slept for awhile but I was quite restless the past hour so I finally got up. I still feel full to my stomach from those cookies. I’ll take some more Tylenol PM and go back to bed shortly after. I hate to log those cookies but I will. I think I had around 20 cookies, which is around 475 calories. No sugar but still calories. Well, it feels like they are just sitting in my stomach so I am not feeling hungry right now so I guess that will be considered my breakfast calories!  I am hoping that once I begin exercising daily and actually work off some of this free floating anxiety some of this “emotional eating” will cease.

I got that book “Treat Your Own Knees” yesterday in the mail. It is a very small book written by a physical therapist. I hope it has some good tips in it. What awoke me an hour ago was the muscles in my thighs were hurting along with my knees. If I could both get my pain subsided before I go to bed and then while I am sleeping I am sure I would be able to move forward on all of this. Well, I will do all I can to try different home remedies. I would love it if I could get to a place where I could walk without the cane and have strong enough legs to carry me through a level ground walk.

I’m still waiting on the green book for Beck Diet Solution. According to the time frame, the latest expected delivery would be May 31st. I think this is the longest that I have ever had to wait for a shipment. Wal-mart’s “site to store” can also be lengthy but I got the extended warranty so I figured that I would have to cut back on shipping costs. I think I am doing the right things to move towards a healthier life. I just have to be patient with the process.

Well, another thing I have to be patient with is my sleep patterns. I felt that I was only up less than two hours.  I ended up sleeping from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. I awoke rested but still I feel “weird” that I am not sleeping throughout the night but it seems like I can sleep in the later morning and through the mid-afternoon. Last night I slept lightly and awoke a couple of times because of the muscles in my upper legs bothering me and then, of course, my knees.

Well, after eating the rest of the opened package of sugar free cookies I waited expecting to have diarrhea and a lot of gas. I did have gas and I felt like I had a rock in my stomach for several hours! I didn’t eat anything until around 4 p.m. and even then I wasn’t very hungry. Does this sound very sane? No, but I did log it and I did share it with the others in my Beck group, especially when someone asked if it were okay to eat intuitively. My answer was yes since Beck Diet Solution does not endorse any particular diet as long as it is healthy. I think you can eat intuitively and eat healthy. I told her that I felt that to some extent I do eat intuitively since I don’t plan my meals the day before. I just don’t like to. However, I do log what I eat as the day goes on. I am very good about doing that. I also make sure that I am not straying far from my food plan and I do try my best to eat within the recommended calorie range. I keep what is known as a “clean kitchen”. In other words, I don’t have anything that is considered not healthy in either my cupboards or refrigerator.

However, my biggest obstacle to losing weight is the fact that I am not only a couch potato, I am fast going to seed. Well, I plan on doing something about that very soon. I am almost finished reading the Biggest Loser Fitness book. The last time that I worked out that hard I got so tired I got in the habit of needing to take a nap afterwards. My appetite also increased. However, the biggest benefit I know that I will gain from exercising is that weight will come off plus I will also be able to eat more without regaining what I lost. That is very good news!

Tonight was the finale show of “Biggest Loser Season 11-Couples”. One of the two sisters won the grand prize. Both looked amazing! Probably the best looking of all the final contestants on any of these shows. In fact, one of them got down to 120 lbs which I think is almost unheard of on that show. I think what was to their advantage is each other so their motivation remained high throughout the entire program. They also managed to hang in there and not get eliminated like a lot of the other contestants. Also, one used to play volleyball so she had some muscles underneath all of that extra fat. The other one was an opera singer and I am certain that she knew how to be disciplined in order to succeed in that field.

I also noticed that a lot of the people, including one person(C) that I really thought would return home and blow the rest of the people away, didn’t do as well once she got home. There were some exceptions though. One woman, aged 59, won the $100K at home prize, and I think she lost half of her body weight. One guy who was at the ranch almost to the last couple weeks also did remarkably well. Then, there was one who left almost 4-6 weeks ago that lost a significant amount of weight. I could tell by the reaction of Bob and Jillian that they were both surprised and very pleased with those at home “losers”. So, I would say that the “at home” losers were a divided group. Half did really well and then there were some who probably struggled more once they got home. My guess is that they couldn’t find enough motivation on their own to keep it going.

Well, inspired by that show, I decided that, in spite of 1 hour of sleep during the night, I would push P and I out the door today. He didn’t have any work and rather than he sit around all day and I sleep all day that is what I did. We did find the D Green Market. It was amazing that we even found it at all because there were more twists and turns to the road than you can imagine. We got fresh Swiss chard and arugula. I think we paid too much for them ($4 a bag) but these types of market do have a tendency to run kind of high. Then, we found (also another twist and turn) the D Nature Preserve. I did something I haven’t attempted in quite a long time. I got out and I walked (with my cane). I knew P wouldn’t be all that interested if I sat on a bench and he “explored” on his own (we’ve tried that before).

Anyway, we ended up our “running around” by eating lunch at GC. I have a good handle on eating there. I am able to find what works on my food plan and then I eat it. I don’t even consider going over to the bakery area. I did pose the question to the Beck support group about pre-planning meals. I am not so sure that I am really deviating all that much from what they do. However, one person made a note that they really ramped up their exercising which is what I am going to do from now on. I did tip over 3000 mg sodium today and my calories were at the top of my calorie range but I also moved, even if it felt laborious at times. My knees felt swollen after I laid down for a brief light sleep nap. I also noted that I was breathless just moving around and I felt my heart although I wouldn’t say it was chest pains. It made me feel sad a little because it really shows how inactive I have been and what a toll it has taken on my “heart health”.  The “good news” is that with persistence I should be able to strengthen my heart muscle as well as the rest of my body. Once I get that heart rate monitor I will know how much I am working my heart but also how many calories I will be burning. Both were be important pieces of information in helping me to know how I am using the calories I am taking in but also what I need to do to lower those calories taken in so that I am losing on a steady basis.

So, for under $20 I have two dvds on the way here. They are scheduled to come within a couple of weeks. I’m not in any hurry really since I doubt whether I am in good enough shape to even crack them and I want to get my heart rate monitor first so I can see how “unfit” I am so I won’t push myself too fast too soon, I am more than okay with that.

What I am hoping I will be able to do is have all of this come together at about the time that I am able to really put it to practice. In the meantime, I also hope that I can slowly get back to being more mobile around here and in general. So, any kind of working out that I can do in the next couple of weeks will only help me prepare for the more rigorous working out that I am sure these two dvds will be. The 30 Day Shred (Jillian Michael) is really hard on the knees so I also hope that I will have finished reading that book I got recently and whatever it says to do to “treat my own knees” I will be doing that as well. Although I feel a little sheepish about ordering all of this stuff, given our present financial circumstances and the fact that we are living on one income, I do know that I will use this all and it can only help me move beyond my inactivity and how that impacts not only my joints but also my weight lose too.

Speaking of which, I am still hanging around 267-269 lbs. Again, I think that once I start working out more diligently I will begin to burn up some of those extra calories that I am finding so hard to “resist”. I am not sure if the “falling off the wagon” this past weekend was hormonal-driven or emotion-driven or both. It seemed to correct itself yesterday and I found myself being able to stay OP(on plan) relatively easy. I wasn’t tempted at all when we ate at GC although because of the amount of food I ate, I did end up being at the top of my calorie range and over my sodium range. Still, I felt it was a more “sane” day of eating overall.

We are also well aware of how precarious our financial situation is. I think, on one level we are in denial. I think it helps to get through what has been a very long and protracted period of  financial hardship. We have gone from the frying pan into the fire and we’ve been walking on hot coals, especially for the past 7-8 months since my unemployment ended. Looking back on it, I think I did the right thing for me but that also points out how stressful being so strapped can be for people and how that in itself becomes a struggle besides the rest of  the things you are dealing with. I will say though that at times I am “proud” of how well I/we have done in spite of the formidable challenges we have faced. It certainly does bring out your resourcefulness. We try to do the best with what we have.

[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.]

Erratic Sleep and Eating Out Continues..

Filed Under Keeping It Real | 67 Comments

Week of May 13, 2011:

Well, I have been awake for almost 24 hours straight. Thanks to me sleeping 12 hours yesterday during most of the morning and part of the afternoon then making the mistake of having Coke Zero when we came home last night. I’ll learn one of these days! Well, I was starting to feel drowsy around 4:30 a.m. but when I went to bed I started thinking about a lot of things that were not important enough to be keeping me awake but I was and as it got closer to 6:00 a.m. I knew that the technician would be here sometime between 9-11 a.m. so I figured I might as well just get up and stay up, no matter how tired I was. So, that is what I did. The technician was here for 3 hours. He rewired all the phone jacks and then installed the new modem including a wireless router and then the cable box. I called Dtv right after the technician left and cancelled our service with them. The csr was less than cordial but it is over with. Now, we are “bundled”; the latest in their technology. Here is hoping that there are no “surprises” in our bill except that it will be less.

5/14/11:

I went to bed at midnight and awoke at 2 a.m. with both knees really bothering me so I got up and I have taken a double dosage of EX Tylenol. I will try to go to bed in the next half hour. I feel a lot better that the installation of the new “bundle” service is over with. I really hate having to adhere to one of these open-ended service calls because it invariably will fall a day when either I didn’t sleep well the night before or the apartment is a “mess”. Well, I hit jackpot on both accounts. Not only did I feel like a “scrub” (I need to both color my hair and wash it) but all I could see looking around was things I “should have” done before this technician came. I am going to have to keep the computer in this room because of how he wired the phone jacks. It’s a lot more limiting than having DSL but I should see quite a difference in processing speed with my computer.

I weigh every day and have been for a couple of months after joining a daily weigh in thread on 3fatchicks but I will say that I haven’t been paying much attention the past couple of days. However, the Beck book has us weigh once a week as we move through the daily exercises. I have had such horrible sleep this past week coupled with the fact that  I have been eating some of my daily calories during the middle of night so when I do weigh in it is mid-afternoon and I am not sure if that is an accurate measurement of my present weight.

So, it appears that I have either not lost any weight this past week or I may have even gained a couple of pounds! One day’s lesson was devoted on how to view the number on the scale. I have come a long way regarding that although I still don’t heed the “warning” if the numbers creep up until 5+ lbs have been regained. Looking back at my food log, I feel I did very well. There was more consistency in staying within my recommended calorie range, from day to day there wasn’t much difference and the only added sugar food item I had was a small reduced fat vanilla ice cream cone earlier in the week. In other words, this has been one of my better weeks in a very long time. It is possible that because my sleeping/awakening pattern has really been off I could be producing cortisol- a stress-related hormone to be believed in inducing weight gain. It is also possible that because I have been sleeping a lot more during the day I have been even more inactive than I was before (if that is possible). Plus, it is getting closer to the time when I get a monthly period so this could also be PMS bloat. I have been craving chocolate and sugar the past couple of days.

Well, I am going to resume daily exercising. I will do my best to do something every single day this coming week and let’s see how that impacts my weight lose. I have also been drinking a lot more diet soda than water although I really think the bottom line is always less calories = weight lose. So, that is what I have to aim for always. This last assignment where we have to put our sabotaging thoughts up against 7 Questions really opened my eyes to some of the ways that I have been holding myself back. I think of all the cards that I have made up thus far those have had the most impact on how I see my own role in remaining obese. I am still full of self-doubts but there is also a Day coming up that will address that as well so I am looking forward to seeing what exactly I will need to do to overcome that hurdle.

Right now, the main thing is to just get on with all of this. Once again, it seems like I have had a reoccurring pattern of RA flare-up. This has been at least the second year in a row where I have a predictable period, usually 4-5 weeks, where my RA goes from being tolerable achy to acute pain. Ironically, it is at the two times of the year, Advent and Lent, when we as Catholics become more involved in openly practicing our faith. This has been the second year that I missed Easter. I honestly thought I could make it Easter morning so I waived going during the Easter Vigil. I am really going to have to rethink that “strategy” because it backed fired on me twice two years in a row.

