Hunger Pangs

Hunger-Games-logo

The chapter I was reading last night from Dr. B’s book talked about how obese people feel hungry ‘all of the time’ because actually, their bodies are starving.  Starving for good nutrition.  Since they eat junk food as the bulk of their calories, and their bodies are so burned out trying to deal with the resultant sugar/glucose/insulin overload from sugary foods AND starchy foods (that turn to sugar immediately in the body), the healthy cells aren’t getting the nutrition or attention that they need, so they send out signals of FEED ME GOOD FOOD.  The problem is, the human brain only hears “FEED ME.”

Interesting stuff!  I’m not going to go into the science behind that….gotta buy Dr. B’s book for that (or research further on your own.)  :)

What I DO want to talk about today is Hunger Pangs; the psychology of them.

Specifically, why do obese people have such a paranoia about being hungry?  About the actual ‘pangs’ of hunger?

Honestly, have you ever just sat there, rationally, and felt hunger pangs?  All it is is a grumbling, weird feeling in the stomach.  NOTHING you are going to die from if you don’t fix.  (assuming you don’t live in a poverty state somewhere.  Pretty sure if you can sit at a computer and read this, that is not the case for you.)

We get SO WORKED UP about being hungry!  Really, when you stop and think objectively about it, it’s silly!

SO MANY obese people react frantically to even the CONCEPT of being hunger, let alone the benign little hunger pangs themselves.  MUST EAT MUST EAT MUST EAT reigns.  Now, if they were grabbing some protein or fresh veggies…fine.  EAT.  But that’s not what they eat when they get hungry, is it?  Hell NO.  They pick the very worst things in the world they could eat.  More sugary or starchy foods.  That just make the whole thing worse.

On and on for dozens of pounds, year after year, decade after decade.

And we wonder why diabetes is skyrocketing.  Yes skyrocketing:

The incidence of diabetes has doubled in the past 30 years, AND nearly TRIPLED in the last 40 years!!!

25.9% of the population, over the age of 60, has diabetes.

In 1980, an estimated 153 million people were living with diabetes. In 2010 that number jumped to 347 million – a 56 percent increase!

2014 American Statistics on Diabetes:

Diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the United States

Total:29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.

Diagnosed:21.0 million people.

Undiagnosed:8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed).

Even more frightening is the growing medical/scientific proof that ALZHEIMER’S is actually a type of Diabetes.  In fact, it is now being referred to as Diabetes Type III/3.  Here’s some scientific proof:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/

Okay, if the very real threat of Alzheimer’s Disease doesn’t scare the living shit out of you…I’m not sure what will.  (Obesity is considered the slowest form of suicide.)

But anyhow, back to very basic HUNGER PANGS.

THEY WON’T kill you!  They don’t even, really, HURT.  Annoying, at best.  But we build them up into this big awful thing, that MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS, and

That is just stupid!

Feel the hunger.  Instead of turning it into the bogey man, just ROLL WITH IT.  The sooner you have a glass of water, or eat maybe 100 calories of pure protein (not sugared up), the sooner it will go away.  BUT HUNGER PANGS DON’T HURT.

HONEST TO GOD.

QUITE DEMONIZING THEM!

People can be so dumb.  ;)

Getting validation

So funny/intriguing!  I’ve read the first two chapters of Dr. B’s book (http://www.amazon.com/Refuse-Regain-Tough-Maintain-Earned/dp/1884956939/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246541427&sr=8-1), and I’m realizing that many of the ‘aha!’ moments I’ve come to, both in this weight loss, and in the past 15 months of maintenance…are learning points from Dr. B’s book.

Notably:

1.  it’s not quite as much about self control as we think.  It’s about being duped into eating by big food industries/culture.  Yes, we have to learn to break THOSE bad habits, but as long as we eat regular processed foods, the deck is stacked against us.

2.  Learning about nutrition is key.

3.  Caring about our long term health has to be more important than short term gratification.  I often talk about eating like 4 year olds; Dr. B. talks similarly about eating patterns that would be like an adolescent.  The ‘me, right now’ mindset.

4.  We have to get passionate about our health, and long term goals, to succeed.  Dr. B. talks about becoming a warrior in maintenance.

So I guess I’ve been along the right path all along!  Maybe that’s why I’m succeeding when 80-95% don’t, in maintenance.  It is really encouraging to be validated that much of what I’ve come to accept, and mindsets I push myself in, are successful traits per Dr. B.  I KNOW I’m going to get better tools from her in my continually journey to optimal health in my ‘sunset years.’  :)

But, due to her validation, let’s look at a view of the points I have been pushing here now for nearly two years:

1.  Food industry, whether as Farming Mega-conglomerations or the Restaurant Industry…spend BILLIONS to make us eat their foods.  And to make us eat their foods, they make sure they are loaded with a sugar or sugar-grains-fat combo that scientifically creates a bio-chemistry change in our brains that activates cravings.  For more.  It’s how they became HUGE COMPANIES.  By marketing ploys and bio-chemically altering foods to create a true supply/DEMAND in us.  I learned this first from Dr. Kessler’s book The End of Overeating.  Dr. B., in her book, is just reinforcing this knowledge.

