The Blessings of Simplicity

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

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Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:07 pm

BrightAngel,

I'm not sure I agree. There used to be a cultural acceptance of feasting and fasting. Maybe there is a human need for feasting. I got an out of print book called Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society by Bridget Ann Henisch, and while I haven't read all of it, I have gotten the drift that feasting meant "exuberant self-indulgence." (p.54). In our society, no one is ever really hungry or really full. It's just this dull gray.

I'm going to be submitted today for a two month contract, and I need to get to work on the house since I spent two days on the paint project.

I think what I want most of all is not a lower weight but less obsession with weight. The cycle of fasting and feasting may possibly provide that.

Of course, an eating disorder would not be good, but I'm wondering if Binge Eating Disorder isn't the result of people not ever allowing themselves to overeat.

I'm experimenting and offering thoughts on the experiment and also am open to hearing other comments and concerns. There just aren't alarm bells going off for me. This cycle of fast and feast seems to bring both peace and joy.

Sad to say, the father of a classmate of my 11 year old is in the hospital because he is still fighting what appears to be a losing batter with cancer. Life is so short, and sometimes it is even shorter than you expect. I want to enjoy it.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Post by kccc » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:33 pm

Kathleen wrote:BrightAngel,

I'm not sure I agree. There used to be a cultural acceptance of feasting and fasting. Maybe there is a human need for feasting. I got an out of print book called Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society by Bridget Ann Henisch, and while I haven't read all of it, I have gotten the drift that feasting meant "exuberant self-indulgence." (p.54). In our society, no one is ever really hungry or really full. It's just this dull gray.

...

Of course, an eating disorder would not be good, but I'm wondering if Binge Eating Disorder isn't the result of people not ever allowing themselves to overeat.
Medieval feasts were rare occasions - major holidays, comparable to our Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. They were NOT the conclusion of every fast.

Katheen, I really think the alarm bells SHOULD be going off for you.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:40 pm

KCCC,
I'm hearing the alarm bells you and others are ringing.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
Posts: 2091
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:22 pm
Location: Central California
Contact:

Re: Binge-Fast Eating Pattern

Post by BrightAngel » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:16 pm

BrightAngel wrote:Image Kathleen,
Your current eating behavior definitely follows a binge-fast pattern.
You can define that behavior as an eating disorder or not,
it’s just a label.
Fasting is good….Bingeing is not.
Putting them together is a recipe for physical disaster,
which can also increase one’s emotional difficulties.
Kathleen wrote:KCCC,
I'm hearing the alarm bells you and others are ringing.
Image Alarm bells are a call to action.
Simply hearing them without taking responsive action is of little value.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:25 pm

BrightAngel,
This afternoon, I considered stopping, but it was so nice to be able to eat whatever I want and as much as I want if I just wait until 5 PM. That does sound like a binge/fast cycle; however, whether or not it is healthy depends on how much I eat when I do eat. I like the concept in theory. What's not to like about "unconditional permission to eat"? I think I need to try it out and see what happens.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:06 pm

February 25, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

Early in 2010, my teenage son told me that I viewed The No S Diet as some sort of “magic dietâ€. He was right: I did. For almost two years, this diet has been my “magic dietâ€. I lost twenty pounds in nine months, and then I lost no more weight. I began experimenting with changes, some of which proved catastrophic. In the most recent experiment, I gained 7 pounds in 13 days.

Live and learn. I have kept a journal so that I can go back and read what I have done and learn from the past. I have posted on line to get feedback from others, and the feedback I got on this latest diet was a series of alarms.

What, I had to ask myself, made me happiest in all these diet experiments of mine? I had to go back to August, 2010, to look at what I had done then because that was what made me happiest. That diet had a failed attempt at fasting in it, but it also included a very moderate exercise routine. The problem with The No S Diet, at least from my standpoint, was that I never felt hungry, so I could maintain my weight at a too-high level of just under 200 pounds.

Now I have modified and simplified the diet from last summer, eliminating unnecessary complications. The brilliance of The No S Diet is not in the specific rules of the diet. Instead, the brilliance of the diet is in the philosophy of cultivating habits that are sustainable for life and that result in weight loss.

Aristotle, in his Ethics, argues that the practice of virtue is what leads to the establishment of habits of virtue which is what forms the character of a virtuous person. It was in listening over and over again to The Teaching Company lectures on Aristotle’s Ethics by Fr. Joseph Koterski of Fordham University that I recognized the paramount importance of establishing habits.

It is so obvious that it almost seems like a tautology, but it is not: the way to be thin is to cultivate habits that result in being thin. People often think dieting is a matter of willpower, but willpower when discussed in the context of dieting often means the superhuman effort to constantly restrict portions (eg. Weight Watchers) or types of food (eg. Atkins). Successfully following these types of diets means overcoming the body’s instinct to avoid starvation. There was just too much of a survival instinct in me because I managed to diet my way up to 215 pounds by the time I started The No S Diet on September 8, 2008!

For me, willpower is used to establish habits that are sustainable for life. Once willpower is used to establish the habits, I find it easy to follow the habits. In fact, it seems strange not to follow the habits. Now, two years after having first started to follow The No S Diet, I am cultivating habits that I think will lead to my being thin. If they do not, I will adjust by cultivating different habits. Here are the habits I am currently cultivating:


1. Refrain from eating until dinnertime on Fridays: I think there is a benefit to periodic fasting in that I learn to experience hunger, and I learn how much I need to eat in order to feel satisfied. My fast does involve the elimination of all calories, including milk in my coffee. Gary Taubes, in his book Why We Get Fat, argues that carbohydrate restriction is what results in weight loss, and a day of fasting definitely would qualify. Not having a scientific bent, I'm more impressed by the history of fasting in my own Catholic faith. Fasting was a cultural norm and was taken seriously as a way to combat gluttony. I call my Fast Day a Day of Grace.

2. Practice “unconditional permission to eat†on all Sundays: The concept of “unconditional permission to eat†is from the book Intuitive Eating. The idea behind intuitive eating is that restrictive eating leads to “diet backlash†and weight gain. For me, Sundays are a release from the pressure of dieting. It’s a dieter’s dream to eat as much as I want of whatever I want, even if I am gorging on chocolate nut fudge. This time of "unconditional permission to eat" gives me motivation throughout the week when I do not have "unconditional permission to eat." I have also looked to my Catholic faith to understand how people kept from falling into the sin of gluttony, which was considered one of the seven deadly sins. The Catholic Church considered all Sundays as Feast Days, and it was actually a sin to fast on a Feast Day!

3. Eliminate snacks and sweets on all days except Sundays and a rolling average of two Exception Days per month: This idea is from The No S Diet. When I was following conventional diets, I felt hungry all the time. Now I rarely think about food between meals because I only eat between meals on Sundays and Exception Days. I “tune out†hunger signals outside of mealtime. At each meal, I can eat as much as I want, but I don’t have sweets and everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. The elimination of sweets on all but six days per month seems to have reduced the amount of sweets I can tolerate eating when I do have sweets.

Exception Days are necessary because there will always be times when diets cannot be followed. I allow myself two Exception Days per month so that I can follow my diet with “perfect complianceâ€. I don’t remember where I read about the idea of “perfect complianceâ€, but my conviction that “perfect compliance†is essential was reinforced by listening to Koterski’s lectures on Aristotle’s Ethics. Koterski explains that Aristotle distinguishes between habits that require thought and effort and habits which are so ingrained that they are followed automatically. I wanted a diet that was easy to follow, so I decided that I needed to follow my diet perfectly. Following my diet is like brushing my teeth: I do it automatically and without much thought or effort.

4. Do strengthening exercises: I am following the basic program in the book Strong Women Stay Slim by Dr. Miriam E. Nelson and have added one of the optional exercises from the book, the pelvic tilt. I've modified the exercises with weights in that I use one weight at a time and stand on the one leg at a time (stand on left leg when right arm has weight and stand on right leg when left arm has weight). This was an idea suggested to me by a personal trainer years ago when I brought him this book. Somehow, weight training fell off my priority list, and I regret it!

Dr. Nelson made the argument that “the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. This important change comes partly from a revved-up metabolism and partly from increased physical activity – an automatic consequence of greater strength†(p. 35). When I first tried strengthening exercises, I immediately appreciated the importance of the exercises, especially since it was after only one week of strengthening exercises that I walked on rocks to cross the creek at the headwaters of the Mississippi River. I didn’t have the balance or agility of my 9 year old daughter who was scampering back and forth across the rocks. I didn’t have the balance of my husband who could walk from rock to rock. Instead, I used both hands and feet to cross the rocks in what my husband teased me was a “spider crawlâ€. I told him that I’ll be scampering over those rocks next year!

5. Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day six days per week (not on Sundays): I invested $30 in an Omron GoSmart pedometer with a watch and a record of steps for the prior seven days. My inspiration for this habit was from the book Move a Little, Lose a Lot by Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic. He argued that it is important to build exercise into your daily routine rather than to attempt to go to a gym regularly. I set my goal at 12,000 steps as a “stretch goalâ€, and I follow Dr. Nelson’s recommendation to limit aerobic exercise to six days per week. When I fall short of my daily goal, I walk more on other days. There is effort involved in making this goal, but my life also seems calmer. I walk around while waiting for children and park in the first available spot when I am going to stores. The dog also loves her daily walks!


The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (goal to lose one pound per month)

The Habit of Temperance:
(Month 1) Day 1 – Friday, February 25, 2011: 205.4 (Goal of 186.0 pounds: behind schedule by 19.6 pounds)

Exception Days
Starting Number of Exception Days = 0 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 2.

Weights:
Day 1 – Friday, February 25, 2011: 205.4
Day 2 – Saturday, February 26, 2011: 203.8
Day 3 – Sunday, February 27, 2011:
Day 4 – Monday, February 28, 2011:

Journal:
Day 1 – Friday, February 25, 2011: 205.4 Anne missed the bus today, and I drove her to school while talking with her about a possible bassoon purchase and telling her how happy I am about how much she enjoys playing the bassoon. I also told her how important it is to be able to make mistakes and recover from them, such as when I passed on the opportunity to interview for a contract position. Well, that same attitude needs to apply to my starting over with dieting. I had to ask myself: What made me happiest? I went back to the diet from last August. There was something missing with it, but I got close with that diet. I decided that I should keep only Friday as a Fast Day, or Day of Grace, and allow myself to eat lunch on other days. I also realized that it is important to keep the rule of "everything is in front of me before I take one bite" because my body was adjusting to 10 hours fasts followed by binges.

4:30 PM: I lasted until 3 and then ate. I'm totally bummed about not getting that bassoon for Anne. Tom thinks it's funny that I'm so upset, but I think my being upset also comes from my diet. What am I going to do? I was so excited two weeks ago getting below 200 and then everything went wrong. What was I doing then? Maybe I should go back and look.

5:30 PM: Fail again, and tonight is a Mom's night out. I'll start after that. I actually think this approach may be good -- much better than fasting for 10 hours per day and then eating what I want.

6 PM: How is it that I was feeling so great two weeks ago and now it is a disaster. Life is like the game Sorry. There are bumps in the road. Figuring out you made a mistake in turning down an interview is not a tragedy. Finding out too late that a bassoon was available for sale locally is not a tragedy. The real source of my being so bummed is my weight. I am so sick of this.

11:30 PM: I think I have an understanding of why it is so hard to lose weight: you cannot simply decide to change; you have to change slowly over time and give your body an opportunity to adjust. It is now Friday night, and I can go through the next week like I have done with No S and then just fast next Friday. I'll have a whole week of calm. How I hate being fat... Part of it is lack of exercise and, again, I have to adjust. Today I walked just 5,600 steps.

"One step enough for me"...

Day 2 – Saturday, February 26, 2011: 203.8 The weight should come down fairly quickly. I have thought through this approach, and I don't want to just abandon it because I tried to fast too much. Fasting is essential because it teaches me to tolerate hunger and understand what hunger is and hunger is not.

1 PM: I'm feeling better taking a more measured approach to dieting. After all, I know I can manage through the next six days because the problem for me has been fasting. If I limit fasting to just one day, it would be fine. Next Friday, however, is the annual gala at the school. I may go without having eaten so I can have one plateful of food. That is something I'll decide next week.

10 PM: The book on fasting and feasting during the medieval period did focus a lot on meal-timing. There was also a focus on not eating certain foods, especially meat and dairy products, at certain times. I'm going to try meal-timing only.

11:30 PM: Tom is at a swim team party, and I'm waiting up for him. I'm also making cookies, and I will have some at midnight. For years, I read books like Intuitive Eating and Diets Don't Work. I learned that restrictive eating was inappropriate and the problem today was not being able to recognize hunger. It was with some sadness that I gave up on that approach to follow The No S Diet. Now I see much freedom in following clear rules. Whenever you try to rate hunger, it's subjective. If you want to measure calories precisely, there's lots of subjective judgment involved if you are cutting a piece of a chocolate cookie bar from an entire pan. You may be able to calculate the total for the entire pan in a very precise way, but you can't calculate the total in a bar precisely. That leads to buying and eating foods that are single-serving or that can be measured precisely because they are easily measured, such as the calories in one Tic Tac. It's much easier to place restrictions based on time. I'll know when it's midnight.

Day 3 – Sunday, February 27, 2011: It's now almost 1, and I ended up watching youtube videos of the Wisconsin protests which reminded me of Nancy Pelosi's victory walk up the steps of the capitol last year with the 1965 Medicare gavel. That was less than one year ago, and I was completely devastated. I thought our country would not have the freedoms that we have had, that some government bureaucrat in Washington would be deciding how much we can afford in healthcare costs and what healthcare we should be getting. Now, less than one year later, the tide has really turned. I didn't have much care or concern for politics until last year, and now I appreciate what could be lost. There is something fundamentally atheistic about a government that promotes a nanny state. Why can't people help each other? There is much joy in volunteering, and it's completely wiped out if there is no need for neighbor to help neighbor. Also, something is lost when people are paid to do what volunteers so enjoy that they do it without any compensation or hope of compensation. Volunteering is an integral part of my life, and we have our children volunteer as well. The problem with the nanny state also is that there's insufficient incentive to work. Why work if your lifestyle is the same if you don't work? Nothing has taught me more of the need for a work ethic than trying to raise a boy.

I thought perhaps that my keeping a journal could help Anne, but it comes down to faith and that is a choice or a gift. There is indeed a leap of faith that is beyond reason. Meal timing allows for the body to make up for prior restrictions, and restrictions are what allows a person to lose weight. All this scientific study is based on assumptions that I don't really buy. There is something in the human heart that is not understood by scientists. I'm no saint, of course, but I remember St. Aquinas said several months before he died that everything he wrote was worthless. I feel the same way. There is a great divide between public union supports and the Tea Party in an understanding of the word "freedom". The divide cannot be crossed by reason. It's the same thing here. There's no possibility of reason leading to an appreciation of the human need to feast and to fast. The fundamental question in the obesity epidemic is why people overeat, and I think it may come down to a lack of self-discipline. In the gray world of atheism, being thin is compared as a pleasure to being able to eat what you want. There is a greater good in fasting.

It's late, and I've spent way too much time thinking about dieting. I need to just follow this diet and stop analyzing. Time will tell.
Last edited by Kathleen on Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:48 am, edited 9 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Teemuh
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:42 am

Post by Teemuh » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:52 pm

Hi Kathleen. Looking at some of your notes, it seems like the most successful weightloss came from NoS. You were able to stick with it the longest, and have the best results. I imagine as your weight came down, some tweaking of it would be necessary as your body would simply need less calories. Since you plateaued so long on it, I don't think it would have taken much to tip things back in your favour . Perhaps even the increased walking would have done it. You mention the power of habit, which I agree with, but it seems to me like you can't really establish any habits because you keep changing the rules.

Anyway, my two cents. Good luck to you :)
5'6"
Re-started Jan 6/ 2012
Start / Current / Goal
173 /165 / 155

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:45 pm

Teemuh,
Yes, it did provided the biggest benefit. I do think I need some way to experience hunger so that my appetite is decreased, and a one day fast may do the trick. I got into fasting and out of No S and that proved to be not a good idea.

Meanwhile, I've been looking all over for a bassoon, and a posting was made on craigslist three days ago, I found it last night, but the bassoon was purchased yeterday. How sad for my daughter.

Life is full of ups and downs. I won't beat myself up about the bassoon or the job or this diet.

It's cold outside, so I don't want to walk the dog too much, but I'll try to figure out how to get in 10,000 steps today and do those few exercises.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

I object

Post by TexArk » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Kathleen,
I have to take exception with the following post in your journal:

If you want to measure calories precisely, there's lots of subjective judgment involved if you are cutting a piece of a chocolate cookie bar from an entire pan. You may be able to calculate the total for the entire pan in a very precise way, but you can't calculate the total in a bar precisely. That leads to buying and eating foods that are single-serving or that can be measured precisely because they are easily measured, such as the calories in one Tic Tac.

It is very simple and quick to enter your own personal recipes and serving sizes into software and get the nutrition data including calories per serving. I have all of my frequently used recipes entered into the database. It takes very few minutes for the first time and then I have it forever. If I try a new recipe I can always enter it and see immediately the information I need. Yes, you can cut up a pan into serving sizes and know close enough what the calorie count is. Also, we did not get fat by being off a little here and there, so you can get “close enoughâ€

Calorie counting combined with NoS couldn’t be easier…just 3 meals a day to log in. And I have never really set a calorie limit per day. It has been self regulating just because I am honest with myself I guess.

I have been doing NoS for 2 years. I gained because I overdid it on S Days. I tried all sorts of mods for 18 months and did nothing but gain. Finally, I gave up and started tracking my food on Diet Power last October 15. I weighed 204.5 lbs when I started counting calories and today I weighed in at 166.2. It couldn’t be easier. I love my food, I do not feel restricted, I am not hungry, and I love the software program. It is not near as time consuming as journaling over and over another plan to try. Been there. Done that.

So, you can certainly choose to not count calories; your example just does not follow. Just don’t count because you don’t want to…that is as good a reason as any. And if I were eating those chocolate cookie bars I sure would want to know how many calories I was putting into my body! The calories are going to count whether I count them or not.
24.7 bmi Feb. 2019
26.1 bmi Sept. 2018
31.4 bmi July 2017

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:45 pm

TexArk,
That is really fabulous! I am sick to death of being fat, but I realize that what I've been doing is getting me nowhere. I may try one last attempt at fasting and feasting, but then maybe I need to either accept obesity or restrict portions.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:26 pm

February 28, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

I am following simple rules based on the category of the day, and I will see how this affects my weight. There are four types of days:
1. Exception Days: On a rolling average of two days per month, I have "unconditional permission to eat" as much as I want of whatever I want all day long. This is a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating.
2. Feast Days: Every Sunday, I have three meals and can have caloric liquids outside those meals. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite, and I have no sweets. I After dinner, I have unconditional permission to eat until midnight.
3. Fast Days: From midnight until dinner on Fridays, I have no calories whatsoever. For dinner, I have no sweets and everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids.
4. Ordinary Days: On these days, I have three meals with no snacks or sweets. For each meal, everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. Outside of mealtimes, I can have caloric liquids.

I can track my weight, but I think I have to stop writing and just do. Writing has been my way to analyze. That, in fact, is a good reason why my career as a business analyst is so fitting for me: I think on paper. If I stop thinking and just do, I think my determination not to write would cut off my ability to analyze and to tweak. It's long past time to tweak.

I have figured out that I need a weekly break, a time of "unconditional permission to eat." That time needs to be as short as possible, and after dinner on one night seems to be the shortest possible time. I need exceptions for social events, and the number of exceptions that could be the least and still practical is two. I need a time to fast in order to experience hunger, and one day of fasting seems the most I can do. Since I am still determined not to practice portion control, limitation to three meals per day with everything in front of me before I take one bite seems to be the most restriction I can manage. In summary, this diet seems to be the most rigorous I can manage for the long haul. Now I just need to follow it and see what results.


The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (goal to lose one pound per month)

The Temperance Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 – Monday, February 28, 2011: 205.2 (Goal of 186.0 pounds: behind schedule by 19.8 pounds)
(Month 2) Day 2 – Tuesday, March 1, 2011: 204.2 (Goal of 185.0 pounds: behind schedule by 19.8 pounds)

Exception Days
Starting Number of Exception Days as of March 1 = 2 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 4.

Weights:
Day 1 – Monday, February 28, 2011: 205.2
Day 2 – Tuesday, March 1, 2011: 204.2 Exception Day
Day 3 – Wednesday, March 2, 2011: 204.6
Day 4 – Thursday, March 3, 2011: 204.2
Day 5 – Friday, March 4, 2011:
Day 6 – Saturday, March 5, 2011:
Day 7 – Sunday, March 6, 2011:
Day 8 – Monday, March 7, 2011:
Day 9 – Tuesday, March 8, 2011:
Day 10 – Wednesday, March 9, 2011:
Day 11 – Thursday, March 10, 2011:
Day 12 – Friday, March 11, 2011:
Day 13 – Saturday, March 12, 2011:
Day 14 – Sunday, March 13, 2011:
Day 15 – Monday, March 14, 2011:
Day 16 – Tuesday, March 15, 2011:
Day 17 – Wednesday, March 16, 2011:
Day 18 – Thursday, March 17, 2011:
Day 19 – Friday, March 18, 2011:
Day 20 – Saturday, March 19, 2011:
Day 21 – Sunday, March 20, 2011:
Day 22 – Monday, March 21, 2011:
Day 23 – Tuesday, March 22, 2011:
Day 24 – Wednesday, March 23, 2011:
Day 25 – Thursday, March 24, 2011:
Day 26 – Friday, March 25, 2011:
Day 27 – Saturday, March 26, 2011:
Day 28 – Sunday, March 27, 2011:
Day 29 – Monday, March 28, 2011:
Day 30 – Tuesday, March 29, 2011:
Day 31 – Wednesday, March 30, 2011:
Day 32 – Thursday, March 31, 2011:
Last edited by Kathleen on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:23 am, edited 7 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

r.jean
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Challenge

Post by r.jean » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:17 am

I challenge you to go back to plain vanilla no S. Quit overthinking everything and quit jumping all over the place. Do the habit cal calendars and a brief daily check in and try to get your exercise in.

Keep your plates reasonable and do not go wild on the weekends.

I do not mean this to sound harsh, but you were successful before and can be successful again. Just be reasonable.
Last edited by r.jean on Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:10 pm

r.jean,
I don't think I can manage any sort of portion control, including the limitation to one plate, so I've modified The No S Diet to make up for that fact. This approach, I think, is the best I can do. It may not be the greatest plan, but at least I think I can follow it.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

New Plan

Post by TexArk » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:48 pm

Kathleen,

I think you have a good plan. You are making it simple to follow and setting up some good habits. We are all cheering you on. Please stay with this for the month of March without changing plans. You do realize that you have started one plan after another and never followed through. That is very tiring and defeating. One day at a time. Or one step at a time.

You may or may not lose pounds depending on how much you "uncondtionally eat" or how much and what you eat at each meal. But that does not matter right now. You desperately need to establish habits and consistency. There are only so many changes a person can make at one time.
24.7 bmi Feb. 2019
26.1 bmi Sept. 2018
31.4 bmi July 2017

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
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Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:09 pm

TexArk,
I agree 100%. Last month was incredibly discouraging: turning down an interview because of a misperception about what it means to be a contractor, losing out on a terrific bassoon for my daughter, and having one diet attempt after another. Life, I think, is more like the game of "Sorry" than I would like. I can't go back, but I can resolve to go through this month with this diet of my own creation which takes into account my own lessons learned from years of dieting. Thanks for the encouragement.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

r.jean
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Best of luck

Post by r.jean » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:04 am

I wish you the best of luck. If Vanilla No S does not work for you then so be it. Keeping it as simple as you can and limiting the constant changes will help you to identify what truly is working for you.

Again I hope you find a solution.your solution.
Last edited by r.jean on Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:00 am, edited 3 times in total.

Kathleen
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Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:31 am

Thank you, r.jean. The author of the book Learned Optimism said weight management was the only failure of his life. The No S Diet is the sanest diet I have seen, and even those of us who can't make vanilla No S work can benefit from the lessons of scheduled eating.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
Posts: 2091
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Location: Central California
Contact:

Post by BrightAngel » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:44 pm

Kathleen wrote:even those of us who can't make vanilla No S work
can benefit from the lessons of scheduled eating.
A very good point. Image
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:12 pm

March 4, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

I am following simple rules based on the category of the day, and I will see how this affects my weight. There are four types of days:
1. Exception Days: On a rolling average of two days per month, I have "unconditional permission to eat" as much as I want of whatever I want all day long. This is a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating.
2. Feast Days: Every Sunday, I have three meals and can have caloric liquids outside those meals. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite, and I have no sweets. I After 6 PM, I have unconditional permission to eat until midnight.
3. Fast Days: From midnight until dinner on Fridays, I have no calories whatsoever. For dinner, I have no sweets and everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids.
4. Ordinary Days: On these days, I have three meals with no snacks or sweets. For each meal, everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. Outside of mealtimes, I can have caloric liquids. This approach is a modification of The No S Diet.

I have figured out that I need a weekly break, a time of "unconditional permission to eat." That time needs to be as short as possible, and after dinner on one night seems to be the shortest possible time. I need exceptions for social events, and the number of exceptions that could be the least and still practical is two. I need a time to fast in order to experience hunger, and one day of fasting seems the most I can do. Since I am still determined not to practice portion control, limitation to three meals per day with everything in front of me before I take one bite seems to be the most restriction I can manage. In summary, this diet seems to be the most rigorous I can manage for the long haul. Now I just need to follow it and see what results.


The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (goal to lose one pound per month)

The Temperance Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 – Friday, March 4, 2011: 206.0 (Goal of 185.0 pounds: behind schedule by 21.0 pounds)

Exception Days
Starting Number of Exception Days as of March 4 = 0 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 2.

Weights:

Day 1 – Friday, March 4, 2011: 206.0
Day 2 – Saturday, March 5, 2011: 204.0
Day 3 – Sunday, March 6, 2011: 203.8
Day 4 – Monday, March 7, 2011: 205.0
Day 5 – Tuesday, March 8, 2011: 204.2 Exception Day
Day 6 – Wednesday, March 9, 2011:
Day 7 – Thursday, March 10, 2011: Exception Day




Journal:

Day 1 – Friday, March 4, 2011: 206.0 This morning, I woke up and didn't get out of bed because I'm so discouraged about not having a job. Tom used humor to get me to laugh, and he pointed out that last week he had no work and now he's got two assignments. I think I expected to have a job by now, and I don't. Meanwhile, last night I ate for no good reason at all.

