Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Is Over...

Good Question! We made it through Thanksgiving. Some of us were able to stick to our plan, some of us went off the deep end, but all of us look forward to a better future so no looking back! Tomorrow is December 1st. 2014  is almost over. We have a few weeks to either make excuses, or make progress before the New Year begins. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Poem I wrote for my Support Board

It's the night before Thanksgiving
And all through the board
Not a dieter was posting
Not one single word

The blenders are quiet
The posters are too
I had good intentions
But what's a dieter to do?

The family is here
The whole country is cooking
I so badly want to sample
When no one is looking

My head starts to spin
My heart starts to pound
My commitment to diet
Is nowhere to be found.

I know what to do
I know what is best
I know I'm important
But temptation's a pest

When Thanksgiving is over
And Friday begins
I want to count pounds lost
Instead of my sins

So take THAT you stuffed turkey!
Away with you food
My health's more important
I choose  to do good!

Whatever your plan
Whatever you choose
Keep your best interest in mind
And you will not lose!

(except pounds of course!)

Happy Thanksgiving !

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Day 90 Of My 99 Day Cambridge Diet Challenge

I am on my 10th day of Sole Source (SS) for my 99 Day Ultimate Goal. So far I have been pretty much 100%. I did have a few bites of stew the other day and last night some chicken breast, but other then that I've been on track. With Thanksgiving looming in 5 more days I need to make this time count. I am planning on having a meal with my family and then getting right back to the business of losing.

I still cook every day for my husband and I actually don't mind at all. In fact, I enjoy it. I'm very careful about taste testing for seasonings and all. It can be hard to cook like I do. I never use recipes and normally go completely by taste, but that can get you in trouble. Sometimes by the time I had dinner all prepared for him, I felt like I had already eaten! I'd still go ahead and eat with him though. No need to wonder why I had put on a few pounds since we got married.

So I'm chugging along and feeling good. If anyone reading this is also SSing until Thanksgiving and then planning on taking a break and eating, just keep in mind that your stomach has adjusted to your very low volume diet and will not be producing all the digestive enzymes and acids it normally would while eating a full food diet. You will be in a world of hurt and feeling pretty horrible if you overdo it...and let's face it... overdoing it is pretty much the definition of Thanksgiving. Be prepared and get some good Digestive Enzymes to take with your meal. Your local Health Food store should have a good variety. Choose one that has a long list of specific enzymes that break down all forms of food, not just something like papaya extract. You'll be thanking me later!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Persistence, Not Perfection. An Emotional Healing

While on Cambridge, we all hope for perfection. We strive to stick to our diet without any detours or derailments. Unfortunately, it's not realistic to think we can isolate ourselves throughout the entire process of losing our weight. Success with Cambridge is not about perfection. It's about persistence. "All or nothing" thinking gets many of us in to a never ending loop of starting and stopping our diets. It reinforces thoughts of failure which only makes us feel hopeless and we give up once again.

There's always going to be something that comes up that will involve food somehow. That's just life. For example, lets say you have friends or family come in to town unexpectedly and  the decision is made for everyone to go out to eat. You don't want to be "that" person that lessens everyone else's experience by staying home or just sitting there with a diet soda while the rest of the table eats uncomfortably around you. What do you do?  Do you just dive in and go for it, using this as the perfect excuse to eat yourself under the table? Or, do you practice some good eating choices? We only have a problem if we continue to use normal every day activities and events as an excuse to binge and indulge our food addictions. If you eat like a health minded person, then that is a success! It's progress of the best kind. You are reinforcing your new lifestyle choices and will be in the proper state of mind to resume your Cambridge without it triggering an emotionally charged binge.

Eating food is not the problem. The emotions we nurture when we eat food are! The bargaining and excuses and justifying...these are the problem. They stir the pot of compulsive behavior and pretty soon, it boils over.

