I am still not sure how I am going to use this space but I thought I should write something. I found No S back in 2004 when I was reading a simplicity message board. I was actually in the middle of my very first diet — Weight Watchers Winning Points — but I told my mother about it, and she took off on No S and has successfully done vanilla No S since 2004. Meanwhile, I lost 80+ pounds on WW but eventually stopped counting points and slowly gained the weight back. I dabbled in pretty much every other diet since and I've lost 20-40 pounds but then I'll gain it back when I stop the diet.
My weight issues go back to childhood as I started to gain weight and be bigger than my peers right around puberty, ages 10-12. I've had anxiety since I was a small child and I learned that food could get me right if I ate enough of it. While my mother cooked every night and packed our lunches every day, I managed to spend all of my pocket money of junk food and loved to go to my grammy's house where there was Pepsi available by the liter. I've never been so much as a binger as someone who loves the constant dosing of junk food. I probably eat enough in a day, when left to my own devices, that would equal a binge or two. Every single day. Yeah, not a good or sustainable way to eat.
Because the only time I've ever lost weight was with a plan that allowed all foods, I've tried vanilla No S so many times. Countless times, so many times that it is my automated eating plan when I don't allow myself to mindless graze on junk all day long. Often times I've overlaid other plans on top of No S and some have worked better than others. At the behest of my doctor, I've been trying to use diet to heal my pre-diabetes and increase the efficacy of my thyroid medication (I have Hashimoto's, an autoimmune thyroid disease). I'll manage okay for a few weeks/months and my tests will improve but then I'll get anxious or depressed and go back to my old ways.
I have a lot of cognitive dissonance when it comes to diets now, mostly because what I believe to be the "best" or most "healthy" way to eat is not all that sustainable for me. My husband had health problems back in 2013 that no doctor could figure out so in a last-ditch effort to find something that might heal him, he decided to do an autoimmune paleo diet, which is very strict. He had 100% compliance on that plan for over a year and healed his health problems within 6 weeks. It was amazing. His doctors were in awe. I was in awe. He has been able to reintroduce more foods into his diet and occasionally he allows himself to eat things that he knows will make him feel yucky and then moves on. I love to cook so I do all of the cooking for his meals and he is happy for me to meal prep for him where he eats the same meals Monday-Friday, and without complaint. For whatever reason, I've gotten it into my head that I need to eat like my husband (the same foods, the same diet, meal prepping and only eating the same things all week), mostly because I did 90% of the research for his initial diet and I've kept current on the nutrition science, but it does not work for me. I have years of data that says it does not work for me. So what to do? As a former therapist, I decided to tackle the problem with my thinking first.
I don't want to write more of a novel here, but I've been working on my thinking around food for the last few months, using some of Judith Beck's materials as well as working out a narrative therapy program for myself that involves a lot of writing. I've come to see that I am a rule follower who also has a rebel streak when I need to let off steam. One of the reasons vanilla No S has never taken for me long-term is that I go back to my default eating patterns on the weekends and it is so tough for me to get right on Monday. I graze all day long; I eat "meals" that consist of a pint of ice cream and a bag of Cheetos. It feels too much like white knuckling the weekdays so I can throw all my progress out the window on the weekend. Vanilla No S seems to feed into my need to strictly follow the rules and but my venting on the weekends is not healthy—physically or mentally.
My husband was the one who suggested the idea of eating three meals a day, every day, while keeping to the one plate rule, but I can eat anything including sweets. Strangely enough, so far (I am more than aware that what works today might not work tomorrow), it is working really well. I've actually stayed more inside the lines my doctor would like me to keep to than I have in months. I am eating more veg (a struggle for me because I hate to chew), given up sweet drinks and kept my sugar intake to 90% dark chocolate (aka very little sugar). I think my success so far (twelve green days) comes a lot from getting a handle on my head games, and allowing time for my palate to change and my brain to adjust to the lack of dopamine rushes that come from highly palatable foods.
So that's me. Imperfect but still trying and feeling more upbeat about the future.
Hi Selcazare, just thought I’d say hello and best of luck with everything. You come across as a really thoughtful person who understands the psychological side of eating very well. And you know yourself well, too! That’s got to give you a head start. It sounds like you’ve found a sensible modification, allowing sweets to be part of your plate. I’ve read of other No S folk who do that, too.
