Monday, May 24, 2010

Changing it up

I've started writing a post this morning 3 times and after a paragraph or so realize that I'm just not tapping into anything that is feeling real. Well, maybe not so much real as pressing and relevant to where I am right now. So DELETE. I was writing about true stuff, but it felt a little hollow because I'm feeling very emotional and a little funky and was trying to not sound that way. I don't know what that's about except that I hate when I'm down and feeling vulnerable. Irritable and restless. Yuck. I've needed a change, and change is brewing.

What ultimately jolted me up against where I am emotionally was reading today's post by one of our friends from across the pond, Patsy at Musings on a 100lbs+ Weight Loss Journey. You can read the post here. She says that she's finally feeling the original momentum and enthusiasm for her weight loss journey for the first time in months. She started last summer with this journey and blogging, just like I did. She started out great guns, just like I did. Then she ran aground a bit around November and has been sort of floundering with her weight loss since. Just like me.

That's what really reached out and grabbed me by the neck. Literally she started struggling at the same time I did. Different reasons maybe, but notes that since November her efforts have been "half-hearted at best'. God, me too. Exactly.

What's happened for her is that in the last few weeks she's started a pretty strict breakfast and lunch meal replacement plan and then having a normal healthy dinner. Apparently she's getting good results, as she's feeling that positive anticipation of being thinner and healthier, and excited about the whole process. That's where our stories diverge. I'm still not there, and I know it's because I'm still trying to do the same thing of eating normally within a set amount of calories a day.

I can do it for awhile, but then my Pumpkin Pie Kashi bar that has only 120 calories tastes so good that I decide to have just one more. It's only 120 more calories. But the extra 120 makes me that much more likely to have a handful of nuts. Or just a 130 cal. Z bar...whatever. I can honestly say I had no binge behavior at all this weekend, but I'm seeing that relying on certain packaged processed foods set me up to eat more than I should. Lot's more, but not like a binge episode. Just extra grazing. Last summer for several months I could eat these kinds of items and stop at the end of my allotment for the day. For days upon days upon weeks. But I just haven't been able to retrieve that ability since my first knee surgery in December.

So I'm going to change it up a bit for awhile. I talked a couple weeks ago about the very rigid 12 step food program I did summer of '07 that required a certain number of meetings, phone calls in to a sponsor to commit food, etc. I said that I knew I could no longer do that program because it was too rigid. But what I know I can do is the food plan without the program. It's fairly restrictive, but has plenty of food I like and can be satisfied with for awhile. No meetings, no phone calls, none of the stuff that made me crazy. It's simply a very clean no sugar, no flour program - low carb, high protein. It consists of:
Breakfast - 1/2 cup oatmeal (dry), 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 cup or piece of fruit. The gal who gave me the plan said no bananas or cherries because of their high sugar content, but I ate both when they were available and they didn't adversely affect my program.
Lunch and Dinner are the same composition - 4 ounces protein, 6 ounces cooked vegetable and 8 ounces salad. There can be plenty of variety within the choices so this is a pretty decent food plan. No potatoes, dried beans or rice in the beginning, which is fine with me. I will measure and weigh my protein portions, and if I'm closer to 5 oz. that's fine. The one extra thing I'm adding is a second fruit each day, either late afternoon or early evening.

Bearfriend had sent me an email suggesting I do the program again even if just for a little while, and I was still thinking in terms of the whole thing - with meetings and phone calls and punitivity by a sponsor. I knew that was a set up to fail because I have an attitude about the rigidity piece. But last week when I was becoming aware of how much harder it was for me to stay clean if the food I prepared was too delicious I started realizing I didn't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. So this is what I'm doing and I feel pretty good about it. If I have skim milk in my coffee (which I do), I don't have to feel like I'm deceiving someone.

A positive exercise note - Saturday I walked 5 1/2 miles total in the morning, to and from my early aa meeting. My knees felt really good - normal. Yesterday it rained or heavy misted all day so I never got a walk in. Today I'm going to the gym after work and maybe in another day or so I'll start Stacia's pool challenge.

It feels good to be operating within some fairly stringent guidelines that have worked in the past, and yet not signing on at a level where I know I'll be bucking some of the requirements. This seems to be a good balance of taking what was great from the rigid 12 step program and leaving the rest behind.


