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The Blessings of Simplicity - Fasting for Weight Loss
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Grammy G



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 636

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, I just used up all my battery power reading @ your journey through dietland. I think you have arrived at a great place.. no S makes so much sense! My "take" on your journey is that you are just overthinking the problem. I would suggest you reread the book and then.."just do it""...no mods, no 'well-what ifs"..Just bite the bullet and do it for 21 days. You say that you eat so much on S days that you make yourself sick..I did that too..and Reinhard talks to our problem. I will agree that is the hardest part..to stop at a small bowl of popcorn or a small ice cream bar..but you are a smart lady..with the support of your family..you can do it! Your body is telling you it is happy with reasonable portions of healthy foods.Listen to it. I find no one knows I am doing a no S life style...unless I offer that information. I think I assumed people noticed if and what I was eating in a social situation..I've discovered no one cares if I have a plateful of food..a soda..or a glass of water. I do not want this to sound harsh..I think you are very brave! Use all the tools Reinhard has set up for you to succeed. Put food in its place..Someone on this site used a quote "If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer" Pow!! That hit home for me!! I posted it in my kitchen. I wish you well, whatever you decide to do.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grammy G,

Thank you for reading through my journal and suggesting I go back to the basics of the diet. I have gone through a lot of turmoil through the last several months with this diet, and it has at times seemed like I'm lost. I also have not lost any weight. Still, there are some very positive developments: I'm exercising three times per week (up to 16 laps on an 18 lap per mile track), I've traded in my coffee habit for green tea, and I'm gravitating towards wanting to eat good food. I just finished counting out the days through the end of September of next year in my planner, which is where I will track Exception Days. What I think may have happened with me is that I got discouraged about weight loss, and then I kept tweaking and tweaking. What I have settled on is what I think is the absolute maximum of restrictions that I could follow for the rest of my life. I simply don't think I could sustain a diet that is anything less than 3 S Days per month, one of which is reliable, and the ability to have as much as I want at meals.

Why has this been so hard for me? Why have I put so much effort into this diet and only lost 15 pounds in a year? Well, I think it's the same reason that there are so many people out there who are morbidly obese or supermorbidly obese and yet they have put a lot of effort into dieting. I think that dieting becomes less and less effective the more you do it, and I've been dieting for 33 years.

The last two months or so have started to remind me of the years of bouncing from one diet to another. If this approch doesn't work, if I run out of Exception Days even though I started by giving myself a bank of 10 as of two days ago, then I'll go back to basic No S.

Despite everything, despite all the turmoil, I feel good. I'm happy that I'm exercising, I'm happy that I don't get a headache if I can't have coffee by about 7 AM, and I'm happy that I'm not filling my belly with processed foods. Our home is being filled with good foods, and I've started a recipe book for meals that have lots of good foods in them but also are enjoyable to the kids. I've embarked on a way of life that is much better for us, and my hope is that the kids will become accustomed to it before they leave home.

Thanks for caring, and I'll keep you posted. When I exercised at the gym today, which was after having breakfast, my weight was at 201, which was down from 204.8 last week and 202.8 earlier this week. I only track weights that are before I've had anything to eat in the morning, but these weights are encouraging to me that I am indeed on the right track.

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Grammy G



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 636

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for you! Healthy food and exercise is always a great addition to a life style. I hope you have found the formula that works for you. Only you can know exactly what that is! I think that setting a good example for our children (and grandchildren )is very important and I think you are doing that by serving healthy foods and showing them that exercise is important. Remember that you can (this is from Dr Phil's diet!!) plan on what you eat and the activity level you want to achieve but you cannot plan on the exact amount of weight you will lose or gain. That is up to your body!
I too have been on every diet in the world and, like you, am around 200 pounds on a 5'4" frame. I am seeing this no S as how I will be eating for the rest of my life (I am 66). I am very active and want to stay that way..I'm sure you do too. Good luck to both of us!
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Peace Pilgrim
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gramma G,

I'm not sure if I've found the right formula for dieting, but I am certain it's a lot closer to the right formula than any other diet I've tried!

To put as optimistic spin as I can on it, I think there is something to be said for children witnessing a parent having a problem, trying different things to solve the problem, and figuring it out even if there are twists and turns along the way!

Kathleen

PS. Our oldest child is 15, so I hope that we don't have grandchildren for some time, so I'm just focusing on the benefits realized by our children witnessing a change in lifestyle.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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guadopt1997



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 339
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,

I was putting off starting work this a.m. and happened on a thread from last November called The difference between Red and Yellow, that KCCC started.

You had some interesting things to say in that post. You said you had 2 S days a month that you could use at will, which kept you from messing up (paraphrasing here). I couldn't decide if you meant total, or in addition to weekend S days. I hope it's the latter.

I was also curious whether your 15-year-old kept up with No-S.

Anyway, I understand what you mean about getting frustrated with the lack of weight loss. I'm still about the numbers myself for the most part. For the last two weeks (through Tuesday) I was basically off grains, dairy, and fruits, eating just protein and lots of vegetables and salad, including butter and dressing (but no snacks or seconds still). On weekends, I got to snack on nuts. I took off about 6 pounds and now I'm back to "normal" and hope that the boost from the loss will help me stay out of trouble on the S days this weekend. I've done this once before while on no-S to great effect. I guess that's a "mod".
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guadopt1997,

Yes, my 15 year old has kept up with No S. I'm not sure if she has lost weight, but she hasn't gained. I forgot to get her chocolate covered pretzels for the S Day weekend. She is following the approach of S Days every Saturday and Sunday as well as two "floater" S Days to be used at her discretion. The best news about her is that her eating habits have changed dramatically. She is no longer obsessed with food. She doesn't wolf down her food.

As for me, yes, I did have two Exception Days per month that were floaters in addition to the weekend S Days. I seem to have plateaued with weight.

What I've done just recently is eliminate the weekend S Days except for what we now call Fat Sunday, which I have made second Sunday of the month. That means three Exception Days per month for me.

Since I'm just on Day 4 of this approach, it remains to be seen how well it works. So far, I don't feel deprived. I plan to take an S Day one week from today, and I look forward to it. I am not feeling deprived. There is just a delay until an S Day!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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guadopt1997



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 339
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My S days are mostly a mess. I may have to adopt your new approach at some point but for now (your old approach would have given me too many S days--I don't have many N day failures at this point), I'd be concerned that it would just set me off on a path away from noS, if I start feeling deprived.

Really, I need to listen to the S days gone wild podcast again. Plus I need to get away from the weight/numbers focus...

Good luck with your new approach.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guadopt1997,

What is going to stand out in my memory of S Days is standing in the kitchen in my nightgown with an unwrapped Haagen Dazs bar in my hand as I waited for the time on the digital clock to go from 11:59 to 12:00. (I always held the view that S Days began at midnight!!!)

I gave up on trying to moderate my eating on S Days. It may happen very slowly over time, but I want to have lost a lot of weight by the time my 10th grader goes off to college. I simply couldn't wait for my body to get over 33 years of dieting and be able to calm down enough to eat sensibly on S Days, although the overeating has gotten much less extreme.

That's why I opted for fewer S Days but hold to the idea, which was promoted in the book Intuitive Eating, of "unconditional permission to eat." I now allow myself "unconditional permission to eat" on the second Sunday of the month plus two other days per month.

Good luck to you. I do think this diet helps a person to delay rather than deny, but some tweaking may be necessary for some.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

November, 2009: Starting Number of Exceptions
= 6 (Carryover) + 8 (This Month’s Allocation) = 14.


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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8

The following is a list of days in the current month:
Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
Day 421 – Monday, November 2, 2009: (E)
Day 422 – Tuesday, November 3, 2009:
Day 423 – Wednesday, November 4, 2009:
Day 424 – Thursday, November 5, 2009:
Day 425 – Friday, November 6, 2009: (E)
Day 426 – Saturday, November 7, 2009:
Day 427 – Sunday, November 8, 2009: (Fat Sunday)
Day 428– Monday, November 9, 2009:
Day 429 – Tuesday, November 10, 2009: (E)
Day 430 – Wednesday, November 11, 2009: (E- 3 remaining Exception Days)
Day 431 – Thursday, November 12, 2009:
Day 432 – Friday, November 13, 2009:
Day 433 – Saturday, November 14, 2009:
Day 434 – Sunday, November 15, 2009:
Day 435 – Monday, November 16, 2009: (E- 1 remaining Exception Day)
Day 436 – Tuesday, November 17, 2009:
Day 437 – Wednesday, November 18, 2009:
Day 438 – Thursday, November 19, 2009: (E - 0 Exception Days)
Day 439 – Friday, November 20, 2009: (Starting again with 2 Exception Days - 1 used today)
Day 440 – Saturday, November 21, 2009:
Day 441 – Sunday, November 22, 2009:
Day 442 – Monday, November 23, 2009:
Day 443 – Tuesday, November 24, 2009:
Day 444 – Wednesday, November 25, 2009:
Day 445 – Thursday, November 26, 2009: Thanksigiving Exception Day (No Exception Days left)
Day 446 – Friday, November 27, 2009:
Day 447 – Saturday, November 28, 2009:
Day 448 – Sunday, November 29, 2009:
Day 449 – Monday, November 30, 2009:

Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8. It was not a pleasant task to drive to the YMCA to weigh myself when I expected that my weight had gone up, but I did. I think what has happened is that I lost control of my eating. I was going from one tweak to another, and I could not form a habit with so many changes. Now I think I’ve settled on a plan which will result in little or no weight loss over the next several months, but I will improve my health and will take back control of my eating.

My goal is to reduce the number of Exception Days by one each month (from 10 in September and 9 in October) until I reach a level of 3 per month. I will also work on developing habits of exercising three times per week (I’m now up to one 14 minute mile each time I exercise, and I’m adding about .1 of a mile per week), and I will work on converting from eating processed foods to more unprocessed foods. These are big changes that will only take hold and be comfortable for me for life if I am willing to move slowly. I am moving slowly on reducing the number of Exception Days, I am moving slowly on changing from completely sedentary to being faithful in exercising three times per week. The only dramatic change is on moving from junk food to good for you food, and I’ve had loud complaints from the kids on that score.

My theory, which came from reading the book The End of Overeating, is that processed food is ultimately unsatisfactory, so you eat more if you mostly eat processed food. We’ll see. I’m trying to create a weight loss program which does not include the dreaded words “portion control”, and it is really hard. Have I been successful so far? Well, I was gaining 10 pounds per year, and now I’ve lost 13 pounds since last September. I’m moving in the right direction, despite the setbacks of the last few months as I tried different ways to change my diet.

Here is a summary of my current plan:

1. There are two types of days, Normal Days and Exception Days.

2. Exception Days are the second Sunday of the month plus additional days that are designated at my discretion and can accumulate to the following month if not used. For November, I will add 8 additional days, down from 9 in October and 10 in September. Going forward, I will add 7 additional days in December, then 6 in January, 5 in February, 4 in March, and 3 going forward from then.

3. On Exception Days, I have “unconditional permission to eat”, which is a phrase taken from the book Intuitive Eating. I can eat as much as I want of as much as I want.

4. On Normal Days, I have no snacks and no sweets except for two pieces of dark chocolate. I have three meals, and I only eat what in front of me before I take one bite. I will try to have foods that are good for you – Irish oats rather than pop tarts at breakfast, for example.

Day 422 – Tuesday, November 3, 2009: I took an Exception Day yesterday at about 3:30 PM for little more reason than I was tempted by the Halloween candy and had 14 Exception Days in reserve. I have switched from Exception Days every weekend plus two floaters to now a set Exception Day on the second Sunday of the month plus seven floaters. I consider it to be highly likely that I will gain weight this month, but that’s OK. This diet isn’t just about weight loss. It’s about regaining control of my eating and eating foods that are good for me. This morning, I made steel cut oatmeal for the family. It was all eaten, so I need to increase the quantity tomorrow.

I’m learning more and more about nutrition. I used to think that cold cereals were a good food choice, and now I’m learning that all are processed food and most have a lot of sugar. I am slowly converting my family to this new way of eating, and it is not easy. Katie likes cashews. Tom likes sunflower seeds. Elizabeth likes almonds. Slowly, slowly, I am finding substitutions for what the kids call “sides” – chips, crackers, etc. What continues to amaze me is that this way of eating is actually cheaper – a lot cheaper. I got big bags of walnuts, cashews, almonds, and peanuts from Costco, and these will last a long time whereas chips would last a day or two at most.

We’re also working on having an exercise routine. Today I’ll pick up the kids from school, and we’ll head straight to the gym. On Fridays and Sundays, we’ll go to the gym as a family.

Am I disappointed by my spike up in weight? Yes, but I think it will be good in the long run. It’s like what I’ve done with my career. I really, really liked what I was doing, but I saw too many balls dropping at home. Now I’m home, and I have time to get a certificate in business analysis. When I do return to work, I expect that I’ll be paid more, even though there is a gap in my work. In addition, I’ll have happy, healthy, successful kids. The hour per day I’m spending with Katie (10) on math problems will pay off when she gets to junior high. She’s bright, but she doesn’t take the time to understand the problem before she answers it. That little girl takes after me in many ways. I didn’t understand that the problem I had was not weight. It was care of my health.

Day 425 – Friday, November 6, 2009: (E). Peanut brittle. Yum! I have so many Exception Days banked that it doesn’t take much for me to take an Exception Day. I just took one at 4:30 PM to have several pieces of peanut brittle, and now I’m stuffed!

Day 426 – Saturday, November 7, 2009: I’m finding that I have made some adjustments to this diet without really realizing it. Now I have the idea of “Fat Sunday”, and it is only on the second Sunday of the month that I allow myself to choose “junk” (as in “processed”) foods like Snickers bars. On Exception Days, I can eat sweets but not “junk” unless there is a social reason for it. Yesterday, I bought Toaster Struedels for a daughter’s sleepover, and I decided that they were not an acceptable food for yesterday’s Exception Day. Peanut brittle is, but Toaster Struedel’s aren’t. Tomorrow is Fat Sunday, and what junk do I want? I honestly cannot think of anything. I’ll have sweets, but will I have junk?

This diet, along with the book The End of Overeating, has created an aversion in me to buying foods with multiple ingredients. I want juice that is 100% one type of juice, not juice that says “Cranberry” in big letters along with “100% juice” but then has the leading ingredient as “apple juice.” I want to know what I’m eating. Because this is such a big change for our kids, I’m making lots of casseroles. There are multiple ingredients in casseroles, but I put them all there.

I did give up on green tea and return to coffee. My hands shake, and I think it may be due to the green tea. This is a time of experimentation with what works. I doubt I’ll lose much weight during the winter as I slowly reduce the number of Exception Days per month, but that’s OK. I’m working on a diet which has perhaps 80% of my diet being foods that I ate perhaps 20% of the time, and perhaps half of what I used to eat I no longer eat except on Fat Sunday. This is a huge, huge overhaul, and it will take time for me to get used to it. There will be failures. Yesterday’s breakfast of corn meal mush, for example, ended up in the garbage.

Day 427 – Sunday, November 8, 2009: (Fat Sunday). Today went well. I was fully satisfied by all that I ate, and yet I do not feel stuffed. I ate a lot, and that’s OK. The most promising thing that happened today was that our 10 year old, Katie, said this when we were shopping: “Every time I get school lunch now, I get diarrhea.” In September, I limited school lunch to two times per month. She is getting used to healthy food, and now she has problems when she has chicken nuggets, etc. The same thing is happening to me. I don’t think I can stomach certain foods anymore. A Snickers bar used to be one of my favorite foods. Today, I didn’t have one. It just disgusts me.

I decided not to complicating things by allowing certain foods on Fat Sunday that are not allowed on other Exception Days. The only difference between Fat Sunday and other Exception Days is that Fat Sunday is a date that is set ahead of time. No matter what, I’ll take an Exception Day on the second Sunday of the month. I plan on eight Exception Days this month, and I’ve already had three. My plan is to manage to go for a stretch of time (maybe nine days?) before I have another Exception Day.

Day 428– Monday, November 9, 2009: Originally, I told the kids that the food leftover from Fat Sunday would go in the garbage. I changed my mind this morning, seeing an opportunity to justify no junk except on Fat Sunday. I told them they could finish up the leftovers, so Katie (10) had whipped cream on Scooby Doo snacks, Ellie took Scooby Doo snacks (her choice for Fat Sunday) to school for snack, Tommy (13) claimed the bag of Cheetos Flaming something or other, and Anne (15) finished off the Toaster Struedel. This morning, I don’t feel so great. I have come to associate junk with not feeling well, and I’m only too happy to return to good food.

It will be a challenge to have good food when people visit, but I think we can find good food that will be enjoyed. Other than Fat Sunday, there are times when the kids simply will be eating junk, so I want the norm at home to be good food.

Last month, my sister in law and I were recalling how we would feel sick after visiting our in laws because we couldn’t stomach the food – the ethnic (Slovanian and Croatian) turkey sausage and other greasy foods. Now, both of us are quite a bit heavier, and those foods are no problem at all!

I want those foods to be a problem again. A Trader Joe’s store opened near us on Friday, and I intend to make that store my number one grocery store. What amazes me over and over again is that I bought into the idea that it costs more to eat healthily, and it’s simply not so. It’s more expensive to eat junk, not less. A package of frozen Toaster Struedel for six costs a lot more than oatmeal for six.

Gullible. I still think that’s the defining characteristic of obese people. They believe what they’re told instead of checking their own experiences against what they’re told or even experimenting to determine the truth.

Day 429 – Tuesday, November 10, 2009: (E). It is social situations that trip me up. One bite of a friend’s chocolate cake at lunch turned into an over the top eating binge for the rest of the day. I doubt I’ll ever learn how to take that one bite and then have a normal rest of the day. Instead, I’m ratcheting down the number of Exception Days. I’ve used four so far this month and only have four more to use, but I have an additional six as a buffer. I need to stick to my resolve and learn how to graciously turn away the offer of taste testing a dessert.

Day 430 – Wednesday, November 11, 2009: (E- 3 remaining Exception Days)
Nothing is quite so unrewarding as following a diet successfully but not losing weight. I’m upset with myself with going through Exception Days, but I should have known: I don’t need all these Exception Days, so I’m just taking them for no reason at all. Effective immediately, I am following an approach of 3 Exception Days per month, and I’m starting right now with a balance of 3. I’ll just have to learn as I go about social niceties of turning down one bite of chocolate cake. I should have seen this coming, but I didn’t…

Day 431 – Thursday, November 12, 2009: This is silly, but it appears that I don’t have the flexibility to have one bite of chocolate cake and not binge for the rest of the day. Can I change this habit of over the top eating after breaking a diet? I’m not sure. I’ve got a 30 year history of doing exactly this. Going forward, I think I need to decline a piece of chocolate cake and, if pressed, explain that I weighed over 200 pounds when I realized that my real problem with weight was social – I need to stay within the narrow path of habits except on a few days per month. A friend would understand -- maybe not understand but at least accept.

Day 433 – Saturday, November 14, 2009: Tom suggested I return to every weekend being Exception Days plus two weekdays per month being Exception Days plus exercise. What I’ve been trying to do isn’t working. When I follow my new plan, I tend to cheat on every day, which means every day is an Exception Day.

4:30 PM: I’ve given a definition to the last several months: “diet backlash.” Trying to go down to 3 Exception Days per month resulted in the trigger of “diet backlash.” Ugh. I need to return to the motto of “Patience is a virtue.” Tom made a good suggestion, that I focus on increasing my exercise. I’m trying to lose weight without any sort of portion control, and that’s tough. Will it work? I don’t know, but maybe I do need to accept that I won’t be thin again. Maybe I’ll just need to accept that my weight will always be high but at least my eating won’t be out of control. My one hope here is that the frequency of Exception Days will make it so I don’t feel the need to have over the top Exception Days. I won’t know if that is the result until I follow through on the commitment to stick with 10 Exception Days per month. That’s the way it is. That’s where I need to be. I have floundered around enough. I need to stick with this approach.

Going forward, every Saturday and Sunday is an Exception Day, and there are two additional weekday Exception Days per month. I have a balance of two as of right now. On the second Sunday of the month, which I call Fat Sunday, I’ll buy junk (processed food) to bring home, but I can buy it when I am out.

Day 435 – Monday, November 16, 2009: Curses. An Exception Day starting at 9 PM. I’ve gotten out of the habit of no snacks, sweets, or seconds.

Day 438 – Thursday, November 19, 2009: Another Exception Day, with none left for Thanksgiving Day. How revealing! I must have cheated much more than I realized after I started working on reducing the number of Exception Days.

Day 439 – Friday, November 20, 2009: (Starting again with 2 Exception Days) I look back at what happened when I started this diet in September, 2008, and I had four days of failure before I had one day of success and then a weekend of S Days and then success going forward for several months. Then I started tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, trying to find a way to lose weight faster. I now have a lot of regret about regained pounds and lost time. It’s time to restart and stay with the course I followed last year. I think that “perfect compliance” is the key concept. With “perfect compliance,” I establish a habit that becomes mindless and requires little to no effort to maintain. That’s what happened back in the spring. Now I’m going to restart this approach and then change my attention to creating other habits that do not require “perfect compliance”, habits like having food that is better for you (oatmeal instead of Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and exercising (I'm now up to 1.3 miles three times per week). My focus on weight loss has wasted years, literally years, of my life, in addition to the high probability that my life will be shorter due to the five years I’ve been within ten pounds of 200 pounds. I need to not look back with regret. I need to look forward with optimism.

Here is a summary of my current plan:

1. There are two types of days, Normal Days and Exception Days.

2. On Exception Days, I have “unconditional permission to eat”, which is a phrase taken from the book Intuitive Eating. I can eat as much as I want of as much as I want.

3. Exception Days are all Saturdays and Sundays plus two additional weekdays per month that are designated at my discretion and can accumulate to the following month if not used.

4. Fat Sunday, the second Sunday of the month, is a special Exception Day when I allow myself particularly expensive or unhealthy foods. While I allow myself anything on all Exception Days, Fat Sunday is the day I would spend $5 or $10 on a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cone or a Byerly’s chocolate cheesecake. This sort of expenditure is not one I can afford to make on every Exception Day, since they occur ten times per month.

5. On Normal Days, I have no snacks and no sweets, and this includes dark chocolate which is supposed to be very good for you. I need to get completely away from sweets on Normal Days. I have three meals, and I only eat what in front of me before I take one bite. I will try to have foods that are good for you – Irish oats rather than pop tarts at breakfast, for example. The one exception to eating outside of mealtimes is testing food to make sure it is done when I am cooking. If there are any other exceptions, like having one Lifesaver, then the day is an Exception Day. There is no such thing as an Exception Event. One exception makes the entire day an Exception Day.

Day 441 – Sunday, November 22, 2009: I woke up today and noticed something different. I did not want to eat right away. Was this because I was stuffed from yesterday? Was it because of my commitment to myself to honor the idea of “unconditional permission to eat” so I didn’t need to eat ravenously because every weekend would be a time when I could eat whatever I wanted? I don’t know, but the absence of a ravenous appetite lasts.

Day 442 – Monday, November 23, 2009: In retrospect, I realized I had eaten a handful of something before dinner on Friday, so I’m counting it as an Exception Day to keep myself honest. That brings me down to one remaining Exception Day which will be used on Thanksgiving. Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Y to do my pitiful 1.3 mile walk, and I weighed myself. It was afternoon rather than first thing in the morning, so it’s not an official weigh-in, but it was very sobering to see 207 pounds. Ugh. A morning weight is probably between 203 and 205. I do think I’ve topped out now that I’ve returned to reliable Exception Days, but it is very discouraging to realize how much time I wasted with my little detours into limiting Exception Days. Too bad. Can’t go back. I’m where I am now today, and I’m resolved not to waste any more time on any more tweaks until at least next July when I have a full week to evaluate what has happened with my weight since today. I had hoped to be down to 190 pounds by the time of my next annual physical in June, and at this point that very modest goal is in jeopardy. Too bad. I need to accept that I made a mistake which cost me a lot of months. If I am correct in assuming my morning weight would be about 204 pounds, then I am back to about where I was in May, which means I lost about 7 months of progress. Oh well. I can allow myself a pity party as I type this and then move on. Lesson learned. The damage is done, and it’s time to move on.

Day 444 – Wednesday, November 25, 2009: This week is such a treasure. We have kid sleepovers four nights this week. It’s such a joy to be with the kids and entertain their friends. Life is too busy when you can’t take time to watch a kid movie like “Aliens in the Attic”.

I think that I understand why this diet will work, and it’s a simple enough reason: there are times when you want to eat and you refrain from doing so. Yesterday afternoon, before dinner, I felt ever so slightly hungry and yet waited for dinner. That slight delay in eating was not difficult, but I think that my ability to delay gratification is what makes this diet work. Now, this morning, I am making oatmeal, and I need to wait half an hour in order to eat. No problem. There are times when it is difficult to wait, but I think that habituation to not eating between meals and refraining from sweets will make it easy to wait for a meal and even to disregard any sort of hunger signals until the next mealtime. That’s what happened in the spring, and I think I’ll go back to having an easy time with this diet more quickly this time around. I can celebrate Thanksgiving without any sort of diet restraint with regard to food, and yet now is when my habits will result in weight loss. With conventional dieting, I learned to eat quickly and as much as possible before the next diet (what the book Intuitive Eating called “Last Supper Eating”). With this diet, a slight wait – just until oatmeal is done – makes all the difference (I think). Time will tell. I’m willing to wait until July to see where I am then.

Day 445 – Thursday, November 26, 2009: Thanksgiving Exception Day. No oatmeal today! For breakfast, I had two biscotti which I had made yesterday and which was well-received last night. My daughter Anne who is also on the diet is having her biscotti right now. I am very aware of how badly I have felt after overeating, so I’m not too interested in arriving at my sister in law’s house with a full stomach. She is a fabulous cook, and I want to enjoy her food!

9 AM: Yesterday, when Tom and I went to shop for ingredients for what we will bring to Thanksgiving today, I told him that Katie, our 10 year old, had gone to bed the night before with a stomach ache, and it turns out she had had four sugared doughnuts as well as ice cream. I told her that her body was telling her she ate too much. Tom did not think this was a good approach to teach her not to overeat.

It does seem bizarre, and I admit it seems bizarre. I told him that the memory of how I felt after 4,000 calories of caramel macademian clusters is very effective in keeping me from outrageous overeating. It’s almost as if I have developed a food aversion when it comes to significant overeating. I still do overeat but not to the extent that I have.

One key to this approach, I think, is that there are no sweets during the week. Katie’s stomach ache is not just due to four sugared doughnuts in one day. It’s also due to having no sweets at home during the week. We had those doughtnuts only because of a sleepover for her friend. Usually, there are no sweets in the house. I need to be working on other treats that the kids can have for friends, but normally we don’t have sleepovers on weekdays. It’s jus that school is out this week.

Yesterday, I also discovered, hidden in my jewelry box, which tends to contain all sorts of memorabilia, the stick to a Haagen Dazs bar. I looked at that stick and chuckled: at one point prior to starting this diet, I had had my last ever Haagen Dazs bar, and I had saved the stick. Needless to say, that stick no longer contains any sentimental value, and it went in the trash!

10 PM: My skeptical mother in law told me “I don’t believe it” when I said that I had lost 20 pounds on this diet (actually, 18, but I rounded up). I told her, “What’s not to like about a diet where you can eat as much as you want of whatever you want?” Here I was enjoying a slice of pecan pie. I told her I would stick with this plan until next summer and see where I am. It was interesting to observe the self-restraint used by my in-laws at a Thanksgiving feast. Not me! I enjoyed the food, and now I go to sleep and will wake up to enjoy oatmeal after all the richness of the foods I ate today.

Day 447 – Saturday, November 28, 2009: I think it would just be better overall if I committed today to staying on this diet for life. The book Intuitive Eating may well be right that all you need to do is give up dieting altogether and you will gradually return to a normal weight. The problem with that approach is that it takes an even longer time than this diet does, and I’m not all that patient. With this diet, I’m benefiting from the contrast between Exception Days (when overeating and eating sweets results in my not feeling all that well) vs. Normal Days (when I feel better). If the weight loss is slow, even if the weight loss doesn’t continue, so be it. I can improve my health in other ways, such as by exercising and forming habits like eating steel cut oatmeal in the morning. Overall, I am satisfied with this diet. My four sister in laws are a case study in dieting – one is following Weight Watchers but it’s hard always to go to the meeting and constantly limit food intake (I understand because I’ve tried Weight Watchers), one is now wearing an armband to track all her movements so that she increases physical activity, one is trying a low-carb approach, and one is so busy she cannot put much focus on dieting right now. I just don’t want my life consumed by dieting like it has been. This diet, with minimal effort, satisfies my need to do something, it has given me the ability to control my eating impulses and binges, it has taught me that I can overeat so much I gain an aversion to it, and it has helped me to lose some weight. Good enough. I’m sticking with it.

9:30 PM: My 13 year old son, who has taken to calling me a “health freak”, showed me tonight that he had chosen the biscotti I had made over the Oreo cookies which I had purchased for the sleepover. I’d love some biscotti right now, but I’m waiting until tomorrow, the next Exception Day. It is times like these when I think this diet is just plain silly, and it is also times like these when I feel more confident that this diet will work in the long run because I am willing to delay food consumption due to what might seem like an arbitrary rule of only eating sweets on Exception Days. When I was talking to my sister in law yesterday about dieting, I told her about eating 4,000 calories of caramel macademian clusters on an Exception Day, and she admitted to eating an entire pizza. The difference now, between her and me, is there is some measure of control in my bingeing in that I have to wait for an Exception Day. Tom told me tonight he doesn’t believe it will work for me to lose weight this way, but I think I got lost with trying to reduce Exception Days. After all, if tomorrow was not an Exception Day but instead I had to wait longer than for the weekend, how likely is it that I would try that biscotti? I already know the answer: Very likely. That is November’s lesson. I’ve had 8 weekday Exception Days this month.

Day 447 – Saturday, November 28, 2009: I’ve eaten a lot today and this afternoon I feel sluggish. Maybe there needs to be something more than eating what I am allowed to eat. Maybe I need to start thinking about the advantages of eating moderately today. This isn’t about my weight. It’s about how I feel today.

3:30 PM: I am sipping hot chocolate now, painfully aware that I have eaten way too much today. Why do I continue to eat? Well, I think it has to do with the years of starvation dieting. The only good became to eat. I lost a sense of moderation. I lost the sense that eating too much was as bad as eating too little. I think I need to regain that sense of moderation. That’s what N Days are for, and yet these Exception Days just lead to my feeling sick and sluggish. Why would I subject myself to feeling sick and sluggish? It’s time to get over what will never return, the sense of forever feeling like I am starving. What I need is an aversion to overeating.

8:30 PM: “Patience is a virtue.” That really needs to be the motto of this diet. I had so many Exception Days this month that I’ve lost a lot of ground. In trying to have fewer, I ended up with more. I had 16 Exception Days this month but should have had only 12. In addition, I could not be assured of having Exception Days, so I ate a lot on those days that I did have. All in all, my plan was an unmitigated disaster. When I weigh myself for the month of December, I will be able to see the damage and move on with the lesson learned.

Day 449 – Monday, November 30, 2009: I awoke at 3:15 AM and ended up spending the rest of the night on the coach because I was so restless. My body is telling me I have gained weight: I can actually feel the extra weight above my elbows and in my knees. That’s not why I didn’t sleep, however. I felt sick. It wasn’t just the quantity of food I ate yesterday. It was also the quality: the chocolate covered pretzels, the peanut brittle, the ice cream… Too much and too sweet! I contrast my reaction now to my reaction after break the diet binges prior to this diet. Then, I would be disgusted by the weight gain. Now, I am disgusted by how I feel right now. My body used to take charge and a binge would result from starvation dieting. Now, my body gets a welcome relief with N Day eating. This morning, I had steel cut oats and grape juice.

I need a lot of patience. I need to stick with this diet and let my body find its natural weight. The norm will become N Day eating. When I started the diet, I had real difficulty managing to get through an N Day. Now Monday morning has become “a welcome relief.”

The big lesson I learned from November’s disaster of a tweak is that frequent and reliable Exception Days are critically important. I tried to allow Exception Days whenever I wanted rather than on the weekend, with the intent that I would reduce the number of Exception Days by one each month until I only had three. Bad idea. I need to have most of my Exception Days be scheduled and the remaining two be used for unusual circumstances or holidays. This coming month, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are on Fridays. Since I only have two weekday Exception Days, I need to reserve those days for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:01 pm; edited 34 times in total
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, we learn as we go... but you seem to retain what you've learned. You're so organised!!!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reneew,
I decided I'd rather learn new things than keep learning the same things over and over again! That's why I started a journal in 2004. Today, I learned it's time to dive in and do what I consider to be the minimum. I've spent enough time preparing for this day.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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kccc



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, you're really working hard at this, and I wish you every success.

I have found that people notice/care less than you think. I can say "not just yet" ("yet" never comes), or a simple "no thanks" or "no thanks, I'm not hungry" and no one usually cares.

Everything becomes easier with practice... and this is no exception. Good luck!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC,
Oh, I've gotten snide comments over the years when I've declined food. So what! If that is what is holding me back, well, I need to have a backbone. That's all. Now I'm off to get some exercise...
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Grammy G



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

got your post on my thread. I think you and I need the structure so the less we have to actually think about food the better! whenever I've decided to change S days to, say, begin on Friday with dinner and end Sunday afternoon (OH..this is funny, I just typed sinday instead of Sunday!!), I go crazy!! i just did it again this Friday...coming home with left-overs from a lovely dinner out and sitting down at 9pm and eating them.. Was I hungry ..no!! Then I mentally beat myself up because i did that!! AAAhhhhh!
If i stick to the vanilla rules..I am happier and healthier. I am just realizing that..less thinking about food equals a better me! Laughing Maybe we are the same in that regard.
Here is a funny no S story; We were out for dinner Friday night w/ granddughter and a friend who just happens to be a boy but someone we had not known before picking him up. As i was asking for a take home container for over half my dinner (yep..same food i ate at 9pm!!! Crying or Very sad ), my hubby says, "We are on a no S diet..that means no sugar, no seconds, no sex." I leap in, "What are you saying!!" The kids are laughing their heads off. i don't know what to say next! i finally just shook my head and tell him no child or grandchild wants to hear the word sex related to their parents and especially not their grandparents! ..and then I told them what the S's really stood for! i can't believe he did that!! Embarassed
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrammyG,

I'm a case study in what happens when you tweak, tweak, tweak. My husband is now supportive of this diet, but he knows the meaning of the three S's!

What really threw me was impatience. I was terribly disappointed that I had not reached my goal of 193.5 (or a loss of 10% of my body weight) by the one year anniversary of my being on the diet. Missing the goal resulted in my wanting to try more restrictions, and those restrictions backfired.

I do follow one tweak, which is to allow an accumulation of two weekday Exception Days per month rather than designate days as Special Days. When you're a parent, there are just too many opportunities to designate a day as Special -- celebrating a soccer goal, getting into Math Masters, etc. in addition to birthdays and holidays. I so value being able to take Exception Days whenever I consider it a special event that it's worth the hassle of tracking my bank of Exception Days.

Other than that one tweak, I've tweaked myself into gaining weight. I'll stick with this approach (Exception Days as every weekend plus two per month which can rollover to the next month) and focus on increasing my exercise, which is now a measly 3 trips to the gym for 1.2 miles of 14 minute walks plus leisurely 1 mile walks almost daily with an 8 pound Yorkie Poo.

I'm also working on better eating choices. I think oatmeal will be my standard breakfast.

This was, as reneew called hers, a detour, not a dead end. Detours are learning experiences. I'm willing to forego any more learning experiences until next summer.

Thanks for your encouragement!

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Dandelion



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Grammy G!

I was sitting here reading what you two have written, and it's so familiar to me. Staying Vanilla is so much easier for me, especially now that the structure is finally starting to become a habit. I love that I don't have to think about it all the time.

I'm with you on the little S events in life. Parent's breakfast at school, soccer end of season dinner, school plays and parties...so many things. I want to keep those about the event - not about NoS.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandelion,

I think I might have been the one who came up with the idea of S events. What a slippery slope that was! I got all wrapped up in trying to lose weight faster, and all that has happened is I have gained weight and wasted time on tweaking. Vanilla S, I don't think, would work for me because there are so many celebrations when you have kids. You need to limit the damage by limiting the number of Exception Days.

My first Exception Day was over a year ago when I took our kids out to celebrate our son making Life Scout rank. That was a very important event for our family.

I am going to try very hard to just having my one tweak of two Exception Days per month for weekdays and all weekends as Exception Days. I want to focus on exercise.

That exercise bike that my husband bought back in April is gathering dust in the basement. I can use it a few days per week in addition to building a good walking program.

Somewhere I read that those who are successful in weight loss often focus on better health. I think I need to be in that camp.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Teemuh



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Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Good job Reply with quote

Hi Kathleen. I too just spent the last couple of hours reading your entries, and I tip my cap to you for your patience and committment. Good luck in your quest, and you've already won, a major battle by maintaining as long as you have.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teemuh,
Oh thank you for your words of encouragement. My size 18 pants are tight this morning, since I allowed myself two true S Days of "unconditional permission to eat." I'm set to spend the next several days eating moderately and exercising, and on Saturday I'll allow myself again "unconditional permission to eat."
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Teemuh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can do it. Would love to read a fabulous ending to all this Very Happy
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teemuh,
Thanks for the much-needed and appreciated encouragement. I took a detour. That's what I'm telling myself. I'm now squeezing into clothes I bought (and wore!) in the spring. It's quite discouraging. I bet my weight is close to 205 right now. I may tamper with other aspects of the diet, but I'm not tampering with reduction in the number of S Days. What a pain -- I think that my weight problem is the single worst problem of my life, and -- as Oprah said once -- I cannot believe I'm still talking about it.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What a pain -- I think that my weight problem is the single worst problem of my life,
and -- as Oprah said once -- I cannot believe I'm still talking about it.
Kathleen,
I greatly empathize with your struggle
and recently sent you a private message.

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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
I think I might have been the one who came up with the idea of S events.
Reinhard wrote:
All the mods I'm going to talk about build on the idea of S-events. You've heard of S-days, now there are S-events. An S-event is every incident in which you have a snack, a sweet or a second. So if I have 3 meals on Saturday, plus a twix bar between breakfast and lunch, and two courses at dinner, plus desert, that translates to 3 s events -- 1) a sweet snack (the twix bar) 2) a second (seconds at dinner and 3) a sweet (dessert, which I guess could technically count as a second as well -- S-events can fall into multiple categories, but every incident still counts as just one event). Thinking in terms of discreet eating events like this is helpful even just in itself, without even adding any rules about how to limit them. Because the bigest danger is permasnacking, eating "one big meal all day long." S-events chop that up. There's a cost, a realization, a little bit of mental friction every time you reach for yet more food. And that alone can reduce the number of times you do it.

OK, so how do the mods use these S-events?

The first mod, is the simplest, it consists of limiting yourself 1 s-event per s-day, interpreting the "sometimes" (in the explicit 14 word nos formula) as once. Or some similarly small predetermined number. The pro of this mod is that it's very simple. And you still get some kind of reward on S days. The con is that it's still pretty constricting. It might be very hard to get yourself to do this long term.

The second mod is to simply resolve to log or count S-events every S day. You have no hard limit, you can eat as many snacks, sweets and seconds as you like, just as with vanilla no-s, but you have to write them down. And maybe then post them on the bulletin board, sort of a confession, though hopefully more of a brag. This is an example of the power of negative tracking. It's a pain to track stuff. And it can get embarrassing fast. Even if you're not posting it online. This pain of tracking will exert pressure on you to keep the number of s-events down, even without a hard limit. The downside is that, well, tracking is a pain. And S-events aren't,or shouldn't be intrinsically negative, as they are cast by this mod. And even though you're technically just as free as before, can can eat anything, you have no privacy, you feel like you've got eyeballs on you all the time and that is a kind of freedom you're giving up. Still, it can be interesting just as an experiment. A way to gather data about how many S-events you actually take on S-days before coming up with a hard limit.

The third mod is my favorite, though I have to admit I don't do it myself (I don't do any of these mods myself, vanilla no-s out of the box, with totally unrestricted S-days works great for me). The third mod divides s days into two classes: ordinary lowercase s-days, like weekends and minor holidays, and extraordinary capital S-days, major holidays like thanksgivings or Christmas or your birthday. On lowercase s-days you have a hard limit on S-events, just like with mod #1. But on capital S days you are totally free. I like this mod best because it's simple (and cute) but sophisticated in terms of how it balances the costs vs. benefits. You have useful, clear limits most of the time, but you still get that great feeling of total freedom now and then, just when you need and value it most. The other two mods, even though they keep the physical food reward aspect of S-days to some degree, take away or compromise that feeling of freedom, which I think is as important as the cookies and cake or whatever.

Whatever you do, do not get rid of S days altogether. That's not a mod, that's a cruel and unusual butchering of the system. You don't only need s-days in a negative way, as a safety valve to keep you from going crazy, you positively deserve them, you deserve to enjoy them. They can be a great wonderful thing, the best thing about no-s. If it takes some tinkering to get to the point where you can enjoy them like this, then tinker. But don't get rid of them.

Your journal indicates that you have gone above and beyond the norm in attempting to establish lower-calorie (or moderate) eating through "vanilla" No S principles.
Have you tried these 3 modifications which were suggested by Reinhard?
If so, what do you feel was the Result for you?

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~reneew



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen... I always enjoy reading your check-in. You seem to voice exactly what I've been thinking off and on, over and over. I tweak and tweak and tweak. We are both headed in the right direction. Looking at your progress looks quite impressive. I guess mine does to others but I know the frustration of wanting it all off now with no lasting issues of food addiction. I truly feel at a loss of self-contol at times, and the mental struggle can help me and/or hinder me. Keep going and try no to "deny" yourself too much. It can back-fire.