Well, I need to do a couple of things that might actually help me get through those two periods easier. One is pain management. Two is use the plateau time to get a lot more things done so that when I do have one of those periods of acute flare-ups, if I ease back on my activities, I won’t feel doubly discouraged that I have all this stuff, particularly around, that needs to get done. I am still learning how to effectively manage the acute pain. One thing that will be beneficial is getting back into shape, particularly my flexibility and to strengthen the muscles that support my affected joints. The second is to just move more quickly on some of these unfinished projects. That way I will have cleared my “to do” list of things that trouble me because they are not done. Then, when the flare-ups return, those things will be done and all I have to focus on is getting through the acute flare-ups and not be preoccupied with the other stuff. I have also decided that when I am having better days/weeks/months that I will ceize the opportunity to take in a lot of social activities so that it will balance off the times when all I can do is be home, either in bed or on the loveseat watching tv.

So, moving forward, this is going to my plan on how to handle my RA.

Today, we went to Wal-mart and  I was able to walk around the whole store well. My knees were only bothering me a little towards the end. When we got home, I was even able to put away what we bought without sitting down and then after briefly sitting down I was able to stand to make our supper. All of this used to be a “big deal” for me. It thoroughly convinces me that I really need to try and get as much weight off of my joints as I possibly can asap. The less weight I am carrying on my weight bearing joints the easier it will be for me to do more “sustained” exercise, which is what I really need to do to see those numbers go down.

Case in point: T,one of the women I’ve met on the BLC site has been training for several different walking fundraisers. I am not sure why she decided to start that but she has been very determined to finish these “5, 10 and 13K” walks and, by the sound of it, she has but what a price she is paying: after one such walk, she went home and took an ice bath! I used to walk 15 miles a week. I could walk 3 miles in 45 minutes. I was going up and down hills as well. I was 245 lb at the time. By the sound of it, T is doing what I used to do: being  physically active but not dieting. I didn’t like reducing calories then. Who does? I shudder when I think of the kind of food choices I used to make though. A lot of fast food for one thing. When I was home, I ate very little fresh food either. It was all processed, frozen or canned. So, I was eating a lot of high fat/sodium/sugar and calories. No wonder I never budged an ounce.

My guess is that she is eating the way she usually does. I know that is what I did. I got really toned but I was still obese. Now, I have been working more on my food plan. I eat more healthy today than I ever have. As I have mentioned about me losing weight and using the Beck diet techniques, she hasn’t written me as often. I hope I don’t lose her as a diet buddy because she is a really nice person and I think that we have “connected”. However, as I lose more weight, she might begin to pull back. It happens. I value my friendships and I would really hate to lose her as a new friend but I also understand how these things work. I think that a lot of people when faced with the overwhelming task of losing a lot of weight just give up. I know that I have many times before.

Well, now that the acute RA flare-ups have subsided and, hopefully, won’t be returning for another 6-6 1/2 months, I want to really kick my activity level into high gear. However, my food plan is equally important and I now recognize that. I can’t have one without the other. I am becoming a much better shopper too. I love to try new things and if I felt that I could, I would go ahead and fill our cart with all kinds of new “organic” food items. Instead, I try a couple of new things here and there, see if I like them and, if I do, then I buy them more often. I am really proud of myself that I have managed to really pursue healthy eating with such purpose and determination. I am still tweaking the calorie part of my food plan though.

I do see that when BLC recommends eating PB, for example, they only list 1 TB rather than 2 TB. It is 80-100 calories difference. I also have a tendency to add margarine before I put on PB and that adds another 80 calories. By following their example, I could eliminate 180 calories and really not miss it either. So, that is what I need to do “moving forward”. Another big change I have made recently is to just eliminate all empty calories from my food plan. I was really surprised how easy that was to do. I have missed the taste of sugar but other than 2 reduced fat small vanilla cones that I have had at McD’s this past week, I have done remarkably well. I have really come down from a “sugar high”, so to speak.

I am really proud that I have made some really good choices in places you wouldn’t think you could. McD’s is a perfect example. I had a grilled chicken wrap today for lunch. I had a small french fries which was just the right amount of fat and salt for my meal. I usually get a diet soda anyway so those two and the small vanilla cone was 620 calories. The small cone was just enough to satisfy my “sweet tooth”.  I left feeling satisfied. The past couple of times that we have gone to A’s I have ordered off either the WW’s selections or the “Under 550 calories” selections. So far, everything has really tasted good. It is having experiences like this that help me relax when I am eating out since I know that I can find something I like and isn’t a “diet buster”.

What I am really most proud of though is getting in the habit of eating more vegetables each day. I think for most people that is one of the more difficult parts of changing your diet. I stumbled onto a small section in the produce area of P that has smaller bagged cut up vegetables. I was originally thinking that I would use these in either salads or raw but when we were getting low on vegetables this past week I decided I would have to cook up one bag. They were amazingly much better than frozen! It made me want to eat my vegetables!

Tonight was a good example of a relatively simple meal but done in a way that both of us went away feeling satisfied. I made sloppy Joes. I have seen others load up on the condiments so I decided I would add dill pickles, yellow mustard and sliced onions. Wow, what a difference that made. It really made the burgers come to life. Then, I cooked some of those vegetables mentioned above. I added some cold fresh sliced tomatoes. We each had a light beer.  I had a sugar free chocolate mint mousse for dessert. I think what this proved to me was that I didn’t need high fat chips or french fries to make this meal delicious. I think that it will help me figure out a way to have cook outs without the usual high fat, high calorie foods and, yet, still enjoy the occasion. I was struck though by how fortunate I am right now that I can buy the kinds of foods I need to eat to both lose weight and be healthy. I only hope that I can continue doing this “moving forward”.

Well, hopefully, in a few months, we will be enjoying a lot of fresh produce from our own garden. I especially look forward to having fresh tomatoes, strawberries and cantalope. My strawberries might take a few years of growth before I am really going to see an appreciable amount of fruit. I picked up a small book on “Square Foot Gardening” that emphasizes growing large amount of food in a small space. It uses raised beds that are rich in soil mixture with soil no deeper than 6″! I am really excited to see how this is done. I just planted ours the most efficient way I knew how but, after reading this book, I will make sure that my winter garden follows this format. Again, like so much else, garden smarter not harder!

Well, I have decided that I am just going to stay up until I begin to feel tired. So far, it is 2:30 a.m. and I am still holding my own. I am drinking lots of diet root beer and chewing lots of ice. It makes me feel cold but, so far, I haven’t felt hungry either, which is another nocturnal habit I would like to break: eating late at night when I am usually not hungry but restless or bored. If I can nip that recently developed habit in the bud I will be able to eat more throughout the rest of the day and I won’t be scrambling to try and eat a lot less. Right now, these two habits plus not being very active during the day are what is slowing down my weight lose. I want to try and work on countering my sabotaging thoughts and/or habits so I can expedite my weight lose or, at least, not slow it down by my own unintentional actions.

I don’t know how long it will take to lose this weight. I feel really optimistic when I see a lot of weight go and then I am left wondering when I don’t have any weight lose or even a slight weight gain. I agree with Dr. Beck that you can’t let your feelings about your progress or yourself overall be affected by the rise and fall of that number. Instead, it does pay to be more objective and see it as an opportunity to learn from it. I really have to shake my head when I think about eating all of those candy bars, chocolate chip cookies and V-day cupcakes. It is like my head wasn’t making the connection between doing that and not losing any weight. The distorted thinking I was under was overly positive fortune telling: believing that having those, even though I was including them in my food plan, was okay and wasn’t going to impact my weight lose at all. Now, looking back, I feel really foolish; like what was I thinking?

I may be in for some more reality checks before this is all said and done. I’m not even sure what that will mean either. I think about my diet blog and how that has evolved a lot differently than I thought it would. Well, I am still going to continue to contribute to that as I move through this process. Then, I can look back and see what I did, what worked and what didn’t, and the end results. That was the whole purpose of me starting the diet blog. I wanted a record of what I was doing while I was losing the weight. I plan on including some of these diary entries as well since they are from the “foxhole”, so to speak.  I just hope they don’t sound too rambling.

I have about 7 books from the “Biggest Loser” and I haven’t read any of them except the calorie counter! I think it is time I start delving into those and see what “gems” I can find among those pages. In fact, I was leafing through one of the first ones published and a lot of the stuff that I have discovered on my own, they had in that. OY! Talk about reinventing the wheel. Had I taken the time to sit down and read these books from the start I might have avoided a lot of unnecessary trial and error. Another thing to help me feel “foolish”. I could be thin right now if I had begun reading these books last summer! That sucks, just thinking about it!

5/15/11:

I will give myself credit though with not eating at all during the night and that allowed me to realize a 1.6 lb lose. I drank a lot of diet soda and chewed a lot of ice cubes. I can now say that I have lost 10 lbs since I rejoined BLC. My fasting blood glucose was 107 mg/dl. In order for me to see that kind of number I have to go without any food for about 12 hours! I really have to fast. If I wanted to really get some lower numbers for a medical testing I would probably have to fast 15 hours or more to get down to where they would consider it “normal”. Or possibly not have any carbs a day or two before I take the test. Something to think about if/when I would need to take a test which would show up on my medical records for “all to see”, including the insurance companies I have term life insurance with. In the meantime, I really need to keep working on losing weight and getting some exercise in as well.

I am getting better about not straying way off my calorie range. Now, as I approach 2100 calories, I can sense it. Tonight, I felt a lot of free floating anxiety and I could feel like I wanted to eat “just because”. I didn’t but it made me wonder how long it will take for me to get over this particular behavior. It has certainly done a lot of damage to what would have otherwise been really good days when I was dieting in the past. So, I need to give myself credit for being able to both recognize the cause and source of this desire but also not to act on it either. I was able to distract myself. I got a small book about “Square Foot Gardening”. Between reading that and learning where our favorite networks are on this new channel system I soon forgot about the desire to eat.

This is something noteworthy to share with my Beck group. Just think: I am going to have to face this kind of challenge and many more for many months ahead!  I don’t want to think about how many times I will be journaling about this very thing. It is too discouraging. I just want to get through today. I can’t even imagine what tomorrow will be like. I was surprised that I would be dealing with this because I had a decent sized supper with a lot of crunchy foods, salty and sweet tastes and it was both eye appealing and filling. I wasn’t tempted to snack except for a banana. Well, obviously, Dr. Beck knows how we dieters are going to react better than we do ourselves.

Once again, we seem to end up eating out somewhere when we are out doing our “errands”. This is a pattern we have had for several years. It hasn’t stopped yet. Although I wasn’t familiar with R’s menu, I knew walking in what my “strategy” would be. I did well except I had a small dish of ice cream and a delicious seasoned dinner roll with 3 pats of sweet creamery butter. I think I could have easily changed my “game plan”, had another one of those rolls and foregone the potato and rice that I had. I think, if we ever go there again, I would probably stick with the rotessiere chicken since that really looked juicy then have a couple of those rolls along with vegetables. According to their online menu, they offer reduced sugar desserts but I didn’t even go over there. I think, I owe it to myself to do so. Still, I feel satisfied that I made some good choices in spite of not knowing exactly what they had on their buffet. That was today’s “lesson” in Beck Diet Solution.

Much like the expansion of plus size clothing, I am also finding that now restaurants are trying to respond to people’s desire for healthier foods within the framework of what their menus offer. Back in the early 1980’s, it was really difficult to find plus size clothing that was attractive. Now, the choice is endless. Well, the same thing is happening with a lot of restaurants’ menus including McD’s. (although food purists may argue with me on that point of what is healthy there-so suffice to say, I will say, “healthier”) What I wear now for clothing style I will most likely wear when I am a “normal” weight. The only difference is that I will be in a smaller size and I will feel more attractive. If I would really commit myself to doing some toning exercises I won’t even have to wait until I am in the single digit sizes to look nice(r) in my clothes. I could look better in the clothes that I wear now if I would do more situps, butt lifts, hip reducers, and toned arm exercises. The same with restaurants. I will probably still be eating at the same restaurants that I do now so I might as well develop a strategy that will carry me all the way down the scales and “then some”.

