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The Blessings of Simplicity - Fasting for Weight Loss
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debs and janie,
It is wonderful that my daughter Anne has decided to follow this diet. I told her it was the easiest diet I'd ever been on, and she said it wasn't. She said that the Peanut Cluster Diet was the easiest diet I'd ever been on. I agreed with her. The Peanut Cluster Diet was easier. The problem with that diet was that I gained 10 pounds! I'm just two pounds away from being at the starting weight for The Peanut Cluster Diet, which means that I have lost 8 pounds on this diet!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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la_loser



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 629
Location: Deep in the Heart. . .land

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Sustainable--the biggest benefit! Reply with quote

Woo Hoo! What a shame we end up having to take off what we put on during what we thought was "the answer" to our weight! Been there-still getting those off"!!! I can point to my gain over the past few years to backlash from Atkins, Weight Watchers and Naturally Slim. . . It's so great we've found the SUSTAINABLE ANSWER that works... (those worked--short term but no way was is SUSTAINABLE!!!)

And how awesome for you and Anne to be partners in this life-altering adventure. Congrats!
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LA_Loser,
I concluded long ago that the best way I could help my daughter with her weight problem was to manage my own. She just decided to follow the diet, but she may not follow through. I need to be respectful of her, since she is now a teenager who can make decisions about her eating. My own parents set me on the path of restrictive eating out of a genuine concern that this was the best way to help me, and I gained a lot of weight in college. I weighed 117 at the start of my freshman year and 150 at the end of freshman year. By the end of senior year, I weighed 165. I thought it was stress. It wasn't. It was "diet backlash" from restrictive eating. With this diet, "diet backlash" is planned with S Days. I'll keep everyone updated...
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My daughter decided every day should be an S Day. Right. I tried that. That was The Peanut Cluster Diet. I said last night that the kitchen is closed after dinner. I'm going to move the entire family towards more of an eating style that is like the No S Diet. I've let the kids eat what they want, and the result has often been that little is eaten at dinner because lots was eaten at snack.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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resting52



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 445
Location: Between the mountains and the beach

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kathleen,

You are so on the mark. Our children, especially the daughters, are continually obsessing about weight and weight loss even though they are maybe a size 6 or 8. I take full responsibility since I have dieted their entire lives. And yes, they know about NoS, but they want more control-or want to be more controlled. I'm hoping my success will lead them back to the sensibleness of NoS.

Resting
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resting,

My daughter is a size 14 as a 14 year old. I am trying to impose more order in her life and the lives of her siblings by making slow changes away from the "eat when you're hungry" philosophy that I've followed for a few years. I want them to eat breakfast. I don't want snacks after dinner. Poor habits will take time to change. I'm so glad I found this diet.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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resting52



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 445
Location: Between the mountains and the beach

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How wonderful of you. I wish my mom had done the same for me.

Resting
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resting52,
Me, too. I was set on the path of restrictive eating when I was a teenager who weighed 132 and was 5'6" tall. My parents meant well. They were concerned about my weight, and their response made matters much worse. My life turned out in such a way that I spent an entire academic year unable to work and with all my kids in school. That year (September 2007 - June 2008) was well spent doing research on weight management. This diet is slow, slow, slow, but all my research and all my experiments with weight loss programs have convinced me that this idea of restrictive eating at specified times and "unconditional permission to eat" at other times (an on/off approach to weight loss) is what makes an end result of a person who weighs less and does not feel like a victim of starvation. I am glad that I can educate my children when they are teenagers because I think that the obesity epidemic will keep on claiming more victims until this knowledge is more widely disseminated.

My 9 year old daughter last night got on the phone to my parents and told them that she can tell I've lost weight because I'm not as wide around when she hugs me. The scale is one measurement tool, but a daughter's arms are another!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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howfunisthat



Joined: 28 Jul 2008
Posts: 605
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen,

I was just stopping by to say "hi"....hope you had a nice weekend...

janie
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janie,

I ate so much I felt sick and slept much of yesterday afternoon. I am hypothesizing that my overeating is a reaction to long-term dieting, and it will take time for me to get over it. Tonight, I feel grumpy because I cut back on what I ate today. I need to allow myself to eat meals that are as large as I like on N Days and eat whatever I want on S Days. Needless to say, I need to lower my expectations for weight loss.

On a cheerier note, I looked up The No S Diet on Amazon, and the book got a perfect five stars as a rating from 40 people. Despite that, the price dropped to a bargain price, so I bought two more -- one for my daughter and one for the first person who asks me how I lost weight.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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turtledove



Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 29
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
one for the first person who asks me how I lost weight.


Kathleen, I love that idea! Turtledove
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turtledove,

I'm creating details in a future that isn't yet here!

What is exciting about today is that my daughter got through her first NWS day yesterday with a SUCCESS! We've been discussing the diet in private, and I just ordered a copy of the book for her. She was debating about whether or not cookies were sweets. She also thought that three S Days per week would be OK.

She has now decided to have two S Days -- Friday (because her homeroom has treats on that day) and Saturday. She took one of her two exceptions for the month yesterday because it was Doughnut Sunday at church. As a result, she started off her diet with three S Days in a row.

She has observed me dieting for as long as she can remember, and this is the first time she decided to try a diet I was following. Of course, it helps that I've actually lost weight on this diet!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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howfunisthat



Joined: 28 Jul 2008
Posts: 605
Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen....thanks for the heads-up on the book price at Amazon...I'm heading there to buy a copy to take with me to my next dr.'s appointment.

And you're doing wonderfully with your daughter...it's exciting to see her just naturally want to follow you since this is changing your life.

janie
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resting52



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 445
Location: Between the mountains and the beach

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,

I look at your post about " I was set on the path of restrictive eating when I was a teenager who weighed 132 and was 5'6" tall. " Good Grief! I would love to be any where near that. Of course, when I was a teen, Twiggy was the model to model. How sick is that? I remember people dying.

Your year long diet discovery journey is very encouraging to me. Thanks for sharing it.

Resting
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resting52,

I was 130 - 135 throughout most of high school. In spring of my senior year, I started dieting. I started college at 117, was 124 at Thanksgiving break, 132 at spring break and 148 at the end of freshman year. By the end of college, I weighed 165. I managed to get my weight back down to my high school weight with an on/off approach of 1000 calories per day for nine days followed by at least one month of not dieting.

What if I hadn't started dieting? I'll never know...

As I read this post, I think that I know my exact weight at many times in my life, but I doubt I remember the names of all my bosses, old telephone numbers, names of coworkers, etc. The agony of dieting is very real to me.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Wed May 27, 2009 1:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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resting52



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 445
Location: Between the mountains and the beach

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:

As I read this post, I think that I know my exact weight at many times in my life, but I doubt I remember the names of all my bosses, old telephone numbers, names of coworkers, etc. The agony of dieting is very real to me.
Kathleen


Oh MY! That quote puts me through the floor. I can remember (and not remember) the same things. Why we've spent so much life on these numbers is just more wrong than one can say.

Resting
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blueskighs



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 1787
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The agony of dieting is very real to me.


Kathleen, me too!

I think it is wonderful that your daughter is figuring out how to make No S work for her. What an incredible thing if she can "miss" expending her time, energy and talents on "dieting". How much more "life" she will be able to seize and live!

Blueskighs
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resting52,

Yes, it is hard to face the reality of how much my life has been negatively impacted by my weight problem. I've noticed that this board tends to attract people who have had weight problems for years and years and years. We who have been at this for so long know the reality that the real problem is keeping the weight off, not getting it off.



Blueskighs,

Your comment brought tears to my eyes. This afternoon, when I picked up my daughter from the bus stop, she proudly showed me how she had brought home a cookie that had been handed out in her homeroom. She had decided to make Fridays and Saturdays her S Days because treats are given out on Fridays, and Saturday is a day home. The person who was supposed to bring treats on Friday forgot and brought them today, so Anne decided to not to eat it but to save it until Friday. We notified her three younger siblings that that cookie was not to be touched!

There is a special love that a mother has for her children. I was motivated this past year to find the path to a normal weight because I saw my daughter gaining weight and modeling my poor eating habits. It is wonderful to see that she has made the decision to follow this diet and to share with me her own successes.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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blueskighs



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 1787
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This afternoon, when I picked up my daughter from the bus stop, she proudly showed me how she had brought home a cookie that had been handed out in her homeroom.


Oh my goodness Kathleen, that is just the sweetest thing. I will go to bed tonight with a smile on my face, give her a "hug" for me, you know, if its okay with her,

Blueskighs
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blueskighs,
It is very sweet. She would come home from school, head straight for the kitchen, and wolf down whatever was available. Now she is picky about what she eats. I told her that one of the side benefits of this diet is you start to think about what you really like. She asked for me to get her "Wheat Thins" for her to have at lunch at school, and I was happy to get them for her.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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gratefuldeb67



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 6169
Location: NY

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
This afternoon, when I picked up my daughter from the bus stop, she proudly showed me how she had brought home a cookie that had been handed out in her homeroom. She had decided to make Fridays and Saturdays her S Days because treats are given out on Fridays, and Saturday is a day home. The person who was supposed to bring treats on Friday forgot and brought them today, so Anne decided to not to eat it but to save it until Friday. We notified her three younger siblings that that cookie was not to be touched!

There is a special love that a mother has for her children. I was motivated this past year to find the path to a normal weight because I saw my daughter gaining weight and modeling my poor eating habits. It is wonderful to see that she has made the decision to follow this diet and to share with me her own successes.

Kathleen

That is just fantastic news Kathleen!
I'm so happy you are now inspiring each other!
Such a lovely and touching story Smile
Wishing you and your whole family the best.
Blessings
Cool Debs
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debs,
I'm now on the hook to continue!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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blueskighs



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 1787
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,

sounds like your daughter is really having a great experience with NO S, I am really so happy for her and for you getting to watch her go through it and share it with her,

Blueskighs
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blueskighs,
Yesterday, Tom got home from a business trip and brought five chocolates from the hotel. As the kids were going to bed, Anne proudly showed me hers -- she hadn't eaten it! She got through a first week of all greens, and she's happy. It may be that the diet is much easier for her than it has been for me because she doesn't have years of dieting behind her. I've always encouraged her not to diet because of my experience of "diet backlash", but a few weeks ago I encouraged her to try this approach. I'm really happy. All the effort I've put into trying to find a diet that works has paid off. I'm not sure I would have stuck with this diet had I not first gone through the experience of trying to let go of dieting altogether, with the result of a 10 pound weight gain. I'm now 2 pounds away from the starting weight for that diet, and the family is going to dinner to celebrate when I reach that very significant milepost.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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howfunisthat



Joined: 28 Jul 2008
Posts: 605
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen....

Just popping in to check on you....how are you doing?

janie
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

howfunisthat,
Thanks for asking! I update my daily log in a post that is for the month, so it is dated 10/31. I also just posted on the testimonial thread because I reached a 10 pound weight loss!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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howfunisthat



Joined: 28 Jul 2008
Posts: 605
Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen...10 lbs! That's terrific!!! Congratulations....you're doing so well!

janie
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

howfunisthat,
Thanks for the congratulations! My husband, tongue in cheek, said he'd take the whole family to any restaurant in town if I lost 10 pounds. We're going to Benihaha's tonight because my son has wanted to go there. I figure this milepost is worth a celebration!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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gratefuldeb67



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 6169
Location: NY

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha! Nice he's gonna make good on his "tongue in cheek" promise Wink
That's cute.
Hope you all enjoy it!
Benihana is fun for the kids Cool
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debs,
It was fun, and I'm stuffed! I had expected to keep to N Day guidelines, but there is soup before the meal, and we had ice cream afterwards. I used up one of my accumulated Special Days. It was worth it!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAY 85 - 12/1/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 86 - 12/2/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 87 - 12/3/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 88 - 12/4/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 89 - 12/5/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 90 - 12/6/08: SATURDAY 204.8 A new low!
Day 91 - 12/7/08: SUNDAY
DAY 92 - 12/8/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 93 - 12/9/08: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 94 - 12/10/08: SUCCESS (5) 206.2
DAY 95 - 12/11/08: SUCCESS (5) 205.6
DAY 96 - 12/12/08: SUCCESS (5) 205.4
DAY 97 - 12/13/08: SATURDAY 205.0
Day 98 - 12/14/08: SUNDAY 207.2
DAY 99 - 12/15/08: SUCCESS (5) 208.8
DAY 100 - 12/16/08: SUCCESS (5) 206.8
DAY 101 - 12/17/08: SUCCESS (5) 206.2
DAY 102 - 12/18/08: SUCCESS (5) 206.2
Day 103 - 12/19/08: SUCCESS (5) 206.0
Day 104 - 12/20/08: SATURDAY 204.4 A new low!
Day 105 - 12/21/08: SUNDAY 205.0
DAY 106 - 12/22/08: SUCCESS (5) 206.0
DAY 107 - 12/23/08: SUCCESS (5) 205.6
DAY 108 - 12/24/08: SUCCESS (5) 204.2 A new low!
Day 109 - 12/25/08: SPECIAL DAY (4) - CHRISTMAS DAY 207.0
Day 110 - 12/26/08: SUCCESS (4) 207.0
Day 111 - 12/27/08: SATURDAY 205.4
Day 112 - 12/28/08: SUNDAY 207.6

Day 85: No stomach ache as a result of overeating on the weekend. That's a good sign. My body is learning when enough is enough! This diet is starting to seem as easy as brushing my teeth every morning, and I think the reason why may be that I have made a commitment to myself that I will follow it with "perfect compliance." I never go without brushing my teeth in the morning, so there is never a moment when I debate whether or not I should brush my teeth, and the same goes for this diet. I'm on it for life!

Because it is the first of the month, I get another two weekday Special Days to be used however I want. That means that I can have five Special Days in a row and still not blow my diet. I learned last week that my body isn't too interested in more than one Special Day in a week.

Day 86: I brought The No S Diet book to my in-laws so I could review it while I was visiting over Thanksgiving break, and I ended up giving the copy to my sister in law, who has also struggled with her weight for years. She's lost weight on Atkins, but she's never been able to keep it off. One problem with weighting yourself is that the focus becomes the number on the scale. I do have to make adjustments in my eating, and I could see how that worked over Thanksgiving, but I don't need to be so focused on this diet.

It's getting to be that this diet is as easy as brushing your teeth, and I now want to focus on other things. If I don't weigh myself until Christmas, then there's really nothing to discuss concerning it. It's just the way I eat.

I am thinking I may try to get in the habit of only weighing myself three times per year -- Christmas, our wedding anniversary on May 1, and my husband's birthday on September 1. My expectation is that I would lose 5 - 10 pounds per every time I weigh myself (every four months) and eventually I would reach a weight where I would stabilize. I think I want to accept whatever weight that is because dieting has consumed so much of my life and all it's done is make me fatter and fatter. The end of this year will be the first time since 2001 that I weigh less than I did in the prior year. In 2001, we had our last child, and what I did after that was make a commitment to dieting and weight loss. I remember at the beginning of 2002 weighing about 155. My incredible efforts to lose weight led to a 60 pound weight gain.

This last June, I had to get a physical because we needed physicals in order to go to the Family Camp, which is part of the Boy Scout camp. I had a blood sugar of 108 and a weight of 211, and the doctor told me to "eat less, excercise more" and return in three months for a recheck. Well, I didn't. In September, after spending three months on the Hunger Satisfaction Diet, I weighed 216. I was under 210 in October when I had my colonscopy for turning 50 years old, and my blood sugar level was measured at 97.

Still, I think about how I would feel if I had gone to the doctor in September weighing five pounds more than I had in June when she told me I risk development of full-blown diabetes if I don't lose weight. Does it sound in any way reasonable to a doctor that a patient who was told to lose weight for three months and return for a blood sugar test actually managed to gain more weight? What happens in those instances? Does the patient find a different doctor? Does the patient ever return and say "I tried"?

I have an appointment with the doctor today because I've had a cold for two months which I'm beginning to think might be allergies, and it will be nice to let her know that I've finally found a diet where I actually lose weight.

7 PM: It occurred to me this afternoon that I'm starting not to like S Days because I eat so much. It occurred to me that I can give myself permission to eat less because there's no starvation diet around the corner. This was the theory behind Intuitive Eating, but it didn't work out because my body seemed to want more and more. With this approach, I don't focus on internal hunger. I just eat a satisfactory amount that fits on one plate when it is mealtime. I had no desire whatsoever for a second hamburger tonight, even though a second hamburger could have fit on my plate.

Day 87: It's 6:30 AM, and my stomach growled. I wasn't in great pain. I didn't die. There's no crises here. Hunger is not a terrible, terrible thing, as one food shelf Web site put it.

It's 9:30 PM now. I worked several hours. I had two kids into the orthodontist and one with a friend over for dinner and one to a band concert and one to religious ed. I talked to my husband on the phone for 1/2 hour. My son is starting swim team at school, which means a drive to the school every day at 5 PM. He wasn't there tonight because of his ortho appointment. People are busy. I have flexible hours to a maximum of 80 per month, but I also have four active kids. When would I have time to prepare special meals or count carbs or write down everything I eat? Not only is there time involved in tracking but there is also time involved in suffering through starvation. This diet is so sane compared with what I have been doing. The weekend binges may start to be a thing of the past because I don't feel so great when I eat so much. This No S approach is very interesting. Prior to reading the book, I had already figured out the importance of mealtimes and the need for what I had termed "controlled binges", but it would have been a long time before I had developed something similar to The No S Diet. Now, instead of reading dieting books and researching studies on obesity, I'm sitting down for a few minutes to type out my thoughts. Food is no longer a constant obsession. As the book says, I'm "pre disapproved". I don't need to debate about whether to snack because the answer is no.

Day 88: It's a Thursday night, and I'm dreading an upcoming S Day. I haven't felt well on S Days because S has started to mean stomach ache. I may move towards N Day rules on S Days.

Day 89: Since I've started on this diet, Thursday night has been my most difficult night. Last night didn't seem difficult, but I had to apologize to my husband and oldest daughter for being short with them, and I still owe an apology to my middle daughter. I think that what this diet may do is gradually get me to adjust to lower food intake, but the adjustment has to be slow. Tomorrow's S Day needs to be a day of "unconditional permission to eat." At some point, my body will not want to end up with a stomach ache as a result, and I'll eat less than I have eaten.

Day 90: It's 1 AM on a Saturday, and I am awake because I am sneezing and sniffling. It may be that I have allergies, and I am trying to figure out what to change in my environment other than the puppy. I have absolutely no desire to eat anything. What I have most enjoyed on other S Days is the Saturday morning eating of a Haagen Dazs bar in the bathtub. Other memories of the weekend S Days are a blur of stuffing my face like I would at the end of a diet and feeling so sick I need to go and sleep. No thank you. I'm still giving myself "unconditional permission to eat", but I'm not interested in overeating to the point of not feeling well. The memories of feeling great on N Days are also influencing me. It may be that I'll continue to overeat significantly on S Days, but I think I'll eventually stop doing it simply because I don't want to feel bad. There is no willpower involved in stopping overeating. It's all about doing what makes me feel best. With normal diets, you feel miserable on the diet and great when you break it. With this diet, you feel great while on the diet and miserable when you "go wild" on S Days!

It is now noon on Saturday, and I decided to weigh myself this morning because I suspected I wasn't losing weight. It's true. I weigh a whole .2 pound less than I did two weeks ago. Am I upset? No. What I see is that the next step in this diet for me is to have S Days which are more normal than end of diet binge. This morning, I had a Haagen Daxs bar and some St. Nick Day candy. At a Santa's Breakfat at our church, a server added a pancake to my plate, and I wasn't interested in eating it. On the way home from the Santa's Breakfast, however, I stopped at Starbucks and got a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. Oh was it good!

What I am finding both with N Days and with S Days is that I am getting to be a more selective eater. The days of tasteless Lean Cuisine and rice cakes are over! So are the days of eating a pancake just because someone put it on my plate as I was saying I didn't want it. I got fat because I was willing to eat everything and anything, including extra pancakes and rice cakes. I'm not offended by what the server did. He's the father of someone who is the age of my daughter, and he's a very friendly person. Instead, I think it is very reasonable that he would have loaded up my empty plate with another pancake. Fat people generally aren't selective about what they eat, especially if they are breaking a diet, and I think part of the reason why is they have bought into the diet approach of restricting what is eaten to approved foods like rice cakes. If you are willing to eat rice cakes which taste like styrofoam, won't you be tempted by an extra pancake?

This diet is helping me to change long-standing habits about how I eat and what I eat. I didn't use to think I deserved to spend $3.58 on a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. Now I can spend the money and enjoy the drink.

2 PM: I haven't yet gone to exercise, and I feel somewhat ill because of overeating. My husband was irritated at me for overeating and told me not to complain if I'm sick because I ate too much. I am counting on the negative experience of how I feel after overeating to gradually decrease my desire to overeat. Overeating used to be a relief after the starvation effect of dieting. Now that I'm well fed on three meals per day, overeating has no benefit. It just makes me feel bad.

7 PM: I went to exercise and then came back and ate and ate and lay down because I had a stomach ache. I think I'm going to go through this process until I figure out there is no benefit to overeating. The memories of starving during dieting are still too strong. I remember reading somewhere that there was a high obesity percent in the population of those who had survived concentration camps. Well, I've survived 35 years of on and off again dieting. Starvation has always been just around the corner during those years. Consistent eating of three meals per day, combined with S Day permission to eat what I want, will eventuallly -- eventually -- result in my enjoying my food on S Days instead of just stuffing myself. My theory is that I don't need any willpower for this change and in fact should not use any willpower. I need to give myself "unconditional permission to eat" and wait for the day when I am not longer binge eating on S Days.

8:45 PM: What a day! I made an alteration to my post from the end of September when I laid out my modification of the No S Diet, and I logged how I felt at several times throughout the day. The N Day restrictions are no longer a problem. I find it easy to get through an N Day. My problem is moderation on S Days when I want to keep the "unconditional permission to eat." I think I just need to wait until my body revolts against overeating, and limiting weighing myself will help as will limiting my time journaling. This year will be the first year since 2001 that I weigh less at the end of the year than I did at the beginning. Although my weight loss is slow (10 pounds in 90 days), it is permanent. From my days in high school when I studied math, I remember that lines had a positive or negative slope and also were measured by steepness. What I need to do is celebrate that the slope of a graph with my weight on the X Axis and time on the Y Axis has a negative slope (is going down) and not worry too much that the slope of the line (how quickly I lose weight) is not so great. I've had steep losses for a few days and then rebounds. With this diet, I am confident that the weight is gone permanently.

Day 91: I'm stuffed and looking forward to five N Days.

Day 92: Oh, am I busy! Sometimes, people brag about being busy. I don't like being busy and, in fact, have told people my goal as a stay at home Mom has been to not be busy. It's Christmastime, and we need to make sure we get out Christmas cards and presents. My daughter has a medical problem, so I'm spending Friday with her at the Mayo Clinic. My son started swim team with daily practices that end at 5 PM, and I am working on setting up carpooling. My part time job takes far less less time than the time I spend chauffering kids around at night and taking care of dinner and laundry and grocery shopping. In the midst of this, I am so-so-so glad that my diet requires virtually no time. I seem to be able to shut off hunger completely. I left work at 1:30 PM and grabbed a sandwich which I ate on the way to run an errand before picking up my youngest child and the son of the Girl Scout leader and then going to pick up my oldest child and her friend to go home. And it's the first snow of the season, so it took about 1 hour 15 minutes to pick my son up from swim team. It's nice to sit down and think that I spent no time until right now thinking about dieting.

Day 94: I decided I can face that my weight on Saturday is lower than my weight will be earlier in the following week, and I can face that this diet will take a long, long time, but the weight loss will be permanent. I created a weight chart with weight by week, and now I can look back and compare today's weight of 206.2 to weights on other Wednesdays for a more appropriate comparison. Three Wednesdays ago, my Wedneday weight was 208. The prior two Wednesdays it was 207.6. I need to be realistic about just how much time it will take for me to lose weight. It reminds me of the story of 40 years in the desert! Until my body calms down on S Days and recognizes that I'm never ever going to starve it with Lean Cuisines, I'm just going to have to put up with slow weight loss. Yesterday, I was reading in a book ("The Instinct to Heal") by the author of the "Anitcancer: A New Way of Life" how there are two brains: the cognitive and the emotional brain. The emotional brain will hijack behavior, more or less shutting out input from the cognitive brain, when there is a sense that survival is at stake. That sounds like what happened when my brother held me under water when I was 10 years old. I didn't think about pushing myself to the surface of the water with great force. I just did it. That also sounds like a great description of my body reacting to food at the point that a diet fails. It also sounds like what happens on S Days. I just have to wait this out -- wait out "S Days Gone Wild". Eventually, and it may be months, my body will calm down. Since I've been starving it for years, this obese body is ever on the alert for restrictive eating. I seem to be fine on N Days, but S Days are now the problem. I am betting that this behavior will change over time and eventually I'll just take my time on S Days and enjoy a few treats instead of eating just a huge amount of food on those days. I'm not doing anything more on S Days than try to have three meals in addition to everything else I eat.

4:30 PM: My stomach started growling at about 11, and I was bothered for about 15 minutes. Then I got caught up in my work and nearly missed leaving on time to get home and get the dog before going to pick up the kids. I didn't eat until 2:15. That means that I lasted with not eating for three hours after my stomach growled. The Hunger Satisfaction Diet (eat only after a stomach growl) turned every stomach noise into a crises -- MUST - EAT - NOW! This diet makes me realize that some things are more important than eating at the first sign of hunger -- like getting your work done and taking care of the dog!

Day 95: I decided to add "A new low!" whenever I hit another low on this diet, as a way to encourage me and to reinforce the idea that not every day or even every week will produce "A new low!" weight. I marked last Saturday's 204.8 as "A new low!", which makes today's 205.4 more bearable. The virtue needed in this diet is patience!

Day 96: I prepared for tomorrow by getting different treats, including biscotti and a chocolate marble truffle cake that needs to be kept frozen so I think it will be quite yummy! I think that chocolate and coffee together in the morning is the consummate treat for me, so I am planning ahead to really enjoy that first taste of the morning.

Day 97: I'm unhappy with my weight being up almost a pound from last Saturday, but I think I've got to wait, wait, wait. My body is adjusting to a world in which there is no starvation. Now I'm reading a book on the Alan Keyes study of starvation from the 1940s. My emotional brain has suffered through 35 years of periods of starvation which were imposed by choices made by the cognitive brain, and it's going to take more than a few months for recovery. I did look back in my record of weight loss by week to see how my weight today compares with prior Saturday's weights, and I was amused to see a dip in weight around the time I had a colonoscopy two months ago. My weight today is the same as the first time I weighed myself after the colonoscopy. I had to chuckle about that. My weight loss then was due to severe and brief food restriction (much llike a diet, only for medical reasons), and the weight loss was as temporary as for any diet I've had. The weight may be the same today as it was two months ago, but this time the weight loss is permanent!

I think I just need to be patient with over the top eating on S Days and wait out the reaction.

10 AM: I was up at 5 this morning to pick up my son from an overnight event for teens, and I threw up in the car on the way to pick him up. I told him that when I picked him up, and he made some comment about my body not wanting another S Day! Now I'm up, and I lost .6 pound between 5 and 10 AM, so that's my weight for the day. My husband and I will go out for coffee this morning, and I already had two biscotti. What I crave is citrus fruit. How strange! I think the S Days of all peanut clusters and Haagen Dazs bars are over!

4 PM: I didn't get around to lunch. I almost forgot to get my youngest daughter to a birthday party at 11:15, and from there my husband and I went out for coffee. It was nice. I hope that we return to Saturday morning time together at Starbucks. When the weather was warmer, we would walk to Starbucks with our dog, but now it is too cold to take her for a walk that long, and I'm not interested in walking that far in cold weather, either! I did have a grapefruit. I've had many diets where grapefruit was a diet food, so maybe my desire for grapefruit is returning because I'm never again going to be forcing myself to eat food I don't want at the time.

Day 98: I tried to explain my theory of weight loss to my husband this morning, and he told me what I was saying was I had no control over my body. I told him I do have control, but no one has the control to drown themselves without a restraint because their body would force them to go to the surface of the water. I see that as analogous to a diet without S Days. I tried to have three meals on the weekend, and I didn't succeed yesterday. I am thinking what I need is patience, and how do I get that? Well, on September 4th, I weighed 216 pounds, my all-time high. I think I am going to post at the beginning of each month a weight I will never see again which is two pounds lower each month. If I make October as 214, November as 212, and December as 210, then the weight I will never see again as of 1/1/09 is 208. I'm posting that now. That will be my motivation to keep my N Days green and not worry about S Day behavior.

Noon: This diet is officially going on autopilot. I'm just too busy to figure out why I'm overeating so much on S Days. N Day habits are firmly entrenched. I'll stick with keeping the N Days green and worry about S Days next June. If I'm not losing weight and my S Days are still wild in seven months, then I'll know I have a problem that isn't going to go away.

Day 99: I decided I would mess up this entire diet if I tried to avoid being an idiot on S Days. S Days are for recovery from years of starvation rations when dieting. It's going to take time. I also realized that I am off two pounds in my assessment of where I should be with weight loss. I weighed 216 pounds on September 4, 2008. The goal for the beginning of October is to never, ever see 216 pounds again. For November, the goal is to never, ever see 214 pounds again. For December, it is 212 pounds. For January, it is 210 pounds.

7 PM: Tomorrow is Day 100. My goal for the first 100 days was to keep the N Days green. I think my goal for the second 100 days is to not worry about S Days. I'm reading a book on a study of starvation which was conducted by Ancel Keys on conscientious objectors during WW II. The effect of starvation is very similar to the effect of dieting. I just need to allow my body time to calm down after 35 years of dieting.

Day 100: I'm happy because this diet has become as much effort as brushing my teeth every morning. It's become a habit. Sure, I lose weight slowly, but the weight loss is permanent.

10 PM: The first snow of winter made driving long, and two kid activities plus having to pick up some medicine meant I had a Subway sandwich in the car for lunch at 2:30 and a chicken pot pie at 5. I was grumpy. I seem to get grumpy if I don't eat enough, so I think I just need to allow my body to slowly lose weight. I do feel calmer now that I have resolved to make S Days completely and totally days in which there are no rules, no guidelines, not attempts to do anything. I'll eat what I want on those days.

Day 101: When I told my mother that I had had four Haagen Dazs bars in one day, she told me I needed to "use a little common sense." Well, when you are dealing with the irrational fears of the emotional brain, I don't think common sense is useful. I think what I need to do is just let myself eat whatever I want on S Days. I started out with N Days having meals that were "one sitting" rather than "one plate" and that included an entire bowl of popcorn. Those days are gone. My son hasn't stared at my overflowing plate in weeks because there haven't been overflowing plates. I got used to three meals, and now it is a habit. It has become normal for me. Now, with S Days, I think that my body is getting feedback of "this is no fun" when I eat so much I don't feel well. I'm giving this approach time. It's been 35 years of on again off again dieting. It will take time for me to become comfortable with this diet. "Common sense", in this case, I believe, is to have the patience to wait for my body to calm down and realize that there will not be more starvation diets.

7:30 AM: Well, I am testing the effectiveness of this diet with the conscious decision not to use common sense. In the description of the cognitive brain and the emotional brain, the cognitive brain appears to be the place where common sense rules. I've tried all sorts of diets, including sensible diets like "portion control" and "moderate exercise." They just did not work for me. I am now allowing my emotional brain total control over S Days.

What will happen? Well, I think it is already happening -- I'm not eating enough on the weekend to sustain my weight when I'm following N Day guidelines.

Here are three weekends Saturday - Monday weights:
11/8 206.6 - 209.2
11/15 206.8 - 210.6
12/13 205 - 208.8

I had my peanut cluster phase before starting this diet. I've been on a Haagen Dazs phase. Last weekend was all about biscotti.

Anyone looking at the results of my dieting would feel pretty uninterested in a diet in which a weight on one day - Friday 11/8 at 206.6 - is lower than a weight more than one month later - Monday 12/15 at 208.8.

What I see is a very gradual decline in weight with a diet that has gotten as habitual as brushing my teeth in the morning. Today is a Wednesday, and my weight is 206.2. The weights that I recorded on Wednesdays in November were 207.5, 207.6, and 208.

Unless you've suffered through diet after diet, you may not find this diet very attractive. I have suffered enough. I was ready for it.

7 PM: I had an overloaded plate at dinner. The reason why is that I ate a sandwich at 11 when I brought my son home from school because he didn't feel well, and I returned to work. I ate the sandwich in the car. I am working more hours so far this month because the kids are on vacation the next two weeks, and I need to work about 80 hours per month. It will be nice to have a saner schedule.

Day 102: My body won't give up its extra weight easily, and so I have to be patient. Last night, I had a large meal, and I was grumpy. This is a sign to me that I am losing the weight, but it just isn't reflected on the scale yet. I am tempted to cut back on my meals on N Days, but I don't think that would be a sustainable effort. Yesterday, I lasted on N Day meals because I knew I could have a large dinner.

6:20 AM: I just ate breakfast, and I am still hungry. What a pain. I'm not losing weight, and I feel hungry. That is the double whammy that occurs at the end of a diet. That is the point at which I give up on the diet and go find something else to try. This time around, though, I think I have a diet in which less and less effort needs to be expended, and weight continues to drop. I'll never know if this is true if I fiddle with the diet by adding new rules or drop it altogether. I want to last until at least day 200 before I do an evaluation. That puts me out to 3/26/09.

8 PM: I don't know why, but tonight I felt very hungry and had a large meal -- two turkey burgers, a cereal bar, walnuts, an entire grapefruit, and milk. Why? I am focusing on following N Day rules. All that fit on one plate, and that's what matters. I need to ride through this sense of feeling ravenous. On the way back from dropping my son off at Boy Scouts, I stopped at the store and got some Breyer's coffee ice cream -- an S Day is in sight in 28 hours!

Day 103: I'm eating a lot. Sure, there's stress in my life, but I don't think this is emotional eating. I think it is more the body trying to defend its current weight (set point). I have three choices: change my approach to S Days, change my approach to N Days, or wait. The saying "The definition of an insane person is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results." Well, I disagree. I have been sneezing and sniffling for three months and finally went to the doctor who suggested I try Claretin and then, if that didn't work, get allergy testing. My sister, who is into alternative health approaches, suggested I replace my pillows and get dust mite protector pillow protectors. I did that on Monday. No change Monday night. Imperceptible change Tuesday. Today I woke up and had to blow my nose, but it wasn't the first thing I had to do this morning. I am feeling quite a bit better. It took time. In that case, it took several nights. With No S, it make take months. I'm waiting. If I try to add rules, I think I risk not being able to follow this diet for the rest of my life. What is most encouraging to me is the confidence that I can follow current rules for the rest of my life.

7 PM: I do not understand it, but I am absolutely ravenous. Why? Before dinner, my stomach growled a deep hunger growl. At dinner, I wolfed down a large plateful of chili with rice. I also had an orange and a cereal bar. There was no dent in my hunger. Sometimes, I have had a weird feeling in my face when I am hungry, and I feel that now. Why is this happening? I am not trying to survive on 1,000 calories per day. Instead, I'm eating three normal to large meals per day. Why am I so hungry? All I can speculate is that my body is somehow making an adjustment. I am wondering if my S Day eating own't be less because my N Day eating has been more. I'll see at the end of the weekend. Instead of worrying about losing weight, I'm going to focus on tracking my high weights. It might be that the high end of the weight range comes down first and then the low end follows.

My husband has seen this development a number of times over the course of our marriage. I stop losing weight, I'm hungry, and I end the diet with an all out eating binge. He told me tonight I won't stick with this approach to weight loss. Well, if there were no S Days, he'd be right. Instead of having to tolerate this ravenous feeling for what could be the rest of my life, I know all I have to do is last until midnight and then I can eat what I want for two days. Even if I don't lose weight for a period of time, I'm sticking with this diet. At least I am not gaining weight. I'll weigh just a little less at the end of this year than I did at the end of last year. The weight gain has been halted.

8 PM: I'm going to bed early to avoid eating before midnight. This diet has been easy, but I've encountered a rough spot. I'll take care of myself as best I can until I get through it.

Day 104: A new low! This morning, I don't feel much like ovvereating. My body has learned that significant overeating is not fun. I may have a biscotti with coffee before we take our two younger girls to soccer tryouts. I don't have the desire to overeat right now.

1 PM: My husband gave me a lecture this morning on how I need to "exercise reason and sound judgement" in deciding not to have four Haagen Dazs bars in one day. I said I didn't want to exercise reason and sound judgment but instead let my body decide when enough is enough. He then said this all goes back to Plato -- how the will and reason need to control emotions. I think that, when it comes to weight management, you need times when you can absolutely stuff yourself. I'm reading a book now on Ancel Key's starvation experiment -- how he got conscientious objectors to starve and lose 25% of their weight as a way for there to be scientific evaluation of starvation so that the Allies could better take care of Europeans who had starved during WW II. The book has descriptions of starvation that are very familiar to me. I think I've starved so many times that I react to any sort of restriction. This diet allows me to stuff myself on the weekend, and I need that reassurance. It's very gratifying to have today be a new low. No matter how slowly I lose weight, I know the weight is gone for good -- and that in itself is a wonderful feeling!

3 PM: The kids have gone sledding with their dad, and I'm home with the dog to reflect a little on this diet. When I went to bed last night, I took with me, "The Great Starvation Experiment: Ancel Keys and the Men Who Starved for Science" by Todd Tucker. The conscientious objectors, all men who volunteered to undergo this experiment as a substitute for serving in the armed services, were allowed to participate only if Keys thought they had the physical and emotional stamina to endure the starvation. Here is something from pages 129 - 130 of the book:

"Weygandt finished his paperwork early and waited for the clock to strike nine. He sat peacefully on his stool behind the counter...Weygandt suddenly realized that his hand held a cookie. He looked down. His hand was moving of its own independent will. He was helpless to stop it. He shoved the cookie in his mouth. It tasted wonderful. He shoved two more cookies in his mouth. A sack of popcorn was also within reach and he ate that next. Finally, he ate two overripe bananas that he had been planning to throw in the trash on his way out the door. With a final swallow of gooey brown banana, Weygandt regained control of himself, and again looked at the Regulator clock. Just three minutes had passed."

How painfully familiar this sounds. Eating at the end of a diet is not about pleasure. It is about speed. The emotional brain hijacks the cognitive brain and shoves whatever food it can into the mouth as quickly as possible. I know too well what was described above.

I got O magazine and read Oprah's analysis of why she has regained weight. She thinks it's because of lack of self care. I really doubt it. I think she has the same problem as Weygandt. Constant restrictive dieting doesn't work, except for a very few people who manage to focus their lives on keeping their weight low, who have the psychological profile of people like Weygandt. For the rest of us, and I suspect Oprah is among the rest of us, starvation can be tolerated for a time but not for a lifetime. "Portion control" sounds so reasonable, but a person who constantly exercises "portion control" is always dissatisfied. Ugh!

7:45 PM: I ate too much. I don't feel well.

Day 105: I didn't gain that much weight from yesterday's overeating because I had a stomach ache and had to go to bed. Following the N Day rules, I believe, means that my body no longer can tolerate large quantities of food. In addition, I simply don't enjoy the experience of significantly overeating because it is becoming closely associated with not feeling well. Couldn't "reason and sound judgment", as my husband puts it, be used to put restrictions on overeating so that I don't feel sick at the end of an S Day? Yes, it could. I choose not to exercise "reason and sound judgement" because I think the experience of not feeling well is a better teacher. I no longer choose not to overeat. Instead, I do what I want, which I believe will eventually mean I don't overeat significantly because I don't like getting a stomach ache.

I'm somewhat irked at Tom. After all, I weighed what he weighed back in September, and now I've lost 10 pounds. "Portion control" sounds so reasonable, but it doesn't work for a lifetime. I bit my tongue because I'm confident that I will continue to lose weight. I estimate that I'll lose about 20 pounds per year -- 185 at the end of 2009, 165 at the end of 2010, 145 at the end of 2011, and my stable weight by the end of 2012. I won't get down to 125. After our last child was born in 2001, my weight got down to 155. Tom was chuckling yeterday because I told Tom and our two younger kids that I now weighed 205, and the youngest (Elizabeth) asked if I had ever weighed less than 205. Tom thought it was funny because that child has never known Mom as anything but really fat. Ha. Ha. The last laugh will be on me. I recognize that there are some problems with this diet, including that I had to go to bed early for the last two days because of not feeling well, but this diet all in all takes less time and effort than any other diet except for The Peanut Cluster Diet ("give yourself unconditional permission to eat"). The Peanut Cluster Diet was easy to follow but it resulted in a 10 pound weight gain. I started the Peanut Cluster Diet on 12/15/07 when I was at an all-time high weight of 205. This morning I weighed exactly 205. I wish I'd known about this diet last year, but perhaps I had to learn the hard way that no restrictions at all does not lead to weight loss. It is the contract between restrictions (N Days) and no restrictions (S Days) that leads to weight loss (from the N Day restrictions) that is sustainable (from the S Day allowances which keep you from feeling like you are starving all the time.)

I gained so much weight from 2001 because I was determined to lose weight after our last child was born, and what happened time after time after time is that I'd lose weight and the regain all of it plus some more. It was very, very frustrating. I started having visions of being 300 or 400 pounds. An aunt of mine passed away this year. When she got married 50+ years ago, she was of normal weight to thin. I have seen pictures of her on her wedding day. When she was middle-aged, she was my weight or less. She was definitely overweight to obese. By the time she died, she was huge. Huge. I bet she weighed over 300 pounds, perhaps over 400. She also was mentally incapacitated, and her husband had to use a lift to get her to the bathroom, since he could not lift her up himself. That was the path I was on, and I knew it. It wasn't lack of willpower that drove me to gain weight, since it takes a lot of willpower to keep trying to lose weight and have failure after failure after failure. No, it was lack of knowledge. I didn't know how to lose weight and keep it off.

The many diets I have tried have taught me what didn't work. By the time I read about The No S Diet, I had come to realize that:
- there need to be times of unrestricted eating
- there need to be times of restriced eating
- meatimes are an important structure in eating
- no foods should be forbidden
- using internal cues for eating can encourage self-delusion
- what drives overeating in dieting is a fear of starvation
- the key to making a diet effortless is "perfect compliance" with the rules of the diet: as Reinhard put it, "You're pre-disapproved." I never did find what book I read that contained the words "perfect compliance" as it related to dieting.
- whatever diet is chosen must be a diet that can be followed for life
- managing to a set weight is going to lead to disappointment and discouragement; what is important is to manage to a set of behaviors.

After a rocky first week, I have followed this diet (with the modification of having an accumulation of two Special Days per month and no other Special Days) with "perfect complliance." The diet isn't effortless. What I am finding is that there are episodes of temptation. I just went through temptation on Friday. All in all, though, this diet is easy and one I can follow for the rest of my life. I am willing to settle for whatever weight results from it.

I have the patience to wait for weight loss because I am happy that I have stopped the weight gain. I will weigh at the end of this year less than I did at the end of last year. That in itself is a success.

9 PM: I went through my closet this afternoon and pulled out clothes I cannot wear to put in buckets to go in the storage closet. I found two pair of pants that I now can wear. It is painful for me to consider the effects of weight gain. I have spent years not buying nice clothes for myself because I'm going to lose weight. I have nightgowns that are shredded. I have underwear that has elastic coming off. Why? I don't want to buy the current size to replace what is worn out. I hold off. This is part of the problem of putting your life on hold until you lose weight. Now I have taken all clothes except those in my current size (size 18 ) and put them in buckets to go downstairs. I have also included some summer clothes and clothes I don't like that I got as gifts or bought and then decided made me look really fat. It's like taking off a backpack to pull out these thinner clothes from my closet because it means that I accept that this diet will take a long time. I accept that I will be fat for a long time. I am starting to notice the decreased weight. My size 18 jeans are not as tight. I can fit in a jacket that I haven't worn in two years. It feels good.

Day 106: (206) I woke up with a stomach ache and a headache. I have no idea why my weight did not increase that much after two S Days gone wild. Yesterday, I had chocolate cheesecake and biscotti and coffee ice cream.

11:15: I have kids at home who want to use the computer, so this will be short. For some reason which I cannot fathom, my weight has really dropped. Last Monday, I weighed 208.8. Why is it only 206 today? Last week, I felt all week as thought I was heaping food on my three plates per day. On Saturday, I felt so sick from everything I ate that I went to bed early. Yesterday, I ate so many sweets that I didn't want dinner. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from dropping off a child for a playdate, and I ate a Snickers bar and a box of Dots in the van before I got home. Yesterday, I also had an entire bowl of popcorn. When I stepped on the scale this morning, it occurred to me that my weight may have skyrocketed up above 210. Instead, it was at 206. I was puzzled.

This morning, I was running so late I didn't have breakfast until I got back from picking up my son and a friend from swim team practice. I didn't eat until 10:30 and didn't feel the least bit hungry. I ate only because I knew I hadn't eaten earlier, and now I feel quite full.

What's interesting to me about writing this down is the observation that there doesn't seem to be much of a correlation among these three factiors: how much I eat, how hungry I feel, and how much I weigh. The regulation of three meals per day on N Days is a steadying influence on me despite the surprising results of my weight staying steady for about a month and then suddenly dropping and despite the fact that I felt very hungry last week but not at all hungry this morning. I'm eating by the clock rather than by feelings or by number on the scale.

1:30 PM: OK. I'm irritated. Maybe I'm so irritated because of the change in my eating, but I'm irritated. Tom suggested I might have been sniffling and sneezing for the last few months because the humidifier isn't working. He checked it, and it wasn't turned on and he didn't want to turn it on because he wanted to make sure the filter was good. I called the furnace cleaning people and was told that the humidifier is now an additional charge and I had not opted for it. What lousy customer service. I didn't even know there was a humidifier attached to the furnace. I explained to the woman that we get their service so I don't have to worry about the furnace. She explained that the furnace can run without the humidifier. I then had her check the records for our home, and the humidifier filter had been changed two years ago. The company had switched from having the humidifier as part of the furnace cleaning service to having it as an option.

To me, this isn't about the humidifier. It's about managing customer expectations. I told her that, when I take the van to the Toyota dealership, I don't say: please check the battery; please change the oil; etc. Instead, I drive the van there and ask them to take care of it. I asked the woman to please look at our furnace and see what else is now an option and not part of the furnace service.

Why am I bringing this up here? Well, I've gone a month with virtually no change in my weight. I had set up the expectation to myself that I would lose 2 pounds per month on average, and so a weight on 11/2 of 207.2 and a weight on 12/15 of 208.8 is not a cause for concern because my expectation is that I'll be below 212 as of December 1. As long as I am keeping to my 2 pound per month weight loss, I don't mind that my weight might go up and stay up for a few weeks.

One of the diets I tried was to keep to 1/2 pound per week weight loss. One day my weight went up four pounds from the day before. What was I to do with that? That was eight weeks' worth of weight loss up in smoke in one day.

The weight loss weight for this diet is 2 pounds per month, so it is at the same rate as the 1/2 pound per week weight loss, but there is a lot more flexibility built into it. I don't have to be evaluating each week's weight.

Managing expectations... I just experienced the importance of managing expectations this morning. I see it as a "critical success factor" with this diet. I won't be thin next summer or the summer after that, but -- with patience -- I will be thin again!

Day 107: (205.6) Yesterday was an easy weight loss day. I had a sandwich for lunch and realized later that I wasn't loading up a plate of food because I was assured of eating dinner. I finished the Todd Tucker book on Ancel Keys' starvation experiment, and the "unrestrictive rehabililation" stage sounds a lot like S Days gone wild:

"During the first unrestricted week, twelve very hungry young men were unloosed on the Twin Cities. They each consumed on average 5,219 calories per day. Most commented that even when they were stuffed to the point that they couldn't eat any more, they still felt hungry. Psychological aftereffects were also noted. There was a seldom-verbalized irrational fear among them that food might again be taken away. Periodic uncontrolled gorging was common." (p. 214).

These men were put on starvation diets of 1,570 calories per day. My standard diet was 1,000 calories per day. No wonder my standard diet became intolerable. The difference between me and these men is that I am obese and they were well below a normal weight. The similarity is only in the psychological aftereffects -- for me, a fear of the next diet meant gorging now.

With The No S Diet, I limit gorging to the weekend and only restrict to the 3S guidelines on N Days. The fear of starvation will dissapate and with it will go the reason for S Days gone wild. If I try to control S Days, I think the result will be not being able to manage N Day rules -- with the result of rebound weight gain.

I'm still over 200 pounds, but I'm well below my starting weight of 215 pounds.

Day 108; 204.4 A new low!: This diet is glacially slow. I think I've come to an understanding of why I overeat so much on S Days. If my theory is right, ony time will solve the problem. Over time, my emotional brain will come to realize that a starvation diet is not around the corner, that S Days predictably come every Saturday and Sunday, and that I don't have to stuff myself today in preparation for starvation tomorrow.

2 PM: I wolfed down lunch while reading the paper and ignoring the kids. Tom got upset with me, and I left to do my exercising. It is impossible to explain that I am having to endure a feeling of being famished for a time, and I think one of the greatest gifts I can give our children is to learn how to maintain a normal weight so they can as well. Tom doesn't understand. I understand why he doesn't understand. Why would I feel famished when I just wolfed down a huge lunch? It doesn't make sense to him. I think I'm beginning to make sense of it, but the logic is that I am still experiencing a feeling of being famished from years of restrictive dieting.

For some reason, following this diet has become hard again. I would estimate that, if the start was a 10 difficulty level on a scale from 1 (easy) to 10 (very hard), the time since about week 3 has been a level 2 - 5. The last week or so has been about a 7. Today is a 7. I am determined to stick with it, but I'm doing things like reading the paper and ignoring the kids to get through this feeling of being absolutely famished. I know I'm not famished. For lunch, I had a cup of soup with a lot of crackers on it. The cup was on a plate with a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich, 1/2 grapefruit, and a healthy serving of challah bread. I am convinced that I am experiencing what the men at the end of the starvation experiment experienced. I am physically full, but the terror of starvation is with me and makes me feel famished. Here is another sentence from page 214 of Todd Tucker's book: "The doctors noted with awe that Richard Mundy, on one Saturday in November, managed to consume 11,500 calories." Think of that. 11,500 calories. I am thinking that there is a lag in time between the end of starvation and the sense of security which comes from knowing that food is always available. The mild restrictions of N Days trigger the sense of being famished. I just have to endure this until my body comes to recognize that I am not going on starvation diets again -- except, perhaps, for a few days before another colonoscopy. There won't be extended periods of time in which I am greatly reducing my caloric intake. Instead, I am accepting slow weight loss and sanity!

