Sunday, March 29, 2015

Checking in

So my new 'Modified' food plan went ok, for about three days.  But it has done the job of giving me hope.  I've been moving closer and closer to real change.  At least that's what it feels like.  Friday I made some real commitments to my fitness as well as weight loss (I've signed up for some Triathlons) and I took action two days in a row!

Yesterday I went for a 5 mile walk in the morning, and today I went for a 17 mile bike ride.  It's not an Iron Man :D  but I feel like they were both big steps in the right direction.

I'm also focusing heavily on the mental side of weight loss.  I've got a check list of daily activities including reading my "Reasons to lose weight", working through 100 Days of weight loss and doing all the activities from the Beck Diet Solution for the next 42 days.  That means blogging more often too.

So - expect to hearing from me more often!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Plan

Yes I know I'm posting three times in one day - within a few hours of each other -- but this is my brain working/healing and you get to see it.  Lucky you!!

In order to know when to tell the feast beast "No" there have to be some house rules (No peeing on the carpet you!)

Low Carb - I like how I feel when I'm eating a reasonable low carb diet.  So, my goal is 50G of carbs a day

Reasonable Calories - I don't want this to be a "Eat all the cheese and bacon that you can" deal so calories are based on BMR and a goal of 1.5 lbs a week loss.

My inner dictator (we haven't talked about her much - she looks like this

yeah, she's a sexy bitch that's why I like her so much) wants this to be 2 or 3 lbs a week but we'll ignore her for now, she needs to learn to compromise more.

Now, the wild child is starting to get restless the feast beast is growling- I can hear her say, "But then we'll never get to have any fun!"

and so I'll add...

One meal a week is a 'free meal'  calories still count but carbs are out the window (the rest of the day has to be under 50 G though) HOWEVER - the Calories over goal need to be earned w/excercise and Free meals are ONLY on the weekends.

I know that fun can be had without food - but food is a big part of our lives and it's silly and shortsighted to deny it until I can find reliable substitute - I'll know I've found it when the free meal isn't important any more.

then next objections start..."But what if there's cake! I want to taste the cake! Or, if we go out to dinner or or or..."

So there's to answers to that. Like take the cake home and save it for the weekend, but  if you want to taste the cake then we'll allow that - here's the rule 50 'free' carbs a day.  If you're good at math you'll see that the 'original' 50G + this 'free' 50G = 100G of carbs a day - totally in the healthy range for weight loss!  And who's to say I'll need that free 50 every day!?

I'm doing another mental check right now and I have to say everyone's pretty quiet.  The little dictator has stopped pacing around screaming "Ve must have orda" and the wild child and her beast sitting are quietly, not trusting me yet, but not growling or lashing out either.

Alrighty then -- let's talk about the last part of my psyche - The Blerch

I wish I could say he was something I invented, but he's the invention of "The Oatmeal"  

The Blerch is that voice that keeps you from exercising.  He says things like "Let's sleep in again today.  I'm sure you earned it somehow".  He's the one who tells me to slow down, to walk, to quit.. to not start exercising at all! (you can see more about The Blerch and the book about him here:

I know he's different from the wild child and the dictator.  The wild child loves running and picking up heavy things.  The dictator wants to be strong and swift and dangerous.  So how is it, that it's two (three) against one and The Blerch continue to win?  I think it's because The Blerch represents inertia and inertia is a hard thing to over come.  

Initial searches on inertia brings up things like "Exercise resistance" and dealing with thoughts and feelings.  To that the Dictator starts lashing her whip and muttering "Did that hurt your widdle feelings? just fucking do it!" the wild child starts whimpering in the corner and feast beast starts gnashing his teeth and telling me I need a doughnut.  Hmm is that why The Blerch always wins?  He tells them all to just sit here on this comfy couch, watch TV and he'll go grab some popcorn.

I tell them all to "Shut Up!" and I keep reading.  No, I haven't found the answer yet, but let's tackle one thing at a time right now.  Maybe as I clear the struggle with food from my brain a solution to the Blerch will start to raise it's head as well.  

