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Sharon's daily check-in

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 6:42 pm
by sharon227
Hello! I'm brand spanking new, and the idea of checking in daily for the first few days makes a lot of sense! I started yesterday, a Friday, and it was tough because we were going to a friend's party last night. I stayed away from all the sweets and didn't snack until the party, but then did have some pre-dinner appetizers AND seconds at dinner. So even though we're not supposed to swap "S days," I think this will work best for me if I do my S days as 2 out of Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

I'm succeeding so far today. No snacks, no sweets, and no seconds at breakfast or lunch. Going out for Chinese dinner tonight, one plate should be OK (in fact I'll probably have leftovers). I do also want to have some hot & sour soup along with my meal, so I'll try the "virtual plating" and imagine it taking up a portion of the plate.

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 6:49 pm
by Soprano
Sounds like you have got your head around this :)


Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 11:32 pm
by Larkspur
Good luck!

Day 2

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 2:11 pm
by sharon227
Thanks @Soprano and @Larkspur .

I've been reading the book, and I see now that I'm not supposed to be swapping S days because it adds complexity. However, I'm going to try just if I have an extraordinarily challenging Friday to swap that in advance, which hopefully won't take too much rational thought/effort.

Starting on a Friday probably wasn't the best choice, but here I am.

Since I used Friday as an S day, I swapped it for Saturday. Yesterday I had no snacks and no sweets. I didn't really use one my plate because I had hot & sour soup first and forgot to leave space on my dinner plate for it to do the virtual plating. Plus I took some spoon fulls for seconds out of habit -- then tried to move them to a part of the plate where no food had been. Not exactly how this works, but I'm reasonably satisfied with how it went. I need to give myself some time to get used to following the rules.

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 8:58 pm
by Soprano
Be patient with yourself, you'll have the odd slip up whilst you adapt, just don't let it throw you off the rails :)


Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:52 am
by sharon227
Thanks, Soprano. Wise advice. It's unreasonable to expect myself to be perfect. Irrational, really. And yet I will :-)

Check-in from Sunday: Yesterday was supposed to be my day to treat myself to frozen yogurt. But it was also graduation at the nearby state university, and my favorite frozen yogurt place is across the street from the college. Since I have zero patience for waiting on long lines (if I had to wait on line to eat junk food, I would Never. Eat. Junk. Food.), I didn't go. Instead, my snack was a big bowl of some of my favorite fruits. I sat down and paid attention to them, and enjoyed every delicious bite.

We went out to dinner with friends. I had a small salad plate from a buffet without worrying about leaving room for it on my main plate, then chicken with cole slaw and sweet potato fries. I LOVE sweet potato fries. I'm supposed to limit (not eliminate) fried things for health reasons, but that seemed reasonable. I didn't have BBQ ribs. I didn't have the corn bread. I didn't have wine with dinner. And I was fine with all of that, because at the time I didn't want any of those things. But it's my S day and I wanted sweet potato fries. So I had them.

I also ate about 3/4 of the chicken portion instead of my usual half. Aha moment: I realized that I often eat smaller dinners and then, when I'm home and would get hungry after dinner, I'd have a dessert or snack. But I would feel so virtuous when I took home fully half of my large restaurant portion! It is really eye-opening how snacking has allowed me to deceive myself about how much I've been eating. Eating what I need to eat at dinner and then not eating afterwards seems a much better idea.

This morning I had the urge to check the scale to see whether I was "punished" for having those sweet potato fries. How sad a way to live is that? It's good that I'm not looking. I need to break that relationship in my mind between "I enjoyed my meal" and "I'll be punished by the scale for being 'bad'."

(I really do hope I see something good in early June, though. . . .)

This is my first full week of N days (starting on a Friday made the first few days pretty easy). I'm a bit nervous about how the no snacking and no seconds will play out. Especially on days I want to go to the gym.

Yikes a rather long check-in. I'd consider yesterday a successful S day, even though I don't know what the scale says this morning!


Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:59 am
by sharon227
I know I'm not supposed to be obsessing about the scale, weighing daily, or expecting immediate rapid results. But I did want to weigh in with a baseline this month, preferably before the holiday weekend. So I figure Tues, Wed, Thurs would be a good time this week.

I can feel my pants getting tighter still, and the scale confirmed I'm up a bit. Unfortunately, I think one of the things I've learned so far is how to artfully pack a plate with food. And I'm fooling myself if I think that adding "anything" -- including calorie-dense foods -- onto my single plate each meal is going to work well.

Yesterday was in theory a success: I didn't snack, didn't take seconds (unless you count me picking at a couple of broccoli spears while they were cooking to test doneness, which I don't -- they would have fit on my plate), and didn't have sweets. And I took a 45-minute brisk walk.


Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:36 pm
by sharon227
Tuesday: SUCCESS. No snacks, no sweets, no seconds. I did pile a lot of food on my plate at dinner time :) but to be fair, most of the piling was of salad and grapes for dessert.

Interestingly, more than half of my plate was taken up by the vegetables and fruit. That's the goal of good nutrition, and as Reinhard predicted, after considering what I wanted to be on that one plate, I "naturally" ended up making a good choice without purposefully splitting my plate up that way.

I'm in my "three consecutive days this month to weigh in." I am irrationally concerned with the number. Yesterday's number was somewhat depressing -- no, I didn't lose 3 lbs my first week yet like has happened with other diets. I didn't lose anything and might even be up a bit -- I didn't weigh myself at the start. I almost never weigh myself unless I'm trying to lose weight.

I was (allegedly) down 0.2 today and irrationally pleased (that would be almost 1.5 lbs a week if every day!)

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 9:10 pm
by sharon227
Wednesday and Thursday on plan.

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 3:20 pm
by sharon227
Friday no sweets, no snacks. Went out to dinner and had several pieces of bread along with most of a plate of pasta, think I needed to consider that as having seconds.

Back on N days

Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:24 pm
by sharon227
Saturday - S day.
Sunday - S day.
Monday - S day Memorial Day and my birthday
Tuesday - ended up an S Day for my birthday because I had leftover cake for dessert. Two pieces. Fortunately, I put the rest of the cake in the freezer, if I want it on some other S day.

I feel a lot better when I'm eating healthy on N days than overindulging on S days.

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:07 pm
by sharon227
Habit successes yesterday - no snacks, no sugar, no seconds. And I made healthy choices that I enjoyed and generally made me feel good: unsweetened yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast, takeout salad from a local restaurant that was very tasty, takeout Chinese chicken with broccoli & brown rice for dinner. No home-cooked meals is not ideal, but there's only so much I can work on at a time!

I even walked for more than an hour yesterday (weather was beautiful).

I felt pretty hungry in the evening, though. Not sure if it was because of starches in the Chinese food or I didn't eat enough, or something else. For now I just sucked it up, but in the long run I'm going to need to figure out how to not be hungry at night if I'm going to be able to maintain this. Maybe my body just needs to adjust to no snacks. Hope so.


Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:45 pm
by sharon227
Really hungry again today between meals. Not sure what’s up with that. I’m going to try to add more fiber and fats to my lunch to see if that helps.

It was very difficult not to step on the scale today. I wanted validation that what I’m doing is “working.†That’s exactly what I shouldn’t be doing at this early stage, and I managed to stay off. But it was a struggle!

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:00 am
by sharon227
Fat and fiber seemed to help. Had a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat baguette. Felt very strange to have that much bread and mayo while trying to lose weight. Actually, at all. Formerly "bad" foods. Or at least not "good" foods. But I wasn't hungry this afternoon for a change.