I could wear a body slimmer, which are quite popular now, but I don’t want to get in the habit of having to reconstruct my figure just because I am not working out or toning my muscles. Granted, I could use them now so I can get that effect but when I think of how constricting they are and probably not all at that comfortable (especially in hot humid weather) I think it is better to just work out my core muscles and gain the sense of pride that would come with doing that instead of trying to make like a girdle is really how my body is and would look naked. I want to look good with or without my clothes one. I’ve got my work cut out for me though! That is for sure.

As for my food plan, I need the practice of eating in the real world so I feel that every time I eat out I can developing the necessary skills to do so. All the major chains have a website where they have their menus and nutrition listed so you can essentially plan what you are going to eat before you even sit down in their restaurant. In fact, you can skip getting the menu and order immediately so you aren’t tempted to eat something else. I am finding it easier and easier to do. Once I have these skills in place, I can really enjoy the dining experience without feeling tense about compromising my pre-planned decision. I’m not perfect at this but I have achieved quite a bit of finesse in this area and I feel more confident as a result.

I am also supplementing some sugar free “dessert” type foods simply because I know that if I don’t allow myself some type of “treat” within the framework of my food plan, I will start craving the sugar alternatives of those food items and that is not good for either my blood glucose or my weight lose plans. I am approaching my weight lose as also a means to lower and keep my blood glucose lowered as well. And, it has been widely accepted that diabetics do use artificial sweetners as part of their food plan. I have recently learned that agave nectar does not raise your blood glucose like other sweetners so I am going to try and substitute that in some recipes and see how I come out with both the taste and whether I end up wanting more or can settle for just one serving size. All this is a “work in progress”. I don’t know how long I will do this or where I will end up with the sugar issue.

Right now, I am thinking that I won’t have traditional sugar desserts –ever. Instead, I will tweak the best recipes I can find until they are palatable and then that is what I will do “moving forward”. Why resume eating sugary foods indiscriminately if I can cut the habit and stay away from that kind of food? It is like returning to smoking a cigarette here and there rather than giving it up for good. Having said that, I am sure that there will be times when I acquiescene but I would rather that be the exception than the rule. I just simply don’t think my body will be all that forgiving. I am treating my food plan as I should: I have elevated blood glucose and that is a strong factor in what choices I make from now on.

I went online and took the RealAge quiz. This is quite “well known” for determining what your real age vs your chronological age. Even Biggest Loser has used this to help the morbidly obese contestants realize just how unhealthy they are. RealAge had me at 63.0 years old. I fudged a little on the activity portion.  I did put slow walking but whether or not any of it could be considered aerobic would be a “stretch”. I do move around the apartment during each day, with some days being more than others. Lately, I have begun to go into the grocery store or Wal-mart and walk around. I do try to seek out more movement since this latest RA flare-up has subsided.

The main detriment to my RealAge is being obese. I do have quite a bit going in my favor. I have improved my eating habits significantly and in a relatively short period of time. I am eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. I am drinking more water. I am taking my vitamins and supplements, including trying to find products that have omega-3 added to it since fish is so expensive and I don’t eat it as often as I would like. Surprisingly, they recommend eating fish only once a week. I wonder if that is because most fish has traces of mercury in them and now the new recommendation is to not eat fish more than 3x a week.

I do eat ground chuck once a week. Both P and I usually order steak when we go out to eat especially at A’s since that is really good there. I don’t mind the soy burgers on the market although those frozen products usually come with higher sodium. I am eating a much healthier diet overall than I have been in a long time. I just need to keep it up. Recently, I have decided that I am going the “no sugar” route. It is a far cry from my earliest entries on my diet blog but right now it makes sense to me and that is all that matters. If it looks like I am doing a 180 degree turn then maybe I am. I just feel a lot better and I find dieting is a lot easier when I am not eating sugar. Now, I do have some lightly sweetened oat cereal and some organic Greek yogurt with organic cane sugar (sugar is sugar!) but if sugar is not the second or third ingredient, I am going to let it go by. It does help if yogurt has a little sweetener in it because it is pretty bland without some added flavor to it. The kind of sugar that I am talking about is all the empty calories except fat and sugar that is in a lot of junk food or processed sweets. I have been weening myself away from my sweet tooth by eating a lot of fresh fruit. It works but I was starting to miss having a dessert once in awhile. That is where I am at right now.

So, yesterday, I bought some sugar free cookies and they weren’t half bad. In fact, they tasted just like their sugary counterparts, as far as I can remember. I bought the chocolate chip and the pecan shortbread ones. Tonight, I went on the company’s website and I ordered: sugar free maple syrup, sugar free creamy peanut butter and a 20 pack of “snack size” assorted cookie flavors. I sent two messages to one of the women I have talked with on a daily basis: one regarding what I just wrote above and also quite an impassioned plea for her to seriously consider her health first and foremost when making decisions regarding her food choices. I realize that may have no discernable affect on her but I felt compelled to tell her that she needed to start putting herself first. I woke up and continue to wake up regarding how I am eating and how it is affecting me.

I do believe that this Beck Diet Solution is a no nonsense way of saying “just do it”. I’ve been playing at dieting. Now, I am doing it. Not saying I’m dieting but eating pizza and drinking regular Coca-Cola then finishing off with candy bars. What diet is that? Now, my food plan looks and feels like a restricted calorie, healthy eating plan. I can and I hope to eat this way for the majority of my meals from now until “forever”. So, it is important that I have the right frame of mind, I practice good behavior, I eat foods that are both varied and healthy, I learn to prepare them in a way that makes me want to continue to eat them, and eventually I get back to moving again. That is the next step in this process.

Lately, when we are out, I am walking into the grocery store with P and walking the store along with him. I am holding onto the cart and I am able to make it through the store without needing to run out to the car and immediately sit down. That was something that I was doing last fall. I could do even better than that if I could 1) lose 10-20 more lbs as soon as possible 2) strengthen my leg muscles so they could take off some of the pressure my joints are “taking” as a result of being out of shape. So, what that means is that I really get diligent with how many calories I am eating and watching the sodium as well. Then, I really need to get doing as many strength exercises as I can particularly for the lower body.

Then, we had a good dinner: baked chicken, steamed asparagus and potatoes. I made a potato salad recipe from one of the diabetic cookbooks I got off of Amazon.com. I could tell it was lower fat but other than that, it tasted quite good. I tried the asparagus and I had some leftover cabbage and a slice of tomato. I am finding it easier to get my vegetables in.  After dinner, I decided to catch up on some of the t.v. programs I’ve recorded in the past several days while catching up on my reading in the “Beck Diet Solution” book. I am almost done with this first printing of the book. I should be receiving the second printing in the next couple of weeks. I ordered a book on how to self-treat your knees. Again, I bought a gently used book on Amazon.com. I used the little bit of credit that I have on my credit card. A few of the people on these website groups think that some of my problems with my joints will be resolved once I get back exercising and lose the weight. I agree with that up to a point. One thing that I can not do is walk on the treadmill very fast nor for very long. That is when my knees really start to bother me. However, I will admit that having lost the amount of weight that I have lost has made it easier for me to move around when my RA isn’t flaring up. I also have to make sure that I am taking the recommended dosage for the Aleve. If I drop the ball on that then I really do feel pain when I am moving period.

5/19/11:

I ended up going to bed later than I had planned on. I read my e-mails at the last minute and I saw that D, a woman I have met and converse with from BLC, seemed like she could use my help with figuring out a menu for diabetes. As an example, I gave her what I ate yesterday, breaking it down into macronutrients as well. I also made some notations on what I could have done to have less carbs at a particular meal. I said I was satisfied with how it turned out since I was at my lowest end of my calorie range and I was within the range for each of the macronutrients. It doesn’t always work out that way but that is the daily goal I try for anyway. I also ended up having another pound lost! So, I know what I need to do. Try to eat between 1700-1800 calories per day.
Now, just to do that.

I decided that I am going to shoot for 135 lbs instead of 140 lbs. The idea came to me last night as I was writing up my response cards from “Beck Diet Solution”. All during high school and my early 20s I seemed to hover between 135-138 lbs easily. I did diet back then, at times quite stringently, to lose additional weight and if I remember, it was a lot harder to maintain a lower weight than that. I think that with that weight and what we now know about burning fat/building muscle, etc. I could be both very fit and lean at that weight and also be healthy as well.

So, I think the way that I am finally going about losing weight now will get me there. How long that takes will depend on how willing I am to really tow the line and do what I need to do to get there. As I just said, I noticed that without exercising I need to reduce my calories to at least 1750 calories per day. It wasn’t all that bad yesterday but it can easily be blown by making the wrong choice when I am eating out, especially if I make an impulsive decision to eat a dessert that I hadn’t planned on. I would like to say that I could also gain the same advantage by exercising but right now it is all I can do to get the sleep that I need. In fact, although I managed to stay in bed between 3:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. I have been fighting the urge to go back to bed and get some more zzzzs for the past couple of hours. So, in a few minutes that is what I am going to do. However, resuming exercise is definitely something that I plan on doing asap. I know that I can make progress in both how I look but also strong I can become if I will only do what it takes. I used to be able to but right now fatigue has been the main reason why I haven’t done so.

Already, I have had comments from different ones on how well I am doing. That is nice to hear. I realize that in order to pull away from the pack you need to do all of the things we all have either not tried to do more diligently or have refused to do. I know that I was resistant to doing some of these things before. I really did want to “have my cake and eat it too”. I still can but I choose not to have the sugar version right now since I know that it triggers overeating, craving and even binging when I do. I have discovered that metabolically, chemically or whatever you want to ascribe it to; that is how my body processes sugar and, to some extent, high glycemic foods. I could fight this and refuse to believe it but I have seen evidence in how it changes my behavior around food. It is almost like I am an addict craving heroin. I am not joking! So, although it may sound drastic to do what I am doing, I believe that I have finally found the key to opening up the possibility of me finally shedding the rest of this weight. Since I have seen both the before and after of just how much calmer I feel around food in general after removing as much sugar as I can from my diet; I’m sold. I don’t need any more evidence. So, now that I have realized this in a more deep and profound way, I am more willing to accept this as” my reality”.

5/20/11:

It is almost 1 a.m. Yesterday was an emotional day. I knew that as I worked through the Day designated for Emotional Eating that it would be. For as long as Nicole has been alive, I have struggled with first my weight and then food issues. That is a very very long time. It started out losing the weight I had gained from pregnancy. I was unaccustomed to being so large. I was used to being a size 7-8 and here I was leaving the hospital wearing M:18 tops and they were tight. Granted, I still had breasts full of milk which diminished by the time she was 3 months old but I was not prepared for my body to be so large. I lost the extra 68 lbs I had gained during pregnancy and then I quickly went back up to 140 lbs. However, it was the first time that I had to face that my naturally thin figure was not going to cooperate in a way that it had previously. I wasn’t overweight by any means but my perception of my body image had changed and I began to feel uneasy about my weight.

Unfortunately, the struggle with my weight began then. I managed to stay around 165 lbs which is still considered the top of my normal weight range but it was anything but normal for me. I was accustomed to being 130-138 lbs up to that point. I stayed around 165 lbs for about 5 years until I met Chet when all of my former insecurities and anxieties seemed to surface strongly. He enjoyed eating out. I wasn’t used to that up to that point and, suddenly I found that it was something I would enjoy too. I think, I wrongly assumed that we were building intimacy every time we ate out. I believed that for a very long time. It took me years later to realize that he simply had a penchant for restaurant-prepared food and I was a “tag along”. I remember towards the end of our marriage constantly urging him to go out to eat because that was when I most felt like we were a couple. However, those meals were not intimate or memorable other than the fact we were both gaining weight; me more than him. Towards the end of our marriage, I was eating alone often and I was also compulsively binging and overeating probably 5000 calories or more at times. I was also desperately unhappy in that marriage.