Oh and I'm going to bury here at the bottom of this post the fact that -- I now weigh 262 lbs -- that's Biggest Loser candidate weight right there.  It's way past time for a change.

What's that voice?

More thinking - more thoughts spinning in my head, but they are starting to line up a little in my head.

I think on top of everything else that's 'wrong' with me... I'm suffering from "too much information"

In George Leonard's book "Mastery, The Key's to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment" He talks about picking an instructor - my issue, I have too many instructors and their advice is often contradictory -- and I'm not talking about nutritional advice either.  (I'm pretty certain what a solid nutrition plan actually looks like)  But the HOW of dieting is under dispute.  For example:

  1. Dieting is will power - Just do it and here's the plan
  2. Dieting is a matter of setting goals and working through some steps (similar to will power but normally with better focus) - read affirmations, be kind to yourself etc
  3. Dieting is a matter of balance - everything in moderation - eat what you want when you want and it'll all turn out right in the end (the anti-diet diet) 
  4. Dieting is a matter of getting right with that voice in your head that drives you to eat - then follow your plan or non-plan as the case might be.
Lately I've been falling into camp number four though I swing between 1 and 4 quite often when the voice in my head doesn't pay attention and keeps eating.

But even in camp four there's disagreement.  After all, what is that voice?  \

  1. Is it a "Feast Beast" a mindless lizard brain that needs to be locked away?  AKA the addictive voice.
  2. Is it my Inner Child and she's just gotten a little too bratty?  I just need to distract her with shiny things, Love her, tell her nice things until she starts to cooperate?
  3. Or is it my Wild Child - a combination of the above two - A slightly irrational creature that needs to be indulged in some way because if I try to cage her eventually she'll break out and I'll eat the entire stay puff marshmallow man in one sitting?
 Short answer... I don't fucking know.  Lately I've wanted it to be #1 because it's "easiest".  If that 'thing' that makes me want to eat is just the lizard brain panicing over some irrational primordial fear and I can just ignore it and move on.. I like that thought.

But if it's one of the other two - if the fear isn't as irrational as all that and instead is something I need to take out, examine and DEAL with... that scares the crap out of me.

Maybe I frame it this way...

My inner child is a wild child raised by wolves and currently has one as a companion.  They are very close to each other and when my wild child gets upset - sometimes irrationally - the beast growls and flashes it's teeth.  The beast can't hurt me - the child won't let it.  But it's pretty scary to look at and it makes a lot of noise.  I can tell it "No!" and can even smack it around a little if it gets a little too much in my face but I don't have to do what it says.

But if I really want it to shut up I need to deal with the child.  I need to make her feel safe, comfortable, and loved.  Doing those things aren't 'necessary' I can only deal with the beast if I'm not feeling emotionally up to soothing a child (like now) - but on those days when I'm balanced and centered and feeling patient I can try to bring the child out of the wild - get her to put on a pair of shoes and wear a pretty dress...

Or maybe I just let her run free in the wild cause there's a part of me that likes her having that freedom.

Ugh!  I just can't seem to get on a roll. The longest I can seem to keep to any kind of eating plan is about 1/2 a day lately!! I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm the heaviest I've been in my life and I can't seem to shake myself out if this rut and do something about it. The feast beast is in charge right now and it's making me feel helpless and hopeless. I haven't felt this horrible in a long time and I don't like it. But shaking the blues seems like an impossible task. 

Every diet book that talks about the mental aspects of weight loss is rolling through my brain. Each is shouting it's advice at me but none of them make my brain sit up and say, "Yes! That feels like the answer!"  

I just want it gone. And by 'it' I don't mean the weight. Yes, I want it gone too but I'm willing to go the whole journey with that. But what I want gone is whatever it is that I consistently hold back by eating waaaaay too much food. What is it that I can't face that I keep shoving down by tossing food on top of it?  I don't know my next step right now. Food isn't the enemy - I am. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Four Day wins?

I love Martha Beck's books and I've been reading her "Four Day Win" "thinner peace" book on and off for a while.

