Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hello?  Is anybody out there?
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

My last post was on July 24, 2013.
That was 904 days ago.

I weighed 153.8# back then.
I've gained 5.8# more.

But guess what???

It's OK.
No, REALLY.  It is.

Are you thinking that I've been abducted by aliens and brainwashed?


I'm just different now. Better, in lots of ways.

Happier. Much.

I've decided to re-boot and re-vamp this blog and start posting again.  I never had many followers before (six, I think?), and I'm not bothered by that.  Writing helps me purge the over-load of junk I have swimming around in my head, and so, I will write again and de-clutter my brain and I know that will help me.

And that's what this new edition is going to be all about.

It's time to focus on me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


That is all.

But seriously, it doesn't.

Yeah, I've been away.  Busy "dieting."  Whatever.  
More to the point, "going through the motions" of dieting.
On February 4th of this year I weighed 158.0 pounds.

Today is July 24th, 2013.  I weighed 153.8 pounds this morning.
Which means I've lost a whopping 4.2 pounds in 170 days.

 OH.  MY.  GOD.

Technically, anyone on this planet is supposed to be able to lose one or two pounds per week if they eat a healthy diet, exercise, and consume less calories than they burn.  So I guess the proof is in the pudding here.  (YUM, pudding.......!)  If I had been religiously eating a healthy diet and exercising as much as possible, resulting in two pounds lost per week, I should weigh roughly 105 pounds after 170 days. 

 Clearly, I am slacking.

I have also been slacking with my blog posts here.  The reasons for that are many and varied, but the biggest reason always ends up being a lack of free time to just sit down and write.
I love writing on this blog, and when I've done it in the past, it has always helped me in the motivation department, even though very few people read this besides me.  I almost always finished my post and then went on to have a really good, productive week.  I was trying to write at least once a week before, and in a perfect world, I'd still be doing that.  But life isn't perfect right now.  Quite the opposite, actually, but I'm not here to dwell on the things that drag me down.

 I'd rather try to somehow pull myself up.  I need to figure it out.  I need to find a way.  I have some great support in the form of family members and friends who try to motivate me to stay on-track with my attempts to eat healthy and get in shape.  I am insanely grateful to them (you know who you are) and I hope they never give up on me, just because my scale hasn't shown much in terms of success.  I still need the support.  I desperately need the encouragement.  I am at serious risk right now of just saying FUCK IT and just throwing in the "healthy lifestyle" towel.  I'm worried that I may be slipping so far down into my current depressive state that I won't be able to turn it around.  I'm supposed to want to do this for ME.  For my health, for my happiness, so I can just be healthier and happier and a better person in general on the inside and the outside, and in turn that will help me be the best possible Mom to my kids.

 That sounds AWESOME!  So WHY is it so hard to DO???

I need a goal.  Something concrete to work for.  I was thinking yesterday that my impending 45th birthday could serve as a decent day to shoot for to reach my goal weight.  It is 55 days away.  Can I lose 28.8 pounds in 55 days???  That's a little under 8 weeks away.  I would have to lose about 3.7 pounds PER WEEK until September 17th.  My goal weight is 125.0 pounds.

 Can I do that???

I have to try.  Because NOT trying isn't an option.  At least not yet.  I have not thrown in the towel yet.  Quitting isn't something I've done very often in my life.  I don't like to fail.  In fact, I hate it.

I suppose that's the real reason I'm so depressed (and as a result, constantly sabotaging myself by bingeing...).  I'm sick of FAILING in my attempts to stick to a healthier diet and over-all healthier lifestyle.  I have random times available to exercise, but I make constant excuses and skip workouts instead of just getting off my ass.  I pig out at midnight even on the days I felt awesome because I made it through a Zumba workout.  I sabotage all the good I do manage to achieve, with crap-food calorie-fests and undeniable laziness.


WHY can't I do this???????


Monday, February 4, 2013

A New Year...& A New Beginning!!!

What year is it?!  2013, right???
Wait a minute...

Did I just sleep for more than a YEAR???
And I only lost ONE pound during that time???

But seriously...

A lot has happened in the twelve+ months I've been slacking...  
First, since starting this blog on September 20, 2010, I managed to lose 24.5 POUNDS!!!  I started at 159.0 and got down to 134.5, specifically for my 25-year high school class reunion in July of 2012.

Today, I weigh 158.0.
Yes, it is sad, but true.  In a little over two years, I lost 24.5 pounds - and gained back 23.5 of it.

So why am I back here, you may ask?  Why am I sitting down tonight, of all nights, and dusting off my keyboard, and taking another whack at a blog about LOSING weight, when I so obviously SUCK ASS AT IT???????

I don't know.  I wish I had a better answer; I just don't.  I could give you all of the usual reasons:
"My clothes don't fit."
"I have zero energy."
"I hate the way I look."
"I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired."
"I need a drastic change."
"I'm depressed from years of yo-yo dieting."
"I just want to look great naked."

They're all true, every one.  So, yeah.  All of those reasons.

So I'm sitting here tonight, trying to think of something prophetic to say.  Something inspiring.  Something that will make ME jump up when I'm done, and run right to a treadmill and sweat for an hour with a big goofy grin on my face.

I've re-read this blog a few times.  The truth is, I don't have anything new to say, or anything incredible to add.  How's THAT for un-inspiring?!  JEEZ.  Waa waa waa.

