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Fat Loser: Hungry for More Mental Toughness

Monday, February 20, 2012

FREELADY has written a terrific blog on mental toughness and turning the cobwebs of good intentions into the cables of good habits: here it is.


She recommends a free 21 day program called Fat Loser on developing mental toughness through a series of coaching videos offered by Steve Siebold, and here's that link too:


I've signed up. I really want to see middle 3 again. I'm still hovering between 141 and 143. My hunger blogs have just made me hungrier for middle 3, actually! Hungrier for middle 3 than for . . . . those little (unrecorded) treats -- spoonful of peanut butter?? -- that have prevented me from seeing middle 3 again . And I'm prepared not just to tolerate hunger but to continue enjoying the hunger experience. Anticipating meals. Then eating just until full. Every day. Repeat as necessary. That would be: forever.

I'm thinking: a little more mental toughness in a number of areas of my life could only be a good thing.

Bring it on!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'll check this out...

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/21/2012 6:32AM

    I can really relate to those old habits being like cables and so hard to break free from, especially when stress, anxiety and life gets tough. It's so important to replace, so I think you are on to a good thing. Thank you.

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NANCY- 2/21/2012 4:10AM

    I know you will do what is necessary to get what you want.

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KLONG8 2/20/2012 5:29PM

    Boy, this is just what I needed. Thanks for commenting on my blog AND giving me some ammunition on yours!

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CARRAND 2/20/2012 5:17PM

    Good luck to you!

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KALIGIRL 2/20/2012 5:06PM

    Love the metaphor - "cobwebs of good intentions into the cables of good habits"...

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DDOORN 2/20/2012 4:00PM

    Kudos to finding an approach that "clicks" and works so well for you! Have to roll up my sleeves and dig into this stuff! That middle "3" will be rolling around for you shortly, I'm sure! :-)


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TRAVELGRRL 2/20/2012 1:23PM

    It sounds like you are marshalling all of your strength and inner resources. Nothing will stand in your way between you and your middle three!!!

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PHEBESS 2/20/2012 1:13PM

    I think you are one of the mentally toughest women I know on SP!!!

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_LINDA 2/20/2012 12:47PM

    Thanks for the links! That was an awesome blog with a concept we all need to engage in. Being ever vigilent unless the nasty old habits creep back in. A great wake up call!
I think you are doing well to fit a size 6. I am 122, but can only fit eights. I guess size is relative..
Good luck with this, looking forward to your reports on how its going :)

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CRYSTALJEM 2/20/2012 11:17AM

    At least being hungry for the middle 3 is progress! Way to go. Can't wait to hear how things are going for you. You will find your way. And here I was all worried when I saw the title of your blog. Instead you are moving forward. Awesome. Here's to forever!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/20/2012 9:47AM

    Love your persistence and determination, Ellen. I'm sure you have just the mental toughness needed. I'll have to check out this link, too. Sounds like just what I need.

But don't forget that there are good ways to reduce hunger. Eat fruit, don't drink juice. Eat frequent small meals. Eat whole grains that are more filling. Stay away from sugar (which definitely makes me want to eat more) and processed/refined foods. Include plenty of protein spread out throughout the day. Drink lots of water and hot calorie-free drinks, too. Eat plenty of fiber. Don't deal with more hunger than you have to!! Then you can handle the hunger you need to handle.

Best wishes. Take care.

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DONNACFIT 2/20/2012 9:40AM

    Thanks for the links..this sounds like something I need to do, too. I have too many bad habits that I need to work on. The 21 day program sounds great.

I even have a print out in my binder from Jon Gordon..my energy expert on how to be Mentally Tough :)

Love the connection emoticon

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Savouring Hunger 3

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm continuing to enjoy hunger in anticipation of my meals, and hunger is helping me feel light and nimble and alert! Then I'm eating just until I'm satisfied, not more. And waiting until the next scheduled meal or snack.

Today I was hungry when I got up. Great way to start the day . . . waaaaay better than a food hangover. So took my time and made myself a delicious and substantial Greek omelette with feta and spinach for breakfast, plus hot hot salsa and lots of coffee.

Crunched up a granola bar after my cross country ski (gorgeous! sparkly! perfect wax, perfect kick/glide) and before upper body ST at the gym.

