Sharon's daily check-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.

Moderators: Soprano, automatedeating

automatedeating
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by automatedeating » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:30 pm

What an amazing testimony, Sharon. I feel like your statements show that NoS has actually been part of a season of your life where you are learning anew to practice self-care and self-compassion, whether it's by recognizing the physical toll on your body grief causes (as well as your soul and heart), or by making reasonable food choices during this intense time of grief.

Hang in there. Share here whenever you need to as you process losing such a big influence on your family's life.
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;
3/19-22.1; 10/19-21.8
6/20-22.5; 7/20-23.0 (struggling but not sure why)

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:36 pm

Thanks, Auto. Good point about self care. Junk food is not self care. But I think we all need to be at a point in our lives where we have some alternatives that work if we're not going to instinctively turn to sugar/salt/fat when things are hard. I think it's helped not to cave to emotional eating when managing little stresses at work. "I don't do that any more." As Reinhard says, building new habits.

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:19 am

Hey there whomever might still be reading my very occasional check-ins. I haven't been on the boards much, but that's been by design. I want NoS to be the unsurprising way I live my life, not some special thing I need support for. I don't log into a community to make sure I brush my teeth every day or make my bed each morning. I really want to try to pretend I'm a conventional French woman eating the traditional French way, as if of course this is how I eat. It would be strange to do it otherwise!

That's probably a bit optimistic, considering I've been at this for 15 months versus some unhealthy eating habits for years. And soon, as the days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and the holiday treats start appearing, I'll probably be back here more regularly. But for now, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things are going.

I haven't lost any weight for months, but I'm at a decent weight for myself. I'm about 3 lbs from a weight I'd really like to be at. It's symbolic -- my final Weight Watchers goal weight -- but I don't want to get too hung up on that. 5 lbs lower than that would be a super great weight that I maintained for years in my late 30s and early 40s. I'd be ecstatic to be back there, but it's fine if I don't make it. I do hope to drop the next 3 at some point, but I'm not in a rush. I think it's very important to enjoy my life and my food and not obsess about every morsel I put in my mouth.

I know what I need to do in order to lose weight: Cut out all my refined carbs and limit even the whole grains. Not ready to do that just yet, but I might in early autumn.

Meanwhile, I remain contentedly fairly rigid about no sweets and no snacks during the week. That habit and two simple rules are SO IMPORTANT! There was ice cream at work today, I knew about that last week, so over the weekend I was pondering whether I should swap Saturday for today as my S day, and I started obsessing about it, and ended up eating a large bowl of frozen yogurt Saturday, which answered the question. I totally see the point about not swapping days. It adds complexity and requires willpower, as opposed to just "I don't have this on weekdays, done." Didn't go for the ice cream today, and my life was just fine. Simple rule, simple action, no willpower required.

No seconds is definitely less rigid. I have a few of my own rules, such as if my first plate is at least half vegetables I can have seconds. And I'd still prefer to try a non-heaping plate to see if that will satisfy me and have the option of having a little more than either piling my plate (and ending up eating more than I need) or going hungry all night. Fifteen months in, I still don't always know how much I need to be satisfied but not stuffed. Working on it.

This way of eating seems like it will be fine for long-range maintenance. I might experiment with an additional dessert day during the week if I ever reach my dream weight, but that's it. Meanwhile, I suspect I may need to be a little more focused on only one plate when I try to lose my last few pounds.

I'm still exercising almost every day and enjoying it more. I feel energized after exercise, even when it's a hard workout. Maybe especially after. My whole body feels better now that I'm down about 8 lbs and much (if not all) of the spare tire around my middle is gone. A few of my pants are almost too loose. The size 8 shorts I bought a bit tight now fit pretty well. A shirt I loved that had gotten too tight, which I sadly moved to the back of my closet in hopes of better days, fits again.

My stomach is a lot happier when I don't stuff it. I've discovered it's fine not to be full all the time. In fact, I feel better. It's OK to be a little hungry. Seems obvious, but I had to decouple a lot of emotional eating from eating that makes sense.

I think I could pretty easily slip back into my old ways of eating all the time, so I try to keep telling myself that it's uncivilized and gross to stuff something in my mouth every time I open the refrigerator or walk through the kitchen.

Eating well has always been easier for me in the summer, though. I really fear the upcoming short days and long, cold, dark afternoons/evenings/nights.

automatedeating
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Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by automatedeating » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:12 am

Hi Sharon! So lovely to see your check-in and all the good things going on for you. Such peace you are exuding!
Take care and thanks for the update!
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;
3/19-22.1; 10/19-21.8
6/20-22.5; 7/20-23.0 (struggling but not sure why)

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:18 am

Thanks so much, auto! I feel like I currently have a pretty good relationship with food. As Reinhard says: Nothing's forbidden, just delayed. And habits and routines are so much easier than trying to exercise willpower over individual one-on-one decisions, which take so much more cognitive energy. I saw that when I was debating about whether I should try to switch S days last week. Suddenly I was doing so much thinking/obsessing about what had been fairly automated.