4 PM: One of the biggest challenge of following this diet is the slow weight loss. I am thinking I should turn my attention to other health matters rather than focus on S Days gone wild and slow weight loss. I went on Amazon and looked up books written by Ancel Keys, the scientist who ran the starvation experiment. He wrote two cookbooks, both are out of print, and I was able to order both of them through Amazon vendors. One benefit I am finding from this diet is that I am more willing to try healthful foods on N Days because I am assured of being able to eat whatever I want on S Days. I want to start reading about nutrition.

Another focus I would like to have is on posture. Over the years, I have gone to different personal trainers who taught me to stand straight. I even took a posture class a few years ago. During the last year, I went searching for posture books and found one which had a completely different approach. It is called 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. I don't have back pain, although my husband does. Even though I have no back pain, I tried following suggestions in the book and have been amazed by how much better I feel. I never did go through the entire book or follow through on how you are supposed to adjust posture in standing, sitting, sleeping, and walking. Instead, I skimmed through and picked out some ideas. I'd like to go back now and thoroughly read the book. I think that following the advice in the book is going to have a more positive impact on my health than would losing 50 pounds. I believe that following this approach to posture also makes it more uncomfortable to be overweight because you stand with your stomach out. This is the exact opposite of the conventional approach of having your belly button as close to your spine as possible. Turning my attention to other health matters -- namely, posture and nutrition -- will help me to accept the slow weight loss. This isn't a sprint. This isn't a marathon. This is a way of life. I will accept the weight that results from this diet, but I need to accept that it will be more than two years before I reach that weight. In the meantime, life goes on. I don't want this diet to be the focus of my life, so I need to consciously choose other areas of focus, and other areas of focus in reading about health would be easiest for me to choose.

Day 109: (207.0): Why the jump in weight after an N Day? I have no idea why. I am hoping that keeping my focus on a monthly drop of 2 pounds will help me to not be concerned about the weight fluctuations I am experiencing.

Back in late August, when I weighed 212 pounds, I made a bet with the children. The child who guessed closest to the amount of weight I would lose between then and Christmas Day would get $20. Our 7 year old guessed the most amount of weight loss, and her guess was 4 pounds. She'll get $20 as well as gifts from Santa and her family.

I told the kids they can make a new bet for $30 for weight lost between today and May 1, our wedding anniversary.

Why am I doing this? I think that my ability to manage my weight is a crtitical part of parenting in this obesity epidemic. I want the kids to be aware of what I am doing. If they go on to become obese, at least I have shown them a path to normal weight.

My daughter is trying to follow this diet now, but she is not succeeding. She's having a lot of failures, and she appears to be continuing to gain weight. Am I concerned? Not really. She hasn't had the experience of diet failure after diet failure to educate her on the futility of the conventional wisdom of "eat less, exercise more." I'd rather have her failing on this diet than succeeding on conventional diets. After all, I managed to return to my high school weight after college and maintain that weight until my first pregnancy more than 10 years later. It looked like I had found a method of weight loss that would last for life. The problem was that it got to a point where I simply could not stand going on that diet anymore. Restrictive eating lasts for a time but not a lifetime. This diet can last for a lifetime.

8 AM: Elizabeth won the bet, even though the weight on the scale went up almost three pounds from yesterday. My weight today is still five pounds less than my weight of 212 from the end of August. That was the last day of the Hunger Satisfaction Diet, as I called it, and in six days my weight was up to 216 pounds (on September 4). I started this diet on September 8 at 215 pounds.

Today, at 207 pounds, I asked the kids for a guess for my weight loss by May 1. Katie (9 years old) wanted to know the day of the week (that's showing knowledge of this diet!), and I told her it was a Friday.

Here are the weight loss estimates:
Tom (age 12): loss of 1 pound, putting me at 206 pounds
Katie (age 9): loss of 5 pounds, putting me at 202 pounds
Anne (age 14): loss of 6 pounds, putting me at 201 pounds
Elizabeth (age 7): loss of 7 pounds, putting me at 200 pounds

The winner of this contest gets $30 on May 1. While it is no doubt unusual to have weight loss guesses with payments attached, I am doing this so that my kids understand this diet. Katie did show understanding by wanting to know the day of the week for our next ending date for the weight loss contest.

I think that, in this society with two overweight parents, our kids are at extremely high risk for obesity. Sure, we have them in activities. Our oldest isn't too interested in exercise, but the other three are in sports (Tom in swim team, and Katie and Elizabeth in soccer). What matters most, I believe, is not the amount of exercise but rather the amount of food consumed.

I have become so focused on this diet that I'm not going to last if this continues. I looked at the posture book, and there are 8 lessons. I'll take one week for each lesson, so I am deliberately choosing to make posture my focus rather than this diet. Also, I think I need to limit my weighing myself. I think I'll try to weigh myself only on a Saturday after five N Days. I'm committed to weighing myself on May 1 as well. I have made a lifelong commitment to this diet, but it still is not a firmly entrenched habit, so it's nice to have interim goals. My interim goal is to continue until May 1 with the goal of taking care of the N Days and letting the S Days take care of themselves.

8 PM: I am stuffed, and that's OK. I think I need to get stuffed as a way to be reassured that I can eat as much as I want on S Days. Eventually, this will get old.

8:20 PM: I took a bath, a nice soothing bath for my body which is groaning with too much food. I thought about today. The best gift I got was a wool coat from my mother. I like classic styles, with a preference for Talbots rather than Lands End. My jacket is a Lands End jacket from several years ago. One of the tragedies of being overweight is the tendency to put your life on hold. I have been a stay at home mother with no need for good quality clothing and less money overall. Money has gone for children's activities and for my husband's clothing and for tuition at the Catholic school. My clothing budget has been a low priority for me since I don't look good in anything. Also, I refused to go into women's sizes.

The Lands End jacket I have been wearing has held up well since I bought it perhaps three years ago. I used to wear wool coats and even have one hanging in the closet that I haven't been able to wear for at least five years. My mother got me a nice wool coat in a size XL. Yes, I look big in it, but it feels so nice to be back in a wool coat. I may even go out and buy leather gloves to wear as well. While I own gloves, I don't wear them. I just alternate putting hands in my pocket. My preference is for leather gloves or nothing, and leather gloves do not go with jackets.

It's hard to describe how I feel as I write this, but it's almost like novacaine wearing off. I have spent years just numb to the reality of how much my weight problem has affected me. Now, with the possibility that I will lose weight, I can stand to look at the reality with all its grimness.

Another gift I got was a beautiful bathrobe from my sister. I look absolutely huge in it. It is comfortable, but I look huge. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided -- I love it! As I lose weight, I won't look so huge. I'm willing to consider my own comfort in what I wear.

I am preparing a graph so that I can track weight from Saturday to Saturday. This diet has had a big impact on me psychologically even though it has had minimal impact so far physically. I at last have hope that I can return to a normal weight and maintain that weight for the rest of my life.

Christmas is a time of gift-giving, and I think that one of the greatest gifts I will give my children is the knowledge of how to maintain a normal weight. They are much loved. They have seen me spend so much time researching weight loss methods and trying to lose weight with crazy approaches that took time and money and sometimes stunk up the house -- The Cabbage Soup Diet comes to mind when thinking of smell!

I am happy that they will still be living at home as they see me lose weight. They are old enough to remember their mother was once obese and to see their mother losing weight and becoming thin. Nothing is more motivating than to want my children to avoid the pain I have experienced.

Day 110: 207: I decided to continue weighing myself and blogging because it helps me to think about the impact of weight on my life. I simply cannot believe that I am this fat. It's all a mistake. It's not who I am. I've carried more than 200 pounds on my body for about four years, but this is all a big mistake. It's temporary. It will come off without any effort on my part. That's what I've been telling myself. Now, with this diet, I am facing the reality that the weight will come off with effort and a plan.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:20 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 113 - 12/29/08: SUCCESS (4) 207.0
Day 114 - 12/30/08: SUCCESS (4) 206.0
Day 115 - 12/31/08: S DAY (3) - NEW YEAR'S EVE

Day 113: Yesterday's S Day "starvation effect eating" didn't start until about noon. I consider this an improvement over waiting until midnight on S Days so I could have Haagen Dazs bars!

Day 114: I'm not sure if I'm taking another S Day for the New Year. My body isn't yet recovered from a Thursday S Day (Christmas) and the weekend.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:05 am; edited 8 times in total
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resting52



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 445
Location: Between the mountains and the beach

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kathleen,
Just wanted to pop in and say how much I appreciate your honesty and willingness to walk this journey in such a Transparent way. you say much of that I feel. Here's to living the rest of our lives enjoying a sane relationship with food.

Resting
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resting52,

Thank you. It's helped me to put my thoughts down. I wrote so much that I exceeded the limit for one post for my December post, and now everything else is truncating!

I once read a very honest and tortuous confession of the impact on weight of how you view yourself by a guy by the name of Martin Seligman, who wrote several books on happiness, including Learned Optimism. There's so much focus on the physical problems associated with weight problems, and there is so much on how to lose weight and why you are fat, but there is very little on how fat makes you feel. I think conventional wisdom is dead wrong here: it's not emotional and psychological problems that cause weight problems. Instead, weight problems cause problems because you change your behavior -- not looking in the mirror, delaying in buying clothes, standing way back when pictures are taken, or avoiding pictures altogether...

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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resting52



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 445
Location: Between the mountains and the beach

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kathleen,

I would say it's both:

Both a cause-like the not looking in the mirror thing

And a result-emotional eating has been BIG in my life. I can't discount that.

Anyway, good post!
Resting
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BrightAngel



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 2083
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am inspired by your Efforts,
and find your journal entries interesting.

Even before I read Reinhard, I had learned it is necessary to:
    Focus on Behavior, instead of on Results.
    The timing of the number on the scale is Results.
    What we put in our mouths is Behavior.
Keep up the Good Work.

_________________
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com


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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resting52,

I've had some emotional ups and downs in my life to be sure -- including having a rare type of cancer all over my forehead which required five operations and a bandage on my head (which I covered with a scarf) from August, 2007 to February, 2008. I didn't think it likely I could be hired as a contractor wearing that!

Still, I think emotional eating is identified as the cause of binge eating disorder, and I think a more appropriate name for eating everything in sight -- or, as my husband puts it, "a feeding frenzy" -- is starvation recovery eating.

The emotional brain hijacks the cognitive brain and a person eats an incredible amount of food in a few minutes. I had quoted this before from Todd Tucker's book on the WW II starvation experiment in which Dr. Ancel Keys got conscientious objectors to agree to starve for six months:

"Weygandt finished his paperwork early and waited for the clock to strike nine. He sat peacefully on his stool behind the counter...Weygandt suddenly realized that his hand held a cookie. He looked down. His hand was moving of its own independent will. He was helpless to stop it. He shoved the cookie in his mouth. It tasted wonderful. He shoved two more cookies in his mouth. A sack of popcorn was also within reach and he ate that next. Finally, he ate two overripe bananas that he had been planning to throw in the trash on his way out the door. With a final swallow of gooey brown banana, Weygandt regained control of himself, and again looked at the Regulator clock. Just three minutes had passed."

Last night, on the Internet, I read about a national program on obesity prevention, and here in the Twin Cities a doctor is taking obese veterans and starting them off on a weight reduction program at 800 calories per week. Well, in the Ancel Keys experiment, the men got something like 1,570 calories per day.

Weygandt sure sounds like me on S Days -- only, with the assurance of two S Days per week, I think that I'll gradually not eat so much. It is now 9:35 AM, and I've had a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. I'm not interested in anything sweet.

I'll see how my theory plays out over time, since I am determined not to apply common sense to S Day eating and just allow myself to eat whatever I want and however much I want. The question is: will I stop eating so much if I know that I will be able to eat whatever I want on two days per week?

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,
Yes, I think one of Reinhard's insights is that the key to permanent weight loss is to focus on behaviorial habits, not on the number on the scale. Following this diet is resulting in a lower weight, but I do not have the ability to look in the future and see what weight will result from following the 3S guidelines on N Days, giving myself "unconditional permission to eat" on S Days, and giving mysellf "unconditional permission to eat" on an accumulation of two additional weekdays per month. The eating behaviors have been selected, I am committed to following them, and I am willing to accept whatever weight results. I am relieved that I am no longer gaining weight! Six years of really trying to lose weight had netted me sixty extra pounds, and now ten of the pounds are gone for good!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As of 1/1/09, I will never again weigh more than 210 pounds.

DAY 116 - 1/1/09: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 117 - 1/2/09: SUCCESS (5)
DAY 118 - 1/3/09: SATURDAY 205.6
DAY 119 - 1/4/09: SUNDAY 207.0
DAY 120 - 1/5/09: SUCCESS (5) 209.2
DAY 121 - 1/6/09: SUCCESS (5) 207.6
Day 122 - 1/7/09: SPECIAL DAY (4) - BAD BREATH 205.2
DAY 123 - 1/8/09: 206.2
DAY 124 - 1/9/09: 205.4
DAY 125 - Saturday, January 10, 2009: 202.8 A new low!
DAY 126 - Sunday, January 11, 2009: 204.8.
DAY 127 - Monday, January 12, 2009: 206.4.
DAY 128 - Tuesday, January 13, 2009: 204.4
DAY 129 - Wednesday, January 14, 2009: 203.6
DAY 130 - Thursday, January 15, 2009: 202.2. A new low!

Saturday, January 3, 2009: (205.6). I made it through a visit with my in laws while keeping to this diet. I had given a copy of the book to a sister in law who decided to follow it. She loaned it to another sister in law who read part of it and told me it was just common sense and she would lose weight faster than I will because of the diet she is following. I told her I'm not looking for quick weight loss: I'm looking for permanent weigbt loss. The book is now with a third sister in law, the one who recommended this book to me in the first place but never bought the book or followed the diet. A fourth sister in law lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers in the spring and is hanging in there with that program.

It can be discouraging to look at the scale and see that I have not lost weight in the last month. I am thinking that there may well be plateaus in this diet as I adjust to lower food intake. If I cannot sustain a two pound per month weight loss, I may want to try to make my N Day meals somewhat more normal-looking in size, but I am not changing the philosophy of "unconditional permission to eat" on S Days. To me, that is a guarantee of satisfaction that allows me to stay on this diet for life.

I can look at the start of this month and see that I will never ever be 210 pounds again and then compare to today's weight to that and see that progress has been made.

6:30 PM: I went to the grocery store after exercising, and I bought three packages of Haagen Dazs bars – four bars for me, and one bar each for everyone else. I ate two in the car and another one within the hour. How did I feel? Great! The overindulging that has been characteristic of other S Days didn’t start until mid-afternoon with this S Day. I do see progress in this. Other than the Haagen Dazs bars, all I’ve had was a Snickers bar. I like having a weight ceiling each month. For this month, it is 210 pounds. If I exceed 210 pounds, then I’ll try to change the program, but I like the program the way it is now. I did make one small modification in the last week, which was to add regular soda as an allowed drink on S Days. The amount of soda I drink in a year is very small – perhaps about 25 cans per year. What I found this week was that drinking pop could help tide me over to a late meal, which is something that happened at my in law’s house. At least when we are there, it is permasnacking both at my mother in law’s house and at my sister in law’s house. My mother in law wanted us to have leftover steaks from dinner the night before, and it was really late before we had them. Meanwhile, we were sitting around talking. Having pop in that situation helped me to wait for the steaks instead of snacking on the sweets or deciding that I would prefer a sandwich now to a steak later. I appreciate the danger in complacency eroding the diet, but I think this is more about surviving visits to my in law’s than it is about adding something I don’t really like anyway as a regular part of my N Day diet.

7:15 PM: Except for 1,120 calories of Haagen Dazs bars (four), the S Day was a relatively calm day, with only a Snickers bar at noon and a few extra rolls outside of moderate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had all four Haagen Dazs bars after exercising which ended at 5 PM and now. I’m stuffed. I don’t feel very well. My body is an excellent teacher. This doesn’t feel good. Will I do it again? Maybe. I didn’t think I’d have four Haagen Dazs bars after the last time I did this, but I repeated the performance today.

I am in no way, shape, or form disappointed, disgusted, or feeling guilty. Instead, I’m somewhat amused. Those years of dieting have led to bizarre bingeing behavior that I think has nothing whatsoever to do with emotional reactions of boredom or stress or fear or anything else. I eat because I can. With dieting, I always ate right up to the limit of what I was allowed to eat. It’s difficult adjusting to the idea of “unconditional permission to eat” because I’ve lived with one restriction after another since I was a teenager.

Sunday, January 4, 2009: (207.0). I got up late and had my first bite of food when it was almost 9:30 AM. I had cereal and a Clementine for breakfast. There is no desire for anything like a sweet. I am trying to observe my reaction to overeating as if I am observing someone else, and it appears to me that this approach is appropriate. If I follow the concept of cognitive brain and emotional brain, then it was the emotional brain that made the decision to wolf down four Haagen Dazs bars in less than two hours. The dieter who fails again and again, like me prior to this diet, is all upset about this out of control eating behavior. With this current diet, I simply observe it and accept it as long as the behavior occurs on an S Day. This morning, as I was thinking about what happened last night, I was considering the religious festivals that allowed out of control eating behavior. For me as a Catholic, the best example is Mardi Gras. As Lenten rules became diluted and ended up just being that meat cannot be eaten on Fridays, the need for Mardi Gras also declined. I just remember as a child making German doughnuts that were eaten on Mardi Gras. There is something about this concept of a feast before fasting that is very much like this diet – there is a time of “unconditional permission to eat” and there is a time of eating restriction. I keep on trying to understand why this diet works, and I think that one key reason is that the diet isn’t constantly “on”. There are times when it is “on” and times when it is “off”, so the dieter who is hungry can wait for the time when eating to satisfaction is permitted.

2:30 PM: On the way to church this morning, my 10 year old daughter said that all I ever do is talk about my diet. Oh, how sad! I said that this diet is getting to be as easy as brushing my teeth, and I won’t talk about it as much. I still felt very bad. It has been hard to start this diet, but now I’m in a mode in which it should just become part of my life, like brushing my teeth or putting on makeup or taking a bath. I’m not sure if journaling helps or hurts. I am very excited that I have found the key to permanent weight loss. Still, that doesn’t matter so much to my husband or children or dog. I need to be less focused on me and my weight and more focused on being with my family and doing a good job at work. I think my New Year’s resolution will be to record when I talk about my weight so that I can cut down on boring those around me!

6:30 PM: I’m thinking I should just update this journal once per week and weigh myself once per week. My number one priority is to follow this diet, but I don’t need to be spending so much time thinking about why I ate four Haagen Dazs bars in less than two hours. All I have to do is follow the diet.

Monday, January 5, 2009: (209.2). I am quite disappointed by today’s weight on the scale and am beginning to wonder if I can sustain a two pound per month weight loss with this approach. What do I do? I think I continue. Weight loss or not, this approach provides some sanity for my eating. I am hoping that the S Day eating calms down, but I will let it occur as it does. I won’t try to apply any common sense at all to my desires and instead will make sure that N Days stay green. Maybe journaling is necessary for me as I work through this process. I don’t want to be talking about my diet all the time but instead will write, write, write…

7 PM: I felt like throwing in the towel with this diet, but instead I threw in the towel about having any expectation about rate of weight loss. This is my chosen way to eat regardless of ending weight. I am sick and tired of going from diet to diet and gaining weight. At least with this diet, my weight has not gone up. It’s even gone down.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009: (207.6). It’s only Tuesday, and I’m already exhausted. I started our two younger girls in soccer training, and now it is 8:30 PM and they have yet to change. I need to get them in bed. I haven’t had time to think about diet or eating all day. What’s nice about this diet is it can go into autopilot when I’m busy. With other diets, the diet ended with permasnacking when I got busy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009: (205.2). I’m pleased with today’s weight. I think that things will settle down for me with this diet now that I have decided to throw out any expectations of weight loss and just be content with my weight today. My weight was trending up a dramatic 10 pounds per year, and this diet put a stop to that trend. Now I need to accept the weight that results from following the three S guidelines on all N Days. It’s simple. It’s boring. It’s easy.

9 PM: One of the perks of my job is access to free Caribou Coffee. I had so much that I couldn't stand my own breath. I evaluated whether it was worth it to spend an S Day allocation on a pack of Certs, and I knew it was worth it. Just now, I had two Clementines and a cereal bar, but other than that I followed the N Day rules. There are so many S Days in this diet that I can use up one for something as minor as mints for bad breath.

Thursday, January 8, 2009: (206.2). It is late afternoon. I did not go to work. I did volunteer in the school, have lunch with a friend, and exercise at the gym, so I just got home for about 30 minutes before I have to leave to pick up the kids from school. While I was walking at the gym, I thought about something that happened last night. I told the kids that I had made yesterday a Special Day because I had bad breath and decided to buy some mints. My seven year old told me it was already a special day because it was her First Confession last night. How sad. Dieting can just take over your life, and I had made the day special because of wanting mints instead of because it was my daughter’s First Confession. We did make the day special for her in that she got dressed up and we had dinner out, but my thoughts were on it being a special day because of food. I don’t want to call it a special day when there are no eating rules. I want to call it an exception. Two exceptions per month plus weekends off.

Friday, January 9, 2009: (205.4). At this point, I think I can simplify my recordkeeping for this diet. I can just record my weight and assume that I had a success on an N Day unless I mark the day as an exception. The only record I really need for this diet is the tracking of the number of available exceptions. For Saturday and Sunday, there is nothing to track because both days are exceptions always. My week was so busy that last night I collapsed at about 9 PM. Two kids are in soccer, and one is in swim team. I quit work to stay home with the kids and made the deliberate decision that I would not be busy. Now I need to look at my commitments and figure out how to cut out lower priority tasks so that I have more time. Simplifying my recordkeeping for this diet is one way to reduce time. I’m past the point where I’m going to quit the diet. Now all I need is a way to stay on it so I don’t slip into all days being exceptions.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 (202.8 ). A new low! I got home yesterday from work and was so exhausted that I went straight to bed. My husband took care of dinner for the kids. There were several extra activities this week, and I was just overwhelmed. One extra activity was a two hour company meeting on Tuesday afternoon. At the end of the meeting, everyone was given a very nice Land’s End spring jacket. There wasn’t one for me at the meeting, but the HR Director told me she wanted me to have one and would get one to me later in the week. Yesterday, by email, I was asked what size I wanted. I replied: 14 – 16. The admin dropped off two jackets, a Large (14 – 16) and an XL (18 ). I tried on the Large, and it was small on me! It was a high quality jacket that could last several years. I figured I might be able to fit into it by spring but certainly by fall, so I kept the large and told the admin that it was a little small but I was keeping it! She got a chuckle out of that. Many years ago, I told myself I would not buy clothes unless I could fit into them that day. I have too many clothes that are nice and I have never worn because I was too big to fit into them when I bought them and never did lose weight. This diet is different, though. I’ve already lost 10 pounds. There is no danger of rebound weight gain because the rebound is every weekend. It will be a memorable day for me when I can wear that jacket!

Sunday, January 11, 2009: (204.8 ). I decided that what is special about a day is not whether or not you follow eating rules, so I decided to call weekday S Days by a new term: E Days for Exception Days. Exception Days are also days when I am sick or need to fast prior to a surgery.

It may be that I didn’t feel well on Friday because of too much coffee. At my company, Caribou Coffee is available free of charge about 30 feel from my cube, and I’ve taken full advantage of it. Yesterday, instead of coffee, I had green tea, since it is supposed to be good for you. I felt fine and more or less permansnacked all day. In the evening, I had several Caribou Coffee chocolate ice cream squares and a Haagen Dazs bar. I had one Haagen Dazs bar. The memory of how I felt after having four last Saturday has stayed with me. It is an unusual approach I am taking to not apply any common sense to how I eat on E Days or S Days, but it seems to be working. It’s not that I told myself I shouldn’t have three more Haagen Dazs bars. I simply didn’t want any more. I felt revolted by the idea of eating more.

Monday, January 12, 2009: 206.4. I woke up and felt nauseous. My stomach is bloated. I just plain don’t feel well. Why? Could it be because I stuffed myself with two more Haagen Dazs bars yesterday? It occurred to me that, in conventional diets, you restrict food until there is a revolt by the body that leads to bingeing behavior. In this diet, you stuff yourself so that there is a revolt by your body that leads to normal eating. I’m glad it’s an N Day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009: 204.4. Yesterday, it snowed, and the traffic was bad. I didn’t get home in time to eat before picking up the kids from school, so I stopped at a Subway at about 2:20 PM to get something to eat. Normally, I get a 12 inch Subway. I didn’t feel like one. Instead, I got a 6 inch Subway. It must be that following these rules is helping me to want to eat less. This morning, I noticed that my stomach seemed to be smaller. When I was single, I had a 24 inch waist. My waist has been at high as 38 or 39 inches when I measured it. This morning, I had a 36 inch waist. I was happy about that. It’s progress. I asked Tom on Sunday if he could tell if I had lost weight, and he said, “Not really.” Well, I couldn’t really, either. This is the first time that my body seemed smaller to me.

9 PM: As I was preparing the kids for bed, it occurred to me that I definitely was not stuffed and yet I did not want to eat. I figured out some time ago that the result of dieting is that I always want to eat to the point of being stuffed because starvation was right around the corner. It must be that I am beginning to trust that food will always be right around the corner. Why eat now, just before bed, when I know I can have a huge plateful of food at breakfast?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009: 203.6. I’m missing something I’ve had for so long that I thought was just the way I am, and what I am missing is the frantic need to stuff myself. Last night, I felt about food the way I remember feeling long ago, which is the pleasant sensation of having eaten to the point where I am satisfied. This is wonderful. I’m wondering if this diet will allow me to lose weight at a faster pace than 2 pounds per month. I’m well below the ceiling weight for this month, which is 210 pounds. My little fourth grader graduates from her elementary school in 29 months, and it would be just wonderful if I was no longer overweight then.

Thursday, January 15, 2009: 202.2. A new low! A sudden shift has occurred. I thought that my attitude toward stuffing myself would gradually change, but instead there’s been a sudden shift. According to the book Intuitive Eating, you stop stuffing yourself if you give yourself “unconditional permission to eat” when you give up dieting. The cause of stuffing yourself is the visceral fear of starvation because dieting means food restriction. To prepare for food restriction, you overeat. Well, I tried the approach of “unconditional permission to eat” for six months, and I ended up 10 pounds heavier. With this approach, I have been experiencing a contrast between moderate eating (N Days) and significant overeating (S Days and E Days). I’ve come to dread non-N Days because I have been feeling sick after them. Last Saturday, I had four Haagen Dazs bars in less than two hours. I didn’t feel all that great.

Now what? Now, all of a sudden, I’m not interested in eating the maximum allowed. What might be termed an “unintended consequence” for diets has been my drive to eat as much as possible because periodic diets have created in me a terrible fear of hunger. That fear, all of a sudden, is gone. Why overeat? Why shovel as much food in my mouth in as quickly as possible with little or now enjoyment? It does make sense in the context of a life in which suddenly food is severely restricted. I can rationalize all I want that this is a country of abundance and I will never starve, but the reality experienced by my body has been that there are frequent periods of severe food restriction. My emotional brain took over, and the result has been what my husband ungraciously but accurately has termed a “feeding frenzy.”

This diet simply provides a contrast between how you feel with normal eating and how you feel with significant overeating, and over time the question comes to mind: Why overeat so you feel bad? Why overeat so fast you don’t enjoy it? My N Day eating behavior has suddenly changed. No more plates with food shaped like a small mountain. It remains to be seen how my eating will change on non-N Days.

2 PM: I had an interesting experience that seems analogous to my experience of this diet. My teeth have gotten more and more discolored over time, and several years ago I spent $500 on teeth whitening from my dentist. Over the past year or so, I have noticed that my teeth are now even more discolored, to the point that I feel self-conscious. I bought teeth whitening toothpaste and saw fairly quickly that the enamel in my teeth was being destroyed. What to do? I talked to my dentist, and he said the solution would be caps on my six front teeth which would be very expensive. I thanked him but decided to start trying to figure out what to do with my teeth. Then I started reading about nutrition and learned that certain types of green tea are very, very good for your health. One of my January goals was to start drinking green tea every day, which I have been doing. My teeth quickly showed the results of daily green tea consumption. It was time for a google search: teeth whitening home remedies. Someone had posted that her grandmother taught her to mix 1 t. baking soda with a little salt and add a few drops of white vinegar so it fizzes, make a paste, and brush her teeth with the mixture. She said she'd been doing that for forty years. I tried it a few times, and my teeth look whiter. I asked my mother, who has a B.A. in chemistry, what she thought. She said it sounded good and she might try it herself! She did suggest I only use the teeth whitening paste at the end of the day, then rinse my mouth and brush my teeth to get rid of the paste.

How is this teeth whitening approach similar to this diet? Well, first of all, the dentist is my expert, and his suggestion is a very expensive one of putting caps on six teeth. He's been my dentist for 18 years and is terrific. I doubt very much he is looking for business and decided that is how he can earn more money. I have a cap on one tooth, and it kept chipping until he was able to get me in a nightguard since I had ground down my front teeth. The chips were fixed free of charge because that's just how he operates. The advise I get from him, I am quite confident, is what he thinks is in my best interest.

I think that the experts in the field of weight management also usually have our best interest in mind. Kelly Brownell of Yale University has dedicated his career to weight management and produces podcasts that are free of charge for people to hear. Why? It's hard for me to believe that that sort of approach to a problem is completely self-serving.

No, I think the experts have our best interest in mind, but the approach is one in which there is a lot of expense and agony. This diet is just too simple and inexpensive for a professional to think would be a good idea and actually work.

My journaling about my dieting is for one main purpose, and it is to educate my beloved oldest child, who is about 5'5" and 150 pounds. Oh, I want her to avoid all the professional advise that got me into so much trouble!
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:26 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAY 131 - Friday, January 16, 2009: 202.2.
DAY 132 - Saturday, January 17, 2009: 202.4.
DAY 133 - Sunday, January 18, 2009: 202.8
Day 134 - Monday, January 19, 2009: 206.6.
Day 135 - Tuesday, January 20, 2009: 205.2.
Day 136 - Wednesday, January 21, 2009: 204.2.
DAY 137 - Thursday, January 22, 2009: 203.6
DAY 138 - Friday, January 23, 2009: 202.0 A new low!
DAY 139 - Saturday, January 24, 2009: 204.0
Day 140 - Sunday, January 25, 2009:
Day 141 - Monday, January 26, 2009:
Day 142 - Tuesday, January 27, 2009: (3E)
Day 143 - Wednesday, January 28, 2009:
Day 144 - Thursday, January 29, 2009:
Day 145 - Friday, January 30, 2009: 204.4
Day 146 - Saturday, January 31, 2009: 203.6

Saturday, January 17, 2009: 202.4. Last night, I was grumpy, so grumpy I went to bed at about 8:30 and didn’t even clean up the kitchen. Why? Well, we had a hectic night. My oldest daughter was babysitting, and I had planned to join my husband and daughter at my son’s swim meet. Our two youngest daughters, however, didn’t want to go to another swim meet. I ended up letting my husband see this once, and I took them grocery shopping. In our household, there is now a big difference between shopping on a Friday and shopping during the week. They wanted “S Day” food. We were at the store nearly 90 minutes. By the time we got home and unpacked groceries, it was almost 7. Then they ate while I talked with a prospective French horn instructor for my youngest. I ate at 7:30, and I was hungry.

Was this a crises? No. Did I recover from it last night? No. I finally had the girls shower and go to bed to read. I flat out told them I was grumpy. They knew why, too. We talk about my diet, especially when we are grocery shopping. My 9 year old even said she figured out why it worked – which is that your body gets used to how you eat on N Days so it doesn’t want to eat a super large amount on S Days.

Now it is about 7:30 in the morning and I’ve already had a Haagen Dazs bar, a Snickers ice cream bar,and several peanut clusters. I’ve only been up about 15 minutes and haven’t even had coffee. Am I distressed by this start to my S Day? No. I’m just happy I got through last night. What I am observing about myself is that I have periods of time when it is difficult to make it through an N Day. The whole week before Christmas was difficult, and last night was difficult. Usually, though, this diet is easy. What makes it easy for me, I think, is that I really mean it that I allow myself to eat whatever I want on S Days or E days.

Sunday, January 18, 2009: 202.8. I ate a lot yesterday and went to bed early because I wasn’t feeling very well. When I stepped on the scale, I guessed a weight of 206.4 and got 202.8. Why? No idea. The weight gain will probably be reflected tomorrow. It’s no doubt bad for my body that I have these dramatic increases in food intake on the weekend, but I think that it won’t last. I get immediate negative feedback in the form of a stomach ache. I think I need to stick to the idea of “unconditional permission to eat” and just wait out the problem of overeating. I didn’t do anything to change the amount of food that I put on my plate on N Days, but over time I just stared to eat a more normal amount. Now it is quite unusual for me to have a plateful that is shaped like Mount Olympus. I hope that the change in my behavior on the weekend comes sooner rather than later. What I have noticed is that I tend to be somewhat burned out on sweets by Sunday so I tend to eat less on Sundays.

7 PM: There is one more Haagen Dazs bar in the freezer, and I just plain don’t want it. The kids were surprised when I turned down the Haagen Dazs bar that Dad said he didn’t want. I said, “I’m topped out.” My son quipped that those were new words in my vocabulary. I brought up that I want to celebrate getting below 200 pounds. I also went back in my journal to see when it was that my husband weighed less than I did. On July 9, 2008, I recorded that Tom had told me he weighed 211, and on that day I weighed 212.2. Since then, Tom’s weight has gone up to 225, but mine is down to 202.8 (as of this morning). I can no sooner convince him to follow this diet than I can convince my daughter. All I can do is follow it myself. My son thought I’d just regain this weight if I went off the diet, and I agreed and told him I plan to be on it for life.

Monday, January 19, 2009: 206.6. This diet is a waiting game. I need to wait for my body not to want binges on the weekend. I think that this may happen more quickly the less I focus on the diet, my eating, and my weight. I may just want to weigh myself and journal once per month. I’ve tried backing off on journaling before, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe I’m ready now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009: 205.2. I got up this morning and decided I wanted to see how much I weigh. Whether I weigh myself or not, whether I write about how I feel or not – that is not what is important. What is important is whether I follow the diet or not. I was working on something so tedious this morning that I felt like I was going to fall asleep, and I was happy to escape at 1 and come home to a houseful of kids – two who had the day off school and two who were home because they were sick yesterday. I ate lunch, and now I need to turn my attention to getting the house cleaned. There isn’t much time to be thinking about dieting. That’s what’s nice about this diet. There’s no need to think. I ate a meal that I thought was satisfying, and now I won’t eat again until dinner. At dinner, I’ll decide how much to eat. Some nights, I pile the plate with food, and other nights I eat a normal amount.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009: 204.2. My weight just clings to me. I think I’m going to modify my weekly weight tracking chart so that I can see the infinitesimal movement downward from week to week. I’ll take an average of each week’s weight numbers so that I see that the average is moving downward.

Thursday, January 22, 2009: 203.6. Here are my weekly averages for all the weeks, since the start of the diet, that I weighed myself every day from Sunday through Saturday:
Week of 10/19/08: 208.
Week of 11/2/08: 207.4.
Week of 11/9/08: 207.8.
Week of 11/22/08: 207.9.
Week of 12/14/08: 206.5.
Week of 12/21/08: 205.7.
Week of 1/4/09: 206.3.
Week of 1/11/09: 203.9.

Looking at this information, it is no wonder to me that I am discouraged and feel like I am not losing weight. My weights are in a significant range from a high on Saturday (after two S Days) to a low on Saturday. The weight loss is so slow that my low on a Saturday can be greater than my low on a Monday two or three months later.

Seeing a weekly average is much more encouraging. I see that I am losing weight, but the weight loss is very variable. Given my history of gaining more weight at the end of a diet than I had lost during it, I am willing to settle for very slow weight loss.

8:30 AM: Last night, I had a victory of sorts. I went to the store and bought a pair of size 18 Liz Claiborne jeans. I have size 18 Liz Claiborne jeans that I have worn infrequently at home. I made a resolution that I would never ever go into women’s sizes, and size 18 is the top size in “normal” sizes. In many stores, “normal” sizes end at size 16, so I had to find the stores which carried size 18 as a non-women’s size. Even in size 18, the only jeans that I could zip up were Liz Claiborne jeans. They have been so tight that the stitching has actually come loose. The pair of jeans that I bought last night fit just fine. I came home from the store and promptly threw out the two pair of jeans that were worn out and had lines across the jeans because of the tightness in the thigh area. Today, I will be running a fourth grade reading group, and I will be wearing the new jeans. It is the first time I have been in jeans in public since the summer.

7 PM: I had a pleasant and productive day. Other than my standard 2 mile walk at the gym and leading a fourth grade reading group (which is a lot of fun), all I did was clean in the house – finish the laundry, wash all the floors, do some vacuuming. It is now after dinner, and my husband will be returning with our son from a Boy Scout meeting in the next half hour or so. I took a break to read, and I realized that I felt hungry – not famished but hungry. I certainly had a good sized meal. I had the meal (a slice of beef from a roast, a potato, and broccoli) plus yogurt, cottage cheese, and a Clementine. All of it fit on my plate. When I feel hungry, I feel my face tighten. I want to eat, but I’m not going to eat. It’s as simple as that. Instead, I’m going to spend the rest of the evening relaxing!

Friday, January 23, 2009: 202.0. A new low! I like recording “A new low!” It’s very reassuring when the weight loss is soooooooo slow. If I knew in early September that I would be at this weight today, I would be happy. It has been several years since I have been able to lose weight and keep it off more than a week. My body simply rebelled against dieting. I see that same rebellion in S Day behavior, but I think that the S Day behavior will change over time. I’m not going to be on any more starvation diets, so there is no longer the need to overeat in preparation for the coming famine.

4 PM: I didn’t eat lunch until ½ hour ago, and now I don’t feel all that great. I want to eat more, and lunch is over. How I feel is that my face is taut and I didn’t get enough to eat. It’s only two hours until dinner, and it’s only eight hours until an S Day. The freezer has 9 Haagen Dazs bars in it – four for me and one each for the other five people in the family. It is really tough sometimes to endure the feeling I have now, which is that I am not stuffed. The way I endure it is by looking forward to the next S Day.

11:30 PM: There are times when this diet is uncomfortable, and tonight has been one of them. I decided to go to bed early, and now I am up waiting for midnight so I can eat. I feel underfed, which is a terrible feeling especially when you are dieting and think it will never end. At least with this diet, I know the end is in sight in exactly 26 minutes. Tonight, at dinner, my husband said that he wasn’t going to have seconds because he was going on the S Day diet (my nine year old’s label for the diet, with its emphasis on eating really yummy foods on the weekend!) I got a chuckle out of that. I said that there’s a fine line between the Peanut Cluster Diet and this diet, but I was happy he was going on it. I have recorded in my journal for one day in July, 2008, that he told me he weighed 211 and I weighed 212.2 that day. Now I am at 202, and he came home from a physical last week to say he weighed 225. Anyway, after dinner, he gave the kids Skittles and popped several in his mouth. I bit my tongue. He’s still on the Peanut Cluster Diet!

Saturday, January 24, 2009: 204.0 (Morning Weight). It is now 12:30 AM. At 11:59 PM, I was standing in the kitchen with a Haagen Dazs bar in my hand, waiting for midnight. Since then, I’ve had two Haagen Dazs bars, bread, a slice of Swiss cheese, and an entire bowl of popcorn. I’m ready for bed. The feeling I had this past evening, the feeling of not being satisfied, is what destroys diets. With this diet, there is comfort in knowing that S Days mean satisfaction. I’ve had so many diets which have ended because I just couldn’t stand feeling hungry, constantly feeling hungry. Carnie Wilson wrote a book called “I’m Still Hungry”, and I just read it in the last month. It’s about the willful determination to use gastric bypass surgery to be able to deal with hunger. I prefer using S Days as a way to deal with N Day hunger. Back to sleep….

8:35 AM: I just had my third Haagen Dazs bar of the day. I am stuffed. Why? I think that what may have happened is the feeling of hunger triggered the “diet backlash” overeating that has characterized the end of my diets for years. What’s great about this diet is that the diet didn’t end. It continues. This overeating is part of the process of learning to enjoy food. I wish it wouldn’t take so long for me to recover from dieting, but I have been dieting for more than 35 years, and I just have to let this process of overeating take its course.

7 PM: Food. Food. Food. Food. That was my focus today. Somehow, in the haze of it all, we took our two youngest children to soccer, I took one of them for pictures, and I took another for a flute lesson. Activities with my family were simply the backdrop to food. I am sick of that. For dinner, I had popcorn. I did not eat with my family. It’s time for a change in outlook. I can still keep the concept of “unconditional permission to eat” on non-N Days, but I think I need to deliberately choose to turn my attention elsewhere and let following this diet produce the results it will over time. Maybe I shouldn’t journal so much or obsessively weigh myself every morning. Maybe I need to have other goals. This has been my number one priority since September. It can still be my number one priority without it being such a big deal. I just don’t want to repeat today’s performance.

7:40 PM: I took some time to think about what I was doing here, and I decided that it is just fun and easy to think about a problem that has already been solved. This diet will take me to a weight that will be acceptable and easy to maintain. I’m not going off it. My focusing on this diet adds no value. It’s time to turn my attention to other things, like making sure my 9 year old doesn’t fail band because she hasn’t handed in practice sheets since mid-quarter. I think I’ll try to give a monthly update. I do need to track the number of exception days, and the number increments by two every first of the month. Other than that, there isn’t really much that I need to do.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009: My resolve not to journal didn’t last long, but I have stayed off the scale. Last night, I was talking with my mother in law, and she brought up that my sister in law (who decided to follow this diet) has gained a noticeable amount of weight. I felt so bad. First of all, I understand the anguish of my mother in law because I feel so bad about my daughter’s weight. The other day, I brought my daughter to buy some black pants for a band concert tonight, and she fit easily into a size 12. She had bought size 13/14 American Eagle jeans in the fall, so I was very happy about this. She doesn’t appear to be gaining weight and may even be losing some. As for my sister in law, now in her late 50s, what is to explain that her going on this diet has led to weight gain? I think the reason may be that she has spent many years, like me, starving herself to lose weight and the “unconditional permission to eat” of S Days was a “feeding frenzy.” I went through six months of The Peanut Cluster Diet (“unconditional permission to eat” every day) and gained 10 pounds as a result. When I got to this diet, I understood that there is a fine line between The Peanut Cluster Diet, which leads to weight gain at least for a time, and The Set Point Lowering Diet, which can mean slow weight loss in a fairly short period of time. Had I not been on The Peanut Cluster Diet first, I may not have seen positive results so soon. I don’t know. I feel bad. I’m glad that my daughter is happy with her diet, and I’m looking forward to her annual physical in March so I can see how her weight percentile has changed, but I feel bad about my sister in law. It’s hard to describe just how kind she is.

One thing I have noticed about very overweight people is that they tend to be very giving. A person who is willing to diet enough that they experience significant “diet backlash” seems to me to have traits of being willing to put off self-gratification in the care of others. This is just the opposite of the conventional perception that overweight people are gluttons who have no self-control. I knew a woman at my old job who was on Weight Watchers for the third time. She was back to losing the same forty pounds. What a huge amount of willpower that involves. My sister in law is now the primary caregiver for my mother in law, who had a stroke last July. She is incredibly thoughtful, always thinking of little gifts for our kids and reading and playing with them when we visit. She’s a gem. Why is it that she is so overweight? She just plain is not self-indulgent. I think the weight problem comes from the willingness to diet at a level that triggers the body’s survival mechanism and the persistence to continue despite failure after failure after failure.

This diet requires patience and trust, but it does not require painful endurance. I am so glad I found it, and I am so glad my daughter is following it with success. At some point, I hope I can talk with my sister in law and encourage her to stick with this diet and not worry too much about early weight gain or S Days gone wild.

7:15 AM: I’m taking an Exception Day, so now my number of weekday exceptions that are left is 3. Why an E Day? I was sitting at the table eating breakfast when my son, who was playing with a tall candle, knocked it over. There was at least one glass shard. I told him not to eat anything that was on the table. Then I looked at my cereal bowl. I’d had maybe five bites of cereal. What to do? I could add it to my list of exceptions as “If the food that was selected for the meal is discovered not to be eatable, then you can get a different plateful.” The danger there is that I might add “if the food is not tasty.” I decided to take an exception day. After all, this is an exception. I wanted more cereal, so I got myself another bowl of cereal. There is nothing special about my son breaking a candle on the table while I’m eating breakfast. It’s an exception for the one plateful rule, so it deserves an E Day. I think this diet is one in which you can violate the spirit of the diet all you want so long as you follow the letter of the diet. I’m following the letter of the diet and allowing the letter to put me in the spirit of the diet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009: I woke up this morning already full from last night’s eating. I met a friend for coffee and forgot to have breakfast. On the way home from work at 2:30 PM, I realized that I had not eaten all day and had not thought about food all day. I had three things to do with the kids – pick up the two kids at elementary school, drive over to where my daughter is starting to babysit so I made sure that she got off at the right stop, and take my youngest to trumpet lessons. I told the two youngest kids that I hadn’t had breakfast or lunch, and the youngest gave me her snack from school and said I could have that as breakfast. I then had lunch about 4:30 PM.

What is truly amazing about this is I didn’t even realize until 2:30 PM that I hadn’t eaten all day. With other diets, I have been so focused on food that I knew when I ate, how I ate, how many calories were in the food I ate, etc. This diet is much saner than that approach. I told my kids that, with conventional diets, you starve until you can’t stand it so you overeat whereas with this diet, you overeat on non N Days and it makes you feel worse than eating on N Days so you end up shifting to N Day eating patterns. I still have some time to go before that is the case with me. I’m still really overeating on the weekend, and even yesterday’s Exception Day led to this morning’s stomach ache.

Thursday, January 29, 2009: Last night, I was calculating how much I would weigh at the sixth grade graduation of our fourth grader. At a rate of two pounds per month, I would be down about 55 pounds or somewhere in the 140s. That’s still more than I weighed before I had children! Part of this diet is accepting slow weight loss, and it is difficult. I asked a favor of someone with whom I worked more than 10 years ago, and she was willing to do it – she’ll be allowing my 14 year old to shadow her during Career Day, a day in the school year in which 9th graders are supposed to learn about a business that interests them. This is a very warm person, and I asked her if Anne could spend the day with her because I am protective of Anne and know that she would take good care of her. I also thought about the fact that she is going to see me at this weight. With the expectation that this diet will take a long, long time, I’m just not willing to put off living until I am thinner. I am willing to see this former colleague. I am willing to buy clothes. I am willing to accept my body today and accept the results of following this diet even if it means I’ll never see 132 again. I know that I’ll be close to 132 with this diet than with any other diet, so I am willing to follow it.

Friday, January 30, 2009: 204.4. I decided that perhaps I could weigh myself once per week, and I weighed myself this morning. My weight was up. So what. I think that it may be good to have a goal and just compare my current weight with my goal. At a goal of losing two pounds per month, my goal is to be under 210 this month. If I compare 204.4 to 210, I can say I succeeded. My goal for February is to be under 208, and I think I am in good shape for making that goal. My weight first dipped to 205 on 11/22/08, which was day 76, so it can be a little frustrating to be looking at 204.4 when it is now day 145.

My son is convinced I’ll get discouraged and move on to another diet. I don’t feel in much danger of going off this diet because of slow weight loss. Instead, I am happy with how I feel – being able to enjoy food, not being so focused on food on N Days, and stopping the 10 pound per year weight gain I’ve been having for the last several years.

Saturday, January 31, 2009: 203.6. In sharp contrast to last Saturday, when I was in the kitchen with an unwrapped Haagen Dazs bar in my hand waiting for the digit clock to show midnight, this morning I just want some coffee before I have a bath. Last night, my stomach was growling because the pizza, chips, and pink lemonade from Family Fun Night didn’t fill me up. I find it very interesting that I am not all that hungry this morning.

This morning what I am is thoughtful. I have spent so much time on dieting and weight management that it has almost been a hobby. Why? Because I know it is important. What this diet does is normalize eating, and weight loss follows. How is eating normalized? You stick with three meals per day with no sweets or seconds on N Days. I’ve read lots of novels, and looking back what strikes me is the absence of discussion about hunger. People didn’t used to focus on hunger. One result of this diet, I bet, is the dwindling interest in hunger.

I asked myself this morning, “What is the minimum I need to do to stay on this diet?” With the way I have it set up, the absolute minimum is to follow N Day rules and track number of Exception Days. That’s it. I don’t have to worry about weighing myself. I don’t have to journal. I don’t have to do anything else.

Tomorrow is a new month, and I want to move towards doing the minimum with this diet. I’ve had my years of evaluating my eating habits, trying to understand emotional eating, trying to eat different foods to minimize hunger, trying to develop ways of eating that encourage less eating (I still have the little diet fork), and on and on and on. All I need to do here is follow some clear rules and track Exception Days. I can violate the spirit of the diet all I want if I just follow the letter of the diet. That means that why I do something doesn’t much matter. What matters is that I follow these rules. Over time and even occasionally now, I’m going to lose weight.

3 PM: I ate so much that I had to lie down at about 12:45 because my stomach hurt so much. I was sick of Haagen Dazs bars, but I had almost an entire package of Hershey kisses and three PayDays. I got off to a slow start with overeating this morning. I didn’t each much other than cereal until 10 AM. That’s encouraging. Even so, here it is mid-afternoon, and I’m not feeling so great because I ate so much. I keep on thinking that the less time I spend thinking about this diet, the better it will go. I told my husband that I’d like to plan something special for when I fall below 200 pounds. We are going to spend a weekend at a hotel in Rochester in early April. I was 203.6 this morning and 200 earlier this month, so I think it is realistic to expect that I’ll be below 200 by then. I keep on thinking it is time for me to stop focusing on this diet and just switch to a maintenance mentality as if I had already lost all the weight I wanted. It seems strange to still be above 200 pounds and yet want to switch away from thinking about dieting.