  1. I was thinking the same thing - a portion of a fruit (as long it is not one that sets you off), a portion of a low fat dairy, a portion of protein, half your veggies raw, half your veggies cooked, really watch the starch/carbs, avoid all processed, etc.


    and you can do it by yourself, for yourself.

  2. Most every plan I've tried says no bananas, but I love them and if I want one, I have one. A whole one. Not a half!

    Good job with that walk! Sometimes walking to/from an errand is the very best way to work in the exercise, isn't it?

  3. Here's to a strong second wind, Leslie. Find that missing mojo and let's roll...

  4. Anonymous24 May, 2010

    I hope the rigid routine works for you - I could never be that strict - I love cheese and pizza too much!


  5. Hey it sounds like you have a plan and sometimes it is good to cut out all the crazy refined carbs and "detox" to stop the cravings. A couple of days of South Beach style meals usually does the trick for me.

    Bananas can sometimes be a trigger food for me but not other fruits.

    Wishing you well as you move forward with a plan this week.

  6. I think we all need to do what works best for us. I had to ditch those bars recently. I was getting that snacky feeling- and it makes me feel like I am going to slip up and binge. SO I gave them away- just today I made some lara bar type "balls" that do not make me feel that way- keepin it safe! :)

    YOu do what you need to- and you have our support! :) xoxo

  7. Hi Leslie. Glad you've worked out a way forward you feel happy with.

    Brilliant about your knees being in such good shape. I'm sure that will really help too - give you some confidence back about exercising again.

    Good luck with getting back in the pool!

    Bearfriend xx

  8. That's great that you have found something you think will get the ball rolling for you again. I think we do have to be willing to tweak it here and there, and sometimes trying something new is what it takes to bust out of the rut. Good for you!

  9. "Relying on certain packaged processed foods set me up to eat more than I should." I could have wrote those same exact words.

    I don't have any words of wisdom but what I do have is encouragement! I believe in you and I think you believe in yourself too-and that's a GOOD thing! You are strong and you are brave.

    I will only say this one thing: whatever you do, don't go hungry AND (o.k-two things) be kind to yourself, you deserve it! You've come so far and have been through so much...some people don't make it out of what you've come through (in life). You are a woman w/purpose and you have so much to offer. Hang tight my friend!

  10. I am in a strict 12 step program but we were required to get a food plan for a nutritionist and what ever your nutritionist has on your plan is your plan. I get skim milk in my coffee for breakfast and lunch. I am able to eat bananas and cherries and potatoes and bread. In my HOW meeting no one is allowed to give you a food plan and the only restrictions that we tell the nutritionist to follow is that we do not drink alcohol and we cannot have any sugars list 5th or higher. I hope that the plan with out the calls and meetings work for you. If not you can go back < get a unpunitive sponsor>

  11. Anonymous24 May, 2010

    Hey, Leslie. You know my thing about gluten. I'm betting that if you cut out the gluten and concentrated sugar, you'll find renewed determination.

    Bananas. You know, I have always stayed away form banans because they were rough on my diabetes. BUT now that I've cut out gluten and other heavy starches (like rice), my glucose is so low, that bananas are really helpful. So I've been eating more and more of them.

    And just as I read your post, it occurred to me that--maybe--they are what's causing my renewed urge to munch a little. maybe. It's not like the driven cravings I've had...but a little restless, I'd like to eat, feeling.

    I'm going to have to track that. sigh. I hope not. They're so convenient to avoid glucose dips. And I'm loving the frozen banana "ice cream". arrghh.

    Best wishes with getting your groove back.


  12. I love this plan....sounds good. I think you and I both NEED structure to succeed at this weight loss thing. So glad you were able to get in such a LONG walk...that is fantastic! Can you believe I'm at 240 again? lol Good grief. I started Kandice's challenge today, which is the same thing I was planning on doing anyway...lose as much weight as I can and weigh in on Friday's like I normally do, so not too much weird stuff to keep up with, lol. I am soooo out of the walking habit. Not good. Trying to get myself talked back into going to the park or the gym. I'm shocked at myself. I've been exercising steadily this whole time pretty much...and the desire is just zero right now. ZERO. Pray for me know I'm praying for you. Love ya'. :)