But literally, it's all here already.  I have known for years and years and years HOW to lose weight.  It's the DOING that's tough.  I know this is a huge advantage that I have.  I've already DONE the research; I've already MEMORIZED the calorie content of literally every food on earth, and I know how many calories I will burn, with whatever form of exercise I may brutalize myself with on any given day.

The tough part isn't even finding the willpower to avoid crap foods or fast foods or unhealthy foods - I am fortunate enough to be able to honestly say that I PREFER the tastes and textures of the healthiest foods I can get my hands on, 99% of the time.
A lack of information or education about diet and exercise and metabolism and HOW to lose weight is not my issue.  Normally, a lack of willpower is not my issue, either.  I don't feel like I'm ruled by cravings or unable to avoid foods I shouldn't eat.  Some days, a lack of free time will get in the way of exercise for me - but most days, if I'm completely honest with myself, I can find the spare hour SOMEWHERE.  So, lack of free time is rarely my issue.

No.  My only issue now, after two+ years of yo-yoing (again), is a crushing lack of motivation.  Where do I find lost motivation?  If I don't give a shit personally what weight the scale shows, then...WHY TORTURE MYSELF?!  WHY should I do all of the necessary things one must do to shed pounds, if I simply DON'T CARE?

Personally, WANTING to lose the pounds has never been enough.


Because I WANT a can of COKE even more than I want to lose the pounds.   
I WANT a huge plate of vermicelli (RIGHT NOW, in fact...), dripping with real butter and fake Parmesan cheese.

I WANT a pizza, all to myself, frosted with bar-b-que sauce, and piled with pineapple chunks and sweet onions.

I WANT a half box (OK, OK...a FULL BOX) of Peanut Butter Capn' Crunch for dinner, with WHOLE MILK.  Or better yet, HALF & HALF.  (No, I am NOT JOKING).

I WANT a huge bowl of air-popped, white popcorn, drizzled with melted real butter and salted profusely.

I WANT a bottle of Barefoot Red Moscato.  Now.

I WANT every salad I eat to contain so much cheese, avocado, bleu cheese dressing, and BACON that I can't see the lettuce.

I WANT an Everything Bagel with drippy globs of plain cream cheese from Big Apple Bagels.  Every morning.

I WANT a bowl (SCREW the little cups...) of cake batter ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, infused with chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup, flaked coconut, fresh raspberries, and at least 7 maraschino cherries.

I WANT a steaming hot vat of Navratan Korma, accompanied by a huge slab of garlic naan, all the basmati rice I can eat, and a bowl of kheer for dessert.

I WANT cream cheese on every slice of apple and every stalk of celery that passes my lips.  Forever.

I WANT English muffin toast with real butter and creamy peanut butter (the fake kind, with all the added sugar...), every morning.  After my Everything Bagel.

I want DIP on my chips and DIP on my vegetables.

I WANT CHOCOLATE.  Preferably in the form of chilled Cadbury Creme Eggs, year-round.

That is all.

Where does one find motivation when they're as (obviously) obsessed with food as I am?  As I have ALWAYS been???

I have searched everywhere for mine.  And then, 72 hours ago, I just...found it.  It was there all along, in the most unlikely of places.  In WalMart, to be exact.
Have you been in WalMart lately?

Yeah.  SCARY.  I have always prided myself in the simple fact that I wear clothes when I shop at WalMart, rather than pajamas and slippers.  Even in the middle of January, there are always a few shoppers wearing SLIPPERS in WalMart. 

This night 72 hours ago, I walked into WalMart looking the worst I have EVER looked in WalMart.  So of course, this would be the one night where I was destined to run into someone whom I would not want to see me looking ragged, disheveled, and flat-out exhausted.  (I'd had a hard day, OK?)

My ratty condition all but guaranteed that I would see someone I knew.  I was half-way through my task when I rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a guy I'd known 9 years ago, back when I had no worries about weight, and fewer worries about grey hair and wrinkly skin.  I quickly spun around and made a bee-line to...anywhere else.  I couldn't tell if he recognized me when he glanced my way, and I silently prayed that he had NOT.  More than anything on earth, I did NOT want to see anyone I knew, looking the way I did! 

I found myself trying to speed through the rest of my shopping, but as my luck would have it, EVERY time I rounded another aisle, there he was.  After this happened three or four times, I realized he was trying to catch up with me.  He had seen me, and recognized me.  Oh. My. God.  WHY?! 

So I accepted my fate and sure enough, he came zipping down the next aisle and said, "Hey, I know you!"  I did the obligatory greeting and the "Oh, yeah, long-time-no-see..." and I pretended to hear what he was saying, and I pretended NOT to be mortified by the fact that I was running into him looking the way I did:  squidgy and lumpy and just... awful.  I looked and felt awful.  And after the guy walked away I stood there, still mortified, and at that moment... I found my lost motivation.  

Funny where we find these things, yes?  I would not have guessed that bumping into an old friend and having them see the extreme changes in my appearance would upset me the way it did.  But, it did.  A lot.  I don't want to hide in WalMart.  I don't want to run away from people I used to know, just so they won't see the way I am NOW.  I don't want to be ashamed of my appearance.  I don't want to go home from an encounter like that one and eat a huge bowl of Capn' Crunch because I feel so wretched, so miserable, so dejected. 

I want to look better.  I want to feel better.  I want to find my energy again.  I want to wear cute clothes.  I want to be excited for summer.  I want to be comfortable and confident in my own skin.  I want to be proud of myself for accomplishing something I KNOW I can do:  losing my extra pounds.

And yeah, I want to look great naked, too.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year...& A New Beginning!!!

