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Old 12-04-2008, 01:37 AM   #1
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Default Self-sabotaging urges

The more I am on point the more I go batty wanting to be OFF point. My calories have been very good for a few days now: 1350-1450. I've been working out about an hour a day. And there are some serious visions of french fries, ice cream, cookies, curries, pastas, you name it!, dancing around in my head CONSTANTLY.

It's not even the desire to binge, it's just the desire to quit dieting. I want to eat these high calorie foods everyday again and I want to come home and not exercise again. These thoughts are so strong!

I am losing weight and I'm only partially excited about it. It just seems so temporary, like eventually I'll cave and go to McDonalds or somewhere and no matter what I eat there it will send my weight back to square one.

A lot of the unhealthy foods aren't available to me in Korea. I'll be back in America in 9 months and I'd love to reach my goal weight by then. It just seems like such hard work. I am forcing myself to stick to my diet and forcing myself to exercise and it is paying off, it's just HARD WORK. Really hard.

Am I going through withdrawal? Is that even possible? In the long run I want to lose the weight but in the short run I feel like I need to sit down in front of the TV for several days and eat some grease, fat, and sugar!
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:08 AM   #2
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I don't know how long you've been "at this". You very well might be going through said withdrawal. I do know for me the first couple of weeks were pretty rough. Very difficult in fact. But I knew if I stuck with it, if I really really stuck to it like GLUE - the weight would come off. After about 10 hard days, it got MUCH easier. Those cravings practically ceased. It was amazing, in fact.


Quote:
I am losing weight and I'm only partially excited about it. It just seems so temporary, like eventually I'll cave and go to McDonalds or somewhere and no matter what I eat there it will send my weight back to square one.


I do know for me, when I made the decision to lose weight and be healthy, I decided that I was done with "diets". This wouldn't be some temporary "fix". From now on, the rest of my life, I would be a person who ate healthfully, and mindfully. Always with a consciousness and an awareness. The days of fast food, ice cream, cakes, fried foods and the what not were gone. I knew eventually, when the losing portin of my journey was over - that I could add in an *occasional* treat. A once in a while rarity. But for the most part - my eating would be healthy.

Again, if it's your first couple of weeks, I urge you to HANG TIGHT. I think these feelings of yours will pass. Try to imagine yourself dancing around in smaller sizes instead of eating those foods. Try to imagine yourself running up flights of stairs. Try to imagine yourself at your optimal weight. Try to imagine yourself the very best you that you can be.

Also, though you've eliminated many things from your diet, make sure you ADD in wonderful, healthy, low calorie foods. Have a plan in place. Every meal and snack.

Quote:
I'll be back in America in 9 months and I'd love to reach my goal weight by then. It just seems like such hard work. I am forcing myself to stick to my diet and forcing myself to exercise and it is paying off, it's just HARD WORK. Really hard.
Well you SHOULD force yourself to stick to your "diet" and exercise routine. It will be quite rewarding when you do. And it is DEFINITELY hard work. But so what. Hard work pays off!!!! I know for me, it was much HARDER work being morbidly obese. I wasn't happy that way. At least THIS hard work has benefits - limitless clothing choices!!! - wonderful medical check ups - not being winded walking up a flight of stairs - having MUCHO confidence and I"M HAPPY!!!! on and on and on. Like we've said here many times - choose your hard. It's always a matter of choice. Do you want to be slim and healthy - or not?

Being slim, at a healthy weight will definitely not solve all your problems, but it is a much easier and happier life. One filled with much less worries and much more joy. Go for it!!! Trust me, it's not like you'll look back and wonder what were you thinking? You'll never, ever regret doing so. All the best.
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:45 AM   #3
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i know this probably isnt much help but if you want some healthy pasta and curry recipes i can give them to you xx
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:51 AM   #4
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Hi, me again. I just wanted to add, that believe it or not, your tastes will change! This was truly a miracle to me. A miracle. Once I got rid of all the flour-y, sugar-y, carb-y, processed foods, and ADDED in the good, wholesome healthy foods, my tastes really changed. These are the foods I am now craving and GREATLY look forward to eating. Stick with it. It will happen to you as well, I'm sure.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:15 AM   #5
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Hey there!

Maybe think about what it is you want... Why do you want to lose weight?

Do you expect that eating in a healthy manner is temporary, and once you get to goal you can go back to your old ways?

Are you trying to "white knuckle" your way through, instead of making a real change to your habits?