Then a large bowl of cheese tortellini tomato soup for lunch with chopped carrot, celery, bell peppers, yellow cauliflower: mmmmmm. Lots of Italian seasoning. Tasted great. I was definitely hungry for it.

Bought: a great pair of size six trousers, brown/taupe/grey/camel tweedy. Liquidation bargain: expensive brand, marked down to $14.00. I didn't even try 'em on: could see that they would be a good fit for me and a good length (and they are). Will work with a number of items in the ol' wardrobe . . .. This is the time of year when it's kinda fun to add something new to the tried and true.

I'd seen a single serving brownie recipe last week and found time today to experiment with it, modifying a little bit by adding melted dark chocolate on top: posted the recipe too (129 calories). Worth'em, but calories could be further reduced with Splenda instead of brown sugar, and fibre could be increased with whole wheat flour of course: next time. The brownie made a quick gooey snack after a brief trip to the office; just 42 seconds high power in the microwave, then 30 seconds more low power to melt the chocolate -- and 10 minutes to cool (while I made a second one for DH!. I savoured it, slowly. If you try it, let me know what you think!!


Looking forward to some supper . . . in a little while. I'm planning a salad with lots of chopped veggies and some chicken. Fresh berries for dessert. But first, gotta experience that hunger!! Gotta remind myself: hunger isn't an emergency. Hunger is what thin people expect very day. Hunger is what can help me enjoy my meals to the max. And eating just until I'm full sets me up to enjoy the next meal too.

This is working for me, so far. It's a pretty interesting experiment so I'm going to continue with it for at least a few more days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Your hunger blogs are really filling me with such excitement and energy! Thank you so much for sharing the journey.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/20/2012 12:23AM

    It all keeps the motivation high, fantastic Ellen.

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_LINDA 2/19/2012 10:12PM

    Great deal on the pants!!!
Too many awesome yummy foods you are talking about, maybe I will fix supper now..
Keep up the great work!

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DDOORN 2/19/2012 9:53PM

    Very impressive...! Wish I could say that I've been joining you in similar efforts! Not sure what I have to do to "get there," hmmm...


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FREELADY 2/19/2012 8:31PM

    So many interesting and positive things going on together! Thanks for giving us a peek into a delightful day!

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MEADSBAY 2/19/2012 7:21PM

    Your SPARKS are flying all the way over to my house!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Savouring Hunger 2

Friday, February 17, 2012

Savoured hunger yesterday with some success -- enjoyed that feeling of lightness and anticipation of the next meal! And: enjoyed eating at those scheduled meals just until full. Woke up this morning hungry for breakfast. Savoured the hunger. Savoured the breakfast: fat free Greek yogourt with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries: just enough.

And savoured the comments on the first blog too. Thank you all!

It's that time of year when parents of young children are thinking about summer camps -- so our local paper had an "insert" on choosing the appropriate camp for your kid, which included an article about camp food. Apparently there are lots of complaints about food at camp. Not the food itself so much (although some kids have never seen so many vegetables, so few chicken nuggets and pizzas). But in particular that food isn't available all day long. That kids have to wait for meals and (generally) two scheduled snacks: late afternoon and before bed. The article pointed out that kids at camp tend to roar enthusiastically towards the dining hall, ready for breakfast. Ready for lunch. Hungry. Something many of them have never experienced before. Something many of them have been encouraged to fear. Something many of them have had pre-emptively smothered with "snack packs" and "juice boxes" handed around in the back seats of vans. Quick stops at drive-throughs.

Hmmmm. Childhood obesity an issue? Maybe summer camps, with scheduled meals and the opportunity to experience healthy hunger, are part of the solution.

I'm telling myself that I'm at summer camp!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 2/19/2012 9:07AM

    Just dawned on me...I wrote a huge blog about my drive to the border yesterday. Started off with being a camper..

There's great power in eating when you're hungry, then recognizing that. Treating yourself to something healthy and yummy, noticing and making note of it for next time you need to do it again...and stopping when you're full is something that deserves huge rewards!

