Octavia is finally checking in!

Counting carbs/calories is a drag. Obsessive scale stepping is a recipe for despair. If you want to count something, "days on habit" is a much better metric. Checking off days on a calendar would do just fine, but if you do it here you get accountability and support. Here's how. Start a new topic in this forum called (say) "Your Name Daily Check In." Then every N day post a "reply" to that topic as to whether you stayed on habit. A simple "<font color="green">SUCCESS</font>" or "<font color="red">FAILURE</font>" (or your preferred euphemism if that's too harsh) is sufficient, but obviously you're welcome to write more if you want. On S-days just register that you're taking an S-day. You don't have to do this forever, just until you're confident you've built the habit. Feel free to check in weekly or monthly or sporadically instead of daily. Feel free also to track other habits besides No-s (I'm keeping this forum under No-s because that's what the vast majority are using it for). See also my <a href="/habitcal/">HabitCal</a> tool for another more formal (and perhaps complementary) way to track habits.

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Octavia
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:46 pm

For me, there is never a stopping point with pasta! It just slips down!! Did Sophia Loren really eat as much as she claimed? I doubt it, the minx!

N days are normally fairly easy for me. Friday evenings I start to feel the struggle, though. I’m tired and we often visit the supermarket, with DH and DD buying luscious puddings and treats. But on the whole, N days work amazingly well for me. That is great advice, Auto, that if one is after weight loss, it’s better to make the N days a bit lighter than try to dabble with the release valve of the S days. thanks so much for that tip: it’s been a while since I even considered eating lighter on N days, but I could do so with no trouble. Go easier on the bread. And pasta, if possible!

I’ve had a really good day, in that I actually went for a run, breaking my long stint of doing so little exercise. And I found a method that seemed to really help me keep going - taking longer walking breaks. I ran for 7’, walked for 8, and repeated that till I’d done an hour or so. All in all I was running for round about 28’, which is way more than I was doing before! I just needed more recovery time in between stints of running. I’ve felt so much stronger and calmer after doing this. Even when some work stress came in, I was better able to deal with it.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:37 pm

Another lovely day here in the UK. It’s like Spring, almost summer! After the run yesterday, I was aching all over. I did my small 14’ exercise stint this aft- quite tricky as DD interrupted me with a cry from the heart, and I had to give sympathetic counsel for a good half hour.

Ate normally: 3 plates, though dinner was a small portion of reheated veggie shepherds pie, and I feel I need something else such as fruit or yoghurt, or I’ll get too hungry later - going out tonight.

Tomorrow I want to go running again. It has to become a habit!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:45 pm

I did go running again. It felt more tiring this time - I’d had a bad night - but still did my four times jogging down that track, four times walking back. It is great to feel I’m exercising at quite a high intensity, yet without hitting that brick wall.

Have enjoyed my meals, though as dinner was very late I did my old Fibre Supplement mod, when I have some fruit/veg as a snack in the afternoon. Had a raw carrot and an apple, and felt very bloated and gassy afterwards! I think it helped in the long run, though.

The extra exercise is certainly making me feel better, more comfortable in my skin. I hope this continues. I know that before, I’ve found that I lose the sense of the benefits after a while - I suppose the body adapts, and it starts to feel like less of an achievement. But I’m prepared for this. Forewarned is forearmed!

Weighed myself this morning. Have gone up. Bah. Probably due to all the stodge I ate last weekend.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by automatedeating » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:56 pm

Is stodge basically like saying "junk"?
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Larkspur » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:08 am

Kudos on the running!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:30 am

Thanks Larkspur! Auto, yes, stodge is one of my own personal favourite words, implying heavy, calorific food. It can be junk, but not necessarily highly processed. Classic English stodge would be treacle pudding and custard. I’m not sure how many other people use the word, it might just be me and my family! :lol: I also sometimes use it as a verb - to stodge out, Ie. To sit heavily on the sofa and do nothing, while eating. To loaf around. The word ‘stodgy’ is more familiar, but I like stodge itself!!

Rats, I seem to be heavier each time I weigh, at the moment! Have gone up to 147 lb after being 145 for a while. I wonder if this is due to the extra exercise? Have I developed 2lb worth of massive thigh muscles? I doubt it. Never mind. I’m complying with vanilla, so not too worried.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Staff Assistant III » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:01 pm

lol, i know "stodgy" from watching Great British bake off. Kind of the opposite of delicious . :wink:
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:08 am

Yes indeed Staff, ‘stodgy’ would be when the cake is too heavy or perhaps has a soggy bottom...!

