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Six days to go.......

Monday, February 09, 2009

And I took an unplanned cheat day. I guess it was inevitable - I was dreaming about cookies, cake, and ice cream, I was watching my boyfriend eat things I desperately wanted (he gets those cute little single-serving Reeces Friendly's sundaes you can buy at the grocery store), and even what I was reading reinforced my desire to eat:
1. I read _Health at Every Size_ which suggests that you're much healthier if you stop trying to control your weight and instead just follow your body's cues for hunger/fullness.
2. I read some article online recently that said that only 20 percent of people in the world say their diet is healthy (how could they possibly survey enough people to know this?? but still interesting) and only 16 percent of Americans say so. I say heck yeah my diet is healthy, so I am in the top 16 percent?! Yikes!
3. I apologize for not giving proper credit, but someone - I can't remember who - pasted an article into their SP blog the other day suggesting that we need "cheat days" to bring leptin levels back to normal.
4. I'm reading _Overcoming Binge Eating_ and right now I'm only at the beginning, and the stuff on binge/purge is TOTALLY grossing me out - I can safely say THAT is not my problem, but one description hit me so hard I read it out loud to my boyfriend. I'm paraphrasing here, but basically it described a pattern of someone dieting (which the book defines as ANY attempt to restrict calories in order to influence weight/shape - so yup, I'm "dieting" by that definition) for weeks or months at a time, followed by a period of binge eating, with the result of highly variable weight. HELLO, that is ME. The book hints that one key component of overcoming binge eating is to stop dieting.

So. I'm feeling at a crossroads. How much do I loooooooooooooove being thinner than I ever was in my teens and twenties??? I love what my body can do now, I love feeling gorgeous, I love my tiny little pants! But I HATE constantly obsessing/counting/feeling guilty, not being able to get full pleasure/satisfaction from my food, getting all weird about/avoiding parties, restaurants, and social situations.

Tonight I didn't even get pleasure from my "cheat day" (which was really more of a "cheat half day" because it was a normal day until about 2 p.m.). I went from hunger to uncomfortable fullness too fast to be able to really enjoy food at any point. It was disappointing, really. Either way, I hope that having had a cheat day will have done what I needed it to do, which is to just give me that little extra oomph behind my step, and to make it through the next six days strong until vacation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLIE13 2/12/2009 11:40AM

    I don't know what other suggestions you have already received or tried but Jillian Michaels philosophy on cheat meals is to train yourself to call it a "high calorie" day. She says that your body does need it (may be that leptin thing?) but it tells your metabolism that you aren't starving. The high calorie day has a 2000 or so, so you don't just go all out and perhaps set yourself up for binging. She also doesn't like that people call them cheat meals. It's negative and trains you to think poorly about yourself for having what you consider is a cheat. Also, to ward off eating super clean and then falling into temptation (if you're that type of person) she suggests to allow 200-300 calories a day of whatever it is that you want. If it's chocolate that you normally will binge on then allow 200-300 cals a day of chocolate, or ice cream...or whatever. You have to work it into your allowance though. And making the smartest choices as you progress. Her deal is PB cups. If you started off with regular Reeses PB Cups...ok. As you progress, switch to organic, dark chocolate PB cups...the healthier version. Anyway, I think you're doing great. You're a work in progress and you're not going to get this down pat, overnight or even within a month or maybe even a year. But it's a process that you are working on and keep fine tuning until one's not going to be such a big deal. Keep at it girl!!

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ZIRCADIA 2/11/2009 7:30PM

    Maybe if you regularly have cheat days you won't feel such a need to stuff stuff stuff those normally "off limit" foods. I think that's what most people that binge have problems with -- having foods being off limits, then going crazy with them, then restricting again. I ate a whole box of chocolates at a friends house a couple weekends ago and although it was primarily emotional eating, I also realized I hadn't had chocolate in quite some time... so I bought some chocolate the next time I went shopping (individually wrapped Dove Dark Chocolate). By allowing myself permission to have some when I want some, I don't go crazy eating it to the point that it's either gone or I'm gonna explode just because OOH OPPORTUNITY TO EAT CHOCOLATE HAS COME MY WAY!!! You know? I also read about a really great strategy along the lines of "I can eat that cupcake tomorrow" which helps avoid opportunity eating when you're not truly hungry either. It's also related to the idea of mentally giving yourself permission to eat that food if you really want to. This mental part of this whole thing is NUTS. *HUGS* Best of luck figuring out where you want to be with things anyway.

