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Phase III - Will It Work??  

Jun 14, 2009 - 0 comments

June 14, 2009

Here I am back again with the next phase of my diet experiences.  If you read my other 2 journals, you will know – but I’ll remind you that I went on “mission” to clear out my life of clutter and get rid of the excess tonnage I’ve put on over the past 2.5 years due to my thyroid issues….

This all started after I read a book called “If You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair” by Geneen Roth.  I’ve read the book 4 times now.  

Anyway, this book focuses on losing weight by NOT dieting.  I’m currently in the process of reading another book by the same author called “Feeding the Hungry Heart”.  It, too, is about losing weight without “dieting”.  

Anyway, in the process of bringing myself around to the point that I’m at now, I went through a couple of very hard weekends not long ago cleaning out my dressers and closet.  My husband completely rebuilt all the shelves and I’ve gotten rid of everything I owned that didn’t fit, didn’t look good, or I just didn’t wear.  I got rid of multiple boxes and bags of clothes, belts, shoes and all types of other stuff.  I’ve cleaned out my bathroom closet, medicine cabinet and gotten rid of all the old meds/vitamins/minerals, etc that I no longer use…….  

The idea behind these two books is that when we start “dieting” we are telling ourselves that we can’t be trusted with food; therefore, we have to limit the types and amounts of food that we eat or we would eat the whole world.  Her adage is: for every diet we go on; there is an equal and opposite binge………  Somehow, I tend to believe that –

I have tried to change the way I eat – no sugar, white bread, white potatoes, etc.  I can easily give up sugar – I’ve never been a big sweets eater anyway.  White bread – that’s not hard to let go either, because I love whole wheat, or other grains.  Potatoes – well, that’s another story entirely.  

But let me back up and think a different way.  I was raised on a farm in SE South Dakota and our “staples” included homemade white bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, various meats, etc, along with whole, “fresh from the cow’ full fat milk and cream.  We often even made our own butter.  Although we now know that was not the healthiest way to eat it was the custom at the time and through it all, I never had a problem with weight or food at all.  When I was growing up, we didn’t HAVE all the prepackaged foods that are available today.  We grew our own livestock for meat, had our own garden, chickens for eggs, etc.  

Of course, it took a lot of work to raise the livestock, gardens, etc so there was plenty of exercise carrying feed to the animals, herding them, cleaning up behind them, milking cows  and doing whatever else needed to be done.  In addition to that – because we lived on a farm and our parents were not willing/able to DRIVE us every where, we (meaning we kids) had to walk a lot to get where we wanted to go.  Most of our friends lived within walking distance – 2-5 miles – anyway, so we always had lots of exercise………

Even as I grew older, got married and had my own family, I still NEVER had a problem with my weight; although there were times when I THOUGHT I was too fat and I’d stop eating for a day or two, lose a few pounds and be right back to “normal”.  

Somewhere along in my late 30’s, I suddenly gained about 15 pounds for no apparent reason; a few months later I lost that 15 pounds, along with a few more, also for no apparent reason..  Several episodes like this took place periodically over the next 20 years – maybe once every couple of years or so.  Also during ALL of this time, I constantly complained of fatigue that no amount of sleep would ease.  Ironically, NO ONE ever thought to check my thyroid to see if there might be a problem.  *I* didn’t know anything about thyroid issues at that time, so did not know to even ASK for any testing; I was relying on my doctor(s) to provide my medical care.  The closest ANY of the doctors came to touching on a cause for my problems, was the old country doctor who dx’d me with pernicious anemia way back when I was in my mid 20’s – and *I* didn’t listen to HIM.

In my other journals, I recounted the things that happened over the past 2.5 years that got me to where I am now……. I have hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, pernicious anemia and osteopenia.  That’s what we know of for a fact.  *I*, personally, believe that there are some other issues that have NOT been addressed – such as insulin resistance/prediabetes, which my current pcp won’t evne talk to me about, in spite of the fact that diabetes is rampant in my family.  There may be some other issues too.  

I’m going to be changing pcp’s this fall,  and am hoping that the new one I’ve chosen will be easier to work with.  I’ve heard from several people who go to him, that he listens very well and is extremely thorough…….

Anyway, here I am now with these medical issues and who doesn’t know that hypothyroidism causes weight issues for many, many people?  The thyroid controls so many of the bodies’ functions, metabolism being a major one of them.

We all know that somehow we have USE more calories than we take in, in order to lose weight.  What *THEY* (the experts) don’t tell us, is what to do when our metabolism is slowed down to the point that we’d have to starve in order to lose weight??????  

I believe when we make the decision to “go on a diet”, we set ourselves up for failure before we ever get started.  I agree with Geneen Roth in her books – “for every diet, there is an equal and opposite binge”…  I can safely say that holds true for me.  

