Monday, March 29, 2004

Two Days Off

I deducted two days from my count of "abstaining" days because I didn't do very well over the weekend. My big downfall, as predicted, was Saturday night. There was just too much against me. I worked my tail off on the busiest day of the entire festival, I was "starving" because I didn't have any kind of afternoon snack. I was surrounded by two major binge foods -- pizza and burnt sugar cake, and I was seemingly surrounded by people who were overeating all weekend.

None of it's an excuse. I made a conscious decision to eat too much. I know I was gobbling down that pizza way too fast because I was so hungry and it tasted soooo good.

On Sunday I was surrounded by food -- major leftovers. I decided to compromise: I kept what I knew I would eat that day, and I took the rest and left it at the festival office so it wouldn't be around to tempt me today.

And so today I'm back to the plan, although I didn't go to the gym because I didn't feel well (including a hoarse voice which I'm kinda' concerned about). I think part of it was being tired from working my tail off at the festival, but I think I was also having a real food hangover after all that heavy food.

After thinking about it, I decided not to go back to zero but just deduct two days from my count. As Dr. Fairburn's book says, I lapsed, I didn't relapse, and I shouldn't consider a weekend of overeating a few things as a complete failure. I was able to catch myself in an overeating/binge moment, realize why I was doing it and try to learn something from it. In between those couple moments of weakness I still wrote down what I ate, tried to make some healthier choices and tried to keep my meals and snacks at specific times and not free-range grazing the whole weekend.

Instead of feeling the drudgery of going back on a diet, I actually felt a sense of relief of getting back to my (new) routine, which is definitely a new thing for me. Almost as an added incentive, Opr9h had her B0b Green3 challenge people on her show today (a re-run) and showed all the before and after stories of people who made a real commitment to change their lives.

If anything, this is a learning experience that I can have a "guilty" weekend and then go back to healthy eating. In the past I would have just completely gone off the wagon and never got back on, and I would have just continued overeating and chowing down on all of the leftovers until they were gone. "Normal" people have days or weekends where they eat too much, then go on with the rest of their lives, and that's what I'd like to achieve.

While none of my gang commented on my appearance, my mom's friend KS stopped by at our party Saturday night and made a fuss over me, which thoroughly tickled me. It's so nice to have a cheerleader to make me feel good and encourage me to keep it up, because I rarely have anyone tell me I'm looking good, etc.

I'm also totally unused to have anyone fuss over me, but B certainly does, and I always feel so special when he dotes on me and makes so many PDAs. No one except for Mabel ever touches me, so to have someone, even a gay man, be so willing to make physical contact makes me feel, at least a little bit, that I'm not the most physically repulsive creature in the world.

Now I guess I'm eager to lose more, enough that people have to notice. Something tells me this could really be it, the time that I'm finally successful, because my goals are realistic and I'm allowing myself to be imperfect, which hopefully will keep me on track and less likely to quit altogether.

I just have to be kind to myself after I do fall, and keep reminding myself of all the good things -- how much better I feel, how much this will improve the quality of my life -- and all that!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Looking Forward

Another day, another festival goodie. Today was the curly fries with cheese, which I must say was much cheaper and more satisfying than yesterday's soup in a bread bowl. I was so hungry by 4 p.m. that I had to eat my half bagel sandwich, despite my fruit snack mid-afternoon. But instead of going berserk after that I ate my planned dinner and evening snack, and I got back to the gym this morning.

I don't know if I'll go to the gym tomorrow; I got my four days in and it is kind of hard juggling Mabel around in the morning before I head over to the festival. So I might just do my treadmill at home in the morning. I hate the thought of sitting on my butt all day in the kids' building and eating my goodie (which will either be the fried veggies or the apple dumpling) and then facing a very binge prone weekend. I'm pretty sure I'm going to wait an extra week to weight myself after this because there's no point getting myself disappointed with something out of my control.

I mean, I will control my urges to binge and overeat as much as possible, but at the same time, I'm not going to make a scene and not eat what the others are eating, even if it isn't the healthiest choice. A lot of this project is eating "normally," and part of that is being able to eat a variety of foods, "good" and "bad," without going bananas.

