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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/21/15 3:32 P

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Day 47
KICK THE CAN'T

"Banish the words 'I can't' from your vocabulary! Instead, think about what's possible, then substitute the phrase, 'I'll find a way.'"

"Describe all your challenging goals as 'hard but not impossible.' Then whenever you think about your struggle, add the phrase, 'I'll find a way.'"

"Now add the phrase, '[...] I could...' and then come up with a new action plan for each of these areas."

I've intentionally dropped the word "maybe" from the phrase for listing action plans. "Could" already indicates possibility, and I wouldn't list action plans that weren't plausible, so there is no reason to make the "action plan" flimsy by adding "maybe" (which includes the built-in out of "or maybe not"). COULD could be empowering; MAYBE is an excuse.

There is very little that I want to do that I truly believe that I CAN'T do. However, there are a number of things that SEEM impossible sometimes. Including:
- sustaining weight loss efforts long enough to lose the weight I need to
- maintaining efforts when things get extra chaotic or hectic
- focusing on work long enough to make headway
- finally starting my fieldwork!
- finally finishing my PhD!

It's hard to sustain weight loss efforts long enough to lose the weight I need to, but I'll find a way. I could incorporate stealth fitness techniques all throughout my day, every day.

It's hard to maintain efforts when things get extra chaotic or hectic, but I'll find a way. I could cut myself a certain amount of slack without allowing myself to backslide.

It's hard to focus on work long enough to make headway, but I'll find a way. I could start using the Pomodoro Technique consistently.

It's hard to get things set up to finally start my fieldwork, but I'll find a way. I could communicate with my main contact in-country ASAP to get the ball rolling.

It's hard to finally finish my PhD, but I'll find a way. I could focus on each step at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by the immensity of it all.

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/21/15 3:11 P

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Day 46
IF NOT FOOD, THEN WHAT?

While I don't agree with the approach of labeling most food as unimportant (because of the fact it always impacts our health and weight loss efforts), I also would NEVER consider food more important than family, friends, work, travel, etc. So, I am going to decline the exercise of listing food as my #1 priority and then re-prioritizing it.

I do like the suggestion for deepening commitment for other things... "In her delightful book 'Passion,' author Barbara DeAngelis recommends selecting one area of your life in which you'd like to feel more passion -- perhaps your marriage, your job, or your emotional or spiritual growth. She suggests that for one entire day, you simply deepen your commitment to this area, expressing this through your words and behavior. By the end of the day, you'll find you feel more passionate and committed to that person or issue."

Things are too hectic right now to set aside a day for deepening commitment, but I am going to come back to this once I have finished my move.

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/19/15 3:55 P

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Day 45
FOOD -- IMPORTANT OR NOT?

This chapter contradicts a lot of the lessons in previous chapters. "Instead of fretting about boring food, just label it as UNIMPORTANT." Labeling "boring" food as unimportant and not worthy of much attention as it's consumed goes against mindful eating practices. It also sets the stage for being careless about tracking every component and being careless about precise measurements or careful estimates. Thinking some foods "don't matter" and others do makes it difficult to be consistent with healthy habits.

There is a glimmer of a useful message in this chapter, which is that food should not be obsessed about all day long. So, I'll elaborate on that idea. Yes, only special meals typically require a lot of planning and forethought. If you finish one meal and immediately start thinking about the next meal, chances are that the meal you just ate wasn't very satisfying. If your meal was "boring," it doesn't matter how many calories it did or didn't have, how full it did or didn't make you, or fast you did or didn't eat it... it's still not going to be satisfying. So, I have to wonder, why would people eat so many boring meals? Instead of trying to basically ignore a boring meal, why not instead find a way to make it more special? Especially for those of us that are restricting calories, i.e. counting calories, it is important to make every calorie "count." Preparing interesting meals doesn't have to be time consuming, cost prohibitive, or difficult. Combine different flavors and textures in ways that are pleasing to you.

I grew up eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Wonder Bread with Skippy and probably store-brand jelly. That was enough to please the palette of a child. I would NOT enjoy that sandwich today. However, I make a version that takes no more time and is WAY more interesting and pleasing to eat. Whole-grain, multi-grain bread - toasted - with all natural peanut butter or almond butter and jam that is packed with actual fruit. Salads of lettuce and a few other veggies quickly get boring. Salads with all kinds of healthy things added remain interesting. Each bite can bring you a different combination of flavors and textures. Soups can take less than 10 minutes to make and be packed with variety that keep them interesting.

Don't label boring foods as "unimportant" and try to ignore the fact that you are eating them; label them as NOT WORTH EATING!!! Sure, there are times when we don't have options (particularly when traveling or being served by someone else). Then we might need to choke down boring foods just to have the fuel or not be rude. But these times should be few and far between. Otherwise, work on making your other meals WORTH eating! Even when stuck with eating boring foods, I think it is important to remain mindful. Instead of trying to savor the actual flavors and textures (or lack thereof), think about ways that you would improve this food if you could or ways that you could have avoided being stuck eating this in the first place.

What we eat is always important because it always impacts our weight loss efforts and health. So it is important to take stock of how it affects us and how we can make better choices if necessary.

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/18/15 4:56 A

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Day 44
IT'S NOT THE RIGHT TIME

"Sometimes it really isn't the right time to be on a diet. But since life will always include [challenges] there will never be a perfect time to work on losing weight."

"In reality, you can make any time be the right time. Simply choose a time period that looks fairly reasonable and label it THE RIGHT TIME. Then move past your excuses and make it work. Tell yourself that you are capable of eating right and exercising in spite of your hectic life. Then find a way to do it."

This chapter makes me feel a bit better about slipping up so much with my program for the past few weeks. I am indeed "currently facing a major life issue." Compared to all of the other even more major life issues that I've had to grapple with non-stop for several years, these weeks have hardly been a blip on the radar. But I am moving. Since I knew all along I was only going to be in my current place temporarily, it's not as drastic as moving from a long term abode. However, it still is time consuming and schedule disrupting to get everything finished in time. I had been hoping to maintain my regular workout schedule up until the week before I left, but that just didn't work out. Part of it was losing motivation, but that motivation loss may have actually been partially self-preservation. I've had a lot to do and I need to have the ENERGY to do it. The most important thing I think is that I haven't given up or forgotten to keep trying. I am doing what I can right now. While that means I've gained back some weight, it isn't nearly as much as I would have gained back if I had given up. And I've also been making plans for how I can be active once I get back to the mainland. While I'm not as close to the possibility of reaching my Pre-New Year's goal before New Year's Day, I am determined to hit that goal within the first few weeks of the New Year!

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/18/15 4:26 A

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Day 43
CHOOSE TO, NOT HAVE TO

"...most of us don't like being told that we HAVE TO do things. In fact, sometimes that little HAVE TO phrase can make us rebel and do the opposite."

"Saying 'I choose to' puts you in charge and affirms that you want to see results."

"Anytime you feel as if you HAVE TO do something, say 'I CHOOSE TO,' and then take steps that move you toward the outcomes you want."

While reading this chapter, I was reminded of two things...

A little while back, I read someone's blog entry which discussed an approach to combating poor decisions with the phrase, "No... I can make a better choice." I made a note to beginning using this phrase to help strengthen my resolve when I am tempted to ignore my plan. "No...I can make a better choice." It reminds me that I have free will and the ability to make wiser decisions.

I remember in times of my teenage angst - and adulthood angst too - my mother would tell me, "Don't should on yourself." (She also always credited the originator of this quote, but that part never registered. I tried Googling it to find out, but it turns out there are a plethora of plagiarizers out there that are perfectly content trying to take credit for coming up with the phrase themselves. The best I can determine right now is that it was either Clayton Barbeau or Albert Ellis). "Stop shoulding yourself" can cover obsessing over things past (I should have done this, I shouldn't have done that...) and also present/future driven guilt (I should do this, I shouldn't do that, I should do everything perfectly).

In either case, taking ownership over decisions and choices is more empowering than "can'ts" "shoudn'ts" "shoulds" and "have-tos" Instead of rebelling against absolutes and orders, acknowledging that what we do is our choice is a more positive way of spurring action. Replace "I have to get off this couch" with "I choose to get up and get moving," or at least admit "I am choosing to just sit here." In the latter case I can envision doing a mental double take and revising the statement to something of action instead of inactivity.

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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SWEETENUFGILL's Photo SWEETENUFGILL Posts: 18,904
12/16/15 2:10 P

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You've done a good job here of using the activity in a way that works for you - I hope lots of people are reading your Report - it's very inspiring.



Gill

Time Zone GMT (London) - yes, I'm hours ahead of most of you! Cornwall, UK

"...regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being." Daisaku Ikeda

www.sparkpeople.com/system/howitwork
s.asp


Body Thrive - Autumn 2019 Anchor statement "I live a courageous life with energy and confidence"
HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/15/15 6:15 P

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Day 42
MAKE IT MATTER

"Anytime you sit on the fence regarding staying on your diet or exercise program, you'll almost always fall to the wrong side."

"Ambivalence is one of the biggest enemies of change... To get past this roadblock, you have to raise the importance of your goal and MAKE IT MATTER."

"Make a list of the ways that being overweight bothers you. Using the scale of 1 to 10, rate each of these issues based on how much it affects you."
- being limited in participating in activities that I love (hiking, scuba) (6)
- recovery of my ankle injury has been hindered by all the excess weight it must bear (10)
- often feeling lethargic (which came first the weight or the lethargy?) and becoming fatigued more easily (8)
- how damn uncomfortable airplane seats are when you have to cram an extra-wide rear into an extra-narrow seat (5)
- the excess body hinders being able to move comfortably in many positions (making exercises more difficult) (5)
- knowing that I'm being judged harshly by others (which I do my best to ignore, but it's still there) (3)
- hating having to shop for clothes or dress nicely (3)
- sweating profusely with little exertion (which is mostly genetic, but it's also exacerbated by the obesity) (3)
- fears of medical consequences catching up with me (so far I'm healthy, but I know that I'm incredibly at risk for many problems because of my obesity) (3)

"Now raise the importance of each one of them and mentally push the level even higher. Remind yourself that your weight bothers you A LOT and you can't wait to see improvement."