It was Dr. Kessler’s book that pissed me off, and fueled my passion to say “F YOU” to those mega-corporations.  In essence, develop that ‘warrior’ attitude Dr. B. describes.  To this day, if I falter, what I go back to, to get me back in Laser Focus, is this root anger.  Anger at being so manipulated.  Anger at how billions are spent to ruin my health.  YOUR health.  The health of all of us!!

2.  Living in a Parallel Food Universe.  These companies have changed (American, at least) culture.  Holidays aren’t holidays with lots of food and / or sweet, sugary foods.   We also are taught to self-soothe with food.  Medicate with food.  So everyone around us still eats that way.  If we buck the trend, we HAVE to learn how to successfully navigate, side-by-side, with our friends and family still eating this way.  We truly do have to learn to live a parallel existence with them, but work our own nutritional knowledge and specifically ‘safe for us, healthy for us’ foods into their universe.  We can’t hole up and live like hermits because we don’t eat what they eat.  We have to learn coping mechanisms, and tools, to incorporate and be true to OUR OWN food health demands, while we sit next to people eating nothing but junk food, or enough calories for us for a week…in one meal for them.  It’s tough, but its doable.

3.  We have to not just begrudgingly admit this is for life.  We have to find ways to become passionate about this new life.  Not look at it as a chore, but as a necessity that we LIKE because we feel SO MUCH BETTER when we do!!  Get rid of the deprivation-mindset.  Rejoice in the ‘if I eat this way, I feel awesome!’ mindset, and let it be what we focus on.

It’s all about changing OUR perceptions.  Our focus.  Stop being guilty, and get mad at food industries.  Educate ourselves about true nutrition, and then use n=1 tests on ourselves to tweak within that framework, so we eat foods that our own specific body needs and responds best to.  We have to learn ways to break the bad habits of self-medicating with unhealthy foods.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  There will be slips.  But if we keep nutrition and long term goals for ourselves front and center, we learn how to do it, how to keep the laser focus on good health.  Each success builds upon the last.  We use any ‘failures’ as TRUE learning opportunities.  We strive to be a little better every single day, and tweak our road map when we falter.

SO EXCITING.

I can’t wait to read more!  I absorb this kind of stuff like a sponge!

Monday Update

I had a GREAT weekend…food wise.

The plans changed on Saturday; my mom had another episode of her IBS, and wasn’t able to make the Young Americans Christmas show, so we went without her, and then decided to go to Chili’s for dinner.  Remember, Chili’s makes that ‘lighter choice’ meal of a 6 oz. steak, with steamed broccoli.  One of my top favorite/healthy restaurant dinner choices.

I lost .8 between Saturday and Sunday.  :)

Yesterday was going fine…had our normal Sunday champagne breakfast.  About 3 pm, my hubby fried homemade potato chips for him, and then made a fresh dip with sour cream, and a new to us Penzey’s spice that was just for dips.  It tasted great.  I had 2 stalks of celery with it.  Within 2 hours, I was running to the bathroom.  It must be some obscure seasoning in the dip mix.  Or maybe the ‘new’ sour cream wasn’t good…I don’t know.  I did have our crock potted pot beef roast and veggies for dinner, but my gut rumbled all night.  Still rumbling this morning.  Not ‘sore’, but not normal.  I should’ve stayed off the scale, because this kind of gut issue always had a ‘holding fluid/inflammation’ affect on my weight, but I’m deep into a weigh-every-day mindset, so I braved the scale.

Up .2.  Not so bad.  Still down 4.0 lbs. in the past 9 days.  Can’t complain about THAT!  :)

I’m off today.  I have 3-4 gift cards I need to buy, and those and about 3 other gifts (not counting the co-worker gifts) I need to wrap.  I will wrap all but the co-worker gifts; save that for later this week.  I want to read some more of Dr. B’s book, get caught up on Covert Affairs and State of Affairs tv shows on DVR.  Then, we are going to meet my mom at one of her centers, for our last Monday Night Football game with her.  I’ll be bringing my own food, but I will have a glass of white wine with her.  I’ll be sure to get in 30 minutes of dance before we head over.  For the last 2 months, when I push beyond that, there is a spot on the top right side of my right ankle that starts hurting.  So I’m nursing myself through that, but still doing 30 minutes of dance 6 days a week.

That’s about all I’ve got.  I am really in the zone!  And its showing on the scale, which is wonderful!!!  I’m still a good 6 lbs from where I ideally want to be, but I’m actually feeling that maybe even more is possible.  We will take that attitude into 2015 and see where it leads me.  The 4P/smalls that were getting a little snug feel perfect again.  Not loose like they were/will be 6 lbs. lighter, but not snug either.  It feels GREAT.

How did you weekend go?

Love you!  MAKE GOOD CHOICES TODAY, so that there is NO regret tomorrow!

Don’t wait until 1/2/15!