I have had to honestly ask myself this question: If I never lose another pound, would I still stay on this diet? The answer is yes. I am not comparing my current weight to the fantasy of finding a different diet which will allow me to return to high school weight of 132. Instead, I am comparing my current weight of 200 – 205 to the weight of my aunt who died last year at age 74 and probably weighed between 350 and 400 pounds. For me, this diet has achieved a lot by simply stopping the weight gain that resulted from other diets. I found a way to normalize eating, at least on N Days. This morning’s normal eating prior to 10 AM was also encouraging. I guess I’m not debating anymore with myself about whether to reign in S Day eating or whether to add to N Day rules or make additional allowances on N Days. My approach to this diet has stabilized, and now it is time to wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for the pounds to come off slowly, if they come off at all. The less time I spend journaling and the fewer times I stand on the scale, the better for me because I will be less focused on my weight.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:23 pm; edited 66 times in total
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BrightAngel



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 2083
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:

My journaling about my dieting is for one main purpose, and it is to educate my beloved oldest child, who is about 5'5" and 150 pounds. Oh, I want her to avoid all the professional advise that got me into so much trouble!

Kathleen,
My own life experience with my two adult children is that
despite one doing one's best to point in a positive direction,
they will still choose their own paths and make their own mistakes.
Verbal acceptance of this fact is easy,
but internal acceptance of the actual fact has been extremely difficult.
It is hard to watch someone you love "jump over a cliff"
after you've done everything possible to point out the danger.

I find your journal interesting and see that we have many thoughts in common.
I've found the important and really useful thing about keeping a journal
is how it helps one put oneself into the place of the "Observer",
and out of the "wild child" or "dictator".
(I take these terms from a book by Martha Beck.)

_________________
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,

I so want my daughter to avoid the path I have taken, and it is what motivated me to research the topic of weight loss to try to figure out why I kept gaining weight whenever I dieted. Now that I feel confident I have figured out what one author called "The Dieter's Dilemma" (which was that those who diet tend to regain the weight plus more), I can only model good behavior for her. She's a teenager, after all, and she'll make her own decisions or rebel against her mother telling her what to do. I was pleased to see that she decided to follow this diet, and she has discussed it some with me, but I am careful not to tell her she has to follow it.

I do restrict the eating of sweets on N Days, for her and the other three children. It's not that I say they can't have treats; instead, I just make sure treats aren't in the house. My nine year old calls this diet the "S Day Diet". She really likes the special treats she gets on S Days. We didn't used to buy Haagen Dazs bars!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My goal is a permanent weight loss of two pounds per month, which means that I will never again see 208 pounds.

Day 147 – Sunday, February 1, 2009: (5E) 204.4
Day 148 – Monday, February 2, 2009: 205.0
Day 149 – Tuesday, February 3, 2009: 204.4
Day 150 – Wednesday, February 4, 2009: 203.2
Day 151 – Thursday, February 5, 2009: 202.8
Day 152 – Friday, February 6, 2009: 202.8
Day 153 – Saturday, February 7, 2009:
Day 154 – Sunday, February 8, 2009:
Day 155 – Monday, February 9, 2009:
Day 156 – Tuesday, February 10, 2009: 204.0
Day 157 – Wednesday, February 11, 2009: 202.6
Day 158 – Thursday, February 12, 2009: 204.6
Day 159 – Friday, February 13, 2009: 201.6 A new low!
Day 160 – Saturday, February 14, 2009: 201.4 A new low!

Monday, February 2, 2009: 205.0. I decided to continue weighing myself but try to cut down on journaling and throw out the old diet books. I’m set on what I’m doing. There’s no need to keep repeating the same thing to myself over and over again. The keys are to follow the letter of the law when it comes to N Days and to be able to distinguish N Days from non-N Days. That is it. This diet is easy and doesn’t require much effort or attention.

Over the weekend, I ate a lot, but my weight only went from 203.6 on Saturday to 205 today. On some weekends, the scale has registered a four pound weight gain. Why has there only been a 1.4 pound weight gain this past weekend? I am quite confident I know the reason why. I prefer not to wake up on Monday morning feeling sick. This morning, I did wake up with a slight stomach ache, but it wasn’t as bad as I’ve had on many Monday mornings. Binges used to bring relief from starvation. Now they have no benefit whatsoever. Slowly, they are diminishing in intensity. I did have Caribou Coffee bars this weekend, but I had not one Haagen Dazs bar. When I picked out food that I wanted, the food included oranges as well as ice cream.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009: 204.4. I picked up a book at Kinko’s that has been very thought-provoking for me. It is called Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy, and it has had some great insights into how to get things done. Over and over again in the book, he emphasizes the need to focus on one thing at a time. It’s interesting, but that’s exactly what I did with weight reduction. I had surgery in August, 2007 and had a bandage on my head until the end of February, 2008. My kids were in school, and I couldn't look for work because of the bandage on my head. I did some volunteering in the school and took some classes to improve my computer skills, but my main focus was on researching weight loss. I read books and kept a journal and experimented with different approaches. It wasn’t until September, 2008 that I tried The No S Diet, but by then I had figured out several key ingredients in a successful weight loss program. I knew that my obesity problem came from a survival mechanism which was triggered by my brain not being able to distinguish between an environment of starvation and a diet to lose weight. I knew there had to be times of “unconditional permission to eat”. I knew that mealtimes were important. I knew that you had to be on whatever diet you selected for the rest of your life. I knew that you had to follow a program with “perfect compliance.” With my modification of allowing two exceptions per month and not worrying about whether a day was special or not, I had a diet which met all the criteria that I had come to figure out needed to be in a diet.

I’m not surprised that I’ve lost weight. I am surprised that the weight loss is so slow. Now what? Do I keep on reading about dieting, or do I turn my focus to other concerns? I think it is time to move to other problems. I am so happy that my daughter is following this diet. Today, she came home and said she had an exception day because there were snacks in one class and so she was using one of her two exception days for the month. Good for her. I can model behavior for her that I hope she follows.

What else? Well, we are spending a weekend in a hotel in April in anticipation of my falling below 200 pounds. Other than periodic celebrations, I think it is best to let this diet fade into the woodwork of my life. After all, there are lots of things I do without putting much thought into them. I want this diet to fade into the background. In the last few days, I have gone through my bookshelf and thrown out books that have helped me to develop this diet, including Intuitive Eating. I got a lot out of that book, but I don’t want to be stuck reviewing what I’ve already learned. It’s time to move on.

What is my next area of focus? I am really disorganized, painfully disorganized. I use a planner so I know where I need to be, but it is hard for me to find sharpened pencils for the kids or have meals that are good for you and ready when they need to be ready. I tend to buy multiples of items. We must have 10 hairbrushes and 10 pair of scissors. Our family room has the newspaper on the couch and my exercise bag on the couch and the crayon bucket on the table and my planner open on the table. I forgot to bring a form to soccer tonight. My children are following my example in this area as well. My precious nine year old failed band, not because she didn’t practice but because she kept forgetting to bring in her practice charts. My son had to practice for 500 minutes in the last two weeks of last quarter.

I ordered some audio CDs on organization, and I’ll listen to them in the car. I’ve started making sure that the kids have their backpacks packed the night before and their boots and mittens and snowpants out and ready to go for morning. It’s a start. That’s where I need to focus now.

To me, the greatest testament to success in this diet will be that I continue to record my exception days but not much else. The diet is already moving in that direction, but I resist giving up the focus on something which is successful (losing weight) so that I can work on something which isn’t (home organization). I’m procrastinating because I am so happy that at last I am losing weight, but life goes on and there’s more to do than lose weight.

What makes me hesitate is something Brian Tracy wrote in Eat that Frog: “If you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.” I still weigh more than 200 pounds. Is it time for me to move on to other goals? I think so. I simply have to stay at the N Day guidelines and track number of exception days. Everything else is immaterial. This diet is still my #1 priority because I think that the greatest gift I can give to my husband and children is to model healthy eating habits. I have to chuckle that my husband is naturally competitive, and there is no way that I will lose weight without having some company. He’s still on the Peanut Cluster Diet, but he’ll eventually figure out that you have to follow N Day rules perfectly or you’ll gain weight. He did decide to exercise and even bought a home exercise bike. My daughter has seen how miserable it is to be overweight and is excited to be following this diet. It’s a great gift I am giving them.

It’s not the only gift, however. My life has also been marred by disorganization. My husband really dislikes the disorganization. I’ve tried different things over the years but have never before made it a focus. Now is a good time. My oldest manages just fine with her homework as does the youngest, but the two children in the middle are bright and capable but disorganization is hurting their grades and their studies. Just as I think my modeling following this diet is a gift in particular for my oldest child, so I think my middle girl will most benefit from my focus on organization. It seems so mundane, but it’s not. The self-discipline I need now is the self-discipline to turn my attention to organization and allow the diet to slowly reduce my weight. Diet is still priority #1, exercise is priority #2, and organization is priority #3. With diet and exercise stable, the need is for attention and thought to go into organization.

Thursday, February 5, 2009: 202.8. I realized this morning, as I was walking my 2.2 miles at the gym, that the reason why I am not losing weight so quickly is that first this diet must help me to stop disordered eating. The N Day rules are very orderly. My goal for this year is orderliness, and this afternoon the guy who cleans our carpet is one step behind me as I pick up all over the house. Why am I so disorganized? With eating, I understand that the reason is that I have attempted to lose weight by starving myself, and the harder I tried the worse I did. With disorganization in the house, I don’t know why. All I know is that this is the focus of my year this year. Is it true that obesity and disorderliness go together? I don’t know. I’ve heard the term “fat slob”, but I don’t know if people who are overweight tend to be disorganized. All I know is that I now enjoy the orderliness of N Day eating, and I’m looking forward to the orderliness of a neat and clean house!

Friday, February 6, 2009: 202.8. I was frustrated by slow weight loss and decided that I would try to cut down on my meals since it is a Friday and I can eat all I want tomorrow. It is now 7:14 PM, and I am very grumpy. I told my husband I was grumpy, and he suggested I go to bed. I hate feeling like this. It’s not as if I starved today. I had a big bowl of cereal with an orange and orange juice for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk for lunch, and two pieces of French bread, a serving of chicken with cheese and tomato sauce, broccoli, some blackberries, and milk for dinner. If I were to estimate calories in today’s meals, I would estimate somewhere around 2,500 calories. Even so, I’m grumpy. I’m glad I tested this approach on a Friday and not a Monday. It is discouraging to look back and see that my last new low was 202 pounds exactly two weeks ago. Sometimes, I feel as though I am standing still on this diet. I think what helps me to stick with it is the recognition that this diet is first of all about disordered eating and only secondarily about losing weight. The disordered eating has to end before the weight can go. Am I going to eat everything in sight tomorrow? Probably. There are only minor indications of a movement towards normalized eating. For example, I bought blackberries. I wanted fruit tonight. I didn’t even think about picking up ice cream bars for midnight snacking. Tomorrow may be a different story, but if it was an S Day right now, I’d be eating blackberries instead of ice cream. I’m getting sick of eating lots of sweets.

Saturday, February 7, 2009: I went to bed at 8 PM, so now I’m up at 2 AM. I’ve had ½ peanut butter sandwich, two bowls of cereal, and some French bread. Trying to further cut back on my eating yesterday really backfired. I need to be patient and allow my body to lose weight in its own time. It is frustrating to still be above 200 pounds, but that is the way it is. If I try to lose weight faster, dieting will become an obsession, and I’ll return to bingeing at unpredictable intervals. What this diet has done is allow bingeing only on certain days so now I see that I am not completely out of control in my eating. I need to stick with this diet and not try to add further restrictions as a way to lose weight faster.

6:15 AM: I did not go right back to sleep but lay in bed thinking about this weight problem of mine. It’s not going to fade into the background if I try restricting eating more than following N Day guidelines. I hate hate hate being so fat. That leads me back to deliberately turning my attention elsewhere. I got a CD on organization, and my 14 year old and I listened to it in the car as we went on an errand last night. We were laughing at yo-yo organizing being like yo-yo dieting. Do I want to revert to yo-yo dieting? Absolutely not. I think that what I’ll try is weighing myself once per week and updating this journal once per week. The best day for that is probably Friday, since it is the last N Day of the week. If I chose Saturday, I could find myself in the position I am in right now, which is that it is early morning and I’ve already eating quite a lot so my weight on the scale could be not worth recording. If I’m not in town on a Friday, which is a rare occurrence, then I could just skip journaling and recording my weight. That’s how I manage exercise three times per week. I exercise on Tuesday morning before work, on Thursday when I don’t work, and on Saturday. If I’m not in town, I don’t exercise. There are instances when I switch days, but this is the norm for my exercise schedule. Actually, this diet is somewhat like that as well. Diet Monday through Friday with days off on Saturday and Sunday plus two exceptions per month. It’s easy to remember. It’s easy to follow. Easy and simple. That’s why it’s been possible for me to follow this diet and follow an exercise program. Now I just need to pull back on the time I spend journaling and weighing myself, which is like watching a pot boil.

1 PM: It is 1 PM, and I am totally satisfied. This feeling of being totally satisfied is not one that is experienced on a typical diet. I had my big snack at 2 PM, pancakes, a Caribou Coffee, two Haagen Dazs bars, some chicken noodle soup, milk, and ½ peanut butter sandwich. I think that what this diet does is lower the amount of food that it takes for me to feel totally satisfied. With this diet, there are predictable times when I can feel totally satisfied, and those times give me the incentive to follow N Day rules. I made a mistake yesterday in trying to cut back on the quantity of food eaten instead of just setting the limit at a plateful. That’s OK. I learned. What I think is going to happen over time is that the amount of food it takes for me to feel totally satisfied will get less and less. At some point, my weight will stabilize. That’s OK, too. I don’t want to be focused on food. I want to enjoy my family. This diet is the means to an end, and the end is not to be thin. Instead, it is to have a normalized eating pattern and be a weight that allows me to enjoy my life. At age 50, my goal is not beauty but functionality. For reading groups the other week, we found a spot behind a table set up for the annual Book Fair, and the kids were surprised that I was willing to crawl under the table. That was no problem. Heck, I crawl around on the floor when I vacuum under tables. What is difficult and uncomfortable, however, is to go anywhere in a bathing suit, to sleep in a sleeping bag, to go on long walks or bike rides. I’m supersized, and I do not like it. My weight today is more than 10 pounds less than it was when I started this diet almost five months ago. I can feel a slight difference. How will I be at the end of the summer or at Christmastime? It will feel so good to be a lower weight. It will feel so good. Weight has been a huge negative in my life, and I can celebrate the pounds coming off, however slowly. I started tracking my weight on a spreadsheet in November, 2005, and the lowest recorded weight was 188.2 on December 17 and 18, 2005. I never was below 190 after January 1, 2006. If I continue at a two pound per month weight loss, I should be below that weight of 188 in a year. How wonderful! How incredibly wonderful! It gives me chills to think that I could lose weight in a predictable way that is not painful, that does not result in my being grumpy. Slow but sure… No pain, no weight gain… How wonderful. I need to keep this in my thoughts rather than focus on being fat today and having to live another three years of being overweight. Each month will be better. That’s what I can tell myself in order to stick with this plan.

7:30 PM: We have an unusual Saturday evening with four children doing four different things, so our Saturday night is quite calm. I’m home alone for a short time, and I have been thinking about how I want to handle this diet going forward. I think the answer is to do the minimum to keep it going. For me, that means tracking the exception days and following N Day rules. I think that means monthly updating of where I am, and that’s it. I’ve spent a lot of time on this diet, and I’ve needed it, but at this point, it’s no longer necessary. It’s time to move on to other things.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009: 202.6. I decided I could just let nature take its course and allow myself to journal as much as I have time for it. It is now almost 10 PM, and I had what I knew weeks ago would be a hectic day. It was. I stayed late for a company meeting and then had to pick up the girls at elementary school and take the kids to dinner at Wendy’s so that I could get to a parent class for new drivers. I got home, and my husband was all upset because of our son’s grades. Our son doesn’t have our attention yet. He’s got a C-, D, and F in three of his seven classes. Yes, it’s early in a quarter, and yes he was sick one day, but still…

So, do I have time to think about dieting? No. Tomorrow morning, I drive this same son to jazz band practice at 7, get back home about 7:15, make sure the two youngest get on the bus by 7:35, then go to work, get to the school about 1, take the youngest for her annual physical at 1:45, get back to the school to pick up the 9 year old from a flute lesson at 3:15, go home, make dinner, make sure the kids have their homework done, and leave about 6:30 to pick up a friend of our son’s to get him and our son to Boy Scouts by 7. I’ll get home about 7:15. That’s my day. Now, where in that day would I be able to tolerate incessant hunger or to count calories or to prepare special foods? Heck, work is a luxury because I can actually concentrate and produce something. With the kids, there is lots of running around, but there also has to be time to just be with them. I’m finding that time in the car is a good time for talking, and that’s what I try to do.

My focus in on my family, and I told my two youngest today that one of the gifts I hope they get from me is knowledge of how to maintain a normal weight – that there’s not much difference between The Peanut Cluster Diet (“unconditional permission to eat” all the time) and The S Day Diet.

I do feel impatient with the results of this diet. I felt really fat today, and I don’t know why. I am just plain sick of being so large. Tonight, I ordered a new swimsuit because the one I got last year was so ghastly. It was nice to treat myself to nice clothes when I have the tendency to not bother because I don’t look nice no matter what I wear.

In thinking about this diet, I have come to realize that the first task of this diet is to correct disordered eating. That’s why weight loss is so slow. I went back through my records and pulled out Monday dates and weights from every month, starting with day one of my diet. It was very revealing just how slowly I have lost weight:

Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0

I was able to find a record of a Monday weight at least once in each month, and the weights tell a story of very slow weight loss. I am very confident that this weight loss is permanent, so I’m willing to continue on this diet, especially since I can follow it so easily. It doesn’t have to be a focus in my life. It can just be part of my life, what I have chosen to do so that I can focus on my family and work and making sure the dog doesn’t wake up the neighborhood at 10 at night!

Friday, February 13, 2009: 201.6 A new low! I’m happy about the new low, especially since my weight was up so much yesterday. I am starting to realize that I had disordered thinking – a view that weight management was a lifelong struggle, that I had some sort of food addiction because I wolfed down food whenever I lifted restrictions after a diet failed, and that any sort of hunger – even the mildest little rumble in my stomach – was a crises that required immediate action. The change in habit that comes from following this diet is making the disordered thinking obvious. Weight management is a matter of establishing easy to follow habits and following those habits consistently. “Feeding frenzies” are very natural reactions to starvation diets, the memory of which lasts for longer than the diets. And a little hunger is not a crises. It is possible to survive several hours without food.

So – here I am at another new low. The weight loss is only secondary to the reduction in alarms surrounding food. I was an English major in college, and I read lots of novels from earlier centuries. Looking back, I realize just how little attention was paid to the feeling of hunger. It was a clue for me that I could find very little reference anywhere to hunger. At one point, I searched an online concordance of Shakespeare and found very little reference to hunger. I remember one line being “the hungry edge of appetite.” Who talks about appetite these days? It’s all about hunger – the need to satisfy the body’s driving need for food.

I think this culture has created its own obesity epidemic by focusing so much on food and weight. The saner approach is to establish eating habits and follow them. I am gaining a perspective I cannot remember having since I was a child, before I got on the diet roller coaster.

Saturday, February 14, 2009: 201.4. A new low! It’s 7 AM on a Saturday morning. I was not up at midnight eating Haagen Dazs bars. We do not have any Haagen Dazs bars in the refrigerator. At the moment, I have absolutely no interest in wolfing down any sort of sweets, including Haagen Dazs bars. I’m going to take a bath before I have breakfast. The N Day habits have carried over at least until 7 AM on a Saturday.

9 AM: I’ve had a coffee, a bagel, and a Clementine. I was discussing the plans for the day with my 14 year old daughter. I told her that what is not in my plan is to buy Haagen Dazs bars. Her response: “Yeah, I know. I’m sick of them.” There is no willpower whatsoever involved in my deciding not to eat Haagen Dazs bars today. My daughter put it very well: “I’m sick of them!”

2:30 PM: This morning, I took Katie and Anne to the grocery store to buy a balloon for our 8 year old whose birthday is today. Anne wanted a doughnut, and I bought her one because she is on The S Day Diet. Katie didn’t get one because she is on The Peanut Cluster Diet. She got upset and decided she would follow The S Day Diet so she could get any treats she wants on S Days. This afternoon, I’m going back to the grocery store to pick up a birthday cake and to let Katie pick out her doughnut. Katie first wanted to make sure she could still have school treats, and she can. She just cannot have snacks at home during the week. I think this is a good path for our children. Meanwhile, Tom admitted to weighing 220. Tom is still on The Peanut Cluster Diet, too, but I think he’ll soon decide to switch over. I am starting to see a difference in my shape, and I’m happy about that. This morning, I measured my waist at 35”. When I started this diet, it was 38 or 39”. How amazing to me. When I was single until I got pregnant, my waist was 24”, and my bust and hips were 36”. I was perfectly proportioned. I still cannot believe that I dieted my way up to over 200 pounds.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:41 pm; edited 59 times in total
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
1. Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
2. Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
3. Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
4. Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
5. Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
6. Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0

The following is a summary of weights from February 15 - 28, 2009:
Day 161 – Sunday, February 15, 2009:
Day 162 – Monday, February 16, 2009:
Day 163 – Tuesday, February 17, 2009:
Day 164 – Wednesday, February 18, 2009: 201.8
Day 165 – Thursday, February 19, 2009: 201.8
Day 166 – Friday, February 20, 2009: 203.6 (4E)
Day 167 – Saturday, February 21, 2009:
Day 168 – Sunday, February 22, 2009: 204.4
Day 169 – Monday, February 23, 2009:
Day 170 – Tuesday, February 24, 2009: 203.6
Day 171 – Wednesday, February 25, 2009: 203.6
Day 172 – Thursday, February 26, 2009: 201.4
Day 173 – Friday, February 27, 2009: 201.8
Day 174 – Saturday, February 28, 2009: 199.6 BELOW 200 POUNDS!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009: Today is our 8 year old’s annual physical, and this is what I got on one page of paper to give to our pediatrician along with the book, The No S Diet:

The Set Point Lowering Diet

1. This diet must be followed with perfect compliance. Following a diet with perfect compliance makes the diet into a habit which is as difficult as brushing your teeth. In his Great Courses’ lectures on The Ethics of Aristotle, Professor Joseph Koterski of Fordham University called a diet like this an “automatism habit” – when “regularly you do a thing so that you don’t even think about it.”

2. If you don’t follow the diet with perfect compliance, then you aren’t following the diet. Instead, you are following recommendations from a book called Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. The authors of this book recommend that you give yourself “unconditional permission to eat.” I followed that diet for six months and gained 10 pounds. My kids called that diet The Peanut Cluster Diet. Because I wanted to lose weight, not gain it, I kept researching diets and developed my own diet. My kids started out calling my diet The Peanut Cluster Diet with Restrictions but now call it The S Day Diet, they have voluntarily joined me in the diet to get S Day privileges, and I am losing weight with ease at a rate of about 2 pounds per month.

3. On The Set Point Lowering Diet, there are three types of days:

3.1 S Days are all Saturdays and Sundays. You have “unconditional permission to eat” on S Days.

3.2 E Days accumulate at a rate of two per month. E Days are weekdays that you take as exception days. On E Days, you have “unconditional permission to eat.” You can take an E Day for any reason whatsoever. I once took an E Day because I wanted a breath mint. I also took an E Day because my son broke glass on the table, and I had just started eating cereal on that same table.

3.3 N Days are weekdays other than E Days. On these days, I follow three simple rules: no sweets, no snacks, and no seconds. When I sit down to eat, I can eat what is before me and not one bite more. Liquids can be drunk at any time. These rules are taken from The No S Diet by Reinhard Engels and Ben Kallen.

4. The authors of Intuitive Eating argue that dieting triggers the body’s survival mechanism. In another book, called The Instinct to Heal by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, I read how the brain is divided into a cognitive brain and an emotional brain. It is the emotional brain which takes over, for example, when a person is held underwater and suddenly has the strength to get above water. This happened to me when my brother held me underwater when I was 10. It also seems to me to be the reason why so many people fail to stay on a diet. The cognitive brain decides that the body should be starved, and the emotional brain rebels.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009: 201.8. I ended up just telling our pediatrician that we are eliminating sweets during the week. Our pediatrician is a wonderful, compassionate man, but I could not bring myself to tell him how I am putting all our children on this diet to prevent disordered eating, and here I am still above 200 pounds. The time will come when it will be obvious that I have lost weight, but that time is not here.

9 PM: I had a strange day today. On the way to work, I felt very hungry even though I had just eaten breakfast. Then I had a busy day at work and had a kid pickup at 2:45 PM, a car wash, a kid pickup at 3:15, a trip to the video store, and another kid pickup at 3:45 PM. It occurred to me at about 4 that I had not yet had lunch. I had a peanut butter and cheese sandwich and felt hungry again. I ate dinner before delivering a kid to an activity, and after I ate I felt hungry again. Then I went shopping with our youngest for prizes for a birthday party, and I returned home about 8 PM. I’m not hungry. I never really thought about this before, but the feeling of hunger is very fickle. It was immediately after breakfast and dinner that I felt hungry, and I didn’t feel hungry when I had breakfast at 7 and hadn’t had lunch until 4. I am so glad, so very glad, that I no longer have to monitor hunger levels. What a pain that was!

Thursday, February 19, 2009: 201.8. Today, I had lunch with Kathy, a former co-worker whom I had not seen in many years. She told me about some other people who worked with us. One of my former colleagues had one child, a daughter, who is now 10, and Kathy said that it is so sad that this little girl is in an in-patient hospital program right now for anorexia. I cannot describe how this news affected me. I felt like I was going to be sick. I have a happy go lucky child who turns 10 in May and her big problem in life is that the teacher is “way too harsh.” She’s having to learn this year to be responsible for her own behavior, and it’s a hard lesson to learn. She still loves life, despite her perception of her teacher as “harsh”, and she just now pranced into the family room wearing a gymnastics outfit. I just cannot imagine her in a hospital for anorexia.

I felt so sad for this child and her mother, whom I knew perhaps 15 years ago. How does a society get to the point where 10 year olds get hospitalized for anorexia and more than two thirds of the adult population is overweight? Hunger and weight take center stage in a life that should be filled with laughter. I feel the loss of that little girl’s innocence and maybe the destruction of her health. Will she have problems with bone density? Will she have permanent damage to her development of vital organs? What is the impact on her psychologically from this? I just feel so bad. Focus on food. Focus on bodily appearance. Focus on the internal sensation of hunger. It’s all focus on self. The joy in life comes from caring and loving, and this child has somehow gotten tangled up in having to be the perfect shape. Ten years old. How sad.

Friday, February 20, 2009: 203.6. E Day. One of the challenges of this diet is weight fluctuation. My weight is up two pounds from yesterday, and yesterday was a success. It can be hard to be hoping for a new low in weight and to step on the scale and see an increase. I know that weight fluctuations are normal, but it is still hard to accept them. Today is an E Day for me. My 8 year old is having five friends go snow tubing with her. I always feel unnerved by birthday parties. I had something deliverable at work today, and it was easy compared to preparing myself for a birthday party. I’ll try to relax and just enjoy the kids. Several of them have never gone snow tubing before, so it would be hard for them not to have fun! The success of this diet, I think, can be measured by how little you think about it, and right now my focus is on that party and not on the fact that it is an E Day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009: I am not weighing myself. Yesterday, I was nervous about the birthday party, and I ate a lot. It went well. We were dependent on the weather for snow tubing, and it was perfect – just below freezing with a light snow. The snow continued through the night, and we have several inches on the ground this morning. Had the snow come Thursday night, we would have had a lot of difficulty driving to the snow tubing hill. We were also dependent on how crowded the place would be, and it was almost empty. At one point, we were the only ones on the snow tubing hill. I had picked the time because I thought it would be quiet early on a Friday afternoon. The girls had fun. Before the party, I had three Haagen Dazs bars. I also had lots of cheese. At the party, I had cheese pizza and part of a soft pretzel. After the girls were gone, I had an entire bowl of popcorn and coffee ice cream and was just stuffed. This morning, I feel stuffed and somewhat sick. It seems to me that I am starting to have only one over-the-top non N Day per week, so it will be interesting to see if I have my typical over-the-top Saturday or not.

Sunday, February 22, 2009: 204.4. What would cause me to give up this diet? The answer is that I exceeded my starting weight of 215 pounds. That is unlikely to happen. Now what? I’ve settled on a path, and all my journaling adds no value. Last weekend, we bought a jar of caramel macadamian clusters. When the jar was empty the next day, I calculated out that the jar had contained about 5,000 calories, and I estimated that I had eaten about 3,000 calories of the 5,000 calories. Do I really want to allow myself “unconditional permission to eat” on non N Days when I am willing to eat more than an entire day’s worth of calories in caramel macadamian clusters? Yes. The answer is yes. I don’t want to try to do anything with non N Days because I think that trying to lessen caloric consumption on those days could lead to bending and then breaking the N Day rules on N Days. What does this mean? It means that I am stuck with whatever weight I am right now and with whatever weight is the stable end weight for this diet. I’m not going to try to lose weight any faster, and I’m going to be satisfied with my end weight even if it stubbornly remains above 200 pounds. I have my life back. I am not totally engrossed with food.

For years, and I mean at least 8, I justified not following the Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fasts because I was either pregnant or nursing. Then I found that I simply could not get through a day without snacking. I just checked my journal from Good Friday of last year, and I recorded that I had managed to go 5 hours without eating. Now, on work days, I routinely last from 7:30 AM to about 2 PM without eating. I have learned to focus on something other than hunger and hunger levels. It feels so good to have a life that is not centered on food and fear of being hungry.

Monday, February 23, 2009: I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about all the time I spend journaling about this diet. I think I need to make a firm commitment to stop it. Part of the reason for my continuing is that I think it has helped me to think through the reasons why this diet works and to keep to this path out of obesity, but part of the reason why I am continuing is to procrastinate and to revel in the success of losing weight after so many years of trying so hard and just gaining. I think I do need some way to record my progress. With my minimal exercise program, I created a spreadsheet and have been consistent in marking down my laps walking at the gym. About two weeks ago, I decided I didn’t need to record it anymore, and right away I stopped going. I think I need to make a commitment to record my progress in this diet but I think that too much thinking about it makes me impatient to lose weight faster and is a waste of time. Once per month seems like a good strategy. I then am able to calculate my additional Exception Days and record a Monday weight in the month so that I can look at the list of Monday weights and see that, yes indeed, over time I am losing weight. Watching the fluctuations up and down over the course of a month is frustrating and adds no value. This is my plan: record weight first or second Monday of the month, depending on whether I am home and able to use a scale. Keep to the diet as I have modified it. Be patient. Turn my attention to other things, like getting rid of the clutter in our home!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009: 203.6. On March 8, it will have been six months since I started this diet. Maybe it’s OK if I continue to journal. I think what I’ll do is write once per week. I have noticed a similarity between “the house is a mess” (my husband’s words) and my weight problem. As described in one of the books I’ve been reading. Organizing from the Inside Out, there is a “need for abundance”. My mother grew up in the Depression, and she passed on to me the sense that you cannot count on prosperity in the future. The economic downturn doesn’t affect us much. We’re sitting on a pile of cash, we have no debt except for a car payment and mortgage, and we have about as limited ongoing expenses as you can have with four kids. We have a storage closet filled with hand me down clothes. My thriftiness, however, is somewhat extreme. My 14 year old, for example, didn’t like her white socks, so I kept them for myself since I wear white socks while exercising, only I didn’t like them either. I bought about five pair of white socks about five years ago for walking, and they’ve lasted wonderfully. They were starting to wear out, and it took me some time to find where I had bought them. I finally replaced my white gym socks, only here I had kept my daughter’s old white socks. Why? If the new socks last as well as the old socks, I’ll use those new socks for about five years. After reading the book, It’s All Too Much, I decided to throw out those white socks since they weren’t even in good enough shape to donate to a thrift store.

What does this have to do with weight loss? Well, perhaps my obesity is the result of the “need for abundance.” I am likely to experience a real famine, but my diets have been self-imposed famines. I exacerbated my desire for excess by periodically putting my body through a famine. No more. I’m not going on any more starvation diets, so I can relax. The economic tailspin we are in won’t mean that we’ll be sleeping in shelters. I need to relax and enjoy my life, clutter-free and at a comfortable weight.

As for this journal, yes, it has helped me to stick with this diet, and yes, it is enjoyable to write, but I have spent too much time writing. I can pull back to writing once per week. That’s a good goal for the next six months.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4

The following is a list of weights for the month of March, 2009:
Day 175 – Sunday, March 1, 2009: 201.8 (6 Exception Days available)
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
Day 177 – Tuesday, March 3, 2009: 201.8
Day 178 – Wednesday, March 4, 2009: 200.8
Day 179 – Thursday, March 5, 2009: 200.4
Day 180 – Friday, March 6, 2009: 199.6
Day 181 – Saturday, March 7, 2009: 198.8 A new low!
Day 182 – Sunday, March 8, 2009: 201.8
Day 183 – Monday, March 9, 2009: 201.0
Day 184 – Tuesday, March 10, 2009: 202.8
Day 185 – Wednesday, March 11, 2009: 201.8
Day 186 – Thursday, March 12, 2009: 201.0
Day 187 – Friday, March 13, 2009: 200.6
Day 188 – Saturday, March 14, 2009: 199.2
Day 189 – Sunday, March 15, 2009: 201.8
Day 190 – Monday, March 16, 2009: 202.2 (5E)
Day 191 – Tuesday, March 17, 2009:
Day 192 – Wednesday, March 18, 2009: 201.8
Day 193 – Thursday, March 19, 2009: 201.0
Day 194 – Friday, March 20, 2009: 200.6
Day 195 – Saturday, March 21, 2009: 199.2
Day 196 – Sunday, March 22, 2009: 200.2
Day 197 – Monday, March 23, 2009: 202.0
Day 198 – Tuesday, March 24, 2009: 201.4
Day 199 – Wednesday, March 25, 2009: 200.4
Day 200 – Thursday, March 26, 2009: 199.8
Day 201 – Friday, March 27, 2009: 200.4
Day 202 – Saturday, March 28, 2009: 198.2 A new low!
Day 203 – Sunday, March 29, 2009:
Day 204 – Monday, March 30, 2009:
Day 205 – Tuesday, March 31, 2009:

Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4. It was a thrill to step on the scale on Saturday and see a weight below 200 pounds (199.6). Last week was the beginning of Lent, so we had to fast on Wednesday (I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and a bowl of split pea soup for dinner), and we attended a Lenten soup supper on Friday (cream of broccoli soup and bread). I knew my weight would bounce back from the low on Saturday, but it was still a thrill to see a weight below 200 for the first time since September, 2007, and I was that low in weight then because I went through four surgeries and spent from Monday to Friday in the hospital (thanks to the good doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the long term result of my medical problem is that I wear bangs to cover my forehead).

I also was pleased that I managed to get through the Ash Wednesday fast without much trouble at all. In prior years, it was a real struggle, and I often didn’t last the whole day. After years of trying to train myself to respond only to hunger, it was really hard for me to recognize that I was hungry and still not eat. I think the Catholic Church has some wisdom in requiring a fast – in having people experience hunger and realize they can survive. The whole approach of responding to hunger made me very sensitive to my internal hunger cues, real or imagined. It was a very time consuming approach to weight management, and I’m glad I’m done with it.

9:30 PM: This morning, my son brought up that the deadline had passed for the swim team banquet, and he really wanted to go. The banquet is for team members and their parents. I didn’t hand in the form because one of the graduating seniors is the son of someone who was my manager more than 10 years ago, I noticed her at a meet, and I didn’t say hello to her because – because I’m so fat. I didn’t want to have her see what how fat I had become, and for that reason I was willing to have my son miss the end of year banquet for swim team. Today, I decided I am not going to stop living or prevent my son from enjoying his life just because of my current weight. I sent an email to the coach and am able to pay for the banquet even though we’ll be late. I’ve spent years putting my life on hold and the lives of my children on hold because of my weight. No more.

Thursday, March 5, 2009: 200.4. Maybe I’ll update this journal on Thursday nights. I’ve told the kids it is my “grumpy night”. I just feel hungry and grumpy. I’m happy I signed up for the swim team banquet. I had to ask myself who is more important – my son or an old boss whom I may never see again? The answer was my son. So what that I’m obese. I’m losing weight – that’s what’s important. Today I wore to work a jacket which I got at a company quarterly meeting. I had been asked what size I wore, and I said a large. I was given the large and the extra large to try on. This was the first day that I actually wore the jacket. It definitely fits better than when I tried it on three months ago. I’m also happy that I am starting to feel a difference in my size. Everything is starting to fit better. I still have not been asked yet whether I’ve lost weight, and the only person who seems to tell that I’ve actually lost weight is our nine year old who told me I’m smaller around the waist and she can tell when she hugs me!

Saturday, March 7, 2009: 198.8. A new low! Tomorrow marks six months on this diet, and I am officially on maintenance. The only change from diet to maintenance is this journal. I’m spent lots of time recording my thoughts, and meanwhile I am falling behind on my life – I haven’t been grocery shopping, the bathrooms need to be cleaned, the dog needed her yearly shots, the younger two last took shows on Wednesday night, etc. I’m following the philosophy of Pete Walsh’s book It’s All Too Much to get rid of clutter in our house. There’s something about the clutter problem and the overeating problem being similar, but I’m not quite sure what it is. Walsh argues that, if you keep everything, you cannot enjoy what you really treasure. I think that is similar to eating everything instead of really considering what you enjoy. At this point, though, what matters is that I follow the letter of the law of this diet and not worry too much about the philosophy behind it. Last night, I revised my summary of my diet, and here it is:

The Set Point Lowering Diet

1. Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the authors of the book Intuitive Eating, argue that dieting triggers the body’s survival mechanism. In another book, called The Instinct to Heal, author Dr. David Servan-Schreiber describes how the brain is divided into a cognitive brain and an emotional brain. It is the emotional brain which takes over, for example, when a person is held underwater and suddenly has the strength to get above water. This happened to me when my brother held me underwater when I was 10. It also seems to me to be the reason why so many people fail to stay on a diet. The cognitive brain decides that the body should be starved, and the emotional brain rebels against never-ending hunger.

2. On The Set Point Lowering Diet, I experience hunger but know that it will end by Saturday. On this diet, there are three types of days:

2.1 S Days are all Saturdays and Sundays. On S Days, I have“unconditional permission to eat” (a term taken from the book
Intuitive Eating). I once ate approximately 3,000 calories
of caramel macademian clusters on one S Day.

2.2 N Days are weekdays other than E Days. On these days, I follow three simple rules: no sweets, no snacks, and no seconds. When I sit down to eat, I can eat what is before me and not one bite more. Liquids can be drunk at any time. These rules are taken from The No S Diet by Reinhard Engels and Ben Kallen.

2.3 E Days accumulate at a rate of two per month. E Days are weekdays that I take as Exception Days. On E Days, I have “unconditional permission to eat.” I can take an E Day for any reason whatsoever. I once took an E Day because I wanted a breath mint. I also took an E Day because my son broke glass on the table, and I had just started eating cereal on that same table.

3. This diet must be followed with perfect compliance. Following a diet with perfect compliance makes the diet into a habit which is as difficult as brushing my teeth. In his Great Courses’ lectures on The Ethics of Aristotle, Professor Joseph Koterski of Fordham University called a diet like this an “automatism habit” – when “regularly you do a thing so that you don’t even think about it.”

4. I follow the letter of the law and violate the spirit all I want. I have stayed up until midnight on an S Day to eat. What has happened, over time, is that the N Day habits have started to carry over into S Days and E Days. I find this diet to be first a cure for disordered eating and then a way to lose weight. In six months, I have lost 15 pounds, and I expect to continue losing weight at a rate of about 2 pounds per month. This diet takes very little willpower. The weight loss may be slow, but it is also permanent.

______

I don’t really consider this diet to be a modification of The No S Diet so much as it is a different diet altogether. That is because the two modifications I made are critical to my success. They are: the idea of “unconditional permission to eat” on non-N Days (taken from the book Intuitive Eating) and the idea of “perfect compliance” (taken from a book I cannot locate), which lead to the idea of two Exception Days per month rather than an unspecified number of Special Days which have to be justified. This idea of Exception Days also comes from Aristotle’s Ethics, and I never would have gotten such a clear idea of Aristotle’s Ethics without listening to Koterski’s tapes on the subject.

I think I would have eventually come to a diet like this even if I hadn’t read The No S Diet because I had already recognized the importance of meals, had already understood that a diet needs to have periods of “on” and “off”, and had already started to think of an “on” and “off” period that is by the week. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to develop this idea, but I bet it would have been years and by then my now 9th grade daughter would have been out of the house. I’m so grateful I was able to figure out this approach when she was still home, and I’m so happy that she is following it.

This journal was really written for her – audience of one. The purpose was to figure out a sane approach to weight management that she could choose to follow. The purpose has already been fulfilled, so this journal really doesn’t have to be written anymore. Writing it has become a habit, and it’s a habit that I want to break because it no longer needs to serve the purpose for which it was intended.

What I’d like to do is update this journal monthly as a way to track weight and track Exception Days. Maybe I could add a comment here and there, but really I don’t think there’s much more to say. I see the trend. My S Days will get less and less over the top. I’ll continue to lose weight until I stabilize at some unknown lower weight which I will accept whether it is 132 or 122 or 172. I have my life back. This diet is such freedom!

Day 187 – Friday, March 13, 2009: 200.6. I am thinking that there may need to be an additional restriction added to this diet in order for me to get to a normal weight. Over the past few weeks, my husband and I have attended Lenten soup suppers at our church. In past years, I have eaten before and after the soup supper, so I haven’t quite appreciated the idea of restrictive eating on Fridays in Lent. I’ve followed the regulation of meatless Fridays, but that is it. For the soup suppers, what I have eaten is soup and a piece of bread. I haven’t had the brownies that are also offered because that violates the “no sweets” portion of this diet.

Over the past week or so, I’ve dug back in my memory to a college medieval history course and realized that the Catholic Church had lots of feast days and fast days. They came with predictability every year. Every Sunday was a feast day, and every Friday was a fast day. Lent (except on Sundays) was a period of fasting as was Advent (the time before Christmas). This wisdom has been watered down to the point of being meaningless. Now we have two fast days per year (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) and a mild restriction of no meat on Fridays in Lent.

What is very different about The No S Diet is the period of “on” (fast days – although the restrictions for N Days are very mild) and “off” (feast days – or “Special Days” according to Reinhard and “Exception Days” for me).

The typical diet is a period of unrelenting fast until you reach your goal weight and then the presumption that you can switch to “normal eating”. With the new trend towards a “lifestyle change”, you’ve got people thinking there is no fast and there is no feast, only the unrelenting sense of not having had enough to eat.

The Catholic Church is not the only faith to have fasts and feasts. I know that the Jewish faith has Yom Kippur, and the Muslim faith has a month of fasting with Ramadan. It’s occurred to me over the last week that maybe, just maybe, there is some wisdom about human nature built into these ideas of predictable fasts and feasts and The No S Diet book has the same wisdom in the N Day/S Day distinction.

For me, personally, I’m thinking that I may consider extending the Lenten restrictions of no meat on Fridays to be something I do every Friday unless I take an Exception Day. The fasting before a feast would be a way for my weekend overeating to be dampened somewhat.

I am now tracking my weight daily and trying to compare my average weight in each month to see how much weight I am losing. I was expecting a 2 pound per month weight loss, and I’m not even seeing that.

Here are my average weights since the start of the program:
September, 2008: 214.4 (based on weighing myself 6 days)
October, 2008: 208.0 (based on weighing myself 16 days)
November, 2008: 207.7 (based on weighing myself 21 days)
December, 2008: 206.1 (based on weighing myself 22 days)
January, 2008: 204.6 (based on weighing myself 24 days)
February, 2008: 202.9 (based on weighing myself 20 days)
March, 2009: 201.2 (based on weighing myself 13 days thus far this month)

If it weren’t for the years of struggling to maintain a normal weight of 130 – 135 based on the dreaded diet of counting 1,000 calories for nine days and then maintaining that weight for a month or so and repeating the process, and if it wasn’t for all the testing of other diets after that which led to weight gain rather than weight loss, I’d be looking at these diet results and telling myself that there has to be a faster way to lose weight that this! I’m losing about 1.5 pounds per month.

What I am doing instead is multiplying 1.5/month by 12 months to calculate a weight loss for one year of 18 pounds. That’s not bad, given how easy it is for me to follow this diet. At this point, I tend to have one evening when I am dragging, and that is Thursday evening. By Friday morning, I am feeling good and looking forward to Saturday and being able to eat whatever I want.

That’s why, in looking at my diet history and comparing the basic program to the fast and feast traditions of many religions, I think it might be a good idea for me to look at having additional restrictions on Fridays. I’m not doing anything right now other than following Lenten regulations which I would be doing no matter what. Instead, I’ll think about what I could do that is very clear cut – like not having meat on Fridays.

I guess I was mistaken in thinking that I didn’t need to think anymore about dieting and could put this approach on autopilot. The basic approach is sound, but I think it needs some tweaking with regard to Fridays.

Day 188 – Saturday, March 14, 2009: 199.2. It’s 9:30 AM. I got up early and had some peanut clusters and a Haagen Dazs bar. Then we went out for breakfast, and I was unable to finish the short stack of pancakes that I ordered. When we got home, I had another Haagen Dazs bar and some walnuts. My stomach is rebelling against any more food being put into it. I think that a significant restriction of food on Fridays could really help with over the top eating on S Days. I’m not sure how to structure this Friday restriction, but maybe I’ll just have it as a goal that is not well defined. It’s not measured. It’s not tracked. It’s just a desire to eat much less on Fridays. Yesterday, my 8 year old laughed when she was with me and heard a very deep and very loud stomach growl. She said that, if I was still on the Hunger Satisfaction Diet, I’d be running to the kitchen now! Yes, I would have been. Instead, I managed to have soup, salad, and a piece of bread only at the Lenten soup supper, and I went to bed early. When I first started this diet, I had a terrible time sleeping unless my stomach was stuffed with food. Last night, I had no trouble at all sleeping. I went to bed early (before 10) and got up at 6. This diet is working. It’s just taking a long time. In May, when I see the sister in law who made the less than positive comment about this diet as being just a matter of “common sense”, I suspect she won’t realize I’ve lost any weight at all. That’s OK. It may take until Christmas this year or next summer before anyone other than the 9 year old notices that I’ve lost weight, but I’m already starting to feel smaller. I feel such a sense of relief that I’m finally losing weight in a way that I am confident is permanent. Slow. Easy. And permanent.

Day 189 – Sunday, March 15, 2009: 201.8. Today, I got out buckets from the storage closet of summer clothes that I had packed away last year. I was pleased to find that I could fit into a lot of my capris. By September of last year, I could only wear one pair of size 18 capris, and the dog chewed a hole in them! I had made a commitment to myself to never go into women’s sizes, so I had resorted to trying to find size 18 pants that I could actually wear. Although trying on these pants gave me confidence that my body is actually changing, I am thinking that this diet may need something more if I am to lose enough weight to get into a normal weight range. I think I want to significantly reduce my caloric intake on Fridays as a way to make it all that much harder for me to significantly overeat on the weekend. I’m not doing anything right now except researching the topic of fasting, and to that end I ordered two books on fasting from amazon. I would only reduce food intake on Fridays, and I’m not sure if I would have any extra rules like no sweets, no seconds, and no snacks. I’m not sure. It just seems to me worth the effort to look at religious traditions concerning fasting to see if there are any commonalities that might be applicable to a diet.

Day 190 – Monday, March 16, 2009: 202.2. At 6:30 PM, I was picking at the fried potatoes and realized that this was a lot more than just testing to see if they were done, so I called it an Exception Day. Not a failure. An Exception Day. I don’t have a failure unless I use up all my Exception Days.

Day 191 – Tuesday, March 17, 2009: It’s 1 AM, and I cannot sleep. Last night was the first time on this diet when I violated the N Day rules on a weekday without first making the choice to take an Exception Day. This diet, I believe, is a cure for disordered eating before it is a means to lose weight. I don’t think that N Day rules are necessary for those who can manage eating well on their own. In a meeting last week, I observed a thin business analyst open a granola bar and enjoy it during the meeting. That’s not something I can do. I don’t seem to have natural limits to eating based on hunger, and my attempt to develop habits of naturally thin people (eating according to hunger) was nothing short of disastrous. This diet approach allows me to approximate the eating behavior of naturally thin people without making maintenance of a normal weight my life’s work. I think I need to set aside the daily weigh-in and just allow time to pass with a minimal attention to this diet. I need to accept that there will be times I take an Exception Day because I just wasn’t paying attention, but it is better that that occurs than that I spend hours per day focused on weight and eating. I need to accept that I am human and will make mistakes along the way. The Exception Days are my way to allow for a violation of N Day rules without my having an “I blew my diet” meltdown into the end of diet binge.

7 PM: I think that what this diet promotes is orderliness. I look at the diet approach and realize that it is better for me to just weigh myself once per month as a check in than to weigh myself daily and invest lots of time analyzing the numbers. After all, am I going to stop this diet? No. This diet halted the weight gain I have experienced over the past several years. Even if I didn’t lose another pound, I wouldn’t change the basic structure of “unconditional permission to eat” on weekends and an accumulation of two weekdays per month along with other days having restrictions. If I cannot lose weight below a certain level, I may want to work on having further restrictions on N Days, but I am losing weight, so now what I need is patience. I need to simply let the days pass as I follow this extremely easy and orderly approach to eating. My attention needs to turn to the disorder in the home, starting with de-cluttering. If I weigh myself once per month, that should be enough. At this point, the less thought I put into this diet, the better. Orderliness and patience. These virtues seem so banal, but I think they are the virtues I need to make a lifelong success of weight management.