When given the unavoidable opportunity to practice good eating choices, take it as part of your recovery and make a point of detaching emotions from the event. Use it to your benefit as a chance to prove to yourself that you can keep food in it's proper perspective. That's not easy in our food obsessed culture. What other time in our history has food played such a obsessive central roll in our every day lives? TV shows and entire networks are devoted to it. The once common job of cooking for a living has become celebrity status. Restaurants and even food trucks clamber for cult like followings. Even home cooks are now endlessly striving for show stopper meals they see displayed on Pinterest and other social media. It used to be we just had to try to compete with Martha Stewart. Now we're all supposed to BE Martha Stewart!

You want to be free. The goal should not only be about being a certain size, shape, or weight. It should not only be about looking better for an event or a deadline. We all want to be free from this thing that our lives currently revolve around...our eating disorders. We all need an emotional mental healing. Only then will our bodies be able to do the work to heal us physically. We can't observe this healing from viewing X-Rays or stitches or any other tangible evidence of recovery. We have to be tuned in to our thoughts at all times and be willing to abort those that do us harm. A peaceful co-existence between our mind and our body, one nurturing the other.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quick Hello

Hey readers. I just wanted to check in with a progress report. I'm on my third day of my 99 day challenge and so far, so good. Last night was a little rocky. I was pretty hungry and really had to keep the mental pep talk going. I normally don't experience hunger anymore, even when SSing so this is new. I have to admit that my diet of late has been a lot sloppier then normal so that is likely why. Paying the piper I guess!

Today is better. My tummy is a little growley still, but it's lunch time anyway so that's ok. I'm am experiencing a slight metallic taste in my mouth so I guess I am going in to ketosis which should take care of the hunger. My energy is great today and I feel better overall so this is progress! Tomorrow will be a good day.

I'm not weighing right now. I decided that for my first month I will stay off the scale. I will have my first weigh in Dec 12th. I have a pretty good idea of my starting weight already. I'm not focusing on the day to day numbers. Once a month weigh ins will be right for me.

So day 97 of my 99 day countdown is going well. Anyone joining me?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

99 days

There are 99 days until my 56th birthday. My (ultimate) goal this year was to be at my high school weight by then. I've made a few half heart'd stabs at it, but I just couldn't stay focused for the long haul. This goal is important to me, both for my health, as well as my sense of accomplishment.

Being married now has put a whole new spin on things. Before I was married, when I would have clients complain about their spouses being a distraction by wanting them to go out to eat or by bringing food home, I never understood the real problem like I do now. By being on a highly restricted diet like Cambridge, you're pretty much demanding that your significant other be on restriction with you, to a certain extent. When my husband has his 3 day weekend, he likes to go exploring, mostly day trips.  We are still newbies here in Florida and there is a lot to see. Being out all day kind of makes it necessary to eat at some point. My husband has a healthy appetite and can eat a full meal and be ready to eat again in an hour! He has no weight problem of course. I know how hard he works and on his days off I don't want to be a party pooper. He won't eat in front of me. He just can't make himself go against the way his Mama raised him. This then condemns him to starving and when he gets hungry, he gets really wobbly, really fast! On top of that, he loves to eat and wants to enjoy that with me. Nothing wrong with that of course.

So here's the problem....I need to do this, but I hate forcing him to limit his recreation on his hard earned days off. He needs that time to decompress and gear up for another miserable week in the Walmart Claims Dept. I've been going 'round and 'round about this for some time now. I get going on my diet, only to feel guilty and go off so he and I can enjoy our time together. Now to be clear, he in no way EVER complains, but he also won't eat if I don't. He's also perfectly happy with the size I am at now and doesn't think I need to lose, other then to improve my health of course.

When I realized last night that I only had 99 days remaining till my B-day, I made the decision that no matter what, I'm sticking to my Cambridge until I either reach my goal, or the 99 days are up. At the age I'm at now, along with my history of diabetes, my digestion is very slow. It's called "delayed gastric emptying" and it makes it so my body has plenty of time to absorb every single calorie. I lose about half as fast as I did 13 years ago, so this will take some uninterrupted time. I printed up three, 100 day countdown charts. I have one on the fridge, one on my bathroom mirror, and one right here in front of me on top of my computer. I will cross off the bathroom one in the AM when I get up, the fridge one after my lunch shake, and my computer one at night before going to bed. I told my husband what I'm doing and he is of course supportive, but I am well aware of the toll it will take on him and I kind of hate that. I am also doing this at the worst possible time with Thanksgiving looming and then of course, Christmas.

