Monday, January 30, 2012

Moody Monday

Hi everyone - Just checking in since I didn't post over the weekend.  I lost 2 pounds last week (actually in 8 days) -I'm at 211.  Still a sucky number but better than one ounce more!  I held to my 3 meals plus one snack through Thursday, and then Friday evening my snack was light ice cream that was way too good.  So I had another serving, and then something crunchy/salty.

Usually light ice cream doesn't entice me that much, which is why (really? or am I BS-ing myself?) I thought I could have a scoop and not want more.  The flavor was Extreme Cookies and Cream, and everything about it immediately had my mouth cells and brain cells wanting/needing more.  Oy vey!  When is she gonna learn?!  I melted it down the kitchen sink next morning, never to be seen again - or bought.  That list of forbidden fruit keeps getting longer...sigh.

That deviation from what is a simple and reasonable plan was enough to make it hard for me to get back to my meals +1 eating over the weekend.  I had no binges, but I definitely popped things into my mouth between meals both days, and ate more than I needed to at meals.  I got a lot of exerise and drank a shitload of H2O, so those aspects helped me minimize the damage. 

I'm not apologizing or making excuses and know I'm working on a default setting that has been in place for a long time and isn't going to turn around right away.  I wish I followed the plan through the weekend, but I'm here today and intending to stick to it.

On the home front, my youngest son who was diagnosed with mono last week is slowly improving.  I've heard from many people that it can take awhile, and my obsessive anxious mind has been in overdrive - spinning out catastrophic scenarios that are really nutty.  This is from OLD, deep, buried stuff from childhood that I've worked on in and out of therapy and beyond, but it seems it's not going all the way away - no matter how much I want it to.  I've gotten much better, but once in awhile I get into an anxious place and have to really use all my tools to negotiate and manage my emotions.  This is an inside job that obviously I don't share with too many folks, but my husband is great to talk to about this.  He's been solid and mostly understanding, and his absence of worry helps me ratchet down and get perspective.

Ahh - nothing like childhood trauma to bring us to our knees!  Sorry to be dumping this, but it's another part of my trying to not let it eat away at my insides while eat everything I can find on the outside!

Here's to a good Monday for all of us!  Now on to some blog reading for me!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Several small steps for Leslie

Hi guys!  I want to tell you bright and early that I got through yesterday in abstinent fashion...3 meals and a metabolic snack after my meditation group.  After my SOS post, I hit the streets and hoofed about 2 brisk miles.  Not that far, but 25 minutes of movement and fresh air took the desire to eat away.  I waited until dinner and was actually empty-stomach hungry when I brought the first mouthful of tom kha soup to my mouth.  What an unusual occurrence - to feel real hunger when I eat.  And rarer still, doing something to begin to groove a new rut into my neurotransmitter mediated brain.  It will take a lot longer than one successful day, but I can't do it without one successful day.

I've followed my 3 meals and a metabolic since Monday - yesterday was the first day the food thoughts stampeded into my consciousness.  It's easy to get a clean day when the obsession DOESN'T hit; it's a different story when it does.  Thanks for all the encouragement and support.  Youse guys are awesome!!! (A little touch'o'philly for yer day:))

I haven't totally established my food plan, but for meal composition I'm using guidelines from back when I did the crazy rigid program as a starting point.  I'm giving myself much more leeway, such as being "allowed" to have brown rice, beans, a sweet potato (though I haven't yet) amongst other things. I'll fine tune it over time, but for now, just staying within the confines of the meals and metabolic each day is challenge enough.  I'm finally getting that this is a process and a journey - not a one and done.  HAH...  If only it was one and done!

One thing I've changed up this week - finally - is that I'm eating my breakfast by 7 a.m.  I'm an early riser and it's no problem for me to do this.  But over the last several months, I'd started waiting until I was at work, not starting to eat until 9 or later.  Then the mealtimes got mushy, not to mention the grazing and bingeing and so on.  So if I'm going to get serious about weight loss, I need to establish a fairly regular (though not rigid) schedule of mealtimes - so I'm actually hungry in the morning and not still sort of stuffed and icky from bingeing the night before.

I plan to write more about the broad composition of my meals (protein, veggies....) tomorrow.  For now, thanks again!  My job is calling....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm posting right now because I don't want to eat.

I'm home from work and the food thoughts started looming out in the periphery of my consciousness about 45 minutes ago.  My next meal will be around 6; it's now 4:15; I had a nice, big, and healthy lunch.  I won't perish if I wait until dinner  Oh - and I'm not hungry.