Okay, we are less than 2 weeks away from Xmas, and then New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day…and ALL of the food and desserts/junk food that are part of the next Two Weeks of Sugar Hell.  I’m thrilled that so many of you are still active ‘members’ of the Holiday Scale Accountability Club, daring to weigh yourself at least twice a week and report your weekly outcome here, in the height of this holiday season.  But many aren’t.  I imagine many of you are in the mindset of ‘well, I can’t do this NOW.  I’ll wait until after the holidays.’  I get that.  I was THERE too, this time, in 2012.  I DID wait …  well, I waited until 1/2/13 to go Wheat Belly-style wheat free.  However, I had made up my mind to do that in November 2012, so I was already making a better effort to at least not GAIN that holiday season.  But still, the big thrust didn’t occur until 1/2.  The true commitment to change my life style through nutrition.

The thing though….?  It was two more weeks of eating rather unhealthy. Better maybe, but still unhealthy.

It kind of reminds me of my favorite move quote of all time, from beloved Billy Crystal at the end of “When Harry Meets Sally':

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

THAT is how I feel about nutrition now!!  About good health FROM good nutrition.  About eating as little processed foods, grains (of any type), and sugar (of any type)….to heal your body and reach your optimal health:

WHEN YOU REALIZE HOW EATING HEALTHY CAN HEAL YOU, YOU WANT TO START THAT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  NOT PUT IT OFF.  WHY PUT OFF GETTING HEALTHIER AND LEANER WHEN YOU CAN START NOW?

That is where I am at.  Sure, I could cut myself slack and enjoy a few pieces of junk food this holiday season.  But I saw what that attitude did to me when I incorporated it in July when I had 18 days of vacation.  It led to an extra 8 lbs. that I’m still fighting, mentally more than physically, to get off.  And it’s five months later!  I feel I’m here now, head screwed back on squarely, FINALLY, but my mindset has been altered for the better part of five months because of allowing myself junk food freedom during parts of 18 days in July.  I will NEVER make that mistake again.  And I hate to see anyone else making that mistake now.

Can you wait until January and make a successful transition to a much healthier lifestyle?  Of course you can!  Will your body start to heal NOW if you start TODAY?  OF COURSE IT WILL.  You will be gifting your body two extra weeks of better health by not putting off until 1/2 what you can start or re-commit to TODAY.

And with that, I give you the perfect Leo Babauta article on getting motivated to make changes NOW:

Another great article by Leo B:

http://zenhabits.net/life-changing/

…Maybe you want to change your eating and fitness habits and become healthy. Maybe you want to finally start creating that art, that book, that blog that you’ve been meaning to start someday.

Someday is today.

Let’s look at how you find that motivation to finally start changing — and then to keep going when the changes inevitably get tough.

What Gets in the Way

None of these are insurmountable, but they can often cause us to put off major changes. So be aware of them:

  • Fear of change
  • Not wanting to be uncomfortable
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Being tired
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Not having time
  • Being busy with all kinds of things
  • Waiting for something to happen
  • Perfectionism
  • Being overwhelmed with all that you have to do
  • Not knowing how

We all have these fears and reasons for not taking action.

They’re all bullshit.

Yes, the fear of failure and change and discomfort and uncertainty are real … but they’re not good enough reasons for inaction. They can all be overcome. I’ve dealt with them, and so have thousands, millions of others. You’re no worse than me or anyone else — you can face these fears.

Yes, you’re busy, tired, overwhelmed, lacking time … we all are. I would get up at 5 a.m. to go for my runs or write my blog, because I knew I’d be busy later in the day. I didn’t have more time or energy — I was motivated, and I prioritized. You can make that happen too.

So let’s look at how to overcome these fears, find motivation, and prioritize. All with one small set of actions.

The Make It Happen Actions

These are the set of actions that I’ve found to help overcome fears, find motivation, and prioritize:

  1. Find a purpose. You might already know what your purpose is, but it’s good to review it and keep it at the forefront of your thoughts. If you don’t have a purpose, start here: what will you want to look back on at the end of your life? What will make your life feel significant? What will give your life some meaning? If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it’s worth spending a little time here. Go for a walk and think about it.
  2. Embrace your desire. You’re reading this article because you have a desire to do something positive in your life. Embrace that. Isn’t it wonderful that you have this desire? See this as the first positive step, one you’ve already taken. Now use it and take action.
  3. Create the space. You won’t make any changes if you don’t create a small space for the change. When will you start making the change? In the morning, in the evening, during your lunch break? Don’t wait for the change to happen — make it happen. Block off some time on your calendar each day, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes. If you don’t have the time, think about how long you spend each day on Facebook, TV, games, or doing smaller tasks that aren’t as important. Push those back for just a bit, and do what’s most important to you first.
  4. Surround yourself. The best way to make change happen is to surround yourself with others making a similar change themselves, others who will support your change. Find a few people online or off, and create a support team that will check in with each other regularly. Yes, this might take some work. Yes, you can do it.
  5. Make the accountability. Find at least one person who will hold you accountable for making this change. It might be the support team mentioned above, or a coach, or an accountability partner. Tell them not to let you off the hook.
  6. Take a small action. If you’re overwhelmed by a large change, or a bunch of large change, just focus on one small step. What small action can you take today that will move you forward? It might be something as simple as “do an Internet search about selling my quilts online”, or “call Freddie to ask him to hold me accountable”. Take a small step, and get moving. Movement begets movement. Now take another small step. This is how change is created.