I'm finishing up week two. Still don't know if I've lost weight. I'm going to try to stick to weighing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday every other week. I just don't feel like being a slave to the scale anymore, seeking reward, fearing punishment. I'm going to try the No S way of focusing on my own habits.

Whatever the scale says, I'm feeling better.

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:31 am
by ladybird30
As you have found, healthy is not the same as low calorie or going hungry.

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:46 pm
by sharon227
Exactly, ladybird! There was nothing "unhealthy" about what I ate - the chicken salad mayo was canola-based. And my body felt good after eating, which it doesn't when I'm putting crap into it. Yet somehow I've been previously brainwashed that if I'm eating anything besides a salad with lean protein for lunch, that's not a "good" choice. What the heck??? I definitely need to readjust my relationship with food.

I went out to dinner with a friend last night, and ended up having a salad with grilled chicken strips on it because that's what I was in the mood for. With a glass of wine. I'd had a filling lunch and wanted a lighter dinner. It was very enjoyable. And I wasn't hungry last night. Interesting lesson. I've had that same salad with chicken for lunch and then was hungry in the afternoon.

I still have a lot to learn about how best to nourish my body.

I desperately want to go on the scale this morning to see whether That Number will "reward" me. But I really really want to break that habit. I agree with Reinhard on this. What good will come of it? If That Number doesn't show a big drop, I'll be disappointed, and that's going to affect my enthusiasm for building my new habits. And if That Number is down? Will I feel that maybe I can slack off a bit? And even if I don't, is that how I want to measure how I relate to what I choose to eat? So, I resist....

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:22 pm
by sharon227
Another thought about the scale, as I resist the temptation to just pop on and look right before I have a late breakfast: Seeking the reward of losing weight while eating properly becomes a problem for me when trying to maintain. Because the excitement of watching the number go down is over. Yes, maybe I should be just as excited at being able to maintain a good weight, but let's face it, that's just not as compelling. I'm not as enthused about maintenance after a couple of months as I am about watching my weight go down.

Don't. Get. On. That. Scale. ...

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:40 am
by sharon227
Still waiting for a "normal" time without unusual, special things going on. Latest: I've got a medical procedure Monday, one that means no solid food tomorrow (Sunday) in preparation. In addition to getting cheated out of one of my two S days this weekend, I'm somewhat freaking out about the whole thing.

So, I've sort of overcompensated today. "I'm eating today for two days!" I'm just getting used to the idea of hunger between meals, and now I'm looking at being hungry for a day and a half.

Rational me understands this isn't really a big deal. Rational me knows that I am very fortunate I'm not in a situation where I'm hungry much longer than a day and a half. Rational me says I could look at this as a medically approved way to do a little system cleansing. But irrational me is not happy.

I had a rather full-plate lunch -- the other half of my whole-grain baguette from yesterday for a big sandwich, plus big pile of salad and cole slaw.

And then dinner out. I ate my entire veal dish, several pieces of bread, a glass of wine, PLUS half of a tiramisu dessert. And I'm snacking on banana pieces tonight before my solid-food shutdown in a few hours. Just as well I'm not going on the scale tomorrow. :(

No Solid Food Day

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:31 pm
by sharon227
It's my no solid food day before medical procedure tomorrow. And it is definitely time to get over myself. There are, sadly, many people in the world who face serious hunger, without knowing there's a defined end and good, healthy food waiting for them while they're hungry.

What I need to do is stop whining, count my blessings, and make a donation to an organization that fights real hunger.

And be thankful that I found No S (thanks to my wonderful doctor, who suggested it.)

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:56 pm
by Soprano
Hope your procedure goes smoothly and wishing you a speedy and full recovery :)


Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:18 pm
by sharon227
Thank you very much, Soprano!

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:33 am
by sharon227
Thought I'd cheer myself up before heading to the hospital this morning, and look at my weight. I was sure it would be down after a day of no solid foods. It's not. Perhaps all that liquid is accumulating.

No exercise today, eating will not be 3 one-plate meals today, basically this is a lost day in every respect. Hoping all goes OK, one more lost recovery day tomorrow, and then back on track.

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:18 pm
by jenji
Good luck with your procedure!!

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:25 pm
by Larkspur
Think of it as resting your gut :)

Hope everything goes smoothly and well.

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:44 pm
by sharon227
Thanks Jen and Larkspur! All fortunately went well, one more resting day and then back in business.

I did make the mistake of going on the scale this morning and I was up a pound and a half! Not amused, although I did have an IV yesterday so it could be fluid. Clearly I shouldn't have picked this Tues-Thurs as my twice-a-month weigh-in days since everything's kind of haywire.

Although I keep telling myself right now the important thing is to build healthy habits and a better relationship with food, I have to be honest: I am very disappointed that after 2 weeks on a plan, I'm not showing a weight loss. Even though I know that weight loss is supposed to be slow and perhaps nonexistent at the outset. Something else I need to work on.

My eating was wildly off yesterday. I had soda and crackers in the hospital and then lots more crackers when I came home. Trying to get my eating back to sound No S today. Visitor came by with some cake. Am debating whether I should have a slice ("I deserve it!") or freeze it for the weekend.

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:00 pm
by Merrygoround
After a medical procedure you will have inflammation, which equals fluid, which equals weight (but not fat!).

Take heart. I bet it’s not as bad as it seems.

PS freeze the cake. That way you get to have your cake (in the freezer) and eat it (at the weekend) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:09 pm
by sharon227
Thanks, Merry! I did manage not to have the cake yesterday, your support helped!

I was back on track yesterday: no sweets, no seconds, no snacks. Will try to get back to moderate exercise today.

I tried to eat how I know is healthy yesterday, and I had a fair amount of hunger between meals. But I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to tough out some hunger for awhile. If I'm still having unpleasant hunger after a month of this, I will reassess, because that's not something I can live with forever. But it's hard to know yet whether I'm feeling hungry out of habit -- I was used to eating more before -- or because my body really needs more food. So I'll give it a month of habit-building and see.

I also need to be a little more health-conscious about what I eat on S days. It's just not realistic to expect that at this stage of my life I'll be able to lose weight without some additional limits. What works for Reinhard as a guy may not not work for me as a 50+ woman.

The bread I add to my plate still ought to be whole grain. Liquids I drink should not be calorie-dense fruit juice (which, minus fiber, is just not as healthy as the whole fruit.)

I told myself at the outset that I'd be happy if I lost a pound a month. So far, 2 weeks in, I'm up slightly. I'll see where I am in another 2 weeks.

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:06 pm
by jenji
I was hungry a lot in the beginning, but after a few weeks, I was no longer hungry between meals. I bridged the gap by drinking milk or even occasionally a glass of unsweetened kefir, but I no longer seem to need it.

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:12 pm
by sharon227
That's encouraging, Jen, thanks for telling me. Because I was RAVENOUS this afternoon. I made sure to eat a substantial lunch, but I was still REALLY hungry. I'm hoping it's just habit and this will subside in a few more weeks.

I came very close to having a handful of nuts! Instead I had a cup of clear vegetable broth (if that didn't count as solid food medically on Sunday, I figured it was fine :) ) and a little apple juice.

Counting down until Saturday!

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:55 am
by Dalia negra
jenji wrote:I was hungry a lot in the beginning, but after a few weeks, I was no longer hungry between meals. I bridged the gap by drinking milk or even occasionally a glass of unsweetened kefir, but I no longer seem to need it.

I subscribe.