Day 192 – Wednesday, March 18, 2009: 201.8. This is a long haul, a marathon not a sprint, and I think I need to accept that I am going to be impatient to be thinner. It suddenly became spring here in Minnesota. We went from really cold weather to temperatures in the 60s this week, and here I am, fat, fat, fat. I hate it. I need to accept that slow weight loss is part of the deal with this approach. Even though I don’t need to pay much attention to this diet, I think that I need to do whatever with help with my impatience to lose weight. Weighing myself and seeing the average for the month and comparing that average to earlier months could help. Right now, my average weight for March is 201.2, and that compares to the average for January of 204.6 and for February of 202.9. In two months, my average weight has dropped 3.4 pounds. That is pathetic. What I need to do is recognize that this weight loss is permanent. I am confident that I will never again see 216 or 215 or 210 or even 205. Someday, probably by the end of June, I will never again see 200 pounds. I was hoping that I would have dropped 10% of my total body weight (down to 193) by one year on this diet on September 8, but it doesn’t look like that will happen at this rate. I need to lose another 8.2 pounds, which means another six months, putting me into October. It’s possible I’ll make it, but I thought it would be easy to make it. I simply have to adjust my expectations. This diet has its drawbacks, but – as my daughter put it when wolfing down a bismark – “This diet has its advantages.” There is someone at work who is openly trying to lose weight, and she is making veggie burgers. Lots of Lean Cuisines as lunchtime choices as well. I don’t think I am ever again going to have a Lean Cuisine. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Day 193 – Thursday, March 19, 2009: 201.0. One of the two books I ordered on fasting is called fasting: exploring a great spiritual practice by Carole Garibaldi Rogers. I got it yesterday and have only read the first few chapters, but I’ve already figured out how I would like to change my Friday habit. I dog-eared pages with these passages:

“Whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and was your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others buy by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (p. 39 – 40, taken from Matthew 6: 2 – 18 ).

“The disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving encourage Christians to turn their attention away from themselves and toward God and others.” (p. 41)

“By the end of the first century or the beginning of the second, Wednesdays and Fridays had become days of fasting for Christians…For Christians these were not twenty-four-hour fasts or even sunup to sundown fasts; fasting ended with the evening meal, which could be eaten as early as the ninth hour, or 3 PM.” (p. 49).

From these three passages, I have decided that I would like to have a goal of fasting but not make it a requirement in order to have a success on a Friday N Day. My goal will be to fast like the early Christians. The third passage isn’t completely clear in meaning to me, but I think that the meaning is that Christians did not eat breakfast or lunch on Fridays. If I can avoid doing that without others noticing, that is what I think I will try. I will also try to have a light dinner on Friday.

From what I have seen, the effect of following N Day rules is that S Day overeating gets dampened somewhat. Six months after starting this diet, however, I still overeat to the point that I have stomach aches. If I restrict eating on Fridays, I think that will help me with S Day eating without my trying to restrict S Day eating in any way. I don’t seem to have quite the same problem with overeating on weekday Exception Days, and I’m not exactly sure why. It just may be that I have more time on the weekend to overeat.

What I have seen as a wonderful benefit of this diet is that you can turn your toward “God and others.” There is nothing that has made me so single-minded in focus as one of my diets. I am hungry. I am grumpy. I am totally focused on myself. It’s sad. I have a husband and together we have four children. There is more to life than what goes into my belly. While getting going on this diet has required a lot of focus, I see that it has taken less and less time and over time will become so routine that I don’t even think about it. The missing piece to my approach has been how to dampen down my over the top overeating on the weekends, and I think that limiting food intake on Fridays is an approach that is simple and will work. Now it is time to test if it works…

Day 194 – Friday, March 20, 2009: 200.6. Here is another beautiful quote from page 56 of the book on fasting. This quote is from an early Christian book called The Wisdom of the Desert: “Once two brethren came to a certain elder whose custom it was not to eat every day. But when he saw the brethren, he invited them with joy to dine with him, saying: ‘Fasting has its reward, but he who eats out of charity fulfills two commandments, for he sets aside his own will and he refreshes his hungry brethren.’” My first time not following my Hunger Satisfaction Diet (eat only after a hunger growl) came when I attended my nephew’s college graduation, and a buffet lunch was served. I had to choose between following the diet and eating lunch with my extended family. I ate lunch. On this diet, I can take Exception Days whenever I want, including if an unexpected social event presents itself. I can see the wisdom of deciding to have a guideline only in trying to have only water on Fridays until dinner. This morning, I had planned not to eat, but I had also already scheduled a coffee break with a friend. I had a latte.

This diet does something which most diets do not. It allows me to focus on other people rather than on what food is going into my belly. There was a weight loss contest at work, and the winner lost 19% of body weight. I can just imagine the degree to which that person focused on enduring starvation until the end of the weight loss contest. In contrast, I am losing weight slowly, but I am able to live my life today in a way that is the same as if I was already thin. I may still weigh over 200 pounds, but I am already gaining the outlook of a thin person. This is so wonderful.

10 PM: Today was easy. I don’t even feel hungry. I had a latte at breakfast, some green tea in the afternoon, and a roll, salad and broccoli cheese soup for dinner. After the dinner, we went to the store so I could pick up Haagen Dazs bars. I fully intend to enjoy tomorrow’s S Day. This is not self-denial for self-denial’s sake. This is an attempt to dampen down the overeating on S Days without actually placing restrictions.

Day 195 – Saturday, March 21, 2009: 199.2. It’s only 6:30 AM, and I’ve already had three dark chocolate hazelnut wafers, but there is something missing which is hard to describe. I don’t feel the need or the desire to put as much food in my mouth as quickly as I can. I have felt on S Days the way I have felt many times when a diet has failed, and that feeling is not present right now. I don’t have the frantic need to binge eat. I think that the Friday fast may be a critical success factor for me in reaching and maintaining a normal weight.

Day 196 – Sunday, March 22, 2009: 200.2. Yesterday, my 14 year old daughter said to me, “I’m kinda sick of sweets.” She had wanted a large box of Mike and Ike’s for her S Day, and she had gotten it. How many mothers of overweight children would be thrilled to hear, “I’m kinda sick of sweets.” The conversation was triggered because she can no longer stand Haagen Dazs bars. I had all three in the box and by afternoon didn’t feel well at all. I don’t think my body can handle my typical S Day after a fast day. I spent the afternoon in bed, went to church, came back, had dinner, and went to bed. I don’t feel too great this morning. Kelly Brownell of Yale wrote a book on how the obesity epidemic is cultural, and we need to change the culture in order to help people have a normal weight. He’s pursuing making sure poor people have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. I think the answer may be a lot simpler. Who fasts these days? There is zero tolerance for hunger. In fact, some groups have it as a goal to eliminate hunger. Maybe the periodic experience of hunger through religiously mandated fasts is what kept most people from obesity. I suspect my weight will now drop more quickly with the addition of a Friday fast (no breakfast, no lunch, and a light dinner) when I can follow it without it being noticed by others.

Day 199 – Wednesday, March 25, 2009: 200.4. I finished reading the book on fasting, and there was one more page that I dog eared. A Catholic woman religious was quoted as saying: “Personally, I find fasting awkward. I have spent my life on diets. At the present time, a day of fast is little different from an ordinary day for me, because I try mightily to limit the food I eat.” (p. 125 – 126). I felt sad for that woman. Yes, she is very familiar with fasts. She is not familiar with feasts (S Days). This experience of constant fasting is the so-called “lifestyle change” approach to weight maintenance that means you will be hungry for the rest of your life if you want to be thin. I tried that. I also tried constant feasting with the Intuitive Eating approach of “unconditional permission to eat.” It seems to me that the predictable cycle of fast and feast is what makes this diet work. Tonight, surprising even for me, I did not want much to eat. I had soup, crackers, and a soft pretzel. My two older kids have been home sick from school, and they have eaten very little. Eating less seems to me suddenly to mean resting. I found fasting from solid food last Friday to be surprisingly restful. It was a positive experience. In fact, it was so positive that I am still puzzled by how I reacted. Right now, at about 8:30 PM, my stomach growled, and it felt pleasant. I like having a stomach that isn’t stuffed. I feel light. I feel rested. I feel at a loss for words to describe how I feel right now, but the experience is pleasant in a physical way, like taking a long bath or receiving a tender kiss from Tom.

Day 201 – Friday, March 27, 2009: 200.4. The fluctuating weight is very discouraging, but I can look at my average weight for this month (now at 201.0) and compare it to last month’s average weight (202.9) to see that I am making progress. Today is a fast day, except that my two older children are home. I don’t think I’m ready for fasting quite yet. Last week went well with my having liquids until dinner, and I think I’ll try that again today. If it would be awkward not to have lunch because the kids are home, then I’ll have lunch. I’m still trying to figure out fasting. I do think the basic idea of making an effort to eat significantly less food on Fridays is a good approach for me to dampen weekend overeating.

Day 202 – Saturday, March 28, 2009: 198.2 A new low! I got through yesterday with no food except liquids until dinner. Dinner was soup and salad at the Lenten soup supper. I didn’t even notice hunger until about 3 PM. It was a pleasant day. My two older children were off school but still lounging around because they had been sick earlier in the week. Based on the description of symptoms, the pediatrician thought they had influenza. I think fasting will help with S Day overeating, although I did get up at 1 AM and am right now having Milano cookies and Snickers mini bars at 6:30 AM. Because of yesterday’s very light eating, it won’t take much more food before I reach the level of stuffed.

Day 205 – Tuesday, March 31, 2009: Today is Anne’s 15th birthday. She was born on Holy Thursday, and she’s been a blessing to us every since then. Several years ago, Tom commented on how she was getting overweight. I wasn’t so concerned about pre-pubescent weight gain, but I was alarmed by her eating habits. She would come home from school and head straight for the kitchen. She had learned disordered eating from me. On this birthday, I see that she is struggling with the diet and having some failures, but she is learning. She ran out of Exception Days last week when her cousin took her shopping for clothes, and yesterday she had an unexpected night out with a friend at the Mall of America – rides, dinner, and probably treats. She’ll have to learn to budget the Exception Days. The best way for me to help her is to serve as an example and to talk when she wants to talk. Last night, Tom told me he can tell that I’ve lost weight. I was happy to hear that!
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:27 pm; edited 74 times in total
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caroleann



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 57
Location: Southern Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Kathleen! I love your weight record and the fact that it is monthly and not daily. I think I'll add this to my check in.

I had tears in my eyes after I read your story about the banquet. I know how you feel. The same reason I haven't gone to a class reunion. I don't want people to say, "Boy she got fat!"

We want our kids to be proud of us and we push them to be the best they can be so we can be proud of them. Well, I have 3 teenagers and I have let myself go to take care of them. Well, I decided that I can only help them, if I do something about myself. I am hoping that by no-sing, I can encourage my daughter to loose weight. She's a beautiful girl but she's about 20 lbs over weight. She's 16 and has lots of friends but hasn't been on a date..no boy friend. Well, the plain and hurtful truth is that teenage boys don't choose fat girls. there I said it Sad

I am glad you decide to go to the banquet. Try to have fun and enjoy your son. These times go by extremely fast.
_________________
Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!!!

The only way to achieve something important that has been out of your reach is to become more assertive. It'll take stong motivation on your part to bodly go where you need to go
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

caroleann,

My almost 15 year old is almost 30 pounds overweight, and she grew up observing me go from one diet to another, failing and failing and failing. More than anything else, it was the desire to help her avoid the path I have taken that got me researching diets. It was a wonderful day when she told me she was going on the diet, too.

I never really let myself go. In fact, I tried very hard to lose weight, but I just kept on having "diet backlash" -- or, as my husband accurately but not very politely put it, "feeding frenzies."

I plan to go the swim team banquet and enjoy it!

I hope my way of tracking my weight is inspiring to people. Blueskighs said that she didn't lose any weight between month 2 and month 6. From a recording of my weights on a Monday in each month, it looks like I didn't lose much then either! My weight on January 5 was exactly one pound less than my weight on October 13! Patience is a virtue...

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

April, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4

April, 2009: Starting number of Exception Days = 7
Day 206 – Wednesday, April 1, 2009: (Exception Day)
Day 207 – Thursday, April 2, 2009:
Day 208 – Friday, April 3, 2009:
Day 209 – Saturday, April 4, 2009:
Day 210 – Sunday, April 5, 2009:
Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6
Day 212 – Tuesday, April 7, 2009: 204.0
Day 213 – Wednesday, April 8, 2009: 203.8
Day 214 – Thursday, April 9, 2009: 202.4
Day 215 – Friday, April 10, 2009:202.8
Day 216 – Saturday, April 11, 2009: 201.4
Day 217 – Sunday, April 12, 2009: 202.6
Day 218 – Monday, April 13, 2009: 204.8
Day 219 – Tuesday, April 14, 2009: 203.0
Day 220 – Wednesday, April 15, 2009: 203.4
Day 221 – Thursday, April 16, 2009: 205.0
Day 222 – Friday, April 17, 2009: 203.6
Day 223 – Saturday, April 18, 2009: 202.2
Day 224 – Sunday, April 19, 2009: 204.0
Day 225 – Monday, April 20, 2009: 204.2
Day 226 – Tuesday, April 21, 2009: 203.6
Day 227 – Wednesday, April 22, 2009: 202.2
Day 228 – Thursday, April 23, 2009: 201.8
Day 229 – Friday, April 24, 2009: 200.0
Day 230 – Saturday, April 25, 2009: 199.0
Day 231 – Sunday, April 26, 2009:
Day 232 – Monday, April 27, 2009: (Exception Day)
Day 233 – Tuesday, April 28, 2009: 203.2
Day 234 – Wednesday, April 29, 2009: 202.8
Day 235 – Thursday, April 30, 2009: 201.4

Day 206 – Wednesday, April 1, 2009: I got the April 6, 2009 issue of Newsweek yesterday, and there was an article called “Tales of a Modern Diva.” The summary of the article is: Call it the high-maintenance generation. How our obsession with beauty is changing are kids.” Here is an excerpt from the article:

In Susie Orbach’s new book, “Bodies”, the former therapist to Princess Diana argues that good looks and peak fitness are no longer a biological gift but a ceaseless pursuit. And obsession at an early age, she says, fosters a belief that these are essential components of who we are. “It primes little girls to think they should diet and dream about cosmetic-surgery options available to them, and it makes the body the primary place for self-identity.”

Sick. I felt sick reading that. The body is “the primary place for self-identity.” What’s wrong with that? I think that, if you are focused on your own body, then you are not focused on loving others and the care and understanding that comes from loving others.

The reason why I felt so upset reading this article is that I had to ask myself: Have I not been part of the weight-obsessed culture? In tracking my weight, I have calculated averages for each month going back to when I started tracking my weight on a spreadsheet in November, 2005. Here are my average weights since the start of the diet in September, 2008:
September, 2008: 214.4 (based on weighing myself 6 days)
October, 2008: 208.0 (based on weighing myself 16 days)
November, 2008: 207.7 (based on weighing myself 21 days)
December, 2008: 206.1 (based on weighing myself 22 days)
January, 2008: 204.6 (based on weighing myself 24 days)
February, 2008: 202.9 (based on weighing myself 20 days)
March, 2009: 200.9 (based on weighing myself 27 days)

Is the most important thing about me my average weight for the month? Does everything I do in one month boil down to one number?

No.

If this diet is primarily a cure for disordered eating and only secondarily a way to lose weight, then how do I manage my life so that my focus is not on my weight?

I think this diet allows weight management to fade into the background.

It’s irritating, but I still need to remind my 8 year old and almost 10 year old to brush their teeth in the morning. It’s not a habit for them – yet.

The beauty of this diet is that following it can become a habit as effortless as brushing my teeth. While I still have much more weight to lose, I feel as though I am ready for maintenance. What is needed for maintenance? Only one thing: a way to track the number of available Exception Days. Of course, as I lose weight, it would be nice to see how much I am losing each month. I don’t want to be so engrossed by this diet that I am weighing myself daily and calculating average weights for the month. Maybe it is sufficient to just record one weight per month. I’ve seen my weight go up and down as much as three pounds for no apparent reason, and I need to accept that one weight doesn’t really reflect how I am doing. What reflects how I am doing is a trend over two or three months. I think I can manage to wait for two or three months for a trend. I think I’ll try to record my weight one Monday per month and track Exception Days and that’s about it.

Next Monday, we’ll be in Rochester for my semi-annual appointment. I may haul my scale down to Rochester, since I bought not only a very accurate scale but also a carrying case for that very accurate scale. I need to change my focus away from my weight, however. The weight loss is slow, and in the meantime life goes on – we celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary this year, and our oldest will be in college in just a little over three years. Since I was myself in college, I’ve wasted way too much time on my weight and dieting. Tom sure has been patient with me as I’ve tried diet after diet after diet. It’s time to have a different focus!

7 PM: I took an Exception Day tonight because I felt like having popcorn.

Day 209 – Saturday, April 4, 2009: Yesterday, I had only liquids until dinner, which was soup, salad and bread at a Lenten soup supper. At midnight, I ate for an hour – Snickers bar, Crunch bars, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, etc. I got up this morning and had oatmeal at a restaurant with Tom and three other people and then came home and ate some more. This afternoon, I bought another Costco jar of caramel macademian clusters and ate about ¼ of the jar (which was significantly less than I ate the last time I bought caramel macademian clusters!). At dinnertime, I abandoned the family to go lie down and then have a bath. I’d already eaten so much by dinnertime that I didn’t want to eat anymore.

It is now 8 PM. My theory that fasting on Friday would dampen S Day overeating did not work out. I still think there is something more for me to do, and it might involve limiting Friday overeating. What I’m going to try next is giving up coffee. I am constantly drinking coffee, especially since my company provides free Caribou Coffee literally feet from my cube. The basics of this diet are set for me, but I still think there is some tweaking to do. On Monday, I’ll weigh myself for the first time since last Saturday. I still think about this diet a lot, but I am less engrossed now that I’ve decided to weigh myself just once a month. The actual weight on the scale is not my main concern. My main concern is my continued out of control eating on the weekend. I’m not sure if I need to do something different or just wait. I have noticed that weekday Exception Days are not out of control. For example, on Monday, I took an S Day so I could have some popcorn. I didn’t even bother to go out to get some chocolate.

Day 210 – Sunday, April 5, 2009: This morning, I don’t feel so discouraged about having eaten so much yesterday. After all, the last time I got those caramel macademian clusters, I ate almost the whole jar. Yesterday, I ate about ¼ of the jar – probably about 800 calories worth of food. I had two cups of coffee ice cream. I had no Haagen Dazs bars. The theory I am following is that N Day habits of moderation will eventually dampen over the top eating on S Days since I don’t like how I feel when I eat too much on S Days. That was definitely true last night. Tom rented the classic movie “Duck Soup”, and I didn’t stay around to watch it. I went to bed about 8:30. In other words, I missed time with my family because I ate so much yesterday. I don’t want to do that again. I will, I’m sure, but over time I will start to eat less to avoid feeling bad. Somehow, I think, there is no shortcut here. I can’t just reason to being reasonable. Instead, I have to experience the unpleasant consequences of over the top overeating. S Day overeating is self-correcting. I just have to wait.

Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6. I am disappointed by my weight this morning, up .2 pound from last month's Monday weight. What happened? I hate to admit it, but I tried to move this diet along faster, and my attempt backfired into "diet backlash." I tried a modified fast on Fridays -- only liquids until dinner and then a light dinner. The result last weekend was that I got up at midnight and was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I wasn't just eating sweets. I think I'm setting aside the idea of fasting on Fridays for a time, although I am required to fast this Friday for Good Friday.

On a good note, we are at the Mayo Clinic for my semi-annual appointment, and we stayed at a hotel as a mini family vacation. It was a stretch to call the pool area a water park, but the kids had fun. I will have breakfast and take a shuttle to the Mayo Clinic while the rest of the family sleeps in. This was my celebration of getting below 200 pounds. I did get below 200 pounds, and I need to celebrate that I am headed in the right direction. There are just a few ups and downs.

3:45 PM: On the boring ride between Rochester and the Twin Cities, I came up with another idea for dampening overeating on S Days. I’ll write down what I eat outside N Day rules. That’s it. The problem with S Day overeating is that it really is like a shark’s “feeding frenzy.” I just eat without any sort of consciousness of what I am eating. I have put myself on so many 1,000 calorie per day – read starvation – diets that I am conditioned to eat in a way that is appropriate for a starving person who suddenly is able to eat. Although I am no longer starving myself with low calorie diets, the memory of the starvation diets lingers in my emotional brain. I could make a comparison to how I feel when I remember my 8 month old daughter falling down 12 steps. There is no rational way to think about that memory. It was a horrible moment in my life, and I am grateful to the pediatrician who examined her about 40 minutes later and told me “You’re lucky” and “She’s giggling. That’s a good sign.” Although I can assure myself over and over again that I am not going back on those starvation diets which allowed me to keep my weight low for about 10 years, I am not going to get over the memory. Instead, I need to do something which is incompatible with “feeding frenzy” eating. Writing down what I eat is incompatible with eating in a way that I am not even aware of what I’m eating. It seems like a possible approach that will work, so I’ll try it. This diet needs tweaking, but I just don’t know how. I believe in having restrictions, in having “unconditional permission to eat” on the weekends, and in accumulating two Exception Days per month. There needs to be something more, however, or I’ll be stuck at 200 pounds for the rest of my life. This idea of writing down what I eat outside N Day rules has some appeal in that I still can eat whatever I want. I just have to write down what falls outside N Day rules!

8:45 PM: Since I don’t have the “feeding frenzy” problem on Exception Days, I’ll just write down what doesn’t follow N Day rules on S Days. I won’t do it on Exception Days. This seems very legalistic. It is also very legalistic to wait until midnight on Saturdays to eat. Maybe legalistic works for me.

9:30 PM: I’ve had the luxury of having a lot of time to think today. The rest of the week won’t be quite so calm, since my two older children have spring break and I’m trying to plan the summer. Today, though, I could think about this diet. I think it is a misnomer to call this way of eating a diet. It’s more of a cure, a cure for disordered eating. People who diet focus on what they eat and the number on a scale. The No S Diet is more about how to eat – how much and when. It’s a cure for disordered eating, which has obesity as its most obvious symptom. If I focus on my weight, I focus on a symptom. If I focus on my eating, I focus on the cause of my obesity. By focusing on normalizing my eating habits, I am addressing the cause of my overeating, and my weight will normalize after an extended period of time of my eating being normal. Starvation diets are unnecessary and often backfire. This approach is about normal eating, not dieting.

Day 212 – Tuesday, April 7, 2009: 204.0. I was awake for about an hour last night thinking about the whole problem of S Days gone wild or, as Tom puts it, “feeding frenzies.” It seems like a problem, but is it? I know there is a psychological disorder called Binge Eating Disorder (BED). The term seems so sanitized for what is a frantic and indiscriminate overeating. Why? Why do I do this? I have compared my eating behavior to what happened when my brother held me underwater when I was 10 years old. I had incredible strength to push myself to the surface of the water. It seems to me that these feeding frenzies are both positive and natural. They aren’t disordered at all. They are part of the body’s survival mechanism, just like pushing myself to the surface of the water was when I held underwater. All those years of dieting resulted in a fear of any sort of restriction.

Now what? I think I need to stop viewing feeding frenzies as a problem and instead view them as part of my body’s will to survive. I can continue to allow “unconditional permission to eat” on the weekend. The only change I am making is to become conscious of what I am eating by writing down what I eat outside my three meals. That shouldn’t be too hard. I thought a modified fast on Fridays would dampen weekend overeating, but that didn’t work. There was solid logic behind that approach, too. I’m just going to keep trying different ideas until I find one that works. At least I’m no longer gaining weight!

Day 214 – Thursday, April 9, 2009: 202.4. I think I’m going to weigh myself daily so that I know how I’m doing. The scale doesn’t lie. I thought I was doing fine during the period of time that I wasn’t weighing myself, but I went from 198.2 on a Saturday to 203.6 on the Monday nine days later.

Day 215 – Friday, April 10, 2009: 202.8. It’s Good Friday, our kids are home from school, and all I can think about is this: Why do I weigh 202.8 on a Friday? Today’s a Fast Day for Catholics, so I should have a lower weight tomorrow, but I’m still distressed by the increase from 198.2 about two weeks ago. What happened? I did stop weighing myself so I would be so focused on my weight. I think I’ll weigh myself daily. Also, I have been toying with the idea of writing down what I eat on S Days if my eating is not within N Day guidelines. This morning, I decided maybe that that additional rule should be triggered if I’m not below a target weight. I dropped the idea of a target weight, but now I’m resurrecting it. Here is what I had before as target weights:

October, 2008: Below 216.
November, 2008: Below, 214.
December, 2008: Below 212.
January, 2009: Below 210.
February, 2009: Below 208.
March, 2009: Below 206.
April, 2009: Below 204.

My goal weight for this month is below 204. My weight today of 202.8 is below 204. If I’m below my goal weight on a Saturday, then I don’t need to be writing down what I eat outside of N Day rules. It’s reassuring to be looking at the weights. Today, I am 13.2 pounds below my start weight 215 days ago. Maybe I need to remind myself that I’ve made progress. It seems slow, but “inch by inch, life’s a cinch.” I’m getting there. I just have to be patient.

11:30 PM: The required fast on Good Friday was difficult for me. I went to bed at 8 PM just so I wouldn’t have to think about eating, and now I am up waiting for midnight. I do think that periodic fasting may be a way to help me to not be so focused on food, but I’m not at the point where I can handle it well. I’m happy with the idea of writing down non N Day eating behavior on S Days if my weight is above my target weight. It is a real surprise to me how difficult it is to lose weight even at my current obese weight.

Day 216 – Saturday, April 11, 2009: 201.4. What I’ve come to recognize is that the end of diet binge – or, as my husband calls it, a “feeding frenzy” – is the enemy of traditional diets. For this diet, the “feeding frenzy” is allowed but only on non N Days. The “feeding frenzy” is a symptom of the person’s will to survive. It is not a problem. It is not an emotional problem or a physical problem or a psychological problem. It is how we are made. We are made to eat everything in sight when there is food available and we have been starving.

I don’t have to worry about my decision to write down what I eat on S Days if my weight is below my target weight, because I weigh 201.4 today and my target weight for the month is 204. Still, like fasting on Fridays and restricting S Days to just Sundays, this decision may be off track. I may just need to wait and wait and wait for the weight to come off slowly. I’ve been on diets since I was 17 and I’m now 50, so I am very familiar – as is Tom – with my body’s will to survive being evident in the “feeding frenzy” that is a reaction to starvation. N Days are not starvation diets, so S Days should end up becoming more and more normal. I was up at midnight to eat because of the Good Friday fast, but I don’t have to worry about another religious fast until Ash Wednesday in spring of next year. My body will learn, over time, that it will be fed. The days of periodic starvations are over.

5:45 PM: I’ve often wondered what is the difference between the person who has a weight problem and the person who does not. I knew it wasn’t a tendency to be self-indulgent or lazy because there are just too many overweight people, like my son’s Scoutmaster and his wife, who are very giving and caring. I think I finally figured it out: it’s gullibility. Those of us with weight problems have a tendency to believe cultural myths like that hunger – even mild hunger – is a crises, that snacks are necessary for a person to keep up energy, and that overweight people lack willpower. It’s all nonsense. It’s taken me 35 years to figure out that I believed what just wasn’t true.

Day 217 – Sunday, April 12, 2009: 202.6. It’s 9:30 on Easter Sunday morning, and I am stuffed with chocolate candies and jelly beans and a croissant. Why have I eaten so much? I think the reason why is that I could. It’s an S Day, after all. As I sat eating the croissant, I thought back to the book Intuitive Eating and realized that the basic premise is correct: that you need to tune in to your body and become sensitive to what is pleasurable. The last half of the croissant was anything but pleasurable. I’ve eaten so much in the last 36 hours that I feel nauseous. This is a turning point for me. I will continue to follow N Day rules but what I’ll do on the weekend is try to become sensitive to what is pleasurable. I no longer need to eat with the frantic reaction of someone subjected to periodic fasts. I’m free of the fear of starvation.

6 PM: I think that this diet is an easy counterbalance to the cultural environment that makes me susceptible to obesity. After all, do I want the focus of my life to be a number on the scale, or do I want it to be getting to know my husband and children? I think of Karen Carpenter singing, “Let’s take a lifetime to say I knew you well.” How ironic that the song that comes to mind is one performed by a woman who died at age 32 from complications due to anorexia.

My life did not end at 32, but it has been very much damaged by my weight problem. I’ve also wasted an incredible amount of time researching weight loss programs. All that is ending. This diet is a simple and effective way for me not to be pulled into the cultural myths that snacking is necessary, that weight loss is a pursuit of incredible willpower, that hunger is a crises…. Dieting is all about me. I want my life to be all about finding my own path in life and being with my family, enjoying them and getting to know them and supporting them as they find their paths in life.

Day 218 – Monday, April 13, 2009: 204.8. My attempts at tweaking the diet to get faster results are backfiring. I think I’ll stick with the one tweak that seems to work well for me, which is having an accumulation of two Exception Days per month and no Special Days other than the weekends. I am spending a lot of time trying to tweak this diet and I just need to be patient and let it work. Maybe I can sit on it and decide not to do anything about trying to tweak it until we have a week at Family Camp at our son’s Boy Scout camp. It’s really beautiful there, and there’s a lot of time when the girls are in activities and I’m left to chat with other mothers. That’s in mid-July, and by then I’ll have another two months of following this diet. I need a break from my own efforts to speed up the process. This pattern of bouncing around trying new things is reminding me of all the diets I would try, one after another. I wouldn’t spend long on one but would flit from one to another, and I’d do that for years on end. It’s time to settle down and stick with one approach. Maybe I should even wait until July of next year, when we’re back at Family Camp, before I try tweaking this diet. By then, I’ll know if my weight loss has ended. At this point, I can’t tell how much I’d weigh if I just stuck with the Exception Day modification. By July of next year, I will know if I am still trending downward in weight.

When I think about my attempts at tweaking this diet, I think of our dog wolfing down a type of dog treat called Greenies. We taught her the command “Leave it” so well that she is not quite sure she’ll get to eat her treat even after she’s been given it. She takes the Greenie, runs off to be alone, and wolfs it down. I think the same thing is happening with me when I keep on changing this diet. Rationally, I know I won’t be on starvation diets again, but the “emotional brain” takes over and wolfs down food in preparation for a change in my thinking about dieting. It’s like the dog being conditioned with the command “Leave it” to think that her Greenie will be taken away. We’ve stopped saying “Leave it” when she gets a Greenie, but the effect of our having her leave a Greenie lingers on. She’s been conditioned to fear the loss of her treat, and I’ve conditioned myself to expect a change in my diet plans so I eat while I can. I wolf down food while I can. I need to keep assuring myself that “Patience is a virtue”, and I can settle down now with the decision that – no matter what – I’m following this approach until July of next year.

Day 220 – Wednesday, April 15, 2009: 203.4. I’m reading a different diet book which emphasizes eating lots of fruits and vegetables, so at about 8:50 PM, I decided that I could snack if it is only fruit or vegetables. Before I had taken a bite, I opened the refrigerator, noticed some yogurt, and realized that this approach was the “slippery slope” back to disordered eating. I ate a clemetine, then a cupful of blackberries, and finally a bowl of cereal. My son saw me having a bowl of cereal and said, “Hey! It’s not a Special Day.” I told him I took an Exception Day, he asked why, and I told him “Because I felt like it.” Well, that’s not exactly true. I talked myself into something that I instantly realized wouldn’t work. I’d say that’s a very good use of an Exception Day!

Day 221 – Thursday, April 16, 2009: 205.0. Now I’m up to 205 on a Thursday. What do I do differently? I’m not sure I do anything differently. Last night, after recording what I ate, I continued eating, finishing off with a bowl of cereal and one of those uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was in bed by 9:30. What I’m finding is that I’m starting to want food that is better for you. My daughter a few weeks ago said, “I’m kinda sick of sweets.” Well, it starting to happen to me, too. After all, how many Haagen Dazs bars can a person eat in a lifetime? Last night’s eating was not of sweets except for ice cream because that’s all that was in the house, but what I really wanted was to expand my eating options beyond what is available with this diet. There’s a little rebel in me. The little rebel is telling me that weight loss from this diet has ended, and I need to go on to something else. Luckily, I can back to my weight loss journal from before I found this diet and read about how obsessed I was with food and how I spent so much time evaluating my hunger level and how much I felt like a failure. I can compare how I felt then with what happened two days ago, which is that I worked straight from 9 until 3 without thinking about food or eating. I’d had my typical breakfast of a Clementine and a bowl of cereal, and I experienced no discomfort by waiting so long to eat. It’s so wonderful to be able to focus on something other than my weight, and I don’t want to give that up to go pursue some other approach to dieting. I am waiting!

Day 222 – Friday, April 17, 2009: 203.6. Last night, I spoke with my mother on the phone, and she said that she thought this diet sounded terrible since you eat lots of sweets on the weekend and none during the week. She thought that could cause glucose levels to skyrocket on the weekend and cause health problems like diabetes. I got a chuckle out of that. It was exactly my concern. I hadn’t told her last summer that I had a glucose level of 108, which means I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I told them when my weight went below 200 but haven’t said my weight went back up.

It was a thought-provoking conversation for me. What exactly happened that my weight went up? What happened was that I ate lots of sweets, especially this past Sunday which was Easter. My daughter said this a few weeks ago and now I’m thinking it: “I’m kinda sick of sweets.” Had I followed the Intuitive Eating approach of allowing myself “unconditional permission to eat” all the time, I may have reached this point as well. The beauty of this diet is that the weekday N Days let me know how it feels to eat healthfully, and the S Days are in contrast to that. I feel better when I don’t eat so much and eat foods that are better for me. I had my two younger daughters at Costco earlier this week, and I pointed out a jar of caramel macademian clusters to them. The younger daughter made a face! This diet does seem to be working in its own way. The measurement of success cannot be according to the scale. It is according to how I feel about how much I eat and what I eat. I’m starting to gravitate towards eating more fruits and vegetables. If I could eat anything right now, it certainly wouldn’t be a Haagen Dazs bar or a caramel macademian cluster. I think it would be a piece of toast with blueberry jam.

Day 223 – Saturday, April 18, 2009: 202.2. It is Day 223, and I hit a wall. It’s an S Day. This morning, Tom and I had breakfast with other adults. I ordered dry toast and an egg white omlette. I wanted to try the egg white omlette and decided it was tasteless (but ate it anyway), but I enjoyed jam on unbuttered toast. After breakfast, we went to get my S Day food. I bought a box of biscotti. The package had a big label: 110 calories per biscotti. I had two biscotti. It is now 9:30 AM, and my S Day eating of treats can be precisely calculated at 220 calories.

What happened? I think this experience reflects the trait of human nature that you want what you cannot have. I can have anything I want today, so I choose only what I really want and not just whatever I can have. My “emotional brain” is finally satisfied that I can eat whatever I want. I don’t have to actually eat whatever I want in order to be convinced that I can have whatever I want. It took 223 days for me to reach this point after 35 years of my “rational brain” scolding my “emotional brain” for wanting to eat what I want to eat. I’m having difficulty trying to explain this in part because I’m surprised by how completely I have left behind the driving, almost frantic, desire to eat whatever is in sight. Will this last? I don’t know. I’m not confident it will. Perhaps it will be like a dance in which I’ll have longer and longer periods of not wanting to stuff myself. Perhaps it will be like falling off a cliff with no turning back. We’ll see. However it goes, I’m sticking with this diet. I’m very happy that I am so content with two biscotti!

Day 224 – Sunday, April 19, 2009: 204.0. I reverted to my typical S Day behavior yesterday, but yesterday morning’s experience gave me a glimpse of where I am headed. My S Days will calm down. I just have to give it time! In the afternoon yesterday, all four kids went with me to the grocery store to get their “S Day treats.” I’m thinking that this diet could be called The Glutton’s Diet!

Day 229 – Friday, April 24, 2009: 200.0. It was nice to see 200.0 on the scale today. For some reason, my weight went up this month. I’ve been following N Day rules, so I am puzzled. What is interesting about this is that I can now wear pants that I bought two years ago and couldn’t wear previously. Also, my taste in food seems to be shifting. I’m sick of sweets. I want fruits and vegetables even when I can have sweets. The most encouraging part of this diet is the fact that I am feeling less and less hungry.

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I hate getting busy because I get frazzled. I had to find something to wear for our youngest child’s First Communion and then pick up the kids from school and then take our middle daughter to interview my brother for a school project. I sat at Starbucks during the interview while cutting letters out of felt for a banner that had to be handed in today. The interview started at 4 and lasted until about 5:30. At about 5, it dawned on me that I had not had lunch. I didn’t feel hungry. I just realized that I had forgotten to eat lunch because I was so focused on trying to find something to wear for tomorrow’s First Communion.

Earlier this week, I ran into someone who was returning from lunch, and he was carrying an entire box of Tootsie Pops. He offered one to me, and I said I didn’t want one because I was on a diet where I didn’t eat sweets during the week. He pulled out a pomegranate Tootsie Pop and said, “Here. Have one. It’s loaded with antioxidants.”

This guy is really friendly, really helpful, and overweight. I thanked him for the Tootsie Pop and took it back to my desk where I put it in the mug with all my pencils and pens. Gullible. The defining characteristic of overweight people, I think, is gullible. They aren’t lazy or self-centered or self-indulgent. They just believe what they’re told. I am not gullible enough to be believe that a pomegranate-flavored Tootsie Pop is good for me and “loaded with antioxidants”, but I have bought into the whole notion that my food intake must be carefully monitored. I thought that my energy would be sapped if I couldn’t eat frequently. I thought that the mildest of hunger pains was a alarm to eat immediately. It’s all nonsense.

My weight will come off. It will come off slowly, but it will come off. I never again have to have Styrofoam tasting rice cakes or bowls of popcorn. I have learned to tune out hunger unless it is mealtime.

My thoughts yesterday were of coming to a good stopping place at work because I’m not working today and finding clothes for me for First Communion and greeting my brother and enjoying time with my middle girl and finishing the First Communion banner and getting my son to Scouts. There is so much time available in my life that I didn’t have previously. It’s wonderful!


Day 232 – Monday, April 27, 2009: I decided to stop weighing myself so much. My intent was to assure myself that I was losing weight by looking at average weights for the month and seeing a definite downward trend.

My assumption was that my daily weight might fluctuate but my monthly average weight would show a consistent downward trend. That didn’t happen.

Here are my average weights since the start of the program:
September, 2008: 214.4 (based on weighing myself 6 days)
October, 2008: 208.0 (based on weighing myself 16 days)
November, 2008: 207.7 (based on weighing myself 21 days)
December, 2008: 206.1 (based on weighing myself 22 days)
January, 2008: 204.6 (based on weighing myself 24 days)
February, 2008: 202.9 (based on weighing myself 20 days)
March, 2009: 200.9 (based on weighing myself 27 days)
April, 2009: 202.9 (based on weighing myself 20 days)

At this point, my average weight is exactly the same as my average weight in February and is exactly two pounds higher than my average weight in March.

What do I do now? I stop focusing so much on my weight. After all, the big benefit of this diet is a cure for disordered eating. Do I want to revert back to being obsessed about hunger and food? No. No. No. I am going to accept whatever weight results from this diet and however long it takes to reach that weight. There’s no point in my weighing myself daily. In fact, that habit keeps me where I don’t want to be – focused on my weight.

I will weigh myself, I’m sure, but just less often. This Friday, I had a contest with the kids to see who got closest to my weight on May 1, and whoever does gets $30. The contest began on Christmas Day when I weighed 207 pounds. This is my way of keeping the kids tuned in to my weight loss, since I want them to follow this approach when they are older and tempted to try restrictive diets or tune in to hunger diets. I want them to have learned from me. I’ll also weigh myself on one Monday per month so I can chart a general downward trend. Other than that, I want to be less focused on my weight which would indicate giving up the habit of weighing myself daily.

Day 234 – Wednesday, April 29, 2009: 202.8. I can give myself all sorts of reasons why I shouldn’t weigh myself, but I am still impatient to see how much I weigh. I’m not going to expend energy on resisting weighing myself.

Day 235 – Thursday, April 30, 2009: 201.4. What a lousy month as far as weight loss is concerned! Based on 24 weighings, my average weight went from 200.9 in March to 202.8 in April. Why? I have no idea. If I knew that it would take me five years to get down to 140 and then maintain it, I would be happy. What is most frustrating to me about this diet is that I don’t know what will result from following the diet. I have resolved to follow it no matter what, but I’m open to tweaking it if my weight does not drop to an acceptable level. I think maybe I should just set aside thinking about this diet until next summer and see what results I have then.

5 PM: Kirstie Alley was on Oprah today to talk about her 75 weight loss with Jenny Craig, her gaining of those 75 pounds plus 10 more, and her plans to be really fit – and even in a bikini – by November. I felt really sad. Actually, I felt that she had been trying to do what I’ve tried to do – “crack the code” with weight loss. I doubt she has. She wasn’t talking about what she was going to do to lose and maintain a lower weight. Instead, she was talking about her goal being achieved before the end of the year. I had the kids watch the show with me, and I told them that I thought I’d be where she is if it weren’t for No S. I no longer am in the binge-starve cycle. The weight loss is slow, and it’s not even steady, but I’m confident that I’ll stay with it because this lifestyle is sane and getting saner as the S Days calm down. I wish Kirstie the best, but the show just makes me even more thankful that I’m following this approach.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6

The following is a list of weights from the month of May, 2009:
Day 236 – Friday, May 1, 2009: 200.4
Day 237 – Saturday, May 2, 2009: 201.4
Day 238 – Sunday, May 3, 2009: 203.0
Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8
Day 240 – Tuesday, May 5, 2009: 202.6
Day 241 – Wednesday, May 6, 2009: 201.8
Day 242 – Thursday, May 7, 2009: 201.4
Day 243 – Friday, May 8, 2009: 200.0
Day 244 – Saturday, May 9, 2009:
Day 245 – Sunday, May 10, 2009:
Day 246 – Monday, May 11, 2009: 203.6
Day 247 – Tuesday, May 12, 2009: 202.8
(EXCEPTION EVENT: Oreo Dairy Queen birthday cake for Tom’s 13th birthday)
Day 248 – Wednesday, May 13, 2009: 202.8
Day 249 – Thursday, May 14, 2009: 201.0
Day 250 – Friday, May 15, 2009: 200.2
(EXCEPTION EVENT: Katie’s 10th birthday party. I had more than Oreo Dairy Queen birthday cake. I had chips and a soft pretzel and tootsie rolls.)
Day 251 – Saturday, May 16, 2009: 202.0
Day 252 – Sunday, May 17, 2009: 203.8
Day 253 – Monday, May 18, 2009: 205.0
Day 254 – Tuesday, May 19, 2009: 203.6
(EXCEPTION EVENT: Invited to take the kids to Dairy Queen; had a small Arctic Freeze drink.)
Day 255 – Wednesday, May 20, 2009: 201.0
Day 256 – Thursday, May 21, 2009: 201.4
Day 257 – Friday, May 22, 2009: 199.6
Day 258 – Saturday, May 23, 2009: 199.6
Day 259 – Sunday, May 24, 2009: 200.2
Day 260 – Monday, May 25, 2009: 200.4
Day 261 – Tuesday, May 26, 2009: 200.6
Day 262 – Wednesday, May 27, 2009: 199.6
Day 263 – Thursday, May 28, 2009: 200.0
Day 264 – Friday, May 29, 2009: 199.0
Day 265 – Saturday, May 30, 2009:
Day 266 – Sunday, May 31, 2009:


Day 236 – Friday, May 1, 2009: 200.4. I’ve keep such a detailed journal on my weight loss because of my desire to have my kids learn from what I have done. To encourage them to pay attention to what I am doing, I started having them guess my weight loss and make a bet on the amount I would lose by a certain date. The three dates of the year when they guess is for our wedding anniversary (May 1), Tom’s birthday (September 1), and Christmas Day.

Today is our wedding anniversary. On Christmas Day, I weighed 207, and the kids made the following guesses for my weight loss by today:
Tom (age 12): loss of 1 pound, putting me at 206 pounds
Katie (age 9): loss of 5 pounds, putting me at 202 pounds
Anne (age 15): loss of 6 pounds, putting me at 201 pounds
Elizabeth (age 8 ): loss of 7 pounds, putting me at 200 pounds

Elizabeth won. I’m happy. She was the one who guessed the most weight loss, and I’m really glad Tom did not win because he’s been the most skeptical that I would continue on this diet. He told me that he actually thought I would gain weight rather than lose weight. Of course, that has been my track record for diets I have been on in the past.

For the guesses for the September 1 weigh-in, I have changed the process. Each of the children writes down an expected ending weight and then the guesses are sealed in an envelope to be opened on September 1. In this way, I’m not influenced by their guesses so that I try to reach the weight which was the lowest guess. Anne is out of town on a band trip so we will wait until she returns before the kids place their guesses. They enjoy this, of course, because a very little effort could yield $30 in payment. I’m happy because I don’t really look like I’ve lost weight but they know I have. The weight loss is so gradual that the only way I can tell is that I can wear a pair of pants that I bought two years ago and have been unable to wear until last week.

I also think that I’ve spent so much time thinking about this diet because I’m constantly considering different tweaks I could make to the diet. Changing from an unspecified number of Special Days to an accumulation of two Exception Days has been critical to my successfully staying on this diet, I believe, but I don’t need to be constantly considering other changes. I think I need to stay the course for a period of time. When I first started the diet in September, I was going to wait until this coming summer before I considered dropping it. Now I think I’ll give the diet an entire year – until next July when we are at the Family Camp at Many Point Boy Scout Camp – before I consider making any additional changes to this diet.

Despite the lat month when I did not lose any weight, I am still down 14.6 pounds from my starting weight of 215.0. This diet is working.

7:15 AM: My husband gave me a nice gift and card for our wedding anniversary, and I was more focused on my weight today and who would win this competition to guess my weight. I think that I’ll have the competitions end the day before his birthday, the day before Christmas, and the day before our wedding anniversary.

6 PM: My parents are in town for two weeks, and today they took me out to lunch. My father was very concerned about my weight and told me I was at risk of adult-onset diabetes. My mother is concerned that weekend overeating would cause a spike in blood sugar. They were unimpressed by my 15 pound weight loss since I should lose about 70 more. What to do? I listened. I told them that I no longer feel hungry. I eat at mealtimes and don’t worry about food outside of mealtimes. My mother has gained some weight in recent years, and my father is always after her to lose weight. I told my father he was a restrictive eater, and I understand what that is like because I was a restrictive eater for a number of years as well. This diet makes absolutely no sense to them. It will be interesting to observe when they recognize the value of this approach. I will guess that I’ll need to get down to about 150, so it may be two or three years before they realize that this is a good way to maintain a healthy weight.

Day 237 – Saturday, May 2, 2009: 201.4. I have no idea why my weight went up a pound from yesterday or why my weight has not gone down in the last month. Still, I am very encouraged by a change which is occurring. I seem to be losing my frantic desire to put everything in my mouth that is allowed on this diet. When I was counting calories, I always got right up to the allowed number of calories. When I was eating Lean Cuisine, there was never any food left. Dieting got me in the habit of eating everything I was allowing myself to eat. Now, every weekend, I’m allowed to eat anything I want. I’m being more discriminating these days.

Yesterday, I was trying to explain to my parents that I had four Haagen Dazs bars in under two hours but I doubt I will again. My mother doesn’t understand that the period of time of allowing myself to eat whatever I want is what is so special about this diet. It’s what makes weight loss permanent. I am not building up this great desire for food because of having to restrict my eating day after day after day. Instead, each weekend is a time when I can eat to complete satisfaction or even to being completely stuffed. Because complete satisfaction feels better than being completely stuffed, I thought I would eventually eat less on the weekends. Now it is actually happening.

It’s still early – just 9 AM – but I do not have the desire to eat more than I already have, which is two French toast, a biscotti, and an Italian ice. I wasn’t up at midnight with a Haagen Dazs bar in my hand waiting for the digital clock to read 12:00. I doubt that sense of urgency will occur again. It’s very intriguing what is happening to me, and I’m going to let it play out over the next year. It would be just great if I could reach a normal weight just following the rules that are already in place. They are so easy that I could follow them for the rest of my life without much effort or time.

Day 238 – Sunday, May 3, 2009: 203.0. I’ve given some thought over the last day to my slow weight loss and believe that I need to do something different. My weight may have stabilized already at an unacceptably high rate. I think I need to limit food intake at meals on N Days. Maybe I can just resolve to eat as if I am already thin. This would mean I no longer track Exception Days. What I’ve found is I tend to take an Exception Day for reasons that are not a desire for over the top eating. I think I’ll be OK with this approach, although it is a risk.

9 PM: When I told the kids about my change in plans, Anne told me she thought it sounded like The Peanut Cluster Diet, and Tom said I’d follow the diet two days per week – on Saturday and Sunday! That may be so. What I think it will do is eliminate the “I just felt like it” decision to take an Exception Day. Instead, I’ll allow myself Exception events for specific reasons, like that my son broke glass on the table when I was eating breakfast or I had bad breath and wanted a breath mint. I am entering dangerous territory. If I succeed, however, my eating will be very close to how naturally thin people eat. I think this approach is worth the risk that I’ll revert to The Peanut Cluster Diet. My kids predicted my weight on August 31 before I told them of my change in plans. Tom then said he thought I’d gain 5 pounds, and Anne thought I’d gain 10 pounds. We’ll see.

Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8. I deliberately ate a lot yesterday, so I’m not surprised that my weight went up so much. I’m changing my approach now. Saturday will no longer be an S Day. This could be a disaster. It could backfire. I recognize that, and my kids sure recognize it. What I am now going to attempt to do is to eat as if I am thin already – except on Sundays which is a day to rest my set point, to allow myself “unconditional permission to eat.” I will record Exception Events here. What I’m going to add is that I will try to eat like a thin person which means that my meals will be smaller. When there are exceptions, it will mean exceptions for a specific reason rather than permission to binge.