Oh also I try to plan parties as my "cheat meal" of the week or restaurant outings, etc., so that I don't obsess about the food at those occasions. If I see a healthy option that's appealing, I go for it, but if not, I order what I want and I still try not to overstuff myself. I am an admitted clean plater so I have a hard time with not finishing everything at those occasions even when I'm full.

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LILTROUBLE 2/10/2009 11:05PM

    The big thing is that you are doing awesome. Listening to your body and not over indulging.
You are doing great.

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FITGIRL15 2/10/2009 9:48PM

    Cheat days helped me thought my diet for many months! Don't beat yourself up... it's all good! If you save your next cheat day for your vacation you'll be in great shape for the trip!!!

Keep your spirits up... I'm sure you'll look fantastic on your holiday with or without this cheat day!!!

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TERRIANGEL 2/10/2009 8:49PM

    You're gonna be fine, hon. I have no doubts.

And ya know what? A "cheat half day" after all the hard work and determination you have given over the last couple weeks is nothing in the big scheme of things.

In 6 days, you're gonna be a hottie in a bikini on the beach. emoticon emoticon


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RA4945 2/10/2009 1:18PM

    I just love your blogs, Susan. I know what you mean about being at a crossroads. There are so many variables to trying to get healthier. It seems to bring out every doubt and insecurity, yet so many rewards as well. I hope we can both get to the point where we really trust our body's cues and eat accordingly. I do believe God instilled that in us but we warped it by ignoring those cues for too long for whatever reasons. But I believe we can and will get there if we don't give up. I also think that you help yourself through blogging as well as many other people. Thank you for your insight and honesty. It's so refreshing.

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SILLIANGEL 2/10/2009 11:42AM

    From reading several of your blogs and observing the patterns you seem to have, it feels to me like it might be time for you to put a little trust in yourself. At this point in your journey you should no longer have to count/obsess/feel guilty. You know the foods you should be eating and the portions you should be eating. You know how often you should be exercising. You also know that it is not ALWAYS going to be feasible to practice perfection!!! You need to trust your decisions and practice forgiveness. This week I haven't tracked at all. I know that sometimes I get completely off my game and I have to come back to tracking just go find my groove again, but lately, I've just been putting trust in myself and it makes me far more conscious of what decisions I'm making. My opinion has always been that health can be an 80/20 thing. Of course I'm going to try to live in a healthy way all the time, but if I can be awesome 80% of the time, I'm in pretty good shape. I know it's difficult, but think of a child and how they don't think they are ready to do something on their own. If you push them to test the waters, soon enough, they're doing amazing things they didn't think they had the power to do. And if they mess up or fall down, you better believe they don't dwell on it. They get right back up and try even harder. Just give yourself credit for being able to be healthy without the obsessing and you'll surprise yourself with what you're capable of.

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SEEHOLZ 2/10/2009 11:05AM

    I don't think I need to really tell you that I so get what you're talking about-- especially the feeling "weird" part-LOL!
I think trying to do this SF challenge showed me that it is not good for me to tell myself that I cannot have something--- I am one of those people that needs to be able to "control" what I do want to eat, not eliminate any one thing, just because!
Thank you for reinforcing this for me-- being a binge eater is indeed something that makes me not a "normal" eater, so I cannot go along with other normal eaters! You totally made that clear in my head!
You so got this girl- 6 more days until vacation!
I love you for your honestly, your persistence and your commitment! You are a true source of inspiration for me!

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TMAC10 2/10/2009 8:54AM

    i understand this constant battle oh too well. especially now with being single's like i dont want to miss out on fun times with friends just because i don't want the calories that come along with going out to eat or going out for a few beers. i've found that calorie cycling really helps me. it gives me at least 2 days a week where i'm "allowed" more calories than the other days and i usually plan "outings" on those days.

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KJNE8O 2/10/2009 6:52AM

    It was me with the Blog on the Cheat Days. And yeah - we need to learn how to live like this for the rest of our lives so the diet mentality doesn't really work!

