Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

I have decided that I have come to the end of my NO S Diet blog journey. I have kept my N days green for nine plus months and built a very strong foundation of habit that got me through the holidays. I have grown tremendously in this past nine months and my passions are moving onto other areas of my life. These other things are where I want to focus in 2009.

I am so glad that I used the majority of 2008 to build my habit. If I have anything to say as a result of my NO S Diet journey thus far, it is take the time and make the commitment to build a period of solid green N days.

That will do more to alter your internal eating cues than you can imagine. It was very hard in the beginning. It was ESPECIALLY hard to stop on mondays in the beginning. But after a few months I am actually glad when Mondays roll around.

I am so THRILLED that losing weight is not one of my new year's resolutions in 2009. The only related resolution I have is to continue building my NO S habit!

Here's to actually living life!
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

With ten days left in the year, I am going to take advantage of these last few days of 2008 to "simplify, simplify, simplify". In that regard I am going to focus on the sentiments and real meaning of the season to spend time with those I love and in contemplation of what this passing year has meant to me and the seeds I would like to plant in the upcoming New Year.

My "peppermint-striped" No S has been going very well. I am no longer overly concerned with how it will effect my long-term No S compliance. Although I recognize that my HABITS are not impregnable they are pretty solid.

And to be honest that feels really good. And as food and weight becomes smaller and smaller issues of obsession and concern, an innate urge to "simplify, simplify, simplify" is taking hold.

I am going to heed the call of that inner voice.

To all of you precious people,


I am officially going on a "blog vacation"!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Losing Self-consciousness

It is ironic that "vanity" is associated with slimness and taking care of oneself. What I am finding is that the longer my weight is stable at a "normal, healthy, slim weight" the increasingly less self-conscious that I become. That means the less self-absorbed that I become.

I no longer worry about what I am going to wear, I pretty much pull on my jeans and Tshirts and cardy Uggs without thought. I don't worry what I look like, I know I look fine or at least all right. Maybe nothing spectacular but also nothing for others to point at, riducule or gleefully feel superior too.

So in the awareness of the how the symptoms of my overeating show, I am much more self-conscious than I am when I am not binging, overeating with great frequency, because after all the symptoms go away and nobody really cares anymore, including myself.

Of course, NO S compounds this Losing of Self-consciousness because no conspicuous, annoying, self-righteious, holier than thou, rigid, inflexible, you are no fun! behaviours are required. The innocous, "NOT HUNGRY" adequately covers any and all N Day assaults, incidentally ferreting out those with food issues of their own, i.e. "NOT HUNGRY" is accepatable code for I am not going to eat that now when it comes to normal people, but you can be assured that the people who fret and insist when you are NOT HUNGRY have a hidden agenda of their own and it is not an interest in your appropriate or sensible boundaries. No sense in confronting them, they will only deny and pretend that it is you and not they who are rude and insensitve, simply demur and play the game, how many ways can I innocently and politely say, "NOT HUNGRY"?

The culmination of all this is that I become more curious and interested and absorbed in those around me. What is going on with them? With all of that energy tied up in the discomfort of my too-tight jeans released I am revivified and renewed. What is going on with you? Life becomes more fun. Exciting.

Losing Self-consciousness, just one of the many and myriad and OTHER blessings of the No S Diet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Common Sense and the No S Diet

One thing that I have learned for certain while doing the NO S Diet is that you cannot throw COMMON SENSE out the window and expect the NO S Diet to work. As much as I truly love love yes love the NO S Diet it is not an alchemical miracle that defies the laws of physics.

Topics that come up fairly frequently on the NO S Diet boards are:

whats filling your plate
the size of your plate
the size of your portions
S days gone wild
why am I not losing weight?
or even more discouraging,
why am I gaining weight?

To me the answers are obvious. But I am living in my own little world with my twenty plus years of searching and researching information on eating disorders, eating for health, etc. I have to step back and think, maybe these other folks have been doing other things with their time and have not yet figured out that ANY diet consisting of junk will not make you healthy, slim or functional.