I've noticed that every time I start doing well, I've been reading the book called "the diet alternative". It's a Christian view on eating. It talks about how the bible never mentions "lunch", just eating in the morning and at night, and that giving a meal to God is sewing to the spirit. It totally fits with no s, but gives another way of looking at it. It's kind of a slight mod I guess, though Reinhard said that he technically never tells us how many meals to have, just suggests not more than 3, and that 2 is fine. I normally eat brunch and dinner because I'm not normally hungry until 11:00, probably due to the volume on my dinner plate the evening before. I've also learned that I have a big problem with stopping once I start. That's why the one plate works so well. I find that fasting until dinner shrinks my tum and so I don't want to over eat. I've read so much about metabolisms as I have hypothyroidism, and I firmly believe that my (or anyones) metabolisms will not get messed up in a 24 hour period by fasting until lunch. So, my current plan is this: doing vanilla no s with a "spurt" twice a week of waiting until dinner (5:00 - 5:30) to eat. When I do it on Monday it really helps me to get on the right track after my S day. I also know that I'd do really really well if I didn't do S days on both Saturdays and Sundays. But that's another tweak.

Sorry for rambling, I should have just posted this on mine, but your struggles seem to parallel mine, so I thought I'd mention my current thoughts.
Rolling Eyes
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reneew,
I agree with you that we seem to have some painfully similar experiences, so I enjoy tracking your story as well. When I labeled your experiment as a detour, I found myself labeling mine the same thing. Sometimes a detour takes you right into a dead end, so you just have to turn around and go back! Pathetically, I tried my same detour (reducing the number of S Days) back in May, but this time I've learned my lesson (I hope!).
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! Twice at least, I've tried to limit the number of S days... and I made up for it on the N days, and like you I started to cheat. Rolling Eyes
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reneew,
I think that the way this diet will work for me is if the S Days are so frequent that they really aren't special. They're exceptions rather than special occasions! I feel much better returning to "perfect compliance" on N Days.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I copied this from my check-in:

"Delayed gratification doesn't necessarily mean deprivation." I love that quote!

Kathleen... I hope you see this. For me, eating is like opening up a can of worms, and I have trouble stopping and frequent the kitchen more often all day long. If I delay the opening of the can by waiting for supper to eat, I overall, eat way less. I did it for 6 weeks and was loosing, so I'm back to it. A pastor friend of mine did that daily every winter for a couple months to loose all that he gains summer through Christmas. It's like a little boost, and doesn't seem to mess up the rest of my days either. Friday is the hardest day. Monday and Wednesdays seem to be the best for me. I used to fast on Wednesdays during Lent. All day. Consecutive days of waiting for supper are more difficult. If anyone is interested in trying, I suggest Wednesdays, and get busy with something that will help keep you out of the kitchen! And I drink a lot of ice water with a splash of juice.
Oh, and kathleen...I had my 4th in 2001 also. I'm also a Minnesotan at heart because I lived there up until 4 years ago... and I'm 42. I'm only 5 miles into Iowa... the Boji area. Funny, the similarities!

(I copied that here, because I didn't know if you've seen it.)

In reply to your last post here... I understand that you want the S days to be "exceptions" and that's a good way to view them, but I don't understand what you wrote before that: "I think that the way this diet will work for me is if the S Days are so frequent that they really aren't special." Maybe I'm taking it wrong, but isn't just frequent S days like not being on a diet at all? I'd really like to know your thoughts on that. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reneew,

The promise of frequent E Days (10 per month) gives me the motivation to follow N Day rules with "perfect compliance" and gives me the flexibility to choose to take exceptions when I want. My very first S Day, I can remember very clearly, was celebrating my son advancing to Life Scout. It was October 1 of last year. No diet I have been on gave me the flexibility to go out and eat what I want with the kids to celebrate an occasion that would not fit into anyone's idea of a major celebration. For me, the flexibility was the huge benefit.

So here I am more than a year later realizing that my initial plan with this diet was the best for me and regretting that my impatience to lose weight more quickly resulted in a delay from May to now, November 20th. That's OK. As I tell the kids, "people make mistakes." I'm a big believer in resiliency.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:24 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double post.
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with you... I just didn't get that sentence. By the way, let us know how those extra days go because I'm interested in trying to do that too... I just don't know how I'll draw the line between a really special event and a sneaky cheat. My crazy mind can come up with a special event any ol' time. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reneew,

It doesn't matter if a day is special or not. All that matters is whether or not I have accumulated enough Exception Days to use. I get two weekday Exception Days per month. Period.

It worked. I did lose weight. I did stop feeling hungry between meals. The problem was impatience. I fiddled with weekend S Days and got sloppy on following the No S guidelines for N Days.

Lesson learned.

I feel like I'm going through the same process I went through last fall, only this time it is less difficult.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

December, 2009:
Starting Number of Weekday Exception Days = 0 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 2.

I followed a diet for just over fifteen months starting on September 8, 2008. The diet was subject to change depending on whether or not I met expected weight goals. During the diet, I weighed myself in the morning before eating anything. Starting December 18, 2009, I now follow a lifestyle of eating habits: “unconditional permission to eat” on weekends and two additional days per month; for other days, no snacks, no sweets, and nothing other than what is before me at a meal before I take one bite. This lifestyle is not subject to change based on my weight. The weights are taken in the morning at the gym after breakfast and after I exercise. Because I am committed to following this lifestyle of eating habits, I can live my life today without constantly evaluating my eating habits and trying to maximize weight loss. What I want to maximize is time spent enjoying life. This lifestyle requires minimal time or effort and can be sustained for life. It does require patience: lots of patience! “Patience is a virtue.”

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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0

The following is a list of one weight from one day of each month of the lifestyle:
(Month 1) Day 1 – Friday, December 18, 2009: 204.8

The following is a list of days in the current month:
Day 450 – Tuesday, December 1, 2009:
Day 451 – Wednesday, December 2, 2009:
Day 452 – Thursday, December 3, 2009:
Day 453 – Friday, December 4, 2009:
Day 454 – Saturday, December 5, 2009:
Day 455 – Sunday, December 6, 2009:
Day 456– Monday, December 7, 2009:
Day 457 – Tuesday, December 8, 2009:
Day 458 – Wednesday, December 9, 2009: (26 laps; 205.8 )

(Restart: 2 Exception Days)
Day 459 – Thursday, December 10, 2009:
Day 460 – Friday, December 11, 2009: (26 laps; 205.0)
Day 461 – Saturday, December 12, 2009:
Day 462 - Sunday, December 13, 2009:
Day 463 - Monday, December 14, 2009:
Day 464 – Tuesday, December 15, 2009: (27 laps; 206.8 )
Day 465 – Wednesday, December 16, 2009:
Day 466– Thursday, December 17, 2009:

Restart at 1 PM with 10 Exception Days:
Day 467 – Friday, December 18, 2009: (27 laps; 204.8 )
Day 468 – Saturday, December 19, 2009:
Day 469 – Sunday, December 20, 2009:
Day 470 – Monday, December 21, 2009: (28 laps; 207.0)
Day 471 – Tuesday, December 22, 2009: Weekday Exception Day
Day 472 – Wednesday, December 23, 2009: (28 laps; 206.0)
Day 473 – Thursday, December 24, 2009: (28 laps; 206.8 )
Day 474 – Friday, December 25, 2009: Weekday Exception Day
Day 475 – Saturday, December 26, 2009:
Day 476 – Sunday, December 27, 2009:
Day 477 – Monday, December 28, 2009: (28 laps; 206.8 )
Day 478 – Tuesday, December 29, 2009:
Day 479 – Wednesday, December 30, 2009: Weekday Exception Day
Day 480 – Thursday, December 31, 2009: Weekday Exception Day

Day 450 – Tuesday, December 1, 2009: I can actually live! Dieting does not have to consume my life! I’ve got a husband and four children and a dog and am now volunteering for Math Masters and Chess Club and IIBA. My life can be full of activities and enjoyment without the minute to minute focus on feeling like I’m starving and wanting desperately to eat. It’s wonderful! Yes, my weight is still a problem, but I am betting my life that focusing on health and following the very simple rules of this diet will result in a lower weight over time.

The best time for me to weigh myself at the gym is probably Saturday, just before our 13th time attending Santa’s Breakfast at our church and probably the last time that we have a child who believes in Santa. The weight will be high – probably just below 205 – but I’m accepting that I learned a big lesson last month and won’t have to learn it again. It is the rhythm of predictable Exception Days (every weekend) plus the rhythm of moderate eating on Normal Days that makes this diet sustainable, and it is the two weekday Exception Days per month that allow me to follow this diet with “perfect compliance” so that it is a habit which I follow with very little thought so that I can focus on other areas of our lives.

What an incredible time sink it has been to try to figure out how to eat. I’m so glad I’m done. Now all I need to do is follow the diet, and the diet is easy. What a relief.

Day 451 – Wednesday, December 2, 2009: This is the fourth night in a row that I have not slept, and it is because I am upset about making the commitment to stick with this diet no matter what the result. It could be I’ll always be fat, and I hate being fat. The best reassurance I can give myself is that I will thoroughly test this diet and my children can learn from my success or failure. It’s just too hard to return to conventional dieting. I just cannot do it. I cannot be constantly reducing portion sizes to what is barely tolerable, eating disgusting food like Lean Cuisine and leaving the table counting the minutes to the next meal, and giving out in large and unpredictable binges. Had I stuck with the Intuitive Eating approach, I think I would have eventually gotten to the point of eating normally, but it would have taken much longer than this approach because with this approach I have the weekly contrast of how I feel when I eat moderate amounts of healthy food with how I feel when I overeat junk. Patience. Patience. Patience.

I need to turn my attention elsewhere. My fifth grader, who was doing so poorly in math that in June she was still counting on her fingers with addition math facts, benefited from my tutoring and is now one of the five top math students in her grade of 50 students invited to participate in the Math Masters competition. I agreed to be coach. It will be such a pleasure to see her bloom over the next few months. She has considered herself to be stupid, and this is a real ego boost for her. I can celebrate her effort in going through math facts flash cards daily and in completing workbooks that we got from Barnes & Noble. The focus no longer has to be on me and my weight. Life is much larger than that!

Day 452 – Thursday, December 3, 2009: I woke up this morning at 5 AM, which meant I had a reasonably good night’s sleep. It also means I had time to run to the YMCA to weigh myself. Did I? No. What’s the point? I’m sticking with this diet no matter what the result. I have sanity. This weekend will be rushed. I may not even be able to get to the Y in the morning this weekend because of Santa’s breakfast on Saturday and Katie cantoring on Sunday. It’s a pain to get over there before I have coffee. Maybe I will just weigh myself three times per year – once in January, once in May, and once in September. I’m grumpy, grumpy, grumpy… Life is about choices, and the choice to follow this diet means I won’t be thin anytime soon. What it does mean is that I can change my focus from my eating to my life. The reason for the focus on my eating in the first place is that I saw that the trajectory of weight gain meant that I would have fewer and fewer options – Could I go on a hike? Could I fit in a sleeping bag? Would obesity mean health problems? Now I may not like how I look, but at least my concern for my health is abating. The weight gain has turned into a slow, a very slow, weight loss. I need to accept the slowness of the weight loss and be patient, patient, patient… Even monthly weigh-ins causes too much of a focus on how fast I am losing weight. If I look back to my monthly weigh-ins, it looks like I lost about 5 pounds for every four months – until I started reducing the number of Exception Days and everything backfired. Can I accept a weight loss that is this slow? Yes, I will. I don’t want to head back into the chaos of conventional dieting. I accept the sanity of this approach. “Patience is a virtue.” And now I’m off to coffee with a friend…

Day 453 – Friday, December 4, 2009: I woke up this morning late, and I felt lousy. I can hazard a guess why I feel so lousy. There was too great of a contrast between how I ate last week and how I have eaten so far this week. To go from wolfing down sweets to moderate amounts of healthy foods was not an easy transition. Why didn’t this contrast result in my feeling lousy when I went from starvation diet to diet-failure binge? I think it may be that my body was relieved to eat!

This is Friday. Tomorrow is an Exception Day. Am I eager to wolf down sweets? Not at all. Will I? Probably. I think I need to give my body permission to eat what it wants without interfering with any sort of resolutions.

I remember reading that there is an emotional brain (which takes charge of your reactions like when you are held underwater) and an intellectual brain (which rationally makes decisions). The emotional brain reacts without thinking. The intellectual brain makes resolutions and uses willpower. I’m using the intellectual brain to make the resolution to follow this incredibly easy diet of no snacks, sweets or seconds on Normal Days, and I’m relying on the emotional brain to make decisions that result in my becoming thinner, or at least less heavy. I’m putting the emotional brain in charge of how much to eat (on Normal Days, I can eat as much as I want of whatever is at my place before I start eating), what to eat (the only restriction is no sweets on Normal Days), and when to eat (the weekend is 100% “unconditional permission to eat”, a term taken from the book Intuitive Eating).

I think a total reliance on the intellectual brain and willpower leads to yo-yo dieting, since few people can make the choice to stay in a state of perpetual starvation, and I think total reliance on the emotional brain (as in the Intuitive Eating approach) may well lead to a lower weight but would take longer than I’m willing to take. I’m having difficulty even following this approach because it takes too long and – to be honest – I’m not sure it’s going to work. I’m just willing to follow it because at least I’ve stopped gaining weight.

Day 455 – Sunday, December 6, 2009: Yesterday, I ate my way through kettle chips and chocolate covered pretzels and other goodies, and oh did I have a stomach ache yesterday. It was embarrassing to go to bed with a stomach ache from overeating – and at my age of 51! I felt like a college student who had had too much to drink. Tom in fact has given that analogy when I’ve told him I want my emotional brain to get an aversive reaction to overeating because I ate too much and didn’t feel well. I don’t want to rely on willpower and portion control. Tom’s analogy was that there are people who drink too much even though they get hangovers. Well, right now, I have a food hangover, and my interest in anything sweet today is nil. That could change during the course of the day, but I’m sure not interested in having anything but tea right now.

7 PM: Tom told me to consider that I am committing the sin of gluttony. I can certainly appreciate why he feels that way, since I did not feel well again today. I think that my body is rejecting the excessive levels of food. The negative reaction that I am having to too much food actually is encouraging to me. I think that the Catholic Church was wise to have a calendar of feast days and fast days. People could really feast on those feast days and recover on other days. With this culture of constant dieting, you always feel hungry. With the No S Diet, you definitely are satisfied – and sometimes more than satisfied! – on Exception Days!

I weighed myself on Friday at the gym in late morning (after breakfast, so it’s not an official weigh-in) and my weight was 204. This means that I probably would weigh around 202 to 203 if I weighed myself in the morning. Yes, my weight is up from last month, but I really learned a valuable lesson last month. The lesson I learned is that I need to go through the process of adjusting to frequent feast days. The weight loss will be slow, but I am now more confident after a weekend of feeling sick from excessive eating. I could have anything I want right now, and what I just had was some vanilla yogurt. I look forward to five days of no sweets!

Day 456– Monday, December 7, 2009: This morning, I am relieved it is a Monday. I think that the no sweets rule during the week is critical for me. My body cannot seem to adjust to no sweets during the week and lots of sweets on the weekend. I’m starting to look at sweets and have an aversive reaction – yet I still eat sweets. This is not a stable situation. I am thinking that there are some examples of people being trained out of bad habits by tying a negative experience to the bad habit, but I cannot think of any examples right now. Tom offered me a cupcake one night, and there was absolutely no way I was going to eat a cupcake. No willpower whatsoever was involved in turning down a cupcake.

I’m testing a theory that may or may not work, but I’m convinced that – at least for me – conventional diets of portion control or restriction of certain types of foods are a dead end, and the free for all approach of Intuitive Eating would take too long. Like democracy, the worst of all forms of government except for all of the others, this diet is the worst diet except for all the others. Today, I’m feeling better after a weekend of feeling sick. What a waste. I’ve already been through this part of the process, but I’m repeating it again because I went on an extended detour into trying to lose weight faster by cutting down the number of Exception Days. I’m sticking with this diet.

Day 457 – Tuesday, December 8, 2009: I just ate some peanut brittle and chocolates left over from the Feast of St. Nick, which is when St. Nick brings candy to the kids. My 8 year old caught me putting candy in their shoes, and she was disappointed because then she couldn’t tell what candy I put in and what candy Santa put in. Aren’t these moments the stuff of life?

What I am doing in tracking Exception Days and being so focused on my diet is NOT the stuff of life. I think I need to stop. The path to naturally thin is one of having a habit of having three meals per day but not a strict accounting. I’m back to no accountability. Where will this lead me? I’ll see. I think I will try to weigh myself once per month. Yesterday, when I was exercising, I weighed myself at 206. Is this bad? No. I’m through a phase. I see it. The next phase is listening to my body and enjoying food which makes me feel good. I don’t want any more peanut brittle. I want a nice dinner, and I want to enjoy that little girl who still believes in Santa.

Day 458 – Wednesday, December 9, 2009
: It turns out that this diet was just training and not a permanent lifestyle change. I get it. I get the message of Intuitive Eating, which is that my body knows best. With conventional diets, my body reacted with a binge out of a desire for self-preservation. Conventional diets are nothing more than self-selected starvation plans. Lean Cuisine – Ugh! That stuff wouldn’t satisfy me for longer than an hour. No wonder I’d binge! This morning, I woke up and asked myself what I would enjoy. I can make well-informed selections from what I know about nutrition. What I selected was an entire grapefruit, a piece of toast with peanut butter, and green tea. Now I feel satisfied. This morning, I will go exercise. I don’t like exercising, but I like how I feel when I exercise. There are so many enjoyable foods that are good for me that I’ll just select from the foods that are both enjoyable and good for me. While exercise is not inherently enjoyable, I can have a good diet by eating only foods that appeal to me. A new dawn on this first day of snow!

9:30 PM: I went to the gym and weighed myself at about 10 AM. My weight was 205.8. It’s not an official weight, since it wasn’t first thing in the morning, but it gives me an idea of how I’m doing. I took Katie and Ellie to a burger place for lunch to celebrate Katie getting into Math Masters, and I ate some sweets and snacks and generally went off the No S Diet. At this rate, I am certainly on a path to gain weight, but – something is different. I did not enjoy the burger place. In fact, I would rate it as downright disgusting. Katie and Ellie loved it and want to return, but I won’t be eating their burgers again. I think that the choice of foods may have a lot to do with weight. This is something I flat out disbelieved in the past, but now I think there is truth to it. Some foods are just more filling. There’s a diet, I think called Volumetrics, which has you focus on foods that are low in calories and high in volume (foods like lettuce and popcorn). What I see is that there are some foods that are low in volume and high in calories that help with appetite, and nuts like peanuts, cashews, and pecans fit into that category. I feel better eating better food. Today I felt great starting out with grapefruit and descended into junk snacking after the burger.

My life is rushed right now, but most of the rush has to do with getting kids to activities. I think this may be the most ideal time of my life to simply switch gears with eating and see how it goes. What I noticed with No S is that I would eat large meals as a way to prevent hunger between meals. Now I think I’ll try small meals to see how well I last to lunch. The goal here is to maximize feeling good rather than minimize calories consumed.

What makes me feel good? Grapefruit or a burger. How much makes me feel good? A Lean Cuisine portion, 4000 calories of caramel macademian clusters, or some amount in between? Aristotle was right that virtue is the mean.

Day 459 – Thursday, December 10, 2009: I woke up this morning just feeling disgusted. That burger yesterday was disgusting. I told Tom that perhaps less than 50% of it was beef. What this No S diet does is set up a contrast between weekday non sweet eating and weekend sweet eating. What can happen is a feeling of disgust over eating junk and/or overeating. I think Intuitive Eating does a better job of describing why this diet works than the No S Diet book. Your body has a weekly contrast with No S, whereas with Intuitive Eating the expectation is that you will eventually feel disgusted by the overeating. I think I’m the type of person who needs routines, so I’m back to No S Diet with the built in contrast. I’m starting over with 2 Exception Days starting today.

Day 460 – Friday, December 11, 2009: Last night, Tom and I went to a potluck dinner, and I was very cautious in what I was willing to eat. I ate the chili I brought. The memory of that disgusting burger is still very vivid. I just finished reading a book called The Happiness Hypothesis that was written by a professor and was recommended by one of my favorite columnists, David Brooks. He wrote on the topic of disgust – that people are disgusted by what is dangerous for them (rancid meat, etc). We live in such a sanitized environment that we don’t encounter rancid meat, and I’ve been very indiscriminate in what I eat. Why was I so disgusted? I was telling a friend of mine last night about this burger, and she suggested that maybe my improved eating habits at home were having an effect on my taste buds. She’s right. After reading the book The End of Overeating in the summer, I’ve started to have an aversive reaction to foods in which I cannot readily identify the ingredients.
How is this feeling of disgust going to help me lose weight? I think that I’ve spent much of the last year simply relishing overeating and the more the better. I can look back in my journal, and I can also remember just how wonderful I felt allowing myself to have four Haagen Dazs bars in two hours. There was so much freedom to it! After years of perpetual “portion control”, I felt as if I’d been let out of jail. There was no downside to eating as much as I want of whatever I want. Now, with that taste of that burger still in my mouth almost two days later, I am starting to feel some negative emotions like disgust when it comes to what I eat. That’s good. I’ll see where this takes me. I had no problem whatsoever last night bypassing the sweets. No thank you. I feel better with good food. This morning, I had steel cut oats and a Clementine with coffee and, in a little bit, green tea. Then it’s off to the gym for my now 1.5 mile walk and to the school to volunteer.

Day 461 – Saturday, December 12, 2009: It’s not even 9 AM, I’ve been up since 6, we went out to breakfast, and I’ve been munching ever since then. What is interesting is that I am not at all interested in what I have started to call “junk”. I looked at candies at the grocery store and got something that did not contain corn syrup. I had some Breyer’s chocolate ice cream. It seems that I will continue to eat a lot on the weekend, but my stomach has turned against processed foods. Good. That may well be a step in this process.

Day 1 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0. I bit the bullet and weighed myself this morning after having only a cup of coffee. I am now up one pound from December 15, 2007, which is when I started the Intuitive Eating approach. Am I disappointed? Yes and no. I am disappointed by the weight, but I am pleased that I am eating better food and exercising. I think I’m now on the right track. Today’s weight marks the start of Phase II of this diet – after the turmoil of trying to tweak the diet, I’m set on what I ‘m doing going forward.

6 PM: At the school Christmas concert this afternoon, I had some time to think. Projecting this diet forward, I see a focus on health, on eating meals at regular meals, on eating food that is good for me, and on exercise. I see calm. I can commit to this. Today is Gaudate Sunday. It is the third Sunday of Advent, a Sunday of Joy. How fitting. Today is a new Day 1. I’m no longer on a diet. I’m in a new life.

Day 2 – Monday, December 14, 2009: It feels different today. I no longer need to focus on this diet. All my effort and my thinking about it has come from trying to tweak it to perfection. It’s good enough as it is. There is an opportunity cost involved in trying to perfect it. The opportunity cost is that I am not thinking about aspects of my life. This is time I could be using for improving my exercise program or improving the types of foods that come into the house or improving my posture. This diet is good enough. It just needs time. The big drawback is how much time it takes. Here I am, positively stuffed into size 18 jeans and one pound higher than I was two entire years ago, and I am satisfied. I know too well the rebound effect of dieting, and I see it in celebrities like Oprah and Kirstie Alley. I think I’m going to track my exercise program with this journal. I was walking a very fast walk of 3.2 miles in 45 minutes until the busy life I had resulted in the elimination of walking last February. In September, I started up again, and three months later I am only up to 27 laps when 18 laps is a mile (about 1.5 miles). My 51 year old body needs exercise, and I want to model the priority on exercise for our children.

Day 3 – Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 206.8. Ugh. Can this get any worse? I realize that I am restarting this diet after going on a long detour, but still… Why is my weight continuing to go up? I am trying to look at this from the most optimistic viewpoint. Having eliminated any attempt at “portion control”, it might be appropriate for me to ask myself why I haven’t gained even more weight. Why did I not eat an entire loaf of bread this morning? What happened with “portion control” is that I would eat absolutely the maximum allowed. Now that I am committed to this path, I can start to evaluate just how much food will satisfy me. I don’t need to eat to being stuffed. I need to find the amount that leads to optimal feelings of health and wellness, which is some undetermined amount less than the amount that gets me to the feeling of stuffed.

6 PM: Ugh. Failure. This isn’t a new start. This is going down a path of failure. My father has a saying that, if you’ve found that you have been digging yourself a hole, the first thing you do is: stop digging! Tomorrow another restart.

7 PM: I am very unhappy. I have exploded out of my clothes. How do I get back on the right path? I had taken to cheating on the rules, and cheating just expands to outright failure. How do I recommit?

Day 465 – Wednesday, December 16, 2009: The minimum. I need to eat the minimum. If I set an upper limit (calories, plate size), I’ll maximize food consumption. No – what I need to focus on is the minimum. This morning, I had a piece of toast with apple butter.

12:30 PM: Am I turning a corner here? I’ve been following the healthcare bill, and it looked very much like it would be passed. Something seems to have changed yesterday. No one seems to be happy with the bill. I don’t think it’s going to pass. What does this have to do with me? Well, I’ve just gone from one failure to another with this diet. I’ve failed. I’ve cheated with not eating between meals, and those little snitches of food have turned into binges. This morning, I have thought again about the idea of eating the minimum. For lunch, I just had an apple and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That’s enough. I don’t need to be maximizing the amount I eat. I need to be minimizing it. There is no clear standard for minimizing unless I set out standard meals – one half cup of oatmeal or one sandwich. No, this approach needs to be more philosophical. I need to ask myself before each meal: “What is the minimum amount I can eat that will satisfy me?” I’ll err and eat too little sometimes, but is that really a crises? After all, I can just eat more at the next meal. Weekends and Exception Days are still days of “unconditional permission to eat”, but N Days now can be days when I really think about how much I need to eat. Time will tell. I’m hoping that this is a turnaround. I’m hoping this approach is more like flipping a light switch: suddenly, it all comes together, and I’m on my way to being thin.

7:30 PM: Well, I lasted until about 6 PM before I started bingeing. Why it is so I do not know, but I cannot even have a philosophical approach to eating by asking myself what will it take to satisfy me? I’m back to my plan of just following this diet of no snacks, sweets, or seconds on N Days and “unconditional permission to eat” on weekends and two other days per month.

Day 466– Thursday, December 17, 2009: I am really stuffed into size 18 jeans, and I announced this morning that I am returning to this diet. Tom mentioned something about my going the direction of the wind. I deserve it. I have been all over the place with this diet, and all that has happened is I have wasted time and effort and gained weight. It’s time to go back to what helped me to lose weight. If I don’t lose weight as fast as I had expected to lose it, if I don’t lose as much as I can, well, then I just need to settle.

Just like I had to throw out my scale and rely on the scale at the Y, so I need to get myself away from this computer and this journal as a way to help me in being patient.

I’m going to try to just update my journal once per month, on the day that I get my monthly weight. I know only too well how I will readjust to the no snacks, sweets, or seconds rules. It got to be easy to follow these rules back in the spring, and now it is hard. I got out of the habit. Now I need to make the commitment to follow the diet. This journal has been about recording what I am doing and how it feels so I can make a decision. Now that I’ve made the decision, there is no need for this daily reflection.

My goal has been to find or create a diet which is specific and measurable, something which I could know 100% I am following it. Before I even found this diet, I had concluded that my problem was uncontrolled binges as a reaction to “portion control”, and I had thought that the solution would include controlled binges. This diet allows for controlled binges. I can know whether or not I am following it.

What’s the problem? The problem is that I wasn’t losing weight fast enough. I missed my goal of losing 10% of my weight by the one year anniversary of following it.

What now? What now? Do I go off and experiment, or do I stick with this diet and see what happens? I just cannot bear to revisit the entire diet issue. I just cannot bear it. This whole problem has sucked the life out of me.

Yesterday, we had a Math Masters meeting. I spent the summer coaching my 10 year old daughter, who was very unhappy with me for insisting she go through math facts and finish three math study books. Now she’s happy. She’s enjoying math. That is what life is about, not my sitting at this computer reflecting on my eating habits.

Martin Seligman wrote a book called What You Can Change And What You Can’t. I believe it was in this book that he said that his weight was the only thing that he failed at accomplishing, and he decided that weight was in the category of what you can’t change. I know enough to understand why obesity is such a tough issue. I have personal experience of the problem over more than 30 years, and I have researched what the greatest minds in the country – scientists and psychologists – have learned or not learned about weight.

It’s a dismal picture. The one light for me in all of this has been this diet. I will follow it and simply recognize that I cannot change the bingeing which occurs when I don’t follow it.

Our dog needs a walk, it’s time for me to exercise, and not many Christmas cards have been sent out. Life goes on. I want to live. I don’t want life to pass me by as I sit as this computer.

Like with the dramatic change I made on going from weighing myself daily to weighing myself once per month, I’m now making the dramatic change of only recording my thoughts once per month. I don’t anticipate much change in my thoughts going forward. I just have to slog through adjusting once again to the habits of this diet.

When my kids graduate from 6th grade, they receive a plaque of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.


This year has been about gaining the Wisdom to know the difference. I can follow this diet and build habits of normal eating on most days. I can exercise. I can limit how much I weigh myself and journal. I can turn my attention to life.

Day 467 – Friday, December 18, 2009: My commitment not to journal lasted less than 24 hours. I woke up today feeling great. I had to run to the grocery store to buy Cool Whip for a child’s Christmas party and then run our son to jazz band practice by 7. As I was driving home, my stomach actually growled – and I felt great! I vaguely have this memory of feeling good when I felt light. It comes from childhood, before my obsession with food. Every once in a while, I can recall that it felt good not to feel stuffed. Now, I’ve just had a Clementine and a Trio bar. That means that all I wanted was about 300 calories of food, which is great. I feel good now.

Day 467 – Friday, December 18, 2009: My commitment not to journal lasted less than 24 hours. I woke up today feeling great. I had to run to the grocery store to buy Cool Whip for a child’s Christmas party and then run our son to jazz band practice by 7. As I was driving home, my stomach actually growled – and I felt great! I vaguely have this memory of feeling good when I felt light. It comes from childhood, before my obsession with food. Every once in a while, I can recall that it felt good not to feel stuffed. Now, I’ve just had a Clementine and a Trio bar. That means that all I wanted was about 300 calories of food, which is great. I feel good now.

1 PM: I had a moderate lunch and was proud of myself for about 10 minutes before I had an entire bowl of popcorn and a peanut butter sandwich. Bingo! Here’s the problem with portion control. My body revolts against the possibility of starvation, even if I’m just looking at waiting a few hours for the next meal. I think the question I need to ask is this: “How much shall I eat in order to be satisfied until the next meal?” Wow. This is a 180 degree turn from just two days ago.

I’m starting off with 10 Exception Days because I need to adjust to no longer cheating. I need to call an Exception Day an Exception Day even if all I did was pop some leftover turkey in my mouth because I was feeding the dog.

Day 468 – Saturday, December 19, 2009: It’s the weekend, and I’m not particularly interested in stuffing myself. Without any portion control, I have no need to stuff myself as a buffer against those times of perceived starvation (when I practiced portion control.)

Day 469 – Sunday, December 20, 2009: I am stuffed. Intellectually, I know that there is no longer a reason for me to stuff myself. Emotionally, I’m still squirreling away food against the next starvation diet. This will last as long as it will last. The big change from a year ago is that I now look forward to the sanity of N Days.

Day 470 – Monday, December 21, 2009: It is 9 PM, and I am going to bed. My stomach is growling. I didn't have much for breakfast or lunch, probably because I was still recovering from yesterday's overeating. Tonight, I ate what I wanted, which was a lot -- a large serving of a hamburger, corn and rice casserole, three dates, and almonds. I felt stuffed after eating. The beauty of this diet is that I don’t need to stuff myself all the time in order to feel satisfied. I’m feeling calm because I’m committed to testing out the theory that, gradually, I will no longer want to feel stuffed on most occasions.

It’s also pollyannish to be looking at my highest weight in many months and think I’m turning a corner. Today is a Monday weight. It’s unofficial because it was after breakfast, but I can compare it to Friday’s unofficial weight of 204.8 and realize that today’s weight of 207.0 is only 2.2 pounds above Friday’s weight. There were many weekends when the scale registered a four pound weight increase over the weekend. We’ll see. We’ll see. This could just be fluctuation.

I’ve restarted this diet countless times over the past two months, but I think this time will stick. My latest restart was on Friday. Today I had not one bite outside of meals – not to taste test a casserole which didn’t need to be tested for doneness like noodles do, not to reduce the size of leftover turkey to go to our YorkiePoo, not to clean up after dropping some hamburger meat on the counter, not one bite… not one bit. I’m back to following a philosophy of “perfect compliance.” Because I gave myself a very generous starting balance of 10 Exception Days, I think I have enough days to use if I do revert to the habit of cheating by popping food in my mouth between meals.

Day 5 – Tuesday, December 22, 2009: I realized this morning that my diet would always be subject to tweaks unless I gave up on trying to have weight loss goals. My focus needs to be on following habits and not at all on reaching weight loss goals. Looking back to Friday, I realized that I had started this approach with finality on Friday at 1 PM. It’s curious, but I also had a similar experience when I started the diet on September 8, 2008. It wasn’t until several days later that I realized I had started the diet. I cannot describe in words how calm I feel as I write these words. It’s so nice to not have the next weight be the impetus for changes. It’s so nice to know how I’ll be managing my weight next week and next year. Christmas is in just a few days, and we have a lot of family time which I want to spend with my family and not on the computer!!!!

7 PM: Exception Day. Taste tests when serving dinner, starting at 6:26 PM, led to 2 pieces of bread in addition to my selected food for a meal plus two hard boiled eggs and a box of raisins.. It’s going to be tough to break the habit of cheating. That’s why I decided to have 10 Exception Days as a start. I’m done now for the night. It was ½ hour of overeating.

Day 6 – Wednesday, December 23, 2009: My lesson from yesterday is that I cannot afford to taste test food as part of preparing a meal. Is it really necessary anyway? Do I want to jeopardize my whole program at the risk of having undercooked noodles? No. Yesterday evening, when I was serving up dinner, I just started popping food into my mouth. For one thing, this habit isn’t very hygienic; for another, I can eat a lot before dinner is served. In fact, I remember before this diet started that I came to realize I had eaten dinner before dinner even started. I’ve been all over the board trying to tweak the diet to increase the speed of weight loss, and I lose sight of the fundamentals.

Meanwhile, Tom and I went to the grocery store today, and I saw an article on Kirstie Alley. I feel for her. I understand her situation completely. Whenever she tries to diet, the attempt backfires into massive bingeing. If her experience is anything like mine, she is miserable and she is trying as hard as she can to lose weight. She feels out of control and doesn’t understand what is wrong with her. Mother Nature made us to be unwilling to starve when food is around. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kirstie Alley except the incorrect view that she can win a battle with her own body when what her body is trying to do is to avoid starvation. I bet she followed “portion control” diets for years when she was thin, and her body will no longer tolerate them.

Day 8 – Friday, December 25, 2009: Exception Day. I keep on hoping that I’ll “flip the switch” and no longer have the desire to overeat. Today, I had a biscotti and some small chocolates. I have yet to make Christmas breakfast, and it’s 9 AM. I don’t have much of a desire right now to eat a lot, but that may change over the course of the day. I just have to be patient, and it’s really hard to be patient at 200 pounds. I’ll focus on enjoying my family on this Christmas Day.

3:30 PM: Our 8 and 10 year old girls woke up at 3:30 AM and came to our room to show us what they got in their stockings. Then we got up at 6:30. There was more snow to shovel in the driveway, and it was very wet snow. In fact, it started raining when we were shoveling. Although a neighbor helped with his snowblower, we still had a lot to shovel. The result: Tom and I went back to bed. I just got up, and I realized that eating is all about respect for the body. Then I realized this thought came right from Intuitive Eating. Just as we needed some more sleep to recover from the lack of sleep last night and the exhausting task of shoveling wet snow this morning, so I need to eat when I’m hungry. I also can respect when my body has had enough. Those years of refusing myself adequate food has led to a backlash, and now I need to think back to the one time I remember when I consciously thought how nice it was to be satisfied and light. Can I flip the switch to a different eating behavior? Oh, that would be lovely. Is it possible? I don’t know. I can try to recall how it felt. I don’t want to just lose weight. I want to get to the point where I enjoy how it feels to be thin.

9 PM: Too much food. I wonder if it is possible to simply “flip the switch” and start eating what is necessary only to satisfy. Shall I try? I can try while still following the rules of this diet.

Day 9 – Saturday, December 26, 2009: As a present, my sister gave me an incredibly interesting book called The Character of Nations. I’ve read through much of it, and I came across this on page 220: “Appetite comes from eating. So goes an old French proverb. Just so, Napolean’s appetite for conquest grew with each victory – and so did his military needs. In the end, those needs outstripped the capacity of the regime to supply them, even though the regime has been organized primarily for that.”

It is now a Saturday, and I am still recovering from too much food yesterday. I am tempted to just eat like it’s an N Day today. The N Day habits, which has been established over the past 16 months, have become so normal to me that I don’t necessarily want to indulge today, especially after yesterday. Those N Day habits have become a foothold into a non-binge life in the future.

Today’s Wall Street Journal also had an interesting article in the Weekend Journal (page W2) called “Blame It on the Brain”. It reviews the work of Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University who has compared willpower to a muscle that needs to be strengthened and also needs time to recover. The Rudd Center interviewed this professor in a podcast I heard in the last year. This professor’s theory is very interesting, and his views about self-control seem to support a No S approach to dieting. His theories were discussed in today’s Journal as a way to support the idea that “we should respect the feebleness of self-control, and spread our resolutions out over the entire year. Human routines are stubborn things, which helps explain why 88% of all resolutions end in failure, according to a 2007 survey of over 3,000 people.” Later in the article, it is stated: “Prof. Baumeister figured that it might be possible to strengthen willpower by exercising it.” I’m now discussing New Year’s resolutions with Tom. I think what I’d like is that we have technology-free Sundays. I’m applying the No S philosophy to the use of technology. I’ve spent lots of time keeping this online journal, and my kids spend lots of time with video games and watching TV. There was a break in there when my son didn’t keep up his grades and the TV went in the closet for most of the fall, but since then there’s been a reversion to lots of TV watching. I’d like to set aside one day per week so we don’t default to technology.

2 PM: My interest in following N Day rules on a Saturday lasted until 12:30 PM, when I had a piece of pumpkin pie. That’s OK. I see what’s coming. I see that Exception Day eating will eventually start to look like N Day eating. I just need patience!!!

Day 11 – Monday, December 28, 2009: It can certainly be discouraging to realize that I weigh just about exactly what I weighed two years ago. I no longer have the urgency to eat anymore. I thought that I would switch to normal eating like a person flips a light switch, but now I don’t think that’s a good analogy. Instead, it’s like the tide going out. If you are at a beach when the tide changes, you see the tide go up, and then the tide seems to be in a steady state, and then there comes a point where you realize the tide is going out. It becomes clear that the tide is coming into shore not as far as it had.

I think I’m at the point where I’m starting to realize that my appetite is finally abating. I’m finally able to listen to my body and eat an appropriate amount. From here on in, how fast will I lose weight? My weight loss will be slow. I regret having lost the months from May as I tried to speed up weight loss, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m here now, committed to following this plan and seeing the results. For breakfast, I had a piece of toast with apple butter, some pecans, and an orange. I considered adding a 230 calorie granola bar and decided I didn’t want it. All those diets I used to follow would ask the question, “Do you need it?” It’s wonderful to follow a diet in which I ask myself, “Do I want it?” It’s even more wonderful to be at the point where, at least sometimes, I don’t want it!

Day 13 – Wednesday, December 30, 2009: The weekend excess caught up to me, and I had a particularly hard time following N Day rules yesterday. It was embarrassing, but I had an entire bowl of popcorn at dinner. Now I face several days with in laws, and I want to keep my overeating in check because I don’t want to suffer through another adjustment to N Day rules next week.

9 AM: I’m feeling better. The contrast between N Days and E Days is what I think pulls weight down, and I just experienced the negative consequences of too much food over the weekend. Now, going into yet another celebratory weekend, I’m leery of too much food. I can still eat what I want, but I’ll be eating with a concern that I’ll be struggling nest Monday and Tuesday if I don’t exercise some restraint. The reason behind the restraint is not to lose weight faster. It is simply to find a way to minimize negative experiences. I can violate the spirit of this diet – the spirit of moderation – all I want so long as I follow the rules, because the contrast is what will lead to moderation. I’m committed now to this diet. My New Year’s resolution is simply to follow this diet, but I’m focusing now on other objectives. The fall had a focus on two children who were not doing well in school. The New Year brings a focus on increasing the activity level and decreasing the technology time sinks in our family. I don’t think any more time focused on this diet is going to help me to lose weight faster. I just need to be patient.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:36 pm; edited 85 times in total
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kccc



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go, Kathleen!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC,
Thanks! I may skip weighing myself this month. This month's weight is irrelevant. What matters is I am done tweaking and have settled on an approach that works.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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Posts: 2183
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
I am done tweaking

Yep, been there, done that, and done! And if you're ever tempted to look around for that "miracle diet"... send me a line, I know how it goes and I want to stay here right with ya! I'll get after you! Wink
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I guess this doesn't work unless you actually do it.
Please pray for me
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reneew,
Thanks! I am sick of all the time I've spent trying to figure out dieting. The result of this diet is GOOD ENOUGH no matter what my long-term weight turns out to be!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, tell me how the carmels turn out. Isn't it great to have them with out the guilt-after-taste. !
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I guess this doesn't work unless you actually do it.
Please pray for me
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Kathleen



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Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reneew --
I decided to wait to make them. Maybe next weekend... I'll let you know how they turn out!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



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Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

January, 2010:
Starting Number of Weekday Exception Days = 6 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 8.