Yes, I am still here.

I weighed 146.5 on November 14th, which was the last day I posted.
This morning, I weigh 154.0.  Yes, I have gained (back) another 7.5 pounds.  Again.

The yo-yoing is enough to make me so depressed that I sometimes throw entire days of potential healthy eating away, just out of spite for my scale.  In mid-November, I was SUPER-motivated to soldier through Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years without gaining.  This was a big change from my usual annual apathy toward holiday eating.  I normally approach the holidays with a weary acceptance that I WILL gain.  I've never, EVER not gained weight during the holidays - not once, in my entire adult life.  My usual holiday weight-gain is between five and ten hideous pounds, which are comprised of homemade Chex Mix, Christmas cookies, Danish Kringle with butter, fruitcake with (more) butter, and several gigantic meals of turkey, ham, cheesy potatoes, brown sugar-drenched squash, wild rice full of bacon and slathered with gravy, mashed potatoes and (more) gravy, stuffing with hamburger and (MORE) gravy, pistachio-marshmallow salad, green bean casserole, dinner rolls with (more) butter, and the desserts, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... Pies and bars and chocolate-covered stuff and gooey, chewy things that we only eat during the holidays.  So, you get the picture.

I'm living proof this morning that sometimes, all the motivation in the world doesn't necessarily equal willpower during the holidays.  I did NOT want to gain any weight this year, and I was mentally ready to do whatever I had to in order to avoid it.  And yet...

Here I am.  Feeling very squishy, sluggish, flabby, flaccid, run-down, and PISSED.

All I can do is start fresh.  Yesterday was obviously the day most of the world started acting on their New Year's resolutions, as it was the first day of a brand-new year.  I tried, I really did.  But our office is still closed today, and so I'm technically still on holiday vacation until we go back to work tomorrow, and I'm still sitting in a house surrounded by leftover Christmas cookies, leftover fruitcake, leftover dinner rolls, and leftover margarita mix!  I have willpower, sure, but... not THAT much willpower.    SIGH.

Mentally, I just couldn't pull it off yesterday.  I wanted to, but didn't.  All I can do is try not to gain ANOTHER pound today, before hitting it hard tomorrow morning.  So far today, I've succeeded.  I'm sipping my second cup of hot tea of the day, and even though my stomach is TWISTING with hunger from the nasty stretching-out I gave it yesterday (a huge bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with WHOLE milk at 9:30 last night...!), I don't intend to eat until I can't stand it anymore.  I already know there is a "Food Event" on my schedule for dinnertime tonight.  The teenager and I are going to India Palace (our FAVE restaurant...) at 5:00.  I'm saving calories for that meal today.  I intend to look at dinner tonight as kind of my "Last Hurrah," although I don't intend to inhale food like a fiend for an hour straight.  I intend to savor every single incredible bite.  But I also don't intend to skip the samosas or the naan this time, like I've done other times recently, in the interest of avoiding the white flour and "bad carbs."  Tonight, I will savor and enjoy, but I will not over-stuff myself and I will not deprive myself of my favorite India Palace treats and flavors.  On the surface, this makes me seem less-than committed to weight-loss right out of the gate at the start of 2012.  But that is not the case.  I'm really thinking of it as though I'm a prisoner eating her Last Meal.  If I'm going to really do this - if I'm going to FINALLY SUCCEED in losing the 29.0 pounds I now have to lose - then I need to do a lot more than just avoid my favorite restaurant indulgences.  Sure, I can eat out once in awhile - but NOT every week, and possibly not even every two weeks.

I have had nothing but success with the Four Rules of Dieting.  In my own words, this means:

1.  Eat ONLY when I'm truly hungry.  This means NOT when I'm thirsty, NOT when I'm having a specific craving for something sweet or salty, and NOT when I'm just "nibbly."  I wait until I hear my stomach growl, and it has to be at least three or four hours after I ate my last meal.

2.  Eat whatever I'm hungry for - but for me, I add in the stipulation that the foods I can choose from have to be on my "Healthy Foods List" that I wrote a few posts ago.  I have one day a week where I can choose from my "Fun Foods" list, but with those I still have to stick to single servings and I have to count the calories in my daily total.  So I modify this rule and make it more strict, for me, but it's something I feel I NEED to do.

3.  Eat consciously.  For me, this means NOT in the car (this is REALLY difficult for me!), NOT in front of the computer or the T.V., and basically NOT when I'm multi-tasking or doing anything else!  I will savor and enjoy every bite of what I'm eating, which will increase my enjoyment of the "experience" of eating on a level that many people have lost touch with, including myself.

4.  STOP eating when I START to feel full.  I am guilty of being a life-long member of the "Clean Plate Club."  It's such an ingrained part of my eating psyche that even now, I cannot imagine scraping half a plate of anything into garbage can.  I have always had a HUGE problem wasting food that costs hard-earned money.  What I need to change, and do from now on, is adjust how much I pile on my plate in the first place.  This simple act should solve everything, in theory.  A smaller pile of food to finish equals less chance of waste AND over-eating, any way you slice it.

5.  I NEED to exercise.  We have a good treadmill, we have a good elliptical machine, and we have several workout DVDs.  We also have a weight room full of free weights and an agility ball for abdominal exercises.  I have ZERO EXCUSES.  What I vow to do in the new year, first and foremost, is to schedule my workouts on our new dry-erase Weekly Family Calendar.  This is one of the reasons we got it - so we can each plan for our own exercise.  I am committed to getting as many hours in as possible, every week of the year... three, four, or five hours on the machines - or walking outside when weather permits.  I'm going to do as much as I can fit into every week, and I know that every week will be a little different, but that's going to have to be OK.