Then I realized that the reason was pure and simple: lack of self-discipline. It used to be that I had an almost frantic need to eat as much as I was allowed. That frantic need is now completely gone. I credit my determination to have no "portion control" with getting me over the physical need to eat as much as possible as if I was starving and this was the first food I'd seen in weeks.

There's been a debate in my mind about whether overeating is emotional, psychological, physical or spiritual. I long ago ruled out that the problem was emotional or psychological because there are so many giving people who are obese. I did conclude that obese people tend to be gullible and follow authority, but that problem isn't one of lack of character so much as it is lack of confidence.

The idea that obesity is a physical problem has struck me as somewhat more compelling, since there seems to be almost a survival instinct associated with overeating. This, of course, cannot be applied to everyone. I've read enough to be convinced that some people are obese for physical reasons, but that doesn't explain the great increase in numbers of obese people over the last thirty years. I think what caused the obesity epidemic was the creation of a physical problem from the recommendation of a "portion control" approach to weight management. Having given up that idea three years ago, I think I'm finally past the physical cause of my obesity. Since I practiced portion control off and on for more than thirty years, it's not bad that it took only three years to get over the physical cause of my obesity.

Now I'm looking at a spiritual cause of obesity. I think that is now what remains. I lack self-discipline. As my husband as accurately observed, I'm all over the place, almost like someone who doesn't know how to swim will thrash frantically in water.

This diet, which I started following on Sunday, is a diet of self-discipline. I have to wait to eat. Today is my Day of Grace, so I will wait until dinner. In the book on medieval fasts and feasts, the author said that gluttony was considered first and foremost a problem of eating outside appropriate times. Secondarily, it was about eating certain foods that were forbidden in certain times, such as eating meat during Lent.

I see now that gluttony is closely related to avarice: to wanting more and more, to having an insatiable appetite.

The physical cause of overeating had to be addressed first. Now that it is, I have to address the spiritual problem which comes down, sadly, to lack of self-discipline.

I can stick with this diet and still write, I think. In fact, it may be important for me to continue writing. On Sunday, I had artificially increased the number of allowable Exception Days by starting on the last day of the month and then having four as of the first of the month. Now I've gone through two Exception Days and so my count is at a more appropriate two Exception Days. Nothing has changed in my plan from Sunday. I'm following the exact same diet. I'm just going to write.

I restarted the numbering today not because the diet changed but because I realized that I no longer have a physical problem with obesity. It's all now spiritual: a lack of self-discipline.

3 PM: Restart at 3 PM after having soup, popcorn, a banana, and I don't know what else. Same old same old. It's time to dive into discipline.

Day 2 – Saturday, March 5, 2011: 204.0 It was unrealistic of me to think that I could figure out a diet which was effortless. I need discipline. Still, at this point, all I need is self-discipline. Before, I was battling my body's survival mechanism.

11 AM: When I gave up on Intuitive Eating and started following The No S Diet, there was sadness in the decision because I had to give up on the idea that I could become thin "naturally", which meant to me without effort or rules. I bought into the idea that it was "restrictive eating" which led to obesity.

Now I am giving up on the idea that forming habits and following them can mean that I will diet effortlessly, in much the same way that I brush my teeth effortlessly. Sure, it takes time and effort, but I couldn't imagine forgoing brushing my teeth because I feel unclean unless I brush my teeth.

Now I face that I will have an ongoing effort involved in becoming thin. I was imagining what isn't true. What convinced me was the book on medieval eating that made me realize that I have the same human nature as those in the medieval period, and for them gluttony was an ongoing problem to be addressed with periods of fast and feast. People would try to bend the rules in the most absurd ways but they would follow the rules. That approach sounds like me. I long ago realized that I should follow the letter of the law and not worry about violating any spirit of the law. Gluttony will always be in me, so I need to accept that food restrictions will not be followed without effort.

Foolish. I've been foolish.

10:30 PM: In moments of temptation, I decided what would be best for me to tell myself is "Wait." I got through some moments this afternoon and tonight, since I have slipped into the habit of breaking the habit. It will be difficult to return to perfection.

Day 3 – Sunday, March 6, 2011: 203.8 I just had my first S-evening: a large chocolate bar, some Haagen Dazs chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, and an entire bowl of popcorn. I'll have more but not much more: maybe a cutie and some wine. It seems to me that having a time of feasting is important so that I can avoid the feeling of constant starvation because I sure don't feel starved right now.

A few days ago, there was an interesting story about a Northwestern professor who had a live demo after a human sexuality class, and the live demo included a man, a naked woman, and some sort of electronic device that looked like a saw with a blunt end. The amusing part of this story is that the professor had been interviewed after the story broke of what he had done. He said he had been approached about this demo being given, he had hesitated, and he had decided to go ahead and allow it because he couldn't think of a reason not to allow the demo.

The story is disturbing to me because I have a daughter headed off to college in fall of next year. What will she be taught? The story also disturbs me because the approach to human sexuality was clearly so mechanical. What in the human spirit was missing in this presentation? It strikes me that the idea of calories in/calories out is also mechanistic. The fact is that there is truth in a mechanistic approach but what is most important is completely missing.

It seems truly bizarre, but I think that there is something downright evil or ignorant in a "portion control" approach to dieting, just like there is something downright evil or ignorant in a college course on human sexuality including a live demo involving a man, a woman, and a electric device.

9 PM: I just found this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7AId6wevH8

Words fail me here. There is a completely different view of human beings being portrayed by these people, a view that is so different from mine that it's hard to comprehend. I showed my husband the video, and he said the sex toy was a modification of a tool used to cut holes in walls. There is a physical truth in what was being shown to students, although it fails in my mind to justify the teaching of it in an academic institution.

With portion control, yes, there is a truth that you can lose weight if you restrict calories, but what is missing in the conveyance of this truth?

I am at the limit of what I understand. All I understand is that portion control cannot be the focus or even a means to weight loss.

Day 4 – Monday, March 7, 2011: 205.0 I weigh today exactly what I weighed on December 15, 2007, which is the day I finally made a commitment to Intuitive Eating. It took this long to get over the effects of a "portion control" approach to managing my weight, an approach which I first followed in the spring of 1976, my senior year of high school. I started out weighing 132, got down to 117 when I first started college, and was up to 150 by the time I finished freshman year. My weight ruined my college years. I used to go to the sweet shop on Sunday night and buy a pound of chocolate peanut clusters as a way to fortify myself for my diet starting on Monday morning.

Tom last night said he thought that having an S-evening once per week could work. I told him all I know is that what I've been doing hasn't worked. In reality, it has worked: it got me over the starvation reaction to any sort of food restriction. That was step 1. Now I have step 2, which is why I restarted the numbering of the days. Now I can actually lose weight, or at least that is my expectation.

1 PM: I shoveled a neighbor's driveway, she invited me in for coffee, and I didn't leave until 11:30. Now I've had lunch and taken the dog for a walk, but I haven't cleaned or looked forward to dinner. The lack of discipline in dieting is also evident in housecleaning. Lent starts on Wednesday, and I think I need to have a coherent lis of rules to follow. I already promised Tom I would try to keep Pepper off the bed. What's wonderful about dieting now is that I really think it's possible to lose weight. Before, I would fear that any weight loss would be gained with interest because of my body's making up for deprivation. Now what the authors of Intuitive Eating calls "diet backlash" occurs every Sunday night, on a schedule and within time limits.

Day 5 – Tuesday, March 8, 2011: 204.2 There's an article in today's Wall Street Journal on the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet, only the benefit isn't replicated outside the region. Maybe the religious regulations regarding food, including fasting, has something to do with the benefits of the diet. Maybe it's not what they eat. Maybe it's that they aren't eating all the time.

I think "portion control" may be the root cause of the obesity epidemic. After all, a focus on how much to eat can lead to -- and certainly did lead to this for me -- more frequent eating since you think you can manage better if you eat more frequently. The constant starvation can lead to binge behavior. It can also lead to bizarre eating habits, as it did for me. I had my stock of foods that I would eat, all with a labeled number of calories. I couldn't just have a chicken breast with rice. I had to have Lean Cuisine with the exact number of calories. Tom would tease me about getting every last bit of rice. The focus was not on my family or on enjoying my food. Instead, it was on getting every last calorie and not going over. Ugh!

If this approach pans out, I'll be so happy... I do have to get used to limiting myself to mealtime again, and it's taking some effort. I tell myself "Wait". Last night, I had ten minutes to eat between picking up Katie from swim team and taking Ellie to a trumpet lesson. I just shoveled food into my mouth and didn't enjoy it. Mealtime becomes more important for enjoying your food when you only have a shot at eating three times per day. This is a totally different way of life.

12:30 PM: I had a huge lunch: an entire bowl of popcorn, about 1 cup of pretzels, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That is OK. I am now satisfied. Last night, I had the feeling that I was losing weight. My body is now wanting more food. That's OK. I'll let it. I think the key is to stick to the rules and not worry about food quantities.

2:30 PM: Tomorrow is the start of Lent, and my Lenten resolution is to not go on the computer until the house is completely picked up. This may affect my ability to study and to write/analyze/debate/tweak regarding this diet.

7:45 PM: I did fine until 6 PM and then started munching while preparing dinner. At dinner, Ellie suggested I give up this Web site for Lent, and she might be right. I also am thinking I should give up Exception Days. Easter is April 24. What if I just focused on getting through the next several weeks without Exception Days and see what my weight is then? I feel like a hamster on a hamster wheel just repeating myself over and over. Maybe it's best just to get off the hamster wheel and see what happens.


Day 8 – Friday, March 11, 2011: Today is my Day of Grace: I won't eat until dinner. On Ash Wednesday, Tommy looked at my dinner and said, "That's not fasting!" I told him I hadn't eaten all day, and he was surprised. Ellie asked if I was really hungry, and I said I wasn't, but I was going to have a good-sized meal then! I think portion control eventually backfires. With this diet, I eat to satisfaction whenever I eat. Now I just need to make sure I stay within the parameters of Exception Days, which will be hard this month because I'm already down to zero and had four on March 1. I may worry later about the dog on the bed and just focus on this diet for Lent.

7:45 AM: Tom didn't like seeing me on the computer this morning, so I think I'm going to shift my time for writing. I think I may add the minimal exercises from the Strong Women Stay Slim book and I am also using a pedometer. Maybe I can track how much I walk. With the weather warming up, I think it will be easier to be active.

Also, it's time for me to shut down the RSS feeds from job boards and take my resume off Monster, careerbuilder, indeed, etc. I hate jobhunting. If this one job comes through, I'll be happy, but it doesn't make sense for me to continue jobhunting because I'm only available until early June.

11 PM: My Day of Grace ended badly. At about 3 PM, after an exhausting 2 hour meeting with a recruiter who doesn't have an immediate job opportunity for me, I reached the recruiter who called me last night to let me know I had passed the screening interview and would meet with another person from that organization for a probable hire in early April. The recruiter told me that this second person had decided the need was for someone with completely different skills so I now no longer was a fit.

My unexpected response was to have two entire bowls of popcorn, an orange, and some cheese. I then went to bed. We were supposed to go as a family to a Fish Fry at our church, and instead I went to bed at about 5 PM. I just got up. Tom is picking up Tommy from a birthday party, and everyone else is in bed.

I feel quite stupid about this evening and think that, perhaps, I'm not ready for a 24 hour fast. Maybe I'll just try skipping breakfast on Fridays and work on improving in the physical activity area. It got up to 40 degrees today, so I can take Pepper for longer walks, although she only got a walk up and down the block today.

I really hate being fat.

Day 9 – Saturday, March 12, 2011: I blew it again today. I think that part of the problem might be the idea of making a commitment for life. How the heck did I ever make the commitment to marry? It was the biggest non-decision of my life. I just had no doubts -- until I was standing in front of the priest making our wedding vows, and then I had a moment of doubt. Still, once the decision was made, it was made and there was no going back. With this decision, I can change my mind every day. How do I make the equivalent of a marital vow?

Tonight we were discussing my wedding ring at dinner, and Tom teased me about how he might have gotten a two dollar ring. I said I would have worn it because I don't believe in trading up rings. He said he didn't need to worry about a 25th anniversary ring, and I said all he needs is to worry about a ring when I get to 140.... Maybe I should wear a ring as a sign of my commitment. Back in the days of my Novena Diet, 9 days of 1,000 calories per day, I'd wear a sapphire ring to remind myself of that commitment.

I wonder... What does it take to actually make a commitment? Anne told me she decided to go back on The No S Diet... Now's my chance to model good behavior for her. I have a plan. I just don't want to follow it. I don't want to have the ongoing discipline for it.
Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:07 pm, edited 26 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
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Location: Central California
Contact:

Post by BrightAngel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:59 pm

Kathleen wrote:I'm just going to write.
Image Kathleen, your input here is valuable to us all,
and I know that you have limited computer time.
Nevertheless, you might want start doing just a tiny bit of your writing
over at DietHobby, along with some reading there,
because I am going to be focusing most of my attention at that spot,
rather than here in the personal Threads.

We've spent a lot of time here in discussion together,
and I think that has been helpful to us both.
I want our online friendship to continue,
and I plan to continue to read your daily journal.
I will also make relevant comments on the subjects you address.
but in the future, my detailed comments Image
of the type that I've posted here on your personal Thread
as well as here on my own personal Thread
will not be posted here, but will instead be at DietHobby.

I will be sharing many articles, links and videos
that you will probably find helpful.
One subject that I intend to discuss there frequently is the issue of Fasting,
and I will be covering many topics that I know will interest you,
and which you might want to comment on.

Image You have a special place in my heart and my mind,
and I hope you will keep this option in mind for future action,
because you might find it beneficial to you.

www.diethobby.com
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:28 pm

BrightAngel,

You have been a big help to me, and I appreciate it very much, but I'm concerned about getting into a different Web site and increasing my time on line. I don't want to have my diet to be my hobby, and my goal is to make it fade into the background as I get used to habits which are sustainable for life. Is this a realistic goal? Maybe not. I certainly haven't proven it out yet, but that is my goal.

Years ago, another parent from the elementary school which our kids attended -- a small Catholic school -- and I formed a partnership to evaluate local public schools, since Minnesota allows you to enroll in any school district as long as you provide transportation and there is room. We talked a lot that year, to the relief of our husbands who weren't interested in details about the surrounding school districts. As it turned out, we sent our daughters to different schools, but we both benefited from sharing information and getting each other's perspectives. We also both have been happy with our choices.

That is how I hope it will be with us. We both have faced obesity and have laid out different paths to become a normal weight. You have succeeded. I have not. Still, I am looking for a different path than you have taken. It may be the German stubbornness in me, but I still believe it is possible to lose weight without portion control.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
Posts: 2091
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:22 pm
Location: Central California
Contact:

Post by BrightAngel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:54 pm

Kathleen wrote:BrightAngel,
You have been a big help to me, and I appreciate it very much
I don't want to have my diet to be my hobby, and my goal is to make it fade into the background as I get used to habits which are sustainable for life. Is this a realistic goal? Maybe not. I certainly haven't proven it out yet, but that is my goal.

we both benefited from sharing information and getting each other's perspectives. We also both have been happy with our choices.
That is how I hope it will be with us. We both have faced obesity and have laid out different paths to become a normal weight. You have succeeded. I have not. Still, I am looking for a different path than you have taken. It may be the German stubbornness in me, but I still believe it is possible to lose weight without portion control.
Image Kathleen,
What works for me isn't what works for everyone.
There are many different ways to successful weight-loss,
and with continued effort, you can eventually find what works for you.

Because of our close association, I wanted to be certain you understood
that you haven't been abandoned; and I made the above-post
to let you know I'll still be around and available to you,
even though I'll be posting far less frequently here in the personal Threads.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:25 pm

Thanks. I appreciate it!
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Eurobabe2
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:31 pm

No, don't give up this site for Lent!!

Post by Eurobabe2 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:05 am

There are all sorts of other things you can give up first for Lent-chocolate, Exception days, s*xl, etc etc. :D
Don't give up the website. I read it every day, and think about what you write and if it applies to me, and if so, why.
Speaking from personal experience, I can't go for a month and not weigh myself, or at least, not expect that my weight will be lower in a month. I need that accountability. When you didn't record your weight for about 2 weeks, it went up, not down!
So, don't go. Your European fans need you!

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BrightAngel
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Post by BrightAngel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:35 am

Kathleen wrote: At dinner, Ellie suggested I give up this Web site for Lent, and she might be right.
Image Kathleen,
Each of us needs to have our own individual time and interests.
It is easy to let the people we love suck us dry,
and then we try to fill that inner void with food.
If your time on the computer refreshes and fulfills you,
you would be foolish to give it up.

I've put a brief video of Monday's Dr. Oz's tv interview with Gary Taubes up at DietHobby,
It is quite entertaining, and due to our past discussions on Why We Get Fat,
I think you would really enjoy watching it.
Image
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:35 am

OK. I went on in the afternoon, saw these posts, and then took an Exception Day. So much for not going on the Web site or not taking Exception Days. My Lenten resolve is falling apart. I did pass the screening interview on a job, so I have one more interview and then maybe will have a job. I am thinking maybe I can give up weighing myself but will try posting.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
Posts: 2091
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:22 pm
Location: Central California
Contact:

Post by BrightAngel » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:30 pm

Kathleen wrote:I think "portion control" may be the root cause of the obesity epidemic.
After all, a focus on how much to eat can lead to -- and certainly did lead to this for me --
more frequent eating since you think you can manage better if you eat more frequently.
The constant starvation can lead to binge behavior.
It can also lead to bizarre eating habits, as it did for me.
I think portion control eventually backfires.

I really hate being fat.
Image
Kathleen,
You hate being fat,
but you hate what you need to do to lose weight more,
because weight-loss....like it or not.....requires some form of portion control.
Essentially you have placed yourself inside a dilemna. Image

A dilema is: a situation involving an undesirable or unpleasant choice.
The unsatisfactoriness of the options you have is a matter of how you perceive them.
What is distressing or painful about a dilemma
is having to make a choice one does not want to make.

Image It seems very clear that you have only two options:

......(1) to accept being Fat,
.......................or
......(2) to change your mind about Portion Control,
.............and find a method of Portion Control that works for you.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:50 pm

BrightAngel,
I'm looking for a method of weight management that does not include Portion Control. It may be a fool's mission.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kevin
Posts: 1269
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Kevin » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:04 pm

Veganism and lots of mild exercise?
Kathleen wrote:BrightAngel,
I'm looking for a method of weight management that does not include Portion Control. It may be a fool's mission.
Kathleen
Kevin
1/13/2011-189# :: 4/21/2011-177# :: Goal-165#
"Respecting the 4th S: sometimes."

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Post by TexArk » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:12 am

Kathleen wrote:BrightAngel,
I'm looking for a method of weight management that does not include Portion Control. It may be a fool's mission.
Kathleen
Kathleen,

It seems to me that you are saying that controlling the amount of food you eat is the equivalent of starvation. As an English major I am sure you do recognize this as an "either or fallacy. Either I have permission to eat whatever and how much I want or I starve. This is just not true.

Sometimes when I am trying to problem solve, I find it helpful to back off and look at antonyms or direct opposites to get a fresh perspective. What is the antonym of "portion control?" Eating without controlling portions I suppose...But what does that mean? In your case it seems to mean eating whatever you are desiring whenever you feel the desire. And changing your "rules" as often as you change your clothes. You can call it an exception or whatever you want, but you have been doing the exact opposite of "portion control" and it has not gotten you into a better place. I think you are right back to the Intuitive Eating philosophy which I think is a bunch of bunk!! There is no such thing as unconditional permission to eat for someone who is listening to her body lie to her.

I agree with Bright Angel. You are in a dilemna and can choose unconditional permission to eat and being overweight or exercise control and lose weight. If you hate being fat, I think you know your answer.
24.7 bmi Feb. 2019
26.1 bmi Sept. 2018
31.4 bmi July 2017

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:23 am

TexArk,
I don't look at it as either-or. I see that "unconditional permission to eat" doesn't work and "portion control" only works in the short term. What else could there be? That's why I'm trying to figure out meal timing.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Post by TexArk » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:22 am

Meal timing is still portion control. You are just limiting the opportunity to eat which will result in controlling portions eaten unless...you binge eat.

And, I think you have your answer here and yet you still must make a choice:

Anne told me she decided to go back on The No S Diet... Now's my chance to model good behavior for her. I have a plan. I just don't want to follow it. I don't want to have the ongoing discipline for it.

1. You have an opportunity to model good behavior...
2. You do not want to submit to discipline.

I think fasting between meals will be a big step for Anne. Fasting for any other length of time is a very personal decision. BUT the two of you could agree to help each other fast between meals; keep sweets out of the house on N Days and plan a special treat out each weekend out of the house as opposed to having an orgy of sweets and chocolates at home. S Days were never meant for indulging in gluttony. If you choose to eat indiscrimate sweets and snacks and stay fat and be unhappy you will also be giving Anne a lesson...one way or the other she is seeing how you handle this.
24.7 bmi Feb. 2019
26.1 bmi Sept. 2018
31.4 bmi July 2017

Eurobabe2
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:31 pm

Post by Eurobabe2 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:12 pm

Kathleen, I have been thinking about your dilemma, and I have a few points to make. Embrace or ignore, as you choose :)
.
I believe you might be mistaken by thinking that you simply lack discipline towards fasting. I think it's fasting that is the problem. Yes, there are SOME admirable people (Bright Angel being one of them!) who are able to control their intake via fasting, but I think that for most of us, fasting leads to binging. In fact, it's my opinion that ALL weird dieting leads to binging, because the body loathes sustained hunger and will fight you if you try to mess with it too much. I lasted exactly 12 hours with fasting.

How about a new tactic? You were most successful with NoS, but you eventually stopped losing weight, so you more or less abandoned NoS to find another method to get your weight loss started again.

Maybe you could return to NoS, and achieve-dare I say it-portion control, i.e., moderation, by the KINDS of foods you eat and not just the quantity. I personally love the recipes out of Cooking Light (low calorie, low fat, very healthy), and really don't cook anything that's not in there. Today for lunch, I made Pizza Margherita, 99 calories per slice (8 slices per pizza) and it was absolutely yummy. I ate 2 slices and was satisfied.

I think you once mentioned that 3 of your 4 kids were overweight, and your husband is, too, (how's the Atkins going, by the way?) so why not try a different method of cooking that everyone can eat? My husband loves Cooking Light recipes and he doesn't have a weight problem.

Between Cooking light recipes, lots of veggies and fruits etc, you would be able to eat a fair bit and still lose weight. I really don't think you'd go hungry,

Also, as I think someone mentioned, maybe you should not keep high-calorie foods in the house, but rather buy them just before you eat them for an S day :!: . I personally can't keep certain foods in the house or they will mysteriously end up in my stomach.

There really is a difference between moderation and the 1000 calorie/day Novena diet you described. Most people would feel like they were starving with so few calories.

Anyway, I hope at least some of this helps. :!:

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:22 am

TexArk,
The fact that Anne is willing to go back on The No S Diet is a big deal to me, as you can imagine. I started keeping a journal in January of 2004 when I saw her come home from school and rush to the refrigerator. Now she is a junior, will be spending the summer as a camp counselor, and will only be home one more school year. I am running out of time, and this does motivate me to be self-disciplined.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:28 am

Eurobabe2,
I see The No S Diet as the foundation of a diet that would be successful for me. The problem is that I have kept tweaking it and tweaking it. Now I have a daughter who is ready to pay attention to her diet, and I need to be self-disciplined enough to stick with a diet. I enjoy Cooking Light. It's a good magazine with tasty, healthful meals. The most tempting food of all time for me is Wheat Thins. I can't believe I bought them last month. Yes, I do try to keep sweets and tempting foods out of the house. They're purchased on Saturday afternoon. This morning, we have some leftovers, but the kids will eat them up by the end of the day.
Kathleen

P.S. Atkins is not going well for Tom. He's 51 years old and only 7 pounds shy of the maximum weight allowed for backpacking with the Boy Scouts at their High Adventure Camp in Philmont, New Mexico. He needs to get in shape by August. He also was working until 10 PM last night and left on a 5 AM flight to Philadelphia. Part of the reason why I don't work full time is that he works so hard.
Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:06 pm

March 13, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

I am following simple rules based on the category of the day, and I will see how this affects my weight. There are four types of days:
1. Exception Days: On a rolling average of two days per month, I have "unconditional permission to eat" as much as I want of whatever I want all day long. This is a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating.
2. Feast Days: Every Sunday, I have three meals and can have caloric liquids outside those meals. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite, and I have no sweets. I After 6 PM, I have unconditional permission to eat until midnight.
3. Fast Days: From midnight until dinner on Fridays, I have no calories whatsoever. For dinner, I have no sweets and everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids.
4. Ordinary Days: On these days, I have three meals with no snacks or sweets. For each meal, everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. Outside of mealtimes, I can have caloric liquids. This approach is a modification of The No S Diet.

I have figured out that I need a weekly break, a time of "unconditional permission to eat." That time needs to be as short as possible, and after dinner on one night seems to be the shortest possible time. I need exceptions for social events, and the number of exceptions that could be the least and still practical is two. I need a time to fast in order to experience hunger, and one day of fasting seems the most I can do. Since I am still determined not to practice portion control, limitation to three meals per day with everything in front of me before I take one bite seems to be the most restriction I can manage. In summary, this diet seems to be the most rigorous I can manage for the long haul. Now I just need to follow it and see what results.



The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

The Temperance Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Sunday, March 13, 2011: 204.0 (This month's goal is 185.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 19.0 pounds.)

Exception Days
Starting Number of Exception Days as of March 13 = 0 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 2
-1 (March 14)
=1
-1 (March 21)
= 0

Day 2 – Monday, March 14, 2011: I am on sacred ground. There was a problem layered over the problem of lack of self-discipline, and that problem was that years of a portion control approach to dieting led to a reptilian survival mechanism being triggered whenever I tried to diet. Diet failures were the result of a survival mechanism taking over so that I didn't starve to death. Now I am completely over that problem. Now I face a manageable problem which is lack of self-discipline. I want to eat as much as I want of whatever I want whenever I want. I've had to face the unreality of that hope. Now I face a much more realistic hope: that I can maintain enough discipline during the week to make up for a short time of "unconditional permission to eat", a time which now is limited after 6 PM on Sundays.

It's 13 degrees outside right now, but spring is coming. Yesterday was daylight savings time, so there's more sunlight. It should be in the forties this week. I can start to take the dog for longer walks. I want to try for an average of 10,000 steps per day from Monday through Saturday.