It feels like the training wheels on the bike are off. The first few rides may be a bit wobbly, but I’m excited. Back in the fall, when I started this diet, I had to give up the notion that I could ever become a naturally thin eater. Now I see that this diet has helped me to tune out hunger between meals and so not be so obsessed about food. It’s great! I also think that continuing the diet as I have has led to excesses on the weekend and on Exception Days. Now I am limiting my “unconditional permission to eat” from 10 days per month (2 Exception Days plus 8 weekend days) down to 4. There will be an impact.

Fasting on Fridays caused weight gain because on the weekend I more than made up for the food not eaten on Friday. This could be the same result for this diet, but I’m going to try it. I have not lost enough weight that anyone even notices, but what I have done is manage to eat somewhat normal amounts on N Days. I have had a long path to cure disordered eating, and I think I am at least partway down that path. This diet has been good for me so far, despite the painfully slow progress and lack of weight loss these past three or four months. I feel so much better than I did a year ago, and I can go back to my journal from them to refresh my memory about the feeling of despair from dieting failure after failure after failure. This diet has been a success for me from Day 5. I just need to tweak it to succeed in losing enough weight, but the basic premise of days on a diet alternated with days off a diet is what allows me to stay successful in following diet rules. Now I’m making those diet rules into guidelines. To help me in not turning this approach into the return of The Peanut Cluster Diet, I will record the exceptions.

2 PM: Surprise! I feel very different. This diet is no longer a way to jump through hoops to try to maximize food intake. Instead, I can take pleasure in eating moderately. I think I’ve finally gotten over the fear of starvation that developed from years of dieting. I tend to think in analogies, and this experience reminds me of hiking near the Continental Divide, coming through some brush, and seeing for miles around. One minute I can see about 20 feet ahead. The next minute I can see a breathtaking view of mountains and lakes. Wow – am I ever glad I tried this approach!

Day 240 – Tuesday, May 5, 2009: 202.6. I woke up at about 3 AM thinking about Aristotle’s Ethics.

I returned to reading Aristotle’s Ethics last year after reading Kelly Brownell’s book Food Fight. In this book, he argues that the obesity epidemic is caused by cultural factors. His department at Yale University is conducting studies like the impact of trans fat on obesity and the lack of access to fresh fruit and vegetables for low income people. I read his book, and it occurred to me that a cultural factor may be a belief – an assumption – that this culture has about eating. I concluded that obese people have a defining characteristic of gullibility, but I could not figure out what would be the false belief that has led to the obesity epidemic. Now I believe I know what it is: the prevailing belief is that weight management is a lifelong battle or a struggle.

The idea from Aristotle’s Ethics that I believe has much to do with the obesity epidemic is that that those who are truly virtuous find pleasure in virtue. It was a eureka moment for me at 3 AM to tie Aristotle’s philosophy of pleasure to the obesity epidemic. Aristotle’s view is that those who are virtuous have learned to take pleasure in moderation. This is simply not within the scope of possibilities that I have heard in my life. Those who are naturally thin are considered to be lucky rather than virtuous. The rest of us, the overweight, just got stuck with the wrong genes or a poor environment.

All my studies of diets and theories have come to a surprising conclusion: becoming naturally thin is not only a possibility but is actually a pleasurable experience! In the fall, when I started this diet, I resigned myself to always having to track exception days and having to restrict my eating on N Days. Now I realize that this diet was a process to allow me to recover from years from dieting, and now I can become naturally thin with little effort and with pleasure. I had many weekends of getting stuffed to the point of feeling sick, and the result is that I learned to associate overeating with pain. I avoided eating sweets during the week, and the result is that I learned to enjoy foods that are not sweets. I also managed to not move the kids along fast enough to make the bus this morning, so I have to return to the real world and take them to school! Then there’s work and an annual physical for my son and a soccer game for my daughter. No wonder I wake up in the night – I have no time to think during the day! I need to listen again to Joseph Koterski’s tapes on Aritotle’s Ethics and especially on the last book of the Ethics about the relationship between pleasure and virtue. I can listen to those tapes while doing laundry, but I think listening to those tapes is just going to reinforce my assessment that the obesity epidemic is caused by a false belief that weight management is a battle whereas in actual fact it is possible to practice temperance until it is a pleasure to do so. I have found the path to becoming naturally thin, and now I need to get my two younger children to school.

Day 241 – Wednesday, May 6, 2009: 201.8. After last night’s soccer game, I had to monitor my son working on an assignment and not taking breaks by playing computer games, so I was able to get my copy of Aristotle’s Ethics and review the last book, which discusses virtue and pleasure. Aristotle discusses how the well-trained person takes pleasure in virtue. If I were to substitute temperance for the word virtue, then what Aristotle is implying is that the temperate person has been trained to be temperate. In other words, there is no such thing as naturally thin. This is yet another cultural myth. Instead, parents teach children temperance by having them be temperate in their eating. For temperate people, it is pleasurable to not eat to being stuffed. Of course, I had to learn this lesson by finding out by experience that it is painful to eat to being stuffed. Diets are about intemperance – since severe restriction of calories is the other extreme to bingeing. Moderation is pleasurable. The two extremes of dieting and bingeing are not pleasurable. What this diet has done for me is help me to recognize that I want to eat moderately, and it is in moderate eating that I will enjoy food the most.

This diet started out hard (for about 3 weeks), became easy (for about 6 months), and now is pleasurable.

6 PM: My parents were in town for about two weeks, and this afternoon they had lunch with my niece and me. They expressed amusement at my diet. They took my two younger children out to Dairy Queen yesterday and asked them about the diet and why they could have a treat at Dairy Queen on a weekday. My girls told my parents that there was an “amendment” to the diet – that they could have sweets if not at home. I tried explaining to my parents that the girls get treats at school, so what I’ve done it tell them they are now on the no-sweets-at-home-during-the-week-because-there-aren’t-any diet. I am no longer allowing them “unconditional permission to eat” on the weekends because the 10 year old has visibly gained a lot of weight. My parents told me that my diet lacks all “common sense”. When I said I’d lost 15 pounds, they said that means nothing at all when I’m so heavy. I am disappointed that they feel that way, but they’ll change their minds at some point as I continue to lose weight. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to summer when I have more control over my kids’ eating. It is alarming to see just how much they get in the way of sweets from birthday celebrations and activities. No wonder there’s an obesity epidemic for children! They never go longer than a few hours without eating, and that sort of schedule is considered necessary.

Day 243 – Friday, May 8, 2009: 200.0. Aristotle is known as the philosopher of “common sense.” Thinking back, I believe that he said, “The temperate man is the man who practices temperance.” What this diet does is have a person practice temperance during the week, and the habit eventually carries over into the weekend. I have thought that this diet was first a cure for disordered eating and then a way to lose weight, but now I understand why: it’s not until the habit carries over into the weekend that you really start to lose weight. I had to be patient without really understanding why I was following this diet perfectly but not losing weight. Now I’m down exactly 15 pounds. If, in fact, the weekend binges are a thing of the past, then my weight should go down much more quickly in the future.

Day 244 – Saturday, May 9, 2009: 9 PM: I didn’t feel like overeating, but lunch was delayed so I had a snack and then lunch and then treats at a graduation party instead of dinner. I decided to allow both Saturdays and Sundays as S Days and to record weekday exceptions to N Day guidelines. That’s it. That’s my diet.

I skimmed through Aristotle’s Ethics and found a brilliant contrast between the scientific and the calculative parts of reasoning. In the scientific, we “contemplate things whose first principles are invariable.” For the calculative, “we contemplate things that are variable” (Book 6).

I have been of the opinion that this diet needs to be followed with “perfect compliance” like the commitment to be faithful. Now I realize that this analogy is hopelessly flawed, since fidelity is based on invariable principles and diet is not.

What makes this diet so special, I think, is found in Aristotle's Ethics: “A man who abstains from bodily pleasures and enjoys the very fact of so doing is temperate; if he finds it irksome he is licentious” (Book 3).

The contrast of moderate eating on N Days with overeating on S Days is changing me into a person who “abstains from bodily pleasure and enjoys the very fact of so doing.”

Day 245 – Sunday, May 10, 2009: I was hoping that the switch from enjoyment of overeating to enjoyment of moderate eating happened last week and now I am in a “new reality” (this term is from Elizabeth Edward’s new book Resilience which I read in the past few days). Well, that was wishful thinking. It will take time, but I’m confident it will happen. On Saturday morning, I had one plateful at breakfast and then no desire to eat until about 1 PM, but the rest of the weekend became my norm for S Days which was constant eating. And that’s OK.

What I like about having both Saturday and Sunday as non N Days is that there is a different rhythm to the weekend because I’m not working and Tom’s not working and the kids are not in school. I decided to just let this diet continue with two weekend S Days and just allow myself to drift into enjoying moderate eating. It never occurred to me that I would actually enjoy dieting. The culture makes dieting and weight control into such a huge and unpleasant task when, in reality, Aristotle is right that the habit of temperance makes moderate eating an enjoyable experience. Right now, my stomach is somewhat bloated, and I’m looking forward to the structure of N Days and the activity of another N Day. I spent an entire academic year home with not much to do, and I didn’t like it. Work contrasted with weekend play makes both more enjoyable, just like I enjoy the succession of seasons. I am starting to really enjoy this diet, which is good because I want to be on it for the rest of my life!

Day 248 – Wednesday, May 13, 2009: 202.8. Yesterday, I had coffee with a friend, and I told her about my diet. While she is thin, her mother was more than 300 pounds when she died, and her sister is gaining weight and is convinced she is addicted to sugar. How much our beliefs drive our behavior! I told her that my weight has stayed almost exactly the same for the past three months, and she suggested one S Day rather than two. Yes, I told her I had tried that. I told her that I am starting to prefer moderate eating to overeating. After talking with her, I am thinking that what I want to start doing is consciously eating moderately on N Days. Right now, I can load up one plate with food, although I am starting not to do that. For example, last night, we went to a pizza restaurant for our son’s birthday. I had two slices of pizza, not three or four which I could have fit on a plate. I think what I’ll do is consciously choose to eat moderately but just start with Fridays until I feel comfortable. I tried fasting on Fridays during Lent, and that practice backfired for me. This practice is more conscious moderation (a positive choice) rather than restriction to one plate. Conscious moderation includes the practice of no snacks, no sweets, and no seconds. I’m not trying to weasel my way out of the No S guidelines, only consciously move towards their positive correlative which is moderate eating.

6 PM: Conscious moderation. I think that’s my current location on the path to naturally thin. I still need to think about it. I need to consciously choose moderation, but I no longer see it as a negative – as restriction or deprivation. Instead, I am recognizing what is positive about moderation.

Day 251 – Saturday, May 16, 2009: 202.0. It’s frustrating to see literally no change on the scale. My average weight for the week was 202.6 during the week of February 22nd. The last time I had a new low was at the end of March. What am I going to do? Absolutely nothing. The last month has been particularly stressful because of two family graduations (one out of town), two birthdays for children, the last First Communion, and my parents in town for two weeks. I even stopped exercising for a month, but I did not stop this diet. It’s finally nice weather, so we can be outside more. With the kids home from school, I’ll be home more. I just need to stick with this diet and see how it goes. I told myself I wouldn’t change anything until the one year anniversary of the diet on September 8, and my goal for then is 193.5, which is a 10% weight loss in one year. That amount of weight more to lose is very possible. Yesterday, I weighed 200.2, which was less than seven pounds more than my goal weight in about 3 ½ months. That works out to about 2 pounds per month. If I don’t make that goal, that’s OK, too.

The change I do see is that I no longer have the ravenous desire to eat everything in sight on an S Day. It’s an S Day right now, and there are no sweets in the house. I can get some today. I didn’t even think about getting treats because of our daughter’s party last night.

9 PM: I ate a lot today. At breakfast, I ordered a short stack of pancakes. When I had about 1/8th of one pancake left and everyone else was done, the waitress started to clear the plates. She asked if I was done as she lifted up the plate, and I said no. I then commented that I was stuffed but thought I might still eat it. On the way home from breakfast, Tom asked me why I didn’t just let the waitress clear the plate instead of forcing myself to eat the last few bites. Good question. I have no idea why I did that. Was it habit from the intense desire to eat the last grain of rice from those Lean Cuisine meals?

During the day, which was filled to absurdity with activities, I managed to inhale lots of food. Why? Again – I have no idea. I sure didn’t have time to think. Today was the last busy day of a busy several weeks. Now we’ll return to normalcy. I had time tonight to take my glasses in to get fixed, and I concluded that I need to go down to one S Day. When I tried that approach a few months ago, the results were bad – I ate more on the other days to make up for the lost S Day. Now, however, I think I’m ready. It’s time to limit the thinking and writing and focus more on doing. I like the entire approach of N Days with an S Day that is insurance against the end of diet binge behavior, but I don’t like the number on the scale being stuck at about 200 pounds. One S Day, to me, is the absolute minimum.

Day 252 – Sunday, May 17, 2009: 203.8. Today’s weight seals the deal: one S Day per week, and I’ll make it Sunday because Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. I am disappointed that I did not drop to an acceptable weight while following this diet with two S Days. Those years of dieting must have made so much of an impression on my “emotional brain” that it’s hard to overcome. I read somewhere that survivors of the Holocaust tended to become obese, and I can appreciate why. I look around and see lots of morbidly obese people, especially those who are older. Why? Are they people who dieting for years, and their bodies reacted like the survivors of the Holocaust? I think so. I think I need to accept that the effect of 35 years of dieting is never going to dissipate completely, and I need to be accepting of the impact of all that dieting.

4 PM: I feel absolutely stuffed. The prospect of only one S Day has led to constant eating all day. I just resorted to popcorn which has a tendency to fill me up. I think I’m going to skip weighing myself and writing about dieting through the end of the month and just follow the program. I am sad that I have not lost weight in three months, but I am glad that I am changing my behavior with the hope that I will lose weight now. As of Friday, I only had 7 pounds to go in 3 ½ months to make my weight loss goal of 10% of body weight lost (from 215 to under 193.5 pounds) in one year. I would be really sad if I didn’t make that goal, so I wanted to tweak the diet. I am so back and forth on what to do.

I want my children to learn from me. The years of restrictive eating, when I weighed under 135, were so affected by my on again off again dieting. I would go on 1,000 calorie per day diets for nine days, during which time I limited social contacts, and then I would feel comfortable with eating what I wanted until my weight edged above 135 again and I would repeat, repeat, repeat… I hated this way of life, but I was thin. Now I’m obese and determined to find a saner approach to weight loss. This approach seems sane. Now I just have to lose enough weight to be satisfied with my weight.

4:30 PM: Brian Tracy, in his book Eat That Frog!, warns against technological time sinks. I think my approach to dieting has resulted in lots of time sinks – the daily weigh ins, the tracking of weight in a multitude of ways (average weight per week, the new lows, the new highs, etc.), and the daily journal. I think I’m done. I need to set an approach for a period of time, stick with it, and see what happens. I can put off any changes until September 8, the one year anniversary of my starting this diet. I want to see the impact on weight of going down to only one S Day.

Day 253 – Monday, May 18, 2009: 205.0. I decided to see the damage of yesterday’s binge. I am still down 10 pounds from September 8, and the basic structure of the diet is sound. I have to adjust to one S Day because I am not losing weight because… why? Because I am eating so much on S Days. I need “unconditional permission to eat.” What I do not need is two days of “unconditional permission to eat.”

Day 254 – Tuesday, May 19, 2009: 203.6. I’m already glad that I went down to one S Day. I realize now that I was more worried than I allowed myself to feel. I was worried that I would be stuck above 200 pounds but dead set against returning to the binge-starve cycle of conventional diets. Since I have an unlimited number of exception events, I don’t have to worry about running out of exceptions if there is an exception event. There do tend to be more exception events on Saturdays, but that’s OK. I can try only having beverages. Even if I do take an exception on a Saturday, at least I won’t be eating from first thing in the morning to evening. At least the eating will be more normalized. This approach seems like a good one for me at this point. When I tried going to one S Day a few months ago, it became apparent to me immediately that it was not a good idea. I guess learning to eat normally occurs in stages for me. This month, with the move to one S Day, is a new stage. It took more than 200 days to get to this stage, and that’s OK. My guess is that the last time I am above 200 pounds will be next Monday. I will be so pleased to be back below 200 pounds. It’s been about 5 years since I went above 200 pounds for the first time. As I recall, it was about in June, 2004. I wish to save my children from the frustration of conventional diets.

My 15 year old daughter, who is following this diet, has clearly gained weight. At her last doctor’s appointment, she weighed in at about 160 pounds. It alarmed me. I was so happy about her following this diet that I hadn’t realized she had actually gained weight. I was happy to see that she was no longer returning from school, charging into the kitchen, and wolfing down what she could find. I was happy to notice that she was no longer complaining about being hungry. I could see the benefits of this diet, but my rose colored glasses did not allow me to see that she had actually gained weight. I hope to encourage her to also go down to one S Day. She is my inspiration – my beautiful, smart, and highly motivated first born child. I could not have a greater motivation than to model behavior that I would like her to follow.

Day 256 – Thursday, May 21, 2009: 201.4. At about 4 PM today, I may have experienced genuine hunger. I had forgotten to eat lunch and had only had a bowl of cereal for breakfast. How could I have forgotten to eat? I was so caught up in picking up children from school and chatting with other mothers and going to visit other mothers at a garage sale that they were holding that I just plain forgot to eat. It is so nice not to be obsessed with food!

Day 257 – Friday, May 22, 2009: 199.6. In the car, our son asked me, “Don’t you think it is dumb how the elementary school has snacks every day?” Our 10 year old piped up and said, “It’s not dumb. It’s scientifically proven that kids who have snacks do better in school.” Oh great. I wonder who told her that!

Day 260 – Monday, May 25, 2009: 200.4. I got through the weekend fairly easily even though it was my first weekend without Saturday as an S Day. On Saturday morning, I bought something I have wanted for several months – a 16” 14K gold chain. I have an 18” 14K gold chain, but pendants of that length don’t work well with some of my clothing. The cost for that one chain was $177. It was an extravagant purchase, to say the least. It was a commitment of sorts to myself that I wasn’t going back to two S Days. This was my reward.

Today I weigh just over 200 pounds. I think it is possible that this is the last time in my life that I will weigh over 200 pounds. Certainly, by the end of the month, I will never again weigh 200 pounds. What a wonderful feeling! I think that the first time I went above 200 pounds (except in pregnancy) was about 5 years ago, and now I say good-bye and good riddance to that much weight. Yesterday, our family went for a bike ride, and it was really hard for me to carry that much weight on a bike. I used to love bike riding and haven’t done much of it in the last several years because of my weight. I look forward to a different life as I lose weight – a life in which I can ride a bike, a life in which I can wear a bathing suit which isn’t ghastly, and a life in which I am not obsessed by food every waking hour. There is no longer any sense of deprivation. Instead, there is an almost overwhelming sense of relief.

Day 262 – Wednesday, May 27, 2009: 199.6. Since about Monday afternoon, this diet has gone back to being difficult. It’s not as difficult as it was in September, but I would rate the difficulty at about a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. I had not anticipated problems after having only one S Day. Apparently, I didn’t load up as much on food as I have on other weekends.

I told Tom not to expect as much out of me. He suggested that maybe I should do more. I pointed out that I worked six hours yesterday plus attended our son’s jazz band concert plus worked on packing for a weekend camping trip plus made dinner. It’s not that I’m lounging around the house, but I do feel fatigued. I cannot believe how difficult it is to drop below 200 pounds.

My perspective is still of the person I was when I was single and struggling to maintain my weight in the low 130s. I thought that people who were as obese as I am now had simply “let themselves go.” Oh no. I think that obese people, like me now, are usually ones who kept on trying and trying and trying despite failing every time. You have to have a lot of willpower to go on a diet when you are so overweight that it will take months, if not years, to reach a normal weight. I’m glad I’ve got the goal of losing 10% off my starting weight in one year. As of today, I have only 6.2 pounds to go in more than 3 months to make my goal weight of 193.5 or less by September 8. My next goal weight will be in the low 170s by September 8, 2010, but I’ll worry about that goal after I reach this one! In the meantime, I’m taking it easy until I adjust to only one S Day on the weekend.

Day 263 – Thursday, May 28, 2009: 200.0. I’m irritated about having a “2” in the hundreds column of my weight, but I’m not surprised. Yesterday, I had an entire bowl of popcorn with dinner. That’s what I did several times back in September when I was adjusting to no snacks. How I feel today is very similar to how I felt in September. I feel grumpy and tired and just plain irritated. These last two week of school tend to be easy for the kids because there is limited homework, although Anne still has some projects and I was a helicopter parent picking up an assignment for Tom that he had missed. Tom appears to have no sense of planning. My husband Tom thinks it is due to laziness. I think it may be due to not knowing how to plan. I told him that I’ve been very motivated to lose weight, but all I did before this diet was gain weight. I didn’t know how. I am confident that going to one S Day is appropriate for me even though the transition is turning out to be difficult. I want to make my goal weight, and that desire is helping me to endure the transition to one S Day.

Day 264 – Friday, May 29, 2009: 199.0. I had an apple for lunch. When I bit into it, it didn’t taste very good. I threw it out and got a different apple. I then asked myself if I was going to record this as an Exception Event. No. I wasn’t. That’s the end of recording exceptions. The habit of no snacks is ingrained enough that I don’t think this is going to be a problem. I have concluded that the big myth behind the obesity epidemic is this: “Snacks curb hunger.” The reality is that snacks stimulate hunger. If you are eating all the time, you’ll feel hungry all the time.

Day 265 – Saturday, May 30, 2009: Since my old diet – “The Peanut Cluster Diet with Restrictions” -- ended May 3, I’ve been uncertain how to change my diet approach and today I slid right into an unplanned “feeding frenzy”. It started Thursday with having popcorn before dinner. On Friday, I threw away a bad apple and replaced it. Friday evening before dinner was an indulgence in cherries. Today I ate so much that I can’t record my inhalation of food completely. I did have the Snickers bar I was saving for tomorrow. I had chips and popcorn and so much food that it brings back memories of how I’d act before I was on this diet. I’d just check out at unpredictable times. I was unreliable, like an alcoholic parent. It’s obvious to me why some believe food can be an addiction because I would act like an addict.

Enough! It’s time to press the restart button. I learned two big lessons from this:
Lesson 1: It may seem silly, but it’s important for me to record exceptions even if an exception is that I replaced a bad apple.
Lesson 2: It matters whether I eat food before or after a meal. The “everything on one plate” rule isn’t necessary for me. I never could stomach placing an apple on a plate next to meat. What is important to me is to have everything before me before I take one bite.

I’ve learned enough lessons. It’s time to revise this diet. I’m naming it what my 10 year old named it: The S Day Diet. Here are the rules:
- On Sundays. I have “unconditional permission to eat.” Sunday is my “S Day”.
- On other days (“N Days”), I have no snacks or sweets. Before I take one bite, everything is before me.
- If I take exceptions on N Days I record the exceptions.

Day 266 – Sunday, May 31, 2009: What a day! Last night, my daughter asked me if it was OK for her to have s’mores as an exception event rather than to take an S Day, since s’mores can’t be kept overnight and eaten in the morning. I told her that I could tell her what I am doing to lose weight but she needs to find her own path. She understood. What works for me may not work for her. I need to encourage her and respect her individuality. I realized that, for me, food diaries were a big negative, so my recording exception events will help to deter me from taking exception events. Would that be true for everyone? Probably not.

I didn’t really like the name “The S Day Diet”, so I got the kids to help come up with a new name with a reward of $10 for the name I selected. Tom put in his two cents’ worth and said it should be called “The It’s Not Going to Work Diet.” I thought I’d tease him a little after that comment, so I asked him if he’d commit to going to the Gokhale Method Posture Classes with me if I got below 140 pounds. Sure – no problem! Well, I had him sign a page from my planner saying he’d go. Anne won the diet naming contest after she came up with a name with exception in it, and I added exceptional. We ended up with The Exceptional Diet as a name. I try to make all of this a game and in fun, but the intent behind it is serious – I want the kids to learn from me so they don’t repeat what I have done in struggling with my weight for most of my life. The kids enjoy competing to come up with names for diets and guessing my weight loss. I enjoy involving them so they learn. We bought jelly beans two weeks ago, and the jar was not opened until Sunday morning, and then nothing was eaten from the jar after Sunday until this Sunday. They like Exceptional Days, and they appreciate getting treats I wouldn’t buy previously. Tom bought ice cream for them tonight. I think they enjoy sweets more when the time for having them is limited.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:00 am; edited 96 times in total
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la_loser



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 629
Location: Deep in the Heart. . .land

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:20 am    Post subject: Woo Hoo! Reply with quote

Woo Hoo!!! Good for you!

And Happy Anniversary too!
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LA Loser. . . well on my way to becoming an LA Winner. Laughing
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LA_Loser,
Thanks! Men can be given a hard time for being so shallow as to dislike when their wives gain weight, but it's not just the weight gain -- it's also the obsession with food, the disruption to family meals, the potential for children to follow in their mother's footsteps... I'm glad I'm on a path now that I'd love if our children would follow, and I'm delighted that our 15 year old already is on this diet!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

June, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6
Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8

The following is a list of weights from the month of June, 2009:
Day 267 – Monday, June 1, 2009: 201.8
Day 268 – Tuesday, June 2, 2009: 201.4
Day 269 – Wednesday, June 3, 2009: 201.0
Day 270 – Thursday, June 4, 2009: 199.0
Day 271 – Friday, June 5, 2009: 198.0 (A new low!)
Day 272 – Saturday, June 6, 2009: 197.0 (A new low!)
Day 273 – Sunday, June 7, 2009: 199.6
Day 274 – Monday, June 8, 2009: 200.0
Day 275 – Tuesday, June 9, 2009: 199.6
Day 276 – Wednesday, June 10, 2009: 200.0
Day 277 – Thursday, June 11, 2009: 199.2
Day 278 – Friday, June 12, 2009: 198.2
Day 279 - Saturday, June 13, 2009: (Exception Event)
Day 280 – Sunday, June 14, 2009:
Day 281 – Monday, June 15, 2009: 202.0
Day 282 – Tuesday, June 16, 2009: 200.6
Day 283 – Wednesday, June 17, 2009: 199.0
Day 284 – Thursday, June 18, 2009: 198.4 (Exception Event)
Day 285 – Friday, June 19, 2009:198.2 (Exception – 1 Altoid)
Day 286 – Saturday, June 20, 2009: 197.6
Day 287 – Sunday, June 21, 2009: 196.6 (A new low!)
Day 288 – Monday, June 22, 2009: 198.4
Day 289 – Tuesday, June 23, 2009: 199.0
Day 290 – Wednesday, June 24, 2009: 199.6 (E)
Day 291 – Thursday, June 25, 2009: 199.6
Day 292 – Friday, June 26, 2009: 200.0 (E)
Day 293 – Saturday, June 27, 2009: (E)
Day 294 – Sunday, June 28, 2009:
Day 295 – Monday, June 29, 2009: 201.0 (E)
Day 296 – Tuesday, June 30, 2009: 199.2

Day 267 – Monday, June 1, 2009: 201.8. I started a whole new section of my diet journal in May because I think that May was a turning point. The first section of my diet journal is 250 pages long. It starts in January 2004 and becomes a daily journal in August, 2007. I call it Searching for a Path out of Obesity. The second section starts in September 2008 and is 96 pages long. I call it Following the Set Point Lowering Diet. The third section started last month, and I am calling it Enjoying the Exceptional Diet. The focus has changed for me from what I have had to give up to what I can now enjoy. I’m glad I’m keeping this detailed journal of my diet experience because I think it will help my daughter to avoid the trap I fell into, the trap of restrictive eating. It’s really hard to explain how motivated I am to help my daughter learn to eat so that she is naturally thin. She switched her diet when I did, deciding to go down to one S Day and to take Exceptional Events rather than designate other days as S Days. The problem is that this approach may not be a good one for her. I can only explain to her that she is an individual and what works for me may not work for her.

The overall approach of this diet is that there are times when you are free to eat, and there are times when you eat according to preset guidelines. I think there’s a lot of room for modification within this broad philosophy of an “on/off’ approach to dieting. My focus now is shifting to enjoying Sundays rather than restricting on other days, and Tom and I have discussed making Sunday more of a day of rest rather than a weekend day when you can do chores all day. It’s good to take a solid break before the work week or school starts again. I tell the kids that summer is for “recharging your batteries”. Sunday can be that, too. Having Sunday as the Exceptional Day in the week will help to create a specialness to Sunday that it now does not have.

Day 269 – Wednesday, June 3, 2009: 201.0. Oh, this diet is exasperating! The last time I had a new low was at the end of March, when I got down to 198.2 on 3/28. Here I am at 201.0 more than two months later. As I reviewed my weight chart in disgust, I realized that my top weight has been coming down. I thought last week that I would never again see 200 pounds after that week, but then I went and had an over the top binge on Saturday. Even so, my top weight this week (on Monday) was 201.8. I can spend a lot of time analyzing, but I think what might be happening is that my body is adjusting to this lower weight. I’m on a plateau. Right now, I am having a difficult time adjusting to the idea of one S Day only, but I think I’ll stick with this approach at least through the end of summer, whether or not there are any results. I want my children to set aside time for relaxation, and I think there’s a lot of wisdom to the traditional Christian idea of a day of rest. Saturdays are more for chores and shopping and cleaning, and Sundays are a slower time in our household. When we do go out on Saturday, I can just take an exception if I have sweets or more than one plateful.

8 AM: I wrote up my approach to The Exceptional Diet which I started on May 30, 2009, and here it is:

1. I used the concept of “unconditional permission to eat” (a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch) and applied it to Sundays only. On Sundays, which is the traditional “day of rest” for Christians, I can eat whatever I want and as much as I want.

2. On other days of the week, I follow three guidelines of no snacks, no sweets and no seconds which are taken from the book The No S Diet by Reinhard Engels and Ben Kallen. My definitions of these three guidelines are as follows:

2.1. No snacks: I can have any liquids anytime, including sugared pop. My reason for allowing liquids anytime is that liquids can take the edge off hunger, but I am still avoiding the habit of eating between meals. It may seem strange to allow myself sugared pop but not a carrot or an apple between meals. What I have found is that, by not eating between meals, I have started not to think about food between meals. It works for me.

2.2. No sweets: I allow myself sugared pop but not rich coffee drinks. I don’t allow any chocolate.

2.3. No seconds: In The No S Diet book, the emphasis is on fitting everything on one plate. I needed to cure my disordered eating in stages, so I started out allowing myself to eat anything that was at my place before I took one bite. The result was that I had a visual of how much I was eating. As the diet continued, I no longer needed to have an entire bowl of popcorn along with a plate of food, but I found it very off-putting to have a piece of fruit next to meat on a plate or to have a sandwich on a plate that had a bowl of soup on it. I decided to continue allowing myself to eat whatever was at my place before I took one bite.

3. If I do not follow the three guidelines on Sundays, that is to be expected. If I do not follow the three guidelines on days other than Sundays, then I record what I did. This allowance of exceptions seems like a giant loophole, but I have found over the years that I really dislike keeping food diaries. Last week, when I had a bad apple and replaced it, I decided that I didn’t need to record the exception. The next day, I had my first failure since I started this on/off approach to dieting in September, almost nine months ago. I think that, for me, it is important to record the exception as a way for me to evaluate whether or not the exception was appropriate.

4. That’s it! That’s my diet.

Day 270 – Thursday, June 4, 2009: 199.0. Exception Event. Last day of school. The Moms got together for coffee until the kids got out of school at 11. Several of us got together for lunch. In the afternoon, we chatted at a park until 4. At 6, the 2nd grade and 4th grade classes had a party at a roller skating rink. I managed just fine until I showed up at the roller skating rink, hungry and with the appetizer food available only on appetizer sized plates. I had several platefuls. Then there were cookies, and I had one. The party was from 6 to 8, and that’s when I had my exception. All in all, I think I did fairly well. After all, there were treats in the afternoon at the park. I only ate a lot at dinnertime when I hadn’t had dinner and the only plates were small.

Day 273 – Sunday, June 7, 2009: 199.6. This week was much easier for me. I think that at least part of the reason why is that I am resolved to continue down this path for a few months and see how I do. My weight is up today because I ate a lot yesterday and my S Day began at about 2 AM. I am sick to death of being overweight and disappointed that I weigh so much for the summer, but I accept that fast weight loss often means rebound weight gain. No one outside my family has yet noticed that I’ve lost weight at all. That’s OK. When I get impatient, like I did at 2 this morning, I go back and read my journal from before starting this diet. Prior to yesterday, I last weighed 197 on January 14, 2007. I went back to my journal entries from about that time and found this little gem from January 12, 2007:

“I have very unpleasant associations with dieting. I feel hungry. I cannot sleep. I feel grumpy. No wonder I don’t want to diet! Now, I will try to create very pleasant associations with following eating rules that allow me to limit my food intake without any sense of deprivation.”

Those few sentences indicate to me that I was on the right track in trying to find a diet. I had identified that the problem was a sense of deprivation. My goal was to “create very pleasant associations with following eating rules”. The mistake I made was in also wanting to have no sense of deprivation. With this diet, I do have a sense of deprivation on N Days because I’m following the 3S guidelines. My sense of deprivation has lessened over time with occasional spikes in feeling a sense of deprivation. The sense of deprivation was keenest in the first three weeks of the diet and then two weeks ago when I switched to only one S Day per week. I have managed to create “very pleasant associations” by buying myself a beautiful 14 K gold chain, by having contests with the kids for how much I weigh and what to name my diets, by celebrating an S Day with trips to the store to buy treats, by having celebrations when I reach a certain weight loss goal, and by teasing Tom into committing to attend a posture class when I reach a weight below 140. I have read many times that it is bad to celebrate a weight loss goal by going out to eat. The assumption behind this view is that deprivation has to be constant. I at first thought that the secret behind this diet as a success for me was that “perfection compliance” led to a habit, but now I realize that the secret is the on/off philosophy. My little 10 year old is right: she named this diet The S Day Diet. The focus for her is one what you get, not on what you give up.

10:30 AM: My S Day of rest and relaxation is turning into a big failure because I am trying to get wallpaper glue off the laundry room walls so that my husband can install a new laundry room sink and put back the washer and dryer. While doing this, I’ve been listening to podcasts. I’ve been listening to a very interesting one put out by Yale Health and Medicine called “Building Self Control to Fight Addiction.” The person being interviewed is Professor Roy Baumeister, and I tried to write down something word for word that seems to support my view that the real differentiator of this diet is the on/off philosophy. Here is what the professor said:

“If indeed self-control is like a muscle, then like a muscle it gets tired when you exercise it but when it recovers, it may recover to be a little bit stronger.”

How interesting. You aren’t supposed to exercise muscles every day but rather give them time to recover. What this professor is saying is that self control is like that – with consistent exercise of self control, you tend to tire out.

There may be great wisdom in the idea of religious feasts because people then have more self control for normal eating or fasts. This traditional wisdom seems to support the idea behind The No S Diet, which is that you have “unconditional permission to eat” on the weekend. Meanwhile, I have finished my break from scraping wallpaper glue off the wall…

Day 274 – Monday, June 8, 2009: 200.0. Today is a Monday, and maybe today is my last day above 200. I won’t know for sure until I’ve had a few weeks of no weight above 200.0. I did not feel well last night because I ate so much yesterday, so I ended up not eating dinner and went to bed at 7. I told my husband that it may be an adjustment to go down to one S Day.

This morning, I was thinking about the podcast I heard yesterday. From what he said in the podcast, any habit builds self-control. He used college students in his studies and what he asked them to do was to remind themselves to “sit up straight”, which he thought was a somewhat meaningless rule from the past. While I could tangent off into my thoughts on posture and how appropriate posture (which is not what is meant by “sitting up straight”) is improving my health more than this diet, what I got from this podcast is that the decision to build a habit of not having snacks is helpful for building self-control even if it is totally meaningless in actually helping a person to lose weight. How interesting! Of course, there are thin people who snack. It may not be the avoidance of snacking which makes them thin, but for me – trapped at or above 200 pounds for more than five years – the habit of snacking builds my self control “muscle” to help me to eat less. The S Day, with its “unconditional permission to eat”, allows that “muscle” to relax. I also experience the natural consequences of significant overeating, as I did yesterday, and that helps me to not repeat the overeating or at least to mitigate it. The days of four Haagen Dazs bars in two hours are over, but I’m still eating several pieces of fudge and a Snickers bar in a short period of time.

Day 276 – Wednesday, June 10, 2009: 200.0. I don’t need willpower. What I need is patience! I am disgusted that my weight is once again at or above 200 pounds. I just have to wait for my body to adjust to one S Day.

Day 277 – Thursday, June 11, 2009: 199.2. Following this diet is about as exciting as watching a faucet drip. I want to move it along fast, and this morning I was thinking about cutting back on N Day meals, but going down to one S Day last month was a big change in itself. Sometimes, I do have large meals because this diet allows me the flexibility to eat more when I want more. My kids are out of school now, I gave notice to my work when I recognized the impracticality of working from home with four kids and a dog, and now I can focus on orderliness in our house and with our time. I think that the best thing I can do with this diet is just leave it alone and see what happens. Today is another day below 200 pounds. Nearly all of the days I have weighed myself since the beginning of 2007 have been above 200 pounds. I need to congratulate myself for where I am, not compare myself to where I ultimately want to be. As I look at morbidly obese people now, I feel empathy for them because I think that’s where I would have been in 20 years had I now found this diet. Maybe, with my diligence and motivation to help my daughter, I would have crafted something similar in a few years, but by then Anne would have been off to college. I feel blessed.

Day 279 – Saturday, June 13, 2009: Exception Event. 2 s'mores.

Day 281 – Monday, June 15, 2009: 202.0. Ugh! 202 pounds. I am so sick of weighing above 200 pounds. I think it is essential to keep “unconditional permission to eat” on one remaining S Day, which means that I now turn my attention to my N Day eating. I have allowed myself to eat whatever is before me whether it fits on one plate or not. Now I will try to eat what looks like a normal meal. For example, tonight I had one serving of pork, one corn on the cob, and one potato. I feel a little out of sorts with limiting my food intake to what could be considered to be reasonable portions. It’s a good time to take this step because my job will be done on Thursday, and I’ll have time to steel myself through the reduction on food intake. I still can look forward to eating whatever I want on Sundays.

Day 281 – Monday, June 15, 2009: 202.0. Ugh! 202 pounds. I am so sick of weighing above 200 pounds. I think it is essential to keep “unconditional permission to eat” on one remaining S Day, which means that I now turn my attention to my N Day eating. I have allowed myself to eat whatever is before me whether it fits on one plate or not. Now I will try to eat what looks like a normal meal. For example, tonight I had one serving of pork, one corn on the cob, and one potato. I feel a little out of sorts with limiting my food intake to what could be considered to be reasonable portions. It’s a good time to take this step because my job will be done on Thursday, and I’ll have time to steel myself through the reduction on food intake. I still can look forward to eating whatever I want on Sundays.

Day 282 – Tuesday, June 16, 2009: 200.6. I’m beginning to think that my way of losing weight is about going through stages of recovery from disordered eating. The first stage really was following the Intuitive Eating approach of “unconditional permission to eat.” After that, I went down a dead end of trying to listen to hunger signals. In September, I started No S and the first several months were about having binges which involved some degree of self control in that I was able to limit them to the weekend. Last month, I went down to one S Day and found that it took about three weeks before I felt comfortable. Now, more quickly than I had expected, I’m in yet another stage. I need to start looking at my N Day meals and making a conscious effort to move towards more reasonable portions. I’m not talking about the 250 calorie starvation portions of meals like Lean Cuisine. I’m talking about having a plate that isn’t piled high with food.

This summer is a great time for me to make this transition to more reasonable portions at mealtime because I’m home with the kids after my last day of work on Thursday. I can hardly wait. I really enjoyed my job and hope they have me back in the fall, but I’m way too conscientious to work limited hours without ruining the summer for my family. My manager allowed me to work from home last week but not this week, and I probably worked 10 hours this week from home. I want to leave with nothing undone and with a sense of personal satisfaction that I have done my job well. The problem with this great job is it interfered too much with home life after the kids got out of school. Now, with no job, I will have time to focus on my eating and perhaps improve the meal planning at home. It’s a matter of priorities. My husband’s group of five is now down to three because of two layoffs, but I just didn’t think I should work (and my husband is the one who figured that out before I did!).

Day 283 – Wednesday, June 17, 2009: 199.0. I am really cranky. It’s hard to give up a job I’ve enjoyed, but our household is just falling apart. After tomorrow, my life will be much calmer. I think it will be good for me to focus on eating less during the week. When I return to work after the kids are in school, I won’t be in as good a position as I am now to focus on eating less. How I hate feeling this way! I don’t exactly feel like I’m starving. Instead, I feel dissatisfied. I didn’t eat quite as much as I am accustomed to eating. My goal is 193.5 or lower on a Monday prior to September 8th. I so want to reach it, and I know that piling my plate high with food will not help me to reach that goal. I need to work on more reasonable portions. What will get me through this transition to more reasonable portions is the promise of “unconditional permission to eat” on Sundays.

Day 284 – Thursday, June 18, 2009: 198.4. Exception Event. Ice cream social for Boy Scout Court of Honor. I had two scoops of ice cream with some caramel topping and strawberry topping.

Day 285 – Friday, June 19, 2009: 198.2. I am ankycra (as the kids would say – this is pig Latin for cranky). It looks like my company has decided to hire a full time technical writer rather than hire me back part time in the fall, and I am saddened by that. I did a really good job for them, but I just cannot manage kids and even a part time job during the summer. To distract myself from the probably permanent loss of a job I really liked, I decided to distract myself by trying to limit food intake to more reasonable portion sizes. Last night was a heaping bowlful of a couscous and garbanzo beans salad. I found it to be really tasty, and it is also very high in nutrition, but none of the kids liked it. Despite having that and having a bowlful of ice cream, I still felt hungry. This feeling reminds me of my dieting days. I may want to just start out with a focus on reasonable portion sizes for one day per week and then graduate to two and up to six over time. This is just way too hard even with the promise of “unconditional permission to eat” on Sundays. I am reminded why dieting doesn’t work – over time, you develop a desperate sense of this-will-never-end. Your calorie deficit builds, and your weight loss slows or even stops. It is miserable. On this diet, at least I haven’t been miserable. I just need to coax my weight lower.

Day 285 – Friday, June 19, 2009: 198.2 (Exception). What a day! My youngest needed a shirt to be washed and dried before we left for Drama Camp, and so I had to take our son to get a ride to Jazz Camp before I could bring the two younger children to Drama Camp (after the shirt was dried to the point where she could wear it.) Then I rushed to work, and I needed gas on the way and couldn’t find my access card. I was there less than an hour, finishing up a project, before I got to the Drama Camp location to see the end of the week production. When I get stressed, I tend to get bad breath. I asked a friend for an Altoid. That was the Exception. It wasn’t exactly an Exception Event. It was my last day of work, the last day of Drama Camp, and the last day of Jazz Camp. Now I’m home thinking, “What was I thinking to think I could work during the summer?”

Was it an Exception Event for me to have an Altoid? Why is this such an important non-event for me? Well, I cannot count the number of times that diets ended in all-day binges because I went over my pre-set calorie count or had a taste test at a grocery store. Here I am, today, thinking how totally unimportant that Altoid was, how completely appropriate it was for me to have an Altoid for bad breath. This is yet one more indication that I am on the way to being naturally thin. I don’t want to tie Exception eating to any sort of Exception Event. I think it would be good just to list what I had to eat, perhaps in my monthly calendar. I still am firmly in the habit of having three meals per day without snacking.

7:30 PM: Done. Completely done with work. I had to approve the posting of documents on a portal for customers, and I had to send my time sheet to my manager, and that’s it. What a relief. I now return full-time to my job of wife and mother.

Day 287 – Sunday, June 21, 2009: 196.6 (A new low!). I am so completely adjusted to only one S Day that I forgot to have S Day food in the house for today. I do think that my sudden shift to more normal sized meals is resulting in my being cranky, but I’m sticking with it until I am adjusted to the smaller sized meals. I’ll still allow myself to eat whatever I want today because I think that is the key to my being able to lose weight permanently.

At this point, I don’t think I need to record what I ate or why I ate it when I have an exception. I’ll just mark my calendar as having an Exception.

I have tried so many diets, and I have focused on so many aspects of restrictive eating that I am surprised by the answer to becoming naturally thin: It’s not what you eat or how you eat or how much you eat. It’s when you eat. Restricting eating to certain times – eat only at meals on all days except Sundays and only eat sweets on Sundays – has been the key to my curing the disordered eating that has plagued me as I went from one diet to another. It seems hard to believe. Why would it matter if I had a Snickers bar on a Sunday morning vs. a Saturday night? Why? A Snickers bar is the same calories whether it is eaten on Sunday morning or Saturday night. This diet just doesn’t make sense.

I think the reason why this diet works is that a person adjusts to less food over time if food intake is restricted at certain times, but there is not “diet backlash” if the person is able to have “unconditional permission to eat” at other times. I listened to an podcast by a Dr. Roy Baumiester, and his theory is that self-control, like a muscle, gets stronger over time but also needs times to recover. I think in terms of work and vacation. How good of a job would a person do if that person must show up to work day after day, week after week, without vacation ever? The person would get worn out.

Like my kids this summer, there are times when you need to “recharge your batteries.” I think my 10 year old is right – this isn’t The No S Diet. This is The S Day Diet.

9:30 PM: Tom and I went for a walk after I slept for an hour because my stomach hurt from so much junk food – fudge cake and a big chocolate bar and who knows what else. Tom said he didn’t like this approach because I’m not asking myself if I should have something but am just eating whatever I want. I told him I think that’s the key to this diet, that I am assured of not feeling starved at least on Sundays and that I won’t eat so much when eating so much results in feeling bad. He then said I was still doing it. Yes, I am, but the amount of food I am eating is less than I used to eat on S Days.

I told him I haven’t weighed this little since January 13, 2007. No one other than Katie, our 10 year old, has noticed I’ve lost weight, and I think the reason why is that it wasn’t that long ago that I weighed this much. I still have a closet full of clothes that are too small. The more I tried to lose weight, the more I gained weight. It was very frustrating. Although it is frustrating to lose weight slowly, at least I’m headed in the right direction! I started recording my weight on a spreadsheet in November, 2005, and the lowest I have weighed since then was 188.2 on December 17 and 18, 2005. I still have 8 more pounds to lose to get to that weight.

The weight gain from 155 or so at the start of 2002 to 188 in 2005 is sort of a blur. My restrictive eating approach to maintaining a weight in the normal range just sort of collapsed, very suddenly, at the start of 2002, and by August or so of that year I weighed in the high 170s. It’s sad. I read about Kirstie Alley and certainly understand. The backlash from starvation diets can seem so bizarre that it has to be emotional eating, but I actually have concluded that – at least for myself – the backlash was not a reaction to the stress of having four young children but rather from the years of restriction. My body simply rebelled against starvation. I had as much control over my eating as I would in being held underwater. The body’s drive to survive simply takes over. I keep thinking back to when my brother held me underwater when I was 10, and my body’s strength in getting to the surface of the water surprised me. All those years of restrictive eating collapsed into a voracious appetite that just didn’t seem to end. Now I am willing to accept the S Day binge as a mild version of that experience in 2002. My body has reacted against the restrictive eating of the past week, and I am well prepared for another week of restrictive eating. The cycle of restrictive eating during the week with an S Day “unconditional permission to eat” allows my set point to be reset lower and lower. I am confident I will lose more weight. I am confident that the weight I have lost is gone forever.

My husband asked me tonight what I would do if I stopped losing weight at 170, and I told him I would accept whatever weight results from this approach. I don’t want to waste any more time focused on dieting and eating. Life is too full of wonder to spend it the way I have spent days and days fretting about how I was going to lose weight. I’m done with fretting.

Day 288 – Monday, June 22, 2009: 198.4. This is my first Monday below 200 pounds. Yeah! Maybe I am finally below 200 pounds for good. It is also the day of my annual physical. Last June 11, I had my physical on a day when my weight at home was 210.6. My blood sugar level came back at the pre-diabetic level of 108. I deliberately scheduled my physical for a Monday morning to see the results of S Day eating on glucose levels. Today should be about as bad as it gets, since I really overate yesterday and haven’t exercised in two months and have been under a lot of stress trying to figure out if I could do a good job at work while managing a household of four kids home for the summer. It will be interesting to hear the results of the blood tests.

12 PM: I was elated that I weighed 199.8 today on the doctor’s scale. My weight last year on that scale was 211. After the physical last year, I tried the Hunger Satisfaction Diet (eat only after a hunger growl) and was up to 216 on September 4. I started No S on September 8 at 215. I told my doctor that I expected to use my medical records from her to apply to be part of the National Weight Control Registry, a registry of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least 1 year. Here I was, down only about 10 pounds, telling her I was on a path to permanent and significant weight loss. Well, she doesn’t know my history. She doesn’t know I’ve tried many, many diets, and this one is easy. I will be interested to see if my glucose level is higher than 108 last year, but I think it is worthwhile to stay on this diet even if it is because weight loss is so important in preventing diabetes.
Day 289 – Tuesday, June 23, 2009: 199.0. Today I discovered that my 10 year old had not learned what she should have learned in math this year, and I took her to Barnes & Noble and we bought two math books together. I didn’t have much of a chance to think or reflect this year while working part time, and now I feel bad that I missed that our little Katie had missed some concepts in math. She had told me that she didn’t understand word problems very well, which is why I sat down with her today.

Tonight, I went for a walk with my husband, and we talked about Katie and also about my weight loss program. Mostly, I feel frustrated that it is so slow, that I’m still going to the swimming pool in a swimsuit that looks bad. The big danger for me with this diet is impatience. I so want to be thin again that I am tempted to combine this diet with something else to speed things along. The result would be the dreaded “diet backlash”, so I’m stuck waiting. I decided maybe it would be best to turn my focus elsewhere, especially to the two children who had trouble in school this year – our 13 year old son who doesn’t seem to know how to plan and our 10 year old daughter who missed some basic math concepts. I have decided to let the habit go on auto pilot and trust that the weight will come off.

Day 290 – Wednesday, June 24, 2009: 199.6. Oh, is this irritating! It’s time for me to make an attempt to stop weighing myself so I don’t focus so much on the weight loss process and just trust it will work. Weight fluctuates. So long as I follow the diet, I should be able to lose weight. I need to focus on other things and give the process time.