I'm not so naive as to think this will easily last for years without effort. August is always an easy time for me to keep healthy habits -- I've had months of sunlight, there's such great local produce, and not much is going on in terms of holidays besides Labor Day. I'm also surprisingly relaxed (for me) about when I'll reach my "magic number" goal weight. I think part of the reason is that I'm not in a big rush to change the way I'm eating now. When I was on Weight Watchers, I couldn't wait to get those extra maintenance points! When I was on South Beach, I eagerly looked forward to adding refined carbs back in.

Do I want to go back to the way I was eating before NoS once I reach my goal? Stuffing food in my face all hours of the day? Eating crap multiple days a week? Actually, right now I don't. Doesn't mean in the future I won't, but I'm not longing to go back to my old habits. I'm not even longing to do much modifying of what I'm doing now. Maybe larger portions, more carbs during the week (but not sweets) -- I need to cut back the carbs to lose, even if that's not part of the plan, and possibly having one sweet one N day a week from time to time if that wouldn't cause too much cognitive load. I cut back my beef to once a week, and keeping track of that wasn't very hard. At the beginning I couldn't wait for the next beef day. Now, I sometimes go weeks without having it at all.

automatedeating
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Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by automatedeating » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:45 pm

I wouldn't be at all surprised if, for the most part, you continue this better relationship with food. It does take some effort (like any relationship) but you have been working these habits for a significant amount of time. After about this amount of time on NoS, I knew the principles were with me for life. Of course I've tweaked and modified, but the principles always stay.

Oh, and I was contemplating about NoS - although many join and drop off, there are a LOT of people that keep with it for many many years (on or off these boards). How many other diets can say the same, right? There is something elegant about NoS that, if it wins a convert, that person's relationship with food is truly different forever. Indeed, maybe this is taking it a bit far, but NoS has made me different in far more ways than just food.
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;
3/19-22.1; 10/19-21.8
6/20-22.5; 7/20-23.0 (struggling but not sure why)

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Octavia
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Location: UK

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by Octavia » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:50 pm

Great points from Auto. I feel the same, the basic habits are so fundamental to me now, even though I feel I’ve been through a phase of relative failure! It really is a long-term journey and there’s so much to learn - I do feel I need to learn the same lessons over and over again sometimes.

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Octavia
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Location: UK

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by Octavia » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:12 pm

sharon227 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:19 am
I want NoS to be the unsurprising way I live my life, not some special thing I need support for. I don't log into a community to make sure I brush my teeth every day or make my bed each morning. I really want to try to pretend I'm a conventional French woman eating the traditional French way, as if of course this is how I eat. It would be strange to do it otherwise!

...I love this, and it’s exactly what I was groping towards earlier his evening, only I didn’t express it half as well! Thank you Sharon. :)

sharon227
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Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:16 am

Sorry for delay Octavia and thanks for the nice post!

I've been on vacation the last 2 weeks and it was kind of an eating / weight miracle at this stage of my life (i.e. not young anymore). We were in Madrid and Lisbon. I decided to eat how I wanted without guilt, but also without going crazy. We had sweet pastries for breakfast the first day, but I really didn't want sweets every day. They weren't forbidden. They weren't something that were laden with guilt if I ate them. They were just food. We had gelato a couple of days, but not every day even though I'd decided the whole vacation would be S days.

I did have croissants and jam many days as part of my breakfast. Relaxed and enjoyed every one without guilt. Our Lisbon hotel had an amazing breakfast buffet. All you can eat -- danger! Except it wasn't dangerous. I enjoyed what I wanted without overstuffing myself -- very new for me at a buffet, when I used to eat myself sick. There were plates and plates of little pastries. I rarely had one. Sweets have become something I enjoy occasionally and not all the time.

I didn't have dessert at meals most days, but did at a few special restaurants -- usually splitting one with my husband. Had bread and wine with most of my meals -- but my meals were relaxed with European portion sizes. And of course we walked a ton, since we were sightseeing in European cities. It wasn't just the walking. It was the fact that we were strolling for hours and I wasn't sitting at a computer working for 9+ hours a day.

Instead of bringing chocolate back as a souvenir, which I used to do when traveling, I brought back some sangria tea from Spain. Made a pot last night and it felt special.

I was debating whether to weigh myself now or after 2 weeks back on No S. Decided I should know where I am now. Just weighed myself. I'm up less than a pound.