So, now, fast forward to today. I have done so much work in individual and group therapy. I have joined and followed the 12 Step program, which I have embraced wholeheartedly, and I have joined and dropped out of a lot of diet programs over the years. Now, three decades later, I am working yet another program to help me lose the weight. So, what is different about this? I am almost finished with this book and I have about 3 dozen recipe cards filled with statements on how to overcome most of the “typical” hurdles most dieters, including myself, need to overcome to successfully lose weight. Maybe, this will work simply because I am ready to “draw a line” and not cross over it; at least, intentionally. My conviction is stronger right now after having worked through this book than I have felt since last summer when I had it for about five weeks.

I think that this CT will help keep me motivated and focused on what I want to accomplish until I have accomplished it. That is what I think this will do for me. It will be making a conscious decision over and over again so that I make choices that will support me losing weight until I am the goal weight I want to be. If anything, this book provided with a motivational kind of “you can do it” push that I needed to get back on track. I don’t want to keep falling off the wagon and getting back on. The longer and more often I do that the more demoralized I become. What I think this book will do for me from now is give me specific strategies that I can use when I am confronted by some of the common “obstacles” that most dieters face. It will help me work a better and more effective food plan. I am not saying that I will diet “perfectly” but I think I will have more hits than misses.

For example, in the past three weeks, I have had three unplanned “desserts”; all ice cream but I chose the smallest cone and I included it in my daily food log. I decided about two weeks ago that I was going to go with minimal amount of added sugar to my food plan. It just evolved one day and I realized that it would help me deal with a lot of the extra hunger, cravings and impulsiveness I had surrounding food. I now believe that most if not all of those difficulties that I was experiencing before were because of my addiction to high glycemic/sugar foods.

However, the challenge is not over yet. I have one other hurdle to overcome: eating less so that I can see, at least, a two pound weight lose every week. I began three weeks ago today so this is my “official” weigh in day for BPD but I had D’s for dinner and my sodium was over 3000 mg. If it looks like I have gained from yesterday’s weigh in, I will take yesterday’s weigh in as my weekly weigh in. What it will mean for me is becoming more active and to really watch my portions when I am eating throughout the day. I’m not overeating but I am also eating more than I am burning off. Then, the next challenge will be doing this over and over again for the next 15-16 months, or possibly longer through whatever life throws at me! I would have been intimidated before reading this book but after going through what I have gone through, I do believe I will be able to do it.

I am wondering if this woman I have befriended from BLC will be able to pull herself together and get back on track. I have been as encouraging and helpful as I can be but she hasn’t mentioned reading the book after the initial first three chapters or even whether she is going to follow its premise. It sounds like she is really grasping at straws at this point. Since we have been conversing back and forth, she has bought several books and just as quickly as she buys them she drops following them. I am wondering if she will do the same with BDS. Well, I need to step back and allow her to find her own way, even if it is not what I am doing or feel works for me.

The only thing I am wondering is since our relationship began on a mutual desire to support the other person I am now wondering how we will make the shift if one of us is really struggling and the other seems like they “are on their way”. Well, I thought that I had a diet buddy when I met A and then I am afraid I might have scared her off. She was already struggling just to start her food plan and I was charging right out of the gate. However, I wonder how she would have been had I been able to re-connect with her when I was struggling as well. It all began when I wanted to “celebrate” my birthday and it ended up being a three day overeating which derailed me from then on. I was really on a roll. I felt so bad about that because it is really nice when you have someone whom you can talk unending with about all of the nuances of dieting. It would probably get boring to anyone else but when you are both dealing with the same struggles, it forms an instant bond.

Well, I am going to do my best to give her some “breathing space”. I have inundated her with a lot of information and she might feel overwhelmed at this point. She did seem to be confused about what she should do next. And, I need to remember that is how I felt before I actually cracked open this book and really began to do the work the author suggested. Had I skimmed through it like I did several years ago and how I hear some people do, I am sure I would be writing something entirely different.

[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.]

Beginnings of Beck Plus Diet…..

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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.

5/8/11:

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

5/9/11:

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”.

5/9/11:

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.

5/10/11:

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?

5/11/11:

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.]

My Non-Food Reward Choice is: New Shoes!

Filed Under Non-Food Rewards | 58 Comments

April 29, 2011:

After having quite a couple of absolutely horrible nights, I want so badly to get my joints taken care of, I can “taste it”. I awoke the past two mornings to horrible leg cramps. I had been drinking more diet soda and some of it caffeinated rather than plain water. That’s what Paul think attributed to all the lower leg cramping. My left calf muscles are still hurting from two days ago. Well, now that we can relax about money for the time being, we can actually enjoy each day a little bit more. Today, I restarted my diet. I am calling it “Beck Plus Diet” since I will using the Beck Diet techniques to help me lose the weight and keep it off. Last night, I did exactly as she recommended and I pre-planned all of today’s meals and snacks. As things would have it, all of the up and down last night along with not getting to sleep until 5 am screwed that up. I was mad at first but, in spite, of a rocky start the rest of the day fell into place fine. I did manage to have both fruit and vegetables, drink some water and keep my calories (narrowly) under 2100 calories. Not bad for a first day.

started out weighing 273.2 lb. I changed both my “official” weigh-ins on both 3FC and BLC. Considering that I was 278 lb a few days ago I think that shows why I was so dehydrated. I decided that I wouldn’t count my “first 5 lbs” lost until I hit 265 lbs. I have chosen a new pair of shoes as my “non food reward”. Now, the “job” will be which ones. I do feel “ready” and “prepared” to take on the rigors of dieting now more than ever after going through the first 14 days “prep” work from this book. Some of the things she has said are “obvious” to me now but they weren’t when I first read them. I added a couple of my own. One thing is I told Paul to stop bringing me home any desserts or treats that he gets when he goes to choir practice. I am sure that there might be a time when he forgets and does so anyway but, for now, I have told him not to and I hope that will make it easier for me to not go off my diet. Another thing I did is draw a line about “desserts” overall. Since I end up eating “the whole thing” when I buy a candy bar, even if it is dark chocolate, I have put that on my “No Choice” list for the time being. I have also decided not to buy nuts for the same reason. I just plain overdo them. I will add other food items on that same list if I see they are becoming a “problem”.

The next thing that I need to get working on is making exercise a priority again. It has been quite awhile since I did any “specific” exercise so it might take some doing to get back into that habit again.

5/1/11:

Once again, I am having another all nighter where I can’t seem to settle down when I go to bed and I end up spending most of the night here at the computer. I can’t seem to get my right leg to feel good enough so that it will allow me to fall asleep. I am so glad that I went to Mass last night. I told P (once again) that is probably what I am going to have to do (again) until all of this straightens itself out. After Mass last night, we went to SS Diner. I had a copy of their menu so I knew what I was going to eat when I got there. The meal still ended up being over 1000 calories and around 1500 mg sodium. We planted our garden and finished just as it was getting dark. It filled up nicely. I suggested that we go to McD’s and have a cone. Well, when we got there I thought I would be even more “virtuous” and I ordered the fruit n yogurt parfait. It was good and it did satisfy my desire for something. Again, it was wanting to eat not necessarily that I was very hungry. I could hear my thoughts thinking that I wanted to “reward” myself for both eating well when we were out and finishing planting our garden. Again, “rewarding myself” with food. Some thoughts die hard.

Then, I was faced with yet another dilemma. I was hungry when we got home. I struggled with it for awhile. When P went to bed, the food came out. I finished the remainder of my salad as I was logging my food. Then, the pain started in. I just went ahead and began eating almost non-stop. I wasn’t necessarily hungry but I was eating to distract myself from the pain I was feeling. I shared this with my diet support group. I hate to admit to things like this but it is the real deal. Here I log my food but I go over my calorie limit often. Well, at least, I know what I need to work on. By the looks of it, I have quite a bit if/when I am going to lose all of this weight. As I read through this book, it becomes clearer to me why I have remained obese for so long. I have been my own worst enemy.

I was being unrelenting in getting the garden watered so I said that I would go along with. I understand why he would feel that I am always asking him to do something. I said so too. So, we went to our garden and watered it. The flowers look in rough shape. I had forgot that with larger root balls you need to fill the hole partially with water and if you can let a hose run as well. We gave it a gallon of water today and it is supposed to rain tomorrow morning. Let’s hope it pulls through. I suggested that we get the car washed. The really bad part of the spring pollen is behind us so I thought we could wash the rest of it away. It also helps to vacuum the inside. Then, we wrapped up our “errands” by grocery shopping. I went in with P since I knew that it is hard for him to do shopping for me and I just wanted to get set for the week coming up in terms of food for my meals and his as well. I could have easily bought a couple hundred dollars more worth of foods. I like to try new products that I haven’t seen before. I am glad that P is carrying more and more organic food choices. I am careful though to balance choosing only those with what we can also “afford”. Thank God, we could buy a week’s worth of groceries although I will admit that we are doing so on borrowed money.  Well, I should feel really good about going into this coming week. I have lots of fruits n vegetables.

Well, I can also say that I got in some spontaneous exercise today. If I hadn’t had such a bad nights’ sleep I would have tried to begin today working out. So, tomorrow I am going to follow one (or two) of those new dvds that I bought recently. I am also going to do the strength exercises as well. I have really floundered in this area for the past couple of months. I just have. I know that I have had different “reasons” but I also need to find “reasons” from now on to do it as well. First, I need to get back to getting some regular sleep. Then, I need to put more structure into my days. I swear I barely know from one day to the next what day it is. I sit here at this computer all day and night, playing online games and, on occasion, talking to PK or sending messages back and forth to BLC members or posting on my Beck diet group thread and that ends up being my day. I’m not proud of it at all. I feel like I so unproductive most days

Well, some of the behaviors that Dr. Beck suggests changing so you can lose weight is drawing a line on food you will and won’t eat. I have allowed just about anything at one point or another. So, moving forward, I am going to do my best to avoid desserts or anything with empty calories which also would include regular soda like Coke (my favorite) and junk foods like potato chips. For the time being, I have also drawn a line regarding delivery pizza. First of all, I ended up eating a lot more than I should, it is high in everything: sugar, fat and salt, but I usually end up getting a regular Coke with it as well. I do need to have a plan though for the times we might end up eating at a fast food restaurant. I guess, probably pick the least “offensive”. At McD”s that could mean a smaller burger and fries with a diet Coke. I could even “indulge” and have a fruit n yogurt parfait for dessert. If I wanted to spend the money, I could add a salad for the added “bulk” that would provide. I feel pretty comfortable in sit down restaurants since the ones we frequent do have choices that are relatively easy to fit in my food plan. In fact, this restaurant we went to last night had a really novel idea: a scoop of cottage cheese surrounded by fresh fruit chunks made to look like a banana split. I thought it was “rather clever”. I may not be able to get around the increased sodium but I can, at least, feel comfortable ordering what I need to order without the other person feeling they have to eat “my way”.

Another thing that I am going to do my best on is to keep from having “trigger” foods come here. It will be difficult as it is to avoid them “in public” so I don’t need that added stress of having to dodge them here. I think Paul will be quite good at doing that. He doesn’t seem to get cravings very often
Another thing that I am going to try and eliminate starting tonight is eating late at night. I used to not have this problem but it seems to crop back up. I want to save my calories for the day time when I will enjoy them more.  So, what I am going to do my best to accomplish this coming week is to eat within my calorie range and even a little under it if I can. And, begin getting some regular exercise in every day, if possible.