***

p.s.  I lost .8 lbs from yesterday.  Woot Woot!

Finally…..

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Make it a GREAT day filled with good choices and no regrets or remorse!  Every day is a new chance to START THE REST OF YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW, BETTER.

Holiday Scale Accountability Club, v 9 (?)

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Hi everyone!

Sorry for the delay; rain was horrendous this morning, so we were a little late getting out.  (hubby drove me…such a sweetie he is!)

It was just a small hint of what northern CA and Oregon got yesterday though.  I hope any of you living in that area are okay.  :(

Well, I lost 2.6 lbs. this week!  FINALLY a good week to report!  I stayed exactly the same this morning compared to yesterday, but I suspected that would happen.  I’m more than thrilled with the 2.6 loss!

The See’s were never brought out yesterday; I’m sure that co-worker was saving it for when she returned on Monday.  LOL  Fine with me!  I certainly won’t pull either box out.  We’ll see if my co-workers will or not, though.  There is still PLENTY of sugary items from other gifts sitting on the departmental communal table, not even 7 feet directly diagonally to me.  Whatev’s.  LOL

The stir fry chicken last night was delicious, and I did indeed have mine on top of cold broccoli.  (I don’t much care for cooked broccoli.  I tolerate it steamed, but I prefer raw.)  I did add green bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion to the chicken, and some great Italian flavoring seasoning.  SO good.  Stir fried in coconut oil.  :)

Challenges this coming week:

1.  typical lunch out today.  It will be meat/veggies.  Not sure where.

2.  tomorrow, we are going to a matinee performance with my mom of the Young American’s Xmas show.  We’ll get dinner afterwards.  I already know it will be at Ruby’s Diner, and I’ll be getting a bunless guac burger, hold the salt and french fries (and get cole slaw instead of the french fries or onion rings.)

3.  Otherwise, just typical holiday sugar gifts next week.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

What I’m Eating Today:

Breakfast:  1.5 ounce cheese, 1.5 ounce cashews (no egg.)

Lunch:  -unknown.  Will be beef and veggies, in some format.

Dinner:  skipping, as I Intermittent Fast on Fridays if I go out to lunch, which I am.

That’s all I got!

How’d you do, and what challenges lie ahead this week for you?

Love you!

POWER (edited)

Empowerment

Unbeknownst to me, apparently the first 2 lb. box of See’s arrived on Tuesday while I was gone.  They tucked it away to bring out after the cookies are gone.  This morning, there are 3 cookies left.  See’s will be out in moments.

ETA:  I was wrong.  There are TWO, two pound boxes of See’s Chocolates.  geez.  LOL  Four pounds of candy for 6 people in this department (of course it will be offered up to all, but still.  This is insane!)

I don’t know if you’ve ever had See’s chocolate, but I’ve never had better.  Not Fanny May, not Ghiradelli, not Godiva.

But this time, now?

I don’t give a rat’s ass about the See’s.

I won’t be touching it.

I’ve finally, fully incorporated my mantra.  Specifically, this part:

We need to re-train our brains to a new knee-jerk reaction when presented with junk foods; so that ‘it will taste so good’ isn’t the knee-jerk reaction; but instead so that ‘I don’t eat this because it is bad for me and will make me gain weight’ is the NEW knee-jerk reaction!

and

We have to remember the feeling stuffed or the stomach cramps. We have to remember being disappointed in ourselves when we succumb to them…as compared to being proud of ourselves when we just.say.no. We have to remember how good it feels to be in control instead of out of control.

If we think of food with added sugar as a friend, we will pursue it. If we think if it as an enemy, we will re-train ourselves to turn away from it with distaste.

That is EXACTLY how I feel about sugar, grain, chocolate now.  Lord knows it took long enough for that seed planted in early 2013 to not just put down roots and germinate…but to finally spring forth from the ground and reach for the stars.

I feel THAT empowered by my beliefs now about how very detrimental sugar, grains, and chocolate are for me.

SUPER EMPOWERED.

Empowered that I am in total control.

Empowered because health trumps sugar highs/taste.

Empowered because every day I live my life according to my own principles now.  I am in charge.  Not some trumped up brain cells that have been drugged by sugar/glucose.

There is no more guilt over food.  Because I’m not even going there.

No more remorse over poor decisions that hurt my health instead of healed it.

I feel (emotionally) large and in charge.

IT IS SO HEADY.

Not in a narcissistic kind of way.  In a ‘I GOT THIS’ kind of way.  Feeling in control is powerful!!  Feeling like you honor your body, and by extension all around you who care for you…is even more powerful!  I know I’m doing the right thing when I don’t eat sugar, grains, chocolate.  I can look at the desserts now and truly feel more like a disdain for them, then a sense of deprivation.  The only thing I’m depriving myself of is disease, disgust, despair, remorse.

Yeah, screw that.  :)

No more mental gymnastics over will I, should I, can I, what if, oh shit, etc.

GONE.

Not gonna touch it.

Gonna honor my body.  My health.  My family.  My future.  My legacy.

It’s a GREAT place to be!