The way you're eating now shouldn't be "second best" to the way you want to eat. It sounds to me like your values are kinda backwards... McDonalds? Really? If I were going to go all-out down-the-tubes on eating, it would have to be better tasting and better quality food than that.

But back to your question--yes, at first one can have terrific cravings. It really is withdrawal. It's best to keep all those "trigger foods" out of the house and far away while you get used to not having them all the time.

Also, if you're eating enough on your plan, and it's nutritious food, it can help diminish your cravings.

Hang in there. No one should blow it over McD's.

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Old 12-04-2008, 07:44 AM   #6
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I struggle with self-sabotage. As happy as I am when I lose, it seems that sometimes I panic and follow a loss with some overeating.

I think change is hard. I think as much as I want to lose weight, I also know myself now, I know what the issues of being fat are. Sometimes I think that subconciously I am afraid of losing and what challenges that might bring.

In some ways I can hide behind my fat and use it as an excuse. Eating is also a great substitute for dealing with feelings. It is frequently effective anesthesia.

One of the things I did was to go in therapy. While we are now dealing with eating issues, I started by saying to my therapist I wanted to deal with the behind the eating issues. Its helped. All the other things that have made this weight loss journey successful are made possible by the other changes I have made in my life.

If you are committed to losing you can and will. There are certainly tips and tricks that help...for me reading and posting is one vital part! Too often though we think we should want to lose weight, but we really don't. The tip to me that perhaps there is something else going on for you is that you are not so excited about your initial loss, and that you want to quit dieting.

Maybe you should...don't think about it as dieting. Maybe you should up your calories, try for a very minimal reduction. You can likely still lose, although slowly, and work on changing your life permanently rather than a short term period of deprivation. (know as a diet.)

Either way its okay. Its also okay not to diet, and not to lose weight. This isn't a moral issue...it just has to be what you want.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:59 AM   #7
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The way you're eating now shouldn't be "second best" to the way you want to eat.
I so agree with this comment of Jay's.

It's ok to want a treat or have a craving for something unhealthy - we all do. But if you look at how you used to eat as what you want to do and the way you currently eat as something you HAVE to do ... you are setting yourself up for a massive crash.

The only thing that works for me is to change how I eat in a way that I'm happy with. For me, that means accepting slower weight loss and allowing myself a once a week treat of those foods that I know are unhealthy. A burger and fries at Five Guys. A ice cream from Cold Stone. A dinner out with dessert. That kind of hting.

But even when you make the decision to make that kind of change, it is hard, especially at first. I agree with Robin that you will get past the craving stage and your tastes will change .. eventually.

One thing that helps me is to think about what I'm craving and give myself permission to have it ... LATER. I'm not saying I can never have potato chips again, but I can't have them RIGHT NOW. Sometimes I'll eat an apple and tell myself if I still want them after the apple, I can have them. Usually by the time the apple is gone, I don't want them any more. Sometimes I say, ok, I'll have chips on Saturday. I just can't have them today. And oddly enough, usually by Saturday, I don't want them anymore.

Sometimes it's just delaying gratification long enough that you decide you don't want them really.

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Old 12-04-2008, 12:02 PM   #8
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I don't think it's necessarily withdrawal, at least not in the way we usually think of it. I guess in a sense, withdrawal is as good a word as any - for the fact that any change is difficult, and changes that require a permanenet lifestyle shift are the hardest. Giving up something for a short period (like lent or a "diet") can be carried along by pure strength of will (the white knuckling), but making a life-long change is extremely difficult and daunting.

It's hard to imagine being almost a different kind of person. Giving up old ways of behavior is like abandoning a part of yourself, the "old you," so it's hard not to miss parts of the old life.

If you're not willing to give up the old life, then the changes will be temporary.

This is hard, really, really hard.

For me, I'm learning that the fast food combo (sugar/starch/grease/salt) is deadly for me. It is psychologically and physically = well, addictive. Being insulin resistant, I understand I am even more prone to the carb/hunger cycle. High carb foods trigger insulin release, which triggers hunger, which if fed with high carb foods trigger insulin release, which triggers more hunger.

My entire life I felt that eating only made me hungrier, and now I realize it wasn't eating, but what I was eating. My weight loss has been terribly slow, mainly because I keep trying to convince myself that I can occasionally have controlled portions of high carb foods. The only reason I'm losing at all, is because I'm refusing to give up, and keep trying to do better, even though I shoot myself in the foot every time I eat high carb foods. I realize that with carbs especially the sweet/salty/greasy combos, but even many of the healthy ones I'm more like a heroin addict trying to convince herself she can handle "cutting back" instead of going cold-turkey. Trying to succeed on occasional small doses of my drug of choice, just isn't working for me, so I have to rethink some of my choices.