5/2/11:

Well, P agreed to sleep out on the living room floor on our sofa cushions while I slept in our bed alone. It worked. I was able to stay in bed for close to 6 hours. I did awake to go to the bathroom a few times but for the most part the pain in my right hip and leg was subdued enough so I could sleep lightly throughout the night. I got up around 6:45 a.m. and I ate breakfast while talking to Paul. I haven’t done this in quite a few weeks, if not a month or so. I weighed in at 270.8 lb. –up .2 oz from a few days ago but glad that the calories I ate for breakfast were at a more “normal” time of the day for breakfast. I am also very pleased to announce that my morning fasting blood glucose is 98 mg/dl. I haven’t had my blood glucose this low in the morning since mid-June 2010 when I was really sticking to my food plan. So, I can see what I need to do to get that kind of number.

I decided that since I had eaten half of my calories in the wee hours of yesterday, as I had done the night before, and then when I awoke I had a “regular” meal that I would do my best to not eat much for supper last night. I had an apple, a cup of raw carrots and a drizzle of ranch dressing. Then, as a late night snack before going to bed I had some Smart Balance popcorn. I am really relieved that I have a lot of fresh fruits n vegetables to eat for this coming week. That has become my new “concern”.. making sure that I get those in each day. I need this leg up for my food plan and recommitting to it. I was just sharing with P about how I am somewhat surprised and concerned that one of the “coach” in our Beck Diet Solution group seems to still have problems with certain foods and leaving them alone after 3 1/2 years of maintenance of losing 81 lbs. It sure makes me wonder if that is what I will be doing that many years after losing all of the weight. I guess, I won’t know until I get there. I also thought it was interesting that this same “coach” just recently traded in some old sweat pants, which  this “coach” was still wearing up until a few weeks ago, with some new ones. I am hoping that I will bide farewell to everything that is the larger sizes as soon as I am out of them. I mean, I couldn’t imagine wearing something that I could fit into 40 lbs ago let alone 80 lbs.

Again, I had read the book when we lived in our other apartment which was before April 2008 and I shrugged it off as just too much work to do at the time. Well, now I don’t so I guess I had to go through the past several years to get to the place where I am ready to begin thinking like a thin person.

Right now, I am hopeful because for the most part I really do like the foods that I have chosen when I went grocery shopping yesterday. I love seeing so many healthy food choices in my grocery cart. I feel like I am really doing some good for myself. I see hope when I look at all this food. Hope that I will lose this weight and I will become thin once again. Some of the principles that she espouses here I have actually used to help pay for our bills in the past few years. I remember just wanting to get through one month without having an bank overdraft. Then, we began applying that to making sure we paid our rent on time. Initially, it seemed a lot harder. Then, for awhile, it became relatively easy but then when our finances changed, going downward, it became more difficult. I hope that our finances will improve and we can get back to a place where we can pay all of our bills on time every month. Still, in spite, of the past six months of increasing hardships we have managed to scrape together the money we needed to keep things going.

So, maybe, that might be the cycle I could expect with losing weight. Maybe, initially, it will be more difficult as I put into place the things that I need to do in order to set things in motion. I just hope it won’t follow the pattern above but, again, if I need to I can always return to the book and review the different steps to get back and stay on track. I mean, look what I have been able to do in the past three months. I have been able to make a conscious choice to eat fruits n vegetables every day for the past month. I have also begun drinking more water throughout the day although I still fall back on diet soda from time to time.

So, breaking the 130 lbs remaining for me to lose into 5 lbs increments really begins to sound doable. When I first had a desire to stop paying out $135+ each month for bank overdrafts it did involve a lot more conscious effort on our part. It’s been so long since that happened that I honestly don’t remember exactly what I did but I think one thing I did for quite some time was keep a running log on when certain bills were due. I know that I agreed to have some of our bills on auto pay because I wanted to make sure that those always got paid, no matter what! I also would do a quarterly review of what our expenses were and, if possible, I tried really hard to reduce the cost or even eliminate it, if I could. Getting rid of our storage unit two years ago was a fairly big step. As was, paying off the car. Still, I am really “proud” of the fact that I am stepping up to the plate on this, in spite of the circumstances we are presently in.

I just hope that I will be able to say the same thing regarding my weight. I think so if I do all of this consistently. I could be in Onderland by the end of this year. For me, that will be a huge accomplishment since I haven’t seen those numbers since 1982!! Going on 30 years!! Amazing. All I can say is that I will feel like I have been “reborn”. I will feel and be a new person. So, when I hear the Beck’s diet Coach say he finally got rid of his old sweatpants after several years of losing weight, I have to wonder “why” did you wait so long?

Now, I am really glad that I got rid of a lot of my clothes already and as I move into the warmer weather and I am back to wearing some of my “stand bys”, I actually look forward to even letting these go to either Goodwill or to the garbage. I used to think that I would try to alter some of my favorite clothes but, quite honestly, I will be glad to get rid of a lot of these clothes including some former favorites. I don’t know how much extra money I will have to buy new clothes but I will make sure that I buy a few things just so I can reinforce having a new figure. When you have a really nice figure you don’t need as many clothes either. I have an abundance of clothes down to size 22W. After that, it gets very scarce. However, by that time, I might even find some second hand clothes that will help me bridge the gap in sizes. Instead, I am putting my focus on getting some new shoes. Besides, being a “non-food reward” for weight lose, it is one thing that I can wear after I have lost all of the weight.

Well, I went to my follow up contact lens appointment. I got a free trial pair. He checked my eyes again and he said that I had the vision of a 40 year old. Nice to hear for an almost 58 year old. He seemed impressed. I am more relieved than anything. I credit it with my improved diet. I suggested eating something out since we were going over the dinner hour for this appointment and with travel time I figured that if we made the chicken I was thawing we wouldn’t be eating until 8:30 pm at the earliest. So, we ate at A’s.

Well, I have been making some pretty good choices for meals the past couple of days and it is paying off in terms of my blood glucose readings. Today, about 2 hours after our evening meal, my blood glucose was 104 mg/dl. Amazing! I would say that I know that I am finally doing the right thing. Now, to just see this pay off in terms of weight lose.

5/3/11:

I had yet another horrible night’s sleep. Today, I had some really “scary” things happen to me. I haven’t been taking my Aleve very often since I have been taking more Tylenol PM just to get some sleep. My waking hours are definitely messed up. While I was loading the dishwasher as I was leaning over I kept getting sharp pains in my right thigh and my right knee, which would lock up on me. It was quite sudden, without warning and painful. I was afraid to be in the shower, wet and all slippery, so I sat on a folding chair and gave myself a “sitz bath” then washed my hair.

I asked him if he would mind stopping by and picking me up. I think I need to get out of the apartment. It is supposed to be really cool tomorrow for this time of year–more like February weather— so it would be nice to get out and get some fresh air. Well, in spite of another rocky nights’ sleep, I did rally around  once I got up. I was able to get a nice dinner together by the time P came home. We had baked chicken, kernel corn, fresh asparagus, and baked potatoes

So, I have done a few things today. I am on Day 20 of the Beck Diet Solution. Actually, technically it is Wednesday and I did it Tuesday night while I was watching tv. It is “Getting on Track”. I do think that I am quite good at this. I go off my food plan often enough that it seems like I am
“getting back on track” more often than I care to admit. I ended up making 3 response cards for this technique because it really resonated with me. I do now realize that I can do even better than I have been doing. For example, if I were to have pizza, I could also stop when I am full which would mean fewer calories that I have transgressed. Before, I often ate until I was really stuffed because I felt like I was having my “Last Supper”. I did that a couple days last week when I knew that I would be recommitting to a reduced food plan. I ate to the point where I felt my stomach was going to explode. It was really uncomfortable but there was a part of me that felt I wouldn’t be able to enjoy foods like spaghetti again for a very long time. Well, that isn’t true but I will have to make sure I eat a lot less at one sitting.

What I like about some of the techniques is that it really forces your hand to “draw a line” where you just won’t go off your food plan no matter what. However, she also takes a step further and says that if you do go off your food plan then don’t use that as an excuse to just continue to overeat but just back on your food plan for the next meal and chalk it up to “experience”. That is a more realistic way to view “slip ups”. The more I learn about what I can do to move through this dieting process easier the more I just want to see those numbers drop. Watching “Biggest Loser”, I noticed that on average the women have lost 20 lbs a month and the men have lost 28 lbs. They have been on the ranch for five months. So, the absolute best that I could expect would be to lose 4-5 lbs a week.

I am losing again. I noticed that I do lose if I can keep my calorie limit around 1900 or less. Ideally, less. So, I am going to try harder to stay under that. I am on Day 21 in the Beck Diet Solution book. I have quite a few cards to read each day. I’ve been so busy making cards I will admit that I haven’t been reading twice daily but I am reading them by the end of the night. These are the kinds of behaviors I need to be applying to my weight lose efforts. I really believe it will make the difference. I have lost 4 lbs since last Friday and since that was my “official” start date using the Beck Diet principles, I decided that I could go ahead and “reward” myself with my first pair of shoes.

So, nervously, I went on DSW site and I looked through all of the shoes. There are so many to choose from and I could only pick one pair. It took about an hour but I decided on a pair of dressier sandals that could be worn with a dress or skirt as well as shorts or capris. Besides, it marking my first mini goal acheived (I’m assuming I will lose the other pound by the time the shoes arrive in 5-7 business days), I didn’t “settle on” just any old pair of shoes. I got a designer brand (Jones New York) and they were just shy of being $50 (my arbitrary top limit for sandals). So, not only did I “reward” myself, I also rewarded myself with something of desired “quality and status” These were not a pair of flip flops in the $3 bin. Not that there is anything wrong with that but this time I really wanted to make it “special”.

Now, when will the next 5 lbs come off? Well, that is hard to say. I find it discouraging when Dr. Beck “warns” that our weight lose will be uneven, back and forth, etc. I already have that. Tell me something I would prefer to hear. So, all I can say is that I will look forward to buying my next pair of shoes, the next pair after that and so on. Now, I will have to take out my warm weather clothes and see kinds of colors and styles I need to consider when buying my next pair. I also need to begin exercising. I haven’t even considered that the past 4-5 days simply because I couldn’t find any peace either laying down or even sitting long in a chair.
I don’t want to get too overly focused on the numbers either since I do have a long way to go and it could be so tempting to do something to “hurry it along”. Again, this is where patience comes in handy. So, instead, I need to think about other things that I need to do something about. Depending on how my night’s sleep goes tonight and then how I feel tomorrow I may go ahead and start tomorrow.

[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.]

Is this beginning to look like a pattern here?

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 22 Comments

Week of April 22, 2011:

Good Friday-

have you seen this DVD?
http://www.collagevideo.com/item.asp…FYS8KgodR0MVHw
It’s by a physical therapist and I suspect is no different than the standard exercises one would get from a PT, but I find them easier to do when I’m following a DVD. I’ve found it very helpful, although I haven’t had problems as serious as yours.

Well, I really overshot my sodium yesterday which probably wouldn’t have mattered all that much if I had stayed within my calorie range. For awhile there, I thought my lack of weight lose could be solely attributed to not drinking enough water and/or too much sodium but the bottom line is simply: “Calories In, Calories Out”. Nothing magical about that!

I finished the first “preparatory” week of Beck’s Diet Solution last night. I have made 1 ARC and 2 Response Cards to be read as frequently as I need to. I have set in place a primary diet and a back-up secondary one: my primary one is BLC and my secondary is South Beach since I feel that I learned a lot from following that and much of what I learned in 2008-2010 I still practice today. I have determined the “Advantages of Losing Weight” (ARC card) to be primarily health-related: I do not need anyone to convince me that full blown diabetes is looming ahead if I don’t practice eating healthy, exercising and, eventually, losing the extra weight. The “vanity” part is gravy. My Response cards are ones I identified as what I need to do to ensure that I have the “tools” to lose weight and then keep it off. For me, it has always been about losing weight since I have found that part of the equation the most difficult to “carry out”.