6.  I need to drink more water.  I'm shooting for 64 ounces a day, because I almost never manage that much.  I do count eight ounces for every cup of tea or coffee I drink (mostly tea), and when I'm avoiding pop, I drink a LOT of tea.

7.  I need to avoid pop as much as possible, both real and diet.  No explanation needed here.

So - that's it.  That's what I'm doing, in addition to counting every calorie and staying below 1200 each day.  Right now, it's 1:00 p.m. and I'm eating my first food of the day.  I waited as long as I could, because I'm so ticked off at myself for my late-night Cheerios splurge of last night.  I've consumed only two cups of tea until now, and I'm just sitting down to eat my favorite healthy sandwich:  two slices of raisin Ezekiel bread, turkey, lettuce, yellow mustard, and my favorite McCormick's seasoning.  YUMMY!!!  I reached for a Diet 7-Up to wash it down, and quickly put it back and filled up my 32-ounce jug with ice water.  

Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holding Steady...

Still going strong!!!

I'm still holding steady at  7 pounds down since October 17th, so what that means to me is that I have not yo-yo'd at all in almost a month!  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  I credit my new way of eating, 100%.  I'm following the Four Basic Diet Rules RELIGIOUSLY, every day.  I don't eat unless I'm TRULY hungry.  That means, at the first sign of hunger, I don't stuff my face - I drink some ice water, a cup of tea, or I simply wait a little while before feeding myself.  When I do this, a LOT of times, what I thought was hunger simply vanishes.

I now always eat consciously, never while driving, never in front of the computer or t.v., never while multi-tasking.  I make every meal and snack an event all its own.  I SIT DOWN, take a little time with meal prep and presentation, and eat as slowly as I can - enjoying every bite.  I stick to single servings of single foods, and I've all but eliminated huge sit-down dinners with three courses, bread, and dessert.  They're not even missed!

I eat whatever I want - not what I "think I should" - but within reason.  I don't pig out anymore.  I am limiting my sugar drastically, and not wolfing entire boxes of Lifesaver Gummies or Good & Plenty when we watch a movie at home anymore.  I'm not snarfing ice cream with Hershey syrup every time my husband eats a little bowl.  I'm not eating entire bags of buttery microwave popcorn.  I'm not sucking down glasses of sangria whenever I feel like it.  I'm not eating second helpings of ANYTHING, and I'm trying my absolute hardest to AVOID ALL WHEAT.  I bought the "Wheat Belly Diet" book for my Nook.  I haven't had time to start reading it yet - but I will ASAP.  When I don't eat ANY wheat for a couple days straight, not only do I drop pounds, EVERY time, but I also end up having the most ridiculous energy I've ever experienced.  Wheat has been clogging me up and slowing me down!!!

And finally, I am putting down my fork as soon as I start feeling a little bit full.  I am not clearing my plate every time I eat - I save my leftovers, and eat them for a snack later.  I've NEVER done this!  Now, when I'm full, I STOP - get up - and walk away.  This is probably the most important new "tactic" I have.  I feel empowered that I am able to do this now!  I am re-training myself, one day at a time.  I eat completely differently than I did just one month ago.

My biggest challenge continues to be restaurants.  SO many of them just don't have anything on them that fits into my new plan!  I mean, come on - I can only eat so many side salads and cups of vegetable soup!  I have found a few places that are "me" friendly, though, and I will continue to go there when possible!  

I have set my latest goals and they look like this:

I want to be down to 139 pounds by November 30th.  This morning I weighed 146.5.  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is next Thursday.  I will have to be diligent and stick to my guns to avoid eating all next week, like I have in years past.  I will eat according to my new plan every day until we get together for the Big Turkey Meal with family.  And then, I'll keep sticking to it!  I can do this!  I have 16 days to lose 7.5 pounds.  NO PROBLEM!

My additional goal is that I want to lose my final 14 pounds during the month of December.  I do realize that this is a lofty goal.  I know how hard it is to be good during the holidays.  But I'm still going to try!

If it takes me until sometime in January to reach my final goal (125 pounds), so be it - I WILL NOT let any lack of success get me down this time.  Never again!  I am focused on the finish line now, and I can almost taste success!  It will be SWEET!

Here are a few of my new faves:

My new fave flavor - key lime!

Vegetarian - tofu protein!
LOVE this brand!
I have to fight my toddler for these!    LOL
Delicious in my new hummus!
New fave green tea flavor!
Don't laugh - these are sweet, no-wheat, and FOUR of them contain only 35 calories!

Monday, October 31, 2011



Things are coming together.  I'm at 146.0 pounds as of October 27th, and that's 7.0 pounds lighter than October 17th, which was my last blog post.  I've done a little re-arranging of my food choices, I've eliminated a few things I've been doing, and I've added a few things as well.  I've also found a whole new diet approach to think about, thanks to "Anne" from my friend Sarah's diet blog.

This stuff is too good to not share, so here goes!

First thing I ditched:  Daily weigh-ins.
I was starting to see that when I weighed myself every single morning, it was starting to depress me.  The depression comes from the inevitable yo-yoing that happens when you weigh-in constantly.  Many mornings, I'm still digesting my dinner from the night before - so I play the game of, "OMG, I gained weight, after eating only 1100 calories yesterday?!"  In reality, I probably didn't gain.  My weight just still included the mass from my dinner of the night before.