I see the benefit in admitting all of the ways that being overweight affects me. That alone is somewhat of a relief to get out there, and it's motivation to sustain changes. However, I'm not going to tear myself down or beat myself up by amplifying how much these things bother me. I'm not going to self-hate by acting as though I cannot stand being who I am right now. OF COURSE I want to lose weight, build up my fitness, and overcome emotional eating. And of course I do get impatient with how long that process will take. But I'm not going to foster the negativity, build false crises, encourage impatience, and risk reaching despair by trying to overcome huge hurdles at break neck speeds. So, NO, I will not remind myself of how much my weight bothers me and raise the importance of these things. They are difficult enough to grapple with at current levels. I will succeed by working my way towards positive goals and outcomes, not by desperately trying to escape over-inflated negatives.

I can relate to the example of a visit from someone elevating the importance of a clean house and motivating you to clean up. However, this is usually a short-burst motivation. You know precisely how much time to have to accomplish your cleaning and that you must be able to live with anything that doesn't get done by then. So, maybe trying to mimic that panic-driven motivation might work for some very short term goal; however, it's not sustainable for long term motivation.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/18/2015 (03:10)
Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/15/15 5:02 P

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Day 41
MOTIVATION IS A CHOICE

"Although it may seem as if it simply pops up unexpectedly, motivation is actually a CHOICE. You create it yourself through your thoughts, your self-talk, and your attitude. Even when you don't have a shred of energy, you can still access your motivation if you want to."

"Every once in a while, you just need a way to jump-start your actions as well as keep yourself moving once you get started."

"MOTIVATION IS A CHOICE -- Focus on accepting and believing this."

Tricks and tips that have helped boost motivation in the past:
~ repeating my mantras/affirmations as soon as I wake up
~ repeating my mantras/affirmations when I need a boost throughout the day
~ using my personal log throughout the day - regularly finding small steps I can do and check off
~ commit to streaks for daily fitness
~ drinking water when I feel at a loss
~ sharing what I'm working on with others on SparkPeople
~ reflecting upon how far I have come
~ reflecting upon what I have accomplished and what I can accomplish
~ challenging myself to prove my commitment

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/14/15 5:02 A

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Day 40
HAVING AN EATING EXPERIENCE

This chapter confuses me a bit. The first section, "Notice the tastes," emphasizes appreciating the nuances of the foods we eat, including evaluating the flavors, textures, etc as well as the atmosphere in which we eat it. However, the next section, "Create your own eating experience," de-emphasizes the actual food in the eating experience. "Let the food become a minor part of your event." So, am I supposed to evaluate how boring the "simple meal" is?

I like the idea of creating or paying attention to the atmosphere in which we eat as part of the eating experience. However, I think it is counterproductive to put together an eating experience that attempts to mask the actual experience of eating. With mindful eating, I try to savor the foods that I eat. I try to slow down and observe my surroundings as well as my meal. I try to find a balance between distractions and still paying attention to what I'm eating. Creating an "eating experience" that downplays the eating sends a message that paying attention to our surroundings is MORE important than paying attention to the food.

Instead, I want to work on recognizing that my environment is part of the eating experience, but not more important than the food itself. Meals can be made more special by creating a nice atmosphere in which to enjoy them. Meals that required more preparation deserve this special treatment, and easier meals can be elevated by enhancing the atmosphere.

I like the idea of playing music during meals and even meal preparation. I want to start working this in every once in a while, and if I find it enhances the eating experience (as I suspect it will) I'll try to do it regularly.

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/14/15 4:22 A

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Day 39
FLAVOR OR TEXTURE?

"Often it's not the flavor but the texture of foods that keeps you reaching for more."

"As you pay attention to the foods you love, you may discover many of them appeal to you only because of their texture. In fact, some foods don't have much flavor at all, but their texture keeps you coming back for more."

"If you recognize you're eating for texture, try to identify what you might need emotionally. After you figure this out, address those needs in some other way instead of using food to take care of them."

When I crave a particular food and it's one I want to avoid or limit, I try to evaluate just what it is about that food that I want to experience. Is it the specific flavor profile? Is it the more general overall taste (sweet, salty, tart, etc)? Is it the texture / mouth feel? Is it the temperature? What combination of these possibilities? Often I can find an alternative that is healthier and still satisfies the craving. When I just have a general craving or I know it's time to eat but I don't know what I want, I try to do the same assessment.

So I know it's important to figure out what food experience I'm looking for so that I'm less likely to keep seeking that experience even after I am no longer hungry. However, I don't think that the flavors and textures that I desire can be correlated to particular emotions or stressors. I don't see anything to food metaphorically being a surrogate for "chewing on" a person who antagonizes me. I know that I am an emotional eater, but I don't think I consistently respond to the same stressors with the same cravings.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/15/2015 (03:36)
Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/14/15 2:58 A

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Day 38
FOOD AS POWER

"You may have discovered that sometimes food helps you feel more important or confident. When you eat a huge amount of food, you may get a feeling of accomplishment or even a sense of 'conquering' the meal."

"In the same way, if you feel powerless in other areas of your life, food can provide a way to overcome feelings of insecurity."

"Many people admit that during times when they feel stressed or anxious, they eat to feel strong."

"It's easy to let food fill the emotional holes in your life so you don't have to face them. If you're feeling uneasy or you want to boost your self-esteem, food will usually provide an easy solution."

I cannot relate to the idea of eating food to feel more powerful... unless it is literally that I am feeling physically weak due to not eating and need a nutritional boost ASAP to fuel my body. But that is not what is being referred to in this chapter. I definitely have a pattern of eating when stressed or anxious, but this does not boost my self-esteem. Instead, it helps numb or distract from the stress and anxiety. I certainly do not come away from the experience feeling more powerful or with higher self-esteem. I usually feel weak and have low self-esteem after turning to food to combat negative emotions. It's more like swapping out one negative for another negative. But I guess I am so accustomed to the negative feelings that stress eating cause that I know how to handle them better. Sort of like the idiom "better the devil you know than the devil you don't."

Despite the fact that I don't use food to "feel powerful" (emotionally), I'll still do the activity of listing several ideas for how I can feel strong and powerful as a person...
~ breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, repeating mantras/affirmations
~ accomplishing difficult tasks
~ doing physical activities (even though I may be so exhausted and weak after pushing myself hard, I still feel powerful emotionally for having done the activities)
~ organizing / purging my belongings
~ helping friends
~ helping strangers in need (i.e. someone who has fallen or gotten injured)
~ listening to upbeat music

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/12/15 5:36 P

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Day 37
I LOVE TO EAT!

"Think about what you love about food. Are you sure that it's the flavor and the aroma? Or is it possible that you enjoy the sensations of eating more than the food itself?"

"It's possible that it's not the food that you love. Instead, maybe you crave experiences around food, such as eating while you're watching sports on TV. Or when life feels unhappy or difficult, you can make your problems fade away by eating, drinking, and laughing along with other people."

"You don't have to stop 'loving to eat.' Just make sure you take time to appreciate the flavors and textures of what you love. Remember to savor your meals..."

"In addition to the flavors of good food, notice other things that you love about eating. Is it possible that what you love isn't related to food at all?"

I definitely have two very different loves of food. One is the love of the flavors, textures, variety, and experience of eating good food. This love has led to unhealthy eating patterns, but can also be used to turn those unhealthy patterns around. Since I really do love good foods, I can increase my enjoyment of them by slowing down and savoring the experience of eating them. Savoring good foods usually results in being satisfied by smaller portions. I can also space out the frequency of eating these foods because delayed gratification can heighten the enjoyment of them.

The other love of food that I have is purely unhealthy. It is the twisted satisfaction of stuffing myself or stuffing down feelings. Unlike my other love of food which can be spun to create more healthy eating patterns, this sick love of using food as a drug cannot. The compulsions driven by this unhealthy love affair have led me to binge on foods I don't even particularly like, binge to the point of being in extreme discomfort or even pain, waste tons of money on food, and shatter my self esteem.

I need to work on recognizing the differences between these two loves of food. I need to make sure that indulging the love of food for its own sake does not trigger the compulsions that result from the love of food as a drug. I need to foster a healthy relationship with food by enjoying its flavors, textures, and aromas while at the same time abstaining from using it as a drug.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/12/2015 (17:49)
Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/7/15 6:54 P

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Day 36
SLOW DOWN YOUR EATING

"If you feel hungry, you probably do need to eat. But stronger hunger signals don't always mean you need A LOT of food."

"As with any skill, listening to your body requires practice."

"Here's an easy way to train yourself to eat more slowly. At the start of your meal, set a timer or the alarm on your watch for 20 minutes. Then pace yourself... so that you'll be finishing the last bite of your food when the time is up."

Slowing down is one of the key things I've been trying to do in order to be satisfied with appropriate food portions. Hunger/satiation signals from my body are more trustworthy when I've eaten more slowly and paid more attention to the food. However, there is more than just my better judgment and stomach at play here. Cravings enter the conversation as well. I used to allow them to drown out the voice of reason and my stomach begging for mercy.

Sometimes, the cravings do serve a useful purpose. For example, sometimes I crave protein-rich foods. When this happens, I recognize it as a nutritional need and make sure I eat some protein instead of trying to satisfy the drive to eat with other foods. However, most of the time, my cravings are more Tasmanian Devil-like -- a strong compulsion to engage in a whirlwind feeding frenzy. The cravings usually start by trying to trick me into eating just something... and then the momentum builds with the desire to eat some more or something else. So, my "body" telling me it's time to eat or to eat more must often be ignored. I will work on trying to discern the difference between hunger signals, nutritional cravings, and counter-productive cravings.

One thing the author does not address here is that being full does not mean that our bodies are properly fueled. It is possible to fill up on foods that have a high water content or lots of fiber. These foods can be very low in calories. If we constantly "fill up" on low cal foods, we are not necessarily honoring our body's nutritional or caloric needs. Same thing goes in reverse. We can eat very high cal foods that will not make us full within reasonable caloric allotments. So, it's not just fullness that indicates our needs have been met.

Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/6/15 2:20 A

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Day 35
THE EATING PAUSE

"When you naturally pause in your eating, you're usually at the exact point where you feel SATISFIED or COMFORTABLE. In fact, this pause seems to correlate exactly with the moment your stomach indicates it's taken in enough food. If you continue to eat, you quickly move to the level of being TOO FULL."

In the past, I would wolf down my food so quickly that any pause I may have had in my eating most likely came after I had already eaten too much... and then I probably ate more anyway. Now, I intentionally pause many times while eating to slow myself down. I am not satiated at these pauses but the technique does help me to feel satiated by the time I am finished my servings.

