Sunday, June 30, 2013


When I started this blog almost four years ago, I was determined to shed pounds without dieting. Some weeks that idea worked, other weeks found me on a diet du jour that I swore -- once again -- was going to work for me. Weight Watchers. Fat Flush. Dr. Cohen's 1st Personal. Beyond Diet. Paleo. Actually, I am counting Paleo four times since there are so many different types of Paleo and I tried at least four. DASH. I even went to a nutritionist.

AND NOTHING WORKED. No surprise here.

You can tell when I was dieting because I did not blog. I felt like such a fraud I couldn't admit that I had once again succumbed to a diet. And if I did write about it, I couched it by saying I was not really dieting -- only finding an eating plan that works for me.

Since January I have shed 26 pounds -- not earth shattering weight loss but steady and consistent. I eat what a want to eat but key here is that I am making really good food choices. I think about everything I put into my mouth. And if it is something that I know can pack on the pounds -- notice I didn't say something I should not eat -- I eat it very slowly and have only one serving. It does not send me into a binge, where I tell myself since I have "cheated" I should just go one eating and start "dieting" the next day.

I never cheat now, because I have given myself permission to have some treats. The next day I wake up and eat foods to fuel and nourish my body. What I am not doing is beating myself up for eating something the night before that I really enjoyed. In fact, that food I ate is out of my mind.

Food is not occupying my thoughts. That does not mean I am not planning my meals. I am. But I am planning healthy, well-balanced meals that make me feel great.

I owe this to Diane Bahr-Groth, the hypnotist I started seeing in February. Diane does virtual lap band hypnosis, and although really pricey, will hopefully save me money in the long run -- money I won't have to spend on medication and hospital stays -- the direction I was heading pre-Diane. 

I have also come to terms with the fact that I have an eating disorder and I have to work very hard each day to stay on the track I am on now. I have lots of things to do each day, but it's my life priority so I do them:
1. Before I get out of bed, I listen to one of the CDs Diane made for me, positive reinforcement that my stomach is smaller, that I need less food to feel full, and reminders to eat slowly with intent.
2. I do not go to sleep without reaching 10,000 steps a day. I exercise throughout the day, and I make sure that 30 minutes after every meal I stand up and walk a 12-minute mile with Leslie Sansone -- my favorite DVD exercise guru.
3. I cook. Although I love pizza and going out to dinner, I have been preparing some pretty amazing meals every night, meals that keep the calories low and nutrition up. For lunch, I always make a big salad that includes a protein, usually black beans because they are filling and loaded with fiber. 
4. I eat three servings of dairy a day -- feta on my salad and two 6-oz. containers of organic, low-fat plain Greek yogurt. One goes into my morning smoothie. The second is the perfect pick-me-up around 3 p.m. with just a little vanilla extract added for flavor.
5. My other snack of the day is mid-morning: sunflower seed butter smeared on celery sticks.
6. I have dessert every night: An Edy Outshine bar. Every flavor is in my freezer so I never get bored. It is just enough sweet to keep me sated.

There is no magic formula here. Just a desire to get healthy and live and long life, one that will see me dancing at my grandkids' weddings!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Supertaster I am not!

Yahoo Health has developed a simple test to determine if you are a supertaster. Why should we care? Because how you taste can determine your attitude toward food.
Here's the test: Place a very small sample of saccharin on the extreme tip of your tongue. Close your eyes and ask yourself: What do I taste?
  • No surprise here: I tasted only sweet, so I am an under-taster. My group has a high tolerance -- and desire -- for fatty, salty and sweet food. Because of this, when I eat I should remember that my sense of taste is underactive, which means I have to concentrate really hard on not eating when I am not really hungry or thirsty.
  • Average tasters taste bitter and sweet. When eating they need to avoid distractions and focus on the food they are putting into their mouths. They also need to pay attention to portion size.
  • Lucky supertasters, who find the saccharin very bitter. Although they love food, they tend to be leaner than most of the general public. But they also don't like fruits and vegetables that are sour or tart, they are sensitive to creamy and fatty foods, and in most cases they dislike beer and hard liquor.
Finally! I have something to blame for my blubber other than my mom and my love of Twizzlers. From now on, I'm pointing to my underactive tastebuds!

Monday, June 24, 2013

4 things that keep me fat!

Thank God this is not me. But it could be if I don't get moving!

I sat down at my desk this morning and here it is 1 p.m. Didn't eat breakfast. Did get in 45 minutes of exercise in before my butt hit my chair, but what happened to the two 12-minute miles to Leslie Sanson's DVD I was planning to fit in before lunch.

These tips from the Cleveland Clinic came at the perfect time for me, a gentle reminder that I really need to pay more attention to my work day.