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NANCY- 2/18/2012 9:04AM

    What a happy camper you are! :)
Scheduled meals is best for everybody. I put my babies on a schedule it was a lifesaver. I could never understand those little children that were up at 10 pm.
Our bodies need to eat, sleep and get exercise. Having it planned does make for happy campers.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/18/2012 5:30AM

    I was brought up on three meals a day. I thought that was how you did it. I think I'm very naughty having morning tea and afternoon tea nowadays but mostly just a drink and a nibble, always healthy of course. emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/17/2012 10:19PM

    I'm joining you at Camp! Saavouring hunger. Ever heard the adage "Hunger is the best sauce?"

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FREELADY 2/17/2012 7:36PM

    I love the summer camp image. Repeatedly you have helped me deal diplomatically with my resistant inner child!

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CRYSTALJEM 2/17/2012 2:47PM

    Great blog! You are so right. I've noticed with my own kids. Because they have to take lunch I've always "given extra" because I figure you can't learn if you're hungry. Lately I've been sending less, just to see if they noticed. They really haven't. I focus on having "enough" and making sure it's as healthy as possible. So far so good.

I cannot believe what some of the lunch kits I see contain (or don't ). One mom told me she insists her kids pack their own lunches now that they are old enough. She was quite taken aback when I asked if she ever checks to see what they've packed or took the time to teach them what should go in.

A bag of chips, jar of juice and cheese strings do not a lunch make in my opinion, but that's quite often what comes out on the table.

I love your idea of savouring hunger. Maybe we just have to learn to savour what we what and where we're going and the journey will be easier.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/17/2012 11:07AM

    LOL. That's a new one.

Consider structured mealtimes as a form of summer camp.


emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 2/17/2012 10:58AM

    My husband likes to eat late, and tends to fall asleep early - so he sleeps on a full stomach, which he likes.

I can't do that, I wake up feeling ill all night long, and still in the morning feel ill. I much prefer to have about 3 or 4 hours between dinner (or supper) and bedtime - so I can wake up feeling ready for some water, and maybe some breakfast in an hour.

So now, I need to take that same feeling into the rest of my day. And, as you say, savour the hunger.

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_LINDA 2/17/2012 10:17AM

    It takes me so long to prep my healthy meals, I can't help but enjoy and savor them when I finally get to eat them lol. I never went to camps so am not familiar with that experience..But I would venture a guess most kids these days are not used to structured meal times and can snack when ever they feel like..
Your breakfast sounds marvelous, but missing something. Fiber, grains, and some fat. Well rounded meals has always been a key to not feeling hunger. Being a vegetarian, I quite often ignored the protein requirement and would feel hungry later on too fast before the next meal. Through Sparks, I learned the proper ratios I should have of everything and discovered, hey, that really works. I used to do fat free everything too. But adding some healthy ones back in (like natural almond butter) has really helped keep the growlies down.
I have never felt the need to snack after my main meals. The only time I feel hungry is after bridge, the walk to and from, the mental energy I spend does make me hungry. Also its a much longer time between my lunch and supper then between breakfast and lunch, so I probably need a snack at 4 to tide me over until supper. When I have no place to go, I space my meal times out better and then I am fine..
Have a Fantastic Friday!

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DBCLARINET 2/17/2012 8:16AM

    Wow, that's horrible! I went to summer camps and don't remember being hungry, or if I was, I don't remember it being an issue. I also don't remember snacking all the time -- I was allowed three cookies after school as a snack, and that was it until dinner. That was just life.

I know I overdid it a bit yesterday because I wasn't rumbling-stomach-hungry when I woke up; I wasn't still full though, so I made myself an eggs-and-egg-whites scramble, two sausages, and half a banana. Sure enough, that sausage tasted awesome (seems to taste more awesome when I alternate that breakfast with simple oatmeal), and I'm just full enough that I won't get hungry soon, but not so full that I can't manage a workout in a half hour. That's a good place to be.

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JIVANA108 2/17/2012 7:42AM

    Thanks for this post. I too have been savoring my hunger and notice food tastes so much better when I'm truly hungry and eating until no longer hungry is amazing ...such a simply concept but not as easy to practice:) emoticon

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Savouring Hunger

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Judith S. Beck tells us that "hunger is not an emergency".

And: I have to keep reminding myself of that. Hunger is normal. Thin people experience hunger every day. Hunger is a biological motivation to perform the high-energy activities that used to be necessary to obtain those essential nutrients: chasing down protein and fat, cultivating grains for carbohydrates, trekking miles for salt . . . all of that. Hunger is a good thing. It deserves to be savoured, not immediately satisfied in a panic of binge eating before it's even fully experienced..