At the beginning, I was very hungry between meals, but I would drink a glass of milk and hold it and I felt proud of it. Then, over time, I even felt heavy after eating and this feeling lasted until the next meal (without putting more food on my plate or more caloric food) and I no longer needed to drink anything between meals.
Courage, it becomes easier with time :wink:

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:29 am
by sharon227
Good to hear from another voice of experience, Dalia! Thanks.

I can certainly tough this out for a few weeks, but I don't see it working long term/forever if I'm going to be this hungry all the time. I really would like to retrain my appetite if at all possible, though. Many people throughout the world seem to be able to live on three meals a day without problems, why shouldn't I be one of them?

Off I go to the gym to get some exercise in, which I believe will make me feel good even if it's not doing much for my weight loss. Nothing seems to be. I'm up about half a pound since I started (based on averaging 3 days this week vs two weeks ago). I know it's still early, but I was hoping to be on track to lose a pound a month, not gain a pound a month. :cry:

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:47 pm
by sharon227
I was even more hungry this afternoon. Really, genuinely hungry. Drank lots of fluids, still didn't help. So I didn't tough it out. I had a hard workout at the gym this morning - over an hour with both weights and running intervals. I had some roasted cashews late afternoon. I'm fine with that.

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:46 am
by sharon227
We went away unexpectedly Friday afternoon, and I learned how important planning is to keep my eating on track. There wasn't food in the house for me to have a substantial lunch before we left (I'd been planning to go shopping lunchtime but unexpected plans meant I had no time), so when we arrived at our friends' place, I was snacking until dinner time. Not good.

So, Friday ended up as an unplanned S Day, along with the weekend.

The good news was that I didn't really have any sweets -- they were around, I had a small piece of cookie but otherwise wasn't all that interested. And sitting and eating pretzels in the car on Sunday wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be. "I can finally snack!" But chowing down junk food actually isn't all that great.

It was interesting going shopping Sunday evening. I realized I didn't need to go down the snack-food aisle. No need to buy crackers. No string cheese, either. With my extra food budget, I splurged on a loaf of artisan bread: whole grain, sourdough ... It made a nice sandwich today.

I love the NoS idea that I can just move on from my "failure" on Friday, instead of having to pay for it this week by cutting back my eating more. It's always so important not to let one slip-up turn into a week or month's worth. Not having to pay penance for my day off plan makes it easier to get back on track.

I was still hungry this afternoon back on my N day. Had a mix of apple juice and seltzer and that seemed to do the trick. I'm still trying to figure out how much food is enough but not too much at mealtime.

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:08 am
by ladybird30
sharon227 wrote: Not having to pay penance for my day off plan makes it easier to get back on track.
That's worth remembering - good thought. I spent years trying to compensate for overindulgence, and that thinking is probably still lurking somewhere.

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:35 pm
by sharon227
@ladybird It feels like common sense to try to make healthier choices a day or two after indulging. But that's not the same thing as drastically cutting back on food intake, which is how it felt on Weight Watchers after I'd have a day with a lot of points.

I'm still discovering what a poor relationship I have with food. But it's nice to finally be taking some action to fix that!

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:05 am
by sharon227
I went out for pizza with my husband and friends last night, planning on having 2 slices, some salad, a glass of wine, and no rolls.

Well, I had a very small piece of roll, which probably would have crammed onto the plate. But I'm counting that as a "failure" on no seconds, even though I'm pretty OK with it. What I didn't do is have 2 complete rolls, which was pretty common on other nights.

I also had a LOT of salad, but my own modification of NoS allows up to a mountain of salad as long as it's truly healthy -- no croutons, no bacon bits, no cheese (which is generally fine but has to be counted on my one plate), no slabs of creamy dressing.

Wondering what that might have done to my weight this morning, but stayed off the scale.

Incredibly, I wasn't too hungry between lunch and dinner either yesterday or today. Is it possible that I'm finally starting to train my appetite???

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:34 am
by jenji
Hi Sharon,
I saw your post about the scale, and I can't remember if I mentioned the Happy Scale app to you? I weigh myself on a regular scale, then I enter it daily into Happy Scale, and it calculates a moving average.

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:52 am
by sharon227
Thanks, Jen, I'll have to take a look at Happy Scale.

Speaking of the scale, I went on this morning and the number was a bit better. Happy Scale without an app :D

It clearly will take more time to deal with the "spare tire" around my middle, though.

I took a walk after dinner last night and then was hungry late in the evening. I don't know if those were related. My new way of dealing with that is to have some seltzer with a splash of apple juice. (I want to cut back on having straight fruit juice, since that's a rather large infusion of sugar, especially when not accompanied by food.) I was able to push through and get to sleep.

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 am
by sharon227
Turns out I am still hungry between meals, but the bit of apple juice mixed with seltzer seems to be tiding me over. It feels decadent -- even cut with seltzer, it tastes sweet -- and there's no way I want to have more than a cup or so. Unlike, say, grabbing a handful of nuts. That can definitely lead to more nuts.

Knowing that's an option is making me feel a teeny bit less like I need to pile food on my plate at each meal in order to stave off between-meal hunger.

It really is kind of pathetic, "worrying" about not being able to eat between three healthy, full meals! I'm trying to follow Reinhard's advice and laugh at myself, as opposed to being mortified. Talk about First World Problems.

I'm definitely appreciating my food more now that it's not unlimited. Isn't that the way with most things? It's hard to fully appreciate things that you can have as much as you want of, any time at all.

I still remember my intro economics class at college, when the professor was demonstrating the law of diminishing returns. He had a student volunteer come up and keep eating donuts, describing the enjoyment from each one. The 4th or 5th wasn't nearly as pleasant as the first. (I doubt that a professor today would feel OK about stuffing a student with donuts until it became unpleasant....)

I had fruit and Greek yogurt for breakfast -- happily, a bit less than I've been having these first few weeks -- with some walnuts for extra protein. Healthy and tasty. Salad with half a tuna sandwich and a few grapes for lunch. Sounds like "diet food," but it didn't feel like it! Taking care to arrange my plate and savor my food makes a huge difference, especially when the only limit is plate size and my own choices. And not just grazing while standing up or eating out of a container.

I had a free personal trainer session at the gym today. I'm tired and sore. But hopefully getting my body in better shape!

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:43 am
by sharon227
Dinner out is a problem for me in trying to keep to the "one plate" rule. I had two very tiny pieces of bread and figured I'd leave room on my plate for them, but then my vegetables came in a side dish. I left over half my fries and tried to consider that space for the veggies, but basically I had too much food tonight. I'll count that as a failure on no seconds. I should have had the veggies instead of the fries and not in addition. Live and learn.

My weight was a little down this morning (yes, I looked yet again). I wonder if I felt free to overeat because I'd been succeeding. Even though I made mostly healthy choices: vegetarian burger on a roll, fries (had less than half of them), brussel sprouts, one glass of wine. I definitely ate too much. It's been awhile since I've had that feeling of being unpleasantly stuffed. I don't like it.

It was rather unhelpful how everyone at the table was pushing me to have dessert. I ended up taking 2 fractional teaspoons of my husband's, which I'm not counting as having sweets. I'm trying to pattern my new habits after traditional eating cultures like the French. While, like NoS, the French keep sweets as an occasional treat, I don't think they'd go crazy about having what's the equivalent of a small square of chocolate after dinner along with a cup of herbal tea.

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:56 am
by sharon227
As a practical matter, I know that I can't go wild on S days and achieve my weight-loss and health goals. It was a tough Saturday, party at a rented hall with tons of appetizers followed by a buffet (WARNING!!!) dinner. I tried to keep to more healthy appetizers, but did load up on not one but two dinner plates, followed by a (small) plate of sweets for dessert.