I have noticed that my typical serving size of veggie fried rice has become a bit much when I make it for breakfast. The past two times I've made it for breakfast, I've stopped eating when I still had about 1/4-1/2 left. I saved the rest and ate it about an hour or so later. That felt much better than stuffing myself in the first place.

I will start trying to notice if there is a satiation eating pause in addition to the many pauses I create to slow down my eating pace.

Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/5/15 5:16 P

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Day 34
LISTEN ACCURATELY

"Instead of enjoying the sensation of being overly full, begin labeling it as UNCOMFORTABLE. Make a conscious decision that you no longer want to feel that way and that instead, you want to feel COMFORTABLE or SATISFIED."

For now, I am going to concentrate on becoming aware of satiation signals, but still allow my better judgment and food measurements to decide how much I eat most of the time. I often am not hungry for breakfast, but I eat it because I know it makes my whole eating plan work better. So, if I were to stop eating breakfast at the point where I feel comfortable, I'd never even START eating breakfast on most days. Other times, the fullness signals come too late to properly inform me when to stop. I need to re-train my mind-body communication in this area. Mentally knowing what serving sizes and calorie contents SHOULD satiate hunger, eating mindfully, and informing my body it is time to stop eating... consistently doing these things will in time give my body a more appropriate system with which to gauge degrees of hunger and satiation. Meanwhile, when my body sends signals that are incorrect according to the new system, I will acknowledge the signal but correct the label of where it falls on the hunger-satiation continuum.

My body has spent so much time thinking that "full" means "stuffed" and "stuffed" means "painful" ...and even sometimes ignoring the "painful" to cram more food in. I am now teaching my body to accept that going to bed with a somewhat grumbling tummy is no more uncomfortable than feeling overstuffed (which I have far too often subjected it to). In fact, it feels much better.

There is something satisfying about feeling full. It's been so ingrained for my entire life that it's difficult to discern all of the reasons. But I have learned that when I'm craving that sensation, I can achieve it with relatively few calories. I make quick veggie broth & veggie soup or miso soup and it fills me up and gives me double satisfaction - 1) I'm full, 2) I didn't throw off my calorie budget by much or at all. At this point, carefully achieving fullness is more important to me than trying to convince myself that I shouldn't ever want to feel that way.

I AM, however, trying to eliminate being STUFFED.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/5/2015 (17:34)
Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
12/5/15 5:49 A

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Day 33
FULLNESS SCALE

"Unlike what you might think, to recognize fullness, you have to listen to your stomach instead of looking at your plate."

"As you are eating, your stomach muscles begin to expand in order to accommodate the food. By paying careful attention to how your abdominal area feels, you can determine the precise amount of food your body requires."

Right now, I do better with my mind processing fullness based on measuring out meals than I can do with allowing my stomach to call the shots. Occasionally, when I manage to eat slowly and mindfully, my stomach might admit that it's full before the allotted servings are consumed. So, am trying to detect that and respect it. However, far too often if my stomach is left to it's own devices, I'd jump from hungry to too full or stuffed.

Also, the digestive tracks of chronic over-eaters become enlarged (not the stomach, but the intestines) and food travels from the stomach to the small intestine faster. So "paying attention to how your abdominal area feels" is NOT an accurate way to assess "the precise amount of food your body requires." This might work for someone who is just overweight, but not for someone who has been obese for years. Eventually, with dieting and refraining from bingeing, stomach capacity can reduce. www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/health/22
re
al.html?_r=0


So, it's a double edged sword. Listening to a stomach at an appropriate capacity can help with weight loss; however, if you are obese your stomach capacity will not give you accurate signals for what your body truly needs.

As I get better and better at mindful eating, and as I get better and better about refraining from bingeing and overeating, my body signals should more reliable. In the meantime, I will work on trying to detect various stages of satiation.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/5/2015 (06:01)
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12/3/15 2:20 A

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Day 32
THE FIVE-HOUR RULE

"If you're REALLY hungry, do you need more food than if you're just a LITTLE hungry? As a rule, the answer is no -- you just think you do. When you feel 'starved' you're more likely to overeat, even though your body would be satisfied with a lot less food."

"When you really feel famished, you're a lot more likely to eat too much. You're also far less particular about your food choices."

"To prevent this, use a FIVE-HOUR RULE to manage your hunger. Anytime you go longer than five hours between eating, you greatly increase the risk of overeating."

I definitely have issues in this area. Becoming too hungry can most certainly set off overeating and makes me vulnerable to bingeing. Even after I feel full, the compulsion to keep eating remains.

*****
The following is not really a response to what is written in this chapter, but it's where my reflections took me...

I've gotten really upset at expert advice about emotional and compulsive eating. Even experts that start out sounding like they can actually relate to emotional and compulsive eating and how complicated it is, usually flounder when it comes to combating it. They usually say, evaluate whether it's really food you need or if emotions are driving you. And then they give typical dieting advice like don't get too hungry, or how to feel full with less calories. My response to that is, "emotional eating has about as much to do with being hungry as alcoholism has to do with being thirsty." Sure, when an alcoholic is thirsty they might be more likely to want a cold beer thinking that it is just to quench their thirst, but most of their drinking has absolutely nothing to do with being thirsty. The same is true with emotional eating. The compulsion to keep eating has little to do with hunger. However, being very hungry can be a trigger for the compulsive eating.

So, while managing hunger is not the same thing as tackling the larger issue of emotional or compulsive eating, it may help reduce SOME instances. I think it is harmful to dismiss bingeing as just a response to being really hungry; however, that is not to say that hunger doesn't contribute to the problem.
*****

Okay, I think I'm finished with my tangent now! My short answer response to the chapter: Yes, I need to avoid getting too hungry. Planning well-spaced meals and snacks and sticking to that timeframe can help. I will strive to remember and behave accordingly to the idea that even if I do get really hungry, it does not mean that I require more food than if I'm just a little hungry.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/3/2015 (13:58)
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12/2/15 5:52 A

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Day 31
HUNGER SCALE

"To manage hunger effectively, you need to recognize it and respond to it when you're at a minus one [a little hungry] on the hunger scale. As soon as you feel the first twinge or awareness of hunger, make note that it's time for food. Then plan to eat soon or at least within the next 20 to 30 minutes."

"Start watching for hunger signals such as having a growling stomach, fatigue, headache, or loss of focus. Notice if you feel somewhat weak or shaky, grouchy, listless, or faint."

When it comes to food, my mind and body have communication problems and play cruel tricks on each other. Sometimes my body convinces my mind through cravings that I must eat even if I'm not in need of food. Sometimes my mind convinces itself that I must eat because my body is showing some of the signals listed above that MAY indicate hunger. Sometimes my mind tunes out and lets my body get away with serious overeating that I'm barely aware of. Sometimes my mind is VERY aware that a binge is happening or about to take place and screams at my body to stop and it won't. Sometimes my body has eaten so much it is not only full, but extremely uncomfortable, and yet some part of me has taken over that keeps stuffing more food in.

So, I am working on recognizing what genuine hunger and satiation actually feel like. I am trying to get my mind and body on better speaking terms. I have put my better judgment in charge of making decisions until the mind-body communication gets it's act together! My better judgment has to decipher tricky and misleading signals.

Signs of actual hunger:
- Growling stomach
- Feeling shaky and/or faint (hunger has progressed too far!)

Misleading signs that could indicate hunger, but could also be excuses for emotional eating, boredom eating, and/or bingeing:
- Loss of focus - "I need to concentrate; I'd better eat!" Sugar highs are not conducive to long term productivity OR meeting health goals. Need to learn to distinguish between loss of focus due to lack of nutrition, lack of sleep, lack of interest, etc.
- Fatigue - "I'm tired; I want food!" What a great excuse to eat. Is it fatigue from hunger though or genuine exhaustion. Is it genuine exhaustion or is my body complaining about being sedentary / stagnant for too long?
- Headache - may call for comfort food whether I need it or not.
- Grouchy - bad moods can definitely trigger emotional eating.

I know that when genuine hunger builds, I may experience any number of the symptoms above. So, I can't just ignore them. But I also can't trust them at face value either. When I notice hunger signals, I need to use my better judgment to figure out if I have cause to be hungry (When is the last time I ate? Have I had enough protein? Do I need to drink more water? Am I craving food for other reasons? What is appropriate to eat now? Would that satisfy me or will I want more and more?) I think that sometimes my cravings manufacture hunger symptoms because it always used to be a reliable way to get me to eat. Even a hollow feeling in my stomach may be an emotional need, not a physical one.

If I make an error and ignore what turn out to be actual hunger indicators, then I put myself at serious risk of overeating when I do finally eat. If I make an error and eat due to what I thought was hunger, but it was actually something else, then I'm in the act of over-eating. It also re-enforces the false connection and poor communication within myself.

I guess the solution is to just keep trying my best, re-evaluate regularly, and adjust as needed. I will trust planned meal and snack times more than feelings of "hunger."

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/2/2015 (05:57)
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Day 30
POSTPONE EATING

Today's lesson focuses on the idea of limiting snack food consumption at social events by delaying when we begin eating them. Postpone eating to minimize the amount. "Sometimes you'll wait ten minutes; other times you might hold off for a couple of hours." One suggestion is to hold off eating anything until the very end of the event. "Anytime you are tempted to give in and start nibbling, just remind yourself you can eat anything you want, but you'll wait until later." The idea being that if you wait until the last 10 minutes of a gathering, you'll "only have time for one or two pieces instead of half a pound."

Even when savoring, I could do a lot more damage than just one or two pieces in 10 minutes! However, it does limit the amount of time I would have to restrain my intake if the food triggers strong cravings / compulsion to binge.

I actually did the "postpone eating" thing a couple of weeks ago. I arrived early to an event to help set up. Even though part of setting up was putting the food out, I did not sample any. When the event started, no one seemed to be taking food from out in the hallway (where it was set up) into the room. I didn't want to miss out on anything the speakers were saying, so I didn't go get any snacks. At the end of the event, I stayed around to help clean up. I decided to have some of the food then. If that had been the end of it and I went home at that point, all would have been good. But supplies needed to be wheeled back to another building. Everyone started munching on the leftover snacks. I started out with some restraint, but then lost it.