Weight seems to have gone up yet again! Ah well. It’s either all the exercise, doing something with my fluids/muscles, or it’s the result of last weekend’s chocolate. It is what it is...I am not budging from Vanilla. I can’t afford to jeopardise these precious, hard-won habits of no snacking and no sweets on weekdays.

Slightly hesitant to go for a run today as my right foot is hurting from all the unfamiliar pounding it’s been getting. I am keen to habit-build, but worried about causing injury. Might give it a rest today.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by automatedeating » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:22 pm

That's a good thought working out is causing some fluid retention.

I think you're right-on to focus on habits.

Maybe just go on a walk today instead of a run?
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by margot17 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:00 pm

Running even, not just walking! Well done you!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:25 pm

Thanks, Margot and Auto. I did go for a run! Foot was OK, but the instep does feel quite achey and bruised. I must be careful.

Weight has gone back down. This weekend hasn’t been as excessive as usual (so far....I usually do the most damage on a Sunday evening!) so maybe I’ll be able to make a little downwards progress. But to be honest I feel pretty good at the size I’m at. Maintaining the modest loss I’ve achieved on No S would be a great achievement for me. I lost 10lb in my first ten months or so, and have kept it off since then. That’s more than dieting ever did for me! I dread to think what my weight would be like had I carried on trying to do calorie counting.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by RAWCOOKIE » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:28 pm

I lost 10lb in my first ten months or so, and have kept it off since then.
about the same for me I think............... like you, I wonder how big I might have become if I hadn't come across No S!

Saturday has historically been my 'most damage' day, but I've changed it to only once every other week now, which seems to have deprogrammed the Saturday habit! This week my 'treat day' was today - Sunday.

Well done with the run. I've been lax over winter, and today we're being battered by Storm Freya winds and I've hunkered down indoors. Tomorrow, tomorrow!
I love Everyday Systems :3

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Imogen Morley » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:26 pm

Just popping in to say hello. Hope you're still with us!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:22 pm

Hi Imogen! Yes, I’m still here. Thanks so much for popping by. Have had a busy and distracting couple of weeks, with rather a lot of socialising and alcohol. Mostly managed to stay green, but only just. And today, in fact, I’ve just had a fail. Had to go out to DD’s dance show this evening, and for various reasons I got a bit irritated and emotional while we were out. I’d had dinner and wasn’t particularly hungry, but had immense chocolate cravings in the way home, and have just scoffed four truffles, a Mr Kipling cherry bakewell (like a little iced tart thing) and two chocolate biscuits. Probably 600 cals at least, I would say. What a pointless waste of calories!

I still feel a bit emotional and am very touched that Imogen asked if I was still here. Oh no, I’m going to cry!

I haven’t weighed myself for a while. I feel I haven’t made progress on No S for ages, but have just been treading water, managing to keep afloat, mostly beating the occasional cravings, but sometimes caving in, as if I’ve lost a bit of motivation, direction and hope.

It’s funny, but earlier today, I felt very slim and positive. Then I tried on a very old skirt - one that’s been too tight for me for many years, but my mum made it, and I love it, so have kept it at the bottom of the wardrobe. Well it felt tighter than ever before - probably because I haven’t actually tried it on for a whole decade - and my feelings of slimness evaporated. I wonder if this disappointment is at the root of my fail this evening. Realising that I may be lighter than I was two years ago, but I am still a lot heavier than I was aged 30.

Only yesterday, I bought a skirt in a UK size 12, and started thinking that maybe things were shifting again! But feeling slim, just like feeling fat, is entirely subjective. It’s nice to feel slim, but the important thing is, how am I eating? Not how am I feeling! A generously-cut skirt makes me feel slim, a tight one makes me feel fat...it’s all meaningless. The truth is that I have mostly kept to the No S guidelines, but have eaten slightly too much and exercised too little to lose any weight!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by margot17 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:47 pm

Oh those cruel old skirts in the bottom of the wardrobe!... Octavia you're such a charming person, I am sure it doesn't matter much if you have a few lb more or less...
I am beginning to feel like I am treading water as well, after a positive first month. Don't really know what to think of it. All the progress I make during the week snaps back during the weekend, and it's not that I do anything crazy. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and that I hope you feel better today.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:48 pm

Ah, thank you so much Margot. Such kind words. I am indeed feeling better today - has a good nights sleep, and it made a big difference. I think sleep is such a key issue for me - not getting enough always leads to struggle and strife. I wish I could be more consistent there.