Day 3 – Tuesday, March 15, 2011: I lasted until 8 PM and then took an Exception Day, or rather started eating as I was cleaning up the kitchen and then just went from there. We had over $1,000 in car repairs last week (front brakes on mine, rear brakes on his, two additional repairs on mine), and I'm feeling panicky about our finances because I face no job until fall. I turned down three potential jobs yesterday because they would have extended into the summer. We aren't in such shape that I should take a job and give up the summer with Katie and Ellie. Meanwhile, Tom told me that my efforts were "misdirected" which is true enough. I haven't focused on our home and family, and it shows. Tommy somehow didn't practice his trombone for most of the quarter, so he's got a marathon 10 hours of practice this week. Katie is so far behind on her project that she had a stress headache last night. I pulled my resume off the job boards so I wouldn't get calls, and I'm facing the reality that I won't be working until fall.

That leaves me to concentrate, really truly concentrate, on what is most important. My number one priority needs to be this diet. I've got a plan that requires self-discipline, not superhuman effort to overcome a survival instinct. It's time to follow the diet.

5 PM: Anne is following the diet which does motivate me to follow it.

7:30 PM: I am struggling with returning to the habit of this diet, but seeing Anne hoard cookies for Sunday really motivates me. She is serious about going back into meal-timing as a strategy for weight loss. Sadly, I know it is the right path; I've just been too undisciplined to follow it. Now with months stretching in front of me with no work, it's time I focused on this. Maybe work was an escape from what I'm really meant to do. Somehow, I see the hand of God in all these potential opportunities going up in smoke.

8 PM: I applied for one last job that was a 3 month contract, and now I'm done. Tomorrow I meet with a recruiter who says she has an immediate position, but I doubt it: she set the interview time last week. I think I need to focus on the diet, my home, and my family. It's not what I want to do. I like working. In fact, I love working! Still, I think I have the answer to permanent weight loss. I could tweak some more, of course, but I think I am right now following the most aggressive weight loss approach I can manage. The only thing to tweak is the exercise, which is going badly. I didn't realize how little I've been exercising because it's been a struggle to bring up my step count. Today's count is 5,750 right now. Yesterday's was 4,732. I don't think I'm even going to log the step count until I can get it up more. Without working and with spring coming soon, I should be able to get to 10,000 steps per day.

Day 4 – Wednesday, March 16, 2011: Yesterday was a success. I am following a program that is the most I can do. If I try to change it, then I am accepting a higher weight than I could have reached following this diet. That is the argument I am making to myself to stay with this diet.

1 PM: The recruiter who placed me last fall called me to say that the person I had interviewed who didn't have a job may now have a job, and I had a fabulous meeting later this morning with a woman who was clearly the best of the best with recruiters. Her firm only recruits through referrals. Maybe I will get a job after all, but I feel a lot better.

While I was driving to the interview, I heard David Brooks on the radio talking about his new book, The Social Animal. He said one suggestions he has is that people startle their prospective spouse to see how well they might handle the inevitable stress that comes with life. I had to text that suggestion to Tom, since my reaction to being startled is quite dramatic.

Tom always preaches, and rightly so, that I focus on what I can control and not on what I cannot control, which means I focus on process rather than results. That is exactly what I am trying to do with this diet, which is why I am refraining from weighing myself and just sticking with following the diet.

Day 5 – Thursday, March 17, 2011: There are two types of gluttony: natural gluttony and survival gluttony. These are terms I'm in the process of developing and defining. Natural gluttony is the desire to eat more than is appropriate. According to the book I have on medieval eating habits, the most important aspect of gluttony was eating outside of proper times. I hope I can find more information on that topic. The second type of gluttony is the one triggered by a survival instinct to avoid starvation, and it is caused by a portion control approach to dieting. The book Intuitive Eating makes the mistake of thinking there is only one type of gluttony, which is the survival type of gluttony. Remove that type by allowing "unconditional permission to eat", the authors of that book argue, and you are home free. If only it were true! Now that I have stopped controlling portions for a long enough time, my body is in the process of adjusting to a more easily managable objective of only eating within proper times. This is the approach to controlling natural gluttony. We moderns may be scientifically bright, knowing lots more about the content of foods, but somehow I think that our ancestors had a lot more wisdom about the human soul.

8:30 AM: I think I'll call the two types of gluttony false gluttony and true gluttony which is similar to false gold vs. gold. What is interesting about the medieval book on eating is that it was expected that people would binge eat at certain times. For example, on the day before Lent started, people would make lots of pancakes to use up all the eggs they couldn't eat during Lent. They'd also eat lots of meat. I think there may be something in the human spirit that needs to be more than satisfied but actually stuffed on occasion.

1:30 PM: I was unusually hungry today, so for lunch I had an entire bowl of popcorn with butter and salt, 1/4 of a quiche which was left over from last night's dinner, a bowl of cereal, an apple, a banana, several strawberries milk, and two slices of Swiss cheese. This amount would not have fit on one plate. I'm not sure why I felt so hungry, but I honored my hunger by eating to satiety. It was interesting to label my concern about eating so much as "false gluttony" but that's what I believe it to be. Now I won't eat until dinner. Tomorrow is my Day of Grace and I won't eat until dinner. There is a Lenten soup supper tomorrow night, so dinner will be one bowl of soup, a slice of French bread, and a salad. Sitting here, stuffed with so much food in me, I look at tomorrow's menu and think I can handle it. It may seem totally bizaree to eat so much today and then nothing until dinner tomorrow, but I think there is genius in this approach, an approach which I attribute to my Catholic heritage. The genius is that I could eat as much as I want so there won't be "diet backlash" from the feeling of constant deprivation. Still, is it possible to lose weight this way? Yes, it is in the gaps, in the times between meals, that I will lose weight. It is in the Friday fast that I will lose weight. I bet, I just bet, that the times of complete fast -- even one as short as between meals -- is what results in a lowered appetite. Gary Taubes' book showed how carbohygrate restriction affects appetite, and I think it does. Fasting is a type of carb restricted diet.

Faith is a beautiful thing. I don't need to have wisdom myself. I just need to seek it out. I find wisdom in Aristotle in his emphasis on habit and in my Catholic heritage on the rhythm of fasting and feasting. I first had to give up on the scientific wisdom that all you have to do to lose weight is "eat less, exercise more." Science cannot provide wisdom. It can only provide facts. And facts are not enough for someone who wants to lose weight without having it dominate their life. There is no moral judgment in science. There is no judgment at all. My religious tradition of feast and fast does not contradict the scientific knowledge of calories in/caloires out. Instead, it provides a path for being able to lower overall caloric consumption by balancing feasting with fasting. Gemius. A couple of weeks ago, it took me over 1/2 hour to find my Bible. I have an increased respect for my faith because of all this, and maybe just maybe I'll devote some time to reading the Old Testament Wisdom literature.

2:30 PM: The kids will be home in less than 1/2 hour, and I already feel ravenous. Why? I have absolutely no idea since I ate so much at lunchtime. Katie has swim team, and Tom has Scouts. I'm taking Katie to swim team and staying there so I stay away from food. I wonder if this appetite signals an adjustment downward in amount of food eaten, with a last-hurrah so-to-speak today. There is a book called A Random Walk Down Walk Street about the fluctuations in the stock market and maybe the same is true of appetite. Just like the best advice is to buy and hold, so perhaps the best advice for weight loss is to stick with certain eating times and allow the amount eaten to fluctuate based on appetite.

Day 6 – Friday, March 18, 2011: Today is my Day of Grace, and I won't eat until the Lenten soup supper tonight. Last night, I was thinking about the beauty of the idea of "from each according to his ability to each according to his need." It sounds so wonderful in principle, and yet more than 100 million people were killed in the 20th century because this beautiful idea obliterated individual rights for the sake of the common good. I remember hearing once that what is evil looks to be about 90% really good. That's what I think may be the case with a portion control approach to dieting. It looks really good, even a matter of common sense, to eat less and exercise more. And yet, and yet: isn't that the core value of almost every diet? If it is, then can't you know by what it creates that it is false? I've lived 30 years of my life in a portion control world. In retrospect, what started to free me from it was pregnancy: I couldn't diet like that when I was pregnant. When I was pregnant with Anne, sadly, I gained 60 pounds. Why? It was the first time since I was 17 that I hadn't eaten to manage my weight. I was free!

I feel like I am looking right into the face of evil. It's less scary now knowing what I am facing. Before, it was just plain confusing to me why I had such a problem with my weight. Why? No one in my family was overweight. What I most enjoyed when I was single was backpacking and camping. It's not as if I was sedentary... Why? Why did I become fat?

Looking back, it is now clear that my father badgered me into going on a diet when I was 17, 5' 6 1/2", and all of 132 pounds. I had a choice to make back then, and I made the wrong choice. Then I kept on making the wrong choice. Pregnancy was my introduction to obesity. Now, age 52 and about 200 pounds, I see a path ahead of me that is much, much better.

Exercise is not a core part of weight management. It is a core part of good health. The pedometer broke, and I think I need to get another one or find the second one that I own. The pedometer is motivating. Yesterday, when my son was at the orthodontist, I asked if I could go get a bang trim. I walked to the van and realized that it was a five minute walk at most to the hairdressers. Rather than drive over there, why not walk? That sort of attitude -- the attitude of always looking for ways to increase my number of steps -- is what was fostered by my wearing a pedometer.

12 PM: I was going to eat lunch when I realized that today is Friday and I shouldn't eat until dinner. Meanwhile, I'm waiting to hear on one potential job and that's it. I'm done. I sure hope I can work before summer, but I'm happy I tried for one last push and now I can let go of jobhunting and focus on learning SQL and UML, both of which will help me with jobhunting in the fall. Meanwhile, I also worked on pulling together our tax forms, which is a dreadful task that I'm glad is almost done. Weight management must fit into my life, not dominate it. Pepper just pulled a Tommy so I must be off...

5 PM: Ellie is off to a sleepver birthday party, and I have to pick up Katie from babysitting, but I'm tempted to break my fast right now. I am arguing to myself that I could have the equivalent of a lunch or a traditional breaking of the fast at 3 PM. I just have to delay a little bit longer, but I am tempted.

Day 7 – Saturday, March 19, 2011: I decided to reward myself for getting through yesterday's Fast Day, so I weighed myself and got the weight of 202.4. Not bad for six days' work, including one Exception Day. I keep on thinking that this diet is the absolute most I can do, so why would I tweak it?

8 AM: Yesterday was a day in which I got increasingly grumpy. I did not feel hungry at all and my stomach never growled, but I was grumpy. Why? Was it because Anne blamed me for missing an ACT prep class on Wednesday or because Tommy once again forgot to bring his check to pay for his Philmont check or because there still is no resolution of whether or not the one remaining potential job will become a job to end by the end of June? I don't think so. Life is full of irritations, and I overreacted yesterday. I think that fasting may lead to resiliency which I certainly don't have. Fasting has a calming effect because you aren't so tied to getting food at a specific time. Last night, I had a glass of red wine as a way to calm myself down. That was interesting, too. I started trying to have pinot noir because of its health effects, but having wine as a way to calm myself does not seem like a good approach. I've known people affected by alcoholism, including my father who had three alcoholic bachelor uncles, and I don't want to slide into that pit. The best thing I think I can do right now is to stick with this diet. Today is a Boy Scout pancake breakfast, and I need to be there in an hour having picked up Katie and Ellie from sleepovers. My weight has been such a focus in my life that it almost seems as if everything else is a sideshow. More than anything else, I want my eating habits to fade into the background and out of my intense consciousness.

Kirby Puckett, the great hero of baseball in Minnesota, said when eye problems ended his career: "Tomorrow is not promised to any of us." He also said that the greatest moment of his career was simply getting into the Twins. I thought about that this morning because I think that, when everything is said and done, the greatest moment of this diet will not be actually losing weight. It will be realizing that I didn't want any more chocolate late on a Sunday night this past January. I haven't had a clue what to do about weight. I just struck out to research unconventional approaches because calorie counting was such a disaster for me. Now, more than seven years after starting a journal, I have a precious indication of success: I simply didn't want more chocolate.

8:10 AM: I found a reference to that greatest moment in my journal from 1/11/11 at 8 PM when I recalled how I had felt on 1/9/11: "It may be that I have at last figured out how to lose weight without a constant feeling of deprivation. On Sunday night, facing six days without sweets, I didn't want to finish off a chocolate bar. It's been a long six years of trying to figure this out. I started in January of 200 when I saw my then nine year old daughter come in from school and race to the kitchen to eat, as if she was half-starved. I wanted to find a way to control weight without constant deprivation. She may not choose to follow what I am doing, but I can show her a way. That's my motivation. I never would have stuck with it for six years, always above 190 and almost always above 200 pounds, if I had not had a daughter whom I love with all my heart."

My original goal, when I started the journal in January of 2004 was to figure out a way to lose weight without a feeling of deprivation. It took more than seven years to figure out that the goal needs to be to figure out a way to lose weight without a constant feeling of deprivation. Instead of constant deprivation, there is the rhythm of fast and feast.

4 PM: I actually think I've settled on an eating plan. What is convincing me not to change my plans is that I don't think I can be any more restrictive for the long term. What remains to be done is for me to cut back on writing, to set up some sort of exercise program (not a weight problem but a health problem) and to figure out my weight monitoring. I think what I'd like to do is start cutting back on writing by the day, so perhaps I could cut out one day per month for writing and then cut out one extra day per month. This would mean it would take more than two years to get to the minimum, which I consider to be one day per month. For exercise, I'd like to start with use of a pedometer, but I have to find or buy a working one. Then I can move on to strengthening exercises. Finally, for weight monitoring, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. At least my focus is shifting from the main problem of settling on eating habits!

6 PM: I think I'll try skipping Sundays for writing this month and then add one day per week each month until I am only writing once per week. My writing is taking so much time and I'm just overthinking this diet.

Day 8 – Sunday, March 20, 2011: 204.2
Day 9 – Monday, March 21, 2011: 205.2 I am now .2 pounds higher than when I seriously started Intuitive Eating -- the plan of "unconditional permission to eat" on December 15, 2007. Things are a lot different for me today than they were then. I may be the same weight, but my ability to handle food is much better. Yesterday's S time went very well. I look back when I had S Days on both Saturdays and Sundays, and I would gain 4 pounds, wiping out the weight loss from following N Day rules. Last night, I accomplished what I needed to accomplish: I ate exactly what I wanted and had as much as I wanted. I am tending to favor Haagen Dazs chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, but I also had Tootsie Rolls (which Katie had from a roller skating place) and Chips Ahoy (which I had bought because they were on sale). It really wasn't so much that I wanted something specific as that I wanted that feeling of being stuffed.

Tom thinks that wanting to be stuffed is like someone wanting to get drunk, but I think there is a place for feasting. Since we belong to the Jewish Community Center, I am getting exposed to some of the Jewish holidays, and yesterday was Purim.

This is the section from Wikipedia on the festive meal to be eating on Purim: "On Purim day, a festive meal called the Se`udat Purim is held. The drinking of wine features prominently in keeping with the jovial nature of the feast. This is based on the fact that the salvation of the Jews occurred through wine and the Sages of the Talmud stated that one should drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between the phrases arur Haman ("Cursed is Haman") and baruch Mordechai ("Blessed is Mordecai"). Alcoholic consumption was later codified by the early authorities, and while some advocated total intoxication, others, consistent with the opinion of many early and later rabbis, taught that one should only should drink a little more than usual and then fall asleep, whereupon one will certainly not be able to tell the difference between arur Haman and baruch Mordecai. Other authorities, including the Magen Avraham, have written that one should drink until one is unable to calculate the numerical values of both phrases."

Apparently, the Jewish culture has in it that there can be a time for festivities. Contrast this with the sobering ideas from The Mayo Clinic Diet, including this line from page 81: "Your ability to control portions and plan meals will make or break your weight-loss efforts."

I don't think that the authors of The Mayo Clinic Diet would advocate a portion control approach that was advocated above: to drink until you can't tell the difference between two phrases.

This feast is definitely in contrast with the Jewish feast of Yom Kippur, and that is celebrated in this way, as described in Wikipedia: "Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. "

There is a rhythm to Jewish culture just like there used to be a rhythm to Catholic culture, but the rhythm in Catholic culture was almost completely lost after Vatican II. Now all we have are two Fast Days, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and they seem to have been infected with the "portion control" approach. All you have to do is eliminate snacks and have no more than three meals which have the same amount as two meals. That is nothing like Yom Kippur. It's pathetic.

I think I'm on the right path despite my current weight. In fact, it seems almost Satanic that the current culture preaches constant portion control because you can never be satisfied -- never. You are give the false choice between being fat and feeling starved forever. The proposed way to deal with feeling starved is to have frequent meals which means your focus is on food several times per day.

Our dog got a bone as a present from Katie, and this morning Tom was saying to them: "It's like a dog with a bone." That's what it's like being on a diet: every Tic Tac counts. It's sick.

I think I can stick with this approach for a year. It may be that I will need to increase the amount of fasting, but I want to establish the habit in this diet first. I'm also going to start using a pedometer and do the exercises in my book Strong Women Stay Slim.

2 PM: I drove to the battery store and got a battery for the pedometer. What I'd like to do is maintian an average of 10,000 steps per day Monday through Saturday. Now I'm at 1,000 steps, and Pepper is staring at me... I have much more of a motivation to walk her if I can track my steps. It is silly, of course, but if it works for me, that's great! I think I may try to track weight and steps and then summarize the week on Sunday night only. We now have technology free time on Sundays until 6 PM, so at 6 PM the kids are all eager to be in front of a screen. I can be in front of this one, reflecting on the past week and recording my weights and steps and Exception Days.

9 PM: That god-awful schedule of pick up from swim team at 6:15 and get to trumpet lesson by 7 just killed me again, and I ended up with an Exception Day. The other possibility for this Exception Day is that I'm having difficulty adjusting to only a few hours of S Time on Sundays. I'm now out of Exception Days so I have to manage next Monday no matter what.


Day 10 – Tuesday, March 22, 2011: 205.8 I'm becoming an ad of the need for portion control, but I've seen in others and experienced too many times myself the backlash effect of portion control. I'm restricting based on time alone, but I am going to add in some exercise. Exercise may or may not help with weight loss but it does affect mood, and I clearly eat for emotional reasons at times. I am sad that it looks like I won't get a job before fall, but I was submitted yesterday for a three month position and there are another two possibilities as well. Whether I get a job or not, I need to lose weight.

12:30 PM: I'm painting and listening to some old CareerBuilder tapes. The subject is Life by Design, and the author is Dr. Rick Brinkman. It's my way to accept that I won't have a job until fall because of my higher value of giving my kids a summer of relaxation and not having them run from one camp to another or sit home and look at screens. While I was listening, it occurred to me this journal has served the purpose of helping me to find an alternate to portion control. That alternate is fasting. Part of the reason for the journal has been to record research and the results of my experiment.

It occurred to me that I've found the answer but have so enjoyed the process of looking for it that I have, perhaps, been deliberately sabotaging my diets in order to continue searching. Thats' why I've felt like I'm on a hamster wheel. Do I really need to read one more diet book? Do I really need to be reading the writings of St. John Cassian on fasting? I think it's enough.

The reason to follow this diet is no longer intellectual curiosity. It is simply health.

I'm going to one day per week of journaling. I understood there was a relation between how much I wrote and how much I tweaked, and now I understand why. It's better for me to focus my oversized appetite for learning on learning SQL and UML, both of which will make me a better job candidate in the fall.

Day 11 – Wednesday, March 23, 2011: 205.0 I'm going to restart on Friday and add exercise, but I will not add more Exception Days! Today, I got to 8,000 steps even with lots of snow shoveling. I couldn't even get to my neighbor's driveway because the snow was so heavy and wet. I'll have to get to it tomorrow.

Day 12 – Thursday, March 24, 2011: I think I need more than this diet in order to lose weight. My experience with portion control is so bad that I won't go there even if I remain obese, but I'm going to try adding both exercise and more fasting.

I refuse to count calories or carbs, but I need to count something in order to lose weight. Here is what I am counting:

1. Number of Exception Days: Each month, I add two Exception Days, which are days of "unconditional permission to eat", a phrase taken from the book Intuitive Eating. Unused Exception Days roll over to the next month. The goal is to stay above 0.

2. Fast Days: Each year, starting on March 25 and ending on March 24, I count 100 Fast Days. I try to fast on Fridays, the traditional Catholic day for fasting. On a Fast Day, I do not have any calories from midnight until dinner. At dinner, I have no sweets and everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids. I count Fast Days until next March 24 and then subtract 100. The goal is to stay above 0.

3. Steps: From Monday through Sunday, I walk an average of 10,000 steps per day. At the end of each week, I subtract 10,000 steps for each day, and I stay above 0.

4. Strengthening Exercises: Each year, starting on March 25 and ending on March 24, I count 150 times of exercising using the exercises in the book Strong Women Stay Slim. At the end of the year, I subtract 150. The goal is to stay above 0.

This diet is way more complicated than I'd like, but the easiest diet of all -- "unconditional permission to eat" -- sure did not result in weight loss. What is good about the complexity of this diet is it all can be tracked in a planner that I purchased for tracking my weight.

I don't really want to track my weight. I want to track the behaviors that can result in a lower weight.
Last edited by Kathleen on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:42 am, edited 30 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

osoniye
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Post by osoniye » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:11 pm

Huh, I live in a place, surrounded by Coptic Orthodox people. The Sunday before lent is a huge binge fest. I guess it's historical. I think maybe that's important in some cultures, but really for people many of whom fast until 3 pm during lent, and eat vegan+ fish, for the whole 8 weeks, it all comes out in the wash so to speak. One year I did the lenten "fast" with a friend here and lost a good bit of weight, unfortunately temporarily!
-Sonya
No Sweets, No Snacks and No Seconds, Except (Sometimes) on days that start with "S".

osoniye
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Location: Horn of Africa

Post by osoniye » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 pm

Ooops DblPst
Last edited by osoniye on Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kathleen
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Post by Kathleen » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:25 pm

osoniye,
Very interesting! I'm wondering what other cultures have had both fasting and feasting. For me, right now, I am a little hungry and it's not yet 10. Still, I can last until lunchtime because I can eat as much as I want at lunch. Pepper just let me know she expects a walk...
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
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Post by BrightAngel » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:19 pm

Kathleen wrote: I'm becoming an ad of the need for portion control

I've found the answer
but have so enjoyed the process of looking for it that I have, perhaps,
been deliberately sabotaging my diets in order to continue searching.

Thats' why I've felt like I'm on a hamster wheel.
Do I really need to read one more diet book?
Do I really need to be reading the writings of St. John Cassian on fasting?

The reason to follow this diet is no longer intellectual curiosity. It is simply health.
Image Kathleen...Your search has been for Magic...
There is a positive answer that works very well.
It is ACCEPTANCE of Reality.

It is perfectly Acceptable to treat dieting like a hobby.
Don't use your continued focus on diet as another way to beat yourself up.
For a great many of us, an Ongoing Focus on food-intake is a Necessity,
and this is merely one of life's many Realities.

Give yourself a break, and choose to resolve the dilemna
which provides you with so much cognitive dissonance.
by working toward the Acceptance of Reality.

You can be fat...which is an acceptable choice..
or
You can FOLLOW a way-of-eating that limits your total food intake.

Your proposed plan...if followed...COULD be an appropriate way-of-eating.
Occasional fasting periods, followed by moderate eating periods, with very brief overeating periods
is simply another one of the many methods of portion control.

A binge/fast cycle will do little for weight-loss or weight-maintenance,
AND it is also a very unhealthy choice.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:37 pm

Hi BrightAngel,

I saw nothing wrong with the binge/fast cycle, but I certainly got a lot of feedback from others to warn me! This approach does seem more sensible. I'm also learning that the pedometer is very useful for me as a way to monitor and increase steps. Yesterday, I logged under 5,000 steps. Today will not be a problem, since there is heavy wet snow outside and I committed to shoveling both my driveway and the driveway of a widow who lives up the street. I couldn't get up a road this morning and had to take a different route in order to get the kids to the bus stop. It's also continuing to snow. I'm sure glad I painted yesterday because I wouldn't have had time today.

As for treating dieting as a hobby, there is nothing wrong with it. It's just not my choice. I've been trying to figure out a way to lose weight and not have to pay too much attention to what I eat or how much I eat. Seven years into this effort, I've written the equivalent of about 800 pages! My hope is that this approach will do the trick. I've got a weekly accounting with tracking steps and weight. I've got a weekly time to write. I can determine how to eat based on the day and time. It is simple. Now is the time to test it out!

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
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Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Post by TexArk » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:11 pm

Bright Angel gives some good advice here:

Your proposed plan...if followed...COULD be an appropriate way-of-eating.
Occasional fasting periods, followed by moderate eating periods, with very brief overeating periods
is simply another one of the many methods of portion control.

A binge/fast cycle will do little for weight-loss or weight-maintenance,
AND it is also a very unhealthy choice.


I would just like to add the following warning: Your plan, if followed COULD work as long as you don't call an Exception Day every time you have a failure (I know you do not like the word) and then start over. You have noticed how often you do this, right?

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:38 pm

TexArk,
I have noticed. In fact, I was thinking of starting over later this week when I have in place my pedometer and exercise program, but then I decided that this is like rewarding bad behavior. For example, if my daughter is late to the bus, does she then get a ride to school? It's easy to reward bad behavior in yourself and others. Thanks for pointing this out -- it puts in print what I have not admitted.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:52 pm

March 25, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

In order to lose weight, I am becoming an accountant. Instead of counting calories or carbs, I am counting Exception Days, Fast Days, steps, and strengthening exercises.

Over several years, I gave up on the idea of "portion control" as a way to lose weight. While I was successful with weight loss using a "portion control" approach, my ability to succeed with it suddenly collapsed when my now 10-year-old was still a baby. I remember the week that it occurred: it was in January, 2002. What happened then was, for no apparent reason, I became ravenous. I weighed about 155 pounds at the time and was still losing the pregnancy weight. By August or September of that year, I got to 180 pounds. At Eastertime in 2004, I went above 200 pounds. I have not gotten below about 195 pounds since then, but I have tried lots of different approaches.

Now I am trying something that is a combination of several different attempts. I follow simple rules based on the category of the day. There are four types of days:

1. Exception Days: On a rolling average of two days per month, I have "unconditional permission to eat" as much as I want of whatever I want all day long. This is a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating.

2. Feast Days: Every Sunday, I have "unconditional permission to eat" until midnight.

3. Fast Days: From midnight until dinner, I have no calories whatsoever. From dinner until midnight, I can eat what I want other than sweets, but all solid foods must be in front of me before I take one bite. The only days that potentially are Fast Days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The reason for this restriction is so that I am not ever having two Fast Days in a row and am not considering every single day other than Sunday as a potential Fast Day.

4. Ordinary Days: On these days, I have three meals with no snacks or sweets. For each meal, everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. Outside of mealtimes, I can have caloric liquids. This approach is a modification of The No S Diet.