I followed a diet for just over sixteen months starting on September 8, 2008. The diet was subject to change depending on whether or not I met expected weight goals. Starting January 9, 2010, I now follow a lifestyle of eating habits: “unconditional permission to eat” on Sundays and two additional days per month; for other days, no snacks, no sweets, and nothing other than what is before me at a meal before I take one bite. This lifestyle requires minimal time or effort and can be sustained for life. It does require patience. “Patience is a virtue.”

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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0
(Month 17) Day 484 – Monday, January 4, 2010: 206.8

The following is a list of one weight from one day of each month of the lifestyle:
(Month 1) Day 8 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0

The following is a list of days in the current month:
Day 481 – Friday, January 1, 2010:
Day 482 – Saturday, January 2, 2010:
Day 483 – Sunday, January 3, 2010:
Day 484 – Monday, January 4, 2010: 206.8; 28 laps
Day 485 – Tuesday, January 5, 2010:
Day 486 – Wednesday, January 6, 2010:
Day 487 – Thursday, January 7, 2010:
Day 488 – Friday, January 8, 2010: Weekday Exception

Restart with 7 Weekday Exceptions
Day 1 – Saturday, January 9, 2010:
Day 2 – Sunday, January 10, 2010:
Day 3 – Monday, January 11, 2010:
Day 4 – Tuesday, January 12, 2010:
Day 5 – Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Weekday Exception
Day 6 – Thursday, January 14, 2010:
Day 7 – Friday, January 15, 2010:
Day 8 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0
Day 9 – Sunday, January 17, 2010: 199.6
Day 10 – Monday, January 18, 2010:
Day 11 – Tuesday, January 19, 2010: 200.6
Day 12 – Wednesday, January 20, 2010: 199.4
Day 13 – Thursday, January 21, 2010: 199.0
Day 14 – Friday, January 22, 2010: 200.8
Day 15 – Saturday, January 23, 2010: 198.0
Day 16 – Sunday, January 24, 2010: 197.0
Day 17 – Monday, January 25, 2010: 198.4
Day 18 – Tuesday, January 26, 2010: 198.2
Day 19 – Wednesday, January 27, 2010: 198.8
Day 20 – Thursday, January 28, 2010: 199.2
Day 21 – Friday, January 29, 2010: 198.6
Day 22 – Saturday, January 30, 2010: 197.4
Day 23 – Sunday, January 31, 2010: 197.0

Day 16 – Saturday, January 2, 2010: Something happened on New Years Eve, and I’m still trying to sort it out. In the afternoon, I had almost an entire bag of peanut clusters, and I felt stuffed. In the evening, we went from my mother in law’s house over to my sister in law’s house across the street. My sister in law has a tendency to criticize me especially over parenting. The kids were out skating on the lake right in front of the house, but it was dark and below zero and I was keeping an eye on them. Our 8 year old skated over to the side, and I commented that there might be something wrong. My sister in law then launched into telling me I need to let them figure out things for themselves, etc. I stayed for a little bit, until the kids came in from skating, and then I just walked across the street to my mother in law’s house and stayed there. I lay in bed thinking about the very beginning of the book Intuitive Eating and the warning that learning to honor your body makes you less tolerant of disrespect from others and can lead to big changes in your life. I’ve been married nearly 17 years, and my sister in law had been downright nasty to me for at least 10 of those years. This was the first time I reacted other than by trying to defend myself.

Yesterday I simply stayed at my mother in law’s house, although Tom and the kids spent a lot of time at my sister in law’s house. Today my sister in law brought her daughter over to visit after we had packed and were ready to leave. She was telling Tom that the kids left some sleds over at her house, and we need to train them, and she brought up her daughter much better, and then she got into how she could work and raise kids and it just showed how poorly I parented that I had to quit work. I tried to explain that we had a child who was flunking classes, and we agreed that our priority would be to get him on a better path with school. Then Tom got upset and said that she doesn’t know what is happening in our family and he didn’t want to hear any more “shoulds” from her. My sister in law left the house with her daughter, and that was the end of that.

What’s amazing about this is that I think it had more to do with my adjusting to new eating habits than anything else. I am learning to respect myself in how I am learning to eat. While this diet isn’t exactly the Intuitive Eating approach, it does allow me to honor my own feelings about what I want to eat and how much. The restrictions (no snacks, sweets or seconds) are a way for me to develop good eating habits, but they are not so restrictive that I end up feeling like I’m starving.

I never really understood what was meant by the warning in the Intuitive Eating book that following that way of eating could change my life, but now I do. I have been disrespectful of my body by following restrictive diets. I’m now willing to respect myself in how I eat and in removing myself from my sister in law.

Of course, it’s hard not to notice that I haven’t lost weight recently. Tommy said something about my viewing this as a “magic diet”, and Tom piped up and said I’m proving it’s not magic because I’m not losing weight. It was good natured teasing. I think the permanent weight loss will come; in the meantime, I just plain feel better.

Day 18 – Monday, January 4, 2010: My weight didn’t go up from last week even though I had two Exception Weekdays in the last week. I think that may mean I have topped out. I look forward to going to the gym now to see how much I weigh. The holidays are over, and I’m looking forward to my weight going down!

Day 19 – Tuesday, January 5, 2010: I think what I’m doing is trying to follow a diet in which there is absolutely no “portion control”. Portion control is the centerpiece of almost every diet, and I think that what happens with me when I practice “portion control” is eventually I binge eat. No more. For this year at minimum, I’m not practicing portion control. Last night, I remembered how I tried fasting on Fridays in Lent. Would I try that approach again this year? No. I will work on increasing my exercise. This morning’s Wall Street Journal has several articles on the benefit of exercise. Tom bought an exercise bike last year, and he got on it about five times. I think I’ll start using it on days I don’t go to the gym. Today is a quiet day for me: all I’m doing is coaching the math team for ½ hour and attending a two hour study group for business analysis certification. I think exercise needs to be a high priority in my life, a big focus and commitment, since I don’t seem to be able to handle to obvious “cutting back” approach to losing weight.

Day 20 – Wednesday, January 6, 2010: My sister has been after me to take vitamin D supplements and to have the rest of my family take vitamin D. She said that a low vitamin D level is associated with obesity. I am reluctant to take pills of any kind, including vitamins, because I have the philosophy that food is medicine. “Let food be thy medicine” is a line from a Greek philosopher, perhaps Hippocrates. Last week, I did some research and decided maybe I should try taking vitamin D. I got pills with 400 I.U., which is 100% of the recommended amount. To my surprise, I do feel different. In Minnesota in winter, there can be cold days when we don’t go out much, and the sun is at a low angle even if it is sunny and warm enough to go outside. Maybe there is something to her view: she married a Californian, so she’s lived near San Diego since the early 1980s. Like me, she grew up in Minnesota, so she knows the difference between day after day of sunny weather and Minnesota weather, when we don’t get much exposure to the sun.

12 PM: I just got back from exercising and shopping, and I’m dismayed by my weight of 207.0. It was 11 months ago that I first dropped below 200 pounds, and here I am at 207.0. What happened? I think that what may have happened is I came up with the idea of restricting portions during Fridays in Lent. My body reacted by overeating. I am going to focus on exercise and spend this entire year without portion control and see what happens. This morning, I only wanted a bowl of oatmeal with a little honey – no fruit, no milk, no granola bar. My theory is that making the decision not to control portions will result in my wanting less, but it will take a lot of time to test this theory. In the meantime, I’m going to ramp up on exercise. How I hate being fat. Hate. Hate. Hate. If I thought it could work to return to conventional dieting, I would return – but I am convinced that it will not work. Forward and on… Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Day 22 – Friday, January 8, 2010: It’s a Friday. I made a commitment not to restrict portion sizes, but now I’m wavering on the idea of fasting. Despite no weight loss in the entire last year, I am happy with this diet. Why? I compare how I feel this year to how I felt last year, and the difference is that last year I felt hungry basically all the time, except when I was stuffed to the max, and now I don’t feel hunger basically anytime except when a mealtime is delayed. I have thought that being confident in food availability would result in my eating less over time, but now I’m thinking something more may be needed. Religions have, I think, at least some religious law that is grounded in what philosophers call natural law. Days of fasting, in my mind, may have some benefit that is outside of any sort of spiritual benefit. I am speculating that fasting may have been a way of life that significantly reduced the number of people who were obese.

The reason why I think that fasting can reduce obesity is that right now I know how much to eat in order to be certain that I am satisfied, and I eat that much, but I don’t know the minimum to eat in order to be satisfied because I always – and I mean always – eat enough to be satisfied until the next meal. Is it possible that deliberately setting aside one day per week in order to eat less is a way that I can learn the minimum I need to eat in order to be satisfied? This isn’t just about losing weight. It is about figuring out the amount to eat in order to feel my best. This morning, for breakfast, I had just under ¼ cup of almonds (about 200 calories) and a Clementine (35 calories) along with green tea and black coffee. That’s not a starvation level amount by any means, but it is an amount the calories of which I can measure and it is an amount that is less than my usual breakfast, which varies in calories but probably is closer to 500 calories. I can now tune into how my body feels as I go through the morning. I may just experiment today with a smaller than usual breakfast, but I think this deliberate choice to eat less one day per month may be a way to help me find the amount of food that works for me. Losing weight is tough. Finding a way to lose weight that is easy to follow for the rest of my life is even tougher, but I think it’s worth it. I hope to pass on to our children the lessons I’ve learned.

1 PM: Oh, I am stuffed! I deliberately ate a very large lunch (soup, sandwich, granola bar, a chunk of Swiss cheese, almonds, and a Clementine) so that I would certainly not be hungry until dinner. I did get mildly hungry before lunch, and this is an experience I very rarely and only accidentally have. It wasn’t too bad. When I was grocery shopping, my stomach growled. The ceiling did not fall in. I did not faint. There was a very mild sensation of hunger, and that’s it. I think that the book Intuitive Eating did a great job of describing why chronic dieters fear hunger: that’s what happens just before the diet ends! The conventional wisdom is to do what is necessary to stave off hunger. Well, I don’t need to stave off hunger. I just need to learn to tolerate mild hunger if a meal is delayed. Wow. Not a big deal at all. If I remember this idea by next Friday and haven’t switched to something else, I’ll continue having a small breakfast on Friday mornings until I am brave (and comfortable enough) to add a small meal at lunch on Fridays. Eventually, I’ll learn what I’ve been preaching to the kids for years: “Hunger is not a crises.” Now… back to cooking caramels and a turkey casserole.

Day 23 – Saturday, January 9, 2010: Yesterday, all four kids were skiing, and Tom and I had the chance to go out. We went to Olive Garden, where salad and bread is served before the meal. It was a nice to decide to take an Exception Day and just relax and enjoy the meal as served. This is the beauty of having a bank of Exception Days to use whenever I want.

Day 1 – Saturday, January 9, 2010: 10 AM: I decided to restart the count yet again. It’s embarrassing to think yet again that I’ve dug down and now finally understand what it going on with my eating, but that’s where I am. I’m keeping the same number of Weekday Exceptions that I had after using one yesterday. Is it possible that Catholicism had a schedule of a weekly Friday fast and a weekly Sunday feast as religious practice but that religious practice is actually grounded in a natural law? Does a weekly fast allow a person to appreciate what it means to undereat and a weekly feast allow a person to appreciate what it means to overeat so that the other five days of the week are days of moderation?

What has happened with me with this diet is that I have come to a comfortable spot as far as eating – I rarely am hungry and rarely even think about foods except when I am eating or writing in this journal. The problem with this diet is, frankly, I’m still fat!

What I’m missing is the experience of how little I can eat and still be able to function quite well. The weekends pull me to eating more than on weekdays, but nothing pulls me to eat less.

What to do? Well, I’m not experimenting with Catholic wisdom: I think I’m going to try having a fast on Fridays (maybe estimating 200 calories for breakfast, 300 for lunch, and 500 for dinner). Sundays will be feast days – “unconditional permission to eat” as described in the book Intuitive Eating. All other days will be normal. I’ll still add two Weekday Exceptions per month, and I’m starting off with a bank of seven Weekday Exceptions.

Should I be able to take a Weekday Exception on Fridays, which is my scheduled fast day? I think not. Looking back to last night, yes, it was nice to spend some time alone with Tom and to enjoy the meal. How much of the enjoyment was the food and how much was the time alone with Tom? The enjoyment of the food was miniscule in comparison to the time spent with Tom.

I don’t need to be taking Weekday Exceptions on Fridays. I guess I never did like the idea of Special Days from The No S Diet. I don’t like the idea of it having to be a special day in order to take an exception or it needing to be a time to break with eating rules in order for a special day to be properly celebrated. Christmas fell on a Friday this year. Sure, it was great to eat a lot, but was it necessary in order to enjoy the day? No.

Now that I think about it, though, Feast Days do supplant fast days. It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen. I remember that a Friday fast was not necessary because of the occurrence of some feast day. Maybe I can make a Friday exception which is a rare event such as a birthday.

To be determined… I like the general approach here. Looking through the calendar for 2010, the only possible Special Days are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I think I can manage through both those days without having to eat outside the no snacks, sweets, or seconds guidelines.

This looks like a good approach for 2010.

Day 3 – Monday, January 11, 2010: Last week, I was literally pulling into the parking lot at the YWCA to do my 1.5 mile walk, when I heard that the next show on MPR was an interview of a Mayo doctor about his new book, Move a Little… Lose a Lot and how it is not necessary to go the gym in order to put exercise into your life. When I got home from the gym, I listened to the show, and it made sense to me that it is better to make exercise just a part of your day. On Friday night, we took all four kids skiing through the elementary school. They loved it and were so exhausted that they didn’t do much on Saturday. On Sunday, I was planning to take them to the Y, and they did not want to go. They wanted to play outside. This morning, I called the gym to cancel. I also went on the exercise bike which we own. It takes much less time to use a bike in the home than it does to drive 15 minutes away to a gym, change, exercise, and then drive back home. I’m using some Amazon coupons I have to buy a scale for our home, and I think we are better off spending money on activities like skiing than on a gym membership. Live and learn. It worked for years for me to go to a gym to walk, but now I see the importance of having the kids exercise more, and I think we need to look at how to have the whole family in activities together.

I’m feeling good about eliminating Saturday as an Exception Day and making Friday into a Fast Day. The word that comes to mind when I think about eating very little on Friday morning is “restful.” I’m not sure why this is: perhaps there is less effort in cooking, perhaps less effort in digesting. I’m looking forward to seeing how I do on this coming Friday. This is the exact same approach I tried last year, and it failed miserably, but last year I still felt hungry most of the time. Now my food obsession is gone, gone, gone, and I hope gone for good. If a Friday fast triggers food obsession again, I’ll not try it for another year. The scale is only part of the story. The really big advantage of this diet is that I can live without a constant focus on food and eating.

Day 5 – Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Weekday Exception. I decided to take an Exception Day for a very minor reason: my daughter made a smoothie and had some left over, and I had already had oatmeal for breakfast. She’s gone now, and there was still some left over, but it was poured down the sink. With all those diets, I would never have thrown out food I was actually allowed (by the diet rules) to eat. Logically, it seems that the way to lose weight more quickly on this diet is to decrease the number of Exception Days. Here I sit at the computer, considering how I will use the rest of this Exception Day to my maximum advantage. Nothing comes to mind. That smoothie “hit the spot.” In fact, eating more would spoil the good feeling I have from having had the smoothie. I did consider defining the smoothie as a drink rather than a meal, but I decided that was a slippery slope. No, this was an Exception: I felt like having some of the smoothie, I have a bank of seven Exception Days, and so I used an exception. It is the very frequency of Exception Days (about 1/3 of all days) that makes it silly to eat to the point of feeling stuffed or even to eat past the point of being comfortably full as I am now.

Following these Exceptional Diet rules did result in my being grumpy on Monday night. When I was working last year, the meals were haphazard because I would work during the day and transport children to activities at night. We had a lot of pizza and other junk. During this year, I’m trying to figure out how to make casseroles because they can be prepared ahead of time and just put in the oven. On Monday, there were three kid activities. Tom had to be picked up from swimming at 5 and brought to a Den Meeting (he helps with a third grade Cub Scout troop) at 6:15. I asked Anne to put the casserole in the oven at 5 so it would be ready when we got home at 5:30. When I called to check, I was at the school, she asked when the casserole should come out, and I told her not to worry about that because I would be right home. She heard I would be right home and didn’t put the casserole in the oven. When I got home, I was very upset because I had planned to stay at the school during the Den Meeting, and there wasn’t time to cook the casserole. I ended up cooking the casserole and putting it in plastic containers for Tom and me to eat on the way to school. Tom got to the Den Meeting fifteen minutes late. Not pleasant. I told Anne that in future I would write down directions for her to read. It really wasn’t her fault. It was more that I cannot handle a delay in mealtime.

Part of the problem that I have with my eating, I think, is that I have no personal knowledge of how I can manage if food is not readily available. I think that’s why a Friday fast is so important. On Fridays, I can learn, for example, that a delay in a mealtime because a child misunderstood directions is not going to result in incredible and intolerable hunger. One of my sister in law’s, whose company I very much enjoy, has told me that she is addicted to carbs. There is a common belief that some people have food addictions, and I’ve considered that I have a food addiction. Well, now I’m not so sure. Doesn’t everyone have a food addiction since food is necessary for life? I think that my real problem with food may be more that I, like many others, only deny myself food if I’m on a diet, and diets are never ending torture. Is it possible that I will benefit from having one day per week set aside for me to eat significantly less and realize that I can still function and life does not become unbearable? One day per week is training so that I don’t get upset with a daughter who misunderstood directions so a meal got delayed.

Day 6 – Thursday, January 14, 2010: By about noon yesterday, I reverted to the true conventional diet rule of “Eat everything you are allowed to eat.” After dinner, I was stuffed, and today I’m glad to be back to the No S rules. I want a Fast Day tomorrow, and I agreed to a lunch with two other people, so we’ll see how I can manage eating significantly less while also having lunch out. I’ll learn. I ordered my new scale through Amazon, and it will be here before the 21st. My guess is that I weigh between 200 and 205, but it is just a guess. I need a scale to help me to know how I’m doing, but I don’t want to revert to being so obsessed about weighing myself every day that I would haul a scale along on a camping trip and weigh myself in the bathroom at state parks.

3 PM: I got really sick today and spent almost all day in bed. I am wondering if I had a reaction to overeating yesterday. If a person fasts one day per week (and I don’t mean no food at all, just a lot less than usual), I am wondering if that one day fast pulls down the person’s ability to significantly overeat. I bet people eat within a fairly narrow range of calories per day. You can go up or down maybe 1,000 calories in any one day, but you can’t go up or down 3,000 calories in a day without there being some sort of negative physical consequence. For all those weekends when I pigged out, I was able to manage until the consistent following of N Day rules pulled down my ability to significantly overeat and I started experiencing stomach aches.

My approach here is to assume that there is some “natural law” wisdom in the Catholic requirement to fast and permission to feast. That’s been lost in the last fifty years. Who actually rests on Sundays? Who feasts on Sundays just because it is a Sunday? The fast is now limited to no meat on Fridays in Lent and cutting back on eating on two days per year, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Those limited rules don’t pull down anyone’s range of caloric consumption. It was horrible for me to follow those two days of fasts after my eight years of being able to disregard them because I was either pregnant or nursing. Now I know why!

Day 7 – Friday, January 15, 2010: Because I was sick yesterday, I ate very little, but I’m still excited about following a routine of having a Friday Fast Day. For breakfast, I had toast with almond butter, tea, and coffee. Looking back, I remember trying the idea of a Friday Fast Day before I learned about the No S Diet. I tried it again last year during Lent. Both times, it was a failure. This time, however, I think I have a solid foundation of habits that enable me to delay eating until the next mealtime where I fully satisfy my desire to eat. Building upon that habit, I think I am ready to delay satisfying my hunger for a full day.

I went on google and looked up “medieval” “Catholic” “fasting” and found that there is a whole list of individual Fast Days in addition to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Also, Wednesday and maybe also Monday were Fast Days in addition to Fridays. It seems to me that fasting can get out of hand, just like dieting can get out of hand and lead to anorexia or other eating disorders. Aristotle’s view of ethics as moderation in all things came to mind when I read about all the Fast Days in the medieval period. I’m going to try Friday Fast Days and Sunday Feast Days and see how that goes.

Day 8 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: The Seca 803 scale which I had ordered from Amazon arrived yesterday, and all I could think was what good timing it was to arrive on a Friday afternoon! I was sick on Thursday and had my first Fast Day yesterday, so I knew my weight would be down, but I was pleasantly surprised to thrilled that it was below 200 pounds. I’m not sure what to make yet of a Fast Day. I tried to think of analogies, but I could only come up with ones that didn’t seem quite right – like air coming out of a balloon or a string being loosened on a guitar. While I didn’t have a clearcut way to define what it meant to fast, my goal was to deliberately choose to not eat to fully satisfied as I usually do. I had soup and crackers with almonds for lunch and a salad plate full of a vegetarian casserole for dinner. I didn’t feel all that different from other days except that there was no sense of franticness, and this is where I am at a loss for words.

All I can do is think back over the years of my life since I was a teen and went down the path of restrictive eating. I tried to maximize my eating within the constraints of diets. My normal diet was 1,000 calories/per day, and I would eat at least 995 calories. I became really focused on getting that exact number of calories or to within five calories, learning – for example – the number of calories in Tic Tacs. Now, with this diet, there is a certain calmness in knowing I can eat however piggishly I want every Sunday, and I can eat lots at every meal. The addition of a Friday fast helps me to not be so focused on getting every last allowed bite. The starvation mentality that I gained from all those years of restrictive dieting is slowly ebbing away, like the tide going out. My life going forward is going to be different.

This diet isn’t just about weight, and it’s not just about the physical consequences of dieting. It’s also about how dieting hurts me in ways that are not physical, in how it has made me into someone selfishly focused on when I’m going to eat and how much I’m going to eat. That’s why I got so upset at my daughter for not putting a casserole in the over while I was picking up her brother from swim team. Each week but for only one day per week, I will deliberately choose to experience a delay in eating to satisfaction. That experience will make me calmer because I’ll know I can handle a delay in having dinner. How sad that there is the mentality in this country that hunger is a crises. There’s something very disordered about a country in which most of the people going to food shelves are obese. This isn’t about quality of food, as is being argued. It’s about quantity of food. The obese, and I should know, have the mentality of a person who is starving. Finally, the desperate desire to eat as much as I can is ebbing away. I think that the Friday Fast is critical for me.

1:30 PM: I do feel different today. I took the girls to the art museum, and we didn’t get back until 1 PM. Not a problem. It’s not a crises if a meal is delayed. I’m not sure this feeling is going to last. It is interesting, however, that I need some time to recover from a Fast Day. Tomorrow is a Feast Day. After a Fast Day and a day recovering from a Fast Day, how much of a Feast Day will I have? By tomorrow, will I be capable of having 4,000 calories of caramel macademian clusters, which is something I did on one Exception Day? I think there may be some wisdom in having a weekly pattern of a Fast Day, a normal day, a Feast Day, and five normal days.

Day 9 – Sunday, January 17, 2010: I just told my daughter to hurry up – stop dawdling – and here I am at the computer inputting my weight. I think I know how this is going to play out. I can follow this diet easily, but the temptation will be to cheat because the eating habits are already in place. It may be that the religious imposition of both a Friday Fast Day and a Sunday Feast Day is what gave people the willingness to follow these rules without ever feeling that they had outgrown them. It may be time for me to reduce the amount of time I spend journaling. I’m starting to get overwhelmed with all the coordinating of kid activities while trying to study. Going to work last year was a vacation compared with all the duties of home. I need to prioritize, and right now I have a daughter to take to a Math Masters meeting.

8 PM: I am uncomfortably stuffed. I’ve had one Exception Day (today, Sunday) and that was plenty. I didn’t really start overeating until noon and finished around 7:30. There is no more desire for sweets or for the feeling of being stuffed. In fact, I’m looking forward to having less in my stomach. The feeling of being stuffed always used to be associated with guilt. Now there’s no guilt: I just see this as part of a process. Over time, my guess is that I will almost always get to the feeling of being stuffed, but how I define stuffed will change. I certainly am eating less than I did last year on the weekend, but there is no way I’m stepping on the scale tomorrow.

Day 10 – Monday, January 18, 2010: It’s 9 AM, and I am just now starting to get moving for the day. I haven’t yet eaten breakfast. The kids are home from school because it is Martin Luther King Day, and three of them are playing video games. This is just plain disgusting. I am incredibly sluggish from how much I ate yesterday. I am learning that overeating is a really bad idea. Yesterday, I recalled how I had once eaten 4,000 calories worth of caramel macademian clusters on one weekend, and I thought that you couldn’t pay me $1,000 to eat that much. For years, I would go on diets and the diet would be broken with my bingeing. With this diet, I have scheduled time when I can eat what I want, and the response to overeating is moderate eating. Just as the reaction to starvation dieting is bingeing, so the reaction to Exception Day eating is moderate eating. Today, I want to eat moderately. There is no willpower right now in having toast with almond butter and a Clementine. That’s exactly what I want.

Day 11 – Tuesday, January 19, 2010: 200.6. To be just barely above 200 pounds on a Tuesday is not too bad at all. I really do think I’ve got a diet now where I can lose weight, albeit slowly, and live life. The possible problems are that I will stay wrapped up in daily journaling and weighing myself, especially now that I have a scale. I read a book last year called Eat that Frog in which the key to living well is to set your priorities and then work on them. Losing weight has been in my top three priorities consistently since I was a teen. Finally, I have a program I am confident will work, but following that program should just become part of the fabric of my life, like taking a bath daily or reading the paper daily. I don’t need to think about doing it anymore because I’m now set in what I want to do. I just need to do it. In fact, I think that the less I think about it, the better. That’s the definition of a habit that has become automatic. Going forward, how do I handle this journal? I think I may try to make it part of a monthly task and just update it after the first of each month. What a joy it is to be able to turn my attention to other things. Thinking about weight all the time does not make for a happy life.

Yesterday, while I was waiting for our son to get his hair cut, I was looking at articles in a Shape magazine, and there was an article on five people who had lost a lot of weight. One twentysomething woman had lost perhaps 30 pounds and kept herself accountable to keep that weight off by taking pictures of everything she eats and posting it online. What a dreadful way to live. Can you imagine someone taking her out to dinner, and she takes a picture first of what she is going to eat? No, I’m going down a different path of eating becoming a habit that I don’t have to put conscious effort into doing, and now my attention can turn to my family, to friends, and to future work.

9:30 AM: I printed off monthly calendars through August, 2010, and I will place the calendars in a plastic folder above the scale. The monthly calendars can be used to track my daily weight and my available number of Weekday Exceptions. After the first of the month, I can input my daily weights, calculate my starting number of Weekday Exceptions, and write about how it is going. In this way, I can weigh myself daily and track my Weekday Exceptions without spending time to go on the computer to record them. I can keep up my journal, only less frequently. To be honest, I feel nothing but relief. I think I have a plan which I can follow easily and which will result in a lower weight that is easily maintained. My focus can switch to other aspects of my life.

Day 13 – Thursday, January 21, 2010: 199.0. I decided that tracking my weight on paper doesn’t keep me from having a journal but what it does do is allow me to not go on the computer every day to record my weight. Today, I recorded on the computer my weight for today and yesterday. I’ll keep writing but just not every day. Last night, as I was putting a book away in the bookshelf, I saw a very slim book I’d bought years ago on fasting. I skimmed through it, recalling how little I understood it years ago and how little I still understand it. I’m not ready yet to reread it. What I read yesterday that I understood is that you understand fasting by practicing it, and the idea is to practice fasting now and understand it later as a result of fasting.

That led me to ask myself what exactly fasting is. The recommendation in the book was to fast on bread and water. I now have a lunch scheduled for next Friday, and I have little interest in disrupting my family life due to a diet, a situation that has occurred in the past especially when I tried to follow diets where you eat only when hungry.

“What exactly is the defining characteristic of fasting?”, I asked myself. The answer that came to mind, surprisingly, was “portion control.” Last Friday, my first attempt at fasting was very ill-defined. By the end of the day, it occurred to me that what was different about last Friday as opposed to all the other days of this diet is that I made an effort to eat less than to full satisfaction.

I remember reading somewhere that a religious person had said she never fasts because she figures that dieting is very much like fasting and she’s always fasting. Yes, I thought last night. Yes. She was always fasting. Because she was always fasting, she never was fasting. That’s exactly the trap I got into. Because I was always either on a diet, about to go on a diet, or just coming off a diet, my goal was always to be controlling my portions. I never allowed myself to just let go and eat what I want.

With this diet, there is a contrast between Normal Days and Exception Days, but on all days I have eaten to full satisfaction. A few weeks ago, I realized that I never ate less than to full satisfaction. I may have to wait for a meal, but at the meal I would eat to full satisfaction.

Yesterday, I happened to say hi to a woman with whom I periodically do some volunteering work. I was surprised by how she looked. It’s probably been three or so months since I’ve last seen her, and she seems to have gained about 30 pounds. That’s what happened to me. I remember that, In January, 2002, I weighed about 155 pounds and still working on losing baby weight from the baby born in February, 2001. By August, 2002, I was above 180 pounds. Why? What happened to me? What happened to that woman I saw yesterday?

I am thinking that what happened is that prolonged “portion control” or “fasting” resulted in a “diet backlash” (term from Intuitive Eating) that was equally prolonged.

When I see a very overweight person now, what I think is that that person is trying too hard (too much “portion control”) instead of too little (“lack of willpower”). An approach of “portion control” needs to be practiced periodically rather than constantly. Constant “portion control” is equivalent to constant starvation, and who has the willpower to starve?

I’m not sure if this is my final diet or not, but I’d say I’m good for a year to just practice a Feast Day on Sunday, a Fast Day on Friday, and the other days as Normal Days of no snacks, sweets or seconds. I’ll need to work on my own definition of Fast Day, especially when I’m out with other people, but I think a good start to the definition is to eat to less than full satisfaction. The benefit to fasting is still very unclear, but I think what it does is allow me to understand satisfaction with food and to realize that I can be satisfied with less than I think. The Fasting Day would decrease the amount of food I need to eat on Normal Days in order to be satisfied. We’ll see. This diet is very much a work in progress.

Day 14 – Friday, January 22, 2010: 200.8. Today is Friday, and today is my weekly Fast Day. With some horror, I have realized that what I am calling a Fast Day is actually a Normal Day for normal weight people. I’m not fasting on bread and water. I’m just having a meal that doesn’t result in my feeling stuffed. This morning, I had bread and a banana. Yesterday, I ate as usual to being satisfied. The language I use with myself is very telling: really, I eat on most days to not wanting to take one more bite. In other words, I am stuffing myself at every meal, but I am telling myself that what I am doing is eating to satisfaction. Language matters, especially to someone like me who majored in English in college! I think what I’ll do is start calling today a Normal Day, Sundays a Feast Day, and all other days a Stuffed Day. I want my stomach to turn when I think of a Stuffed Day. What I need to do now is work on the definition of Normal Day because it isn’t loading up my place at the table three times per day with anything I want to eat that isn’t a sweet. What is a Normal Day? I think it may be eating to a certain level of satisfaction that is less than stuffed. Right now, I could eat more, but I don’t need more. I can go through the next several hours without thinking of food. There’s a level of satisfaction that involves less food than to eat to a level of stuffed.

When I decided that I needed to go on the computer less, I reset my password to “Timesink.” Every time I type “Timesink” with my password, I cringe. Going forward, then, I’ll have Stuffed Days, Satisfying Days, and Exception Days. I think I’ll start with Satisfying Days just on Fridays through the end of February and then start adding one more weekday per month until there are no more Stuffed Days. Stuffed Days is a transitional term.

Day 15 – Saturday, January 23, 2010: 198.0. This is great! My low on this diet was 196.6, which I had twice last summer – once in June and once in August. I am getting close to that weight now. Yesterday, I tried eating to a point of satisfied but not stuffed. I am not sure how to define satisfied, but I know that the definition of stuffed is “cannot take one more bite.” Last night, when I went to bed, I asked myself, “Why eat to stuffed?” It’s uncomfortable. Will that realization that eating to stuffed means being uncomfortable result in my eating less today? I don’t know. I think I need to be careful not to push myself to only have satisfied days rather than to allow stuffed days. This process is slow. Today is a Stuffed Day. I can eat to stuffed or choose only to eat to satisfied, but I am not forcing myself to eat to stuffed. How did I get into this situation where I eat – as a habit – to the point where I cannot take one more bite?

Day 16 – Sunday, January 24, 2010: 197.0. Yesterday was a Stuffed Day, but I didn’t eat until stuffed. There was no willpower involved. I just wasn’t interested. It’s more pleasant to eat until satisfied, so why eat until stuffed? I had recognized a long time ago that I eat until I am stuffed, but I feel famished if I don’t. Why? How did I get into that situation? I suspect that I got into that situation because dieting made me crave every last allowed calorie.

Day 17 - Monday, January 25, 2010: 198.8. I am considering the definition of what it means to eat to satisfaction rather than being stuffed, and I recall that I tried to figure this out two years ago when I was practicing intuitive eating. This is my journal from Tuesday, March 25, 2008, when I weighed 212.4 and was considering the concept of “last bite threshold” from the book Intuitive Eating: Another all-time high for weight. At 3 AM, I woke up and realized that I was focused on the wrong thing. I need to be focused on the difference between level “0” hunger (satiety) and level “-1” hunger (overfull). The most important concept in the book is the concept of “last bite threshold.” I have reached that last bite threshold. This morning, I was so full from last night’s meal that I couldn’t reach “last bite threshold” because I was beyond it before I sat down to eat.

Here is what the book has to say about the “last-bite threshold”:”This is the endpoint. You know that the bite of food in your mouth is your last – finis! It may take you a long time to get to this point. The longer you have been disconnected from your body’s sense of fullness, the longer it will take to identify this point. If you honor your hunger (Principle Two), it is much easier to know fullness. If, however, you do not eat from biological hunger, how could you expect to stop from biological fullness (or to even know what if feels like)? Please be patient with yourself.”

What’s interesting here is that “honor your hunger” does not mean “stuff yourself until you are sick.” If you are eating without having biological hunger, you aren’t going to experience the last-bite threshold. That’s because the LBT is like the Doppler effect of a train passing. It is only in noting the change from a train coming to a train going that you experience the Doppler effect. I don’t experience the LBT because I am so rarely hungry. I need to allow myself to get hungry and then pay attention so I can experience the shift from food tasting good to food not tasting at all, from wanting to relish my food to wanting to finish.

8:30 PM: I didn’t eat much today, and yet I never experienced tasting food when hungry. I have experienced the wonderful taste of food when I’m hungry, but it’s been a long time. The shift from eating from hunger to eating just because the food is there is like going from eating a wonderful food to eating cardboard. In fact, I think that the low carb bars are just how food tastes when you eat and aren’t at all hungry. I’m disappointed that I didn’t experience the Doppler effect of eating with pleasure and then finding the food to suddenly lose its flavor because I’m no longer hungry; however, I know that that Doppler effect exists, and all I have to do is minimize eating until I experience it. Right now, I’m in what the authors of Intuitive Eating called something like a gray zone – experiencing neither hunger nor fullness.

Day 18 – Tuesday, January 26, 2010: 198.2. Maybe being in the gray zone for a time isn’t all that bad of an approach. I don’t feel deprived not eating to stuffed. In fact, I feel nothing. I don’t feel much pleasure from food, since a lot of feeling came from getting to the sensation of being stuffed. I think I may have confused pleasure with stuffed. It may be that people need to feel stuffed on occasion, and I did stuff myself on Sunday. The problem with obesity comes in when stuffing is a daily occurrence. Now I don’t feel pain. I just feel nothing. I think that, in the future, I can get to the habit of being hungry for meals, but right now it’s a step in the right direction to simply not feel stuffed at the end of a meal. All those months and months of S Days gone wild are now helping me because I associate the pain of a stomach ache with too much eating. Right now, I have to give up what has led to a “stop” in eating, namely the feeling of being stuffed. There is no substitute “stop”. There is just the conscious decision to eat less and allow myself to feel nothing.

I can feel happy that I stepped on the scale on a Tuesday and am at 198.2. My low was 196.6, and we promised the kids a dinner out when I lost 10% of my body weight (down to 193.5), so I can look forward with pleasure to going out for dinner with our family. I can also get busy with other things. Today I have two volunteer activities, and this afternoon will be busy because I am picking up kids and taking another to an evening activity. Tom is out of town until Friday. Someday, I hope he’ll call this diet something other than the “It’s Not Going to Work” Diet. I certainly understand his frustration with me because trying to figure out how to diet has consumed loads of my time. Success, I think, will come now with less and less effort. I hope to be down around 180 by a family reunion this July (but I’m not having that as a goal!). I look forward to less and less time spent thinking about dieting and more and more evidence of actual weight loss!

Day 19 – Wednesday, January 27, 2010: 198.8. The new scale isn’t all that great. I weighed between 197.8 and 199.8 when I stood on it this morning. I’m happy to be below 200 pounds, and I think I can have the goal of not reaching stuffed unless it is an Exception Day. There doesn’t need to be a transition. It’s very bland to be in this gray zone: food doesn’t have the bright quality it does when you are truly hungry, and there is no concrete sensation which you get from being stuffed. I’m not sure how long I’ll stay in this stage, but I want to establish a firm habit of not eating to stuffed before I attempt to eat so little that I actually get hungry between meals.

9 PM: I know alcoholics drink to get drunk and don’t much care about the quality or taste of the alcohol. I think I may have had a similar approach to eating, which is to eat to become stuffed. The problem is now painfully obvious because I feel totally bored with eating now that I am not eating to being stuffed. Have I not enjoyed food? Is this why I am such a fast eater? Were my tastes toward calorie dense foods that would fill me up, like peanut clusters and peanut butter and cheesecake and caramels? How sad… Maybe, while I am adjusting to not stuffing myself, I can take time to eat and actually taste the food rather than just shovel it in my mouth. I keep on wondering how I got myself to this pitiful situation – not just the obesity but rather how I have been obsessed with food and would eat fast and without much enjoyment while eating. My goal has simply been to become stuffed.

Day 20 – Thursday, January 28, 2010: 199.2. I cannot stand this stage of blandness, so I’m ready to try to become hungry between meals.

9:30: It is so unpleasant to eat with no sensation that I am resistant to continuing on this path. I decided to minimize eating to the point that I hesitated to even eat breakfast this morning. Finally, I had toast with almond butter. There are guideposts everywhere in life, from lanes in highways to report cards for children. My guidepost for eating (eating until you are stuffed) just got rejected, and I need a different guidepost – fast. As I recall, the authors of the book Intuitive Eating recommended eating a minimal amount until you feel hunger. I can establish what it means to eat a minimal amount and then strive to eat that amount until I do feel hunger. This is an extremely unsettling process, so unsettling that I am wondering if this is the reason why very few people manage to lose more than 8 – 10% of their weight, which is approximately the amount I have lost. I never could make Intuitive Eating work because you must rely on internal signals for hunger. With No S, I have the guideline of three meals per day, but now I need to have the courage to risk actually feeling hunger before the next meal if I am to experiment with finding the amount of food to eat that allows me to be hungry by the time that I eat the next meal. Why is this so frightening? All I can think is that I have experienced true physical hunger many times on all those starvation diets I have followed.

6 PM: No hunger today. I’m facing the possibility that I need to eat significantly less in order to continue losing weight. I wonder if it might not be time to estimate my calories. My estimate for today would be 1 toast with almond butter (200), ½ chicken pot pie (400), 1 cup ginger ale (200), 1 hamburger with bun and mustard (600), 1 glass wine (80), cottage cheese (200), and milk (100). This is 2,000 calories. I think I may need to guide my eating with calorie counting.

Day 21 – Friday, January 29, 2010: 198.6. I woke up at 4:30 AM thinking that there is no way I’m returning to calorie counting. Calorie counting moved me towards processed foods with exact calories and towards an undue attentiveness to exactly what I was eating and how much I was eating. I felt like I was starving all the time because I never had enough calories to spend, and I absolutely hated measuring out food. As I was considering a return to calorie counting, it occurred to me that the recommendation from Intuitive Eating was simply to eat small meals until you experience hunger.

I think my diet is changing into a hybrid between Intuitive Eating and The No S Diet. The No S Diet creates a framework for eating which provides two huge advantages over Intuitive Eating: the first advantage is that you can eat at every mealtime, which means you are not disrupting your family life. The second advantage is that having regular meals means you are assured that you will not starve. The Intuitive Eating approach provides guidance for how much to eat. The No S Diet guideline to limit yourself to one plate is not one I have ever used because I couldn’t stand having fruit next to meat or limiting myself when I just wanted soup with a sandwich. Now that I don’t need to eat so much, I need to guide myself in how much to eat, and now is when I can look to the Intuitive Eating guidelines for determining my hunger level. The No S Diet will provide guidelines on when to eat, and the Intuitive Eating approach will provide guidelines on how much to eat. As concerning what to eat, I’ll take The No S Diet guidelines on no sweets except on Exception Days, and I’ll take the guidelines from both diets to eat what appeals to me.

I tried Intuitive Eating before I ever heard of The No S Diet, and it just did not work for me. I became very self-absorbed because I was constantly evaluating my hunger level and was disrupting family meals. The kids still tease me when we were in the van, I said that my stomach had growled, and Tom treated it like a full-blown emergency. It was a tease. I didn’t feel hurt. Tom was making a point in a way that got his point across without being nasty, but that diet was just not good for any of us. With this diet, the major impact on our family is that I spend time writing this journal.

Day 22 – Saturday, January 30, 2010: 197.4. It’s frustrating, but there is still no sensation of hunger. My taste buds are awakening, however. Last night’s pizza at Family Fun Night at the school was not the best, as usual, but I ate it all, as usual. I’m used to eating anything that is put in front of me or that I make. I wonder if my indifference to the quality of food will change when I eat due to hunger rather than due to the frantic need to avoid starvation. On a positive note, I am now less than one pound away from 196.6, which was my low from last summer. One of my Dad’s favorite sayings is, “If something isn’t working, try something else – anything else.” Well, waiting for hunger by eating small meals is now my new something else.