With No S being such a long-term commitment, l suppose that most of it is just a case of treading water. But these periods of stasis can lead to lack of motivation and a certain loss of discipline. So while I feel I probably need to improve my standards and find moderate, habitual ways of eating a bit less, I don’t seem to have the strength. I’m not sure what the best way to deal with this is...dabbling with the system right now seems risky. Yet just plodding along with maybe one fail day per week is not great!

Anyway, hopefully motivation will return, and maybe I’ll think of a good way to progress. I’m certainly not giving up, because I don’t think there is a better system for controlling habitual overeating.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by automatedeating » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:48 am

This may sound sort of counter-NoS, but ya know, we aren't wired as humans for extremely slow progress. When Reinhard made up NoS, he lost 20-freaking pounds in ONE MONTH. But the women that follow his plan don't have that kind of success.
When I combined NoS rules with some further restrictions that work for me, I lost more than 5 pounds a month for a few months. So honestly, Octavia, you probably need something more than plain Vanilla NoS. Sorry if I sound like a heretic to tell you that.
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Imogen Morley » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:44 pm

I'm with Auto. I hope our honesty won't discourage you.
I adore NoS, I really do. It's a fantastic tool to strengthen your willpower muscle. But for some of us, it may not lead us, weight-wise, where we intend to be. Personal tweaks may become necessary at some point. It doesn't mean that the entire concept of NoS is useless, or that there's something wrong with you. Our bodies are unique. As much as I love this community and its founder, I know that, as a sedentary shortie, I can't allow myself full plates of calorie-dense foods EVER or unrestricted S-days EVER, if I want to get back to my "NoS+mods" weight from 5 years ago. I often rebel against my personal limitations, but that's reality. Denial won't take me anywhere.
You've been practicing vanilla NoS for over a year, am I right? With that much experience under your belt, I think you're fully entitled to consider mods that would suit your lifestyle and your goal weight, if you choose to define one.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:27 pm

Thanks both - this is encouraging to hear, and your honesty is something I value immensely. So hilarious to compare my progress with Reinhard’s! I don’t think I lost ANY weight in the first month! :lol: Imogen, you’re right, I’ve now been doing Vanilla over a year.

I do need to make some changes, though I must beware of using weight loss as my entire motivation. There have to be other reasons too, because my opinion on my weight varies according to the tightness of the skirt I’m wearing. :lol: My real concern is not that I am still fat, as I don’t think I am particularly fat, but that my compulsive eating habits are still very much alive, and spring up every weekend. So I’m still eating in an insane way, and indeed I think my current S days are slightly more mad than my old ‘uncontrolled’ days. It doesn’t take much to override the modest caloric savings of my N days, so obviously I’m not going to lose more weight,which is perhaps not a disaster...but I’m a bit worried I’ll start piling it on and that things may get worse.

I’m being a bit paradoxical/contradictory here, in that weight loss isn’t my main motivation (it never happened reliably enough to motivate me to eat less or eat healthier) and yet, not losing anything is undermining my determination to stay Green.* Perhaps I’ve just seen the limits of the Vanilla system, because I am NOT becoming more naturally moderate at weekends, without further intervention, as I’d hoped. I wonder if that’s a pipe dream for me, a bit like I experienced with Intuitive Eating. And, just like IE, I’m finding that the more freedom I have, the more goodies I want.

* not that I’ve actually weighed myself for a while....hey, maybe I HAVE lost some weight...haha, but as we all know, when you stop weighing, you gain!

I’m confused. Why is it that a focus on weight loss can be harmful - creating a heightened awareness of food and cravings - but at times seems necessary, to motivate us to at least TRY to eat less?

Anyway, I need to sharpen my mind and focus on what’s important to me.
1. Enjoying my meals.
2. Not letting compulsive habits control my diet - to be free to make healthy choices.
3. Not becoming fat and unattractive.

Not necessarily in that order.

If I’m going to become more skilled at controlling my compulsions, for whatever reason, I’m going to have to look at those S days. I think my most harmful weekend habit is snacking, as it has no end and no beginning but is a sort of permanent way of being - so quite a radical move for me would be to shift any treats to meal times. That way I could still look forward to them, but would have to employ some discipline in terms of how I eat them. It might be a good first move.