So, I think this technique has potential to work. Just make sure that the "last ten minutes" of the food opportunities really are the last ten minutes and things won't continue after that!

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 12/1/2015 (19:13)
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12/1/15 8:28 A

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Awesome stuff here! On to Day 30 - you can do it!
emoticon

Gill

Time Zone GMT (London) - yes, I'm hours ahead of most of you! Cornwall, UK

"...regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being." Daisaku Ikeda

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11/30/15 2:58 A

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Day 29
HANDHELD FOODS

"...set up strategies that will keep those foods in the bowl instead of in your hand."

"Start by putting a buffer between any bite-sized foods and your mouth. When you eat a snack, transfer your serving amount from the original container to a plate or a bowl."

...That's not really putting a buffer between the food and my mouth, but it is a valid method of trying to stick to appropriate serving sizes.

"By putting your food into a serving dish, you'll have to stop and think each time before you refill it."

...I've refilled many a serving dish on autopilot - sometimes subconsciously, sometimes with my better judgment trying to stop me, but the autopilot following through anyway. The point is, however, that I SHOULD stop and think each time before I refill it. I've been working on this (and will continue to do so).

The author suggests that we try eating handheld foods with utensils instead. "After a while you'll realize this feels pretty silly. And you'll probably eat less because the reward doesn't seem worth the effort it takes to put the food into a spoon."

...okay, how hard is it to use a spoon??? This makes me laugh every time I think about it. Sure, I would feel silly right from the very beginning eating M&Ms with a spoon, but that wouldn't stop me from doing it. And the EFFORT(?!) it would take to use a spoon would certainly not be a deterrent either because I would not perceive of it as an effort. I'm pretty proficient with spoon usage I guess.

I was tempted to blow off the tasks in this lesson because I really didn't believe using utensils would somehow make food seem "not worth it." But I decided to give it a shot. This morning I budgeted calories for some Smartfood popcorn which I decided I would have as an evening snack. This evening I walked to the store and bought the popcorn. When I returned, I put about 1/3 of the bag in a small bowl and ate it piece by piece with chopsticks. Each time I refilled my bowl (2 more times), I paid attention to the fact that I was refilling it (no autopilot). Not only am I good with a spoon, but I'm also very proficient with chopsticks. So, using the chopsticks didn't slow me down anymore than the last time I ate the popcorn - when I made a point to only put one or two pieces in my mouth at a time. However, the last time I ate the popcorn I was making a conscious effort to savor it too. Both of these times I ate the popcorn more slowly and mindfully than usual. I guess the key difference was that I had to look in the bowl each time I picked up a piece with the chopsticks whereas when I ate with my fingers I didn't HAVE to look at what I was picking up.

I might consider eating small snack foods with chopsticks again because it is a reminder to remain mindful of what I am eating (not because it is harder, but because it is different). I won't expect it to make me eat less, but I would expect it to make me remember to savor it more.

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11/28/15 4:16 P

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Day 28
EATING BECAUSE IT'S THERE

"STOP AUTOMATIC EATING - To stop this autopilot eating, tell yourself this magic line:
I DON'T EAT FOOD JUST BECAUSE IT'S THERE.
Then catch yourself during those times when you reach for food simply because it came into your line of vision. To use this concept effectively, you have to be willing to let food opportunities pass you by."

This is definitely an area I need to work on. The power of suggestion when seeing food can be pretty strong. In the past, I've found myself munching on things that I don't even particularly like... just because it was there.

The power of suggestion can also be used in a positive way when establishing better habits. I keep out bowls of apples in prominent areas where I'll see them constantly. I've never gone on an apple eating binge, so this was a good item for me to use. Seeing the apples regularly makes me more likely to go for healthy snacks (whether it is an apple or something else). The apples don't make me want to reach for food when I otherwise wouldn't, but when my mind starts plotting for food, the apples send a good message.

I will be more conscious about combating negative powers of suggestion. I will make a point of passing up "just because it's there" food opportunities. When I am in a situation where food is visible & available and I can't just walk away from it, I will try to position myself so my back is turned to it. I will remember that even when I walk by something that I really like, it isn't okay to just pick it up. If it is really something that I want, I can figure out if I can work it into my calorie budget AFTER I walk by it. Then, if my better judgment decides it's ok, I can go back to select an appropriate small serving... which I would then savor, not just mindless pop into my mouth.


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11/27/15 7:18 P

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Day 27
EAT DESSERT WHEN IT'S SPECIAL

I rarely order dessert when eating out. So, assessing whether the dessert AND occasion is worth the extra calories may help me cut back on restaurant desserts even further. I also avoid buying desserts at the grocery store (aside from ice cream). Unfortunately, this can sometimes make me rationalize that just having dessert available to eat anywhere IS a special occasion. When desserts are available for free somewhere, I need to be more discerning about whether they are actually worth eating. So I will focus on refining my criteria for "special."

As I wrote about before, PLANNING on having ice cream regularly is actually part of my current strategy of learning to have control over it. So, knowing that I can enjoy some ice cream instead of whatever other dessert may be available or tempting me often helps me pass on other "more potent" dessert options. (In the same vein, knowing that I could have ice cream later on sometimes helps me pass on it at the current time and pick an even better option).

When I make a dessert or bake a treat at home, I always have more of it than even remotely reasonable. If I spaced out the same quantity over several more days, I could fit it into my calorie budgets for those days, and there wouldn't be a problem. (Most of the things I make are relatively healthy as far as desserts go - always at least a few additions or substitutions that improve the nutrition profile and calorie levels.)

There are a couple of desserts that I am planning on making while I'm home for the holidays & after. Both the food and the occasion will be special. I am going to work hard on implementing lessons on mindful eating and controlling portions & situations so that I can thoroughly enjoy the treats and not fall into the trap of eating so much of it so often (i.e. multiple times per day). It will taste just as good spaced out over several days, and it will make me FEEL better that I was able to do it! If someone else gobbles it all up before that, then that is their problem. As for me, I will stick to my plan. I will not compete to get "my fair share." Instead, I can wait a few days (or longer) and bake something else (or the same thing again) and enjoy that at a reasonable rate too. I will demystify dessert, break its control over me, and not fall into the trap of old patterns.

I would like to get to a place where I can bake more regularly, but exhibit more control over my consumption. That would be better than holding off on baking for long periods and then overindulging until it's gone.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/27/2015 (19:40)
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Day 26
WHEN FOOD DISAPPOINTS YOU

"When you eat something to appreciate the flavor, make sure the food matches what you want. If you're eating something to appreciate flavors, and a food doesn't taste as good as you'd hoped, stop eating it! Then get rid of the rest so you don't go reach for it again to see if it got any better!"

Today was Thanksgiving. This year, I decided to stay low-key and not really observe the holiday. I'm not around family or close friends. I had three different invitations to join others, but I really anticipated that I'd feel too socially awkward (which puts me at risk of resorting to food) and if I wasn't around loved ones it would just be observing a day of gluttony. However, I did sample a little taste of the sweet potatoes my roommate had prepared. I anticipated certain flavors, but as I tried to savor the bite I realized that it just didn't taste right to me. For a short period of time, I tried to figure out if something really was wrong with the sweet potatoes or if I was just imagining things. Instead of swallowing the bite to get it out of my mouth, I decided to spit it out. If it hadn't occurred to me that the strange taste might have been from my roommate possibly cooking the sweet potatoes in the same pan with the turkey (which I don't eat) then I probably would have swallowed the bite.

I will not only keep in mind that if food disappoints me, I should stop eating it, but also that I don't even have to keep eating what may be in my mouth already!

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11/27/15 4:47 A

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Day 25
SMALLER AMOUNTS, LESS OFTEN

"Instead of avoiding yummy treats such as ice cream or chocolate chip cookies, plan them into your program. By using the guideline of SMALLER AMOUNTS, LESS OFTEN, you can actually look forward to eating wonderful foods."

Ice cream used to be my dieting nemesis. Because I have the capacity to eat (and still crave) massive quantities of it, I used to try so hard to make it off limits when working on getting healthy because I knew that just having it around could trigger a serious binge. I'd plan to have alternatives instead (like fruit smoothies and homemade sorbet). Or I'd try buying a package of individual serving ice cream treats and try to stick to just one serving. Even though I love the fruit smoothies and sorbet I make, it still didn't break the power ice cream had over me.

Recently, I've been successful at keeping ice cream in my freezer and not going crazy with it. Right now, I'm working on a "smaller amount, MORE often" model. By allowing myself to have a cup of ice cream every day if I want it (and ideally can factor it into my calorie budget), I've found that there are days that I don't end up having any or even wanting any. (I realize that one cup is 2 servings of ice cream, but that is still significant less than what I'd have before.) I am learning to be in charge.

"When you plan specific times and amounts for eating what you love, you get back to being in charge of the food, not the other way around."

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Day 24
EAT FOR SATISFACTION

"If you're determined you want to appreciate flavors, work on getting satisfaction from your food, not guilt or remorse. To do this, you don't have to eat large amounts - you simply have to let the food sink into your awareness."

"When you give yourself permission to enjoy food instead of feeling guilty about it, you'll get the satisfaction you crave and you won't have to hunt for something more to eat."

"When you need emotional soothing, eating can often make you feel frustrated rather than healed."

Foods/meals that are usually highly satisfying for me typically have multiple flavors and textures. I tend to like meals with a high veggie content but also mixed in with other savory flavors. That way I can still feel full and experience lots of flavors and textures, but the meal is usually much lower in calories. I also like "melt in your mouth" foods like ice cream and chocolate.

I don't tend to feel guilty WHILE eating foods - unless I'm on a binge that I recognize as a binge and I still can't regain control. Or, AFTER I've stuffed myself or eaten something I was trying to resist, I might feel guilty. But if I'm in control of my decision to eat something, guilt is not usually I factor. I try to own up to my mistakes and take responsibility for them. It is better for me to PLAN to eat something than to fall into a guilt trap.

"Eat one thing today with the intention of feeling satisfied." Since I am trying to implement mindful eating techniques as a regular habit, I TRY to make a point of savoring and being satisfied by everything I eat. Sometimes I am more successful than others.

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11/25/15 2:46 A

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I am enjoying reading your thoughtful blogs - you're doing great! keep going!