10 PM: I just felt so fat at the pool tonight that I was disgusted with myself. When I got home, I argued to myself that it wasn’t an exception to have juice that I had frozen in juice pops, so I had three. I have since decided that it should be an exception. Just a few days ago was a new low, and yet I am feeling discouraged because the warm weather means different clothing, including bathing suits, and it’s hard to hide fat when you are wearing a bathing suit. I think I need to take a break, not from the diet but from the daily weigh-ins and the journaling. I need to shift my focus away from this and give it time to work. I think it will continue to work because there are times when I am choosing not to eat to be in conformance with eating rules, and those choices mean reduced caloric intake.

Day 291 – Thursday, June 25, 2009: 199.6. So much for resolving not to weigh myself… I don’t know what I’m going to do at this point. I will consider popsicles (even fruit juice I’ve frozen myself) to be a snack and an exception because it is the act of eating rather than drinking that triggers a sense of hunger. How I hate hate hate being fat. How I hate waddling to the pool. I need to give my body time to recover from years of obesity. This isn’t happening overnight. I am down more than 15 pounds in 291 days. I just had expectations, which were not met, that I would lose weight more quickly.

Day 292 – Friday, June 26, 2009: 200.0. I’m disgusted to be back at 200.0, but that is information I needed. Last week, I made an effort to eat small meals. This week, I let go of that effort. Apparently, restricting to no snacks, sweets or seconds during the week is insufficient for me to lose weight. I need to do more. What? Well, I will start exercising again now that my job is over, and yes – I need to eat less. How? The great thing about no snacks, sweets, or seconds is that it is so easy. Is there something I can add? Well, maybe no caloric drinks between meals or maybe one plate unless I’m having fruit. I’ll have to think about it.

6 PM: I took kids to the pool and had some time to think. I decided to try something I used to do years ago, which was to estimate calories in a meal. I remember using 300 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and 700 for dinner. I thought back to lunch and would have estimated 900 calories. If I estimate calories on N Days, I think I will lose weight even though I’m still holding on to the “unconditional permission to eat” on Sundays.

8 PM: Done. I’m done. This is way too slow. I took an exception and I ate – fudge cake and cheese and an extra ½ hamburger and granola bars. This marks the end – the three no S’s are not enough for me. Now what? I think I go back to the 300/500/700 estimates but with the extra twist of “unconditional permission to eat” on Sundays.

Day 293 – Saturday, June 27, 2009: I didn’t weigh myself. I think what I’ll do is weigh myself every Monday. If I am below a weight which has me on schedule to lose 10% of my body weight by this September 8, the one year anniversary of my starting this diet, then I’ll just follow the three N Day rules of no snacks, sweets, or seconds. If not, then I’ll add a fourth rule of estimating caloric intake for those meals at 200, 500, and 700. I have a closetful of summer clothes (capris and shorts) that I am close to being able to wear. I don’t want to buy anything more. Bottom line: I ran out of patience. This is an approach that I think will get me results. I’ll still being very patient in that my weight loss goals are very moderate: under 193.5 (10% weight loss) by September 8 of this year, under 174.2 (an additional 10%) by September 8 of next year, under 156.7 by September 8 of the following year, and under 141.1 by September 8 of the following year. What’s sad is I’m not on track right now to make that first goal of under 193.5 by September 8 of this year, so I’m changing my plan.

8 AM: Weekly is too much. I’ll make it monthly. My schedule has me at 197.1 for July if I am to make the September 8 goal of 193.5. That will be my goal for when I next weigh myself, which is the first Monday in July. I’m so tired of being fat. I am just disgusted. I had to find a bone density test from 2002, which is when I started gaining weight. In May of that year, I weighed 175. Ugh. This is 2009! Since then, I’ve have been simply obsessed with losing weight, and all that work has done is increased my weight. At least with this on (N Day)/ off (S Day) approach, I’ve lost some weight. Constant restriction seems to me to be like never having a vacation. You get worn out. With this approach of estimating calories, I can feel good that I am going to actually lose weight in an acceptable length of time.

Day 294 – Sunday, June 28, 2009: Last night was not a success, to such an extent that I don’t feel like eating a thing right now. I think calorie counting may be incompatible with the simplicity of the no snacks, sweets, or seconds. I am giving up weighing myself as a way to stay patient. I don’t want to return to the chaos of trying to limit calories.

Day 294 – Sunday, June 28, 2009: 201.0. Well, I weighed myself to see the extent of the damage. Not too bad. I want sanity in eating more than I want to be thin, and so I’m sticking with this diet. If I lose weight, great. If not, I may be obese, but I’m no longer gaining weight at a rate of 10 pounds per year. I assumed I’d never see 200 pounds again after June, and here I am still above 200. Oh well. My first time below 200 was on 2/28, so I weigh more now than I did four months ago. That’s a very slow weight loss program. In fact, I need to accept that perhaps the weight has stabilized. I just cannot bring myself to further restrict food intake, and I need to accept that fact. There’s been too much damage from so many years of dieting. How sad, but I accept what I am unwilling to change. I accept whatever weight results from this sane approach to eating.

10:15 AM: I decided I’m willing to accept even this weight in exchange for the sanity of the no S approach to weight management. I wish I could lose more, and maybe I will, but it is so nice not to have the constant focus on weight. I think I’ll switch to monthly weigh-ins, which by their nature aren’t very informative because weight fluctuates so much. I’ll see a trend over several months. If I can maintain even this current weight, them I’m willing to accept it. I can try now to return to exercise, but I don’t want to invest in more experiments about weight management. The Exceptional Diet is the end of the road for me. I’m officially now on maintenance.

Day 294 – Monday, June 29, 2009: 201.0. Well, I weighed myself to see the extent of the damage. Not too bad. I want sanity in eating more than I want to be thin, and so I’m sticking with this diet. If I lose weight, great. If not, I may be obese, but I’m no longer gaining weight at a rate of 10 pounds per year. I assumed I’d never see 200 pounds again after June, and here I am still above 200. Oh well. My first time below 200 was on 2/28, so I weigh more now than I did four months ago. That’s a very slow weight loss program. In fact, I need to accept that perhaps the weight has stabilized. I just cannot bring myself to further restrict food intake, and I need to accept that fact. There’s been too much damage from so many years of dieting. How sad, but I accept what I am unwilling to change. I accept whatever weight results from this sane approach to eating.

8 PM: Six Exception Events – all since June 18th! Hmmm. I think that accounting for exceptions and having a rolling limit of two per month may be a good idea. I can allocate myself two Exceptions for June and add in two more for July. That should be a good buffer against any sort of problems like wanting breath mints because I have bad breath. The journal will not so much be for recording weights as it will be for recording exceptions. I’m still tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, but I think I’m on the right path. I read an ipod interview of Gina Kolata, the author of Rethinking Thin, about her research that people who become obese simply don’t lose weight successfully for the long term. For me, listening to that is encouraging rather than discouraging. There’s a reason why this business of permanent weight loss is so difficult, and it’s not a matter of lack of willpower. It’s hard to find a diet that you can follow for the rest of your life without making it the focus of all self control. I may just dispense with the first Monday weigh in and weigh myself the first of the month that I am home. What I need to do is worry about my eating behavior, not the results. The weight loss results will be what they will be. What I want to relish is the orderliness and sanity of regular meals.

Day 296 – Tuesday, June 30, 2009: 199.2. I ate a lot last night – popcorn and granola bars and whatever was around – so I think my weight went down only because I got up at 7 instead of my usual time of 5:30. I was awake last night trying to figure out what to do with my weight. I don’t want it to be the focus of my life, but I think it needs some attention or the weight I’ve lost will come back. What I decided was to print out a monthly calendar that I can carry with me in my planner. The calendar would allow me to track my weight and my exception days and my balance of exception days. This is really the simplest I can make this diet. If I don’t weigh myself, what I end up doing is worrying about my weight. If I weigh myself weekly or monthly, I can always discount that weight as an outlier like I just did with this morning’s weight. Daily weight when I am at home seems to be the approach that will allow me to spend the least amount of time managing my weight. It’s already the end of June, and here I am still focused on me, me, me. I hate it. I hate what dieting and weight management does in soaking up time, but I was going to end up 400 or 500 pounds if I didn’t do something. I’ll try this approach in July. If it doesn’t work, I’ll modify it. On a positive note, my average for this month’s 26 weigh-ins was 199.4, which is the first time it was below 200. I’m making progress which is glacially slow, but it is progress. I have to trust the basic concept on on/off eating. The S Day is the key differentiator in this diet, but it also helps that N Day rules are so easy to follow.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:14 am; edited 106 times in total
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~reneew



Joined: 02 Oct 2008
Posts: 2183
Location: midwest US

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful Sunday thought, I'll think that way too. Are you the one Reinhard refered to in his latest podcast than banks S days? If so, how is it going? I am going to try that, it seems like the way to go if I can do it. I sound like a copycat! Sorry, you just have good ideas. I'm always willing to try ideas. Thanks!
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I guess this doesn't work unless you actually do it.
Please pray for me
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mel1974c



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 113
Location: North Shore, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: just checking in Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen,

I just popped onto the boards to check in. You are doing so fantastic with this life change! I was so happy to see your progress.

Life, and wedding planning, got the best of me for a few months. I am settling into married life (very happily) and trying to get back on track with my exercise and eating. I am up about 5lbs from my last visit to the boards. I have a bit of work to do. I am not incorporating the "S" Diet yet, but thinking it might be a good idea. First, I am working on my exercise plan.

Keep up the great work!
Melissa
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reneew,
I banked S Days until last month, and then suddenly I didn't need it anymore. The N Day habits had become so ingrained from my months of "perfect compliance" that I am no longer am thinking about food except at mealtime. If I eat outside of N Day rules on N Days, it's for a good reason. There is so much freedom to having come to this very unexpected result.

mel1974c,
It's great to hear from you! What's very encouraging about this diet is that it was so easy to follow through a month in which I was busy. I quit work 10 years ago with the goal of not being busy, and I've managed to not be busy except for about 2 months in those 10 years. Late April to late May would qualify as busy and stressful -- a First Communion, two family graduations, a son who appears to have no idea how to plan and little to no motivation to do his homework (I've been told this is typical of 13 year old boys), and a lot of uncertainty about work (Instead of laying me off, they gave me a laptop so I could work from home during the summer). I am actually feeling very excited about this diet because it seems like slogging through months of allowing myself over the top binges on the weekend has led to my actually wanting to be moderate in my eating. I hadn't expected that. I hadn't expected to be able to go hours without eating and not give a thought to food. There is so much freedom to this diet!

Kathleen

PS. I did come to the conclusion that I needed to go down to one S Day for a reason that was stated in Reinhard's podcast on mods -- results. The scale hasn't moved for several months. The change has been in my obsesion with food dissapating. It hasn't been in my losing weight. I had thought this might happen -- that my disordered eating would have to be cured before I could lose weight. I decided that, rather than worry about not losing weight, I'd do something very direct about it and limit my S Day eating to Sunday only, the Christian day of rest.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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keep it simple



Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 2
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen,
I have been reading your check - in for some time and I must say I really enjoy it. I love reading about your struggles and how you overcome them, I find your thinking very deep and thought provoking and I have been meaning to let you know that you have given me much food for thought so I will continue to read about your progress. Congratulations on reaching below 200lbs.
I have realised that you edit your check-in only once a month so it actually makes reading it very easy.
I am inspired to start my own check-in in the hope that being accountable will help me in my weight lose.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keep it simple,
Thank you! I'm glad my journaling is inspiring to you. It helps me to sort out what is going on with my eating and also to look back and see how far I've come. On a thread where the question was who was the biggest loser here, someone wrote a very touching response about how she was the biggest loser because she lost her obsession with food. This diet isn't just about losing weight. It's about losing the obsession with food. For me, writing about that helps when the scale just doesn't seem to budge! I'm happy I'm at 198.2 today, but it takes patience to stay on this diet when I realize that I weighed this exact amount on 3/28!
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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BrightAngel



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 2083
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on your success.
I'm watching you too. Very Happy

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BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, BrightAngel. Sometimes it doesn't feel like success when I started this diet stuffed into size 18 jeans and I still wear size 18 jeans and I have lots of capris that still don't fit. My biggest temptation is to speed things up, but I am convinced that I would experience what the authors of Intuitive Eating call "diet backlash." I need to be patient!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

July, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6
Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8
Day 267 – Monday, June 1, 2009: 201.8

For the month of July, 2009, the starting number of Exceptions = 4:
Day 297 – Wednesday, July 1, 2009: 198.0
Day 298 – Thursday, July 2, 2009: 198.2
Day 299 – Friday, July 3, 2009:
Day 300 – Saturday, July 4, 2009:
Day 301 – Sunday, July 5, 2009:
Day 302 – Monday, July 6, 2009: 200.4
Day 303 – Tuesday, July 7, 2009:
Day 304 – Wednesday, July 8, 2009: 198.8
Day 305 – Thursday, July 9, 2009: 197.0
Day 306 – Friday, July 10, 2009: 197.8
Day 307 – Saturday, July 11, 2009: 197.0
Day 308 – Sunday, July 12, 2009: 197.8
Day 309 – Monday, July 13, 2009: (E)
Day 310 – Tuesday, July 14, 2009:
Day 311 – Wednesday, July 15, 2009:
Day 312 – Thursday, July 16, 2009:
Day 313 – Friday, July 17, 2009:
Day 314 – Saturday, July 18, 2009:
Day 315 – Sunday, July 19, 2009:
Day 316– Monday, July 20, 2009: 201.4
Day 317 – Tuesday, July 21, 2009: 199.0
Day 318 – Wednesday, July 22, 2009: 197.8
Day 319 – Thursday, July 23, 2009: 197.2 (E)
Day 320 – Friday, July 24, 2009: 198.6
Day 321 – Saturday, July 25, 2009: 197.8
Day 322 – Sunday, July 26, 2009: 198.0
Day 323 – Monday, July 27, 2009: 199.2
Day 324 – Tuesday, July 28, 2009: 198.8
Day 325 – Wednesday, July 29, 2009: 197.4
Day 326 – Thursday, July 30, 2009:
Day 327 – Friday, July 31, 2009:

Day 297 – Wednesday, July 1, 2009: 198.0. It’s a new month. Last month was dreadful. I tossed my family aside after I gave two weeks’ notice the day after school ended, and I finished up my work so that I wouldn’t feel bad about quitting so suddenly and because I didn’t want to leave my manager in a lurch. My mother told me last night it would have been dangerous if I had tried to work in the summer, and I recognize that now. The only possible problem is our dog got a deer tick that I didn’t discover until the Friday after the weekend we went camping. After that, I focused on the house, and it is at least tolerable now.

Today is a new day in a new month, and it’s time to start summer. I also have a plan now for managing my weight without making it such a big focus in my life. I don’t want to be perpetually tweaking this diet, but I need to monitor my weight to make sure I am losing weight. Of the three tweaks I have made since September, two were failures: fasting on Fridays and allowing an unlimited number of exception events. The one I consider to be a success is to have one S Day (Sunday) rather than two (Saturday and Sunday). Now I’ve written up my plan, and I will follow it for the month of July. At the end of July, I can see where I am and decided whether or not to tweak it.

Here is my plan for July: .

1. I used the concept of “unconditional permission to eat” (a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch) and applied it to Sundays only. On Sundays, which is the traditional “day of rest” for Christians, I can eat whatever I want and as much as I want.

2. On other days of the week, I follow three guidelines of no snacks, no sweets and no seconds which are taken from the book The No S Diet by Reinhard Engels and Ben Kallen. My definitions of these three guidelines are as follows:

No snacks: I can have any liquids anytime, including sugared pop. My reason for allowing liquids anytime is that liquids can take the edge off hunger, but I am still avoiding the habit of chewing between meals. It may seem strange to allow myself sugared pop but not a carrot or an apple between meals. What I have found is that, by not eating between meals, I have started not to think about food between meals. It works for me.

No sweets: I allow myself sugared pop but not rich coffee drinks. I don’t allow any chocolate.

No seconds: In The No S Diet book, the emphasis is on fitting everything on one plate. I needed to cure my disordered eating in stages, so I started out allowing myself to eat anything that was at my place before I took one bite. The result was that I had a visual of how much I was eating. As the diet continued, I no longer needed to have an entire bowl of popcorn along with a plate of food, but I found it very off-putting to have a piece of fruit next to meat on a plate or to have a sandwich on a plate that had a bowl of soup on it. I decided to continue allowing myself to eat whatever was at my place before I took one bite.

3. If I do not follow the three guidelines on Sundays, that is to be expected. If I do not follow the three guidelines on days other than Sundays, then I record an exception. This allowance of exceptions seems like a giant loophole, but I have found over the years that I really dislike keeping food diaries. When I had a bad apple and replaced it, I decided that I didn’t need to record the exception. The next day, I had my first failure since I started this on/off approach to dieting in September, about 10 months ago. I think that, for me, it is important to record the exception as a way for me to evaluate whether or not the exception was appropriate.

4. To discipline myself so that I am not taking exceptions every day, I have a budget of two exception days per month. The number of exception days accumulate from month to month like rollover minutes on a cell phone plan.

5. That’s it! That’s my diet. It’s simple and easy to follow.

Day 298 – Thursday, July 2, 2009: 198.2. I bought the book The End of Overeating by David Kessler, and I found the description of what is in food today to be revolting – sugar and salt and fat. Since I just got it yesterday, I’ve only skimmed it, but his theory seems to be that we overeat because the food is structured to just slide down our throat. I skimmed through the book and found some interesting points in the chapter titled Rules of Disengagement:

“At the heart of conditioned hypereating lies the impulsive nature of the behavior. Because people with conditioned hypereating are so sensitive to food cues, they tend to make eating decisions on the spur of the moment. To compete with the chaotic nature of that behavior, we need to develop a set of rules to keep us from becoming aroused….

“What we need is to develop a planned response when we encounter a stimulating food that drives conditioned hypereating….Rules work in part by giving us an alternative to a conditioned response…When my brain receives the signal that salient foods are nearby and recalls their pleasure, I remember my rules, which tell me, “Don’t stop. Pass them by. Turn our attention elsewhere.” Set that rule, stick with it, and in time your desire will decrease…

Rules aren’t the same thing as willpower. Willpower pits the force of reinforcing stimuli against your determination to resist, a clash of titans that can become very uncomfortable.”

I read that with some mirth. My rule is: “Wait until Sunday!” Yesterday, that rule was in evidence with my daughter. She never did go down the path of unlimited exception events, but she used all her June exceptions. Yesterday was July, so she had two. I had told her I’d get her a caramel apple from a store in the mall after she got her braces off, and she wanted one yesterday because we were at the mall. I asked her about her number of exceptions, and she had two. She wanted to use one. I reminded her of our upcoming trip to my in laws where there’s always lots of food especially on the Fourth of July. She decided to wait even though we might not get to the mall on this coming Sunday (because we might not get back in time) or the following Sunday (because we have to leave early for a week at Boy Scout camp) or even the Sunday after that (because she has to be at a college to be a junior counselor for an engineering camp for girls).

I was proud of her. She had her braces on for not quite three years, and now she is willing to wait for perhaps a month to get that caramel apple.

The problem with most diets is you can’t ever have that wonderful treat or you have to save points or calories for months to allow yourself to eat that one perhaps 1,000 calorie treat.

7 AM: Later in this same chapter, Kessler states this: “Rules that make food unavailable can modulate how we respond to cues. The sensory signals of a piece of fried chicken don’t evoke the same neural activity if we know that it is not available. A photograph of fired chicken may not activate the reward pathways to the same degree if we’re on a mountaintop miles away from the nearest KFC.

Alain Dagher, a neurologist at Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University, used imaging technology in a study of smokers to learn how anticipation influences brain activity. All his participants have brain scans, but only some were told in advance that they would be able to smoke immediately after the test was completed. The others understood that they couldn’t have a cigarette for antoher four hours and that a carbon-monoxide monitor would be used to ensure that they complied.

Dagher’s MRI scans showed that areas of the brain involved in arousal and attention were essentially shut down in the population that did not expect to smoke afterward…Apparently, when the brain knows that a reward will not be forthcoming, it shifts its attention elsewhere. Rules are designed to take advantage of that capacity by shutting out the possibility of pursuing a food reward and forcing us to focus on something else.

Over time, it can become second nature to follow those rules. But until then, rules need to be “kept in mind” so that they are available to guide behavior in the moments we need them. That requires attention, practice, and advance planning, motivated by the expectation that you will ultimately derive emotional satisfaction in new ways. Your ability to follow your own rules will eventually carry its own reward.”

How fascinating! This excerpt from the book certainly helps to explain my own experience, which was that I did nothing but follow this diet for a few weeks in September, and then it became so easy to follow them that I had some miniature candy bars on my desk for several weeks, totally ignored by me. The candy bars were given with the request to fill out a company survey, and I just ignored them. I finally brought them to the car, and my two younger daughters had one each. There was no impulse control in not having those candy bars. There was no willpower. It’s as if they weren’t there. That’s the beauty of this diet. It’s not that I’m resisting hunger. I’m no longer even aware that I’m hungry except at mealtime. Actually, I sometimes hear my stomach growl, and sometimes I do want to eat, especially if it is late and I haven’t yet had lunch. There just isn’t the urgency that there used to be. I know I’ll eat to complete satisfaction when I eat, so it’s not a problem that there might be a delay until I eat.

This really is a wonderful way to live.

Day 301 – Sunday, July 5, 2009: Yesterday was the Fourth of July, and I decided not to take an exception day. I wanted to see how difficult it would be for me to go through the day without snacks and only three meals. What I learned is that there is a reason why eating has been so difficult for me when I’ve been at my in laws. Snacks and treats are available and eaten constantly as we sit around in chairs and talk while the kids play in the lake. Lunch was not ready until 2:30. At 5, I went to my in laws for a nap, and I also had some of my chili for dinner. When I returned, there was more snacking until my sister in law brought out pulled pork for dinner. Because times for both lunch and dinner were delayed, it made for a lot of snacking.

We didn’t get back to my mother in law’s house until midnight, and I pulled out a Snickers bar to eat. In the morning, I had two bowls of cereal, a Ritter Sports chocolate bar, some Tootsie Rolls, a DQ Buster Bar, and a Pop Tart. For lunch, I had more chili and milk. On the way home, I did not feel well at all, and we had to stop twice so I could use the bathroom.

I was surprised. I would estimate that I only had about 1,400 calories of chocolate and treats, but my body couldn’t take it.

Limiting overeating to Sundays only has made it possible for me to eat as much as I want but still lose weight. The unfortunate side effect of my learning the consequences of overeating is that, sometimes, I eat so much that I get a really bad stomach ache.

My approach to dieting contrasts with David Kessler’s approach, which is described in his book The End of Overeating. There were many snippets in the book that I thought supported my approach, and I think that his approach is more time consuming and less fun than mine, although I sure wish I’d already learned the lesson that eating too much is unpleasant.

The best line from Kessler’s book is this: “The nation’s weight problem is evidence, in part, that we have gotten a lot of bad advice” (p. 205). Kessler has very detailed description of environmental conditions (like ready availability of food) which contribute to the obesity epidemic, but his focus is on the inherently addictive quality of what he calls “highly palatable foods” (p. 148) which have just the right combination of salt and sugar and fat to make them irresistible.

His solution to obesity is to develop habits in which these types of foods are not part of your “planned eating.” In other words, you pass them by. “Planned eating means choosing food in appropriate quantities – figuring out how much you should put on your plate so you feel satisfied until it’s time to eat again. For most people, a just-right meal is one that will keep away hunger for about four hours. A just-right snack will keep you satisfied for about two hours” (p. 211).

I read these words and thought: Ugh! Portion control! I simply don’t like the idea of constant portion control. I would think that a person would tire of never being able to eat exactly what they want in the amount they want.

Kessler did mention snacking as a problem. “A breakdown in meal structure, with the distinction between meals and snacks increasingly blurred, also promotes increased consumption and, ultimately conditioned hypereating” (p. 174). He mentions a “revealing study” that showed that obese women “ate more snacks, more evening and nighttime meals, and significantly more during nontraditional meatimes” (p. 158).

His solution to the problem of overeating includes nothing about the timing of food intake. He does draw a contrast between reaching a goal and forming a habit, and he gives definite preference to forming a habit. He quotes Joshua Burke from the University of Michigan as saying, “A habit is a way of saving cognitive effort. It makes sense to have a system that, when faced with the same situation over and over, allows a fixed response without having to think about it…One defining feature of habits is that they are resistant to extinction…Habits are very inflexible. They’re very unresponsive when a situation changes” (p. 63).

Although I ate way too much today, I’m happy that I have the option to do exactly that on this diet. I follow a habit of three meals and no snacks except on Sundays, and the result is that my body seems to be able to overeat to a lesser and lesser degree. There was absolutely no willpower involved in turning down Twizzlers this afternoon because I had such an upset stomach that I didn’t eat for several hours. How much will I eat next Sunday? I don’t know, but I doubt I’ll ever again eat 3,000 calories of caramel macademian clusters.

Kessler at one point in the book quoted an Alcoholics Anonymous saying of “One drink, one drunk.” For me personally, I would think that looking upon eating one Snickers bar as a like falling off the wagon would be very unnerving. I much prefer this system of simply delaying any eating like that until Sunday. My motto isn’t “Pass it by” or “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips”. My motto is “Wait until Sunday.” It’s now late on Sunday night, and at this point I’m more than happy to wait until next Sunday before eating any sweets. My mother had been alarmed that I would trigger a diabetic reaction by following this diet, but the result of my physical (with blood work done on a Monday) came back with my having normal blood sugar. It will be interesting to see how my blood tests change as I continue on this diet, and my ability to tolerate sweets becomes lower and lower. I’m not having good food due to willpower. I’m having good food because of habit. This diet is easy and enjoyable – and those are the key attributes of a diet that is sustainable!

Day 304 – Wednesday, July 8, 2009: 198.8. Yesterday, I was out all day, and I chose my food carefully when I ate. I surveyed the offerings at a breakfast buffet before choosing oatmeal, and I realized that this is just the sort of behavior that is recommended for fat people to follow. I did it naturally, however, because of the painful experience from Sunday (getting a stomach ache) that reminded me that there is a limit to how much you can eat. I think that I am developing the habit naturally from the S Day overeating experiences. It was a habit that I tried to develop when following conventional diets, but it only made me feel deprived. My father has a great saying: “If something isn’t working, try something else – anything else!” Well, this diet is something else! Who would have thought that allowing yourself to eat whatever you want would turn you into a picky eater!

10 PM: On or about the first of each month, I take care of several chores – change the furnace filter (in winter), give the dog a tick preventive medication (in summer), give the dog worm pills, get the dog’s toenails clipped, get a bang trim, etc. I think I’m adding a new task -- update my diet information -- to the list of monthly tasks. I’m definitely in maintenance. I have been trying to manage diet with a goal (lose 10% of my body weight within one year of being on this diet) as well as with a habit (have no snacks, sweets, or seconds except on Sundays and two additional days per month). Straddling these two objectives has been time-consuming, but now I think I’m ready to give up the goal. I’ll accept the weight I get from this diet. As a result, all I need to do is track the habit. I can record weights, but it’s not really necessary. This diet, minimally followed, means nothing more than tracking the accumulated number of exception days. That’s a once per month task that will take less time than taking the dog to get her nails clipped. It’s funny, but all the research and effort I put into weight loss management is now down to a once per month task that may take an hour at most. Thank God! I’m tired of all this. I just want to live. Life is too short to be focused on food and weight. This afternoon, I had time with our youngest child. We went to the book store and to Michael’s. That’s what life is about. I want more time on that and little to no time on weight management.

Day 307 – Saturday, July 11, 2009: 197.0. Today, Tom and I were shopping at Costco, and I read the nutrition label on the jar of caramel macademian clusters. There were 23 servings each of 2 pieces each and each serving was 210 calories. Total calories in the jar were 210 X 23 = 4,600 + 230 = 4,830. I had at least 80% of one jar in one weekend would put my consumption of pure sweets at just under 4,000 calories. Last weekend’s overeating was not quite so dramatic, but I am not necessarily geared up for a huge binge tomorrow. My body is still reeling from last week. I am starting to associate sweets and non-meal eating with not feeling great. I’m starting to get an aversive reaction to the whole S Day experience.

It’s very interesting to talk with my daughter, who is still relishing the prospect of S Day eating. We were at the store this afternoon, and she wanted her own bag of S Day foods. I let her have what she wanted. Last Saturday, she took an S Day because of the Fourth of July. On Sunday, she had her predictable S Day. In the afternoon, she felt sick. She’ll learn. I’m just ahead of her on the learning curve. My body has already learned that the consequences of significant overeating are not worth the enjoyment. For tomorrow, I bought a candy bar and some biscotti and that’s it.

Day 314 – Saturday, July 18, 2009: During this week, I was on vacation, and I took along my ipod with a number of podcasts from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. I was overwhelmed by the information provided. The obesity epidemic is indeed an epidemic, and no one seems to know what to do about it. I got some information from podcasts that helped me to stick with this diet. A professor from Florida, Dr. Mark Gold, talked about addiction and how those who overeat share some traits in common with those who are addicted to tobacco or alcohol or drugs. It was interesting that this professor said that obesity seems to be like a food addiction in that people eat based on cues.

We were driving six or more hours back from Boy Scout Camp, and we were driving past many Dairy Queen signs. Normally, the kids would be asking to stop, but there was silence. Earlier in the week, we had been to Itasca State Park, which is at the headwaters of the Mississippi, and the two younger girls decided to join their sister in what they call the S Day Diet. The reason why is that I bought fudge for my oldest daughter to eat on Sunday, and the two younger ones wanted fudge as well. Our son is still at Boy Scout Camp, and he like his father is skeptical about this diet. The two younger ones could care less about dieting and losing weight. They only want to be able to have lots of treats and are willing to follow the rules of this diet in order to have S Day foods. I think this diet is protection against the constant cues of Dairy Queen signs and TV ads and on and on and on. I just tune all that out now because I’m not eating anyway. I also think there is something else positive about this diet. The kids are learning to delay gratification. I’m not forcing them to go on the diet. What I’m doing is enjoying S Days, and they want to have special treats as well.

Day 315 – Sunday, July 19, 2009: I went through yet another S Day that was over the top. It started with eating fudge at midnight. Tonight, I thought back to high school math with equations which could be solved with a number that maximized and/or satisfied the equation. A very simple example would be the equation 3 is less than or equal to X which is less than or equal to 5. In this equation, the maximum number that solves the equation is 5. I think of all those 1,000 calorie diets in which I got right up to 1,000 calories and all those days I was off diets when I ate the maximum I could eat. Dieting trained me to maximize my eating. Now, with this diet, I maximize eating on S Days only. What is starting to calm down is the N Days and also the E days. On Exception Days, I usually have a snack or treat for social reasons. For example, last Monday we were invited over to another campfire for s’mores. I took an E Day to eat two s’mores. There was no need to return to the cabin and eat everything in sight. On N Days, I eat a lot if I’m hungry and I don’t eat a lot if I’m not hungry. My eating habits seem to be rather normal except for on S Days. I think I just need to wait until my body figures out that it is no longer necessary to eat to the maximum every change I get. In the meantime, I think I’m going to avoid weighing myself. Also, I’ve made a Many Point resolution (Many Point is where we stayed) that I will walk 500 miles between today and when we return to Many Point next July. That translates into about 10 miles per week. It was easy to walk two miles today. My dog is going to enjoy this resolution! I think I’ll feel better exercising more, and I think what I need to do with this diet is just wait, wait, wait while my body recovers from the years of dieting which created a fear of starvation.

Day 317 – Tuesday, July 21, 2009: 199.0. Yesterday, I thought about high school math and how this diet reminded me of it. It had to do with formulas for parabolas. There are parabolas which follow the curve of a ball, and the parabolas can be defined by equations which show the total distance and the height of the parabola. For example, a fly ball is thrown 40 feel and got to a height of 60 feet. The reason why I think of these formulas in relation to dieting is that part of the definition of the parabola is height. A different type of parabola from that defined by a fly ball is one in which the start and end points are the highest points in the parabola and the lowest it goes is the midpoint. As an example, a parabola can be 40 feet and go to negative 60 feet. In the parabola like a fly ball, the maximum height is midpoint. In the parabola that isn’t like a fly ball, the lowest point is the midpoint.

I took one math course in college and had to drop it. My high school calculus course was in my senior year of high school, which is when I started dieting. As I think back to the two types of parabolas, I am struck by how much I have tried to maximize eating while dieting. After all, how many calories do you have per day on a 1,500 calorie per day diet? Always, and I mean always, it was over 1,500 or within 5 calories of 1,500 calories. Dieting put me on the parabola that is like a fly ball. I tried to maximize caloric intake.

With this diet, I have also tried to maximize eating. My S Days have been over the top. My meals have been piled high on a plate and often more than what fit on a plate, since I have followed the rule that I could eat whatever was before me before I took one bite.

Now what? Now I am thinking I have suddenly switched to a different type of parabola, and my eating is going to be more the minimum to get to the next meal rather than the maximum that fits within the guidelines of the diet. All those S Days have given me memories of stomach aches. I recognize now that I feel better if I eat less.

With my waiting through months of virtually no change in weight, I thought that eventually I would be attracted to eating less because I would feel better. Now there seems to have been a sudden shift. Now I want to eat less.

Aristotle’s view of temperance in his Ethics is that the person who is temperate is the one who wants to eat less. Have I finally become temperate? It will be interesting to see if this is just a temporary shift or if it is permanent. I got out the tape measure to measure myself, and today I am at 44 ¾ - 37 – 47. Back when I was thin, I was 36 – 24 – 36. My 24 inch waist is gone for good, but maybe I can get back to a waist size that is smaller than my hip size used to be!

2:15 PM: Today, I took Katie and Elizabeth on a number of errands – the shoe store, the grocery store, Michael’s, Target, and the bank. At the bank, the kids got lollipops. At the liquor store, the kids got lollipops. At the grocery store, the kids can choose a free cookie. Very interesting. I hadn’t really realized how many times the kids are offered treats. I now have four lollipops in my purse, and the girls did not take the free cookie. Katie said this is the S Day Diet because it’s important to focus on the positive. She had to give up that cookie, but she is looking forward to ice cream on Sunday.

Tom was not too happy that I let Elizabeth go on the diet, since she is only 8. I told him I didn’t think she’d last, and I wouldn’t let her go back on it until next summer if she used up more than her Exception Days. He took her on Sunday night to get Itty Bits (little ice cream balls) and ice cream drumsticks. She did not finish her treats on Sunday, and both of us expected she’d be having some on Monday. Here it is Tuesday, and she’s going strong. Even as an 8 year old, she is able to delay gratification. She did ask me today, however, when we are going to Cold Stone Creamery, a trip I promised them when I got down to 193.5 or a loss of 10% of my weight.

Day 318 – Wednesday, July 22, 2009: 197.8. I am no longer asking myself, “What is the most I can eat and still be following the diet?” I am now asking myself, “What is the minimum I can eat and be satisfied?” This morning, I had a bowl of cereal and a few walnuts. I debated about having a nectarine and did not have it. Nectarines are classified as “healthy”. They are only about 40 calories. I enjoy nectarines. I may have one at lunch. Right now, however, a nectarine was too much. That “five a day” campaign – the campaign to have people have at least five servings of fruits or vegetables – may be contributing to the obesity epidemic. I am most definitely eating more nutritious foods because I have eliminated sweets during the week, but I’m not focused on counting anything. I am focused on how I feel. I eat to feel good. All those months of overeating to the point of having a stomach ache have made me very sensitive to the fact that eating as much as you can does not make you feel as good as you can feel. I want to feel good, and so I limit the amount I eat. This diet is no longer about losing weight in the future. This diet is about feeling good today.

Day 319 – Thursday, July 23, 2009: 197.2 (E). I took an exception day today, and I do not feel well tonight. There is a difference between the purpose of an S Day (to allow my body to normalize after restrictive eating) and an E Day (to allow me to be social when it would be awkward not to be social). Today was an occasion when I easily could have been social without taking an exception day. Once I took the exception, I had so much that I ended up with a stomach ache. Enough! I will go down to accumulating one E Day rather than two E Days per month.

Day 320 – Friday, July 24, 2009: 198.6. Yesterday morning, I had coffee with a friend. I could have had just regular coffee or a latte, but I decided to have the frappachino and take an exception day. Later in the day, I had the remaining three ice cream drumsticks, a Snickers bar, and biscotti. By dinner, I didn’t feel well. We went for a walk after dinner and met up with a friend, and she even commented that I looked tired. I wasn’t tired. I had a stomach ache. When we got back from the walk, I promptly went to bed. I apologized to Tom this morning that I had not done the dishes. Now that I’m feeling better this morning, I think that this binge behavior has absolutely nothing to do with any sort of psychological problems or genetic predispositions. This is exactly how I acted when a diet failed. I’d eat everything in sight. I’m still suffering from years of starving myself and then feeling better when I break the diet and overeat. The beauty of keeping a journal is that I can look back and read how I felt when I was dieting. Here is my journal entry from Tuesday, January 2, 2007:

“I weighed 199.2, and my daughter took my picture. I looked huge. I started my diet, and lasted for more than three days. On the third night, I was awake a number of times and was thinking of the agony of Holocast victims, hungry day after day, week after week, month after month. Twice in the night, I got up to have a single 90-calorie piece of bread. The next morning, I ate more than 1,000 calories. By evening, I had eaten well over 2,000 calories. And I was glad. I had felt miserable restricting my calorie intake so severely.”

How amusing that I am now only about ½ pound lower in weight than I was 2 ½ years ago. The difference between then and now is not in the weight. The difference is that restricting food to reasonable amounts but allowing time-delimited lifting of restrictions has resulted in my feeling good when I restrict and miserable when I lift restrictions and binge. All those years and years – more than 30 years – of starving and bingeing is what I believe is causing these over the top S Days. I don’t think there is a way to shortcut going to normal eating after those years of dieting. I think I just need to follow the simple rules of this diet and let my body learn, slowly but surely, that I am not starving again so there is no need to binge. Bingeing is what feels bad, not restricting. My motto for this diet is “Wait until Sunday”, what I also have to tell myself is “Patience is a virtue.”

Day 321 – Saturday, July 25, 2009: 197.8. Last night was hard. It’s been a long time since an N Day was hard. We were planning to go out and didn’t. I think that I have a problem with E Days, which are meant to help me with following this diet and avoid socially awkward situations or situations that come up. What I’m finding is that taking an exception day can lead to more problems than it solves, so it’s best to avoid E Days as much as possible. They're a necessary evil. As a result, I’ll add only one E Day per month starting next month.

7 PM: I decided that I would allow myself two additional Exception Events per month. This means that I won’t have “unlimited permission to eat” outside of an event. It’s not an all day feast.

Day 322 – Sunday, July 26, 2009: 198.0. My 10 year old just had her first S Day. She just finished off a Hershey bar with whipped cream. I then heard her say, “Oh, my stomach can’t wait until tomorrow.”

My stomach isn’t too happy, either. I think I need over the top S Days, but I don’t need them every week. I think I’m going to try one S Day per month on the first Sunday of the month. Since I just had an S Day today, on the last Sunday of the month, I think I’ll skip next Sunday. That means my next S Day will be on the first Sunday of September.

By then, I hope I’m down to 193.5 so we can all go to Cold Stone Creamery together to celebrate my losing 10% of my body weight.

11:30 PM: It’s late, and I just had an ice cream drumstick and finished off the pint of Haagen Dazs Bailey’s ice cream. Why? I don’t think this is a reaction to the starvation of dieting. I’m not sure what it is, but I think I need to allow myself over the top S Days. When I think of my medieval history course in college, I remember that the Church had a lot of structure around religious holidays – a severe fast during Lent and Advent, feasts on Easter, Christmas, and a lot of other days that are no longer celebrated. Maybe there is some wisdom in this structure of eating that has been lost. I’m thinking that I may benefit by just having one S Day per month, and the S Day will be quite a feast! Today, I took the two daughters who are following the S Day (15 and 10 years old) to the mall to have caramel apples. The cost for 3 caramel apples was $14.10. Just from a very practical financial consideration, I’m not sure we can afford weekly over the top S Days. I’d rather not restrict the S Days for financial reasons but would rather allow extravagant treats once per month. Instead of my motto being, “Wait for Sunday,” I can make it “Wait for the first Sunday of the month.”

Day 324 – Tuesday, July 28, 2009: 198.8. Today, I decided to call the first Sunday of the month “Fat Sunday”. It’s short, and it is reminiscent of “Fat Tuesday”, the day before Lent begins, otherwise known as Mardi Gras. I get 12 Fat Sundays per year. That seems like a lot. I am planning to be below 193.5 pounds (a loss of 10% of my weight) by the first Sunday of September so we can go to Cold Stone Creamery as a family. I’m also planning on buying a slice of chocolate covered cheesecake from Byerly’s Grocery Store. It’s easy to be on a diet when your focus is the next time you can eat what you want.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

August, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one Monday of each month of this diet:
Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6
Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8
Day 267 – Monday, June 1, 2009: 201.8
Day 302 – Monday, July 6, 2009: 200.4

For the month of August, 2009, the starting number of Exceptions = 4:
Day 328 – Saturday, August 1, 2009:
Day 329 – Sunday, August 2, 2009: 198.4
Day 330 – Monday, August 3, 2009: 199.6
Day 331 – Tuesday, August 4, 2009: 198.2
Day 332 – Wednesday, August 5, 2009: 197.4
Day 333 – Thursday, August 6, 2009: 196.6 (E)
Day 334 – Friday, August 7, 2009:
Day 335 – Saturday, August 8, 2009: 198.4 (E)
Day 336 – Sunday, August 9, 2009: 199.8
Day 337 – Monday, August 10, 2009: 198.0
Day 338 – Tuesday, August 11, 2009: 198.2
Day 339 – Wednesday, August 12, 2009: 198.2
Day 340 – Thursday, August 13, 2009: 199.2
Day 341 – Friday, August 14, 2009: 198.8
Day 342 – Saturday, August 15, 2009: 198.8
Day 343 – Sunday, August 16, 2009: 198.8
Day 344– Monday, August 17, 2009: (E)
Day 345 – Tuesday, August 18, 2009:
Day 346 – Wednesday, August 19, 2009:
Day 347 – Thursday, August 20, 2009:
Day 348 – Friday, August 21, 2009:
Day 349 – Saturday, August 22, 2009:
Day 350 – Sunday, August 23, 2009:
Day 351 – Monday, August 24, 2009: (E)
Day 352 – Tuesday, August 25, 2009:
Day 353 – Wednesday, August 26, 2009: (FAILURE)
Day 354 – Thursday, August 27, 2009:
Day 355 – Friday, August 28, 2009:
Day 356 – Saturday, August 29, 2009:
Day 357 – Sunday, August 30, 2009:
Day 358 – Monday, August 31, 2009: 200.8

Day 328 – Saturday, August 1, 2009: I think I can manage to lose weight and still have an S Day every Sunday. Maybe I’ll have particularly extravagant S Days on the first Sunday of the month. That’s when I can buy $5 caramel apples or slices of cheesecake.

When I look back in my journal, I recall that I used four questions to sort out different diets. Now that I am settled into this diet, I want to look at those questions and see how this diet answers those questions.

1. Should I practice Stuart’s “perfect compliance”?
Yes. The way to create a habit that Professor Joseph Koterski of Fordham University calls an automatic habit is to do is every single time. I do not walk out of the house in the morning without brushing my teeth. I don’t think about it. (I thought the term “perfect compliance” came from a book written by Richard B. Stuart, but I could not find the book. I read this book perhaps 10 years ago.)

2. Is the weight loss program one of “on/off” (dieting and periods of not dieting), or is it constant (a lifestyle change)?
This is an “on/off” program. Every Sunday is an “off” day for dieting. I can look forward to Sunday when I am tempted to eat. In fact, my motto for this diet is “Wait until Sunday.” I also have a budget of two additional off days per month to be used for any reason whatsoever. These days accumulate if not used.

3. What is the trigger for eating or not eating?
On “off” days, I have “unconditional permission to eat”. This term is taken from the book Intuitive Eating. On “on” days, I eat at meals and that is it.

4. Is the period of maintenance different from the period of weight loss?
No. The weight loss is slow because the program is easy enough that I will have no problem following it for the rest of my life.

I wish the weight loss was faster because I can’t really tell I’ve lost weight, but I’m happy that Tom said something positive about this diet, which he has called The “It’s Not Going To Work” Diet. Our 15 year old went on the diet in late October, and he said he can tell that her eating has become more normal.

I am starting to turn to other habits which can improve my health. I’m trying to improve the nutritional quality of what we eat, and I’m trying to exercise more. When we were at Many Point Boy Scout Camp in mid-July, I decided to walk at least 700 miles before our next time there next July. I’ve been walking a mile in the morning, and a mile at night. Day after day, that adds up to more than 700 miles in a year.

Day 333 – Thursday, August 6, 2009: 196.6 (E). I put our 15 year old on a plane to California so she could be treated as an only child by her grandparents. I was hoping to be down to 193.5 (or loss of 10% of my body weight) by today in the hope that my parents would accept her diet. No such luck. They remain completely skeptical. In fact, my father sent me a letter last week which included this line: “We again urge you to permit Anne to snack between meals on carrots & celery all she wants. These snacks will cause her to eat less at main meals.” I did tell Anne she had my permission to eat all the celery and carrots she wanted. She doesn’t like celery or carrots, which is no surprise. After I got that letter, I gave up on trying to get my parents to allow her to continue following this diet and suggested to my daughter that she just suspend the diet while she is in California. She decided to tell her grandparents that she has been trying my way to eat and now she’s willing to try their way to eat. That seems like a very mature approach. Meanwhile, I’ve lost motivation myself to do much other than just follow this diet. I don’t know that I need to be tracking my weight so closely anymore. It goes down at a glacial speed anyway, so why track it every day? It’s time to prepare for return to school. I’ve been working with my son to clean out his closet and clean up his room in preparation for a new school year. Any time spent thinking about this diet is time not spent getting the family ready for a new school year.

Day 334 – Friday, August 7, 2009: I did not weigh myself today. I did not want to continue weighing myself daily. I found it hard not to journal. After all, it’s much more pleasant to write than it is to help our son clean out his closet. The bottom line is that I’m avoiding what I should do, and there is no longer any value to this. I’m repeating myself over and over again. Nothing is changing except that my weight is going down so slowly that my average monthly weight loss is only about 1.6 pounds per month (18 pounds in 11 months). If I were to consider 132 – my weight when I was single – as the lowest weight I am likely to reach, and if I compare that weight to my weight yesterday of 196.6, then I am looking at a maximum weight loss of about 65 pounds. At a rate of 1.6 pounds per month, I would lose 65 pounds in 41 months. How long is that? Until spring of 2013. When I started this journal, my oldest daughter was 9. Am I going to be keeping it until she is out of the house? No. I’ve wasted enough years trying to figure out how to lose weight. It was worth all the effort because of her, but I don’t want to waste time now that it is becoming clear that this is a slow and permanent way to lose weight. I need to move on.

Maybe I can update my status once per month at the time that I take care of all my first of the month tasks, like taking our dog to get her nails trimmed. There will be changes along the way, I’m sure. For example, I’m reading a book called The Longevity Factor and have found convincing evidence that dark chocolate is really good for you. I decided that I won’t consider it a sweet so that I can have it every day. I think that the key for me is to follow whatever I decide with “perfect compliance” so that it is a habit and I’m not considering breaking the diet. Choosing to consider dark chocolate is a decision based on research and deliberation. It’s not a decision based on impulse because I am tempted by something that is right in front of me.

As I was walking the dog this morning, I realized that this diet is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I don’t need to be keeping a daily record of something so boring. Even though I have lots more to lose, I’m in a maintenance phase. I’m through adjusting to a new way of eating. Forty months isn’t very long to wait when all you are doing is waiting. The weight will come off. I just have to be patient. In the meantime, the bare minimum to actually keep the diet is to track my current number of Exception Days. That’s it. It’s so easy. It’s something I can do in an hour per month. I look back at all I have gone through for 30 plus years of my life, and I can’t quite believe it. Maybe that’s why I keep writing. I just can’t believe it. It’s so easy. What I need to do now is accept that it really is that easy, pull myself away from the computer, and work with my son to clean up his closet so he’s ready for school.

Day 336 – Sunday, August 9, 2009: 199.8. Dark chocolate may be good for you, but it was not good for my diet. Yesterday, I took an S Day and had a slice of cake that had 550 calories in it. I did not feel great this morning when I woke up, but I had some red grapes and then a granola bar and then another granola bar before I decided that I should consider any sort of chocolate – including dark chocolate – an S Day treat and should cut back on my number of S Days. I had considered having only one Sunday per month be an S Day but now I’m actually going to do it: one reliable S Day on the first Sunday of the month plus two floater S Days per month. I had breakfast this morning after my two granola bars and red grapes, and I then had lunch all in one sitting. For some reason which I don’t understand, I seem incapable of any sort of eating on S Days except for over the top eating. It may be due to 30-plus years of dieting but I really don’t know why. I want to feel stuffed. It’s not that I want to have a lot of any sort of food. It’s that I want the feeling of being very full. If I’m only allowing myself to have that feeling three days per month, I think I’ll be fine.

It was rather good timing that our priest in his sermon today said, “Delayed gratification doesn’t necessarily mean deprivation.” So true. That is a great tag line for this diet. I don’t feel deprived because I’m not eating any sweets today. The memory of that 550 calorie slice of Harry & David chocolate cake is still fresh in my memory. I know I’ll be able to have it again someday, including reliably on the first Sunday of each month. This diet is easy, so easy it’s hard to believe it could work. I appreciate my husband’s skepticism, but I just printed off my weight tracking back to when I started tracking my weight in November, 2005. My average weight was 192.6 in November, 2005, and I gained weight and gained weight with each attempt at weight loss. My average weight for last month was 198.3. I’m heavier than I was then, but I’m so happy about my weight because I’m confident the weight is going down and will stay down. And it’s all due to that S Day philosophy – to knowing I can eat as much as I want of anything I want. The limitation is by day. No more “portion control” or “eat healthy food only.” What a relief!