Auto, that’s an interesting point about humans not being designed to thrive on slow progress. We need feedback, and a sense of achievement. i could certainly do with some of that right now! :)

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:43 am

I dared to weigh myself this morning, and was amazed to see that I’m just one pound heavier than my lightest ever weight on No S! This rather imperfect Vanilla routine I’ve been following has been more effective at keeping my weight down than I thought. I’m really surprised at this, as I was sure I was not being strict enough and would have perhaps relinquished a third to a half of my good progress! (Tbh, this is why I’ve never left a testimonial! I was sure that after my first year ended last November, I was on a slippery slope of failure! But in fact, I can see that the N-day habits have endured quite well despite my imperfection.)

I want to keep weighing regularly now, because I feel that bad things come from stopping this form of monitoring. Assessments of progress become so subjective and mood-dependent. Realising that I have NOT piled on weight since taking my eye off the ball has encouraged me to stick with No S (not that I ever wanted to leave) and perhaps make some mods, tailored to my particular quirks.

Perhaps I can afford to be more motivated by weight loss, now I feel it’s less elusive than I thought. I don’t want to get too hung up on it though, because I know how frustration with lack of results can lead to rebound eating. There has to be another motivation too. For me, that has to be the desire to stop weekend grazing behaviours. Not that I eat CONSTANTLY at weekends, but at any lulls in activity I will ‘top up’ my feeling of wellbeing by grabbing some chocolate, biscuits or crisps. This leads to not enjoying meals, obviously, but also other negative feelings...blood sugar peaks and dips, disappointment as the snack is never as great as one’s anticipation of it, and that other low-key feeling, knowing one is being insanely compelled to compromise one’s own health, figure, and N day efforts. It’s hard to put a finger on why permasnacking causes misery whilst promising relief. It’s a subtle discontent...if it were more blatant then maybe it would be easier to counter. But anyway, I think the best way forward for me is to accept daily weighing, and to impose a weekend mod of No Snacks. Chocolate or biscuits must be eaten as a dessert. Crisps must go at the side of the lunchtime sandwich. A croissant or pastry must be part of breakfast, not elevenses. I hope this results in eating fewer calories overall, but that’s not the main point. The main point is to lose the ‘subtle malaise’ of snacking.

What about the joyful feeling of letting go of ALL control? Perhaps it’s a normal human need, to do that occasionally....well maybe Christmas and Easter will provide ample opportunities.

(Haha! Easily said! :lol: Stop laughing at the back! :wink: )

Well we’ll see how this goes. I think I am ready to try to tackle what’s left of my compulsive eating habits. I know I won’t ever be free of the longing for treat foods, but perhaps I do have the bandwidth required to impose more control at the weekends.

Onwards!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by automatedeating » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:19 pm

You are so good at summing up our shared human experiences, Octavia! First off, wonderful about the weight being JUST FINE!!! :-) You know I'm a fan of regular weighing. Rip off the bandaid already, ladies. :lol: In your case, you got good news.

And then some of the great comments you made - all of it was great.
It’s hard to put a finger on why permasnacking causes misery whilst promising relief. It’s a subtle discontent...
So true for me!!! Yesterday, although it was actually an N Day, I struggled with some desires to roam and find more food (I was home early from work, by myself, not feeling great, blah, blah, blah). I sat still for a moment and thought -- this is NOT hunger -- this is something else. And I decided I will just have to feel that something else whether I wanted to or not. And that sort of made the something else skitter to its hiding place until dinner. I told myself I looked forward to experiencing some hunger before dinner.
I think the best way forward for me is ...... to impose a weekend mod of No Snacks.
I never have officially done this, but I rarely snack on the weekends. For me, I sort of flipped the mod into an (unspoken?) planning of meals on the weekends. And then knowing that snacking would mean I would not be hungry and not want to spend the time preparing a meal. The stuff I used to "graze" on I typically just make my lunch now. For example, nachos or tortilla chips with salsa or guac or cheese dip. I have apple slices on the weekends with a meal, and man those apple slices taste heavenly to me in a way they didn't before. Lovely.
What about the joyful feeling of letting go of ALL control? Perhaps it’s a normal human need, to do that occasionally....well maybe Christmas and Easter will provide ample opportunities.
Absolutely! Not laughing at the back! We HAVE to have those release valves! I just think we should be fully transparent when that's what we need, and party it up with abandon. For a day. Or an afternoon. Or whatever. But planned and not multiple days etc. BTW, Easter is almost here. :lol: 8)
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:27 pm