What I will be practicing from here on out is to: eat slowly especially foods I have a tendency to “gobble” (mostly sweets), eat no more than 1 servings of fruit per setting if possible and no more than 3 per day, 4+ servings of vegetables per day, drink at least 64-80 oz water each day, break up my meals into 3 meals plus two snacks when possible, record and pre-plan my meals daily, using smaller plates when I am able to help me “feel” like I am eating more and also to train my eye to know what a “normal” portion or serving looks like. Yesterday’s task was to “arrange my environment” to ensure success as I diet. I agreed to make homemade fudge so I asked Paul if he would be willing to have it out in the car.

I have been alternating between getting “one chocolate bar vs the whole bag”. It still has been difficult to just eat one serving. Most of those candy bars are 2.5 servings which ends up being 200-475 calories! I just might not be able to buy any of those period because once I open the package, I just seem to keep on going. This is a major stumbling block for me to successfully lose and keep the weight off. I would like to believe that I can exert more self-control but when it comes to sweets but especially when I am home I don’t want to eat just one. I want to eat as many and as much as I want until I am full. I am very willful when it comes to this. I would probably be the same way when we are eating out but I am more aware of how that might be perceived plus I also am trying harder to exert more self-control. I think this is really crucial that I have identified this thought and belief of mine.

I have looked ahead in this book and I am coming to one of the important points in her program: No Choice. Although I haven’t read the whole chapter yet (I’m working this book as she strongly recommends, one day at a time) my understanding is that you make a decision to not stray from your food plan “no matter what”. Since, I have done that so many times, this one action might be the key that turns my lackluster dieting efforts into some serious weight lose.  What that will mean for me is that there is no “off time” for my dieting. I am dieting all the time, day in and day out, whether it is a birthday, holiday or every day.

If there is pizza, then I will eat 1-2 pieces tops. If there is only a choice between regular soda and water, I will choose water. There will not be eating “just cuz”. I will diet according to my food plan until I have reached my goal weight of 140 lbs. I haven’t dieted like that in decades! Not since I was following Nutri System. It explains alot about why I have remained obese all of these years. It also explains that until I really draw that line that can’t be crossed permanent weight lose will probably elude me. Wow! What a revelation!

Today is Good Friday and it is 3 meals only with 2 being smaller ones and no snacks. It is this kind of discipline that I need to exhibit for the next 15-16 months. I finally “get” what all of these experts and fellow dieters have been saying. It finally sunk in. Right now, I feel rather foolish about it all. I have been deluding myself all along. I wasn’t dieting. I was talking about dieting. I wasn’t doing. I was trying which is really not doing. I think of how I must have come across early on to some of these “Beckies”. OY! It was like I was almost flaunting the fact that I was eating cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, etc. I was the Emperor who was butt-naked but thought I was finely clothed. Right!

Right now, I am in a good place. I don’t know if it is the weather or if it is the “dawn after the darkness” but I feel good finishing up Lent. March was particularly dark for me both emotionally and psychologically. Ideally, I hope I never revisit that place where I was at. It was a particularly stressful month. We met the fundraising goal for P’s walk I talked him into even though it was at the expense of us being short for April’s rent. It is crazy that, in our present financial circumstances, we gave a non-profit organization $725!! Good cause or not; we are in no financial position to be doing some like that but we made a pledge and we honored it. It was alms giving to the nth degree!

4/25/11:
Well, once again, Easter was a “bust” for me. I now wish I would have gone to the Easter Vigil Mass and I could have, at least, said that I attended a Easter service. I was up all night/early morning on Easter with all of my affected joints bothering me. I thought that was bad but it was nothing what last night was. That was even worse. At least, I could sleep after 3 am on Easter morning but last night I got up and down, continuing to take more and more Tylenol PM until I finally fell asleep around 6:30 am. I didn’t get up until 1:30 pm though. I washed and styled my hair. When P got home from work I suggested that we go to GC instead of my follow up eye appointment. I think both of us were disappointed that we didn’t go anywhere for Easter. I think P was half expecting turkey and ham there although it seems Monday night is barbeque since everything was either chicken or pork barbequed. Afterwards, we came home and watched a lot of “Family Guy” episodes. I think between the good food and the silliness of  the programs, we both relaxed enough and we went to bed at the same time. There was intermittent thunderstorms throughout the day and night. So, it actually ended up being a pleasant evening to end a very disruptive couple of days for me.

4/26/11:
Last night I slept a lot better but once I actually “settled down” to starting a new day, I began to feel blue. We are facing the same scenario that we were at the end of March. I sort of thought that would happen but I think both of us were just hoping that we wouldn’t be. This past month has been one of the slowest months P has had for several months in a row, none of which have been very good except for an odd week here and there. This past weekend we talked some about what our options might be. P has wanted C to tell him where he stands but I have a feeling that even they aren’t quite sure how things will go in the upcoming months. We spoke over the phone today while he is wrapping up. He was told that he has no more work for the remainder of this week. Well, that is good to know but it also makes some decisions both harder and easier to make as a result. He has been earning just enough to collect unemployment and on the same hand build up monies so he can continue to collect unemployment. I would compare this to seasonal workers.  We’re not accustomed to living this way so this has been quite an adjustment. Both of us just plain hate the uncertainty of this all. Somehow  the saying that “the more things change the more things remain the same”applies to our lives the past year.

I actually think the way we have been approaching this period of uncertainty has been the best way overall. We have remained in the same apartment complex, renewing our lease at the least amount of months as possible. We have a competitively low(er) rent than other places. It has also given us a sense of stability which has been important. We have lived in this particular apartment three years. It’s hard to believe because so much has happened during that time; Mom getting sick  then dying and both of us losing our jobs.  We made the right decision to stay here in this apartment.

Here I am coming up on the first time that I joined BLC back in June 2010 and I haven’t lost any more weight since last July.  I will say that I am still hopeful though because of the prep work that I am doing with the “Beck Diet Solution”. Although, a “face off” will be coming up soon as I finish the prep work and actually truly begin applying what I am learning and setting the stage for.

4/27/11:

Well, I haven’t been journaling much lately because I have been spending hours and hours playing online games. How unproductive is that! I have been following the BDS book day by day and reporting what I am doing to my BDS support group. I have noticed that others are at different levels of applying the techniques or some not at all. Well, considering that I have been with this group since early February and I have gone up and down the scales, I am no one to talk. This coming Friday (two days from now) will be when I put all of this prep work to task and begin what I hope will be the “last diet” I am ever on. I hope so. I am so sick of thinking that I know what I am doing only to find out that I am not. I do think what might be the one thing that will turn things around for me will be “No Choice” kind of thinking; which means for me is that at times I may want to abort my diet for food that may mess with my progress.

I feel what I can compare this to is when I managed to steer our finances from the brink of disaster to “treading water” in very difficult circumstances is noteworthy. There were times when we thought we would never get that car paid off. Last year we got P some really quality dress clothes, helped both A and T out financially so they could get through some “tough times”, pay on car repairs, get a new washer and me new eyeglasses. Even more important we got Pl much needed business cards, paid his annual guild dues and we paid off 4 “old” credit cards. I am also happy that I am still trying to find ways to reduce our expenditures. I am really looking forward to both gardening and attending this “Couponing 101″ class. I am really hoping that we can begin reducing our grocery bill significantly. Besides saving money, I also hope it will mean we will get more for our money and we will actually be able to eat “better” as a result. Money saved at the grocery store will “allow” us to pay off  other bills. If we can do that given the “breaks” we were given, I am sure hoping that I can do that with my weight.

If I really stick to a reduced calorie food plan for the next 15-16 months, I will realize my long held goal of being 140 lbs and an ideal BMI of 22%. I am afraid that I will really screw up or lack motivation. Hopefully, all of these cards that I have made will help me refocus when I lose my “reason” for doing what I know I need to do. I am beginning to have more faith in myself though.
In the past couple of days one of the “experiments” we were suppose to attempt was to “Hunger Tolerance”. I have shared with this group that I am pre-diabetic. After I posted about this Day’s “lesson”, I decided that I would try the “Hunger Tolerance” and just see how long I could “last”.

I took my blood glucose a couple of hours ago and it was 118 mg/dl. That is high. It should be in the 90s. I had a huge supper last night: 2 big plateful of spaghetti with meat and sauce and two large pieces of garlic cheese bread with added mozzarella cheese. Then, about two hours after that I had a medium-sized bowl of popcorn and one Kit Kat candy bar. I think I ended up having 4000 calories yesterday. It is 4 pm right now and I am mildly hungry. I took my blood glucose at 4:45 pm. I was beginning to feel slightly shaky. It was 105 mg/dl. I had a repeat of last night’s supper but I did not eat anything else the entire day. I would say that this shows that I can tolerate hunger well. However, will I say the same thing when I am eating half of what I ate yesterday? I do remember going to bed often feeling very hungry last summer.

Well, I did Day 12  which is dealing with cravings. As I have often said, my cravings are very specific. For me, the best line of defense is eating very healthy meaning eating those 3-4 servings of fruit and 4-6 servings of vegetables every day. The main thing is for me not to “cave in” and ask Paul to pick me up something chocolate. Then, I get myself in trouble. Another place where I really have a hard time eating healthy is when we decide to stop by McDonald’s. Almost always I order a value meal which means french fries, a burger and soft drink. Now, there are other choices there but I just am not familiar enough with their menu so I’m like a deer in head lights. I just freeze. So, until I have a clear cut strategy of how to handle fast food restaurants, I probably shouldn’t go to them.

Tomorrow, we are going to eat at COB. It will be my last not-counting meal I will have from now on. There is a section on “special occasions” in about 75 pgs in the book. Since this is a quick read, I hope that by the time I eat out again I will know exactly what I should do. What I have been doing is allowing myself to choose carefully but still eat around 1100-1300 calories both at GC and CO. The “coach” of BDS said he thought you could eat 200+ calories over what you normally eat. I was thinking that I could also combine one meal and a snack which would be about that. Even so, that is not a lot to eat at either of these restaurants. I could “solve” that problem by not eating out as much or when I am there remind myself what my end goal is and how important it is that I make good choices when I am eating out. Maybe, a combination of both will be the best way for me. Initially, I know I am going to feel “cheated” and I will feel like we aren’t getting our money’s worth but maybe I can find some creative ways to mix low calorie foods at both restaurants so I feel like I had a large meal and was able to enjoy some favorites.

Afterwards, we are going to plant our garden. We have a deadline of May 1st. Considering it seems like we just got the plot, that deadline has crept up on us. Once it is planted though, it will be exciting to go and check on it and see how things are growing. I am just so glad that I pushed for us to do this. I really look forward to fresh produce for pennies. I know that P  will be “sold” the first time he brings home to eat something from our garden. I hope that some of the other people will share some of their produce. I know I’d be willing depending on how much comes up. It would be a great way to try some new things to eat.

Well, last night I awoke almost every 45 minutes to go to the bathroom. I must have really released a lot of sodium-induced water bloat because around 8 am I had a horrible cramp in my left calf. I only get those if I have lost 3-4 lbs of “water weight”. The “good news” is that it is gone. The “bad news” is that those Charlie horses are pretty painful. I was preoccupied thinking about how we are going to make next month’s rent.

[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.]

Yo-yo Me

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 1 Comment

4/15/11:

For the purposes of this pc journal, Friday is the start of a new week since April 1st was a Friday. My total 2 week weight lose was 7.8 lbs. It would have been more except the past three days I have eaten more daily calories. I have decided that I am going to continue to weigh in every morning and record my weight. I am also going to make a note of when I have exceeded my daily calories the day before and/or if I have eaten out the day before. I think, it will give me some insights into what impacts my weight and, who knows, maybe it will also help me figure how many calories I will need to lose a specific amount of weight in a specific amount of time. I do think it is useful information and I am not willing to discard it ” just yet”, in spire of the protests of some of my fellow dieters who feel it can be “maddening”. I say that it is only “maddening” if your self-esteem rises and falls with the numbers. I look at it more objectively. It is a piece of information that I am gathering to understand how my body’s metabolism works at any given time.

