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No Reasons, No Excuses

The last two days have not been ones that I’d like to make scrapbooks about and remember forever.  They’ve ranked a little higher in suckitude than in the category of sunshine and roses.  Most of it is work related.  Trust me, if Mercury isn’t in retrograde, it should be because ordinary tasks are getting screwed up.  Other, unexpected things are contributing to an overall atmosphere of snafu.  (I don’t think snafu actually belongs as that part of speech but humor me, okay?)

Normally, I’m an upbeat person and take most things in stride.  Semper Gumby (always flexible) is a standard rallying cry.  I can roll with pretty much any punch.  Except those rare times when I feel like things are piling on more than usual and circumstances are stealing my joy.  Stealing my joy along with my bright light, energy, and general tolerance for other peoples’ foibles.

Honestly, everything has contributed to me being cranky as hell and not as willing to stifle it or rise above it.  I pretty much isolated myself in my office today rather, as much for my well being as well as that of others.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t ignore emails and, through that means, a couple of people really pissed me off.  Bad timing that they picked this week to do so.  While last week I would have been more inclined to not call them out for passive-aggressive behavior or control freak tendencies, this week . . . not so much.  In a couple of days, I’m probably going to feel bad that I didn’t call on great techniques to resolve the issues in more gentle, less blunt ways.  Tonight I honestly don’t give a #*$&.  Yes, I am that bitchy right now.

Aren’t you glad you stopped by this blog today?

So, why do I share all this ugly crap with you today.  For one simple reason.  No matter what has rocketed my way, regardless of the various emotions rolling over me, I am still abstinent.  I haven’t caved into compulsive urges or overeaten.  I’m not medicating my emotions in a pint of ice cream or stuffing my aggravation with wedges of cake or handfuls of greasy potato chips.

I’m eating my healthy meals, prepared according to plan.  Rotten days are not a reason to abandon my recovery.  Difficult circumstances do not become an excuse to binge.  No reasons, no excuses.  Even in turmoil, I’m managing to remember that giving into the eating disorder will only make it all worse.  I prefer to hold onto my abstinence and use it as an example of something that is still going right.  It helps me to recenter my gratitude which, ultimately, will reduce the power of the other circumstances.

No reasons, no excuses.  I’m remaining on track.

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Percentages

Today’s the last day of week four for me on the Always Hungry plan. I lost the weight that I gained in week three so I’m now convinced that the 11 pounds are all actual pounds lost and not a lot of water weight. 

I feel really good and it’s not all tied up with the number on the scale. I feel good because I’m sticking to the plan – no matter what I lose or don’t lose. Every day I commit and I’m adhering to that commitment. 

That is the essence to being abstinent from my compulsive eating, to living in recovery.  I’m grateful to be solidly on track. This keeps my head and emotions in a great place rather than rocketing around like a manic pinball. 

If I never lost another pound, living without the compulsive food thoughts and behaviors that torment me emotionally and mentally would be blessing enough. 

The plan delivers on the promises that satiety would increase and cravings would decrease.  It says that cutting way down on white flour/white sugar/processed foods will get my body working effectively in its insulin production and other important functions. 

The book has numerous recipes and offers detailed daily and weekly menus. Given that I don’t eat any seafood, I can’t follow them exactly. Fortunately, the book also offers guidelines for building your own meals. There is a chart with the percentages of carbs, fat and protein set for each meal. 

It takes some thinking and planning to design my daily meals and hit those percentages.   Today I really felt like I’m getting a better hang of it.  

Take dinner for example. I made grilled lamb pops, a warm artichoke heart and quinoa dish, and mashed rutabaga. It was an absolutely delicious meal, if I do say so myself. Plus I hit the percentages almost perfectly. 

The hardest element for me is the fat.  In some cases, it’s easy, like adding a tablespoon of peanut butter to my afternoon Apple snack or full fat yogurt for the Bleu cheese dressing I made. Other times it is more difficult because it isn’t intuitive.  I’m getting there but it requires me to spend more time thinking about my food ahead of time. 

It’s like I have the added work of pre-planning before I menu plan and prep.  Sometimes thinking so frequently about food is downright scary for me. I worry that I’ll fall off of my effort and planning will convert to unhealthy obsession. 

To settle myself, I just keep focusing on percentages and balance. Always balance. That and doing this one day at a time. 