Now I want to combine some of that philosophy with some of the things I'm picking up in the flexible dieting books I'm reading.

So, tomorrow is day one of a four day challenge.

This challenge is "Make better food choices"

1) Eat mostly (80%) whole, minimally processed, nutrient dense, filling foods. (four days = 12 meals * 80% = 9+ meals)
2) Eat a variety of Fruits and Vegetables 5-10 servings
3) Eat a variety of Animal Products

All super easy to do at this point.
I'm trying not to say "I failed" ... again

I'm trying to think of it as, "I've found something else that doesn't work for me."

The problem is it didn't work for me the other two times I tried it, but I did it again anyway *sigh*.

In acknowledging that what I'm doing isn't working, and that what I've done many times over and over again isn't working either I had to sit myself down and figure out some stuff.

First, I started thinking about the more recent times I actually had lost a significant amount of weight...

There was MediFast, super strict food control and quite a bit of exercise (I was doing triathlons almost every weekend) 50+ lbs of weight loss that lasted.. almost no time before I was heavier then ever.

Leanness Lifestyle, super strict food control and quite a bit of exercise 50+ lbs that time too - I 'maintained' a few months while I tried to lose more weight before I lost the 'fight' and gained all the weight and more back again.

Body for Life,  strict food control and daily exercise again I lost a lot of weight 40 or 50 lbs but weight loss slowed and then reversed an a very short amount of time.

Then there was that one time, I ate what I wanted, hardly exercised at all lost a lot of weight and kept it off for a year....

My brain keeps going back to those days -- what was different!?  I wasn't at my goal weight but I was pretty happy with how I looked and felt, and it was effortless.  The only thing that was 'different' about that time then any other time in my life was, I was single, I was living for no one but myself, I was happy.

Now, losing 50 or 100 lbs isn't worth getting a divorce over -- BUT that time at least gives me something to think about and shows me that I have it in me to lose weight and to keep it off for more then a day.

So next I started thinking about what WOULD my ideal diet plan look like.  I've realized that the strict dieting I've done in the past has lead to horrible rebounds and I've suffered from "famine brain" as Martha Beck calls it in her book.  I also knew that 'free eating' didn't really work for me (except for that one time, but as I said I'm not willing to leave my husband to lose weight)  I started a list and here's what I came up with.

My ideal weight loss program:

  • Generally low carb because this seems to be the plan that makes me feel the best (meat, cheese, nuts, veg)
  • Low calorie is ok, but not so low that I feel terribly hungry all the time
  • The ability to have a treat now and then without it blowing out my program or preventing me from losing weight for an entire week
  • Some flexibility (can eat at a friend’s house or restaurant easily)
  • 0-10 minutes of prep time required for each meal.
  • Not huge amounts of pre-planning required
  • Can lose weight without doing hours and hours of workouts (though will support these workouts if I choose to do them)
  • No requirement to eat constantly - as few 2 meals a day if that's all I have time for.

No problem right?

Body for Life was probably the closest to these - so let me check out the pro's and cons

Six meals a day is really too much work and too much thinking about food.  I hated constantly watching the clock waiting for my next meal time to pop up.

The planned free day is exactly what I'm looking for as far as 'allowing' treats. I think I got into trouble when I started trying to justify "two free meals" or some other form of 'allowed' junk foods.  I also hear my inner wild child, or my feast beast or my famine brain saying.. "But what about when they serve cake at work, if you only get one free day, then how do you get to have your cake?"

But then if I just say, free food anytime you want it, I'm not dealing with emotional eating

So I'm trapped between:

Super strict dieting sets off the feast beat - I can only keep it caged for so long before I snap and eat everything I can get my hands on for days on end (or longer). And I'm stuck on a yo-yo of losing a few pounds then putting them back on again plus a few friends.

No food restrictions means that I eat whatever I want whenever I want.  While my binging episodes go down some, I still have the unhealthy habit of eating my emotions and I slowly and steadily gain weight...