To kill time today I was filling out my meal planner notebook and took it to July so far. I suppose the question is, how long do I monitor my meals? Until I reach my goal weight; indefinitely? I do think I'm always going to have to be very conscious about what and why I'm eating, because I am so prone to falling back into old habits. But something tells me I won't always have to record every bite I eat forever. Eventually these new habits should become second nature. I hope so. I hope I can make lasting improvements that I'll be able to maintain the rest of my life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Sakes Alive, I lost 25!

I was about shocked senseless when I weighed myself today -- I am now down 25 pounds! I guess my plan is really working. By allowing myself one treat a day at the festival and sticking with my regular meals, snacks and exercise, I'm still able to lose weight! I thought I would just keep steady throughout the week, but I guess I'm still burning more than I'm consuming.

However, this weekend it's going to be near impossible with SS, B and his folks coming and adding more meals and snacks (with a party Saturday night) to the mix. All I can do is eat sensibly -- try to eat regular portions, try to make some healthy choices, and not gorge myself.

I'm a little curious to see if they notice a change in my appearance, and if they mention it to me. On the grand scale of my body (hee hee) 25 pounds isn't a whole lot, but it is starting to melt away some of the excess. I know I can literally feel the changes on my body: more definition, actual bones (!!!) and muscles emerging out of the fat.

I got my TV Guide yesterday and celebrity Star Jones was on the cover about her current weight loss. However, the article was a total cop-out. It didn't mention how much she lost, what she weighs now or how she even did it. There was a sidebar of "experts" discussing whether she could have that much weight loss (how much?!?) in six or seven months without bariatric surgery, because she won't say. It's like, honey, if you're gonna do an article, at least say something! If you didn't do it with surgery, be open about how you did it, and if you did have WLS, be honest about the pros and cons. And the thing is, she's nowhere near thin now, and she's going on and on about how wonderful she feels, and how her life is so fantastic now.

I just get so tired of these celebrities going through these surgeries and making it look like it's a miracle cure and it's going to give you a fairy tale life. It just doesn't work that way, and I almost wish one of these stars would have terrible side effects so the public would finally get an honest look at what WLS can do to people.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Another Day, Another Goodie

Another day okay. My goodie for the day was a steak and cheese sandwich, which I had a hard time not feeling guilty about. But I did fine the rest of the day -- resisted deviating from my three small portioned, well-balanced meals.

Part of me thinks this all sounds so mamby-pamby; rather, I'm just on another diet. That I've joined the countless millions who delude themselves into thinking these diets work. Am I deluding myself once again, after all these years? Is this time really different? Or will I once again slip back into my old habits? But, can I really go back now, realizing and knowing what I know now? That I was no different than the alcoholic on a drinking spree, though my addiction is the overeating, not the food itself. While one part of myself would like like to lose weight, another part knows that I could also find satisfaction in just giving up the mass consuming. Really.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Maple Fest -- Day One

Well, I survived the first day of the festival. While I did eat differently than I would have in my normal routine, that was just the point -- I was out of my normal routine and still managed to eat pretty healthy and not compulsively.

I did eat a couple crackers (and a pretzel) sampling some dips at one of the stands, but that's far from overeating. I bought one goodie -- a burnt sugar gob [for those of you wondering what the heck that is, they're also called whoopie pies: two round pieces of cake with icing in the middle; the burnt sugar thing deals with caramelizing the sugar in the batter and the icing] and saved it until I got home. Probably the biggest divergence from my plan was eating the remainder of Mabel's nachos with cheese -- there were only about 10 chips left, I'm guessing. So I ate those and the gob when I got home and decided that was my supper and dessert, and it was enough.

For the first time ever, I wasn't driven to go out and buy every deep fried, breaded, fat-laden thing I could find. While things looked tasty, nothing was so tempting as to be calling my name and beckoning me to gulp it all down. It was really quite strange and truly liberating for me. Could I really be breaking free from the addiction of food? Granted, I sort of "treated" myself when I packed a ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, but that pales in comparison to what a day at the festival was last year. What I ate in one day last year is what I plan on spreading throughout the whole week this year, rather than all of it on a daily basis!

