No S Diet Results--no pictures ;-)

(New!) Read (or post) about people who have stuck with No-S for 10 or more months, lost 10 or more pounds, or 10 or more percent for their starting weight. Periodic updates strongly encouraged -- you can think of it as "Yearly Check In."

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No S Diet Results--no pictures ;-)

Post by vmsurbat » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:28 pm

I know that I get encouraged when I read about others' successes, so I thought I would share my own.

After five children in 10 years, I found myself 50 lbs heavier than I ought to be. When the youngest was out of the nursing stage, and I realized that doing nothing was not helping, I engaged in a weight-bearing exercise program and generically "watched" what I ate. I had real success with that, but after 2 years, I injured myself doing the weights and had to stop. Guess what? 2 years later all the weight had returned, attempts at merely "watching" what I ate were failing (still couldn't get back into exercise due to shoulder, neck, and elbow pain). I knew that my meals were pretty good nutritionally, mainly home-cooked, and I never got on the "diet train" bandwagon, so didn't have those bad habits to break. Thus, I was at a complete loss on what to do next.

Just at the time, I had to undergo a required physical (for life insurance purposes) and discovered that I had an underactive thyroid. Aha! thought I. That is my problem.

Well, six months on thyroid therapy showed that while I had many improvements (including the pains in shoulder, neck, and elbow), my weight wasn't one of them and it wouldn't budge.

In desperation, I decided I *would* have to get on a restricted diet of some type, follow it precisely, and learn to live with it. I also decided (knowing that some exercise is better than no exercise) that I would start counting steps, as that didn't aggravate my shoulders, neck, or elbows.

On one website I began reading posts about various diets everyone was trying out. Most sounded dreadful and I really couldn't see myself realistically doing any of them. There was one post with the title "No S" but I skipped it until I had read all the others, because I thought the S stood for sugar and I knew that was completely unrealistic for our family. (We live overseas and there are NO sugar substitutes here--sugar and honey are our choices). With a sinking heart, I clicked the post, followed the links, and well, the rest is history.

FINALLY, a truly sensible, sane plan. I read the entire website (sans archives) over the next few days. Totally doable living overseas, with weird schedules, all kinds of different foods, all kinds of social occasions, with the food we already liked. Really, it was a slightly more codified version of what I had done on my own. Plus, the plug for urbanrangering completely resonated with my decision to use walking as the backbone of my "fitness" plan.

All that was in July '09, and I've been following NoS for six months and am thrilled with my results so far.

1. Finally, a normal relationship with food--no "good" foods or "bad" foods with all their emotional connotation. Following NoS really boils down to eating a good meal, enjoying it, and then saying "no" until the next meal!

2. An understanding of what caused me to be overweight. I don't fall into the category of an "emotional" eater. I guess I fell into the category of "glutton", just plain eating too much. Although not a snacker of snack foods, in preparing meals (especially), I would routinely pop half a carrot in my mouth if I was fixing veggies, enjoying the heel of bread that no one else would want, scraping the last few tablespoons out of the pot at the end and eating it so it wouldn't be "wasted."

I've also learned to beware the "It's really not that many calories" call. One little extra bite of anything really isn't that many. But as Reinhard has pointed out, and I demonstrated by weight gain, that all those "little" extras add up alarmingly. And, they didn't prevent me from enjoying a whole meal's worth of food at the table. Everything I ate became an *addition* to a wholesome meal, enough to make me gain a pound or two every month, slowly, surely, and to me, inexplicably.

3. Real weight loss--about 20 pounds thus far. I think my loss is slightly more than avg for women my age (close to 50) because I added exercise in at the same time.

Some things that have helped me in this continuing journey:

1. Regularly updating my habitcal. I follow NoS with very little tweaking. My S days are Friday and Sunday because that fits in with our already existing life style--Saturdays are by no means a day of relaxation here and thus, not a danger.

2. Regularly checking the discussion board, even though I post very little. I get my daily dose of "others are in this with me" which I find helpful.

3. The first month, I slowly went through the archived posts. I found all sorts of little encouragements--eg. one post about feeling more thirsty than usual--I found that same thing to be true for me and reassured me that nothing bad was going on.

4. Weighing myself only once a month. We have a dial scale that isn't super accurate in the details, only in the long run. So, four weeks is enough for the scale to show a change--weekly wouldn't.

5. Measuring success by green days. It is the N days that build the habits that will *eventually* carry over into weekends and life in general. I no longer like feeling stuffed. I like feeling satisfied, not gorged--and I am learning to achieve this. I enjoy the bit of hunger I bring to my next meal because then I am even more satisfied. Really, it is a wonderful cycle.

6. Since I was a couch potato, I added exercise--first walking, and now, after 6 months of specific stretches/therapeutic movements, I've added shovelglove. I started at 3(!) minutes with a modified shovelglove weighing at most 5 pounds (remember--scale not super accurate in the details!), added approx. 30 seconds every day (except Monday, because of the weekend break) and am now up to 10 minutes. No injuries or pain so far. Hurray!

To show my thanks, I bought the NoS book this past Christmas, not so much for myself, but so I have an easy way to explain (show) what NoS is all about.