I could call my AA sponsor (who's totally supporting my food thing and has been through it herself) but she's currently in the tunnel of an MRI machine being evaluated for possible new spread of her lung cancer.  I think I can wait it out.

I think I'll throw on my sneaks and go for a nice brisk walk.  Thanks, blog buddies!  I needed that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

So, abstinent me?

Following up on some of the comments about my post on abstinence from yesterday, I have to say I also was under the impression that the concept was different than it was actually adopted to be in the OA program.  It was surprising to me that it really referred just to the eating only at mealtimes, and with a specific metabolic snack if deemed necessary.  The notion of omitting certain foods - like sugar and all white products, or wheat, or anything at all, came in later and was never intended to be lumped into the concept of abstinence.  That much more rigid definition grew out of some people finding that unless that absolute leaving out of certain foods was done, real recovery was unlikely or impossible.  I say poo-poo to that.

Before I say more, I want to note that not everyone is truly a food addict or compulsive overeater.  Plenty of folks really can handle moderate amounts of "forbidden fruit" (that is never just fruit!) and not get triggered into eating a whole cake.  And plenty of folks can nibble and graze over the course of the day and lose weight just fine when they want to.

For myself, I think eating 3 meals a day plus a snack (obviously a healthy one, like protein and fruit) either right after work (~ 2 hours before dinner) OR the snack after dinner by 8 pm is reasonable and sane.  I get that popping something into my mouth whenever the notion hits, as long as it's "healthy", can be feeding my compulsion to eat endlessly.  As my AA sponsor says - the next meal is only 4-5 hours from the last one...surely I can wait until then.  If it's hard to resist popping something into my mouth and I feel anxious and/or obsessed with eating something, then waiting those feelings out and exploring them is a better choice. Another meal is coming soon- relax, Leslie!

My impulse to shove something into my mouth is so automatic that I'm not even aware that my stomach isn't empty, or even hungry at all.  The eating is a way of defusing inner anxious energy that could maybe tell me something about myself if given the chance.  When I chew and swallow it down, I miss the opportunity to know why I'm wanting to eat when I'm well nourished and not hungry

I totally agree with a couple of folks who said that the absolutely rigidity of OA and related 12 step food programs is really over the top.  I've mentioned many times about how I just can't find a safe place in OA, no matter how hard I've tried.  Shelley mentioned how it's strange that the abstinence seems to be dealt out according to what food plan your sponsor gives you, based on what "worked" for them.  Unless someone is a nutritionist or an health professional trained in dietetics, they really aren't qualified to tell people what they must and must not eat.  Suggestions and advice are one thing - unqualified prescribing of diets is another.

I am striving to devise my own plan that will include 3 meals a day plus an after dinner "snack" (metabolic meal).  I know that sugar is a problem for me, so leaving that out will be important.  But for today, (and the last few days) - I'm working on the 3 meals and the metabolic meal after dinner, which has become my perk of the day!  Who'da'thunk a cup of Kashi GoLean and a 1/4 cup skim milk could make me so happy? 

Also - again I want to note that there are many really wonderful people who work a 12 step food program, and seem to get that abstinence is not a food plan.  They understand that the content of our food plans must be established by each individual, with or without guidance from another, and modified as needed over time.  There are no absolutes, no never agains regarding certain foods, and perfection is impossible.  We strive to do the best we can each day, and if there is/are other/s along our path who can help, much the better.  This blog community is certainly one of my biggest inspirations, motivations, and supports.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Abstinence finally

Hi guys - Thanks for the positive comments on my gray locks, which are really too short to be locks.  I have to say that had I known my natural color would be so not awful (translate:  decent) I'd have done this long ago.  I swear I'm even having men tell me they think it looks great!  (I'm around more than the average amount of men very often with my frequent AA mtg attendance... :))  Yowza!

I need to write about the whole abstinence thing I've been alluding to for awhile.  And more than needing to write about it, I need to adopt it, at least for the present today, which I'm in the process of.  Keep fingers, arms and toes crossed. 

I had ordered a used copy of the OA book where members of that fellowship share their experience, strength and hope about abstinence as a tool for reining in compulsive overeating.  I've had it lying around for over a year, and about a month ago actually picked it up and started reading a few of the entries.  The first one I read jumped out at me and has been the point of departure for me as I ponder and hopefully institute this for myself.