If/when I can get back into the recommended calorie range or even below it, I believe that I will see another 2-4 lbs lose. To recap, I decided to withdraw my participation (reporting) to three of the four groups that I was involved in. Each had a unique approach to being accountable. I decided on the Beck Diet Solution because I feel that it is behavior modification techniques that will help me stick to a reduced calorie plan long enough to see long term results.  I feel this is the key for me to lose all of this extra weight. As the author points out, any healthy reduced calorie plan will work. The reasons that she cites why most people she has counseled fail is because they sabotage their efforts to the point where they either yo-yo, regain all of the extra weight or give up. I have done all three.

What I took away from these different support groups is that I needed to eat an even more balanced food plan than I “thought” I was doing. I liked cold purified or natural spring water but I never consciously and consistently drank a lot of it every day. That is something that I now do every day. I have been doing that for a couple of months. That alone is not enough to help me lose weight though. In the past couple of weeks, I began consciously eating 3-4 servings of fruits and 4+ servings of vegetables. Again, that alone is not enough to help me lose weight. After weighing daily with one of the “100 lbs+ to lose” group, I identified that all of the eating out at restaurants with the added sodium was causing my weight lose to stall (not to mention some days I was eating over my recommended daily calories). I began April with the intention to reduce my sodium intake. I cut back on eating out, drank additional water, or ate out earlier in the day which I think helped me not gain any additional weight but, again, it did not help me lose much more weight than the 5-10 lbs. which is usually what is called “water weight”.

So, all of this comes back to one thing, which Dr. Beck stressed; reduced calories. I have to eat less calories than I expend or expend more calories than I eat or a combination of both. Her approach is to aid with the behaviors to keep doing that long enough so I will lose all of the extra weight and then keep it off indefinitely.  So, the past couple of days I have been reading her book that the Beck Diet Solution support group uses. I am going to follow it day by day as recommended until I have completed the initial 6 week program.

During that time, I will continue to do what I have been doing: I will log the food that I eat on the BLC site, stay within my calorie range (and I hope even eat less than that), log my exercise “calories” I burn on the BLC site, practice the BDS techniques, drink between 80-100 oz of water each day, work to reduce the amount of sodium I ingest, eat 3-4 servings each of fruits and vegetables (incorporating a variety along the way)and make a concerted effort to get to bed before 11 pm each night, refrain from having caffeine 6 hours before bedtime (that means after 5 pm!). One additional that I want to start “practicing” is to eat between 45-65 grams of carbs per “setting”. That is another tool that the diabetes instructor told us last month when I attended that four class series. The purpose of that is to control and keep my blood sugar level instead of up and down spikes. The “challenge” in doing that is I will probably have to eat less per “setting”, or at least, a specific amount of carbs anyway. The only time that this might be difficult is when I go out to eat.

Yesterday, we had lunch at GC. I made excellent choices except that by choosing to have dessert, which was an additional 400 calories, I bumped up my carbs by 20 grams. Had I gone with the fresh cantalope, which is what I usually do, I would have been fine. So, I need to add one more “behavior” to my growing list: preplanning most if not all of my meals. Right now, by leaving it to my “at the moment” decisionmaking I have inadvertently stalled or prevented myself from losing weight because if/when I choose foods that I won’t “burn off” through some kind of activity I am eating more than I “should”. As I move through the next couple of weeks/months, I am going to make sure that if I do decide to eat more calories at a favorite restaurant that I either consciously eat less the next day and/or do something afterwards to “burn off” the extra calories. My “solution” was to see how many calories I actually did have there and then have a much lighter supper (a chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread bread and  an apple) . I did “allow” myself to have a small bowl of popcorn later. Although that wasn’t exactly pre-planning, I did intentionally eat less for the remainder of the day.

I am already doing most of this so I don’t think that it will seem “overwhelming”. However, having to report the same things over and over to four different groups (3 of which called this participating in a “challenge”) just was “too much”. I don’t feel that I was deriving any additional benefit from all this reporting either. I see the benefit is from the “doing” not “reporting it”.

It does mean though that I am going to have to be scrupltously honest with myself in doing all of this. If it looks like at some point I need to report to someone other the Beck Diet Solution group then I will do so. Maybe, I will even feel I need the interaction of other dieters at some point. For now, I feel the BDS group should suffice. I will also connect with some of the other people, on both the 3FC site and BLC site, I have become “friends” with just to let them know how I am doing or especially if it looks like I am running into some problems. I might even “report” to these individuals briefly once a week. Besides, helping me, it might also help them as well. Right now, that sounds like the level of “reporting” that is doable. Once or twice a week! Well, I think all of this sounds like a good solid plan. Now, to implement it day by day.

My next personal “challenge” will be to eat less each day and to resume moving around more.

Well, I have just returned from picking up my free trial pair of contacts from my eye care specialist. For the past year, I have “endured” wearing the same pair of free trial pair of contacts. I try to not wear them any longer than I need to and I have tried to keep them as clean as possible. Still, since they were drying out, they were becoming increasingly more uncomfortable to wear. I am very excited to say that I am going into Easter having “acheived” some of my “hopeful” or “wishful” desires “fullfilled”. I have the outfit from last year that I didn’t end up wearing. Since I have lost 34 lbs since then, it should fit even better. I had my hair trimmed and I will be wearing new contacs so I’ll be able to see “everything”!! I decided to go on PL’s site and I ended up ordering a pair of linen peep toe small wedge shoes. Last year I bought a pair of hot pink flats to wear with my dress but I felt they fit “tight”. I think these will work although I am sure I will have to get some of those heel wedges to fill in the heel.

I did my Day 3 reading from Beck Diet Solution besides some supplemental reading from one of the “Biggest Loser” cookbooks. Day 3 was “eat sitting down”. Well, I feel pleased (and relieved) that this is one behavior that I do and actually insist on doing. However, while reading this Day I was struck by another behavior that I need to work on. I am not sure if it will be one of the Days coming up but I went ahead anyway and decided to do a “Response Card” regarding that: pre-planning meals and staying within a specific calorie amount for each meal. I think doing this could be the “key” that will keep me from eating past my recommended calorie range. Without pre-planning a specific amount of calories per meal, I have a natural tendency to “overeat” even when I am eating really healthy meals.

Today was a perfect example. I consciously ate a larger breakfast because I “thought” I would be going to the retreat and I didn’t know when they would be feeding us. However, eating 1/3 of my calories “sets me up” to continue to eat more calories per meal right through the remainder of the day. Looking back on today’s food choices I ate really healthy food. I had 4 servings each of both fruit and vegetable. If I hadn’t eaten the entire dark chocolate candy bar, I would have still been at the top of my calorie range!  I was over my calorie range significantly but I decided that I would just “maintain” today since I was feeling weak before with all of this bleeding. Paul got me some multi vitamins which I took a double dosage.

I have both heard and read that more than likely the cause behind my excessive bleeding is an excess of estrogen. Excess body fat creates excess estrogen!  One woman on 3FC told me that it might even get worse before it gets better too. I felt she was saying that as I am losing weight that may happen. She didn’t say it exactly but I felt that is what she meant. Well, I do know that when I experience a hot flash (and for me it is more of a feeling of being warm) that the bleeding starts at that time. Maybe, the next time I am at a drugstore or at Wal-mart, I can ask a pharmacist if they think me taking soy isoflavone plus progesterone cream might take care of it. I was doing that about 8-10 years ago but when I heard that even plant estrogen can cause breast cancer I stopped doing both. I have also heard the progesterone cream can have potential cancer risks.

It is a lot to consider. Having these kind of menstrual flows is also detrimental to my health. I get really wore out from the blood lose. I am sure that I am anemic. It is also socially isolating. It is very disruptive to my ability to attend certain “functions” like the retreat today. I am just not sure why it suddenly began up again this past week. The only thing that I can think of is that I have really tried harder to eat healthier and reduce the amount of sodium I ingest; both of which helped me to lose 8 lbs in the past two weeks. Could it be the weight lose triggered this? I don’t know.

4/17/11:

I slept well last night. I got up once but I managed to sleep around 8 hours. I washed and styled my hair, got “dressed up”; all with the expectation that I would have a full day ahead of me. Well, I can tell you that it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. As soon as I started walking out our door and up the steps to our car, I could feel just how weak I am right now. I”thought” that maybe having something to eat would help that. I do think this “weakness” is related to having lost close to a pint of blood yesterday. I thought eating at COB would help. I think I will probably need more calories today than what my reduced calorie food plan recommends but this is unusual circumstances. I don’t think two days of eating more calories will hurt me overall and it will probably help me move through rebounding from this excessive bleeding. My blood pressure has been much lower-106/54- and I think the weakness is from that. I am sure that I have been dehydrated. I drank more although I probably made the mistake earlier today in drinking some caffeinated diet soda. I feel better now after eating about 1000 more calories that I have been. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may need to increase my calories a little bit. For now, the bleeding has stopped for today. Then, I have to seriously think about what I should do for future times. It is bound to happen again.

4/18/11:

Although I slept close to 8 hours, I awoke frequently during that time. I went to bed before 1 am but then I had slept quite a bit on Saturday so I was half-expecting that I wouldn’t be as tired yesterday. Today, I started pre-planning each meal or snack within a specific calorie amount. I don’t think breakfast-afternoon snack will be hard. I do expect that eating less for supper will be though. I am beginning at 2100 calories which is the top of my recommended calorie range. I hope to work off the recommended 200 calories per day from exercising; if not more at some point. If that is the case then I will be able to still eat around this amount of calories and still lose. I am glad that BLC doesn’t promote really low calorie food plans. They are more prone to strongly encourage an increase in physical activity. I didn’t work out today because I wanted one separate “day of rest” after all of the bleeding that I have had in the past week. I am glad that I ate the amount of calories this past weekend. Yes, it caused me to have a temporary weight gain but I know it is not going to stay and I feel my body needed the extra nutrition. I ate healthy. I just ate more. In the future, I am going to make sure that I have something like Pedilyte popsicles or Powerade instead. I was somewhat reluctant to do that but now I realize that would have been best. I become seriously dehydrated. That is why I am so weak, my pulse increases and my B/P really gets low. I felt it was better to gain a few retro pounds than think I could safely “diet”. There is a time and place for everything. I feel a lot better today.

4/19/11:

My legs bothered me throughout the night and are even bothering me now but I still managed to go to bed (although getting up multiple times) and sleep through the night. This habit is getting easier. However, after having the extra calories, it looks like my body is really holding tight onto the extra sodium-induced water weight gain. This has been the case since I restarted my weight lose efforts; now, going on three months! It feels ridiculous to be trying so hard to eat the recommended fruits n vegetables every day, stay within my calorie range as best I can and then still see only a few pounds lost. It is really frustrating.

Well, today I resumed doing my strength exercises. I was really seeing some progress there for awhile. I noticed that the pain in my shoulders had lessened for one thing. Even my posture was straigthening out.  I haven’t exercised for several weeks. All of this has been a lot of stopping and starting. Again, inconsistency. How can I expect any lasting results if my efforts are “hit n miss”? Realistically, I can’t. As I am known to do, I “impulsively” ordered three exercises dvds which I should be getting sometime later this week or early next week: Pilates for Inflexible People, AM/PM Stretches and Joint Mobility. There’s no argument that I certainly could benefit from all of these. As soon as I get them, I am going to mark out time to do them on a daily basis.

I’m disappointed that here I am nearly one year later and I will still be wearing the same clothes that I wore last year. I now think about some of those clothes I gave away and I think it might be nice to have some of them. However, I really had to make some tough choices. I mean, I barely have the room for what is in our closet now. Well, I am going to play it by ear this coming season. If it looks like I am really doing well with weight lose, I will give away what is too big for me. I’ll try not to hang onto too much “extra” except the better quality clothes. If I can stick with some form of exercise, even that will help me move down into the next size. Still, a size 22 is a plus size and not a “normal weight” size.