Good luck with your journey to find a balance for yourself. I know you can get there! Start with some positive thoughts like "I am healthy", "My body is at its ideal weight", "I have a healthy relationship with food..." Stuff like that and see if it helps.

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JENONTHEROX 2/10/2009 12:29AM

    I've also heard that having a higher calorie day "kicks starts your metabolism" -- essentially so your body doesn't think it's in starvation mode. Apparently this is most true when you have less weight to lose i.e. less than 10 lbs. But also it can give you some peace of mind... what's all the hard work for if you ALSO can't enjoy one cute little single-serving of (omgggg...) Reeces Friendly's sundaes once & a while?!

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SKYFYRE 2/10/2009 12:05AM

    Do you ever feel like this battle is a teeter totter? I do! Don't forget your fiber=fullness idea, I think it works, I emploed it today. I think a cheat here and there is OK, it is when a cheat turns into a crazy unstoppable binge that it is a problem. You know your triggers, mind them! Good Job on stoppin after a 1/2 day cheat!

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Vacation starts one week from today!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I weighed 143 again today, so it wasn't just a fluke yesterday. Blah, but oh well.

I've been doing REALLY well with bedtime. Trying to save money, not going out at night, making my own dinner rather than going to restaurants, and sticking to a consistent sleeping schedule all really go together. I haven't missed going out at night because getting up early on the weekends, we have so much more time during the DAY!

This morning I went to Step Interval - that class is really hard! Then there is a 15-min ab class, then a 15-min stretching class, and then I rode the bike for 20 minutes.

This afternoon we did a bit of shopping - something I haven't done much of lately (except for groceries, of course) to save money, but I just bought a few things on sale including new workout clothes, so now I can't wait to go to the gym tomorrow to wear them!! I got tight gray capri-length pants, and a peachy-pink V-neck exercise top. And a couple other tops I can wear next week in the Carribbean. :) :)

My aunt and uncle started Weight Watchers last week. Apparently the competitive nature of doing it together is really working for my aunt, and she managed to lose 4 pounds in her first week, one pound more than my uncle who actually needs to lose far more weight. He is working with a personal trainer and loving it! And she is taking line dancing twice a week. They're both using the treadmill at home.

Best of all, I actually learned something from talking to my aunt. She gets 22 points a day, which I remember from my own stint at WW as being such a tiny amount of food. But she said she's never hungry because she eats so many vegetables. I actually started using WW and SP at the same time (Jan. 2007) and so I would track all my food on SP and then use that info to calculate my points. I DIDN'T subtract "zero point" foods like vegetables when I was calculating my points, so as a result I never trained myself to think of vegetables as a free food like many WWers do. Well, I still believe that no food is "free," but I'm finally starting to get it a little more about the veggies. You can really fill yourself up on practically no calories. Case in point - I just had a 148-calorie salad for dinner and it was huge and filling. 148 calories!! Not to mention how incredibly heathy a salad is......mine was baby spinach leaves, tomato, red pepper, carrots, a few herbs, and some calorie-free dressing. This is something to keep in mind after vacation.

And on the flipside, some of the foods I was cooking over the past few months were kind of encouraging me to want to overeat. I'd batch-cook meals that were very healthy, but almost too delicious. Like whole-wheat pasta dishes, for example. I need to choose foods that don't hit my trigger button, and that take a little effort to eat. I don't know if others need to think about all these things, but I have big food willpower issues, so whatever little things I can do to slow myself down helps! Even heating up my food until it's too hot to scarf down helps.

Also...I want to keep these things in mind on vacation. Maybe I'll set a little rule that I can eat whatever I want to the point of feeling satisfied, not too full, but ONLY if the food is healthy. Kinda of like WW Core. I'll have to think about it some more, but I already know that mounds of pancakes and white pasta are readily available at all-you-can-eat buffets at all-inclusives, but they are not worth the damage!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINROSIER 2/9/2009 6:26PM

    Sounds like you have been doing really good. And you have a plan great job. Have a wonderful vacation.

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SEEHOLZ 2/9/2009 1:18PM

    Oh, vacations are fabulous!
I love all your insight--- you take it a step further by actually applying what you find out about yourself! That's totally awesome!
Final week! Yipee!