I watched a show on Discovery Health about Ann Wilson from Heart, who had the lap band surgery, and the whole thing gave me a bad vibe. Am I kidding myself that I can change my life on my own, when you see these people who could only do it when forced to by surgery? They showed her and her lifestyle now -- exercising five days a week, eating healthy foods -- which is what I'm doing now -- and I think, "couldn't this rich and famous rock star figure this out before subjecting herself to the knife?"

Maybe addiction's like that: for some people you have to force the issue -- whether it be the Betty Ford Center or bariatric surgery -- to finally break free of it. I guess my question is, am I strong enough to do this without such drastic measures? Will I be able to make permanent changes in how I think about and eat food that will enable me to get to a "reasonable" weight and maintain it?

I'm very anxious and impatient to see the scale move down again, but somehow I doubt I'll lose much (if any) during the festival, since I'm allowing myself my daily "goodie" (rather than calling it "bad" food). But for heaven's sake, I've lost so much so fast already, and isn't it better to get me through this immense trigger week by teaching myself to think and eat sanely -- eating small portions of trigger foods without prompting an enormous overeating session? If I can make that happen, that's real progress -- not on the scale, but for my emotional well being. And that's what's going to make this thing work; changing my brain, not necessarily the size on my clothing tags.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

First Month Total

I wanted to weigh myself today because #1 it is the end of the first month, and #2 I wanted a last minute update to give Dr. K. at our therapy session today. And the total is 22 pounds in one month!

We spent most of the hour talking about this "project," "lifestyle change," and she seems to be very supportive of how I'm doing it.

I have to admit I'm a little excited that I'm past the stalling point of 290, even by just such a little bit, because it's one more hurdle gone. Once I get down to 270, that'll be the lowest I've been in well over 10 years -- more like 14!

And yesterday I even managed to get through a lunch out with my aunts, cousin, Mom and Mabel. I got a cup of chili, a grilled chicken salad, then shared a hot fudge sundae with Mabel. I could only eat half the salad, and I was quite content eating Mabel's leftovers -- heck, she only ever eats a couple bites of dessert -- ever. For supper I finished the salad and topped it off with an ounce of ham and some carrots, then had my butterscotch pudding. No "I had bad food for lunch, let's just go nuts the rest of the day and start over tomorrow/Monday/next month." I even came home and did some more snow blowing!

A big temptation coming up, however, is the Maple Festival [I was on the board of directors for the festival and was in charge of children's activities; I was normally there every single day of the seven-day festival] -- those yummy deep fried veggies, the mouth-watering steak sandwiches, the curly fries, maple cookies, burnt sugar gobs and (dear God) those enormous apple dumplings! Last year I had them all -- more than once! I know to keep my sanity I'm going to have to get a few things -- I'll be all resentful and prone to relapsing if I don't. My game plan is to #1 take salads, fruit and other healthy snacks along to fill up on; #2 not take a lot of money with me so I can't buy all those things; and #3 if I can't resist a certain treat, either try to share it with someone or save half of it for later. Because of course it's ingrained in me not to throw food away. At least I got a month of abstinence under my belt and my impressive weight loss as added incentive not to go crazy and eat like a hog every day of the festival. And I do need to learn how to deal with some of these "trigger" foods and learn how to have a saner relationship with them.

I think one of the biggest revelations for me is really thinking about portion sizes and realizing just how much I was overeating. I'm probably eating a good third of what I was before, which would clearly explain why I've been losing weight so quickly.

Now at dinner tonight I had a moment where I considered eating more -- granted, it was broccoli, not a very "dangerous" food. But I figured out that it was mainly out of emotional reasons rather than hunger, and I made myself get up from the table, telling myself that if I was still hungry when the dishes were washed, I'd eat some more. Guess what-- as I finished the last of the dishes, I actually felt kind of full! I gave my body time to feel, and I saved myself from compulsive eating. Of course, I still wonder how much of it is the pills, and what will happen when I quit taking them. But something tells me the groundwork is being laid; the new habits formed, and it won't be so bad.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Creature of Habits

Well, according to FlyLady, I have now gone past the 27 days it takes to make something a habit. I'm certainly not over the urge to binge -- that's pretty much a daily thing that has to be pushed aside -- but I am getting into the habit of recording and planning what I eat, exercising regularly (and have now added the treadmill at home) and trying to focus on healthy foods and smaller portions.