The simplicity of, "Eat a palm sized portion of protein and a fist size portion of carbs" is really close to what I'm looking for - no food logging!   Who couldn't walk into a restaurant or a friend's house and figure what to eat with those simple rules.  But that simplicity also lead me to eat a very boring diet.  Every night I would come home and throw some chicken in a pan, put some veggies on top of it and stir fry that with rice.  Every day at lunch it would be a salad with some chopped chicken on top.  There has to be a way to have these same rules but modify them in such a way that I don't have to count calories or carb grams and still feel like I'm eating for my goals.

There was also the fact that I started really undereating - only eating around 700 calories a day in fact -- that of course lead to a really big binge/rebound eating.

Anyway... I've picked up some new books and I've dusted off some old ones to try and figure this out and put a new lifestyle in motion.

The two I'm using to set myself up an eating plan are "Flexible Dieting" by Armi Legge and "A Guide to Flexible Dieting" by Lyle McDonald.  I'm hoping these can help me get some insight into creating a plan where I can limit intake enough to see progress, but not so much that the wild child starts going crazy and takes over my life (again).

As an aside here - remember when I talked about how when I was single for that year my weight loss was effortless?  Well one other answer to that could be because I let my wild child out a LOT back then.  She got to have her way in so many other ways that she didn't have to resort to food as her only outlet for having fun.

I'll come back and post more when I have a more solid plan!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

I know, it's a little late, but what can I say?

My Diet 2 Go experiment start out great.   Then the holidays hit... after that I was back to my starting weight again.  I've pretty much floundered through January and now, here it February and I'm looking to hit it again. I restarted my Diet 2 Go subscription and I was in for some pleasant surprises.  They've added a lot of new meals since the new year and added a lot a variety into the substitutions section.  This is good for me because I'm pretty picky and there were a lot of meals I was substituting and at one point I ended up skipping a while week's worth of breakfast because there was nothing I liked.  The good news is, they don't charge you for meals you've skipped but it meant I had to figure out what I was going to eat those days instead.

So that seems to be resolved now - I went back through the 5 weeks of meals and there isn't a single one where I can't find something I would eat.

This morning my day started with the Diet 2 Go Cheese Omelet which consists of an "Egg Puck" (tastes better then is sounds), cheese, spinach, bacon and salsa.  I throw out the salsa cause I don't eat tomatoes or onions, but the rest got nommed up!  I like the Diet 2 Go eggs, the bacon is good and crisps up nice if you cook it right and the spinach... well it's spinach.  A little salt and pepper and all's good.

Lunch (which I just finished) was Chicken and Bacon Cheddar Melt.  This is a portion of chicken topped with cheese and bacon, spinanch and Broccoli in what they call a "Cajun Cream Sauce".  The chicken was fantastic, the spinach was, again, spinach and the broccoli.  Well, I don't know what they put in the cajun cream sauce but it tasted like someone just soaked everything in vinegar for a long while.   When this comes up again I'm gong to rinse the broccoli off before reheating and HOPE that it's salvageable.  Everything else was tasty enough that this meal is staying in the rotation.

Dinner tonight is Chicken Roma, but I'll review that tomorrow when I post after lunch (at least that's the plan).

On the exercise front.  I made a go of it for a week at the beginning of January, then haven't managed to drag myself out of bed early since then.  I did, however, sign up for a Go-Go Burlesque dance class on Monday nights and I've made every one of those classes.  It's been loads of fun and I'm saving up to re-up when this 12 week series is finished.  I'm struggling to find something else that I enjoy enough that I WILL NOT MISS it no matter what!  Maybe a different dance class every night?  I doubt my husband would like that though.  I really am stuck here.  I have a really hard time getting up early and my evenings are pretty full - (I commute 2 hours each way 3 days a week).  Trying to work out at lunch time hasn't worked for me yet.  Unless I have some sort of appointment I tend to put off leaving my desk until it's too late and it's time to go home.  I'm going to have to spend some more time getting creative in this regard.

As for weight - well, as I said I'm back to my starting weight :(  BUT I do feel fitter and a little thinner around the waist so maybe those dance classes are paying of in some way.  Here's hoping!

I'll be back tomorrow!