If anyone would like to get in on my 99 days SS, please do! I will be posting updates weekly. You can use the comments and I would love to have you along for the adventure!

Wish my luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Learned Helplessness

When an athlete has an injury, lets say a runner breaks their leg, and they go through a time of recovery with a cast and crutches or whatever apparatus is required, they have to relearn how to get around and compensate for being off balance with whatever they are forced to drag around. Eventually they get the cast removed and even though they may have spent their entire life up until that injury being a runner, they will have to relearn how to walk normally again. They have learned not to trust that limb, the muscles have atrophied so it feels weak, they have gotten used to their lop sided gait and can't remember how to move smoothly and without thinking about it and it may feel like they will never be back to normal again. Running feels awkward and stilted. It is a learned behavior and the only way to get past it is to challenge it and push through, maybe by using visualization to reboot the mind and muscle memory to once again run freely. Physical therapy can assist the person in relearning to depend on that limb and eventually the recovery is complete.

My point is that we are all susceptible to false beliefs. This can be due to learned conditioning as in the broken limb, or in our self belief based on past experiences and input from others. It makes sense that if you fail at something, you have one of two options. Give up or try again. If you try again and fail it begins to alter your thinking and weakens your confidence until you lose hope in your ability to do any better. You may try again, only this time you go in expecting to fail. Like the broken leg, if every time you try to walk again you fell, how many times would you get back up before fearing failure, possibly not even trying so hard with each attempt. It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

Most of us have a history of dieting and disappointment. We flog ourselves emotionally with each failure and our self esteem gets chipped away with each attempt. Gradually we come to believe that obesity is our destiny and that the most we can hope for is to keep it under control with periodic efforts at weight loss. We no longer consider ourselves "normal" by the world's standards and our fear of failure is ever present, sometimes to the point of self sabotage without even being aware of it.

Cambridge is a good apparatus to support your body during it's healing from obesity. It can only address the physical need. The emotional mindset of what you believe about yourself and your ability to accomplish your goal is 100% on you. Cambridge can serve as your "physical therapist", but not as your emotional one. There is only so much support you can get from others, or that I can offer one on one to you individually. There is no escaping the fact that at some point, we much deal with ourselves and our issues and do the work to heal them. We can't blame anyone or anything for our situation, nor can we hold others responsible for our successes or failures. You have to force yourself to override the ingrained thinking that continually trips you up and causes you to accept less from yourself then you are truly capable of. It won't be comfortable or seem natural, but it has to happen. You have to believe in yourself and be willing to say "no" just as you would to a tantruming child. No bargaining or justifying. You have to understand that your thinking is the illness and the obesity is the symptom. You can't cure illness by treating symptoms.

Your mindset or concept of self is the core of your issues with food and weight. It is what will propel you forward or hold you back. I learned that if I changed my thinking, I could change my perception of my world and how I experienced it. Once I truly understood my potential to change what I didn't like about how I was living, it opened up doors I never understood I had barricaded. It was a revelation to say the least and I still marvel at it. Cambridge unlocked the door for me, but I had to be brave enough to go through it and see what was on the other side. Fortunately, the other side is wonderful!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rapid Weight Loss, Good or Bad?

There has been a long standing belief that rapid weight loss was harmful and that dieters should aim for no more then 1 to 2 pounds per week. For someone that may have more then 20 pounds to lose, that can look pretty bleak.  If you have 100 or 200 or more, you're looking at a year or two of constant adherence to a restricted eating plan. Since most diets are not made for enjoyment, this is unrealistic. The typical dieter can stay focused on a restricted eating plan for a month or two, but certainly not years! Along with that is the belief that rapid weight loss leads to rapid regain. An example of unproven theory accepted as fact.

