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Preparing to Weigh In: Beck Day 21

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My relationship to the scales is hugely difficult for me and, I expect, for lots of people: why else would Beck devote a whole day to preparing for weigh in??

I've been weighing myself every day, and the scales still say 155.5. Arrgh. I know:

"Celebrate. I should celebrate each half-pound lost"

That is, in fact, Beck card 19. I've clipped it out. I've got it in my wallet. I've read it over and over again.

But I don't feel like celebrating.

Beck does not agree that the scales are unimportant. She does NOT advocate (as Spark does) taking into consideration how your clothes fit. Or inches lost. She says it's important to weigh every day (which I have been doing since day 14, the official "start" date) and she says it's important to weigh in officially once a week and to chart the weight loss on a graph provided in the workbook (which I will do tomorrow).

She advocates a very realistic attitude towards weight loss.

She warns that if you are disappointed with your weight loss (and I am, I am) then to guard against the reaction . . "I can't believe it, this is terrible, that's all I lost after all that effort" followed by anger, sadness, hopelessness and "giving up". Might as well binge. I did catch myself this morning not measuring my ounce of light feta, feeling "who cares" and just finishing off the container anyhow. Probably not more than 1.25 ounces (didn't measure, so I won't know) but the attitude is not a good one.

The scales have been tormenting me day after day by flirting lower day after day, then settling at 155.5: just that .5 pound down. That's all. Even though I have been very very compliant with the program.

Of course .5 pounds down for a week is "within the range". I'm very close to maintenance, and it's harder to lose weight when there is less to lose. I can see that at the gym on the elliptical: how much harder I have to work to burn 400 calories at 155 than even at, say, 162 -- it takes longer, it requires more RPM -- significantly greater effort.

Beck says that on any given day, the number on the scale is exactly what it should be given what you ate, how much energy you've expended, the amount of fluid your body is retaining and "other biological influences".

OK, OK. I haven't eaten much; I've expended lots of energy, I've not had a lot of salty foods . . . and I know from the fluttering of my scales that I'm gonna be rewarded soon with another .5 pounds or more . . . yes I will.

But: today it's hard to keep the faith. So I'll be reading and re-reading my Advantage Response Card reasons for losing weight and all my other cards: I'll be sitting down to eat everything; I won't be idly eyeballing anything more that I eat today: I'll be sticking with the plan I prepared yesterday (although may have to substitute an exercise alternative to the cross country skiing scheduled: it's really cold and blowing very hard here . . . ).

Keep on keeping on: yeah!!

This preparing to weigh in is a challenge, always has been and always will be. I want to see those scales MOVE!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 2/21/2011 9:59AM

    HI! I also feel for you. I have found that the scale is not may friend on a daily basis. It has surprised me both ways far too often. (Then lets discuss that the scale on my main floor and the one upstairs weigh differently as does my moms and my mother in laws etc etc. My dad has a huge scale that is legal for trade so when I'm there I check my weight on it. (Last time I told him to get the scale checked lol).

I do check in, but I must admit I am more concerned in how I feel in my body. When I have a bad weigh in I feel like giving up so, I prefer to weigh in once a week, sometimes once a month. So far my results doing that are about the same as when I was doing it more often, except my stress level is "weigh" down!

I know I'm doing so many more of the right things, the scale will reflect that when it's ready! I still have my weight loss goals, but I'm taking the attitude that as long as I do what I need to do the scale will do what it needs to do whether I'm checking it daily or not.

Good luck and keep the faith, regardless of when you weigh in, or what the number is, you are doing what is right for you and from what I've heard from you, you are feeling better and better. Don't let the number mess with your head or your plan!

Have an awesome day.

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FRACTALMYTH 2/21/2011 4:15AM

    Finally someone who agrees with my habit of weighing every day lol... I weigh each morning, write it in a little book, then once a week I average it up and call that my weight for the week (also the day I measure lol). I enter that in a spreadsheet. If it's less than last week, no matter how little, I colour the square green and celebrate my success :P That works for me because my weight can go up and down by a kilo or more during the week. If weigh in day is a 'good' day then it sets up unrealistic expectations for next week. If it's a bad day then I start making excuses. If it's the average of the whole week, I seem to accept it better :D Don't know how I will deal when I get to maintenance and the losing gets harder!!!

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TBANMAN 2/20/2011 12:02PM

    I hate weighing in. Always have. Thursday mornings is when I do it. I have a physical reaction to thinking about it - my heartrate speeds up, and I get that "fight or flight" adrenaline rush. If I lose a pound or more, I feel like I've conquered the world. If I lose less than a pound or - heaven forbid - I'm up, I feel like someone's just shot my cat.

