Sunday, January 30, 2011

soy milk

This morning I tried soy milk.  I was pleasantly surprised - it actually tastes good!  I used it with my cereal, a Kashi brand high fiber, high protein, low sugar cereal.  The cereal was ok, not wonderful but I think I liked it enough that I'll eat it again.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

14 pounds lost!!!

I've lost 14 pounds since I began this healthy eating plan!  Wow!  Of course, the cynic in me reminds me that losing weight has never actually been a problem, it's keeping it off.  I need to push those thoughts aside and take this one day at a time.  A lifetime of healthy eating can seem overwhelming, but one day at a time is manageable.

The only aspect of my eating plan that I may change is the "no dairy".  If I do that, I will only add skim milk for my cereal in the mornings.  So far, I've only been eating oatmeal and I use water rather than milk.  Oatmeal is so filling!  However, if I don't get the right consistency it can be so gross!!

This morning I bought some Kashi cereal that has a lot of fiber and protein and is almost as low in sugar as the oatmeal I've been buying.  I also bought some soy milk to try with it.  I've never tried soy milk or almond milk, or any milk other than cow's milk.

I'll let you know how this works!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Motivation vs. Commitment

I just read a fabulous post on another blog ( about commitment.  It really made me ponder  the difference between motivation and commitment.  Motivation can require external cues, but it is most effective if it comes from within.  However, I find it extremely easy to lose motivation.  My motivations for losing weight include looking better, feeling better, avoiding future health problems, and not being a burden to my family when I develop obesity related health issues.  These are all very valid.   Somehow, those tend to be lost when I felt that desire to binge.

Commitment, on the other hand, means that I have made a pledge or promise to myself.  Yes, promises can be broken.  Somehow, though, being committed to a lifelong goal of eating healthy translates into doing so whether I want to or not.

The psychological aspects of conquering a pattern of disordered eating are so much more complicated than simply eating healthy, aren't they?

I've done fairly well this week.  I ate a few things today that weren't really within my eating plan, but it didn't turn into a binge fest or even really overeating.  I plan to weigh myself tomorrow or Sunday, since Sunday will be three weeks since I began my new vegan eating plan.

I'm excited to see what the scales will say!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lesson Learned

My daughter went to a birthday party last night.  After the party, we were discussing the normal details....who was there, what everyone wore, what kind of food was served, etc.  When my daughter mentioned chips and dip, I suddenly began craving french onion dip.  When I was bingeing, I could easily eat almost an entire container of french onion dip in one sitting.  I would typically feel sick afterward, but I would still do it almost every time I bought it.  In fact, with the exception of planning for a party the only time I did buy dip was when I was planning a binge.

I decided to try to find an alternate option to satisfy my craving.  When I did my weekly grocery shopping this morning, I bought french onion soup.  I ate that and an apple for lunch, and I enjoyed it.  It calmed my craving for french onion dip.  I must admit, this shocked me.  How often have I read this technique in magazines, books, web sites, and blogs.  I've never thought it would work so I didn't even try.  From the viewpoint of an overeater, the alternate options sound less than appealing.  Cheese flavored rice cakes instead of Cheetos?  Fat free/sugar free pudding instead of ice cream?  Seriously?? Now I know that I need to give this a closer look.

About three hours later, I was hungry.  I contemplated my choices and nothing sounded appealing.  A salad, an orange, perhaps even a 100 calorie pack of microwave popcorn.  Then I decided that a peanut butter sandwich was what I wanted.  On my current eating plan, peanut butter is not a recommended choice since it is high in fat.  We have natural peanut butter (for my son the health nut), which is much lower in fat but looks disgusting.  My daughter and son both assure me that it tastes really good but I still haven't tried it.  So I ate a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich.  Yum, yum.  At least I used whole wheat bread, I rationalized.

If I had stopped here, it would have been basically ok.  However, the first peanut butter sandwich tasted so good I had another.

