WINhappy's Check-in Thread

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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WINhappy
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WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Mon May 22, 2023 11:52 pm

Hi everyone! I am new here, and looking forward to connecting with anyone who wants to connect with me through these boards. Howdy, howdy!

I can't remember exactly how I came across the No S Diet but am so happy I did. I purchased the book back in November 2022 and have been striving toward Vanilla No S ever since. Unfortunately, I have yet to string together more than 2 consecutive N days but have heartily embraced S days (not good, friends, not good at all!).

Despite solid effort to embrace Vanilla No S over the last several months, I've decided to start a little smaller. I took a hard look at my eating habits, preferences, and lifestyle and have decided on the following plan:

1. No seconds
2. No snacking
3. Maximum one (1) sweet per day (max. 150 calories; anything more becomes a red day)

Having perused the boards as a guest, I recognize that altering the basic framework of Vanilla No S can be a risky strategy. However, after much thought and for many reasons, I think this revised strategy might work for me. I've actually held to this plan for the last three days, so have already beaten my Vanilla No S record.

I have never (and I mean never) lost weight on any diet, not even five pounds. This is likely due to a complete inability to remain on one longer than about a day, thanks to a bad (but possibly also protective) combination of rebellion and hedonism. I've avoided the vicious and disheartening cycle of losing a bunch of weight only to gain it back and then some, for which I'm grateful to my past self. But my weight has also gently drifted up by about a pound every year and I would love to flatten that trend, at the very least.

I am very excited about No S Diet and about this community, which seems to be remarkably kind, compassionate, and supportive. I have lots more to say but this initial post is already long enough. If you've read until the end, thank you! I look forward to checking in again soon.

Best regards,
WINhappy
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

Amy3010
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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Amy3010 » Tue May 23, 2023 5:36 am

Welcome to the No-S boards!

My best advice is just to stick with it - if you can live with some imperfection and slow progress, you will find the habits creep up on you over time and will completely change your relationship with food. Good luck! :mrgreen:

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Soprano » Tue May 23, 2023 6:28 pm

Welcome, sounds like a good plan. Good luck

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: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by ladybird30 » Tue May 23, 2023 9:09 pm

Welcome. Dieting is not necessary for permanent weight loss anyway, and I have lost weight without it on No S by changing my food habits.

Like you, I have never been able to stick to an eating plan devised by someone else or restrict my calories to the usual dieting levels for more than a short time. Nor do I see any point in me trying to do so.

No S doesn't count as a diet to me because it is just going back to the traditional way of eating before eating all the time became the norm.

I have observed after reading many posts that complicated plans tend not to last long, so a simple plan sounds like a good start.
Three meals a day - not too little not too much, but just right

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Wed May 24, 2023 1:29 am

Hi Amy3010, Soprano, and ladybird30! Thank you so much for the warm welcome and well wishes. They mean a lot! This is the very first internet group I have ever joined and it has taken me many months to work up the courage to reach out, even if only remotely, so I'm gratified that you've taken the time to respond to my post. I am not on Facebook and never will be, so I appreciate Reinhard and all of you keeping this board open as an option.

I did well with my personal plan yesterday and if I go to bed tonight without a snack, I will have five consecutive N days (as I define them). This afternoon was a bit of a challenge as I was stomach-growling hungry but I managed to avoid snacking, which represents a pretty significant change in behavior. In the past, I would have snacked all afternoon and still eaten a hearty dinner plus dessert. I know it's only been four+ days, but one must start somewhere, so I'm choosing to consider this a big accomplishment.

The strange thing about this way of eating is that I really only have to do tomorrow what I already did today, namely just eat a reasonable plateful of food three times a day and stay out of the snacks. Other plans I've tried just seemed to get harder with every passing minute. There was always another rule, another restriction, another hassle, another expectation, another task to add to my To Do list, and another infringement on my time, willpower, and life. Perhaps I'm being too harsh but that's how it felt to me. So far, I like the No S Diet's gentler approach a lot better and am hopeful that I can stick with my plan tomorrow as well.

Wishing all of you a pleasant evening and a great day tomorrow!

WINhappy
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

Soprano
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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Soprano » Wed May 24, 2023 5:36 am

What I love most about nos is its simplicity. It doesn't take any energy to follow. Really sounds like you have got this. You may slip occasionally, we all do but what will make you succeed is just start again right then and there. :)

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: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Thu May 25, 2023 1:22 am

Thanks, soprano! That is very encouraging.