It's so ridiculous to invest so much in a number, to let that number define how you feel for the rest of the day, but there you go.

I have to guard against reactions either way. If I lose, I find myself thinking "yay! I'm going to have that doughnut at work today to celebrate! Obviously I can get away with it!" If I gain, I find myself thinking "Well, sh!t, I may as well have that doughnut at work today. Obviously it doesn't matter what I do."

41 years old, and I still look at food as something to be feared, loved, hated, abused, etc. I wish I could just look at is as carbs, protein, fat, fibre, and vitamins.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/19/2011 11:03PM

    Oh Ellen, do you have a date that you have to lose the weight by? I do feel for you, no, that's wrong, I empathise with you.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/19/2011 9:13PM

    Yes, Ellen, celebrate!! Half a pound of fat lost when you are that close to goal is significant. And with the exercise you are doing, I'm sure you are losing fat. You will get to goal soon enough; you'll have a lifetime to stay there!!

Just because I had a good weigh today I think I can tell you how to do this!!! HA! I am terrible at keeping the weight on the scale in perspective. But I do believe that with the Beck cards and the Beck process I am making progress toward using the scale as a tool and becoming sane about the number on the scale. You will, too!

You are working this program very well. Keep up the great work!! Shake off the disappointment. Focus on giving yourself all the credit you deserve, including losing half a pound!! Take care. You are doing it!! The scale will catch up. -Marsha

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WALKINGANNIE 2/19/2011 3:38PM

    Interesting blog and comments. It's good to be able to find time for Sparking again and to catch up with your progress.

Hope the preparation pays off. You have continued to persevere and deserve the best of success and good health.


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CMB2048 2/19/2011 11:59AM

    Hate to admit it but I too believe in watching the scale although as you point out it is the reaction to it that usually gets us. If I didn't weigh-in, I'd be much more overweight than I am now. Hang in. .5 lbs is something to celebrate. And you are right, it is much harder to lose the closer you are to your goal weight!

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JHADZHIA 2/19/2011 9:48AM

    I was very frustrated trying to lose that last few pounds until maintenance as well. 60 minutes of intervals on the elliptical was only good enough for 200 calorie burn according to my machine, was discouraging all right. Just have to keep doing the right thing and plugging along. Eventually, you will be rewarded.
Frustrated with the cold (-31 C (-24 F) and wind here too. Lousy weekend, then will warm up Monday. So glad I got my Eskimo parka from home so I can still go out on the river trails although the ice melt from the last few days makes things really slippery.
Hope your weather improves so you can get out there..
Have a good weekend!

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NANCY- 2/19/2011 8:54AM

    Hang in there hon.
It is difficult to desensitize ourselves to that blasted scale. However Dr. Beck is correct that it is just a tool, a number to help guide us. Yet I assign so much to that number.
Don't forget ...
If you have been exercising, building muscle... it weighs more than fat does... but your body is stronger.
Remember that at 155.5 you are in a wonderful place than you were before.

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Get Back on Track Right Away: Beck Day 20

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beck tells us that one of the main ways we can fool ourselves occurs when (not if, when) we fall off the rails. At that point I can decide that I might as well go hog-wild bingeing. Indulge in self-loathing as well as the "mistake" food. Or accept that I made a mistake, in a matter of fact kind of way, and start over again right that moment.

Keeping in mind that it takes 3500 excess calories to gain a pound, one mistake (a 300 calorie cookie shoved into my mouth standing up, for example) is not likely to cause any significant damage -- unless I keep right on eating and compound the problem.

The idea is to "draw a line", change gears, distract myself with a new activity , go for a walk -- whatever: but leave it behind, return to the day's eating plan and forge forward.

The "Get Back on Track" card in the workbook (#18) underscores that message -- and of course I have it in my wallet for regular rereading, along with the ARC Advantage Response Card and all the others I've clipped out so far.

Just as I'm working the "No Choice" when I want to eat something not on the plan, I'm applying the same "No Choice" approach to preplanned exercise. Instead of debating whether to get out of bed to go to the gym: "No Choice". It's in the tracker. SP has given me the points!! Gotta go!! So this morning it was 32 minutes 400 calories on the elliptical and upper body free weights (my fave routine) -- feeling good. Remembered to put my Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate square in my planner so enjoyed that with absolute delight after my gym workout. Shower, home for coffee and Greek omelette -- the universe is unfolding.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 2/18/2011 10:22PM

    Great blog. Well put. You really got the Beck message.

