Thursday, January 12, 2012
I feel as if I'm taking a course in dieting. Not Dieting 101 because I've been a dieter unsuccessfully for 40 years. This is grad school and I nearly dropped out during the holidays.
I did so well on the 17DD that I started getting smug. Like an A student who thinks they're smart enough not to have to do the work. I learned from being on this diet that my body doesn't react well to gluten yet what did I do over the holidays? Yup, overindulge in foods with wheat and sugar. I thought "Well, I'll only go off for a couple of days at Thanksgiving". After all, I made stuffing with whole wheat bread! Well, a couple of days turned into looking at the scale on Jan. 2nd and being irritated with myself that I gained back 12 pounds in a little over a month and I was back up over 300 lbs. where I swore I would never be again.
My irritation at myself didn't last long because I knew that I had learned a valuable lesson. The lesson is that I have to keep doing the work and I can no longer use certain foods as a reward. I can't reward myself with pizza - that's like giving an alcoholic a glass of champagne for remaining sober for 6 months. I can't say that I have been so good on my diet that I deserve a homemade cookie (even if I did make them with WW flour and xylitol). One cookie leads to two, which leads to three... well, I am sure you can relate. It's that slippery slope. I can't take a break from doing all the other things that motivate me and keep me on track like meditations, visualizations, mindful eating, etc.
I am fortunate that unlike other times, I got right back on track, because I know what works and what I need to do to make it work. Let's just say I took a semester break and I'm back in the classroom. I didn't drop out. I realize now that I have to stay constantly on my toes. If this is truly a lifestyle change, then I have to imprint that in my brain. I can never go back to eating highly processed foods unless I want to lose all progress made. I have to continue to daily do the things that keep me motivated - no skipping class.
I am committed to eating healthy and I am glad for the continued support of my team members; without Sparkpeople I doubt that I would have gotten back on track, despite the fact that the diet works. It's not just the food we put in our mouths, but all the other tools and techniques we utilize that will make us a success story. I have a long way to go to graduate, but I think I got a passing grade on my first semester.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
This a repeat of a 17DD topic post. Most of my 17DD team members know that I'm constantly cautioning members when they add gluten back in to their diets on Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 (like Dr. Mike's power cookies which have oatmeal and whole wheat). For those who don't know the first 17 day cycle is a cleansing cycle and eliminates most processed foods. At least once a day when someone wants tips for those cycles, or if someone complains about not losing weight I urge them to keep a food diary and notice how their body reacts when they add back in certain starches that contain gluten. Now I have confirmation that I was correct.
I went to my rheumatologist for my bi-annual check up for my fibromyalgia. Of course, he congratulated me on my weight loss (60 lbs since he last saw me). my excellent numbers for blood test results and my lower blood pressure. He actually gave me a real physical pat on the back.
I told him all about Sparkpeople (he wrote it down to suggest it to other patients), and I explained all about the 17DD. I told him in detail what foods were allowed in each cycle. He nodded his head knowingly, when I told him that I don't lose weight when I eat oatmeal or whole wheat, even if my calorie count is under 1200 calories. He questioned me how else I felt when I ate those foods and I explained that my cravings and hunger return, and I have also gotten stomach aches.
When I told him that I feel better on this diet than I have in years because I have less pain and have more energy, he said that there were two major reasons for my feeling better:
1. My Vitamin D level is now 47 which is great. It had been dangerously low (below 20) six months ago. He said everyone in the Northern Hemisphere should take Vit D supplements and told me to continue taking 4000 mg /day. (Google Vit D deficiency)
2. NO GLUTEN - He said that the main reason I feel better is because I have eliminated Gluten. He explained that Gluten can cause pain and inflammation among a lot of other things.
The nutritionist yesterday, also mentioned gluten. She blames the problem not just on gluten from processing, but also the GMO wheat they use in the U.S. She said that she eliminated it from her diet 7 years ago and feels a lot better since doing so.