***

Dropped another .8 yesterday.  Cookin it this week!  :)

What I’m eating today:

Breakfast:  1 ounce cheese, 1 ounce cashews, a small amount of cherries.  (for my kidney.)

Lunch:  tuna salad on top of romaine, with fresh lemon juice

Dinner:  I’m going to stir fry some chicken strips (non-breaded) with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms.  Mr. Gwen will get his on top of pasta.  Mine will be on top of broccoli.  There may or may  not be either grated cheese or sour cream as topping involved.  Not both.  Maybe one or the other; haven’t decided.

Life is good.

life is good co

No more half-ass’ing Maintenance

THAT might be a little harsh, on myself.

1.  I still have a healthy BMI #.

2.  I’m within 8 lbs. of where I want to be

3.  I’m still NGNS-5.  (no grains, no sugar, with 5% wiggle room.)

So, kind of harsh, and yet I DO feel like I’ve been half-assing maintenance since the July vacations we took.

I know I’ve said this before, but I finally feel like I’ve righted that ship.    How did I get there/here?

  • Well, first, I bought a couple of books.  Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore, and Refuse to Regain by Dr. Barbara Berkeley.  I gotta say, about 20% into Jimmy’s book, and it just isn’t working for me.  Why?  The way he has put the book together is very disjointed.  He writes a few paragraphs, then there is a boxed insert quote (from a few lines to several paragraphs long) by an expert.  The end effect for Gwen?  As I said, very disjointed.  I’ve never felt that way about a book before.  I will try to finish it, but it’s going to be difficult.  The material isn’t difficult; the presentation IS.   If this gets forwarded on to Jimmy….Jimmy, I love you, you know that.  Sorry.  So…
  • I started Dr. Berkeley’s book last night.  VERY early on, but I’m loving it.  I will definitely be sharing nuggets of info as I get into the meat of the book.  I’m even thinking about getting a copy for my daughter.  She’s turned Beach Body Coach this fall…she’s lost over 30 lbs., wants to lose another 30.  I think it would be a great book for her.  I suspect I want to keep my version, not just loan it.  ;)
  • As you also know, recently some of my 5% wiggle room has led to indigestion…rather bad episodes, actually.  After 2 nights of BBQ sauce on ribs, and only veggies with the ribs, I can confirm that (at least at this juncture), it isn’t because of ingredients in the BBQ sauce.  I’ve been fine.  It’s grains.  So…
  • I’m cutting back even more severely on grains.  Literally, the only grains I will consume will be what might be added to the occasional BBQ sauce or Ranch dressing I consume.  Nothing else.
  • Still chocolate free.  Still candy/dessert free.  Again, only sugar consumption is in the BBQ sauce & Ranch dressing.  That might make me lower than 5% wiggle room per month.  (since neither is a daily thing.  Esp. the BBQ sauce.  That’s once or twice a month, tops.)
  • Now that I’m more than 3 days free of any sugary desserts or snacks, and 3 days free of grains, I’m back at the top of my game, ‘in the zone’ again, laser focused.  Cravings entirely gone.
  • I have stopped drinking iced tea when I leave work at 4:30.  Nothing but water the rest of the night.  It’s improved my sleeping patterns greatly.  :)  Improved sleep has many benefits, and helping fight cravings is one of them.  The more sleep we have, the better judgement calls/decisions we can make by light of day.

I still want to lose about 8 lbs.  I’ve lost 1.8 since Sunday morning.

I’m back to weighing daily with only one type of exception:  if I’ve had digestive problems the night before.  A clear sign I’m inflamed.  I will give myself a 24 hour scale break on those mornings.  But only 24 hours, even if the fluid retention takes 72 hours to lose.  And for me, it takes almost precisely 72 hours.  Oh well.  Price to be paid for eating outside of plan.

I just work better, stay laser focused and ON TARGET better when I’m weighing daily.  That works for some, doesn’t work for others.  We each all have to find our unique paths in our journeys.  Knowing that even that can alter over the course of time (see my body, re grains, for instance)…but some things may remain consistent and a truism.  Despite the ‘butterfly sneezes in Wisconsin’ effect (my term for when you blip up on the scale for absolutely no apparent reason)…weighing daily is the best indicator I have to hold myself accountable.  When I choose not to weigh, I am choosing to bury my head in the sand and NOT be culpable for my dietary choices.  Plain and simple.

So, I’m doing great!  I am hoping to lose another 5-6 lbs. by the first of January.  Yes, there are lots of holiday events to come between now and then.  I came in today and there were 3 new boxes of food in our department…one was one of those baskets full of candy, one fortunately was flavored teas, so I snagged some of that, and one with about 4 dozen different types of individually wrapped holiday cookies.  I took 2 that were frosted, and will give to hubby tonight.  But only 2.  I’m good.  Not tempted even a nano-amount.

Still no See’s yet.  Kind of odd.

HOWEVER, I had a box from Nordstrom’s waiting for me.  It was from a vendor.  It was a gorgeous pair of black UGG furry gloves.  WOW.  MAJOR WOW.  What a stupendous gift!  I couldn’t fire off the heart-felt, overwhelmed thank you fast enough to that vendor.  (He wasn’t even one that I mentioned no-chocolate-please to!!)  Life is good.  :)

What I’m eating today:

Breakfast:  hard boiled egg, 1 ounce cheese, 1 ounce cashews.