I am already thinking ahead to the (very likely if not inevitable "fail") and trying some proactive self-talk to hopefully keep myself from going completely off the rails. I will not be able to do the quote justice or even attribute it to the correct poster (apologies!) but I think I read a No S post something to the effect of "denting your fender is no reason to drive your car into a tree". That concept really resonates with me and I've made avoiding unnecessary tree-ramming my goal for future red days. I am working hard to postpone that day for as long as possible but we shall see. Best laid plans and all that....

I learned yet another lesson today, thanks to No S. I ate a less-than-favorite lunch and found myself craving dessert. The meal was perfectly fine - tasty even - just not delicious. I was not hungry after my one plate but suspect I was hunting more sensory pleasure. I didn't snack or eat anything sweet, thanks to my planned safety-valve of two pieces of dark chocolate after dinner, but noticed some daydreaming about dessert. Not snacking all the time is giving me more time to notice this kind of thing, I suppose!

Regardless, today will be another green day as long as I go to bed without a snack and right now, that feels doable. I hope everyone has had a great day!
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

ladybird30
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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by ladybird30 » Thu May 25, 2023 9:22 pm

Yes, 'fails' are inevitable, just part of learning how to eat sensibly like learning any other habit.
It is just a particularly difficult one to master for many people, including me.

Sounds like you are off to a good start.
Three meals a day - not too little not too much, but just right

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Fri May 26, 2023 2:23 am

Ladybird, I'm glad you wrote what you did because today ended up red, thanks to a bad combination of a grouchy mood and a surprise offer of a maple cookie.

It was technically only 1 cookie after lunch, but rich enough to make this day red. But overall, I stil ate less in total than I would have pre-No S, so all is not lost.

I will re- focus tomorrow and work towards a green day.
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

Soprano
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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Soprano » Fri May 26, 2023 6:41 am

WINhappy wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 2:23 am
Ladybird, I'm glad you wrote what you did because today ended up red, thanks to a bad combination of a grouchy mood and a surprise offer of a maple cookie.

It was technically only 1 cookie after lunch, but rich enough to make this day red. But overall, I stil ate less in total than I would have pre-No S, so all is not lost.

I will re- focus tomorrow and work towards a green day.
I'd call that an amber day. :)

Congrats on not letting it derail you

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: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Sat May 27, 2023 12:34 am

Thanks, Soprano.

I'm pleased to report that today has been green so far, and will remain so as long as I go to bed without a snack. Knowing that I slipped a bit yesterday made me pretty determined to stay on track today. That said, I'm heading into the weekend - otherwise known as allowed S days - and am a little uncertain about how they'll go, since they are coming at the end of the first week I've been successful on No S. I plan to stick to 3 meals a day with no snacking because I like being on the other side of the stomach-growling hunger I used to experience between meals and I don't want to set myself back. But I may let myself be flexible in the hopes of avoiding too much pressure in either direction. We shall see.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

WINhappy
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Sun May 28, 2023 12:50 am

Today was my first official S day and I enjoyed it to the tune of a doughnut and two glasses of chocolate milk, spread throughout the day. My portions at my three meals stayed about the same and I didn't snack so feeling OK about today. I have no special plan for tomorrow's S day, except to enjoy the day as it unfolds. My attention is already focused on Monday and how I plan to get back on track with my N day habits. I really want the N day/S day pattern to work for me and the only way it will is if I resume N day habits as scheduled.
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Soprano » Sun May 28, 2023 6:06 am

Great news re S day.
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: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Tue May 30, 2023 8:24 pm

Hi all -
I have returned home from an unanticipated few days out of town, which encompassed my second S day (Sunday), and 2 N days.

Sunday was pretty tame for an S day, especially in comparison to how I used to eat so feel pleased that I didn't go wild. I had 2 sweets and no snacks but my portion at dinner was more than just a single plate (hors d'oeuvres were served - really tasty hors d'oeuvres!).

Monday I re-focused as I promised myself I would and stuck to my 3 plates with no snacks and only 1 small sweet. Both yesterday and today, I've had the same sweet as I do at home (2 squares of 78% or greater dark chocolate) so that helped keep my N days calm. I did a little virtual plating yesterday and today and felt a little too full after both lunches.