I have been talking back and forth with one of the people who was in my BLC group. She is struggling with getting back on track. She was diagnosed with diabetes and I think she still takes pills for it. Fortunately, I do not. We have talked about how difficult it seems to be to lose weight. I am hoping that the BDS will be the key to overcoming that hurdle. What I have changed since joining BLC is logging all of the food I eat so I have elevated my conscious awareness of what and how much I eat. I have also begun drinking a lot more plain water the past couple of months. This past month I have even made a very concerted effort to eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. Fruits have never been too difficult for me to do but vegetables have on an ongoing day to day basis.

As I was telling this woman, I might have to seriously reconsider following the South Beach Diet again just to jump start my weight lose. Again, it might be a result of the fact that I am not being active. Even Beck Diet Solution says that we have to be flexible in moving from plan to plan if one isn’t working out. I love meat so for me that would be the main plus in that. I think I could forego most carbs most of the time. If it meant losing weight at a consistent clip, it would definitely be a trade off. I won’t do anything this coming week because we plan on going to GC for Easter and I do plan on “indulging” some. However, it would mean that I would be giving up all starches like bread and cereal for two weeks before I could slowly re-introduce some carbs back into my food plan and even then it is a very slow process. According to the book that process could take upwards of 4-6 weeks since you only re-introduce one carb at a time and see how your weight lose is and especially your food cravings. That part is very tedious and that is one of the things that I doubt whether many people do as he suggests.

Out of that low-carb way of eating has spawned some of the more creative ways of having carbs without having the starcher versions: spaghetti squash for spaghetti and mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. I have tried the first and it wasn’t half bad although I felt like I could eat a lot more than regular pasta probably because it was a lot lower in carbs. Another thing many people who do “low carb” is to use lettuce leaves in place of bread. There are also some low carb bread products on the market although I haven’t tried them…yet. Well, I will give this some more thought but I am leaning in that direction at this junction. I need to get this weight lose moving downwards. It just isn’t healthy the way that I am going.

The main concern with the South Beach Diet was that it sounded like most people didn’t lose more than an initial 20 lbs. I think it’s because it is a big switch for a lot of people to go from eating a lot of carbs to quite a severe reduction of them. Usually, it was the people who were big cereal eaters who “complained” the most. I actually was never much of a cereal eater except for the past year or so. For me, the big “deal” is foregoing bread since that is the staple of my starch eating. After that, I like having pasta every so often.

After I laid down for about an hour, I thought about this some more. I remembered that I lost weight when I ate less period. I even noticed that sometimes when the sodium was higher, I still lost. In fact, not only did that happen recently for a few days but I remember that since I thought I weighed less than I actually did last summer BLC had bumped me down to the 1500-1700 calorie range and, although I struggled to get to 1500 calories, the times that I ate between that calorie range I was losing weight. So, the answer might simply mean that I will need to eat less calories. Now, that is going to be hard. I can easily eat 1000 calories going to GC or China One Buffet, not to mention I can eat 800-900 calories when Paul brings home food from Donnie’s, which he did tonight! What that means is I am going to have to eat a lot less the rest of the week so I can eat like that for one meal. It reminds me of what I just read somewhere: calories in, calories out. I can wrestle with this all I want but that is really what it gets down to.

So, what I need to do is two things: work at getting down to 1800 calories each day, breaking that amount up into 4-6 meals per day. Then, concurrently, I need to try to burn off 200 calories per day. Ideally, some kind of aerobic activity where I can work up a sweat. I am eating too many calories. Period. I will admit that I thought there might be some “trick” involved in drinking a lot of water, lowering my sodium or even eating my recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. All of those are good things in of themselves but none by themselves will cause me to lose weight. I am not burning up the calories that I am consuming. So, I have two choices: eat less so I force my body to burn off the excess or become more active and force my body to burn off the excess.

4/20/11:

I wasn’t even that active yesterday and I still managed to lose 1.5 lbs in spite of eating more sodium. That is the KEY! Eat less, don’t worry about the sodium IF I am active so I can sweat some of that off. Today was yet another day that P did not have any work. He has had one job this week and that was for $36! It is really scary. I didn’t want him to “worry” and I knew that if he didn’t have some things to fill his time, he might get mopey. Luckily, he did get $212 for unemployment so I suggested that we do some of our personal “errands”. We went to GC for lunch. Then, we stopped at the NFSC and signed up for our community garden plot. The manager was really informative. He even said we could have some of the seeds he had stored in a refrigerator in his tool shed. We have access to the tools and the rain water that collects in two different barrels. I think I can put P to some tasks. I think once he gets involved he is really going to enjoy it.

4/21/11:

I was able to “maintain” my weight from the day before in spite of extra sodium and calories. Again, movement was the KEY. My legs and knees were really hurting by the end but it is clear that if I want to be able to eat well and even err when it comes to extra sodium, activity is the answer. Starting this coming Monday, I plan to really jack up my activity and get this weight moving down instead of up and down. I even put the actual weight on my BLC scales. I really hope this is the last time though that I have another month of up and down. I have made improvements though since I restarted with BLC back in the end of January. One thing that has really helped was accepting these challenges and then actually doing them. Especially this past month when I began consciously eating 3-4 servings each of both fruits and vegetables. I have found that my blood glucose seems more even although when I had that heavy menstrual flow I was experiencing a lot of shaking. I took my morning fasting yesterday and it was 114 mg/dl. I’m disappointed because I would have thought that with all the healthy eating it would have gone down. However, I am eating more fruit and that can raise your blood glucose in spite of it being good for you. Well, it just means that I have to work harder at becoming more active so I can use up some of that “underutilized” sugar in my blood.

Although it has been a slow start for me this year I think that I have actually made quite a bit of progress in becoming healthier and eventually thinner. This is time for me to give myself credit for what I have done right. I’ve consistently logged my food even when some of it was embarassing to admit.  I’ve developed a habit of drinking more water every day and this has cut back on my diet soda consumption quite a bit. This past month I have made a concerted effort to eat the recommended servings of both fruits and vegetables and I have done that for 20 days thus far.

My hope is that beginning on this coming Monday I am going to continue to do all of those good things that I have been doing for myself and restart exercising on a daily basis. I think that if I can really up my activity level, I can still lose 2-3 lbs a week and keep my present calorie range. I hope so but I won’t know until I try it and see how my body reacts to the changes. I have been going through the Beck’s Diet Solution book. I have been writing my “suggestions or reminder” cards as directed. I have noticed that I “gobble” sweet foods quickly. I think because those are the kinds of foods that give me a “quick sugar rush”. The proverbial “melt in your mouth” kinds of foods. So, I have decided to target those types of foods by purposely slowing down how I eat them by breaking them into small pieces/segments.

I think that the main reason why I haven’t lost all of this weight is inconsistency in my efforts. I will go great for 2-3 weeks and then I will have a patch where I either make some choices that cause me to fall off my reduced calorie food plan or I get distracted by external events. Again, I think that it will take a more disciplined effort on my part. I have put more thought and effort into how I have been buying my groceries and preparing my meals. For breakfast, I made a homemade (and much healthier) version of an Egg McMuffin. I used a multi-grain muffin, one egg, one slice of turkey bacon, a TB of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 tsp of margarine. It tasted really good and it was visually satisfying too. It was quick and easy too.

I bought some whole wheat pizza crusts already made up and ready to be used. I am sure the fact that I don’t have to mix the actual flour, etc means they are considered processed but I was also thinking of the money. I got three medium sized crusts for $4.99. I think I will make one for lunch. I have lots of vegetables to pile on it. I could even add some leftover chicken or turkey bacon. That would add some sodium but I love pizza and, again, I was thinking of the cost factor. If I can get in the habit of making some “healthy substitutes” for some of my former favorites, I might go a long way in saving us some food dollars at a time when we really need to be. Sometimes, I get tired of all the extra work it seems it takes to try to save even more money. Unfortunately, that is when I slip up and we eat out several meals in a row. I guess, that is part of the overall learning curve involved

Well, I have been conversing back and forth with another woman I met on the BLC site.  She is seeing a doctor next week about her diabetes and you can tell she is very concerned. She is on 2 pills so her diabetes is a lot worse. Again, I am just so grateful that I caught mine when I did. I can’t seem to budge right now from the teens but, at least, it is better than it was a year ago.  I think everyone who has had struggles is thinking about the day after Easter and really knuckling down. For me, it will mean moving a lot more. It will also mean that I am going to do my best to eat at 1800 calories and if I move more than I will actually be “consuming” 1600 calories per day. It has got to be that way. I am sure that I will probably have some days where I will really be hungry. It will definitely mean that I can’t eat too many “empty calories”.

I personally think that the main reason most people fail at dieting is that they just don’t want to do what it takes to get the weight off.  I don’t necessarily think that it is laziness but I do think that it is really hard to be that disciplined day in and day out. No matter what anyone says you will have to change the way and what you eat while you are losing weight. Now, most of the experts say that if you don’t make a lifestyle change you will gain the weight back. According to Dr. Beck, the hardest part is losing the weight. Sitting here, I would agree with her. The past three months have been so “typical” of how I approach losing weight. I have allowed myself to overeat on many occasions. I have also allowed myself to eat many of the “wrong kinds” of foods. I have simply eaten too many calories for someone as sedentary as myself. I have given in to impulses, bad habits and whims.

Depending on what I weigh this coming Monday and on May 1st, it is possible that I haven’t lost more than a few pounds in three months. If that isn’t failure, I don’t know what is. Had I come out of the gate really sticking to 1800 calories and getting some kind of movement in every day, it is very well possible, I could be 25-30 lbs less than I was when I rejoined BLC. I’m not. Well, it was a poor showing but I did do some things right and I continue to do them. First of all, I haven’t given up on myself. I could still turn this around. If we eat out on Easter Sunday, I will enjoy myself. I will make sure that I have my fruits n vegetables but I will probably have a piece of cake or pie for dessert. I am going to make homemade fudge so that will probably be my indulgence over the weekend. We “inhale” that like it is “air”. I know however I “approach” this weekend, it will show up on Monday’s weigh in. I am sure that there are a lot of other people who will be thinking and saying the exact same thing. I will try to show some “common sense” though.

Come Monday, whatever fudge is left I will either have a very small piece or, ideally, “none at all”. We’ll see how I do. This is where the Beck Diet Solution is supposed to come to the “rescue”. For me, it gets to be an unending cycle. I lose a few pounds and then something comes up where I  go overboard and I lose ground only to get back on my diet and do it all over again. Considering I am not exposed that much to food I sure seem to have trouble with it. It certainly slows down the process.

Recently, I have come up with the idea of making my weight lose goal of losing 130 lbs by our 10th wedding anniversary on August 17, 2012. It is doable. That is 8 lbs per month. I have already told others in my Beck Diet Group about it. The coach thinks it is doable but, again, it won’t be if I don’t put some action into place. What I have discovered is that the most important number I need to aim for is lower calories. I can actually have higher sodium if I have lower calories. Granted, my weight lose might not be as dramatic but it does allow me a little more leeway in the choices of foods I can eat. I just can’t eat as much of them!

Well, this all has really been a very slow learning curve, it seems. Three months has almost gone by and I have not lost any significant amount of weight. However, in the light of Dr. Beck and giving myself credit, what I have done is set up a support network of fellow dieters to share with, which I do on a daily basis, I have begun drinking more water every day, I am eating a more balanced food plan every month, I am logging my foods and calories every day faithfully, and, on occasion, I am even being more active. I am going to consider May 1st my new “restart”day for my end goal of being 140 lbs for our 10th wedding anniversary. Ideally, I would like to return to those same places where we had our pictures taken and have our pictures taken then. I would also like to go on a honeymoon. For me, it would be closure and a nice sealing of what I hoped our wedding day would have been.

[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.]

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