Lunch:  I made tuna salad and will have on top of a bed of romaine with chopped broccoli, and 2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing.  Half of a regular sized can of tuna, with chopped onion, celery, and a heaping spoonful of dill relish and olive-oil based mayo.

Dinner:  6 ounce steak and a veggie garden salad, with fresh lemon on top of the salad.

Life is GOOD.

I will try to make the ‘what I’m eating today’ a regular occurrence here.  Holds me accountable, and perhaps gives others ideas.  :)

So, that’s where I stand this beautiful December 10th.

p.s.  Sorry I/we missed Llama Day yesterday, so let me leave this with you, belatedly…

Have a beautiful day!  Stay laser focused on your nutritional principles!

Monday was pretty darned stellar!

Ok, I could’ve danced a little longer than the 30 minutes I did.  But some days are just like that.  Probably because I was pretty low on calories today.  But I had 2 BBQ ribs for dinner (and some veggies), and so far, my stomach feels fine.  Perfect.  So unless something goes wrong later tonight, it wasn’t the sauce.  GREAT news.  The sauce on the ribs was the only variation from an otherwise 100% primal food choices day, and a low cal one at that.

Despite the large cinnamon coffee cake that showed up after lunch.  In our department, about 5 feet from me.   :: geesh ::

I will be at an all-day seminar Tuesday, followed immediately afterwards by my manicure.  Busy day!  I’ll get a salad for lunch.

It feels GREAT to be back totally ‘in the zone.’  The times outside the zone are getting less and less frequent.  It really is a journey.

I hope you are doing well.  I know we are more than knee-deep in the holiday season, and it’s gonna get worse before everyone and their cousin decides to go on a diet 1/2/15.  LOL  Hang tough!  Think of your goals, your focus, where you want to be, how you want to FEEL.  Mind/emotions as well as your gut.  Let that drive your choices.

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AND, I think the best one of all:

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Personal Exceptionalism

I am addicted to certain foods.  I am accepting of that, for the most part. (okay, I have pockets of a day here or there, where I slip occasionally, and mildly.)   I have never been a binger, and I never got above 206 lbs.  I haven’t gone to any OA meetings, but I am reading up on the subject.  My father was a (beer) alcoholic, and did attend AA, although back then I don’t think (late 1960’s) they had Al-Anon for family.  If so, we didn’t know about it, or my mom kept it from us, but we kids were quite young.  But I digress.  Remember that great article in the last week or two about how ‘deprivation’ thinking can be a sign of addiction?  I went back to it/the author, to find or read more.  I found a really good article I want to share, because I do believe a lot of us who were or are morbidly obese, have food addiction issues.  Not addicted to all foods, but certain foods.

Here’s the link.  I will insert my comments in a different color…

http://alcoholrehab.com/addiction-recovery/personal-exceptionalism-in-recovery/

Personal Exceptionalism in Recovery

Importance of the Individual

In western culture there is a great deal of emphasis put on being an individual. Each person is viewed as unique, and their main goal in life is to find happiness. This view of the world differs from many eastern cultures where there is more emphasis on the group. Many of the successes within western culture can be seen as a result of this focus on the individual. There can also be a darker side to this way of viewing the world. Those people who are trying to escape an addiction may find that their feelings of being an individual can get in the way of their recovery. Personal exceptionalism can mean that people refuse to consider those recovery tools that have worked well for other people in the past.

Personal Exceptionalism Defined

Personal exceptionalism can be defined as the conviction that the individual has that they are just not like other people. This type of idea can be taking to extremes. A person can believe that the rules that apply to other people do not apply to them. This may mean that the individual is prepared to engage in unwise behaviors because they believe they will be able to avoid the usual negative consequences. Personal exceptionalism can also mean that the individual refuses to consider the possibility that things that worked for other people might also work for them.

I see two sides to this in people’s food addiction:

1.  rules don’t apply to me.  Specifically, I’m thinking ‘wheat is bad for me’ or ‘moderation doesn’t work with food addictions.  Only abstinence does.’   We like to think WE can moderate.  WE can eat small portions of the foods we like, and rise above addictions.  We like to think it can’t be true for ME that wheat is unhealthy.  (or sugar.  or chocolate.  you pick your food vice.)  We think we are special in that regard.  Yes, we are all special snowflakes, BUT certain truisms apply to ALL of us.

Even the ‘just this one time’ or ‘just this little bit won’t hurt me’ mindset.  The justification of our trigger foods, just in tiny portions.    Even those insidious mindsets / mind games we play with ourselves.

2. “I have special needs.  I’m older, post-menopausal, have food allergies, food needs, certain diseases or metabolic issues that YOU don’t have.  I need my own special sets of rules.  The ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t apply to me.  Maybe not to you, either.”  While that can be true, we are more alike than we think.  Wheat really isn’t a safe food, anymore, for anyone.  Neither is sugar.  You may have certain diseases or certain situations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live within the framework of ANY sound nutritional plan.  I may not like a certain food that is ‘paleo’ or ‘primal’, but there are hundreds I do, that I can eat instead.  To disregard an entire type of nutritional plan because you don’t like one or three specific foods….falls into this ‘personal exceptionalism’ definition.