I am back home for the evening but then heading back out for the rest of the week. I do not plan on checking in here while I am on the road (I don't like to log into sites using public/hotel Wi-Fis if I can help it). I plan to focus on keeping tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday "N"; Saturday will be both an S day and a travel day, which should make life easier. In order of descending priority, here are my goals for the remainder of my travel: No snacks, max 1 small sweet, 3 reasonable plates at meals. I will check back in on Saturday. Wish me luck and I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

Amy3010
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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Amy3010 » Wed May 31, 2023 5:23 am

Enjoy your trip! Well done on thinking about your eating strategy beforehand and good luck sticking to it! :mrgreen:

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by pinkhippie » Wed May 31, 2023 8:49 pm

Welcome WINhappy! Glad you joined us here! I can't remember when I started No S.. 2010 maybe? But it took me a good few years to really conquer some of the habits. And I left and came back, but each time I did, the habits got stronger. And now, even when I fall away from them, they are relatively easy to jump back to. My hardest initial habit was not eating after dinner and not eating sweets during the week. Now, I almost never eat after dinner. If I have a sweet every day during a special week, then that is the hardest habit to get back onto, but I think it could be the addictive quality of sugar. Anyway, just wanted to give you some encouragement. Even if it feels hard, like you might not ever be able to do it, you CAN! Just keep at it.

Hope you have a great trip!

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Tue Jun 06, 2023 2:09 am

Hi everyone!

Thank you, Amy3010 and pinkhippie for your well-wishes while I traveled. I am back home now and am excited to get back into my usual routine for a few days (until I travel again on the 14th).

My trip went smoothly and, for the most part, I'm pleased with how well I stuck to No S. I can't claim to have put the healthiest foods on my 3 plates and I filled at least a few plates pretty full. However, I kept to No S on the weekdays, even while traveling. Saturday was an approved S day and I did have 3 total sweets but still didn't snack. Yesterday was also an approved S day but it was basically an N day with one slightly larger and richer sweet than I am allowing myself as my one mod.

Today, I am back on strict No S (well, my version of it at least) and will be able to mark today green as long as I don't eat anything until breakfast tomorrow.

Some things I've noticed so far:

1. I am truly shocked that I've managed to avoid snacking between lunch and dinner, after dinner, and/or in the middle of the night (so far anyway). I still WANT to but so far I haven't given myself permission to do so. I won't do the quote justice but Reinhard says somewhere in his excellent book something like "It's easier and clearer to ask, is it Monday at 4:00am and is this a brownie?" That clarity resonates with me. Snacking is a visible, active behavior so I've been telling myself (among many, many other things) that all I need to do to succeed is to simply "Don't". Don't get up, don't go into the kitchen, don't open the pantry door, etc. Finally, a preference for conserving energy pays off!

2. I've noticed that my "diet head" chatter hasn't subsided very much yet; it's just switched tapes to play No S tracks rather than low-carb, low-fat, eat this, don't eat that, how many calories in this food, etc. The No S guidelines are running through my head pretty much constantly while I'm awake. My plates are substantial because I feel a little anxious about getting uncomfortably hungry between meals and triggering feelings of deprivation. I definitely get hungry between meals so I don't think I'm overeating much at each meal but mentally, I feel anxious. Hopefully, this will lessen as I rack up additional N days and gain confidence but for now, I notice a bit of anxiety and portioning myself "safety blanket" meals.

3. I've felt (and been) more successful with no snacks and controlling sweets since permitting my daily two pieces of dark chocolate mod. I'm pleased by this because snacking definitely contributed the bulk of my extra calories and has been the downfall of every historical attempt to cut calories or eat less. Anticipating that small, controlled indulgence is helping me stay on track and keep rebellion due to feeling deprived at bay. I understand that I won't always be successful, and Vanilla No S remains the dream, but for now, a maximum of 150 calories of dark chocolate per day is saving me many hundreds of calories per day in snacks, which seems a decent trade-off to me.

I am so happy to be home safe and sound, happy to feel I was successful with No S while traveling, and happy to be able to focus on one N day at a time until the weekend. Although No S is on my mind almost constantly, overall I feel it is a healthy focus. It fits so well into the social convention of breakfast, lunch, and dinner and doesn't demand extreme restrictions on the type of food like pretty much every other diet out there.

Thank you again and in advance for your support and encouragement. I hope everyone has a great week!
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

Amy3010
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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by Amy3010 » Tue Jun 06, 2023 6:36 am

It sounds like you managed to fit No-S into your travel nicely! I think it is quite normal to be thinking about it a lot at the beginning, until the habits just become second nature and you find yourself doing it without the low level anxiety and mental chatter. Hang in there and keep going! :mrgreen:

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Wed Jun 07, 2023 2:04 am

Thanks Amy3010!

Today will be green as long as I go to bed without eating anything (a theme emerges.....). That said, this afternoon was fairly tough. For some reason I felt especially hungry and really, really wanted to have a snack. I started feeling hungry an hour after lunch so was facing hours before my usual dinner time and definitely felt my anxiety rise. But I had a perfectly substantial and delicious lunch - there was NO WAY I somehow lacked calories so I talked myself into staying the course and stayed out of the snacks. My post from yesterday haunted me and I reminded myself that all I have to do is "don't". I can't say it was the most relaxed afternoon I've ever spent but I certainly arrived at dinner time fully conscious and perfectly healthy so it was a waste of energy to have worried so much about whether I could "make it".