So, forgive me if I sound like a broken record and keep mentioning gluten sensitivity. I think it may be at the root of a lot of our problems with weight and ill health. You don't have to be diagnosed with Celiac disease to have a problem with gluten. Next time the scale goes up, don't just assume it's because of sodium. Ask yourself if you ate anything with gluten. Check the list. You'll be surprised at how many things have gluten besides the obvious grains - like soy sauce and even yogurt!
Friday, September 02, 2011
I am finally under 300lbs.! I had tears in my eyes when I saw that I was 299lbs. this morning. That's 50 pounds lost since January, and 39 of those pounds lost since the end of April when I joined Sparkpeople and began the 17 Day Diet. I started off losing quickly, but the loss has slowed to 1.5 - 2.5 pounds per week. In the past, I wouldn't have been happy with that per week loss. I would have been discouraged because I wanted the weight to just magically melt off quickly. If I didn't keep seeing fast results, I would just give up. My last blog in July expressed that frustration and I almost did quit.
First, thank you to all my Spark friends who encouraged me to persevere and continue to support me.
I added other things to my tool box to help me on my way:
- I've learned that a slow loss per week doesn't matter as much as the fact that this diet is so doable. It feels so natural to eat like this, that I don't mind being on it. It's when I feel deprived on a diet that I want a fast result to show on the scale. Those aren't the diets you can stay on for life. I can eat like this for the rest of my life.
- I continually try to practice mindful eating. If I don't, I mindlessly shovel food into my mouth long after my hunger is satisfied.
- I identified my triggers i.e. those things that led me to eat when I wasn't truly hungry, like watching TV at night or various emotions. I made a list and next to them wrote alternate things to do besides eat. For example, at night while watching TV, I keep my hands busy with crochet or I just chew sugar free gum. When I want to eat something outside of meal times, I have learned to ask myself what I'm feeling. Is it an emotion making me crave something or is it true hunger?
- I've learned to read how my body reacts to the food I eat. I discovered that I really don't tolerate wheat well.
- I've learned that processed foods and artificial sweeteners are to be avoided because they increase my hunger and cravings.
- I've learned that splurging is much better than cheating. In the past, on other diets, I would "cheat" and then figure that since I already "blew it", I might as well over- indulge for the rest of the day. Then I'd feel overwhelmed with guilt and just quit because I felt like a failure.
Now if there's something I have a craving for, I tell myself that I will allow myself to have it tomorrow. I know that I can at least wait 24 hours. When morning comes, my urge is gone. There are times when I plan ahead to splurge for one meal on one day (maybe once a month). I don't keep bingeing all day. I don't feel guilty afterwards, because it was planned. It actually helps me stay on track.
- Finally, I've learned that the scale is not the only barometer of success. It also matters that I feel better physically and I've gone down several sizes. If the scale doesn't show a loss every 3 days, I'm not going to get discouraged, because I know that it will eventually move down.
I'm aware that I have a lot more to lose, but I have also learned that it's a long road race not a short track. All my little victories add to my self esteem. Everytime I don't quit, everytime I resist eating something not on my plan, it adds to my confidence. If I keep track of all my little victories and successes, no matter how small or insignificant they seem at the time; I can draw from those whenever I need motivation. I have faith now that I can eventually reach the finish line.
Thank you all again!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
They say that it takes 30 days to create a pattern of behavior and 90 days to create a habit.
This is so true for me. I started getting random thoughts of quitting this 17DD plan that I am on, yesterday. Not just cheating - I was thinking about other diets to try. Now, this is completely irrational; because, this diet is working for me. I lost 30 lbs. That's more than I have lost in years. I feel better. I have no cravings and no hunger. I have more energy. So where were these thoughts of quitting coming from?
I looked at the calendar this morning. I thought that I had started the plan in May, but I actually started April 23rd. That's exactly 3 months. My Waterloo.
Starting a new diet follows a pattern for me. In the beginning, I'm excited. I'm on my best behavior andtry to follow the diet faithfully. At the same time, I want it to be easy. Most of the time, I never make it past the first week, if I encounter any difficulty. If I start to see immediate results, I'm happy and more determined. Next comes the "honeymoon" stage where I'm still seeing results, the diet is still fairly new and not boring, and I'm still making every effort to be 100% compliant.