One technique I'm trying to cultivate: thinking of hunger as actually a positive sensation.

I hate feeling over-full: and that means eating only until I'm not hungry. And stopping.

But if I can think of hunger as a positive signal that I'm going to enjoy my next meal more, then I can actually savour hunger.

There's too much commercially-driven focus on "savouring the flavour". Encouraging us to think about what we want to eat next. Encouraging us to seek out new intense "flavour sensations" that will be available "for a limited time only": all of that.

Savouring hunger? A radical thought, maybe.

But I'm going to pay attention to this possibility. Welcoming hunger, enjoying hunger, waiting until my next scheduled meal: all of that lets me know that I'm eating on track. Appropriately.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Love this!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/16/2012 10:55PM

    Great blog Ellen! I was thinking about this today. Love the synchronicity.

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DDOORN 2/16/2012 10:14PM

    Makes BOATLOADS of sense!

Of course we are swimming upstream against corporate commodification of "antidotes" to hunger: There's no money to be made from savvy consumers who learn to savor, nurture and respect our hunger!

Have to tweak my choices to get down to "hunger"...like a dimmer dial. Not too much, but just enough...


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DBCLARINET 2/16/2012 9:24PM

    I absolutely LOATHE all those commercials about "flavor sensations" or women locking themselves in dark offices to have a "moment" with their chocolate. It makes me want to scream -- is our society really full of such slaves to gluttony? Then it makes me loathe it when I catch that fault in myself. I'm not perfect, but I know I don't want to be that woman in the office with her lights off and a piece of fat-free Snackwell's or whatever because that's the escape I need from the world.

Sometimes I am.

But, I echo what 4A-Healthy-BMI said: I LOVE being hungry in the morning! Breakfast is my favorite meal, and when I'm not really hungry for it, I'm honestly disappointed. It's when I don't eat enough breakfast or enough lunch and end up cranky at dinner that I know I overdid it.

Savouring hunger... That's a new one. I like it! I think I'm hungry now, although I'm not (I'm just a bit stressed from studying again). So, I think I'll savour the emptiness in my stomach and enjoy waking up tomorrow, ready for an awesome bowl of oatmeal and berries!

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LISALGB 2/16/2012 6:58PM

    Excellent!! You really have the right idea here!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/16/2012 5:52PM

    A certain amount of hunger at the right time is fine. If I get too much of it while I'm anxious or distracted and there happens to be food around, then it's a recipe for a potential binge.

So I try to manage the hunger by getting plenty of protein and fiber and fat and staying hydrated.

I actually appreciate hunger in the morning. When I'm ravenous for breakfast I know I'm just eating just about right. When I'm not ravenous for breakfast that usually means I'm eating too much and the scale will start posting gains...

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VALERIEMAHA 2/16/2012 4:12PM

Wish you didn't make so damned much sense, Ellen! Oh, and good read, that "Physics Diet" article, thanks SALSIFY.
I'm recovering from a binge yesterday, so I'm not in good shape at the moment.

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WHOVIANGIRL23 2/16/2012 3:41PM

    Great blog. I have also learned to appreciate hunger, as well as realize when it is real, and when it is not (ie. Emotional or boredom).

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CRYSTALJEM 2/16/2012 3:38PM

    You're pretty smart. I like radical. Savour hunger. Going to try that. Thanks.

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WHOVIANGIRL23 2/16/2012 3:37PM

    Great blog. I have also learned to appreciate hunger, as well as realize when it is real, and when it is not (ie. Emotional or boredom).

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SALSIFY 2/16/2012 2:31PM

    This reminds me of one of my favourite weight loss articles called 'The Physics Diet'. Talking about hunger, the author quotes from the film Lawrence of Arabia: 'the trick is not minding that it hurts'.

Hunger isn't bad for me, I've got more than enough fat to keep me going - it's minding that I'm hungry which is the problem & one that I'm always working on to varying degrees of success. Loving your 'hunger' blogs!


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    How it is not all that hard to ignore a pain for a very long time if I am distracted or even if I'm just too lazy to do something about it?

I can ignore hours of squinting because the sun is so bright. I can even ignore the burn of 100 squats and push through it to do 50 more... but fear so horribly even MAYBE being hungry? Why do I crumble before it like in no other sensation?