Personal Exceptionalism and Terminal Uniqueness

Personal exceptionalism can sometimes be described as terminal uniqueness. This term is often used negatively for people who are struggling with addiction recovery. The individual feels certain that they are a special case so they do not want to consider options that have worked for other people. It is called terminal uniqueness because this type of thinking can get people killed. Their ideas about personal exceptionalism take them right back to addiction, and they might never get another chance at recovery.

Yeah, oops, just what I was talking about, huh?  :)

Dangers of Personal Exceptionalism in Recovery

Personal exceptionalism can encourage the individual to build a good life for themselves, but it can also get in the way. This way of thinking can be dangerous for people in recovery because:

* It can act as a barrier to interpersonal communications. The individual may not believe that it is possible for other people to really understand them so they dismiss what these people have to say.
* It can lead to feelings of loneliness and alienation. These are dangerous emotions to experience in recovery because they can easily become relapse triggers.
* This mode of thinking can give the individual a false sense of security in recovery. The individual becomes complacent because they do not believe that a relapse will ever happen to them.
* It can give the individual the ability to ignore the consequences of their actions. They become willing to make reckless decisions because they feel that the normal rules do not apply to them.
* Terminal uniqueness can stop the individual from seeking help when they need it.
* Those individuals who have made it into advanced recovery have a great deal to teach those in early recovery. The person who suffers from terminal uniqueness will probably not believe that such lessons can be of value to them.
* When people are overly focused on personal exceptionalism it tends to divide the world into us and them.
* It puts the individual into a position where they either feel worse or better than everyone else.

I had the first one when I was first reading Wheat Belly.  I couldn’t believe that modern day wheat, ‘whole grain wheat’ was hurting my body.  They (the experts) HAD to be wrong.  At least, wrong for me.  I couldn’t give up grains!  They were everywhere, and I really loved them!  There HAD to be another way!  Moderation, maybe, but nearly complete abstinence?  No way!

I’ve also seen bloggers who refuse to get professional help when they really need it, or who discount what professionals say out of hand because they are ‘special cases’ or ‘they just don’t get me’ or ‘its just too tough.’  While personal differences might not make every professional right for every person, there are others out there if you have a real personality conflict, or if it seems, after a true good effort, they aren’t helping you.  My first divorce counselor was okay, personality wise, but her ‘art therapy’ just wasn’t as productive for me as I wanted.  I found another great counselor.  Had I given up after the first one, I wouldn’t have found the second one who was of instrumental help to me.

“Terminal uniqueness can stop the individual from seeking help when they need it” and ‘can lead to feelings of loneliness and alienation.’  The “nah, I can do this myself.’  Or “I need to handle this on my own.”  or “You just don’t understand.  It works for you but it won’t work for me.”  “I’ve lost weight that way before, but I never keep it off.  It’s me.  Something is wrong with me.  I’m not like you.”  ALL of these mindsets fit.  I personally have had them all, at one point or another.  That is why blogging has been so instrumental in helping me heal.  And staying in maintenance, where I’ve never succeeded before.  Where going out and reading as much as I can helps.  Where seeking out and aligning with those who have succeeded, works so well for me.  I’ve learned that what we can accomplish individually, if we are willing to team TOGETHER, far outweighs anything we can accomplish all by ourselves.  That others have valuable information that we have to be willing and open to receiving and learning from.  That new studies are coming out every day, and if we stay stuck in the old medically established, conventional diet modes/theories, we are probably missing out on fixing ourselves.

And the last one…I’ve seen bloggers who, with a little taste of success, change.  They become pretty full of themselves.  They start to lecture down to others, act like they are authorities.  If I’m ever guilty of this, please slap me upside dah head and call me out on it!  While I love to share what I learn like this, I do not consider myself an expert.  I am trying to become an expert on me, and I can see the value of many things I’m learning, but I consider myself a messenger of information and personal history, not an expert.  :)  Nor am I better than anyone else.  I have learned a lot, I’ve experienced successes and failures, and I’m happy to share it.  But I’m not better than anyone else.

Benefits Overcoming Personal Exceptionalism in Recovery

It can be beneficial for the individual to tone down their feelings of personal exceptionalism in recovery. The benefits of doing so include:

* It means that the individual can learn from successes and mistakes of other people. This makes life easier because there will be no need for them to reinvent the wheel.
* Being part of a group is highly empowering. A fellowship of people is able to accomplish far more than one person working on their own.
* Those individuals who are narcissistic struggle to build meaningful relationships. This means that they miss out on one of the great joys of life.
* There is comfort to be found in being part of a group. The individual can find emotional as well as physical support from like-minded individuals.
* It means that the individual will be far more likely to make use of available recovery resources. They will also be more willing to ask for help when they need it.