7 PM: We spent part of the afternoon at the pool, and I continued reading The Longevity Factor. I decided to make both red wine and dark chocolate part of my daily habit. I’ve been working on green tea as well, but I suspect that will only become a habit when I substitute green tea for coffee as my wakeup drink. Because I know I can eat as much as I want of anything I want, I’m now more willing to consider eating healthy foods as an N Day habit rather than a life sentence. Big difference. I can be open to eating food that is considered good for me so long as I don’t have to give up those Snickers bars forever. Giving up Snickers bars until the next S Day is very different from giving up Snickers bars forever. I think a good part of my motivation to go down to one reliable S Day per month (the first Sunday of the month) is that I so want to have lost 10% of my body weight by September 8, the first anniversary of my going on this diet. I don’t think I need so many S Days, and I am so – so – so – sick of being obese!

10 PM: It seems silly even to me but I needed to figure out a way to minimize my expenditure of time while my weight slowly goes down. I ended up getting a notebook to place on top of the scale, and I printed out all my weight tracking charts. I just cannot seem to let go of all the effort that has gone into losing weight. I need to do it, however. I need to direct my focus elsewhere, especially to getting one 13 year old boy organized and ready for school. I look back in the journals and at the weight charts and am just overwhelmed by the amount of effort I put into trying to find a weight loss approach that would result in permanent weight loss, and I slogged through failure after failure trying to find an approach that would work. When my sister in law explained this diet to me, I recognized the brilliance of it right away. I knew within a couple of weeks that this diet would work. Still, I have continued reading about weight loss and listening to podcasts and reading articles from WebMD and Duke Diet and Fitness. It has become a total waste of time to continue research when the diet is working and now I can confidently wait for the day when I am at my natural weight.

Day 340 – Thursday, August 13, 2009: 199.2. Today, the scale gave me some useful feedback. I am disappointed but not surprised by the increase in weight. When I decided to have only one Sunday per month as a reliable S Day, I ate more and decided that dark chocolate could be an N Day food. Today’s weight ends that approach. I now know the minimum number of S Days that I need: every Sunday plus two floaters during the month. That means it is time to turn my attention to N Day eating. Thinking back to yesterday, I ate a lot. I may have eaten only at mealtime, but I ate a lot. It’s time to cut back. I think I can knowing that I will be able to eat whatever I want in two days.

Day 341 – Friday, August 14, 2009: 198.8. I was tempted to give up this diet today. We have a contest for how much weight I would lose between May 1 and August 31, and I will be down very little by then since my May 1 weight was 200.4. My skeptical 13 year old son guessed I’d lose 2 pounds, and it looks like he’ll win the $40 contest. To make matters worse, he is working on a merit badge where he will report his income. He doesn’t get allowance. He gets birthday money. Now he’ll also get money for winning this contest. Well, I was overly optimistic about how fast I’d lose weight on this diet, and I’ll just have to accept that fact.

9 PM: Sometimes, it is darkest before the dawn. I did very little today as I tried to sort out what to do about my weight. A friend of our 10 year old spent the day with us, and we weren’t doing anything tonight since our 15 year old was coming back from California, so I took the kids to the pool, had lunch there, and spent three hours sitting in a lounge chair reading The Longevity Factor. I brought my own food to the pool because I didn’t want to eat the hot dogs and bagel sandwiches. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a granola bar, and a nectarine. When I was almost done with the nectarine, I realized I wasn’t hungry anymore, and I looked at that nectarine and decided to throw away the rest of it. I had eaten about ¾th of it. What was incredible to me about this is I finish eating when the plate is clean and simply don’t have a sense of being “full”.

I read somewhere in just the last month that Americans were asked when they knew they finished eating and they said it was when the food was gone whereas the French said it was when they were no longer hungry or the food no longer tasted good. I sat there remembering what I had read and realized that right then there was no point in my finishing that nectarine. It was a wonderful feeling. On a past diet, I never would have passed up the chance to consume 15 – 20 calories. I disregarded any sense of hunger or fullness because of a desperate sense of always having to “cut back”. With this diet, I have been very consistent in eating everything that was before me – I wouldn’t have seconds but the plate would always be clean when I had meals. Here I was, recognizing that I didn’t have to eat every last bite because I would be eating again in a few hours at the next meal.

That moment this afternoon, that decision to throw out the rest of a nectarine that no longer appealed to me, gave me confidence to continue this diet and let changes in my eating habits play out over time. I have to swallow my pride that I won’t make my weight goal of 193.5 by September 8 and accept that my skeptical son is probably going to get $40 for predicting I would lose only 2 pounds since May, but that’s OK. Over the long haul, I’ll lose weight and keep it off.

Another important benefit of this diet is that I’m more open to eating nutritious food during the week because I know I can eat whatever junk I want on Sundays. The Longevity Factor convinced me to make consumption of red wine, dark chocolate, and green tea part of my daily eating habits. I am working on those changes – dark chocolate (now something I will allow myself to eat every day) and green tea in the morning and red wine with dinner. I don’t feel deprived because I know that Sunday means “unconditional permission to eat.”

Day 343 – Sunday, August 16, 2009: 198.8. I hate to face up to a mistake in thinking which cost me several months of progress. Last night, I decided to have both Saturday and Sunday be S Days. Limiting S Days turned out to be an idea that backfired. The frequency of S Days means that S Days aren’t all that special, so I don’t have to go all out and eat everything in sight. To have them on the weekend is to match the more relaxed atmosphere of the days when Tom isn’t at work and the kids aren’t in school. I thought that limiting S Days – going down to one per week and then one per month in addition to the two “floaters” per month – would increase the speed of weight loss. I was wrong. Facing up to it last night, I had more to eat after dinner. The N Day rules help to normalize eating and to decrease the amount that is eaten over time, but the S Day relaxation of rules is what allows me to follow the N Day rules with perfection so that it is a mindless habit.

The biggest problem so far with my health is my weight, but obesity is likely to lead to other problems. I so want to put forth more effort to lose weight faster, but I recognize that sometimes time is the only answer. This summer I spent most of my time in three pairs of capris that I had from three summers ago. I didn’t think I deserved new clothes at this weight, and I thought I could lose weight quickly enough to fit into other clothes that I had from previous years. Now I face the reality that this diet is going to take a long time. It may be that I’ll still be able to wear those same capris next summer. It doesn’t matter, however. They are going in the garbage at the end of summer. I have to accept that I will still be quite overweight next summer – my guess is somewhere in the 180s – but I’m going to be wearing new clothes. I need to look my best today and not wait for when I am a normal weight before I buy new clothes or wear mascara or treat myself with respect. Getting into the trap of dieting and bingeing was perhaps the worst mistake of my life. I am glad that our children are witnessing how I’m getting myself out of that trap.
6 PM: Too many changes to this diet. I think I’ll make dark chocolate an S Day food only. It may be great for you, but it also represents a slippery slope into sweets on N Days. What’s amusing about this is that I allow myself sugared pop on N Days, and it’s just not a problem. I don’t much like pop, and sugared pop is a great way to stave off the desire for sweets. As for S Days, I think that allowing myself Saturday and Sunday for S Days gives me the opportunity to enjoy sweets and snacks but still have the ability to resist them during the week. In one of the many podcasts on weight that I’ve heard, an FSU professor compared willpower to exercise – the muscles need to be exercised but also need to rest. Those S Days are for rest, and the N Days are for exercise. I need to give this approach time to work. One year and a few weeks. On my second anniversary of following this diet – September 8, 2010 – I’ll adjust the diet if necessary. What is necessary? I think I’ll count this diet a success if I lose one pound per month. Today I weighed 198.8, so I’ve lost 16.2 pounds in 11 months. The weight is gone for good. I need to focus on that fact and not the slow pace of weight loss.

Day 344– Monday, August 17, 2009: (E). Another Exception Day. I felt like giving up today. Not making my goal of 10% weight loss in one year has really discouraged me. What to do? I think I’m at a fork in the road between moderate eating (N Day eating) and overeating (S Day eating). For almost a year, I’ve managed to do both, but the contrast is very hard on me physically. Now I must choose between the two. What do I want? How do I want to live? Do I want to avoid mirrors for the rest of my life? Do I want to buy closes that are sizes XL or XXL? Do I want my children to learn from me and be fat as well? I have done a lot of research on nutrition, which is why I am starting to have green tea and red wine as a daily habit. Do I want to go down the path of eating well? The choice is obvious, but it appears that I need to push myself in the direction that is best for me and for our family. I stand in the road looking down both paths, and I hesitate. Tomorrow we set off on another camping trip, and I think that being outdoors will help me to appreciate the rewards of good health. I can no longer overeat to excess as I have. It’s not that I have to have a rule which prohibits excessive eating. It’s more that my body doesn’t appreciate the contrast between N Day eating and S Day eating, and I need to choose. Words fail me in trying to describe what I think today about this diet. Sooner or later, N Day eating becomes a habit, and S Day eating become more moderate. My years of dieting prolonged the point of decision when I could accept not being stuffed. Now, suddenly, I am at the point where my body is rebelling against the contrast. It’s like going from being sedentary to training for a marathon to being sedentary to training for a marathon. Sooner or later, you level out at a certain amount of exercise. Same thing with eating. It’s time for me to dive into eating to feel good rather than eating to stuff myself to the maximum.

Day 345 – Tuesday, August 18, 2009: Yesterday, when I stepped on the scale, I got weights ranging from about 193 to 200.4. Either the scale is broken, or it needs a new battery. How ironic. I have almost given up this diet because of not making my goal of 193.5 by September 8, and here I make the goal because the scale is broken. I think maybe what I need to do is give up the scale. If I am constantly comparing current weight to expected weight, I’ll always be debating whether or not to stay on the diet. If I simply accept my weight and commit myself to following the habits required by this diet, I will be much calmer. Having been on this diet for almost a year, I’ve tweaked it to death. I know what works for me. Dark chocolate cannot be eaten on N Days, but sugared pop can be drunk. Exception Days are different from S Days in that they are for both unexpected situations and planned celebrations, so I should accumulate them at a rate of two per month. It is much easier to have two weekend S Days than to have only one, and there doesn’t seem to be much difference in eating on the weekend. It’s time to stop the internal debate and just follow the diet.

Day 353 – Wednesday, August 26, 2009: 200.4 (FAILURE). I ate outside the guidelines when I had no S Days banked. First failure. Tomorrow is the start of a new diet. Tomorrow is Day 1. I can’t help but think there’s some psychological resistance to the idea of losing a lot of weight. I will track my weight loss starting from tomorrow’s weight of Day 1 rather than my Day 1 weight from last year of September 8.

Day 354 – Thursday, August 27, 2009: The scale is broken. I stepped on it this morning, and I weighed between 197.0 and 201.4. I would consider this “a blessing in disguise.” I don’t think I’m going to replace it. Instead, I’m going to start off again today with two Exception Days for this month and try to follow the diet. No sweets includes no sugared pop and no dark chocolate. I went down a slippery slope, and now I’m going to get back to following this diet. School starts next week. I want a different focus from dieting. In fact, I think my focus should be orderliness. There is a lot of orderliness in this diet. I can turn my focus now to orderliness in other areas of my life. It’ no surprise, but my old company decided to hire someone who could work full time and work in the summer, so I’m not going back to that job. I can jobhunt, and I will, but my real job is at home, and I want to focus on good meals and a neat and clean home for all of us. Life is about choices, and I choose to make a healthy lifestyle a top priority.

Day 356 – Saturday, August 29, 2009: I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with my sister in law, and we spent part of the time talking about dieting. I told her that our scale was broken, and I told her that I hoped that giving up the scale would result in my not being so obsessed with my weight. We had just a glorious day together, spending a few hours at the beach watching the kids (my four and her two) playing in the sand and then coming to her house to have dinner and wine while the kids were off playing together. I think that part of the problem with focusing on diet is that you lose perspective with other things in your life – your husband, your children, your job, etc. I told Michelle that my focus now is going to be on creating a sense of order in our home, and I think that following this diet will help with orderliness. My eating is now much less chaotic than it was when I was either dieting or bingeing. It’s wonderful.

Day 359 – Monday, August 31, 2009: 200.8. Today was the first day of school for our two older children, Anne (entering high school) and Tom. The two younger children start school tomorrow. So – what did I do this morning? I went to the YMCA to weigh myself at 5 AM, since I had had a weight loss contest for who could guess the closest to how much I would lose between Friday, May 1 (when I weighed 200.4) and today. Here were the guesses, which I had sealed until this morning:

Anne – 7 pounds
Tom – 2 pounds
Katie – 9 pounds
Elizabeth – 9 pounds

Tom has always been skeptical about the diet, and no wonder – he’s seen me on many, many diets. He’s witnessed my having “Before” pictures taken many times. He’s never seen an “After” picture be taken. His skepticism has paid off because he got $40 for winning the bet. What is most embarrassing is that he is now working on his Personal Management merit badge for Boy Scouts, and he’s supposed to report all income and expenditures. I told him he could just say he won a bet, but he teased me that he would be a little more descriptive than that.

In those months between Friday, May 1 and today, I gained .4 pounds. I tried numerous tweaks to the diet in that time and had my first failure last week. I restarted twice and added two more Exception Days to my bank of Exception Days each time. I allowed myself dark chocolate and sugared pop during the week. I allowed myself more than what fits on one plate. I expanded the limits of the diet, and the result showed up on the scale this morning.

It’s a new school year, and I will be out jobhunting for part time work, but I also am focusing on making our lives less chaotic and more organized. My focus will be on orderliness, and this diet is just one aspect of orderliness. I expect to lose weight by following the diet, but what I appreciate more than that is the orderliness that comes from limiting eating to certain times of day.

All those years that I wasted going from starving to stuffed and back again – all those years of calorie counting – all those years of reading diet book after diet book --- those years are gone.

“The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

This is from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. I accept the weight that will result from following this diet because I have wasted enough time and effort on trying to lose weight, and my family needs me. Our oldest is entering 10th grade this year. She will be out of the house in three years. Back in January of 2004, when Anne was nine years old, I observed her come home from school and rush into the kitchen in a frantic search for food. It was then that I realized that I had passed on to her my obsession with eating, and it was then that I started trying to figure out how to manage food consumption without making it an obsession. Last year, I found this diet and immediately realized that it was a path out of food obsession and a path out of obesity. Why did I not just accept it and follow it starting last year? I think the reason why is that I realized right away that I would justify almost any weekday as an Exception Day, and so I came up with a modification to the diet that was essential for me to be successful. Had I made that one modification and only that modification, I am confident that I would be thinner today.

I did also allow myself to have more than what fits on one plate, and I think that was probably a good idea as well. Last fall, I was having entire bowls of popcorn with dinner as a way to accept no snacking. After that, I found it repulsive to place fruit on a plate next to meat. I suppose I could follow the one plate rule as well, but there would be a lot of negativity for me with the diet because I love fruit.

If I am to follow this diet for the rest of my life, I think I need both the modification of accumulating two Exception Days per month and allowing myself to eat whatever is before me rather than whatever fits on one plate.

I do want to follow a diet for the rest of my life so I don’t have to focus on food for the rest of my life.

Now what? I cannot go back in time. I can do now what I wish I had done last year. I will follow the diet with those modifications and no others.

Do I want the kids to make another bet? Yes. It’s a fun way to have them observe what I am doing with weight loss. Anne and Tom are both overweight. Anne is noticeably overweight, and Tom is only observably overweight when he wears a swimsuit. My husband Tom is overweight, and I am obese. I have a very long-term perspective with this diet. I could care less that I lose weight slowly. What I want to find is a diet that is easy to follow so that my children know it is an option if they have weight problems.

Since my ultimate objective is to make our children aware of a way to manage weight without making it the focus of their lives, I will have another bet. This time, the kids will bet how much weight I will lose between today’s weight of 200.8 and the weight I will be on a Saturday in March. Since we no longer have a working scale at home, I will end this bet on a Saturday in March when I am home and able to go to the YMCA to weigh myself. The winner of the bet will get $50.

It’s silly, yes, and it may put pressure on me to lose weight, but I don’t feel much pressure to lose weight. I feel pressure on me to have this all a routine part of my life before that much loved child, Anne, goes off to college in three years. I never weighed above 135 when I was in high school, and I started college at 117 and ended college at 162. How sad. Looking back, I think how sad it is that a memory of college is how I spent many Sunday nights buying a pound of peanut clusters at a candy shop because I was going to be going on a diet on Monday. I hope Anne will avoid repeating my mistakes because she observed a way to eat that is easy to follow and keeps weight in a normal range.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


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buttercreampillow



Joined: 07 Jan 2009
Posts: 210
Location: Music City

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, I have spent a large portion of the day reading through your journal. It's fascinating, and reveals so much about you--how intelligent you are and how you struggle against not only your own body, but also against years of diets and dieting information. Like you, I have retained snippets of theories that weigh on my mind with each new diet I try. Many years ago I read a book titled Naturally Thin by Jean Antonello. Her theory was that if you gave yourself complete permission to eat whenever you felt like it, and as long as you did not eat "junk foods," your body would eventually realize that there were no more famines and would allow your appetite to shrink until you were at your ideal weight. One of her main points was that in order to convince your body that there were no more famines, you had to eat something IMMEDIATELY whenever you felt the slightest bit hungry. (Of course, all I ever did on that diet was gain weight!) Ever since, I have regarded hunger as an emergency! Being hungry makes me very alarmed, and I can just imagine my body saying, "Oh, look, she's not feeding me! Must be a famine, crank up the appetite!" That book has made me crazy.

Best wishes with your efforts. You have unbelievable strength and persistence. I'll keep checking in.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

buttercreampillow,

Sometimes my kids have more sense than I do because their heads aren't as filled with all the nonsense I've read about dieting! Having concluded that the defining characteristic of obese people is gullibility, I use the journal to sort out what is and is not appropriate to do in order to lose weight. Thanks for letting me know you found it interesting! I hope someday my kids will find it useful if they ever get to the point where they struggle with their weight.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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buttercreampillow



Joined: 07 Jan 2009
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Location: Music City

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think otherwise--I think the defining characteristic of overweight people is desperation, which makes us willing to place our faith in anything that seems like hope. Maybe that makes us gullible, but we're not stupid. We would just try anything to save ourselves.

Have a good day, Kathleen!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever it is, it certainly isn't lack of willpower!
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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buttercreampillow



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're absolutely right there! There's something unnatural about trying not to eat when you're hungry--it's like trying not to breathe! People who diet show unbelievable willpower, but the body's desire to live makes it practically inevitable that they will fail.
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harmony



Joined: 18 Jul 2009
Posts: 268
Location: MN

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As I was walking the dog this morning, I realized that this diet is about as exciting as watching paint dry.


I had a couple of really bad days when I realized this same thing. Once you get the system worked out, all that is left is waiting and waiting. After day 21 I lost the excitement and it took some serious thinking on my part to realize that I needed to search for excitement elsewhere and try to distract myself from the scale and all of my crazy, wild unrealistic hopes and dreams I had when I first started. No-S requires a lot of trust, faith, and patience, doesn't it. Of course, you know this already. I'm just a newbee thinking "outloud". Smile

I have enjoyed reading your journal as well. I am looking forward to more entries. Smile

edited to add this: I just noticed you are from MN too. Hope the mosquitoes have been leaving you alone this summer. Very Happy
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

harmony_55805,

It's been so dry that the mosquitos haven't even bothered us when we've gone camping, but I managed to get a rash from a deer tick bite so I was on antibiotics for two weeks!

I've done my very best to figure out a way to make the weight loss go faster, and I give up. Many people give this diet a try and then go off to other things like Atkins when the weight loss is slow, but I've just tried different tweaks on this diet. I have 30 plus years of diet experience and a lot of time researching what the best and the brightest are thinking regarding diet, and what I've heard in honest discussions is "we don't know what to do about the obesity epidemic."

Sure, the second law of thermodynamics applies to weight. All you have to do is eat less and exercise more. Why can't people follow that advice? Of all the theories I read in books and heard on podcasts and videos, I think the most insightful comment I heard was from the author of the book Mindless Eating who said that you need to set up your personal environment so that you tune out all the eating cues that are present in today's environment -- the Dairy Queen signs, the food commercials, the candy bars in the checkout line. That's what this diet does.

I'm done with tweaking until next summer. The paint that I need to watch dry is the paint that is needed in my son's room, now that we've gotten rid of 8 bags of garbage -- 8! Eight bags of books that he's too old to read and toys that he's outgrown and clothes that he's outgrown. Life goes on, and I need to hop back into life!


Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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harmony



Joined: 18 Jul 2009
Posts: 268
Location: MN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
you need to set up your personal environment so that you tune out all the eating cues that are present in today's environment -- the Dairy Queen signs, the food commercials, the candy bars in the checkout line. That's what this diet does.


I have been completely amazed at how simply keeping these rules has made it possible for me to block out all of this temptation as well. I used to give in all the time to just one more pop or just a candy bar, etc. etc. Now I just walk on by and wait till the next S-day. It really does work!

I know it is hard to realize your progress in weight loss when it's your own and it is this slow. I looked at your numbers and said, Wow she's getting somewhere! I do think the best strategy is to do our best to start living life so the time atleast feels like it's going faster. I guess that's one way of seeing "faster" results. lol.

We have been dry too. I have really been enjoying being outside. I am assuming you caught the deer tick in time. That always scares me how small yet dangerous they are. We had an obnoxious amount of ticks in the spring, but thankfully only the common variety.

Speaking of getting rid of garbage, I have finally freed up enough mental energy to start doing some purging myself. Boy, kids sure do create a lot of clutter simply by getting older!

Good luck with your projects. I am hoping once my house guests leave that I will still be inspired to to work on my house more, too. Very Happy
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

harmony_55805,

We went camping for the weekend starting on a Friday, and I found the deer tick on Sunday night. I was in the doctor's office on Tuesday with the deer tick in a ziploc bag! Some things require speed, and getting antibiotics for a deer tick is one thing that does require speed.

For weight loss, what is required is permanence. I have to tell myself over and over that I'm making progress, but it is still discouraging to look in the mirror. My waist size is bigger than my hip size used to be. Ugh!

I resolve to stick with the diet for another year with two S Days per weekend plus to weekday S Days per month and to just see how things turn out. If I lose a total of one pound per month, that means that I should be at or below 191 by next September. That would put me at about my weight from the end of 2005. I doubt anyone will notice, and that's OK. I'll know.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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harmony



Joined: 18 Jul 2009
Posts: 268
Location: MN

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I doubt anyone will notice, and that's OK. I'll know.


I would think that the people who would notice first would be those that don't see you everyday. With weightloss this gradual, one day we will look through our old pictures and realize, wow I have changed.

Quote:
My waist size is bigger than my hip size used to be. Ugh!


If you are talking about your hips size when you were young and skinny, we have something in common there. Having two kids totally obliterated my once tiny little waist and I don't have much on top to balance it out. Sad

May the next 12-15 lbs. come off in all the right places. Very Happy
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

harmony_55805,

I've been debating about giving up. It's been very disappointing to not lose 10% of my body weight in one year (from 215 to 193.5 by September 8, 2010). We go on vacation tomorrow. I'll have some time to think about this weight loss slowdown and how to reset my expectations so I don't quit.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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TexArk



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 729
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now we don't want you to give up, Kathleen. You are a help to so many of us.
I don't know about you but I have to count "not gaining" a victory because for me it seems to be that I gain much more when I give up.

Losing is what we want and yes, I, like you, have spent way too much of my life thinking about food and analyzing my behavior. I have many journals over the years. I have read, thought, written and talked about food and exercise for years. I am overweight not because of lack of knowledge. What I do know is every time I have given up I have put on even more pounds and quickly, too. And we both have tried intuitive eating which did not work for either of us.

I have given up at times my obsessive thinking and writing about my eating habits. It seems that with NoS that should be the ultimate goal. Just eat a plate at mealtime and forget it! For now, however, the writing and posting is what I do instead of opening the refrigerator door. I think it takes a long, long time to get over all the counting and record keeping that have been such a part of our lives. And I am not so sure for me that the N days will take care of the S days. I do think I need to be able to have special treats on S days, but I really, really need structure and for those of us that have binge eating disorder the S days need some sort of control. For now I am trying to eat my treats outside of the house.

I would miss coming to the board and not seeing the familiar Kathleen posts.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TexArk,

Oh, thanks for your encouragement! My mother in law was just telling me about someone who drank shakes and lost 25 pounds in 10 weeks and feels just great and that reminded me of the book The Obesity Epidemic which included studies of different types of diets and the liquid replacement diets had the biggest rebound effect of them all. I feel like a walking encyclopedia of diet theories. What happened to my life? What happened to enjoying going swimming with my children rather than worrying about how awful I look in a swimsuit? I have to remind myself of what I left behind when I started following this diet, but it is discouraging to not have met what I thought was a very reasonable goal.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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clarinetgal



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1653
Location: Western Washington State

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,

I totally hear what you're saying in your journal entries. I've only had time to skim the last few, but I know how frustrating it can be to want to lose a certain amount of weight and have it take much longer than you thought it would.
I'm not overweight, but I want to lose about 5 more pounds, so that I'm not at the top end of my healthy BMI range. It seems like it would be really easy to drop those last 5 pounds, but these pounds just refuse to budge.
The first time I tried No S a couple of months ago, I got so frustrated by my lack of weight loss that I quit and started counting calories again. I realized just how much I hate counting calories, and how much I especially hate logging my food intake into the computer (Sparkpeople).
I decided last week to come back to No S. I did add a 4th smaller meal, because I got way too hungry between lunch and dinner (I exercise 5 times a week). I realize the weight loss will be slower, but I want to finally be free of counting calories and obsessing about food all of the time. I just want to eat and enjoy my food like a normal person. I still struggle with reading labels and counting calories in my head, but I'm hoping I can break myself of that eventually.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clarinetgal,
You remind me of all the effort I left behind when I gave up conventional dieting. Thank you.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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mimi



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1427
Location: The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've been debating about giving up. It's been very disappointing to not lose 10% of my body weight in one year (from 215 to 193.5 by September 8, 2010). We go on vacation tomorrow. I'll have some time to think about this weight loss slowdown and how to reset my expectations so I don't quit.


Kathleen, please don't quit. You have made such tremendous progress in the right direction, in my opinion, and you have lost weight. You are such a thinker and an analyzer, it's amazing! I so much enjoy reading your thread and thinking about what you say.

At the beginning of this month, I was very disappointed with my very slooooow and meager weight loss (6.8 pounds in May - July). But being the eternal optimist that I am, I sat and thought of all the good things that have transpired since I began NoS and I made a list. (I'm also a list-maker) For the sake of space and rambling, you can read them both on the August challenge and my personal check-in thread. Anyway, when I finished my list I wasn't disappointed anymore.
Since I have such a dysfunctional relationship with the scale, I use the Habitcal to make sure I only weigh at the beginning of each month (first 3 days and take an average to account for fluctuations as Reinhard suggests). This is working for me. At the beginning of this month I also took measurements since I can see that my clothes are fitting more loosely. I may see some progress using this metric as well.
I have also decided to step aside and, for the first time in my life, let my body decide its best weight. I have always made that decision in the past based solely on a number from the scale that I determined to be pleasing. No more.
I do have a great deal of patience, and that is a godsend for living the NoS life since progress is so very slow. I am very thankful for my patience. I keep my goals very simple, with no goals for weight loss:
1) follow the rules of NoS and focus on my habits
2) weigh once a month
3) increase exercise

Hopefully through this experience, in the end I will be a normal person who enjoys her food and eats to live - not lives to eat.

Stay with us!

Mimi Very Happy
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Restarted once again: July 14, 2011
Quitting is not an option...
If you start to slip, tie a knot and hang on!
Remember that good enough is... good enough.
Strive for progress, not perfection!
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buttercreampillow



Joined: 07 Jan 2009
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Location: Music City

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, please hang in there. I know you are frustrated, and I know you spend hours analyzing this diet, your eating, etc. You have stayed the course, albeit with some mental wavering, for a year, and your weight has gone down. You can do this for longer and your weight will continue to go down. After all, what is the alternative? Back to SAD diets and, eventually, more weight gain?

I don't say that to make you think there is no hope, but rather to say that there is hope here. You aren't losing as fast as you would like, or as fast as anyone would like, but the trend is good. And your experience with the nectarine tells you that you are learning and changing in your mind, as well as in your body.

I hope you can pray about this and find the strength to continue. Letting your children bet on your weight loss may be putting too much pressure on you to lose quickly. After all, what you want your children to see is a woman who is confident and serene about food and her body--not a woman who makes dieting the centerpiece of her existence.

I hope I'm not too harsh here. I care about you, and feel that I know you from reading all your posts. You matter on this board, and we all want you to succeed.

hugs,
buttercreampillow
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clarinetgal



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mimi,

You said a couple of things that really spoke to me. 1). I, too, have had a dysfunctional relationship with the scale. I'm sure it stems from when I was anorexic my freshman year of high school (I'm 34 now). I've gotten a little better about compulsively weighing myself, but I'm thinking about doing what you do and only weighing the first three days of the month. This step is a little scary to think about, but I SO want to be free of my scale addiction. 2). I'll keep plugging away at No S, but I like your idea of letting your body determine what it wants to weigh. As I mentioned in my first post, I'm not at a bad weight right now, but I'm towards the top of my healthy BMI range. I'll keep trying to lose a few more pounds, but if I don't, maybe I should accept this higher weight. My husband has already said unequivocally that he likes how I look right now, so maybe I shouldn't worry about it. Something to think about...
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gratefuldeb67



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, don't give up. Maybe tweak your choices a tiny bit to add in more veggies and whole foods, and also see if adding some more exercise would help. I'm guessing it would.
My first year of NoS, I failed about twice a week, and had pretty wacky S days, and still managed to lose 17 lbs in a year. Then I lost about 12 in the next.. I wish I had stuck it out between 2007-2009, but I slacked off and went away from the boards after my Dad passed on, and sadly I gained back what I lost *AND* a few extra pounds on top of that.
If I had stuck with it, I would have at *least* maintained my, yes, slow and yes, sometimes frustratingly low weight loss, but I'd still be ahead of where I am now.
I made headway, but it was slow.
Now in a similar way, I'm losing slowly, and I expect this year to be similar to my first year of NoS, but I am doing a bit more exercise, so I think I'll do better in the weight loss dept by next Spring, when my official restart began after a long ambiguous "hiatus" from here.
Not to be rude, I hope, but lets be honest. If we are over 40 years old, I am pretty sure the metabolism slows down a *LOT*.. I think it's crucial to do extra exercise to have the effect on our bodies we would like to see.
Back in the good ol "20's" things were easier in terms of quicker results.. It's just not as easy to lose fast once we get older. I'm certain of it.
Perhaps you have to just accept this and you won't be so frustrated with the slowness of it all.
Stick with it!!
Cool Debs
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Vigilant2010



Joined: 23 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen,

Please don't quit! You are certainly not the only one frustrated by the excruciatingly slow rate of weight loss on no S. I like what TexArk said about taking weight maintenance (i.e. simply not gaining) to be a success in itself. Given that most of us have lost and then regained and ended up even heavier than before at some point in life, simply not gaining IS important and to be valued.

The slow weight loss seems to bother so many of us. I propose a reframing of success altogether:

Tier 1 success is not gaining.
Tier 2 success is actually losing...in a sustainable, sane (and likely slow) manner.
[insert your own idea of Tier 3 success here. I guess for most it would be maintenance of one's desired weight or weight range for the rest of one's life.]

As with most things in life, we have to get the hang of the basics before we move onto the next level of performance. It sounds like you have certainly got Tier 1 down pat (meaning you are way ahead of most American dieters!) and are now in Tier 2 territory. It's just that it doesn't look exactly as you had hoped it would.

Wishing you all the best.
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mimi



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If we are over 40 years old, I am pretty sure the metabolism slows down a *LOT*.. I think it's crucial to do extra exercise to have the effect on our bodies we would like to see.
Back in the good ol "20's" things were easier in terms of quicker results.. It's just not as easy to lose fast once we get older. I'm certain of it.



Wait'll you see the fifties Debs! Laughing
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TexArk



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Have to say it

Wait until the 60s!!! The metabolism may be slow, and all muscles sag, but the heat waves are gone!
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buttercreampillow



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you, Kathleen?
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just got home from camping in Ely, Minnesota. It rained for a few days and then was just beautiful. I wasn't sure that I would continue the journal, but I am gratified by the responses here. It's nice to have support when you flounder and aren't sure what you're going to do. I think I will change my focus from weight loss to healthier eating and exercise. Tomorrow, I will sign up our family for a membership in the YMCA. I will need to track Exception Days (since I accumulate Exception Days at two per month), but other than that I can follow this diet without much effort. I was very disappointed that it looks like I won't meet my goal of losing 10% of my body weight by my one year anniversary on this diet, but I decided that maybe I'm putting too much focus on the scale. Thanks for everyone's support!

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
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I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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buttercreampillow



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad you're back! Hope your decreased focus on the scale can help your determination to hang in there.

buttercreampillow
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buttercreampillow,

Today was a transition day. I did stop at a battery store and pick up a new battery for the scale, and it looks like it is now working. I also went to the grocery store and bought ingredients for two recipes from a book that I bought while on vacation (Jenny Jones Look Good Feel Great Cookbook). While we were in the van, I had the kids rate the recipes. The one for tonight has all four kids' names on it, one star from Elizabeth, and four stars from Katie. I do like to involve the kids in my efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, since I want them to grow up to be healthy and active adults.

The active part -- well, I signed our family up for a membership at the YMCA today. Tom wants us to go as a family several times per week. That would be good.

So -- the whole No S Diet program is going to fade into the background. I will follow it, but I think that following it is just the first step for me in becoming a person who cares for her health. I'm done tweaking the diet. I went back to both Saturday and Sunday as S Days because I saw that I could become less strict about following the No S Diet rules if I just have one reliable S Day per week. I also think it wouldn't make much difference as far as losing weight.

What I see with this diet is that following N Day rules is a very mild pressure on me to eat less. It is a sustainable way to lose weight, but it takes lots and lots of time. A watched pot never boils, so I'm focusing on exercise and better cooking!

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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buttercreampillow



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck to you, Kathleen. Smile I hope to see you around and hope you enjoy your time in the kitchen.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

buttercreampillow,

Thanks. I've hit a wall, and now what do I do? I won't quit. Heck, with this diet, I've succeeded by not continuing my 10 pound per year weight gain.

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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howfunisthat



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen...

And another thing you've accomplished this year is a great one to add to the list. Someone here wrote that what we're doing is learning maintenance first...and I truly believe this is true. When, in all the diets we've all been on, would it have been possible to take some pounds off an NOT gain them back! I've done this a year too and would love to be further down on the numbers, but what I'm telling myself on a regular basis is that I learned maintenance this last year & I'm going to continue to lose weight this year....and I already have the skills to keep it off.

Maybe reading back over your first posts would be helpful...you've come a long way this year & for you to remind yourself of that would probably be really encouraging. You've done better than you give yourself credit for.

Hang in there!
janie
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sporkfancier



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen:

You've accomplished quite a lot in terms of habit formation. I agree with the others here: quitting isn't a positive step. Like you said, you accomplished something great by not gaining 10 lbs this year. If you add that to the 10 or so you lost, that's 20lbs! Smile

Can I ask you if you try one thing? Stop drinking sugary soda (what we Canadians call "pop"). Otherwise, just keep doing what you've been doing. I guarantee the results will be dramatic. You may think this is easy for me to say, since I'm not addicted. Well, I was years ago, and I can't even drink the stuff now. Cut that out, and you cut out the most subtle, secret, and pernicious calories in the American diet. Good luck!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sporkfancier,

We Minnesotans also say "pop". I don't much like it and never considered that I drank much; however, I did have several cans of pop in the last several days while we were on vacation. I have pop when at fast food restaurants. Hmmm...

It's amazing the human capacity for self-deception. I'll try not having any sugared pop and see if that has any effect. Thanks!

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

September, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one day of each month of this diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
(Month 2) Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
(Month 3) Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
(Month 4) Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
(Month 5) Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
(Month 6) Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
(Month 7) Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
(Month 8 ) Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6
(Month 9) Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8
(Month 10) Day 267 – Monday, June 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 11) Day 302 – Monday, July 6, 2009: 200.4
(Month 12) Day 330 – Monday, August 3, 2009: 199.6

For the month of Septenber, 2009, the starting number of Exceptions = 2:
Day 339 – Tuesday, September 1, 2009: (E)
Day 360 – Wednesday, September 2, 2009:
Day 361 – Thursday, September 3, 2009:
Day 362 – Friday, September 4, 2009: 197.8
Day 363 – Saturday, September 5, 2009:
Day 364 – Sunday, September 6, 2009:
Day 365 – Monday, September 7, 2009:
Day 366 – Tuesday, September 8, 2009:
Day 367 – Wednesday, September 9, 2009:
Day 368 – Thursday, September 10, 2009: (E)
Day 369 – Friday, September 11, 2009:
Day 370 – Saturday, September 12, 2009:
Day 371 – Sunday, September 13, 2009:
Day 372– Monday, September 14, 2009:
Day 373 – Tuesday, September 15, 2009:
Day 374 – Wednesday, September 16, 2009:
Day 375 – Thursday, September 17, 2009: (E) I ate one chocolate-covered almond which was brought to a mother’s coffee.
Day 376 – Friday, September 18, 2009:
Day 377 – Saturday, September 19, 2009: 198.8
Day 378 – Sunday, September 20, 2009:
Day 379 – Monday, September 21, 2009: (FAILURE)
Day 380 – Tuesday, September 22, 2009:
Day 381 – Wednesday, September 23, 2009:
Day 382 – Thursday, September 24, 2009:
Day 383 – Friday, September 25, 2009:
Day 384 – Saturday, September 26, 2009: 201.0
Day 385 – Sunday, September 27, 2009:
Day 386 – Monday, September 28, 2009:
Day 387 – Tuesday, September 29, 2009:
Day 388 – Wednesday, September 30, 2009: FAILURE


Day 339 – Tuesday, September 1, 2009: (E) Today was the first day of school for our two younger kids, so now all four are in school. It is also Tom’s 50th birthday. We’ll have a quiet night with his favorite meal (hamburgers) and cake (carrot cake). It’s also a day of new beginnings for me. I feel wonderful about turning a new page on this diet. I am not going to concern myself with the weight on the scale. Instead, I am going to focus on the benefit of having orderliness in eating. No more constant debates about when and what to eat. Instead, three meals per day during the week. The author of Mindless Eating said that a typical person makes about 200 food-related decisions per day. The number I will make going forward is very small, and those decisions will be limited to three periods of time (mealtimes) during the week. This morning, I spent three hours chatting with other Moms at a Starbucks near our house. It is an Exception Day because I’ll have Tom’s birthday cake, but I have not the least inclination to eat right now. I like the structure of the diet. Finally, finally, now that I have given up the goal of reaching specific weights at specific times, finally I can be free of food obsession. Finally. It’s been almost a year since I started this diet, and finally I have realized the true benefit of it. It allows me to live my life!

Day 361 – Thursday, September 3, 2009: The kids are all off to school today. I will have coffee with a friend this morning. Next week, I have a meeting with a recruiter and with a hiring manager. The meeting with the recruiter is just a “get to know you” meeting, and the meeting with the hiring manager is an informational interview. That’s OK. My husband isn’t keen on my getting a job right away, especially since our 13 year old son admitted to not handing in all his homework for Geometry and getting an “F” on the first assignment. I need to focus on our children, especially our son.

As for my weight loss obsession, I feel as though there is a hole in my life. I get up in the morning, make tea, and take a bath. I used to get up and the most important thing to do was to weigh myself and record the weight. No more. As for losing weight, I do really want to lose weight. If, however, I had to choose between being obsessed with weight at a weight of 130 and having a focus on our family at a weight of 200, I’d choose the latter. What scared me into being obsessed with weight and studying different weight loss approaches and theories was seeing my 15 year old daughter, then a 9 year old, exhibit traits of those who are starved. I remember once in particular seeing her come home from school and race into the kitchen to eat. That was in January of 2004. What I would wish for her, as I wish it for myself, is to have the focus be on loving and caring for those around you. Following this diet is the way to accomplish that goal. And so I am off, to walk the dog and then to go to coffee with my dearest friend and the godmother of our 15 year old daughter. It is a glorious morning on the other side of food and weight loss obsession.

Day 362 – Friday, September 4, 2009: 197.8. Managing my weight is now a once-a-month activity. I have a whole list of things that I do each month. Because the scale is at the YMCA and not to in my bathroom, it’s a pain to get my weight. I could go this morning because my husband is working from home, and the two younger children don’t have school. In all other months on this diet, I have tracked my Monday weight from month to month. The difficulty of getting a Monday weight now that school has started is that I’m needed at home until the two younger children go off to school at 7:40 AM. It’s easier for me just to weigh myself when it’s convenient, which normally would be on a Saturday morning. I don’t expect to be updating this journal more than once per month, either. I can follow the diet without all the self-analysis I’ve been doing. After all, I’m done with trying to reach a specific weight in a specific time, and I’m done with tweaking the diet. Whatever weight results from this diet is good enough for me. I want to live my life! I’ll be making blueberry muffins with our 10 year old this morning. Life is too short to spend a lot of it worrying about weight.

Day 366 – Tuesday, September 8, 2009: Today is the one year anniversary of my being on this diet. I was walking the dog, and a friend saw me and said, “You look skinny!” I had told her I was following a diet. I do feel different. It’s not just that I can fit into clothes which have been in my closet for three years. It’s also that I just feel less bulky. Still, hiking along the North Shore of Lake Superior was quite a challenge for me. I hate being so fat, and it’s hard to be patient enough to wait for the weight to come off. For most of this past year, I have wanted the weight on the scale for today to be at or below 193.5. Today, I did not weigh myself since the scale broke and I didn’t go to the gym. Somehow, it’s better that I didn’t weigh myself than that I reached a goal weight. I’m free to eat the amount that makes me feel good. That’s really what I do on N Days. On S Days, I eat past the feel-good amount and learn, over and over and over again, that it’s better to eat less and feel good than it is to eat more and feel somewhat sick to my stomach. Somewhere, I’ve read a term called “the contrast effect” which means that people feel less satisfied if they can compare their current situation with a different and more attractive situation. It’s why some people never get over the glory days of their high school or college years. I think that the contrast effect is part of the key of this diet, since N Days are days when I feel better than are S Days. I have learned to enjoy eating less.


Day 367 – Wednesday, September 9, 2009: When I started this diet last year, I immediately recognized that it could work, but I’ve asked myself why. I’ve come up with different reasons. Now I think I understand why it works, and it has to do with the idea of “contrast effect.” Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

A contrast effect is the enhancement or diminishment, relative to normal, of perception, cognition and related performance as a result of immediately previous or simultaneous exposure to a stimulus of lesser or greater value in the same dimension. (Here, normal perception or performance is that which would be obtained in the absence of the comparison stimulus - i.e., one based on all previous experience.)

Contrast effects are ubiquitous throughout human and non-human animal perception, cognition, and resultant performance. A hefted weight is perceived as heavier than normal when "contrasted" with a lighter weight. It is perceived as lighter than normal when contrasted with a heavier weight. An animal works harder than normal for a given amount of reward when that amount is contrasted with a lesser amount and works less energetically for that given amount when it is contrasted with a greater amount. A person appears more appealing than normal when contrasted with a person of less appeal and less appealing than normal when contrasted with one of greater appeal.


How does this idea of “contrast effect” impact my understanding of the effectiveness of this diet?

With normal dieting, there is a “contrast effect” between dieting (I’m hungry all the time, I cannot sleep, I’m grumpy) and not dieting. Instead of reverting to normal eating when I stop dieting, I overeat or binge to make up for the lack of food during my diet. Going off the diet is actually a relief because now I can eat to satisfaction.

With this diet, there is a “contrast effect’ between N Days and S Days. On N Days, I can eat what I want other than sweets but only three times per day and only if it fits on a plate or (with my modification) what is before me before I take one bite. I have learned to enjoy N Days. In fact, N Days feel normal. On S Days, I have “unconditional permission to eat”. I spent months really bingeing on S Days, only to find the experience from unpleasant to miserable. I had lots of stomach aches. There is a contrast now between feeling good on N Days and feeling sick on S Days, so now I am eating less on S Days.

I had an interview yesterday, I had two meetings with recruiters this morning, and next week I have a second interview. I’m confident I’ll get another job. Once that happens, I’ll be back to being busy. What’s nice is that I think this diet will now take no more than about two hours per month. It will take about an hour a month to go to the gym to weigh myself, and it will take about an hour a month to update my journal, which is necessary because I need to track my number of available Exception Days.

Sure, my weight loss is slow, but I really, really like not having to concern myself much with my weight or food. It’s worth it to wait, since the amount of effort required of this diet is now so minimal that the monthly amount of effort is equivalent to taking the van in to the dealer for an oil change. In fact, the amount of effort required is so minimal that I’m having a hard time believing that this is all that is necessary for me to lose weight and sustain it. We’ll see. We’ll see how much more weight I’ll lose with this approach.

Day 368 – Thursday, September 10, 2009: (E). I’m overthinking this diet. I just have to follow it.

Day 371 – Sunday, September 13, 2009: We visited my brother in law and his family at their cabin. It was a wonderful weekend, except for our son stepping on a rotten log with a wasp’s nest. Well, on the bright side, we now know that none of the six children (our four and their two) is allergic to bee stings!

I talked some with my sister in law about this diet. She was the one who told me about the diet last year. She told me about a friend who had been on Weight Watchers four times and each time had lost weight and gained more than she lost. She said her friend has decided to just accept her current weight. I ask myself if I am settling for my current weight. I know that I now eat less on the weekends. Last year at about this time, we went to my brother in law’s cabin for a weekend and I ate so much I got sick. This time, I ate a lot but not as much as I did last year! I know that my eating is changing slowly, but it is very discouraging to wait. On the positive side, I can look ahead and see that this diet will eventually become as ingrained a habit as washing my hair every morning. .

Tom once told me that the greatest challenge of my life would be to lose weight and maintain it. I said nothing but thought to myself that that was not at all the case. Now, as I think about my life, I realize it has been a struggle since I was a teen, a day in and day out fight with my body with my winning in some years and losing in others. It may be that this is the greatest challenge. It’s really nice to be on the winning side with my body on the winning side as well. I can enjoy what I want and still lose weight. In the back of my mind, however, I question if I’ll lose more weight. Time will tell. I think I’ll give it until at least New Years and see where I am then.

Day 372– Monday, September 14, 2009: Once again, I don’t feel so great on a Monday morning because of how much I ate over the weekend. This morning for breakfast, I had a cup of frozen blueberries, a piece of plain toast, and a glass of milk. It was very satisfying, and now I feel better. I believe that this diet is moving me towards eating foods that are better for me because my body is appreciating the difference between how I feel after gorging myself on sweets and how I feel after having fruit and plain toast. For years, I felt deprived eating fruit and plain toast for breakfast. Today, it was my choice to have exactly what I had. I have a second interview for a job in one hour. I want to feel my best, which means having something light and healthy. Thank God it’s a Monday!

Day 373 – Tuesday, September 15, 2009: The person who interviewed me said that there isn’t budget for me this fiscal year, so I doubt I’ll be employed this fall. I told Tom I wouldn’t jobhunt after my interviews last week so that I could focus on the family and the house. It’s really scary to hear about so many people being unemployed.

I decided to focus on just being very moderate in my N Day eating, starting with Monday morning breakfast this week and adding one meal per week. I will leave S Day eating to being “unconditional permission to eat.”

Day 375 – Thursday, September 17, 2009: (E) Last night, I wolfed down my meal so fast that my youngest child hadn’t yet had one bite and the rest of the family laughed about it. My son said he was going to time how fast I ate. I knew exactly why I had eaten so much. I ate lunch early and, as a result, wasn’t all that hungry and hadn’t eaten that much. By dinner, I was hungrier than usual. I think that fast eating may be a symptom of excessive hunger. For years, I tried following habits like chewing each bite ten times. I thought that slowing my eating would result in my eating less. Last night’s experience drove home for me that I had mixed up cause and effect. The cause of fast eating is, at least for me, excessive hunger; fast eating is not the cause of overeating.

Day 377 – Saturday, September 19, 2009: 198.8. I went to the Y this morning to weigh myself, since we no longer have a scale at home. My weight is up one pound from two weeks ago. I felt disappointed, but I’m happy I gave up that scale. My obsession with food is gone, and I can now enjoy life. I decided to make two changes going forward. The first change is that I will work on having very small meals on N Days. I will add one meal per week. I started last week with a small breakfast, and this coming week I will add Monday lunch. The second change is that I will not count Exception Days. Instead, I will record them. There has to be a reason for an Exception Day. What I have observed over the last year is that the main reason for Exception Days is to avoid socially awkward situations. For example, last week at a coffee, I asked another mother about healthy treats for the kids. This week, she was thoughtful enough to bring dark chocolate covered almonds for us to try. I appreciated her thoughtfulness and had one. A third change in my life is that I will start an exercise program. While I know that many people think exercise is a key component of weight loss, I never exercise in order to lose weight. I exercise in order to feel good. Still, it will probably help me in losing weight.

I’ve lost 15 pounds and my obsession with food. Not bad.

3 PM: I think I’ve come to the end of losing weight with this diet, so I need to accept a weight of 200 pounds or make additional modifications. It’s not that this diet is ineffective. It’s that I have a history of so many years of starvation diets that I simply cannot get past the need to overeat. I think I’m going to plunge into having small meals during the week while continuing to allow “unconditional permission to eat” on the weekends. Exception Days are now Exception Events and are only for me to avoid socially awkward situations or other unusual circumstances, such as needing breath mints. It’s boring not to have a job. I really loved working, but my real job is mother, and so I have one part time job now, the job of wife of an employed husband and mother of children in school. Lots of people would enjoy the luxury of being bored. I can either gripe about too much time on my hands or plunge into spending time becoming healthier and making my home neater and cleaner. I choose to enjoy the time at home.

Day 378 – Sunday, September 20, 2009: I’m giving up snacks on S Days. That still allows me “unconditional permission to eat” three times per day. I guess 200 pounds is not an acceptable weight for me.