I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am. I spent two weeks relaxed about food, not stressing about what I was or wasn't eating, enjoying every single thing I ate without feeling deprived, naturally limiting myself based on habits I've built up the last 15 months or so. This has really emphasized:
  • Reinhard is so right about the importance of habits. I didn't need to consult lists or track food. I now have a rhythm where sweets are an occasional treat and not a daily occurrence.

    How I eat is almost as important as what I eat. Being relaxed and undistracted, focusing on enjoying meals as special occasions instead of wolfing them down in front of a computer or TV or stressing out about guilt surrounding what I eat MATTERS.

    Official exercise isn't all that matters. Being on my feet many hours of the day as opposed to sitting for 12 and exercising for 1 makes a difference.
Hope everyone had a good end of summer (or end of winter for those in the Southern Hemisphere)

automatedeating
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by automatedeating » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:09 am

Bravo, bravo, your post is so powerful!!!!!! Yay Sharon, whoop-whoop for joyful moderation!
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;
3/19-22.1; 10/19-21.8
6/20-22.5; 7/20-23.0 (struggling but not sure why)

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:28 pm

I said I'd never do it again ... and yet here I am ... and I'm fine with it!

I'm tracking everything I eat. And, oddly, it's OK. Here's why.

I'm doing an 8-week "challenge" at my gym. When the trainer suggested I track my food, I balked. "I can't weigh and measure and track my food every day for the rest of my life. I can't live that way," I told her. But she said she wasn't asking me to do it for the rest of my life -- just for the 8 weeks, so I can get a sense of what I'm eating. She is especially interested in making sure I get enough protein.

Hmm. Funny how the reason for tracking makes all the difference. This isn't a punitive thing to make sure I'm not going over my calories. It doesn't require me to spend my day obsessing over whether I have enough calories left for dinner. It's just informational -- and making sure I'm being good to my body to give it enough of what it needs.

The trainer doesn't want me obsessing about my weight, either, even though I'm finally ready to work toward losing my last few pounds to get to my I'll-be-super-happy-at goal weight. Her goal for me is to build up muscle mass and reduce body fat percent. She says if I do that, the weight will take care of itself. I like that idea, because I know I feel better when I'm not too flabby. Plus this is all about healthy living -- eating well, exercising, and eating enough of the things my body needs.

I'm definitely more relaxed about food after a year and a half on NoS. And I feel like I'm ready to track for informational purposes, just for a few weeks, to see how it goes.

The weekly rhythm of N days and S days makes my longer rhythms of weight loss / weigh maintenance and a bit of weight gain seem natural, too. So, no internal negative thoughts this time. Just enthusiasm for working to get to my goal.

I'm also ready to radically cut back my refined carbs for a few weeks. It may seem optimistic to try to do that just as the holiday season kicks off, but I really don't want to overindulge this year. Eating lots of sweets and white flour isn't a treat. It makes me feel like crap. NoS clued me in on that for sweets, and how much better it is to only have them occasionally. I'm going to work on that for refined carbs too for awhile.

My weight crept up a couple of pounds this fall. Thanks to my new attitude, instead of beating myself up for being "bad", I could look objectively and see that the issue was too many seconds. I'm rigid about no sweets and no snacks on N days, but not very strict about seconds. And that meant I'm eating too much food. Also, I was eating too much restaurant food and take-out and refined carbs. So obviously the answer is to deal with that and see what happens. My biggest challenge is finding the time to shop and cook healthy, because I enjoy eating healthy. I just don't like spending an hour or two cooking and cleaning up after dinner. I think I need to look at a combination of some cooking, some finding healthy ready-made meals, and a little indulgence.

automatedeating
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Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by automatedeating » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:07 am

How cool that you are working with a trainer! I'm so pleased to see you here on the forum, so tell your trainer I said thanks for asking you to track for a few weeks. :mrgreen:
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;
3/19-22.1; 10/19-21.8
6/20-22.5; 7/20-23.0 (struggling but not sure why)

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:33 am

Aw, thanks, Auto! Yes, the trainer is a bit of an indulgence. I'm not doing it weekly, but I think even once a month will help me stay on track over the holidays.

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:39 pm

I took a time management class at work recently. One of the things they had us do is to write down the most important things to us, and then estimate how we spend time in our days. And then look to see if there is a mismatch. We did that for work, and then we did that overall for our personal lives. Very interesting exercise.

One thing that I came away with was, if I say good health is one of the most important things to me, but then I don’t eat healthy foods and exercise, good health is not one of the most important things to me. Whatever the heck else I’m doing instead is more important.