I learned it, but not as directly, some years ago. Looking back on it, learning this lesson was the biggest difference between the times I was successful with weight loss and the times I wasn't. It is tremendously important factor in maintenance as well. Regularly reading my Get Back on Track card helps me keep it in mind.

Thanks for reminding me again!

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/18/2011 6:44PM

    Ellen this is such an important part of understanding why Yo-yoing occurs. Thank you for this, always so wonderful to be reminded of the things that matter.

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JHADZHIA 2/18/2011 11:05AM

    This is awesome!! So logical. These cards sound like really good prompters to do the right thing.
I like earning as many Spark points as I can get so I can give goodies (I am always perennially short of points), so I really, really hate leaving points on the board, and fitness gives you the biggest ones. So its motivating for me to fill those, especially as I am just about out of poll and Health A-Z points as I have done and read them all :( and you can't reset those like the articles, which I have already had to reset..
I too like having my Lindt 90% cocoa square :)
Keep up the great work!!

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VALERIEMAHA 2/18/2011 8:30AM

    Now THIS I can wholeheartedly relate to and subscribe to -- YES! this is SO IMPORTANT in the process. I've learned that blowing it with one incident is no excuse for just saying "Forget it!" for the rest of the day...NO WAY JOSE!

Thanks for the excellent information which supports this important aspect of the journey!

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Don't Fool Yourself: Beck Day 19

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back to Beck -- and thanks so much for all the supportive comments on dealing with our medical emergency yesterday. I'm grateful, and also grateful that DH (very dear) is OK.

I'm still musing over the "redefine full" concept, still working hard on sitting down to eat everything (and mostly succeeding, one licked spoon yesterday . . . ), and still reminding myself constantly that if it's not on my plan I have no choice about eating it. (Forgot to put my square of bittersweet chocolate on my plan for today -- but did in fact have it after the gym. It was "planned", just not entered -- or that's my rationale!! Will put itin for tomorrow).

There are two ways of fooling ourselves, says Beck. The first is the long list of rationalizations as to why it's ok to eat something unplanned. (Ooops!! think I just did that: see above!!) Reasons such as "it's not a whole piece", "I paid for it", "I'm celebrating", "It's free", ""No one will see me eating it" . . . you get the idea. There are an infinite number of "reasons" for deceiving ourselves about eating.

The second way of fooling ourselves is by underestimating portion sizes. So Beck suggests that we make sure we are including every ingredient (the Pam spray, the mayo) and actually weigh or measure each ingredient in the foods we eat until we are really confident that we are "eyeballing" accurately. And even then, to repeat now and again to make sure the portion sizes haven't crept up.

My Greek omelette "grouping" does include the Pam, and does include the Club House Greek seasoning. But this morning, I did measure out the Simply Egg Whites and also the Naturegg fat reduce whole eggs -- 1/4 cup of each -- and I estimated the 1 oz portion of light feta, then weighed in on my scales -- pretty close, 1.15 oz. I'm going to experiment with this all day. I think I 've been pretty accurate but it doesn't hurt to check again.

This "estimating" think is definitely where I was taking in excess calories before staring Beck: my "tablespoons" of peanut butter, my "1 oz" full fat sharp cheddar cheese, eaten standing up of course -- I knew from my pre reading of Beck before I started that this was a major problem area. Even my oatmeal portions were getting pretty hefty: 1/2 cup dry oats is the portion and I was well over that. And given my past history, that's where I'm most likely to fall off the rails again. So I have my measuring cups, spoons, and scales sitting out, ready for use. Have been using them, and will be continuing to use them.

No point in fooling myself -- the scales aren't foooled!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 2/21/2011 7:49AM

    I know that I am exactly guilty of over estimating just a tbsp of peanutbutter, just a 1/2 c of oatmeal and cheese....geeze...I don't measure that ...I just EAT it! I'm need to get a scale. But ya know, I will say...1/2 cup of oatmeal just isn't very satisfying to me...! I need like a full bowl filled with bananas and walnuts to fill this tummy up! emoticon

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KRISTI2661 2/17/2011 9:52PM

    This was a great blog! I just started reading Beck yesterday, and already it's just making so much sense. Of course, I've had the book for years and NEVER opened it, but thanks to SP, I'm dusting it off and putting it to good use.

I will be following your blog and see how it goes for you!