I discovered that my stomach didn't feel great after eating too much not super-healthy food. And the sweets were very, very sweet. Pretty much all my European friends think American sweets are overly sweet -- when they want treats, they'll often go to European-style bakeries here -- and I'm starting to see why.

I sat and ate a bunch of crackers after dinner Sunday because I "could." I felt a little ridiculous.

I've been weighing myself more than I planned, but so far it doesn't seem to have derailed me. It sort of does help hold me accountable to make healthy choices and limit my portion size. On the other hand, I don't want my motivation with No S to be watching my weight go down. That's been a maintenance problem before -- once I don't have the positive reinforcement of losing weight, I lose interest.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:23 am
by sharon227
Had my first work lunch meeting since I started No S, including brownies, cookies, chips ... I stuck to my salad and half sandwich for lunch, and gave my dessert to a co-worker who wanted it. Guy sitting next to me was munching out of a bag of chips in the afternoon. I was trying to view that as a French woman might, slightly uncivilized.

A month in, I seem to be a pound lower than when I started. Will weigh again tomorrow, average, and hope it's true. Losing a pound a month would be awesome. I'd be back at the top range of the healthy weight my doc wants me at for my appointment in November. And by next summer I'd be the weight where I feel as well as look so much better! Here's hoping.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to focus on my new habits and not just the scale.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:47 pm
by sharon227
I'm down 0.9 lbs from the 3-day average of my first three No S days to my most recent 3-day average a month later.

I should be happy -- that's almost exactly on target of my stated goal of losing a pound a month!

I have to admit, though, I'd been hoping to lose faster. Wrong attitude. I'm learning new habits designed for my lifetime, not just as a temporary thing to lose weight before I go off some diet.

I definitely need an attitude adjustment. If I keep on this pace, I'll be down 10 lbs next year. It took more than a year for 10 lbs to creep on, so that would be faster for it to come off.


Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:13 pm
by sharon227
I made the mistake of getting on the scale this morning, and I'm back up almost the whole pound I lost over the past month. Yes, I realize this can just be fluctuation, especially since we had Chinese take-in two days ago. But at this point, the fluctuation shouldn't have a high at just about the same weight where I started. The fluctuation range should start lowering.

I need to start being honest with myself. I may be developing better - or at least more traditional - eating habits in terms of time and not perma-grazing. I may have dramatically cut my junk food. But I'm still unlikely to lose if I don't start controlling my portions and making better, healthier food choices of what I eat. One of my doctor's patients may have lost 20 lbs on this, but his patient might not have been a woman in my stage of life. I'm not my husband. I can't lose weight just by cutting out sweets.

The splash of fruit juice in a big glass of seltzer that I've been using when I've been hungry between meals may not be the best strategy. It seems like it, No S wise, but even though I really do just put a small amount of apple juice in, that's still an infusion of sugar. Maybe that's a problem. Maybe I need to be more French and drink an herbal tea tisane instead.

So I've started reading a nutrition book to give myself the tools to make better, healthier choices.

Re: Disheartened

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:44 am
by ladybird30
sharon227 wrote:
I need to start being honest with myself.
Self-knowledge is a good place to start.

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:55 am
by sharon227
Good point, ladybird!

I had reasonable S days this weekend. Went out to lunch and had a sandwich in a cafe where we were sitting right by the ice cream serving area, and I didn't have any. I just didn't feel like I needed it at the time, I was full after lunch. I had multiple snacks, all healthy: some low-fat (but tasty) cheese before a very late lunch, and some grapes before and after dinner.

I miss fruit snacks. I'm adding some back in if/when I get to maintenance.

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:29 pm
by sharon227
New S Day Rule for me: No eating in the evening after dinner/dessert time, unless with someone.

Good grief, I had a healthy and enjoyable food day all day yesterday (Sunday), and then right before going to sleep sat down and ate a whole bunch of cinnamon graham crackers. Why? Because I missed snacking on them. But did I really have to have so many, so late? No. No, I did not.

Oddly, those crackers seem to be a trigger food and I probably shouldn't have them at all. But will experiment with snacking on them at a more appropriate time, by taking a cracker out of the box instead of sitting there eating out of the box.

Now that I think of it, No eating straight out of containers is another good rule. I doubt that French women eat like that ever.

Back from vacation

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:41 pm
by sharon227
I'm back from a week's vacation. Not surprisingly, I didn't follow No S to the letter, but I'm pretty happy with the way things went.

My biggest achievement: Although we drove almost 6 hours each way, I did not snack in the car. This is HUGE. I normally munch for several hours during a long trip. Didn't have a thing, not even on the drive home which was on a weekend. I just don't like the idea of eating in the car anymore. I'd really like to keep my eating civilized, sitting at a table, paying attention to and enjoying my food.

I did have pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast some days, a croissant on other days, and quite large meals at lunch and dinner most days. But I was also walking for HOURS every day. Didn't get on the scale yet to see whether I gained, lost, or maintained for the week -- another achievement.

Now that I'm back home, one of the most important things is to get back to my routine. I did not walk for hours today (although I did exercise for 45 minutes in the morning before it got too hot) but sat most of the day. I did run out grocery shopping at lunch, so I have healthy fruits and plain yogurt to have for breakfast (I do love that for breakfast when it's hot out).

Here's hoping I see progress this month!

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:15 pm
by sharon227
Went out to dinner last night to a place that has great dinner salads (excellent!) and also fabulous bread with dipping oil (danger!). I'm trying to limit my refined carbs, because I know they're not healthy for me. I took a very small piece of a slice of bread, dipped it in oil, ate it slowly paying attention to the taste, and decided that was enough. Made a little room in my salad bowl to "virtually plate" it when dinner came.

I ordered club soda instead of my usual glass of wine when dining at that place, because that felt fine at the time and not like deprivation. It turns out that sometimes I really would enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner, and that's when I should order one. Other times, I just order it out of habit. It's important to know the difference if I want to lose weight.

I'm reading a book called "Thinner This Year" that's talking a lot about nutrition. I already know the basics of foods that are healthy and foods that aren't, but this one goes into deep scientific detail as to why certain foods aren't good for your body, and specifically what they do to your systems that you don't want to happen. This probably isn't useful for everyone, but for someone like me, it's very helpful.

"These foods aren't healthy" is kind of abstract to me. "These foods cause your insulin to spike, which damages these organs and causes these types of problems in your muscles, which is important because ...." lays it out in black & white for me. I don't want those things to happen in my body. So it's worth limiting the refined carbs.

I am not young anymore. In fact, I'd be fooling myself if I thought I was still in mid-life. :lol: As the book says, there's a lot less room for error in the "Third Act" of your life. Things you could somewhat easily get away with in your 20s and 30s have more serious consequences in your 50s and beyond. If I want the best chance possible for healthy aging, I need to pay better attention to what I eat and get back to my healthy weight.

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:16 pm
by sharon227
Yesterday was an S Day for me because of the Independence Day holiday and we were visiting friends and then going out to eat.

Really the only thing off from a No S day was having a couple (just 2) of slices of tomato and mozzarella with 1 glass of wine as a mid-afternoon snack at our friends', and having a small plate of appetizers (baby corn, pickles, cucumber salad, not terribly unhealthy except for the sodium) before dinner. Dinner included sweet potato fries, which I definitely don't want to make a daily habit out of, since they are calorie-dense and not very healthy (even if a bit less unhealthy than white potato fries. The issue is the deep frying, not the sweet potato.) Didn't have sweets because I found I didn't feel the need for them. Key thing is that I didn't feel stuffed or "heavy" and bloated afterwards.