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Cutting Out Sweeteners

Although I’ve stayed away from white sugar (except for the allowed small amount in dark chocolate and that single brownie), I haven’t given up the artificial sweetener that I use in my tea.  I usually drink four cups of hot tea a day.  I figured that four measily yellow packets didn’t amount to much and wouldn’t derail my efforts.  I don’t drink diet soda or any diet beverage and I’m not substituting in any other foods that have artificial sweetener, so I figured I’m okay.

Yesterday I decided to stop using the yellow packets of sweetener too.  At this point on the plan, I can have up to three teaspoons of honey or pure maple syrup a day.  I can also have stevia in small amounts but, to be honest, I don’t love it that much.  A tablespoon of honey or syrup a day isn’t much when spread out over mugs of tea, particularly if I want to use some over chickpea pancakes too, but I have this “going all in” mindset right now.

I was also home from work yesterday afternoon and ended up watching the Dr. Oz show.  I’m not a big fan but it was on so I watched, particularly because most of the show was dedicated to battling bloat.  (Not to go into TMI but I’m having some digestive sluggishness and bloating, so it caught my interest.)  At one point someone asked a guest expert about artificial sweeteners.  The woman responded, “Always choose calories over chemicals”.

That hit me.  As much as the manufacturer tries to sell us on the “natural” roots of the stuff since it’s derived from sugar, it still feels like a chemical product to me.  Even if it wasn’t, it still wouldn’t be as truly natural as honey or maple syrup.  So, why put it into my body when I have other choices?

Here’s one of those weird contrasts in my history.  No matter how badly I was binge eating or compulsively eating, I never used actual sugar in my tea.

To some extent, I think my habit was/is mental.  I’m used to how my tea tastes with the fake stuff and think it won’t taste as good with anything else.  Well, for sure it won’t taste the same, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good.

Today I actually forgot with the first mug.  I ripped open the packet and dumped it in without thinking about it.  Then I told myself that as long as it was made, I might as well drink it.  I caught myself each of the three other times that I brewed a mug and used honey instead.  I was right.  It does taste different and my reflex is to not like it as much.  I’m pretty sure that really is a mental block; sure enough that I’m not listening to my head and continuing on with the honey tomorrow.

Unlike my failed experiment and efforts to retrain my palate to like seafood, I’m pretty confident that I can teach my taste buds to like tea with honey in it.  After all, I like honey a lot in other uses.

All around this feels like a healthier, win-able effort.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Squashing Hope and Pride

If you don’t want to read a rant, you might want to move off to another blog.

I joined a Facebook group of people who are also following the Always Hungry? plan.  Today someone posted about a recent visit to her doctor.  She’s worked hard to follow the plan and has lost 11 pounds.  Emotionally, she was feeling good and strong about sticking to the plan and seeing weight loss.  She had to go to her doctor about a knee problem.  While he praised her for the weight loss, before the end of the appointment he also said that she might have to consider weight loss surgery to stop the progression of her body breaking down.

You could read in her post how his words deflated her spirit.  When I read it, all I could think was, “Damn him. There were other ways that he could have handled this situation.”  He could have encouraged her to keep on going with her weight loss efforts and pointed out that every pound lost reduces the stress and pressure on joints.  Nope.  Instead of positively reinforcing her efforts and building her up for continued success, he tore her down.  In his mind he was probably doing due diligence, just being honest and fulfilling his responsibility to his patient.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t realize the negative, hurtful, upsetting message he delivered.

I also don’t know if he gets that telling someone they may need to have weight loss surgery isn’t necessarily an effective message that will achieve the desired results.  Based on my own experience, I emphatically do not believe that anyone should have such a drastic, life-altering surgery unless it is 100% their choice to do so.  This is all my own opinion, of course, but I’m putting it out there.  If they are not completely committed to researching all options, to delving deep into their own heads and hearts, to redefining their relationship with food and eating and change their behaviors, it is the wrong choice.  They may enjoy success at the outset, but ultimately, there is too high a chance that they will ultimately fail.

I had a similar experience to this other woman.  In 2007, I had a significant gall bladder issue, namely a gall stone the size of a large olive was stuck in a duct.  I was in the last week of managing three weeks of filming for a tv series.  All around me, co-workers were suffering stomach virus symptoms and I was positive that’s what I was fighting off.  The symptoms of stomach upset, would come and go in waves.  Finally, when the shoot was over, I conceded that I should get to the doctor.  Maybe I needed a pill or something, right?  The night before my appointment, I was in constant discomfort, felt like if I could only start throwing up I’d be better.  I also felt like I was running a fever.