My next goal now is to try to ease up on the constant thoughts about this, and especially the weight loss aspects of it. I thought about forcing myself to wait two weeks on more between the scale to force myself to let up on it, but I don't know if I could handle it. It seems like all I ever think about is menu planning, what I'm eating, and of course all I've been reading is stuff related to it. I need to get back to my actual life, or at least the part that didn't include the overeating. I guess that means forging out what I want my life to be without food as my only reason for living.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Victory, On the Scale and Otherwise

Yes, I shouldn't have done it, but I weighed myself again today, but I was shocked to see 290, and even double and triple checked (resetting the scale) to make sure.

That's 20 pounds in 26 days -- almost a pound a day! It sounds kinda' scary, too good to be true. But it hasn't been a cake walk (literally!). I've had to really think -- planning meals, analyzing myself through urges to binge, and keeping out the negative thoughts in my head. I've also been working out at the gym four days a week and trying to be active on my "off" days. My treadmill arrived Thursday and I'm going to slowly build up to a daily brisk walk on that, too.

Should I really make these numbers on the scale my only barometer of success? I guess that's why I'm including my "abstinence days" with the date, too, as another measure of my progress. I worry a lot that I'm getting even more obsessed with food -- but maybe I'm just taking the obsession that's always been there and slowly turning it around, and hopefully with therapy and other forms of help I can get myself free of it. Think positive.

Friday, March 12, 2004

No Loss, No Gain

Well, I weighed myself today, expecting some loss, and I was disappointed to have none. I know, I've lost 15 pounds in three weeks, which is amazing, and it isn't a bad thing for my body to regroup for a little bit. But I had a feeling I'd get stuck at this point, which is where I've gotten stuck for several years now, and I wonder if the barrier is more emotional than physical. I'm right at the point, like I always do, where the gung-ho attitude is faltering and the frustration begins.

But, in all honesty, I know that I ate a lot more starch (potatoes, pasta) this week and eating more at lunch. The pasta -- ravioli -- was expiring this week, and while I've been eating is in controlled servings, it was still "extra," and it felt like a treat, and it certainly felt that way going down.

I don't know if I'll ever get over the allure, the sensuousness of food. Maybe despite any kind of behavioral therapy, I may always be seduced by it.

Like I sort of guessed, this would start getting harder as time went on. Now the real work, the real struggle begins. When the weight loss is slower, the temptations grow larger, the urge to give up and go back to my old behavior grows and becomes harder to resist.

But I have to think of the benefits, some of which I'm feeling already. Now that I'm not overeating, the increasing indigestion I was experiencing has vanished. I was starting to get this weird feeling in my throat, as if I was starting to choke after I ate, but that's all gone, too. Because I'm not drinking non-stop to wash down all the copious amounts of food, I'm not getting up once or even twice a night to pee, and of course my #2s have decreased, and not having what I thought were possible symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Just those alone should tell me that my life is definitely better without the overeating. But I have to think too about lowering my cholesterol and triglyceride levels, easing the burden of my weak and overtaxes hips, knees and ankles.

Of course, this isn't just about weight loss -- it's first and foremost lots of physical activity and eating healthy food in healthy portions.

I don't want to go on the Atk!ns bandwagon and eliminate every single carb out of my diet. But I do think that if I want to get past this "set point" I need to go back to greatly reducing them -- which means cutting back again on the potatoes and pasta. I mean, otherwise I've been thrilled with my progress -- this week I started writing down all my meals and snacks, and rather than making me feel controlled or punished, I think it's helping me figure out how to make my daily intake more balanced. It makes me think about what I'm eating, and in the case of this week, see what I need to increase or decrease to get the results I want.