7 PM: I’m grumpy. The day didn’t end so well because I was running behind to get our son to a volunteer activity after a swim meet, and I couldn’t find my wallet. Dinner was oversized but still one serving. Tomorrow is an Exception Day, and I think I probably will stuff myself. I did not experience hunger today despite just having toast with almond butter and milk for breakfast and some sort of soup in a Styrofoam cup (best offering at a swim meet) with diet Coke before I just had dinner. Now I’m beginning to wonder just how little food I need to eat before I can experience hunger. On my diets prior to Intuitive Eating, the idea was to avoid hunger – suppress hunger – endure hunger. With Intuitive Eating, I learned that the key to a normal weight is to wait for hunger. Can I recall from childhood that I needed to “save room for dessert” and shouldn’t “spoil my appetite”? When did those ideas evaporate into the food obsession and feeling that I was starving all the time? I did not stuff myself between Sunday night and just now. That’s good. I’m on my way to having the guideline for eating be that (I’m hungry and it’s mealtime) OR it’s an Exception Day so anything goes! I’ll try to eat small meals until I can experience hunger and start to want to feel hungry prior to a meal.

One other very unremarkable thing that happened was that I took Katie and Ellie to the store to buy S Day food. As we were debating on the type of ice cream to buy, a very heavy man said to me, “You know that you gain weight just by looking at ice cream.” I was not upset or offended. My response was something like, “Yes, I know…” in a resigned tone. I couldn’t help but think that it’s probably been years since that man was able to sit down and enjoy ice cream without feeling guilty about eating it. He was looking at the ice cream when he chatted with me, so I bet he’s had plenty of ice cream – he just hasn’t enjoyed it because he’s felt guilty about eating it. Not me! I’ll be enjoying ice cream tomorrow without one iota of guilt!

Day 23 – Sunday, January 31, 2010: 197.0. I started off the day with fudge, then had two doughnuts at Donut Sunday at church, and continued with ice cream and chocolate caramels in the afternoon. By the time I was serving dinner at 6:30 PM, I could not eat another bite. I went to bed and got up at 8:30 PM to clean up the kitchen and have a glass of milk. What happened? I don’t think it was just the quantity of food that I ate. It was also the excessive eating of sweets. It was extremely unpleasant to lie in bed with a stomach ache, and the memory of that unpleasantness will carry over into future Exception Days. I think that it may be that the human body cannot adjust to large swings in calories or percentage of sweets, which is why it can work to have “unconditional permission to eat” on Exception Days. I look forward to tomorrow’s Normal Day eating.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:49 am; edited 70 times in total
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Girl Next Door



Joined: 10 Oct 2009
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Location: West Coast, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my goodness. Your SIL sounds. . . like some of my relatives, actually, except most of what happens is conversations held behind my back. I don't know how things are generally but it's great that your husband stood up for you and your family.
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12/31/10 - 177
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Jammin' Jan



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings from another MN No-S person. It's cold outside today!!!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Girl Next Door,

This has been going on for years and hasn't necessarily gotten worse. (Our 10 year old has a vivid memory from several years ago of being spanked when she was caught doing something my sister in law didn't like; we were in the house at the time.) My sister in law is gracious to open her home to relatives every Fourth of July and New Years, but she openly attacks me, my parenting, and our children's behavior. I just got tired of it this year. When it's 10 below, and the kids are outside in the dark, I want to monitor what's going on. I told Tom afterwards that I'm not sure I want to go back for holidays. Tom felt bad afterwards and said he thought he could have handled it better. I told him he could have handled it worse, too, by doing what she did, by attacking her parenting skills and the character of her not so perfect daughter.

The reason why I brought this up on this forum is that I do think that there is something to the idea that eating has some psychological basis in that a person who follows conventional diets is likely to disregard their own needs to starve themselves, and this approach backfires over time.




Jammin Jan,

We have a real winter this year, don't we? The kids are enjoying all the snow.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Dandelion



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Posts: 650

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your SIL sounds like someone who could use a few lessons herself - like manners, respect and minding her own business.

I know what you mean about IE and the rest of life. I ended up ending an abusive marriage. Life's too short to fill it with people who make us unhappy.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandelion,

I have purchased that Intuitive Eating book something like 15 times and thrown it away. There is something to it. I may go back and buy it again. I think it explains the wisdom behind No S very well.

There is something very disrespectful about denying your body food because some expert somewhere said you should have only so many calories or only so many carbs or only so many points or only a fistful sized. Maybe all those years of looking for wisdom elsewhere undermined my own sense of self-respect enough to put up with a sister in law who berates me about choices that my husband and I have made. We live 200 miles away and only see them a few times a year. I'm sure it's much harder to get away from an abusive husband. Good for you to make that decision!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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TexArk



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My unsolicited advice: DON"T do it!
I have been through Intuitive Eating, Rules for Normal Eating, Linda ? book and website, Geneen Roth, and Weigh Down Workshop. What I have found is that all of those have solid ideas, but for someone like me who has spent a lifetime on diets and the deprivation that goes with that, I am just not capable of functioning without more scaffolding than my hunger scale. I spent way too much time analyzing my hunger and trying to stop at 80% full, etc. etc. After years of abuse, I have found that there are foods that I just don't need to have in the house.

What I love about NoS is that it does put into practice the principles of Intuitive Eating with just enough restrictions to form the scaffolding. I don't have to THINK on NoS. I don't have all these decisions to make. Kathleen, I am like you; My journals go on and on as I try to THINK my way through my eating. And this has been going on for 40 years!

I think the intuitive eating approach is what "normal" eaters do. But obviously I am not a normal eater. I don't think I need years of therapy to figure it out. I know I eat when I am not hungry. DUH So for now all I need to think about is having only 3 meals a day and using intuitive eating perhaps on S Days. That is really what we are supposed to be doing on S Days, right?

Have a good year. It is always comforting to see that you have posted when I log in.
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kccc



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, it sounds as if you just made some really amazing breakthroughs in realizing how emotions/eating have been connected for you. Good for you for standing up to your SIL (and good for your dh for supporting you)!

A book I found useful years ago is "The Dance of Anger" (which has had several volumes follow it since then, that I haven't read). It gave me some tools to break out of destructive patterns with others that I had finally recognized. Might be of interest... or not. (I like to offer things I've found useful, but do recognize that what works for me may not for others, lol!)

I always enjoy your thoughtful posts. You sound like a woman on a really positive journey. Smile

Happy New Year, and best wishes.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TexArk,
Let me clarify: I AM NEVER EVER GOING BACK TO INTUITIVE EATING. The information in the book helps me to understand the brilliance of THIS diet. How I hated trying to rate my hunger! It's much easier to wait for a meal and eat what I want at the meal. The worst part of Intuitive Eating was that I was skipping family meals. It's really wonderful to sit at the table and go around and ask everyone, "What did you learn today?"

KCCC,
The person who is angry is my sister in law, and she's now 200 miles away! I'm not angry. I'm just tired of being treated badly because my sister in law has a different idea of parenting than I do. My choice in fight or flight is flight. Why put up with that sort of treatment? I should have removed myself from her long ago.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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kccc



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:


KCCC,
The person who is angry is my sister in law, and she's now 200 miles away! I'm not angry. I'm just tired of being treated badly because my sister in law has a different idea of parenting than I do. My choice in fight or flight is flight. Why put up with that sort of treatment? I should have removed myself from her long ago.

Kathleen


The book title is a bit misleading - it's really about changing patterns, and offers "tools" for doing so. But it sounds as if you've already figured out your best tool of just not being around her. Smile
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC,

I'm upset with myself for having put up with her treatment of me for so long. That's why my removing myself from her treatment of me reminds me of my removing myself from all the expert advice about what to eat and how much to eat. I can learn about nutrition and then decide for myself.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



Joined: 02 Oct 2008
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Location: midwest US

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several things come to mind. First of all, you can choose your friends, not your family. I sometimes think God sends individual family members to us for a kind of training experience. To teach us. At times I feel like I'm in a boot camp! Wink
I too have tried the one day a week fast. I did it on Wednesdays during lent or advent. It was helpful. Mind and spirit. As I think I've told you, I've recently read the book The Diet Alternative. I found an old copy at a thrift store and I know that they are still publishing it. It is written by a strong-faithed Christian. It talks about how all food references in the Bible were for morning and evening eating. Lunch was not eaten, or at least was never talked about. Just morning and evening. The author lost her weight just by eating morning and night like Jesus writes about. I have been trying to follow that off and on. When I do, I seem to loose fast. That is what I was doing when I got down to 26 lost. When I feel strong, I try to wait until dinner and just have my 1 meal. I drop dramatically then. I seemed to stop for the Christmas season. And gained! I actually thought I was getting the flu 3 times during Christmas. I think it was my body telling me to stop overeating! I do feel the need for an S day or S event just to have something in the near future to look forward to. I am still trying to figure out the best way to go about it. I'm currently trying 2-3 meals on S days with 1 sweet, 1 snack, and 1 second allowed per day. If I let myself have a free day I end up eating chips and cookies for breakfast just because I can, and I don't even usually eat breakfast.

After many experements, I know I do better with a scale. I weigh almost every morning and record in my calendar book. My book also has a monthly menu which really really helps.

As far as exercise goes, I do what is fun, and then I have a better chance of continuing it. I like Leslie Sansone DVDs.

Please excuse my ramblings, I just get inspired when I read your notes because we seem to have many parallels. Wink
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reneew,

I told my kids that I got the caramel recipe from my doppleganger on this Web site! Yes, we do seem to have many parallels, which is why I hope you stick with No S!

Someone who was posting when I first started (blueskighs) went to two meals per day. I think that the number of meals isn't as important as limiting times when you eat. When I first started, it became apparent immediately that non diet days were days of constantly popping food into my mouth. I seem to have created a rule that was something like "Eat everything you are allowed to eat."

Personally, I think that there is a misconception of cause and effect with regard to spiritual and psychological problems. I think that people who slip into conventional diets end up having spiritual and psychological problems as a result of the stress caused by starvation from dieting.

Why do people slip into conventional diets? Well, for me, it was to please my father back when I was 17. Why didn't I tell him "NO"? I don't know why, but that was 34 years ago. The person I was at 17 is not the person I am now at 51. In all the changes in my life, the one constant has been a diet mentality. That's why I think the problem is self-perpetuating and is largely physical. Once you are in the obesity trap, the way out seems to be through portion control and not an eating structure that allows you to satisfy your hunger. Intuitive Eating dispenses with portion control but also dispenses with the eating structure.

I made myself a little chart of monthly weights. My high was the start date in 9/08 at 215 pounds, and my low was 197.8 in 9/09. Last month was 206, and today was 199.4. You may find that you'll lose some of those 26 pounds again very quickly if you return to the S Day/N Day structure. Good luck, and let's keep encouraging each other on!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen posted:
Quote:
With some horror, I have realized that what I am calling a Fast Day
is actually a Normal Day for normal weight people.
I’m not fasting on .....water.
I’m just having a meal that
doesn’t result in my feeling stuffed.

I think what I’ll do is start calling today a Normal Day,
Sundays a Feast Day,
and all other days a Stuffed Day
.
Kathleen,
It's great that you came to this Realization
which led you to a Solution.

As one who frequently reads your Daily-Check-In posts,
I was a bit startled when you defined a "Fast"
to be what is a normal food day for me.
A "normal" food day for me is:
"a day of eating-until-no-longer-hungry-but-not-full",
.................which turns out to be about the same as..............
"a day when the food I eat (energy intake) is an amount similiar
to what my body uses (energy consumption) during that day",

Even though dieters now go on "juce fasts" and other kind of food "fasts" etc.,
the term "fast" traditionally has been used to mean the intake of zero calories,
i.e. water or non-caloric liquids only.
I've noticed that the practice of dieters calling a restriction of only specific foods "fasts"
has recently led dieters to term a traditional fast as a "water fast".

In my Weight-Loss-Maintenance, I also sometimes include "fasts"
but these are time periods in which I ingest non-caloric liquids (like water) only.
My fasts are all "intermittent", in that they are not a series of days-in-a-row,
but are for short periods of time only (such as 24 to 36 hrs)
and are surrounded by normal food intake.

Within No S, the ideal is to have an intermittent "fast"
between each of the time periods, i.e. 3 meals...
However upon reflection, since NoS allows caloric liquids, like milk, between meals,
it seems, the NoS between-meal-not-eating , in that case, is less than a true intermittent "fast".

The "fast" that I do most frequently is the 24 hour EatStopEat fast.
This is a 24 hour period without food or caloric beverages,
such as from after dinner one day (say before 5 p.m.)
until dinner the following day (say after 5 p.m.)
I find this creative, because in the past a day's "fast"
would start at bedtime one day, go all day, then end upon arising the following day.
which worked out to be a 36 hr fast, and involve not eating for an entire day and two nights.
I like the 24 hr fast better, because I get to eat something every day.

"Fasting" isn't for everyone,
but my current Food Plan is similiar to the the Food Plan you described,
in that I have a practice of 3 separate types of eating days.
Mine are:
"NORMAL-eat-until-no-longer-Hungry-but-not-full"days,
"FEAST-eat-until-I-feel-stuffed" days",
and "FAST-zero-food" days.
However, my "Feast" days and "Fast days are,
hopefully, not every week, but only on occasion.

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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,

You gently told me last fall that I was fooling myself into thinking I was continuing to lose weight, but I had to bounce around until I figured out that I cannot stuff myself at every meal and still lose weight!

I have not had the experience of eating until satisfied but not stuffed since I was a teenager. Instead, I either was dieting -- which meant eating at a starvation level -- or bingeing -- which meant eating until stuffed.

The No S Diet got me to eat until stuffed but only three times per day. My two Fridays have been days of eating until satisfied but not stuffed. It's a new experience for me, and I want to wait until I have it better defined before I consider fasting.

What a deep hole I dug in my life when I started dieting! This path I am taking is one of progressive steps. In fall, 2008, when I started the diet, it was torture to just go a few hours before meals, and meals were occasions of excessive eating. Still, that was progress because my stomach would empty at least a little.

The future is somewhat hazy for me, but I am consoled by the famous prayer of St. John Newmann:

Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom,
lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
the distant scene; one step enough for me.

One step is enough for me. The step I am taking now is to just experience one day per week when I do not stuff myself at meals!

I am now down from 215 on my start 9/8/08 to 198 today, a loss of 17 pounds in 16 months. If the weight loss continues at this rate, I'll be happy because at least I am losing weight and the weight loss is sustainable!

Thanks for letting me know your story. I suspect that fasting will one day be part of what I do to maintain my weight. For now, though, the experience of eating to satisfied but not stuffed is both new and refreshingly pleasant!

Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
For now,... the experience of eating to satisfied but not stuffed is both new and refreshingly pleasant!

This sounds to me like you are back on the "Path" to your ultimate Goal.

BTW, I am NOT referring to a goal of "perfect compliance"...
which I think is pretty much impossible for just about everyone.

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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi BrightAngel,
I set up a program in which I could claim "perfect compliance" as a way to build a very strong habit, but part of the program is counting Exception Days. It seems to work for me, but time will tell. I feel like I'm riding a wave. I never know what's coming next, but I feel comfortable with what I'm supposed to do now: work on being able to define what it means to have a satisfying rather than a stuffed day! Thanks for your support!
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel wrote:


Even though dieters now go on "juce fasts" and other kind of food "fasts" etc.,
the term "fast" traditionally has been used to mean the intake of zero calories,
i.e. water or non-caloric liquids only.
I've noticed that the practice of dieters calling a restriction of only specific foods "fasts"
has recently led dieters to term a traditional fast as a "water fast".

In my Weight-Loss-Maintenance, I also sometimes include "fasts"
but these are time periods in which I ingest non-caloric liquids (like water) only.
My fasts are all "intermittent", in that they are not a series of days-in-a-row,
but are for short periods of time only (such as 24 to 36 hrs)
and are surrounded by normal food intake.

Within No S, the ideal is to have an intermittent "fast"
between each of the time periods, i.e. 3 meals...
However upon reflection, since NoS allows caloric liquids, like milk, between meals,
it seems, the NoS between-meal-not-eating , in that case, is less than a true intermittent "fast".

The "fast" that I do most frequently is the 24 hour EatStopEat fast.
This is a 24 hour period without food or caloric beverages,
such as from after dinner one day (say before 5 p.m.)
until dinner the following day (say after 5 p.m.)
I find this creative, because in the past a day's "fast"
would start at bedtime one day, go all day, then end upon arising the following day.
which worked out to be a 36 hr fast, and involve not eating for an entire day and two nights.
I like the 24 hr fast better, because I get to eat something every day.

"Fasting" isn't for everyone,
but my current Food Plan is similiar to the the Food Plan you described,
in that I have a practice of 3 separate types of eating days.
Mine are:
"NORMAL-eat-until-no-longer-Hungry-but-not-full"days,
"FEAST-eat-until-I-feel-stuffed" days",
and "FAST-zero-food" days.
However, my "Feast" days and "Fast days are,
hopefully, not every week, but only on occasion.[/color]

Thank you for your insight. I do this "fasting 24 hour thing too and I feel bad about it, thinking that society thinks it's wrong to skip meals. I especially feel it's alright to do it when I've totally stuffed myself the day before. I have been trying to wait and just have dinner too, during the week. A friend of mine does it every winter to loose his December weight. I think that this 24hour fast is good, so why do I feel bad and/or guilty talking about it? Rolling Eyes
Thank you, and I hope you don't mind if I add this to my check in. (I like to collect my thoughts there.) Wink
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen: 1/29/10 said:
Quote:
The No S Diet guideline to limit yourself to one plate is not one I have ever used
because I couldn’t stand having fruit next to meat
or limiting myself when I just wanted soup with a sandwich

Kathleen, a comment here. . .
The NoS one-plate meal Guideline is extremely easy to follow.
I think it is the NoS function that most helps one avoid Denial about one's overeating.
It is also the best way to visually define whether or not one is having Seconds...
and "No seconds" is one of the 3 "S" restrictions of NoS.
1 plate is a natural and simple way to control food intake without counting calories.

I don't like my meat and fruit to touch, or even be next to each other.
Personally, although I count calories, I generally also follow the 1 plate concept.
I'm certain that you are aware how easy it is to temporarily place
a piece of fruit, or 1/2 c. bowl of fruit on a dinner plate to sight judge amount,
then to remove it, and set it, perhaps on a saucer, beside the plate.
Also, when one places a cup of soup on a dinner plate,
there is usually room left on that plate for two halves of a sandwich.
What there isn't room for, is a BIG bowl of soup AND a sandwich.

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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,

I had a bad reaction to any sort of portion control, even something so simple as limiting food to one plateful. The result, of course, was limited weight loss. With Intuitive Eating's approach, I try to eat a small meal so that I actually experience hunger.

It's embarassing that I've been trying to eat small meals and haven't yet experienced hunger.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
BrightAngel,

I had a bad reaction to any sort of portion control, even something so simple as limiting food to one plateful. The result, of course, was limited weight loss. With Intuitive Eating's approach, I try to eat a small meal so that I actually experience hunger.

It's embarassing that I've been trying to eat small meals and haven't yet experienced hunger.
Kathleen,
Food and money have a great deal in common.

A specific amount of money goes into my bank account each month,
and that is the amount of money I have to pay my bills and meet my needs each month.
If I want to save up for a trip or a treat,
I have to budget my money, and do without spending the amount I need to save.
Frequently I also feel like spending more money than I have in my bank account,
I have that choice. There are ways I can accomplish this.
But, making a choice to spend as much as I want, will lead to negative consequences . . . making my life difficult to deal with.
The fact and situation will not change, even though I may hate it.
and
My body uses a specific amount of food each day/week/month,
that is the amount of food I need to put into it.. . .
and if I want to reduce my size,
I have to eat LESS food than my body uses to create an energy deficit.
I can choose to live within my energy allowance or not.
Frequently I also feel like eating more food than my body can use,
I have that choice.
But, making a choice to eat as much as I want, will lead to negative consequences., i.e. even more stored fat.
The fact and situation will not change, even though I may hate it.

As a mature adult human being, I know that frequently I simply can't have my own way.
This is true of spending money, and of eating food.
There has to be some form of self-regulation...with both money and food.

Personally, I think that if one chooses not to count calories,
following the NoS plan is a good way to self-regulate food...on "N" days.
I'm still not personally convinced that "N" day Habits do bleed over nto "S" days for Obese and formerly Obese people,
but they might.
However, even one Bingeing "S" day a week,
can easily provide the body with more energy than one's body can use in that entire week.
To give NoS a Chance, one needs to actually follow it. . .
including eating no sweets, snacks, or seconds on "N" days,
and eating only 1 plate, 3 meals a day.
Over time, it will also be necessary to pay attention to the type of food one puts on each of those 1 plates.

Re Hunger. . .I am also familiar with the Intuitive Eating Concept.
However, Actually, physical Hunger is a rather unimportant issue because
one's stomach (and one's brain) quickly becomes used to being fed a certain amount at a certain time,
if the amount and the time are consistent.
There are "stretch receptors" in one's stomach,
and if one eats an equal volume 3 times a day,
one's stomach (and brain) will adapt to that amount and timing.
Physical Hunger is a problem easily resolved,
and is rarely the actual cause of either Overeating, or Obesity.

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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,

Your post is a summation of both my husband's argument of "exercise more, eat less" and my father's observation that "you cannot violate Newton's second law of thermodynamics." Throw in there my son's assessment of my diet as "diet magic".

Yes, I see the problem. I also see that hunger is not something that necessarily correlates very well with actual need for food. That's why I have the quote of the French saying, "Appetite comes from eating."

Why am I persisting in not measuring my food even with a plateful? I think that all those years of trying to restrict food led to a knee-jerk reaction of a binge whenever I try to restrict even with something as reasonable as a plateful.

In the end, whatever results in eating less food is what will result in losing weight. I do think I ate less food today. I think the conscious choice to eat small meals could work for me. This is by no means a certainty.

Being obese is no fun at all. I'd love to lose weight and get out of these XL clothes. If I had to choose between staying in XL clothes and consistently following some means of restricting food (calorie counting, restriction to a plate, etc.), I don't know what choice I'd make. That's why I'm pursuing this approach.

Time will tell. I'm happy to be down almost 20 pounds even if it took more than a year. Prior to No S, I had gained 60 pounds in the prior 6 years.

A lot of maturity has to do with delayed gratification. With No S, I've learned to delay eating so that I only eat between meals. The next step is to delay stuffing myself until there is an Exception Day. Somewhere down the path, I'll not want to stuff myself on Exception Days.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

February, 2010:
Starting Number of Weekday Exception Days = 6(Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 8.

I followed a diet for just under seventeen months starting on September 8, 2008. The diet was subject to change depending on whether or not I met expected weight goals. Starting on February 5, 2010, I now follow a lifestyle of eating habits: “unconditional permission to eat” (a term from the book Intuitive Eating) on all Sundays and two additional Exception Days per month which I can choose for any reason whatsoever. Unused Exception Days carry over to the next month. For all other days of the month, I follow three simple rules which I have modified from The No S Diet:

1. No snacks: I do taste test food, especially pasta, when I am cooking. Other than that, I have no food except at mealtimes.

2. No sweets: I do allow myself sugared pop, since the rare occasions when I want sugared pop are because I have an upset stomach and ginger ale tastes good or I feel really hungry and sugared pop is a good substitute for food.

3. No seconds: I don’t limit my food intake. There is no portion control. Instead, I can put as much as I want before me at a meal, but I cannot eat anything else at a meal – not one bite!

In addition, I try to reach what the authors of Intuitive Eating call last bite threshold. When it occurs, it is clear. This does not occur just when you become so stuffed that you cannot take another bite. Instead, it’s when you realize that eating any more will not add pleasure.

This lifestyle requires minimal time or effort and can be sustained for life. It does require patience. “Patience is a virtue.”

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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0
(Month 17) Day 492 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0
(Month 18 ) Day 512 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0

The following is a list of one weight from one day of each month of the lifestyle:
The following is a list of days in the current month:
(Month 1) Day 2 – Saturday, February 6, 2010: 199.4

The following is a list of days in the current month:
Day 24 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0
Day 25 – Tuesday, February 2, 2010: 198.6: Exception Weekday
Day 26 – Wednesday, February 3, 2010:
Day 27 – Thursday, February 4, 2010:
Day 1 – Friday, February 5, 2010: Exception Weekday
Day 2 – Saturday, February 6, 2010: 199.4
Day 3 – Sunday, February 7, 2010: 198.4
Day 4 – Monday, February 8, 2010:
Day 5 – Tuesday, February 9, 2010: Exception Weekday - Tom's Confirmation
Day 6 – Wednesday, February 10, 2010:
Day 7 – Thursday, February 11, 2010: 198.0
Day 8 – Friday, February 12, 2010: 198.4 LBT-D
Day 9 – Saturday, February 13, 2010: 198.2
Day 10 – Sunday, February 14, 2010:
Day 11 – Monday, February 15, 2010: 199.4
Day 12 – Tuesday, February 16, 2010: 198.2
Day 13 – Wednesday, February 17, 2010: 197.6
Day 14 – Thursday, February 18, 2010: 196.0 (A new low!)
Day 15 – Friday, February 19, 2010: 195.6 (A new low!)
Day 16 – Saturday, February 20, 2010: 195.6
Day 17 – Sunday, February 21, 2010: 196.0
Day 18 – Monday, February 22, 2010: 198.0
Day 19 – Tuesday, February 23, 2010: 198.6
Day 20 – Wednesday, February 24, 2010: 196.6
Day 21 – Thursday, February 25, 2010: 197.6
Day 22 – Friday, February 26, 2010:
Day 23 – Saturday, February 27, 2010: 195.4 (A new low!)
Day 24 – Sunday, February 28, 2010: 195.8

Day 24 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0. The minimum necessary to follow this diet now involves less time and expense than the monthly chore of taking our 8 pound YorkiePoo to Petco 15 minutes away and paying just under $11 to get her toenails clipped. I have set up this diet so that the minimum necessary to follow it is to:
- weigh myself monthly
- record my weight at least once per month
- calculate a starting number of Exception Days, and
- record Exception Days.
That’s it. Everything else is above what is necessary, including recording my weight more than once per month and writing anything at all about my experience of dieting. It’s fun to do, and it is particularly rewarding to see that my weight from a Saturday last month is still down one pound on a Monday this month. It’s fun, but it’s not necessary. I’m on a diet that is easy to follow. Even if I lose only one pound per month, I’m happy that I’m following a diet which does not disrupt my life.

I started out at 215 pounds on Monday, September 8, 2008, and exactly 17 months later, I weigh exactly 17 pounds less. Tom agreed to take me to San Francisco for an Esther Gokhale posture class when I weigh less than 140 pounds. This morning, I told him I only have 58 more pounds to lose. He has absolutely no concern about having to make good on that bargain. Well, he will! It will take time and patience for me to lose that much weight, but I expect to be thin again – not tomorrow, not the next day, not even in a year, but when my body is ready for it. Our parish priest once said in a sermon, “Delayed gratification doesn’t necessarily mean deprivation.” My thought on this is that being willing to persist and not to expect instant gratification is a sign of maturity. I see maturity even in the 5th graders I’m coaching for a math team competition. Learning algebra is not easy when you’re 10 years old!

1 PM: It took until lunchtime for my appetite to kick in after I didn’t feel well last night and skipped dinner because of having way too many sweets yesterday. Now I face the unsettling feeling that the future is going to hold more recognition of the non-physical damage to my life of this weight loss odyssey. I shudder. Sure, there are physical problems associated with obesity: increased risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, even cancer… But what are the non-physical problems associated with obesity? Why did I wait until the close out sale at Land’s End to buy a jacket that a) did not have fabric paint on it from a Girl Scout painting project, and b) had a zipper that worked? Why have I been so unwilling to buy myself clothes and makeup? I think this reluctance to invest in myself comes from putting off until tomorrow when I’ll be thin and deserving of nice clothes. All I can say is it is really nice to be in warm, new jacket. Usually, I sit in the van when the kids go sledding. Yesterday, I stood outside at the top of the hill to watch them, and I was cozy warm!

Day 25 – Tuesday, February 2, 2010: 198.6. My fifth grader is trying to limit herself to one snack after school, but last night she got herself so much food for dinner that her older siblings were laughing at her and her 15 year old sister predicted she would weigh 200 pounds by the time she was 15. This morning, I showed her my journal and showed her how I had restarted my diet last month. Then I explained that I had gone more than 15 months stuffing myself at every meal and finally realized that I was judging whether I was satisfied by whether I was stuffed. Then I had her watch a youtube video which included the sound of the Doppler effect that comes from a train passing. I explained that there is a Doppler effect with eating – that you eat until you are stuffed if you aren’t hungry when you start eating, and you eat until you are satisfied if you are hungry when you start eating. In both instances, you eat until there is a change – a Doppler effect. How much of this she got I don’t know, but I sure don’t want her eating like she did last night. I told her that she can still eat whatever she wants on Sundays, but on days other than Sundays I want her to eat small meals and only have one snack. She had a bowl of Cheerios filled to the top and said that was a normal amount of cereal to eat. I told her I wouldn’t even eat that much – at least not anymore. She’s only 10, but she’s learned a lot from her mother. I’m still working on experiencing hunger, but at least I am no longer stuffing myself every night, and I certainly don’t want my little girl mimicking the behavior of her mother who was stuffing herself every night.

Day 26 – Wednesday, February 3, 2010: Yesterday turned into an Exception Day at about 3 PM, and I’m not weighing myself today. It was too much to go from always stuffing myself at meals to never stuffing myself at meals, and I had an episode of “diet backlash.” Three bowls of ice cream in ½ hour were the start of the binge. Now I feel sick, but at least I don’t feel guilty. I just learned a lesson. I’m returning to my original plan to eat small meals, but I’ll start with just one weekday per month. I can start with Wednesdays this month, so today I’ll have small meals. That shouldn’t be hard today, since I’m starting off this morning feeling sick from having eaten so much yesterday.

8:15 AM: I need to take a deep breath and consider that I had unrealistic expectations. The adjustment to eating to less than stuffed will be a big adjustment. I’ll start with Fridays as days for small meals. That gives me four times in February.

1 PM: I now have a plan for the next six months. I have two goals. The first goal is to start with small meals on Fridays in February and add one additional day (Monday through Saturday) until I have small meals only on non-Exception Days. The second goal is to move my focus to something other than weight loss and eating habits. I’ll do this by only writing once per month. I can still weigh myself daily and record it in my calendar. Life is passing me by, and I am using this journal way too much as a means to procrastinate!

Day 28 – Friday, February 5, 2010: I’ve been reading through blogs on Jane Brody and Michael Pollen, given the controversy that they cited the S Policy without referencing Reinhard as the author. I came across the idea that you should leave the table without being stuffed – something along the lines of “tie off the bag before it is full.” That is my next goal. It also seems to be a monumental goal. I almost panic when I sense any sort of hunger. That is due, I would suspect, to my years of starving myself. What to do? I think I need to gently make the transition to eating without getting stuffed, and so I decided that I would just start with one day per month for eating small meals. This is a revision from eating small meals on one weekday per month. That means that I will need about two years to get to the point where I am eating small meals except on Exception Days. I decided that I should try not to weigh myself and just allow lots of time so that the transition is both successful and relatively painless. Today is the first Friday of the month, and I am making it my first (and only day this month) when my goal is to eat to satisfied rather than stuffed.

1 PM: To use the terminology currently in use by my teenagers, my attempt at eating only to satisfaction was an “epic fail.” I now have an Exception Day. It was almost panic mode for me to cut back on the amount of food I ate for breakfast, even though I’ve had exactly that same meal by choice (toast with almond butter and milk). Why? Well, I think the problem is that I made the deliberate choice to eat less, and that triggered a panicked reaction that I would have to wait all the way until lunch and then at lunch I couldn’t eat as much as I want. Yes – it was the return of the diet obsession. By noon, when I took the dog for a walk, I felt very uncomfortable. I could sense not hunger but also not fullness. I was facing the vicious goal of “portion control”, and I ended up having a large lunch followed by a second heaping of food – two cups of ice cream, some Pear Crisps, some muesli, and Corn Flakes. The book Intuitive Eating arrived today,and I turned to the chapter “Feel Your Fullness.” There it was: rate your fullness. Noooooooo…. I don’t want to go back to obsessively rating my hunger and fullness.
What did I learn from this “epic fail”? Something very positive. I learned that I had already started down the path of not eating until I was stuffed. I’ve already chosen smaller portions even though larger portions were allowed. I’ve already had sensations that are on their way to being hunger.

It may well be that all I need to do is be patient, accept the weight I am today, and allow my body to choose the appropriate amount of food to eat within the bounds of no snacks, sweets, or seconds except on Exception Days. I really dislike the amount of time I’ve spent on dieting and weight control, so I think the best thing I can do is just give this approach a lot of time and see what happens.

How long? August, 2011 sounds good. August is always a slow month, we always go camping in Ely right near the Boundary Waters, and August is almost my time of new resolutions because my life is dominated by the school year schedule. I started September 8, 2008, and I can last at least until September 8, 2011. If I lose 1 pound per month between those two dates, that means a loss of 36 pounds in 3 years, or down from 215 pounds to 179 pounds. I have not been that low in weight since the year of the diet collapse – 2002 – when I went from 155 in January to 185 in August.

It’s a commitment. I’m done experimenting until September 8, 2011, I will count the diet a success if I weigh 179 or less on that date, and I will not change my diet approach until then.

8:30 PM: I ate a ton today, and I’m still eating. This was classic “diet backlash.” It’s a panic reaction. I wish I could give an analogy other than when my brother held me underwater when I was 10, but nothing is quite as similar. There is just irrational and overwhelming fear. I suppose other examples would be going on a tour of the Soudan Mine in Northern Minnesota, and there were bats flying right near us. I was absolutely terrified. There was also the time I went alone to my car in a parking lot in downtown Minneapolis at 10 at night. Again, I was terrified. Why would a very mild “portion control” of not stuffing myself trigger such a reaction? I really have no idea, but that’s what happens. I have had lots of experiences of being terrified because of my kids – especially a son who fell off a slide and needed stitches and bounced down stairs on a bouncy ball and needed stitches and was dropped by my father and knocked unconscious. They were certainly moments of sheer terror, but they were not similar to the experience of “portion control.” Instead, the experience of “portion control” is about terror concerning personal safety. Why? Why? Why? It doesn’t make logical sense, especially if I am assured of eating at every meal. I went down a wrong path once again, and once again I’m returning to No S with the modification of allocating and tracking two floating Exception Days per month and only having Sundays as the reliable day for exceptions. It may be I won’t ever again be thin, but at least I won’t be obsessed with food. At least I won’t have what amounts to terror and panic because I’m trying to limit food intake.

Day 29 – Saturday, February 6, 2010: 199.4. After this week’s wild ride, I’m glad that the damage isn’t so great that I’m above 200. Slow and steady wins the race… I’m glad also that I’m committed to staying on this simple plan until September of next year. All these changes in my plan have done nothing but confuse the issue. I don’t know how much I would have lost had I just stuck with the plan I decided upon in September, 2008.

8:30 PM: Today was special because it was Ellie’s birthday party. Neither Anne nor I had birthday cake, and nobody noticed. We didn’t have to take an Exception Day in order to help our daughter and her friends have fun celebrating her birthday.

Day 30 – Sunday, February 7, 2010: 198.4. Today is my one reliable day of “unconditional permission to eat”, and all I wanted for breakfast was coffee and a bowl of Corn Flakes. I don’t want to overeat, at least not right away in the morning. There’s quite a profound sadness that I feel right now in recognizing that I have had so little self-respect as to follow rules to restrict the amount I ate, not based on how much I wanted to eat but rather based on how much I (or the diet judged) I should eat. When I tried Intuitive Eating (every day is a day of "unconditional permission to eat") starting December 15, 2007, I weighed 205 pounds and must have had 20 bags of peanut clusters in the first week on that diet. By June, I was up to 212 or so. On September 8, 2008, I started this diet and was down to 210 fairly quickly, and then I was stuck between 205 and 210 until late February of last year. Now I’m under 200 but above 195. I don’t really have much to show for all of this effort as far as my weight is concerned, but there is a profound change in my approach to eating and in the amount of time I spend thinking about eating. Now that I’m done experimenting with restricting the amount I eat, I think that there will be a gradual change in how much I eat on Sundays and other Exception Days. There’s no need to overeat if I can eat as much as I want within the next few hours. How sad to recognize this truth after more than 30 years of restricting food intake.

8 PM: Our son missed Mass this morning because he was at an overnight with his swim team, and so I brought him, his friend, and two of our other children to 6 PM Mass during the Super Bowl. It was a very quiet Mass. While I was there, it occurred to me that I have reached a decision on this diet, and the decision was reached on Friday. Friday is my new Day 1. The last few months, and the last month in particular, have reminded me of the time I canoed through Class 4 rapids. When I managed to survive, with the canoe backwards but still upright, we came into very calm waters. I am now in very calm waters. The logic of this diet is that you eat when it is socially convenient, and the amount you eat is what makes you feel best. Sure, I ate a lot today, including three Haagen Dazs bars, but I didn’t eat so much as to have a stomach ache. My body will eventually make choices for what makes me feel best so long as I don’t constantly threaten it with starvation or even with restrictions that have nothing to do with how much food my body needs. I’ve gotten lost in my own intellectualization of this problem. It occurred to me that what I wrote on Friday and have written since them completely sums up what I have learned. The path is set. Now I just need to follow it.

Day 4 – Monday, February 8, 2010: I woke up about 2:30 AM with a stomach ache. That’s OK. Eventually, I’ll figure out how much to eat in order to feel my best. It will just take time. This morning, I was content with coffee and a bowl of Cheerios.

Day 5 – Tuesday, February 9, 2010: I’m going to try not to weigh myself as much as a way to have less focus on my weight and dieting. Today is my son’s confirmation day, and my husband is in Detroit, so sadly he’ll miss confirmation. He’s also missing a big snowstorm here, and we have no snowblower. I’ve already been shoveling for about an hour, and I have to go back outside now that the younger two are just now getting on the bus for school. I’m supposed to be at the school at 8:20 AM for a Math Masters meeting. I hope I can shovel enough to get out of the driveway. It is so nice to have my focus on my life and shove that whole weight thing to the side.

Day 6 – Wednesday, February 10, 2010: I’ve had three Exception Weekdays since the beginning of February, and I feel heavier, especially in my arms. Am I headed to failure? No. I think that I have a comfort level with a certain number of Exception Weekdays “in the bank”, and that number is about five. I’m now down to five. I got off the path of “perfect compliance” and was lying to myself about the no snacking rule. That got me into trouble. In order to return to “perfect compliance”, I gave myself 10 Exception Weekdays for the adjustment period. Though it may seem ridiculous to take an Exception Weekday for one TicTac, it works for me. Prior to going on this diet, I used to have more to eat before dinner than at dinner. Most of my calories were from constant grazing. It’s just much simpler for me to put a line in the sand regarding no snacking. The only exception is to taste test food when cooking, and even there I ask myself if it is really appropriate. I taste test whether pasta is done, but I don’t need to taste test much else.

The mother of a fellow classmate of Tom’s told me at confirmation last night that she had just been diagnosed with MS. Once again, I am reminded of the brevity of life and the importance of making the most of our time today. In the card that Tom and I gave our son, I included the beautiful poem by St. John Newman, Lead, Kindly Light. The most beautiful phrase, to me, from that poem is: One step enough for me. I think I’m taking the appropriate steps right now to put weight management in its proper place as “background music” for our lives. I want our children to lead healthy lives but also lives in which the focus is on being with others and enjoying others. That doesn’t work if you are obsessed with restricting food. Our 15 year old daughter is still on this diet, and our 10 year old daughter is following a modified diet. She still has birthday treats at school, but she no longer snacks. That’s good.

Day 7 – Thursday, February 11, 2010: 198.0. 10 PM: Tonight, we had all four kids in ski club, and we went to dinner. I had a delicious cassoulet. Without any thought whatsoever that this could even occur, I had my fork ready to have another bite, and I realized I would not enjoy any more of the meal. Last bite threshold! There it was! I put my fork down. It was unexpected. It was a shock. I had reached last bite threshold. This is where I should stop eating because the pleasure from food is significantly reduced with any additional eating.

Day 9 – Saturday, February 13, 2010: 198.2. Reaching last bite threshold was extremely enjoyable, so enjoyable that I was tempted not to have breakfast this morning until I was hungry. I decided that I need to go back to the idea of eating small meals and then I’ll be able to experience last bite threshold when I do eat. Of course, the meal last night was extremely enjoyable, but I stopped eating at precisely the moment I reached satisfaction. Normally, I would just keep eating until I was stuffed if I really liked eating something.

Today is a beautiful winter day with little wind and a light snow falling. Tom just took Tom to an all-day Science Bowl, and I am home with the girls. Next week, his swim team ends, and by the end of the month the only activity he’ll have will be Boy Scouts. We can then work on having more family time together and more time outside enjoying this weather. Meanwhile, I will make sure the girls get outside. As for this journal, my goal going forward is to focus on the experience of the last bite threshold only until it becomes an ingrained habit.

7 PM: I’ll track the occurrences of Last Bite Threshold by marking it in the calendar. LBT-D for yesterday’s date is the indicator for LBT at dinner last night.

Day 11 – Monday, February 15, 2010: 199.4. I loaded up on food yesterday because I’m going to work on LBT this week. My sense of how much to eat is out of whack, and I think I’m going to take the “dive in” approach to solve this problem. I’m glad I had the experience of LBT on Friday night, but I think that experience had more to do with the satisfaction I got from the very high fat in the meal rather than my being very hungry. The meal was not my normal type of meal; in fact, it was one of the better meals I’ve ever eaten! Now what? With Lent coming on Wednesday, I can focus on eating meals which are on the very lowest end of what might be considered normal. In this society, that is not what is served at restaurants! Instead, I’ll use the natural limitations of the food itself – one toast and one piece of fruit for breakfast, for example!