I peeked at the scale this morning, because I'm just feeling better and was curious if the scale would reflect that. I know that one-day snapshot in time doesn't mean much and I ought to be looking at 3-day averages, but I can't help being happy that this morning is a pound and a half lighter than the day I started. I'll see after a three-day average next week if it's truly real!

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:44 pm
by no peek

    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:27 am
    by sharon227
    Funny, I was just thinking to myself today how different it feels now compared to when I started. I still get hungry between meals, but I don’t freak out about the possibility anymore. I don’t feel the need to pile lots of food on a big plate each meal, worried about the great gap between meals. I mostly stopped with the apple juice and seltzer to tide me over between meals. I was kind of laughing at myself from six weeks ago.

    Thanks for reading! My first three favorite thing so far?

    1) I like my meals! I take care planning them, presenting them, thinking about what makes a good balanced meal. And I enjoy them more!

    2) I feel better. I feel less heavy, stuffed, bloated, draggy.

    3) I have a better relationship with food. I feel like I am much closer to being able to enjoy food in a healthy, moderate way instead of eating too much junk mindlessly. I haven’t been emotionally eating. I don’t feel guilty if I have something that’s not 100% healthy.

    Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:05 am
    by sharon227
    Even though it was very warm and humid this morning, I thought it was important to get a good exercise session in. And I didn’t feel like driving to the gym. So I did 45 minutes of brisk walking with running intervals sprinkled in. I was very tired - good tired - at the end, and my body could feel the great after-effects of that good work out all day.

    I had Cheerios-like oat cereal with half a banana, a few walnuts, and low-fat milk for breakfast. Piled a fair amount of food on my plate for lunch: turkey sandwich, some salad with oil and vinegar, tiny slice of whole grain baguette, small piece of low-fat cheese, a few grapes, and a peach. It really seemed like a lot of food! But I wanted to make sure I wasn’t hungry by dinner time, since we were going to a barbecue and might be eating late.

    The barbecue went pretty well. There were not very large paper plates, but I did only take one plateful. I had a turkey hotdog on a bun, 1 piece of boneless barbecue chicken breast, potato salad, a pickle, and three or four potato chips. Had one extra bite of my husband’s hotdog, but that was it for seconds of the main meal. Dessert was served later, so it was kind of hard to have it on the same plate. I passed on the cake and just had one small slice of watermelon. Technically “secondsâ€, I guess, but I am satisfied with the way it went. It seemed like a reasonable, not-glutonous, traditional way of enjoying a barbecue.

    Weighed myself again this morning. I couldn’t stop myself. My weight was the same as yesterday. So in theory, my pound-and-a-half loss since the start of No S could be real. On the one hand, I really wish I could be losing a pound a week instead of a pound a month. On the other hand, it’s kind of amazing that I’m losing anything at all while feeling like I’m developing a better relationship with food and enjoying it more than I used to in many ways.

    On most weight loss plans, I start dreaming very early on about “finishing†and rewarding myself after I’m done. And going back to eating more and different foods.

    I was thinking what I’d like to do when I reach my goal weight on No S, and now at least, I don’t think I want to go back to perma-snacking, or eating junk food all week. One Sunday night I splurged and ate a whole bunch of cinnamon graham crackers at night like I used to, and when I finished, I wasn’t happy at all. That’s not how I want my relationship with food to be anymore.

    I probably would start by adding a dessert or seconds once during the week and see how that goes. I don’t think that’s too complex to ruin the system for me. I already have a lot of experience tracking in my mind having beef a maximum of once a week, and that has worked out fine. I’m pretty confident I could add dessert or seconds once a week as well. We’ll see. But I am still a long way from that. If I continue at the pace I am on, I won’t be at goal weight for at least a year.

    Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:21 pm
    by ladybird30
    As Reinhard says, there is no "after", only during. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about "after", but mostly I am trying to eat the same during weight loss as I plan to eat during maintenance. I am doing a lot of maintenance on the way down. I expect that one day I will realise that this is it.

    Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:48 pm
    by sharon227
    Yes, that's exactly it! Although I still might want to add one or two small modifications next year :D

    Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:51 pm
    by sharon227
    I know that S days aren’t supposed to be perfect, but I like them to still be healthy and reasonably in moderation. Yesterday was quite good at the outset, less so as the day progressed.

    Had fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Met a friend and we strolled around for 3 1/2 miles (I used a phone app to check distance), and she talked me into trying my first ever poke. It’s like sushi without the rice, so sashimi pieces, I guess, with other stuff in it over something, salad in my case. Tasty, healthy, filling.

    Problem came when we stopped at a local bread place. I bought only healthy whole-grain, but it’s amazingly good. Got home and couldn’t resist having a slice as a snack - snack OK on a Saturday - but one slice lead to three. Plus a roll. Oops.

    Went to the gym to do my twice weekly strength training for 40 minutes or so. Came home and instead of planning a dinner plate, started eating chicken salad out of the container. I am not happy about that at all, since I don’t want to eat like that. I probably had a bit too much but that’s wasn’t my main problem. I really want to have my meals in a civilized manner, on a plate, paying attention to what and how much I’m eating. Oh well. I’m not going to be perfect and there are bound to be slip ups given that I am trying to reprogram years if not decades of bad habits.

    Made a chickpea salad last night to have for lunch today. Looking forward to that! Note to self: Put it on a plate and don’t eat out of the big bowl :-)

    My husband said he's stopping at one of my favorite bakeries today and asked if I wanted a slice of my favorite cake there. Conflicted. I think the answer is yes. It’s not realistic to expect that I will never again eat that cake in my life. If he brings it home later, I can enjoy it in moderation in a civilized manner on an S day. Typically I would have parts of that cake all week, a little each day. I need to re-learn that behavior, and eat some today and either freeze the rest or chuck it in the trash.

    Didn’t weigh myself today, that’s a plus!

    Off I go soon to take a walk.

    Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:56 pm
    by sharon227
    It should have been a very good day to lose weight, and I am totally going on the scale this morning to check even though I shouldn’t.

    I had berries and plain low-fat yogurt for breakfast with a sprinkling of walnuts. And I think maybe a piece of low-fat cheese. Berries were from a friend's garden. Yum.

    Salad with turkey slices and oil and vinegar, roasted eggplant, grapes, and cheese for lunch. Plus a single cherry tomato from the garden that was ripe.

    It was a heavy exercise day (I'm trying to do 2 of those a week). I did my warm-ups properly and then 45 minutes of walking with a fair amount of intense running intervals sprinkled in.

    Dinner was salmon, coleslaw, eggplant, and a peach. I didn’t want to over stuff my plate, so I left some space on my plate just in case as I was eating I realized I wanted more food. And I did, so I added a little salmon and coleslaw. Technically seconds, but I was OK with it. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with the issue of: I don’t want to overstuff my plate with too much, because I tend to eat everything on the plate and not leave over. But I also don’t want to put too little on my plate, especially when I’m eating healthy foods, and then be hungry later.

    Went to an evening community event and didn't have anything to eat from the free snacks available. No sweets, not even fruit, only seltzer. Very proud of myself. And then even walked most of the way home, probably around a mile.

    I felt very hungry for awhile late in the evening, but decided to just tough it out instead of going to get some juice or juice and seltzer. And the hunger did pass.

    So off I go to see whether the scale will reward me. Which is something I said I didn’t want to do and yet I can’t help myself :-)

    Update: I'm down! If this is real, I'm now down almost 3.5 lbs from the day I started! Even if it is real, though, my husband and I are going out to dinner both tonight (celebrating a family member's birthday) and tomorrow (business thing, meeting a colleague who's here from out of town). So I doubt I'll still be down this much by Monday.