One of many reasons I feel like No S is the right choice for me is the emphasis on discrete but substantial meals, and letting any weight loss come from limiting extra calories from unnecessary snacks and sweets.

For example, I've eaten the exact same breakfast every morning for literally years (old-fashioned oatmeal made with 1/3 cup dry oats and 1 cup of water, microwaved for 2 minutes 30 seconds, with 2 tablespoons ground flax meal, a spoonful of natural, unsweetened peanut butter, a fresh banana, and unsweetened soy milk). I LOVE this breakfast and seek out as close an approximation as I can manage when traveling.

And yet, I can't tell you the angst other diets have caused me to feel about this decades-long breakfast choice. I've agonized over every single ingredient at one time or the other, depending on the diet of the day. The oats and banana were the kiss of death in the eyes of the low carb gurus, the flax meal and peanut butter were evil incarnate in the eyes of the low-fat advocates, the banana was OK with the no grain people but the oatmeal was going to make my gut leak and destroy my life, the entire meal was lacking in phytonutrients and what I should really do is blend and drink a half pound of kale instead according to the nutrient-focused folks, and the entire meal was "just way too many calories" according to the CICO folks. Now I ask you, how sustainable can any diet be that ties one into knots about something so innocuous as a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal with a banana? How is it rational to be scared of my favorite breakfast? No S is such a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, this post went on longer than I expected. Actually succeeding over the last week or so highlights how thoroughly other diets failed me. Thanks for "listening" and take care!
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by pinkhippie » Wed Jun 07, 2023 2:28 am

Hi WINhappy!

Im so glad your trip was a success! It sounds like you did really well.

I really relate to everything you are saying about the no S guidelines constantly running through your head, the struggle to not snack after dinner or between meals, and diet head still trying to keep a strong place in your head. Oh and the bigger meals so you won't get too hungry between meals. That was the same for me in the beginning.

That WILL fade if you just stay the course. I had to laugh about your description of breakfast because I have SO been there! Every ingredient it seems is demonized depending on what diet you follow. Just another reason I love No S so much.

You can do this! Keep up the good work!

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Thu Jun 08, 2023 1:16 am

Thank you for the encouragement, pinkhippie. Someday, I will focus on decreasing the size of my plates or the caloric density of my choices but establishing consistent habits will remain my focus for some time to come.

On that note, I must regretfully report that today is red for sweets, although green for no seconds and no snacks (as long as I go to bed without eating anything). In addition to my planned dark chocolate, I enjoyed a single dark chocolate peanut butter cup with my afternoon decaf (it was delicious, but still a step across the line I've volunteered to draw). I wasn't especially hungry or feeling especially deprived - the peanut butter cup was simply available as an option and I took it. I have no good excuse beyond "I just wanted it", which is not a good excuse at all.

So, this gives me an opportunity to practice another piece of excellent advice I've seen on this forum - "Mark it, and move on." After all, tomorrow will be green as long as I "just don't" turn it red.

I hope you and everyone else has had a happy and successful day!
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

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Re: WINhappy's Check-in Thread

Post by WINhappy » Fri Jun 09, 2023 2:06 am

Ok, so today was tough. I kept it green, but only with great effort of will and an entire pot of decaf coffee over the course of the afternoon (just a small one - 2 mugs worth - but still!). For some reason, I felt especially hungry all day today and came very close to caving on both sweets and snacks this afternoon. I didn't sleep well last night, had another busy day at work, and, when I finally had a moment to myself, my growling stomach felt like just one more hassle - one that I could have alleviated easily with some really tasty snacks before dinner. But I didn't, and I'm proud of myself.

I don't think I really stress eat - or at least I don't overeat in the moments I'm feeling stressed. I seem most vulnerable after the stress is over, after I've been responsible, collaborative, helpful, reliable, dependable, etc. for too many hours or days in a row and finally get a break. That's when I get tempted to cast off being so ADULT all the time and party hearty. Subtle or overt rebellion seems to be a thread for me. I talked myself out of the myriad of snacks and sweets I could have indulged in and just sipped my coffee while giving myself a good stern talking to. But my lesson for today is that I should probably work on self-care, or at the very least, incorporating more and earlier breaks into my day!

Tomorrow's plan: Don't. Just don't. Stay out of the snacks, seconds, and sweets.
Goal: Keep it green.

Hoping everyone had a great day!
Sometimes the coolest thing when you were a kid- remains the coolest thing.

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