Long Time No See

April 9, 2008

So when we last spoke, I was trying to learn how to eat without lists, which has actually been pretty educational and helpful. Particularly since I moved to New York and took a job that was (1) very stressful and (2) located in the recreational-food paradise of Rockefeller Center, I did gain some weight back, boo.

But as I said when I started this thing, the key is not quitting, and now that I’m working at home and have infinitely more flexibility and far less easy access to delicious but unproductive lunch options, it’s started to come back off, which is a relief.

Honestly, rather than rehashing, let’s agree that we will just GET ON WITH IT from here, because there has been more than enough dallying.

Right now, I am working a system that involves eating five or six times a day, more evenly distributed than the usual MEAL-snack-MEAL-snack-MEAL-snack theory that hasn’t always served me well. I realize there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the small-meals idea, but it really has been a help. My biggest problem is actually lazing around and drinking coffee until 10 in the morning (after The People’s Court…don’t judge me) and eating nothing until then, by which time I’m overhungered. If that’s a word. Which I think it isn’t.

Anyway, it’s going to take me a little time to get back in the swing, so for now, feel free to leave a comment and let me know what’s working for you. Do you believe in small meals? Is there any possibility you’ve discovered a combination of chocolate and cheese that makes you shrink? Okay, maybe not the last one.

At any rate, let’s get on with it already; the cow’s not going to lose itself.

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20 Responses to “Long Time No See”

  1. Molly Says:

    I’m glad you’re starting this blog back up. I’ve gained about 25 pounds in the last couple of years, and I’m really struggling with how to get it off. Part of the problem is I’m working about 30 hours/week at two jobs and taking two grad school classes, so there’s a lot of stuff I feel like I *have* to do, and the idea of adding working out on top of it just seems beyond frustrating. How do you get past that feeling of exercise being yet another obligation that leaves you with less time to do fun things?

  2. hegellite Says:

    Something I’ve tried to work on this year is 1.) going vegan and 2.) eating more vegetables. I figure if I make myself eat enough servings of vegetables a day, I won’t eat crap.

    My major weakness is getting hungry frequently, and then if I don’t have anything good with me, wanting to snack on crap. Like, at the college where I work there are all these convenient vending machines, so it’s very tempting to get Peanut M & M’s or something. So I’m trying to work on keeping granola or something in my car.

  3. hegellite Says:

    Wow, I should have edited that, because I said crap/crap and then something/something like a crazy person.

  4. esme Says:

    Ugh, Molly, I know what you mean – I’m in exactly the same boat. I’ve gotten to the point where, just to stay on top of classes and work, my meals have devolved into Lean Cuisines and sandwiches from the Quizno’s behind my school. It really comes as no surprise that I’ve gained about 15 pounds in the last year.

    You know what I finally did to motivate myself to get to the gym? First, I embraced my shallow nature, tossed my ugly, ratty old gym bag, and bought a cute, bright-pink gym bag with lots of zippers and compartments. Second, I put it in my car when I head in to school for the day, and when I go to the gym afterward I toss a textbook or journal article inside before putting my backpack in the trunk. That way I can multi-task (as long as I do a machine with a book rest), and since the book usually covers the timer, I don’t notice how long I’ve been at it. It doesn’t sound like much, but it got me to the gym three times last week, so I figure that’s saying something.

  5. golfnutbucket Says:

    What works for me, but I realize not everyone:

    small meals, 6 times per day (meat or eggs only 3 of those times)
    no white flour anything
    no sugar anything (and honey is a myth)
    whole grains only
    brown rice
    no potatoes
    nuts (1 cup or less per day)
    small amounts of fresh fruit (1 cup per day)
    steamed veggies (but just lightly)or raw veggies
    BREAKFAST!!!!!you must get that metabolism workin’
    sugar free/low fat yogurt is delicious
    no caffeine (sorry)decaf your life; you can do it.
    let’s talk about meat: one serving lean beef or lean pork per week, lots of fish, seafood and include salmon at LEAST once per week, eat lean chicken and turkey. Absolutely NO processed meat like salami, ham or bologna. Portions are no more than 4 oz for women per meal (look at your fist and that’s how big your portion).
    cheese is good but start with low fat cheese and work your way on to others, small amounts
    very little sodium (don’t add any salt to meals)
    green tea, hot or iced
    extra virgin olive oil – no other oil
    margarine that has 0 trans fats but very little
    dark chocolate, but very little per day (1 oz.)
    when you grocery shop, stay along the perimeter of the store, stay away from boxed, processed food. read the labels. there is NO fast food that is good for you – Jason.
    exercise – I know it’s hard, but just get moving; walk a mile, it’s not that hard. start slow and add more distance and motion (swing arms). take one day a week off for muscle recovery (and attitude)
    you will be amazed at the pounds shredding off of you. if you plateau, add more motion or distance or find out a food that you may have too much of like fruit or meat.
    Go get ’em!