2 PM: I didn’t get home from shopping with Anne until 1:30 PM, and I had a hard boiled egg, a slice of quiche and an orange. I finished my meal without either the experience of LBT or of satisfaction. It may prove to be frustrating to try to reach LBT at meals. It’s not that I am hungry. It’s just that I’m not stuffed, and I’m used to being stuffed.

Day 12 – Tuesday, February 16, 2010: 198.2. The kids were home from school yesterday because it was President’s Day, and I didn’t do much with them because I was trying to eat small meals. By 5 PM, I decided to go ahead and have my dinner without them, and I had a large bowl of popcorn along with quiche. At 4 AM, I woke up, thinking: what am I going to do? The LBT concept is important, but I think you cannot strive to achieve it. What you can do is recognize it. My body, if left to its own devices, will want to have a certain amount of food, the amount that makes it feel best. I think this diet may benefit from some benign neglect. If I just follow the simple rules of no snacks, sweets, or seconds on N Days, I think I’ll lose weight – OR this is wishful thinking. At this point, I’d like to try some benign neglect of the diet so there isn’t neglect of the family!

11 AM: It’s not quite 11, my stomach is growling, and I’m just fine with that. Yes, I’m hungry, but I know that I can eat as much as I want within an hour or two. Being confident that I can eat what I want gives me the ability to tolerate hunger right now. Is this the secret to being naturally thin? I have the theory that the cause of the obesity epidemic is the virtue of “portion control.” This runs counter to cultural wisdom. I’m used to it. People seem to think being busy is a virtue. Personally, I think it’s a vice. This morning I had time to struggle through math problems for when I coach fifth grade Math Masters tomorrow. Although I was on the math team when I was in high school, I haven’t had math since then, so I need to refresh my knowledge. And I have the time to do it! Now I need to turn my attention to teaching Art Adventure tomorrow to 3rd graders! There is so much more to life than tracking calories!

9 PM: Between Girl Scouts, swim team, a meeting at the library, and a meeting with a merit badge counselor, I was able to eat at 7:30 PM, and that was just fine. What is it about this culture that we are led to believe that we need to time our consumption of food and calibrate the amount of food we eat to the calorie? There was an email that I got today from the Duke Diet Center, and the recommendation was to have 50 to 100 calories of a mixture of carbohydrates and protein approximately ½ hour before exercising. Why? Are our bodies so sensitive that we cannot manage to exercise without eating first? This is bunk. I have thought that the defining characteristic of obese people is gullibility, and I am thinking that again. Why did I think that I would fall into some sort of unendurable pain if my mealtime was delayed an hour or two? It’s just not true.

Day 13 – Wednesday, February 17, 2010: 197.6. The last time I could mark my weight as “a new low” was on Sunday, June 21, 2009, when I weighed in at 196.6. Today is Ash Wednesday and a Fast Day. I may get to “a new low” tomorrow. This has been quite a detour. I had to return to the view that “portion control” is a negative which results in my feeling like I’m starving all the time. I don’t want to feel like I’m starving all the time. I am learning to feel hungry and do just fine, and the reason why I can do just fine when I’m hungry is that I know I can eat as much as I want at the next meal. Today and Good Friday are exceptions, of course. I’ll need to restrict my food intake all day. I used to think that Fast Days were just plain silly, but now I think that there may be something in “natural law” which makes occasional fasting a good idea.

Day 14 – Thursday, February 18, 2010: 196.0 (A new low!) Oh, it’s been a long time coming. I haven’t had a new low since June of last year. I kept changing my diet because I wanted to lose faster, and I was very disappointed that I was unable to lose 10% of my body weight (from 215 pounds to 193.5 pounds) by the one year anniversary of my being on this diet (by September 8th of last year). Now I’m 2.5 pounds away from the 10% mark, and I’ve given up any sort of weight goal at all. My goal is a habit of “perfect compliance” – a habit of no snacks, sweets or seconds except on Sundays and two other days per month.

11 AM: My stomach is growling, and it feels nice.

Day 15 – Friday, February 19, 2010: 195.6 (A new low!). I don’t want to get caught up in euphoria, but it’s clear to me that I no longer want to eat until I am stuffed. There’s no clear indicator of when I should stop eating – nothing like “last-bite threshold”. I was rushed for breakfast, had leftovers for lunch, and enjoyed a Court of Honor potluck for dinner. The focus was not on food for any of the meals – it was speed for breakfast, a break from housecleaning for lunch, and chatting with other Scout parents and my girls for dinner. I am losing – or rather, I have lost – a 30+ year obsession with food.

Day 16 – Saturday, February 20, 2010: 195.6. Yesterday, I was explaining to our 9 year old that the best way to overcome a bad habit is to create a habit that is incompatible with that bad habit. That, I explained, is why I keep my cell phone on my key chain -- so that I can't talk on the cell phone while driving. Yesterday afternoon, our computer died, so this morning I am using my husband's work computer. I have come to view my journaling as something as a bad habit, and no computer at home will make it much harder to journal. Now is a good time to stop spending so much time thinking about dieting.

I also think it's time. This morning, we had breakfast out with four other people, I had pancakes, and I did not finish eating my two pancakes. I did not experience Last Bite Threahold. I'd just had enough.

I can update once per month. That's enough. In the end, it's become remarkably clear to me that trying to be virtuous by limiting portion sizes ("portion control") backfired into "diet backlash". Without portion control, there is no need to overeat.

Day 21 – Thursday, February 25, 2010: 197.6 I have access to a computer now until my brother in law builds us a new one, but I've lost the desire to write much more. Earlier this month, at our son's confirmation Mass, the archbishop gave what I think might have been the best sermon I've ever heard. Part of it was an emphasis on how "you are what you do with your body." It really shook me up to hear those words. While his focus was on the cultural disintegration of any sense of sexual morality (today, college students don't even have a pretence of being in love when they "hook up"), I couldn't help but feel a lot of shame at how I've treated my body with all these bizarre diets and severe caloric restrictions that led to "diet backlash." It was all well-intentioned, but the result is that I have been obese since 2002.

What I am doing now is very respectful of my body. I am eating to satisfaction, and I am aware of nutritional value of foods so I am gradually moving towards more healthful eating. This morning, for example, I had green tea, 1/2 orange, and toast with apple butter.

Here is an excerpt from the foreward of the book Intuitive Eating:
"It has touched our souls to be able to hear how Intuitive Eating has changed the lives of so many. One of the most frequent comments that we have heard from people concerned the despair that was felt after years and years of failed dieting experiences and the new hope that blossomed after finding and reading Intuitive Eating. We have heard how some have cleared their minds of punitive and obesessive thoughts about their eating and body perception. This clearing has made room for positive thinking and determination to make serious life changes...Intuitive Eating has freed all of these people to go on with their lives, while leaving behind self-doubt and despair."

What I took from the book Intuitive Eating was the idea of "unconditional permission to eat" -- or, no portion control. I eat to satisfaction. That was added to The No S Diet as one of the mods I made. What is described in the foreward above was something that I did not achieve by following the Intuitive Eating approach. By rating my hunger and eating when hungry, I became more obessed with food because I was constantly belly gazing and trying to determine when to eat. With The No S Diet, I eat at mealtimes on N Days and I don't think about food outside of mealtimes.

This diet is just going to become background music in my life requiring as much thought as taking the dog to get her toenails clipped every month. The only thing I really have to do is track the number of available S Days. That's it. I've found a way to respect my body in an environment in which constant eating is encouraged. It's wonderful, and -- frankly -- it's a relief.

Day 24 – Sunday, February 28, 2010: 195.8. This morning, I had an entire bar of dark chocolate at 240 calories X 2.5 servings or 625 calories. I like that I can stuff myself right away in the morning, and it's good that I can have dark chocolate which I don't have during the week. This strategy for a Sunday is one that I don't think has much universal application, just like I think that allowing myself pop on N Days may not have a lot of universal application. I think that my diet with the other tweaks could have more universal application, but I don't know that, either. I'm a Mom whose main concern is that my children buck the trend towards adult obesity. Now two of my children are on the diet, I am close to a 10% weight loss, and it's time for this diet to fade into "background music". I have the tracking system for weight and number of available Exception Days as part of my planner, and I don't know that I want to record my thoughts and observations going forward. It's like rating hunger in that it can become counterproductive to my goal of what Brian Wansink called "mindless eating". He thought that the way to address "mindless overeating" was to set up your environment not so that you eat mindfully but so that you eat mindlessly without overeating. I think my approach gets me about as close to this goal as I can. I have a little bit of tracking to do with number of Exception Days and that's it -- no calorie counting, no rating my hunger, no assessing the nutritional value of food as a way to categorize the foods as "never eat", no creating habits like putting your fork down after each bite... What I have to do is so little it's just close to unbelievable that I could become of normal weight by doing it, but I'm down very close to 10% off my starting weight, and I'm sick and tired of having my thoughts dominated by what to do about my weight. It's time to live!
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:43 am; edited 51 times in total
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
I think I’m taking the appropriate steps right now
to put weight management in its proper place as “background music” for our lives.
Kathleen,
I share this tip with you
which I think that you might find helpful in your Future.

For me, no matter what I did, or what food plans I used,
food-issues and weight-management refused to ever become "background music" for me.
I resolved this dilemma by changing my desired mental Result
from "background music"
to an interesting and fulfilling "Hobby".
Since I was unable to "wrestle the devil to the ground",
I learned to "embrace the devil".
This change in Focus has brought me excellent results, both mentally and physically.

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See: DietHobby. com
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrightAngel,

My response to your post was "hmmm..." My original weight management goal was to eat like a naturally thin person. Following this diet was only possible after I gave up the notion that I could become a naturally thin person if I followed the Intuitive Eating approach long enough.

I'll have to consider if my expecations of "background music" are unrealistic, especially since dieting and weight management have been a focus for about 35 of my 51 years!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ou812 wrote:
I've been reading through the book written by Greg Critser

wosnes wrote:
Here's a sample.
Kathleen,
Above are a couple of posts in the General Thread.
I clicked the link, and read the sample chapters.
I found the first few chapters quite interesting in the way it approached familiar information,
however, I noticed that the 3rd Chapter, starting with page 30
addresses the basic "Intuitive Eating" issue in an extremely interesting way.
and I'm pointing it out to you because
I thought you might be really interested in reading the sample.
I would be interested in hearing any comments you have re the sample chapter (s).

Also, CONGRATULATIONS on your New Low.

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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi BrightAngel,

Thanks for the congratulations! Not many people would understand that it is a big accomplishment for me to reach 196 pounds!

I didn't really find a reference to Intuitive Eating in what I skimmed, but I will agree with the man (David Hill) who was quoted in the introduction as saying, "Being obese is a normal response to the American environment."

The book lays out some of the reasons, including the percent of calories consumed outside the home, the prevelance of high fructose corn syrup, the acceptance of obesity as a normal condition, etc. It also focuses in on the school lunch program.

I would agree with the view that the schools lost control of what went into school lunches, but I believe it may have more to do with government intervention. I heard on the radio show "The Splendid Table" that school lunches have such tight restrictions that schools are forced into buying processed foods from vendors that conform to government standards for percentages of carbs, etc. It really irritated me to hear Michelle Obama talk about strengthening the Child Nutrition Act and adding one million more kids to the school lunch program because I think the narrow restrictions and subsidies may be a cause of the obesity epidemic. Despite that, I finally decided that our two older children should get school lunch just so they wouldn't seem really out of place -- like their mother is, as my son succinctly put it, "a health nut" who thinks school lunches are not good enough for her children.

I'm also thinking that the root cause of the obesity epidemic may be the idea of "portion control." The second chapter of the book you referenced talks about the supersize idea. People wouldn't have two of things but would have one enormous thing. Why? Well, I think it may have to do with people feeling perpetually hungry because they cannot ever eat to complete satisfaction. It took me months and months of eating until I got a stomach ache, but now I am no longer interested in stuffing myself -- at least not at every meal. If I were in the position of perpetually cutting back and I could justify a supersized meal because of the "savings", would I go for that supersize meal? You betcha!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Dandelion



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a long time IEer myself, I have been reading some of your recent comments and the thing that struck me was - rats, I can't find it now - but about wanting to eat and feel full.

IE did serve me well. It got me off the 'diet roller-coaster' I lost the weight I'd gained from dieting and more than a decade it never fluctuated no matter how much I ate or didn't eat. But I also tired of having to 'check in' and 'rate'. I just wanted to eat until I was full - not sick - but definitely, no doubt about it full. I buy the best ingredients I can, I cook from scratch and spend hours in the kitchen , I only eat what I like, and darn it, I wanted a whole plate of whatever it was - not three bites and I was done.

I feel so 'normal' with No S Smile
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dandelion,

I think there is a lot of wisdom in the IE approach, and I have read and reread that book and just plain think in terms of what they describe: "Last Supper Eating", "diet backlash", etc.

Like you, having to rate my hunger spoiled my enjoyment of eating. I like having the focus be on something other than the food and my feeling of hunger. I like enjoying my family! Last night, there was a potluck Court of Honor for Scouts. It was so nice to chat with other Scout parents and my daughters. The food was secondary. I have no idea what level of hunger I had at the start or end of that meal, and I could care less.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
I didn't really find a reference to Intuitive Eating in what I skimmed,
I was interested in his take on the Concept re how the mid-century development and semination of the (erroneous?} principle of a child's body's intuitive eating knowledge...such as eating when hungry, stop when full etc. ..lead to the current adult (and child) obesity problems. To find it, start around page 34.

As I recall, the whole Belief in the "Intutitve Eating Concept" really took off in the mid-70s, and early 80s. I can see how 30-40 years of dissemination of that concept (even though it is a concept backed by little or no scientific research data) has become embedded in our basic belief system re eating, and has strongly affected Western culture.

Also, Congratulations to you for yet another new low this morning.
Behavior is the key, but it is certainly nice to see Results.

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See: DietHobby. com
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi BrightAngel,

Pages 34 - 43 are not part of the book review, so now I understand why I didn't understand what you were referencing!

When you wrote about a child's intuitive knowledge of hunger and fullness, it reminded me of my husband telling our children what his grandmother (in a Slovic accent) would say when there was objection to a meal: "You want different food. You go restaurant."

What a person likes or doesn't like -- when a person would like to eat -- Is this the only consideration in planning meals?

What I learned in trying to follow an intuitive eating approach is that hunger can come about as a result of the environment. I also really didn't like all the belly gazing. Ultimately, I rejected the diet because my eating behavior was negatively impacting our family.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

March, 2010

The Exceptional Diet

At some point in the future, I am confident that I will qualify to be part of the National Weight Control Registry, which is a registry of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for at least one year. When I register, this is how I will describe my diet:

Our family dog is an 8 pound Yorkie Poo called Pepper. Each month, I bring Pepper to a Petco about 15 minutes away and pay just under $11 to have her nails clipped. The ongoing cost, time and effort involved in following my diet is about the same as the cost, time and effort required to take Pepper to get her nails clipped. It was difficult to figure out a diet that is easy to follow, but now I'm happy because I'm losing weight easily and permanently.

I followed The No S Diet (described in a book by Reinhard Engels and Ben Kallen) with different modifications starting on September 8, 2008. I kept modifying the diet until I had my own set of rules which I call The Exceptional Diet. It was on Day 564 of the diet (March 25, 2010) that I realized that I had created a set of rules which were the most restrictive I could follow without "diet backlash" (a term from Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch which refers to the binges that naturally result from restrictive eating). It was on March 25, 2010 that I decided to accept whatever weight results from this simple and easy approach to managing my weight.

The centerpiece of The Exceptional Diet is a philosophy of “unconditional permission to eat” (a term from the book Intuitive Eating). While the authors of Intuitive Eating propose "unconditional permission to eat" all the time, I did not do well following that approach because the idea behind the book is that you learn to eat according to internal hunger signals instead of environmental triggers. That diet led to a lot of belly gazing and skipping meals with my family as I tried to figure out when I was physically hungry. Instead of continuing with that approach (which my children nicknamed "The Peanut Cluster Diet"), I now allow myself "unconditional permission to eat" on all Sundays and two Exception Days per month which I can choose for any reason whatsoever. Sundays are always Exception Days: I need the reliability of always having at least that day for "unconditional permission to eat". Exception Days other than Sundays (which I call Weekday Exception Days) accumulate at a rate of two per month and carry over to the next month if not used.

For all days other than Exception Days, I follow three simple rules which I have modified from The No S Diet:

1. No snacks: I do taste test food, especially pasta, when I am cooking. Other than that, I have no food except at mealtimes.

2. No sweets: I do allow myself sugared pop, since the rare occasions when I want sugared pop are because I have an upset stomach and ginger ale tastes good or I feel really hungry and sugared pop is a good substitute for food. Normally, I simply don't want sugared pop, so it's not much of an exception for me to allow myself to have it. I may have 16 ounces of pop in a month.

3. No seconds: I don’t limit my food intake. There is no portion control. Instead, I can put as much as I want before me at a meal, but I cannot eat anything more at a meal – not one additional bite of food!

Because I can eat as much as I want all day on all Sundays and 36 additional Weekday Exception Days per year and because I can eat as much as I want at every meal on days that are not Exception Days, I do not feel like I am constantly starving, which is how I have felt when I've been on other diets.

I follow this lifestyle with "perfect compliance", which is a term taken from a book that I cannot locate. What this means is that I take a Weekday Exception Day even if all I eat is one Tic Tac. It also means I only use a Weekday Exception Day if I have one available to use. I try to keep a minimum number of Weekday Exception Days available for emergencies like an unexpected offering of a sweet from someone or even a taste test at a grocery store that I would like. Because I have so many Weekday Exception Days in a year, Weekday Exception Days aren't so special and can be used just because I feel like it.

To me, it is extremely important to follow this diet with "perfect compliance." I would liken the importance of this for dieting to the importance of being faithful in marriage. There just is no middle ground. Why is it so important to follow the diet with "perfect compliance"? I took an idea from The Teaching Company course on Aristotle's Ethics taught by Father Joseph Koterski of Fordham University. He distinguished between habits that require thought and ones that don't. Habits that don't are those that are followed automatically and absolutely consistently. For example, I have a habit of brushing my teeth every day. I do not ask myself each morning whether or not I should brush my teeth. Instead, I just do it automatically because I brush my teeth consistently every single morning. In contrast, I do not have an automatic habit of exercise. What I wanted for weight management was a diet that doesn't require a lot of thought, like brushing my teeth, and I think the way to achieve this is to follow the diet with "perfect compliance".

My kids initially named this diet "The Peanut Cluster Diet with Restrictions" but now call it "The S Day Diet" because their focus is on days when they can have whatever they want. My skeptical husband has called it "The It's-Not-Going-To-Work Diet", but he's more recently expressed amazement that I'm actually losing weight.

What motivated me to find a different approach to weight loss was seeing my then nine year old daughter come home from school and rush to the kitchen to have a snack. She was totaly focused on eating as quickly as possible. I saw the potential right then and there for her to follow my path of restrictive eating and diet collapse. That was in January, 2004. That was when I started to keep a journal of my research. In 2005, I read a newly published book called The Obesity Epidemic: Science, Morality and Ideology by Michael Gard and Jan Wright, and it was this description from page 10 of the book that most gave me the patience to find a diet that was easy to follow no matter how long it took to lose weight:

"Even the most motivated patients have difficulty losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off. Many people can maintain a loss of ten or twenty pounds by watching what they eat or exercising more; few can sustain a loss of fifty, 100, or more no matter what the technique. The reason for this difficulty lies with the body’s weight-regulating system, which works to keep the body at a certain preferred weight, or set point. If you gain weight much above your set point, the extra fat stores produce more leptin, which acts as a signal to your brain to reduce your appetite and rev up your metabolism until your weight returns to normal. Conversely, if you lose weight much below your set point, your brain responds by increasing appetite and decreasing metabolism…Thus when an obese person loses fifty or 100 pounds, the weight-regulating region of the brain interprets the loss as a sign of a major problem and responds accordingly. The appetite is set on high, the metabolism on low. Doctors who have studied the so-called “reduced obese” – patients who were formerly obese but who have dropped their weight to near-normal levels – find that they share many psychological traits with victims of starvation. They think constantly about food, for instance, and they are deeply hungry in a way that a single big meal cannot assuage. If a fat person is to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off, he must, in essence, maintain himself on a starvation diet."

My assessment of the real problem behind the obesity epidemic is that people no longer tolerate the slightest bit of hunger. With The Exceptional Diet, scheduling meals helps me to tolerate hunger because I know I'll be fully satisfied at the next meal. This approach -- tolerate hunger until the next scheduled meal when I can fully satisfy my hunger -- is the exact opposite of the portion control approach, which I think is at least one and maybe the main root cause of the obesity epidemic.

The Exceptional Diet requires minimal time, cost and effort and so can be sustained for life. The cost is the added cost of some treats that I would not normally have allowed myself, like Haagen Dazs bars. Overall food costs for our family, however, are much lower, maybe as much as 30% lower, as I have cut out most processed foods. When I quit work in June, 2009 because our son didn't understand his job was school, I made an effort to learn to cook so that we could spend less money on groceries. It's just not true that nutritious foods are more expensive because processed foods like potato chips are more expensive than many good-for-you foods like fruit (apples and bananas), beans (in meals like chili), nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds), and treats (popcorn). I don't think my switching to fewer processed foods has helped me to lose weight because I think the root cause of obesity is a restrictive approach that includes portion control.

The time required for this diet is the time that I spend tracking the number of Weekday Exception Days in my planner and recording it on the Web site, www.nosdiet.com, in my thread on the Daily Check In board that I have called "Kathleen's Mod of No Portion Control."

The effort required is the minimal effort I use when I don't eat sweets, don't snack, and don't have seconds on days that are not Exception Days. This effort is minimal because I have developed a strong habit of following these rules which I modified from The No S Diet. At this point, I rarely even think about food between meals because, as the author pointed out in The No S Diet book, "You're pre-disapproved." Why think about food when you're not going to eat anyway?

The diet does require patience. It's taken a long time to lose weight, but I am confident that the weight loss is permanent, and I am able to have a life. My focus is on our family and not on my weight.

“Patience is a virtue.” I'm willing to accept slow weight loss in exchange for the minimal time, cost and effort required to follow the diet.

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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0
(Month 17) Day 492 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0
(Month 18 ) Day 512 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0
(Month 19) Day 540 – Monday, March 1, 2010: 196.8

Starting Number of Weekday Exception Days = 5 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 7.

The following is a list of days in March, 2010:
Day 540 – Monday, March 1, 2010: 196.8
Day 541 – Tuesday, March 2, 2010: 198.2
Day 542 – Wednesday, March 3, 2010:
Day 543 – Thursday, March 4, 2010: 197.4
Day 544 – Friday, March 5, 2010: 195.8
Day 545 – Saturday, March 6, 2010: 196.8
Day 546 – Sunday, March 7, 2010:
Day 547 – Monday, March 8, 2010:
Day 548 – Tuesday, March 9, 2010: Exception Day
Day 549 – Wednesday, March 10, 2010:
Day 550 – Thursday, March 11, 2010:
Day 551 – Friday, March 12, 2010: 197.4
Day 552 – Saturday, March 13, 2010: 197.0
Day 553 – Sunday, March 14, 2010: 195.0 (A new low!)
Day 554 – Monday, March 15, 2010: 196.0 Exception Day
Day 555 – Tuesday, March 16, 2010: Exception Day
Day 556 – Wednesday, March 17, 2010: Exception Day
Day 557 – Thursday, March 18, 2010:
Day 558 – Friday, March 19, 2010:
Day 559 – Saturday, March 20, 2010: 198.0
Day 560 – Sunday, March 21, 2010: 197.2
Day 561 – Monday, March 22, 2010: 201.4
Day 562 – Tuesday, March 23, 2010: 199.4
Day 563 – Wednesday, March 24, 2010: Exception Day 197.0
Day 564 – Thursday, March 25, 2010: 199.8
Day 565 – Friday, March 26, 2010: 196.2
Day 566 – Saturday, March 27, 2010: 196.0
Day 567 – Sunday, March 28, 2010:
Day 568 – Monday, March 29, 2010:
Day 569 – Tuesday, March 30, 2010:
Day 570 – Wednesday, March 31, 2010:

Day 28 – Thursday, March 4, 2010: 197.4. This morning, our 10 year old asked me if there was anything I've always wanted to be. I told her that I've always wanted to be a mother. She then asked if there was anything else. I told her no, but if I had all the money in the world and could do anything, I would also write books on nutrition, obesity, and dieting. I said that's part of why I keep an online journal. She then said her teacher was writing a book on kids with special needs, and she might be in it. She said I could write even if I don't have all the money in the world.

Yes, she's right. I decided to give up keeping a journal about my weight loss because I saw that the focus for me was shifting from physical effects to non-physical effects, and it was so disturbing I didn't want to record it. My conversation with our daughter this morning changed my mind. Maybe it would be good to record it.

During the past few days, I've eaten more than usual and let myself eat more than usual without guilt. My body is in charge, not other things -- like my idea of what I should be weighing or some expert's opinion on the right amount of food for me to eat. I am showing respect for my body's fluctuating need for food.

Realizing how little I have respected my body has caused me to become aware of how little respect I have tolerated from our children, and here is where I start to feel some mixed feelings about writing this down. I'll give an example from yesterday. Our two older children wanted to stay after school on Wednesday, and I said I would be there after Math Masters, which I coach for the fifth grade team. When I got to the junior high, I called our son on the cell phone, and he was upset that I was so late. It was 4:30. I had waited at the school for a parent to pick up one of the students who was in Math Masters, our daughter needed to get into the classroom to get a spelling packet, and it is at least a 10 minute drive to the school. Our son was upset because he had to wait 50 minutes.

How, I asked myself, did I allow myself to have a child who is upset because I had another commitment for another child so I couldn't get to the school the instant he wanted to leave? When I told my husband this story later that night, he said that our son just didn't know when I'd arrive, and that turned out to be true. He had thought Math Masters ended earlier. I have to be careful about becoming oversensitive, especially with two teenagers in the house. Still, I am starting to question how much my willingness to disrespect my body has carried over into how much disrespect I tolerate from others.

9:30 PM: I'm waiting up for Anne to return from babysitting, and my stomach is close to growling. It feels good. I have felt like this in the past, and it created a sense of panic in me.

Day 29 – Friday, March 5, 2010: 195.8.. My new scale is less accurate than my old scale, which is probably good at this point, since it makes me less self-evaluatory when I do weigh myself. Yesterday, true to form of a stay at home Mom who doesn't have enough to do, I listened to the entire Senate hearing on childhood obesity. The football player who was one of the speakers seemed to me to have a lot more insight than the two well-respected doctors who headed government programs, one of whom is the Surgeon General. This football player said that you need to find healthy food that kids like rather than force feed foods to kids that they don't like. There is a statement of respect right there. In contrast, Michelle Obama had a presentation yesterday in which she told kids they should add fruits and vegetables to their plates. Add? This is an obesity epidemic. The way to solve it is not to eat more! Our kids are figuring out what they like that I'm willing to buy, and I'm not willing to have chips in the house except on Sundays.

Meanwhile, I think I'm beginning to understand why the no snacking rule helps a person to lose weight. I am learning not to eat -- to wait -- even if I feel hunger. This means that I am experiencing different levels of hunger. Because of the false sense of starvation whenever I was on a diet, I learned to stuff myself with any indication of hunger or even of no longer being stuffed. Last night and now again this morning, I experience a level of hunger that is pleasant. In fact, I can't really call it hunger. It's more a feeling of not being stuffed. I don't want to eat to stuffed. This, to me, is a big turning point. The scale cannot measure something like this.

8:30 AM: I officially need to get a job. I am going stir crazy at home. This morning, I listened to Michelle Obama's presentation to a school in Jackson, MS on her "Let's Move" initiative. One thing she said was, "Make healthy choices - right? When you have snacktime, you have the choice between grabbing the candy bar or the potato chips or grabbing the apple ." There's no thought of eliminating snacktime. I really think snacktime is the problem. The natural consequence of not snacking is a variability in hunger levels and the ongoing adjustment naturally made by the body to what feels best.

Day 30 – Saturday, March 6, 2010: 196.8 Today ends my twice yearly contest for the kids to guess my change in weight. The start date was August 31 when I weighed 200.8, the end date was today, and the reward was $50. I wasn't supposed to peak at the predictions until this morning, but I looked a couple of weeks ago. It was funny to see. Here were the predictions:
- Tommy predicted a loss of .1 pound or a gain of 11 pounds (put him still in the skeptical camp)
- Anne predicted a loss of something like 1.2403 pounds
- Ellie predicted a loss of 4 pounds
- Katie predicted a loss of 9 pounds.
Since they've got $50 riding on this bet, they're being honest. I find it interesting that Anne thinks I won't lose weight but will at least not gain some. Anne has definitely continued to gain weight, but I'm hoping she's now at her top weight. I'd rather she be overweight than live with the constant diet restriction and "diet backlash" that I endured for mroe than 30 years. Katie is now on the diet, too. Last night, she took a huge plateful of a casserole dish we call "Annie's Favorite Casserole", and she left at least half of it.

Ellie is using the money from winning this contest plus money from her birthday to buy an American Girl Doll called Emily.

Now -- WHY am I having a contest for my kids to guess my change in weight? Do they really care about my weight? No, they don't. They wouldn't pay attention at all if it wasn't for this contest. At this point, I'm a walking encyclopedia of weight loss ideas and experiments. I'll get to know Michelle Obama's program very well, and from what I see so far, it's going to have the unintended effect of having kids go on diets much earlier in life than they already are. If my kids get told (as mandated by law) by some authority figure like a nurse at school or their pediatrician that their BMI is too high and they are supposed to "cut back" on food, and then they come home and they know that their mother is following a program of "unconditional permission to eat" on Sundays and only eating at mealtimes on other days, what approach will they take? Certainly, it's more attractive to be able to take the option with "unconditional permission to eat" at least some of the time. The big question is whether a diet like this would actually result in weight loss. Their assessment of the effectiveness of the diet appraoch of "unconditional permission to eat" will be enhanced if they've been betting on my weight loss and seeing a slow but cumulative weight loss that leads to very significant weight loss. That's part of the reason why I'm so set on being part of the National Weight Control Registry, which is for those people who lose at least 30 pounds and keep it off for at least one year. Given the slow process of a diet based on "unconditional permission to eat", I want them to know what I'm doing as I go along.

Tom (husband) has promised me a trip to San Francisco to take the Gokhale Posture Class when I reach 140, and he's not concerned yet that he'll need to pony up on that bet. When he does, I think he and the kids will finally be convinced that this diet actually works. I only have 56.6 more pounds to go, or approximately Ellie's weight. I've lost the weight of 2 Peppers (our dog) and only have Ellie's weight to go!

The next weigh in for a $50 bet will be on Friday, September 3, 2010, which is approximately six months from now. We're leaving that day for a camping trip over Labor Day weekend, so I won't be able to weigh myself on that Saturday.

9:30 AM: My two teenagers are giving mathematical information rather than actual numbers. Here are the predictions:
Ellie: 5.2 pounds
Katie: 9 pounds
Tom: pi/e or 3.14159/1.1557271 or approximately 1.1557271
Anne: e, or 2.71828

1 PM: On Valentine's Day weekend, Tom and I went out to dinner, and we ate at a French restaurant. I had a meal that was absoutely delicious but had some port fat in it that I never ever would eat. I felt very satisfied after having finished only half the meal. That experience got me to thinking that I should think about putting fat into my diet as a way to reduce caloric intake. I decided to start trying to drink whole milk. For breakfast, I avoid milk because green tea only has health benefits if you avoid having dairy with it. For lunch today, I had 8 ounces of milk along with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana. I feel satisfied, but I'm not convinced this will be an effective tactic. I'm trying it out.

Day 31 – Sunday, March 7, 2010: I did not weigh myself today because I got up at 3:0 AM and ate handfuls of chocolate covered almonds. Now it is only 8 AM, I've had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, and I have a stomach ache.

9 PM: I ate lots all day. Why? Well, I have an idea. Last night, we went out with two other couples to have dessert, and I had tea. It was a social situation, and I skipped the dessert. That made me feel deprived. Why didn't I take an Exception Day? I try to have only two Exception Days per month, and I have two scheduled already, plus we'll be getting together with the same group in two weeks. Did I feel ucomfortable? No. Was it socially awkward? No, not with this group of people. No one made a comment at all. The sense of deprivation was more internal. I think I need to break the idea that some eating is socially obligatory. I need to be in charge of when I eat and when I don't eat. While I certainly would have eaten less in the last 24 hours had I had the dessert last night and had a normal day today instead of a Sunday, I think it was best that I made the choice I did. Sometimes, it is very awkward not to eat with a group. Last night was not one of those times. Sometimes, there is a lot of pleasure to be gained from having a dessert or a treat. Last night was not one of those times. I made a good choice for me. I'm just not used to making good choices for me.

Day 32 – Monday, March 8, 2010: It's 3:30 AM, I've been awake an hour, and I am miserable. I ate too much yesterday. Am I going to weigh myself in the morning? No. What I want is to experience the natural consequences of overeating so that there is no willpower involved in deciding not to overeat. My experience of overeating is becoming less severe as I learn and change my behavior. In the early months of this diet, I would eat so much that I had to go to bed. Now I just can't sleep. Am I going to eat much tomorrow? No. My tummy needs a rest. I think I may wait until Saturday to weigh myself again.

6:30 AM: My stomach hurts. I feel like I could throw up. Why? Why is it this sort of feeling didn't happen when I was dieting and bingeing? I think it might be that, back then, my body welcomed food after starvation. Now overeating is all negative. There's no need to overeat if you always eat enough. I'm not disgusted with myself. I'm not upset. This is part of the learning process.

10 AM: I just realized that I hadn't had breakfast. It's not that I decided not to have breakfast. It's that I feel so stuffed that food isn't necessary. I'm going to go ahead and have some toast with peanut butter and an apple. This diet is painfully slow, but mornings like this morning give me a lot of confidence. I'm not backsliding. I'm not falling off the wagon. This diet adjusts my so-called setpoint. I don't want to overeat that much anymore, just like I don't want to touch a hot stove: it's painful!

11:30 AM: I took the dog for a walk and an elderly man who lives up the street from us stopped to chat while we were out. He told me he had bad news -- he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given two to four months to live. He was so calm about it that I felt like I was in the presence of a saint. He told me his kids were all grown, he and his wife had just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and he feels good aobut how he has lived. When I asked him when he was diagnosed, he said, "Last week." He had had some back pains, so he thought something was wrong, but he wasn't actually diagnosed until last week. Incredible. This is a man who has really lived. I hope I feel the way he does when death is near. Right now, my main feeling is regret over all the time and effort I've wasted on dieting. Does it really matter what I weigh? This diet opens up lots of time for me to focus on other things.

Day 33 – Tuesday, March 9, 2010: It's time for me to stop weighing myself so much. What difference does it make if I weigh 195.4 or 197.8? I have a very good estimate of what I weigh each day, and all I'm doing is putting more time into this project than is necessary. Meeting my neighbor yesterday when I was walking was yet another reminder of the brevity of life. I don't want to struggle with my weight. Following this diet approach frees me up to focus on other things, and that's what I want. I'd rather live well at 160 or 170 pounds than be self-absorbed and inconsiderate of others at 130 pounds. It's a choice. The benefit of this diet is really about what isn't necessary to do in order to lose weight. I don't need to weigh myself daily. I don't need to measure out portions. I don't need to limit my choice of foods. I don't need to deny myself or inconvenience others. Today, I'm doing some spring cleaning, and I can now fit into some pants that I bought last year and never did wear. I am just now beginning to feel a difference in my body. Yes, there's a lot more to lose, but I'm willing to be patient.

Day 34 – Wednesday, March 10, 2010: I took an Exception Day around 6 PM to keep myself honest because I was taste testing food for doneness that did not need to be tasted. You can see that hamburger meat is done. Oh well. I felt hungry and managed to eat a lot in the next hour, including dinner. This was not a big red failure. It was a little stupid mistake. I wasted an Exception Day. I had 7 and am now down to 6. There's plenty of room for mistakes.

Day 35 – Thursday, March 11, 2010: I was tempted to weigh myself today but decided against it. Now that I have firmly accepted whatever weight results from following this lifestyle, there's really no point in doing anything except tracking number of available Exception Days, which right now is at 6. I'll weigh myself once per month just to keep up my record of weight loss. Given the variability in my scale (up to 2 pounds) and the very slow weight loss (about 1 pound per month), even my monthly weight means very little except over several months. Current weight is boring. What isn't is how I feel. I would liken it to going from the noise of city life to the quiet of winter camping. Something is now gone from my life, and I'm not sure how to describe it. I think it might be obsession with food. Regulating the timing of when I eat means that I don't think about food except when I able to eat. Not regulating the quantity I eat means I can eat to full satisfaction at every meal, so I don't worry about my choices so much. I don't fear leaving a meal feeling half starved and worrying that I won't be able to sleep through the night because I'm so hungry or that I'll be grumpy with my family because I'm so hungry. There's a certain wisfulness to all this as well. Something is missing that has been with me since I was a teen. A part of who I am -- or at least who I have been -- is now gone. I almost felt heroric in battling my weight. Now I look back and see that I was a fool, but I miss the feeling that I am being heroic. I so hope that my children enjoy their lives by accepting their weight and living in this toxic food environment with the protection of a lifestyle like this. There's more to life than waist measurement!

1:15: I realized what was missing in my life now. It is panic. This morning, I took my van in for routine maintenance and was supposed to be done by 11:30. I had planned to go from there to Costco. I didn't get out of the shop until after 12 and went on to Costco. While there, shopping, I realized that it was lunchtime. There was no panic that it would be late when I had lunch. It doesn't much matter. So long as I know I can eat to satisfaction at meatime, a slight delay is a minor inconvenience.

9 PM: I went to a professional meeting tonight that was held across town and I was meeting someone there at 5:45 PM. Our daughter had a flute lesson at 4, so I could not leave the house until 4:45. I did not have time for dinner. I got to the meeting at 5:35. There were appetizers there, and that counted for dinner. Now it is 9, and I want to eat. I had some whole milk, and now I'm going to bed. My presumption is that I will eat a large breakfast tomorrow to make up for the small dinner. That's OK. There is no panic. I don't need to eat right now. I can tolerate hunger. This lifestyle is very calming. My body is assured of getting as much as it wants sooner rather than later -- usually at the next meal but almost certainly by the meal following that. In contrast, dieting is about starvation from now until eternity. No thanks to that!

Day 36 – Friday, March 12, 2010: 197.4. I weighed myself today and was disapointed by the weight. It may be that I need to have both the diet and the exercise lifestyle of my grandparents. I will start looking at an exercise program.

1 PM: Last night, I had a salad plate with a tiny eggroll and three sushi-sized vegetarian rolls. Estimated calories: maybe 400. I thought I would feel like I was starving this morning. Well, I wasn't. I did eat earlier than usual because I was running kids to activities and school, but I was surprised that I didn't need as much food as I had thought. This is where I think the diet succeeds. I'm learnng how much food I need, and that amount is turning out to be a lot less than what I currently eat.

9 PM: It's frustrating: I see the benefit of religious fasts as a way for people to learn how much food is sufficient, and yet I don't think I am able to fast because I don't have a religious reason to do so. I think I need to just wait and let opportunities like last night's small meal show me that I really don't have to eat so much at a meal in order to last to the next meal. Years of dieting made me very concerned about eating every last allowed bite of food.

Day 37 – Saturday, March 13, 2010: 197.0 Now I wait. Maybe I should try to weight myself once per week and update this journal once per week. The waiting is frustrating. If I trky anything in addition to what I am doing, I risk "diet backlash" like I've had for the last nine months. If I go another year with no additional weight loss, I'll know I need to try something else. Maybe I should just wait until September, which is when my kids have their next bet on my weight loss.

3 PM: This morning, I heard a few minutes of a radio program on a weight loss program that seemed to require you eat five meals per day and use food that is within such a narrow range for acceptability that you need to bring food with you to parties. The radio broadcasters were talking about someone on the diet who, tragically, had prepared the super special food but then left it at home. To the rescue was a super special food that you can carry with you at all times. Oh, come on... How self-absorbed can a person be? Well, I should know.... It just made me shudder to hear this. Didn't I live this way for years and years? Wasn't my life dictated by number of calories printed on boxes of expensive, processed foods? The promoters of this diet discuss the importance of taking time for yourself. This isn't taking time for yourself. This is self-absorption. I am willing to be obese for the rest of my life rather than live like I did for 33 years. I accept the weight I am today.

Day 38 – Sunday, March 14, 2010: 195.0 (A new low!) That radio program yesterday reminded me of a chapter from Screwtape Letters, a book by C. S. Lewis in which a senior devil writes letters to a junior devil on tempting a human being into hell. Here are some excerpts from ths beginning of Chapter 17:

"My Dear Wormwood, The contemptuous way in which you spoke of gluttony as a means of catching souls, in your last letter, shows only your ignorance. One of the great achievements of the last hundred years has been to deaden the human conscience on that subject, so that by now you will hardly find a sermon preached or a conscience troubled about it in the whole length of breadth of Europe. This has largely been effected by concentrating all our efforts on gluttony of Delicacy, not gluttony of Excess."

"What do quantities matter, provided we can use a human belly and palate to produce querulousness, impatience, uncharitableness, and self-concern?

"She never recognizes as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others. At the very moment of indulging her appetite she believes that she is practicising temperance."

"The real value of the quiet, unobtrusive work which Glubose has been doing for years on this old woman can be gauged by the way in which her belly now dominates her whole life."

The saying "his god is his belly" is from Scripture (I heard it last weekend) and is also found in Greek writings, possibly Aristotle's Ethics. I fell into that trap. This lifestyle is helping me to get out of that trap.