SO to me, it is common sense that I think tells me, that I need to put some whole grains, veggies, fruit and/or healthy source of protein on my plate. Now I don't make sure every plate has an equi-portion of these items ... that would be irritating for me, I have already done and fallen off the Zone Diet (grin)! But I do make it a goal to have a whole grain, a fruit, something green and some healthy protien at least once a day. THIS is sustainable. FOR ME, it's also common sense. My body needs nutrients so I can think and move ... cheesy, white floury, fried THINGS may taste good but they are NOT feeding my body. AND BTW if you stop eating so much of that crud your palette will actually change and you will find it not tasting so good. What I am saying is this: Doesn't COMMON SENSE tell us that we need to put some actual, real food on our plates each day?

As far as the size of the plates and portions go, I honestly don't worry my pretty little head too much about that. I am pretty comfortable with a lot of blank space on my plate if I am not too hungry or very little blank space on my plate if I am eating a bunch of fruit and veggies and/or very hungry. Sometimes people get on and say things like smaller people need to eat less food than larger people. Like Reinhard is trying to put something over on us by telling us we can eat three plates of food a day. I find this confusing, but maybe its just an indication that COMMON SENSE is not fully functional. I don't read eating three plates a day as ... YOU MUST PUT AS MUCH CRAPPY, JUNKY FOOD ON YOUR PLATE AS YOU CAN FIT. Maybe this is the problem. Maybe some people read those three plates and the freedom to put whatever you want to them as "instruction" while I read them as "maximum" boundary and then fill in the actual amount I need to eat with COMMON SENSE. I mean ... isn't it common sense that a smaller person will need to eat less than a larger person? Or is there something I am just missing?

As far as S days gone wild there is much hooha about how many restrictions, what kinds of restrictions and what does "sometimes" mean? and "sometimes" I read this stuff and I am like, is it just me, or has COMMON SENSE completely fleed, bolted the premises for fear that we might discover that the No S Diet is really a straight forward and simple proposition once we apply a little COMMON SENSE?

DIETING is restricting what you eat. THERE are SOOOOOOOOOOO many ways we can RESTRICT our natural appetite. Interestingly enough our natural appetite can be rather strong. Funny thing. It finds away to rebel, get even, punish us for our restrictions ... binging, overeating ... then we gain weight. THE S Days on the No S Diet, IMHO, are for taking off the choke leash. Maybe your little puppy of an appetite pees on the floor, digs up your favorite flowers and runs away with you chasing it down the street. But if you don't give it those moments of freedom, how are you going to know what you are really dealing with?

What I love about the NO S Diet is the freedom I have attained. I take my appetite off the choke leash every weekend and NWS day. Somtimes I am embarrassed by my appetites behavior, sometimes I am appalled, but sometimes I am pleased, proud, exuberant and exultant. I know, I know, you need those restrictions. I know, I know they keep your puppy manageable.

But I wonder, when your N days start going bad, is it because you have insisted on some sort of dietary restriction EVERY DAY, i.e. not letting up on the S days, or is it because the NO S Diet doens't work and you need to resort to even more and greater restrictions to lose weight?

Metaphysically the S/NWS Days are a great way to get to know the real you, in the meantime Common Sense and Keeping Those N Days Green really does go a long way in acheiving success and weight loss on the NO S Diet.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Years of Going Through Several Sizes of Clothes ...

As my weight loss has been somewhat slow for the past approximately 6 months (I have slowly gone from about 126.5 to 120.5) it is starting to dawn on me that the years of going through several sizes of clothes are finally coming to an end. Let me repeat that. AN END. The years of going through several sizes of clothes are finally coming to an end.

My weight gain journey started in puberty. At age fourteen, my paternal grandmother died and all eating structure in my life pretty much evaporated overnight. Preceding my grandmothers death I had already lost my mother and learned to turn to sweets for comfort. After my grandmother died I became a hardcore sugar junkie. Breakfast white bread toast with cinnamon sugar and hot cocoa. Now and Later candy on the way to school. Little Debbies Star Crunches, ice cream sandwiches and chocolate milk for lunch. A Snickers bar in the afternoon for a snack. A stressful "family dinner" often steak, pink with blood running on the plate that sickened me. Or maybe pancakes with maple syrup and powdered sugar. YIKES! Sounds pretty awful. YES, it was.

No wonder, now that I can be, now that I have the power and ability to assert myself I am so picky and demanding about my food!