Auto, thanks so much for your feedback! I’m glad my plans sound sensible. And it’s great to know that some of my observations also apply to other people, and might be helpful. The idea of having nachos for lunch is exactly what I mean, and yes, these things do take a bit of planning, along with other special S day meals. But planning for these things should be part of the pleasure. It’s sad when we are too tired to plan our S day treats, then end up just randomly scoffing stodge. I think that’s been happening to me recently - too tired and preoccupied to think ahead and shop.

I’ve just had a small N day fail. I had very little sleep last night, and after an insubstantial breakfast I went shopping. I felt a bit off as I parked the car...sort of low in mood and blood pressure. Well I did my shopping, and when I got home, had a controlled snack (two ‘Marmite Breakfast Biscuits’). I do feel a lot better, and I hope I’m not deluding myself here, but I genuinely think I needed some more fuel because my breakfast had been insufficient. Normally I would power through the hunger and maybe have a cappuccino, but what with the sleep deprivation I felt a bit peculiar, and wanted to recover so I could continue with my day.

Powered by the two small biscuit things, I am now planning to go for a run. This could all end badly.... :lol:

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:29 pm

PS have already chosen my Easter egg. It’s the mint Lindor one. I think the combo of milk chocolate and mint flavour is divine! Even better than the classic dark choc and mint. Slurp, drool!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Imogen Morley » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:45 pm

Ahhhh I adore Lindor pralines! I'm partial to white chocolate-strawberry flavour. Good choice! :twisted:

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:00 am

...the strawberry ones are great, too.... :twisted: and then there’s the coconut...

Just weighed myself and was really delighted that weight is down a little, and in fact I think I’m back to my lowest ever No S weight, give or take half a pound. I’m starting to feel like pushing to lose a bit more - haven’t really tried to achieve anything except general green-ness for a while, so this is quite a positive feeling.

I have been drinking more water over the last few weeks, and having half a lemon squeezed into a cup of water first thing in the morning. These wholesome, ‘women’s magazine’ type habits are very unlike me, but I’ve kept them up because I feel they help my digestion, and now I’m wondering if they have helped to keep my weight stable. They are often recommended by diet gurus. On the other hand, I don’t see how they can magically dissolve calories.

I really like this smiley, but don’t know what it means: 8)
Any clues?

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Soprano » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:12 pm

8) I use it for cool :P

Jx
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by lpearlmom » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:33 pm

Yay for your new low! That’s very encouraging!

As for the S days, even after years of doing NoS, my S days never calmed down. Constant grazing just isnt very enjoyable and when ai started Intermittent Fasting, it was a relief to have some limitations on the weekends again. I think your new plan sounds great and will lead to more enjoyment which is supposed to be the point of S days right?

Btw, I hear a lot of positive talk about lemon and acv water. I cant do it because of my reflux but glad you’re enjoying it.
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:30 pm

Thanks Linda! I’ve been surprised that the lemon water doesn’t irritate an empty stomach, but it seems to go down fine - though I know acid reflux is a slightly different thing. Very interesting to hear that your S days never calmed down. Do you think there is a slightly IE - like mythology around this? The belief that freedom gives way to moderation? In my experience you need rules to achieve moderation! And i still don’t understand why Reinhard refers to S days as being times when the training wheels of the No S diet come off. It seems to me that the whole bicycle comes off... :lol:

Soprano, thanks for help with the 8) smiley. I hoped it was something like that. :)

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Imogen Morley » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:03 pm

Whole bicycle! You crack me up :mrgreen: That's certainly how I felt following vanilla NoS for a longer period of time. Who knows, perhaps those of us prone to emotional eating or with a history of diet mentality need a few extra rules to reach their goals?

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lpearlmom
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by lpearlmom » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:50 am

I think for some people S days really do calm down pretty quickly but others like myself need stronger boundaries. I just remember Reinhard saying S days were kind of an after thought at his wife’s suggestion so thats always made me a bit weary of the concept.
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Dalia negra » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:51 am

Imogen Morley wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:03 pm
Who knows, perhaps those of us prone to emotional eating or with a history of diet mentality need a few extra rules to reach their goals?