Maybe hunger needs a better publicist...

Hunger, this is how thin feels
Hunger, the edginess of a whetted appetite
Hunger, a little bit makes everything taste better.
Hunger, that tingle that strengthens your willpower muscle.

(great blog as usual)

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/16/2012 2:06PM

    Understanding what hunger is gives us power over our actions.

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ROSEWAND 2/16/2012 1:22PM

    I am always amazed that people are so motivated
to avoid hunger when dieting. To me, it feels like

Hunger is the cue to eat again. It builds anticipation
or our coming meal. Our digestive enzymes start to
perk up. It is the signal that our hormones, insulin,
leptin, and grhelin, that are affected by food are
are in harmony.

Hunger is not starving. It is a manageable feeling.
I have found that by avoided highly processed foods
I have much more control of when I eat.

The only caveat in using hunger to our benefit
is to know what you will eat at the next meal.
Making food decisions when we are hungry can
be tricky.

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TIFFANIE150 2/16/2012 10:44AM

    Good one!

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PHEBESS 2/16/2012 10:36AM

    I look forward to your thoughts on this experiment!!!!

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FREELADY 2/16/2012 9:38AM

    Once again you spur my thinking and evaluation. You're just not going to leave us any chance for boredom or apathy, are you?!

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NANCY- 2/16/2012 9:03AM

    There is so much more to life than eating... hunger tells us to eat when we are busy doing other things.

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KALIGIRL 2/16/2012 8:35AM

    Radical indeed - love the idea - listening to the body is good.

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/16/2012 7:52AM

    I have good childhood memories associated hunger with holidays and feasting... deprivation to lead to the big meal... like Easter or Thanksgiving. But every day hunger, leading to a meal that satisfies... is something we can appreciate regularly!

Thanks for this insightful blog!

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Eating Just Until I'm Not Hungry

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This seems to be key.

Not eating until I'm "full". What an unpleasant sensation that is.

Just eating until I'm not hungry any more.

I get it. I see the light!

And: am enjoying my Valentine's Day gift from DH: an antique desk lamp for my new office. It's lovely!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISALGB 2/16/2012 6:56PM

    Oh, I hate that feeling of being stuffed!! You are so right on that - eat until you are not hungry anymore. Putting my fork down between bites and taking my time when I eat really helps me determine when I reach that point.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/16/2012 5:55PM

    I've heard it works for some people. If you're one of them, that's awesome!

It's hard for me know know when I've had enough. I can stop sooner, but unless I get at least 250-300 calories for one of my mini-meals, I'm likely to be annoyed by persistent pangs while I'm trying to focus on other things.

So I rely on my tracker.

Because of the tracker I almost never get to the point where I feel overstuffed, anyway (unless I've had a lot of bulky veggies), so I guess that's not a consideration in my case.

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KANOE10 2/16/2012 8:07AM

    You are right! That stuffed feeling leads you to feeling fat and then eating more.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/16/2012 2:52AM

    You are doing it! emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/15/2012 10:11PM

    Love this diatinction! Thank you!

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_LINDA 2/15/2012 8:55PM

    Yes, that overstuffed feeling is horrible..I need to really slow down my eating. That is my biggest fault -rushing through so that I am past that 'satified' feeling. 20 minutes it takes. I have been known to scarf my meals in ten or less -no wonder I was always snacking later (and still fall victim to this on occasion!
Good lucj with it!

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MEADSBAY 2/15/2012 8:32PM

    I HATE feeling full!

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CRYSTALJEM 2/15/2012 7:36PM

    Brilliant! The lamp sounds lovely. I like antiques the best. Have a great evening. CJ

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TRAVELGRRL 2/15/2012 7:08PM

    Way to go!!

But do you have to worry about not eating ENOUGH?

I feel like an idiot but I seem to have gone from one extreme to another!

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PHEBESS 2/15/2012 7:06PM

    Yeah, it's difficult, especially when whatever you're eating is good. That's when I have trouble stopping!

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FREELADY 2/15/2012 7:02PM

    Ohhh, I agree with you 100 o/o.

My compliance is not as consistent. Building that habit, a la Judith Beck.

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JENMAGS 2/15/2012 6:55PM

    You got it!!! emoticon

Haha...that's a great thing to think about when eating!

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