In addition, I have a goal of walking an average of 10,000 steps per day from Monday through Saturday, and I have a goal of doing the strengthening exercises from the book Strong Women Stay Slim.

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

The Temperance Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Friday, March 25, 2011: 206.8 (This month's goal is 185.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 21.8 pounds.)

Weights
Day 1 – Friday, March 25, 2011: 206.8
Day 2 – Saturday, March 26, 2011: 204.4
Day 3 – Sunday, March 27, 2011: 202.6
Day 4 – Monday, March 28, 2011: 205.4
Day 5 – Tuesday, March 29, 2011:
Day 6 – Wednesday, March 30, 2011:
Day 7 – Thursday, March 31, 2011:

Day 1 - Friday March, 25, 2011: 206.8 Last night, at 8:20 PM, I realized that I was restarting my diet today and resetting all counts to zero, so there was no consequence to eating then. In about 20 minutes, I inhaled a lot of food, including an entire bag of frozen homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. I think I've identified my problem, the symptom of which is that I keep on taking Exception Days. The problem is that I limited my time of "unconditional permission to eat" to too short of a time, so I'm going to make this diet be one in which all day Sunday is a day of "unconditional permission to eat". I realized after last night's binge that I didn't have sufficient motivation to wait because I would have had to wait until after 6 PM on Sunday. Now I see that fasting really is the key to temperance. So many religions, including Christianity, have seen it as an essential part of faith. Now I am starting to appreciate why.

10 AM: Last night, I put on the sapphire ring that I always wore when I followed my nine-day Novena Diet. This morning, in the bathtub, I used lots of soap to get that ring off. It was too small. Four hours later, I still have a big mark from it. My wedding ring is also tough to take off, but I am never ever getting the ring resized.

I took the dog for a short walk. I did the strengthening exercises. One thing about this accounting is that it is one in which I add based on what I am doing, so even just a few hours into it, I see the benefit of tracking. I can congratulate myself for having no calories yet today, so I am on my way to having 1 Fast Day. I can congratulate myself for doing the strengthening exercises, so I can have 1 Exercise. I have 2,001 steps, so I am on my way to 10,000 steps for today. It is still cold and icy outside, but I'm going grocery shopping and taking Anne to the art museum. The nice thing about starting now, when spring is so close, is that it will be easy to get ahead in steps.

Tracking weight is downright depressing. I can go back two years and see that I'm at the same place. Tracking calories is downright depressing. You have to stay under a certain number. With this approach, I can congratulate myself for what I do (steps, Fast Days, strengthening exercises) rather than beat myself up for what I do (eat too much).

I remember once reading a book by Tim Penney, a Minnesotan politician, and he said in that book that he found people to be much more effective and pleasant who were interested in accomplishing something rather than not doing something. He pointed out the abortion lobby as an example. While I am supportive of the pro-life position, I totally understand what his is saying. Who wants to hear about killing babies? It's much more pro-life, in my opinion, to do things for mothers and children, like the post-abortion counseling and retreats that the Catholic Church has and the support of pregnant women in general.

I want to look forward to what I do, not constantly fear what I might do. Last night's binge needs to get put in the trash heap of memory, not be front and center as something I need to -- MUST! -- avoid. This morning's exercise and fast is what needs to be tracked and kept front and center in my memory. This is a much more positive way to live.

5 PM: I'm up to 9,000 steps after taking Anne to the art museum, and this is the first I've even though about not eating since lunchtime. It's a glorious, sunny day outside. This morning, Pepper was sliding around on the ice, but now there are lots of puddles. The good thing about starting a diet like this in the spring is that it will be so easy to get ahead in counts with walking as winter turns to spring and summer.

Counts as of today:
1. Number of Exception Days = 0. (The goal is to stay above 0 at all times.)
2. Number of Fast Days = 0. (The goal is to reach 100 by March 25, 2012.)
3. Number of Steps = 0. (The goal is to stay above 0.)
4. Number of Times Doing Strengthening Exercises = 0 (The goal is to reach 150 by March 25, 2012.)

Calculations from a starting count of March 25, 2011:
1. Number of Exception Days: Starting number of 0 (Carryover) + 0 (This month’s allocation is ALREADY SPENT!!!) = 0.
2. Number of Fast Days = Starting number of 0 (Carryover) + 0 (None accrued so far) = 0.
3. Number of Steps = Starting number of 0 (Carryover) + 0 (None accrued so far) - 0 (Subtract 10,000 steps per day from Monday through Saturday) = 0.
4. Number of Times Doing Strengthening Exercises: Starting number of 0 (Carryover) + 0 (None accrued so far) - 0 (Subtract 150 as of March 24, 2012.) = 0.

Day 2 – Saturday, March 26, 2011: 204.4 I feel great today. Yesterday, I got above 12,000 steps. I am off to a good start. I think that exercises is helping to lift my mood.

Day 3 – Sunday, March 27, 2011: 202.6

Calculations from March 25, 2011 to today:
1. Number of Exception Days: Starting number of 0 Exception Days (Carryover) + 0 Exception Days (Add 2 on the first of each month) = 0 Exception Days.
2. Number of Fast Days = Starting number of 0 Fast Days (Carryover) + 1 Fast Day (Fr) = 1 Fast Day.
3. Number of Steps = Starting number of 0 Steps (Carryover) + 12,794 Steps - 12,000 Steps (10,000 steps for each day Monday through Saturday) = 2,794 Steps.
4. Number of Times Doing Strengthening Exercises: Starting number of 0 Exercises (Carryover) + 1 Exercise (Fr) - 0 Exercise (Subtract 150 as of March 24, 2012) = 1 Exercise.

I'm off to a great start, with 1 Fast Day and 1 Strengthening Exercise and 2,794 extra steps. Also, I ate like a pig today and feel great. I'm well prepared to get through the week.

Back in the first month that I started No S, I had a terrible time even getting through a few hours without food. I literally remember gripping the edge of my chair and wasting days doing nothing more than focusing on not eating. That attitude and behavior is in sharp contrast to how I seem to be able to manage now with going from midnight to dinner without food. It's downright easy!

I know that there is sprinkled in literature the warning against excess fasting. In one book, I remember it being said that there doesn't seem to be much warning against excess fasting, but fasting does seem to give a "high" that is perhaps similar to the so-called runner's high which I have not experienced.

I want to be cautious about fasting because it does seem to be very powerful, so I'm going to follow the rules of the Greek Orthodox religion that there is never fasting on Sundays or in the week after Christmas or Easter. It may be that the religion has codified some natural law that there is a need for a break from fasting. I also decided to protect myself from any possibility of anorexia (this may seem funny for someone obese to be thinking) by limiting fasting to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays only.

I feel great right now being totally stuffed with chocolate, ice cream, cookies, and just a high amount of caloric intake. Tomorrow I will fast again. I think I may fast Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week.

8:30 PM: I am not Greek Orthodox. I am Catholic. The Catholic Church's rules on fasting are very easy, and yet I was happy to avoid them for all eight years that I was pregnant or nursing. In investigating fasting, I've found that the Greek Orthodox religion has a lot of wisdom. Here is something written by Fr. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Office which was on the Greek Orthodox Web site:

The purpose of fasting is not to "give up" things, nor to do something "sacrificial." The purpose of fasting is to learn discipline, to gain control of those things that are indeed within our control but that we so often allow to control us. In our culture especially, food dominates the lives of many people. We collect cookbooks. We have an entire TV network devoted to food [the "Food Channel"]. We have eating disorders, diets galore, weight loss pills, liposuction treatments, stomach stapling -- all sorts of things that proceed out of the fact that we often allow food, which in an of itself cannot possible control us, to control us. We fast in order to gain control, to discipline ourselves, to gain control of those things that we have allowed to get out of control. Giving up candy -- unless one is controlled by candy -- is not fasting. It is giving up candy, or it is done with the idea that we fast in order to suffer. But we do not fast in order to suffer. We fast in order to get a grip on our lives and to regain control of those things that have gotten out of control. Further, as we sing during the first week of Great Lent, "while fasting from food, let us also fast from our passions."

I think this is very beautiful. Fasting does teach self-discipline.

Day 4 – Monday, March 28, 2011: 205.4 I debate about whether to weigh myself or to write, but I think that what is really important is to count. The whole diet culture puts us in the situation of needing to control what only a few can control, which is the reptillian response to starvation. That's not what I want for me or for my children. Fasting offers a different path, one in which you can control what you can control easily, which is the consumption of food for a few hours. Of course, I don't like going back up to 205.4, but I think there will be big changes with my adding Fast Days.

3:30 PM: I haven't eaten yet, and I'm feeling somewhat distracted by a general interest in eating. I also have only walked 6,000 steps and haven't yet done the strengthening exercises. This is a matter of priorities, and I need to make this diet mine.

8:30 PM: I allowed myself to eat after dinner, so I changed the rules for Fast Days. I didn't have any calories until dinner, but then I ate both before and after Ellie's trumpet lesson.

Day 5 – Tuesday, March 29, 2011: 205.4 Yesterday was such a dreadful day that I was up several hours in the night and decided to give up on the fantasy of "no portion control". I will redefine the problem as constant portion control. This approach sounds an awful lot like vanilla No S, except I do want fasting. I think I'll start with one per month. Three per week would have been terribly difficult and perhaps unwise. Now I'm looking at moderate portions except on Sundays. I'm counting yesterday as a failure except for the lesson I finally learned.

8 PM: Vanilla No S. Period. I will designate S Days at the start of the month. When we got home from the Mall of America, I pulled out The Mayo Clinic Diet and just could not face measuring food.

9 PM: No pedometer. No strengthening exercises. No fasting. One solid year of vanilla No S.

Day 6 – Wednesday, March 30, 2011:
Day 7 – Thursday, March 31, 2011:
Last edited by Kathleen on Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Post by TexArk » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:45 pm

"I am counting yesterday as a failure except for the lesson I learned."

Kathleen, this is a HUGE success. You did not declare an "exception day" and START OVER. You actually used the word "failure." And I think that you have learned that you have expected too much of yourself from the frequent fasting plan.

And,(hopefully I am not overstepping), look at this statement from your journal a few days back. See where the starting over mentality gets you ?What would you tell a friend who told you this?

Last night, at 8:20 PM, I realized that I was restarting my diet today and resetting all counts to zero, so there was no consequence to eating then. In about 20 minutes, I inhaled a lot of food, including an entire bag of frozen homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.

There was no consequence....of course there was. When you give yourself permission to binge your body doesn't say, "Oh, this doesn't count because Kathleen is going to start over tomorrow!"

I think you are well on your way if you can stop the exception days and the starting over and expecting too much from yourself in the fasting area. Your choice of adding a once a month fast seems much better until you can establish some other habits.

Good luck.

Kathleen
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm

Thanks, TexArk. I was awake for about three hours last night and then I had a 7 AM meeitng! Now I'm back home, about to take the kids to the Mall of America for mini-golf, and I feel sick. It's hard to mourn a reality that you have been denying, but I have this disappointment to compare with the father of another sixth grader who was diagnosed with cancer and was told "We can't do anything for you" by the Mayo Clinic. He's still fighting, but reality is closing in: he's in the hospital now with a 102+ degree temperature.

I really was determined to figure out a diet without portion control and what I have figured out is that there is no such thing.

What convinced me was paging through the Bible in the Book of Sirach and reading "Through lack of self-control any have died, but the abstemious man prolongs his life" (chapter 37, verses 29 - 30). Yes, there are religious traditions regarding fasting and limitation of foods at certain times, but there is also the very common sensical view that you need to "govern your appetite", these words also being from that same chapter.

I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to face it. My experience with portion control has been that terrible. Going forward, I will try to move towards a view that portion control isn't all that bad so long as there is an S Day per week.

It's still hard to face, but I'm facing it.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

User avatar
BrightAngel
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Location: Central California
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Post by BrightAngel » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:38 pm

Kathleen wrote:It's hard to mourn a reality that you have been denying.

I really was determined to figure out a diet without portion control
and what I have figured out is that there is no such thing.


I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to face it.
My experience with portion control has been that terrible.
Going forward, I will try to move towards a view
that portion control isn't all that bad so long as there is an S Day per week.

It's still hard to face, but I'm facing it.
Image Congratulation, Kathleen,
Again, you've allowed the Truth to break through Denial. Image
Image Work to hold on to the knowledge you've gained.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:20 pm

BrightAngel,
Sometimes there is no going back. I don't have to work at all to continue in recognizing the truth. What I have to do is keep from taking out on my kids (through being grumpy) that I don't like the reality I have managed to avoid for 52 years!!!
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

milliem
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Post by milliem » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:01 pm

Kathleen wrote:
I really was determined to figure out a diet without portion control and what I have figured out is that there is no such thing..

I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to face it. My experience with portion control has been that terrible. Going forward, I will try to move towards a view that portion control isn't all that bad so long as there is an S Day per week.

It's still hard to face, but I'm facing it.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Kathleen
Just wanted to stop by and say i've been reading parts of your thread with some interest, you have gone on quite a journey! It sounds like you've had a real 'lightbulb moment' about how you eat.

I'm just interested to know what you have found so terrible about portion control? Was it not really WANTING to control your portions? Not wanting to stop at three meals a day? Did you feel physically worse off?

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:22 am

Portion control predictably and immediately results in binge behavior.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

milliem
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Post by milliem » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:34 am

Kathleen wrote:Portion control predictably and immediately results in binge behavior.
Kathleen
Hmm do you know why this happens? I'm not bothered by portion control exactly but man, if someone or something tells me 'you can't!' I just WANT whatever is forbidden. Human nature or possibly my inner petulant child :)

Portion control isn't denying what you want or need, and actually in no s, there is little portion control outside limiting the amount of times you eat (you should see the massive plates I'm using while I try and create the habits!). What is it about 'portion control' that causes problems for you?

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:15 pm

milleum,

I can explain by way of a story. Once my two young daughters got into a fight, and I asked each of them when it started. The youngest said, "When I was thinking about putting my legs on Katie's legs." Well, I had to laugh at the accuracy of that assessment! We call her "The Instigator." Anyway, it is like that with dieting. If I even think about portion control, I binge.

My guess is that my reaction to portion control has to do with years of restrictive eating.

You are right that there is very little portion control in this diet. What I consider to be portion control is the "one plate" rule, but now I'm willing to follow it.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:21 pm

March 29, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Vanilla No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011: 205.4 (This month's goal is 185.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 20.4 pounds.)
(Month 2) Day 4 - Friday, April 1, 2011: 205.8 (This month's goal is 184.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 21.8 pounds.)

Special Days, S Days, and Failures:
Day 1 – Tuesday, March 29, 2011:
Day 2 – Wednesday, March 30, 2011: FAILURE
Day 3 – Thursday, March 31, 2011: Special Day: Anne's birthday
Day 4 – Friday, April 1, 2011: FAILURE

Journal:
Day 1 – Tuesday, March 29, 2011: 205.4 Yesterday was such a dreadful day that I was up several hours in the night and decided to give up on the fantasy of "no portion control". I will redefine the problem as constant portion control. This approach sounds an awful lot like vanilla No S, except I do want fasting. I think I'll start with one per month. Three per week would have been terribly difficult and perhaps unwise. Now I'm looking at moderate portions except on Sundays. I'm counting yesterday as a failure except for the lesson I finally learned.

8 PM: Vanilla No S. Period. I will designate S Days at the start of the month. When we got home from the Mall of America, I pulled out The Mayo Clinic Diet and just could not face measuring food.

9 PM: No pedometer. No strengthening exercises. No fasting. One solid year of vanilla No S.

Day 2 – Wednesday, March 30, 2011: FAILURE The problem with using Exception Days which are self-designated is that I could never rely on my bank account of Exception Days to expend for even the most important special days. Tomorrow is Anne's birthday, and I will have a slice of cake!

8 PM: I looked for The No S Diet book and could not find it. It's possible I donated it to the library book sale next week. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out how to get to the end of the day without eating any more food. I had a moderate dinner. I didn't overeat. I am not used to eating less than exactly what I want.

Day 3 – Thursday, March 31, 2011: Last night, I tried having some beer. Then I had an entire bowl of popcorn and cereal and bread. Then, in the night, I could not sleep because a cold is developing. Tom got upset with me because I was up. Now I face the day -- Anne's birthday -- feeling lousy. I think a big red FAILURE is what I need to get back on track. I don't need to restart with a failure, but I do need to recognize the seriousness of succeeding. It can be done. I may fail at times but need to mark it and move on.

4:30 PM: Using an approach of Special Days with Failures is very different from having Exception Days. I woke up this morning early as usual and had my bowl of cereal. I wasn't going to start Special Day eating before the birthday girl was awake! When we went out at lunchtime and she asked if I would buy her a cooler, I had one with her. This afternoon was another hectic day of running kids around because of spring break activities, and I ended up eating somewhat haphazardly but didn't have to worry about it because it was a designated Special Day. I don't like the idea of failures, but I guess that will motivate me to not have them. Meanwhile, it sounds like I have the possibility of a short term contract starting next Thursday. I think I do better with the structure of a job.

Day 4 – Friday, April 1, 2011: It took some courage to weigh myself this morning -- after binge-eating on Tuesday until I decided to restart at night, then a failure, and then a Special Day. I'm up .4 pound. which is less than I had expected. I apparently donated The No S Diet book to the library because I cannot find it. It is somewhat amusing that I held on to Intuitive Eating. My actions reveal both hope (for that wonderful idea of "unconditional permission to eat" every day leading to weight loss) and hubris (for thinking I no longer needed a copy of The No S Diet book). I think I'll buy two copies of the book, one for me and one for Anne. We go to the pediatrician today for her annual physical (she is now 17), and I'm sure there will be a talk about her weight.

How I regret having gone down the path I did! It was all well-intentioned because I was so thrilled that Anne followed me. She will make her own choices, of course, but I can inform her, and part of what I can is provide her with her own copy of the book.

10:30 AM: Anne's weight was higher than I feared. I asked her what I could do to help her, and she said, "Leave me alone." I think that's probably right: the best I can do is be there to support her and to lose weight myself.

12 PM: I ordered two copies of The No S Diet so I could give one to Anne, and I'm throwing out my copy of Intuitive Eating. When I give her the book, I'll write in it that I will give her the gift of silence. I know how it feels to be hounded about my weight.

10 PM: I remember now why I set up the Exception Day system. For some reason, I cannot manage without "perfect compliance." What to do? I think I need to have this system with no failures. One failure ends the diet.

Day 5 – Saturday, April 2, 2011: S DAY
Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:15 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

milliem
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Post by milliem » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:32 pm

Kathleen wrote:milleum,

I can explain by way of a story. Once my two young daughters got into a fight, and I asked each of them when it started. The youngest said, "When I was thinking about putting my legs on Katie's legs." Well, I had to laugh at the accuracy of that assessment! We call her "The Instigator." Anyway, it is like that with dieting. If I even think about portion control, I binge.

My guess is that my reaction to portion control has to do with years of restrictive eating.

You are right that there is very little portion control in this diet. What I consider to be portion control is the "one plate" rule, but now I'm willing to follow it.

Kathleen
Hehe, cute story :)

I'm really sorry if this sounds patronising, it's not intended in that way, but just wondering if you've ever really sat down and figured out exactly what goes through your head when you binge? The thoughts that you use to justifying abandoning a diet or eating more than you really want to (or perhaps more than you know you SHOULD). Our thoughts are very powerful things, and I truly believe that it is really difficult to change our behaviours without understanding how we think about that behaviour.

Please feel absolutely free to ignore me - it's your life after all and you know what works for you :) It's just the 'therapist' in me itching to help!

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:20 pm

millieum,
Yes, I have. Since I was successful in counting calories for about 10 years, I know it isn't willpower. Since my life has changed dramatically since our youngest was a baby, I presume it's not some sort of emotional response to the environment. There is no gourmand in me when I binge: I will eat anything with calories in it. As a result, I doubt it's any sort of extreme pleasure taken in food. My best guess is that I was a calorie counter for so long that I ended up triggering some sort of survival instinct, a primal instinct to avoid starvation. I have compared the feeling of bingeing to the feeling that I had when my brother held me underwater when I was about 10 and I experienced an incredible surge in energy. He didn't know he was putting me in any sort of danger, but my body reacted without thinking by my forcing myself to the air. My short answer to you is this: there are no thoughts; I just inhale the food around me. It's scary because I don't feel quite in control. The real joy of this diet is that I have reclaimed some control. I just got off track with tweaking, so now I'm going to vanilla No S, a recommendation that I believe was made to me back in November. Oh, well... some suggestions take time to sink in.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Eurobabe2
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:31 pm

Vanilla No-S etc

Post by Eurobabe2 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:06 am

Kathleen, congratulations for the courage you have shown here, admitting that your cherished belief (in the fasting cure-all) was mistaken. Many people would not.
When you said no fasting, no pedometer, no strenthening exercises, I agree with the first one, but disagree with the others. I think that walking and strengthening exercises will not only help your overall health, but will give you more energy. I think I used to eat when I was tired or just feeling cruddy. But exercise is a known mood-elevator, and the better you feel, the less likely you are to turn inappropriately to food.

Another change I have made in the last few years is that I go for a massage or facial often. In our neighborhood in the US, there is a school for estheticians, and they offer massage and facials for a very low price (students do them.) When I need to soothe myself, this is what I do, and I not only don't inappropriately eat, but I look and feel better with the facial or massage. In this little European city where I now live, I can get a facial or massage for very little money, and I do quite often.

I don't think overweight people have any more emotional problems than anyone else-life is hard, and that's just the way it is. But maybe we have learned, for various reasons, to soothe ourselves in a way that is self-destructive.

I think we honor God when we take loving care of the body he has given us, and when we honor the need we have to be physically soothed and comforted in a healthy manner.

And thank you-since you're still perservering, I am, too..... :) :)

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:14 am

Eurobabe2,
That was a very uplifting post to read as I try to make myself feel better with honey and green tea. The long winter is getting to me now. I'll take your recommendation on the exercising.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:09 pm

April 2, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Restart: At the start of each month, I designate Special Days. On Special Days and the weekend, there are no rules. On all other days, I have no sweets and no snacks except liquids. For each of three meals, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. I follow this diet with perfect compliance: following this diet with perfect compliance is as important for me in dieting as is being faithful in marriage.
(Month 1) Day 1 - Saturday, April 2, 2011: 204.4 (This month's goal is 184.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 20.4 pounds.)

Special Days:
None

Weights:
Day 1 – Saturday, April 2, 2011:204.4
Day 2 – Sunday, April 3, 2011:
Day 3 – Monday, April 4, 2011:
Day 4 – Tuesday, April 5, 2011:
Day 5 – Wednesday, April 6, 2011:204.4
Day 6 – Thursday, April 7, 2011: 204.0

Journal:
Day 1 – Saturday, April 2, 2011: I have thought that the reason why people are obese is that they have relied on authorities to tell them what to do regarding eating and their eating got all messed up. Now I have a different theory. My theory is that there is a sensitivity to the environment that keeps me from being able to stay on a diet. How do I tune out the environment? I think I need to keep with a view that perfect compliance is essential. I need to tell myself "One failure ends the diet."

2 PM: The need for perfect compliance also explains my unwillingness to limit myself to one plate. Instead, I followed the rule that everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. I could not manage with an apple next to meat or putting a soup bowl on a platter. I'll have a child take a before picture of me today. This is a new start.

8 PM: Having two full S Days each week makes me less intent on eating on an S Day.

Day 2 – Sunday, April 3, 2011: Today I ate a lot. I think that eating a lot on occasion is helpful. During the week, I will train myself to eat only at mealtime, and that training will eventually carry over into eating less on the weekends. I think I will avoid weighing myself as I try to adjust to this schedule of two S Days per week with no exceptions. I still don't know if I'm going to work on Thursday. Tomorrow will be an exciting day, since I'm driving my daughter about an hour away to buy a bassoon. It was hard to find a bassoon!!!

Day 3 – Monday, April 4, 2011: I talked to a bassoonist at Fox about the bassoon and, based on the serial number, he recommended against purchase. I'm bummed. I really want to buy a bassoon for my daughter. In the meantime, I'm tuning out any thought of food between meals now that I'm following this diet without exceptions or failures but with previously-planned Special Days. It was a difficult decision for me to end the idea that failures and exception days can be part of my diet. After all, what about dessert at my husband's work Christmas party? What about a Tic Tac for bad breath? Well, in the end, I decided that I need to be strictly compliant because a failure has such a negative effect on me that, for some unknown reason, it is so bad that it's like infidelity in marriage. A marriage might survive one infidelity but is unlikely to recover from two. I don't want even one. I want to see the seriousness of the situation and not accept that there are any exceptions even in the most dire circumstances. I think of the Jews who fasted on Yom Kippur while there were starving to death in concentration camps. What a testament to faith! Can I not live with a little social embarrassment?

Yesterday, I read that John Paul II died five years ago on April 2. What a man of faith he was, to study to be a priest while Poland was under Communist rule. It's sad that I struggle with such nonsense as this, wasting years of my life and taking years off my life for the sake of a single Tic Tac.

Fidelity is the single word I will use when walking away from temptation. Fidelity.

The dog's owner, by the way, called after 9 PM. A neighbor had been caring for it and the dog got away. We gave her a bath, fed her, gave her water, and got her to sleep. Without our help, she may have been running around cold, wet, and dirty. Tom apologized to me about being upset that I brought her home, and he was willing to take her for a walk last night. Our Pepper sure didn't like competition, so maybe that incident will help our Katie to accept we are only having one dog.

2 PM: I still haven't heard from the recruiter but am doing some volunteer work and teaching myself SQL. It sure is quiet, which is good because I have some time to reflect. I think there is a huge difference between allowing for the possibility of an occasional failure and not allowing it.

10 PM: I had to take care of a flat tire and went to buy birdseed while I was waiting to get the tire fixed. As I was walking, I thought about the word "fidelity." I really like that word. It is more than a commitment.

Day 4 – Tuesday, April 5, 2011: There's an article in today's Wall Street Journal with the title "Food May Be Addicting for Some". I've always thought the idea of food addiction was just plain silly, but now I am thinking my need for "perfect compliance" may mean that I am like some of those who underwent a high-tech scan: "showing a milkshake to the abnormal group was akin to dangling a cold beer in front of an alcoholic." Could this be why I need "perfect compliance", a way to "tune out" food messages which bombard me most waking moments?

5 PM: I got the job through mid-June, and I am so excited!!! Work is a blast. I have far more fun working than I do being at home doing self-training. I start Monday, so I have a few days to pull together a spring/summer wardrobe.

Day 5 – Wednesday, April 6, 2011: Two days of weekend eating was balanced by two days of normal eating, bringing me back to Saturday's weight. This is good news. I now have three more days until the next Saturday morning weigh-in. It would be great if I could lose an entire pound as shown on the scale.