  1. I love my chair. Not really, but I spend more hours of my day in this chair than anyplace else. According to the Cleveland Clinic, prolonged sitting puts us at risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Yuck! And one bout of exercise does not make up for a day in a chair. I know have a note on my computer screen that simply says: Get vertical!  I also set my iPhone's timer to 2 hours. And every two hours I will reset it, key up the DVD and get moving.
  2. We need to pretend that we are hunter-gatherers and eat throughout the day. If we starve ourselves -- and I admit I do this -- it messes with our metabolism and when we start eating normally again, we pack on the pounds. The goal is to start the day with a healthy breakfast full of fiber and protein. Then eat small but frequent meals and snacks throughout the day to keep metabolism high.
  3. Avoid eating out, especially at lunch. The Cleveland Clinic points to a 2012 study that found that women who ate lunch out once a week lost 5 pounds fewer than women who eat out less frequently. And eating one fast-food meal every week increases your risk of dying from a heart attack by 20 percent. Make nice with your kitchen.
  4. I know that when I am sad, anxious or feeling down, Twizzlers start calling my name. One study found that when we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol and that makes us reach for junk food. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that in times of stress we reach for mood-enhancing foods: whole grains, lean protein, Brazil nuts, whey protein and black tea.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Letting go

I finally made a New Year's resolution that is as strong as it was on Jan 1: To lose weight in the most healthy way I possibly can. I also knew I needed help.

I began seeing a hypnotherapist in February. For some, hypnotherapy is an immediate fix. For me, it has taken months, probably because of some deep-seeded baggage I have been carrying around for years. I identified two major issues: One, too personal for me to share in print, the other, an issue I think many of us face: our mothers.

I am not about to mom-bash, because honestly, she was a wonderful mother. But she wanted me, her only child, to be perfect, and for her that meant I had to be thin, gracious and gorgeous. After all, she was.

But she was also petite; I took after my dad. In sixth grade I was 5'6" tall and weighed 96 pounds. Mom decided that was too much for a sixth-grader to weigh, and put me on my first diet. In high school, she steered me to Weight Watchers, the original diet that let you eat just about nothing. I remember meals of farmer's cheese, chicken and iceberg lettuce. I was tall and skinny, but I thought I weighed a ton because mom told me I weighed too much. I was my adult height, 5'10" and weighed 130 pounds.

In college I discovered beer, and yes I gained the freshman 15 -- but I what I remember most about college were Aids, candy chews I would eat before every meal to make me eat less. Most days, Aids were my meal. Other days, I binged.

Yo-yoing? It was my normal, one that has continued throughout my life. I have also spent too much time and energy blaming my mother for creating my eating disorder, and although she was the catalyst, I knew how to drive that engine.

Through hypnotism I have let it all go. Now, when I think about my mother, I think only kind thoughts and imagine her playing with my children, the activity she enjoyed most in her golden years. I see her glorious smile and personality. I see her loving me as I know she did. Negative thoughts are gone.

And since I let this all go, the weight is beginning to finally come off. I haven't binged in months, and that is a major accomplishment. I have a long way to go, but I know it is only a matter of time before I will be at my goal.

As one of my hypno-CDs says at the end:
I like this!
This works for me!
This is better than it used to be!
And the weight takes care of itself....

Here's to letting go.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Remaking my body

I was just sent a few stats so worth sharing:
  • Every 28 days, our skin replaces itself;
  • Our liver, every 5 months;
  • Our bones, every 10 years.
Our bodies make these new cells  by the food we eat.

I guess my mom was right: We really are what we eat.

This came to me in the middle of a food detox I am doing, to determine exactly what foods are poorly impacting my body. I have known for years that I am allergic to wheat, but I also know there has to be other things.

So after seven days of eating cleanly, something weird is beginning to happen: My patch of eczema, which for the past year has kept growing, is all of a sudden shrinking. It's about 80 percent gone, which I think is pretty amazing.

I still have another five days left eating from a small list of food, and then on Saturday, I gradually start adding food groups back into my system, waiting two days before adding another food. During this waiting period I have to pay attention to my body, looking for signs of bloating, upset tummy, headaches -- the list is long. And although this will probably take me months to finish, I am so ready for the challenge.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Don't look back

I've spent entirely too much time beating myself up over not losing weight years ago. A few days ago I had an aha moment: Stop looking back.

Instead, I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life concentrating on the present. It's all about the big picture and my goal: to lose weight so that I am a healthier person. It's not about dieting. It's about making good food choices consistently.

I've had slip ups in the past, but it's time to move past the past.

Consider the word present. It means the here and now, but it also means a gift, and that is how I want to consider each morning wake up. A chance to start all over, to enjoy the day, to learn something new, and to make incredible food choices that will make me a healthier person.

Here's to the present and looking ahead to the future, one with me in it, the healthiest g-mom around.