One thing that's helping me is a mantra I picked up from the Wayne Dyer program: "I am whole, I am perfect as God created me." For some reason, I find it very affirming, very positive, and also mood lifting.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Chip Away the Excess

It's been a strange week. For the past couple days I've had these moments of anxiety, and while they eventually pass, I'm not sure what the specific cause is. Part of it is feeling like I'm alone, that I don't have anyone to talk to. But I think that's mainly about this "recovery" I'm going through. I don't like talking about it to Mom, because then I feel like she has expectations for me, plus it's difficult to get good feedback or advice from her because she's one of the most compulsive people I know. As for J., SS or SA, I just don't think they could even begin to relate to what I'm going through. There is LG, who took me to my first OA meeting many years ago, but I don't know what her stand is on it now or what place she's in mentally about her size. That leaves Dr. K., who is on vacation, and I don't see her until next week. I guess that's why this journal is so important -- to give me a risk-free place to vent.

The thing is, this is the biggest thing going on in my life right now, so I feel kind of tongue-tied even talking to people, because I don't want them going away thinking I'm on a diet. This is soooo much more complicated, intense, emotional, whatever you want to call it, because I'm trying to change my behavior and my mindset, as well as trying to change my relationship with food.

For example, the past couple nights I've been anxious because I think to myself, "What am I going to do with myself for all those hours?" I've been filling my days with chores at the house and B&B, my meals and snacks are all pre-planned, and I feel like I'm at loose ends. Before I'd stuff myself silly at supper and then lie around in a stupor the rest of the evening. Now I don't have overeating and its effects as a pastime, so I guess I'm feeling a little ... lost? Exposed? Left with nothing but my thoughts? Dr. Dyer quoted Michelangelo, saying his statue of David was always in the block of marble, he just had to "chip away the excess." I feel I'm doing that to myself right now -- chipping away my excess to expose the true me.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Weekend Discoveries

On Friday the two books I ordered from the Internet came and I poured through them like crazy -- by yesterday I finished them both, and I may just read them again. One was called "Passing for Thin" by a woman [Frances Kuffel] who lost about 188 pounds in her recovery efforts with OA. I was a little disappointed that she basically skipped over the actual losing weight process and dwelled mainly on her life once she got close to her goal weight. While I could relate to some of it and found some of it inspiring, I was able to realize that I have nowhere near the level of fat hatred that she does, and I attribute it to my efforts in size acceptance.

The other book, written by a researcher (Dr. Christopher Fairburn) focusing on eating disorders, really struck home and confirms my belief in how I can have a successful recovery. This doctor discounts the OA method on the issues I questioned -- the strict abstinence of certain "addictive" foods and the belief that it is a progressive disease that only gets worse, even if you're in "recovery." Dr. Fairburn believes binge eating can be overcome with cognitive behavioral therapy, and a crucial point of his program is that no foods should be labeled "forbidden" because that is what often encourages the binge mentality. He agrees with my belief in getting rid of the "all or nothing" thinking, changing habits, monitoring eating patterns and what triggers the binge episodes.

For instance, I had a moment this afternoon after lunch (spinach and chicken salad at Wendy's) where I had an urge to binge -- although for no specific food in particular. Like before, there was a sensation that I wanted to "fill" myself. But then I went grocery shopping, and when I left the urge was gone, and I didn't buy any binge foods, either. I was at the gym this morning and then did snow blowing at my house and the B&B, and I did feel sort of depleted -- is my urge to binge a response to that? But, taking a page out of Dr. Fairburn's book, I found an alternate activity and was able to get past it.

I also did okay at White House Saturday night. I ate half a bowl of soup, one wheat roll, then I scraped off half the dressing off my salad (with plenty to spare!) and didn't bother with my side dish of corn. So I had my broiled shrimp with crab meat and my baked potato with butter and sour cream and pretty much finished them off. But I didn't feel stuffed, felt under control and made healthy choices the rest of the day, including swimming laps for 10 minutes and doing some sit ups and leg lifts. On Sunday I took a short walk with Mabel as well as the sit ups and leg lifts. This weird thing is taking place where I don't feel good just sitting still, and I have this need to be doing something, whether it's housework or some sort of exercise. This is totally bizarre behavior for me, because I've always been so sedentary and low energy, but I do realize that it is actually more normal behavior! I must say the house is cleaner than it's been in ... ages and ages! I'm getting back into the FlyLady routines, I'm planning meals, keeping up on the laundry and getting to tasks and projects I've been too lazy to do and procrastinating so much over the past several months.