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TRACYZABELLE 2/9/2009 6:19AM

    Just because the "white stuff" is on the buffet does not mean you have to eat them! INstead stick with the fruits and lean proteins and veggies! Not sure if they serve healthy grains or not!Good luck!

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SKYFYRE 2/9/2009 2:10AM

    Haha! I giggled at "Even heating up my food until it's too hot to scarf down helps." emoticon Not that I'm gonna do that, but it has slowed me down in the past!!!

I grilled chicken and got a bag of pre-cut stir fry veggies to make pre made meals, It's on!

I hope this week finds you in health and without triggers!

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FITGIRL15 2/8/2009 10:59PM

    I also learned another interesting tip from my sister today (who just recently found out she's diabetic and must follow a diabetic diet!) She said that eventhough fibre is a carb, you can subtract it from the total carbs in your food... as well, the total carb number isn't as important as the sugars numer for total carbs in a food. If you check on most fruit and veggies in the food tracker, you will notice the sugars column is mostly empty and it usually contains fibre too! I also need to remember to NOT include them into my DAILY tallies though! I wish Spark had a way to clear the values for certain foods so they don't mess up the daily totals! ... maybe someday! :)

One week till vacation! I'm excited for you!!! Vacations are so much fun! PS... I agree that the pancakes and pastas AREN'T worth it!!! We stayed in a condo in Maui with a kitchen in it and we cooked most of our own meals because I was so sick from eating processed foods on our last trip!!! You have some good plans though! Enjoy yourself!

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MIMISCA 2/8/2009 10:19PM

    this is really good advice! i have had a few good friends on WW and they have been very successful. it really seems like allowing fruits and veggies to be the core of one's diet is really the way to go. it's what i've known for a long time- but it's a really good reminder. hey and a delicious and fresh salad can be so filling and satisfying!

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KJNE8O 2/8/2009 9:46PM

    Really good information! Thanks!

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PAMELA984 2/8/2009 7:15PM

    So many valuable points from WW - you need to eat filling foods that will stick with you - high fiber, lean protein and plenty of fruits and veggies!

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    you are going to have so much fun on your trip. so very jealous!

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

So I've been bikini bootcamping now for two weeks. My first week I lost 13 pounds. My second week? I GAINED about two pounds. I weighed 143 today! I've been working so hard....I cannot fathom why I would have gained weight. :(

I actually don't feel quite as bad about it now as I did this morning. It put me in a bad mood at first, and I dragged myself to the gym for what is normally my favorite class - Saturday morning Zumba. I just wasn't into it...I was tired and had a sore throat and wished I could be home, sleeping in and then eating on the couch. I didn't feel like a thin, sexy, graceful dancer at all.

I stuck it out for Body Pump and then I skipped Body Combat even though one of my favorite instructors was subbing...did 15 minutes on the bike and then went home..... started to cook and do laundry only to find that I was expected for cross-country skiing with my mom and my boyfriend's mom at 1:30! So I downed two more cups of coffee and rushed off to the ski place and suddenly I had forgotten all about my stupid weight gain - the skiing was so fun and such good exercise, I could feel my inner thighs working, and my mom said I looked thin in my silly tight pants I was wearing. (I had planned on wearing ski pants over them, but it was finally warm today - in the 40s! - so I didn't need to.)

So I'd hoped to be at 138 by today instead of the 143 I am at, but I know I've been doing all the right things and I'm healthy, alive, and even though nobody would hire me as a bikini model, my weight is pretty okay, just as it is.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIMISCA 2/8/2009 3:04PM

    that is such a good way to look at it - i mean you are doing some many healthy things for your body. even if the number isn't exactly where you want it to be i know you will look good for your beach vacation! i will not be surprised if in the next week you see a good loss though, since you have been so consistent in your workouts and eating!

talk soon!

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SEEHOLZ 2/8/2009 1:42PM

    8 more days till "paradise"--- vacation, break, relaxation..... you are almost there!
I'm proud of you for turning it around and looking at life in a positive way!