Here's wishing us ALL continued success,
Vicki in MNE
7! Yrs. with Vanilla NoS, down 55+lb, happily maintaining and still loving it!

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Post by kccc » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:55 pm

What a lovely testimonial - very thoughtful and helpful! :)

You may not post a frequently, but it's always nice to hear from you. I have benefited a great deal from an earlier "mark it and move on" comment you made in an post.

Congrats on your success!



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Re: No S Diet Results--no pictures ;-)

Post by winnie96 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:00 pm

vmsurbat wrote:I know that I get encouraged when I read about others' successes, so I thought I would share my own.
Wow! What a great testimonial -- inspiring and beautifully written! And, for me, it came at just the right moment. I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and was about to go down the "S-Day Gone Wild" path (I do Fridays & Sundays, too). And here at the top of the discussion list is your eloquent and encouraging post! I am going to have a much nicer day because of it!

I, too, have been No-S-ing for 6 months, and have had much the same experience as you. I love the way you have outlined the benefits of No-S and some pointers in such a concise manner. Re-reading, I think I'll print it & post it on my refrigerator.

Glad to hear that you were able to overcome your injuries to the extent that you are now able to shovelglove. I consider shugging to be a very important part of my No-S lifestyle. It really helps to keep me focused.

HabitCal is likewise important, and the other key component for me is the Personal Punch Card system. It's so simple, but it keeps me quite well organized, and crossing off all the items in the "Routine" column is so fun that it provides incentive to actually get things done!

I'm intrigued by your once-per-month weigh-ins. Alas, I am a daily weigher, and part of my problem this morning was that I was up a pound or two, which happens, but my residual diet mentality sometimes takes over and I let it discourage me.

But not today! Saved by your post! Thank you so much for sharing your success!

Best wishes,

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Post by wrigleyj » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:08 pm


I know how you feel about the scale, as I have occasionally been guilty of that and my whole family-in-law have a weight problem (as do I, I hasten to add) and my sister-in-law in particular can weigh herself multiple times a day!

However, my experience has been as Reinhard and others have said. If you weigh too frequently, not only do you have the inaccuracy of the scale to contend with, you have so many other factors to take into account. Not to put too fine a point on it, what goes in also has to come out! Even if you weigh at the exact same time every day, even if you always pee first (see, told you I'm an expert), you can't possibly guarantee that you are hydrated to the same degree each day and to go into even more excruciating detail, you have no real way of knowing how full your bowel is!

So what you're measuring each morning could include fluctuations in various internal liquids and solids. What is the point in that, and why get worked up about it? A pint of water weighs roughly (very roughly) a pound, and even men can retain a certain amount. My wife fluctuates hugely over the month, too.

You need to see the big picture. Weigh no more than weekly if you have to keep tabs, but bi-weekly or monthly is better for your soul. Plot a graph! Use Google Documents and you can do it online. Seeing a slowly descending line will make you feel damn good.

Well that turned into a bit of an essay. I'm getting my breath back after my shovel glove-ing :-)

Have a great weekend and enjoy your S days.

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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:11 pm

Amen Wrigley!
ps.. I love your chewing gum!

Congratulations Vicki!! Terrific to read of your excellent experience!!
Very inspirational!
8) Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

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Post by reinhard » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:59 pm


Thank you (and congratulations!) for this impressive and detailed testimonial! The specific, helpful, tested advice you give is worth a picture or two, I think! And it's wonderful that you seem to be enjoying the psychological and physiological benefits of no-s in equal measure.

I'm delighted that the habitcal and these bulletin boards have been so helpful to you -- and that you're now adopting another of my beloved brainchildren, shovelglove!


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Post by BeingGreen » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:59 pm

Wow, what a lovely testimonial! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and found myself agreeing with many things you said.

I too have gleaned a great deal of support from the feeling that "others out there share my same struggles and are doing their best on their own NoS journeys." Even though I don't post a lot, I still get a great deal out of reading the posts on the bulletin boards.

Good luck to you. Best wishes for continued success in your NoS journey!

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Post by Consu » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:00 am

Hi, Vicki! Thank you for taking the time to post about your success. I've been doing No S now for about 2 weeks & enjoy it, but your encouragement adds fire to the journey! :D May your success continue. (Also, I love what you said about weighing on a monthly basis. I don't see great results from one week to the next, and I also tend to let the scale dictate, but it's about more than just the scale. I'll be taking your advice.) Again, thank you for posting this!

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Post by harper » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:39 am

:D not great at knowing how to do forum stuff.....I am happy to say I have 21 pounds off ....even thru the holidays.....BEST "DIET" EVER and I have done SO many
THANK YOU Mr. Engles

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Post by reinhard » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:19 pm

Congratulations, Gail! And thank you for letting us know.


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Post by vmsurbat » Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:48 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words. We've been out of town for the last 10 days, so I just came back and saw all the posts; what a nice surprise. :) I am very glad that my post was a timely encouragement for some of you. I know just that feeling myself!
Vicki in MNE
7! Yrs. with Vanilla NoS, down 55+lb, happily maintaining and still loving it!

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Post by Tombo » Thu May 10, 2018 12:01 pm

It's great to read through your testimony and hear that this is working so well for you, you give hope to the rest of us!!

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