Then my "all or nothing" thinking kicked in.  You've been there, haven't you?  "Well, I've blown it.  Might as well keep eating."  "I've already messed up, why stop now."  "I'm off plan, so why not eat ___________ (fill in the blank)"

I proceeded to eat two pieces of toast with real butter and some snack mix.  Then I stopped.  

Lesson learned: it is possible to replace an unhealthy food craving with a healthy one and be satisfied.
Lesson learned: french onion soup is not a main course.

I'm not going to dwell on this mistake.  It could have been much, much worse.  I will learn from it and move on.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


One of the reasons I began this particular weight loss journey is at the prompting of my son.  He is 18 years old, a devoted body builder and health nut.  He confronted me about my weight problem in December.  At the time, his "intervention" was very difficult.  It was humbling to have my first born child explain that he was very concerned about my weight and the health issues that would inevitably occur.

He offered to help me by being my weight loss coach, encouraging me, and holding me accountable.  At first, I really didn't like the idea on many levels.  He's my child.  Regardless of the fact that he is 18 now, he's still my little boy.  I'm supposed to help him, he's not supposed to help me.

After I thought about this a bit, I realized that I wouldn't think twice about helping my parents with anything they needed.  Of course, I'm 37 years old and my son is 18 so there is a difference.  Also, he made the offer, it wasn't as if I had asked.  So I decided to accept.

As I began my new eating plan, my son was very encouraging.  He has asked at least once a day how my eating has been.  He has done so in a more gentle, loving manner than I somehow expected.  He has such a kind heart, but he is also very assertive and bold so I expected more of a drill sergeant approach!!

Yesterday was the first day (other than the day I slipped and binged on sugar) that I had some trouble.  I  expected to have more trouble this week since I'm not working and have more free time.  I was out shopping.  I ate breakfast right before I left the house, so I wasn't hungry.  Fast food restaurants began calling my name.  Then I began thinking about ice cream, cookies, and chocolate.  What do I do?

When I initially thought about sending a text to my son as he had suggested I do in such circumstances, I didn't want to.  I didn't want to bother him - I knew he was at school, possibly in class.  I couldn't decide if I really didn't want to bother him, or if I was just rationalizing.  I finally decided to send him a text - "Having trouble.  Need some tough love."

My son called me within 5 minutes and asked where I was.  I was shopping not far from his school, he was getting ready to leave, and my sweet child offered to come to me.  I didn't expect that.  His offer was so kind and understanding.  I told him that doing so was not necessary.  Actually, the act of texting him helped quite a bit.  After all, I wouldn't want to send the text then explain to him later that I succumbed to the cravings, would I?

My son proceeded to encourage me to stay on plan, stay away from the food court at the mall, and sent me a text about 30 minutes later to follow up.  Then about an hour after the initial text that I sent, he sent me another text letting me know that he was going to work and that I needed to come home and eat lunch so I wouldn't be tempted to buy unhealthy food while I was out!  How sweet and helpful is that??!

When I got his last text, I was at a dollar store.  I didn't buy food!!!  Instead, I noticed these Coke drinking glasses that I've always liked but never purchased.  At only $1 each, why not buy those as a reward for not bingeing?  So I did.  Much more satisfying than a sugar high followed by a crash and days of being tempted to return to sugar.

Thanks to having accountability, I stayed on plan yesterday.  How are you doing?  How are you accountable to?  Are you like me - a very private person who doesn't want to share anything with anyone?  Take a leap of faith today and try something new.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


What do you think of when you hear the word genetics?  Do you immediately picture your family?  Perhaps you think of your hair color or eye color.  If you are overweight, maybe you think of those in your family tree who struggle with this as well.

Yes, our genetics play a large part in our appearance, our health, even our personalities.  Many aspects of our appearance, such as hair color or eye color, we have no control over.  (Excluding colored contacts and having our hair colored, of course!).  Do you ever use genetics as an excuse for your weight?