My father has a wonderful saying, "If you find that you've dug yourself a hole, the first thing you do is: stop digging!" Well, I didn't know that I was continuing to dig when I went on diet after diet after diet. It can be very deceiving to think that you are making progress because the scale is showing a lower weight. No, the success I have today is not that there is another new low. The success I have today is that I forgot to buy Exception Day food yesterday, and I'm not sufficiently motivated to run to the grocery store before church. My obsession with food -- with having every last bite I am allowing myself to have -- is fading away.

2 PM:
Eurpides, The Cyclops (c. 424 - 23 B.C.) "I sacrifice to no god save myself - And to my belly, greatest of deities."

Paul, Philippians 3:17-19: "Be imitators of me, my brothers. Take as your guide those who follow the example that we set. Unfortuneately, many go about in a way which shows them to be enemies of the cross of Christ. I have often said this to you before; this time I say it with tears. Such as these will end in disaster! Their god is thier belly and their glory is their shame. I am talking about those who are set upon the things of this world."

I perused Aristotle's Ethics and found such a sensible approach. It is fine to take pleasure in food. The problem comes when the pleasure of food is an obsession and keeps one from enjoying higher pleasures, like contemplation.

For 33 years, I have had a central focus in my life on food and weight management. It's been a trap. I feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff looking down to where I have been. I'm out of the trap.

9 PM: I reached Last Bite Threshold tonight at the swim team banquet, when I had eaten less than half of what I took. For the rest of the banquet, that plate sat before me and I had absolutely no interest in the food. I do not need to track Last Bite Threshold. It is irrelevant. What matters is that I follow the rules of this lifestyle. I'm so used to eating a meal and then being done that I just had no interest whatsoever in continuing to eat the food or to have a large chocolate chip cookie. It's incredibly irritating to me to realize that the enormous expenditure of willpower that I have used over the years was not only ineffective but even was counterproductive. All I need to do is to follow a few simple rules that confine eating to meals on most days. That's it. It's simple, effective, and easy. I cannot take back the years of battling my body, but I can pass this wisdom on to our children -- not by words but rather by their observing their mother. Thank God they are still home and can witness my transformation firsthand.

Day 39 – Monday, March 15, 2010: 196.0. Last night, as we were leaving the swim team banquet, a woman was muttering, "Three hours and forty minutes." Yes, it was long. We had dinner first, and I must have sat at least two hours with a plateful of delicious food in front of me and no desire whatsoever to eat it. Why? And why, two hours after eating, was I not tempted by a chocolate chip cookie -- and this on an Exception Day when I could eat without any guilt at all? I think it may be that my body is now trained to eat to full satisfaction and then tune out any interest in food until the next meal. This really contrasts with how I managed dieting, when I was drinking coffee, drinking water, even chewing gum -- anything to mitigate the unending sense of not having enough to eat.

9 PM: I never really know what is going to come next with this diet. Dinner was late because the potatoes weren't cooking as quickly as was stated in the recipe, and so I started munching. My willingness to take an Exception Day has a lot to do with number of available Exception Days. I seem to be uncomfortable if I have more than five. Now I have five. When I consider how much time I have spent thinking about this diet, it tends to make me sick. I think it's time to move this diet to the unconscious rhythm of my life that is also occupied by brushing my teeth. Tom just interrupted me because he wanted to get on the computer right now to finish his homework, I asked him to give me five minutes, and he said, "You're writing in a blog, Mom." He's right. It's after 9, and he needs to get to bed. This journal needs to be put to rest. Maybe I can discipline myself to update this journal and my weight once per month. I've tried this before and failed, but maybe I'm ready now. This journal is not my life. This journal is interfering with my life. I've got the diet down pat. Now I just need to let time pass so my weight can drift down to a weight that makes me feel best. I don't need to document every twist and turn along the way.

Day 40 – Tuesday, March 16, 2010: I had only a few minutes to write last night because our son wanted to use the computer, so I'm finishing up now. I realize that it has become counterproductive for me to document all the ups and downs of this weight loss process. There is, in fact, a set point. My body wants to keep the weight it has. That's why slow weight loss is so important. That's why I need to allow my body to eat lots when it wants to eat lots. It's not that I'm not in control of my body. It's more that there's an adjustment period. I'm now down 20 pounds. When I look back at my weight record, that's where I was as recently as the end of 2006. I don't feel a difference in my weight, except I can now wear some clothes which I have bought in the last few years and haven't been able to wear. My body needs time to make an adjustment, and any sort of inflexible weight loss process would just result in "diet backlash." This process is flexible. I can take an Exception Day whenever I want. I can load up on food at mealtime or not. The adjustment to less food occurs between meals or when meals are delayed. I have no idea whatsoever how much weight I'll be in six months or in six years, but I know that this approach allows me to focus on priorities of our family and my getting a job in the future. I don't need to monitor what I feel like eating today. There's a certain amount of trust in my body's wisdom that is needed for me to continue on this diet. Lack of trust made me obese. Counting calories or trying to rigidly follow eating habits like chewing each bite ten times made me focused on what I was doing at a meal instead of conversation with others. The whole diet approach encourages self-focus. This is not good. This is not what I want for my life.

I'm willing to follow this diet approach, no matter how little weight I lose, no matter how slowly I lose that weight, because I don't want my children's memories of me to be of me sitting at a computer or packaging food to take out. I want my children's memories to be of me caring for them. Kudos to my husband for putting up with me all these years as I tried to figure this out. My greatest commitment in life is to him, and time spent trying to figure out how to lose weight has robbed me of time being with him.

It's done. Going forward, all I need do is track the number of Exception Days. I can take an hour a month to do that. This diet fits neatly with my other first of month tasks. There have been stages in my life that I could see when they started and when they ended, like the years of having children in the parish elementary school or a boy in Little League. Sometimes, stages in life end without your knowing it, and you look back and realize that last year was the last year you were going to be taking your kids out trick or treating. This stage of trying to figure out weight loss is ending abruptly now, and I know it. Something in me wants to hang on to it and let it continue, because I felt almost like an investigative reporter as I read and studied about diet theories, but now this stage in my life is done. I can accept my weight today and tomorrow and for the rest of my life because this way of eating is sane and healthful and takes so little time and effort. That's the real benefit of this diet, despite the slow weight loss. Life is short and precious. I have my life back.

Day 42 – Thursday, March 18, 2010: I just survived three days -- Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday -- of feeling absolutely ravenous. I resorted to having an entire bowl of popcorn with my meal. Last night, I started eating my entire bowl of popcorn while the dinner was cooking. I ate in the kitchen, arguing to myself that the pasta and sauce cooking on the stove were before me before I took one bite. This morning, I decided that I had crossed the line into using an Exception Day. My focus is on following the few simple rules of this diet and not worrying about fluctuations in hunger, even dramatic fluctuations. My sense is that the fluctuations in hunger is where diets collapse. With normal diets, the last three days would have been "off the wagon" into diet collapse. With this diet, it's the use of three Exception Days out of a bank into which I now need to start making deposits. I'm going to keep up this journal once per month and weigh myself once per month and that's it.

Day 44 – Saturday, March 20, 2010: 198.0. I wanted to see the damage done by three Exception Days in a row, and I was pleased. Maybe, too, this journal is helpful for me, and I'm not ready to give it up quite yet. On Sunday, our parish priest gave a sermon on a priest he knew who has since become a bishop and who was one of the kindest people he knew. He asked the priest what made him so kind, and the priest told him that he had dealt with panic attacks and the pain was great and it was so difficult in part because he didn't know how to get out of it. Those experiences made him more compassionate towards others in situations that the didn't know how to handle. I sat there thinking this has been my experience with weight loss. I simply didn't know how to lose weight and keep it off. My reaction now to obese people -- obesity in this case being a relative term and meaning someone who is much heavier than I am -- is one of great sympathy. I think the weight loss struggle is what leads to super obesity because those who don't care wouldn't feel the panic of restrictive eating. People are motivated by different things, and certainly there were morbidly obese people prior to the weight obsession of this culture, but at least some morbidly obese people I think got that way because of yo yo dieting. I'm out of that now, and it is such a relief.

Day 45 – Sunday, March 21, 2010: 197.2. This whole week has been a slip up. Yesterday, I realized I was reverting to cheating while cleaning up. It's one thing to taste test pasta to make sure it is done for a meal. It's quite another thing to be taste testing rice that wasn't eaten after a meal and that is headed from the rice cooker into the garbage. I didn't take an Exception Day yesterday, but I'm recognizing that perfection compliance means taste testing food only if it necessary. A slip up is not a disaster. I think I've seen the last of weights that begin with a 2. That thought cheers me!

Day 46 – Monday, March 22, 2010: 201.4 In 8 days, my weight went up 6.4 pounds. Isn't that exciting! I am thinking that weight fluctuation is part of permanent and easy weight loss. Right now, I feel terrible because I ate way too much yesterday. It didn't even seem like much. There was no special run to the grocery story. I didn't wolf down any large package of peanut clusters or anything else. I just let go of the meal structure. The result is that my stomach hurts, and I will have a small breakfast. Today may be the last day that I weigh more than 200 pounds. I thought I'd already gotten there, but I was wrong. With normal diets, there is "diet backlash." With this diet, there is "overindulgence backlash." That's what I'm experiencing today.

8:30 AM: I am changing as a person as I follow this diet, and the changes are what keep me going despite the slow and uneven weight loss. Last night, I was thinking about a book which I read called Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber. In this book, the author described teh work of Dr. Lydia Temoshok who described a "type C personality" for cancer patients: As children, the "developed a feeling of vulnerability and weakness. Later, to be sure of being loved, they decided to conform to the best of their ability to what was expected of them rather than follow their own desires...They may overinvest in a single aspect of their lives: their profession, their marriage, or their children."

The reason why I thought of this book is that we participated in a Boy Scout pancake breakfast and, at one point, I told Tom that I was the thinnest woman in the room. Given my obesity, that is remarkable. Why? Why would so many women (and men, too) who are involved in Scouting be obese?

I think there may be a personality of people who get caught in the obesity trap, and what it is is an overreliance on other people's opinions -- the willingness to follow conventional diets. Like with the type C personality described above, I think that people who are obese tend to put "their own needs on the back burner, sometimes for the rest of their lives." Because Scouting is such an investment of family resources (both time and money), it would make sense that those who are leaders in Scouting are those who are big givers.

I think I need to start working on my needs. For me, working was a blast. I loved it, but I gave it up because of the negative impact on my family. Now I am working on meeting others in my profession, even if there is a conflict with other family needs. I started this month by letting my son know that I would be attending meetings once per month that conflict with the weekly Boy Scout meeting. We'll have to work out other transportation arrangements, or he won't be able to go. This morning, I let my daughter know that she would need to figure out how to get to the house of a woman for whom she has agreed to babysit weekly after school for the rest of the school year. I was taking her earlier in the school year because my daughter didn't want to ride a different bus home and the woman has a baby who naps in the afternoon. The result was that I was in the van from 2:30 until after 3:30 for afternoon transportation home.

"What do you do all day?" Yes, that is the question. I need to work on getting back to work. I am setting up my household so the family doesn't fall apart when I work, and part of it is to extricate myself from driving my daughter to babysitting. Part of it is also expecting our teenagers to do their own laundry and help with cleaning and cooking.

All this is coming to be, in part, because of following this diet.

Day 1 – Tuesday, March 23, 2010: 199.4. Last night, Tom asked me, "How many times have you gotten sick from overeating?" Yes, it's sad. I am now suffering from "binge backlash." I realized that my overeating on Sunday provided no relief from following diet rules last week, and it provided no pleasure, either. My Exception Days during the week are usually rather tame: I eat out of the normal diet rules during perhaps one hour. On Sundays, however, I just eat and eat and eat. I think that the usefulness of those predictable Sunday binges may have run their course, and so I am changing my diet to three Exception Days per month and that's it. It's a fitting start that I look at the scale at a number below 200. I do think I'm done with weights in the 200s, but we'll see.

11 AM: It's so sudden and unexpected, but I think my need to binge is over. My body needed to be confident that another period of starvation wasn't around the corner, which is the theory presented by the authors of Intuitive Eating. It sounds bizarre: how could an obese woman have a visceral fear of starvation? I think they're right. I've been careening from one diet to another and testing out the intuitive eating approach ever since I bought the book in 2003. I let myself eat as much as I want on Exception Days, and now -- finally -- there is no need to binge eat as a way to prepare for the next period of starvation dieting.

I had promised my family that we would go out to dinner when I lost 10% of my body weight, down to a weight of 193.5 from my starting weight of 215 on 9/8/08. My all time high actually was 216 on 9/4/08, and 10% off that is 194.4. I got down to 195 last week. Since Anne turns 16 next week, we decided I was close enough and we'd count a birthday celebration at Red Lobster for Anne's birthday as my celebration of a 10% weight loss. Now, with Sundays no longer as binge days, I think I may actually get down to that weight by next week. It's only a week away, and I'm way up in weight since last week, but I think I have a shot at it. The desire to overeat is gone. It's amazing.

Day 2 – Wednesday, March 24, 2010: 197.0. The big drama of this diet is over. I'm cured of the overwhelming need to binge eat. I'm out of the obesity trap -- even though I'm still obese! Yesterday, while I was going through books on our bookshelves to pick out books to donate to our library for a semi-annual book sale, I came across Martin Seligman's book Learned Optimism. Seeing that book reminded me of something I think he wrote in one of his books, and it was about his own battle with weight. He gave up. He decided that it was the one thing in his life at which he had tried and failed, and he decided it was something he could not control. I think he wrote a book called something like What You Can Control...And What You Can't, and he decided you cannot control your weight.

I think he's wrong. I think you can control your weight. You just cannot control it by the standard tactic of "portion control." A "portion control" approach pits your body, with its primary drive of survival, against your mind, which is trying to reduce the body's weight rather than starve it to death. The predictable results: obsession with food, more meals that are smaller as a way to stave off starvation, and binge eating which becomes more and more out of control. This is what I came to understand even before I found this diet, and I figured that the path out of out of control was "controlled binges" but I had no idea what that might mean. Now I do. I needed to exert sufficient control to be able to schedule binges. From the first day on this diet (September 8, 2008) to the last binge (March 21, 2010) was an incredible 560 days. I controlled what I could control, which was the timing of the binges. I did not control what I could not control, which is the amount I eat. I was patient. It was hard. I got into some detours. I nearly gave up. I pushed on because there is no way I want a child of mine to go through the problems I had staying thin while restricting food. There just had to be a better way. Our culture had something wrong. I found it. When my sister in law told me about The No S Diet, I knew immediately that it had potential to be the path out of obesity because there were days when you did not follow the diet, days when you recovered from restrictive eating.

What a relief it is. What an incredible relief. Yes, it will be fun to watch my weight drop. Yes, it will be a pleasure to have my husband, my children, my parents and my siblings admit that this crazy idea actually worked. The greatest pleasure from all of this, however, will be feeling like I'm on the edge of a cistern or well looking down and thinking, "I can't believe I got out of that." Some of the most brilliant minds in the country are working on this problem, and here is the solution. It's so simple that Michael Pollan thought "no snacks, sweets, or seconds" was some sort of cultural wisdom.

We have a family reunion in July. Since my parents are in their mid 80s, my mother told me it is likely to be the last family reunion. I hope that by then the results are noticeable, but I doubt they will be. After all, I've lost about 10% of my weight, but all I've done is get back down to the weight I was at the end of 2006. That's OK. It will happen. As the joke goes, my goal is to weight what is on my driver's license! Well, my driver's license renewal is this October, and I have 182 as my weight. Someday... someday I'll win that bet with Tom, and he'll take me to San Francisco for the Esther Gokhale Posture Class because I dropped below 140. He doesn't believe it yet. My rate of weight loss has not been great, but I think it will increase now. What a wonderful feeling -- like the beautiful spring day outside. It's time to take the dog for a walk!

Day 564 – Thursday, March 25, 2010: 199.8 I thought I had it all figured out yesterday, and I was wrong. I'm back to Sundays as Exception Days, and I'm humbled. I ate a lot for about an hour starting while I was preparing dinner. The tipping point was having macaroons, which I decided were not S Day foods. I so wanted to be down to 193.5 by next Wednesday that I ended up with "diet backlash." Now it's back to same old same old.

6:15 AM: Maybe I need to just follow this diet as is -- all Sundays and two additional days per month for "unconditional permission to eat." I give up tweaking the diet and accept the weight that results.

5 PM: It's really painful to realize and accept, but I cannot establish weight loss goals. I need to have habits which I follow and let the weight end up where it ends up.

Day 565 – Friday, March 26, 2010: 196.2. My scale isn't very accurate. Since I'm not changing my diet going forward, it doesn't much matter. It's accurate enough.

Day 566 – Saturday, March 27, 2010: 196.0 I got a call last night from a neighbor that the elderly man who had just been diagnosed with cancer earlier this month had passed away. He was so calm about it when I talked with him earlier this month. My conversation with him will have a big impact on me because it reminds me not to waste time. I really think it's time for me to step away from obsessive weighing of myself and journaling. After all, the diet is set, and I accept whatever weight results.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


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~reneew



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

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0
(Month 17) Day 492 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0
(Month 18 ) Day 512 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0



Look how you did over the holidays! That is very impressive! Feel good about it! Very Happy
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reneew,

It wasn't so much that I did well over the holidays as that I ended my multiple detours. I had a low of 196.6 last summer and detoured my way up 10 pounds, but now I think the detours are over. I had to discard any notion of a weight goal (my goal was 193.5 -- or a loss of 10% of my body weight -- by last September 8, which was the one year anniversary of starting the diet). Instead, my goal now is to follow my diet (with several tweaks) with "perfect compliance".

My detours were dead ends, but now I'm back on track with another new low of 195.4 this morning! It will be great when I do finally reach 193.5. My 15 year old got to select where to go out to dinner to eat when I've lost 10% of my body weight, and we'll be going to Red Lobster. If I lose weight before Easter, we'll go on a Friday night because she doesn't like my vegetarian cooking and we can't eat meat on Fridays in Lent.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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TexArk



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Location: Foothills of the Ozarks

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, I have followed your journey and have mentioned before our similar history. I am opening a new daily check in as I have to make a new beginning. I have tried so many "plans" and have had enthusiasm at the beginning of each one. I, too, think I have thought through my situation and what I need to do to live the rest of my life in peace with food. It's a good thing, too, since I will be 63 years old next week!

I think your "perfect compliance" is similar to 12 steps "abstitence" except it is positive instead of negative. I like that.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TexArk,

Happy birthday! It is sad for me to look at the wasted years trying to figure out dieting, but I'm happy that our children can witness the sanity of this diet. I was at the grocery store just now with our two youngest children, and I was painfully aware of the number of morbidly obese people there -- three near the fresh produce, two near the meats, and one at the dairy section. I feel sad for them, but I think our children won't end up obese because they will see their mother go from obese to of normal weight.

This morning my husband was giving me a hard time for taking two years to lose 20 pounds. I teased him back -- at one point in 2008, he told me how much he weighed, and I weighed more! Talk about embarassing. Now he's gained weight, and I've lost weight, so we are about 25 pounds apart in weight now. Someday, I hope he decides to stop the ineffective approach of "eat less, exercise more". I have been lucky to have a husband who turned a blind eye to my wolfing down food when those S Days stood for "stomach ache". Now it's different. Now I enjoy my food.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Dandelion



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:
Someday, I hope he decides to stop the ineffective approach of "eat less, exercise more".

Kathleen


Totally ineffective. I know it seems logical until you really think about it. I'm so glad I left that world behind.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandelion,
I spent 30 years pursuing that philosophy until the year of "diet collapse", 2002, when I gained 30 pounds in six months! It's hard to explain that your body revolts against constant restriction. Meanwhile, I will continue and enjoy these Exception Days without any restriction at all.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

April, 2010

See post from March, 2010 for a description of my diet, which is a combination of The No S Diet and Intuitive Eating with a tweak based on Aristotle's Ethics. I finally settled on a diet approach on March 25, 2010.

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

The following is a list of one weight from one day of each month of the diet (goal is loss of one pound per month):
(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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0
(Month 17) Day 492 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0
(Month 18 ) Day 512 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0
(Month 19) Day 540 – Monday, March 1, 2010: 196.8
(Month 20) Day 572 - Friday, April 2, 2010: 196.0 (goal: 196 pounds)

Thursday, April 1, 2010: Yesterday, I weighed 196.6, and today I weigh 198.4. I'm irritated because that scale fluctuates a lot. I'll record today's weight but may change it later in my list of monthly weights. It's a scale problem and not a weight problem.

If this diet produces a weight loss of one pound per month, I should be at 196 pounds or less this month, which is 19 pounds in 19 months. I may pull a Bernie Madoff and create a sense of consistency by posting my monthly weight when my weight loss is first below the goal for that month. It may be that I have not entirely given up having weight loss goals, but at least they are very realistic. I should be able to maintain a weight loss goal of one pound per month by simply choosing a little less food to eat. I'll still satisfy my hunger, but the scale will tell me to choose not to have what I may be debating about whether or not to have. This morning's breakfast was two strawberries and toast with peanut butter. I skipped the jam I usually have as well.


_________________


Here is the most honest description of the psychological damage wrought by dieting that I have ever read. It is from the chapter entitled "Dieting: A Waist Is a Terrible Thing to Mind" from the book What You Can Change...and What You Can't* by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.:

"This is the most consistent failure in my life. It's also a failure I can't just put out of mind, like the failure to get rid of my slice at golf. There are too many reminders, every time I look in the mirror and every time I look at a tempting dish... I have spent the last few years reading the scientific literature, not the parade of best-selling diet books or the flood of women's magazine articles on the latest way to slim down. The scientific evidence looks clear to me, but there is not yet a consensus... Here's what the picture looks like to me:
- Dieting doesn't work.
- Dieting may make overweight worse, not better.
- Dieting may be bad for health.
- Dieting may cause eating disorders -- bulimia and anorexia....

When I am defeated by that piece of carrot cake, I feel like a failure: I should be able to control myself, and there is something morally wrong with me if I give in. Fatness is seen as shameful because we hold people responsible for their weight. Being overweight equates with being a weak-willed slob. We believe this primarily because we have seen plenty of people decide to lose weight and do so in a matter of weeks.

But almost everyone returns to the old weight after shedding pounds. Your body has a natural weight that it defends vigorously against dieting. The more diets tried, the harder the body works to defeat the next diet. Weight is in large part genetic. All this gives the lie to the "weak-willed" interpretation of overweight. More accurately, dieting puts the conscious will of the individual against a deeper, more vigilant opponent: the species' biological defense against starvation. The conscious will can occasionally win battles -- no carrot cake tonight, this month without carbohydrates -- but it almost always loses the war."

_________________

Contrast what Seligman also wrote in this chapter on dieting:

"A concept that makes sense of your body's vigorous defense against weight loss is natural weight. When your body screams "I'm hungry," slows its metabolism, makes you lethargic, stores fat, craves sweets and renders them more delicious than ever, and makes you obsessed with food, what it is defending is your natural weight. It is signaling that you have dropped into a range it will not accept."



with this:

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone, must stay that way,
I found that peace at close of day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Life up your hears and share with me
God wanted me now; I've been set free!



I got this poem from the card given out during the visitation of an elderly neighbor of mine who died quickly from pancreatic cancer last week. This neighbor was as calm as could be facing death. His equanimity stunned me. When I went to the visitation, his wife and son told me that his calm acceptance really helped them.

What does this little poem have to do with dieting? I am contrasting it with Seligman's description of dieting because I think dieting makes you constantly self-absorbed, constantly obsessed with food, never calm... The psychological damage from dieting is enormous. I feel free now that I'm following this program. Sure, the weight loss is slow and sometimes feels non-existent, but I'm free. I'm free of food obsession. I'm free of calorie counting books. I'm free of silly little rules about how to eat.

My personal goal for this month is to settle on an exercise program. I'm done with focusing on this weight loss program because I can follow it now as a habit which is as ingrained as brushing my teeth, one that requires little thought or attention.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010: 199.4 . I weighed 196 on Sunday, but the Easter celebration resulted in a big increase in the number on the scale. Last night, Tom went to buy the Wii Fit for Anne, and she loved it. I was very upset by her doctor's appointment on April 1, when I learned that she had gained a full 20 pounds in one year and only grown 1/4 of an inch. She admitted that she'd been cheating on the diet, but then I had to ask myself if this diet really worked or worked fast enough. After all, I got down to 196.6 last summer.

What to do now? Tom and I talked about how I didn't want to be repeating my parents' error in trying to control her eating, so encouraging her to exercise by buying the Wii Fit was a positive step that would allow us to encourage her to exercise. She asked for a time reserved for her from 7 - 8 PM every night, and we agreed to that as well. She loves to tinker, so I think this product could really help her.

I also had to do some soul-searching about this diet with no portion control. Maybe it isn't working. I briefly considered a return to calorie counting, but that results in wanting to eat every last calorie. I considered the one plate rule, but that is off putting to me because I love having fruit with my meal but not on a plate right next to the rest of the food. Instead, I want to start asking myself a different question when I prepare meals. What I have been asking myself is how much I should eat to guarantee that I wont' be hungry before the next meal. That meant maximizing the food on the plate. Instead, I'll now be asking myself what is the minimum I need to eat in order to not be distracted by hunger before the next meal. This morning, for breakfast, I had a piece of toast with peanut butter and one very large strawberry.

2:30 PM: Reality has set in. I will need to gauge how much I need to eat in order to function well. Had I continued on the path I was on, I think it would have worked -- eventually. Time is too short, however, because I have a daughter who needs encouragement and for whom I would like to be an example.

I'm going to start a tracking system. Ugh. I hate food journals, but I'm willing to overcome my revulsion for her sake.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


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ShannahR



Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The conscious will can occasionally win battles -- no carrot cake tonight, this month without carbohydrates -- but it almost always loses the war.


I really liked this quote which I think really sums up why No S is easier than conscious thought diets.
I liked the poem too, I thought it was very uplifting.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShannahR,

Yes, I think that the quote does show how an intermittently restrictive diet like No S is better than conventional diets which are constantly restrictive.

Sadly, I had been blinded by my own success into thinking my daughter was doing well with this diet, too. She is not. She had her annual physical yesterday and had gained a lot of weight in the last year even though she has been following this diet. She did lose the food obesssion so poignantly described above by Seligman, but she gained rather than lost weight.

It may be that different habits are necessary for different people to be successful in losing weight. I have lost weight and am happy with the change in my outlook about food, but a lot of my motivation was to help my daughter live a healthy lifestyle.

The pediatrician recommended an hour a day of exercise. She gets less exercise than I do, so that may be the difference between us. In any case, I'm dismayed beyond description. This diet did end my food obsession, and it ended hers. More is needed for weight loss, however, at least for her. Yesterday monring, when she was weighed at the doctor's office, was one of the worst moments of my life. I feel as though I've misled her, deceived her into thinking that she won't have a weight problem if she follows this diet.


Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


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ShannahR



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Posts: 314

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a similar experience with my fiancee. I lost quite a bit of weight in my first two months on No S. He saw that and decided he would try it. After one month it looks like he lost MAYBE 1 lb--I lost 5 my first month. I was totally astonished because he has ALWAYS lost weight faster than me on any other diet we tried together.
I'm still thinking about it, but I believe the difference is that his problems with eating were never the same as mine. I was a sweets addict, and I compulsively snacked from after dinner until bed time. He never had any of these problems (he has other ones) so maybe it's not surprising that him adopting my version of No S didn't work.

I want to wish you all the best with helping your daughter improve her health. I think it's really great that No S has helped her lose her food obsession and even though she gained weight, I think that fixing the metal part of the equation is a step in the right direction. I think it's really terrible for kids to be obsessed with food and dieting at a young age and it sets them up for life long dieting. I'm sure that you will find some fun exercise for her to do, maybe you could even do it together or as a family. I'm sure it will be hard at first, but as she gets more confident I think she will enjoy it.
Good luck, I'll be interested to read what you come up with!
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This version of myself is not permanent, tomorrow I will be different. --BEP
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShannahR,
Thank you for your encouraging post. It literally makes me sick to my stomach. I have to recall what it was like to be obsessed with food. I have to recall that she no longer rushes home from school to grab food in the kitchen, that she no longer stuffs her mouth so she can barely close it, that she no longer finishes her dinner before I sit down... We joined the JCC so our two middle kids could be on the swim team, and I'll be going there three times per week. She can come and exercise. I am next up with a newly published book called something like Move a Little...Lose a Lot that our pediatrician mentioned and I had requested from the library several months ago. There is hope. I'm just in shock now.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anne admitted that she's been cheating. I told her there's a fine line between The Peanut Cluster Diet (Intuitive Eating) and The Peanut Cluster Diet with Restrictions (The No S Diet with perfect compliance). At least I know it's not the diet. It's the practice of the diet.
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



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Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

April, 2010

Day 571 – Thursday, April 1, 2010:
Day 572 – Friday, April 2, 2010:
Day 573 – Saturday, April 3, 2010:
Day 574 – Sunday, April 4, 2010:
Day 575 – Monday, April 5, 2010:
Day 576 – Tuesday, April 6, 2010:
Day 577 – Wednesday, April 7, 2010:
Day 578 – Thursday, April 8, 2010: 199.8
Day 579 – Friday, April 9, 2010: 198.6
Day 580 – Saturday, April 10, 2010: 197.0
Day 581 – Sunday, April 11, 2010: 196.0
Day 582 – Monday, April 12, 2010: 198.4
Day 583 – Tuesday, April 13, 2010: 198.2
Day 584 – Wednesday, April 14, 2010: 198.0 - 0 (0 = ending bank of walks: I need to walk an average of two miles per day; this began on April 8 )
Day 585 – Thursday, April 15, 2010: 197.4+1
Day 586 – Friday, April 16, 2010: 196.6+2
Day 587 – Saturday, April 17, 2010: 195.8+3
Day 588 – Sunday, April 18, 2010: 196.2 +4
Day 589 – Monday, April 19, 2010: 197.4+5
Day 590 – Tuesday, April 20, 2010: 195.8+5
Day 591 – Wednesday, April 21, 2010: 195.4 +6
Day 592 – Thursday, April 22, 2010: 195.0+6
Day 593 – Friday, April 23, 2010: 194.8 (A new low!)+6
Day 594 – Saturday, April 24, 2010: 196.0+6
Day 595 – Sunday, April 25, 2010: 195.4 +6
Day 596 – Monday, April 26, 2010: 197.0 +7
Day 597 – Tuesday, April 27, 2010: 197.8+7
Day 598 – Wednesday, April 28, 2010: 196.2+8
Day 599 – Thursday, April 29, 2010: 194.6 (A new low!)+8
Day 600 – Friday, April 30, 2010: 195.2+8

It's the dreaded food journal. I need to ask myself one question over and over again on N Days: Did I eat enough since my last meal that I feel energetic? The answer is in blue.

Tuesday, April 6
B: 7:30 AM: 1 toast with peanut butter, 1 large strawberry
L: 1:45 PM: (Y) 1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 1 glass whole milk, 1 roll, 1 piece Matzos

6 PM: I started eating about an hour ago. It's a FAIL. Diet backlash. Anne is totally enthralled by the Wii Fit, which is wonderful. I need to take an S Day today and give myself a break. I think I'll focus on having small breakfasts like I did today and get used to them before I try anything else.

9:30 PM: My daughter spent about an hour on the Wii Fit. I'm going to let her manage her own weight and allow myself to continue on the path I've been on. For some reason, I have no ability to restrict quantity of food I eat. I suspect thsi is due to the years and years of calorie counting.

Wednesday, April 7. I took another S Day tonight after dinner. There are still after shocks from Anne's physical last week. I simply cannot limit food intake. There's an immediate backlash into binge behavior whenever I try. The rules of this diet have enabled me to lose some weight, and more importantly halt the weight gain from 2002, when I weighed 155. OK. Now what? I think I'm going to go back to this diet, stay off the scale, and exercise -- exercise -- exercise.

Thursday, April 8: 199.8. I decided to bite the bullet and look at my weight. To my surprise, I was below 200 -- just barely, but at least I was below it. I decided just to add exercise. There is no downside to exercise. Restricting portion size leads to binges, so I'm not doing that.

11 AM: I enjoy tracking at least some things -- not calories, but weight and S Days. Maybe I need to take advantage of this enjoyment by starting to add to my weight management program with exercise. Our two youngest children are home from school this week, and we took our 8 pound dog for a talk to the park. I do not consider walking an 8 pound dog for one mile much of an exercise program, but it is a start, and she -- now collapsed under the coach -- certainly benefits from exercise! I'm going to have a goal as a start of one walk to the park as an average per day. Since we are gone a lot during the summer, I'll have to build up the number of walks. It will be fun to track. Also, that Wii Fit calculates calories expended, and I can start to trakc that and have a goal as well.

Day 579 – Friday, April 9, 2010: 198.6. I think I'm going to eliminate Sunday as an S Day if my weight is above my monthly goal weight. This month's goal weight is 196, and the goal weight goes down by one pound per month.

I'm exhausted, having awakened at about 2 AM and thought about what I was going to do about my weight. Oh, this is reminiscent of years and years of my life. Why can't I restrict eating? I was remembering once asking our youngest when the fight with her older sister started, and she said, "When I thought about putting my leg on her leg." Yes, she was correct. The fight started when she thought... With me, the problems with eating start when I think about restricting. I have no idea why I binge eat, but I assume this problem is shared by millions of others.

I'm now up against a barrier of lack of confidence because the weight loss has been so slow, and I've lost no weight in almost a year. I weighed about this much last year at this time and was at 198.2 as a new low on March 28, 2009. If I level out the weight loss to one pound per month, that puts me at 196 this month. If I don't panic and look at a steady weight loss, then what I can do is alter my behavior based on my weight. I'll give up the Sunday S Day if my weight is above my monthly weight goal. This is the best approach I could conceive when I was up for the last several nights. It has the downside that now I'll be comparing my weight on the scale to a goal weight and having to change my eating based on the weight. The upside is that I can regain confidence that my weight will actually go down because I'm changing the diet to assure myself of it. What a pain. This whoe weight issue has had a very significant negative impact on my entire life, and now I've got a teenage daughter following in my footsteps. No matter how hard working, how healthy, how smart she is... this weight issue is going to have a big negative impact on her, too, if there isn't a way out.

Day 580 – Saturday, April 10, 2010: 197.0. My husband is getting tired of my being up at night. I've been very upset about my weight going up and have tried to figure out what to do about it. Yesterday, a book came in from the library, and I went down to pick it up. I started reading it in the middle of the night. It's called Move a Little, Lose a Lot by a Mayo doctor, Dr. James A Levine. I heard the doctor on an NPR radio program. As I was driving into the Y parking lot, I heard him introduced and I heard him say that what you want to do is build exercise into your every day life rather than go to a gym to exercise. I literally sat in the parking lot wondering if I should go into the gym or listen to the program. I made the wrong choice both in terms of exercise and in terms of going into the gym that day. The book is very insightful. I'm a yo-yo exerciser if there ever was one. This book describes how to make changes to daily living to assure that you get enough exercise. Our dog is going to enjoy this approach. Katie and I are taking her out right now.

8 PM: What a miserable night. My husband will be out of town next week, so we needed to do taxes. He hadn't realized how much money I made last year, but happily I maximized the amount taken out of my paycheck so we get money back. Meanwhile, I couldn't even enjoy taking the kids to a very cute movie, How to Train a Dragon. I was too upset about my weight and how to manage it.

As we were driving to the movie, we passed an obese woman who was jogging. Anne said that was like me only I just walk. I said I wasn't that fat, and all the kids agreed I was. Ugh. I never really thought of myself as fat, and I just cannot believe that I look like that woman who was jogging. I spent much of the movie trying to figure out how to lose weight more quickly. If I just lose 1 pound per month, I will be 184 in an entire year and about 170 when Anne goes off to college. I need to speed up the process.

I decided to make my goal 2 pounds per month with the start as 196 for this month. That means I'll be down to 174 in a year and 158 in two years. It's still a lot of time, but at least I will be out of these jeans. For two entire years, I have only worn one type of jeans -- "Mom jeans" as the kids call them -- Gloria Vanderbelt "Amanda" jeans, size 18. They were the only pants I could buy that were not in the women's section, and I flat out refused to go to the women's section. As it was, I had to try on several pair of size 18 Amanda jeans before I could find one roomy enough. At this point, I've managed to find a size 16 pair that fits. Twenty pounds does make a difference!

Tomorrow, if I don't weigh 196 or lower, I'm not taking an S Day. Tonight, I had a piece of banana bread and an apple for dinner. I'm hoping I make it to 196, but just knowing that I won't take an S Day unless I reach that weight is dampening my appetite. Patience is a virtue, and I'm running out of it quickly. My daughter needs encouragement, but she also needs to see me model good behavior. This morning, we ended up taking the dog for a walk together, and it was just so nice. I had dragged her to the Y several times, but she wanted to come with me this morning. In late morning, Pepper got a second walk with Tom and me. She will definitely appreciate the philosophy of Move a Little, Lose a Lot!

Day 581 – Sunday, April 11, 2010: 196.0. I got down to 196, so I was able to have an S Day today. I think my goal will be at or below 195 by next Sunday. It's easy to think in terms of giving up an S Day if my weight isn't low enough, since I give up S Days for six days per week already. Yesterday, I ate a lot less to make sure I got at or below 196, and I think that's a fine approach because now I'm not afraid of sitting at this weight for a long time.

My assessment of the book Move a Little, Lose a Lot is that it has a lot of insight for me regarding exercise. Exercise is important for weight management, but it can count to just take the dog for a walk. I really don't like driving to the gym, changing, and following a set program. It is time consuming and I end up sweaty. I give it up when I get busy. The idea of becoming a more active person holds a lot of appeal to me. I can look at how I spend my time and figure out how to spend more time standig and walking than sitting. A perfect example was the time I spent after swim team while Katie and Tom were showering. I went outside to walk around the parking lot instead of plopping in a chair to wait.

Day 582 – Monday, April 12, 2010: 198.4. I enjoyed my S Day yesterday and now I am looking at a 198.4 weight. My goal is to weigh at or under 195 by Sunday. The idea behind this is that I want to lose 2 pounds per month, so I will have a goal of 1 pound weight loss in two weeks (from 196 at the beginning of April to 195 in mid-April). There isn't any sort of calorie counting or point counting during this next week. Instead, there is the simple awareness that I have an S Day if I weigh 195 or less by Sunday, and there is no S Day if I weigh above 195.

That awareness will make me think twice about food that provides marginal benefit, like toast with peanut butter and jam vs. toast with just peanut butter. How much do I enjoy the jam? If I don't, why not eliminate it? This is something of a glutton's approach to dieting, since the goal is to be able to have an S Day on Sunday. "Do you really need to eat that?" is an insult if it comes from someone else. "Is this really enjoyable for me?" is a cost-benefit analysis by the only person who can judge whether a food is worth eating: me! I'm the only one who knows how hungry I am and how much I enjoy a particular food. Most diet books are based on the premise that the author knows best, and the author doesn't know best. I know best, and I just need to figure out a way to limit food intake without feeling deprived. This may be the way. It is worth a test.

8:30 I now am rethinking the approach of using the scale to manage weight, and here is an abstract of a study from the National Weight Control Registry:

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Dec;15(12):3091-6.

Consistent self-monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance.
Butryn ML, Phelan S, Hill JO, Wing RR.

Department of Psychology, Drexel University, 245 N. 15th Street, MS 626, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA. mlb34@drexel.edu

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The objectives were to investigate the characteristics associated with frequent self-weighing and the relationship between self-weighing and weight loss maintenance. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Participants (n = 3003) were members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) who had lost >or=30 lbs, kept it off for >or=1 year, and had been administered the self-weighing frequency assessment used for this study at baseline (i.e., entry to the NWCR). Of these, 82% also completed the one-year follow-up assessment. RESULTS: At baseline, 36.2% of participants reported weighing themselves at least once per day, and more frequent weighing was associated with lower BMI and higher scores on disinhibition and cognitive restraint, although both scores remained within normal ranges. Weight gain at 1-year follow-up was significantly greater for participants whose self-weighing frequency decreased between baseline and one year (4.0 +/- 6.3 kg) compared with those whose frequency increased (1.1 +/- 6.5 kg) or remained the same (1.8 +/- 5.3 kg). Participants who decreased their frequency of self-weighing were more likely to report increases in their percentage of caloric intake from fat and in disinhibition, and decreases in cognitive restraint. However, change in self-weighing frequency was independently associated with weight change. DISCUSSION: Consistent self-weighing may help individuals maintain their successful weight loss by allowing them to catch weight gains before they escalate and make behavior changes to prevent additional weight gain. While change in self-weighing frequency is a marker for changes in other parameters of weight control, decreasing self-weighing frequency is also independently associated with greater weight gain.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this report is the low number of participants -- only 3,000. Of those, 20% didn't complete a one year follow up. Is it possible those 20% regained weight?

I think that use of the scale, for me, is admission that I won't become naturally thin. I will need to manage my weight in a way that requires effort. Oh, well.... I now have a dog that is sitting next to her leash, looking at me expectantly. It is what it is. If I can regain confidence that I will in fact lose weight, it's worth having to rely on the scale. I'll have to think about what to do on campouts because I'm sure not hauling a scale to state parks and weighing myself in the bathrooms. Maybe I can assume I'll be OK for that week and, if not, have to skip the following Sunday's S Day.

Day 583 – Tuesday, April 13, 2010: 198.2. I'm not sure relying on the scale is the way to go. I was grumpy last night with my kids. I remembered having a similar diet years ago, only my goal was 1/2 pound weight loss every week. One day, my weight went up 4 pounds and that meant 8 weeks of weight loss. Also, I really don't have control over what weight appears on the scale. There can be lots of factors that affect that one weight on the scale, including scale inaccuracy within about 1.5 pounds. I think it might be better for me to create an exercise habit. Our dog appears to agree. She is looking at me intently. Am I going to get up from the computer and take her for a walk or not?