By the time I got to the doctor, I was absolutely miserable.  I stretched out on his exam table, hurting.  Even before he listened to my symptoms and did an exam he said, “I would not be doing my job if I didn’t tell you that you need to have weight loss surgery.”

I was shocked.  Not that he thought this because, well, he was a surgeon with a morbidly obese patient in front of him, but because, hello!, that patient was lying on his table in pain.  Bad timing.  Because I was in pain I couldn’t even come up with a great answer.  I sort of mumbled, “I know, I know, but could we focus on the problem I’m here for right now?”

It only took him about :30 seconds to diagnose the problem and schedule me for a couple of tests the next morning to confirm his diagnosis.  By the middle of the next day I’d already had my gall bladder removed, come out of the anesthesia, and was in a room for the night.  I was discharged the next day but not before hearing again about my urgent need for weight loss surgery.   I never went back to that doctor again.

Here’s the thing, right or wrong, I wasn’t ready.  I wasn’t in denial.  I knew, pretty much every single moment of every waking day, that I was super obese, but I also knew in my heart that I was not in the state of mind, state of emotions to commit to all of the changes that weight loss surgery would mean.

I struggled for the next four years.  I resisted.  I gave up on myself.  I went up and down emotionally and in my spirit.  When I had that defining, line in the sand moment and the big realization that I did not want to give up on myself, that I didn’t want to be dead or disabled by the time I was 60, I was ready to make the choice.  Because I was ready to make the choice, I was ready to commit 100%.

You know the success I’ve had and the struggle. Overall, I am more successful than not.  Just because I’m not yet all the way where I want to be does not invalidate my progress and the level of success I’ve achieved and, more importantly, maintained.

I wish the woman’s doctor was more aware of his words and their effect.  I wish he’d handled the situation differently.  I hope with all my heart that the woman is able to take support from the me and the other posters who commented back to her and not get so depressed and discouraged that she stops trying.  I also hope that she doesn’t allow herself to be pressured into a surgery that she isn’t ready for.  If she comes to the decision on her own, that will be a big difference.

As long as I’m ranting, I’ll share something else that happened this week on that same group.  It’s a very active group so I can’t possibly go back and find my exact post, but I had shared how good I felt not experiencing cravings and that I was really enjoying freedom from compulsive eating behavior.  The doctor who devised the plan and wrote the book left a comment on my post.  The gist of it, or at least the gist that I read and reacted to, was that people buy into the idea that there is a psychological reason for overeating when it’s really just necessary to eat the right combination of good foods.

I read that and it felt like he was invalidating eating disorders; like he was saying it’s all in my head.   I respectfully disagreed in my response and explained that I’ve lived with this for decades and recovery is not just about eating the right combo of foods.  I’m not denying that following this plan has improved my physical satiety and that helps to reduce physical cravings, but the compulsive behavior is more than hunger or cravings.  Heck, I don’t even need to be hungry, in fact, I could be stuffed to the gills, and still reach for food compulsively if I have something else going on and brewing inside my head and/or emotions.

Right now, the food plan that I am following is an extremely useful and effective tool.  If the percentages of fat, protein and carbs work to reduce the physical cravings, great.  That can go right along with the surgically altered stomach forcing me to cut down on  portions.  If I’m in a bad place and binge eating, there is only so much room in my stomach to overeat before it will hurt and come up again.  Stomach… food plan… both tools.

I honestly don’t think that the doctor intended to invalidate my experience as someone with an eating disorder.  He responded back to me and another poster who also disagreed with him in the comments.  His followup comment clarified his position a little more clearly and I felt better afterwards.  I don’t really need him to validate my experience; I’m just touchy when I perceive that someone thinks that food disorders aren’t every bit as much of a real disease as any other addictive disorder.

Okay, my rants are over for the day.  Thanks for sticking with me.

 

 

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Hurts So Good

Don’t worry.  This is not a post rooted in BDSM.   Far from it. I just got home from Tai Chi class and am about to run a nice hot bath and soak in it for, oh, an hour or so.

I’m hurting tonight from a combination of rowing class first thing this morning, a few hours on my feet this afternoon and, yes, even the gentle movements of 90 minutes of Tai Chi.   Hurting, and strangely happy about it. 

This morning’s row routine called for us to do five minutes of rowing, during which the trainer occasionally put us in short power sprint intervals. After each five minutes of rowing we got off the machines and did a one minute wall sit. 

Ever do a wall sit?  Go stand with your back against a wall and your feet in front of you, roughly shoulder width apart. Then sink down until your upper legs/quads are parallel to the floor.   Keep your back against the wall and hold the position for a full minute. 