I totally agree.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by margot17 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:50 am

S-days seem to be a problem for me as well, they easily undo all the good work of the week. I don't know if the problem will stay or go over time in my case.
Something to keep into account is that full-on S-days keep metabolism from plunging down. You restrict restrict and restrict, at the end you eat like a bird and the weight doesn't budge because metabolism has gone out of the window. That's my biggest fear, because even if I could comply to anything, which I don't as retriction badly backfires on me, I'd hate the idea that the amount of self-sacrifice required may compound. Alternating fasting and feasting was also recommended by Toni Ramos in a podcast I listened to last summer, she was basically saying that the body needs be kept guessing. I don't like particularly that idea, because I prefer to act as if the body was smart, but it is true that some decades ago, when everybody was averagely slimmer, people had some of that up and down going on.
What is funny to me about S-days is that I have never particularly cared for sweets, but now that I can't have them I can't wait for the weekend.
Isn't it screwy?

Octavia I am the last person to know what may work for you, but I like your idea of not snacking in the weekend. I think I will try that too. Actually, if I woke up tomorrow morning finding out it was all a dream and I have actually the best of metabolisms and no dieting is needed, I would still probably make a point to avoid snacking, because I like having that clean mental space between meals, and arriving to my meal hungry. My body feels much better with that structure.

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Octavia
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:31 am

Really interesting to read these responses to the S day dilemma. Linda, I had forgotten - or maybe never realised - that S days were an idea tagged into No S by Reinhard’s other half. The promise of being able to give up self-control does help during the week (especially during the early days), but as Margot said, it is very easy to undo all one’s good work, and two whole days a week is long enough to keep those bad old habits alive.

I actually didn’t do too well with my mod of shifting snacks/sweets to meal times. One of my very few lifelong decent eating habits has always been to not eat huge quantities at mealtimes (the ‘no seconds’ rule has never been a problem for me). So I found I was making myself feel a bit sick by extending meals with other unhealthy bits and bobs. I didn’t enjoy the treats as much as when they were eaten as snacks, yet still felt compelled to eat them, and ended up feeling bloated and queasy. HOWEVER this did lead to taking in fewer calories altogether, across the weekend, according to my own calculations! Anyway I won’t be carrying on with this mod, but I am still determined to change my weekends. I don’t think my S days will tame themselves without intervention.

I think Reinhard is right though, when he advises dieters to focus on getting the N days right (rather than worry about S days). Because I now have some good habits to compete with my bad habits. I feel I have a fighting chance of making the weekends better (and not ‘come off my bicycle’. Glad that image made you laugh, Imogen! :) )

Anyway, I have actually lost a bit of weight this week, taking my overall No S loss to 11lb! hurrah! :D It could be a blip, though. But I’m very glad I’ve started weighing again, because it means I’m actually engaged with the idea of losing weight, rather than just trying to do No S while passively hoping it will stop me putting more weight on. Thanks to Auto for encouragement in this area. Weighing is such a great reality check, preventing both false confidence (like when your jeans have worn loose) and delusions of failure (like when you try on a tight skirt). I do feel encouraged to stay strict on my N days and be more moderate this weekend. I’ve got a busy working weekend coming up, which is the ideal opportunity to focus on using the S day guidelines in a more sensible way. Using snacks for a helpful boost of energy, and treats as a proper reward, not scoffed gratuitously.

Hey Margot, thanks for mentioning Toni Ramos. I’ll look her up.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by margot17 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:40 pm

Hello Octavia, congratulations for the weight loss!
Toni Ramos is the collaborator of Dr. Fung, the one who actually does the work while he messes on youtube - kidding. Anyway, she was talking of fasting, that's what they work with. I don't think she's of any interest to you unless you're interested in fasting. But the concept is still, I think pretty valid, that changing things up and eating sometimes more can be a good thing, for the metabolism. Or maybe not? everybody says everything and its contrary, it's such a mess :lol:

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Octavia
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:33 pm

...yes, so many opinions, so many empty promises! :roll: But that’s why I still do Vanilla, Margot. I’m still amazed at how well it’s worked for me, despite the fact that I still eat quite a lot, and probably too much. Clearly, Vanilla has systemically led me to eat slightly less than I did before. For me, this is a great result.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by automatedeating » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:20 pm