I'm not saying you ARE fast food-addicted, or as carb-addicted as I am, but if you do have trigger foods, you have to work out in your head, whether occasionally eating trigger foods or eliminating them is in your long-term best interest. Even if you decide that you have to give them up, you don't have to think about giving them up forever. One day at a time, works as well for weight loss and maintenance as it does for other behaviors that are rewarding in the short term, but destructive in the long run.

I'm not lecturing, because I'm as bad at it as anyone else. Losing weight has always been extremely difficult for me (since age 5) in part, I think because I've been so good at learning everything else in my life. Being a dunce at weight loss has inspired me to give up many, many times. Finally, I'm realizing that I don't have to be "good at this," because being a slow learner is better than dropping out of the class.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
Losing weight has always been extremely difficult for me (since age 5) in part, I think because I've been so good at learning everything else in my life. Being a dunce at weight loss has inspired me to give up many, many times. Finally, I'm realizing that I don't have to be "good at this," because being a slow learner is better than dropping out of the class.
Ha, this is exactly me! Pretty much anything I've tried, I've excelled at. I really know how to put my nose to a book and to practice a skill until I have it... except losing weight. I could write books on how to lose weight. I could be Jillian Michaels and get people to lose weight. I just suffer at my own will.

Do I want to lose weight? Yes! Now? YES!

But I AM afraid of the lifestyle change it takes to lose and maintain. I read this book that was called something about a Former Fat Girl. The author said that while she was losing and once she achieved her weight loss, she realized she couldn't be like everyone else. Even at the same size, one person would be a Slim Girl and she would be the Former Fat Girl and she couldn't act like the Slim Girl. I guess that's the scary part. I struggled so much trying to lose weight at home because with my friends it was restaurants, bars and happy hours. That's how we socialized. I tried to encourage other behaviors, like let's go for a bike ride but it usually meant let's bike ride to the bar.

The things that are hard now--getting off the computer and working out or putting half what I made for dinner away first instead of just eating as much as I feel like--trigger these thoughts like "This is forever!" Last time that happened, a month and a half ago, I quit exercising and dieting for 3 weeks and gained back the 2 lbs I had lost.

I just want to succeed using the "fake it til you make it" mentality. If I go through the actions again and again, I hope that they will eventually become less of a struggle and more second nature.

I feel like I'm reading some of you say that having cravings for things like McDonalds means I'm not serious about weight loss. I'd love to not crave McDonalds. I love to get these thoughts of plates of bar foods and heaps of fatty Indian food out of my head!!

I don't want to go back to America and resume my normal life of huge portions and spotty exercise. But that doesn't change my cravings for huge portions and my lack of desire to exercise now. Also, I don't want to be some social pariah whose healthy lifestyle completely isolates them from others.

I guess some of you affirmed what I want to hear which is these cravings go away. And I'm sure success would be much EASIER if I had no cravings and I was thrilled with the idea of never living my old life again. I have 9 months to work at this before I go back to America. I hope by that time my healthier lifestyle is more ingrained in me and I won't desire to completely readopt the way I had been living.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:38 PM   #10
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Hey--

No, I myself didn't mean that because you were having cravings, you weren't serious. I'm sorry if it sounded that way. Lots of people have cravings! I did, and I still do!

I would just like to reiterate what I said earlier. The way you eat now shouldn't be "second best" to the way you want to eat. Try to appreciate good, wholesome foods that don't contain a zillion calories of carbs and fat. Eventually you won't even be able to imagine eating the junky foods of the past. You will just have higher values!

That doesn't mean any food will be "never again"--but you won't feel sorry if you don't have it. Freedom! Choice! Happiness!

There is something to be said for the Slim Girl vs. the Formerly Fat Girl, though. I believe it really is like that.

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Old 12-04-2008, 07:09 PM   #11
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I too didn't mean that because you were having cravings you weren't serious. I did not mean to imply that and I apoligize if I've offended you in any way. I know, all too well, just how REAL AND STRONG those cravings can be. All too well. But I strongly believe that just because one has a craving, that doesn't mean that one has to give into that said craving. As difficult as it may be, we need to learn that there are just some things we must do without. Just like when I go clothing shopping. And I am looking for a new sweater and a new pair of shoes. There are times when I'd like to buy 5 sweaters. Or 5 pairs of shoes. I mean I LOVE them and am DYING for them ALL. But that would send me into debt. So, somehow I tear myself away from them and don't give in and buy all of them. I might even think about those sweaters/shoes for a day, sometimes more, but eventually that feeling of "gosh, how can I LIVE without them?" DOES pass and I am glad that I didn't go into debt just to have them. Same thing with food.