Second thing I ditched:  Watching the clock.
 I've been trying as hard as I can to stick to the "5-Factor Diet" mentality.  What this means is, I've been watching the clock ALL DAY LONG, in order to make sure I'm eating often enough, and spacing my calories out in the correct increments, and not forgetting to eat every 2 1/2 hours, yadda yadda yadda.  I realized that this was causing me to THINK ABOUT FOOD ALL DAMN DAY.  I couldn't do it anymore.  For one thing, I couldn't keep up.  I felt like I was eating non-stop, even though I was really eating only every few hours, and then only a small amount of something; usually 200 calories or less.  In addition, I was GAINING weight doing this - most likely because of the fact that I was thinking about food ALL DAMN DAY.  It made me hungrier, and in moments of even slight made me cheat bigger and badder than I would have normally.

Third thing I ditched:  Counting every calorie.
I have been keeping track of my calories DAILY for so many years that it seems very strange if I don't do it even one day.  Every morning, I start a new little slip of paper while I drink my cup of tea or coffee.  I write the date at the top, my weight that morning, a list of vitamins I need to remember to take that day, and then I start my calorie intake list.  By the end of the day, if my calorie total is between 1100 and 1300, I feel like I've hit my goal for the most part.  I know from years and years of counting that 1100 calories is my "magic" number.  When I eat 1100 calories on any given day, I lose weight that day.  When I eat 1200-1300...I maintain my weight.  I almost never see pounds lost when I eat more than 1100 daily.  Sad, but true - for me.  From now on, I'm writing down the foods I eat, and what time I eat them, but I'm doing this more for documentation purposes in regards to my new eating plan.  I want to see how this all pans out.  I'm only 2+ weeks into this, so I have no idea what kinds of highs, lows, and plateaus are in store for me - and I'd like to find that out, in order to be able to share what I learn accurately.

One thing I've added:  The "Wheat Belly" Diet info.!
"Anne," from my friend Sarah's blog, posted a partial article written by Dr. William Davis called "Do You Have a Wheat Belly?"  I read it - then Googled him, and saw that he has also written books!.  Wheat Belly is BAD BAD BAD.  And we, as unhealthy Americans addicted to processed carbohydrates, all have it.  Here is a partial bit of that article:

Do you have a wheat belly?
By Dr. William Davis

Along with this pattern comes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes and pre-diabetes, increased inflammation, increasingly blood clot-prone blood. This common collection that now afflicts over 50 million Americans goes by a number of names, including metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome, and syndrome X.

But I call it "wheat belly.” Let me explain.

You’ve heard of “beer bellies,” the protuberant, sagging abdomen of someone who drinks excessive quantities of beer.

Wheat belly is the same protuberant, sagging abdomen that develops when you overindulge in processed carbohydrates. It represents visceral fat that laces the intestines.

I thought so, too, 12 years ago when I followed a strict vegetarian, low-fat diet, rich with “healthy” whole grains. I gained 30 lbs, my HDL dropped to 27 mg/dl, triglycerides skyrocketed to 350 mg/dl, small LDL went crazy, my blood pressure was 150/90, and I developed diabetic blood sugars─while running 5 miles a day. It’s the wheat. I eliminated the wheat and promptly reversed the entire picture.

If you don’t believe it, try this experiment: Eliminate all forms of wheat for a 4 week period–no breakfast cereals, no breads of any sort, no pasta, no crackers, no pretzels, etc. Instead, increase your vegetables; healthy oils; lean proteins (lean red meats, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, Egg Beaters, yogurt and cottage cheese); raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans; and fruit. Of course, avoid fruit drinks, candy, and other garbage foods, even if they’re wheat-free. (And don’t confuse this conversation with celiac disease or gluten enteropathy, an allergy to wheat gluten, an entirely different issue.)

Most people will report that a cloud has been lifted from their brain. Thinking is clearer, you have more energy, you don’t lose in the afternoon, you sleep more deeply. You will notice that hunger ratchets down substantially. Most people lose the insatiable hunger pangs that occur 2-3 hours after a wheat-containing meal. Instead, hunger is a soft signal that gently prods you that it’s time to consider eating again. You may even find that you miss meals, just because you forgot to eat. Very curious.

It’s unconventional, I know. The last 500 patients I’ve done this with also thought so─until they lost 15, 20 . . .70 lbs along with all the undesirable metabolic “baggage.”

While nearly everyone knows that candy bars and soft drinks aren’t good for health, most Americans have allowed processed carbohydrates, but especially wheat products like pretzels, crackers, breads, waffles, pancakes, breakfast cereals and pasta, to dominate diet. I blame the extreme over-reliance on these foods for the obesity and related abnormalities: wheat belly.

How did this all come about?

Back in the 1960s, we had sandwiches on white bread, hamburgers on white flour buns, spaghetti made with bleached, enriched flour. Data from the 1970s and 1980s, however, demonstrated conclusively that using whole grains, with the bran and B-vitamins left in, was better: better for bowel health, blood pressure, cholesterol values.

Fast-forward to the 1990s and the new century, and the mantra has evolved to “eat more whole grains, eat more whole grains,” repeated by “official” organizations and propagated by countless media conversations. And Americans have complied.

But while video games, unhealthy snacks, and vending machines have been roundly blamed for the nationwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes, it’s curious that increased  weight has befallen even active people who eat “healthy”: yes, plenty of whole grains.