  6. JeniMull Says:

    Wow, golfnutbucket – that is a fantastic list. I find that I really need some type of rules/structure to go by in this topsy-turvy life o’mine. Working fulltime with an hour commute, two kids aged 2.25 and nearly 1 year – I am coming to grips with delusions I’ve been holding about my ability to suddenly “diet hardcore”, “workout hardcore” and magically lose 40 pounds or so. I like the idea of having some rules around which I operate.

    Exercise is a biggie that I’ve GOT to do. I did get to a spinning class at lunch, after being afraid to do so for years. I loved it! Now just need to get up consistently and do it again.

    I was just looking seriously at those Bistro MD meal deliveries for hubby and me – maybe take meal planning out of the equation for a couple of months. I don’t know – I have so many WW cookbooks, I have to believe I could plan things out!

    Anyway. So great to see you back Miss Linda/Alli – I love your writing about all topics!

  7. Emily Says:

    I’m so glad I clicked over here from Things What Things. I’ve been carry an extra load of weight that seems to *expand* every year by 5 more pounds, rather than the reverse. JeniMull, I was harboring the same delusions of one day magically losing the weight, like some liposuction fairy was going to swoop down from on high with her mystical hose and suck the fat from my ass.

    Golfnutbucket, your list is excellent–very similar to South Beach, which was the only thing that ever really worked for me (until I got pregnant with #2). I’m happy to find you all!

  8. BDanger Says:

    I have it tough myself…very fast metabolism (out of control hunger), no self control, and a hectic schedule. I honestly cannot get myself out of the fridge after dinner.

    So I started cooking super healthy meals and eating 2 meals that are around 200 calories a day (I make a mean Buffalo Chicken Lasagna that is super filling and 180). Then I let myself have one big meal (600 calories) when I feel it coming on. All of that allows for a 100 calories snack at night!

    For me, it is the last 5 lbs. They aren’t budging but I just need to be happy with the progress I have made!

    I’m so happy to have found this blog, I love reading anything you write.

  9. Michelle Says:

    I’m so pleased that you’re updating this journal again. I loved it and have missed it muchly.

  10. Liz Says:

    I’ve been watching “I Can Make You Thin” with Paul McKenna on TLC. I am finding his methods for dealing with the psychological aspects of cravings and emotional eating very helpful. I am very interested in other people’s reactions to the show and his processes.

    I’m not convinced I could use his techniques alone and lose weight, but I have been combining Weight Watcher’s and “The Four Golden Rules”, and it has worked for me (at least over the past 9 weeks).

  11. Denise Says:

    I lost quite a bit of weight a few years ago, which I’m now putting back on because I’m seven months pregnant and feel like it’s my duty to eat ice cream daily (hey, the baby wants it!). Anyway, I did it by making really small changes to my diet and adding exercise.

    First, for the diet, I resolved to eat half of what I was served if I ate out, and I ate off smaller plates at home. Between meals, I always made sure I had healthy options on hand so I didn’t hit the snack machines. By eating half, I was satisfied and still eating foods I enjoyed, but not being gluttonous (sp?).

    For exercise, I had to remind myself why I liked it when I was younger! I started walking during lunch hour and realized how enjoyable it was to get out in the fresh air away from my computer! Then I took classes that I enjoyed – boxing, dancing, etc. so it was fun. And last, but probably most important – I only let myself read trashy magazines at the gym. When US Weekly came in the mail, it went straight into the gym bag. It was my single best motivator to get to the gym! That and the cute boys…which got me to where I am now!

    I’ll be poking around here so I’m motivated when this kid finally arrives! Good luck everyone!

  12. Tracy Says:

    I’ve only read some of your posts and fewer of your comments, so please forgive me if you’ve heard this one before.

    I’ve been a lifetime member of WW since 1996 after losing 26 pounds, and have gained and lost various portions of that weight on and off ever since. Just recently, for unrelated reasons, my acupuncturist suggested I try something called the Metabolic Typing diet (www.metabolictyping.com). Note that this is a “diet” in the sense that whatever you’re eating is your diet, not in the sense of a weight-reduction plan.

