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The Experiment

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Well, it's been a long time since I've blogged on here...I've kind of taken a hiatus in being very active on Spark People. I've been pretty busy focusing on my school work, and getting happier with myself, over all, and I'm starting to feel like I'm in a really good place. I haven't had any nightmares about Iraq in months. I haven't felt any depression this winter, and I've been doing an excellent job with school. This week, I'll be finishing up my internship, and then it's just killing time until graduation!

That said, my weight hasn't really budged. My parents are strongly encouraging me to, once and for all, do something about it (in fact, they've kind of established a sort of reward/incentive system for me), and frankly, I'm feeling ready to really do this. I WANT to feel confident in social situations once again. I'd LOVE to go out on a date with an attractive guy and feel GOOD about myself while on that date. I'd LOVE to be more active, and not have it be such a CHORE. I'd love to go bathing suit shopping (heck, I'd settle for just plain old regular clothes shopping) and not have it be a total nightmare in shame. I'd LOVE to not be obsessing about food, thinking about it, dreaming about it, every single second of the day. I DESPERATLY want to feel strong, healthy, and confident in my own skin. I want to be able to clip my toenails without the 3-ring circus production.

So, I've been doing a lot of reading about health topics these past few months (it's about the only reading I've allowed myself to do since I've been so busy with school and my internship and work). I've done a lot of reading, particularly about eating whole, real foods, and I'm convinced that this is the avenue to go. I'm not going to be afraid of fat, or nutritious carbohydrates or protein. I am giving myself full permission to eat from ALL THREE macronutrient categories.

I've done a pretty good job in the past few months of severely limiting the processed foods. What I'm still struggling to eliminate is the occasional bag of Doritos (which are like the WORST processed food you could eat--apparently they have some SERIOUSLY nasty chemicals sprayed on them), huge bowls of popcorn (my favorite food) with an entire stick of butter melted on it (my OTHER favorite food) and frozen pizza. In the past couple of weeks I managed to stop buying the frozen pizzas and I drove through the Little Caesar's drive-through instead.

I haven't lost any weight in the past few months...but I haven't gained any either. So that in itself is a miracle. Imagine a winter where I'm not gaining weight! But, thanks to my three (not so little) vices, I'm not losing weight, inspite of an overall reduction in the AMOUNT of food I'm eating. (Apparently it's pretty easy to go over your daily calorie limit when you eat well all day and then come home and consume an entire pizza or a stick of butter with some popcorn...who knew??)

So I've been reading a lot about REAL nutrition, and I've been reading a lot of blogs.

One blog that really caught my eye, that seems like something I'd be interested in emulating is this one: 1940sexperiment.wordpres
s.com
. The author is eating based on rations allowed in England during WWII. I've always LOVED that era, I'm becoming more and more convinced that we as humans need to return to the OLD ways of eating when it comes to our food, and, this seems like a fun challenge.

So I'm going to emulate this woman's great idea, but with a few changes. She includes margarine in her plan (which is authentic to the time period), but I'm not going to touch the stuff. No fake food! Her rations don't include chicken, and mine will. I will be allowing myself to have either 1 whole chicken, averaging 3.5 lbs, or 1 lb of beef per week. She's only using 1 egg per week (again, authentic), but I'm just not THAT ambitious, and I'm allowing myself to have 3 eggs a week. She is using sugar, but I'm not allowing for any sugar...rather, I'll use honey if I have a need for a sweetener (and I'm not planning to use the entire allottment of 8 oz. every week. One huge difference between what I am going to do and what she is doing is that she is not currently keeping track of the amount of bread, potatoes, and fruit and vegetables she's eating. I plan to do that. I'm going to "ration" an allotment for cheese, for butter, for milk, and even for fruit and vegetables. I've spent some time running the numbers on my "plan" and if I aim for an average of 10,500 calories a week (which would be 1500 calories a day) my plan will fall within a range of 9,500 calories to 11,500 calories per week, which I think is entirely reasonable and sustainable.

The idea of "rationing" my food is really appealing to me. Not because I feel I have to deprive myself, but because I will have more control, and yet more freedom in what I eat this way. I feel that, shopping once a month for the amount of items on my list that are freezable or long-lasting (like a carton of eggs) and once a week for my produce and determining that I must make everything last until the next week will go a LONG way in spurring on my weight loss. The list of rations seems quite large right now. I wonder what it will look like once it's actually laid out on my kitchen counter??

I'm toying with the idea of starting another blog on wordpress or blogspot or something else where I can post pictures to document my experiment.

This next week I will focus on eliminating food I already have in my freezer and cupboards and taking inventory on what will be left over at the end of the week so I can actually start my "rationing plan" the first week of March!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • POPEYETHETURTLE
    Kitty,

    You mentioned that you had not had a combat nightmare in months That is super and you know that I know what those are like - well, I don't actually because part of my brain is still not letting much of that out, even after 5 years of therapy.

    Combat nightmares imply that you had major stress and probably at least a touch of depression. I don't know if you've thought of it at all, or thought of it and dismissed it out of hand, but if not . . . you might want to consider talking to a therapist a couple of times.

    Secondly, you said that you would like to be able to go shopping and not have to experience a total nightmare in shame.

    You have nothing to be ashamed about. You didn't ask to be depressed, you didn't run to it and eagerly embrace it with open arms. Something you can't control deep in your mind instigated the need for food when you weren't really hungry.

    My bet is that it is tied to your experiences in Iraq. When you got back, you needed comforting and food was right there. Plus, you HAVE to have food to survive.

    It is very well documented that depression and weight gain go hand in hand.

    You know that you have my admiration for being one of the few who have "picked up the torch of freedom" and put everything on the line.

    Well, I want you to also know that you can count on me for support and prayers. Heck, if you want, you can even ask me questions about depression. I co-founded the largest team on Spark, Dealing with Depression, five years ago with five other people who were looking for someone to talk to who Really understood their pain and frustration. Today that team has grown to over 560,00 members.

    I 'retired' at the end of February, but I still have a real soft place in my heart for the help, support and suggestions that we were able to give - all based on experiences.

    Agape lady,

    Bob
    4162 days ago
  • SOCCERFAN55
    Thank you for your service in Iraq, we are so proud to support our troops!I look forward to following your blog on "rationing", sounds like a good beginning! Good Luck! Marcia
    4165 days ago
  • WYOGRAMMY
    I am so glad to hear that you haven't had nightmares about Iraq and the depression did not set in this winter- your healing has started! I sent my son and his wife to Iraq and pray daily that the trama they endured there will quiet. Each person sent there has had different experiences. Time has helped them slowly grow less frustrated, angry and are softening when they get upset. I wish that there had been more acqnowledgment of the long term effects of seeing what they did. I am so thankful that you have found a focus for your life. School is a great way of starting new- I loved starting over when I went back to school. There was lots of hope and choices to consider. It is ENERGIZING!

    I want to encourage you in your quest to figure out what works for you in your eating. My son was diagnosed with food allergies when he was young, and the Dr recommended 20 years ago a simpler, more basic diet. The family joined in and the long term effects were wonderful! He is on his own and has been finding that he needs to return to the simpler, less refined diet. My other children have also returned to that diet as they went out on their own. They all realized that they feel sooooo much better eating more simply! Good luck in your quest! The Best is yet to come!!!!! emoticon
    4174 days ago
  • RDARLING
    WOW! Sounds like you have a great plan of action set for yourself.
    Good luck! emoticon
    4174 days ago
  • SWTKARSUE
    Interesting idea, I will check out that experiment website. Hope you succeed with what you are aiming for.
    4174 days ago
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