7:30 PM: It is dusk, it is a beautiful September evening, Tom asked me about taking the dog for a walk, and I declined because I have a tummy ache. It backfired to place limitations on food consumption on S Days. It triggered the voracious overeating that has been characteristic of my eating in recent years after I decided it was time to go on a diet. I need to continue “unconditional permission to eat” on S Days and instead focus on limiting food intake on N Days. Tomorrow, I’ll plunge into eating like a thin person on N Days.

Day 379 – Monday, September 21, 2009: Trying to moderate S Day overeating really backfired. Now what? Am I willing to settle for a 200 pound weight? No. So now what? How do I change this diet? I decided to go to three S Days per month (first Sunday of the month plus two more at my choosing) as well as having Exception Events, things that come up. In addition, I will try to moderate N Day eating, adding one meal per week as a focus for moderation. This morning, I had toast with almond butter, a nectarine, green tea, and coffee. I think that green tea, toast with almond butter or peanut butter, and fruit can become my standard breakfast. Lunch will be moderate today as well. The rest of the week will be my standard of as much food as I feel like eating. It really shouldn’t be surprising that I’m stuck at 200 pounds since N Days are as much food as I want at mealtime and S Days are so much food that I usually don’t feel all that great. I used to be appalled when I saw super morbidly obese people. Now I empathize. When the dieting approaches collapsed for me, I became perpetually starved and perpetually frantic to eat whatever I could cram into my mouth. This diet, at least, limited the frantic overeating to the weekend. Now I need to move on from there and start to establish eating habits that will result in my actually reaching a normal weight.

5 PM: Failure. I’m accepting 200 pounds. Maybe I’ll lose more weight, and maybe I won’t, but at least my focus won’t be on food and feeling like I’m starving.

9 PM: I think I’m not going to weigh myself again until March, which is the ending of the next weight guessing contest. I can focus on exercise instead of weight.

Day 380 – Tuesday, September 22, 2009: I am so stuffed in jeans that I need to change out of them. They fit fine last week. It’s discouraging to have such a reversal. Yesterday was reminiscent of years and years of my life. I decided to have small meals at breakfast and lunch. By 5 PM, I felt that panicky sense of hunger that preceded the end of hundreds of diets. I had some frozen orange juice pops, arguing to myself that they would be orange juice but just were frozen. Then, in a matter of fifteen minutes, I had four Trio bars. I just checked, and each bar is 230 calories each. That means that I had 920 calories in 15 minutes. Then I had dinner with the family. I wanted to watch the news, but in truth I just needed to get away from everyone. I made an entire batch of popcorn. After that, as promised, I took two of our children to the Y. Now what? I just had a breakfast of toast with almond butter and a nectarine. I had coffee and am now drinking green tea. Yesterday, I listened again to Brian Wansink’s podcast interview by Kelly Brownell on his book Mindless Eating. His recommendation, in a nutshell, is to create routines. I think I’ll start with a routine breakfast. This breakfast that I had this morning suits me well. I’ll also start to exercise. How often will I weigh myself? I think perhaps I can weigh myself weekly.

Obesity creates significant psychological problems. It is not the effect but rather the cause. I hate being fat. Hate. Hate. Hate. I need patience to work this out so that my focus is on those around me and not on my eating habits. My son, who is going into school late this morning, just came in and said the dog needs some attention. She’s also anticipating a walk.

Day 381 – Wednesday, September 23, 2009: I’m feeling much better this morning. I went through a normal N Day except that I justified to myself that having orange juice pops was fine because it was a liquid that had been frozen. I felt such relief to be back in this diet’s routine. Monday’s experience could almost be called traumatic because it reminded me of lost years of my life spent trying to lose weight. As much as I hate being fat, I’d rather be fat than return to the constant struggle of dieting and failing. Now what? This morning, I had what I’d like to be my standard of toast with almond butter, a piece of fruit, and green tea. It feels good. If I can follow a diet that makes me feel good in the present, I think I’m following a diet which I can follow for the rest of my life.

1:40 PM: I leave in 50 minutes to pick up the kids. I am climbing the walls not having a job, but there is a lot to do at home and “the lot’s to do” is all organization and cleaning. I finally got new mixing bowls. My 10th grader lost one when she used it in a science project in 8th grade, and my 8th grader just broke one. While I was shopping, I was considering how hungry I was getting. I did not get home until after 1 and wolfed down lunch. That reminded me of what happened last night at dinner. We had experimented with having red wine with dinner, but we ran out of wine and then decided to order some through a program with an affiliate of The Wall Street Journal My husband had not enjoyed one bottle of wine, and I noticed that there was still a little bit left so I drank it. Maybe I’m looking for a “magic bullet” for weight loss, but I was impressed by how much that little bit of terrible red wine seemed to have acted as an appetite suppressant. I no longer felt hungry. Is it possible that drinking wine with a meal or shortly after a meal has the effect of putting the finishing touches on a meal so that a person no longer feels hungry? I don’t know. I’m just speculating from that one experience. It will be interesting to see if there is an effect once we get into the habit of having a glass of red wine at dinner.

7 PM: Popcorn and a cereal bar after dinner. Another failure? No. I think it’s more the end of this diet. Or, rather, a modification to make it unrecognizable. I think I’m going to go ahead with working on having routines in eating. I’ll start with breakfast. I’m also staying away from the scale. This is risky behavior. It may be I’m headed back up in weight, or it may mean that I’m headed to naturally thin, but I’m not staying where I am with counting Exception Days.

Day 382 – Thursday, September 24, 2009: I did not sit down to eat lunch but rather munched as I cleaned the kitchen. Now I don’t feel so great. There is some benefit to not snacking! I decided to go cold turkey on giving up coffee so I can have my morning meal include green tea but not include coffee. I may also add dark chocolate. It seems to me that routine is the key to success in restricting food and not feeling hungry all the time. I’ll start with breakfast.

Day 383 – Friday, September 25, 2009: This morning, I told Tom that I was giving up the No S Diet. He said it was mistake because it’s the only thing that got me over my food obsession. Surprise. Surprise. He called this The “It’s Not Going to Work” Diet, and here he was telling me I would just regain the weight I lost and go back to being obsessed with food. Anne piped in to say I should add exercise, and Tom agreed with that. I decided to give up coffee as a first move, and this morning I’m having what I would like to be a standard of fruit, toast with almond butter or peanut butter, and green tea. I have to think about what Tom said. Food obsession certainly was unpleasant, and this diet did have the effect of enabling me not to think about food between meals.

1:16 PM: All I have to do at home is clean, and I’ve managed to avoid that all day. I did go walk for ½ mile and set up my walking program for the track which is 18 laps to a mile vs. 10 laps to a mile at the gym where I no longer am a member. I had lunch. I ate well and enjoyed it. Because I’m off No S, and because I don’t want to clean, I’ve been back to the trough several times. Time to stop. At minimum, I think I should continue the idea of not having anything after taking one bite. Maybe I can have one snack in the afternoon. Maybe I can have one dark chocolate in the morning. At minimum, I want to stay away from food obsession and eating as a way to procrastinate.

Day 384 – Saturday, September 26, 2009: 201.0 Not too much damage given that I didn’t follow the diet too much this week. I think I’ll focus on exercise and follow these rules for dieting: on N Days, no sweets except for one dark chocolate square in the morning; no snacks, and no seconds. I’ll track two Exception Days per month and allow both Saturdays and Sundays to be without rules. Then I’ll see where I am next July, when I’m back at Many Point Boy Scout Camp for a relaxing week.

6 PM: I’m all over the place with this diet. If I just return to what I’ve been doing, I’ll stay at the same weight. I need to eat differently. I do think there is a need for a reliable S Day, so I think I’ll make the first Sunday of each month the reliable S Day. In addition, I can have two Exception Days. That means 3 out of 30 days are S Days, or about 10% of all days. In comparison, having 2 S Days per week plus 2 Exception Days per month means about 10 out of 30 days are S Days, or about 33% of all days. Will this mean a difference in how much I lose? I don’t know. I went down to one S Day per week but then slid on actually following the rules. We’ll see. I’ll try three non-rule days per month. I do think I’ll have one piece of dark chocolate every morning and not count it as a sweet, but all other rules will apply. I won’t count sugared pop as an acceptable N Day snack, either. I will exercise, too. The schedule is all written up. This is my plan as of 6 PM. Let’s see how long it lasts.

10:30 PM: I changed the diet again. Three Exception Days per month. No S Days.

Day 385 - Sunday, September 27, 2009: My perhaps overly-optimistic interpretation of the last few months is that I may have lost the need for S Days but continued the habit of having them. Do I really need to be planning over the top eating? No. Today is a Sunday, and so far – at 9 AM – I’ve had green tea. Those months of eating way too much and getting stomach aches have had the effect of making me disgusted at the though of that type of eating. Back when I was on starvation diets, that type of binge eating was a relief. Now it’s just gross. What I need for flexibility is the flexibility to eat socially in a way that is not awkward. I think I’ll plan on three Exception Events per month. This Friday will be one of those events, an evening social to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the parish school. Do I need to start off the day overeating when the evening social doesn’t start until 6? No. It is possible I should just dispense with the whole tracking of Exception Events and just record them. I tried that before and it failed spectacularly but that was because I was not careful to draw the line at truly appropriate times to not follow the guidelines of this diet and times when it was not appropriate. If I want to lose weight, I need to eat less. I cannot be justifying all sorts of reasons to eat without any sort of routine. Today is a new start. As of yesterday, I was down 14 pounds, but – more importantly – my obsession with food has much diminished. By my estimate, it’s down more than 90%. I just don’t think about food much during the day. When I’m thinking about it, I’m usually writing down my thoughts in this journal.

2 PM: I just finished guiding my 8 year old in making fudge walnut brownies. I had bought the ingredients on Friday before my decision to stop having weekend S Days as a routine. Now what? Do I eat them? Do I save one for one of my three Exception Events? No. I think I’m going to have the three guides of no snacks, sweets, or seconds as a habit but allow myself to break that habit if I record it. That’s it

3:15 PM: Ugh! I’m stuffed with fudge brownies!

4:30 PM: Fat Sunday (S Day on first Sunday of month) plus Exception Events. This is the plan from now until Many Point next year when I can reevaluate.

9 PM: I have to face that this diet, as I have followed it, did not result in an acceptable weight. Can I commit to something else? Yes. I think I need to track Exception Days and limit them to two per month. Otherwise, I’ll just justify any occasion. In addition, I can have one reliable S Day, the first Sunday of the month. I can try this until our annual week at Many Point Boy Scout Camp in July of next year. I don’t want to obsess about weight loss. I’ll follow this plan and see how it goes. I should be able to lose additional weight following this plan since I will have reduced the number of non-rule days from about 10 to about 3 per month.

Day 387 (Day 2 of Phase 2) – Tuesday, September 29, 2009: This is the end of Day 2 of following my revised approach, and oh I feel so much better. I have much hope that I will lose more weight. I think my problem was that I wasn’t confident that I would continue to lose weight, and I was unhappy with a 200 pound weight. I am starting to find foods that are good for you and appealing to my family. Almonds covered with dark chocolate were a hit.

Day 388 (Day 3 of Phase 2) – Wednesday, September 30, 2009: I told Tom, “If I drink coffee again, shoot me.” I had one diet Coke yesterday as the final way to taper off on all that caffeine, and now I am just having one green tea in the morning. I am trying to identify foods that are good for you and have them. I have always enjoyed a hot drink in the morning, and green tea is a good substitute for coffee. This morning, my son is sick in bed. A friend of his had swine flu, so I’ll be calling the doctor. I also had an interview with a recruiter yesterday, and the result was I decided it would be best for the family if I didn’t work this year but instead studied and got a certification so I could return to business analysis work. If I study two hours per day, that is plenty. That will leave me about five hours per day for other things, and I plan to concentrate on home life – a cleaner home, more nutritious meals, exercise as a way of life for our family…It really does feel like Phase 2 to this diet. Phase 1 was just getting over food obsession, and it took an entire year of having stomach aches as a result of over the top eating (on S Days) for me to complete Phase 1. I’m happy. I think our life is going in the right direction. Back in June, when I quit my job, I was getting more and more concerned about our family life. I described it as pressing Ctlr-Alt-Del: I had to restart how our family life was managed, and the only way I could focus on our family was by not focusing on work. We’ll be poor this year, but that’s OK. We can economize by not eating out and having more foods that are plant-based and not so processed. Today, I’ll be baking a turkey so our kids can have real turkey sandwiches for lunch instead of sandwiches with processed meat.

7 PM: FAILURE after dinner – yogurt, apple, and chocolate covered almonds. Why? I think I’ve got lots of balls in the air, and I’m not getting anything done. It’s time to prioritize, and health needs to be right at the top. The revised approach will allow me to lose weight, and I just need to recommit to it. Tomorrow is the beginning of October, and I can award myself two more Exception Days and restart.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:28 am; edited 58 times in total
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TexArk



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 729
Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Kathleen. The beauty of NoS is letting go of all those decisions and value judgments and thoughts about food and exercise. If it is mealtime I eat one plate of what I want except for any sweets and that is all there is to it. If it is an S day, I eat one plate at mealtime and then have dessert. So simple. (except I can only manage one serving in the house at a time or else go out for dessert).
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TexArk,
The "S" stands for SIMPLE! We call this diet "The S Day Diet"! Simple. The focus is on what you can have, not what you cannot have. And now I can have a life!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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BrightAngel



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 2083
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,
I very much enjoy reading your journal,
and am finding your No S journey a helpful inspiration for my Maintenance.

_________________
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,
Thank you! I feel like the diet part is over for me, and now I'm on maintenance, too! Reaching maintenance isn't a matter of reaching an acceptable, long term weight. It's more a matter of settling into a long term habit. I'm off to a job interview in an hour, and I am excited!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

October, 2009

The following is a list of one weight from one day of each month of the diet:
(Month 1) Day 1 – Monday, September 8, 2008: 215.0
(Month 2) Day 36 – Monday, October 13, 2008: 210.2
(Month 3) Day 57 – Monday, November 3, 2008: 209.4
(Month 4) Day 99 – Monday, December 15, 2008: 208.8
(Month 5) Day 120 – Monday, January 5, 2008: 209.2
(Month 6) Day 148 – Monday, February 8, 2008: 205.0
(Month 7) Day 176 – Monday, March 2, 2009: 203.4
(Month 8 ) Day 211 – Monday, April 6, 2009: 203.6
(Month 9) Day 239 – Monday, May 4, 2009: 204.8
(Month 10) Day 267 – Monday, June 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 11) Day 302 – Monday, July 6, 2009: 200.4
(Month 12) Day 330 – Monday, August 3, 2009: 199.6
(Month 13) Day 362 – Friday, September 4, 2009: 197.8
(Month 14) Day 363 – Thursday, October 1, 2009: 201.0

The following is a list of days in the current month:

Day 366 – Sunday, October 12, 2009: Fat Sunday
The following is a list of days in the current month:
Day 389 – Thursday, October 1, 2009: 201.0
Day 390 – Friday, October 2, 2009: (E)
Day 391 – Saturday, October 3, 2009: (E)
Day 392 – Sunday, October 4, 2009:
Day 393 – Monday, October 5, 2009:
Day 394 – Tuesday, October 6, 2009:
Day 395 – Wednesday, October 7, 2009: ( 10 Exceptions Available)
Day 396 – Thursday, October 8, 2009: (E)
Day 397 – Friday, October 9, 2009:
Day 398 – Saturday, October 10, 2009: (E)
Day 399 – Sunday, October 11, 2009: Fat Sunday
Day 400 – Monday, October 12, 2009:
Day 401 – Tuesday, October 13, 2009: (Restart at 10 Exceptions)
Day 402 – Wednesday, October 14, 2009:
Day 403 – Thursday, October 15, 2009:
Day 404 – Friday, October 16, 2009:
Day 405 – Saturday, October 17, 2009:
Day 406 – Sunday, October 18, 2009:
Day 407 – Monday, October 19, 2009:
Day 408 – Tuesday, October 20, 2009: (E)
Day 409 – Wednesday, October 21, 2009: (E)
Day 410 – Thursday, October 22, 2009:
Day 411 – Friday, October 23, 2009: (E)
Day 412 – Saturday, October 24, 2009:
Day 413 – Sunday, October 25, 2009:
Day 414 – Monday, October 26, 2009:
Day 415 – Tuesday, October 27, 2009:
Day 416 – Wednesday, October 28, 2009:
Day 417 – Thursday, October 29, 2009:
Day 418 – Friday, October 30, 2009:
Day 419 – Saturday, October 31, 2009: (E)


Day 389 – Thursday, October 1, 2009: 201.0. Today, I woke up at 4:40 AM because a child woke up, and I decided to go to the gym to weigh myself. Today is another Day 1. Last September 8th, when I started this diet, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me. Month after month after month, I held to a normal eating routine during the week and ate so much on the weekends that I felt sick. It turns out that there is such a thing as Binge Eating Disorder, and I sure would fit the description of a person with this disorder. I think my problems with eating started when I was a teenager and my father hounded me to lose weight because I was fat – yes, fat at 132 pounds and 5 foot 6 ½ inches. My desire to please him led to my dieting down to 117 and then, over the course of a year, going up to 132. Within a few months after that, I was at 150. I topped out at 165 and then got back down to 132, which I maintained for approximately 10 years by going on 9 day diets of counting 1,000 calories each day and then taking a break until I gained 5 pounds. That lasted until I got pregnant at age 34. I managed to lose down to under 150 after the first child was born, to under 170 after the second, to under 150 after the third, and to 155 after the fourth. That was when I was 42 and made the commitment to lose weight back to 132. Every time I tried to go back on that 9 day calorie counting diet, I would gain weight. I tried many different diets, including the infamous Cabbage Soup Diet. The result of all that effort was to end up at a weight of 215 last September.

During the last year, I was able to lose weight, but I lost more than that – I lost my obsession with food. Yesterday, as I was thinking about this diet, I thought that a good way to see if this diet would work for someone would be to ask the simple question: “What do you eat on a typical day?” For someone like me prior to this diet, there was not typical day. I was bingeing or I was starving or I was trying some special combination of foods. I was careening from one diet theory to another. The 9 day calorie counting diet worked for many years, but there was a physical rebellion against that diet that would lead to my overeating the second I thought I was going to go on the diet. My body simply wouldn’t allow me to starve to lose weight.

Last September was the start of learning how to eat in a normal manner. I have meals and limit sweets. My focus is now on eating better. It was a big step for me to give up coffee so I could establish the habit of drinking green tea in the morning. I found a wonderful book called Foods to Fight Cancer by Richard Beliveau and Denis Gingras which gives descriptions of lots of foods that are good for your immune system and your body. While soy and fish are discussed, I’m avoiding those foods but other foods – like red wine, green tea, dark chocolate, and walnuts – are ones I want to be part of my daily consumption of food. I’m now looking for recipe books which have recipes that contain ingredients listed in this book, especially recipes which have garlic, onions, tomatoes, blueberries, and other foods I enjoy. This summer, I read a book called The End of Overeating which got me very interested in looking at the list of ingredients in foods. It’s just amazing to read the ingredient label on a food like pizza rolls, which my husband bought for the kids this last weekend. So many foods we buy are just a lot of tasty chemicals. I’m now trying to find foods and meals that our family will enjoy, and the book Jenny Jones: Look Good Feel Great Cookbook which I got at a clearance shelf at a Pamida store in August has been a great start for me in making meals that are good for you. My focus for the next year will be on creating a whole new food environment in our home.

Today is Day 1 of maintenance. My focus is now shifted from getting through the N Days so that I can return to binge behavior on the weekend. Instead, my focus is on the day to day routine of healthful eating. I expect to lose more weight slowly over time, but weight is no longer the focus. Our kids are adapting to this approach. My plan is simple:
- No sweets (except dark chocolate at breakfast), snacks or seconds on normal days. Everything that I eat has to be at my place before I take one bite.
- Two Exception Days per month which can roll over to the next month if not used.
- One reliable day for eating anything I want, which is “Fat Sunday”, the first Sunday of the month.

Our two younger girls are already planning their treats on Fat Sunday. The 10 year old wants to have banana bread with chocolate chips. I had to chuckle at that. Banana bread has bananas and walnuts in it. It’s good for you. Adding chocolate chips makes it a sweet for her. She’s not asking for something like Fruit Loops, which indicates to me that she is learning to enjoy food that is good for you.

It will be difficult to avoid snacks or sweets when we go out or to parties, since the weekend S Days usually accommodated those, but that’s OK. I’ll have wine or juice. I’m manage. It’s worth it to me to know that I’ll lose more weight and won’t be caught up in weighing myself and obsessing over food. I can focus on people, especially my family, rather than food. I can also pass along a value to my children, a value in healthful living.

Today is a wonderful day. It is so fitting that I get to see my aunt this morning, a woman who is 87 years old and had 13 children. She is in town, and I’m leaving in a few minutes to take her to a coffee shop where I’ll have green tea. She told me she understood completely why I quit my job. She did the same thing. She loved working, but she needed to focus on those children. Life is about choices, and I am making a very important choice this morning. I am choosing health.

Day 390 – Friday, October 2, 2009: (E). I’m not limiting the number of Exception Days. Tonight was a great time, and it was an exception. That’s OK. I want to have fun and not worry about food when I’m at a party. If that keeps me fat, so be it. I’ll focus on normal eating on ordinary days.

Day 391 – Saturday, October 3, 2009: (E). It is 2:16 PM, and I had yet another false start with dieting. I think this diet, which is so easy, still needs to be my number one priority or I will end up failing again and again. Here it is, starting right now after an exceptional morning:

I have “unconditional permission to eat” on the first Sunday of the month plus an additional two days per month, which can rollover to the following month if not used. On other days of the month, I have no snacks, no sweets (except dark chocolate at breakfast, and no seconds (everything is before me before I take one bite). I will not weigh myself again until next July just before we go to spend a week at Many Point Boy Scout Camp. While there, I can consider where I am in my weight loss and make revisions to the diet if appropriate.

Day 392 – Sunday, October 4, 2009: “Fat Sunday” isn’t working out so well, since I’m stuffed from how I ate yesterday and on Friday. I think what I need is a routine, and there are reasons for not following the routine. In another part of my life, I had a bath before making tea this morning because we have a 10 year old for a sleepover. There are reasons for changing routine. I think the problem I have with this diet is the use of the word “Special”. There can be reasons for not following the guidelines of no snacks, sweets or seconds, and those reasons may not be special at all, such as when I had a breath mint because I had bad breath. What I can do is allow weekend Exception Days plus additional days as they come up. To keep myself honest that I am establishing a routine, I’ll record the Exception Days during the week.

I remember once hearing a podcast of an expert on obesity who said that the best approaches don’t result in more than an 8 – 10% total reduction in weight. It may be that there is a plateau with this diet, such as I have experienced, and what I need to do is wait it out. I’m starting to exercise, and I think that will help as well.

8:42 PM: I am absolutely stuffed. Reducing the number of S Days backfired. I also realized that tracking Exception Days would keep me from becoming naturally thin. I am now simply recording Exception Days, which are days when I don’t follow the three guidelines and it’s not a weekend. This is easy. Will I lose weight? Well, at the moment, my goal is to not regain any more weight! I need to be patient. Dieting has meant starvation, and my body will take a long time to trust that food will be available in the amount that I desire.

Day 393 – Monday, October 5, 2009: Despite significant overeating during the last week, I had an interesting observation which gives me a lot of optimism about this diet. I just could not bring myself to eat food which I have come to view as junk. My weekday eating has improved to the point that there is limited appeal to brats even at an Oktoberfest party. I think I’m going to leverage my detestation of food diaries by listing foods that I eat during the week outside the parameters of no snacks, sweets, or seconds. That is it. I can also weigh myself once per week, but the key driver behind weight loss will be that the norm is good food eating in a predictable way.

Day 394 – Tuesday, October 6, 2009: After my slipups with forever tweaking the diet, I now feel good about it. It’s been a huge benefit not to think about food all the time. I think I now want to settle in to monthly reviews of progress with this diet and set aside the daily reflections. What I observe is that my eating habits are improving. I want to eat food that is good for me. I want to exercise. It’s wonderful! I found a spot in my monthly planner where I can write down the exceptions I take. To minimize the amount I eat as exceptions, I think all I’ll do is record what I actually ate that was an exception. I no longer have to analyze why I took an exception. There are reasons that are very valid and some that aren’t so valid, but I’ll keep myself honest by recording the exceptions. Other than that, I’ll try to weigh myself once per month for a status update. This diet is easy. I was making it hard by forever tweaking it to try to find perfection. Perfection isn’t necessary. This diet works. It may take time. I may not reach the weight I have come to consider as ideal, which is 132 pounds. That’s OK. I’ll be off the diet rollercoaster and be able to focus on our family. What a relief. It’s like taking off a backpack!

10 PM: I decided not to track exceptions but simply to be aware of them. I’ll update this journal monthly when I weigh myself. It’s enough. I’m 50 years old. It’s time to live!

Day 395 – Wednesday, October 7, 2009: Last night, after deciding to be aware of exceptions but not track them, I ate several Toll House cookie bars that I had made yesterday afternoon for the weekend. I also had some Italian ice. It was strange. I wasn’t hungry at all. It was time for bed. Why did I eat perhaps 1,000 calories in 20 – 30 minutes? I think it had to do with wanting to rebel against any sort of constraints on my eating.

During the night, I was up because the phone rang once at 1 and at 2 (the teenage boy in our household has an idea who played that joke), and my 8 year old was up. I had time to think, and I think my goal is not weight loss. It is to be naturally thin. It is to eat what I want when I want and as much as I want. How can I be naturally thin by doing that? I think my years of dieting created a rebellious teenager in me. The book Intuitive Eating labels this sort of behavior as the “diet rebel”. I think there is a tension between following this diet and achieving what I really want, which is to be naturally thin. Following any sort of rules goes against what it means to be naturally thin.

Now what? I keep on rethinking and rethinking, but here it is: the key to being naturally thin is to follow routines. I have a disorganized 13 year old boy who is doing better this year but still has a C+ in a class in part because he realized 10 minutes before class that an assignment was due that day. Orderliness is very important, and dieting creates chaos. This diet has imposed order but at the cost of having the potential for failure.

I think the best approach for me at this point is simply to set a standard and to follow it because I want to follow it and not because I am committed to following it or because I will feel bad if I don’t follow it. This morning, I had my green tea and a bagel with peanut butter. I am trying to have two squares of dark chocolate in the morning as a routine, and I forgot to have them when I started eating, so I got up from the table to get them. That’s OK.

It is strange to be squeezing back into size 18 jeans and yet to realize that I have achieved my goal. I now have the mind of a naturally thin person, and the weight will come off in its own time. Being naturally thin means deliberately creating habits that promote health and finding them pleasurable to follow. This is such an unexpected turn that I am surprised myself. It feels good to do what promotes health. It feels good to eat moderate amounts of foods that are good for you, and it feels good to exercise. The reward for this lifestyle is not the achievement of some distant goal of a certain weight which then becomes a life mission to maintain. Instead, the reward is each day in how I feel physically.

2:30 PM: I have to leave in two minutes to pick up the kids. I got home 15 minutes ago from exercising and promptly ate several more Toll House cookies. It may be that there will come a time when I do not need to write down exceptions. I think I need to do this for a time, perhaps a year or more. So what! I cannot wish to be where I want to be. I need to work to get there.

Day 396 – Wednesday, October 8, 2009: It’s one year and one month since I started this diet, and I have been flip flopping around which is familiar to me because I would yo yo on diets for years. There is an allure to being “naturally thin” that is so great that I dived into the Intuitive Eating approach approximately two years ago and managed to gain ten pounds in six months. That same allure is resulting in binge behavior and weight gain now.

I think I had a good plan of one reliable S Day per month (first Sunday of the month, or Fat Sunday) plus two additional Exception Days to be taken whenever I chose and even if it was not planned. The problem was that I went from approximately 10 S Days per month (all weekends plus two weekdays) down to 3 S Days, and I immediately encountered problems with social eating. I wasn’t prepared because so much of social eating occurs on the weekend.

What to do? Well, I think I’ll go back to that plan but give myself a buffer by starting off with a bank of 10 Exception Events. That will get me through figuring out how to eat at social events and still have enough of a buffer for learning how to handle social situations around eating. This seems so clinical, but it really is my problem. When I would go on my diets when I was single, I more or less withdrew from socializing. That just doesn’t work anymore because my behavior has such a direct impact on five other people, one husband and four children.

Here’s the plan, starting today:

1. “Unconditional permission to eat” on the first Sunday of the month (“Fat Sunday” plus two additional days per month which can be used at my discretion or carried over to future months.

2. On all other days, no snacks, no sweets (except two pieces of dark chocolate at breakfast), and no seconds (I need to have everything at my place before I take one bite).

Day 399 – Sunday, October 12, 2009: There’s a degree of silliness to all these changes, but oh well… On Thursday, I caught myself having taste tests when cooking and cleaning up from dinner. I decided to call myself on this sloppiness and make it an Exception Day. Saturday was a baby shower, so I knew I’d be taking an exception. This morning, I figured it would be better to take the second Sunday of the month as Fat Sunday since I could be traveling for several holidays that might occur on the first Sunday of the month (New Year’s, Labor Day, and Fourth of July.) It wasn’t until I was typing tonight that I realized today was Fat Sunday, so I went and ate a bagel and an apple.

I also printed a calendar that I could put in my planner to use for tracking Exception Days and recording my weight, and I’m starting tomorrow with a bank of 10 Exception Days. I can mark the calendar for when I take exceptions, and it just plain doesn’t matter why I take the exceptions so long as I stay honest with myself about how many I’m having. Having a calendar in my planner will help me with my goal of only updating this journal once per month with a review of the month.

It’s nice that I feel less obsessed with food, but this journal and my forever tweaking this diet keep pulling me back into thinking about food and eating. Enough is enough! I can stick with this plan through July, I hope!

Day 402 – Wednesday, October 14, 2009: It’s been much more difficult that I thought it would be to go from 10 Exception Days per month down to 3. I just don’t think I can reduce the number of S Days any more, and I don’t think I’d ever succeed with any sort of “portion control” diet of any sort. I need those S Days because I have had years of N Days that became S Days when my diet failed.

I look at the days, and I figured I’d restart this diet – once again! – on Day 401. This means I spent 400 days just getting over food obsession. With an initial bank of 10 Exceptions, I’ll be able to adjust to having only 3 Exceptions per month. I am sick to death of dieting and focusing on food. Isn’t there more to life? The problem is that my life is severely restricted by my obesity. Following this diet needs to be my highest priority because big health problems are coming my way if I don’t manage to reduce my weight. I can settle in on this routine and turn to improving the nutritional quality of the food I prepare for our family and to exercising. I am up to about ¾ of a mile at a 14 minute mile. That is pathetic. Quitting work in June turned out to be a far more important and far better decision than I realized at the time. When I quit, I explained that too many balls were dropping, and my health and the health of our family – with exercise and nutritious food – was one of those balls!

Day 404 – Friday, October 16, 2009: I’ve spent a lot of time writing the days on my diet in my planner through the end of September of next year. The planner and not my journal will be where I track Exception Days. This is the minimum I think I need in order to follow the diet. It’s not clear to me whether or not I can maintain a low of three Exception Days per month, but I am confident that I could not manage with zero, one or two Exception Days per month. My mantra for the diet is now, “This is the minimum.” It’s Day 4 of Phase 2 of the diet, the phase of orderly eating. Three days per month that are Exceptions. Two Exception Days are floaters and can carry over to the next month. One Exception Day is set, the second Sunday of the month. On normal days, I eat three meals per day with no snacks, no seconds, and no sweets except for two dark chocolates in the morning. Simple. Simple. Simple. “This is the minimum.”

Day 405 – Saturday, October 17, 2009: I am really, really grumpy. How I feel reminds me of how I felt for months on Thursday nights. I think I need to rethink 3 S Days per month. Perhaps every Sunday can be an S Day. My religious tradition includes the idea of Sunday as a day of rest, an idea that is completely disregarded in our household. Maybe I can set a new course by making every Sunday a reliable S Day.

Day 406 – Sunday, October 18, 2009: I woke up this morning thinking that my being grumpy was transitory, and I just don’t want to go through yet another adjustment next year if having 6 Exception Days (4 on Sundays plus two floating Exception Days) does not result in an adequate weight loss. I’d rather do the minimum right now. I am very confident that I would not succeed at fewer than 3 Exception Days per month, so that’s what I’ll follow. Today, I have plans with my two younger daughters – the 10 year old and I will make a pumpkin pie, and the 8 year old and I will make fudge brownies. I can still enjoy baking with them without having to actually eat what is made.

Day 407 – Monday, October 19, 2009: The weekend went fairly well. It’s easy to just stretch out the time until the next Exception Day. The real obstacle I have with following the no snack, sweets or seconds guidelines on the weekend is social. I don’t want to be embarrassed about dieting in front of people outside my family. It was a little awkward at times this weekend, but other people really don’t pay that much attention to what you are eating, and this diet allows for drinking liquids at any time. I figure that it’s significantly more awkward to be carrying around at least 50 more pounds of weight, so I just have to learn how to follow this diet when I’m with people outside my family. My hope is that, with only 3 Exception Days per month, I’ll lose weight more rapidly. Maybe I’ll get down to that elusive 10% of body weight lost, or 193.5 pounds, by Thanksgiving!

Day 408 – Tuesday, October 20, 2009: (E) I feel lousy again today. Last night, I went to bed at 8 PM. My daughter was in the shower, and I didn’t even hear her get out of the shower because I fell asleep so quickly. I think I may have overextended myself by going from 10 Exception Days per month to 3 Exception Days per month, so I’m going to drop down to 6 Exception Days per month (all Sundays plus two floaters). This is exactly the modification I made in the late spring or early summer, and it didn’t work, so why am I trying it again? I think I may be ready now and I wasn’t four months ago. I also think that it is possible I could have four Sundays as Exception Days and still have a long term weight that is desirable. Finally, I was explaining this diet to a friend who does not have a weight problem, and she told me that she eats regular meals except on Sundays when she has whatever she wants. In effect, she has followed this diet without knowing it. My weight loss is a long drawn-out affair, and I’d just rather not pay much attention to it. It was a risk to go down to 3 Exception Days per month, and it doesn’t seem at all risky to sit at 6 Exception Days per month for several months to see what happens to my weight. I can settle on this approach until my week of complete relaxation next year, which is July 18 – 24 at Many Point Boy Scout Camp. I can rethink this diet then.

9:30 PM: I’m stuffed but happy. It must be that my body is still used to an overload of food, and it was just too much for me to cut down the number of Exception Days from 10 to 3. Yes, weight loss will be slower, but I will be able to enjoy my life and feel good as I lose weight. I’m reducing my number of Exception Days by 40% by going from 10 to 6, and that is dramatic enough of a change. No wonder there are so few people who successfully lose weight and keep it off. You cannot win if you get in a power struggle with your body, just like you cannot win if you get in a power struggle with a teen. There must be cooperation. By allowing myself “unconditional permission to eat”, I am giving my body what it wants – a feeling of being completely satisfied. All I really need here is the willingness to delay this sense of complete satisfaction to the designated six days per month. That, I think, will be easy to accomplish. I’m happy. I think this will work out well over the long haul. Meanwhile, I don’t have to worry too much about replacing clothes because I’m too thin for them. My weight loss will continue, but the weight loss will be very, very slow. That’s OK. What matters isn’t how much I lose in the next month or next year but how much I am able to keep off comfortably for the rest of my life.

Day 409 – Wednesday, October 21, 2009: I had a good night’s sleep and feel comfortably stuffed this morning. I went an entire week without an S Day, and it turned out to be too much for me. Will I lose weight with this approach? Is it possible for me to stuff myself enough on one day per week to keep myself from losing weight? I don’t know. I’ll weigh myself on November 1, which is a Sunday, and see how I’ve done. The scale provides honest feedback.

9:30 AM: I just went to the gym to walk not quite a mile, and I weighed 201 compared with 199 two days ago. While I was walking, I decided to allow myself a break. After all, I did not take an Exception Day for an entire week, and my body was just plain not used to it. In fact, I anticipated this problem, which is why I started off with 10 Exception Days. I used one Exception Day yesterday. That doesn’t mean that I failed. I am going back to my plan of doing the minimum – one Exception Day on Fat Sunday and two floaters. All I did was use one Exception Day from my starting bank of 10. It’s time to just go through the process of adjusting to lower overall caloric intake. The way I am doing that is not to count calories every day. Instead, it is to eat sensibly all but three days per month and to allow myself “unconditional permission to eat” on the three days per month that are designated as Exception Days. I want to be able to eat as much as I want of whatever I want, and the only way to do that and still lose weight is to limit the days when I have that “unconditional permission to eat”. This is a well thought out plan. In fact, it’s too well thought out. It’s time to simply follow the plan and turn my attention elsewhere.

6 PM: I bit off more than I could chew by trying to drop from 10 Exception Days per month to 3. I’m returning to the idea of every Sunday being an Exception Day plus two floaters.


Day 410 – Thursday, October 22, 2009: This morning, I awoke feeling bad about two consecutive Exception Days. I decided that I had made a mistake and bit off more than I could chew by so drastically cutting the number of Exception Days per month. After a school presentation today, I don’t have much left to do for volunteering. That’s good. The next two months can be a time when I focus on this diet. I was quite happy this morning when my 10 year old told me she had not enjoyed the school lunch she ate yesterday. Because we are now a one income family and the school lunches are reputed to be unhealthy, I told the kids they could only have two school lunches per month. My daughter told me that the one she had made her sick. That was a good sign to me. We have cut out a lot of junk at home, and it seems like for me – and for her – it’s hard to have junk if you become accustomed to healthy food.

Day 411 – Friday, October 23, 2009: (E) Today is my birthday, and I took an Exception Day and ate and ate and ate. It occurred to me that this type of eating is normal for me. I like how I feel. The beauty of this diet, for me, is that I have lots of opportunities to eat like this. I can eat as much as I want of whatever I want. I just have to limit the number of days that I eat this way in order to lose weight. Birthdays tend to be days of reflection even if you are busy, and today I have gone back to thinking about doing the minimum – having only 3 Exception Days per month. I think that’s what I’ll do. That means that today is the last Exception Day until the second Sunday of November, which is November 8th. Can I last that long? I’m not sure, but I want to try.

Actually, I think that the only way I’ll be able to adjust to 3 Exception Days per month is to make the commitment to following this approach, and I need to make it my number one priority. Is this selfish? No. I think my children need to learn good habits to take care of their health, and following this diet – even with over the top Exception Days – seems like a good way to manage weight. I’ve also added exercise, and exercise is my number two goal. What I’ve done way too much is tweak, tweak, tweak. It’s time to settle on a goal and follow it.

Day 413 – Sunday, October 25, 2009: I was incredibly grumpy yesterday, and I think I know why. I’m terrified. Going down to 3 Exception Days per month means facing memories of feeling like I’m starving and then failing at diets, and I have many, many memories like that. I have years lost with careening from starvation diets to bingeing. I could have chosen a less dramatic change, but with this one I know it can be my last. I know this is the minimum that is sustainable. Still, I’m terrified. It’s two weeks until Fat Sunday, the second Sunday of the month, and the next Exception Day I plan to take. Am I really in danger of any physical problems from following a diet which allows me to eat as much as I want at three meals per day and which allows me to eat all day on Exception Days? No. What I am battling is no longer physical problems from those years of dieting. What I am battling is those memories of being grumpy, of not being able to sleep, of having to skip social occasions or at least feeling awkward as I turned down food… Today is a pancake breakfast at our church, and I can go and eat a hearty meal. This diet is sustainable: it allows for fitting in on social occasions, it allows for eating heartily everyday, and it allows for over the top eating several days per month. I need to be committed to following it, and still I waffle.

Day 414 – Monday, October 26, 2009: I was awake last night, asking myself why I was so terrified, and I could not rationally figure it out. I then asked myself what when I had similar feelings, and I came up with several examples: backpacking along a path with berry bushes to the left in a park with grizzly bears (Glacier National Park in Montana), running to my car in a deserted parking lot in downtown Minneapolis at 10 PM on a weekday night, going too fast and spinning my car around on a road with no other traffic because it was dusk and the road was on the Minnesota – Canadian border, and standing in a mine while the tour guide talked, even though there were bats flying quite near us. There have been times when I’ve been more frightened, and they have involved the safety of our children, such as when our son bounced down the stairs on a bouncy ball. The situations that came to mind that created similar feelings to following this diet all had to do with my personal safety and the potential for sudden violence. The situations did not have to do with care for others. The feeling of terror I have is all about my escaping immenment harm.

Why would I have this feeling of terror in following this diet? I don’t really know. After all, hunger builds slowly over time. I think that following this diet may create such terror in me because, in my days of following a diet of 1,000 calories per day, I managed to maintain a reasonable weight for years but then could no longer follow the diet: I would become overcome by the urgent need to eat. My fear, I think, is that having so few Exception Days will lead to the feeling of starvation that triggered uncontrolled binge eating behavior.

This is hard for me to understand, and writing down my thoughts just makes me more aware of how confused I am about why following a very reasonable diet would cause me to feel such fear. What I hope is that, by following this diet, I will become confident that my personal safety is not threatened – that I will not starve – and eventually I can settle into following this diet for life. I would have preferred the diet of 10 Exception Days per month, but that did not result in an acceptable weight for me. This diet of 3 Exception Days per month is the absolute minimum, and I so want to be a reasonable weight.

Following this diet isn’t just about me. It’s about modeling appropriate eating behavior to our children. Maybe the best way to face this seemingly irrational fear is for me to think about how much I care about our family and how much I want to model good health habits to our children and also to my husband. There is a line in the Bible: “Perfect love casts out all fear.” Maybe I need to focus on the benefits to our family of my being able to eat in an appropriate manner. My husband once told me he thought that my weight would be the biggest struggle of my life, and I somewhat scoffed at that idea, but maybe – just maybe – he’s right. Obesity is a trap. There are people who get out of it, but not many stay out of it. I want to get out of it in a way that allows me to stay out of it and gives our children a path to follow in staying out of it.

Day 415 – Tuesday, October 27, 2009: I’m dong OK but am just really scared that I’ll fail. I was able to manage with this diet by telling myself “Wait until the weekend.” Now I need to wait until November 8th, which is the Sunday after next. That means that there will be 15 days between my Exception Day on Friday, October 23rd and my Exception Day on Sunday, November 8th. If I can make it until then, I think I’ll succeed on this diet. I did already go 8 days with an Exception Day, so stretching out to 15 days won’t be quite so hard as if I had only lasted 5 days between Exception Days. The diet I am now following of 3 Exception Days per month is similar to my old diet of 10 Exception Days in that I feel the same now, on an N Day. I know how to wait to eat. It should be OK to make it until November 8th. I am highly motivated. What’s interesting is that I’m not too concerned about my actual weight today. What I realize is that this is the habit I need to form in order to get to the lowest weight I can be and still be comfortable. The goal for me is to be comfortable with this way of eating. The goal is no longer to reach a certain weight. I just don’t want to try any other diet philosophy. I’ve settled on this one, and I all needed to do was to tweak the diet to minimize the weight that I can reach. My stomach is growling, it is just before 11 AM, and I am not in a panic about what to do. I know to wait. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in control of my eating.

12:30 PM: I just had lunch, and I realized that I still felt hungry, only maybe my definition of hunger has changed. I had a cup of blueberries, a slice of banana bread, an apple, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. How could I feel hungry ½ hour after eating so much? What is happening with limited Exception Days is beginning to make sense to me. I think my definition of hunger changed, because I can vaguely remember that how I feel now is how I used to feel like the pleasantly full sensation after a large meal.

My sister and parents live in California, and the joke is that they are wearing jackets at a temperature when we would wear shorts. Their cold is our hot. It may be the same with the obese person’s sensation of hungry being the same as the thin person’s sensation of full. Having fewer Exception Days will mean that my definition of hunger will change as I adjust to the norm being three meals with gaps in between when I wait for the next meal. I spent a lot of time trying the Intuitive Eating approach of waiting for hunger. It didn’t work for me, and now I think I know why: I had a distorted view of hunger. The feeling I have now is one I used to enjoy, and I hope to enjoy in the future. I am not hungry. I am just not stuffed. As I limit the number of times that I allow myself to feel stuffed, I predict that I will see a shift in what I come to believe is famished, hungry, neutral, full, and stuffed. Suddenly, the path ahead is clear to me. It’s like when I was a little girl and afraid if the closet was left open at night, and then a light goes on and I am no longer afraid.

7:30 PM: As I was exercising today, I decided that perhaps I should try to cut down on meals. I can work on minimal meals starting with one meal per week. Minimal.

Day 416 – Wednesday, October 28, 2009: Food habits are so difficult to change. I think what I’ll do is focus on asking myself what is the minimum amount I can eat at a meal and still feel satisfied until the next meal. I won’t know, of course. I’ll just have to guess. What I’ve been doing is eating as much as I can to make sure I’m not starving by the next meal. That approach is no longer necessary. I am confident I won’t revert to starvation diets, and I will eat at every meal rather than skip meals. This morning, I had a piece of toast with peanut butter and jam, two chocolate covered almonds, a glass of orange juice, and some tea. What this the minimum? It seems like a lot. Perhaps I can estimate calories to see if I am in the ballpark of an appropriate amount to eat. I think I’m going to start with one meal per week, starting with Saturday night, and then work my way back to Monday morning. Sunday won’t have restrictions. I think I’m just going to try to restrict one additional meal per month. That means that my focus will be just on Saturday dinner for the month of November, and then I’ll move to Saturday lunch and dinner for the month of December. This is a long,slow process.

Day 416 – Wednesday, October 28, 2009: Food habits are so difficult to change. I think what I’ll do is focus on asking myself what is the minimum amount I can eat at a meal and still feel satisfied until the next meal. I won’t know, of course. I’ll just have to guess. What I’ve been doing is eating as much as I can to make sure I’m not starving by the next meal. That approach is no longer necessary. I am confident I won’t revert to starvation diets, and I will eat at every meal rather than skip meals. This morning, I had a piece of toast with peanut butter and jam, two chocolate covered almonds, a glass of orange juice, and some tea. What this the minimum? It seems like a lot. Perhaps I can estimate calories to see if I am in the ballpark of an appropriate amount to eat. I think I’m going to start with one meal per week, starting with Saturday night, and then work my way back to Monday morning. Sunday won’t have restrictions. I think I’m just going to try to restrict one additional meal per month. That means that my focus will be just on Saturday dinner for the month of November, and then I’ll move to Saturday lunch and dinner for the month of December. This is a long,slow process.

Day 419 – Saturday, October 31, 2009: I’m comfortable now with being able to having only 3 Exception Days per month, so I won’t be in a cycle of regaining weight on the weekend that I lost during the week. Even so, I don’t think this will be enough to have me lose the amount of weight I’d like to lose (at least 50 more pounds, down to 150 or lower). I have returned to exercise (am now walking more than 1 mile at a 14 minute per mile pace) and have decided to focus on eating foods that are really good for you. I bought a reference book called The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Matelgan, who is the founder of Healthy Valley Foods. The book focuses on several categories of foods: vegetables and salads, fruits, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds, poultry and lean meats, beans and legumes, dairy and eggs, whole grains, and herbs and spices. I am going to try to have most of my N Day foods be from the list in this book. For example, today so far I’ve had: two almonds covered with dark chocolate, Irish oats (the healthiest form of oatmeal), milk, peanuts, a leftover chicken and rice meal, an apple, and some grape juice. I’m still eating an enormous amount of food, which is why I don’t think I’m going to lose weight anytime soon. Instead, I’m testing the theory that eating foods like these lead to eating less, but it takes time.

My husband earlier this week told me, “It would be a disaster if you got a job” because the house is running much more smoothly with me at home. This is my year to focus on my health and the health of the other members of our family. We have a family membership to the YMCA, and I’m getting rid of foods that are not good for you. This is a dramatic shift with no small amount of complaining from the kids, but I am starting to discover foods that the kids like. For example, our son likes salty food and is partial to chips. It turns out that he also likes salted and roasted peanuts and sunflower seeds.

The common myth (which I believed until last month) is that eating healthy means spending more money. I’m finding, to my surprise, that we are spending a lot less. Sure, fruits and vegetables cost more, but there are lots of calorie dense foods that are relatively cheap compared with processed foods. An example is chips vs. sunflower seeds.

Tonight is Halloween, and of course, the kids will be enjoying lots of candy. I just don’t have the desire to have one of the Snickers bars we bought for trick or treaters. Part of the reason, perhaps, is that I know I can eat whatever I want in one week from tomorrow. Most of the reason, I think, is that my tastes are changing. I am coming to think of a lot of food as “junk”, including Snickers bars. I’d much rather have foods that are single ingredient like dark chocolate than foods that are a mish mash of foods and chemicals like Snickers bars.

6 PM: I ended up with an Exception Day. Earlier today, I had decided to start limiting portion sizes. That lasted until after lunch, and then I changed my mind. It was too late: the damage was done, and I reverted to end of diet binge behavior. I decided to focus on what I eat and not how much I eat. This is a good goal for the next several months. If I get to the point where Irish or steel cut oats are the norm for breakfast, it might become very difficult to down junk like pop tarts. Oh, what a long road it is from obese to naturally thin!
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:57 pm; edited 72 times in total
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buttercreampillow



Joined: 07 Jan 2009
Posts: 210
Location: Music City

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So tell us, how did the job interview go? I'm sure you did great!

buttercreampillow
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1547
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buttercreampillow,

Thanks for asking! I had an interview with a hiring manager and a direct report of his, but there is no money in the budget until 2010 and there may not be money then. I also interviewed with four recruiters. The last interview I had cemented my view that I should not be jobhunting. This isn't the year for me to work unless perhaps some ideal situation lands in my lap. Instead, I will do some self-study in order to burnish my business analysis credentials and see if I can return part time as a BA next year, and I will focus on healthful eating.

It was glorious sunrise this morning, despite some light rain, and I think how much happier my life is going to be without constant food obsession. I'm on Day 1 of the rest of my life!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
5/1/18 restart at 219.2 pounds.
See posts for 6/14/18 and 7/17/18.
I eat as much as I want of anything I want between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM daily. Often, I eat outside that window.
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