Day 6 – Thursday, April 7, 2011: 204.0 It's turning out to be fairly easy to simply say no to food except during designated times. I took Anne to the mall, and we walked right past a Godiva Chocolate store and a Dairy Queen. There was simply no temptation on my part. In contrast, with the concept of Exception Days, I was always considering if it was worth taking an Exception Day. I know taking an approach that perfection is required is a risk, but I've experienced the risk both of allowing failure and of allocating Exception Days. Treating an eating failure as a huge deal allows me to shut off consideration of having a treat spontaneously. Since I've tried the Exception Day approach, there have been only a few times in two and a half years when it would have been nice to take an Exception Day without planning: when I took the kids out to celebrate my son achieving a life rank, when I found myself with very bad breath and no toothbrush, and when I had dessert at my husband's Christmas party. Carrying a toothbrush around solves one of them. Moving a celebration to the weekend solves another. The third, the Christmas party, really isn't all that big of a deal. Two days ago, I attended a business luncheon (since I'm now a lady of leisure) and it didn't bother me at all to simply pass on the desserts. I really don't need exceptions for social reasons so long as I carry around a toothbrush.

About twenty years ago, there was a surprise going-away party for a co-worker of mine, and I remember noticing that she had no cake. No one else noticed. She had her hands in her back pockets and chatted amiably with everyone. She can be my role model. I don't need to accept any failures for physical reasons, since food is available at the next mealtime at the latest. I also don't need failures for social reasons, since it's nobody else's business what I eat!

3 PM: It's clear that my my resolve will be tested tomorrow. I got into first grade and the kids knew that I wouldn't be helping with reading groups after Friday. I think they'll have some sort of recognition for me, possibly including food. If there is some sort of celebration, the teacher certainly wouldn't want me to wring my hands about whether or not to have food. The beauty of this diet is that I can have any sort of liquid, even if it is slurpy sweet lemonade.
Last edited by Kathleen on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 22 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Post by TexArk » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:19 pm

10 PM: I remember now why I set up the Exception Day system. For some reason, I cannot manage without "perfect compliance." What to do? I think I need to have this system with no failures. One failure ends the diet.

Kathleen, you have been letting one failure end the diet and you were also using exception days to binge and end the diet. All of this avoidance of any failure and demanding perfection of yourself is causing you to start over and over. There are many types of failures of all sizes!!! Please don't demand a system where you have to be perfect and you certainly do not want to set your daughter up for that. Would you tell her if she ate a cookie on Tuesday that she might as well consume 1000s of calories of sugar laden food since she had messed up anyway.. Oh, and let's just call it an Exception Day and it will not count. Of course not!!

We all on this board have referred over and over again to the dented bumper analogy. You know the one. "I dinged the car a little, so I might as well go on and total it!"

You can do this. Use self talk to tell yourself you can. When you slip up, be proud that you stopped and did not use that as an excuse to binge (or wreck the car). Make a success out of a failure. If you have an exception day and binge then it is an even bigger FAILURE.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:17 pm

TexArk,
I know! I know! I know! I cannot believe that this would be the solution, but here I am. Having perfect compliance cuts me off from even entertaining an exception because the consequences are so dire. It's similar to my view of infidelity -- simply unacceptable! It also makes it so that the diet itself is fragile. For some unfathomable reason, it seems to me that what should not be a big deal is a big deal, and I have no idea why. Should I accept this or not? I'm thinking I'll try accepting it and see if I do any better. What, after all, do I have to lose but 70 pounds?
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

milliem
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Post by milliem » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:19 pm

'I think I need to keep with a view that perfect compliance is essential. I need to tell myself "One failure ends the diet." '

This is such a dangerous thing to tell yourself. Human nature is complex - very few people can be perfectly successful at achieving their goals from the very minute they set them.

From what I've read of your journey so far, you seem to be trying really hard to come up with a theory to explain why things haven't been working for you. How about giving yourself a break and taking it one day at a time? For me, the beauty of NoS is this very fact - track each day what you did and whether you stuck to your NoS aims. If yes - awesome! If no - mark it and move on.

What happens if you fail at one of the three 'S-es'? Start NoS over again? Go back to a different diet? Give up completely?

Also I'm intrigued by your comment that an oversensitivity to your environment may make dieting difficult - what do you mean exactly?

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:04 pm

millieum,

Sensitivity to the environment as an explanation for obesity is something I read is some diet book somewhere. It's actually part of the idea behind the Mindless Eating book by Brian Wansink. Brian Wansink was interviewed as one of the podcasts put on ITunes by the Yale University Rudd Center for Obesity and Food Policy. One thing Profession Wansink said that really hit home for me is that it is unrealistic to eat mindfully all the time. Instead, a person should set up their environment with the goal of mindlessly eating less. That is what The No S Diet does.

I recognize the absurdity of trying this. For some bizarre reason, I can't seem to get around the need for perfect compliance in dieting. That's why I set up Exception Days in the first place. This is a different approach, one in which I simply acknowledge that I am toast if I fail.

Is it realistic? Well, maybe not. It does take a different mindset, the same mindset that told me infidelity is unacceptable 100% of the time. We all fail. Heck, I am by no means perfect. One of my Lenten resolves was to keep the dog off the bed. It didn't work.

Why must I be perfect with dieting? Heck if I know. It just seems to be the case.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Perfection

Post by TexArk » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:29 am

How about changing to "perfect commitment" instead of "perfect compliance?" This is a different relationship than the marriage bond, but it is a commitment. Even in marriage there is more to "perfect compliance" than not committing adultery. There are surely other areas of your marriage that are not perfect and one mistake does not end the marriage!

You are in a committed longterm relationship on this diet (way of eating). You are not even considering the idea of "playing around" and you are doing everything you can do make the bond strong by correcting bad habits.

Breaking the commitment is not when there is a slip up; it means that you are not going to let a slip up derail the commitment! You intend to be perfect, but you need to give yourself enough grace to allow for your human infallibility. In my opinion, holding yourself to "perfect compliance" is much more "evil" than the restricted portion control that you abhor. It is restricting yourself to perfection which is impossible and will continue to cause the binge rebound.

I think I understand you to be saying that you now realize that you were playing mind games with your exception days and that was really a way of giving yourself permission to "cheat." I am just having trouble with your phrase, "That ends the diet." as in "That ends the marriage."

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:02 am

TexArk,

My husband is not happy at the moment that I brought home a dog that was running around filthy dirty, wet, and cold. We gave her a bath, called the police, and called the owners who are not home. Tom reluctantly agreed to keep the dog overnight.

Yes, it is true that there are lots of bad habits that spouses tolerate. For some reason, and I have no idea why, a slip up diet failure has the effect for me that is the equivalent of committing adultery and not of bringing home a filthy dirty dog that was running around the neighborhood.

Now that I've been married for a few years and gotten to know other married people, I've known of couples which survived adultery and couples that didn't survive adultery. Right now, we have a front row seat in the consequences of a marriage falling apart due to adultery, and the consequences include one of their children being suspended from school several times. The consequences of adultery are severe although recoverable.

I think it's the same way with me and dieting. It's just not worth it to slip. A slip is like a slip off a cliff rather than a slip on the sidewalk. I cannot afford a slip, or rather I don't want to suffer the consequences of even one failure. That's why I made my motto "One failure ends the diet."

If I look on a diet failure as like adultery in marriage, well -- it is very serious. That's all. The reason why I need perfect compliance is so that I learn to tune out hunger between meals and give myself a break from even thinking about food.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kevin
Posts: 1269
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Kevin » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:51 pm

A fascinating article TexArk found...

http://www.everydaysystems.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=7503
Kevin
1/13/2011-189# :: 4/21/2011-177# :: Goal-165#
"Respecting the 4th S: sometimes."

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:13 pm

Kevin,
My first reaction was "Oh, come on, a pint of ice cream is hardly a binge." I found the link very interesting. I have read about the idea that we humans are just the necessary result of genetics and behavior. It all comes from a lack of belief in God, since it was God who gave us free will. Yes, I think that B.F. Skinner argues correctly that a systematic approach to reward and punishment can affect choices, but I think there's a reason why Aristotle is still read more than 2,000 years after he wrote. Aristotle argued that choices made over time become habit. What I think is that entrenched habits can compromise free will, but you still have free will. The No S Diet, to me, is a way for someone with the well entrenched habit of bingeing to find a path out of obesity. Thanks for the link!
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Who Me?
Posts: 969
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:18 pm

Post by Who Me? » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:34 am

I think that perfection is impossible, and that we all need to cut ourselves some slack. A little slip up is not the same as committing adultery. It's more like looking at (oh I dunno, George Clooney, or whoever floats your boats) and thinking "mmmmm.....niiiiice."

********************************************

Do you know the story about traditional textile artists, like the Amish quiltmakers, or the Persian rugmakers. They allow mistakes, figuring that only God is perfect, and that they are, in fact human. And those "mistakes" are what separate the handmade works of art from the machine made reproductions.

A huge screw up needs to be fixed. A little mistake may be no big deal. I've written a bit about this on my blog.

http://howsrobb.blogspot.com/2011/01/sw ... tting.html

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:52 am

Who Me?
I think perfection is impossible, too. It's impossible to be a perfect spouse, but it is possible to be faithful. Limiting when I eat seems to me to be achievable with perfection, just like being faithful can be achieved with perfection. I'm not eliminating foods or limiting any quantities when I eat. This approach seems to be a lot easier than many diets I have tried. The smell of that cabbage soup diet comes to mind as I think of diets that were unsustainable.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:39 pm

April 8, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Restart:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Friday, April 8, 2011: 205.2 (This month's goal is 184.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 21.2 pounds.)


Weights:
Day 1 – Friday, April 8, 2011: 205.2
Day 2 – Saturday, April 9, 2011:
Day 3 – Sunday, April 10, 2011:
Day 4 – Monday, April 11, 2011:
Day 5 – Tuesday, April 12, 2011: 206.0
Day 6 – Wednesday, April 13, 2011: 206.0
Day 7 – Thursday, April 14, 2011:
Day 8 – Friday, April 15, 2011:
Day 9 – Saturday, April 16, 2011:

Steps
Day 10 – Sunday, April 17, 2011:
Day 11 – Monday, April 18, 2011: 7,343
Day 12 – Tuesday, April 19, 2011: 9,159
Day 13 – Wednesday, April 20, 2011:

Variances:
Day 14 – Thursday, April 21, 2011: 1 apple, 1 bowl of popcorn, some Frosted Mini-Wheats

Record
Day 15 – Friday, April 22, 2011: Friday fast
Day 16 – Saturday, April 23, 2011:
Day 17 – Sunday, April 24, 2011:
Day 18 – Monday, April 25, 2011: Fast Day
Day 19 – Tuesday, April 26, 2011:
Day 20 – Wednesday, April 27, 2011:
Day 21 – Thursday, April 28, 2011:
Day 22 – Friday, April 29, 2011:
Day 23 – Saturday, April 30, 2011:

Journal:
Day 1 – Friday, April 8, 2011: 205.2 Yesterday, my sister in law and I celebrated my new job by eating at a Mexican restaurant, and the one plate of food -- which was one burrito -- was absolutely huge. It's no wonder that my weight went up today. It's also very revealing to me that even the one plate rule is insufficient for a person of my age. I think the real insight of this diet is the fact that people need to let go. I read in one of the Wisdom books -- Sirach? -- the words "govern your appetite". I didn't want to do that and tried to figure a way around it by following eating rules, but it's not true. What is needed is to govern my appetite.

This morning, with the weather turning nice and my job starting Monday, I threw out more than half my clothes. I threw out new sweaters I had only worn a few times that I decided I didn't like. I threw out pants I had saved for years that were worn out. I threw out turtlenecks that had been threw so many washes that they were 3/4 sleeves but shouldn't have been. Yesterday, I spent about $100 at Costco on new polos and four pair of new blue jeans.

I also put on my pedometer and made myself oatmeal for breakfast. It's time to turn over a new leaf.

Because the recruiting firm that placed me the first time had placed me this second time, I don't think I'm going to have a difficult time at all finding a job in the fall. I sent myself an email outlining my plan of action for jobhunting come fall, but I just don't think it's going to take a lot of time or effort to get a job.

It occurred to me as I was typing away that this is a new day one.

What wisdom did I get from The No S Diet? I get the need to avoid snacks and to have a time when I do not need to govern my appetite. That's what I got.

And what was it it that triggered this sudden decision to get new clothes and to throw out old clothes and to accept portion control as a fact of life? A factor was getting this job, but I think what really put me over the top was my husband once again telling me how upset he was by how much time I have spent on the computer. I have. He's right. I didn't say so, but his words struck home. It's not just the time on this forum but it's also the time spent jobhunting online and the time spent learning SQL and the time spent doing volunteer work for the business analyst organization and the time spent following politics.

Sitting at a computer and typing will not get me any thinner. Were it so, I would have been thin long ago. The dog needs a walk before I go to the first grade for reading groups. If they do have food there, I will graciously and thankfully accept it. If it's just a normal day of reading groups, I will enjoy passing on to younger people my great love of learning. I don't get fat from occasional treats at occasions like a celebration.

I've been deluding myself.

11:30 AM: My last time in reading groups passed uneventfully. I was worried about some sort of awkward situation, and instead I got to enjoy one last time reading with the kids. Little Cassi asked, "Can you work on Sunday?" She asked if I got paid for reading groups, and I told her it was an "act of love." I will miss reading with them. My kids will stay up late reading, and I think it's just a wonderful gift to want to read.

I got a new copy of The No S Diet last night, and the author is right that excess is the problem. My approach has been to try to get around the simple rules of No S and still indulge in excess.

People can tell you, but you need to be willing to hear. Yesterday, my sister in law and I were discussion a niece who is living with a guy going on two years. There is no ring. There is no plan. She seems smitten by him, but there doesn't seem to be much indication of anything but that he is comfortable with free maid service. Both my sister in law and I think this will end with her getting sick of his being so comfortable with what I've heard called pre-adulthood and dump the guy. We certainly will not talk with her about it because she wouldn't hear what is obvious. So it has been with me. I need to face it myself.

2:30 PM: I put on my old sapphire ring which I had so much trouble taking off last week. I think it's time to get serious about portion control, and this ring is a reminder as it was back in the years when I successfully followed my Novena Diet approach. It is such a glorious day outside that it is hard to feel glum about anything, including the recognition that I have been a fool. Tom was teasing me a few months ago about losing weight, and I told him that I wanted a ring if I got below 140 pounds. He agreed, of course, because he thinks there is no chance of that happening. Well, I am wearing this ring in part as a reminder that he's going to get me a ring when I lose the weight: not a diamond ring but rather a dainty little sapphire ring. A new chapter in my life is coming, and that's OK. Part of the newness comes from thinking I finally got over the hump of being home with the kids for 10 years. This second consulting gig solidifies my position as a BA. I'm very happy about that.

9 PM: I'm returning to the Novena Diet.

9:30 PM: Here is my plan: Nine days of eating very minimally, starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday; from the next day, a Monday, until a week from that Friday, follow The No S Diet; repeat.

Day 2 – Saturday, April 9, 2011: My husband was right: eat less, exercise more. Following this diet would have been a way to do that except that I contorted the program so much that I lost only 10 pounds. I will continue to keep the habit of not snacking, but I need to cut back on portions. How perfectly obvious!

5 PM: I've eaten snacks and sweets today but it seems pointless. What I need to do is view the norm as moderation and the weekend as letting go of moderation. That doesn't mean pigging out. What it means is not making an effort to be moderate.

5:30 PM: I think that my dieting in prior years led to my eating everything that was allowed, and I just continued with that philosophy using No S as a framework. Now I think that I need to practice moderation. Sirach's words "govern your appetite" is good advice for me to follow.

I think I'm just going to record all food I eat that is sweet or is a snack. That will help to build the habit of not unconsciously eating sweets or snacking.

Day 3 – Sunday, April 10, 2011: I had a typical S Day -- uncontrolled overeating. My upper arms are noticeably fatter, and both Katie and Ellie have been pinching the fat. It's disgusting.

Day 4 – Monday, April 11, 2011: Work was fun! They also sell chili at lunchtime, so I'll just have a bowl every day. Chili is one of my favorite foods.

Day 5 – Tuesday, April 12, 2011: 206.0 Last night, I munched. I had tried some portion control on Sunday and ended up not being able to manage on Monday. Lesson learned. I will practice portion control during the week and no portion control on Sunday.

9:30 PM: I munched tonight, too. I think I'm going to set aside all rules and just dedicate five minutes per day focusing on how I will be both slender and neat today. Meanwhile, the house exploded. I was gone tonight because of a band meeting for Anne, and the kitchen didn't get cleaned up. Now I have to face it before I go to bed.

Day 6 – Wednesday, April 13, 2011: 206.0 This morning, I realized that the start of the munch was accepting a few M&Ms from someone in "the War Room." I cannot allow myself to be taken off track by acts of social courtesy. Here is where documentation and tracking, strengths of mine, might come in handy for dieting. Why not just record these exceptions? I think the most important factor could well be self-perception: do I think of myself as slender and so act that way? Nope. The guidelines of no snacks and no sweets are a way for me to not think about food outside of mealtime. Portion control allows for weight loss. S Days allow the release of pressure from portion control efforts.

Last night, I took a pair of size 18 pants and a size 18 skirt back to J.C. Penny to exchange for size 16. The size 18 clothing was too big, and the size 16 was too small. I'm determined to get into those clothes.

My pedometer yesterday was above 7,000 steps, and I did do one set of strengthening exercises.

7 PM: At 5 PM, I bought a bag of pretzels. At 6 PM, I stopped at Costco to buy something for dinner and also bought a jar of chocolate covered caramels. Now I feel totally stuffed and disgusted. Is there a silver lining in this? Oh, I can always find one... Maybe I should have "perfect compliance" with the no snacks and no sweets rule unless I am offered food. That gets me out of the angst about offending people for declining food. It also would be less than 1/4 of a percent of the problem with my overeating, but it is what messes up the idea of perfect compliance.

9 PM: I had to go get milk, so I went in the car and started eating the caramels. When I got to the grocery store, I took out the jar and threw it in the garbage! What was I thinking to buy that?

The good news about no snacks and no sweets is that you tune out hunger. Now I can add an exception which is that I am invited to eat something. How often does that happen? Not often. It happened yesterday so I had some M&Ms. Generally, though, people don't care what you eat!

Day 7 – Thursday, April 14, 2011: My problem, I think, is a high sensitivity to the environment and a subsequent need for perfect compliance to deal with that environment. The no snacks and no sweets rules are great, but I can only tune out the environment if I've got a perfect way to deal with it. I think that S Days may not even be needed for now. What I can do as a start is just say no snacks or sweets and everything in front of me before I take one bite UNLESS I am offered, invited, or served. The S Day can come later when I've lost some weight and built this habit. With this approach, I never have to say "No thank you!"

9 PM: Today went well.

Day 8 - Friday, April 15, 2011: Last night, after 9, I had an apple and some bread. I think I'm going to try this approach but without any sort of portion control. I can have as much as I want in three meals per day and can snack or have sweets if offered, served, or invited. Now I just need to create that habit.

Day 9 – Saturday, April 16, 2011: There's a saying I once heard that went something like this: "Those who believe in nothing will believe in anything." Last year, there was a Wall Street Journal article on how 38% of those who don't believe in God do believe in Big Foot. It's like that with me concerning S Days. Swearing off S Days made every day into an S Day. There was no motivation to refrain from eating. I also learned once again that portion control is a bad idea. It leads to immediate binge behavior.

Luckily, I was away from food for much of the time because we went on a college tour to a small college in Southern Minnesota. Now I'm home and thinking it's time to adjust once again. I'm done with the restarting of the counts. Here it goes:

1. S Days every Sunday. This means "unconditional permission to eat."
2. No snacks or sweets on other days, and everything must be in front of me before I take one bite. There are exceptions if I am served, invited, or offered food OR if I participate in a group indulgence (such as a birthday). Exceptions always have a social aspect to them, and they are always events, not all day indulgences.
3. Average 10,000 steps per day from Monday through Saturday.
4. Do strengthening exercises a rolling average of 3 times per week.

That's it. I feel really, really fat. Last night, in a rush to get the dog to a neighbor's and to pack and to get to the church's Fish Fry, I managed to forget my nightgown. When we stopped at Target, I bought the only XXL nightgown, and it was ugly. I got in the van after I bought it and told Tom I was getting to the point of shame with dieting and to the point of doing something. He said, "Never." Well, I certainly understand why he said that. I also admitted that "eat less, exercise more" is, in fact, accurate.

Day 10 – Sunday, April 17, 2011: Today is Palm Sunday, and today's Gospel is the longest Gospel of the year. I spent the time thinking about my diet. In two weeks is our wedding anniversary, and I think I'll track strengthening exercises from May 1 to May 1. I'll give myself a little bit of start up time but look to exercise 150 times per year. I just start with a 54 week year, since May 1, 2012 is in 54 weeks.

Calculations from a starting count of April 17, 2011:
1. Number of Steps = Starting number of 0 (Carryover) + 0 (None accrued so far) - 0 (Subtract 10,000 steps per day from Monday through Saturday) = 0.
2. Number of Times Doing Strengthening Exercises: Starting number of 0 (Carryover) + 0 (None accrued so far) - 0 (Subtract 150 as of May 1, 2012.) = 0.

Day 12 – Tuesday, April 19, 2011: Yesterday, I worked right past the time that the cafeteria closed because I was so wrapped up in what I was doing, and as a result I had a a bag of pretzels from the vending machine. When I got home, Tom told me I had left inaccurate instructions for cooking the premade meal from Trader Joe's, so we didn't have dinner until 7:30 PM. I ended up eating before dinner, since I was so hungry. Then Tom was mad at me, and here I found myself eating Frosted Flakes which Tommy had talked me into getting. I looked at that bowl of cereal and realized this was definitely emotional eating. I decided to give myself a break and just focus on predictably averaging 60,000 steps Monday through Saturday. It may well be that exercise does not have an impact on weight directly, but I think it may have an impact on emotional eating. There are lots of ups and downs with the life I've chosen, and I think I need to learn to calm down. Jobhunting can be frustrating. So can trying to figure out a new organization. This organization is so different that I feel like I'm visiting a foreign country. There are parts of it to enjoy, for sure, so I think I need to focus on the positive.

Am I giving up on my weight? No. I'm taking a break from trying to control my eating, and I'm going to focus on exercise.

Day 13 – Wednesday, April 20, 2011: Last night, I had two cups of ice cream, and this morning I have a stomach ache. Why did I have it? Because I could. That's all. I let go of the rules. Am I back to Intuitive Eating? Yes and no. I think that what needs to change is not the rules but rather the self-perception. It's snowing out -- in late April -- and I left the van outside. My reaction was negative. If it had been the first snow, I would have been thrilled. What is the difference? Perception, not reality. My perception needs to change. I need to enjoy that growling stomach. In fact, yesterday near lunch, my stomach was rumbling. There was a meal provided due to a meeting running to 1 PM, and I had half of the large brownie. I cut it in half myself because my perception was that it was too large. I think I need to change my view of myself to one who is active and lean. Part of that change can come from doing steps.

Is this yet another wild goose chase? Probably, but there is something there. The rules of No S, I think, were a step to self-control. Now I need to listen to my body, not eating to the max allowed but rather eating to what makes me feel active.

9 PM: Well, that was quick! If you don't eliminate snacks and sweets as a habit, appetite comes roaring back. It's actually less work to just be in the habit of turning out snacks and sweets. I think I'll tune out except on Sundays and record when I don't tune out.

Day 14 – Thursday, April 21, 2011: I think I'm just going to write down what I eat outside of no snacks and no sweets Monday through Thursday and outside of no food until dinner on Fridays. I saw an article today somewhere that it's possible 24 hour fasting is good for you, and I think it may be. Conveniently, tomorrow is Good Friday, so I have to fast anyway.


Day 15 – Friday, April 22, 2011: That approach will certainly not work. All I had to do was record that I was being a pig! I think I was talking with Anne about her AP World History course and had something about religion not being mentioned. She told me she learned about Benedict's Rule of Life, and I remember writing a paper on it back in college. It was notable for its moderation. I think that's what I need -- a rule of life. But what?

Today is Good Friday. One good thing that came of the last few years is that I can actually fast. I've learned to delay gratification. It was torture to just wait until the next meal when I started this diet, and now I can face 24 hours of fasting without a problem.

Maybe I can use that fact to good effect. Last night, I got a bang trim and I think it was while I was waiting that I saw a magazine article on how there are studies that seem to show 24 hour fasting is good for your heart. I think it may be. Cancer progresses with inflammation, and I would guess that fasting shuts down what is not most critical to functioning. Before cancer gets out of hand, perhaps fasting helps to cut off the inflammation. I don't know... Science is not my strong suit, but I think that fasting may have some positive side effects.

What do I do about eating sweets or eating outside of meals on Mondays through Saturday? That is the big question in my mind. I think what I might try is to take a Fast Day to compensate. I'll try a normal Fast Day every Friday plus one Fast Day on a day other than Sunday to compensate for any variances from the no snacks and no sweets rules.

I'm going to restart my diet on May 1, our wedding anniversary, because that's when I'll take up exercise.

My job is unclear because the project I'm on may be delayed or cancelled. In the meantime, I'm doing what is not very difficult work. When it comes to fall, I think it will be easy for me to get another contract position. In other words, I don't need to worry about work anymore. I can focus on other things.

This plan, if effective, will take some time but also will free up some thought power for other things. We have a daughter starting her senior year in the fall, and we really need to look at what she'll be doing. Besides, do I really want my life consumed by dieting? No. I've consumed my life trying to figure out a way to avoid precisely that. Of course, at this point, I'd be better off thin and having consumed my life thinking about dieting, but I still think there is a path out of obesity that does not involve portion control, and I do think it involves fasting.

Good Friday is a good day on which to reflect on the importance of fasting.

6 PM: It's almost dinnertime, and all I had today was a diet Coke. My stomach growled at about 10, but that's it.

6:40 PM: Now I'm hungry! Having had a meatless meal of grilled cheese sandwich, red beans and rice salad, and a tuna salad, I feel very hungry. Why? Well, maybe Gary Taubes is right that carbohydrates creates an appetite. If so, intermittent fasting could be a good way to go!

I think I may allow myself a week of building a balance for fast days and then start on May 1 with a balance that I can use going forward.

9 PM: I'm listening now to a youtube video on Alternate Day Fasting. There was a recommendation to just jump in and start fasting.

Day 16 – Saturday, April 23, 2011: I woke up this morning feeling just a little hungrier than normal. I had some cheese along with an orange and cereal. I did not wait for oatmeal. There definitely is an impact on eating of fasting.