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PAMELA984 2/8/2009 6:32AM

    Quit obsessing on the scale - look at how healthy and fit you are instead - and worry more about the tape measure or a body fat monitor -you will look fabulous on your cruise! Can't wait to see pics from that (including the food that you passed by)

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GERMANPICKLE 2/8/2009 2:12AM

  I agree with the previous post, there are all sorts of reason why your weight would got up and down. And I think you should be quite pleased with your efforts and your desire to make yourself better!
Keep moving :)

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KJNE8O 2/7/2009 9:56PM

    There are so many reasons that our weights go up and down. Mine can have a 3 pound fluctuation for no apparent reason. AND, you are doing lots of strength training right? Could it be muscle at this point? Have you taken your measurements? Don't let the scale be the judge!

OK, so the other day at work I'm talking to a motherly type coworker and I mention that I am 143 (I am 5'5") and she tells me that she wouldn't have guessed me more than in my 130's. Bless her soul - but see, the scale isn't the only way for us to judge how good we look. How do the clothes feel? How do you feel overall?

Don't let the scale get you down! If you don't make it to the 130's you are still going to look awesome and you are going to be on a beach!

I do think that maybe you've been deprivin yourself too much with all the working out you are doing and not eating enough? Do you think the body is rebelling??? Maybe if you ate just a bit more? You said at one time that you were losing steadily when you were eating around 1800? I know that when I worked out a lot I was eating 1800 calories and losing a good 1.5 pounds a week on average. You may just need to take a break and let your body rest then for the last 3 or 4 days be really tough. Do you think that would work for you?

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LILTROUBLE 2/7/2009 8:47PM

    you are doing the right things. just remember that.

also thanks for all the kind words!!

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Friday, February 06, 2009

141.2 today. Ate 1500 calories and then had a small glass of red wine - so probably just under 1600? Day off from the gym.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIMISCA 2/6/2009 11:47PM

    oh i hope you had a good rest day! wine is hard for me- it's so tasty and it's hard for me just to have one small glass. good job!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

All week I've been waking up before my alarm (!) but today I've felt a bit tired regardless. It's probably hunger building up. I just increased my calories from 1200 to 1500 the other day, but if I keep feeling like this (another day or so) I will need to increase again.

It doesn't seem to matter that I'm killing myself with the low-low-low calories, anyway (for me, anything under 2,000 feels like a starvation diet!) - it doesn't seem to be helping me lose weight any faster than if I'd stuck with a higher range. Just like I'd expected and hoped, the water weight flew off sooo quickly, but then the weight loss slammed to a halt. I haven't lost anything in a week, despite ultra-strict eating and daily workouts! (Granted, some days I'm too tired/hungry for those workouts to be really intense, but I push when I can!) Today was the first day I was annoyed by the scale - it said 141.4, when I'd been hoping to see something under 140.

In normal circumstances I'd be far more patient, and I'd be more gentle on myself in general, but I have just TEN DAYS LEFT until vacation! Time is running out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITGIRL15 2/6/2009 10:44PM

    My advice to you... is to cut your carbs out for the week! Try to eat only protein and veggies! (This is what figure athletes do to drop their final weight before competitions) and only eat raw, whole foods... nothing processed (or else your salt intake will keep you bloated!) I am sure that if you do this for only your 10 days leadng up to your vacation, you'll see those results that you were after! But I do't advise eating low carbs for extended periods! Just as long as it takes to find your happy weight!

Good Luck! I'm sure at 141.4lbs you still look FANTASTIC!

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CINROSIER 2/6/2009 7:13PM

    You are doing a great job. Understandable about the scale though. Be carefull not to hold out to much. You dont want to be to weak or get sick befor your vacation. Have a lot of fun. And besides you still have 10 days. You can do it.

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TMAC10 2/6/2009 9:57AM

    you are doing awesome as always. im with kat in saying is 2 pounds really going to make you feel/look any different? i know it is a mental thing tho and i completely understand. you are going to look hot on that beach none the less!

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TRACYZABELLE 2/6/2009 3:38AM

    Just think in 10 days you will be relaxing... how exciting for you!

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MIMISCA 2/6/2009 1:23AM

    i guess i should have also said - i think you look great! and i am always looking to your page for inspiration!

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MIMISCA 2/6/2009 1:22AM

    i completely and fully understand your frustration - but i guess the more important question i have is - how do you think you look now? if you lost 2 pounds to put you under 140 - do you think you would look a lot better? i know you will look good at any weight, but do you think this little bit will change the work you've done?

just wondering,

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