Gill

Time Zone GMT (London) - yes, I'm hours ahead of most of you! Cornwall, UK

"...regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being." Daisaku Ikeda

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Body Thrive - Autumn 2019 Anchor statement "I live a courageous life with energy and confidence"
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11/24/15 4:10 A

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Day 23
SAVORING

Savoring food is a very important mindful eating technique. While the author's suggestion of taking 6 "bites" of a single Andes candy is ridiculous to me, the practice of savoring is not. I believe that part of savoring is enjoying the mouth feel of foods. This can be accomplished with small to normal size bites, but at some point, a "bite" gets too small to really experience the mouth feel. Trying to savor a nibble that small would only emphasize to me that I'm not getting what I want. Same thing with trying to eat only 1/4 teaspoon at time of other items. 1/4 teaspoon is pretty darn tiny! Taking bites approximately the size of one teaspoon seems more reasonable and effective to me. I can savor my small bite, experience the flavors, textures, mouth feel... and then take a sip of water or tea before the next bite to further slow myself down.

"One is enough. After you've finished this exercise, ask yourself if you want another mint. Usually, the answer is no. When you eat with this level of awareness, you receive an amazing amount of enjoyment and satisfaction from your food."

While I agree that eating mindfully enhances the enjoyment and satisfaction of food, that does not mean that I wouldn't want to continue. Of course I WANT more. I always want more.... A better scenario for me would be to fully enjoy a small actual serving of something and then DECIDE that's enough. I need to consciously decide to limit myself and not even entertain the idea of asking myself if I want more. Perhaps a better question to ask myself after enjoying my small serving of a treat would be, "wasn't that wonderful?" Past tense indicates I am finished now, but I can continue savoring the memory of what I just enjoyed.

Learning to savor each bite goes a long way towards satisfying hunger and cravings without overindulging. Incorporating this technique for "off plan" foods will help me to remember that less can be more.

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11/24/15 3:37 A

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Day 22
MULTITASK WITH FOOD

"If you are doing other activities at the same time, remind yourself that you ARE EATING and stay aware of what you put in your mouth."

"With a little practice, you can stay focused on your food at the same time you engage in conversations or enjoy entertainment."

AWARENESS TRAINING
- Sit with your food on a plate in front of you; study it (aroma & appearance)
- Take a bite; pay attention to flavors, textures, and mouth feel
- Chew slowly
- Fully enjoy the experience

The next suggested steps in the awareness training involve looking for ways to challenge your awareness while eating. I certainly have no shortage of things that challenge my awareness while eating. Rather than intentionally finding things that distract me, whenever I eat meals with distractions (usually) I will make a point of doing the items listed above in the awareness training.

It is helpful to have techniques that can bring awareness in distracted situations. As I work on having more of my meals with fewer distractions, I will also work on becoming more mindful despite distractions at other mealtimes.

I practiced the above techniques with my dinner last night. At first, I felt a bit silly putting my face near my plate to inhale the aromas. But it did help me experience the food more. I occasionally smelled a bite before putting it into my mouth too. Each time, it made me think of Hawkeye on MASH, but even so it was an effective way to maintain my awareness. I also internally described the flavors and textures I was experiencing. Tonight, I ate dinner while watching a show. I repeated the awareness training techniques. While I did not "experience" my dinner as completely as I did the night before, I really did eat with much more awareness than I usually do with entertainment on. As I keep practicing these techniques, my awareness will grow! (both with and without distractions)

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11/22/15 4:51 P

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Day 21
EAT WITH AWARENESS

"Remember, there are two purposes for eating - to fuel your body and to appreciate flavors. When you're eating for fuel, staying conscious helps you become aware of when your tank is full. And if your goal is to appreciate flavors, you certainly want to notice and enjoy the taste of the food you eat."

"When you eat with no awareness, you miss out on the flavor, texture, and sensation of your food. Because you didn't 'get' the taste you wanted, you may still yearn for it, so you eat more."

"While you are eating, don't do any other activities -- focus entirely on the food. Notice details such as the food's appearance, flavors and textures, and even the temperature."

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I have been making an effort for a while to do this with breakfast. When I have the time and the weather cooperates, I sit out on the lanai with my breakfast, my water bottle, and a big mug of jasmine green tea or yerba mate.

I also have my cell phone with me, but I try to limit using it to tracking my breakfast on SparkPeople. Sometimes I read articles on SparkPeople too. This morning, I re-read Day 21 in 100 DWL, but I made a point of savoring a bite, taking a sip of water or tea, reading a little bit more, then stopping to savor another bite and so forth. I think I may have hit upon the right formula for me with this technique. I was still very mindful of each bite, I ate very slowly, and I didn't have any desire to quickly finish up because I was getting bored.

I think with this technique, I will attempt to eat more of my other meals at home in such a manner. I also need to work on eating meals mindfully when I have to eat in my room instead of on the lanai because of the weather. That will be harder because there are so many tempting distractions! I will use this technique when I eat by myself on campus too.

I went back and read my response to this lesson from a few years ago. I wrote: "I've found it helps me to eat more mindfully if I think about describing the flavors and textures to myself as I eat." This is brilliant! I do not remember ever doing that, so I must not have stuck with it for very long (it was only a few days later that I allowed my entire progress to get derailed for quite a while). I'm so glad that I re-discovered what I wrote though, because when I tried that this morning I found that it really helped me focus on and enjoy what I was eating.

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11/21/15 6:11 P

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Day 20
HALF-OFF SPECIAL

"Decide you won't go back for seconds - ever. Even when you're at family-style dinners or buffets, take food only once. If you crave seconds, you're probably hooked on the taste of the food rather than needing more fuel."

"Determine your serving size before you begin eating."

"Learn to recognize whether it's your body or your head that still wants food. Then take care of what really needs to be addressed."

Most of the time at restaurants, I try to plan ahead for a doggy bag. For example, I'll make sure to order salad and side veggies along with my entree and then take half my entree home. When places offer half or full options for dishes, I tend to go with full size and then take 1/2 home - I've found that the "half" size portions are typically larger than 1/2 the size and they are ALWAYS more than 1/2 the price of the full size.

I think planning the serving size before I begin eating is key. If I start to feel that my planned serving size won't satisfy me, then I need to remember to supplement with veggies during the meal or some fruit afterwards.

At buffets, I used to often eat two fully-loaded stacked high plates. I learned to break that habit by always filling one half of my plate with veggies and then just little samples of other foods. I now avoid stacking the plate high and stick to a single layer. As I eat that plateful, I really pay attention to what I actually like and try to leave the rest of whatever is just so-so. After I finish the veggies and tasting the samples, I go back for some more veggies and then a bit more of a couple things I really liked from the first plate. For me, this works better than trying to limit myself to just one plate, because I'd end up stacking that plate high and probably eating all of it. It is better for me to learn to be more discriminating about what I decide to finish from small samples and then allowing myself to have a second small serving of the good stuff.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/21/2015 (18:17)
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11/21/15 5:41 P

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Day 19
EAT REASONABLE AMOUNTS

emoticon When I eat at home, I measure practically everything. Being consistent with measuring helps me stay on track. It also helps me estimate measurements when I eat out.

Several years ago when I evaluated the pros and cons of different dieting program approaches, I decided that the methods that use "exchanges" are really no easier than calorie counting to me. Because you still have to remember what the serving sizes are for each thing you might eat, and then remember how many servings you are allotted. If something wasn't listed in the exchange lists, you have to figure out the serving size that matches the plan - which often don't match the serving size listed on packages or in other places.

Also, when following an exchange program in the past, I had a trainer who evaluated it after I plateaued for several weeks (despite busting my butt at the gym and following the eating plan faithfully). He discovered that the exchange program that I was on had killed my metabolism because it did not have me eating enough calories for the amount of working out that I was doing. As soon as I started eating more, I started dropping weight again. This problem would have been easier to discover if I had been able to look at my food logs and know how many calories I was eating.

To me, it is better to track foods eaten in programs like SparkPeople's nutrition tracker and along the way learn to better estimate actual calories and nutrition profiles of foods. This method is more flexible and gives me a better sense of the nutrition information for foods (rather than trying to cram into my head rather limited and arbitrary information that might change). I aim for a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and veggies, and make sure I get in enough protein. For everything else, I periodically check my progress for the day in the nutrition tracker to see how my carb/fat/protein ratio is going and try to balance it out if needed.

emoticon Anyway, measuring regularly is important for my approach and for my accountability. I will experiment with estimating first and then measuring for confirmation to improve my ability to estimate when I am unable to measure. In considering this lesson, I've also realized that there are a few things that I don't tend to measure that I could or should. I could also bite the bullet and take measuring cups with me to campus a few times to actually measure the components of the meals I frequently have there. It would be good to know if my estimates are accurate there. I haven't been too concerned about this yet because the days that I eat on campus are also the days that I go to the gym. Right now my calorie range shoots way up when I exercise a lot for the day, but I know that as I lose weight and my target calorie ranges drop it will be even more important to be accurate even when I burn a lot of calories.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/22/2015 (17:30)
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11/21/15 4:40 P

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Day 18
RETRAINING EATING HABITS

I don't recall ever being told to clean my plate. I remember there were times I was coerced into eating more of a particular thing on my plate, but not to clean the whole plate. (That doesn't mean it never happened, I just don't remember it.) However, EXAMPLE serves as a strong message. Also, if dinners were good, it was almost like a competition to get "enough" of it. No matter how much my mother cooked (with the intention of having another meal from the leftovers), my brother would polish off the leftovers after school (i.e. eat the entire family's dinner). So if I wanted more, I had to eat it the first time around.

To this day, even when cooking for just myself most of the time, I have a hard time letting leftovers remain leftovers. If I cook two or more servings of something so I have another meal prepared ahead of time, I often struggle to leave the leftovers alone. I need to remind myself that when I'm not with family, my leftovers will still be there waiting for me and will be just as delicious the next day.

New messages to instill:
~ Never continue eating once I feel full.
~ Never put more on my plate than I should eat in the first place.
~ Never feel I have to clean my plate. Always assess if my hunger is satiated.
~ Never waste food by waisting food - eating excess that will go to my waist

If food is so good that I want to keep eating past satiation, remind myself that I'll enjoy the leftovers even more than cramming more into me right now.

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11/19/15 2:11 P

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I have really enjoyed reading through your blogs here Huyana - I dismissed Days 15 and 16 for similar reasons - anyway, I'm glad you've got past them and are onto Day 17 now. Day 18 is similar again....... and I didn't agree with her suggestions on that day either!