Before I go any further, I have to say that I am not attending OA meetings.  I've tried them countless times over the years; sometimes I've attended as long as 6 months consecutively, so it's not like I've only dropped in once or twice.   Bottom line for me is that I find it a generally unattractive fellowship compared to AA.  I won't say more than that, because I don't want to offend anyone.  It's a great program, with great principles and suggestions for beating the binge beast.  I just haven't found what feels like a real home there, the way I have in AA.

I want to keep this as concise as possible as I've read how shorter posts are easier for readers to digest (endless food metaphors, yes?).  The first entry in the book was written by the founder of OA, Rozanne S., and explains how the concept of abstinence in OA emerged.  OA began in earnest in 1960 with the shared conviction of attendees to lose weight and stop overeating, but with many different ideas about how to achieve their common goals.  Having observed how the 12 steps of AA had helped suffering alcoholics in such a profound way, the founders knew they could benefit from those principles.  Yet each member had her/his own methods or ideas of how to lose weight, which back then was almost entirely about counting calories. 

Rozanne wrote, "We'd been taught that as long as we kept within our calorie count, we could eat all the barely caloric foods we wanted between meals.  Our problem was that while many of us had lost weight, even more were nibbling their way back to obesity.  Others were sticking with their diets but crunching all day on the low cal foods.   Many just stayed fat, insisting they were only eating allowable foods between meals.  Something crucial was missing.  What was it?  The 12 steps worked for our AA friends; what were we doing wrong?"

She went on to say that she attended frequent AA meetings, not because she was alcoholic, but because she believed she could learn best about the 12 steps and traditions by being in the fellowship where they began.  At one particular meeting in early 1962, she heard several folks share about "abstinence" from alcohol.  She'd attended for 2 years and had never heard that term (and neither have I in my 20+ years), but it became a revelation for her.  She realized that most OA folks were not abstaining from food at any time during the day.  She noted that it would be beneficial to stop eating after a meal, and then not eat again until the next meal.  "Sometime during the day, we had to 'abstain' from eating; otherwise we're feeding our compulsion.

She went on to describe the earliest days of trying to bring this up at meetings and finding a lot of opposition to it, along with others who "got it" and supported the notion.  Within months, she sent out information to all the OA groups in existence at that time (19 of them) sharing the concept of abstinence as it could apply to food and eating - noting that in her home group, the members were finding the concept very helpful.

She wrote, "Abstinence means simply 3 moderate meals a day with absolutely nothing in between.  It means also no 'meals' while we're preparing a meal and no 'meals' while we're cleaning up the kitchen afterward.  In other words, total abstinence from compulsive eating!"  She went on to note that if their are medically necessary reasons for a different configuration of eating, then of course one could plan accordingly, and any thing outside that plan would be breaking abstinence.  Also, "black coffee, tea and noncaloric beverages of any kind are the exception to between-meal nibbling."

So that's how the concept of abstinence came into the 12 step fellowship of OA.  It's not a requirement - no 12 step program has any musts; their ideas and recommendations are but suggestions.  But as it says in the Big Book of AA, the suggestion of not drinking one drop of alcohol a day at a time as a means of getting sober is a suggestion in the same way that it's suggested that a skydiver pull the ripcord after jumping from a plane!

Seems many folks think abstinence includes the content of a food plan, like 'no sugar or white flour', low fat, low carb...but abstinence actually just refers to eating at meals and not at all in between.  The contents of one's diet is a different thing all together.

That's enough for now.  I'm going to continue talking about this and how I'm applying it to my own eating.  The key thing is that the content of our food intake can change over time according to our needs - but abstinence means not eating at anytime other than mealtime.  Interesting - a whole lot broader than someone telling you that if you eat 2 fruits at a meal instead of one, you've "lost your clean time"!  Crazy, but it happened to me.  At that didn't make me want to go back to the OA fellowship.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gray is the color of my true love's hair

Okay - here are my newest gray hair shots.  I have major issues with my looks (thanks, MOM) that have nothing to do with weight, so this is difficult.  But in the spirit of full disclosure - here you go.  The last cut that I was sure would snip away the last vestiges of dyed hair actually still left just the faintest wisps at the end of my bangs.  I think you can see that in the pics.  (BTW- my first post about the decision to go gray is here.)

Full frontal - YIKES!

Left side:

Please disregard what appears (?!) to be a double chin.  The camera put it there :)

This was taken the day I wrote the post last week about an upcoming haircut.  More dyed wisps evident.