Given the religious emphasis on fasting, I think there may be some physical benefit to it. At any rate, I'm thinking I want to try to combine the No S Diet rules of no sweets and no snacks with a fasting program. It may be I should just give up on perfection and instead work on tracking. This could be a program:
1. Fast (no calories until dinner) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
2. No snacks or sweets on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
3. Track steps Monday through Saturday
4. Strengthening exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

My parents will be in town today, and I may serve them dinner. Will I have dessert? If so, I can just record that I did. I don't have to be pigging out this morning when they aren't even in the state! Exception Days became mandates to binge, and that is certainly not a strategy for weight loss!

2 PM: I just ate a fair amount and not all at once. I think I'd better stick with an accounting approach.

Day 17 – Sunday, April 24, 2011: I spent the time during Easter Sunday Mass thinking about my diet. I think I'll have a weekly accounting like this:

Balance as of MM/DD/YY:
Fast Days: Last Sunday's total of X - 1 (Friday should always be a Fast Day - x(Number of Exception Days) = X
Steps = Last Sunday's Total + X (# steps this week) - 60,000 = X
Strengthening Exercises = Last Sunday's total + X(#strengthening exercises this week) - 3 = X

Instead of counting calories or carbs, I'm counting very little week to week. This is sustainable for life.

I'm ready for tomorrow to be a Fast Day to make up for yesterday being an Exception Day, although it doesn't really matter because I'm starting fresh with Day 1 on May 1, which is our wedding anniversary and also the day of the beautification of John Paul II.

Day 18 – Monday, April 25, 2011: I ordered the book The Alternate Day Diet from Amazon and decided that I should simplify the diet down to an accounting: No snacks or sweets Monday through Saturday. Each Sunday, subtract one for each day when you have no snacks or sweets and subtract one for a fast day.

9 PM: I made it through today not eating until we had dinner at 7:30 at Applebee's to celebrate Anne getting a 34 on her ACT test, which puts her at 99th percentile. I am very happy for her, but I was in her shoes 35 or so years ago and still my life was very much marred by my weight. The place where I am working actually provides beer on Friday afternoons, so it's a little silly for me to be fasting on Fridays while I work here.

Day 19 – Tuesday, April 26, 2011: I think I'll describe the diet first by defining the types of days:
Feast Days: These are all Sundays. They are days of "unconditional permission to eat", a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating.

Normal Days: These are all days Monday through Saturday when I have no snacks and no sweets. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. I can have liquids outside of mealtime. I have no sweets. I do allow myself sugared pop since it is rare that I desire pop and usually because I feel a little bit sick.

Exception Days: These are days from Monday through Saturday when I don't follow the rules for a Normal Day.

Fast Days: These are Normal Days when I don't have anything caloric until dinner and then I follow the rules for a Normal Day.

Rules:
1. Sundays are always Feast Days.
2. I cannot have two Fast Days in a row.
3. Each Sunday, I take the prior week's starting number, add the number of Fast Days, subtract 1, and subtract the number of Exception Days to get the calculated value for that week.
4. My goal is to stay above zero. This goal can be obtained by fasting one day per week and following the rules of a normal day for all other days.

I am glad Anne did so well on the ACT, and I certainly won't dampen her joy by bringing up her weight. The best I can do, I think, is let her be and figure out a simple way to lose weight that doesn't dominate your life. Until I got pregnant with Anne at age 25, I was only overweight during college, when I spiked to 172. Other than that, I weighed below 140.

Even so, my weight has had an incredibly detrimental effect on my life. My "Novena Diet" approach of periodic calorie counting dominated my life. I just don't want that for Anne. I'd rather she be fat. Most of all, I'd like to find a simple way to lose weight without portion control.

Maybe intermittent fasting is the way to go. I did order a book on a diet which advocates fasting three times per week, but I don't think that approach is very practical for social reasons. Fasting once per week or twice (if there is an Exception Day) seems much more doable.

Will it work? I'm going to find out.

8 AM: I'm delaying going to work because of the traffic, so I'll add in how to calculate:

Balance as of Sunday, (Month), (Day):
X (Starting balance from Sunday, (Month) (Day))
+ X (Number of Fast Days in the last week)
- 1 (This forces me to average one Fast Day per week)
- X (Number of Exception Days in the last week)
= X (Ending balance as of Sunday, (Month) (Day))

It won't take long to track that. The difficulty will all be in following the program.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:48 am

May 1, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Restart:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Sunday, May 1, 2011: 207.4 (This month's goal is 183.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 24.4 pounds.)

This diet is one of counting. Instead of counting calories, I count days: it's much easier. There are four different types of days:
1. Feast Days: All Sundays are Feast Days. All days from Easter to the following Sunday are also Feast Days. All days from Christmas to New Year's Day inclusive are Feast Days. They are days of "unconditional permission to eat", a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating.
2. Normal Days: These are all days Monday through Saturday when I have no snacks and no sweets. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. I also can have liquids outside of mealtime. I have no sweets. I do allow myself sugared pop since it is rare that I desire pop and usually because I feel a little bit sick. These concepts were inspired by The No S Diet.
3. Exception Days: These are days from Monday through Saturday when I don't follow the rules for a Normal Day. If I don't follow the rules, then the entire day is a day of "unconditional permission to eat." This idea also came from The No S Diet.
4. Fast Days: These are days when I don't have anything caloric until dinner, and then I can have what I want at my meal other than sweets. I can have as much as I want so long as I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids but nothing solid and nothing sweet. Some of the wisdom of fasting is described in The Alternate Day Diet, but a lot of my inspiration comes from religious fasting, especially rules from the Greek Orthodox religion. My own Catholic faith has watered down fasting to the point that it is close to meaningless and certainly not helpful for weight loss.

Here are diet rules:
1. Sundays are always Feast Days. Every day is a Feast Day in the entire week after Easter and in the days from Christmas to New Year's Day inclusive of the two holidays.
2. I cannot have two Fast Days in a row.
3. Each Sunday, I take the prior week's starting number, add the number of Fast Days, and subtract the number of Exception Days to get the calculated value for that week.
5. There is a suspension of any calculation in the Sunday after Easter, since every day in the prior week is a Feast Day.
6. The calculation in the Sunday following New Years is for two weeks rather than one, since there is a suspension of diet for eight days (Christmas through New Year's Day inclusive). On the Sunday following New Year's Day), I calculate the ending number as the starting number from two week's prior to that, add the number of Fast Days, subtract 1, and subtract the number of Exception Days to get to the calculated value for that week.

Here is my one and only goal: I stay at or above zero for that number, which I call the Temperance Count.

Balance as of Thursday, May 5 at 9 PM: 2

Balance as of Sunday, June 5:
2 (Starting balance from Thursday, May 5)
+ X (Number of Fast Days in the last week)
- 5 (This forces me to average one Fast Day per week)
- X (Number of Exception Days in the last week)
= X (Ending balance as of Sunday, June 5 )

Fast Days in May:
Exception Days in May:


Day -5 – Tuesday, April 26, 2011: I had a working lunch for the second time since I started two weeks ago, and I ended up having the cookie with the meal. Then I enjoyed the free food that is laid out on a table mere feet from where I sit: candy, pop, pretzels, etc. It occurred to me tonight after I poured myself into some jeans that I had better start my accounting now and not wait until May 1. I still like the idea of starting on May 1, but I'll just start the accounting a little early and have some starting numbers that are not zero, perhaps.

If counting keeps me from overeating, that's great: I won't knock it.

Day -4 – Wednesday, April 27, 2011: I managed to get below 200 pounds by sticking with an approach of 8 Feast Days per month, 2 Exception Days per month, and no Fast Days. Now I'm looking at a program with 4 Feast Days per month, at least 4 Fast Days per month, and the rest Normal Days with pairings of 1 additional Fast Day for each Exception Days. The overall calorie consumption should be down on this approach, which means I should lose more weight. We'll see. It's tough to find a way to lose weight without portion control.

9 PM: I did fine until 6:30 PM and then I started eating. Dinner was not served until 7:15 because Anne didn't know that rice was not a complete meal. I think I'm changing the rules for a Fast Day to allow for the eating I did. You cannot eat as much if it is confined to just a few hours.

Day -3 – Thursday, April 28, 2011: I think that fasting makes it so overeating is even more unpleasant because I didn't feel so great last night. There were leftovers from the lunchroom, including lots of garlic bread, and I had lots of garlic bread. I still don't feel all that great this morning. On both Monday and Wednesday, I fasted and then dinner was delayed. I want to address that problem by allowing myself to eat after 6 PM. Meanwhile, I'm going to be fed lunch yet again on Friday, so a Friday fast is out of the picture. I'm glad I didn't look at scheduling only Friday as a Fast Day. Because of my fast yesterday, I can't fast today, so I'm having breakfast.

Day -2 – Friday, April 29, 2011: I'm glad I set up my calendar to start five days before the start date of the diet because I'm tweaking it. I realize that I need portion control: it just cannot be constant. Having a fast until 6 and a binge until 8 will do me no good. There is a qualitative aspect to managing my weight since I'm not interested in counting calories or carbs.

8 PM: What a shock! After more than 3 years of not allowing any sort of portion control, I tried portion control. I measured out 1 cup of cereal for breakfast and had one small slice of pizza for lunch. When I got home, I ate and ate. This is not going to be easy.

I will start on Sunday with all counts set to zero.

10:30 PM: I'm back to one meal on Fast Days.

Day -1 – Saturday, April 30, 2011: I am modifying this diet without the bother of restarting counting, but that stops tomorrow. One additional insight I have is that the Greek Orthodox religion has a requirement that there be no fasting in the week after Easter or the week after Christmas. That now strikes me as a good idea because it sets you up to keep going for the long haul.

I got The Alternate Day Diet yesterday, and it occurred to me that I've read this book before. It is about the health effects of fasting. I thought I had read that before.

The problem with this type of fasting is disruption to family routine.
My approach has more flexibility.

9 AM: I was ironing for about half an hour and realized that I feel like I am starving and the only reason why seems to be that I restricted my portion size yesterday at lunch. The thought of portion control seems to trigger binge eating. What to do? I think I need to focus on the diet without any sort of portion control. In July, I'll be vacationing at the Boy Scout Camp. That may seem like no a great vacation, but the most relaxing week of my life was when I was there two years ago. Anne is a camp counselor this year at Family Camp, Tom and Tommy are on the Boy Scout side in a different site about 5 miles away, and all I have to do is feed Katie and Ellie meals that I have already planned and let them run off and do the activities made available to them. What I need is to stop the thrashing around and settle on a plan for a short period of time. Following this until Many Point could be a good tactic. At Many Point, I'll have plenty of time to think and relax.

This diet will result in the calculation of one number once per week. I think it should a name and be called a count. Maybe I could use the term Temperance Count.

9:30 PM: Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, and I have chosen it as the day to start my diet and freeze my plan in place. It's sad, but there's been no thought on celebrating our wedding anniversary. There's just way too much going on. Anne has these AP and standardized tests and also her band trip and band concert. Tom is on his band trip now. We've got planning for Katie's 6th grade graduation. Tomorrow is Katie's birthday party so I'll be driving her and three of her friends to the Mall of America. We're preparing for my nephew's wedding by getting everyone clothing and haircuts. My parents were in town this week so my father could get an evaluation at the Mayo Clinic after he had a stroke in January. Lost in the shuffle has been our wedding anniversary.

I'll honor that day by starting this diet and sticking to it. A word that keeps coming to mind for me in dieting is fidelity. I don't really know why except that I think that the secret to keeping weight off is making a commitment to a diet and staying with it. I'm so tired right now I can barely stay awake. It's time for bed.


Day 1 – Sunday, May 1, 2011: 207.4 I feel a certain amount of relief in giving up the pursuit of a diet including portion control. It seemed way less urgent for me to eat today even though today is a day of "unconditional permission to eat" and tomorrow is a Fast Day.

Day 2 – Monday, May 2, 2011: Today is a Fast Day. I may want to settle into a routine of Monday and Wednesday as Fast Days unless there is some social reason not to fast. I also think I want to avoid weighing myself except for once per month. It can be frustrating to weigh myself, and the weight fluctuations have the potential to cause me to wonder if I am doing the same thing. I don't need any more data points. It's time to fish or cut bait as they say.

Journal:
Day 1 – Tuesday, May 3, 2011: Yesterday I fasted until 6:15, then ate until dinner at 6:40 and then had an ice cream drumstick. I then went to the mall to look for a dress for my nephew's wedding and got a good luck at myself in a three way mirror, including the back of my knees. I came home and slept until almost midnight, then tossed and turned on the couch. If even The No S Diet can be ruined by a persistent belief in being able to eat as much as you want, then any diet can. I think that, instead of following rules, I need to see to be temperate. No more days of "unconditional permission to eat". This is quite decidedly not the fault of The No S Diet which was a brilliant way to practice temperance without having a lot of overhead of rules and regulations. I sought to violate the spirit of that diet and any other but still lose weight, and I was in la la land.

Now what? No rules, just the constant goal to practice temperance every day.

Day 4 – Wednesday, May 4, 2011: I'm just following a rhythm of fasting, feasting, and normal days. The Fast Days are Wednesdays and Fridays. The Feast Day is Sunday. If the rhythm is disrupted, I record it here.

9 PM: I made it to 3 PM and ate so much when I got home from work that I now have a stomach ache. I think it is possible I took on more than I could handle right now, so I think I'm going to dial back to having one Fast Day for every Exception Day and Sundays as reliable Feast Days.

Day 5 – Thursday, May 5, 2011: I made it to 7:30 and then ate, but I have an idea: I'm starting myself off with a balance of 2 which can cover next Friday and Saturday for celebrating my nephew's wedding.

Day 6 – Friday, May 6, 2011: My starting point now is where I left off in May of the year we spent Memorial Day weekend at a state park with incredibly beautify flowers. I believe it was May of 2010. At any rate, I was down to 196.6 as a low and wanted to go lower. Since then, I've been on one misadventure after another. Still, I think that there is some merit to looking at reduction in number of Exception Days. If I earn an Exception Day with a Fast Day, I think that will reduce my overall caloric consumption. I start off with two Exception Days to give myself some breathing room and also to allow me to get through next weekend's wedding without having to have two Fast Days. I hope I'm back on track.

7 PM: I got this far, and I'm going to make it to the end of day following the rules of a Normal Day. There's nothing scary about what I'm doing. I think I took on more than I was confident I could handle, and that's why I failed. Now I'm confident I can handle what I've now set out to do. Will I lose a great deal of weight following this? Most probably not. I'll see where I am weight-wise by the end of summer. I'd rather take a long time to lose weight permanently than be up and down the scale. That's why I don't want to get into the portion-control trap.

10:15 PM: I made it!

Day 7 – Saturday, May 7, 2011: 207.0 It's early, and I'm the only one up. I feel somewhat sad about all the misadventures over the past many months. The No S Diet was a great approach, but it was not enough to get me to a low enough weight -- at least the way I followed it with no portion control. What to do? First, I waited to make sure it wasn't a plateau. Then, I gave up Saturdays as S Days. There was no effect. Then I tried fasting which upset my no snacks and no sweets habits. Now I'm going to be very gradual in introducing fasting to my life. I like the idea of fasting until dinner and then reverting to a normal day's habits. It's very simple. This summer, I also think I'll work on exercise. Right now, I am just barely hanging on. The job itself is easy. When I leave for the day, I leave a list of to-dos for the next day and don't think about the job until the next workday. The problem is running the household, especially with all the spring activities -- band trips and concerts, field trips, parties, etc. I have to get going now because Tom needs a ride to the golf course in an hour. He's caddying again this year. So it goes.... Part of the reason for the obesity epidemic may be too-busy lives which crowd out physical activity.
Last edited by Kathleen on Wed May 11, 2011 1:49 am, edited 17 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

TexArk
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

Post by TexArk » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 pm

Kathleen said:

What a shock! After more than 3 years of not allowing any sort of portion control, I tried portion control. I measured out 1 cup of cereal for breakfast and had one small slice of pizza for lunch. When I got home, I ate and ate. This is not going to be easy.

I feel like I am starving and the only reason why seems to be that I restricted my portion size yesterday at lunch. The thought of portion control seems to trigger binge eating. What to do? I think I need to focus on the diet without any sort of portion control

I would just like to point out that what you are calling "trying portion control "and then summarily dismissing is not "thought out portion control." It is simply starvation that is doomed to fail. I couldn't make it to 10:00 on a bowl of cereal! Now, if I had two poached eggs and 3 slices of bacon, I could probably make it until at least mid afternoon and probably an early supper. You could have had lots more good healthy food that would have been tasty and satisfying. I believe we have to learn our own bodies and what foods sustain us and what foods are good for us, not just what tastes good at the moment or happens to appear on the scene. What works for me might not work for you, but obviously your "portion control" was unnecessarily too low in calories.

Good luck on your new plan. I hope you can settle soon so that your health won't be in jeopardy from all the binges in between plans.

milliem
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Post by milliem » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:31 pm

I agree with Tex, a small bowl of cereal and a small slice of pizza wouldn't be enough to sustain most people throughout the day! Try having bigger portions for breakfast/lunch and see how that goes - after all, vanilla NoS IS portion control - one plate is a portion. Doesn't specify how big the plate is or how high you pile it up at first though :lol:

What I need is to stop the thrashing around and settle on a plan for a short period of time
You do seem to switch and change between eating plans every few days! Any new plan is a change in habit, and as NoS is testament to, habit takes time to build.

Good luck!

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sun May 01, 2011 2:17 am

TexArk and milleum,

Your posting to me made me realize that it is not a problem to fast but it is a problem to limit portions. Why? I found the explanation in Why We Get Fat that carbs trigger hunger to be a possible explanation.

Still, there is something more there than a physical effect. I think it is almost 100% psychological. The pizza on Friday was provided courtesy of the company, and it was really bad. The other two meals I've had provided by the company were very good. Had I not been trying to limit portions, I may well have had only one slice of pizza at lunch and felt fine. The problem was thinking I was on a portion control diet. It was my thought about it that was the problem and not the actual restriction of food. When I first started No S, I had platefuls of food that rose from the plate to a point like a pyramid, and still I felt ravenous until I gave up the idea of portion control.

At any rate, I'm now in the role of working Mom rushing from one commitment to the next. I think it's best right now for me to put analysis on the back burner and just do. I've been thrashing around way too long.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

milliem
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Post by milliem » Sun May 01, 2011 8:38 am

Kathleen wrote:TexArk and milleum,

At any rate, I'm now in the role of working Mom rushing from one commitment to the next. I think it's best right now for me to put analysis on the back burner and just do. I've been thrashing around way too long.

Kathleen
Excellent plan, I read so much about diets and NoS but it took me a LONG time to actually DO anything about it!! Mind you it took me a long time to find a diet that I was willing to do (and I wouldn't even call NoS a diet). I wish you every success, you have a lot of determination :)

I think it is almost 100% psychological... The problem was thinking I was on a portion control diet. It was my thought about it that was the problem and not the actual restriction of food.
Sorry to get all therapy on you (it's kind of my trade although nothing to do with dieting/eating) but have you ever thought about trying any cognitive behavioural therapy on yourself? It's a massive step to accept that your own thoughts are the ones driving your behaviour. But thoughts CAN be changed. And if the underlying thoughts change, the behaviour will follow.

Kevin
Posts: 1269
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Kevin » Sun May 01, 2011 1:33 pm

Somewhere on this forum someone once made the observation that I find critical to NoS - a variety of foods at each meal. A meal must have at least four different things in small portions. A mono-meal, like pizza, will leave me hungry and completely un-sated.

Breakfast for me might be a few strawberries, an egg white omelet with cheese and orange pepper (done very quickly in the microwave in a Pam sprayed Pyrex bowl and cartoned egg whites), half an english muffin, and coffee.

Lunch is a piece of fruit, half a turkey sandwich (all the turkey, half the bread), a small serving of nuts, some baby carrots, and plain yogurt. Again, less variety and I'm hungry again in an hour, or worse yet, I'm still hungry when I finish lunch. :(

Just a thought.
Kevin
1/13/2011-189# :: 4/21/2011-177# :: Goal-165#
"Respecting the 4th S: sometimes."

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BrightAngel
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Post by BrightAngel » Sun May 01, 2011 1:46 pm

milliem wrote:[It's a massive step to accept that your own thoughts are the ones driving your behaviour.
But thoughts CAN be changed.
And if the underlying thoughts change, the behaviour will follow.
Great Advice. :!:
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sun May 01, 2011 11:39 pm

milleum, Kevin, and BrightAngel,

Oh, my, I do realize that you can change your thoughts to change your behavior. I am not the same person I was as a teenager because of the influence on me of what I have read and what I have experienced. It occurred to me today, when I had lots of time to think while trailing four girls running to rides at the Mall of America, that my definition of success in weight loss is not the number on the scale. Instead, it is a diet with no portion control. Fasting seems to me to hold the best promise for accomplishing this. Am I being unrealistic? Very possibly I am. I certainly was unrealistic to think that following no snacks and no sweets would result in significant weight loss.

I won't know, however, if this approach of fasting plus no snacks and no sweets will work unless I try. What I need is to stick with this plan for a few months -- my goal is about 10 weeks -- and see what happens.

Thanks for your comments and concerns.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat May 07, 2011 3:40 pm

May 7, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Restart:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Saturday, May 7, 2011: 207.0 (This month's goal is 183.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 24.0 pounds.) Temperance Points = 0

(Revised May 31, 2011) For this diet, I give one of three labels to each day:

1. Feast Days: Feast Days are days of "unconditional permission to eat", a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating. The only Feast Days are second Sundays of the month.

2. Normal Days: These are all days when I have no snacks and no sweets. I have breakfast and dinner but no lunch. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite, and I can have as much as I want (no portion control). I also can have caloric liquids any time during the day. If I do not follow the rules, such as by having a sweet or by having lunch, each violation is an Exception Event. These concepts were inspired by The No S Diet.

3. Fast Days: These are days when I don't have anything caloric until dinner, and then I can have what I want at my meal other than sweets. I can have as much as I want so long as I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids but nothing solid and nothing sweet. I can only have Fast Days on Mondays and Thursdays. I cannot fast in the week after Easter or between Christmas and New Year's Day, inclusive. Some of the wisdom of fasting is described in The Alternate Day Diet, but a lot of my inspiration comes from religious fasting, especially rules from the Greek Orthodox religion.

I loved this observation from The Alternate Day Diet, page 23: "No diet will work without a plan that overcomes our inclination to eat whenever and whatever food is available." What is my plan? It is take to heart the words from Sirach: "Govern your appetite."

I govern my appetite by tracking what I call Temperance Points. Each day, I take the starting balance from the prior day and make adjustments based on the following:
- I make no changes if the prior day was a Feast Day.
- I neither add nor subtract a point if the prior day was a Normal Day.
- I add one point for each Fast Day.
- I subtract one point for each Exception Event on a Normal Day.

My one and only goal is to stay at or above zero for the number of Temperance Points.

Type of Day:
Day 2 – Sunday, May 8, 2011: Feast Day
Day 3 – Monday, May 9, 2011: Fast Day
Day 4 – Tuesday, May 10, 2011:
Day 5 – Wednesday, May 11, 2011:
Day 6 – Thursday, May 12, 2011:
Day 7 – Friday, May 13, 2011: Exception Day
Day 8 – Saturday, May 14, 2011: Exception Day
Day 9 – Sunday, May 15, 2011: Feast Day
Day 10 – Monday, May 16, 2011: Fast Day
Day 11 – Tuesday, May 17, 2011:
Day 12 – Wednesday, May 18, 2011:
Day 13 – Thursday, May 19, 2011: Fast Day
Day 14 – Friday, May 20, 2011: Exception: Lunch
Day 15 – Saturday, May 21, 2011:
Day 16 – Sunday, May 22, 2011: Feast Day
Day 17 – Monday, May 23, 2011: Fast Day
Day 18 – Tuesday, May 24, 2011:
Day 19 – Wednesday, May 25, 2011:
Day 20 – Thursday, May 26, 2011:
Day 21 – Friday, May 27, 2011:
Day 22 – Saturday, May 28, 2011:
Day 23 – Sunday, May 29, 2011:
Day 24 – Monday, May 30, 2011:
Day 25 – Tuesday, May 31, 2011:

Temperance Points:
Day 2 – Sunday, May 8, 2011: 0
Day 3 – Monday, May 9, 2011: 1
Day 4 – Tuesday, May 10, 2011:
Day 5 – Wednesday, May 11, 2011:
Day 6 – Thursday, May 12, 2011:
Day 7 – Friday, May 13, 2011: 0
Day 8 – Saturday, May 14, 2011: -1
Day 9 – Sunday, May 15, 2011: 0
Day 10 – Monday, May 16, 2011:
Day 11 – Tuesday, May 17, 2011:
Day 12 – Wednesday, May 18, 2011:
Day 13 – Thursday, May 19, 2011: 1
Day 14 – Friday, May 20, 2011: 0
Day 15 – Saturday, May 21, 2011:
Day 16 – Sunday, May 22, 2011:
Day 17 – Monday, May 23, 2011: 1
Day 18 – Tuesday, May 24, 2011:
Day 19 – Wednesday, May 25, 2011:
Day 20 – Thursday, May 26, 2011:
Day 21 – Friday, May 27, 2011: 2
Day 22 – Saturday, May 28, 2011:
Day 23 – Sunday, May 29, 2011:
Day 24 – Monday, May 30, 2011: 3
Day 25 – Tuesday, May 31, 2011:


Weights:
Day 2 – Sunday, May 8, 2011: 206.0
Day 3 – Monday, May 9, 2011:
Day 4 – Tuesday, May 10, 2011: 203.4
Day 5 – Wednesday, May 11, 2011: 205.4
Day 6 – Thursday, May 12, 2011: 204.8
Day 7 – Friday, May 13, 2011: 204.2
Day 8 – Saturday, May 14, 2011: 204.4
Day 9 – Sunday, May 15, 2011:
Day 10 – Monday, May 16, 2011:
Day 11 – Tuesday, May 17, 2011: 204.2
Day 12 – Wednesday, May 18, 2011: 205.8
Day 13 – Thursday, May 19, 2011: 205.8
Day 14 – Friday, May 20, 2011: 204.8
Day 15 – Saturday, May 21, 2011: 204.2
Day 16 – Sunday, May 22, 2011: 203.8
Day 17 – Monday, May 23, 2011:
Day 18 – Tuesday, May 24, 2011: 204.2
Day 19 – Wednesday, May 25, 2011: 203.2
Day 20 – Thursday, May 26, 2011: 203.2
Day 21 – Friday, May 27, 2011: 202.6
Day 22 – Saturday, May 28, 2011:
Day 23 – Sunday, May 29, 2011:
Day 24 – Monday, May 30, 2011:
Day 25 – Tuesday, May 31, 2011: 204.6
Journal:
Day 2 – Sunday, May 8, 2011: (2) I ate a lot today, and I'm just fine with loading up so I can get through this week. I've been so off this diet that I've lost a lot of the habit that came from consistently following the diet. Today was a good day for me, however. I decided that just following this diet for an entire year should be fine. I may need to add more Fast Days, but I will stick with this approach. After all, I was following a diet in which I got 2 Exception Days every month. Now I'm starting off with 2 but need to earn every additional Exception Day with a Fast Day. That means that the difference between my prior diet and this one is the equivalent of 22 Fast Days in one year. That is certainly enough of an adjustment for me.