Gill

Time Zone GMT (London) - yes, I'm hours ahead of most of you! Cornwall, UK

"...regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being." Daisaku Ikeda

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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/18/15 6:42 P

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Day 17
STOP WASTING FOOD.... in myself

"Every time you eat food your body doesn't need, you are wasting it!"

"When you fill your car with gas, you don't keep pumping after the tank is full, spilling the fuel on the ground. So why would you do that with your body?"

"Starting today, make a commitment that you will not waste food by putting it into your body. This mental shift may not come easily."

This certainly will not come easily to me, but the insight that eating more than necessary is wasting food is something that I need to be mindful of. I will be able to address the bad habit of wasting food IN me more successfully through learning to pack up leftovers on my plate no matter how small. If over time, I come to realize that some of these random tiny leftovers never make it back onto a plate, then I'll learn what I'm unlikely to cycle back in and in the future scrape the leftovers into the trash in the first place. Certain things I already know I can / should leave behind, such as food that wasn't delicious in the first place and some of the carb component on my plate.

Oftentimes at restaurants, I'll plan ahead for my leftovers. For example, one place has great seafood pasta which I love. I order the starter salad even though it's not included with the entree, and I order a side of steamed broccoli. I always finish the salad and the broccoli, and pack up half my entree. If I just packed up 1/2 the entree without filling up on veggies, I'd be likely to eat the food from the doggy bag as soon as I got home. Or, I might keep eating a bit more and a bit more of the pasta in the restaurant until it doesn't seem like enough is left to be worth packing up.... so I'd pack the rest into me. I should get in the habit of bringing my own containers for leftovers so it's easier to "dispose" of the excess on the plate without worrying about getting the server to bring me a container early on or that cheapo restaurant container spilling while I enjoy the rest of my meal.

Since I measure out the foods that I eat at home, I rarely have more on my plate than needed. If I notice that certain foods regularly satiate me before I finish what I've portioned out, then I reduce the measurements for those foods. If this sometimes leaves me feeling like I didn't make enough, then I can always supplement my meal or snack with some baby carrots or an apple.

Today, I made a point of spooning a bite of rice off to the side of my plate as I was eating. Then as I finished up my lunch, I left an additional spoonful on my plate. I immediately put my napkin on my plate to prevent myself from absent mindedly eating what was left. I am plenty full afterwards. So, I will keep this up every time I have Indian curry for lunch (often 2-3 times per week).

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/22/2015 (17:23)
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11/17/15 4:21 P

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Day 16
NURTURING POWER OF FOOD

Gak! I waited to read this chapter until I could put aside my anger towards the last chapter and approach this one with fresh eyes, being open to the possibility of a lesson that could help me.

Instead, this chapter is even worse for me! Now, not only does the author claim that the first two bites are the only ones that have the flavor to be worth eating (a concept that I do not buy into), but she goes on to claim that they are the only ones with any emotional power. "Eating more of it simply won't bring you additional satisfaction or make you feel any better."

Really? Not at all true for me. Words cannot override experience. I do agree that emotional eating / binge eating reaches a turning point from being emotionally satisfying to being devastating, but seriously, after two bites??? I cannot help but feel at this point that the author has no concept of what emotional eating can entail.

I would love to get to a point in my life where I can take two bites of a food that I crave and have that be enough to satisfy the craving. But to try to just outright DENY the power of emotional eating and the hold it can have over some of us is NOT a method of reaching that goal.

To me, it would be more productive to try to work on disassociating food from being the go to "cure" for emotional outlet. Instead, in this chapter we are told that food indeed can regulate our emotions, but we must stick to a dose of just two bites. Great. Do we also tell alcoholics that they can use alcohol to deal with their problems in life, but they should stick to just the first two shots?

GRRRRR!!!!!

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/17/2015 (16:26)
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11/17/15 3:20 P

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Day 15
FIRST TWO BITES

I have been "stuck" on this lesson for several days now. I guess I have been grappling with trying to get something productive out of it. That's just not coming. So, perhaps it would be more productive to finally voice how much this chapter ticks me off so I can move on.

"You may not realize it, but the first two bites of any food will always have the most flavor." BULLSH*T! I'm sorry, but what is the basis for this statement? Was there some replicable scientific study done that reaches this conclusion? Is it based on a comprehensive survey of anecdotal evidence? What about all of the outliers? "...if you want to appreciate the flavor, be aware that no matter how much you eat, the taste won't get any more wonderful than those first two bites." Obviously, the actual chemical composition of the food does not change from the first bite to the last, but our EXPERIENCE of the flavor can differ. It can differ not only from person to person but also differ within an individual from one time to the next.

I want to respond, "You may not realize it, but you are NOT my taste buds or brain, and you have no concept of how I experience flavors." My unhealthy pattern of eating a treat is to wolf down the first part of it because it tastes so good, and THEN to slow down and really savor the nuances of the flavors. Which means that my middle to end bites have MUCH more (experienced) flavor than those first two bites. It's not that I'm just not enlightened enough to realize the author's claim that the first two bites have more flavor, it's that it's absolutely not true in my experience.

Now, if there actually is some scientific evidence that really does show that the way our sensory neurons fire for the first two bites actually IS stronger. Then that is worthy of discussion. That means that I have a large disconnect between my biological sensory experience and the way that I am able to perceive it. Then there could be a discussion of finding ways to bridge this gap. However, making unsubstantiated claims and then defending them with "you just don't realize it" is counterproductive, amateur, and aggravating.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

One of the principles of mindful eating is to savor and enjoy every bite. THAT is a lesson I've found valuable to try to incorporate and strive to do on a regular basis. I can work on slowing down, avoiding distractions, and savoring the experience of each bite. This strategy makes smaller portions much more fulfilling for me. Adopting this strategy over time may allow me to be satisfied with just having two bites of something.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So, it's not that I'm opposed to the concept of trying to be satisfied with just sampling a treat. But I am completely put off by the way the author approaches and tries to justify the idea. I also find it absolutely ridiculous to encourage us to go out of our way to buy a treat and then discard most of it. Have you ever tried to get someone on a tight budget to take out a five dollar bill and tear it to shreds? I'd rather give away $20 than completely waste $5. I flirted with the idea of buying a treat, eating just a couple of bites, and then putting the rest "away" in my fridge or freezer to sample more of later in the week. However, this would set me up for disaster. I'd tell myself after only a little while, that I'd just have two more bites and stop. Then two more, then two more.... until it was gone.

Instead of the approach of obtaining a large portion of something and then trying to discard the rest, I'd potentially have more success with obtaining just a tiny portion in the first place and savoring it. I'd have more luck with trying to be satisfied with a small sliver of cake than eating two bites of a large slice and then dumping the rest. If I had proven success with this method over time, THEN I might be ready to tackle the challenge of obtaining a larger portion treat but only eating a small portion.

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11/14/15 6:28 P

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Day 14
MORNING AFFECTS EVENING

I never used to eat breakfast. When I finally started trying to eat a regular breakfast years ago, it was a BIG adjustment. I would get frustrated because I was eating breakfast to help with weight loss, but then the breakfast would make me SO hungry, so much earlier in the day than if I had just waited to eat until lunch time. This explanation makes sense of my experience: "When you routinely skip breakfast, your digestive tract stays dormant until you finally give it food. If you surprise your stomach one morning by unexpectedly eating breakfast, it secretes more digestive acid than the food requires, causing hunger pangs to linger for several hours."

I have learned that when I am consistent with eating breakfast, it no longer prompts morning hunger. Instead, it helps me follow a more stabilized nutrition plan throughout the day. I've also learned that not all healthy breakfasts are equal. Certain combinations work better for me. I've dubbed my "standard" breakfast my "Great Start Brekky." 2/3 c Kashi GoLean Crunch, 2/3 c plain yogurt, 2/3 c fresh pineapple or berries, 1 Tbsp flax meal, 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional). Sometimes I will add more fruit, but the other measurements are stable.

Other healthy breakfast options: cottage cheese & grapes; almonds, string cheese, and an apple (usually for when I'm on the go); fried rice (brown) w/ peas & carrots and eggs; grits & blueberries; multi-grain hot cereal w/ apple; eggs & zuchinni; garlic rice (brown) and eggs; or an energy bar or protein shake.

"Fatigue and hunger can easily ruin your judgment about eating."

For afternoon snacks, I usually have a protein shake or energy bar as I leave the gym so I'm not ravenous when I get home. For non-gym days, I'll often check my nutrition tracker to see if I need to "catch up" on any macro-nutrients for the day and then I'll pick a snack accordingly. Often it will depend on what I'm thinking of having for dinner too.

Remember to eat consistently every 3-4 hours. Plan healthy snacks!

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/14/2015 (18:29)
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11/13/15 1:39 P

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Day 13
OOPS, I FORGOT TO EAT

My planned meal and snack times:
~ Breakfast: 9-10am
~ Lunch: 12-1pm
~ Afternoon Snack: 3-4pm
~ Dinner: 6-7pm
~ Evening Snack: 9pm (optional)

If I have to get an earlier start on my day, have breakfast earlier and plan for a mid-morning snack.

There have been situations where eating times got delayed too much or even skipped. Instead of thinking, "I don't have time," I will remind myself "I DON'T HAVE A CHOICE." Just as diabetics cannot skip meals for medical reasons, I cannot skip meals for health reasons. I will keep my body properly fueled throughout the day so that I can lose weight and have more energy.

The only valid reason for skipping or seriously delaying a fuel stop is if I truly just am not hungry. However, my mind and body have communication problems when it comes to hunger. Until they get on better speaking terms, my better judgment is in charge of making the decisions.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/13/2015 (13:46)
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11/12/15 3:34 P

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Day 12
FUEL, FILLER, OR GUNK?

I've modified the vocabulary for this chapter to better fit my perceptions of food categories. FUEL is healthy, nutritious foods that benefit our bodies. To me, FILLER is filling foods, such as high-fiber foods and/or high water content foods. These foods are great when watching calories because if you are really hungry but don't have much room left in your calorie budget for the day or that particular fuel stop, they can satisfy that hunger without adding too many calories. Depending on the actual filler foods, filler is not always, but very often can still be fuel in that many options are healthy and nutritious. Then there is GUNK. Gunk is the things that we eat to satisfy only our taste buds, cravings, and emotional needs. It is often "junk food" that is high in calories (or artificial replacements) and low in nutrients, but it can also be fuel foods eaten in excess. GUNK bogs down our bodies and slows our engines.

