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

Holiday Struggles

Typically, I would stray from my strict eating plan between Thanksgiving and New Years. I would convince myself by rationalizing that it was all about moderation and not deprivation.  Each year I would struggle to get back on track after the holidays ended. Some years I would accomplish this during January and other years I would battle to get back into my eating plan for four to six months, having experienced weight gain and frustration in the process.

This year I stayed focused until the last two weeks of the year when I got weak and had small helpings of deserts on three occasions. That was all that it took. I am now struggling to stop the cravings and variations in my eating habits that leave me feeling uncomfortable. The "hungry horrors" have driven my usual 1900 to 2100 daily calorie consumption to 2300 to 2800 per day. That means I've put on a few pounds and I look and feel softer.

As usual it was the sugar that got me started. On one occasion I had some chocolate covered pretzels, on another it was a very small piece of apple pie and one other time it was three bites of cake with frosting.  I was also having more bread than usual and adding snacks more often because the cravings were calling for more junk food. The impact of these trigger foods is immediate. They sabotage my efforts to eat clean and stay on track. First of all these trigger foods do not satisfy my appetite and, more importantly, they interfere with the signals that indicate that I am full.

I am not capable of putting the brakes on without difficulty. I am struggling right now to regain the strict clean eating program that I was on before the holidays. I was completely focused for six months before this hiccup. I will get back on track.  I am just concerned about the damage I may do before I am back in control. Do you have the same problem? If so, please share with us how you deal with it.

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Starting The New Year Off On The Right Path

Whatever disappointing events happened to you health wise in 2011 is behind you now. Let's look ahead to 2012. First we need to set our wellness goals. Goals could be in the form of weight you want to lose, inches you want to trim or habits you want to change. Goals can be a combination of these, all of these or something completely different.

I find that once I outline my goals, it is easier to break them down into smaller components and create a plan to accomplish the goals. I find that breaking my goals down into 13 week segments works best for me. Longer than that and I find I lose focus and shorter goals leave me feeling like i didn't really get into it.

All my goals have three major components. They have an eating plan, an exercise plan and a monitoring plan. The monitoring plan includes critical measurements such as waist, chest and biceps. It also includes weekly weigh ins (once a week at the same time and on the same day) and keeping a food log, an exercise/activity log and sleeping and bathroom habits. Also important is how I feel each day (sluggish, hyper, tired, sore hungry etc.) This is all very important information because it allows you to see what effects different foods and/ or exercises have on your progress and your moods.

I find that if I create a plan that I am comfortable with and that allows me to stay totally focused and totally committed and in tune to what is happening to me, I have the best chance of being successful with my 13 week plan. I have to like the food I'm eating and not feel like I am depriving myself, I have to feel challenged by my exercise and activities and I have to feel well-fed, energetic, and well rested.

As we move into January, I intend to post my eating plan and my exercise plan for the first 13 weeks. I may also periodically share the log book/journal that I keep so that you can see the type of information that I consider important and which will give you some guidance in creating your own journal using some of my ideas. Remember, I have been at this for almost 11 years and have made a lot of adjustments along the way.  You will probably not get it "right" the first time either and will need to make changes.

I invite comments and the sharing of ideas. Let's hear from you.

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Getting The Message

Seems like everywhere I turn lately I am confronted with people who are self destructing. Causing harm to their own health and quality of life. Some, like my brother Steve, my sister Diane, my father John and my lifelong friend Leo have even had the benefit of warning signals that got their attention for a little while. Unfortunately, once they start to feel better, they go back to their old ways. I know that no one wants to be preached to by a neophyte.

But I get frustrated because I have been there and I can feel their pain. I know how overwhelming the task can be. I also know the consequences of continuing along the same self destructive path that they are on. I also know the solution to the problem. Just like in the old days when the doctor would say rest, take two aspirin and call me in the morning, I say adjust your eating habits, get some exercise and if you smoke,quit. For most people it is that simple.

This blog is not to give," how to", advice. I am writing this to share my deep concern and frustration for those who I care about and to hopefully initiate some dialogue with others who know people on the same path. How do you get through to your loved ones? We and they all know what lifestyle changes need to be made. We even know the potential consequences if the changes are not made. If you are like me, it is painful to watch someone spiraling out of control. Please share your comments and help me and others get some insight.

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Surviving The Holiday Temptations to Overeat

You can do it. Take it one day at a time. Small portions, eat slowly, get up often and move around. You can have more later if you want to. No need to deny yourself the pleasure of family and food during the holidays. Where possible try to have foods prepared for you using the least harmful methods such as skim milk instead of cream, spray butter instead of cream sauces and remove the skin on the turkey. You really don't need the desert, but if you must have it try for the least harmful and keep the portions small. The key here is moderation not deprivation. Remember if you do good today you have a good chance that you will do good again tomorrow. I sometimes have anxiety attacks when confronted with all the food around the holidays. I try to keep myself busy with conversation, going for a walk or going outside to play with the kids. With me there is a fear factor, which I've learned to respect. I take it seriously and I know that this time of year has sent me off course in the past and I am determined to not let it happen this year. I hope that if you suffer from the same overeating disorders as I do that you are as determined as I am.

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The importance of routines

I drive myself and everyone around me crazy. I am so rigid and find any disruption to my routine very hard to deal with.Recently we had some visitors at our house and my regular dinner time was caused to go off schedule. I reacted and behaved poorly because my routine was disrupted. People look at you and talk about you like you are ridiculous, and of course you are. People no matter how close to you they are or how much they think they know you have no idea how this disruption affects you.Even when explained it is difficult for someone who is not obsessive compulsive or  an addict to fully grasp the concept of our need to be rigid. I actually need to be this way, because left to just wing it, outside of my routine, history shows that I will take the path that more often than not leads me to places I would rather not go anywhere near.. I have a routine for everything. I have a morning routine. I have a routine at night to prepare for the morning. I have a sleep routine which is just the preparation of getting into bed relaxing and falling asleep, but if varied, I am not able to sleep as well as if I follow the routine.I have an eating routine and an exercise routine, which may vary from day to day but each variation is just a different routine within a routine. I even have a routine for how I wash my car.This strange behavior works for me and it may work for you if you need to replace the behavior which is not working for you now. Lets talk about it.

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