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CMB2048 2/17/2011 9:29PM

    Nope and portion size is everything! I need to do better with tracking my food intake!

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GODS_SERENITY 2/17/2011 8:55PM

    Your doing great! I've never heard of Beck Diet Solution until I was looking up so sparkteams on here. Came across Beck a month ago. Got the book and started as you know two days ago. I'm amazed how these ARC are! I've had another successful day! Glad your doing it with me!


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CRYSTALJEM 2/17/2011 5:49PM

    Knowing how much you eat is definitely key. I wasn't as bad at is as I thought I might have been but at the same time I have received a lot of surprises. I try hard now to estimate on the high side if I have to estimate. It took some patience to get my recipes entered, and get my most used foods added to favourites... then of course there was the groupings and planning meals. But, all of it has been so worth it. Although my scales have not changed dramatically my mindset and attitude has. I feel so much better. Keep up the awesome work!

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/17/2011 4:08PM

    Portion control - I did have to smile because when I first started at SP I would put in half a chicken breast, it didn't matter how large it was, that was what it was. You guessed it, it did matter.
You are doing a great job.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/17/2011 11:10AM

    Great blog, Ellen!! Yes, portion creep is a major concern, and looks like you are facing it head on. I have certain cups and bowls that I know exactly how full to make them to have one cup. Saves on some dirty measuring implements. But I use my food scale a lot. Hubby kind of laughs at that.

I think the idea of guessing, and then measuring, to see how close you are is great. Then you will know what you can estimate and what you need to keep measuring. I'm sure you'll gain precision and skill at getting the correct portion.

This morning I was so close to putting some coffee creamer in my coffee at the gym, but it wasn't on my plan, so I drank it black. Not bad. I gave myself credit and felt really good about it. I know that the fewer excuses I use, and the more I resist food not on my plan, the easier it gets.

You are doing great!! Keep up the good work! -Marsha

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JHADZHIA 2/17/2011 10:04AM

    I have been on maintenance for a year and still weigh and measure. I am simply no good at estimating. Even my Mom does poorly at guessing even though she regularly measures for cooking, I had to prove her idea of a cup was a heck of a lot bigger than my measured out one. For the first five weeks of my recovery, I wasn't weighing or measuring and let my Mom have her way with guesses and have gained 5 lbs as a result. Its not going down though as she cooks higher carb and fat meals then I am used to.
Good luck with getting back on track.
Hope your DH stays well..

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Small Emergency: Beck Break

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A small family medical emergency (thankfully, turned out to be small) had me zooming to the emergency department in the early hours of the morning -- and home only at about 2 pm. So needless to say: did not get to the gym for my pre-planned exercise, was not able to follow my preplanned meals for breakfast or lunch. .

That's OK: I just moved everything entered to tomorrow: all preplanning done once more.

And: have not stress eaten, have not over eaten -- skipped breakfast, and when it was clear we were not going anywhere quickly chose the healthiest " lunch" option available about 11 a.m. (whole wheat egg sandwich, Granny Smith apple) -- and otherwise tolerated hunger, which was NOT an emergency.

And: we are OK. YAY!!

Now, to catch up on the ZZZZZZZs.

Back at it tomorrow!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 2/21/2011 7:43AM

    Congrats on not stress eating!! and glad everything turned out OK!

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PHEBESS 2/17/2011 7:05PM

    Glad it was minor and things are back under control!

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JHADZHIA 2/17/2011 9:58AM

    So glad your emergency didn't turn out to be something very serious. Well done trying to stick to your program in spite of the trying circumstances. You are going to be very successful with this, just like Marsha,

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CRYSTALJEM 2/17/2011 7:42AM

    I'm so happy things turned out alright! What a test for you on all fronts and it sounds like you handled it all calmly and rationally. I'm sure you got plenty of exercise pacing in emerg. Congratulations on maintaining your balance! Wish I could say the same. I felt the need to feed last night and gave in.... so I guess we're both "back at it today". Have a really good one.

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CMB2048 2/16/2011 9:43PM

    When emergencies happen you deal with them and forget about all else. Sounds like you will be back on track tomorrow!

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/16/2011 5:43PM

    So glad all is okay and that you managed to maintain your goals. What a woman! You really are inspiring.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/16/2011 4:57PM

    You passed this test with flying colors! I can see you maintaining in a very narrow maintenance range for years and years to come. Good going, Ellen!!

So glad the emergency was not a great concern. -Marsha

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VALERIEMAHA 2/16/2011 3:04PM

    WOW! What a champ! And I'm SO GLAD the emergency turned out to be not so much.