It is so easy to rationalize a weight problem.  "Everyone in my family is large."  "I have big bones".  Yes, if you have a family history of weight problems you may struggle with the same.  Yes, you may have a large frame and may never be tiny.  However, we must not use this is an excuse!!  (Yes, speaking to myself here).

On another note, I mentioned in a previous post that I did not have to work this week.  I've done well with this!  Unlike many other such weeks, I've not spent much of my time eating.  I've maintained my healthful low fat, high fiber, low/no sugar eating plan!!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grocery Shopping

Have you ever really thought about the disparity between the healthy choices in your local grocery store and the unhealthy ones?  Yes, there is typically a produce section full of fresh fruits and veggies.  Most stores offer whole grain breads, pastas, crackers and "light" options.  There may even be organic foods available.

Regardless of these choices, to the compulsive overeater/sugar addict/food addict the seemingly harmless trip to the grocery store  can be like sending an alcoholic to the ABC store.  One aisle is dedicated to ice cream.  One aisle for chips.  Another for candy.  Not to mention the bakery and "seasonal" aisle.

This morning, I had my oatmeal and raisins BEFORE going to do my weekly grocery shopping.  That made a huge difference.  The cookies, ice cream, candy and cakes didn't call my name.  I noticed them, but it was fairly easy to leave them on the shelf.  

Have you found ways to make grocery shopping easier and less tempting?  Do you ask a family member to do your shopping for you to avoid situation?

Friday, January 14, 2011

6 pounds gone!!!

The scale has been my enemy for as long as I can remember.  If I lost weight, it was not enough.  Which, depending on my mood, could cause me to justify a binge.  After all, I'd lost weight.  What would it hurt?  If I gained weight, I felt worthless due to my lack of self control.  The self loathing easily led to a binge.

Due to this, when I was in the process of losing a substantial amount of weight a number of years ago I did not weight myself for about a year.  I could gauge my progress by my clothing, and I didn't have to deal with the emotional roller coaster getting on the scale could cause.

It's amazing how much some of us attach our self worth to the number on the scale.  We give that one simple object so much power over our lives! We allow it to decide what kind of day we're having.  We allow it to dictate how we feel about ourselves.

When I began this eating plan, I decided to wait until the three week trial was over to check my weight.  I changed my mind today.  I really shouldn't have, but I did.  Since I've only been on this plan for six days, one of which included a binge, I really didn't expect much of a change on the scale. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I've lost six pounds!!  How exciting!!  I plan to continue with the vegan way of eating for the full three weeks, then re-evaluate.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

change in routine

How does a change in routine effect your weight loss efforts?  Or, if you are maintaining a healthy weight how does it effect that?

The past two days I've eaten healthy!!  No binges!!!  Next week, I don't have to work.  I don't have any vacation plans; just trying to use all of my vacation time before our new fiscal year starts since it can't be carried over.

In the past, days like this have been filled with food.  What better way to spend time off from work than with a good book and chocolate, chips and dips, whatever junk food I was craving that day.  I need to plan ahead to avoid doing that this time, but I'm not sure how.

I do have a few plans for the week - I will spend Monday with my daughter since she doesn't have school, I need to get a hair cut, I have some Christmas money that I plan to have fun shopping with, and there are quite a few projects I need to do around the house.  However, I will still have a lot of free time next week.

First, I will spend time with God and turn to him when I am tempted.  Second, my son has been a great source of encouragement and he is someone I can be accountable to.  Third,  I will make certain that there are no "trigger" foods in the house.  Fourth, I will continue to eat high fiber, filling foods.

More later!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


What does healthy mean to you?  How does it look?  How does it taste?  How does it feel?  My quest to be healthy involves body, mind and spirit.  Eating healthy, exercise, being free of obsessive thoughts about food, being close to God.  That is what I'm striving for.

Today was a good day.  I had oatmeal and raisins for breakfast, soup and grapes for lunch, chili, a green salad, and an apple for dinner.  All of this kept me full.  I really didn't crave sugar.  It was very helpful to get a text from my son right before I left work.  He asked how my diet was going today.  I was happy to tell him that it was going well, and that I would NOT be stopping on the way home from work to buy junk food!!