I definitely avoid snacking on S Days and I am glad for it. Makes life better for me. My weekends have sweets but the main thing that is super different about them is that the meals lack nutritional balance, haha. Like not much protein (uh-oh margot!), and mostly carbs, salt, and fat. :roll: Oops. But I relate to this idea of feasting and fasting/famine as a pretty natural body cycle. I think my spirit animal is a bear that likes to eat berries and has a gifted metabolism at packing on weight from March until September. 8)
Month/Year-BMI
8/13-26.3; 8/14-24.5; 5/15-26.2; 1/16-26.9; 9/16-25.6; 8/17-25.8; 11/17-26.9; 3/18-25.6; 8/18-24.5; 10/18-23.8; 1/19-23.4; 2/19-22.7; 3/19-22.1

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by margot17 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:26 pm

Lol when you're in that mood auto you just crack me up...

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Octavia
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks Auto and Margot! Mixed results this weekend. Saturday was good, and I avoided unnecessary snacking. Ate as healthily as I could, given that I was travelling and going to a restaurant. Sunday was different. Much less healthy, and chocolate got into my mouth in quite large quantities. Washed down with gin and tonic, can you believe? This was while back in the train and chatting with a colleague, both of us exhausted after a busy work project. It was rather lovely, actually. DH has cooked a spaghetti bolognaise when I got home - enjoyed that, too, with a glass of red wine, then had ice cream. I must have taken in huge quantities of calories.

I was still on my new, lower weight when I started the weekend. 10 stone 4 is just a pound heavier than I was at the age of 24 when I went on my first diet - Rosemary Conley’s Hip and Thigh (I’m now 53. Good grief, is it really 29 years since I ate all those baked potatoes, dry-fryed all those onions, and treated myself with her dreaded Bran Cake, indulgently topped with a smear of low fat spread?). If I manage to consolidate the new low weight for a while, that will be great. Hitting 10 stone 3 would be a land mark. Then I can start the Hip and Thigh again... :lol:

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by liveitup » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:26 am

Congrats on the -11 pounds. Sounds like you have been working hard!

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Larkspur » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:43 pm

I love all the Britishisms on your threat. I had to google Rosemary Conley.

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Octavia
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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:52 pm

Thanks for dropping by, Lark and Livitup! Great to hear from you, and glad you enjoy my Britishisms! :)

But don’t be too quick to congratulate me, Livit! In this past fortnight, when I haven’t posted, my good habits have unravelled, big time. The first of those two weeks was very busy, but I stayed more or less green. But then we went on a mini city break last week, and it all went to seed. I find holidays stressful and weird (even though I need them) being cooped up with DH and DD, trying to keep her entertained. I did find ways to enjoy it though, and at first, I stayed green without trouble. But then I started snacking - moderately and lightly at first, like a thin person might snack. Ha! This soon grew into feasting. And for the last five days it’s been like Christmas in my head. I just got stuck on permasnacking and grabbing goodies. Today I woke up feeling certain I was ready to return to common sense, but hey, it’s an S day! I’ve done it again.

I’m worried that I eat more on S days than I used to eat on my bad days. I know that overall I’ve consumed fewer calories over a typical week, otherwise I wouldn’t have lost weight, but I feel a little alarmed at how insanely I sometimes eat at weekends. I worry that the restrictions of N days encourage this behaviour. Has No S been just another diet, resulting in worse eating behaviour for me? This is a scary thought, as I now depend on No S like a religion. Or is this all part of the learning curve? I have to learn to really, really not want these excessive days. To really focus on how horrid it is to dread dinner time, to hate cooking, to have no physical or mental energy. By some miracle I have just got a bolognaise sauce bubbling in the pan ready for when DH gets in. Ugh - i took no pleasure in this. Hopefully I’ll manage a tiny portion with a single noodle of spaghetti. The rest will go in the freezer for another day.

It’s frightening to feel compelled to eat despite one’s better judgement. But on the other hand, I was like this before No S, and I wonder if I am sometimes in denial about being a compulsive eater. I don’t do it to ‘clinical’ levels, but my behaviour is still irrational (ie. today I had a 100g bar of chocolate after a healthy filling lunch. Then after that sweetness I craved salty crisps. Then I was really stuffed, and perhaps would have not worried too much about it had I stopped there. BUT then a bit later I had a cream cake.) I was longing for indulgence! It didn’t help that I came home from work to find the kitchen a tip, DH had gone out without even emptying the dishwasher, and I had to roll up my sleeves and get to work. But that’s life - that’s normality. It’s not an excuse to eat stupidly.

