Is this time different?

In maintenance since June 1, 2012


So long no post! And winter is here!

During the summer –in the southern hemisphere– I wondered all the time what would happen with my eating when the cold weather arrived. Though in the hot weather I could eat well and even learned how not to binge –I know I will always be a binger, anyway–, I feared the moment when the nippy air would make me need to eat. As in the past I always put on weight during winter, I thought that it was the cold weather that made me eat more calories, and that putting on weight as a consequence was unavoidable. Well, I am getting to see that is not so. Nippy air and all, I am not more hungry than I was in the summer, and though I do eat more hot food than before, that food does not need to be high calorie food. Yesterday I ate out and I ordered a spinach and egg sandwitch –it was not wow, but it was ok–, and then I made vegetable soup and have been drinking that… So, one more discovery: it is possible to be in control when it is cold too.

I am not losing any weight, though. My ticker is still at 54, but I gained a little –for no apparent reason– and have been stuck at 55 during April. I do look thinner, though, so I do not worry. If I can keep eating healthy all through the winter, that will be a huge achievement for me. This weight is fine, though 52 would be better –I am very short–, and maybe the weight will fall slowly if I keep at it… That does not seem to matter that much now. What I do care for is control and health. The peace I get out of eating like a normal person is invaluable, having been a binger since times immemorial.

Hope you are all doing great!

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By susana
On April 27, 2012
At 7:03 am
Comments : 0

Back to basics

I have not blogged for quite a while, but am back with new energy and some lessons to share.

These past days I concentrated on keeping myself under control, which as a binger is a major concern to me, and went slowly back to bad habits: I stopped eating vegetables and fruit, and started finding it hard to keep to my 1200 cals limit. I did not put on weight –and did not lose either–, but went hungry most of the time and found it harder to not overeat.

So, back to basics today: the basis of a good food plan is a good pantry, right? So, back to buying tomatoes, fruit, lean meat… Leaf vegetables are incredibly expensive here these days, so I won’t buy any till they go down again, buy will make soup soon to fight the Fall chill.

The lesson I learned and which I would like to share is that we are never cured. I may lose the weight, I may get compliments about how I look –finally!–, but I am wired in a special way: my wiring will call for bad food and for little physical activity, so if I don’t police myself, I will go back to my old ways in no time.

My objective is to keep binge-free and to go on losing, no matter how slowly, till I reach 52, and then maintain for the rest of the year. It is a huge challenge for me, maybe the greatest challenge I faced ever, so I am quite pleased with myself at having finally tackled the weight/food issue and achieved some results.

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By susana
On April 15, 2012
At 9:41 am
Comments : 0

Slipping dooooowwwn!

Fortunately I got to my senses before it was too late!

It started with the addition of some small treats to get to the 1200 cals –I could rarely eat more than 900-1000, so I needed to add something small and with many calories–, and I sort of started to get used to the little piece of something. And then I started to notice that for two or three running days I went over the 1200 (1300/1350) and could not refrain from the not so little piece of something… I never got to binge, but I was slowely getting out of control.

So, back on the good habits again as from today! I bought more vegetables and cooked them, had a light breakfast, and feel great. I did not put on weight –neither did I lose–, which is great news… I may have delayed the loss, that’s all. But I am happy about this, because:

1- I noticed it in time and it worried me, rather than provoke a shrug.

2- I know “the problem” is still there, and that I cannot look the other way: I still have an eating disorder, and will probably always have it.

3- I could stop and regroup before getting out of control.

4- I did not put on weight, which means that the loss so far is well done.

5- My clothes fit better than last week, which means that I may have lost some measures…

So, my message is… stop quick!

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By susana
On March 1, 2012
At 5:05 am
Comments : 2

And it’s not allergies, at all.

So my skin started to itch badly without having rashes or anything. As I live in a tropical area I thought mosquitoes were to blame, but no, no mosquito bites either. So I said it’s the tomatoes, and stopped eating tomatoes. Itch itch. It’s the dairy products, no more yogurt, itch itch! Ten days like that, eating less and less, till I started to build another hypothesis.

I went back to work two weeks ago, and by then I feared I would start binging right away, as I did last year. I was surprised to discover I did not feel like overeating at all, to the point that my food plan gets easier and easier as time goes by. I can even eat some chocolate now and then without eating more than a bite, something I never thought I would be able to do. So after the itch tormented me for some days I started to wonder where all my stress was going… My co-workers are really tough to work with, so how come this year I WAS able to cope with their sh-t and last year I couldn’t and I needed to binge before going to work?