I prefer these terms because I have already adopted the good habit of trying to find things to "fill me up" when I'm really hungry and can't afford many calories. To me, "filler" is a positive thing that satisfies hunger and is still nutritious. Junk food, on the other hand, is rarely actually filling. In fact, it is addictive and usually compels me to eat far more than just a few servings of it and it still doesn't really satisfy actual hunger. However, a carefully selected and savored treat worked into my nutrition plan can HELP me stick to healthier foods overall. In that case, the "treat" would be more like lubricant to keep the overall system running. Too much of it will gunk things up though.

A couple of days ago, I learned to be careful of too much "filler" (following my definition of it, not the author's). I had a wonderful salad for lunch. It had such a wonderful combination of all kinds of tasty vegetables with a little bit of hummus as my "dressing." It was so satisfying that I didn't even finish the last few bites of it (Yay me! because previously I would have crammed it into me anyway). It was a big filling salad but had less than 200 calories. When I entered it into my food tracker and realized how low my lunch calories were, it alerted me to a potential problem. Sure enough, later that afternoon I was REALLY hungry for my afternoon snack (my body hadn't gotten enough fuel at the last fuel stop). Wouldn't you know it, it was the one day I took my purse with me instead of my backpack and I had forgotten to put any snack foods in it. So I was really looking forward to dinner. And even though my dinner was highly nutritious, I ate way too much of it because I started out so hungry. So part of that fuel turned to gunk. In the future, if my calories for a meal are actually too low because it had so much filler, I need to be more careful about making sure that there isn't too big of a gap before my next snack or meal. And while the calorie count for that next fuel input can be higher to make up for the low count of the previous meal, it still must stay within my overall calorie budget.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/12/2015 (16:40)
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11/11/15 4:33 P

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Day 11
TWO PURPOSES OF FOOD
1) To fuel your body
2) To appreciate flavors

I need to remember that even with nutritious "fuel" foods, it is counterproductive to try to overfill my "tank." For foods that I eat as treats, I must focus on enjoying the flavors and textures. Truly savoring these foods means I can eat less of them by appreciating them more.

TRACK THE TIMES THAT YOU EAT:
My personalized progress log includes space to write foods down at the approximate time that I ate them. That's one thing I really miss when using SparkPeople to track my food instead. That downside is far outweighed by the fact that logging via SparkPeople calculates my calories for me though. I have added additional "meal" categories for SparkPeople to somewhat keep track of the times of day that I eat - afternoon snack, evening snack, late snack. (I try to avoid late snack, but it still does happen.) Occasionally I will have a morning snack too, but I haven't bothered to add that to the list. I just add it into my breakfast or if it's to tide me over for a later lunch I add it to my lunch.

PLAN WAYS TO SPACE FUEL STOPS BETWEEN 3-4 HOURS APART:
I try to always carry almonds, an energy bar, and an apple with me so I can pick a healthy snack on the go to stay properly FUELED.

NOTICE IF REGULAR FUEL STOPS IMPROVES ENERGY AND FOCUS:
Experience has shown me that it does, and helps prevent feeding frenzies.



Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/11/2015 (17:57)
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11/10/15 6:15 P

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Day 10
APPRECIATE GOOD SUPPORT

In general, I do not rely on others for long term support of my fitness efforts because I have been let down too many times in the past (even by meetings of several different organized programs). No matter how well I articulate my needs, it rarely has any lasting effects. In the past, I would get discouraged and angry by the lack of proper support. But I realize that there is only so much one can do to affect the way others behave. Instead of allowing the failed efforts at a support network to derail my commitment and determination, I've learned that *I* must be my own #1 supporter. And I am also working on building up a larger support network here on SparkPeople so that people can slip in and out of being active on the site and I will still have people I can communicate with that understand issues that I am going through.

That being said, even without consistent supporters in my day-to-day life, I realize that as I get in shape, people will notice and comment. So I must be prepared for how to react....

POSSIBLE RESPONSES TO COMPLIMENTS (THAT AFFIRM AND APPRECIATE THE OTHER PERSON):

~ Thank you; that's very nice of you to say / notice.
~ Thank you; I've been working hard.
~ Thank you for noticing my progress; that's very supportive.
~ Thanks, and you're very perceptive! (joke)

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11/9/15 5:21 A

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Day 9
HERE'S WHAT I WANT:

1) If you see me eating something that's not on my diet plan, ignore it entirely.

2) When I'm making progress, such as losing weight, compliment me on my successful efforts, not my looks.

3) When I'm struggling or gaining weight..... this is a tough one. Any or none of the suggestions below, depending on the situation and how I'm feeling. I need to work on accepting concern and offers of help.
.....ignore it entirely (unless I choose to bring it up)
.....tell me you notice and really care about my struggle (only if I am REALLY back sliding or I choose to bring it up)
.....hug me and show me extra affection (who couldn't use a hug? But I don't want pity hugs)
.....ask me how you can help - and then follow through on helping! Don't offer help if you are not prepared to commit (and find ways to help as I'm making progress too, don't wait until I've gone off track)

4) When I'm making progress you can't see (such as improving my self-esteem), compliment me on my positive changes, not my looks.

5) When I've maintained my weight (even though I may still want to lose more), tell me you are proud of my current efforts.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/9/2015 (05:25)
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11/8/15 5:58 P

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Day 8
HELP ME, PLEASE!

Today's theme is "Help me, please...." - focusing on how to train our support people to actually be supportive. This is a tough one for me. My mother WANTS to be supportive, but even when I'm very clear about what my needs are, she falls very short (not just about weight issues). Then I end up expected to console her because she feels bad that she didn't do the right thing. It's very warped and emotionally draining, and I come away from it feeling more alone and frustrated then if I hadn't anticipated or wanted help in the first place.

I have just a few very good friends who are supportive and loving, but I do not / will not live anywhere near them. I am not married or currently seeing anyone, so no significant other as support person.

So, I think instead of focusing on training others to be more supportive of me, I need to work on being more supportive of me. I have also been working on building a support network here on SparkPeople, and I will continue working on that. From what I've seen so far, the people on here don't need much training on how to be supportive! Thanks, everyone!

----------------

Even though I don't have specific support people that I see in person, I've based my responses to today's questions on previous experiences or potential opportunities of future support.

THINGS PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS WELCOME TO SAY OR DO IN REGARD TO MY WEIGHT-LOSS EFFORTS:
~ Suggest we go for a walk or hike
~ Make positive comments about how healthy I'm eating (but no comments that it should make me lose weight)
~ Keep healthy foods available / visible.
~ Suggest eating out where there are healthy choices for me to make. (Don't tell me that's the reason you suggested the place, but keep it in mind when making suggestions.)
~ When I've lost several clothing sizes if I'm still wearing bigger sizes, suggest that I find smaller clothes, The best compliment I got when I lost a lot of weight before was, "Hey, baggy pants!"
~ If I CHOOSE to share how much I've lost or how many steps I've walked, then praise and encouragement is welcome (or support and encouragement if I'm not doing well)

THINGS I DON'T EVER WANT PEOPLE TO DO:
~ Don't give lectures
~ Don't judge what I'm eating
~ Don't ask how much I've lost or if I lost this week - I want to focus on making positive changes and healthy choices, not be judged by the outcome on the scale
~ Don't sabotage my efforts by bringing home sweets or trying to shorten my activity time
~ Don't make negative comments or give judgmental looks about me being sweaty from exercise - sweat is a good thing!

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/8/2015 (18:03)
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11/8/15 3:23 P

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Day 7
I CAN DO IT!

There is a very touching scene in the movie When a Man Loves a Woman in which the little girl is crossing some piece of playground equipment that obviously scares her. You can see the concentration on her face as she inches along quietly repeating to herself: "you can do it, you can do it." It's a good parable for challenges in our adult lives. Even when we are faced with challenges that intimidate us, we can push through and persevere if we believe in ourselves and are caring enough to coach ourselves through it. In the end, it is much more rewarding to work our way through the challenges than to take the easy ways out.

I CAN achieve my health and fitness goals!

I can do it because I am making myself and my health a priority.

I can do it because I am completely committed to achieving my fitness goals.

I can do it because I make healthy and wise choices.

I can do it because I am adding more and more healthy habits to my daily life.

I can do it because I can find the support I need at SparkPeople even when support is lacking in my personal life.

I can do it because I am worth every bit of the effort it takes to succeed.

I CAN DO IT!

When I want to slack off, ignore my program, take a break, or give up, it really helps to repeat my affirmations to remind myself that I CAN DO IT!

Huyana
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/7/15 4:59 A

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Day 6
PROTECT MY PROGRAM NO MATTER WHAT
Instead of expecting others to be supportive of my efforts, I am committed to protecting my program no matter what! No one will ever care about my program and progress as much as me. So it's my job to prevent anything from pulling me off track.

HIGH RISK TIMES & EVENTS
~ On-the-Go - when I'm busy and meal/snack times get pushed too far apart, I'm much more likely to settle for more convenient poor choices or to overindulge in healthier choices by the time I do get to eat them. I keep a small bag of almonds in my purse or backpack so that I can have something to tide me over. I also try to keep an energy bar with me all the time and sometimes even an apple. Often the apple is pretty beaten up by the time I eat it, but it's still a much better option than letting hunger build or settling for junk.
~ Travel - bring along healthy snacks & seek out best purchases - ignore the junk! Being on the road does not mean it's acceptable to indulge in things I wouldn't normally eat.
~ Studying - take breaks and eat right; don't mindlessly stuff face. If I need energy to stay awake, go for a walk or take a shower.
~ Eating with family - always make sure to alternate bites of high cal entrees with raw or steamed veg to reduce high cal serving sizes and still fill up.
~ Social events - just because there is a table full of food, it does not mean my plate or stomach needs to be full of that food. Protect my program no matter what.

NOT JUST YET...
I am my own worst saboteur. No one pushes food on me like I do. I do, however, have the power to battle the cravings and protect my program. Always remember, "THERE IS NOTHING I WANT NOW THAT I CAN'T HAVE LATER." I must PLAN to eat foods responsibly. I must PLAN my own success!