In my view, it is the grains that are largely behind the obesity and diabetes epidemic, at least among the frustrated health-conscious.

But not all grains. Oats and flaxseed, for instance, seem to not contribute to weight and the associated patterns like small LDL.

So that's the bare bones description; I recommend that everyone buy the book "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis.  I just bought it for my Nook.  I can't wait to read it.  I am experiencing bizarre spikes of energy already in the past few days, after only reducing my wheat consumption - I haven't even eliminated it completely - YET.  I am seriously considering doing this, if my current energy level is an indicator of how I am supposed to feel without wheat clogging up my system.  I am also having virtually NO hunger pangs - ALL DAY!  This is the biggest break-through of all for me.  It could end up being life-changing.  And a big Life Change is exactly what I need right now.

I have been stuck at the same weight - between 148.0 and 153.0 - since the end of last APRIL.  This has been more than just a plateau.  This has been me banging my head against the wall, counting every calorie, trying desperately to exercise as much as possible, avoiding my favorite foods in favor of eating "healthier" whole-grain varieties.  Have I been sabotaging my efforts all along?  It would appear that this is a possibility...

My Secret Weapon:  The Four Basic Rules of Dieting

You can Google this - "Four Rules of Dieting" - and you'll see many articles mentioned about this.  It can be written out or described in many different ways, but really it's just the most basic, common-sense approach to getting healthy and losing unwanted pounds that ANYBODY on earth can and should be doing, every day, with every meal and snack, 24 hours a day.  In my own words, here's the deal:

Rule #1:  Don't eat unless you're ACTUALLY hungry.
This is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT rule.  It is also the one that I can honestly say I have never been able to manage, until NOW.  I am finally ready now.  And it's working.  All it means, literally, is this:  When I feel the very first little "tickle" of a hunger pang starting, I do NOT feed it.  That would have been the "old" me; the one whose automatic response for a tiny feeling of hunger would have been to "make it stop, before I REALLY get hungry."  NO.  Now, the "new" me WAITS.  I stop what I'm doing for just a second and I evaluate.  "Am I actually hungry?  Or might I be thirsty or dehydrated instead?"  Then, at this first sign of "hunger," I grab a glass or bottle of ice-cold water and start to sip it.  I DISTRACT myself from that tiny little hunger pang with ice water, and 9 times out of 10, it is proven to me that NO, I WASN'T really starving to death; I just wanted a little something in my stomach, and it didn't even have to be food - water did the trick.  A little water volume, and my "feed me" impulse disappeared.  When you approach this first rule in this way, you WILL FIND that you are eating far less often and smaller amounts than you were before.  All I needed was a few days of crazy success with this to be hooked.  This will sound bizarre, but I tracked my calories the first three days that I stuck like glue to this rule - and each of those three days, I consumed LESS THAN 800 calories.  I was shocked.  But that was all I was hungry for!  I alternated cups of hot tea, cold-brewed iced tea, and ice water with single-size servings of individual foods all day, and by the time I crawled into bed, I felt successful, happy, and FULL!  It has been so long since I didn't feel hungry when I got into bed at night that I have no idea how long ago it was.  I will promise ANYONE who does this for just one week that you will lose AT LEAST three pounds that week - and every week after that, should you choose to keep it up.

Rule #2:  Eat whatever you want - not what you think you should!
I don't recommend taking this to any crazy extreme.  I am very careful with this rule.  I don't allow myself to fall into any patterns of, "I can eat anything I want - so I'm gonna eat movie candy and ice cream for dinner tonight!"  I think it's very possible that people out there could take this rule too literally, without some guidance.  So, I'll share my own interpretation of this.  In a nut shell, if you want to lose weight, you have to get rid of the crap food in your life.  You need to avoid fast food places, you have to save pop for very rare, special occasions, you have to stay off the white-flour-processed carb bus, and no, you CANNOT eat chocolate cake for breakfast washed down with a glass of sangria.  This rule must be followed with intelligence.  I found this easy to do by making TWO LISTS.  Grab a pen, if you want to do what I did - because I could NOT have lost my last seven pounds without my two lists.  It's all about brainstorming, and for me, it was actually a lot of fun to do.  It took me about two hours total.  First, I made a list that I called my "Healthy Food List."  I listed every single fruit, vegetable, lean meat, low-fat or fat-free dairy product, oat and flax-seed foods, low-calorie snack, low-fat/low-calorie/low sodium condiments and dips, low-calorie and artificial-sweetener-free beverages, low-calorie frozen or packaged meals, low-calorie homemade meals, and vitamins/supplements that I love.  I consider this list to be my MOST IMPORTANT TOOL in my weight-loss battle.  What you will do with this list is simple:  When you feel genuinely hungry - not just a little hunger twinge, but serious HUNGER, that makes your stomach growl out loud - you simply pick something - ONE THING - off of your "Healthy Foods" list, and you eat it.  SLOWLY.  Never inhale it.  Enjoy it.  Drink some ice-cold water with it, not matter what it is, and by the time you've consumed a single serving of anything on this list - I guarantee that your hunger pang has either been severely reduced or completely eliminated.  If not, then pick ONE MORE item from this list - and eat a single serving of it - SLOWLY.  You see the deal here?  The object is to put just enough food in your stomach to satisfy your REAL hunger, but no more food than you need to do that.  In this way, by eating one item at a time, you will find that often, you won't need to eat more than a single thing to eliminate your hunger.  Do you have any idea how many calories this saves over the course of an entire day?!  Believe me - it's A LOT.