Every time I’ve tried to limit my food intake, keep my mealtimes on a tight schedule, I end up GAINING in the long run.  I end up thinking of NOTHING except food – what I’m going to have for my next meal, how long away is the meal?  how many calories does it have? Is that more calories than I’m allotted at one sitting?  FOOD is the ONLY thing I can think of.  I can’t concentrate on work or anything else.  Often, I worry about how hungry I am, when I’m not even really hungry and my thoughts zero in on when the next meal will roll around and won’t go anywhere else.  

Every time I try to “go on a diet” – I’m telling myself that I am unable to act responsibly around food and I know that’s NOT true.  I have to keep reminding myself that “A DIET ONLY CONSISTS OF THE FOOD WE EAT”.   I’ve said this before – a diet is what you eat: a cow lives on a of corn, a dog lives on dog food, elephants live on a diet of plants, snakes live on a diet of mice.  

The term DIET should not be used as weight loss tool.  A diet is the food that keeps us alive, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent.  

The strategy I’m working to adopt is that if I allow my body to choose for me, it WILL choose the right things to eat..  I KNOW this because I never cared for sweet, sugary foods, chocolate, etc.  When given a choice of a chocolate bar or a bowl of popcorn - *I* would choose the popcorn….. Given a choice between pieces of candy or an apple, *I* would choose the apple.  That tells me that I’m NOT irresponsible in choosing my food and I don’t need someone to tell me what to eat for each meal, how much and how often.  

The idea is eat ONLY when you are hungry, but eat EVERY TIME you get hungry; then STOP as soon as you begin feeling full, no matter how much is left on your plate.  

This is the concept that I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  Let me be the first to tell you -------- this takes even more practice than going on a weight loss “diet”.  *I* am so programmed to eat at certain times.

I grew up with breakfast (about 6 am), dinner (noon) and supper (6 pm) as the main meals of the day.  Lunch was mid-morning (10:00), mid afternoon (3-4 pm) and sometimes an evening “mini-meal” (8-9 pm).  Our lunches were what we now look at as “snacks”, and they consisted of maybe a sandwich, a cookie and something to drink (coffee for adults, most likely kool aid for the youngsters).  The evening lunch, if there was one, almost always consisted of popcorn.  The 3 main meals of the day were large meals that consisted of meat, potatoes, a veggie and/or salad, breads, dessert and drink.  

I have pretty much lived my life on a similar schedule; my husband was raised on a farm in Iowa similar to the one I grew up on in South Dakota, so his habits were pretty much the same as mine, which made it easy.  The one thing that made it even easier is that until the past couple of years, neither of us ate breakfast….. THAT meant I didn’t have to get up early enough to cook, clean up, etc.  A couple of years ago, *I* realized that I HAD to start eating breakfast – ok, I started, but my hubby still doesn’t – means I only have to fix for myself……

My current schedule no longer matches well with the schedule that I “learned” all those years ago.  I start my day at 3 am and end it at 7 pm.  That means that everything in between must change as well.  
On top of that, I have my thyroid meds to take, along with certain vitamins and minerals that can’t be taken within 4 hrs of the thyroid med.  This all presents a whole different challenge because: thyroid meds need to be taken immediately upon arising, with nothing to eat or drink for 30 min to an hour.  

The bottom line here is that MY eating schedule is NOTHING like that of most people and I’ve had to try to adapt and juggle things in order to be able to get in the meds, vitamins/minerals, etc without having them all “clash”.  

What I’m getting at here is that even though I “learned” to eat on a regular schedule and if we didn’t eat when food was on the table, we were out of luck.  NOW you see why it’s so hard for me to “eat every time, I get hungry”?? Whenever I get hungry, the first thing I do is look at the clock to see if it’s “meal time”……. And if it’s not, I find me trying to force myself into “waiting”.  

Anyway, I’ve been doing rather well at this over the past few weeks.  My hubby makes it easier because he eats a huge noon meal every day, so isn’t very hungry in the evenings, so he normally goes for popcorn…… That means that *I* can pretty much eat on my own “schedule” (which is whenever I get hungry).

I’m also learning to stop eating as soon as I start feeling full, because I know that I don't have to “stuff myself” since I have to don’t wait a specific amount of time before I can eat again – if I’m hungry in an hour, I can eat in an hour.  

I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone or not – BUT – I started out last week with the scale on 149 on Monday morning and I ended the week with it sitting on 145.  I AM keeping in mind that I have played “footsie” with some of these same pounds over the past couple of years – I’ve probably lost and gained them at least 10 times, so I don’t know whether or not this is a true “weight loss” or if I’m being set up for disappointment, but whatever happens, I feel so much better about the idea that I’m not specifically on a “weight loss diet”.  

I will choose the best foods, and only eat what I need to be satisfied.  That always worked in the past, I’ve got to trust myself enough now to let it work again.  

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