This is really important for me to remember when it comes to eating healthy. I actually enjoy eating healthy. My problem is that it takes a lot of time and effort compared to going out to eat or ordering takeout. But is good health important to me or isn’t it?

I don’t know how people work full-time, cook homemade meals every day, and have kids. My Mom did it for years. I think the answer ends up being having zero time for yourself. I don’t have kids at home and it’s still a struggle.

I chopped veggies for 2 homemade soups over the weekend. Made a nice lentil soup for dinner last night, will be making the barley soup tomorrow. I find that a filling soup plus salad is enough dinner for me most nights. If not for hubby, he can add a sandwich.

automatedeating
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by automatedeating » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:13 pm

Sharon - I have done those time management exercises too!! It made some big shifts for me!

*I ended up deciding to spend less time on housework haha! Seriously! Because what MATTERED to me was not a clean house. Don't get me wrong; I still have to do it but I only do enough for me and I don't worry about what the "standard for women" is on this.
*I also ended up deciding to take the plunge and get puppy #2 (which I've been waffling on for 2 years), because PETS was very high on my list of things that bring me joy.
*I ALSO ended up making a hard and fast rule to not check work email or do any school stuff on Saturdays.
*I embraced spending more $$$ on Audible and Kindle because reading brings me joy.

There were a number of other things that occurred because of those time management exercises. How cool for you that you recognize that you want to make food prep more a part of your life. I don't enjoy cooking, so I found that just making my meals so simple that even I could make them in 20 minutes works for me. I buy bagged salad and I eat the simplest pieces of meat. This also required a shift from the idea that a "home-cooked meal" needs to have side dishes. LOL!!! And since most of my meals are repeats, it requires very little cooking.

As far as going out, I've seen that on your thread a lot as a derailer for you. Probably your #1 derailer, hun? I think I used to eat out more, but now I don't usually accept invitations to eat out. I ask if the friend wants to walk, or go to an art store, or meet for coffee (instead of a meal). I save eating out for date nights w/ hubby and then he accommodates my need to find something on the menu that isn't carbolicious. Also my coworkers are mostly vegans and vegetarians and it is downright weird when I order beef in front of them. They even look down on my yogurt since it's from an animal. So that makes me self-conscious to eat out with work friends.

So I guess my summary is that you might decide eating out is not worth it if you follow your "time management" discoveries. Or perhaps not, lol. It's all discovery on our journey.
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;
3/19-22.1; 10/19-21.8
6/20-22.5; 7/20-23.0 (struggling but not sure why)

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:37 pm

You nailed it for me, Auto. Not enough homemade healthy meals is my big problem.

For now I'm working on stopping the take-out multiple times a week. Next is going to have to be looking at all the restaurant meals. The issue with restaurants is that it's a big part of our social life. Not just mine, but my husband and I go out regularly. We have a standing weekly dinner out with a single friend. We regularly meet friends for dinner out. While I can cut back some of that, I'm not sure having my eating program completely disrupt our long-time social habits is going to be the way to go. Everyone is amenable for changing where we eat, so I can find healthy options on the menu. I need to work on picking good locations and then planning ahead and sticking to my menu plans.

Interesting how you responded to your time management! I actually enjoy being in a clean, clutter-free environment a lot. Which is, sadly, not the environment in my home, but I'm working on it. Some areas are pretty good, and I can feel how more calm, relaxed, and peaceful I feel when things are decluttered and clean. So the clean house is for me, not anyone else.

Totally cool on the puppy, who will likely bring you much joy.

I'm trying very hard to make a day on the weekend when I unplug. Mixed success.

I'm going to look at more "pre-prepared" raw foods. If I can buy pre-chopped onions and celery, why not? I know it's more expensive, but if it saves time and drudgery and makes it more likely I'll continue eating healthy after my initial enthusiasm, seems like a good investment.

sharon227
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Sharon's daily check-in

Post by sharon227 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:09 am

Thanksgiving is a tough week to eat healthy. I’m trying to stay on plan although it’s a challenge. Went to a community Thanksgiving service last night and there was a dessert reception after. All I had was half a cup of mulled cider! Didn’t even have any fruit, let alone a single sweet. And they were platters and platters of them!

I was cooking and baking all afternoon today. It was hard not to pick. I stuck to a few walnuts, and then I just had to lick the batter in the bowl from my cranberry cake! Fortunately, it would be kind of lame to pick at the actual cake before Thanksgiving dinner, so it is cooling on the counter untouched.

I didn’t get to the gym today despite good intentions. I was going to go right after dinner but it was raining pretty heavily and I was tired, and I decided a day off is fine. I will go tomorrow morning before finishing cooking a couple of more things, though. Not heading to my sister-in-law's until 2:30 or so, so there will be plenty of time.

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