This was something that was addressed in "Passing For Thin" -- the food addict in recovery begins to come to life and emerges from the insulation of fat and the piles of clutter in their lives.

Something else that I discovered this weekend was a program called "The Power of Intention" by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It was on PBS and I wound up calling and pledging to get his full line of books, DVD and CDs. I was so struck by what he had to say that I found myself in tears, and I knew I needed to learn more to help me on this new journey. I'm already trying to apply some of the things I picked up from the parts that I saw.

It's weird -- it's like everything in my life right now is coming together in this enlightenment/life change/recovery. Perhaps it's meant to be...

Friday, March 05, 2004

Fifteen Pounds Lost

It's my 18th day of "sobriety" and I've now lost 15 pounds -- something I consider quite amazing. I weighed myself today (Friday) a few days early because I knew I'd be going out to dinner tonight and tomorrow night. I went with J & M & B to the Fish Fry -- yes, with lots of fried fish. But despite the breaded fattiness, I feel I abstained from compulsive/binge eating by 1. refraining from extra side dishes I didn't really need; 2. I only got half a piece of bread and I shared it with Mabel (I normally would have eaten several pieces myself); 3. I didn't load Mabel's plate up with extra food for myself; 4. I didn't eat anything off her plate; 5. I didn't get any desserts because 6. I finished feeling full, not stuffed.

I can tell, though, that I feel kind of dopey/tired, even kind of drugged after that heavy meal. I've been eating so light lately, and I guess I wasn't imagining it when I thought I felt more alert and energetic. Although I did think that yesterday I didn't eat quite enough and felt sort of weak, and I knew I had to make sure not to let myself get too hungry or start some kind of starvation diet, because that's heading down a dangerous road.

But I'll admit it's pretty exciting to be back to my re-relapse weight so quickly. Now the trick will be to get past this point, which has been my stalling point for the past -- oh, six or seven years! I think once I get past that road block point -- hopefully within the next month -- I'll be on my way to making these changes in eating a permanent thing. If I can abstain from binging, not consider the occasional big meal a setback or failure and stay away from the "all or nothing" mentality, I think I might actually be able to lose a considerable amount of weight and (gulp) keep it off! And live in a state of recovery from food, too!

For now, my next focus is tomorrow night at the White House [not where the president lives; it's a local restaurant] with my friends. I think if I stay away from the fried food, limit my bread/starch consumption and eat till I'm full, then I'll be okay. Really, I will be okay...

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I Think Too Much

I went on the Internet today to do just a little more research on the ingredients in my pills, and now I'm a little concerned. One of the ingredients in my pills, and now I'm a little concerned. One of the ingredients -- bladderwrack -- can affect the thyroid and shouldn't be taken if you have an overactive thyroid. Of course, I have an underactive thyroid, but I am on Synthroid. But I've been on the stuff for over three weeks and haven't noticed racing heartbeats or any of the other typical warning signs that my thyroid activity is too high -- in fact, I finally feel better after feeling very sluggish and with a very low level of energy. Could it be I actually needed a little boost?

Next month I'm scheduled to have blood work done to check my thyroid levels. Unless I do start having side effects, I'm going to go ahead and keep taking the pills -- if it really is making my levels too high, then I'll hear about it from the doctor and I'll stop. Does it sound like I'm in denial, that I'm making excuses, that I'm too dependent on these pills? Am I replacing the overeating addiction with these pills? But what if I'm just viewing it as a medicine that helps, and I don't want to lose those benefits -- I mean, I'd be pretty damned panicked if I had to quit taking my asthma medicine! And there are known health risks to birth control pills, but I'm taking them because the benefits -- normalizing my estrogen levels -- outweighs the possible side effects.

