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Year 5: The Year I Looked at the Plate

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:40 pm
by automatedeating
I began NoS in August 2013. Here I am, 5 years later, convinced that NoS will be my habit-partner for life.

Here is a link to my 1 year testimonial: ... highlight=

5'2''female, 41 years old; full-time working mom with 2 boys, ages 12 & 9.

Current Weight: 134/BMI 24.5

5 years ago, I was scared and confused about my steady year-over-year insidious weight gain. I had reached "overweight" and I was freaking out. However, I had never been a fan of diets and I certainly wasn't ready to start cooking every day and worrying about what specifically I ate. Cooking and obsessing over ingredients was a major turn-off to me. So, NoS was the perfectly simple solution. And over the course of that first year I lost 8 pounds. I also walked to/from work (about 90 minutes 4 days a week). That combo worked pretty well for me. However, I had to keep up the walking and have near perfect compliance in order to still eat fast food and other junky processed meals on a daily basis. Nonetheless, the parameters of NoS completely halted my weight gain, and that was a pretty good thing in a world where most people gain weight as they age.

I might have remained forever complacent about my "teenager-like diet", but I had a bit of health reality check. In the fall of 2014, I started to develop some health problems. I got a kidney stone, then I got a horrible GI infection called C.diff (from some incorrectly prescribed antibiotics for the kidney stone), and I realized my health wasn't the greatest. But I still wasn't ready to change what was on the plate.

But over the next couple of years, my fasting blood glucose continued to rise, my energy levels struggled more and more, and my joints hurt. My blood pressure was creeping up. But it took 4 years of developing simple NoS habits before I was ready to stop rebelling against food choices on the plate.

So. I FINALLY looked at the plate. And I re-read the current nutrition research to get motivated. And I started making some changes. My food choice journey started sort of isolated (just get rid of sugar) and built momentum (first, eat at home, even if it's a frozen processed dinner), until now I'm pretty much only eating "real" foods -- stuff that you know what it is just by looking. Of course, even what's on the plate isn't worried about on S Days! That's the key to success, baby -- a weekly resting of the willpower!

These food changes were pretty revolutionary for me -- I had to finally start cooking! It began with HomeChef -- one of those meal delivery services. It got me cooking at least a few nights a week, and I realized I was actually LEARNING to cook by following those recipes! I joke that I was paying for cooking lessons. I still recommend the meal delivery services, but they are expensive so we have cut them out. Recently I've really embraced "vintage" cooking (making meals that are super simple and satisfying - adequate protein, bright veggies, and careful carbs! -- I got that concept from author Jennifer Calihan). My kids are eating better than ever, and my energy is better, too. I just feel really good compared to a year ago.

And NoS provided me structure every step of the way. No sweets, no snacks, no seconds -- except on S Days. It works perfectly, even for someone that is mildly insulin resistant and needs to be careful with her carb intake. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, I look forward to having some ice cream. Holidays and special occasions are still S Days, although I don't want to feel bad after a carb-fest, so I do my best to exercise moderation, especially before noon on S Days (lol I treat sugar like alcohol -- don't have any before noon! I got that concept from Imogen -- well she didn't mention the alcohol part, I edited that in!)

I track my blood sugar and blood pressure daily, and I weigh myself almost daily.

My fasting blood sugar has dropped from 102 (prediabetic) to a normal range (for example, this morning it was 77!!!).

My morning blood pressure has dropped from 135/85 (pre-hypertensive) to a normal range (for example, this morning it was 116/75!).

Some notes:

1. I really think that I needed to take this very slow journey to healthier eating. I had some mental blocks that had to be gradually worn down. So please don't think you should jump in to worrying about what's on the plate when you first start NoS. For many, it happens naturally. I guess for me it did, too, but it sure took forever! The bright side is that slow change sticks around a lot longer. I've had years of gradual habit-building.

2. Also please don't think you should try to control your S Days if you are just starting. That also happens naturally for most, eventually. For me that happened reasonably early in my NoS journey, but for many it takes a long time. Hey -- maybe some people take as long for their wild S Days to calm down as it took for me to decide I would make better choices about what type of food I put on my plate on N Days.

3. I highly recommend making use of the NoS daily check-in. It's been my "online diary" for 5 years now, and I love looking back through my journal and finding patterns and seeing how I've changed. It's like watching my kids grow up to read back through it -- they are in practically every post! It's such a supportive forum and many of us pop in regularly, even over many many years.

4. Anyone that looks at my check-in will see I go through periods of ignoring the rules. Inevitably, I gain weight during those times. But I get back on the wagon and go to work on fencing around the laws once more. Weight maintenance is for life, and that means it's never as perfectly "automated" as we want! Oh, here is the link to my check-in -- 5 years of it!

5. For newbies (and restarters), milk is a great way to make it to the next meal if you are having trouble. And whole milk, none of this processed low-fat stuff! :-)

6. Also for newbies, adding fat & protein to your meals will help you make it to the next meal without snacking.

Take care! See y'all next year!

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:52 pm
by cedar
Nice one Auto! Very inspiring and encouraging for building long term habits and not trying to change it all overnight. Good on you.

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:41 pm
by sharon227
Wow, very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

I think it's close to impossible to be nutritionally perfect forever. I was for a number of years, but after my parents died within 14 months of each other, my eating went off the rails. This spring I was ready to start again, but not having to be perfect -- just mostly excellent during the week -- is helpful.

Like probably almost everyone, I had some rather overindulgent S days at the start. It became pretty obvious, though, that I feel great when I eat right, and feel kind of terrible when I go too far off plan. So why would I think feeling terrible is a "treat"?

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:26 am
by lpearlmom
Yay! I’ve so enjoyed following your journey along the way but it’s pretty cool to see it all summarized so nicely in one spot. I’ve been so impressed with your continual problem solving skills and your willingness to take an honest assessment of yourself.

Thanks for being a supportive contributor on this board & here’s to another 5 years of NoS success!

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:45 am
by ladybird30
Great to see how you have added gradual changes over the years.

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:14 am
by Soprano
That's a great testimonial, well done and thanks for posting

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:20 am
by worth it

Loved this “very real†testimonial! I feel lucky to have witnessed a lot of your journey on the way. Thanks so much for being a great supporter of all of us! A very BIG Congratulations on your success!

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:00 pm
by Strawberry Roan
Thank you so much for sharing your journey and your beautiful family with us. :) I am certain that your boys will benefit from what you have learned and have put into practice. The whole family is a winner due to your hard work.

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:29 pm
by jenji
This testimonial is truly inspiring, because it starts from what you were willing to do. That is the part that makes everything else fall into place. :)

Re: Year 5: The Year I Looked at the Plate

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 5:47 am
by oolala53
Been sick and just browsing around. Oh, yeah, we like to think things will be the same no matter what's on the plate, but I've come to really doubt that. It MIGHT be possible, but risky. I'm doing a rather strict mod, but things had gotten out of hand and moderation of certain foods just kept proving to be a struggle. Still working out how to meet the new standards at my meals, but I know it will come.

Happy May eating!

Re: Year 5: The Year I Looked at the Plate

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:53 pm
by Elizabeth50
Very inspiring post. Thank you for sharing!