    Here’s the radical idea of metabolic typing. Different people are different, and there is no such thing as a “healthy diet for everyone.” It’s based on some research that has been going on for many decades, which found that when indigenous people eat their indigenous diet (Eskimos eat caribou, Italians eat olives, you get the idea), they tend to live long, healthy, disease-free, happy lives. And when you put Eskimos on olives, OR Italians on caribou, Bad Things Happen. So if what was available to your ancestors was beef, butter and cheese, and it worked for them, it will work for you too — despite admonitions about how “bad for you” all that stuff is.

    So on their website you can buy their book, and/or you can take their assessment and get a customized eating plan. I did both. It has been amazing. I follow it as best I can (which is not perfect, but is pretty good), and I feel better from eating less food, get to eat stuff I really like, and my sugar cravings, which used to be a dominant factor driving my waking life, are gone. Yes, I have lost some weight. But more to the point, this has caused a near-miraculous transformation in me where I am not interested in junk food anymore. Just not interested!

    I swear to you, this was the best fifty bucks I have EVER spent.

    Happy to talk more about it with anybody who’s interested. E-mail me at tracy dot lunquist at gt dot org if you like. No, I’m not affiliated with them or selling anything, just happy with my results.

  13. Tara Says:

    The first week I went back to the gym I lost two pounds without altering my diet. I know results like that won’t last, but it was a nice boost.

    My best trick is not to eat after dinner. I’m never actually hungry and it’s just a craving born of boredom. Sometimes I brush my teeth after dinner because I’m sufficiently lazy that I won’t want to brush them again before bed. If I can’t resist it, though, my second-best trick is the ten-calorie Jell-O cups, or the sixty-calorie puddings. I know they’re all artificial, but sometimes I just want something sweet. And the rest of what I eat is a lot less synthetic, I swear.

  14. Bunting Says:

    If I’m working out and getting enough sleep, my body tends to want healthier (and less) food. Stressed out/overtired + flabby = desire to eat entire pizza.

    Please tell me you have a post planned about The Firm so we can bore everyone else discussing Allie.

  15. Kathy Says:

    My tip is that I don’t deny myself anything.

    I use real butter. Like is way too short to eat fake butter.

    One of my co-workers brings homemade chocolate chip cookies to work every Wednesday. I always have two of them and enjoy every bite.

    I have pizza for dinner every Friday night.

    I have to eat while I’m driving (I commute an hour each way) and instead of packing chips and sweets, I pack baby carrots and pretzels.

    I’m down 22 pounds since October so it’s working so far!

  16. hegellite Says:

    “So if what was available to your ancestors was beef, butter and cheese, and it worked for them, it will work for you too — despite admonitions about how “bad for you” all that stuff is.”

    How far back are we talking about going, here? Because I can guarantee no truly “indigenous” Native Americans ate a bunch of cheese and butter. Most everyday people in history did not eat a bunch of meat, either, because it was expensive.

    Whatever works for you or anybody else: great. But I don’t thin “cheese and butter” are really “indigenous” to North America.

  17. Linda Says:

    Lots of good thoughts. And oh, yes, we will get to Allie very soon.

  18. Libby Says:

    Wow, I’ve always felt that you somehow KNEW things that I knew when I enjoyed your writing, but until I found this part of your resume, I didn’t quite get it. I’ve read every post here (going way back) and found myself nodding and cursing and wanting to hug you 😉

    I just got serious again (!!) about my lifelong struggle and I’m not looking back. Going forward, I’m on a self-devised “better eating” program that is working. It’s boosting my morale and my energy and I feel great. Miles to go before I sleep and all that, but still. One foot in front of the other …

    I’ll be following along here as a reminder to myself that while I’m doing it FOR me, there are truly people who do understand and get what a long strange trip it can be.

    Good luck! Stay snarky (please) and take care of you.

  19. KiwiFee Says:

    >Hegellite: I think what Tracy was trying to say was go with what your individual ancestors ate. So if you are descended from indigenous Americans, go with the staples of their diet. If, however, you are an American descended from the English or Irish or the like, cheese and butter would have formed part of their diet. If you see what I think she means. I’m guessing she’s of the latter. Interesting concept. I think most of us have such a muddled genetic history that would be hard to define?

  20. Nicole Says:

    I’ve been reading through–and appreciating–the archives, but I wonder if I’m missing something? There’s a huge gap between 2004 and 2006, but the 2006 post doesn’t refer to the gap and seems to refer to posts I haven’t read. Are there hidden archives? Am I an idiot?


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