10:40 AM: The dog had her walk, and I feel better. I think that the first choice a person needs to make in losing weight is whether to sprint to a certain weight or take a slower approach which is more likely to result in permanent weight loss. After that choice, the second choice is how to manage the weight loss, either by focusing on the number on the scale or by building habits. I've taken the second approach of building habits. The problem, of course, is that over a long period of time -- one entire year -- my weight has gone up and then gone back to where it was last summer. Here I am, stuck in size 18 Mom jeans. What to do? I think I can add another habit of walking two miles per day. This is a sustainable habit. Day in and day out, I think I can average this amount of walking. I may be able to increase the amount in time, but right now this is the amount I feel comfortable is sustainable. It may not be much, but it is more than what I'm currently doing.

To encourage myself, I did buy size 16 stretch jeans that were not Mom jeans. I don't know that I would wear them out of the house, but I enjoyed wearing them this morning. They give me hope -- hope that I can one day be thin and healthy.

1:40 PM: I just took the dog for another walk. All I've done today is prepare for Math Masters coaching, and the only thing I learned from that experience is that teaching is tough! I know math, but knowing math is not the same as teaching math! Meanwhile, I look at the dilemma I'm in and think: What am I going to do? Following my old diet was easy, but I just wasn't losing weight. Adding two miles of walking per day is great, but will it result in my being thin? Unlikely. I'm back to thinking I'd like to reduce the number of S Days. It's important to me that I can eat as much as I want of whatever I want on S Days, and I wonder if that isn't part of human nature. The day before Lent is traditionally called Fat Tuesday because people eat lots in preparation for Lenten fasting. Now there is an emphasis, over and over again, on "portion control." I did manage to reduce the number of S Days from two per weekend to one per weekend, and now I think I'm ready for only having two floating Exception Days plus one Fat Sunday, the second Sunday of the month. It would be great just to settle on something and focus my attention elsewhere. I am sick and tired of weight, weight, weight. I am ashamed of myself for getting upset with the kids last night because I was coming to the realization that adjusting behavior based on a weekly reading on the scale would be very difficult for me. It's better that I just set aside one Sunday per month as an S Day.

7 PM: The dog went on three walks today. I have three miles to go tomorrow in order to get to an average of two miles per day since April 8. That's good, but I don't think it's enough. I feel a certain relief in telling myself that it's worth a test to have the two mile per day walk plus one S Day per month instead of one S Day per week. The number of floaters per month (two Exception Days) remains the same. That means that days of "unconditional permission to eat" decrease from 6 (two floater Exception Days plus four Sundays per month) to 3 (two Exception Days plus one Sunday). My track record shows an uptick in weight each Monday. If I can eliminate that on three Mondays per month, I think my weight will decrease.

Day 584 – Wednesday, April 14, 2010: 198.0. I almost feel panic in trying to decide how to change this diet so I lose weight. I do think that reducing the number of S Days is the least disruptive. Another choice would have been to limit amount that I eat at meals on N Days, but I know my immediate reaction would be to binge eat. This is such a difficult problem. It's like pushing down on a spring and expecting it to stay down. I put on my size 16 capris this morning just to reassure myself that I have made progress and need to give this revised approach some time. I hate hate hate being fat -- hate the impact on my life -- hate the time sink that trying to lose weight has become. It's as if this weight loss project is draining the life out of me, but I also think I'm on the edge of severe problems due to obesity, none of which I now have, problems like joint pain and diabetes. No wonder I'm scared.

8:15 AM: It occurred to me that there is a huge perceived difference between "deny" and "delay" but a tremendous practical similarity. I am choosing the path of "delay" rather than "deny". What this means is that I delay eating until mealtimes on N Days but then allow myself to eat as much as I want. Sometimes, I do eat a lot at mealtimes. At other times, I do not. If I am confident that I won't restrict food at the next mealtime, there is no practical reason to stuff myself at this meal. Even with this approach, there is a need for days when I have "unconditional permission to eat" all day. I started out with this approach for all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and two additional floater days -- a total of 10 per month. I successfully reduced that number to 6 per month and now am reducing it further to 3.

It is still a matter of "delay" rather than "deny". I still have the experience of "unconditional permission to eat". In fact, I bought caramel macademian clusters this past Sunday. There's about 1/2 left, and I had no more than 1/4. When I had the most intense binge on an S Day, I had at least 80% of them. This does show progress. It is important for me to know that I will have the opportunity to stuff myself. Why? I don't know, but I think it may be part of human nature. What keeps coming to mind is the Catholic tradition of "Fat Tuesday". That used to occur once per year. Now I'm looking at "Fat Sunday", the second Sunday of the month, once per month.

The floater days (I call them Exception Days) are distinctly different from S Days. S Days are predictable. You can look forward to them. Exception Days may be taken unexpectedly -- you're running late to dinner, you get offered something irresistable, etc.

Am I ready to go down to 3 days per month of "unconditional permission to eat"? I don't know, but I'll find out!

Day 585 – Thursday, April 15, 2010
: 197.4. Purusing the theme of "delay" rather than "deny", I am thinking of making each N Day into a day when I do not have "unconditional permission to eat" at meals. That would be reserved for Sundays. I need to come up with an approach for N Days. One plateful doesn't work for me.

6:50 AM: I may try estimating calories. For example, perhaps my favorite food is Bob's Red Mill Muesli at 110 calories for 1/4 cup. I usually have about a cup at a time. This morning, I measured out 1/4 cup, added milk, and also had some grapes. I still got to enjoy Muesli. The quantity just needs to go down, at least on N Days.

8:15 AM: It's only about an hour and a half since I had breakfast, and I''m already hungry. My stomach is growling as I type. Am I famished? No. I seem to recall, way back during my early teen years before all this dieting craziness, that the feeling I am right now experiencing felt downright pleasant. Those years of dieting turned this exact same feeling into one accompanied by panic, the sense of feeling out of control and about to binge. It's already Thursday, and I think what I'm going to try is to eat minimal amounts and experience this feeling of lightness until Sunday, when I'll follow the N Day rules but allow myself to eat as much as I want at each meal. The norm on N Days needs to be small quantities and the experience of lightness.

9:10 AM: Our dog has been following me from room to room with the clear expectation, "It's time for my walk!" I think I can manage two walks per day easily, and I can cut back to one S Day per month, and I can work on light eating on N Days. "Light eating": I like the sound of that. It's a matter of priorities -- of dedication. How high a priority should my weight be? Well, now my almost 14 year old son is looking chunky. I think I can model good behavior for them even at this stage in being their parent. I feel terrible because three of our four children are overweight. The youngest is an Energizer bunny. The others are more sedentary and prefer to curl up with a book rather than be active. If I increase my activity level, I think it will help them.

Bottom line: Health is important. I can make this my highest priority.

12:40 PM: I just had lunch, a lunch that was less than usual but not exactly small. I think I'm going to concentrate on having small breakfasts until I get used to that. Too many changes can lead to none becoming habits.

10 PM: Here is an initial cut at a revised diet:

There are four types of days:

Fat Sunday: The second Sunday of the month is reserved for "unconditional permission to eat".

Exception Days: Two days per month are set aside for "unconditional permission to eat". They can be used whenever I want and can roll over to the following month if not used.

S Days: These are all Sundays other than Fat Sunday. I stick to three meals per day and have as much as I want at those meals, including sweets. I do not have snacks.

V Days: "V" is for "Victory" and for "Vigorous". I eat three meals per day, have no snacks, and have no sweets. I try to eat so that I am not stuffed.

In addition to following these food rules, I walk an average of two miles per day.

Day 586 – Friday, April 16, 2010: 196.6 I am still trying to figure out how to change V Days, but I decided to allow myself sweets on S Days. There are chocolate dipped strawberries in the refrigerator. I'd be tempted to have one today if I couldn't have one on Sunday. Besides, I think grazing is a key problem for me. I got used to poppoing food in my mouth, and those calories count!

8 AM: I showed my size 16 capris to Tom, and his comment was, "They look size 16. They're tight." Thanks a lot. I was thrilled to be going down a size, and this was what he had to say. So much for empathy! Part of losing weight is changing how you feel about yourself. I went out the past two days and bought two capris, one pair of jeans, new underwear, three camisoles, five T-shirts, and two shirts to wear over camisoles. Total cost: about $200. It may well be that those capris are too tight, but I need to feel good, and I feel good in those capris. I won't wear "Mom" style jeans going forward.

Why did this happen now? I think walking, even the minimal walking I am doing, is making me feel better physically. It's not that I feel sluggish. It's more that I just plain feel more active and energetic even after just walking two miles per day.

9 AM: I took the dog for a walk. I decided to name my diet The Fat Sunday Diet to underscore that this diet is about delayed gratification rather than denial. I also decided to make the rules clearcut and not have a goal of not stuffing myself.

Here are the rules:

There are four types of days:

Fat Sunday: second Sunday of the month: "unconditional permission to eat" all day.

Exception Days: two floater days per month that I accumulate to the next month if not used: "unconditional permission to eat"

S Days: All other Sundays: no snacks (defined as I have to have before me whatever I'm going to eat before I take one bite)

V Days: All other days: no snacks, no sweets.

8 PM: I got another pair of mid-rise jeans and will throw out the size 18 Mom jeans, except for one to keep for the memories.

Day 587 – Saturday, April 17, 2010: 195.8 Our dog really, really enjoys two walks per day. It never occurred to me that taking an 8 pound dog for a one mile walk twice per day could have such an immediate and positive impact on not just the dog but also me. I really feel good. Going to a gym is just not fun, and it is time-consuming to drive there, change into exercise clothes, change back into regular clothes after exercising, and drive home. It's much simpler and less time-consuming to grab a leash and be out the door.

I also created a system for tracking both my weight and the number of walks per day. I have one index card that I can now carry in my purse. Tomorrow is my first day of a Sunday without snacks but with sweets, and I think this will be an easy transition that will result in further weight loss. Time will tell how effective this approach will be in losing weight, but this approach feels good.

1:45 PM: Here's my revised explanation of my diet:

The Fat Sunday Diet

At some point in the future, I am confident that I will qualify to be part of the National Weight Control Registry, which is a registry of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for at least one year. When I register, this is how I will describe my diet:

I followed The No S Diet (described in a book by Reinhard Engels and Ben Kallen) with different modifications starting on September 8, 2008. I kept modifying the diet until I had my own set of rules which I call The Fat Sunday Diet. It wasn't until April 18, 2010 that I had all the pieces in place for a diet that could be followed for life.

The diet is simple. All days of the month are categorized into one of four types:

- Fat Sunday: This is the second Sunday of the month. On this day, predictably every month, I have "unconditional permission to eat" (a term from the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch). In naming this diet after Fat Sunday, I keep my focus on this one day of the month when, without any guilt, I can eat to my heart's content. In contrast to conventional diets when there is constant portion control and a feeling of constant deprivation, I know that I can look forward to a day when I can eat without any guilt. In this diet, the key is to "delay", not "deny" or "deprive".

- Exception Days: There are two additional days per month when I have "unconditional permission to eat." These days are selected by me for whatever reason I want, and they accumulate to the next month if not used.

- S Days: These are the Sundays of the month other than Fat Sunday. I can have three meals but no snacks. If I want to fill a table with food for that one meal, I can. There is no portion control, but all the food I am going to eat must be in front of me before I take one bite. Outside of mealtime, I can drink anything I want, including sugared pop.

- V Days: These days are called "V" for "Victory". These are the days where I lose weight. On these days, I have no snacks. I also restrict myself to having no sweets, including chocolate.

In addition to following these food rules, I walk an average of two miles per day. I got this idea from the book Move a Little, Lose a Lot by Dr. James Levine. I track how many miles I walk. While Dr. Levine recommends far more exercise than two miles per day, I find that having this amount of walking as a base amount of exercise has energized me, and I am more active as a result.

I follow this lifestyle with "perfect compliance", which is a term taken from a book that I cannot locate. What this means is that I take an Exception Day even if all I eat is one Tic Tac (a sweet) on a V Day. It also means I only use an Exception Day if I have one available to use. I try to keep a minimum number of Exception Days available for emergencies like an unexpected offering of a sweet from someone or even a taste test at a grocery store that I would like. Because I have so many Exception Days in a year, Exception Days aren't so special and can be used just because I feel like it.

To me, it is extremely important to follow this diet with "perfect compliance." I would liken the importance of this for dieting to the importance of being faithful in marriage. There just is no middle ground. Why is it so important to follow the diet with "perfect compliance"? I took an idea from The Teaching Company course on Aristotle's Ethics taught by Father Joseph Koterski of Fordham University. He distinguished between habits that require thought and ones that don't. Habits that don't are those that are followed automatically and absolutely consistently. For example, I have a habit of brushing my teeth every day. I do not ask myself each morning whether or not I should brush my teeth. Instead, I just do it automatically because I brush my teeth consistently every single morning. What I wanted for weight management was a diet that doesn't require a lot of thought, like brushing my teeth, and I think the way to achieve this is to follow the diet with "perfect compliance".

What motivated me to find a different approach to weight loss was seeing my then nine year old daughter come home from school and rush to the kitchen to have a snack. She was totaly focused on eating as quickly as possible. I saw the potential right then and there for her to follow my path of restrictive eating and diet collapse. That day when my daughter rushed into the kitchen was in January, 2004. That was when I started to keep a journal of my research. In 2005, I read a newly published book called The Obesity Epidemic: Science, Morality and Ideology by Michael Gard and Jan Wright, and it was this description from page 10 of the book that most gave me the patience to find a diet that was easy to follow no matter how long it took to lose weight:

"Even the most motivated patients have difficulty losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off. Many people can maintain a loss of ten or twenty pounds by watching what they eat or exercising more; few can sustain a loss of fifty, 100, or more no matter what the technique. The reason for this difficulty lies with the body’s weight-regulating system, which works to keep the body at a certain preferred weight, or set point. If you gain weight much above your set point, the extra fat stores produce more leptin, which acts as a signal to your brain to reduce your appetite and rev up your metabolism until your weight returns to normal. Conversely, if you lose weight much below your set point, your brain responds by increasing appetite and decreasing metabolism…Thus when an obese person loses fifty or 100 pounds, the weight-regulating region of the brain interprets the loss as a sign of a major problem and responds accordingly. The appetite is set on high, the metabolism on low. Doctors who have studied the so-called “reduced obese” – patients who were formerly obese but who have dropped their weight to near-normal levels – find that they share many psychological traits with victims of starvation. They think constantly about food, for instance, and they are deeply hungry in a way that a single big meal cannot assuage. If a fat person is to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off, he must, in essence, maintain himself on a starvation diet."

My assessment of the real problem behind the obesity epidemic is that people no longer tolerate the slightest bit of hunger. With The Fat Sunday Diet, scheduling meals helps me to tolerate hunger because I know I'll be fully satisfied at the next meal. This approach -- tolerate hunger until the next scheduled meal when I can fully satisfy my hunger -- is the exact opposite of the portion control approach, which I think is at least one and maybe the main root cause of the obesity epidemic.

The diet does require patience. “Patience is a virtue.” The weight loss may be slow, but it is permanent, and the diet is simple and easy. I can focus on our family and not on food.

8 PM: If this approach does indeed work, then I don't have to be spending so much time writing. I've been trying to figure out what could work, and the appeal here is that I can eat as much as I want at every meal. With this approach, why would I binge? There's a certain satisfaction that, perhaps, I've now finalized my diet. What's even better is this: I think I could have started with this diet. I started out limiting my food intake to one plate at mealtimes, so I had a starvation mentality despite the fact that the food on that one plate looked like a pyramid because the food was heaped up to a point several inches above the plate. No, this approach -- with as much food as I want at every meal -- could have been the starting point of weight loss. I just hadn't figured out the problem. I hadn't figured out that "portion control" triggered a starvation reaction, over and over and over again. I feel like a chapter of my life has ended. It was hard to find a diet that was easy to follow. It was really, really hard.

9 PM: It's a quiet Saturday night because we have so much going on tomorrow and because our two older children are babysitting. I've been cleaning and listening to The Teaching Company tapes by Father Joseph Koterski. They are on natural law. I know very little about natural law, having had exactly one philosophy course in freshman year of college. It seems to me that the diet approach of periodic eating to satisfaction is one that follows natural law. I may be way off base, but I'll be listening for indications that this is so as I go throught the tapes. The reason why I think this is that many major religions have food rituals, restrictions and feast and fast days. There is something to the idea that it is necessary both to control food intake at times and to let go and enjoy. Our diet-obsessed culture has completely lost the concept of fast and feast.

Day 589 – Monday, April 19, 2010: 197.4. Yesterday was my first Sunday with no snacks, and it was very easy to follow. I still had all the sweets I wanted. I'm not sure how effective of a change this will be as far as losing weight. It may be that, eventually, I'll have to eliminate sweets on Sundays as well, but I'm not yet ready for that change.

Last night, we had a family meeting because it was a requirement for a Boy Scout merit badge. One of the topics of discussion was use of technology, and our son specfically brought up how much time I spend on this journal. Yes, he's right. I'm a hypocrite to complain about his going on the computer when I spend so much time on it. Maybe I can cut back to writing just once per week. I now have a tracking system on an index card, so I don't need to go on the computer.

Day 590 – Tuesday, April 20, 2010: 195.8. Two days after my first snackless Sunday, I'm thrilled to be only .8 pound above my lowest since I started the diet. This seems to indicate that my big problem is snacking. I think I may eliminate Fat Sunday altogether and just have snackless Sundays. The idea of Fat Sunday interrupts the cycle of V Days and S Days throughout a normal week. Also, I hadn't expected a snackless Sunday to be quite so easy.

What's interesting about all this is that I think the idea of portion control drives a person to eating many times per day. Eating many times a day focuses a person on food -- food -- food many times per day. This food obesession reminds me of our dog. She has very few interests -- food, walks, squirrels, mailman, and bunnies. That range of interests is fine for a dog but not for a human!!!

Day 591 – Wednesday, April 21, 2010: 195.4 . Yesterday, I was talking with my mother about a family reunion that will be hosted by my parents this summer. Because they are in their mid-80s, she told me, this is likely to be the last family reunion. She also asked about my diet and scoffed that my weight loss was just losing the weight I had gained after The Peanut Cluster Diet. I told her that I weigh now what I weighed about the beginning of 2006. She recommended that I go on a restrictive diet and then return to this diet to maintain the lower weight. Then I can look nice for the family reunion.

Well, I have kept trying restrictive dieting, and the result is binge eating and weight gain. It is frustrating to lose an average of only one pound per month, and my mother also scoffed at that. She asked how much weight I have to lose and I told her 50 - 60 pounds. She then asked if I wanted to be fat for another five years. No, I don't, I told her, but I am happy that I am at least losing weight.

This is the ultimate temptation to take a break from the diet -- the false dream of faster weight loss if I just restrict my eating. Koterski, in his Teaching Company lectures on natural law, refers to Aristotle's approach to ethics as "virtue ethics." The focus is on habit rather than achievement. I like the idea of focusing on habit. It is important, I realize, for me to track my weight to determine if the habits are achieving the goal of weight loss, but the habits needs to be adjusted rather than abaondoned for some short-term weight loss program that is not sustainable in the long run. I'm only interested in habits that are sustainable for life.

Day 592 – Thursday, April 22, 2010: 195.0. It's only Thursday, and I'm already at the lowest weight I've been since late 2005. I am happy because this means I'm likely to be at a new low before Sunday. My family is going to Red Lobster once I reach a 10% weight loss, which is 193.5. I've been oh so close for ten whole months -- I reached a low of 196.6 last June. If the difference between weight plateau and weight loss is that I don't have snacks on Sundays, I'll be elated because it was easy to not snack on Sunday. I've concluded it is important to have a scale as a way to make sure you are on a successful path. Over time, it become obvious. Over the months and months of no weight loss, it was obvious something had to change, but I just didn't know what to change. Now I'm experimenting with snackless Sundays and am cautiously optimistic that this approach will result in a lower weight. At some point in the future, I may plateau again, and that's OK. My core non-negotiable is no portion control. Everything else can be adjusted.

Day 593 – Friday, April 23, 2010: 194.8 (A new low!). It is really encouraging to have a new low in the first week after I tried snack-free Sundays with "unconditional permission to eat" at mealtimes. There's this sense of urgency hanging over me all this time -- the sense that I should be doing more since I'm still so fat. It's spring, and swimsuit season is just a month away. What to do? I think I need to assure myself that the diet is fine so long as I trend one pound of weight loss per month. This month's goal is 196. If I compare 194.8 to 196, I've made my goal. If I'm not able to maintain that pace of weight loss, then I can look at my diet again. "Portion control" as a philosophy is like false gold. It seems right. It seems effective. It does work for a time. That's not what I want. I want habits that are sustainable for life so that the weight loss is permanent. And that's what I have to keep telling myself.

5 PM: I'm going to try to post just once per week and give this latest mod some time to be effective. I think I've figured out that the real distinguishing aspect of this diet is not the "unconditional permission to eat" of Intuitive Eating. Rather, it's the on - off approach of The No S Diet. Just now, I read a Michael Gerson article on how "this year's White House Easter Egg roll pointedly did not include the distribution of teeth-rotting, obesity-inducing candy." Come on... What message is being sent here? You're going to be obese if you have candy on Easter? With this diet, you look forward to when you can eat sweets. The distinguishing feature of this diet is "delay" rather than "deny".

Day 594 – Saturday, April 24, 2010: 196.0. Reading a Michael Gerson editorial last night on the White House Easter egg hunt (without candy) just chilled me. How could they lack an understanding of the human need to feast?

After reading that article, I remembered that I stumbled upon what might have been the very first reducing program based on calorie counting, by a Minnesota giant, Dr. Ancel Keys. Dr. Keys conducted starvation experiments on conscientious objecters during World War II, who volunteered to starve so that the Allies could understand how to treat starving civilians and soldiers after the war ended. He and his wife Margaret later wrote a book called Eat Well and Stay Well which I got as an out of print book from an Amazon bookseller. The book was published in 1959, and I remember reading it and being struck by the scientific approach to a problem which is not merely a matter of science.

In the chapter entitled "Scientific Reducing," Ancel and Margaret Keys write:

"It is necessary to decide how much weight should be lost; then the problem is to discover how many calories in the diet will keep the weight constant and to estimate the diet change needed to cause the desired weight loss in a specified time. The amount of food calories that holds the present body weight constant, neither gaining nor losing, is the calorie balance. Eating less thant this amount produces a calorie deficit, which is made up by buring body fat. The weight loss is proportional to the calorie deficit....

Before starting on any reducing diet an estimate of the present calorie balance point is desirable. Unless something is known about how many calories of food maintain the present weight without change, it is impossible to make a resaonable selection of a redicing diet."

There is an element of hubris in the writing, which indicates to me that it was written prior to people trying a "portion control" approach to dieting and failing over time. Sure, it works in the short run, but eventually people cannot stand limitations on amounts and binge.

Humans are body and soul. Sure, what Ancel Keys writes is simple fact about the physical body, but what he neglects entirely is a spiritual aspect to the human. I suspect that religous writings on feasts and fasts may address the spiritual aspect of maintaining a healthy weight. Who ever thinks of gluttony these days as "one of the seven deadly sins"? Certainly not me. I may go digging into Catholic teaching on gluttony. There is more wisdom than I realized in Catholicism and more foolishness than I realized in science.

My husband and father are absolutely right that "You cannot deny Newton's second law of thermodynamics." I agree. In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you use. But how? The on-off approach of The No S Diet takes into consideration the human need to eat to satisfaction and maybe even, sometimes, to being downright stuffed. Constant calorie deficit of the "portion control" approach leads to constant dissatisfaction and eventually to a revolt by the body to let go and enjoy.

9 PM: I'm going to explore Catholic teaching on gluttony. I ordered some books and tapes from the library. Since Aquinas first used Aristotle's Ethics in explaining Christian ethics, I ordered a copy of the Summa Theologica. It took me eight months to get through Aristotle's Ethics, so this could be a long slog to understand Aquinas' teaching on gluttony.

Something in our culture today is missing in an understanding of weight management. I remember years ago reading Kelly Brownell's book Food Fight about how the environment is creating the obesity epidemic. Kelly Brownell is the one behind the idea of the soda tax. He's taking the tact that people wouldn't eat and drink as much if the environment was different. I'm taking the tact that there is something different in our current philosophy regarding eating that is creating the obesity epidemic. I think it's the idea that you have to constantly deprive yourself because you approach eating with a "portion control" mentality which requires willpower. I think there's a lot more sanity in The No S Diet approach of on and off restrictive eating which mirrors religious tradition of fasts and feasts. Current Catholic teachings on fasting is you need to fast two days per year, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I wonder what was lost from the time that there was self-discipline required for fasts and celebration encouraged in feasts. I hope to have some idea by going to older texts like the Summa Theologica.

Day 597 – Tuesday, April 27, 2010: 197.8. An article I read last week about the Obama's hosting an Easter egg hunt without candy resulted in my radically shifting my view from the view that the problem with dieting is portion control to the view that the problem with dieting is constant food restriction. I think food restriction may be necessary. I also think "unconditional permission to eat" may be necessary.

I just went down a dead end in trying to have snackless Sundays, and the result was I was grumpy. I did not really enjoy trying to have ice cream next to a sandwich. I did not really feel satisfied. For some reason, I had no problem the first Sunday I tried this approach, but the second Sunday (two days ago) was not satisfying.

Now I'm thinking my 10 year old was right to call my diet "The S Day Diet." The focus for her is on the days when you can eat what you want. With most diets, there is a constant restrictive mentality which leads to the absurdity of Easter egg hunts for fruit. Where's the joy in that? Where's the sense in that?

My father has that mentality, and he has been able to maintain a healthy weight for all of his life. He is in a minority of people who can constantly deny themselves and still be thin. I am not. My body revolts against starvation, and I binge.

Now what? I remember reading once that half of solving a problem is correctly identifying it. If the problem with dieting is constant restrictive eating, then the solution is not to throw out the idea of restrictive eating. Instead, it's to have periods of time when you restrict and times when you do not.

I also think it's important to establish a rhythm. With the snackless Sunday approach, I don't have a weekly rhythm when I do have "unconditional permission to eat." Instead, I have two days during the month which can be used for "unconditional permission to eat." I don't have a reliable day.

It's time to go back to that reliable day. That would make every Sunday plus two Exception Days per month as reliable days of "unconditional permission to eat."

Since I've been following that approach for months and have lost no weight, my conclusion is I need to look at my V Days. I eat a lot on V Days. Everything is before me before I take one bite. I need to further restrict my eating, but how?

Maybe I can focus on the ambiguous term of "small", as in "small meals". I can have small meals. What is a small meal? This morning, I had toast with peanut butter and jelly and a glass of milk. That's small. Well, not really... Maybe I can call it a satisfying meal. I want to stay away from indulgent for meals.

I'll focus on trying to define what it means to have a satisfying meal and go back to Sundays as "unconditional permission to eat."

How I hate being fat. Still, I want to figure out an approach that does not dominate my life. I don't want to feel like I'm constantly starving. This approach has potential for me.

1 PM: I've read somewhere that people who successfully lose weight tend to have a trigger weight. If they gain to that trigger weight, then they change their eating habits until their weight goes back down. That idea appeals to me because I really don't like this daily weigh in approach. I feel on edge. Maybe what I can do is set my trigger weight at my monthly goal, which is 195 for May and one pound less for each successive month. If I go above 195 in May or 196 this month, then I need to make a conscious effort to eat less (while still following the rules of my diet) until I am five pounds below that trigger weight. If I were to follow this approach starting today, then I need to lose weight down to 191. I'll still have Sundays and Exception Days for "unconditional permission to eat", but other days will be marked (maybe even marred) by the decision to eat less than I would like. Today's weight was a shock. It should not have been, but it was. I need to control portion size in order to lose weight, but I don't need to have constant portion control. That's what I've learned.

9 PM: An Internet search of Catholic fasting traditions yields the tidbit that Wednesdays and Fridays were fast days. Sundays were feast days. I have certainly taken to having Sundays as feast days. Now the question is: should I try fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays? If so, how? I may -- just may -- try some sort of calorie counting approach, perhaps 1,000 calories per day for those two days. I am somewhat on edge about the idea of changing my diet if I hit a trigger weight. I think that would be very unsettling for me and ultimately unsuccessful because I could not settle into a habit. I'd rather look at somehow drastically cutting calories on two days. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that the Catholic tradition of fasting may have evolved out of a wisdom regarding the nature of man. If there is a fast day on Wednesday, would you be able to significantly overeat on Thursday? If there is a fast day on Friday, would you be able to significantly overeat on Saturday? The spacing of these fast days and feast days could be very significant. If some holiday falls on Wednesday or Friday, of course, I wouldn't fast. I don't even like the term "fast" because it sounds way too harsh. This is all an experiment. Someday I'm going to figure this out because I'm just not going to give up until I do.

Day 598 – Wednesday, April 28, 2010: 196.2. Last night, I was skimming through a book I bought years ago which is called Fasting by Father Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M. It was published in 1988, and it has lots of references to the Marian messages at Medugorje. My mother in law's parents are from Croatia, and my mother in law went back to see where her parents grew up and also went to Medugorje 20 years ago. I'm not one to be influenced by recent Marian messages, but I somehow managed to hang on to this book through all these years. I found this little passage from pages 28 - 29: "Everything is relative in life. That means, things are not as important as we think sometimes. We live in a situation of believing that material things are very important. We forget the dimension of being pilgrims in this world. There are many people who would be happy if they had a roof over their heads and just a little bit of bread every day. And how much happier would they be if they had as much as we have. And yet, we often are unhappy and not content, although we have so much. The reason for this discontent lies in the fact that we don't see the essential anymore. We have become blind to the essential. Therefore, we are convinced that we need to have many things. With fasting, we find it easier to see the essential things in life. Therefore, fasting is so important In making us interiorly free, fasting makes it easier for us to move towards God and towards people."

I'm trying to separate out religious motivations to fast from the practical motivation to lose weight, and I see a lot of justification in this writing for the practical importance of fasting as a way to lose weight. By fasting, I learn just how much I need to eat. I'm going to try having 1,000 calories per day on Wednesdays and Fridays. It would be very gratifying if I managed to get down to 195 or below by Saturday, which is the first of May and also our wedding anniversary.

1:30 PM: I may want to fast from the computer, radio, and iPod on Fast Days as well. It's been a transition year for me. My life was spinning out of control last year, and now it's under control but it's also time for me to return to work. I've spent a lot of time writing down my thoughts on dieting, and it has helped me to sort out what to try.

7 PM: It's not practical to count 1,000 calories per day and blend in with the eating of others. I am changing the Fast Days to being simply ones in which I eat a minimal amount.

10 PM: I made it through the day, but I tend to get grumpy when I'm hungry, and I'm grumpy. How can a kid lose her shoes? We've searched the van and the house. We've looked under beds, in closets, under couches... to no avail. It's this sort of minor irritation that normally wouldn't phase me, but it does when I'm hungry. I'm glad I can eat as much as I want tomorrow.

Day 599 – Thursday, April 29, 2010: 194.6 (A new low!) The last time I weighed less than this was on December 17, 2006, when I weighed 194.4.

Day 600 – Friday, April 30, 2010: 195.2 I'm now getting books in from the library on gluttony and Aquinas, and I have no desire to read them. If this very simple and easy change of two Fast Days per week allows me to continue losing weight, I'm fine with it. It occurred to me last night that there is a tradition of fat religious who are regarded as not exactly holy. The most famous is from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I realized that the religious were the ones who had adequate food, and they would get overweight if they did not follow the proscribed fasts, or if they took liberty with them. Today, almost everyone in America has access to more than enough food. It is the poor who tend to be obese, not the wealthy.

I know the argument is that healthy food is more expensive, but the poor tend to eat processed foods like chips which are more expensive than unprocessed foods like apples. If you compare cost per calorie, I bet the cost per calorie of foods like almonds is less expensive than the cost per calorie of foods like chips and processed cereals. Because I've not been working, we've tried to cut back on food costs, and it has helped a great deal to cut way down on processed foods.

I'm developing simple tastes, and I think that is helping me to lose weight as well. I don't want foods slathered with sauces laden with corn syrup and sugar. I'm learning to enjoy the essential, which is the objective of Fast Days. This morning, I had a plain boiled egg and a plain piece of toast for breakfast. Tomorrow, when I have toast with peanut butter and jelly, it will seem relatively extravagent. On Sunday, when I take Katie and a friend to the Mall of America to go on rides and eat at Coldstone Creamery, it will be seem like -- and be -- a big celebration. This was Katie's choice of a birthday party, and I think I'll relish it even more after today's plain fare and low consumption of food.

The scientific way to lose weight is to eat as few calories as you can stand and stave off hunger with a constant ingestion of low calorie foods like coffee. The religious way to become detached from food is to have a weekly rhythm of feasts and fasts. I think being able to indulge in a Coldstone Creamery ice cream concoction without a shred of guilt is worth having plain toast this morning. There's practical wisdom in religious teaching.

4 PM: Over the past several days, I have written up the path I took since my first big diet in senior year of high school. It was somewhat cathartic.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Sat May 01, 2010 12:10 pm; edited 94 times in total
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sophiasapientia



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 919
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I heard the doctor on an NPR radio program. As I was driving into the Y parking lot, I heard him introduced and I heard him say that what you want to do is build exercise into your every day life rather than go to a gym to exercise.


Hi Kathleen -- I just wanted to say that I enjoy checking your log. You have a lot of insight and put a lot of thought into your posts. Cool

The doctor on NPR sounds like a wise man. We don't have to kill ourselves at the gym to get enough exercise. Walking the dog counts. Playing at the park with your kids helps. Parking at the far end of the parking lot counts. It all adds up. I've found that wearing a pedometer really gives me a good idea of how much movement I'm getting in and challenges me, in a gentle, painless way, to make sure I'm enough. No gym membership required. Wink

All the very best,
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Shannon,

Thanks for the feedback! I really had a setback when Anne stepped on the scale at the pediatrician's office last week and had gained 20 pounds while growing only 1/4 ". I think I need to lose weight faster if I'm going to do any good for her (teenagers don't take advice, but the do observe behavior!).

Here's the link to the Minnesota Public Radio show that I finally heard tonight:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/01/06/midmorning2/

"One doesn't have to sweat buckets...it's available to all of us." What a charming thought. I still go to the gym three times per week because Katie and Tom are on a swim team -- but I don't have to sweat while walking fast on a walking track. Instead, I can walk outside to the playground with Ellie. I can play with her in the tumble room. She's much better with hula hoops than I am!

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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sophiasapientia



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link Kathleen! I look forward to listening to it.

As someone who has struggled with her weight and as mom, I can relate. We want the best for our kids. We want to set a good example. We don't want them to have the same issues with weight that we've had. I've been there. My highest weight -- pregnant or non-pregnant -- was 193 when my DD was just under a year. I'm just under 5'3" so I was on the edge of being morbidly obese. I remember going for a walk and having some teens yell some very nasty comments. It was painful. It took a couple of years of making better food choices and upping my movement to shed most of those pounds. But I did. One day at a time. It sounds like you have very realistic goals and I know that you can do this too. Smile I'm rooting for you! Very Happy
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, thanks, Shannon. I feel guilty about Anne's weight, but Tom and I told her that she is responsible for her choices. She did spend a lot of time on the Wii this afternoon!
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your mental struggles are a mirror image to mine Kathleen. My frustration get to almost a panic at times... I'm yet again re-evaluating it all. Keep in touch.
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reneew,
I will! It can be hard to face "This isn't working!"
Kathleen
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5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,
I posted a response to a statement you made in your journal today
on my own daily Thread. You might find reading it helpful.
We could Personal Message more about this idea if you wish.

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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi BrightAngel,

I llike the idea of thinking of myself as dedicated rather than obsessed! Today, the dog got three one-mile walks, bringing my average to two miles per day since April 8. I can do that. I also think I can go to one S Day per month from 4 per month.

Tonight was a Mom's Night Out for mothers of third graders, and there were lots of goodies there! I had my one plateful and enjoyed the company. In fact, the food was a very minor part of the evening. I just plain didn't think about it, and that's good.

Really, it's not a problem for me to delay having food so long as I am confident I can get as much as I want of whatever I want at some point in the future. The problem with most diets is you feel like you have to choose between being thin and being satisfied -- ever.

Will these two changes -- adding two miles per day of walking and reducing the number of S Days from four to one -- result in weight loss? We'll see. I'm feeling better, and I appreciate your responding to my woe-is-me lamenting about my hard lot in life.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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BrightAngel



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen wrote:

Last night, we had a family meeting. One of the topics of discussion was use of technology, and our son specfically brought up how much time I spend on this journal. Yes, he's right. I'm a hypocrite to complain about his going on the computer when I spend so much time on it. Maybe I can cut back to writing just once per week. I now have a tracking system on an index card, so I don't need to go on the computer.

Kathleen,
I've been reading your journal for quite a long time,
and thus feel that I know you rather well.
If this comment is out of line, please PM me about it,
and I will delete it from your thread.
However,
I wonder if you are really aware
of how much you allow your family to manipulate you with Guilt....
this seems especially true of your children.
I am sensitive to this issue because of my own History as a mother.

First, although of course children are encouraged to express themselves in a "family meeting",
they are one's Children, not one's Peers.
Even in a "family meeting" context, I think a child's criticism of a parent
and how a parent chooses to spend their personal time is Borderline Unacceptable.
Aside from that issue...which I personally I think is a big one....

Next, if you choose to spend your personal time
writing out your thoughts or journaling using a pen and paper
would you find it more acceptable than doing the same thing using a computer?
Personally I see writing as a way to help handle life, and to give one personal fulfillment.
I find the issue of what kind of tool one uses write,
a pen and paper, or a computer as a moot point.

Finally, an adult writing out their thoughts on a computer,
or researching an issue of interest online,
cannot in any reasonable way be compared to a child's use of a computer
to play video games, surf the web, or e-mail their friends.

It is not up to the child to distinguish this difference.
No matter how much love there is between parent and child,
Almost all children will do anything possible to get what they want
from those in authority.
It is up the the parent to set the Boundries for the child's activities,
which includes that parent setting their own personal Boundries,
and teaching the child that it is unacceptable to cross them.

Perhaps your child rearing philosophy is different,
but giving this some consideration MIGHT help you in your weight struggle.

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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh BrightAngel,

I do not take offense with comments that are both thoughtful and well-intentioned. Your perspective, I think, comes from that of a person who is successful at losing weight, and mine is that of a person who is still working on an approach. I do think that my parenting has something to do with my weight loss, and yet I am only just beginning to see a connection. There's something about a person who would actually try The Cabbage Soup Diet, for example, that isn't quite rational. There's an over-reliance on external authority. That's one of the reasons why I so welcome Reinhard's encouragement that people try tweaking his diet approach to suit their needs.

In the last week, I spent more than $200 replacing Mom-style size 18 jeans with mid-rise size 16 jeans and capris. I went and bought other clothing as well. I feel different as a result. I'm gaining confidence in myself.

Tweaking this diet, trying out different approachs and modifying to find what works for me, also shows confidence in myself.

As for parenting, well, our kids are being asked to do more, to take care of their own things and to help with family chores. I quit work last year in part because I was home so I could do everything -- and I did! Now that 13 year old son who brought up my use of the computer is doing his own laundry. Somehow, his shirts don't need to be ironed anymore!

Yes, baby steps for me. There is transformation that I think needs to be slow in order to be permanent.

Please do continue to post your thoughts.... I agree with you but just think there needs to be time for a transformation.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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sophiasapientia



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way to go Kathleen! It looks like your recent mods and adding in the daily walks is working really well for you. Very Happy
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh thanks, Shannon. I was asked today if I lost weight, and it was nice to say I'd lost 20 pounds!
Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!
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Kathleen



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May, 2010
Starting Number of Exception Days = 2 (Carryover)
+ 2 (This Month’s Allocation)
= 4.

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
(Month 15) Day 420 – Sunday, November 1, 2009: 201.8
(Month 16) Day 462 – Sunday, December 13, 2009: 206.0
(Month 17) Day 492 – Saturday, January 16, 2010: 199.0
(Month 18 ) Day 512 – Monday, February 1, 2010: 198.0
(Month 19) Day 540 – Monday, March 1, 2010: 196.8
(Month 20) Day 572 – Friday, April 2, 2010: 196.0 (goal:196)
(Month 21) Day 601 – Saturday, May 1, 2010: 194.4 (goal: 195.0)

The following is a list of days in the current month prior to my starting my Orderly Eating approach:
Day 601 – Saturday, May 1, 2010: 194.4
Day 602 – Sunday, May 2, 2010: 195.0
Day 603 – Monday, May 3, 2010: (scale broke)
Day 604 – Tuesday, May 4, 2010:
Day 605 – Wednesday, May 5, 2010: 194.4
Day 606 – Thursday, May 6, 2010: 194.2 (A new low!)
Day 607 – Friday, May 7, 2010: 194.4
Day 608 – Saturday, May 8, 2010: 194.0 (A new low!) Exception Day
Day 609 – Sunday, May 9, 2010:
Day 610 – Monday, May 10, 2010: Exception Day
Day 611 – Tuesday, May 11, 2010: 204.4 Exception Day
Day 612 – Wednesday, May 12, 2010: 204.8
Day 613 – Thursday, May 13, 2010: 202.0
Day 614 – Friday, May 14, 2010:
Day 615 – Saturday, May 15, 2010:
Day 616 – Sunday, May 16, 2010:
Day 617 – Monday, May 17, 2010:
Day 618 – Tuesday, May 18, 2010:
Day 619 – Wednesday, May 19, 2010:
Day 620 – Thursday, May 20, 2010:
Day 621 – Friday, May 21, 2010:
Day 622 – Saturday, May 22, 2010: Exception Day
Day 623 – Sunday, May 23, 2010:
Day 624 – Monday, May 24, 2010:
Day 625 – Tuesday, May 25, 2010:
Day 626 – Wednesday, May 26, 2010:
Day 627 – Thursday, May 27, 2010:
Day 628 – Friday, May 28, 2010: 199.6
Day 629 – Saturday, May 29, 2010: 196.8
Day 630 – Sunday, May 30, 2010:
Day 631 – Monday, May 31, 2010:

Day 601 – Saturday, May 1, 2010: 194.4. This was my first week of Fast Days, and it was an adjustment. I did not do much at all since Wednesday. It's good timing for me to be making this adjustment because the kids are in school, and I'm not working. Starting in September, I want to be working, and I won't have time to be focusing on my weight.