Go ahead. Try one. I’ll wait. *whistling, humming*. You’re back? Great! How did that wall sit feel? If your legs didn’t start to tremble or burn by around :45, you’re in super awesome shape. 

Now imagine doing a wall sit after rowing for five minutes (about 1000 meters).  Then think about repeating that combo seven times!

My quads were killing me all day. As timing would have it, this workout came on a day when I had an afternoon media shoot at work which means that I spent the hours standing and walking, also known as not sitting. 

I had about an hour and a half after I got home to make and eat dinner before Tai Chi. I love Tai Chi and its gentle flow of moves. Gentle and flowing don’t mean we aren’t engaging and using muscle.  In fact, most of the time we have most or all of our weight on one leg or the other with frequent sinking down and standing up. 

Tonight, we focused on a sequence of moves in the set that are, quite possibly, among the worst moves for someone with already crying quads.  I felt my poor muscles quivering with every Creep Low Like Snake, Golden Cock Stands on One Leg, Step Back to Ward off Monkey, and Wave Hands Like Clouds.

We repeated the sequence over and over… And over and over and over again. 

By the time class was over, I was toast – if toast could ache, throb and hobble to a car.  And I couldn’t have been happier. 

Five years ago, I’d come home hurting and needing Ibuprofen just from an afternoon of walking and being on my feet.  I was miserable because I was so obese and out of shape. The pain and discomfort were constant reminders of the damage I was doing to myself and my body. 

Today the muscle soreness and tiredness are evidence of how far I’ve come and how hard I work to achieve strength, endurance and balance.  My body can do so much more. I can do so much more.  These are great reminders!

I hurt so good.  Now for that great soak in a hot bath. 

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A Welcome Serenity

I don’t know whether it’s difficult for me to describe what it’s like when my eating disorder is raging out of control, or if it’s just nearly impossible for someone else to understand if they’ve never been in the grips of a compulsion.  When things are bad, my mind is almost always focused on food and eating.  If I’m around food, then all I want to do is eat it.  I may make trip after trip after trip to the kitchen or, if there isn’t enough food in the house, get in the car and drive to hunt down something more to eat.  It’s like I have a beast in my head whose hunger can’t be satisfied.

That could very well be because I’m not usually experiencing actual physical hunger.

So all that emotional and mental trauma goes on and creates a variety of negative, uncomfortable conditions.  When I eat compulsively, I eat too much — to the point of true physical discomfort.  This point is reached one hell of a lot sooner than before I had weight loss surgery.  However, I have reached it when losing the struggle against the compulsion.  I was never bulimic with a cycle of binge eating and then purging.  Soon after the surgery, I learned what it physically felt like.  Even though I wasn’t overeating, while my body readjusted to eating different foods and I began to learn what size portions I could handle, I threw up a lot.  Physically, it is no fun at all.

However, even more than the discomfort, the mental and emotional effects of the eating disorder are devastating.  They’re exhausting and depressing.  They compromise my confidence and distort the way that I feel about myself and my life.

Add all this up and one would naturally wonder why anyone would live like that.  Why would someone willingly continue engaging in the behaviors that create such a painful, upsetting reality?  The short answer is that sometimes we just can’t stop.  The disease is cunning, baffling and powerful.  Sometimes it is stronger than I am.

And sometimes, like right now, I’m stronger.  I get to experience days when I’m not harassed by the disorder, when I live my life without having to constantly beat back the compulsive beast.  When I’m not turning to food for comfort or as a coping mechanism.

Right now, all three aspects of recovery are aligned and working as a team.  The Always Hungry? food plan with its percentages of protein, fat and carbs is delivering its promise of greater satiety and alleviated cravings.  I’m using the tools of my 12 Step program, committing to abstinence, planning and preparing my meals, and everything else.  I’m trying to reduce the focus on weight loss and keep it on working the program to strengthen my foundation and stabilize my recovery.

As a result, I feel so much healthier in my mind, my spirit and my body.  For today, I’m living life in the grace of a welcome serenity.

 

 

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Different Measures of Success

After a wonderful weight loss in the first two weeks of the new plan, I’ve had a frustrating week.  I’m still carefully following the plan.  However, I not only haven’t lost weight, I’ve gained a couple of pounds.  There might be a couple of things factoring into my body’s reaction.   I did three challenging rowing workouts this week.  I wasn’t great early in the week with drinking enough water.  My digestive system has been extremely sluggish.  Even knowing all of these things and absolutely knowing that I have not deviated on the plan, it’s hard to not be disappointed.

