Who Is This Guy? - The Blog

Welcome to our blog about food addiction, obesity, gastric bypass surgery and of course, Who Is This Guy? ... the book

Three Weeks to go and Still Focused

I am so proud of my daughter Marisa who has lost 63 pounds in the last four months.  If and when she gets into an exercise program, I think she will finally understand the combination that is so critical to long term success.  This is a very difficult time of year to stay disciplined and not be tempted to try "just one special treat".   Marisa never really "got it" when it came to grasping the concept of diet, nutrition and exercise.  This is the best I have ever seen her do, and I will keep you updated on her progress.

As for me, I am on cruise control and not having any problems at all.  I love it when I am this focused because it means that I am not constantly frustrated, afraid or distracted from life while trying to get my eating back on track.

Back to Marisa for a minute.  She is so much like me, it's scarey.  I would guess that many people with overeating disorders are like Marisa and me.  She is a binge eater.  She can do nothing in moderation.  She has to learn everything the hard way.  Like me, she learns best from past failures rather than from listening to the experiences of others.  There are no filters or governors when she starts to binge eat.  Hey, she's 38 years old and if I'm right, and she does have it figured out, then she's 12 years ahead of me.

As for me, with 11 days left until Christmas, I am still doing well.  This is the week that I hit the bump in the road last year, so I am very cautious.  Dinner with friends in Boston coming up on Monday, followed by various exposures to food leading up to Christmas day.  Will keep you posted.  Current weight 192.  Anyone else who'd like to share their struggles, I'd love to hear from you.

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Made it Through Thanksgiving

Well I made it through Thanksgiving day and the weekend too, which included my granddaughter Chloe's 2nd birthday party. The fact is, I am in such a zone right now that I had no problem at all resisting temptation.  I ate all of the traditional Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and an assortment of vegetables.  What I did not eat was gravy, bread and butter or the tremendous assortment of desserts that were offered.  When it came time for dessert, I was prepared.  I unwrapped my own homemade pumpkin cake which, I  know, is made with healthy ingredients and contains 130 calories.

Fortunately, my gym opened at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning so I was able to get my normal workout in before I went on to give thanks at a few different locations.  I ended the day singing happy birthday to Chloe but not having any of her Mickey Mouse birthday cake.

I still have 5 weeks to go to make it past the most difficult time of the year for me.  I feel very confident that I will make it this year and am aided by the fact that I am very busy at work.  I find that the busier I am, the less I think about food and, therefore, the less I eat.  My weight right now is 193 lbs.  Last year at this time I was 192, so the week before Christmas I thought I would try various desserts.  I was in such a groove, I knew I could get right back on track.  I was wrong, though, and I am determined  not to make the same mistake again this year.  Last year's mistake caused me to battle with cravings and a weight gain of 7 to 12 pounds that I spent 6 months trying to lose in addition to trying to regain my focus.  Lesson learned!

I will keep you posted of my progress.

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Holiday Overeating Anxiety

Here we are, the week of Halloween and I'm getting anxious about my holiday eating.  I should be worried; the most vulnerable time of year for me is the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Other than the year of my surgery, 2001, I have never been able to control my eating during this period.  Some years I try harder than others to avoid the traps that lead me down the path of over eating, but let me address the post surgery era.  Every year since 2001, I have slipped up during the holiday season, but last year, I went into Thanksgiving on cruise control - six months of perfect eating.  No sugar, no cream-based foods, no white breads. Then, with two weeks left before the end of the holiday season, I convinced myself that I was so focused, I could have a piece of apple pie and a couple of chocolate covered pretzels and get right back on track.  As usual, I was wrong.  I had been wrong the last hundred times I told myself I could do this, so what made me think I would have different results this time?

As always, my plan for this year is to avoid those trigger foods that cause the problem of overeating.  I know what they are and I am afraid of them because of what they can do to me.  I have said it before, and I will remind myself again; it is a lot of work to stay focused and disciplined, but it is much more work to get back your focus once you lose it.  I will keep you posted as I navigate through the mine field of the holidays.  I can use all the help I can get, so please, if you have some ideas to share about how you handle holiday eating, I would love to hear them.

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What Causes Me To Eat

The experts say that the primary reasons why people overeat are alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation and TV watching.  According to researchers, alcohol consumption has the biggest impact, followed by sleep deprivation (less than 5 1/2 hours per night) and then TV watching.

Personally, I do not consume alcohol of any kind and I usually get 6 hours of sleep each night.  I rarely watch TV, unless it is sports related and when I do watch TV, it seems that I am up and doing things at almost every commercial.  Yet I am as inclined to overeat as anyone else. 

In my case, I think that the cause is a disorder called Binge-eating disorder.  Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food.  Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal, but in my case, overeating is caused by eating trigger foods, such as candy, white bread, pasta or cake, to name a few.

Over the years since my Gastric By-pass surgery in January 2001, I have, through the process of trial and error, identified the foods that I can eat on a regular basis that do not cause me to crave more food.  In fact, when I am eating right, I am never hungry and have to almost force myself to eat on a regular schedule so that I take in at least 1900 calories per day.  Among the foods that cause me to have the least cravings are:  egg whites, cottage cheese, white meat fish, chicken and turkey, canned tuna fish, fruits and vegetables, yogurt , rye or whole wheat breads, fat free cheese, peanut butter, bran cereals and skim milk.  My goal is to make sure these foods supply the biggest portion of my diet plan each day.

What do you do to try to avoid overeating? Please share with us.

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What I've Learned about Weight and Fat Cells

If you gain weight, you are probably gaining fat.  If you then lose the weight, you may not be losing the fat.  Therefore, you may weigh less, but be fatter. When you gain weight and fat and then lose the weight, fat cells shrink but don't go away. Try to avoid putting on weight that is a result of increased calorie intake, even for only a short period of time. The reason being that the extra fat cells you add will stay with you and signal your brain that you are hungry.

Fat cells appear most often as upper-body subcutaneous fat ( belly fat) , which is the fat just under the skin.  Fat also can be stored as visceral fat, which is also called deep belly fat or internal fat. Then there is lower body fat which is usually found in the hips, inner thigh and buttock areas. None of these types of body fat are good for you to be carrying around. Excess internal fat will put tremendous pressure on your stomach, pancreas, intestines and other organs. Your organs and glands are responsible for producing hormones. The added pressure from belly fat causes hormonal imbalances and deficiencies found in diabetes and many other health conditions.

When people slim down through diet and exercise, rather than just calorie reduction alone, fat around the organs will disappear twice as fast in comparison to other body fat. Proper nutrition and as little as three days a week of high intensity exercise for 30 minutes per session, can reduce your belly fat and reduce your risk of diabetes significantly. I think that the size of your waist is far more important than what you weigh. Weight does not distinguish between muscle and fat.  Check the Body Mass Index Charts. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.  Check the U S Department of Health and Human Services web site for more information on BMI and to calculate where you stand versus where you should be on body mass.

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