Have I justified myself enough? We'll see. All I know is, I feel better, I'm controlling my appetite and cravings, I'm more even-tempered, and it even seems to be helping me and Mabel get along better. Is that possible?

As a side note, almost all of the other ingredients have very few side effects, or at least none that affect me. If it turns out the bladderwrack is bad for me, I plan to either buy the other supplements separately or find another pill that contains the ingredients I want.

It's official -- I think way too much! Just enjoy feeling better and don't worry myself into a psychosomatic illness!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Cravings and Dieting

Besides the 10 pounds I've lost in the past two weeks, I'm amazed at the energy I've had. It has to be more than just the caffeine in the green tea, because normally caffeine has little effect on me. I've been more motivated to clean the house, plan menus and be more organized in general. Instead of caffeine jitters, this feels more like the effects of an antidepressant. I don't have insomnia, but I seem to need less sleep -- an average amount of sleep, 7 to 8 hours, makes me feel more rested than it did, and I'm having an easier time getting up in the morning. While I still get a little irritated, I'm not having the major blowouts I've had before.

This week is a real test, because it is that "time of month" when I'm usually an eating machine, and I've done really well so far. I did notice, however, that I made this butterscotch pudding (fat free and sugar free) and while I've limited myself to small servings, I really found myself craving it this afternoon. In fact, that's when I seem to be having a lot of food cravings, during the car ride home from M [Mabel was in day care and I'd go pick her up at 4 p.m.]

I suppose I should consider myself fortunate that I was craving a low-calorie snack. I love butterscotch, and it totally satisfies that creamy comfort food need that I have. I guess I'm just leery of all cravings right now. I want to dissect it and know why I crave it, even though it could be as simple as it tastes good.

Then this evening I got Mabel bread sticks with cheese at the pizzeria. I decided to have three of the smallest pieces with the least amount of cheese, and I was able t stop with that and have a salad with chicken when I got home. I was hungry, I knew it'd be a while before I could eat my own supper, and I don't want to make any food forbidden. That's the first step to making this a diet, which starts the chain reaction of deprivation, rebellion and binging. But I am catching myself starting to count calories, fat grams, etc., which concerns me, too. I don't want to make this all about weight loss -- I may never reach an "ideal" weight, and in the end that can't be the measure of success or failure. It has to be about stopping the compulsive eating and binges. Maybe if I repeat it over and over again...

Monday, March 01, 2004

Another Five Gone

I couldn't quite believe it -- another five pounds gone! I know the 5-pound a week loss won't last long, so I suppose I better enjoy it. While I did start to feel a little less jiggly, I didn't expect this much of a loss so quickly. The thing is, with these pills I really haven't felt like I've suffered for it, and I've let myself have some treats in the past two weeks.

But the whole thing is, I've managed to go two weeks without a single binge. For two weeks I haven't felt stuffed. A few times I felt full, but not excessively because I've gorged myself. It actually feels sorta' good to let myself get hungry; before I was always eating so much and so often that I never gave my body a chance to let myself know what it needs.

This may be all because of the pills, and it might have been an entirely different story without them. But I really don't care. If they help me come to grips with my insatiable appetite and give me a little extra energy without any harmful side effects, why should I not take them? If this were an antidepressant or a prescription medication, I wouldn't be having this major debate. I think I'm going to go ahead and stay on them indefinitely, because they're cheap enough and if they still do what they do without problems, it'd be foolish not to give myself all the help I can get.

I told my mother about the loss and I got her typical response, "keep it up," but it came across (like it always has) that what I've done so far just isn't good enough. I know that's my own negative spin, and it ties in with my fleeting thoughts of "this is going to take forever" and "how am I ever going to keep it up that long?" Like I've said before, I need to get the "one day at a time" belief ingrained in my head. FlyLady says that once you do something for 27 days it becomes habit. Well, I'm halfway to that point, so maybe it's just a matter of time.

I did think to myself (after reading another one of those frustrating and aggravating gastric bypass articles) that I do really feel like I've had some kind of mental bypass or bypass without surgery, because even though I do have some fleeting moments, I really feel different now -- in a better way