I will give myself permission to feel frustrated and disappointed.  However, I am determined to not let it throw me off of the wagon.  We already know that I have an unhealthy obsession with the number on the scale.  I cannot afford to let that be the only, or even the main, measure of my success.  It is definitely a great time for me to reconnect with Non-Scale Victories or NSVs.

Here are some of my other successes from the past week.  I went to a business dinner last Tuesday and, on Wednesday, we ordered from a restaurant for lunch one day.  At the dinner, I bypassed the dinner roll and the white rice and only ate foods that are on my plan.  For lunch, I did not order my favorite sandwich.  Instead, I ordered a great wedge salad and supplemented it with protein I brought from home.

I really, really worked hard at each rowing class.  Not that I don’t work hard every time, but these three classes included some challenges we haven’t tried before.  On Friday, when doing sprints, I hit a personal best on power – hitting 222 watts of power on several strokes.

I’ve faced temptations — then turned my back and walked away.

Even today I went to a big luncheon fundraiser.  I declined a cocktail.  When dessert came, I ate the whipped cream and fresh berries (both on the plan), took one forkful of the cake and then stood up and placed the plate out of my reach.  Later one when took a trip to the supermarket, I cruised by all kinds of food items that I would normally buy and eat.  Instead, I stuck to my list and that was that.

Although I wish the number on the scale would go back down, I can see the overall weight loss.  I can also feel that even just 11 pounds — or 8 with the weird gain – has reduced the pressure on my right knee.  I have less pain in that joint.  That’s huge.  Last month I was so depressed by how much and how frequently my knee hurt.  To be aware of the improvement is not just a physical thing.  It’s a real mood booster.

Three weeks into working a strong food plan, and working it so well, creates such an improved attitude.  OA has a saying that nothing tastes as good as abstinence feels.  Alleviating the compulsive overeating is a relief.  I feel better about my plan, my progress and, yes, about myself.  This, my friends, is a NSV beyond measure!

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The Beef about Bread

Has everyone seen that commercial ad with Oprah as she waxes dramatic about being able to eat bread on the Weight Watchers plan?

Disclaimer: Overall, I’m annoyed at every ad that Oprah does for Weight Watchers and her great belief in the plan and program.  She owns 10% of the stock in the company and has another 3.5 million share stock option.  OF COURSE she’s going to pitch the program.  The more people who sign up, the better for the company’s profits, the better for her. That bread ad alone earned her $19.2 million on the day that it aired and she tweeted about it because her endorsement boosted the stock price by a few bucks a share.

Okay, that’s not my beef.  Oprah is a brilliant business woman and I admire her for her empire building skills.  I just wish her ads included a line sort of like, “I love this plan because I can eat bread and still lose weight, and because it’s a profitable part of my stock portfolio.”

My beef with bread is that it is addictive.  It comes in many different varieties, some of which are absolutely delicious.  Some of which are even more delicious when dipped in olive oil and herbs while others have enormous yum factor slathered with creamy butter.  Crusty outside, pillowy soft inside.  Whether enjoyed solely for its own taste merits or even more appreciated as a delivery vehicle for rich sauces and gravies, bread is the bomb.

Well, except for the fact that it has no nutritional value that I can figure.  Apparently, most of the bread that I love is a motherlode of useless carbohydrate, a harbinger of doom when it comes to glycemic index and, basically, a total waste for my waist.

I’ve now gone breadless for two and a half weeks.  I walk past dinner rolls at a buffet.  We ordered in lunch from a local restaurant and I didn’t choose my favorite sandwich, but opted for a wedge salad.  The only toast in my life is when I raise a metaphorical glass of cheer in my mind to honor my successful effort.

All in all, I really shouldn’t gripe.  Honestly, the motivational switch is solidly “on” right now and I’m following this plan with little to no struggle.  (Please God, don’t let me have just jinxed myself.)  It’s just that right now, in this moment, I so that Oprah bread ad and it made me yearn for one delicious, golden, warm piece of bread.

I’ll get over the craving and will do so without a crazy action like leaving the house to track down a yeast roll.  Instead, I will finish up with a check in the success column for the day.  Happy thought right now.   I haven’t had dessert after dinner tonight and there is a lovely piece of dark chocolate (perfectly on the plan!) waiting for me.

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Never an Expert

I’m not an expert about eating disorders or weight loss surgery, nor do I ever want to portray one on this blog.  One of the things that I always liked about OA is that nobody portrays themselves as experts or gives advice.  (At least, nobody is supposed to.)  We share about our own experiences — good, bad, or down the middle.

