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: 1000 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.
Wow - I just followed those links you posted, Selca. The one headed I Failed Maintenance is a brilliant argument for No S: that lady never learned any habits of moderation, and was left high and dry. And from the replies, you can see how many calorie counters have got into similar difficulties. So many people report putting all their weight back on. My heart goes out to them.
I’ve done CICO a couple of times - it worked a treat the first time, but I lapsed after a year or so. The second time it was harder and less effective. The third time, and in subsequent attempts, I just failed almost straight away! I couldn’t resist highly calorific foods, and was always trying to make space for them, rather than just cut them out for the week as you’d do on No S. Now, I feel much more able to cut out chocolate for a few days at a time. It’s a new skill for me.
That link was really insightful - I lost a good amount of weight calorie counting, but I would 'fit in' a chocolate bar or other snack to my counts frequently, and never really built sustainable habits. Then when I got near my goal weight I just backslid and went back into the old habits of eating whatever, whenever, and put most of it back on again!
Joined: 06 Mar 2017 Posts: 316 Location: Pennsylvania
Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:13 pm Post subject:
Really enjoyed your history post and your experiences/thinking. There is so much that goes into this process, you could be endlessly fascinated. The three plates of anything sounds like a good mod which has worked well for others here.
At the moment I am moving back from Holiday Zone (gosh, that's hung on, hasn't it?) where I have sweets daily though not generally in what I would consider large amounts I save official desserts for Friday/Saturday. I have done the clean eating 6 days/ cheat 7th day in the past which can be made to work, but does heighten the glamour of sweets. I think I do better sort of soft-peddling them during the week and then looking forward to/preparing some nice dessert or brunchy treat on the weekend. I do want to tighten up my practices but I think I will do that by getting myself to fix a plate rather than eating any old how, which I tend to do especially at lunch.
Octavia, yes, my heart often hurts when I visit that subreddit, mostly because I see so much unsustainable eating that never really becomes a habit. And, I know because I've been there so many times. I also feel like I don't have a lot of success to offer myself so I mostly lurk with the hopes that one day I can post about succeeding long-term with a better way. Counting calories is what I did with WW back in the day with their points systems and I did okay with it but as I learned to cook and manage my household, it became an all consuming job to get accurate calorie count every time I cooked—and I've never made a recipe the same way twice so I have to do the math each and every time. For me, that's no way to live.
Milliem, I've had the same experience! As I said to Octavia above, it's just not worth it to me to live that way.
Ah, Larkspur, yes, I too lived in the Holiday Zone for most of October, November and December! It's a great place to visit, but I don't want to live there. For some reason, my head is all about some rules and not others. I do great with three meals a day on one plate but the moment I can't have a certain food at meal times, it's all I can think about. Strangely, since I lifted the no sweets rule on myself, I've yet to have anything other than 90% dark chocolate on a weekday. I think it's because I can if I want to but since I can I don't have to—if that makes sense. So far so good and all of that.
I had a very heavy supper on Saturday due to some medication I was tying out, and I did feel bad initially but now not so much. It was not a binge, and it was not three-plus hours of grazing on junk food. It was just a large and longish meal. It happens. Today I am not working (still) on freelance projects but there is a somewhat stable position open at my husband's company that I may apply for if only for dealing with fewer people at a time. On the homefront, I am making 5 quarts of chicken bone broth in my Instant Pot today, which is quicker than doing it by any other method, but still time-consuming. It should be nice and gelatinous with lots of collagen since I am using five carcasses to those five quarts of water. I need some chicken noodle soup in my life, plus I am going to make a pot for my brother-in-law and his family for their February meal-of-the-month gift. I love winter, if only for soups (except that I eat soup all year round).
Can you tell me a little more about Happy Scale? I suppose I can just google it, too, though -- so don't feel obligated to expound. _________________ 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
Hey automatedeating, Happy Scale is an app for the iPhone (free) that allows you to set up weight loss goals and track your weight as often as you like. If you track daily, Happy Scale will take all of that data and give you a moving average so it looks less like little losses and little gains. I used to use it daily but now I am only tracking my weekly losses but it works just as well for that. If you have an Android phone, I think there's a similar app called Libra.
First red day of the month on 1/23 thanks to a gamble on my part. I had a massive headache and body aches all day until I finally decided I would eat a light supper around 4 and take a sleeping pill so I could fall asleep immediately. However, the med backfired on me and I did not fall asleep (it happens once out of every ten uses or so) and then I was massively hungry. I got out of bed and ate (not a binge)—so a "snack" outside of my meal. Blah. I am tracking it and moving on. I still feel like garbage today (and it's my wedding anniversary) but I am going to try and have a normal day.
I switched from vanilla No S to three meals a day of any food with no snacks or seconds, seven days a week. I am much happier this way even though I rarely eat sugar/desserts outside of S days. Down 15 pounds this month (quite a few of those are water weight thanks to my holiday binges); I am sure I'll slow down a bit but I'd love to see 6-8 pounds in February. I am going to continue with my aforementioned mod(s) and also continue with my coffee + two meals per day that I've been doing for several years now (yes, I checked my journal—since 2013!). I have to note that January has allowed me peace of mind around food and weight loss, which is something I thought impossible for a long time now.
Great review! Awesome to have peace of mind around food AND losses too. _________________ Homeschool Mom and No S returnee as of 11-30-15.
2 years and counting on No-S.
29 lbs. down, 34 to go. Slow and steady wins the race.
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