The second list you will make is your "Fun Foods List."  Again, I divided my list into the following columns:  Meat/Protein, Dairy, Snacks, Condiments/Dips, Beverages, Grains/Fiber, Frozen/Packaged Meals, and Homemade Meals.  This list contains all of my all-time favorites in these categories which did NOT MAKE the "Healthy Foods" list.  This list has the bacon, butter, shredded cheese, ice cream, movie candy, pretzels and chips, cookies, guacamole, Coke Classic, sangria, cappucino, bagels, pasta, cereal, rice dishes, crackers, toaster waffles, etc. etc. etc. on it.  Basically, everything NOT low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, and low-sodium.  One day out of every seven, I allow myself to eat from BOTH LISTS.  The "Fun Foods" list is there so that I don't feel so deprived, limited, restricted, etc.  It's so I can look forward to a plate of vermicelli on the weekend, or a can or two of Coke once a week, or a bowl of cereal once a week.  This sounds extreme, but it isn't.  I have more than enough delicious foods that I love on my "Healthy Foods" list.  I simply HAVE TO DO THIS if I am ever going to lose my last 21 pounds.  I am at that "breaking point."  I MUST be this diligent, if I'm going to succeed.  Period.

Rule #3:  Eat consciously and enjoy every bite!
This rule is KEY.  I have drastically slowed down my eating.  For one thing, I'm forcing myself to never eat while doing ANYTHING else.  NO multi-tasking with your food, people!  The reason for this is that we eat WAY TOO FAST when we're busy doing other things at the same time, and we also don't get any enjoyment out of the experience of eating, and as a result, we rarely feel satisfied when we look down and see that our plate is clean.  So what do we do?!  We eat more, hoping to find that feeling of satisfaction and happiness.  And we never feel it.  In addition to this, when we wolf our food down in front of the t.v. or in the car or as we rush out the door, we're screwing up our body's natural ability to tell us when we're full.  We're in a hurry, so we grab something processed or pre-packaged, whether it's healthy or not, and we snarf the entire thing down whether we're hungry for that much volume or not.  We don't give ourselves the opportunity to enjoy the flavors, the textures, or to experience the sheer joy of eating.  I promise you, when you take the few extra minutes to sit down, eat slowly and deliberately, and really make yourself experience your food, eating will become a whole new pleasure for you, as it has for me.  I look forward to everything I eat, but I do NOT eat anything until I'm legitimately hungry for it.

Rule #4:  Stop eating when you start to feel full!
This should be self-explanatory, but how many people actually DO this?!  Very few.  I never have.  We're humans, which means we're all members of the "Clean Plate Club."  If we were growing up during the Great Depression, and our great-grandmother told us, "You'd better clean your plate!  You don't know when you're gonna get to eat again!" - it would be understandable that our plates would be licked clean at every meal.  But we Super-Size EVERYTHING now, even in our own homes, and even the most well-meaning home-cooked dinner of lean meat, veggies, salad, and fruit for dessert packs more volume than most stomachs need in one sitting.  Honestly, three- and four-course dinners like that have become a thing of the past at our house.  We almost never do them anymore, because when we do, we all lie around like giant slugs afterwards, kicking ourselves for eating the very-healthy venison steak, PLUS the mountain of very-healthy steamed broccoli, PLUS the very-healthy side salad, PLUS the very-healthy fruit for dessert.  We simply do not NEED to pour that much food into our stomachs at one time.  The entire concept of the three- or four-course meal is very unrealistic for anyone hoping to lose weight.  Did you know that your own stomach, when empty, is the size of your own fist when it's closed?!  Think about your last sit-down family dinner.  Was the total volume of that meal larger than the size of your fist?!  If so, than I would bet my own stretched-out stomach and wheat-clogged intestines that you felt like a hippopotamus after eating that meal.  In short, when you start to feel the smallest feeling of fullness while eating, just do yourself a HUGE favor - just PAUSE.  Put your fork down.  Sip some ice water.  Focus and concentrate on what your stomach REALLY feels like.  PAY ATTENTION to it.  If you're even starting to feel full...stand up, bring your plate to the counter, grab a Tupperware container, dump your leftovers into it, shove them in the fridge as fast as you can, and WALK AWAY, PEOPLE!  Go brew yourself a steaming cup of lemon-green tea, and sit down with a good book and take your mind off of food - and allow your body to get to work digesting your meal.  You'll not only save yourself from consuming calories you weren't even hungry for, but you'll also completely avoid the horrid feeling of an over-stuffed stomach.  This in turn will make you feel great, because you'll feel in control of your eating - and you'll gain even more motivation to stick with eating by the Four Rules, knowing that you have the power and ability to stop yourself from sabotaging your weight-loss efforts, simply by paying attention to the natural cues your body has been sending you every day of your life.  Incidentally, by reducing or eliminating wheat products from your diet, you will eliminate the biggest sabotaging factor of all - because consuming WHEAT screws up our body's natural ability to feel full, as well as causes our hunger response to rage out of control by screwing up our insulin levels.  No wheat = less hunger, as well as the ability to know when we're truly full.

So, there it is.  This is all I'm doing.  I'm following the Four Rules TO THE LETTER.  I'm paying attention to how my stomach REALLY feels, for the first time in my life.  It's WORKING.  I'm eating so much less now that I can hardly believe it myself.  I'm not hungry between meals - and most shockingly, I'm NOT hungry in the evenings!!!  I never thought this would ever happen to me, as long as I lived.  I feel as though I can't fail while following this plan.  THAT is the single-best motivator of all.