The deacon gave a great sermon today at church. It was about hope being at the center of all great achievements, the hope that you can actually do what you set out to do. The sermon was about one of my favorite stories from the Bible, which is the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. There is a painting about this Biblical story that I saw in Europe, and I was just overwhelmed with the beauty of it. It was by Rembrandt. I am also on a journey and sometimes discouraged, but I think the heart of my quest is to find a way to manage weight without portion control which means without a constant feeling of deprivation. As I have found out, my quest is not to have "unconditional permission to eat." I do still need to govern my appetite. I come back to my faith and think there is wisdom in it that has been lost in recent years. The wisdom of fasting is that you govern your appetite but not constantly so you don't trigger a starvation effect from dieting. Tonight I am hopeful. I also am glad. I want to follow this approach and see where I am in a year.

It may be that I will try to implement an exercise program, but that will be separate from this diet. The diet is only about how I eat. Exercise is a way to improve my health.

10 PM: Actually, the change that I am implementing is not the addition of 22 Fast Days in a year. Instead, it is the addition of 24 (2 X 12 Exception Days that were not paired with a Fast Day which was my prior plan) - 2 (my starting count) - 6 (the Feast Days in the week after Easter) - 8 (the Feast Days between and including Christmas and New Year's Day) = 8 Fast Days. The difference in one year is only 8 Fast Days. Will that make a difference? It remains to be seen, but at least I should get back to my low from the prior diet which was 196. Also, those Feast Days are far off in the future. The Greek Orthodox religion forbids fasting, upon pain of excommunication, in the week after Easter and the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. I think there may be wisdom in this in that having a break helps the person fasting to not feel so proud and, more importantly, having a break allows the person to manage a lifelong habit of fasting.

I am going to be tempted to add to the number of days of fasting, but I think that what might be wiser is simply to build up a balance in the Temperance Bank.

Day 3 – Monday, May 9, 2011: I think I will try adding one Fast Day per month as of August. That will give me time to adjust to the diet and yet not waste an entire year adjusting. I don't think what I'm doing today will get me much below 190. 190 may not be great, but it's better than where I am today. After yesterday's binge, I am certainly not weighing myself today. I may fast today. It may be that I'll want to fast every Monday while I'm working and then switch to Fridays. Currently, a Friday fast is not a good idea because of the beer happy hour at work at 3. This, I'm sure, is not a very common corporate tradition, so I might as well enjoy this company while I'm here!

10 PM: I made it through the Fast Day. It was easy until I got home, and then I had to finish making dinner. Tom thought he had made dinner because he had put the meat in the oven. It was chicken that had been cut into pieces, breaded, and browned. Honestly.... this is why I cannot work full-time. He doesn't understand what goes into managing the household. At any rate, I then had to run Tom's trombone to the repair shop and pick up snacks for him to take to school for a special day with the gifted student class. Now I'm running a load of wash because Anne got clay from her ceramics class on a sweatshirt. I really, really think that gradual adjustment is what is going to win the day for me in losing weight. I cannot take these dramatic steps. I think I'll try to limit myself to fasting only on Mondays at least until July. If I can manage one day per week of fasting, that's fantastic! Meanwhile, the job is not all that challenging, which is good, because my life sure is challenging!

Day 4 – Tuesday, May 10, 2011: 203.4 I was thrilled by the drop in weight. It is explained, I think, by the fact that I did not snack after dinner. Instead, I had dinner without portion control but then I was done. I read through the first chapters of The Alternate Day Diet, and I think I prefer this approach to that doctor's approach of having portion control only every other day. It is true that I don't think I have much choice in the matter. All those years of dieting produced a very strong and very immediate reaction in me to binge the instant I even think about restricting portion size. Now, having decided to stick with this plan through August and then just add one Fast Day per month through next August, I just feel so much more relaxed about this diet. I am not at the moment enjoying the stress of my life, and it's nice that I don't have to worry about the diet. Tomorrow is Ellie's Band concert, Thursday is Anne's AP World test for which I have to provide transportation, Thursday night my parents arrive for the wedding, and the weekend will be taken up with the wedding. When will I have time to plan for next week? When will the floors get cleaned? I do not know how people survive year after year with two full time jobs and kids. I barely manage two months at a time!

8:30 PM: I ate a ton today. In fact, it was embarrassing because I had a bag of pretzels that was not an individual size. That's OK. I think I'm still recovering from yesterday's fast. The author of a book on Super Fat to Super Fit or some title like that referred to a study in which mice were fed every other day and ate about 180% of what they would normally eat on the day when they had access to food. Because they did't eat 200%, they ate less overall since 0% on the fast days and 180% on the non-fast day is less than 100% as a constant rate.

Day 5 – Wednesday, May 11, 2011: 205.4 My weight sure did go up from yesterday. I guess fasting does make you hungry enough to eat more. An approach like Weight Watchers with constant portion control never ever gives you the opportunity to eat as much as you want. Sure, you lose weight in the short term. I'm not interested in short term. I want a long term, simple solution. I am tempted to fast more, but I think I have to look upon it as a temptation. It's better for me to adjust slowly to fasting so I can keep the habits of no snacking and no sweets on most days. I may try to limit fasting to just Mondays.

8 PM: I am beat, and tomorrow I have to get Anne to an AP World exam by 7:30 AM. It's Tommy's birthday, and there will be no noticeable difference from the rush of the every day. I do not know how women work full time and care for a family.


Day 6 – Thursday, May 12, 2011:204.8 Yesterday, as I was rushing between buildings at the company, I took some time to observe the differences in casual dress at the company. Those who are thin tend to have their shirts tucked in, and those who are fat tend not to have their shirts tucked in. It's a casual -- very casual -- business environment, with many people wearing jeans every day. Still, there are differences in dress based on type of worker and size. It occurred to me that my weight has a great deal to do with how I live my life in ways that I don't really notice. I am sick of being fat. That makes me tempted to push harder and fast more. I am labeling this desire a temptation because that is what it is. I've been through this before, and what happens is that I can't hold on to the habits of no snacks and no sweets. I was thinking yesterday it might be a good idea just to allow myself to fast on Mondays. If I don't fast on a Monday, then I don't fast that week. I should be able to manage to keep my Temperance Bank Balance above zero with this approach, and I would feel no pressure to fast other than on Mondays.

Day 7 – Friday, May 13, 2011: 204.2 Yesterday I had a Mommy meltdown getting all the kids out the door so Anne could make her AP World test by 7:30. I got into the office, and the program manager had sent me an email, copying my boss' boss and his boss, asking me to reconsider taking the summer off. Ha! I will last until the summer! The company is giving me a great opportunity to develop some project manager skills, and I do see that I am adding value. In fact, the skill set I bring to the table is one of parenting: be specific, set deadlines, and establish consequences. Meanwhile, I am trying to be patient with my weight, and it's hard. Where this diet can backfire is if I move too quickly to fast more. I see the progress from when I first started No S and it was torture to fast between meals. I need to be patient and to take into account the long haul: what I want is an easy way to keep weight off for the rest of my life and to pass that knowledge on to my kids. If it takes me a little longer to actually lose a substantial amount of weight, so be it. I think I may allow myself to adjust the Temperance Balance this summer (subtracting 1 every month in addition to adding 1 for each Fast Day and subtracting 1 for each Exception Day). I may still keep to the idea of only fasting on Mondays. It's really difficult to be squeezing into size 18 clothing and to stick with the idea of not going faster on weight loss.

Day 8 – Saturday, May 14, 2011: 204.4 Last night, at the rehearsal dinner, my brother choked up as he welcomed Kelsey to the family. It was really touching. I felt so much last night that focusing on those around us is what results in the most joy in life, and my weight problem has been a huge obstruction. Maybe that's why I've been so determined to find a way to lose weight without portion control. The goal is not weight loss. The goal is to free up my life for what is most important. I've concluded that Friday is a bad day for fasting. It may have been good 500 years ago, but it sure isn't now. What I think might be the easiest diet to follow is to have a habit of fasting twice per week and feasting once per week, with an ongoing balance calculated to allow for exceptions to the fasting days and even exceptions to normal days. I think Monday and Thursday might be good fasting days. Because I have a very long time horizon, a lot of which is due to wanting my daughter to have a healthy and happy life, I'm willing to wait an entire year -- until next summer -- before I add that second Fast Day. This summer, I think I should try to develop a short program of strengthening exercises and also add pedometer walking. I bought a different pedometer yesterday but it also is complicated. What I want to do is track 60,000 steps per week.

Day 9 – Sunday, May 15, 2011: My job is very easy, but it is time consuming. It actually may be easier for me to start the two day per week fasts now rather than wait until I'm home for the summer. I figure i can get up to six Fast Days per month plus one Fast Day for each Exception Day. Beyond that is too much. I am thinking I'll start retroactively as of today, putting my Temperance Bank Balance right now at -1. Each first of the month, I'll subtract an additional 6 from the Temperance Bank Balance.

Day 10 – Monday, May 16, 2011: Today was a difficult day for me because I had pain in my nose. What is interesting about that is the fact that I started sneezing and having a runny nose in the last week of September in 2008, and I have had a runny nose ever since then. Last week, when I tried a fast on Monday, I noticed that my nose was less runny in the afternoon. Today, it was as well, but I also had a lot of pain. I got through the day but came home at 6:30 and went straight to bed and just now got up at 8:30 and had dinner. I've been to an ear, nose and throat specialist twice at the Mayo Clinic and was told that they could find nothing. I've been to my own doctor who suggested I try Clariten. I ended up using a nose rinse twice a day which makes the symptoms annoying only.

The reason why this problem is of any remark at all is that I read through The Alternate Day Diet, and the author brought up that chronic inflammation can be helped by intermittent fasting. The doctor studied asthma, but I'm wondering if I haven't developed some sort of chronic sinus infection that can be helped by intermittent fasting. If that is the case, I would have incentive to fast that has absolutely nothing to do with weight.

My manager came to me today and said that the owner of the company wants all consultants gone at the end of the month. My two-month contract will be done on May 31. For me, it's probably best because there is so much going on between June 1 and June 14 -- a trip to an amusement park for Anne and a friend to celebrate her March birthday, Kate's graduation from sixth grade, a swim meet for Katie, the SAT test for Anne, a math entrance exam for Katie, and graduation parties. I am looking forward to time off in the summer. My manager, meanwhile, wants my consulting firm to contact her in August to see if she can have me back, so I'm happy about that.

Life is full of twist and turns, and I think a lot of happiness comes from having some resiliency. Maybe intermittent fasting teaches resiliency. I don't know. It will be interesting to see the impact that fasting has on my life. It certainly was easy to fast today. In fact, I didn't notice any pain at all but part of that reason was that I was having so many problems with pain in my right sinus.

Day 11 – Tuesday, May 17, 2011: 204.2 My nose was not stuffy when I got up this morning. I'm wondering if fasting helps with chronic inflammation, even a long term sinus infection. Time will tell. There is something about fasting that I think may be true: it disrupts the expectation of food in the near future. I just plain wasn't hungry yesterday. This morning, I'm not hungry. I can look back in my journal and read about how starved I felt if I went a couple of hours without food. It's very freeing to know that you can do just fine going 24 hours without food.

I think The No S Diet got me on a great path, one of limiting when I eat but not how much I eat. I started Intuitive Eating at 205 pounds on December 15, 2007, and here I am less than a pound lower in weight after several years. My day to day life, however, is so much calmer. I have recorded in my journal from August 15, 2006 (when I weighed 198 pounds) that I was embarrassed when Tom figured out I had eaten nine ice cream sandwiches. I had no idea why I had eaten so many. Now, I think of having that many ice cream sandwiches, and there is no appeal whatsoever. I think I'm through the hard part of this diet, which is getting to the point of being able to handle hours without food. I first had to get used to fasting between meals, and now I can fast a whole day. This is great!

7 PM: I am not so focused on food, and I didn't use a kleenex all day. I sneezed a few times at about 5:30, but that was it. Of course, the weather is changing, too, but I remember having sneezed and sniffled all through the last two summers.

8:20 PM: I'm grumpy, and it reminds me of the grumpiness of dieting. Why? Well, I'm not sure... It could be that I'm overly sensitive to the fact that Anne forgot to pick up Ellie so the Girl Scout leader had to call and then wait for Anne to get her. It could be that I'm just plain worn out. It could be that I haven't eaten enough. I don't know. I'm sticking with this diet. Period. I will at least get through the summer trying it. It is so disgusting to be as fat as I am... I had bought what I thought was a cute dress and Tom correctly called it a moo-moo for fat women. He was right. There isn't much choice of dress at my size.

Day 12 – Wednesday, May 18, 2011: 205.8 I thought my weight would be going down today, and instead it went up. I also woke with my usual runny nose, so I am considering fasting again today. Maybe my body needs some sort of intense cleansing.

6:30 AM: It took a few minutes of thinking about this to realize that my weight dipped last week after my fast and then went way up the next day. I was at the dip yesterday morning. My weight is higher this morning than last Wednesday morning because I had taken Exception Days last week for my nephew's wedding. Now I'm back to sneezing and sniffling, and I'm thinking I may try fasting three times per week because it was so nice to go through yesterday without sneezing and sniffling. My weight is more of a problem than the sinus problem that developed at the end of September in 2008, but it sure would be nice to have a way to address both.

8 AM: I forgot that I'm being fed lunch again at work, so I'll revert to Thursday as my fast day.

9:45 PM: I'm doing fine following the rules of no snacks and no sweets, but tomorrow's fast may be too much. I'm taking that chance, however. I like to eat as much as I want when I eat. I hated the constant feeling of not having enough. Now if only this would result in weight loss...

Day 13 – Thursday, May 19, 2011: 205.8 I do not understand why my weight continues to be so high. I am considering fasting three times per week. It may be that I established a higher caloric eating pattern that needs to be broken. I don't know, but it sure is discouraging.

7:30 PM: I did fast today. Between picking up Katie from swim team after 6 and getting Tom to Scouts before 7, Katie and I stopped at Wendy's. I had 1/2 pound hamburger with fries. I just looked up the number of calories: 1,200! Disgusting! I think that fasting may help a person to naturally adjust intake of calories because my stomach right now is not happy. Pepper is begging because she wants leftovers. What it good? Yes. Was I hungry? Yes. BUT -- I had too much. 1,200 calories in one day, and it feels like too much. Hmmm. Maybe fasting will work.

9 PM: I had some milk, but that hamburger feels like lead in my stomach.

Day 14 – Friday, May 20, 2011: 204.8 This plan certainly is not going well, but -- then again -- I did manage to eat an entire day's worth of food at dinner. I had read a book about someone obese who fasted every other day for a time, and I ordered the book again from the library. It's called Ultra Fat to Ultra Fit. I may try total fating every other day instead of fasting until dinner. I appreciate that fasting seems to decrease appetite, but I'm just too impatient to see what is produced at this pace. Every other day fasting is not something I'd be willing to do for life, so I'm hesitant to try it as a way to lose weight. I'm going to wait at least until Monday and think about this.

6 AM: I am thinking about returning to two meals per day. That may be a better approach, since I am so reluctant to try anything I won't do for the long haul. Maybe I can stick with two fasts per week plus no food between breakfast and lunch. I'll have to think about whether or not that includes caloric liquids. This summer is a great time fro me to really invest in losing weight. Anne will be gone all summer, Tom will be caddying, and I'll only have Katie and Ellie to entertain.

6:30 AM: I revised my diet to define a Normal Day as one in which I have no calories between breakfast and lunch. I also decided that the number of Fast Days can equal the number of Exception Days. This means that I no longer subtract 6 from the Temperance Bank Balance at the start of each month. This seems like a simpler approach.

10 PM: We had lunch out today, so I didn't skip lunch and count the day as a Normal Day. Instead, I revised my diet to count each Exception Event, including lunch on a Normal Day, as an Exception Event. Each Exception Event is a -1 for my Temperance Balance.

Day 15 – Saturday, May 21, 2011: 204.2 I slept from right after dinner until 9:30 and then was up and down until 1 and fell back asleep until now, almost 7 AM. When I woke up, I realized that I didn't need to use a kleenex right away. This was particularly remarkable because I didn't use my sinus rinse last night. I remember to within two weeks when I started having problems with my nose. It was at the end of September in 2008, and I'm clear about that because it started the month that I started working at a particular company. I was coughing and sneezing all during that job until Tom suggested I try a sinus rinse in April, and I've been much better since using a sinus rinse twice per day. Could fasting be what is clearing up my nose? It's an intriguing question. Today is wet, so it sure isn't a return to nice weather that is helping me.

10 AM: I added another sentence to my diet. I'm not going to allow myself to fast more than twice in one week. I was going to fast today but decided against it. If I can stick with this program of no lunches on Normal Days, I think that will be enough to help me lose weight. My job ends in just a little over a week, and I want to start pedometer walking and strengthening exercises. This is my summer to focus on my health!

12 PM: I think that the difference between a fasting approach and a portion control approach is that one (fasting) takes less time and money whereas the other (portion control) takes more time and money.

4:45 PM: I am struggling with giving up lunch, but I am managing by drinking lots of 2% milk. This may be the answer: two meals a day as a standard.

Day 16 – Sunday, May 22, 2011: 203.8 I've been gorging on chocolate all day and plan to refrain from weighing myself tomorrow. I was in and out listening to the priest's sermon today, but I remember his asking, "What is your destiny?" It occurred to me that weight loss is a secondary goal for me. The primary goal is to be curred of the obsession with food and weight, which is fundamentally self-centered. A portion control approach resulted in my feeling like I was starving all the time, and the most important thing in my life was to stick with my diet. That' s not how I want to live or have my children live, and it's clear that at least two of my children (the 17 year old and 12 year old daughters) will struggle with their weight. I don't want them to live their life the way I have. This approach has the potential to make fasting just a habit like taking a bath or brushing my teeth, something I do routinely without much thought or effort. Am I deluding myself? Maybe.... Tonight, I asked Tom if he wanted me to tell him how I have changed my diet, and he said No.... He's tired of it.... I've said many times that I think I have the answer to weight loss, and I've been wrong...

We had a tornado come through our town, and there was significant damage to the house just two houses up from my brother's house. He lives about 5 miles away from me. Life can change in an instant.

Day 17 – Monday, May 23, 2011: Today will be easy for a Fast Day because I am so stuffed from yesterday. I am not thinking about the tradition of "Mardi Gras", a day of binge eating prior to the fasting of Lent. Is it possible that there is a human need for occasional binges? I much more trust religious tradition to guide me in understanding human nature than I do any sort of scientific studies. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and reduced caloric consumption is the only way to lose weight. If an occasional binge day is part of a pattern which results in a lowered overall caloric consumption, so be it.

Right now, my annual physical is scheduled for the last Monday in June. Three years ago, I weighed 211. Two years ago, I weighed 199. Last year, I weighed either 200.4 or 200.6. I want to be below 199. Do I have a reasonable shot of being below 199 if I have my physical on a Monday?

No. That realization is giving me the incentive to see if I can cut back on the number of Feast Days. I had tried going to just one day per month of "unconditional permission to eat", and I had selected the second Sunday of the month. It is possible that I was not ready for that but now am. At any rate, I'm going to try it. This means that my next Feast Day is June 12.

10 PM: I didn't even notice all day that I hadn't eaten since last night. Of course, I was still stuffed from yesterday. Tonight, I had a very large meal -- an entire bowl of popcorn, two slices of pizza, an orange, and several glasses of milk. We're going camping this week so I have to prepare at night, and I'm letting our meal quality slip to new lows. That's OK. I'm done in just a little over a week.

Day 18 – Tuesday, May 24, 2011: 204.2 I am happy that this is all the weight gain I have had after a Sunday that was way over the top. I think I just went through a mini spike like the Sunday when I had about 4,000 calories of caramel macademian clusters. For some reason, my body needs to be assured that it can eat that much. Today is a no-lunch day, and we'll see how well I adjust to that. One week from today should be my last day, although someone broached the subject with me of staying on for a little bit of time to finish up something I got involved in because I had nothing better to do. What I have been working on should finish up today. This weekend, we go camping, and I am so happy about that. This has been a long, overcast winter, and I am feeling stir-crazy...

7 PM: It was a breeze going through the day without lunch. I think that the body may adjust to timing of meals and get hungry if meals are predictable. Eating six times per day may make a person ravenous six times per day.

9 PM: I think I may try "unconditional permission to eat" every other Sunday before I go to one Sunday per month.

Day 19 – Wednesday, May 25, 2011: 203.2 I sure am happy with today's weight, and I changed my diet again. I decided that I no longer needed every Sunday to be a Feast Day. I thought about regulating the frequency of Sundays as Feast Days by allowing myself every other week or once per month feasts, but that struck me as being too complicated. Now I decided simply to allow Sundays to be Normal Days. If a Sunday is a Normal Day, then I get to add 1 to my Temperance Balance. This may all seem very complicated, but it really isn't. At the end of each day, I decide what to add to or subtract from one number. I can only add to that number by fasting from midnight to dinner and then having no solids as snacks after dinner or by having only breakfast and dinner on a Sunday with no sweets. I subtract from that number in many ways: by having a snack on a Normal Day, by having a sweet on a Normal Day, or even by having lunch on a Normal Day. I have the entire summer stretched out in front of me to get used to this diet. It's going to be a long, easy summer. This is a terrific time to adjust, and I think I'm adjusting very well even now, with trying to work and get the kids off to school and even prepare for camping this weekend. I'm very, very hopeful that the years of weight obsession are behind me.

8:30 PM: It was easy and saved time to not eat lunch today. It's amazing how well I've adjusted, but I may not yet be over the adjustment period. Tonight I took the kids to Chipotle. That is exactly the second time I've eaten there. I just looked up the calories in a chicken burrito, and it says 775 calories. I flat out don't believe that that huge amount of food -- which I ate all up with pleasure -- was only 775 calories.

Day 20 – Thursday, May 26, 2011: 203.2 I am looking forward to fasting today. It is very strange to think that I -- someone who struggled just a few years ago with fasting from breakfast to lunch -- would want to fast from midnight until dinner. What a switch! I've had all sorts of detours since I started The No S Diet in September, 2008, but now I think I'm on a more even keel. Starting out, I have an immediate desire to build up points in my Temperance Balance: I want to get as low as possible in weight before my annual physical at the end of June, and I'll be taking the two younger children to California to stay with my parents for a week in August. During that week, I wont' fast and may well be burning up points with lunches. That's OK. This diet allows me to be flexible. In fact, flexibility and simplicity are the two main attributes of a diet that would work long-term for me.

I changed the diet again but not in a fundamental way. I'm going to track Temperance Points. It sounds better than a Temperance Balance.

7:30 PM: I changed the diet again when I realized today that it would be simpler just to limit when I can fast to Mondays and Thursdays and to allow feasting every Sunday. I want a plan that is easy to follow. It was very easy to fast all day, so easy that I had to think about whether or not I was fasting. By the time I ate dinner, however, it was 7:30 and I did wolf down lots of food.

10 PM: Tomorrow we leave for a camping trip, and we return on Monday. It's a good time to turn a page in my life, especially with my job ending on Monday. I hope that today's change is my last change to my diet. If so, this is a very simple diet. I can track one number based on what happens each day. I can switch my focus elsewhere. My focus really needs to be on organization. The kids have had a stay at home Mom take care of them, and I simply cannot manage without a different behavior on their part. It's clear there are benefits to my working: Harry Potter Camp for Ellie, Disneyland for Katie and Ellie, backpacking with Dad in New Mexico for Tom, and a start on college expenses for Anne. We need to set up our household going forward so that my time spent doing routine housework in reduced and my time spent picking up after them is non existent. The success of this diet comes down to how little I spend thinking about it. If I simply track my weight once per month, that would be ideal. Can I start the ideal this weekend? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Time will tell.

Day 21 – Friday, May 27, 2011: 202.6 I think I'll limit myself to only writing once in the morning. I think that it may be the case that people get hungry according to the prior pattern of eating. Following an irregular pattern of eating means the body cannot anticipate when the next food will be entering the body and so it does not get hungry. Is that right? Could this be? Could it be that a recommendation of six meals per day leads to a person feeling like they are starving all the time?

Day 24 – Monday, May 30, 2011: Such a glorious weekend! We camped right next to a buffalo range in Southwestern Minnesota, and it was just wonderful to be outside! I did get a disturbing view of Anne's eating habits, but I also explained my diet to Tom in front of Anne. This diet is easy. I cannot believe how quickly I have adjusted to fasting. When I explained it, Anne said it was a hypothesis since it is not based in fact. The hypothesis I have is that hunger is the body's anticipation of food coming based on a prior pattern of eating. With periodic fasting, there is a pattern based on week that is not discernible by the body. I am not sure why it is so easy to fast, and certainly I did notice that my stomach growled on occasion today. Still, I had no experience whatsoever of discomfort. What Anne does with her eating is up to her. I wanted to find a path out of obesity that does not take over the person's life as my dieting took over mine. I have no idea how quickly I can lose weight, but I don't much care. The time is for me to switch focus from dieting to organization and planning. I've spent 7 1/2 years trying to find a diet without portion control and think I have finally found one.

Tomorrow is my last day of work. I got another complimentary email on Friday, which makes it so that my job ends on a high note. I am really happy right now -- happy about my life, happy about the prospect of becoming thin without the painful sensation of starvation, happy about the choices that my husband and I have made to give me the opportunity to spend the summer enjoying the kids and letting them be kids -- going to the beach, sleeping in, inviting friends over... Life is good.

Day 25 – Tuesday, May 31, 2011: 204.6 Today is my last day of work, and the summer stretches before me. I have adjusted easily to fasting. Now, I think, it would be a good time to reduce the number of Feast Days. There is something, I believe, in the human spirit which needs to absolutely pig out. Dieting forbids it, so sooner or later the dieter falls into uncontrollable binges. I've had my share of uncontrollable binges. Since I started the Intuitive Eating approach on December 15, 2007, I've had my share of binges which have been controlled in that I set the schedule for the binge. Now it's time to dial back on the number of binges. I think that once per month could be enough especially since I never restrict portion size.