And this is the book from which I've been reading and formulating my thoughts on and a plan for my own abstinence.  It WILL be done tomorrow.

Now I'll have to compose myself for showing my face on national tv!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Unexpected company

My 3 day weekend with it's open-ended unstructured wonderfulness was somewhat derailed by weekend guests.  We knew my younger son's girlfriend was coming from Atlanta for their last rendezvous for awhile since today is starting a volunteer requirement for her upcoming Peace Corps assignment along with a job as a nanny.  She'll be busy, and my son is currently looking for opportunities to teach ESL somewhere in SW Asia since he just finished his online certification.  So they aren't sure when they'll next get to gaze into one anothers' eyes...ahhh, young love.  :)

Anyway, that visit was expected, but I also had a surprise visit from a friend from nursing school (over 30 years ago...yikes!).  Then our older son's birthday (the big 2-5!) was on Sunday, and his girlfriend came to help celebrate.  It was all lovely and fun, but not conducive to me staying on my food plan...and before I go any further, let me acknowledge that none of this required me not stay on my food plan.  I assume full responsibility for deciding to eat it all - the cake, the dinners an breakfasts out - and not consider trying to be at least moderate with my indulgences.  No bingeing, but lots of food I would not eat were I staying on plan.  Why would staying on plan and abstaining from the trigger foods of sugar, white flour and highly processed snacks seem like it would somehow detract from my enjoyment of the people and the activities.  Intellectually I know that eating on plan wouldn't take one thing away from that...but choosing to eat off plan seemed easier.  Oh crap - and I wanted to eat that stuff.  Damn it.

Anyway - back on track today and it feels good.  I haven't yet written out my thoughts about abstinence I've been talking about - hopefully in the next day or so I'll do it.  Also, I forgot my cable to post my gray hair pics, so more to remember and follow up on.  I just wanted to touch base here since I haven't been on line at all since last Thursday, other than to check email.  I'm feel ready to sit through cravings and food thoughts today, though it's easy to say that when the food thoughts aren't beaconing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hair affair

Hi Blog friends - I din't get to my abstinence post yesterday, and at this point I won't get to it today either.  It's 2 p.m., and I still have several work related tasks before I leave early today to get my hair cut.  But I wanted post something to update you on the scintillating and hopefully not endless saga of my weight loss.  More on that in a sec...

This could be a red letter day for me at the salon, as it will hopefully be the day where the last gasps of dyed hair get cut away from my now mostly white coif!  Recall that in late August (as detailed, with pics, in this post) I decided to stop dying of my hair after about 23 years.  It's funny, because when I started coloring my hair, I had but the faintest and fewest wisps of gray appearing around my temples.  Knowing me, this discovery was cause for a major freak out and prompt trip to the local colorist.  In the beginning, I was able to go every 7 or 8 weeks between dye jobs, as my hair was longer and somehow didn't show the early few offending filaments much. 

Over the years, the frequency of coloring increased until I really needed to go every 3 weeks, and even then I looked disturbingly unkempt for a few days prior.  But I finally got sick of sitting in the salon, paying the money, putting allegedly non-toxic but suspiciously awful smelling chemicals on my head.  My brain is in my head, for Pete's sake, and I didn't want to hasten the destruction of its cells.

So that was 4+ months ago, and I have a pretty short do.  I figured by Thanksgiving I would be my new old gray-haired self.  I've had about 7 cuts in this time frame, and have been shocked each time when there was still considerable colored hair remaining.  It actually started to look good - like natural frosting or something.  Many people said, "You should keep it like that!", however that woul have defeated the purpose of letting it go its natural course.  For once in my life, I'm lucky in the looks department, because as I said above, my hair is turning out to be a pretty good color of whitish silver.  Who knew?  I figured I'd have mousey gray, but the color is great, andd the texture is a little coarser so it lies differently and appears thicker.

I took a few self photos just now, and my plan is to post before and after shots tomorrow after the cut.  I'm ready to be done with the growing-out process, and fully embrace my white-haired, wise woman of a certain age self!  Details to follow.  I know this is an unbearable cliffhanger - hahaha - like, who cares?  But it's a big deal for me right now, especially since it took me years to finally make the decision to go au naturel.