I think my body is expressing stress in this itching. I don’t feel it in the morning, but by the time I leave for the office I start scratching like crazy. Do you think this is possible? It would explain a lot! I don’t take any medication for anxiety, I don’t smoke, I don’t have a date –I am thinking of all the ways you may vent, don’t laugh–, I am not doing much exercise –it’s so hot outside you can’t go walking later than 6am, because you can’t catch enough air–, so I think maybe stress has made my skin super sensitive and I get these “allergies” as a consequence.

If they persist, I will check with the doctor, I swear. But how else would you explain that I don’t feel the need to eat carbs even though I am putting up with a lot?

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By susana
On February 16, 2012
At 6:51 pm
Comments : 2

Good choices, no loss, but fine

I know I have to go on trying and not get impatient, so I won’t complain. I have lost only 6,6 pounds in a month, so I still have to lose 16. It’s ok. I thought I would reach 10 pounds in a month, but no, my body decided it will make it a slow burn. It’s ok.

One of my objectives is fulfilled, though, and that is one of the reasons why I don’t dispair: I haven’t binged in a whole glorious month, I eat right and don’t get hungry, and I have learned to eat only when hungry, which is a huge achievement for me, since I had completely forgotten what to be hungry felt like, and that food was not for comfort but to live.

So, in spite of this slow burn, today I discovered two things that motivate this post. I went out for dinner with “the girls” and saw that two of them are getting fatter by the minute. I don’t dare mention the fact because it is a prickly thing to say, but I realized that as I ordered diet 7up and a cup of coffee –I had eaten my protein and fruit at home–, they ordered a big hamburguer each and one of them a big icecream. So I said well, if I were not on this program of mine, I would be heading in that direction too, and that is something I don’t want for myself. I rarely eat in public –I (used to) binge in private– but seeing them eat and seeing them fatter made me strongly want to change my habits for good and lose the extra weight I carry.

And I also discovered myself staring at a cute guy eating alone some tables away. I had not stared for months. And  not because there were no cute guys around, but because I felt completely unlookable-at. He did not look at me or anything, but the fact that I did look at him and enjoyed the view makes me think I am still healthy in that respect. I have been alone now for eight years –yep– and wonder if I will ever ever find a man –not any man, my man– again. The chances are not good, but at least I am healthy enough to still look at them. I don’t know if this sounds decadent or pathetic; it sounds sad to me, being 47 and working my ass off to support my children for so many years, and to make a career. Sometimes one needs a hug, that’s all.

So, two discoveries: it is good to eat healthy though the weight does not go away fast, and there are cute guys around eating on their own though they don’t look at me. Will they ever?

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By susana
On January 30, 2012
At 8:06 pm
Comments :1

Being a perfectionist is so not perfect, dear…

My son went on holidays with his friends and brought us a box of cupcakes. I am no fan of cupcakes, but he was sad nobody at home was eating them, so I ate two (hear the alarm ringing? that is my food plan on fire). Then, in the evening, though I was not hungy I had dinner all the same. Instead of eating one slice of spinach pie, which would have been enough, I ate three slices. Small slices, but two too many.

My program is simple: I don’t eat sugar or flour (cupcakes have both) and I don’t eat if I am not hungry. So, imagine how annoyed I was at this slip. Today I realized it was not that bad: I probably reached what? 1600 calories? Not terrible. Was it a binge? No, just eating more than usual. But anyway, the feeling of failure stayed there for awhile. It reminded me of previous diets: some years ago I would have continued eating and probably would have binged for a day or two before going back to my “normal mode” –eating too much every day.

So what is new?

1- I realized my slip was not that terrible and moved on.

2- Today I was not hungry when I got up, so I skept breakfast and went out for lunch: vegetables and calamari with lemon juice.

3- Dinner time, and not hungry yet. Did not eat anything during the afternoon, which is (or used to be) my binge-prone time of the day.

4- Back on track, a bit bloated, but letting go of yesterday and welcoming tomorrow.

I have learned about me that I am still a perfectionist but I am “perfecter” than last year, because now I can live with my less perfect actions and refrain from throwing things overboard just because “the day was ruined anyway”. Doesn’t that make me the “perfectest” me yet? Forgot to say that I am also the humblest dieter here… haha!