    However, these life events are going to happen, and I need to learn how to enjoy them while not completely de-railing my weight-loss.

    Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:36 pm
    by sharon227
    I am officially down 4 pounds since I started three months ago. Was weighed in the doctors office this morning, as I was three months ago, the day before I started. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I’m thrilled.

    When I lose another two or 3 pounds, I will be at the top of the range that my doctor wants me at. 7 pounds from now and I’ll be at what he considers to be a very healthy weight for me, and a weight that I know I feel better at.

    What makes me especially happy is that I was away on vacation the last four days until today. And I am down despite that. I did eat more than usual and I had one red day yesterday, but all in all I clearly didn’t derail everything because I was away.

    Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:11 am
    by sharon227
    I know we're not supposed to swap S and No S days, but I was away at the beach Thursday to Saturday and it made sense to have my S days on Friday and Saturday. I was happy to start getting back into my routine on Sunday after we got home Saturday night.

    I weighed myself this morning and even though I had a fair amount of sweets over the weekend, I didn't wreck my progress.

    Back on track today with cereal and fruit for breakfast, a panzanella salad for lunch, and teriyaki chicken with vegetables and quinoa for dinner. Plus I went to the gym tonight and did weights and some cardio.

    Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:37 am
    by automatedeating
    Great progress, Sharon!

    Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:52 am
    by sharon227
    Thanks for the encouragement, automatedeating!

    I ended up having a salad with turkey for lunch and a light dinner, and the scale rewarded me this morning. I know that I don't want to focus on the scale going down because come maintenance time, that's not going to work ... but I was still REALLY happy to see the drop.

    Someone I hadn't seen for a couple of months told me yesterday that I was looking "slimmer and trimmer." Definitely made me feel good!

    Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:49 pm
    by automatedeating
    We all on this forum understand that while we don't want to let the scale affect us, it does!!! But if we ignore it for too long, statistically our weight can more easily creep up. So I think weighing regularly is a decent thing for most of us, despite the emotional turmoil it can cause -- in your case, good turmoil today. :-)

    I just think it's an unfairness in life that even getting good things said about our body can make some of us overeat that day! It is a total bummer but I've read it enough times to know it's a real phenomenon -- so either way with the scale, we have to use it for planning purposes rather than emotional purposes (crazy hard to do, I suppose, but alas, we press on).

    Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble by me on your thread (I know you didn't mention either of the issues but you got me thinking about weighing and people's feedback) -- I'm just happy for you and glad you are experiencing progress.

    Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:30 am
    by sharon227
    Thanks so much! And what you say is true for me also. If I don't weigh myself at all, the weight creeps up. If I weigh myself too much, it's not good either. There would be times before I'd get on the scale where I'd ask myself "Why are you weighing yourself? How will you react if it's down? How will you react if it's the same? How will you react if it's up?" and actually try to plan my reactions in advance so I wouldn't go off the rails because of a number.

    I think I'm in a better place now, but it's still important for me not to get complacent when the scale shows progress, and not to get disheartened and think "the heck with it" if the scale doesn't show progress.

    I had bigger lunch and dinner today than yesterday, but that's partly because I was pretty hungry last night and partly because we were out with friends tonight. But I'm not going to worry about not having been perfect, and focus instead on staying with the program.

    Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:34 pm
    by sharon227
    Reasonably healthy cereal, fresh fruit, a few walnuts with low-fat milk for breakfast. One stuffed cabbage (turkey meat), sliced tomatoes, a few small slices of cheese, and fresh grapes for lunch. Thai tofu with pineapple, cashews, and vegetables + brown rice and a glass of wine for dinner. Took some of my main dish home.

    Did 20 minutes of running within my 45-minute walk this afternoon. Hope I burned up some calories in addition to feeling great.

    Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:07 am
    by automatedeating
    Tomorrow is an S Day! yay for you!

    Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:25 pm
    by sharon227
    Thanks Automatedeating! :-)

    So my daily check-ins are not so daily anymore. I seem to be doing better about making this a habit instead of something I obsess about constantly.

    There are still times when not having snacks is very challenging, but it's a lot less frequent. I'm used to not feeling full all the time. I'm getting used to sometimes having a light level of hunger in the afternoons or evenings. I'm still occasionally pretty hungry between meals, but mostly try to tough it out.

    I'm proud that one day last week, I was at an off-site business conference where there were all sorts of snacks during breaks: cookies, popcorn, cupcakes ... And I had nothing. And it was totally fine. That stuff usually looks a lot better than it tastes anyway.

    While every once in awhile I'd really like a sweet during the week, for the most part I've settled into no sweets on weekdays pretty well.

    I'm in least compliance and having the most difficulty with "no seconds." I will sometimes fool myself by saying "well this clearly would have fit on my plate too" :-) On the other hand, I don't want to keep piling a whole bunch of stuff on my plate at the outset when I might not actually want to eat all that stuff. Months in, I'm still not clear exactly how much food I need to be satisfied but not overly stuffed.

    Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:14 pm
    by cedar
    Hi Sharon,

    I agree about the seconds..the no sweets and no snacks are easier because they are clear cut and obvious, but I do the same..I fudge the line of 1 plate because the little extras likely would fit on the plate! I also justify adding extra fruit or veg because I convince myself that it's needed, where I think the idea is for them to replace the more calorie dense foods on the plate..not add on top but then I feel it will leave me too hungry and unable to get to the next meal. Anyway I think you are doing really well! Just thought I'd chime in because I could relate :D

    Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:48 pm
    by sharon227
    Thanks so much for chiming in, Cedar!!! That's exactly it: No sweets and no snacks are really clear cut, but the "plate" just doesn't seem to be quite so binary. For example, I sometimes like having soup before my meal, and that's usually a healthy and good choice. So I "virtual plate." And then I do a little "virtual plating" of other things :D

    Funny you should mention the adding extra fruit or vegetables. If I have a plate with at least half fruits and vegetables, my rule is that I can have additional healthy vegetables. If I've piled a bunch of salad with oil and vinegar on half my lunch plate and would like more, I think that's fine.

    Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:01 am
    by sharon227
    Work meeting today with pizza, salad, brownies ... I took a paper plate with 1 slice of pizza on one half and salad on the other half. I used to almost always have 2 slices. Stuck to one today. And based on my rule that if I filll up half my plate with healthy vegetables I can have more veggies, I had some more salad. No brownie. And no mid-afternoon popcorn snack, available after the meeting.

    I will likely weigh myself tomorrow and be very annoyed if I am not rewarded.

    Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:49 am
    by cedar
    That's a good rule with the extra veg/salad. It's hard to think it's a fail if we grab some extra lettuce or greens. I also do the same as you with soup :D

    Good work with the one slice of pizza and resisting the extra goodies. It's always a good feeling after (not always at the time). Hope the scale rewards you but also just be proud of your sticking to No S so well.

    Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:57 pm
    by sharon227
    Thanks, Cedar. I needed that encouragement today!

    Friday scale was up 0.2 lbs, which was OK. But it showed up another pound and a half today, even though I followed all the No S rules yesterday! I haven't been feeling well, so I had seconds of fried rice Friday night, but decided to swap my S/No S days and stick to No S yesterday. And yet, the weight gain. Disappointing.

    I had just 1 bowl of very healthy homemade soup for dinner last night along with 1 slice of bread. Sigh. Lunch was a tuna salad sandwich.

    My exercise has been way down the past few days because I've come down with something, but I would have thought that would stabilize my weight, not have it jump up. Basically I've only been able to lose a pound a month, which seems ridiculously slow for all the changes I've made. Whine.

    Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:00 pm
    by Soprano
    sharon227 wrote:Thanks, Cedar. I needed that encouragement today!

    Friday scale was up 0.2 lbs, which was OK. But it showed up another pound and a half today, even though I followed all the No S rules yesterday! I haven't been feeling well, so I had seconds of fried rice Friday night, but decided to swap my S/No S days and stick to No S yesterday. And yet, the weight gain. Disappointing.

    I had just 1 bowl of very healthy homemade soup for dinner last night along with 1 slice of bread. Sigh. Lunch was a tuna salad sandwich.

    My exercise has been way down the past few days because I've come down with something, but I would have thought that would stabilize my weight, not have it jump up. Basically I've only been able to lose a pound a month, which seems ridiculously slow for all the changes I've made. Whine.
    Don't pay too much attention to small gains, it won't be fat.

    Our weight fluctuates for all sorts of reasons. 1lb a month is nearly a stone in a year. I'll take that if in the process my habits mean I won't regain it. This isn't a diet it is a lifestyle change.

    My loss was really slow for the first few weeks but is now averaging 2lb a month and I am so pleased with that. 11lb down since end of March :)

    Read my signature....


    Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:29 pm
    by sharon227
    You are right, Soprano. Thanks for the additional encouragement. I'm especially frustrated because I'd finally gone below 140, and now I'm back over it again. In my head I know that the difference between 139.6 and 141.4 isn't that big a deal, but psychologically it is.

    If I could be down 11 lbs in half a year I'd be really happy. I seem to be down 4 lbs in 4 months, which is twice as slow as I expected. Half a pound a week didn't seem like asking too much, but I guess it is.

    Whine whine whine. You are right about the lifestyle change, and a maintainable one at that. If this continues, I'll reach my goal sometime the end of next year. Unfortunately, patience is not one of my virtues!

    Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:40 am
    by automatedeating
    You can whine all you want on this forum. :-)

    Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:27 am
    by ladybird30
    sharon227 wrote: You are right about the lifestyle change, and a maintainable one at that. If this continues, I'll reach my goal sometime the end of next year. Unfortunately, patience is not one of my virtues!
    And in three years time you will be able to look back on successful weight loss and maintenance.

    Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:11 am
    by sharon227
    Thanks both!! I stuck to my 3 plates a day today, despite the urge to shovel in a whole bunch of extra junk. Progress!

    Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:08 pm
    by cedar
    Good one! Always a good feeling :D

    Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:46 am
    by sharon227
    It's been a challenging month: 4 holiday days plus my wedding anniversary. My goal was to stick to NoS on N days, and to cut myself some slack on the extra S days without going crazy. I was proud that on our anniversary, I had an N day right up until dinner. We went out, I had an appetizer, bread, main dish and wine -- definitely seconds plus -- but otherwise no snacks. And no sweets. And I enjoyed the meal immensely and didn't feel deprived.

    Looks like I may even be down half a pound or so this month, which would be amazing.

    Didn't have an exceptionally healthy or measured S day today -- cake with lunch, snacking on leftover chicken salad after dinner -- but hope to be back on track tomorrow.

    Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:34 pm
    by sharon227
    I seem to be settling into the groove of N days, but I really do need to work on the S days so they're not quite so freeform and snack/sweetladen.

    I'm down almost 6 lbs since I started in mid-May. Another 6 lbs in the next half a year would be fabulous, but we're heading into the tough time of year for me -- darker days and colder weather, which means I tend to eat more and move less. Not to mention the dreaded holiday season.

    Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:21 pm
    by oolala53
    Hi, Sharon. You started into No S just about the time I was taking a break from social media regarding eating stuff, or mostly. I've skimmed through your thread. You are hitting just about all the milestones.

    Though there is a saying to "take care of N days and S days will take care of themselves,"I found it wasn't true for me. My goal wasn't weight loss (though I was a lot heavier than you when I started), but I didn't want to be so full so much of the time. Yet I continually got very full on S days and sometimes still do. (But now I can get very full on about 2/3 of the food, and yet still yearn for some more. Oh, well.) I had to get more purposeful about limiting S days. (My overages were pretty disordered, though.) I found that weight loss followed some very light S days. Miraculously, the weight would stabilize over the week of regular N days. But it was a slow process. I just couldn't stand the idea of limiting much more anyway, so I accepted that whatever I weighed had to be good enough. I didn't have a doctor that set any weight goal, and honestly, I wouldn't have listened. I've had to change doctors several times because of insurance changes. My doctor is pleased with my weight and my blood profile, even though I know my cholesterol has gone way up. But the ratio of good-to-bad, so to speak, is very good. I don't know if it was the loss or just years of better quality food.

    I was worried for you at one point when you said that you wouldn't be able to keep going if you got as hungry as you were as often. I'm pretty sure people in thin cultures actually do get hungry at times between meals; they just tend to brush it off, as it seems you've been able to do more. And sometimes they don't. They just don't expect NOT to get hungry, I think. But maybe that's all a story I made up. It's been useful one for me!

    I think if you pay attention this next six weeks to how satisfied you actually do feel with less food and figuring out which dense foods you get the most pleasure from, you will have an easier time staying more sane through the holidays. So many holiday events can actually fit into the program and knowing I can have more celebratory foods such as sweets on the official days can help keep me from feeling that I'm actually missing out on much when they're around so much of the time.

    I feel for you with your scale issues. But your body cannot lose or gain a pound of fat overnight without a really weird circumstance. It is just manipulating water mostly. Only you can decide if eating in a way that keeps the water more in balance is worth it. I was not intending that but have over the years dropped foods that I know look back and see were probably contributing to keeping the water in. There have been other body composition changes, but all of it has been pretty much pure luck, as I've just been making changes for other reasons.

    Well, I have certainly hijacked your thread!

    Continued success with adopting a moderate eating lifestyle, even if others think that's way too fuzzy to use as a guideline.

    Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:19 am
    by sharon227
    Thanks, Oolala!! And not a hijack at all. It's always useful to hear from someone with more experience. And it does seem that some of us need a little more S day structure in figuring out how not to be ridiculous. Like me. :)

    I’m trying to keep traditional eating in my mind. I know it's become a cliche, but like the French. A chic French woman wouldn't deprive herself of an occasional treat in moderation, but certainly wouldn't spend the weekend - or holiday season - gorging herself. I want that to be me. I want to eat sensibly and for enjoyment and health. And not freak out if I’m hungry at times.

    Our current culture does make that a challenge, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I have the tools to make it through the holidays!

    Thank you for the encouragement and suggestions. I do need to pay attention these upcoming weeks and see what truly satisfies.

    Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:39 pm
    by sharon227
    There was a big celebration at work Thursday - an off-site cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres from 6 to 8 pm. I didn't think it was reasonable to expect that I wouldn't eat anything and then wait until 8:30 pm to have dinner, so I called this an extra S day. I only had 1 glass of wine (despite the open bar), but did have several plates of snacks as well as numerous things waiters were walking around offering. I didn't go totally crazy and had no sweets, but it was still a high-end S day.

    Friday we took in pizza and I ended up having seconds -- and by "seconds," I mean "part of a third slice of pizza," which is pretty piggy. But I wanted it, and here we are. So while I know we're not supposed to swap S and No S days, I had an N day on Saturday. It made sense to me: I REALLY wanted another slice of pizza, and I was fine eating in my usual weekday routine Saturday (I even home-cooked some healthy soup and had that with some whole grain bread for dinner). But I'm really looking forward to an S day today :-)

    Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:54 pm
    by Soprano
    I don't think swapping S days is a bad thing :)

    For this to be for life it has to fit in with life.


    Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:58 pm
    by oolala53
    Theoretically, you could have virtual plated, unless you knew that you would likely eat more than you would have on one plate.

    You have two days per month you can designate as special S days.

    In any case, I bet there were some scrumptious morsels to enjoy!

    Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:14 am
    by sharon227
    Good point, Soprano! Reinhard discourages it, but I agree with you! And I do think I piled up a bit more than would have fit on my virtual plate, oolala :)

    But I enjoyed the food, I didn't go wild pigging out, and I got mostly back on track right away. As you said, Soprano, this is life! I need it to be reasonable and enjoyable. Everything in moderation.

    In other news, I saw my friend's mom yesterday, she hasn't seen me in a year. And she commented on how slim I was looking!!!! I was thrilled.

    Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:52 am
    by Soprano
    It's a great feeling when someone notices and comments on your loss. :)


    Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:13 am
    by sharon227
    OMG it sure is, Soprano. While I feel like I shouldn't need external validation, in fact it is so great when people notice!

    I went out to dinner with friends to a Mexican place tonight. 'Virtual plated' about half a dozen chips with salsa, and then ate about 2/3 of my fajitas. Definitely a bigger portion of food than normal, plus a glass of sangria. But no snacks, no sweets, a light lunch, and I went running this morning. Still not completely on plan -- dinner probably included seconds, all things considered. But I'll get back on one-plate track tomorrow.

    Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:01 am
    by oolala53
    I wish I could say I feel carefree about restaurants, but I don't. They take effort. The food is rich and refined and so easy to eat too much of. But I'm not giving them up!

    Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:03 am
    by Soprano
    Sounds like you are really making this a part of your life now. :)


    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:10 am
    by jenji
    I love it when people notice, but paradoxically it seems to set me back a bit in the short term. I don’t know why, but being told I look slim feels like license to eat poorly to my silly ears.

    Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:02 pm
    by oolala53
    Jenji, that is not an unusual reaction. That's why it's so good to just have the concept of systematic moderation be the touchstone rather than appearance or even weight loss. Do I want to live systematically moderately with food or keep letting all kinds of haphazard influences send me careening around the eating bend?

    Not that I won't take a haphazard compliment... :)

    Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:26 pm
    by sharon227
    Jenji, in my case, it's more when the scale drops a lot that I sometimes think: Hey, if I'm seeing such great results when following plan to the letter, maybe I can relax a bit and still get pretty good results. Very dangerous. Why I'm finding the HatbitCal to be so useful. I don't want to be filling in red squares! As you say, oolala, trying to focusing on the habits.

    I have 3 separate calendars for my NoS habits: one each for no snacks, no sweets, no seconds. So even on a day when I HAD to have seconds because I was still hungry after my one plate, I didn't think "Oh since the day is red already, why not also have some chocolate." That's a separate calendar square I'd have to mark red. A bit of a mind trick for myself, but it seems to help.

    I have allowed myself a little leeway, though. Last night, for example, I brought a salad with grilled chicken home from the gym to have for dinner. That in theory would have been a full plate, but it's VERY low calorie and isn't enough for me for dinner. So I added a second small plate next to it with a slice of whole-grain bread and small piece of cheese. I looked at both plates and saw how much I was eating, and it seemed fine.

    And when I still felt I needed something after that, I had a small apple for dessert and didn't count that as a second (I could have put it on my small plate at the beginning). I'm convinced that was a reasonable and healthy dinner that fits with the traditional style of eating NoS is trying to cultivate.

    I'm down around 6 lbs now. One more pound and I'll be at the top of the range my doc wants me at. Going to the doctor next month, so I'm very motivated to stay on plan and try to make that last pound!

    Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:58 pm
    by oolala53
    Lots of wins.

    Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:34 am
    by sharon227
    Something very strange (for me) happened over the weekend. It was Saturday, I was at a party with an all you can eat lunch and dessert buffet. It was an S day! I could go back as many times as I wanted!

    The plates were medium sized. I took a plate of food, finished it, and it was enough! I didn’t even want to go for seconds. For dessert, I had a bowl of fruit and two tiny sweets. Far from perfect, but so much better than I used to be.

    I still need to get a handle on my S days. I was snacking on crackers and had multiple portions of food on Sunday - plus ice cream and cake. But all in all, I am finding that I tend to eat less even on S days.

    Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:32 pm
    by oolala53
    Why do you say far from perfect? I would think that if you could do that at a buffet forever, it would be perfect enough. :wink:

    Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:21 am
    by sharon227
    Thanks, oolala!! I did pile up my initial plate, and had some sweets, but you're right: It was an excellent performance at a buffet, especially for me!

    I need to be careful about my N days now, though. As the days here are getting shorter and colder, I'm starting to crave more food and more carbs. Had a meeting at work where they brought in lunch. I went for my one plate and certainly packed a great deal on -- including a bag of chips that didn't completely fit on the plate. The good news is that half my plate was salad. I did my modification where if half my plate is salad and I want more salad, I can have it. So I went back for a bit more salad. I didn't have any of the dessert sweets, though, and I ended up having just a few of the chips, not the whole bag. The chips tasted good, but when I paid attention to how my body was feeling after I ate a few, I realized that it probably was something I shouldn't be having.

    I did running intervals at the gym after work, and I came home very tired and very, very hungry. I ate an entire chicken and rice dinner that my husband brought home a nearby store (it did fit on a plate although I usually don't eat the whole thing), and decided that an apple, 8 grapes, and a small piece of cheese would fit around the plate edges as well. I'm definitely getting too loose with my definition of "one plate." I think what I'm doing now would probably work for a happy maintenance, but not if I want to lose another 6 lbs. On the other hand, this is a very tough time of year for me, food-wise. Not wildly pigging out on candy -- in fact, not having any except on weekends -- is somewhat of a win. Maybe I need to relax my weight-loss goals over the next few months and just be happy if I can stick mostly with the plan and not gain through the holiday season and winter.

    Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:38 am
    by ladybird30
    Its better to aim at maintenance and win, than at weight loss and lose.

    Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:01 pm
    by sharon227
    Wise words, ladybird. Thank you.

    I so desperately want to be back at my goal weight -- it's a weight I maintained for quite a few years until my parents became ill and passed away and my eating went off the rails. I know how great it feels to be at my goal. But I also know in my head if not emotionally that I need to be patient. It took me more than 6 months to get up to the weight I started NoS at, and it will take me more than 6 months to lose it all. What's even more important is staying on a healthy and sane way of eating in a way that doesn't make me eventually say THE HECK WITH THIS and return to some very unhealthy eating patterns.

    Thanks for the support!!!

    Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:14 pm
    by oolala53
    Even if you want something desperately, it's important to look for ways to be happy before you get it. In the back of my mind, I suspected that I could get back to high school weight but my focus was always on the pleasure of the habits, so even when I was 20 lbs. heavier than that (which was about 20 lbs. down from my top), I still felt like I couldn't ask myself for much more. I couldn't ask myself for more even when I was 40 lbs. heavier! The desperation for eating sanity was greater for me than the desperation to weigh less. (That had never worked as a motivator in the long run before for me.) If people can hold to a weight goal without their happiness being hostage to it, more power to 'em. Besides, if being a certain weight alone was enough of a reward, no one would ever gain weight back. or even in the first place.

    In any case, you're coming up on five months. Good for you!

    Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:05 pm
    by automatedeating
    Slow & Steady wins this weight race, that's for sure.
    Keep on keepin' on. :-)