On the food front, I had a clean day Monday, and a 93% clean day yesterday, with the exception of 4 cookies and a sugar free/fat free pudding.  Today is so far on plan, and will stay that way.  I have meditation tonight, and that is a great way to divert my thoughts from after dinner snacking.  My thoughts on true abstinence as defined by OA are solidifying so I will write about that tomorrow alongside my hair photos. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Half and half

I had a 1/2 good and 1/2 bad weekend.  Actually, the weekend was its usual lovely, work-free, see friends, chillaxin', get all the Christmas crap put away and other assorted tasks done where I managed to sneak in watching the last 5 episodes of the first season of Dexter (omg, that show is so good and so creepy!).  Where it was 1/2 an 1/2 is in the journey to fitness an leanness arena.  Don't be shocked... :(

On both days I got in 3+ mile very brisk walks (the weather was akin to spring), as well as some weights and an exercise dvd.  On both days, I did not stay sugar free, and I ended up overeating.  I also discovered pita chips, which I've instructed my brain to forget entirely, because my encounter with them was of the overdoing kind.  I'd really not sampled them before, as they seemed wasted calories in that if I was going to eat that kind of highly refined snack item, I figured I might as well go for the simple (and highly coverted) potato chips rather than this "lite weight" snack wannabe.

But in the interest of making better choices, I thought I'd give the "baked not fried" chips a try.  Big mistake, as in they were so good I ended up eating the entire bag over course of several hours.  One napkin full at a time.  Siiigh.  That was Saturday.  Sunday was a much better day, and though I did eat 4 Keebler cocunut chocolate cookies, I didn't get triggered the way I did the day before.

This all too familiar behavior puts me in mind of what I mentioned last week having read in some OA literature about how the idea of "abstinence" came to be a tool in their program.  I'm going to talk about it tomorrow a little, but I'm having a busy enough day at work that I'm going to make this post brief.

I feel embarrassed again about falling off the wagon after a quick 2 day ride on it - but all is certainly not lost.  I have my plan for today and I intend to follow it.  I know what I'm eating for lunch (soon!) and dinner, so there won't be any fuzzy-brained decisions to make when it's time for meals.  I didn't want to out myself here, but I'm committed to doing just that each time.  I want to make 2012 a banner year for myself in this long journey to where I want to be.  See ya tomorrow!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thank you so much!!

*I have a bad "d" on my keyboard at work suddenly, so if you read stuff that sounds odd, think "missing d".  I proofed it carefully but still probably missed a couple of d-errors!*

Hi all - I'm so appreciative for all your suggestions and support...much excellent food for thought.  It occurs to me to remark on some of the comments in order to process them more fully and also to report on what I'm already trying to do.

First, though, I pledge honesty.  Not cash register honesty - but the kind where I stop BS-ing about where I am with my struggles by casually withholding the real story.  Dear Deb said in her comment that she was concerned about my not blogging while claiming to be holding my own and reading others' blogs if not writing in my own.  She was right - if I'm not blogging regularly, it's because I have nothing good to report.  My claims of "not feeling it" regarding posting on my own blog are classic BS of the Leslie variety.  It's been a lifelong issue of trying to hide the truth under something benign and even pleasant.  Don't buy it.

That said, the only person who can change that is me.  I've worked a solid 12 step program for 20 years, and yet I still struggle with my truth when it ain't pretty.  I want to look and sound better than I really feel.  That is a pretty worthless endeavor as it affords me nothing and feels like crap when I really want to be "known" and "heard" - which I always want.  I'm definitely a work-in-progress - and sometimes the progress is slooooow - thing glacial.

I could totally identify with E.Jane saying that sometimes it seems it would be easier if we didn't have to eat at all!  Absolutely - it feels like I have to climb into the arena against my biggest foe at least 3x/day!  Eat to live?  Not me - every close encounter with food is a potential landmine, depending on my spiritual condition.  When I'm in a good place - I'm fine.  When I'm not - look out.  BUT...I don't always recognize when I'm not until I've consumed a sleeve of Chips Ahoy in a couple hours (and they're not even that good:( )!  One of the things I'm working on and really striving to do is slow down and notice even the slightest vapors of food thoughts/binge thoughts when they happen, so I can at least put a pause between the impulse of the thought and the action of the binge.

Shelley's comment was dead on for this addict - reminding me of how I was able to recognize how alcohol affected my body differently many years ago and have abstained from it since.  100%, btw.  Why not the same with food?  Absolutely - I know full on that I can't eat sugar safely.  CANNOT.  Yet I keep trying my best to pretend I can - that I can somehow change my basic body chemistry by wishing it to be so. 