15 years ago when weight loss surgery started to become more common, the expected rate of weight loss kind of flew in the face of the previous recommended loss of  1 or 2 pounds per week. Patients were expected to lose 5 or 10 times that much. Why was it suddenly ok for a body to drop weight quickly? What was different?

Fast forward to the ever popular reality (?) TV shows that feature obese cast members and their trainers who miraculously transform them in to weight loss machines, sometimes losing well in to the double digits in their weekly weigh ins.

So in spite of these contradictions, we were still being advised the same old tired thing...aim for 1 to 2 pounds per week. Anything beyond that was deemed "unsafe". Like most theories that are never proven, but repeated enough over the years for people to assume they are fact, this directive never had any foundation to stand on. It's true that for most people to lose weight rapidly, it requires extreme caloric restriction and that usually means nutritional deficiencies.  THAT can be potentially harmful. The body needs nutrients to thrive and survive. Going several months on say, 500 calories of conventional food would be unwise since it would be nearly impossible to consume what your body needs. The typical dieter would soon grow weary of so little food and feeling so weak and would have a good possibility of rebounding right back to the old eating habits that originally made them obese. So in reality, it is not the rate of fat being burned for energy that is the problem, it is depriving your body of nutritional building blocks to maintain good health. Now that makes sense.

Unfortunately, in the case of weight loss patients who rapidly lose large amounts of weight quickly through not only caloric deprivation, but also nutritional deprivation, it can leave them vulnerable to long term consequences related to nutritional deficiencies.  They are burning not just fat for energy, but muscle and other lean tissues. The fact that a good majority of them end up gaining the weight back suggest that the body is hard wired to survive and will demand nutrition. Old eating habits creep back in along with the drive to compensate for what's lacking in the diet. Patients learn to override the surgery by stretching out the stomach again. They may have lost weight rapidly, but gaining the weight back has nothing to do with how fast they lost the weight.

There is a light shining on this subject now. Recently there has been research that has proven the rate of loss has no bearing on any fat regained after the dieter goes off their plan. In other words, slow loss does not mean long term maintenance. Finally!  You can read the actual results here:

The research that was done during the development of Cambridge all those years ago by a team of scientists and doctors in the UK, proved that when fed complete balanced nutrition, the body was able to lose the excess fat rapidly with no damage done to lean tissues. This is key to the safety of rapid weight loss and long term maintenance. In spite of these findings, Cambridge was still looked at with suspicion in it's early years because it went against that old 1 to 2 pounds per week idea. People were losing an average of 4 to 7 + pounds per week on less then 400 calories a day while remaining perfectly healthy. We were still subjected to all sorts of doom and gloom predictions by people who knew nothing about the diet, including media doctors who never even read the label.

The new research that has been done studied controlled groups of dieters. One group was put on a very low calorie diet that resulted in rapid weight loss, while the other was given one to follow that gave 1 to 2 pounds per week. The goal was to determine if rapid weight loss resulted in more regaining of weight post diet, along with any other health consequences. What was found was that while the 2 groups both lost weight in the allotted time, the rapid group had lost much more. Both groups some time later were then evaluated for regain. Both in fact, did regain approximately the same percentage of the weight back, but the rapid group, because they had experienced far more weight loss initially, were still way ahead of the other group. In other words, if rapid group A lost 30 pounds, while slow group B only lost 5, and both gained back 4, it is easy to see that a rapid weight loss is desirable when done safely. On top of that the rapid group was far more motivated to remain healthy and in control of their diet due to a significant life style change.

Cambridge has been proven over time to be the best option for safe rapid weight loss. Given the choice to lose 1 pound per week on a conventional diet, or possibly 7 on Cambridge... the choice is obvious. All those old theories of the body going in to "starvation mode" or the metabolism slowing down or the nay-sayers predicting you will gain it all back because you lost if fast have been proven false. It's time to embrace the idea that the most beneficial way to lose the weight is as quickly as possible as long as your body is being fed completely as it is on Cambridge. Obesity is a killer and the sooner you leave it behind, the better for your long term health.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Recovery, It's a Good Thing

So I am now 95% back to normal after my flu virus or whatever evil thing it was that slammed me this past week. Sadly, my family is all sick with it, but at lease I am well enough now to take care of them if they need me.