I’ve joined a couple of closed groups on Facebook.  One is for Compulsive Overeaters.  It is not an OA group, but many of the regular posters are in program.  The other group is for people who are following the Always Hungry? plan.  Nearly every day, I see people come to the groups who are newcomers and hope to find answers.

I can see myself in those people.  When I first went to OA, even though I was familiar with 12 Step programs through my mom, part of me still held onto the hope that somebody would give me the magic answer that would solve all of my problems; the magic that would “cure” me.

No such magic exists because there is no cure for this eating disorder or any addictive disease.  We’re never recovered.   Instead, we are always seeking to be recovering.  If I answer a question or say anything at all about the struggle and what I do or have done, it’s never with the idea of, “This is how you do it”.  No, it’s definitely, “This is how I do it” or “This is what I’ve done” or “This is what I’ve discovered in myself”.

What happens with me might not happen to the next person.  Definitely, there are commonalities among many people, but we aren’t carbon copies of each other.  How my eating disorder manifests in me could be completely different than the person sitting next to me, so my recovery, what and how I need to do it, will be different.

It’s good for me to remember this as I participate more often in these online groups.  I can see where some people appear to relish a role of more prominence and voice their opinions of what someone else needs to do.  That kind of grates on me, particular when someone is talking to or answering me.

I might be an expert on myself, but never on anyone else.  I want to always respect other people and what they experience and live with.  If something that I share about resonates with somebody else, that’s one thing.  I know that over the years, I have learned a great deal from others who share openly and honestly about themselves.  That’s what works for me and, I hope, what works for others.

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Avoiding Cheat Guilt

It will come as no surprise to regular or long term blog readers that I have a large and varied supply of different issues about food, eating, dieting, weight loss and having an eating disorder.  I’ve come a long way over the years but that doesn’t mean, for me, that the issues every go away.  I simply learn, or hope to learn, effective coping mechanisms so that the issues don’t screw me up and harpoon my positive effort.

Today what’s coming up for me is combating the feelings that I’m being “bad” on a diet, that I’m cheating, every time I eat some sort of whole fat or otherwise fat food item on this Always Hungry? plan.  Whole milk, whole milk yogurt, full fat cheese, eggs, nuts and nut butters (without added sugar) are absolutely allowed and are an important part of this food plan.  Take this morning, for example.  I prepared the book’s recipe again for non-grain pancakes.  (Did I talk about these last week?  I forget.  Bear with me anyway.)  They are made with garbanza bean flour, whole milk Greek yogurt, whole milk, an egg, and safflower oil.  (If any of you need to avoid gluten and you haven’t tried garbanza bean flour, it’s a revelation.  I want to find other recipes that use it, just because I think it’s tasty.)

These pancakes are delicious just as they are.  However, in lieu of syrup on Phase I, I topped mine with homemade whipped cream and a fruit sauce.  All kinds of awesome yumminess happening on that breakfast plate, my friends.  Great flavor, texture, mouth feel and, after, satiety.

However, even with that positive experience, I could not stop the thoughts that the meal was too decadent, that I was cheating.  I was eating full fat dairy.  My mental process kept trying to tell me this was wrong, wrong, wrong.  I stopped mid-way, put down the fork, and had a talk with myself.  It comes down to being willing to trust this AH plan with its process and the science behind it and be confident that I am not being “bad” or doing damage to myself.  Ultimately, I need to believe that the plan is helping me reach the goals of retraining my fat cells and losing weight.

Clearly the plan is working.  I will confess that I still have difficulty staying away from the scale and am weighing myself almost every day.  However, seeing steady results is at least turning out to be a tool to combat the feelings that I’m screwing up and cheating every time I eat some whole fat food.  (By the way, I’m down 11 pounds today.)

So, how can I stop the negative thoughts and worries from creeping in?  Here’s what I’m going to try.  Remember when I talked about the book’s recommendation that participants designate an amulet to help them refocus on their goals and Big Why?  I use the “Strong is the New Skinny” bracelet my friend gave me.   When I’ve been tempted to eat something not on the plan, it honestly has helped me to look at and tap the bracelet.  I figure if the tool has worked in that way, I could use it for this, too.  My thought is that it will create an atmosphere of even greater mindfulness.  When a negative thought about what I’m eating creeps in, I’m going to tap my bracelet and remind myself that I’m on track with the program and food plan.

 

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