It occurs to me in writing about this that I hear people talk at AA mtgs often about how they still wish they coul drink, an miss it - even after many years sober.  Not me - I've finally gotten to a place where I don't miss it at all.  I love being a non-drinking woman and know that I could never drink normally, so I don't bother to fantasize about it.  But food is my primary addiction - wooing me from my earliest days (think 3-4 years old).  I may not ever stop rueing my body's reaction to sugar an refined carbs, and wishing it was different.  But I do know from listening to folks with long term sobriety who still romance the booze that just because I miss it doesn't mean I have to try it again.  Easier said than done, but doable.

I also appreciated Karen's suggestions about getting hormones and other biochemistries checked out.  I have an appt. with my Gyn. in February, who is very progressive and up to date about hormonal concerns, so I will definitely bring it up with her.  She's been gently "suggesting" I drop some pounds for a couple years.  Great advice.

Miss April mentioned setting a strict plan for 10 days to sort of reset my body's balance, and I am doing that by following the pretty rigid SB phase 1/Atkins Induction.  These extremely low carb plans, while unsustainable over the long haul, are the best way I've found to detox and get myself back on plan.  Also she talked of writing out things I CAN eat, rather than the ever popular list of forbidden fruits (no pun intened, r. Atkins), and that's a great idea to keep focused on abundance rather than deprivation.

I'm keeping trigger foods out of the house.  Currently my husband and two 20-something boys are at home who know they can buy for themselves whatever junk they want, but I won't be buying it.  Fortunately they like much spicier things than I, so their choices generally don't tempt me.

I had a successful day 1 yesterday and feel great about that.  I'm reading OA literature for help and suggestions, and just read an interesting piece by the founder of OA talking about how their tool of abstinence came into being.  Maybe I'll talk about it here another day.

Oh - and also, it thrills me to pieces that you all comment.  When I see that bloggers I consider legendary have read my posts, I'm tickled pink, and so grateful. 

Thanks again for the bloggy love, support and suggestions.  I cannot do this alone, and I can't do it if I'm not honest about what's going on.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The girl who plays with fire

Belate happy new year, all.  Belated because my efforts at reining myself back in after holiday overdoing (euphemism for bingeing) have been fraught with self sabotage and struggle.  Seems my body has become accustomed to eating whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, and has been in major crave and withdrawal mode.  I had one good day on the 2nd, only to fall back down the rabbit hole since.  It's (I'm) nuts.  I can't claim denial because I'm very aware, and the awareness is not doing much for my self esteem.  I'm seeing behaviors and tendencies in myself that are very reminiscent of how I was when I was drinking - not the big things, but subtler things like how I'll go upstairs early after dinner with assorted garbage foods so the family isn't aware.  Not good.

Today is it.  I'm sick of harming myself, and that's really what I've been doing.  Someone with Type 2 diabetes who continues to eat the way I have for the last 2 weeks is playing with fire.  HA!  I'm the woman who played with fire - not to be confused with The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo whose playing with fire is revealed in the second entry of the trilogy. 

As I've said before, this feels bigger than me, and it's a little scary.  Watching myself and realizing how my food addiction has progressed from even a year ago tells me all I need to know.  What I really hate is how I've said these things countless times before, and yet here I am in 2012 still struggling.  There is a solution, and I'm well aware of it.  For me, I can't having even one grain of sugar or white flour, because even that small amount can trigger me - mentally if not biochemically.  On January 3rd, after my first day of the rest of my life where I did have a clean day, I had oatmeal and put 1 tsp. of Splenda brown sugar mix in it - and within hours I was off to the races.  The Splenda Brown has a small amount of real sugar, as opposed to plain Splenda.  The sweetness and maple-y taste it gave the oatmeal started me wanting more sweet taste immediately, but I was able to hold off until after work, while obsessing about my craving all day.

So - it's back to low carbing that begins with a mix of South Beach and Atkins' early phases.  From years of experience I know that keeping carbs on the lower side works best for me.  I avoided oatmeal this morning because I was already thinking about that stupid tiny tsp. of Splenda Brown.  Until trying that, I never put anything in my oatmeal but salt - EVER.  Man - addiction is a wicked condition/disease, and I have a major case of it.

Please send positive vibes, prayers, or whatever my way - I absolutely can't do this alone.  I also need to say that this is not a New Year Resolution - it's the beginning of a health crisis for me that I need to address, or I'm going to end up giving myself insulin one of these days.  I believe that doesn't have to happen, but only if I'm willing to go to any lengths to get better.  I think, I hope, I'm there.