As far as being the "former fat girl", and as different as that may be from being "the always slim girl", it's still quite better then being the current fat girl". I've often said that losing weight is a very solo act. This is something that we must decide to do for ourselves and really as supportive as friends and family could/should be, the bottom line is, is that it's up to us/you.

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The things that are hard now--getting off the computer and working out or putting half what I made for dinner away first instead of just eating as much as I feel like--trigger these thoughts like "This is forever!"
Yes, this is "forever" and that IS a loooong time. And yes, IMO you MUST accept this in order to have longterm weight loss success. But the good thing is, that you will get used to it. And it will become natural and second nature to you. It'll just be what you "do" and "who you are". I think 9 months is plenty of time to "retrain" yourself and get into a healthy lifestyle. I say go for it.

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Old 12-04-2008, 07:10 PM   #12
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Some of the cravings I think do go away, and some of them change, or they stay in that realm of "nice in theory/imagination, but not so great in reality."

I haven't had a full-on, gut-busting food-orgy in - well I think it's been a couple years, now (wow, that's kind of hard to believe). In a strange way, part of me still misses that, even though the last time I DID eat until overstuffed, even though it was on much less food than I would have eaten in a typical binge in the past, I felt much sicker afterward than I ever remember (I felt like I was dying, and I thought geez, did I really used to do this to myself EVERY weekend?)

One thing that really has helped me is learning to completely change the way I look at what weight loss eating IS. In the past, I always focused on what I couldn't or shouldn't eat. Of course, that felt like deprivation, because that's what it was.

One day I was watching a show on the travel channel about some exotic weight loss spa, and they were showcasing the chef and the food she created for the spa. Although she was blathering on about making food that was a "decadent" experience as opposed to a depriving one, it was the food itself that made me think what she was saying. The food looked fabulous, and even though I wasn't even able to taste and smell it, I thought "if I were eating like that, I wouldn't feel deprived, and wouldn't even miss fattening foods" and it dawned on me suddenly, that I certainly could eat like that.

Now, I'm far from successful all of the time, but when I view my eating and exercising as my own personal spa experience, I don't feel deprived. I have to work at it sometimes, and I go through phases where I'm bummed and forget, but when I manage it, it is amazing.

For exercise for example. I HATE exercise, but I do love doing fun things. I love swimming, so the warm water therapy pool, is definitely spa-like (and since you pay per visit, it's a luxury of sorts, can afford a few times a month, but don't have the time or money to go several times a week). Getting an MP3 player to use on the apartment complex's treadmill, and wearing a pedometer on my shoes (bright red cross-trainers), even when I'm not working out - the pedometer encourages me to try to beat the day before's "numbers." I badly want to get back to geocaching (hubby lost our gps about a year ago, but we're going to buy a new one with Christmas money this year). It's like electronic treasure hunting (and you might check, it's very popular in many countries, and in some places there are geocaching clubs where people go together and/or places to rent the gps units).

For my "spa" foods, I splurge on things like fresh fruits and vegetables and trying "new" foods that fit into a healthy diet. I just paid nearly $4 for a little less than a lb of brussel sprouts (which I thought I hated all of my life, turns out I like them roasted).

At first it was hard to play such "mindgames" with myself, but I realized that everything is always a mindgame. I can be depressed and miserable because I've decided that I'm depriving and punishing myself - or I can be excited and joyful that I am treating myself to wonderful things.

Again, I'm not saying it's easy - or I'd have lost alot more than 40 lbs in the last year. I just have to remember to use what I've learned alot more than I do. It is not just like learning to play an instrument, but like owning one as well and how you are practicing what you've learned. Is it sitting in the closet, or are you playing it every day? Too often, my weight loss knowledge is sitting in the closet (right next to the keyboard I bought, and usually only drag out this time of year to play some Christmas carols).
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:32 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone that posted.

This time, for the first time since I can remember, my diet doesn't restrict foods, just portions. Yesterday I had ice cream because my calories were only 1100-something at the end of the day and with ice cream, they were still under 1400. It felt really nice to know I can have it. Portion control has ALWAYS been the hardest part. I don't care if I have a pie in front of me or a salad, I want the biggest serving there is. If I grab a piece of pizza, I'll take the biggest one.