I'm still trying to exercise as much as possible, but it's tough.  Some weeks I'll get three or four treadmill or elliptical workouts in, and other weeks I'm lucky to get one.  The great thing now is, this sad fact isn't enough to derail my motivation or my efforts anymore.  I'm too psyched about the new way of eating.  If I get the exercise in, that's great - but I'm looking at it more as an added bonus to my over-all weight-loss goal now, rather than something that I have to somehow manage, otherwise I'll "never lose the weight I want to."  The exercise is the extra kick in the pants - but no longer the "do-or-die" activity I once thought it had to be.

I am also thrown-off by how much CRAZY ENERGY I have now.  My guess is that this is due to both the lack of wheat and processed white-flour crap in my system AND the smaller amounts of food in my system at any given time.  In a nutshell, I'm not bogged down anymore, with anything.  It's making me talk a mile a minute, hop and bop around my house like a insane person, and it's driving my husband CRAZY.  In a good way, of course, but he also asked me what kind of drugs I was taking.    LOL.

Finally, my scale is going in the right direction again.  This is the first time I've had a little taste of success in so many months, I'm a little in shock.  It feels surreal, that something so simple could produce such immediate results.  I mean, let's face it:  the information has been there right in front of me, all along.  True, the "Wheat Belly" information is newly-found, but the Four Rules are something I've quoted many times - I just never was able to stick to them the way I'm doing now, for some reason.  

Now, they're my mantra.  For LIFE.

For anyone out there reading this post, I'm attaching my own "Healthy Foods" and "Fun Foods" lists below.  I scoured calorie-counting books to make sure I wasn't forgetting any of my favorites; these lists are only MY favorite foods - but it will give an idea of how in-depth I got with this.  Having a comprehensive "Healthy Foods" list means that EVERY time I find myself hungry, I can grab it - and I immediately see something on it that will satisfy my craving.  I don't know what I would do with out it!!!  (Well, yes I do - I would grab the box of carb-filled Goldfish crackers or a one-pound bag of Life Savers Gummies, rather than something that won't derail my progress...)  My "Healthy Food" List is my Magic Diet Pill.  And filling my house with those foods equates to "stocking the arsenal" for success.  With the right foods surrounding me, I cannot fail!!!!!!!


My Favorite Vegetables: 

chick peas
green beans
red beans
sugar snap peas
sun-dried tomatoes
sweet potatoes

 My Favorite Fruits: 

mandarin oranges

My Favorite Healthy Meats/Protein: 

imitation crab
pickled herring
wild boar 

My Favorite Healthy Dairy Products: 

1% fat cottage cheese
1% milk
2% milk string cheese
Greek yogurt
hard-boiled egg whites
"Laughing Cow" low-fat cheese
whey protein powder

 My Favorite Healthy Snacks: 

dried fruits
dry-roasted peanuts
"light" microwave popcorn
pumpkin seeds
raw almonds
rice cakes
sunflower seeds

 My Favorite Healthy Condiments/Dips: 

fat-free sour cream
fat-free veggie dips (homemade with Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix) 
"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray butter
"light" mayonnaise
minced onion
parmesan cheese
peanut butter
"Wishbone Salad Spritzers" spray dressing
yellow mustard 

My Favorite Healthy Beverages: 

1% milk
chicken broth
cold-brewed iced teas
fat-free Half & Half
hot teas
mineral water
"spicy" V8 juice 

My Favorite Supplements/Vitamins: 

Fish Oil/Omega 3
vitamin B12
vitamin C

My Favorite Healthy Grains/Fiber Sources: 

Bran Buds
Ezekiel bread
Finn Crisp crackers
Grape Nuts
rice cakes
rice crackers
RyKrisp crackers
Wasa crackers
"Sarah Lee" 45-calorie bread 

My Favorite Low-Calorie Homemade Meals: 

chef salad
egg sandwich
lettuce and tomato sandwich
stir-fry with meat and veggies
taco salad
vegetable soup
venison steaks 

My Favorite Low-Calorie (300 or less) Packaged/Frozen Meals: 


"Amy's" Mexican Tamale Pie (150 cals.)

"Pagoda Express" Vegetable Egg Roll (150 cals.)

"Tasty Bite" Bombay Potatoes (210 cals.)

"Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers" Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with rice (230 cals.)

"Amy's Light & Lean" Spinach Lasagna (250 cals.)

"Starkist" Teriyaki Salmon

"Starkist" Orange Miso Tilapia

"Kitchens of India" Red Kidney Beans Curry

"Lean Cuisine" Mushroom Pizza

"Healthy Choice" Pumpkin Squash Ravioli


My "Fun Foods" List:

animal crackers
banana bread
bar-b-que sauce
buttered popcorn 
caramel dip/sauce
cereal bars
Cheese Nip crackers
chocolate milk 
Cocoa Wheats
cream cheese
Danish pudding
French bread
French fries
French toast
fruit juice
fruit snacks
Goldfish crackers
graham crackers
granola bars
hard cheddar cheese
hot cocoa
hot dogs
ice cream
Indian naan bread
"Jacobsen's" Snack Toast
maple syrup
minute rice
movie candy
pop (Coke, Dr. Pepper, Creme Soda)
Pop Tarts
pretzel crisps
protein bars
red beans and rice
Ritz crackers
salad cherries
saltine crackers
shredded cheese
tortilla chips
turkey bacon
wine coolers