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By susana
On January 28, 2012
At 3:59 pm
Comments :1

Low cal dressings, finally

For years –and I am not exaggerating– I thought I would prepare two dressings I know I like and are good to me. Though they are fairly easy and cheap, I never prepared them. Today I made them and included them in my lunch:

Salad dressing: We don’t have sauces or mayo in salads in my country; we generally add oil, vinegar or lemon and salt. My new salad dressing is made of balsamic vinegar, and instead of olive oil I add liquid vaselin, which I keep in a bottle with olives inside to give it some taste. It was delicious and hopefully it will help me digest food more quickly, if you know what I mean.

Tartar sauce: just light mayo processed together with pickled vegetables. Easy, fresh and light. I added a generous spoonful to my lean steak.

If they are so simple and easy to make, why did I take years to make them? Today I was home alone for lunch, and for the first time I COOKED for myself: steak, arugula salad, these dressings. Simple, but far better that what I would have eaten last year –probably bread, cheese, icecream and cookies.

I am walking a lot these days, and eating right. I still feel the “tug” of sweet treats when I experience frustration, but I can fight it. Thanks to all of you for the way you collaborate, though blogs and forums, with this marvellous moment in my life!

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By susana
On January 16, 2012
At 9:57 am
Comments : 4

Cannot freaking believe it

When I read about those of you who have been dieting for more than a year and have lost so much weight, I deeply admire you. To me what you have done is unbelievable, unattainable.

I had not been able to control my eating in this way since what? Ten, twelve years ago? Having been on plan for two weeks sounds like heaven. I had lunch at a restaurant today and I ordered steak and a tomato salad, no dessert. Last year I would have ordered ravioli and icecream… In the evening I will go to the cinema, and I have already announced I don’t want any popcorn. In the past I bought some because I thought people insisted on my eating, but no, they don’t! When I said I am not going to buy pop corn they just went “OK, I will.” No preassure to eat pasta, no preassure to eat pop corn… It is easier than I thought!

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By susana
On January 14, 2012
At 2:26 pm
Comments :1

Seven buns (I had to share this)

I don’t know whether to tag this as Achievement or as Discoveries, because it’s both!

As I was getting ready to grill by dinner steak, I caught a glimpse of the bag of buns I had bought for my son a couple of days ago.  I had bought ten, as usual, and there were seven in the bag. So I asked him if there was anything wrong with them, because when I buy them they don’t see the following day… And he said there was nothing wrong: he had eaten his usual three buns, and he didn’t know why there were still seven in the bag.

I know: I would have eaten the other seven, which this time I did not. So, I froze the buns and now, when he wants his sandwiches, he will have to defrost them. But… Seven buns!

Today was a strange day: I ate little because I had not bought what I needed to eat well.  I started to feel my legs lighter!

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By susana
On January 8, 2012
At 5:08 pm
Comments :1

“Hunger” as a welcomed sign

A new discovery today: when I woke up I notice a strange sensation in my tummy, and on thinking about it I was amazed to discover it was hunger. For months (not to say years, which would sound unbelievable) I had not experienced that sensation, so full of food I was all the time. Now that I am eating only when I am hungry (though less hungry than this morning), I am starting to notice lots of things: first this morning sensation comes back, but then, I could discover the taste of balsamic vinegar, which I have had for a long time but could not differentiate much from other flavours; I could also discover I am not hungry all day long –so I don’t need to graze all through the day– but every four or five hours if I eat light.
So, today for the first time in months (or years) I had some breakfast (just light cheese), lunch (veal and salad), and tea (orange juice and cheese). And I did that not because I had planned it to be that way, but because my body asked for food when it needed it. I am starting to understand what it is like to lead a healthy lifestyle. In a couple of days I will see if the scale agrees with me this is the right thing to do.
There is hunger and there is something different, “hunger,” i.e. what we charming fat people say is hunger but in fact is a yearning for food which covers up for something else. Today “hunger” was welcome, because on interrogating it I discovered I had been working for too many hours on my thesis (PhD, yay) and that I was stressing over frustration. “Hunger” was defeated later by real hunger –and tea–, but acted as a warning signal: I understood I had to stop working, close for the day, plan tomorrow’s work and get ready for my daily walk. Amazing, uh?

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By susana
On January 4, 2012
At 1:05 pm
Comments :1