TIP TO FOIL EXTERNAL FOOD PUSHERS
When I lived in the Philippines, there were food pushers everywhere. It was just part of the culture. People constantly try to fill your plate or make sure that you fill it. Being vegetarian, most of the time there was hardly anything I could eat at social events. I got used to eating some rice and chugging a lot of water and waiting until I left to go get something I could eat. However, if the food pushers saw you with just rice or a "clean" plate, they wouldn't let up. Finally, a fellow vegetarian gave me a tip that helped immensely. She said that if people saw sauces smeared around on your empty plate, they would believe you that you had eaten and would be more likely to leave you alone. It worked! If food pushers won't let up, when they aren't looking, smear some sauce, crumbs, cake frosting, or whatever is available on your plate and keep your dirty plate in front of you. They will believe that you ate something because who would just dirty up a plate for no reason? That thought wouldn't even occur to them.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/22/2015 (17:02)
Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/6/15 4:58 A

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Day 5 - Follow-up

I have some reservations about the Magic Notebook being a way to release the craving. Since I tend to jot down things I need to remember to do, jotting down things I'm trying to forget about doesn't fit in with my usual pattern. It would end up looking like a to-do list or very unhealthy grocery list to me instead.

On the other hand, if I really want something so much so that I can't stop thinking about it, I could see how working out an entire day's food plan ahead of time to incorporate the big-calorie item(s) would be helpful. This goes beyond just jotting it down the cravings though.

I'm thinking that if I feel a binge coming on, maybe jotting down and adding up the calories for all the stuff that pops into my head to eat might get my thoughts under control before I get started on the actual binge. Might be worth a try if I can catch myself in time.

I think the most important thing here is that we are being introduced to new ideas and tools. Considering different approaches is important. But ultimately, we know ourselves best and must decide for ourselves how to incorporate these approaches (or not). Even if only half of the ideas in the book are something we end up trying or sticking with, that's still 50 new tools in our toolbox!

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I think I figured out a version of the Magic Notebook that would work better for me. If I write the cravings on little slips of paper and then burned them, THAT would fit in with a pre-existing "let it go" strategy that has worked for me. I cleaned out a little jar from the recycling and put it next to the candle on my dresser. If I want to purge my brain of the craving, I will set it to paper, then set it on fire, and drop it into the jar to burn up safely. The candle is right next to a bowl of apples that I keep out so I'm more likely to pick up an apple than junk food. Very re-enforcing. Can't stop thinking about a craving? Turn the thoughts to ashes and pick up an apple instead.

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DISCLAIMER: I'm not suggesting that anybody else follow this idea. I don't want to be responsible for someone burning their house down or anything!

Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/5/15 3:26 P

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Day 5
MAGIC NOTEBOOK

"When a food thought crosses your mind, remind yourself that you don't have to act on it. Instead write down the name or even a description of the food, and then anticipate the pleasure of eating it sometime in the future."

PRACTICE THIS - write down some favorite foods and describe the amount and how often you'll fit it into your program

~ Ice Cream
Alternative: all-fruit smoothie or sorbet, as calorie budget allows.
Actual: enjoy up to one measured-out cup of a plain flavor ice cream or frozen yogurt from my own freezer, daily if desired and it fits into my calorie budget.

~ German Chocolate Cake
Alternative: slowly savor a Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bar up to 3 times a week, factored into calorie budget.
Actual: plan to have a store-bought slice up to once a month if I've really been craving it. If (any) cake is present at an event, I will slowly enjoy each bite of a small slice and include it in my food log. If the treat is not excellent, remember that it's not worth finishing it.

~ Pizza
Alternative: make a healthy version or alternative at home
Actual: at a social event have up to 2 slices - eaten slowly - no more than once per week. Ideally, alternate a bite of pizza with a bite of salad or raw veggies. If I do end up ordering a pizza, FREEZE anything beyond my budgeted allotment.

When I have a strong craving for something that doesn't fit into that day's calorie budget, I will remind myself, "THERE IS NOTHING I WANT NOW THAT I CAN'T HAVE LATER." If I still crave it an hour later, I will journal it. If I am still craving that food hours or days later, I will factor it into the current or an upcoming calorie budget.

I am learning to eat more mindfully. Eating more slowly and with minimal distractions allows me to savor every (small) bite of food that I do eat. Even though I'm still learning to incorporate this, I've found that it does make smaller portions and single servings much more satisfying.

I used to try to totally avoid my trigger foods when dieting, but now I realize that if I am very careful, I can enjoy them in moderation. Factoring in these foods in a reasonable way will prevent me from "caving in" and having a feeding frenzy on them. For the most part I want to find healthier alternatives to have on a regular basis, rather than planning to incorporate the culprits themselves too often.

The ability to have ice cream in my freezer without consuming massive quantities of it is very new to me. I've discovered that I CAN have control over it. When I think about ice cream, knowing that there is some available for me to work into my food plan for the day helps to lessen the strong CRAVING for it. Putting it on a scale and measuring out my serving to the gram makes me mindful that I am eating it responsibly and I should savor it. When the ice cream is "calling me," I mentally tell it, "YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME." Strong, committed me gets to decide when I will have it, not the cravings.
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Labyrinth - "You have no power over me."
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mol
WhOGhRc


Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/5/2015 (15:29)
Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/5/15 2:23 A

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Day 4
BOUNDARIES, NOT DIETS

Fast Lane / Narrow Road:
~ Track food and calories everyday
~ 1,500-1,750 calories per day
~ 7,500-10,000 step minimum
~ Gym, pool, long walk, workout video, class, or home exercises each day

Slow Lane / Wider Road:
~ Record all food on paper
~ Under 2,000 calories per day
~ 5,000 step minimum
~ At least one of my home exercises for the day
~ If I overindulge, recognize it as an isolated incident and do NOT take a complete detour

I want to stay on the narrow road / fast lane as much as possible. However, I need to recognize that if I stray from that lane, sticking to a more lenient yet still bounded path will prevent me from making a complete U-turn or getting stuck stranded in a ditch. Bumps and potholes along the route cannot be used as an excuse to abandon the journey.

Today was pretty much a "slow lane" day for me both in terms of calorie range and step count. However, tonight I got an itch to go for a walk. After I realized that this urge had popped into my head several times and I kept ignoring it, suddenly I realized that it was the kind of urge that is supposed to be indulged, not ignored. So I went for a walk and brought my step count for the day into the "fast lane" range. This serves as a good reminder that changing lanes doesn't only have to happen from fast lane / narrow road to slow lane / wider road - we can also pick up the pace and narrow the road throughout the day!

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/5/2015 (03:17)
Huyana
Time Zone: Central


 Pounds lost: 0.0 
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/4/15 2:34 A

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Day 3
DO IT ANYWAY!

This week my schedule is shifted around a bit. Today is not one of my usual days to go to the gym, but in this week's plan it is a gym day. I really didn't feel like going. I'm tired, I have too much work to do, it didn't fit in well with my meal times, I forgot my mp3 player, wanh, wanh, wanh. I DID IT ANYWAY!!!

My top "no matter what, do it anyway" commitments:
~ No matter what, I track all of my food everyday
~ No matter what, I meet or beat my 5,000 step minimum every day
~ No matter what, I eat a nutritious breakfast every morning
~ No matter what, I challenge myself every day to PROVE MY COMMITMENT
~ No matter what, I remind myself that I AM WORTH IT

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/22/2015 (22:54)
Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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KALISWALKER Posts: 23,387
11/3/15 4:12 P

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You are off to a grest start! emoticon

Happy Sparker Lynn 'A good girl with bad habits'

Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
2020 Winter 5% Challenge Community
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=71455


 current weight: 181.8 
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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/3/15 6:34 A

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Day 2
DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT

I am a strong, adventuresome women. I am completely committed to achieving my fitness goals so that I can fully participate in the activities that I love. I am worth every bit of the effort it takes to succeed!


STICK WITH MY PROGRAM, NO MATTER WHAT

No matter what, I will track all of my food everyday. I used to track only when I was "on track," but now I realize that tracking everything is a compelling way to avoid random temptations throughout the day, get back on track if I go astray, and minimize the damage even if I overindulge or start to binge.

No matter what, I will get my 5,000 step minimum in every day. If I want to slack off, I will remember what a struggle it was to get around with my broken ankle & even for months afterwards. It is thrilling to be able to walk again, so I'd better do it!

No matter what, I will have a nutritious breakfast every morning. Even if I am not able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at home, I have plenty of healthy options to eat on the go. I will start off my day fueled and fulfilled.


DEMONSTRATE TRUE COMMITMENT

I will challenge myself everyday to PROVE MY COMMITMENT. If circumstances give me a compelling reason to not do something that I vowed to do, I will prove my commitment in another way or do the first choice anyway! I will stop trying to foresee the excuses and focus on making accomplishments HAPPEN!

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/4/2015 (02:20)
Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
11/2/15 5:34 A

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I USED TO BE THAT WAY, BUT NOW I'M DIFFERENT

~ I used to try & try and get nowhere, but now I focus on non-scale victories when the scale results are disappointing. I do not give up! I'll stay active, keep my metabolism up, and develop more and more healthy habits.

~ I used to make progress and then backslide, but now I am determined to remain committed to ultimate success. I do not let setbacks snowball into failures. I focus on progress, not perfection.

~ I used to lose momentum when life gets in the way, but now I refuse to let "life" ruin my life! Even when I cannot do it all, I do what I can!

~ I used to choose to binge or splurge, but now I make better choices. Going off-track is not an excuse to STAY off-track.

~ I used to start with good intentions and then overeat or binge anyway, but now I am strong enough to resist temptations most of the time and smart enough to return to my good intentions even if I slip up.

Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/4/2015 (02:20)
Huyana
Time Zone: Central


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HUYANA_PHOENIX's Photo HUYANA_PHOENIX Posts: 499
10/30/15 7:43 P

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10 REASONS TO LOSE WEIGHT AND MAINTAIN SUCCESS

1) Be able to fully participate in the activities that I love emoticon
2) Feel stronger and more confident emoticon
3) Remain healthy emoticon
4) Wear the clothes that I want to emoticon
5) Try exciting new things emoticon
6) Travel easier emoticon
7) Be in photos with ease emoticon
8) Set a good example emoticon
9) Be more ME! emoticon
10) I AM WORTH IT!!! emoticon

This is why I'm doing the 100 Days Program, and I am absolutely sticking with my plan!

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Edited by: HUYANA_PHOENIX at: 11/4/2015 (02:18)
Huyana
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