Notice a trend with the food that I'm eating?  I tend to eat similar foods every day, especially when I'm eating healthy.  Some find this boring.  For some reason, it makes eating healthy foods easier for me if I don't have a large variety of choices.  I've found that too many choices can cause trouble.

What about you?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back in the saddle

Today was tough.  I'm ashamed and disgusted to admit that I succumbed to the call of sugar and junk food.  What's even worse,  I was given obvious opportunities to avoid the binge, but I did it anyway.  Why do I do this to myself?  Why, when I know how horrible this is for my body and health, do I continue to do this?

As I was rationalizing the upcoming binge that I was planning, there were so many feelings flooding me.  Self loathing, helplessness, disgust, self defeat, etc.  You know the cycle.  The "I'm always going to be this way so why bother even trying to change" attitude.

I didn't have to work today.  I ate a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and raisins, and it was filling.  I picked my daughter up at school around 9:45 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. orthodontist appointment.  We were there until about 11:30 a.m. (she was having her bottom braces put on).  My daughter absolutely loves ice cream.  I had a coupon for a free small cup of ice cream at Cold Stone, so I thought that would be a perfect treat for her after the orthodontist.  I didn't plan to buy anything for myself, and it really wasn't bothering me.

When we got to Cold Stone, they were closed.  Since I had to go to CVS to pick up a prescription, I told my daughter that I would get her some ice cream there.  By this time, I was getting hungry.  I planned to eat soup and fruit at home for lunch.  I began thinking about all of the different types of chocolate that I could purchase while I was at CVS, especially once my daughter told me that she didn't want to go in.  I tried to put the thoughts out of my head, but I wasn't successful.  Reduced Christmas candy, Valentine candy, ice cream.  Thoughts of sugar danced in my head.

When we got to CVS, my daughter decided to go in with me.  Perfect excuse to avoid buying binge food!!!  After all, since my family knows of my desire to reform my eating habits.  I wouldn't buy chocolate while she was with me.  I must admit that I was initially disappointed.

Did this deter me?  No, of course not.  I also wanted to go to the library, but we needed to go home first. I asked my daughter if she wanted to go back out with me to the library, and she said no.  I immediately began thinking of stopping at the grocery store when I went out to the library since I would be alone.  I had the opportunity to avoid the grocery store.  I didn't have to go to the library today.  I could have asked my daughter to go with me.  My son was at home when we went there before the library.  Since he is a huge proponent of my efforts, I could easily have told him that I was having a hard day.  But I didn't.

I went to the grocery store as soon as I left home.  As I began perusing the aisles, my son texted me.  "How is the diet going".  Perfect chance to explain my difficulties and leave the store without buying anything.  Did I do that?  No.  I purchased a piece of Reese cup pie, a bag of Reese cups, oreos, ice cream sandwiches, and cheese puffs.

The bad news is, I at the piece of pie, probably 10 oreos and about 5 ice cream sandwiches before I got home.  The good news is, I threw the entire bag of Reese cups and most of the oreos away.  I suppose I should congratulate myself for even small victories.  I'm sad to report I ate almost the entire bag of cheese puffs later in the day.

Why is this so hard?  Why do I let myself treat my body this way?  During this journey, I hope to learn more about myself.

For now, back in the saddle again.  No need to let this mistake carry over into another meal or another day.  I'm fixing vegetable lasagna and fruit for dinner.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day One

Today went well!  I ate the following:

Breakfast: two packets of Quaker cinnamon instant oatmeal (weight control version) with raisins added and one veggie sausage patty

Lunch: Boca grilled veggie burger on whole grain bun, green salad with fat free italian, grapes.

Dinner: Progresso lentil soap, apple

These choices allowed me to stay full and satisfied.  I really didn't crave sugar and junk food today.  Since this is my first day "off" sugar, I'm very surprised.   I had a little bit of trouble when my husband and daughter were eating peanut butter crackers this evening, but since I'm eating low fat and I know that peanut butter can be difficult for me, I didn't eat any.