I believe that there is a spiritual aspect to fasting, but I don't grasp it right now. It seems to develop a spirit of gratitude. Yesterday, I had plain toast for breakfast. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be indulging in a treat at Coldstone Creamery. The contrast magnifies the pleasure. I think it also has a calming effect, and perhaps the source of that calming effect is the realization that you can manage without a lot of food. It's really too early for me to tell, but I think fasting is going to help me lose weight and will create what I've read is a spirit of detachment. For someone who has been obsessed with food and dieting formore than 30 years, a spirit of detachment is a positive outcome. Still, I'm looking forward to that Coldstone Creamery ice cream...

Day 602 – Sunday, May 2, 2010: 195.0. Today, in our paper, I read about a 16 week weight-loss program that is being held at the Y and is being sponsored by large health insurance companies like UnitedHealth Group for those with prediabetes. It makes me shudder to read about a program like that. The participant who was featured in the article was Suzanne Rosenberger, a woman who started the program at 169 pounds, lost 18 pounds (or 10% of her body weight) and has since regained 6 pounds.

The Star Tribune article describes the 16 week program this way: "At the Y classes, participants weighed in weekly and kept a food journal, tallying fat and calories each day. Rosenberger started noticing not just what she ate but how. When she cooked meals, for example, her habit was to put the pan on the table so she didn't have to get up for seconds, making it easier to overeat."

Doesn't that sound like a wonderful way to live for the rest of your life -- to keep a food journal and tally fat and calories each day? I wonder what the creaters of the program would think of this program in which you can eat whatever you want and as much as you want every Sundays. Here I am, down almost 10% of my body weight (I have another 1.5 pounds to go as of this morning), and what did I have for breakfast? Several mini snappers and muesli. The min snappers are milk chocolate and caramel concotions. With this diet, I get to break every rule of every other diet! All I have to do is wait until Sunday. I don't want to eat more this morning because I'm taking Katie to the Mall of America with a friend to celebrate her birthday. They'll spend most of their time on the rides at the park, but they'll also go to Coldstone Creamery, where I'll be enjoying a treat as well! What's not to like about a diet like this? Why couldn't I stay on it for the rest of my life? Do I feel deprived? Absolutely not! Here I am, still obese and looking forward to enjoying a Coldstone Creamery ice cream treat without any guilt whatsoever!

6:45 PM: Fasting, or eating a minimal amount of food, could have a profound impact on all my eating. If I detour into trying to understand spiritual impact, I'm going to miss impact on eating. For the remainder of this month, all I'm going to do is ocncentrate on this question: "How has my eating changed, perhaps in response to having two Fast Days?":

1. 5/2/10: Today was a day of "unconditional permission to eat", but I didn't want a meal at Rainforest Cafe because we were going to be going to Coldstone Creamery. I wanted to "save room for dessert". What a quaint throwback to my childhood are those words which I have certainly not used since childhood. What happened? Why do I need to "save room"? Have the Fast Days decreased the amount I'm able to eat in one day? I think so.

2. 5/3/10 - Even though I've already had two Fast Days, I am now gripped by fear with the thought of having more. Why? I think this fear may have to do with the cultural assumption that it is very important to eat when you are hungry and that it is some sort of terrible tragedy if you are not able to do so. Even a delayed meal is seen sometimes as a cause for pain and then binge eating. I think the cause may more be a lack of knowledge of what it means to go hungry for a period of time. At the library's used book sale, I picked up a book by Dr. Andrew Weil called Spontaneous Healing and on page 138 he writes: "At different times in my life I have experimented with fasting one day a week, usually on Mondays. When I fast, I consume nothing but water or herb tea, sometimes with lemon in it, and I find this to be a useful physical and psychological discipline. It feels healthy... Not only do these practices give your digestive system a rest, they decrease total caloric intake and, again, may provide benefits of undernutrition without forcing you to give up the pleasures of eating. There are many secondary benefits as well, such as greatly increased appreciation of food following a fast and greater ability to eat consciously rather than unconsciously."

3. 5/4/10: Last night, I had a stomach ache. I had a greater than normal appetite and followed the rules to eat more than usual. Still, I was surprised by the stomach ache. It is yet another indication that fasting limits how much I can eat. The more I try to analyze it, the more fasting is the antidote to dieting. With dieting, you limit food but are always aiming to eat right up to the allowed amount (e.g., 1,497 when your limit is 1,500). I can literally remember counting out Tic Tacs when I diet. With fasting, the goal is to minimize eating.

The heart of this diet, I now believe, is fasting. It can only be experienced. It seems so anti-scientific, since scienctific recommendations are to make caloric consumption as evenly distributed across the day as possible. I am just stunned. It was my belief that I could figure out a diet from study of the science of weight loss. In April, 2008, I read Kelly Brownell's book Food Fight, which had as its central theme that the obesity epidemic is due to a change in environment. I remember thinking that perhaps the change was a change in philosophy, and so I then started reading Shakespeare and Aristotle to gleen wisdom about eating and food. Now I look at Catholic tradition, and here -- unexpectedly of all places -- I find what I think now is the answer. Time will tell. I think my search is over.

My husband now tells me that, yes, I have lost weight, but I cannot presume that others can lose weight in this way as well. I don't presume. My weight problem has negatively impacted my life so much that whatever help this journal may provide to others is all I want. At minimum, it shows that the overweight are not lazy or lacking in willpower. It shows that a person can be very committed and work very hard and still be fat. I think that the problem with obesity is, in most cases, not so much a lack of willpower as a willingness to diet, and diets do not work.

With dieting, you are never satisfied: you are always trying to eat just below a proscribed amount or just a little less than you'd really like. With periodic fasting and feasting, you eat less than you would like on Fast Days, and you eat as much as you please on Feast Days. We'll see. I used to think there needed to be a religious motive for fasting, and now I think it's a practical way to balance out and moderate the Feast Days. We'll see. I think it is actually possible that I'm done with the tweaking. If I dont' maintain a weight loss of at least a pound a month, then I'll tweak some more. In the meantime, this is my plan.

Day 605 – Wednesday, May 5, 2010: 194.4 . My scale records weights in a two-pound range, and I decided to record the lowest of three weights. Meanwhile, I am trying to understand why fasting helps with weight loss. Last night, I listened to a podcast from Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, which I got off iTunes. Kelly Brownell, the director of the center, interviewed Dr. Ruduolf L. Leibel on the exciting topic of dieting and why it is so hard to keep off weight that you have lost. What the doctor said is that there have been experiments in which those who have lost weight and are maintaining a lower weight are compared physically to those who are at the same weight but have never lost weight. There is actually a physical difference. There is an increased "drive to eat" for those who have lost between 5 and 10% of their body weight. Those who lose even more weight do not experience an increased drive beyond what is already increased when a person loses 10% loss of starting body weight. The thought is that this drive to return to a prior weight has to do with a physical response to avoid starvation. In my non-scientific mind, this study makes a case for a cycle of feasting and fasting. The person who fasts weekly is training his body to not be concerned about a reduced caloric intake since it is temporary.

In his discussion about those who have lost perhaps 10% of their weight and kept it off, Dr. Leibel says that they almost universally say, "I do it by conscious restriction of energy intake and very, very conscious efforts to increase my physical activity." I have to chuckle about that because my conscious effort to increase exercise consists of taking an 8 pound dog for 2 walks of 1 mile each every day. This diet is very, very easy. I don't care if it's slow. I care that it's easy!

I'm now .9 pounds above a 10% weight loss. I am not experiencing an increased drive to eat. What I am experiencing is the desire to lose that extra .9 pounds so we can celebrate as a family at Red Lobster. I may even make it to 193.5 this week! Today is a Fast Day, so I could make it by tomorrow. Wouldn't that be sweet?

Day 606 – Thursday, May 6, 2010: 194.2 (A new low!) I went through my journal from prior to finding this diet, and I just felt horrible reading through the entries of my dieting and bingeing. I had forgotten just how terrible it was -- to eat enormous amounts of food in a short period of time and not even know why. How did I persist in recording all this? It was for love of our daughter, our oldest child. I had to figure it out. She must make decisions about her own life, of course, but I thought there had to be a better way. I though diet failure was mostly about lack of knowledge rather than lack of willpower, and I wanted to figure out what to do so dieting could be easy. I'm done. I've figured it out. A chapter in my life has come to an end, and thank God for that.

It always seemed like an accident that I became fat, that it wasn't an intrinsic part of my personality to be fat. Now I realize why. Now I see that I was right that the defining characteristic of a fat person is gullibility. I close the book on believing the scientific approach to weight loss. It shows little or no knowledge of the human spirit -- the need to enjoy and the need to be fully satisfied. The scientific approach to weight loss has made us both obese and miserable. Now I'm free of all that. And I don't want to look back. I don't want to look back on the tangle of lies that consumed me for more than 30 years. It's enough to be free of them. I shudder to think what my life might have been like had I not started dieting, but I am grateful for the knowledge that I can pass on to our children.

Day 607 – Friday, May 7, 2010: 194.4 I'm going to make yet another attempt to just update this journal once per month. I want to change the focus of my attention from dieting to our family, and updating this journal interferes with this objective. Besides, I think this time I'm really done with tweaking. I think I'm set about what I'm going to be doing long-term. It's been easy this week to cut back on Wednesdays and Fridays. There's really been very little adjustment. I just have dinner with my family as usual. Where I cut back is for breakfast and lunch. Today for breakfast I had a slice of bread. For lunch, I had lentil soup and a slice of bread. It was easy, and that's what I want.

8 PM: My little Katie was upset tonight about something going on at school, and she got upset about my being on the computer rather than talking with her. I am feeling guilty about being on the computer so much. That's why I want to be off except for a monthly update. It's time. This diet can just be part of the fabric of my life, with a daily habit of tracking Exception Days and weight in a paper planner and a first-of-month task -- along with getting Pepper's toenails clipped -- of updating the journal. It sounds so refreshingly simple, and it is. It's the life I want, and now is the time to start living the life I want. I need to leave behind all the anguish that it took me to get to this point. I almost think of my years of failed dieting as leaving a type of PTSD. I keep on reliving the frustration of being trapped in a diet mentality and fat and not knowing what to do. Now I can set that all aside, and live free of all that drama! I'm done. I'm really done. It's hard to believe, but it's true.

Day 608 – Saturday, May 8, 2010: 194.0 (A new low!). I'll update each new low, since it's so enjoyable to do so! I last weighed this amount or less on 11/8/06, when I weighed 193.8.

Day 611 – Tuesday, May 11, 2010: 204.4. The EatSmart scale came in yesterday, and I was in shock about how much I weighed. "The truth shall set you free" said Christ in the Bible, and I'm not feeling free so much as I am disgusted. My old scale had a frustrating range of 2 pounds, and I had gone down to size 16 pants. Something just didn't seem right, however, and so I bought a new scale. My self-image is no longer of someone over 200 pounds. I'm not sure when my scale started to be inaccurate, so I don't know when my prior weights diverged from reality.

What to do now? Well, I'm keeping a copy of my writing from last week, since it reveals a certain arrogance. I thought I had this problem solved, and I was wrong. Where to go from here? I think that what I was calling Fast Days are what should be Normal Days. They were incredibly easy to follow. The diet below really should be called The Glutton's Diet because of the exciting view that you can be thin and pig out at every meal. A more -- shall I say it? -- common sensical view is that you eat what you need rather than as much as you can stuff into yourself.

I'd be devastated if I didn't see a lot of humor in this. My enemy in losing weight is self-deception, and an accurate scale is a great defense.

Below is what I thought, until yesterday afternoon, was the answer:


"I call my diet The S Day Diet. It is a simple diet which is easy for me to follow and which I think I can follow for life. I keep changing the habits to find a combination which can be followed for life and which results in an average weight loss of one pound per month. I am open to changing the diet if I do not continue to lose at least one pound per month.

In my diet, there are different eating habits for different days. All the days of the month are categorized into one of four types:

- Exception Days: There are two days per month when I have “unconditional permission to eat”. These days are selected by me for whatever reason I want, and they accumulate to the next month if not used.

- S Days: These are the Sundays of the month. As with Exception Days, S Days are days of “unconditional permission to eat”. I look forward to these S Days when I am restricting my eating on other days. The focus in my diet is not on deprivation. Instead, it’s on the freedom of S Day eating.

- Essential Days: These are every Wednesday and Friday, the traditional Fast Days of the Catholic Church. I chose these days as Essential Days because I think there may be some wisdom regarding human nature in the religious tradition of a weekly Feast Day (Sunday) followed by weekly Fast Days three and five days later. On Essential Days, I deliberately eat a minimal amount but not so little as to be noticeable to others. I also have no snacks or sweets. I took the idea for Essential Days from the book Fasting by Father Slavko Barbaric. On pages 28 – 29 of this book, the author writes: “We often are unhappy and not content, although we have so much. The reason for this discontent lies in the fact that we don’t see the essential anymore. We have become blind to the essential. Therefore, we are convinced that we need to have many things. With fasting, we find it easier to see the essential things in life.” I call these days Essential Days because I'm counting on them to balance out the caloric excess of S Days and even moderate S Day eating. Also, I like the quote above about how fasting helps us to "see the essential."

- N Days: These are all other days of the month. On these days, I do not snack and do not have sweets. There is no portion control. I can eat as much as I want at a meal, but everything has to be at my place before I take one bite.

In addition to following these food rules, I walk an average of two miles per day. I got this idea from the book Move a Little, Lose a Lot by Dr. James Levine. I track how many miles I walk. While Dr. Levine recommends far more exercise than two miles per day, I find that having this amount of walking as a base amount of exercise has energized me, and I am more active as a result. (Our 8 pound Yorkie Poo really likes the dramatic increase in the number of walks she gets!)

I follow this lifestyle with “perfect compliance” which is a term taken from a book that I cannot locate. What this means is that I take an Exception Day even if all I eat is one Tic Tac (a sweet) on an N day.

To me, it is extremely important to follow this diet with “perfect compliance”. I would liken the importance of this for dieting to the importance of being faithful in marriage. There is just no middle ground. I took an idea from The Teaching Company course on Aristotle’s Ethics taught by Father Joseph Koterski of Fordham University. He distinguished between habits that require thought and ones that don’t. Habits that don’t are those that are followed automatically and absolutely consistently. For example, I have a habit of brushing my teeth every morning and evening. I do not ask myself each morning whether or not I should brush my teeth. Instead, I just do it automatically because I brush my teeth every morning and evening. What I wanted for weight management was a diet that doesn’t require a lot of thought, and I think the way to do this is to follow the diet with “perfect compliance”.

I believe this diet works because I have learned to tolerate hunger. I can tolerate hunger because I can look forward to a time in the near future when I can be fully satisfied. There is a term I’ve heard called “contrast effect”, and what it means is that you enjoy what is limited. Here in Minnesota, we have a lot of “contrast effect” with the weather. Our family goes camping several times from Memorial Day through mid-October because it gets too cold to camp after that. We take advantage of opportunities to skate and ski in the winter because the snow is usually all gone by late March. The contrast of the seasons makes each of the seasons more enjoyable.

With this diet, I enjoy my S Days more because of the contrast with Essential Days. I know I will be fully satisfied on the next S Day, and I can tolerate the hunger of an Essential Day because of it. In fact, it may be that I will learn to enjoy the simplicity of the Essential Days.

This diet does require patience. “Patience is a virtue.” The weight loss may be slow, but it is permanent, and the diet is simple and easy. It brings order to my life so that I can focus on our family and not on food."

1 PM: Do I need to torture myself with this stupidity -- that I relied on a scale that didn't work? No. My eating went out of control like the bad old days before The No S Diet. It's time to stop. The only change I'm making is to turn those two day per week Fast Days into six day per week Normal Days. I was eating to maximum at every meal, and maybe I needed that to recover from years of dieting. No more. I don't need that anymore. I'm over starvation dieting. I'm not returning to that.

4 PM: Since my goal for June is 194 or less, I'm going to do my best to get down in weight by June 1. I'll still allow "unconditional permission to eat" on Sundays, but I'll pass on birthday cakes for two children. It's interesting how little impact reduced eating has on socializing with others. People just don't care what you eat!

I also think I need to stay away from journaling until my weight is down. Too much analysis is depressing me. How could I have been so stupid as to not see that I hadn't lost that much weight? I just relied on the scale, and I was happy with what it said. The glitch calls for a lot of determination and the make a big push for the next several weeks until this scale says I'm down to my goal weight. What a pain. What an incredible pain!

8 PM: I'm reliving the bad old days of binge eating, and it's horrible. It's time to stop NOW!!! I'm off the jouirnal. I'm off the scale. I'm just going to focus on minimal eating Monday through Saturday, and I'll be back June 7. How embarassing that I thought I had it all figured out.

9 PM: One thing I've learned from the past day is the power of a self-image. I thought I was on the right track, and I thought I was below 200 pounds. Instead of aiming for a self-image of 195 pounds, why don't I aim for a self-image of a thin and active person?

Day 612 – Wednesday, May 12, 2010: 204.8. OK, I've recovered from the shock. It's surprising I couldn't tell that something was wrong, but I couldn't. I was relying on the scale, and now I'm relying on a new scale. As for changes in what I'm doing, I think I'm on the right path with Monday through Saturday being days of minimal eating. I'm not sure how yet to manage this, but I do not want any sort of limitation in terms of calories, plate size, etc. That limitation creates a desire to maximize what is allowed, and I'm not going back to that again. Period. Today would have been my third week of two Fast (or Essential) Days, and I found them easy to do. It may be hard to do six in a row, but it was easy to do Wednesday and Friday. I've picked myself up, dusted myself off, and decided to continue on.

8:30 PM: It occurred to me that using a goal of minimal eating was so non-specific as to opena large loophole in my diet, but I don't think I can be specific without having the problem of trying to maximize amount allowed. What to do? I think I do need to rely on the scale, but it has to be accurate! At this point, I'm almost 10 pounds above where I thought I was and what my goal is for the month. I can make my goal weight of 193 by July 1 if I just focus on the minimal eating during the week. This is a bump in the road -- that's all. I know I'm on the right path, and I was reminded of that fact by my reversion to binge eating last night. No thank you. No thank you at all. This restriciton of food based on when to eat is really helping me to bring order into my life. Now I need to bring order into our home!

Day 613 – Thursday, May 13, 2010: 202.0. I am finding self-image to be a powerful thing. I just do not accept a weight at 202. Period. I am ashamed to be out in public and totally reject staying at this weight. My appetite is gone. I appear to have learned to rely on the scale to tell me my level of hunger, and that's OK. With a one pound per month weight loss goal, I can have an easy time of losing weight. It will happen gradually and without much notice from others or without any drama. I think I'm on the right path, and I also think I need some sort of a check on my scale. Perhaps I'll also take measurements once per month so that I have an objective check against the weight on the scale.

Day 615 – Saturday, May 15, 2010: On Thursday, I had a doctor's appointment, and I weighed under 200 pounds. This means that it is the EatStmart scale that is incorrect, not the Seca! Today I ordered Amazon rewards coupons, and I'll use them to buy a Tanita scale. If I'm going to adjust my eating based on the weight indicated on the scale, then I need a very accurate scale.

Day 616 – Sunday, May 16, 2010: I'm certainly experiencing the downside of monitoring my success by the scale. I got the EatSmart scale to work one more time, and it read 204.4. The Seca had ranges from 192.4 to 196.0. I'm going to get a Tanita and just follow the diet as best I can until then, hoping I don't gain weight if I cannot weight myself.

4 PM: I am changing my diet once again. I don't want my life to be tied to a number on a scale. What I can do is just plan on minimal eating Monday through Saturday.

Day 617 – Monday, May 17, 2010: I pulled out and skimmed through The No S Diet, which I had not reread since September, 2008. The main message is moderation, and I think I missed it. My recent diet history had created such disordered eating habits that all I could manage was pigging out at intervals instead of constantly. That was a first step. Now I'm ready for moderation. I also appreciated reading about bowing to the scale. With two scales, neither of which is reliable, I realized the difficulty in relying on a scale. I think I'll just plan to weigh myself once per month and update my weight then. My focus will be on moderate to minimal eating from Monday through Saturday and "unconditional permission to eat" on Sundays.

Day 618 – Tuesday, May 18, 2010: In just the last two weeks, I have experienced what my kids would call "epic fail" with two very different approaches to dieting. I decided to rely on the scale and just lose one pound per month. My weight on the scale started fluctuating more, and I got another scale which showed my weight 10 pounds higher. Both scales are now in the garbage, and I'm ordering a third. I'll still weigh myself, but I won't use the scale as measure of my success.

My second failure was to decide on eating a minimal amount from Monday through Saturday instead of eating a minimal amount only on Wednesday and Friday. Yesterday, I started that approach. I ate a minimal amount for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After dinner, I ate for about an hour. It was the classic binge reaction to dieting.

Yes, it's slow to only have portion control on two days per week. Yes, I may not lose any more weight. At this point, my sanity is more important. I'm sticking with the Orderly Eating approach because I want my life back. It was easy to eat a minimal amount on Wednesdays and Fridays, so I thought I could just extend that concept to all days other than Sundays and lose weight faster.

I should have known. The enemy of building habits is the desire to lose weight faster. I've selected the habits that I can follow for life, and now I'm following them for life.

Day 619 – Wednesday, May 19, 2010: Today is my first Fast Day since yesterday's commitment to this program. I had green tea and a slice of bread for breakfast. I had to get a daughter to an AP exam and then go home and bring the two younger daughters to school, since they missed the bus because I was gone. As I was dropping the girls off at school, I saw an incredibly normal sight -- two Moms chatting with each other. Both of them are thin, and I noticed their dress and how they held themselves. I had a feeling of wisfulness, a sense of how much I have lost by being obese. I don't dress that way -- instead, I'm in jeans and a T-shirt. I don't carry myself that way -- I can't because there's too much bulk. Despite the sadness, I saw myself dressing and acting that way in a year or two. I've been in a type of fog, not really realizing the impact of my weight on my life, and I think the fog is lifting.

9:30 AM: Despite it being a beautiful morning, my mood did not lift after taking the dog for a walk. I feel depressed. I am looking back at what my weight has done to my life, and it saddens me terribly. I think that what fasting teaches is what the Catholic faith calls detachment. With the diet as I have been following it, I learned to more or less ignore hunger signals between meals because I knew I could eat to satiety at the next meal. It was great to realize that a meal could be late and I wouldn't be in a panic. Now I am learning even more detachment by fasting on two days per week.

I think I need to shut off the analysis. I've made my decision and am going forward with an approach that I think will create a sense of calm in my life after years and years and years of panic over food. I shudder to look back, but you can't change the past. It's time to look forward to how differently I can now live and how much calmer I can now be. This is the gift I hope my children will receive -- to know how to live calmly in a society which whips up panic over hunger.

1:30 PM: Now I have an inkling of why Fast Days help. I was going to have a turkey roll and an apricot for lunch, and I debated about whether to have one or two turkey rolls. Since it was a Fast Day, I took only one. The Fast Days will probably have an impact on my eating on other days. In fact, that is what I'm most interested in observing: how do the Fast Days impact eating on other days? I still think there is something appropriate about having non-contingent Fast Days. I have Thursday between Wednesday and Friday, and I suspect that I won't eat quite as much as I would otherwise tomorrow because I fasted today. The same will be true of Saturday. The trick here is to try to schedule social events away from Wednesday and Friday, and I think it could be difficult. That's OK. I'll figure it out.

I also noticed today that I just feel grossly huge. It's as if I suddenly was packed with extra weight.

9 PM: There's a book I once read called Thin Within, and I think I might get it from the library to reread. The reason why is that I quite suddenly feel thin within even though I am still obese. It's quite bizarre. Why would this be? Is it because of my commitment to fasting two days per week? I don't know, but I do know that I managed just fine having very little today.

Day 620 – Thursday, May 20, 2010: I think these Fast Days will play a critical role in my being able to lose weight and maintain a lower weight. What I'm learning is how little I need to eat in order to function well. Knowing I can eat as much as I want the next day helps me to get through the day. Usually, I eat breakfast after the kids leave for school at 7:30. This morning, I was up and had breakfast at 6:30 because I was hungry. It's good to experience genuine hunger. It provides definition for how much I actually need to eat. With my inability to follow even the mild "portion control" rule of one plateful at meals, the Fast Day is a way for me to moderate my eating. I don't need to be belly gazing to rate my hunger. I don't need to be controlling portion size in any way for five days of the week. That is a real joy. I can mange just fine through two non-consecutive days of portion control. Now I'll have to wait and see if I lose weight and how much I lose. At least this is a sane way to live. I don't have to be on the edge of bingeing all the time.

1:30 PM: I am somewhat spooked by the Let's Move program that Michelle Obama is spearheading. The reason why I am spooked is that it almost seems that it will produce the opposite effect from the intended effect of eliminating childhood obesity. Instead, I think it could make the problem much worse. There are many reasons why, but I'm just going to write about one right now. There is a concern with children who are "food insecure." What this means is the children do not have ready access to food.

Wikipedia quotes the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): "Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."

The "Let's Move" program is promoting several initiatives, including providing food security especially to children. The idea is that children eat when food is available because food might not be available tomorrow. That makes sense to me. Sadly, what it reminds me of is "last supper eating" (a term from Intuitive Eating) prior to going on a diet. Snacking is promoted so people don't get famished between meals. Famished? Really?

I have a different perspective from fasting just the few times I have tried it. My perspective is that I can manage even with a few hours of hunger. The security is not in the food availability. The security is in knowing that I don't need to eat right now in order to function.

Day 621 – Friday, May 21, 2010: If I were to abbreviate and personalize the definition of food security, it means access to food at all times. This definition just makes me shudder. It reminds me of my Intuitive Eating approach in which I was to eat as soon as I felt hunger. That led to my carrying food around with me. I didn't feel as though I could go five minutes without eating after experiencing what I could convince myself was hunger.

The nice thing about keeping a journal is that I can go back and read what I wrote and have a better understanding of what I was experiencing. Here is a journal entry from March 19, 2008, when I was starting to give up on the Intuitive Eating approach and weighed about 210:

"I think that I have an inability to stray from a very narrow range of hunger for eating. I think I need to keep myself from starting to eat unless I have reached a level “2” almost no matter what the circumstances. If I reach a level “2” before a meal, I can have a snack and then have the meal later without reaching a level “2” of hunger; however, I want to reach that level “2” consistently. I’m asleep before breakfast, so I cannot monitor my hunger levels prior to that meal, but I can monitor it prior to lunch or dinner. Having the goal of mild hunger means that I can last past the exact moment of experiencing mild hunger if I’m not in the position to eat immediately. I don’t have to panic if my hunger level becomes moderate."

The journal entry shows the problems of eating only when hungry. I had twisted myself into a knot trying to figure out how to gauge hunger and match it to mealtime. What does this journal entry have to do with Michelle Obama's program? I think that the program is creating a fear of hunger which is a false fear. The people who are hungry in America are, for the most part, obese. Hunger is not the problem. Food insecurity is the problem. Fear of hunger is the problem. I was skimming through a book on FDR last night, and so what has come to mind is FDR's famous line, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Just as FDR's back to work program prolonged the Depression, so the focus on food insecurity can create the absurd situation of providing even more food to the obese who really do feel like they are starving. I certainly felt like I was starving.

Today is a Fast Day, and I realize that the fear of hunger is the real food insecurity for this country, and the evidence of that fact is right before our eyes: those who are hungry and food insecure are obese. They don't have ribs sticking out and distended stomachs like those who are truly starving in some underdeveloped countries.

10 AM: In a nutshell, I finally get the importance of Fast Days. On other days, with no "portion control", I err on the side of having too much rather than too little when deciding what to eat at a meal. On Fast Days, I err on the side of eating too little rather than too much, recognizing that I can eat as much as I want tomorrow. I can last until tomorrow.

11 AM: I got the Amazon coupons for using the Amazon credit card, and I immediately ordered the Tanita scale. I really don't know how much I weigh, since I don't know how long my old scale was broken. I think I'm going to stick with this approach at least until August to see the impact of the two Fast Days per week, combined with no portion control on other days, has on my weight. What I weigh when I first step on the scale is the starting point for this revised (and -- I hope -- final!) approach to weight management.

Day 622 – Saturday, May 22, 2010: After a Fast Day, I am observing that I tend to eat a larger than normal breakfast, and I eat it earlier in the morning if I can. For lunch today, I didn't want much. It could have been more of a Fast Day sized lunch -- some hot cereal and a pear. Breakfast, however, was a cereal bar, a banana, and two pancakes with syrup and butter. I was at an overnight campout with my 9 year old, and I had no difficulty at all passing on the snacks. As I am typing now, I realized that I almost didn't notice the eating. It's become foreign to me to eat outside of mealtime.

7 PM: I pigged out. I think that the experience of Fasting was too much for me, but this -- I presume -- will change over time. Having a deep stomach growl is not something I'm used to experiencing.

9 PM: I changed how I plan to fast, and so I changed the date of my final plan from May 18 to May 22. With my original plan, I tried to practice "portion control", and the problem with this approach is it is so non-specific. With the new approach, I have dinner only. This is very specific.

Day 623 – Sunday, May 23, 2010: I awoke with a stomach ache from my binge last night. What did I learn? Once again, I learned that I can't seem to tolerate "portion control." I tried to cut back on Wednedays and Fridays, which seems like a mild form of fasting. It didn't work. It triggered the dreaded "diet backlash" so convincingly described in the book Intuitive Eating. With fasting defined as no food until dinner, I think I could manage better. I can eat as much as I want at that dinner. I am training my body to tolerate hunger by allowing it to eat as much as it wants when I do eat. "Portion control" approaches, for me, trigger binge eating. I got fat because of binge eating.

Day 626 – Wednesday, May 26, 2010: It's my first Fast Day, and I'm nervous. Last Wednesday, I tried to cut back a little on coffee -- all I did was delay having all my coffee until noon. By 3 PM, I wasn't feeling well and had a diet Coke. By 6 PM, I was in bed with a migraine. It was my son's 14th birthday, and he had wanted to go to KFC. With my husband out of town, my son had to settle for take-out Chinese which was delivered to our door. Now, going into fasting for one day, I have a concern that such a big departure from my normal habits could backfire. Maybe. Maybe not. Even if my experience today is bad, could fasting be good in the long run? After all, I have tried for many years to give up coffee, and last week's miserable experience convinced me not to have coffee again. I'm drinking green tea in the morning, not coffee.

Today, I am taking it very easy. I am doing the minimum to get by. This is a strange new experience for me, and I want to give it a chance to work. The kids don't come home until 3 PM, and we have activities right through 9 PM -- a visit to a crises nursery where the 16 year old plans to volunteer, swim team for the 11 year old and 14 year old, and a soccer scrimmage for the 9 year old. Until then, however, I'm going to take it very easy.

11 AM: My stomach just made a very small noise. I'm fine. I'm also in territory I rarely enter. Because I eat as much as I want at every meal, I rarely have a stomach that is this empty. There is a kind of warmth. There is no pain at all. I have gotten to this experience when a meal has been delayed, but I have never deliberately gotten to this experience (at least since starting No S!).

11:45 AM: I lay down on the bed, and the dog bothered me becasue it was long past time for a walk. While I was walking, it occurred to me that I have a very real and very entrenched fear of hunger. Of course, one of the front page article's in today's paper is "A new push in drive to stamp out hunger." There's a cultural assumption that hunger is a terrible thing -- not starvation, just hunger.

2 PM: I didn't fail. Instead, as I was laying on my bed in the early afternoon, I realized that I am battling the habit of three meals per day that I so carefully cultivated since I started The No S Diet on 9/8/08. Too much. It's too much. I decided that I need to start with skipping breakfast on Wednesdays and Fridays. I do see the value of fasting, however. The regularity of eating three times per day every day is so expected by my body that it is enervating not to eat at every meal. I think I'm piling up theories that run against the conventional theories. Now I'm choosing to deliberately skip breakfast two days per week. I think the idea here is that I learn flexibility with regard to eating. Flexibility teaches me how much I really need in order to function. This was a good first try, and I'm proud of my courage in trying it when I thought I could risk falling back into binge behavior.

9 PM: I'm glad I stopped because tonight I was tempted to take an Exception Day. Instead, I'm going to bed early. It's enough of an adjustment to give up breakfast two mornings per week. Once I've mastered that, I'll try for giving up both breakfast and lunch two days per week.

Day 627 – Thursday, May 27, 2010: I think the key benefit of intermittent fasting may be that I am taught resiliency. I am learning that I can function without having food three times per day.

1 PM: The scale came, I stepped on it, and -- to my dismay but not to my surprise -- I weighed 202.4. I think that about clinches the argument in my mind about whether or not I need intermittent fasting. I do. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is Day 1 of a new diet.

Day 628 – Friday, May 28, 2010, 7:30 AM: I have a big problem, and the problem is that I have an uncontrollable binge if I even think about controlling my portions. Why? I think it may have to do with years and years of counting calories. My eating was out of control when I found The No S Diet. I weighed 215 pounds when I started the diet on 9/8/08, and I had a tough, tough time eliminating the habit of popping any available food into my month. It is now 20 months later, and I got a new Tanita scale which shows that I have lost just over 15 pounds.

Am I disappointed? Yes. Do I want to stay at this weight? No. Do I want to return to calorie counting and bingeing? No. I'd rather be obese.

There is a way that I am now trying which I think is more an extension of The No S Diet than a replacement for it. That way is intermittent fasting. I still have Sunday as a day of "unconditional permission to eat", and I still allow myself to eat as much as I want at meals on days other than Sundays. The difference between what I have been doing and what I now I am trying is that I am eliminating four meals: Wednesday breakfast, Wednesday lunch, Friday breakfast, and Friday lunch. In addition, I won't have caloric drinks until dinner on Wednesdays and Fridays.

With The No S Diet, I never experienced hunger. Sometimes a meal would be delayed, and I might feel a tiny little bit of discomfort, but I never really experienced hunger. With calorie counting and bingeing, I always felt like I was starving. Now, with intermittent fasting added to the framework of The No S Diet, I hope to experience hunger in a controlled manner. It is now about 7:30 AM, and I plan to have nothing but water until dinner tonight at about 6:30 PM.

12:30 PM: I'm doing fine so far with fasting. I think the reason why is that I am committed to doing it. I need to experience hunger.

3 PM: I'm doing well. My stomach hasn't even growled yet. I think of the saying "Man does not live on bread alone." Somehow, not eating means putting a priority on other things. It's strange, but I feel very calm. I am realizing I am not as dependent on food as I had thought. Sure, I can't survive without food, but I can survive 24 hours without food.

5:30 PM: Well, I made it, and it was easy. My stomach growled just before 5 PM, and I don't really feel hungry even now. I picked up the book The Alternate Day Diet from the library, and it is full of information about how intermittent restriction of food is good for you in that it teaches resiliency. Ever since my daughter fell apart because she got a D+ as a mid-quarter grade in math when she was in fifth grade, I've viewed resilency as a key trait for a person to have. I think fasting teaches resiliency.

7 PM: I feel fine. I decided to have a large dinner just in case I felt hungry later, so I had an entire bowl of popcorn plus milk plus wine plus the dinner of broccoli, breaded chicken and rice. Now I feel uncomfortably stuffed. Life goes on: the two younger girls are fighting over a state quarter, and we need to pack to go camping tomorrow. I don't know how today's fast will affect eating on the weekend, and I'll probably be too busy to notice.

10 PM: I wasn't all that hungry at dinnertime, and I ate a lot because I thought I would need that extra food. Instead, I wish I'd had just a normal dinner. This Fast Day idea could be very easy. The only problem will be navigating social situations.

Day 29 – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 6 AM: 197.0. I've been reading through two books on intermittent fasting that I picked up from the library yesterday: Ultra Fat to Ultra Fit and The Alternate Day Diet. Utra Fat to Ultra Fit is one person's story of reducing from 341 pounds, and The Alternate Day Diet has lots of scientific information on why intermittent fasting is actually good for you. What I most find interesting that I've read so far is from The Alternate Day Diet about how intermittent fasting is a stress on the body that the body learns to handle and so it is better able to deal with other stresses. As a result of intermittent fasting, there is evidence that other health problems can be mitigated, like asthma. Why I find this so interesting is that constant calorie restriction seems to be an unending stress that I have always thought could have a negative impact on the body. It turns out that it doesn't, but as one person quipped "you're life will certainly seem longer." I'm not interested in feeling like I'm starving all the time.

In the short time that I've been investigating fasting, I think what most helps me to understand it is what I've read from Internet searches of the Greek Orthodox religion. Fasting is described as a joy. Here I am, the day after my first successful 24 hour fast, and I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I'm surprised by how I feel right now. I'm not overly hungry. I didn't wake up and rush to the kitchen to have breakfast. Instead, I feel a certain calm. There's a recognition that I can manage just fine without food right now.

7:30 AM: Here's something from page 26 of Ultra Fat to Ultra Fit: "Each day I fasted, I would run out of carbohydrates by mid-afternoon...Practically, this meant I was producing lots of molecules called ketones as waste products. There are only two things the average person nees to know about ketones: they get into your breath, and they stink to high hell." I did notice bad breath yesterday and on Wednesday by mid-afternoon, and this concerns me.

Day 31 – Monday, May 31, 2010: We were camping this weekend at a state park with lots of springs of water straight from the ground and lots of wildflowers. I just love being out in state parks! I also had time to consider this idea of Fast Days. I've given my modified No S Diet a long time, and I just have not gotten to a weight that is acceptable. This approach of two 24 hour fasts per week may be enough, and it may not. I don't know. My husband's view is that you lose weight only with "vigorous physical exercise," and walking an 8 pound dog two miles per day doesn't qualify. He thought I'd lose less than a pound over the summer if I tried this. I don't know. I really don't know. I was confident that giving up snacks would enable me to lose a lot of weight, but I got stuck at 195 - 200 pounds. I decided simply to try two 24 hour fasts per week (no food between Tuesday dinner and Wednesday dinner; no food between Thursday dinner and Friday dinner). I can see what happens. My target date for evaluation is August 19, which is right before a week-long camping trip. I won't fast during that week.

The Greek Orthodox rules on fasting are very interesting to me. It is actually forbidden to fast during specific weeks of the year, as if the body needs a break from fasting. If I continue this approach, I think I'll take breaks during our August vacation, between Christmas and New Year's, and the week after Easter.
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:41 pm; edited 68 times in total
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dmarie710



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 249
Location: Temecula

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen, I find your tweaks very interesting. Could you please tell me how you approach your fast day? I do ESE right now 1 time per week on Mon., but used to do it 2 times a week. I have not been losing weight with my 1 month of restarting NoS and am thinking about adopting some of you tweaks. So, on fast days, do you just eat very small amounts, or not eat at all. With Eat Stop Eat I eat nothing until dinner. Than I just have a one plate meal.
It sounds like your really doing well, with your mods. Sounds like you've done some interesting reading on fasting and would love to hear how your doing it. There are so many different ways.
Thank You. Talk to you soon.
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Denise
restart No S on 4/1 at 132#
goal is 120-123# doing vanilla NoS with Eat Stop Eat on Monday.
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Kathleen



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 1553
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Denise,

I've made three attempts at fasting: Lent of last year, Lent of this year, and just in the last two weeks. I decided to fast twice per week for two reasons:
1. That is the tradition of the Catholic Church, and I thought there might be some wisdom in it, and
2. Andrew Weil talked about fasting once per week, and -- as a friend of mine put it -- he has a bit of a paunch.

I decided twice per week was necessary.

As for what I am doing, I decided I don't want to be in the position that I'm taking an Exception Day because I am eating so little that it is noticeable to others. Instead, I decided my goal is just to cut way back. The reason for not being specific about what I'm doing other than to follow the standard N Day rules (for me) of no snacks and no sweets is that I think having specific standards can lead to my maximizing the amount allowed (as I did when I would eat 1,497 calories on a day when I allowed myself 1,500 calories). I may try to move towards more vegetarian food.

Today, I was home alone for breakfast and lunch. I had bread for breakfast, and I had milk, bread, and about a cup of something called taboule (a new food for me that I got from Costco and is a blend of tomatoes, parsley, cracked wheat, onion and spices). Tonight, I made chili with meat, and I'll have bread and milk as well.

This is an evolving process for me. I've had so many last tweaks that I decided I'd make more tweaks only if I cannot maintain a one pound per month weight loss goal.

I will say that adjusting to fasting is far easier than it was when I started The No S Diet and stopped snacking. I think I've come a long way in learning to function without being stuffed to maximum capacity.

It is frustrating to go months without losing any more weight, but at least I don't feel like I'm starving. In fact, today I did just fine. It's almost 7 PM, and I have had about 600 calories.

Kathleen
_________________
5/21/17 start at 226 pounds.
Restarts on 5/1/18, 8/30/18, 9/4/18 and 9/9/18.
I allow myself to eat anything I want and as much of it as I want every single day between 12 PM and 7 PM. That includes fudge, peanut clusters, anything!


Last edited by Kathleen on Thu May 06, 2010 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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dmarie710



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 249
Location: Temecula

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx Kathleen. So basically, at this point you fast days looks like very low cal days. I hope you have success, Kathleen and look forward to you journal entries.
_________________
Denise
restart No S on 4/1 at 132#
goal is 120-123# doing vanilla NoS with Eat Stop Eat on Monday.
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