Then I begin to be complacent. I gradually stop doing what made me successful in the beginnning. Old patterns begin to emerge. If I haven't quit before then, they peak at the 3 month mark. I start looking for the easy way again. I typically sabotage myself, before giving up completely. I start debating the merits of the diet I'm on, especially if I hit a plateau. In this case, I thought that a 10 lbs loss per month wasn't good enough. I had planned on losing 12 lbs. per month. I start bargaining with myself. I tell myself that I've been doing so well, that I don't need to follow a diet. I can eat healthy on my own with no plan, or one that I design for myself. Before I know it, I've not only quit the diet, but I've gone back to my old eating habits and gained back every pound that Ihad lost (and more). It's not just dieting. I do the same thing if I have a new hobby or interest. I'm excited for about 3 months and then my attention wanes. I quit and I may never do it again.
At least in the past, that's what happened. Not this time. This time, I know that it's totally up to me. The 17 Day diet is a good one that I should be able to stick with. It's not the diet - it's me. Sometimes it's just overwhelming to be aware of how long it's going to take to lose this weight and be fit. How can I gain 10lbs in one week, but it takes one month to lose it? I have to realize that it's not going to be easy, but it's doable. It's all on me. There is no easy way and I just have to "suck it up" and do it.
To get through this 3 month hurdle, I just have to start practicing again, what helped me to begin this diet - self hypnosis and specific visualizations. I have to read my list of triggers again and follow through with what I wrote down to counteract them. I have to look at my vision board. I need to reframe my thoughts from a negative to a positive i.e. instead of giving in to bad habits at the 3 month mark - it is the date that I made a new pattern of behavior (dieting) a good habit.
I have to utilize Sparkpeople. I posted on my team message board that I needed support and in my status and I'm blogging. The support I get from my Sparkfriends is really what will propel me over this hurdle and help me keep pressing on.
Already, friends responded with words of encouragement that brought tears to my eyes. They reminded me to look at the big picture - to look at what I have accomplished so far. Instead of being discouraged that I only lost 30 lbs., I should be proud that I made it to this point and lost 30 lbs. I should remember how much better I feel, and think about how much better I will feel, when I'm at my healthy weight. To keep in mind it's not a sprint, but a marathon, that I can win. With friends like that, how can I give up? I CAN DO THIS
Thursday, July 07, 2011
There - I feel like a little kid saying a swear word. Who started giving the word diet a bad rap? Some fat orange cat who said " Diet" was the word "Die" with a "T", in the Sunday comics? I am so tired of seeing people comment on blogs with the pretentious words "diets don't work - only portion control and exercise are the way to go" or "you shouldn't be on a "diet" you should be on a "lifestyle plan". "Diets" don't work.
Get over yourselves. You're eating food right? That's a diet. Whether you're eating food to lose weight or eating food to live - the food you eat still comprises a diet. In other words a "diet" is a lifestyle plan, by definition.
Now for the word "fad". That just means a diet that " is embraced very enthusiastically for a short time". It doesn't necessarily mean that it is unhealthy. Just that people have a short attention span. I just lost 28lbs. on a "fad diet", because it's a plan that has gone viral. In a while, some other plan will have everyone crazed over it. For me, it's not a temporary fix - it's healthy, whole, nutrient rich, food for life. It's my permanent "dieta" or way of life.
There are a lot of unhealthy eating plans out there. The diet industry is a billion dollar industry because most fat people are looking for a quick fix. If you read in a blog that someone is only eating bananas and leafy greens, then by all means politely suggest they see a nutritionist, a shrink or a zookeeper. Remind them that the ones who are successful DIETERS are those that choose healthy foods for the long term. They don't just eat healthy, lose their weight and go back to eating junk. Their healthy "diet" is their way of life.
So all you people who slam the word "diet" as soon as you see it in print -give it a rest.
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