Last night, I was up until 10 PM working on what I want done before I walk out the door this afternoon. I'm very happy with how this consulting assignment went. It has really boosted my confidence as I return to work after years as a stay at home Mom. There may be differences from when I last worked full time back in the late 1990s, but some things don't change: people still want to be treated with respect, system requirements most of all need to be unambiguous and documented... The work is really easy for me. What is difficult is getting my kids to pitch in at home because I don't have time to do everything I used to do when I was home. That's my project this summer. The diet is going to fade into the background. I'll see what I weigh at the end of summer, but the diet is no longer my focus.
Last edited by Kathleen on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:34 am, edited 80 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

oolala53
Posts: 9635
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Sat May 07, 2011 5:53 pm

My understanding of the concept of unconditional permission to eat from Intuitive Eating is more about the content of the food than of amounts or frequency. Therefore, foods that strict dieters may have formerly thought of as forbidden are A-okay. But it is also a premise of the program that the person eat only when physically hungry and only until comfortably full. Just about any other kind of eating is considered to be emotional eating, and to be ended by intuitive choices, supposedly. This will cut way down on the amount of rich foods one eats, if one is following the program. So what is portion control? Is it portion control to stop eating when you're full even though you might actually have the urge to eat more and end up stuffed? Because David Kessler claimed in The End of Overeating that many contemporary processed (including most chain restaurant) food is designed to override the brain's appestat and is ONE of the reasons for rising obesity. So it may be very hard to desire to eat little enough of these foods on free days not to end up balancing out the deficit created on the N days, despite the success of some of the long-termers on No S. However, I've found that having a serving of any non-sweet processed foods (about the volume of my fist) at my N day meals, along with other food types, does not make me want to overeat, or if I feel an urge later, I just divert my attention as much as I need to. It isn't usually a burning issue. I'm not at my goal weight yet, though, either, but getting closer in habit all the time.

I don't know if you've already talked about this before so I wonder if you've pondered t the difference between the need for food and the urge to eat. Urges (meaning the ones that don't come from an empty stomach) to eat can come from all different sources. It can even come from eating too much at one sitting! Consistently resisting the non-empty stomach urges is one of the best ways to decrease them. If that feels like portion control, it's likely it may be tough to feel a sense of peace with food.

Since you often refer to religious foundations, I wondered if you had heard of Joan Ebbit, a Catholic ex-nun who has written of her issues with overeating and spirituality. She has gone on to specialize in counseling on this and has even designed and has conducted an eating issue group with priests in the archdiocese of Chicago. She has a profile on Facebook, so I guess she's still around, though her books, which are still available on Amazon, were published back in the late '80's.

Good luck with your ten weeks!
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sun May 08, 2011 1:47 am

oolala53,

I've figured out that I have no or almost no recognition of the need to eat. When I fast, I don't feel hungry. I'm reading through The Alternate Day Diet now, and this morning I read a great line from the book to Tom: "No diet will work without a plan that overcomes our inclination to eat whenever and whatever food is available."

I know that Intuitive Eating is about recognizing physical hunger and responding to it. I couldn't manage it, which is why I've been looking for rules for eating. Meal timing seems to me to be the best approach, BUT I'm going to have to look at a lot of Fast Days.

I'll start off with no required Fast Days but just one Fast Day for every Exception Day. So far so good...

Let me think about the book by the ex-nun. It's was revealing of my personality to me that I had a negative reaction to "ex-nun." I place a high premium on commitment, and an ex-nun broke her commitment.

Is this harsh? Yes. Could this be a problem in my life? Yes. A good example is that I made a commitment to the recruiting firm when there is no loyalty to recruiting firms in contract work. Is that the limit of my problem with commitment? No. I've hung onto jobs much longer than I should have hung on to them. I've hung onto diet ideas long after I should have abandoned them.

Kathleen

Day 1.

Again.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

cricket
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:01 pm

Post by cricket » Sun May 08, 2011 4:28 pm

Hi Kathleen,

I have followed your posts for a few months now, and I sympathize with your ongoing struggle to figure out a "magic plan" that works for you.

I was just wondering if you had read through any blogs or articles dealing with the rising "fat acceptance" movement. I know how 'fat acceptance' sounds, but it's so much more than that. Or the HAES website (Health at Every Size).

I have been reading through some of the different blogs/articles online and am beginning (slowly) to make peace with my body, while at the same time working to become a healthier me.

Hope you have a Happy Mothers Day!!

Tina

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Mon May 09, 2011 12:59 am

Tina,
I have read about the fat acceptance movement. My personal view is that the diet industry has created a lot of the problem and the fat acceptance movement is a rebellion against doing the impossible, that is, against fighting your body's survival mechanism against starvation. I've been back and forth on this a number of times, but I think that a portion control approach to weight management triggers a starvation response which is the body's way to make sure you survive. That's why the whole fasting idea from religion really intrigues me. I think it may be the alternate path to weight management which does not trigger a starvation reaction.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Eurobabe2
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:31 pm

alternate day diet

Post by Eurobabe2 » Tue May 17, 2011 3:27 am

Hi Kathleen.
Hope you're feeling better.
I was curious about the Alternate Day Diet, and I checked it out online. It's intriguing, so I've been doing it the last few days. I have hit a plateau, with only about 5-10 pounds left to lose, but I haven't lost anything in the last month.

Are you thinking of using the Alternate Day Diet to begin losing again? Because my understanding (although I don't have the book yet) is that you have to eat around 500 calories on down days, and unrestricted amounts on every second day (up days). For me, in order to make sure I actrually keep my overall calorie intake low enough to lose, I will be tracking calories on up days as well-anywhere from 1650-2000 calories (which is a lot of food for me.) I'm going to try to vary the calorie count on up days so that my body doesn't get accustomed to any one intake.

I know from reading your blog how much you detest counting calories/portion control, but I dont' know how this diet could work wihout it, especially on low days.I'm counting EVERY calorie on low days so that I don't go over.

Hopefully all this effort will result in losing once more. I share your frustration at being on an endless plateau of weight loss.

oolala53
Posts: 9635
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Tue May 17, 2011 5:35 am

Brad Pilon's program, Eat Stop Eat, recommends one or two days a week on which a person basically skips breakfast and lunch. He says to fast for 24 hours, from dinner one day until dinner the next, and then eat a normal meal, as well as "normal" eating on other days. (He used to say one could freely eat, but he amended it later when he learned how many people were basically bingeing after the fast. NOT GOOD.) I would think a 500-calorie satisfying dinner would be possible. You can see some of his videos on youtube. One of them is very interesting, showing that chemically, a 24-hour fast can mimic the effect of vigorous exercise, not only in calorie usage but other measures as well. He claims it's easier than eating small amounts all day. I dunno. He recommends only one or two a week as a long-term way of restricting calories without having to count or be a fanatic. He claims binge eaters have been helped, but all I know is it sounds like how a lot of binge eaters started! However, he doesn't restrict the kinds of food eaten. He lifts weights during his fast all the time and has continued to gain mass. Anyway, this sounds like something monastics may have done and continue to do.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Tue May 17, 2011 10:26 am

oolala53,
I got Brad Pilon's download book for $40 and it does have some interesting ideas in it. In fact, he brought up the fasting among Greek Orthodox, and that may be why I started looking into fasting regulations for the Greek Orthodox Church. It was definitely worth the $40 to me to read the book. He made the argument that there are lots of fallacies out there about the dangers of fasting. Maybe fasting isn't dangerous. Maybe it's actually good for you.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

oolala53
Posts: 9635
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Tue May 17, 2011 1:05 pm

Had you gotten ESE before, or just recently?
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Tue May 17, 2011 11:09 pm

oolala53,
January 20th of this year. I've been looking at fasting for longer than that, and ESE didn't much affect my views. I was more intrigued by religious traditions.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:23 am

June 1, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Restart:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Saturday, May 31, 2011: 207.0 (This month's goal is 183.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 24.0 pounds.) Temperance Points = 0
(Month 1) Day 26 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011: 203.2 (This month's goal is 182.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 21.2 pounds.) Temperance Points = 3

(Revised June 2, 2011) For this diet, I give one of three labels to each day:

1. Feast Days: Feast Days are days of "unconditional permission to eat", a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating. All Sundays and only Sundays are Feast Days.

2. Normal Days: These are all days when I have no snacks and no sweets. I have breakfast and dinner but no lunch. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite, and I can have as much as I want (no portion control). I also can have caloric liquids any time during the day. If I do not follow the rules, such as by having a sweet or by having lunch, each violation is an Exception Event. These concepts were inspired by The No S Diet.

3. Fast Days: These are days when I don't have anything caloric until dinner, and then I can have what I want at my meal other than sweets. I can have as much as I want so long as I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids but nothing solid and nothing sweet. I can only have Fast Days on Mondays and Thursdays. I cannot fast in the week after Easter or between Christmas and New Year's Day, inclusive. Some of the wisdom of fasting is described in The Alternate Day Diet, but a lot of my inspiration comes from religious fasting, especially rules from the Greek Orthodox religion.

I loved this observation from The Alternate Day Diet, page 23: "No diet will work without a plan that overcomes our inclination to eat whenever and whatever food is available." What is my plan? It is take to heart the words from Sirach: "Govern your appetite."

I govern my appetite by tracking what I call Temperance Points. Each day, I take the starting balance from the prior day and make adjustments based on the following:
- I make no changes if the prior day was a Feast Day.
- I neither add nor subtract a point if the prior day was a Normal Day.
- I add one point for each Fast Day.
- I subtract one point for each Exception Event on a Normal Day.

My one and only goal is to stay at or above zero for the number of Temperance Points.

Balance for Temperance Points:
Day 26 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011: 3


Journal:
Day 26 – Wednesday, June 1, 2011: 203.2 Yesterday ended with my meeting with someone who wanted to know if I would be willing to convert to full-time. I also got an email from someone I didn't know because he wanted to know the status of what I was working on, and when I told him it was my last day, he emailed back to say he had heard good things about my work from several people. I was only there seven weeks, so I just floated out the door happy as could be. Now I get to focus on home. I took Katie to buy shoes last night. Tom actually has a hole in his shoes, and I told him to wait until today before we got to buying him new ones. It's been a wild ride for these several weeks, and now I want to work on home organization and kid chores so a job in the fall is less of a wild ride!

Meanwhile, I think that going to one Feast Day per month will help a lot with weight loss. The weight loss would be just too slow if I stuck with weekly Feast Days. I also want to work on a walking program and exercise program, but the eating portion of this diet is what is critical.

Day 27 – Thursday, June 2, 2011: 203.6 Up. Down. Up. Down. It's discouraging. I hope that having only one Feast Day per month will help. Yesterday, I took Katie to Panera Bread because I had to take her to a swim meet during rush hour. I could not believe the size of the sandwiches! It occurred to me that skipping lunch makes it easier to handle those large portion sizes. I did eat the entire sandwich but at least I didn't have lunch. Today is a Fast Day. I may skip dinner. I'm not sure, but I'd like to see if there is any change in how much I sniffle. Thursday night is a pain anyway because I run from swim team practice right to Boy Scouts and usually don't have dinner until close to 8. If I were to experiment with one whole day being without food, it would definitely make sense for that day to be a Thursday. I'm not changing my diet at this point because this is just an experiment.

8 PM: Ugh. I binged starting at about 3 PM, and now I am so bloated I cannot believe it. What happened? I pushed things too far. I changed my diet back to what I had before I reduced the number of Feast Days from every Sunday to one Sunday per month. I also dug out my pedometer. The diet is set. What I need to do is add exercise, and I have plenty of time this summer for that. What to do about the number of Temperance Points? I think I'm going to allow myself to stay at 3. I should have kept to the plan I had before. The temptation is to go too fast and blow it. I just don't know when I've gone too far until I have. This is frustrating, but today's binge reminds me of what I've left behind by giving up calorie counting. It's now rare that I have an out of control binge.

10 PM: I am really bummed by the out of control binge that took over today, but that's OK. I've been through this before. It indicates the need for a course correction. I think I need to go back to the diet I had before I gave up on "unconditional permission to eat" every Sunday, and I think my attention should be focused on exercise rather than any other food rules or writing. I got out my pedometer. I haven't walked the dog since I stopped working, and she sure has noticed. There is no point in further analyzing this diet. This is the diet I have chosen to follow. I'm not changing it for a year.

Day 28 – Friday, June 3, 2011: Two kids are now done with school, and two more will finish next week. I was very, very discouraged yesterday, and I believe that what triggered my binge was the slight increase in weight. I think I'm going to try just weighing myself once per month. It's not the analysis that's the problem. It's the shifts in direction from day to day, and much of the cause of that is from stepping on the scale and being disappointed by the results. I got out my pedometer and am now wearing it. I also made oatmeal this morning. That dreadful binge seems out of control. I've never had a problem with alcohol and have never tried drugs, but I wonder if drug or alcohol addiction is similar to the binge. I gave up on dieting because even thinking about dieting would lead to binge behavior. Now I have an approach which may or may not lead to weight loss but at least I'm not bingeing. Heck, I've only been on this approach for a few weeks, and my weight went from 207 down to 203.6 yesterday. The problem for me is that I've been at these weights before. It doesn't seem like weight loss so much as it seems like being on a hamsterwheel. Also, my annual physical is on a Monday, and that's what got me to thinking about not having every Sunday be a day of "unconditional permission to eat." Tough. I'm on a path which at least is in control. To add oatmeal and walking and strengthening exercises as routines are all good. It's good enough. I can focus on the kids and the house and not have my life be disrupted by periodic binges. My husband once told me my weight was the biggest challenge of my life. I scoffed -- it seemed like there were so many other challenges -- but he was right. It is the biggest challenge. I need to keep going despite yesterday's setback and despite the possibility that I won't lose much weight following this approach. I stuck with No S for an entire year before I realized my weight wasn't going to go below 195. This approach is even stricter than No S, and I'm adding exercise. I have reason for some optimism.
Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:32 am, edited 6 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Strawberry Roan
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:51 pm

Post by Strawberry Roan » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:55 pm

Hi, I have been reading your enitre thread and I am just exhausted. I am no expert at this, although having been interested in the field of health and fitness my entire life I should be doing something along those lines rather than being a legal secretary.

Congratulations on your weight loss, it seems that you are 12 pounds thinner than first recorded, that's great.

If I were to offer any suggestion at all, it would be to just relax and take one meal at a time, plan your day's meals in your mind so you are prepared to eat healthy and then just let it all go. I have found that even NO S, which is actually supposed to be our diversion from "dieting" can becoming all consuming - no different from any other plan if we don't watch it.

Eat a healthy breakfast, eat nothing else until you eat a healthy lunch, eat nothing else until you eat a healthy dinner - eat nothing else until you eat a healthy breakfast tomorrow. Repeat :wink: I don't eat much differently on the weeekends than I do during the week unless there is a birfthday party or graduation or something like that, maybe a dessert then. Good luck, you seem like such a caring person and a wonderful mother. One pound a week weight loss is 52 pounds of weight that will be gone this time next year.
Berry

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:59 pm

Strawberry Roan,

What's surprising to me is how easy it is to skip lunch! Right now, I have the table covered with cans and boxes of food because I'm putting new shelf paper in the pantry. In an hour, I'll be attending a thank you party for the first grade volunteers. With fasting twice per week, I can earn a lot of points to use as I see fit. If I want to use one this afternoon, that's just fine. So far, I find following this diet to be very easy. In fact, I have had a primary focus on dieting for 7 1/2 years, since I saw the behavior of my then 3rd grade daughter and projected ahead to see that she would have problems with her weight, which (sadly) she does. I did not want her to have her enjoyment of life harmed by portion control, which mine was even in those years when I weighed 132 - 135 pounds. It was worth it to me to experiment to try to find a path to weight control that was easy, and I think I've found it. In fact, my focus has now switched to organization. That's my goal for the summer -- not this weight program.

I'm hoping to spend less time writing about dieting than I would have eating lunch, making this diet not only a savings in money but also in time! As for healthy, well, I am not yet sure, but I think fasting may change my taste to healthier foods. For example, in the rush to get out the door to go camping on Friday, we left behind some cooking utensils, so we decided to go out to dinner on Saturday to Pizza Ranch. I don't know how many restaurants there are in the chain, but they have several at least in Minnesota. The restaurant has a buffet, and you have unlimited amounts of greasy (very greasy) chicken, mashed potatoes, pizza, etc. There is also a salad bar. I waited to get chicken drumsticks, and so I got back to the table after the rest of my family had already sat down. I had one big plate of salad, and I had one big plate of two chicken drumsticks and mash potatoes and pizza. My son said that the dessert pizza was really good. I said, "I can't have dessert pizza because I'm on a diet." Of course, that deadpan response got a laugh out of my family because I had two big platefuls of food. What was interesting to me, in retrospect, was that I wanted the salad. I did not decide to fill up on salad. What looked good was salad.

Ir's great to be home. I had coffee with a dear friend this morning, and it was so nice to catch up.

Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Strawberry Roan
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:51 pm

Post by Strawberry Roan » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:40 am

Very interesting, Kathleen. You are so informed when it comes to all of this. I, too, am a big salad fan, many nights I just eat a dinner plate full of salad greens, a boiled egg cut up, shredded cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green onions, carrots, whatever I have on hand, top it with croutons and balsamic vinegar. Low fat, high volume :wink:

I think my saving grace that keeps me close to my goal weight is that I love to exercise and I literally thank God that I have the physical ability to do so as I know many would love to but cannot.

You sound like you are in the right mindset to be successful and I am looking forward to sharing your journey to better health.
Berry

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:51 pm

Strawberry Roan,
I like TexArk's view that we are all an experiment of one. I realized that I was successful for many years on a diet of periodic severe calorie restriction triggered by my weight going above 135. Here I am above 200, and I got such an aversion to how I felt dieting like that that I'd rather be above 200 pounds. My goal is not weight loss. It is a way of life that results in being thin, and I think weekly fasts have the potential to make being thin easy and close to effortless. Who knows? I may find that all I've done is shift when I consume calories and my weight won't budge. If so, then I'm going to be obese for the rest of my life because there is no way I'm going back to portion control.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Strawberry Roan
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:51 pm

Post by Strawberry Roan » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:16 pm

Kathleen,

I often fast on Mondays, drinking nothing but hot lemon tea from when I get up until dinner time (well, not non stop but as my only "food" or drink). I do think that sometimes our bodies just get overwhelmed with stuff it needs to digest, process, etc. that a break is a good idea - barring medical conditions of course. Makes a lot of sense.

I agree, we are all an experiment of one.
Berry

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:35 pm

Strawberry Roan,
I look back a few years and think that "taking a break" would not be how I would have described fasting. Isn't it interesting that the society promotes the idea that a person is famished if a meal is delayed? I think that the defining characteristic of the obese person is gullibility. The scientific elite have theoretical proof of the validity of their views (calories do count) but the practical results of those theories are a disaster. Portion control doesn't work in the long run unless you have the will to overcome the body's drive to survive. That's my theory.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:28 am

June 4, 2011: Cultivating the Virtue of Temperance

The No S Diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0 (My goal is to lose one pound per month.)

Restart:
(Month 1) Day 1 - Saturday, June 4, 2011: 203.8 (This month's goal is 182.0 pounds, and I am behind schedule by 21.8 pounds.) Temperance Points = 0

For this diet, I give one of four labels to each day:

1. Feast Days: Feast Days are days of "unconditional permission to eat", a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating. All Sundays and only Sundays are Feast Days.

2. Normal Days: These are all days when I have no snacks and no sweets. I have breakfast and dinner but no lunch. For each meal, I have everything in front of me before I take one bite, and I can have as much as I want (no portion control). I also can have caloric liquids any time during the day.

3. Fast Days: These are days when I don't have anything caloric until dinner, and then I can have what I want at my meal other than sweets. I can have as much as I want so long as I have everything in front of me before I take one bite. After dinner, I can have caloric liquids but nothing solid and nothing sweet. I can only have Fast Days on Mondays and Thursdays. I cannot fast in the week after Easter or between Christmas and New Year's Day, inclusive. Some of the wisdom of fasting is described in The Alternate Day Diet, but a lot of my inspiration comes from religious fasting, especially rules from the Greek Orthodox religion.

4. Exception Days: These are days other than Sundays when I have "unconditional permission to eat."

I loved this observation from The Alternate Day Diet, page 23: "No diet will work without a plan that overcomes our inclination to eat whenever and whatever food is available." What is my plan? It is take to heart the words from Sirach: "Govern your appetite."

I govern my appetite by tracking what I call Temperance Points. Each day, I take the starting balance from the prior day and make adjustments based on the following:
- I make no changes if the prior day was a Feast Day.
- I neither add nor subtract a point if the prior day was a Normal Day.
- I add one point for each Fast Day.
- I subtract one point for each Exception Day.

My goal is to stay at or above zero for the number of Temperance Points. In addition, I try to do strengthening exercises three times per week and walk an average of 12,000 steps per day six days per week.

Balance for Temperance Points (as of the start of the day):
Day 1 - Saturday, June 4, 2011: 0
Day 2 - Sunday, June 5, 2011: -1

Journal:
Day 1 – Saturday, June 4, 2011: After two days of binge eating, my weight is up from 203.2 to 203.8. I thought I'd be up around 206. Still, as my husband observed last night, I am grumpy, and I think I know why. I don't want to switch from playing around with dieting to organizing the house. This week, I changed shelf paper in the kitchen. It was a lot more fun being at work and getting all the positive feedback I got, and instead now Tom is telling me that the kitchen is messy. Yes, well, I cleaned out all the cabinets, washed everything I could wash in the dishwasher, and got rid of expired food. It's been a lot of work, and he sees none of the work. Oh well.... I got out my pedometer yesterday and got above 10,000 steps. I think that exercise could help my mood. I also think I need to limit my work on the house, perhaps by telling myself that morning is for work and the afternoon and evening are for play. Katie and Ellie aren't even out of school yet, so the summer hasn't really begun. Also, I'm up early today because Anne is taking the SAT test this morning. We're really in a transition period from school to summer vacation, and I need to just lock in the diet and concentrate on other things.

Here is how I'm going to try to focus on the house instead of the diet: no weighing myself except once per month, no changing the diet at all until at least Labor Day, and only writing once per day.

3 PM: I am following an Agile principle of time-boxing to get myself to clean and organize. I'll limit the time I spend. I also realized I had a fatal flaw in the diet as conceived with the subtraction of one point for each Exception Event. A binge day other than Sunday would wipe out any chance of recovery. Today I started eating about an hour ago and would have had about 6 Exception Events. Instead, this day is an Exception Day.

Day 2 – Sunday, June 5, 2011: Yesterday was a bad start to the diet, but I'm not restarting. I hope that I have now finalized my diet. Changing it all the time is counter-productive. It will be a stretch to walk 12,000 steps per day, but I need to make this diet simply a way of life. Tom is taking Tommy backpacking this August at the Boy Scout High Adventure Camp in New Mexico, so he is getting in shape. It would be good for our whole family to be more active.

Day 3 – Monday, June 6, 2011: I just got up, and Tom is on his way to Puerto Rico for work this week. Katie and Ellie are still in school, and Tom begins driving school today. I am trying to get organized, but I think this diet may take more attention that I thought last week. It needs to be my highest priority. Thanks to my husband, I don't have to work full-time so this summer can be a time of the kids enjoying their childhood and my focusing on better health.
Last edited by Kathleen on Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:54 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

Clarica
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:02 am
Contact:

Post by Clarica » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:04 am

Hi!,

I just re-read your thread here, and I'm impressed by your journey! The path doesn't always go where we expect, does it? I really really appreciate you sharing it with us!

Just a couple of thoughts struck me today...

1) the two hundred pound rebound--When you get just under 200 pounds, you rebound back, no matter what your current plan is. My theory is that some voiceless part of you is, perhaps, "angry" at your lower-weight self for the years of restrictive dieting she put you through, or "afraid" that you'll turn into a severely calorie-restrictive-dieter again if you become that weight again. This can be a difficult subconscious belief to overcome. To trust yourself to be a different person than you were before at those weights. Especially if your conscious mind "hates" being the woman who is over 200 pounds, and occasionally experiments with severe calorie restriction to try and slide under it.

2) you reward progress with a more difficult plan. It's like you feel like you've gained a little momentum, and you want to capitalize on it so you can lose weight FAST instead of SLOW. It's harder to follow, but you make different allowances because of that, and it's hard for me to tell if your days are on plan or not because your plan is more complicated than my brain can handle (plus, it's not my plan, so I don't have the advantage of being in on the planning or on board with all of the conditions). (I don't really think any plan is really that complicated, it's just it never has a chance to become second nature with a change every month, it's always something new to remember what's allowed this month.)
Or maybe you just get bored with whatever your plan was last month and are compelled to tweak it so you can feel like you are "working" on it.

I'd be interested in going over your history again and making an outline of each month's "rules" and whether you had progress, maintenance, or pounds creeping on, to see what really does work for you and what really doesn't. Would you mind if I did so?

There certainly have been many months of success, even if you aren't excited about them because they didn't have a new low.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:49 am

Clarica,
Go ahead with mapping out my weight vs my plan to see what you find. Both of your observations were very interesting. I did change my diet on Thursday to try a fast to breakfast on Friday rather than dinner on Thursday, and the result was a binge. The 200 pound barrier may have a psychological element to it -- I hadn't considered that as a possibility.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

oolala53
Posts: 9635
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:40 am

It's often true that the body will put up a little resistance to changes in weight, but consistently ignored cravings and urges to overeat will ebb and flow and ebb. It's the giving in at the peak of the craving, not the will to survive, that makes the cycle of overeating stronger. Even if there are psychological issues that cause urges to eat, similarly challenging the thoughts by different behavior will change the brain patterns and the practitioner will eventually experience a decrease in anxiety and discomfort. Fasting often does lead to urges to binge, but people who use it consistently and don't turn in to bingers don't because they use their thoughts and behavior to defeat the boomerang effect. They also put more of their attention on the good feelings of living differently than on either the discomfort at times of resisting or on the pleasure of the food in the moment. After a time, it becomes a habit. They also consciously notice that they don't need food as much as they thought and CHOOSE to stop before they feel overfull.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Kathleen
Posts: 1602
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by Kathleen » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:45 pm

oolala53,
Fasting ends but portion control never does. That's why I think that portion control eventually leads to binge behavior.
Kathleen
Day 1 - 10/03/19: 218.0 pounds

Following SET Guidelines:
S: Sit down to eat.
E: Eat without distraction.
T: Take a sip before eating and after each bite.
See 10/16/19 post.

oolala53
Posts: 9635
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:49 am

So bingeing is inevitable? Because if portion control never ends, and it leads to bingeing, then bingeing seems like a given. Isn't everyone subject to portion control? Why doesn't everyone binge?
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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