Rest well!

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CINDYRINAL 2/16/2011 2:55PM

    Great for not stress eating! Some days you just can't exercise, but I better you did more walking than usual due to the emergency.

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Redefining Full

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yesteday's experiement with throwing out excess food went well. It was a very very rushed day at work. I set aside and then threw out a significant portion of my lunch salad: and I did not ahve time to eat my lunch fruit at all (it's waiting foro today's lunhc). My satiety was fine 20 minutes after that reduced lunch and I was right back into busy busy which kept me effectively distracted for the rest of the working afternoon. However, I was very hungry indeed driving home and preparing Valentine's dinner. Managed to remind myself that hunger is not an emergency, and that I could wait for dinner (as preplanned on my tracker).

All of this leads into "redefining full". Full, says Beck, means that after a meal you are still able to go for a brisk walk. She suggests that you look at all the food you are going to eat at any given meal and judge whether it's more than you reallly need by volume, whether or not it's within the plan and the calorie range.

It may be that my lunch time salads -- enormous quantities of spinach, or arugula, or mesclun plus a range of brightly coloured chopped vegetables -- are more than is required by volume. I've never felt too stuffed to go for a walk afterwards. But Beck points out that when you get into the habit of eating a large quantity of foods, then on occasion when your low calorie high volume preferences aren't available (restaurant, friend's place0 you will be tempted to eat a too-large volume of high calorie foods. And I have to say, I am always disappointed by the size of salads others offer, and then tempted to graze in the bread basket!! (I don't have bread with my regular lunch salads, or cookies, or fruit juice etc. Just black coffee).

So I'm going to be thinking about this today -- spreading out my lunch time salad, considring the sheer volume (not calories) of the total lunch with fruit, and reconsidering.

And: I will be taking a brisk short walk after lunch!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 2/15/2011 10:45PM

    I love this:

"Hunger is not an emergency." That really puts it into perspective.

Good for you for redefining full. This is such a great learning experience.

Yay you!!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/15/2011 8:12PM

    Thanks, Ellen. Your point about volume is something I totally overlooked, perhaps because I didn't want to see it. Very good job on reading and applying this chapter. You are doing a fantastic job!! Really like that brisk walk after, too! Keep up the good work! -Marsha

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/15/2011 3:46PM

    Ellen, you are inspiring us all.

I used to be hit by those mid afternoon hunger pains but nowadays I have cut down the calories in the three meals a day and changed to five "meals" a day. Now having added morning tea and afternoon tea I get through with no real hunger pangs. I find this is very important for the lifetime lifestyle.

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CRYSTALJEM 2/15/2011 12:27PM

    Wow, great points! One thing I've tried to do with some success, is when I'm eating low cal, but could use bigger quantities, I eat smaller portions more often. This isn't always convenient, but when it is, I don't seem to feel the need for a "big" salad all at once. In restaurants I've even asked them to take the bread off the table when I'm by myself especially if I'm having to wait awhile for my main dish to arrive - otherwise I catch myself nibbling no matter what (even when I'm not hungry really).

I've also really been using your tip about hunger not being an emergency. As soon as I remind myself that I'll take care of it soon enough I seem to feel better and less compelled to handle my hunger immediately. I haven't gotten weak once!! Go figure!

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JHADZHIA 2/15/2011 9:43AM

    I would have trouble with this too. I eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, and being low calorie, I can have a lot. My salads are huge too and its hard to get through them, but are low in calories. But I don't get in my servings unless I eat a lot. I am not a bread or cereal fan, but eat them to get enough calories and fiber. So eating out means I could have a lot. But fortunately, I don't eat out hardly at all. I can sure see the danger though..
I like that hunger is not an emergency!
Well done for putting off eating until your supper!
You are doing so well with this!!!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/15/2011 8:20AM

    I think there is a lot to this. I've done Weight Watchers on and off for years, and have relied on enormous quantities of veggies to keep me full. When I make veggies for myself & hubby we will each have a 12-16 oz. bag of frozen.

I too have enormous lunch salads, and obviously the volume issue is something I need to address. Thanks for writing about your successful experience!

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VALERIEMAHA 2/15/2011 7:49AM

    BOO! This is a BIG problem area for me right now. I don't want to hear this. emoticon

But...thanks for the heads-up ANYWAY!

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AKT7808 2/15/2011 7:24AM

    Hungur is not an emergency thanks for the tip. emoticon

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