Since I was fourteen I do not beleive that my body weight has EVER been stable for ANYTHING like a year. I don't think it has EVER been stable for more than four months. This is a painful realization that I confess. But it is the truth.

SO you can imagine that I can hardly fathom that the years of going through several sizes of clothes are coming to an end. I have been wearing the same jeans, shirts, slacks, skirts and dresses for months. I suspect this will continue. Think of all the time and money I am going to save by not having to buy several size wardrobes each year? Because I am on a non-hoarder. When my clothes become to small I don't hang on to them, just in case, I let them go and I give them to charity. When my clothes become to big, I don't hang onto them, just in case, I let them go and give them to charity. This means cycles and cycles of clothes. Of course I keep these purchases limited to less pricey venues ... Target for reasonably prices Moissimo shirts and jeans, thrift stores for a real bargain, throw something decent I can fit into during a trip to Walmart to pick up household items.

The Merry Go Round has not ever ended. Until now. The carousel music is fading as the wheel spins slower and slower. And I am getting used to myself. A new self that wakes up in the morning and does not have to worry "Will my jeans fit?" A new self that actually becomes less self-conscious because I don't have to think so much about what I can wear or what I can't. I new self that is not reeling from the binge and weight gain I just can't stop.

This is incredible. Simply INCREDIBLE!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Building Self-Esteem

About 15 years ago, my goodness has it been that long? Yes it has! Anyway, about 15 years ago I was in a situation as a student with a very challenging teacher. Now I did not personally like this person at all but I “sensed” that this person had something very valuable to teach me and I was right. The nugget of gold that I took from this relationship that has served me well is this:

Building self-esteem is doing something you thought you couldn’t’ do.

In the past fifteen years, this little nugget of golden wisdom has served me well whenever I am faced with a task or situation that I am afraid that I cannot do. And I have learned that I feel better, much better about myself, whenever I do those things I thought I could not do. Whether it’s just facing another day consciously and present, having that difficult and dreaded much needed conversation about boundaries with a relative, sticking with a task until I get it right or stringing along a bunch of green days on the No S Diet.

Each little success accumulates and so does my self-esteem. Now you might think I have self-esteem in abundance. But that’s just not so. I was harshly criticized, attacked, verbally abused, and ridiculed for a significant part of my early years and those experiences left their mark. I became riddled with self-doubt. Failure in all areas of my life became very familiar to me, and I became an “ace” at accepting it.

In fact, I was convinced that if I could just “accept” and “forgive” my failures and shortcomings, I would eventually succeed. But truthfully, accepting myself for my “failures” or “forgiving” my failures simply did not aid me in achieving anything that was meaningful or significant to me in the long run. My life really did not start to turn around and become enjoyable and worth getting up for until I started to encourage and allow for and “set myself up” for success.

If I have a failure today I don’t spend a lot of time trying to accept it or forgive myself. First I ask myself “Is this something I really want or need?” i.e., apparently achieving success in this arena is going to take a little or a lot more effort than I originally thought, am I willing to put in the extra effort?

If the answer is “NO”, then I accept that I was trying to achieve something superfluous in my life and let it go. No more discussions. No questions asked. No need to beat the dead horse.

But if the answer is “YES” then I ask myself, “What do I need to do to succeed?” I have already established with the first question that I am ready and prepared to make the extra effort. Now I just need to figure out what that extra effort is for me.

Although in his book, Reinhard says that it may take twelve attempts to make the No S Diet work for you, I decided that I didn’t want to waste my time with “false starts”. If I was going to do the No S Diet, I was going to “commit 100%” and do it. I decided after reading the book that I would commit my will power to keeping my N days green and I wouldn’t allow ANYTHING else to get in my way. Not weight loss or lack of it, not well-meaning food pushing friends or relatives, no more “Can’t work, too busy eating” and of course, I had to surrender one of my biggest beliefs right off the bat … “I am a sugar addict and I am powerless over food.”

From that point on Success was not necessarily easy but I honored my commitment to myself. I made the necessary changes in my life that it took for me to not snack, eat sweets or eat seconds on N days and limit each meal to one plate or one bowl. I was afraid, that like many other “plans” I would not last more than six months, but …

Building self-esteem is doing something you thought you couldn’t’ do.

And that is immensely more satisfying than any concoction that any chef, baker or food manufacturer can come up with.