I need to look after myself this week, regain my balance. But the whole of the next month is looking busy, with outings and things. I need solitary time when I can go running, drink plenty of water, remember to weigh myself, and focus on what I want to achieve, instead of just bouncing off the pinball machine of life. It’s a classic case of things being on top of me, rather than me being on top of them. ‘Behind with the laundry and living off chocolate’ is the name of a book I believe. That’s how I feel.

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by Octavia » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:12 am

Feeling better already. The N day habits have definitely built a strong pathway in my brain, and even after bad S days I have no problem getting back into good behaviour. I do this by focussing on the fact that eating pleasure is set to continue, and I treat myself to favourite things for meals, such as poached eggs, and promise myself that I can have calorific drinks between meals if I need them, with the option of a hot chocolate if I have real indulgence cravings. These are the things I focussed on when I was new to No S. They still help me get back into the groove, acting like a useful ‘bridge’ between my chaotic weekend eating behaviour and green-ness. It’s as if I focus on the fact that both eating styles are pursuing the same goal...pleasure and wellbeing. So I seem able to switch back quite easily.

So, given that I can bring S day qualities into my N days, I wonder if I can bring N day qualities to my S days? Be more integrated? I’ve been musing how the worst thing about mad S days is the behaviour they engender, more than the inner physical and mental feelings. They create inertia and loss of what you might call personal agency... ie. the tendency to do stuff, to pursue goals. This is surely (for me personally) the epitome of hopelessness, unattractiveness and failure! Perhaps a focus on this behavioural aspect will help me in future.

On the other hand, focussing on such grown-up, abstract concepts in the moment is unlikely to counteract my historically-reinforced urges towards chocolate and crisps. This is where I depart from Gillian Riley’s theories - she mistrusts rules and believes in personal choice in the moment - but I think rules are sometimes necessary, as long as you are fully in agreement with their validity. Our primeval urges are powerful, dumb beasts, and fine arguments are no match for them. It would be like debating with a lizard! Rules are, I strongly suspect, needed. Like putting a barrier in front of the lizard to block its progress.

I did try a rule of no snacking at weekends, but adding treats to my meals didn’t work for me. But one thing that did help recently was the weekend I made a delicious chocolate cake. Although it was a treat worthy of craving, it was not a treat/snack I could binge on or eat ‘continuously’. This is a bit like a return to my old experiment of avoiding ‘class A’ treats (the ones that really spark off bingeing). It’s more nuanced, though. The cake is not quite the same as eating any old sugary processed rubbish. The cake contains some goodness and is much more delicious and rewarding. So perhaps my rule should be once again to avoid the Class A treats - the ‘cyclic’ snacks that have no end - but to replace them mindfully, not randomly.

Isn’t it annoying how much time one must spend figuring out these things? I have wasted the last couple of hours on my theorising. I could have been out on a run! And I very much don’t want to over-complicate No S, spinning my wheels and pretending I’m making progress when I’m just sitting in bed failing to lose weight!!! :lol: But I seem to have a way forward: to bake a cake for the weekends, and to rule out ‘cyclic’ treats/snacks.

Though of course, next weekend is Easter! And I have promised myself a mint Lindor egg. 8)

(It’s funny, too, how my overall paradigm here is ‘I must have treats one way or another’. Maybe in the more distant future I can address that.)

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by automatedeating » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:36 am

Lots of great musings here, as usual. :-) I sure like the way you think, Octavia.
Month/Year-BMI
8/13-26.3; 8/14-24.5; 5/15-26.2; 1/16-26.9; 9/16-25.6; 8/17-25.8; 11/17-26.9; 3/18-25.6; 8/18-24.5; 10/18-23.8; 1/19-23.4; 2/19-22.7; 3/19-22.1

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Re: Octavia is finally checking in!

Post by nettee » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:14 am

Hello Octavia, I have been catching up on some of your recent posts as I am just restarting. Well done for sticking at it. Your S day issues sound very familiar to me. I am quite nervous about Easter weekend coming up as I used to have some crazy S days. At the end of my last long attempt I started having just one S day a week which was working ok. I also tried no sweets ever and a limit of 5 Ss per S day.

Great to see a fellow Brit here. What are your plans for the running? I am working on getting back into that too.
3 tasty meals a day and loving it

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