My son left a sweet note for me this morning, encouraging me on my new path to eating healthier.  That meant so much to me!

Day two may be a challenge because I don't have to work.  I'll have more free time than I typically do on Mondays, which can spell disaster.  I resolve to fill any free time with constructive things, not food.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Last month I was in the public library.  The purpose for my visit was to check out some of my favorite type of books - suspense novels.  I love Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, and that type of author.  It occurred to me to look in the self help/diet/nutrition section to see if they happened to have the Geneen Roth book, Women Food and God.  I've never read her books, but I've read some of her articles in magazines and she is extremely insightful.

The book wasn't there, but I did notice an intriguing title.  "Breaking the Food Seduction" immediately caught my eye.  Do you feel seduced by food?  I know I do. I decided to check the book out.  Despite the interesting title, I suppose I wasn't very optimistic.  What overweight person hasn't read numerous books about dieting, losing weight, etc.  When I began reading the book, I was amazed at some of the studies that were mentioned.

The book was written by Dr. Neal Barnard.  He is an advocate of a vegan diet.  For many people, myself included, this type of diet sounds so extreme.  As I read the book, I was enthralled by the research subjects that were able to change their eating habits, improve their health, and have fewer cravings.

In all of the years that I have gone from bingeing to eating healthy, I've never remotely considered a vegan diet.  When I'm in one of my healthy eating/losing weight "phases", I've always restricted calories and fat.  I've also been careful to eat complex carbs rather than simple ones, but I didn't typically put as much emphasis on fruits and veggies as I should.

One comparison that Dr. Barnard made really makes sense to me.  With most traditional diets, we are taught to eat everything in moderation.  This approach probably works well for many people.  However, for some it doesn't.  Imagine encouraging a smoker who is attempting to quit to do so by having 1 or 2 cigarettes a day.  Or telling a recovering alcoholic to drink alcohol once a day.  For some people, having some sugar and some fatty foods regularly in the diet is just a tease.  These small amounts can so easily lead to more. Who can eat one Oreo, a small amount of M & M's, a handful of chips?  I know I can't.

The reasons Dr. Barnard encourages a vegan diet are various, and it would take too long and would be too boring to mention here.  If you're interested, read "Breaking the Food Seduction",  I decided to follow the recommendation of trying the vegan diet for three weeks.  What have I got to loose?  It's very different from any diet/lifestyle change I've every tried before.  My prayer is that the high  fiber, no sugar, healthy diet will keep me full, keep my blood sugar more stable to ease cravings.

Can I eat this way forever?  Can I avoid sugar forever?  I don't know.  What I do know is that it is worth a three week try.  If during those three weeks I feel good, have less difficulty with cravings, and lose weight, I plan to continue for another three week period.

I plan to post tomorrow evening and let you know how my first day went!

My Story

Welcome to my journey to get, and stay, healthy!  I have struggled with my weight for my entire adult life. I am a compulsive overeater, an emotional eater, and I am addicted to sugar.  Especially in the form of chocolate.  I am convinced that there will be chocolate in heaven!!!!

I could be the "poster child" for yo-yo dieting.  Over the years I've managed to lose weight many times, but have never been able to successfully maintain the weight loss for more than a year.  Food, particular food with sugar and/or fat, is my "drug" of choice.

In 2011, I will turn 38 years old, I will celebrate 20 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart, and my 20th high school reunion.  Despite my need to lose a large amount of weight, I fortunately haven't really developed any of the normal health problems associated with obesity.  Wow.  It's very sobering to describe myself like that in black and white, but it is true.  I am obese.   However, I know that if I continue on this path I am facing diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and joint problems.

This is the beginning of a positive change in my life.  With the help of God, my family, (particularly my son who is a body building health nut)  I pray that I will lose weight for the last time.

My next post will detail the changes that I'm planning to make to my diet.  Tomorrow will be my last "first day" of a new eating plan!!