OMG, the first one so nails it.  LEARN from successes and mistakes of other people!  Be willing to step outside your box to do so.  Although it might seem weird, their is a comfortableness from learning that others have succeeded, long term, and accepting that if THEY can do it, in very similar situations, there is absolutely no reason (except pigheadedness LOL) that I can’t too!  I don’t have to go this alone.  There is value from others if I open myself up to it and them.  It IS empowering to be part of a like-minded group.  When I do that, I can LEARN so much!  There are great resources that I’ve never had before, that maybe didn’t even exist 10 years ago, that can make it work for me NOW.  I might be special, but there are a lot of people out there in the universe who are special in the same ways I am, and I can learn from THEM.

How to Overcome Personal Exceptionalism

There are things that people can do to escape the excesses of personal exceptionalism including:

* Learning to empathize with other people. By trying to view the world through the eyes of another it allows the individual to see that they are not that different from them.
* Helping other people in recovery means that the individual is able to move the focus onto someone else. It can be hugely rewarding to spend time thinking about other people for a change.
* Just spending time with other people and engaging with them can be a great way to break down walls. It also helps to eliminate loneliness and feelings of alienation.
* Many people find that joining a recovery fellowship helps to strengthen their sobriety, and gives them the opportunity to feel part of a collective.
* It can be beneficial to deliberately focus on those things that people have in common rather than the things that separate them.

This is wonderful.  It’s the best part about blogging.  We start out blogging just wanting to carve out a little nitch in the world to throw out into the universe (even a universe of one-ourselves) what’s going on, what we are thinking, and then we search out like-minded bloggers, we communicate via comments, and we start to build a customized little blogging community.  That customized blogging community can be INVALUABLE in the healing of our bodies.  And minds.  I found it was important to also find those further in their journey that were successful.  And, it has worked great for me to stick to bloggers who mostly have the same nutritional values I do.  Again, likemindedness.  I like to find new bloggers too, who are just starting out and maybe struggling to find a path.  I like to share with them what’s worked for me, what I’ve learned.  Education brought me to where I am…if the same education can help someone else out of their unhealthy situation, I’m thrilled. 

Conversely, If I find someone perpetually failing, it’s hard for me to stay invested in an online relationship with them.  Just like successes can build each other up, I also feel repeated failures can bring us down.  Don’t get me wrong; I failed twice, miserably, at keeping large amounts of weight off.  So I wasn’t impervious to that.  I get that.  I can relate to that.  But I try to only associate those with healthy, good, willing-to-learn-and-try-new-things attitudes.  It’s hard for me, personally, to stick around bloggers who are wallowing in feeling like they are victims.  Try and fail, and I’m there with you!  Pay only lip service to trying…and then wallowing in failure…and I’m gone.  That’s just what works best for me, and best helps me be the best person I can be.  Not perfect, but constantly striving to improve.  If I was an alcoholic and surrounded myself only with other alcoholic friends, it would be hard to get out of active alcoholism.  I don’t think it’s any different with food addictions.  But again, that’s just what works for me.

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I don’t know about you, but I get a real HIGH from learning new things that are helpful in improving my journey!  This article is another example.  Each time I find something new that is applicable, it’s like adding a new tool to my arsenal.  This is another case.  I hope it might help you, too!

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to being able to take my 88 year old mother to see holiday lights again this season.  Here are my favorites:

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This one is looking down at an entire block lit up.  This community has a contest, so this has to be a winning neighborhood effort!

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Ok, this was not a planned photo effect…I was asking hubby to stop, and he couldn’t because of a car behind us.  LOL  BUT, I love this!!

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Another neighborhood street all done up!

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Love the Darth Vader and Yoda!  They were blow-ups, until our little Darth.  :)  And that helicopter on the grass?  Back propeller was rotating!

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This house looked like one giant, live gingerbread house!  (the house was painted brown, like so many are.)

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We had a fabulous time!

Thumbs Up to getting in a full 50 minutes of dancing yesterday!

Thumbs Up to wrapping gifts and getting them under the tree…usually I wait and do them all at once which can be a strain on the back!  Not gonna do it that way, this year.

Thumbs Up to finding youngest grandson Luke’s Xmas gift about 30% off!  Score!

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Thumbs down to ONION RINGS.  Yes, you heard it right.  I was really sick last night (no vomiting, just constant stomach aches and trips to the loo.)  This is the 2nd time this week I’ve had flour, and had a pretty severe reaction to it.  I now understand what so many of you talk about.  I think my body has finally adjusted well enough to being mostly grain-free, that even small amounts of grain (like in onion rings/onion ‘straws’) is too much for my body to handle.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I’m going to try living life with no onion rings.  Which will put me at about 98% grain free.  Not just wheat free.  Grain free.  The occasional sauce from somewhere has grains.  That will be the only grains left I ever consume.  And if THOSE give me this reaction, I’ll nix them too.

This is a really, really big deal for me.  It kind of breaks my heart, but I do not want a repeat of last night.  It was rough.  No taste is worth that!

That’s really the only thumbs down I got.  Which is pretty amazing.  Oh, I do have to open the property tax bill and mail it tomorrow though, and I know there was a pretty significant increase, so that will be a thumbs down-in advance.  Not going to ruin a Sunday by opening it today, though.  ;)

How you doing?

Make it a great day; NO REGRETS!