For the longest time I tried to diet by eliminating foods and that got me into this "last meal" cycle where I would stuff myself with the most deliciously high-calore foods, like I was saying "good-bye".. yeah, guess how many of those foods I never saw again? 0.

Now when I'm making myself pasta and I remember I could easily eat the whole box, so my brain says "Ok, eat the whole box!" Still. I make myself a plate and it looks so small. I'm so afraid of being hungry! I'm so afraid of suffering! I've suffered low self-esteem and poor self-image as an overweight person but I know I can handle it. I haven't suffered HUNGER. So I'm afraid of it.

The other thing that scares me about losing weight is I have no idea how to act as a weightloss maintainer. NO CLUE! I've been on a diet since I was in 2nd grade. And when I'm thin and I can't eat like my thin friends, then what do I do? I liked my old life well enough, minus the lifelong weight problem. I know how to be healthy and I know how to socialize with friends and in my brain those two don't do together.

I really feel like I'm constantly having to trick my brain. My brain says "Don't suffer, eat more!" even when I don't need to. My brain says "If you lose all the weight, you'll have no more friends because you can't eat like you used to with them" or "As a healthy person you'll only be friends with BORING people." My brain also says "You need to figure out all these dieting obstacles BEFORE you diet." My number one procrastination method is the need to think everything out before I start. Plan it, map it, analyze it. That means I rarely start anything. My brain needs to get with the program.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:13 AM   #14
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Wanna know how to maintain that loss? Come and hop over to the Maintainer's Forum. Take a look around. Most of us there have pretty much the same theory though - you MAINTAIN your weight loss by doing the same exact thing you did to LOSE the weight, but with a few more calories added in. That's it. Sounds simple. WEll it is! Simple yes - but not always so easy. Not always so easy - but DEFINITELY worth it.

But really, that's why this weight loss thing really is forever. There can be no "stopping" of the healthy, portioned controlled eating. Just continuing. If you were to stop and go back to your old ways, well then, you'd just pile on the weight again. You need to create a new normal.

I think you'll discover your fears about losing your friends are unfounded. If you were to lose any of them due to your weight loss - well then you probably didn't need them anyway. The truth is an alcoholic shouldn't be hanging around with people that are just interested in boozing it up and hanging out at bars.

I've definitely accepted the fact that I do have to eat differently them some folks. I've got a "condition" - compulisve overeating which leads to obesity - which leads to a whole slew of things - and I need to keep that firmly in check with careful monitoring and tracking of my food. Just like a diabetic or someone with Celiac's. This is "my" issue.

And listening to my brain never worked either. That intuitive eating thing simply does not work for me. My brain tells me to eat and eat and eat some more. So, I rely heavily on the good habits I've relearned.

I do think it's good to figure some things out before you start anything. You DO need to have a plan in place. This lifestlye simply won't work by winging it. Planning ahead is essential. But also realize, that your food choices will most definitely evolve as you go along and PROGRESS. You don't need to have everything figured out from the very start. You WILL learn lots as you go along. We don't become thin overnight. Which has it's advantages. You will learn every step of the way how to deal with friends, social events and the what not. And you will get those good healthy habits ingrained into you. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:41 AM   #15
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My brain needs to get with the program.
Ha!

Unfortunately, thoughts and behavior aren't the same thing! Drat!

Maybe change the behavior in spite of what "the brain" is telling you. It sounds like you're working on this now.

Perhaps at the same time, you could work with a therapist or counselor to get some skills for "the brain." Cognitive therapy is often very helpful! And also to figure out your relationship with food, which seems very loaded.

Quote:
And when I'm thin and I can't eat like my thin friends, then what do I do?
Getting ahead of things just a bit, yes? Also, I'm not sure that your thin friends eat the way you think they do... Hard to know what's going on there... too many stories around here about thin friends who eat tons, and then you find out they are throwing up in the bathroom every time they eat, or they only eat once a day, or they exercise 3 hours a day, or engage in some other abnormal behavior around weight and food... So I'd say, the last thing you need to worry about is what will happen when you can't eat like your thin friends. Thank you, brain!

Quote:
"As a healthy person you'll only be friends with BORING people."
Oh, yeah... you mean NORMAL people? Well, that's a perfect reason to stay fat, isn't it? Why be boring like all those healthy, happy folks who have a life beyond food? But you are already on to this trick. You know that's not the issue. That pesky brain! tsk!

I think you're on your way to changing. That's a good thing! Stay with it!

Jay
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