In the midst of my viral misery, I thought about how much I take for granted now.. and how much I am in denial about. Some years back there wasn't a second of any day that I wasn't sick and in pain from my obesity. It was 24/7. It's a dim enough memory now that I forget what it's like to not be able to do what I want without thinking. Jumping up to answer my phone, walking endless hours at Disney World with my husband, knowing that I can go anywhere out to eat and not worry about fitting in a booth, going grocery shopping and not feeling judged. Normal everyday stuff that used to be on my "Too much effort" list. It was a long list. Now I live my life with few limitations and I don't take that for granted. I doubt I ever will. I hope I never do.

The denial part is where it gets real. Are you ready for this? Am I ready for this? I am not thin. I am not at my ideal weight. I am technically still considered overweight by the charts that be. I'm a little pissed about that. Who are "they" to tell me I am overweight? If I feel good and I am enjoying my life, why isn't that good enough? Why do I or anyone else have to fall in line with a chart that declares us worthy? Why? Well...I know why. Because these charts are not to judge us or tell us we are too fat to wear white jeans. These charts are to tell us that our current weight puts us in a category of health risk common for the average individual who is our weight, height, gender, and age.  I am still very much at risk. In fact, considering my health history, it's a no brainer that I am still very much in the danger zone of diabetes and heart disease. It's in not only my own health history, but several generations of my genealogy.

My ultimate goal for this year is to get to my high school weight. This would put me in the lower range of the weight charts for best health benefits. Now, when I was a teenager, I was active, not to mention...a teenager! Even though I had always struggled with weight, my metabolism was a whole lot better at 17 then it is now. Knowing this, I need to get my head out of the sand and get busy. I have made a few temporary attempts at my goal, but let's face it, 55, almost 56, is plenty old enough to realize I don't have all of the time in the world to prevent some major health disaster from crashing in on me. My sister died last year from pulmonary hypertension. She was one year older then I am now. My Mom died at 62 from congestive heart failure. I've already had that before. There is vascular disease and heart disease and other serious risk factors including my own battle with diabetes that is REAL! Very real.

So tomorrow I begin again. I have a few months until my 56th B-day. I want to be at my ultimate goal. Wish me success!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Calling In Sick

I rarely ever get sick. Even when I was running a day care in my home and was surrounded by constantly sick kids, I seemed to be immune, or I would get a very mild version and be over it in a few hours. Well...for some reason I got slammed 2 days ago with a virus that seems to want to make up for all those times I didn't catch anything. I feel like my head is in a bucket of mud and my body is dragging hundred pound weights from every limb. I've had zero sleep for 2 nights and frankly, I'm not taking it too well. I much more prefer my previous superhero powers of immunity.

One interesting thing I wanted to share before going back to my sick bed, or in this case sick couch (my hubby is still sleeping and all my coughing and snuffling is probably pretty annoying), I hardly ever get food cravings anymore. Occasionally I'll get an urge for sushi, but sugar and all those things that used to rule my life just have no effect on me anymore. Last night was Halloween and we didn't participate in the candy craze. Being sick, we just put a note on the door and no one egged our house. In my dark sugar addicted past I would have already consumed POUNDS of candy by the morning after and I wouldn't have stopped until it was all gone...and the stores were cleared out of their 50% discounted leftovers. I'm completely free from that, but  for some reason, 2 sleepless nights have made me crave bread like my life depends on it! I hardly ever eat bread! Honestly, if my arm was made of bread, I'd eat it off.

I know there is a connection to insomnia and carbohydrate cravings. I've just never experienced it before. Probably because I was already eating a pretty carb loaded lifestyle. I struggled with chronic insomnia and day time sleepiness all the time back in my garbage eating days.  Now, I am healthy and usually sleep like a baby. Being made aware that sleep deprivation can have such a dramatic affect on resurrecting food cravings is quit alarming! The urge to self medicate my fatigue with an insulin stimulating bread binge is natural, but like most things we use food for improperly, it is a temporary fix at best with long term consequences. Resist!