I started eating more in response to anxiety, too - though for me this happened in adulthood. I read in a book that keeping your blood sugar stable was helpful for panic attacks, and indeed, I did suffer more anxiety when my blood sugar was low. Especially if a meal was delayed, I could get quite desperate and jittery. But being concerned with my blood sugar backfired: I simply became anxious about hunger. And snacking just became a habit. No S really forces me to confront this.
Your eating style sounds a bit like mine. I don’t have big binges but I would graze on junk a lot. And sometimes do crazy meals like the one you described with the ice cream and Cheetos. Eg. Three chocolate eclairs. 😱😂!
Joined: 06 Apr 2014 Posts: 992 Location: Pennsylvania, US
Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:33 pm Post subject:
Hi and welcome home. I'm glad your 3 meals are working for you. I'm curious, Do you mean you prep. and cook 2 different meals for you and your husband every day? That's an amazing level of dedication! My husband would be just plane out of luck.
Thanks, Octavia! The grazing is the worst for me, more so than bingeing ever was but, in the end, it all seems to be the same overeating animal.
Hi Gingerpie! I do a meal-prep Sunday (or both Saturday and Sunday) where I cook up all of my husband's food and some of mine. Sometimes we eat the same foods but not often. For example, today I used the Instant Pot to steam a dozen eggs for him, which will be his breakfast all week along with salad greens. After the eggs, I did three pounds of mocha beef in the IP, which we will share. Tomorrow, I will put together his lunches (mocha beef, mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens) and prep his supper which will be chicken legs, roasted butternut squash and a frozen green vegetable. I cook large amounts of my food and freeze them in single servings because I like more of a variety. This week I'll be making purgatorio sauce (homemade marinara, mushrooms, spinach, sausage, caramelized onions) to be added to my rotation. He does do all of the dishes and a lot of the heavy housecleaning since I take care of our food. It's a good division for us.
So far so good on my three meals a day. I went to an OA meeting this morning, which I didn't think I really needed until I got there. Afterwards, A-Dub and I went to a new-to-me restaurant (even though it's only a few blocks from us) for brunch and I had a huevos rancheros that was delicious. The cost and portions were extremely reasonable—one of the things I love about my neighborhood places.
Your cooking descriptions are impressive to me!
Fascinating both yours & your husband's journey.
Note: I empathize with the crazy meals (for example, ice cream for dinner was nearly a staple for me at various points in my life). Also empathize with the pre-diabetes. I haven't gotten that diagnosis, but I have my suspicions. _________________ I am a small person. Therefore, it is reasonable that smaller portions will satisfy me.
8/13: BMI 26.3
up and down between BMI 24 and 26.9 over 4 years
8/17: BMI 25.8
Thanks, automatedeating. It's been a bit of a wild ride.
I still have to tell myself that a pint of ice cream is not a meal, and that's one of the reasons I need to stick with three meals a day, every day because my Saturday and Sundays always lead me right back to that habit. Best of luck to you!
I sometimes lurk at a weight loss subreddit and this post—I Failed Maintenance: A Look at What Went Wrong— came across a few hours ago. A woman discusses her 120 pounds-in-1-year weight loss and then how she gained back 70 of those 120 pounds because she had no idea how to maintain. Most of the comments are also worth reading.
In the interest of full disclosure, I used to be somewhat active at that subreddit until they asked a "slow-loser" who made sustainable changes to her diet to speak and then the mods did nothing to stand up for her when commenters lost their minds criticizing her for not counting calories and losing her weight faster. I'd bet many dollars to donuts that that "slow loser" is still losing weight and keeping it off while the majority of "CICO" counters are either struggling mentally and physically to keep it off or losing that same battle.
As for me, I am going green this week and loving it. I finished my supper a little earlier than usual because this case of mono has me sleeping 14+ hours per day. I am sure to be asleep by 7 PM PST. However, I am feeling better and my doc said my latest labs look a lot better than the tests in December.
I've moved to weekly meetings with the scale because the daily scale data was becoming just noise to me. Down 2.8 pounds and feeling really good. I am off to another OA meeting this morning, although with some shame I admit it's mostly for socializing at this point, as I am not ready to work the steps.
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